Blindsided by music

Blindsided by music

The following outpouring brought on by watching Emily dance unreservedly to Clementine by Pink Martini. If I ever get my video rendering capabilities up to snuff I’ll post a link here. Just trust me-it is 7 year old interpretive dance at its best. You know-remember how YOU felt being seven and dancing, just dancing. No judgment, just dancing. Ahhh. It was gorgeous.


I’ve always been overly affected by music. I won’t tell you what my first listening of the eponymous Psychedelic Furs did to the next several years of my life way back when or why the Dead Kennedys caused me to shave my head when everyone knew that girls were supposed to be pretty not angry. But it didn’t stop way back when. I just can’t help being beaten or seduced by music. Have you ever had a song hit you unexpectedly? A song in a style you maybe you don’t normally listen to? Or from an unexpected source? One that grabs your guts, give you shivers and just stuns you? This has happened to me several times lately.

One was, of all things a song by Everlast from a TV show–the theme to saving grace. Yes I like the show and character (a lot actually, I fancy myself having a bit of her type of personality in me) but those of you who know me know this ain’t my usual kind of music–I’m more of a Dead Can Dance, Abney Park, gothy techno girl).

I also have a complicated relationship with the themes of that song…my spirituality is in flux and my understanding of the divine is now interspersed with moments of earth shattering congruence (When all of a person`s internal beliefs, strategies, and behaviours are fully in agreement and oriented toward securing a desired outcome–basically when everything is exactly as it should be ) which are leading me to places of thought and belief I’ve not been before).

But for some reason this song just tears me up. It makes me shiver, it nearly makes me cry, it certainly makes me feel fierce. Yes really. All that. What don’t you have those sorts of reactions to music?

Another bit of music that hit me hard came when I was student teaching in Sharla’s class. She played Explosions in the Sky to help the kids during writing time. I’d never heard them before. It think they are on a tv show someone said, but I’d never heard of them. (Confession: I go through spates of watching a lot of TV. I have it on authority (notice I didn’t say good) that I’m supposed to feel badly about that; however I read an obscene amount so I don’t. And I spent about 8 years without a TV so I’ve got the cred already). Anyway, I now have three of their CDs and I’m looking into the instrumental post rock genre now. Do what?

I’ll forever associate this music with this …do I say attempt? Do I say deviation? I don’t feel as if I failed when I left the M.A.T. program, though this is hard won. I feel …well all who wander are not lost, you know? I wanted that, it was a dream I’d had since I was a kid, but I found the dream and reality didn’t mesh. I found I really wanted something different and I’m lucky enough that I’ve got that now. But back to the music. Explosions in the Sky will always mean meeting a new and amazing friend, someone I feel touched my soul almost immediately, someone who replaced a darker, earlier incidence of a similar meeting. EitS also soars and crashes as I did during that 5 months. I learned so much, in some ways more than I wanted to. I wish I could have kept the idealism but …I can’t. I’ve seen too much in my life. Explosions in the sky is all of that.

I made a video (actually several) during my time in the teaching program. It is almost painful for me to watch now. I was angry by that point. ONE girl,worked with me on it,the other did almost nothing. I did all the video work and if you know about how much goes into something like this you KNOW…well I just can’t do less than my best. The time I let that happen in classroom management class…EW…that’s another story and another part of the reason I left the program. You know it actually IS important to do your best;. Yes I like doing stuff like this but it only works easily if you do WHAT I ASK YOU TO DO –Yo, respect your compatriots right?

I wish I hadn’t quit, but only because I hate to quit, hate to give up– not because it was the wrong decision, it’s just that I hate quitting. But– I guess when you spend a week in the fetal position, crying and sick, that’s telling you something. I will applaud in awe of those who finish and go on…it ain’t for me–you know how much I’ve always chafed against “the system.” And I can support people working creatively within the system I just can’t be the one…”kicking against the pricks.” (Nick Cave) Something I’ve learned often and again now–I do better liminally. Jyllian exists just to the side of most things. I am happiest that way. Anyway–this music will always be this highs and lows, the sorrows and triumphs of reaching for that dream, holding it and putting it(not so) gently away. At least I know that when I am on my deathbed, I will not have that as regret. I would have before.

Finally The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. J and I watched a movie that I despise–Napoleon Dynamite (I find it mean spirited, not funny) but there was a song in it that I had to find. It was Song for a Found Harmonium by PCO. To say it changed me is an understatement. I began finishing my mid life crisis because of this music. Some of ya’ll might know I started off as a kid with a classical music fixation–even years later when I worked for KUAF I did CLASSICS BY REQUEST, not because I got paid (that helped) but I love(d) classical music. Honestly I like most music…I think I’ve even found some country and some western. I like expressions of feeling with instruments—words or not. So when I started looking for the next thing… I ran across this song after hating this movie (late to seeing it). Because with a kid–we don’t’ see movies most times (until recently) until they’ve been out of the theatres for about a year or more.

ANYway…I spent my first year in Fayetteville going through (the trauma) of moving home. Moving back after 20 years is good, but not without challenges. There’s more of that in another entry. But after that first year I had 2 deaths, and three miscarriages in first 3 years back in the land I grew up in. Oh yeah and major surgery (and I’ll never ever get over certain good folk who brought us food, mowed our lawn..god no adequate words for those kindnesses). And I got back one of my two best friends (the other died when she was 24 and me 26) and then she left a couple of years later. Wow I just saw that written down and um yeah…so no wonder I’ve been a bit looney. Ok…This music IS me coming to terms with past, present and future. There’s classical and punk in Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Just like me. Comic books AND Candide. Sex pistols and Stravinsky. Emily Dickinson and eXene Cervenka. yep.

So this turned into something much bigger than I intended. I just wanted to know what music grabbed you by the guttiwuts recently. So do please respond. I’m always taking in new music.

Saving Grace

Explosions in the sky

Penguin Café Orchestra
another song that makes me feel like I”m a kid running down a hill

One comment

  1. I completely understand your connection to music! I’m the same way. Some music makes me burst into tears. In fact, I worked at a restaurant, and whenever this one song came onto our background mix, I would start bawling! Not from sadness, it just gave me this overwhelming melancholy… a gaping longing… which made me look crazy. Lol! I mean, one moment, I’m explaining the soup of the day, all cheery, and the next minute, tears would be running down my cheeks.

    I absolutely love “Do you love me?” by Nick Cave. It could be such a cliche line, but he sings it with so much honesty. I love it! (I’m not talking about the Part II of this song, but the Part I.)

    I’m glad to meet another unapologetic TV viewer, too. I know so many people who claim to never watch it… (Interestingly, they are often the same people who claim to only need 3 hours of sleep a night, too.) Well, I think TV has improved over the years.

    I didn’t find Napoleon Dynamite mean-spirited. It kinda reminded me of myself and some of my pals. Plus I grew up in eastern WA and the countryside of the film was similar. Now I’m curious to see it again…

    I do so love watching a 7-yr-old’s interpretive dance. I have fond memories of my step-daughter dancing while holding peacock feathers at that age…

    OK, I’m off to listen to the songs you shared here… ~Tui

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