Friday, January 28, 2011
Rant #14 - "I Miss The Comfort In Being Sad"
When you're a child, you're very impressionable. Sometimes the things you love when you're 8 can be the very same things you love when you're 38. Or if you tried Chinese food for the first time when you were 6 - and hated it - there is a good chance you hate it still as an adult. Sometimes that's the way it goes.
However, some things can change. Maybe bologna was your favorite meat when you were a kid. Couldn't get enough of the stuff. But then somewhere along the lines, you ate filet mignon at a nice restaurant. All of the sudden a wave of emotion came over you. What have I been missing? What other delicious non-processed meats exist out there? Did I waste many years of my life gnawing on Oscar Mayer's finest? It hurts - and I know your pain.
The picture above is a poster I had on my walls when I was all of 12 years old. Now - Cobain died when I was 10. But I still recall the day I bought this poster. I went to the mall with a friend and stopped at Spencer's Gifts. He really enjoyed Nirvana, and thought this poster was amazing. So of course, I had money - he didn't that day. So I had to buy it. I had to make my friend envious of this outstanding piece of art. Got it home, hung it up. Stared at it. Problem was - yeah, I wasn't in love with Nirvana. Every day I looked at that poster and thought - "what's the big deal?"
Well, my friends - sheer ignorance. Yep, that's all I can claim. And maybe because I was just a stupid kid who didn't get it. I made a big effort to listen to Nirvana again - a decade and a half after these moments I described. If I learned one thing from this exercise - it's simply that re-listening to music as an adult can have a profound impact on you. I threw on 'Unplugged' first. It was the album I found most tolerable as a kid. I listened to it at least 30 times in a week. I was STUNNED to find the brilliance that lied inside that hard plastic jewel case. It was like a little slice of heaven came down and was put here for all to enjoy. In music form of course. The covers of the Meat Puppets, the slowed down versions of already great tunes - it was perfection.
I had to go back again - and this time I started with Bleach. How can you listen to a song like 'About A Girl' or 'Downer' and not think about how outstanding it is? Another great record. Moving on to Nevermind - I can't recall a full length album that had so many incredible hits on it. Track after track of songs that I knew - from a band I never gave the time of day to. 'In Bloom' blows my mind every time I hear it. Then the crown jewel. 1993's In Utero. A total contrast to Nevermind. A whole cd of songs I rarely heard except a couple. I know I reviewed this before on the B Side - but if you haven't listened to 'Dumb' and 'Frances Farmer' - you might be the 12 year old version of me. And you need to listen again now. With fully grown adult tastes.
I guess the whole point of this is - give old music a shot. Some of the very bands that made your ears bleed 20 years ago, might be your favorite bands today. Listening to Nirvana so many years later - made me realize that I've missed out on some incredible music for so long. All time I could have spent enjoying a great band. What band will have the same impact on you?