This is a post I wrote in July of 2010 and never finished. I intended to go back and post it eventually, but then started feeling silly about it. And then today, I realized I don’t really care if it’s silly.

This is a post that will probably seem trivial to everyone but me; apologies1 for that.

My feelings towards music have not been very positive since the end of 2008. I fear that what I’ve been calling “burnout” may be something closer to falling out of love (and not understanding why). But music and me, we still have our moments, rare glimpses of the kind of spark I so want to reignite.

I had one of those moments recently at work. I’ve loved the band Hotel Lights (fronted by Darren Jessee, former drummer for Ben Folds Five) for years now, and lately I’ve been listening a lot to their song “Amelia Bright.” Today I stumbled across the knowledge that this song was originally a Ben Folds Five song (slated for release on an album that never came to be, I think?). Oh reader, you cannot imagine how my fingers trembled as I typed into Google that kind of queries that I thought might turn up a bootlegged recording of this. It didn’t take long to find one. I think my jaw was dropped the entire time I listened–it was like one of my favorite bands had time traveled to the future, learned this song, and gone back to cover it. More melodramatically, it felt like receiving a lost letter from someone who’s since died. I know this sounds absurd. But it felt like a very personal experience.

[End Original Post]

I just had a very similar experience today that reminded me of this post. I had a discussion on Facebook recently with someone who told me she cried like a baby when her favorite band broke up. I got to thinking about Harvey Danger, one of my favorites, who broke up back in 2009. When I visited their website, imagine my surprise to find they’d uploaded a “final” album that was only available on their brief farewell tour and a “posthumously” released single. I love that this band, unlike many, fully recognized what a loss their breakup was to their fans. I also don’t know what to do with the files–greedily gobble them all up in on sitting? Try to make them last?

Also, it’s fun to note that since I wrote the original post, Ben Folds released a collection of Ben Folds Five rarities that included “Amelia Bright.” I haven’t listened to any of that yet, though.

1I’m told I apologize too much; apologies for that.

6 Responses to “Musicophobia Part 2: “It got into me and I hope that it got into you.””

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  1. joie says:

    Interesting that the guy from Pomplamoose said that, because I think people have a bad habit of elevating their music. OH! BURN! No, I jest. I have an unfair dislike against them for some reason. Probably a mixture of jealousy and also my intense dislike of their “Mrs. Robinson” cover.

    Your comments slew me, Symnz. I think you’re right about the pushing addiction too far thing. For me it was probably going to school for music, although I am finally to the point now where I realize I did gain a great deal from it (and still make money from the skills I learned). I’ve also gone through phases—being younger and thinking there was something magical about music; learning more and deciding it’s only “magic” the way anything scientific you don’t understand is “magic”; and now, being somewhere in between. If you haven’t read Oliver Sacks’s Musicophilia, I think you’d love it. Very interesting. I need to finish it myself. Maybe I’ve already made this rec before? If so, sorry.

    And ugh, the retro harmony is meltin’ indeed. I made Stephen watch Lady and the Tramp with me a few months ago and the beginning just punched me right in the feelgoods. I love that kind of sound. It’s so warm. You never hear anything like it these days; I suppose maybe recording equipment had something to do with it? But I know nothing about that sort of thing.

  2. xacksymnz says:

    And vibrophones and shite. Meltin’, yoz.

  3. xacksymnz says:

    Man, that retro harmony fuggin melts me.

  4. xacksymnz says:

    Just go give you an idea of how ghay I am for this, I was listening to “Blue Moon” (Bobby Vinton, not sinatra or martin, you ass) while I re-read and commented (which was like 3 playthroughs). I kept singing the ending (Bluuuuuuuu-uuuuuuuu-uuuuuuuuu-uuuuuuuuuue) over and over again just to make sure I have a shitty day.

  5. xacksymnz says:

    The changing ‘reality’ of things like this is a sore subject for me. I remember someone, somewhere being asked how they quit drugs, and responding “They don’t work anymore”. That’s how I feel about a great deal of my old addictions. “There’s a tendency, in any good addiction, to push it as far as possible” or some shit, botch job quote, I know (five seconds of google is now too much to ask). I also read some interview with Pamplemousse, and the guy said something about how there’s this bad habit of people elevating music, when it can be a very normal and accessible thing. I hadn’t considered this, as music always seemed majestic to me, and even when I began to participate, I felt like a knave in the Hall of the Mountain King (and still do). Maybe it’s foolish to keep looking for that drunk love, because looking back on it, it kind of made act like a retard on a regular basis, much like a methamphetamine addiction would.

    In any case, I’m becoming more attuned to the sublte and sulbime, but this is something I will struggle with for the rest of my life, as I grow ever closer to becoming a GD faggoty old man.

  6. Stephen says:

    Cool post. You make an interesting observation that bands / people rarely care enough that others care for them. I know I am guilty of it.