Yesterday was winding to the last quarter and I felt myself feeling somewhat agitated. The day had been fine, I'd gotten a lot done, but as I reflected it consisted mostly of menial tasks and general mindlessness, save for a few pockets here and there of meaningful conversation and worthwhile endeavors. So I was kind of perplexed as to my state. After dinner, feeling increasingly aggravated, I told/demanded Sean it was time for a game. If I go too long without one, or fun in general, this can be the cause of my agitation. We chose Rummikub and as we began to play, we continued a conversation we'd been having over the course of several days, of what makes Annie Lennox so good.
A few months ago, my best music friend Dom invited me to play with him at a house party in the SLC. He had a few songs we had done together as well as a few new songs-- some original, some covers, and one of the covers was Annie's Why. Playing it with him was a revelation, a remembrance and a coming to myself. For once upon a time, a teenage Jen was watching VH1 or MTV and would sit and silently fall in love as Annie Lennox's songs came on with her accompanying wacky vids.
Dom and I hadn't had much time to practice together so as I figured out my piano chords and listened to Dom sing and play on his guitar, I realized I had forgotten how good this music was. "Dom!" I gasped. "This is such a good song!" "Yep," said he. And I had forgotten that I had
loved her music quite intensely, once upon a time, and with Dom's lovely interpretation, I played through the magic of that same love being unfolded to me.
As Sean and I played our game I expressed to him that the reason why I felt the way I felt was because I hadn't done anything creative in a while, and as we blasted the song on the speakers, I expressed how much I miss playing music with people. I miss it so much, and I love it so much that to simply bring about the memory of it makes my eyes tear up. Also it's not hard to feel emotional when a glorious soundtrack plays out your feelings, as she always will. Sean is my favorite person with whom to discuss art and music and anything, and we went into all the reasons why:
"She's edgy. She's a rocker. She's unique. She's also an artist and a poet. She's an orchestrator, she is un-formulaic. She has emotions, anger, and she needs to get it out. And in so doing, draws out yours, like a deep and troubled well. And on top of all that, oh, here's this incredibly beautiful melody."
So, the culmination and good news is thus:
1. We analyzed all the game through, and we carefully selected other songs after and analyzed those, and by the end of the game, I was all played out. I felt a lot better and thanked Sean for playing with me.
2. Today I thought more about it and put Why on again in the car and blasted it through the car wash where I made a mental note to always have a car wash soundtrack. Or maybe it's a music video of my own?
3. I sang her song over and over, and took it with me to Costco, my dreaded foe. And when the old woman in line in front me of me said, "Don't you like how there's nothing in my cart?" I replied, "yes! You did it! Congratulations! You came to Costco and got NOTHING." We laughed, and she said she'd come with her sister and ended up with nothing in her cart but her purse and I told her, "Yup, you win. And it's always good to have something to lean on."
4. You know what this means, don't you? That more than one good band/artist came out of the 90's. I recently told someone who wasn't too familiar with the decade that the only good music i could think of was the Cranberries. But I had forgotten about Annie. And lest you do too, here are two of my faves. But before I do, what do you love that you've forgotten you loved? And maybe recently rediscovered that love and found it to be unchanged, in spite of all the time between?
I have dreams to choreograph dancers to certain songs and No More I Love You's is one of them.
I'm not really familiar with Annie, so I am giving her a listen now.
But seriously, you can't think of good 90s music? Here are a few great albums off the top of my head, in no particular order.
Collective Soul—Collective Soul and Dosage
R.E.M.—Out of Time and Automatic for the People
They Might Be Giants (I know you're not really a fan, but come on. Flood is fantastic
Counting Crows—August and Everything After
I know these are all alternative bands that aren't always super deep, but they are fun. And there are lots of other good songs from bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, Alanis Morrissette, No Doubt, and on and on. I've been trying to create some playlists of songs that were always on the radio in high school that I have forgotten about, and it's been fun to hear them again.
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