Friday, February 13, 2009


Music is time travel. A song can remind you of a time long past, a forgotten love, a missed opportunity. You'll hear a song that makes you sad. Maybe you listened to it a lot after someone broke-up with you. Or maybe it's a song about someone dying in a fiery car crash while transporting a basketful of puppies. That's a smell you'll never forget.

The connection doesn't have to be ingrained. Sometimes a particular album will remind you of a particular year in college as you were particular about playing that album every day for 6 months. That kind of association is expected, Pavlovian. But sometimes the spark surprises. I must have been listening to Vampire Weekend when we found our home. Something in a song of theirs made me think of viewing the listing and thinking, "THAT'S where we're going to live." (Nevermind the fact that I had thought that a half-dozen other times about as many houses). It surprised me, how could so fleeting an experience make such a lasting impression?

The mind is a wondrous, joyous, complicated, maddening thing. We understand so little of our one true necessity. People feel sympathy for Dick Clark as a stroke has slurred and slowed his speech. But I say, if his mind's right, he has the very thing. For in there, 80 years of music and memory play.



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