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Music that Changed my Life

May 24, 2010

In no particular order:

Counting Crows – August and Everything After // Pearl Jam – Ten // Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. // Phish – A Picture of Nectar // Lyle Lovett – Joshua Judges Ruth //Jamiroquai – The Return of the Space Cowboy // Brett Dennen – Brett Dennen // Paul Simon – Graceland // Dave Matthews Band – Remember Two Things

 And by changed my life, I mean, made me ME. I listened to the songs on these albums endlessly when I first discovered them and now when I go back and hear songs from them again, they are as strong to me as a photo album or an old family video. The people, places, smells, sounds, tastes, feelings from various moments in my life when I was first so into this music….it all comes back. Other than Brett, all the rest are pretty old.  But there’s something in the right music that moves our bodies when we dance, like my 15 month old son does when he hears a good beat: he just stops whatever he’s doing and sways. Nobody taught him that.  It takes hold of my older kids, too and in their faces you can simply see the joy when they are dancing and singing a good tune. There’s certainly something in the right music that digs in and finds a safe place to rest in your soul where it stays forever (so far, at least).

Maybe it’s the drummer in me who is constantly thinking about rhythm, maybe it’s the little brother in me to three influential, smart and musically-hip older siblings, maybe it’s the father in me who is always putting on music for the house and the kids, maybe it’s the husband in me who translates every little love song to one woman, but whatever it is, music has always been the crutch I lean on day in and day out to get the most out of life. Like a good wine making a steak dinner even better, the right music enhances the experience of my life, which is already pretty damn good.

Music plays a huge role in my writing, too. I wrote my entire first novel about a bass player who drops everything to follow a jazz song on the radio across the country, and I wrote my second novel about a drum teacher who loses his ability to play drums again (and that jazz song and the musician who played it from the first book also figured into that 2nd book.). Neither of these books may ever be published, but I know that now it’s time to start writing my third book and I have no idea where to begin. I am stuck. But what I have just realized while writing this is the one thing I always come back to is MUSIC. Perhaps writing the third novel in some way about music is in order. As a drummer, a beat always comes naturally when I sit at the kit. Maybe when I stick to writing fiction about music, the words will continue to do the same when I open the laptop.

My headphones are now on. What music changed your life?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Marile Cloete permalink
    May 25, 2010 3:23 pm

    Discovering Bruce Springsteen changed my life!

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