Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Music IS nostalgia.

Taking a brief break from Detective Commons. I just vomited this onto the page last night. There's no real point to it, just getting stuff out of my head so I can have more room for Mr. Commons. Enjoy?

- C!

Music is important. Music is so much more than just notes and tones. Music is nostalgia. Music is memory. There isn’t anything, except maybe scents, that bring back lost or forgotten moments in time the way a good song does.

I think that may be why I like certain soundtracks so much. The Doctor Who or Torchwood scores by Murray Gold, or any of the numerous Danny Elfman works, in particular, really speak to me. When I hear them I swear I can close my eyes and re-run the show or movie in my mind in its entirety. They bring back not only the scenes, but the emotional weight they contain.

There are certain songs that take me back to my childhood, for good or ill. If I hear early Madonna or Michael Jackson I’m suddenly seven years old again, back in my parent’s backyard, playing G.I. Joes in the sandbox. Weird Al Yankovich’s “In 3-D” takes me to the greenbelt in my childhood neighborhood, where I would pick four-leaf clovers for my friends, because I had an uncanny gift for finding them. “Wish”, by The Cure, brings back the tears of my first break-up when I was fifteen years old and it seemed like the end of the world. It’s still the best break-up album of all times, in my humble opinion. When I was in eighth grade my best friend and I dreamed of becoming real life super heroes, literally building costumes and creating personas, and every time I hear the song “Waiting for the Night” by Depeche Mode I’m right back there, cruising the streets as fourteen year old vigilante “Nightfall”. Music is childhood. Music is love, and loss, and giggles.

And even still, every day, music is tying itself to new memories. Even though I had listened to it for years and loved it, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and its meaning changed one day. Now, every time it starts playing I’m instantly reliving a bad ecstasy trip in an ex-girlfriend’s bedroom, late for work and unable to move, and wishing it would stop all over again. Or when Mother Mother’s “Oh My Heart” starts playing it’s Monday night, and I’m at work after hours, putting out new product and giggling stupidly with two of my favorite people on the planet. “Polarity” by Haujobb transports me to the back alleys of Low-Town, the fictitious city in a comic I created a few years ago that that particular album inspired. Sometimes music creates its own memories, I suppose.

And I hold every one of these songs close to my heart to this day. They will never lose their importance in my life. Right now, I’m listening to Billy Bragg’s “A New England”, and thinking that maybe one day “that” song will take me back to “this” moment. Then again, maybe not. But it’s still a great song.

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