Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Music is what feelings sound like (author unknown)

I grew up in a house where my Father loved music, almost all kinds (at some point he really hated some of the kinds I liked but never stopped me from listening to the "shit" as he called it).  He had a great collection of records that included everything from Romanian music, jazz, rock and roll, classical and even some pop music.  I can recall going with him to a record store from a very young age where he would spend what seemed like hours talking to the guys there about all sorts of music that they had or could get.  This was a small, independent store about a block away from our apartment in Astoria.  The same people worked there for years, funny I can picture the whole place so well including the employees.  They had a cash register with record players in back of them and were known to play a 45 for you if you were not sure that was the song you wanted.  For those who do not know, I cringe at how quickly I have gotten to the point where I am referencing obsolete technology, 45s were the best thing to be able to buy for the starting music lover.  They were inexpensive and contained 2 songs, one on the front of the record and one on the back.  Sometimes the back, B side, was better than the front.  


My Mother liked a lot of the music he liked, not so much the jazz and blues, and also instilled in me an appreciation for opera.  At some point I was obnoxious to her, my birthright as a teenager and my destiny to have it done to me as a mother, about how much I disliked it.  I have come to love it, particularly the Italian operas.  We always also had a lot of Italian contemporary music, great scratchy male voices that carried emotions that required no translation, just closing of the eyes and you know they loved and lost.  I still can love a song in a language that I can barely piece together.  My parents had a lot, my Dad could have done this daily but wiser heads prevailed (Mom understood budgets and work), of parties with friends both here and in Romania.  They also attended quite a few of these.  The memories are great, they chose friends with kids my age so we could entertain ourselves.  My Dad was always in charge of the music.  He loved to dance and he had a knack for mixing music (he spend hours making tapes), he would have done well if he was reincarnated now as a DJ.  The first thing I did for years when I woke up was turn on the radio, still the first thing I do as I get into a car.  My taste in music is very varied and I still love discovering new (or old but new to me) artists. I have been really lucky to have friends who keep sharing music with me and push me to sounds I may have otherwise missed.   I try to keep an open mind and even when I do not like it I take a moment to be happy that there is music.  


Music has changed  (blues and jazz became rock and roll which became heavy metal, pit stop in punk, alternative, moved on to grunge, disco became house music then dance then club now freestyle or maybe back to dance, rap, country, pop) and even how it is available (records in 33s and 45s, eight tracks, cassettes, boom box, Walkman, CD, iPod, AM - FM, music videos, satellite) and through it all we listened, we went to clubs, concerts, karakoed, we loved the stuff that preceded us and await the stuff we have not yet heard.  It is for many of us the background of a first kiss, a first dance, the time you got to press yourself against someone and felt them in your soul, what you listened to over and over to help with the pain of a breakup, the moment you fell in love, the moment you fell in lust, the times you made love, the times you destroyed that love, the laugh track of a silly moment, the commencement to a wedding and even the last chord to say goodbye to a loved one. I love good lyrics and could write about my affair with music forever but instead will end here and go listen to some.  My boys have inherited this generational love of music and though there may come a point when I beg them to "turn that down" I will always remember how much music has always turned me on!


Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here! JK Rowling





1 comment:

  1. Ah 45s... Those were the best. I would get so mad when I would lose that little plug you needed to play them on the record player. Why did they make the whole so big?

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