Wednesday, March 12, 2008


at what point does a song leave the forefront of your mind as the anthem of your personal late-night drinking, heartbreak and lament? at what point can a song finally be shelved to a reserve spot on the cache of storied and cherished jams? i ask the readers and contributors of "hearsoundswrite" for reasons why certain songs do or do not hold the same feeling and why.

perhaps it's too nebulous or personal. don't make me pull too many teeth, now.

yes, this is akin to capturing lighting in a bottle. or a a bobcat in a cage. or whatever. we're fickle, moody, capricious, sentient souls.

yep. we're post-modern, enlightened grown-ups, free to engage in all the "informed," "casual," and platonic relationships that we can stand, but, with every break-up comes a period of nostalgia. pop music has always provided the soundtrack. that can hardly be countered. a song's shelf life is sometimes only as good as the memories it produces.

modern songwriting has allowed us to project ourselves and our love lives upon the story lines of popular music, be it indie rock, alt-country, "whatev." with the secularization, assimilation and genre-crossing of modern music, does there exist the genre elitism that allows a "pop" music fan to consider the heartbreak sung by hank inferior anymore?

our own attention deficit and provincial allegiances allow us to take aphorisms and slogans from different genres and appropriate to our individual situations. cherry pick and choose. what makes you tick? what made you tick back then?

the song "pretty girl at the airport" by the avett brothers struck me at a very personal time in my life. after listening to the song hundreds of times, it now fails to deliver the potency it once did. is this a result of the song or the circumstance? chicken or the egg?

beyond the obvious time and distance that needs to be allowed for a relationship to run its course, have any of you ever enjoyed a song that suddenly lost its luster?


1 comment:

George said...

Drew--great piece. Thought provoking and relative for sure.

One of my prior posts was about Dave Matthews nosedive post-BTCS era. Perhaps my interest in his music was somewhat paralleled by that trend. Fittingly, I dated a girl my freshman year of college, a relationship which was essentially my last 'juvenile' fling, with whom I always associated the song "Crush" by Dave. "Our song", if you will. To be sure, it was ours and scores of other couples throughout campus and lord knows how many throughout the country. Nothing too profound.

Post breakup, I started immersing myself in what we might consider to be 'the good stuff'. The indies, the alt and classic country, and so forth. Four or five years later, I don't associate much with Crush anymore. And it's not just that I can listen to it without baggage...I just don't have any great desire to hear it, as a song I enjoy. Still a nice song, part of a great album. But the emotional punch isn't there, nor does there seem to be potential for it to reemerge.

Now, I think it's also fair to point out that certain songs (books, films even) can displace the old ones...songs that might reflect the current state of affairs a little more aptly. Sticking with the Avetts, Famous Flower of Manhattan seems to be a reflective, long-after-the-fact sort of thing. There's a song for every season, is there not?