Two days ago, I finally bought a new mp3 player. I named her Emma, for no particular reason. I set it to load all night, and yesterday morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to pack it with my favorite tunes. So my bus ride to work yesterday was the first time in almost three weeks that I listened to music on the bus. It was like salvation.
I don’t know what it is about music that is so addictive, but all I know is that Jim Morrison knew what he was talking about when he said “music inflames temperament,” even if he was under the influence of several heavy-ass narcotics. Music can ignite, fuel, arouse, and it can sooth, relieve and comfort. Music can be used as a weapon of revolution, a tool of empowerment, an energizing pill for a power-walk, a sedative for those painful times, or sometimes served best as a romantic serenade with a side of candlelight.
However you use music is a subjective issue. What I don’t understand is people who do not listen to music. I mean, if you like Mizrachi, go with it. If you listen solely to Hassidic tunes, whatever floats your yacht. If you listen to Voodoo Zulu music, with tam tams, and whoowhoo sounds, and dance around a bonfire while you’re at it, go on and enjoy the culture shock. If, you’re a headbanging riot grrrl like me, kickass.
But if you don’t listen to music, know nothing about riffs, drumbeats, melodies, never heard of the biggest names in music, that makes me a sad panda. I can’t understand that. I can’t wrap my messy hair around it, I really can’t. Try as I may, it’s virtually inconceivable. I mean, even my boss who is an enormous Orthodox Jewish businessman from New York, who seems to be interested in nothing but donors and religious affairs, every once in a while, I hear him humming some random tune at his office while he’s flipping through stacks of printed emails.
I used to think it was a matter of taste, and that some people have none. But now I think it’s a matter of culture, and some people have none.
I’ve been listening to music ever since I was born. I started off with children tunes, as well as an old tape of classical music my dad gave me (if you can picture a little three-year-old grrrl listening to Vivaldi). Then, I graduated to my dad’s oldies, Beatles, Elvis, the likes (even before I spoke a word of English, and today I’m still totally in love with Doors, Janis, Hendrix, Zappa…). Then, I moved on to Rap (while still not really understanding a word, cuz if I did, I probably wouldn’t have listened to it), then Michael Jackson (who I still love to Heaven and beyond), then came the heavier tunes that I listen to today: Nirvana, Manson, all Riot Grrrl bands, and the heavier still, Arch Enemy and other bands who have the power to raise the motherfucking dead.
Now that I’m waiting to buy the new Arch Enemy record, Khaos Legions, I can’t be more convinced of my prediction that I will probably kick the bucket with earphones in my ears. I will listen to music to my dying breath.
Peace, love and “speculate to break the one you hate, circulate the lie you confiscate, assassinate and mutilate…” – MJ RIP