So, just about ten minutes ago, I was browsing my myspace, and discovered that my [former] favorite band is releasing a new "Greatest Hits" album this month. I (a) cannot believe it is time for another one of those already, and (b) already like the two new songs that will be on this album (courtesy of their myspace).
I've been thinking about music a lot lately. It's funny, I never really considered myself as an overly musical person, even though I play guitar. Even so, I don't think of myself as a "musician." that's reserved for people who can actually read music--or write it, for that mater. People who know how to play multiple instruments or sing or can speak in musical terminology. BUT I have always loved music. And I did want to be a singer when I was about nine.
For most of my life though, I've been fairly sheltered in my selection of music. It's not entirely all my own doing; my parents got rid of all their secular albums (y'know, vinyls) when I was a baby. They didn't want it to have a negative impact on me. It was okay, though, because Christian music was just starting to come into its own at that time. So I grew up on Maranatha, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Twila Paris, etc.
It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I voluntarily listened to the radio. True story. That's perhaps why I love 90's music so much. Anyway, in college I went through another Christian music relapse...but as it helped shape my understanding of worship, I don't consider that such a bad thing.
But lately, I've been branching out again. It's due to a lot of things. The Indie stuff is because of Brianne. The techno/alternative-type stuff is because of Kyle. The Obscure stuff is because of "Chuck" (on NBC before Heroes)...and the Classic/Rock stuff is because of Guitar Hero. You can't listen to those songs as many times as it takes to get them right and not start to jam to it just a little. (Do I like them all? No. But more than I ever expected to, once again scandalizing the 16-year-old-me.) I'm surprised to find, for example, that I kind of like the Foo Fighters. At least a couple of their songs. And I'm really digging a song by the Eels that was on Chuck this week.
So I've been building my digital library lately, in hopes that soon I will be able to get a Zune (I'll save my anti-itunes rant for another time). Because CDs just aren't cutting it anymore. And music is useful for so many things: expressing feelings, keeping me on track when I'm doing mundane tasks, shaping moods, and helping me visualize a scene. I use playlists a lot in my writing. I kind of do this thing when I'm listening to music--I picture what is going on. Maybe it's due partly to growing up in the Mtv generation, and all the music videos. But a good song can often help me picture a specific scene in one of my stories. Sometimes it even changes or enhances the direction I was going.
But most off all, music just makes me feel good. Doesn't it? I love blasting a song in my car, singing at the top of my lungs, the bass thumping loudly, people in cars around me laughing at me. It's great. Music: What would we do without it?