Sunday, August 19, 2012

Why are two things connected?

A few years ago, I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Around the same time, I was first introduced to Galaxie 500. I listened to their live version of "Summertime" a million times. I have no idea what the song is about, still. There are some songs that capture the way I feel as, um, a human being, and it's not about the words or the chords or the voice, just the whole thing. This song is one of those. It was fairly unremarkable on first listen but you know, the 12th or 15th time you hear it, it starts to lift you up. Especially the final 2 or 3 minutes of the song, this volcanic guitar solo verging on drowning in the thin air of the stratosphere. What does this have to do with The Lovely Bones? The story is about a teenage girl who is murdered; I guess the novelty is that it is told from the perspective of the dead teenage girl. For some reason, the two ("Summertime" and The Lovely Bones) are inextricably connected in my mind, not just in a random way, but totally so. Naturally, one must wonder if the song evokes the way I feel as a human being, does the book also? Well, I don't know, but the book sure left me thinking for weeks about death, loss, and stuff like that.

Why are two random things connected? Timing, obviously. Place is important. ("I first heard this song when we were in Washington Square Park"). People.

I don't have any real answers. I also don't have any readers of this blog, but let me throw this out to the massive emptiness that is the internet: In your life, do you identify a piece of music always with something totally and seemingly unconnected

Some Possible (but fake) Examples:

Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and steak burritos
Mozart's "Piano Concerto No. 24" and the country Costa Rica
Radiohead's "House of Cards" and Breaking Bad
Urge Overkill's "Sister Havana" and Michael Caine

Oh, and don't forget to listen to the last 2 minutes of "Summertime," really really loud. It really is quite remarkable.

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