Sunday, January 9, 2011

My 9th smile is dedicated entirely to shredding on the banjo.

Yeah, that's right, the banjo. Wanted to take a minute to talk about a group of people who have been integral to my happiness, hope you don't mind. They're called Mumford and Sons, and they're a british jam-band. I apologize if the idea of banjos sets your off musically, but I don't cater to everybody : P

Well, I guess I'm not just here to talk about the band. I'm more here to talk about music and it's effect on my life. I used to have a song for everything, you know? Playlists on the old musicmatch jukebox on our first computer that were hundreds of songs long. I loved punk and country, rock and roll and just enough R&B to shock people. Basically, I was a music fiend. My only pipedream was (and still is, sort of) starting a garage band. I used to dedicate songs to people, make them mixtapes, sing out loud in the shower/car/street, whatever. I remember buying my first CD ("Enema of the State" by Blink 182) and absolutely blasting it wherever I went. The day I discovered Napster was like a gift from above.

And sure, as I grew musical tastes changed, genres shifted, what was and wasn't popular continued to be dictated from somewhere unknown*. But the music was always there. Then one day, it just stopped.

Depression is a hell of a condition. I just want to put it out there.

It's even more difficult when you're alone.

It's incredibly diffcult in a new place.

It's impossible without music.

Well, probably not. I will say this about being sad, though: it steals from you. You can't be sad for long if you have what you love...but sometimes the sadness just takes and takes and there's nothing left. One bad thing is a ripple that becomes a wave that besets a maelstrom and suddenly you've long since drowned in a pool of thoughts: it's not an optimum place to be. It's not fun for me to talk about. But my sadness took my music. I don't really remember rocking out to much of anything, singing in the shower...anything; over the last year or so I've been silent musically. Even posting song lyrics (an old hobby) became a shell of it's former self.

Recently though, music has worked it's way back into my life, largely in part to a group of four rowdy Englishmen rocking out in the purest way possible. A friend showed me their most popular song, and to hear the passion of the music, to realize how much they loved what they were was incredible. It was like falling in love with an idea all over again, I went head over heels for music. And now here I am, with a media player queue about 40 songs long, listening to everything that carries a beat I can sway to. I sing along, even though my perpetual headphones (speakers are broken) make me sound completely ridiculous and more than a little obnoxious. Today at work (under some brilliant advice from a previously mentioned sister) I loudly sang along to everything I could think of as I washed the dishes. I've never had more fun at work.

It was there that I realized everybody has a song in their heart, and you have to do whatever you can to keep from silencing it. As for me, the ballad of my heart is back. It's quiet, but soon enough I feel I'll be raising hell in the best way, a raging paeon for the soul.

Basically, smile: You've got the music in you.


*When you were little, did you ever wonder who decided what was popular? I always had this vision in my head of all the people more "cool" than me sitting around in a dark room somewhere deciding what I had to do to not get beat up.**

**They never seemed to tell me what that WAS precisely. Oh well.

PS: Onto the actual music! I feel like everybody should listen to one of these. Just give it a shot. "Little Lion Man" is not safe for work/Mormons, but everything else is peachy-keen.


  1. I am, AS I TYPE THIS, playing this for Sam.

    Also, look up Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

  2. They sound pretty neat! I really like The Cave. I appreciate the warning about the first video :) Depression and sadness really just suck everything out of you, and it's no fun and just miserable. I've been doing good with recognizing the start of the spiral of misery, and making myself stop and move on rather than getting sadder and sadder. I've been doing really well and been feeling a lot happier since I started doing that and taking more control of my thoughts. It certainly makes life a lot more pleasant and enjoyable ;)

  3. Huge smiles for music and caging the depression beast!