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Music Melancholia

July 11, 2011

On Saturday night I went to a much-anticipated concert with a bunch of friends, and my sister. Soundgarden at Jones Beach! The opening act was Coheed and Cambria.  C&C is one of those bands where I’ll be listening to music, hear a song I like, tell Frank I like a song, and then he exasperatedly reminds me that I’ve told him that already, and yes, it’s Coheed and Cambria. Apparently, I like them.

But Soundgarden! Jones Beach! Outside, by the water, with friends! Soundgarden!

We had total nosebleed seats, but that’s okay. The music was super loud, and they have screens so you can see the action. I don’t go out to concerts very often – most of the bands I love are either dead, disbanded or I’m just too lazy to get tickets. I’m also pretty tone deaf, so unless it’s an awesome “show,” I just don’t see the point in paying that much money. But this was Soundgarden, and my friends were going – and why not?

I indulged in some of my favorite concert-going behavior

  • Locating the groups of people that were really, really into it and taking bets on when they pass out. (The passing out part was a bit of a failure. Despite the tailgaiting, Jones Beach is a dry venue.)
  • Deciding how deep I can inhale before I run the risk of failing a drug test.
  • Figuring out how many of the songs I’ll actually know, and how many I’ll say “oh! I didn’t realize this was X band!”

The show was great. Chris Cornell is really a great frontman, and I will just always have a thing for guys with long hair and white t-shirts. They opened with Spoonman (correction – Spoonman was the second song played), played all the songs I knew (and didn’t know I knew) and was just a good time.

But — something weird happened, and I think it’s happened to me a few times. I start off the show on my feet, head-bobbing,  swaying, getting into it – whatever. And then I get really introspective. And sometimes bored. And then I kind of slump over, looking depressed. I’m still enjoying myself, but I’m so lost in my own thoughts, I could be anywhere.

And I think Soundgarden made it “worse.” So much of the music I love, I associate with someone else. Motown and the 60’s is my dad, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Guns and Roses and a lot more are tied to my ex.  There’s music tied to Frank, and music tied to groups of friends and nights out, first kisses and heartbreaks, and all sorts of music and times I associate with other people.

But Soundgarden is different. I think I bought my first Soundgarden album when I was about 13. I didn’t buy it because anyone told me to or lent it to me (Thank you for Type O Negative, Faith!) but just because I liked it. It was before I had a boyfriend, and I don’t remember listening to it with anyone other than myself. And listening to it at the concert just kind of … hit me. I wasn’t reminiscing about anything other than me, and what I thought my life was going to be like, and where I am now, and wishing I could go back and talk to that girl who loved Soundgarden. And I wasn’t even sure what I would tell her.

This whole post sounds like I’m depressed and miserable, and I promise I’m not – but I kinda forgot about that younger chick, and it made me think a lot about the choices I make now, and how I want to be a lot more deliberate about how I make them.

And I’ll probably always love angry, screaming, singing guys with a guitar.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    July 12, 2011 4:59 pm

    i really loved this post. there is definitely music that brings me back to that time in my life when anything still seemed possible. you also made me think of this article i read recently http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/opinion/24hajdu.html about how there is something really special about music you love at that age. I think you will appreciate it..

    • July 12, 2011 5:15 pm

      Thanks Sara! I read that one as well – it’s a good one. I know there’s a rough science behind it, but I’ll never stop thinking of certain songs or moments in time as just … magical. Very few things can transport you back, so instantly.

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