Thursday, April 5, 2007

Hit It

I know that there are pleasures out there that I'll never get. I'll probably never stand at, say, a NASCAR race, with the wind in my face and the engine roar in my ears, and think, "Now this is the life."

I know this is what makes us all different and isn't that wonderful and blahdee blah, but it's also sad to me, in a way, when I consider some things that do bring me immense pleasure that just aren't available to other people.

Doesn't that sound condescending? Yeah. I know it does.

But take music. I love me some music. I love what happens to my heart when I hear Pavement, "Tell me off, in the hotel lobby, right in front of all the bellboys, and the over-friendly concierge." I love singing along with Modest Mouse, when Isaac Brock goes, "We are the people that we wanted to know, and we're the places that we wanted to go." We have a David Byrne in concert DVD, and I just sort of collapse with yearning when he covers "I Want to Dance With Somebody." And don't get me started on the whole They Might Be Giants oeuvre.

I literally can't get the feelings that I get from the music I like anywhere else. It's not just the lyrics, although the above ones are excellent. I love how the guy taps out the beat on the video for "Fergilicious." (I know, I know. This is the second time I've linked to this video, the third I've linked to Fergie-inspired fare.) For a long time, I got chills listening to the opening of "Ice Ice Baby." I make Brandon triple-tongue on the trumpet for my own enjoyment, and I'm not even trying to be dirty.

I think what makes me sad is that the particular songs that I love aren't a universal experience, and trying to write about these songs is always going to be limited by the fact that there's no sound to writing. A while ago, McSweeney's came out with an issue (an installment? they seem bigger than "issues") with a CD you were supposed to listen to as you read it. But although I liked the CD (TMBG again) and I liked the McSweeney's, it didn't work for me, as an experience. They're two separate things, and the closest I'll get to being a musician is, if I can be so immodest, my motherfucking rocking karaoke rendition of "Pour Some Sugar On Me."

I know the non-music fans are thinking, "Don't cry for me, Argentina." (That is, if the non-music fans also happen to be literate in musical theater.) But I have to believe that there are people out there who feel for me in the same way, the NASCAR fans, the Renaissance art appreciators, the horse riders, the golfers, the knitters.

Let us hold our lighters up now, for the pleasures that other people will never know.


Heather Annastasia said...

I love Modest Mouse. "Float On" is my anthem.

My son is gettig a drum set for his birthday (shhh).

Let's see if I still love music come May.

BarbaraCA said...

My They Might Be Giants story: I was working for John Flansburgh's father and when I woke up to the fact that "Flansburgh" was not so common a name, I mentioned in passing that I enjoyed John's music.

He brought John into the office several days later and announced to all and sundry that I was "The Biggest Ever TMBG Fan." And then everyone watched to see me freak out. But I wasn't, you know, a screaming 14 year old. I was cheerful and polite and we shook hands and then stared past each other's shoulders awkwardly until he had to go to a lunch meeting.

He was quite nice and shy and years later I sort of wish I *had* made a huge, huge fuss, just because he was so delightfully cool.