McCammon talks about it in Boy’s Life. How music helps to keep the magic of youth alive. How important it is to listen to new, young music. I try to adhere to that.
So many adults I know seem to have lost the passion for music that they once had. Maybe a lot of them never really had any passion in the first place. And I find that to be very sad.
I know so many people that live with their television sets on constantly. Never listening to music at home. Or if they do it’s just generic radio or perhaps the music they loved when they were teens. That’s fine. I still adore my teenage favorites: Todd Rundgren, Frank Zappa and The Tubes are probably the most predominant of them.
Times change and music evolves. Or, as the corporations continue to ruin any true creativity in the industry, it devolves. But it’s a mistake to think that all new music is terrible. Even if your local ‘modern rock’ station may make you feel that way.
My tastes mutated as the years went on. I tried a lot of things and while I might have disliked a lot of it, I found miracles of melody too.
And many songs or albums take me back to great times of my life. I remember riding around with my best friends, listening to the Tubes obsessively. Discussing the meaning of the songs with the kind of intense passion that only geeky teens that are desperate to get laid and have a little buzz can do. I listen to White Punks on Dope or Talk To Ya Later (to name a couple of the more popular Tubes songs) and I think of hot, listless nights. in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Recently my wife and I separated, but we later had a reconciliation. When I was visiting her and rebuilding the love, I bought a CD of David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Everything That Will Happen Will Happen today. Not a great album by any means, but I played it this morning and the happiness that I felt when I was first hearing it came back in a rush. I know that this album will always have a deep resonance with me.
Or like hearing Oingo Boingo constantly as I drank furiously after working so much overtime in my new career as a machinist. Those songs by the band will always bring back that vital time when I was changing myself.
The list goes on and I will always try to keep it fresh. I think the heart demands music and part of us dies when we stop feeding it.
I’ll always love my old favorites, but I keep trying new things. A recent obsession of mine is a young band called Miniature Tigers. They are supposedly an ‘alternative’ band, but whatever that label once might have meant is meaningless now. To me, Miniature Tigers is a pop band, but not like the miserable excuses for pop that make the top 40. The Tigers do smart, melodic songs that may not be great or brilliant, but damn if they aren’t infectious. I’ve been listening to them so much for the last month. And these songs off of their TELL IT TO THE VOLCANO album will always make me think of these insane but wonderful times in my life.
In the past year or so I’ve enjoyed newer groups like Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Golgol Bordello and even that lovable little goofball, Bo Burnham.
You can fight your body’s inevitable aging by exercising and maintaining a sensible diet. And you can keep your heart young with music.