Footnotes: Music as a Guide


I am concerned. I am concerned because the sound comes across much louder in my right ear than in my left ear. For a while I thought it was my earbuds, but I tried a different pair and it’s my ears. Onset tinnitus? I’m only 21. Already?

Last night she asked me what I like most about concerts. I told her that through the music around me I see the possibilities of the world and of our relationships. I think that’s why I’m in a good mood so often and why so many of my past experiences are positive. I’ve said this before: we can write about/discuss/describe music all we want to, but we’ll never be able to capture it because we never know what it will be. Concerts show me what the world could look like and they make me optimistic for the future. It’s like the world. I am dizzied by the potentialities of it all.

I remember a year ago, on my 21st birthday. I sat on the side of a dry, rocky mountain. I grabbed my little speaker, climbed up the rocks and put on Polvo’s “Can I Ride.” I listened and looked out on the lake below. The song captured that time, that now, and in that cheesy moment I felt the it-ness of the song. Almost a year later now I sit in a park, surrounded by shadowy trees, fluttering birds, bourgeoisie houses, and a small trickling stream. I use that same little speaker to see what I was listening to last May. That Polvo song comes on. I still love it. I sit on a massive tree root watching the stream trickle in a park I used to hang out in four years ago. The water was much higher then; I didn’t know Polvo at that time. But here I am now, feeling like I’ve heard that song in this place before. Still, when I hear the lyrics “I tell myself not to be so surprised that I’m alive,” I feel it deeply, in the past, in the present, in the future. 

Now is forever.

“I only cum for the Minutemen.”

A few days ago, when we were all drinking apple juice, he asked me if there’s anything I try to convey with my music. I told him I write my basslines hoping to invoke dancing. To me, dancing is what brings people together and bringing people together is what I want to do. The same could be said about my writing– I practice it hoping that it brings people together. It is an exploration, an affirmation, and a celebration of the thing we all love– music.

Thanks to Claire, Emma, and Max for facilitating and editing the blog, Jess M. for her dedicated readership, Christopher Small for the concepts, TONER, Turnstile, and the Byrds for helping me get through the semester, and friends and the world for inspiration.

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