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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Zen of Enjoying "Bad" Music

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Then what does It Had To Do With Love by Koufax say about me? Hell if I know, but listening to it and still smiling during the hook of "Minor Chords" makes me feel grounded. It makes my Grinch heart grow.

So much intellectualizing of music involves erasing yourself and listening objectively. This may be a necessary practice from time to time, but it's no fun. The love of music involves personal investment, and when you do it right, music pays dividends through memories. Maybe not directly, like recalling a specific experience that happened while listening to, I dunno, "Work Will Never End" by Koufax. But those little comforts of familiarity, of hearing a melody you once forgot, are magical. They can make a bad song good, or even disintegrate the good/bad dynamic entirely.

My specific musical circumstance involves listening to the song "Gyroscope" by the Dismemberment Plan many times, maybe more than any other song. This is neither particularly cool or uncool; it's just true. At the climax of "Gyroscope," the lyric "Happiness is such hard work" appears. If your happiness comes from music, this is often the case. We music lovers are a restless sort, and we frequently give our time, energy, effort, money and patience to music. Let us also allow ourselves to be open to what music has to give us in return.

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