To The Beat Of A Drum

            It feels strange that for the many, many years I have been writing and writing blogs that I rarely talk about music and its influence on my life. It’s not that music isn’t a constant in my life, a constant in my head, but that I feel like an imposter talking about music. I feel like a sham.

Which is silly.

Music is one of the arts that you just like what you like.

You should try other flavors, like everything else, but you dig what you dig.

You connect with what moves you.

I just feel like I don’t have one of those tastes in music that elevates my opinion past – huh, I like that.

Let’s backtrack.

            As a kid my family wasn’t a very musical sort. Dad and mom liked music, but it was all the old crooner stuff they grew up with and it wasn’t as if they played music and we all sat and mooned over it. Naw. We were a television family. They were born just after WW2 and I dunno if you ever get over the novelty of television if you grew up at its beginning. Sure though, music was there. Dad loved Fiddler on the Roof and played the 8track from time to time. We were all about Christmas music when the holidays drew near. They just weren’t really into modern music. It wasn’t until I was around fourteen that I started really paying attention to music consciously. My sister listened to a rock station out of Flint – that has since become Pop 40 – and had a friend that was deeply into music so that was where my ears perked up a bit.

It was really an old friend, the best friend I had for a long time, that really started to build my musical framework though.

He was a metalhead and that was what got me into metal.

My first cassette, if I am remembering right, was MEGADETH’s Rust In Peace. What a great record.

The album was MEGADETH coming into their own, out of the shadow of METALLICA and coalescing completely.

It’s a pinnacle not just of their music but of the genre.

I love that album.

My first Led Zeppelin cassette I got, on the advice of my sister’s friend – who thought he was funny in its recommendation – LED ZEPPELIN’s Coda, which was their final record release after the death of John Bonham. And it’s a good record, but it’s not the ‘go-to’ first record you buy from them, so it was a weird place to enter but it’s solid. It’s a weird flex to trick an ignorant kid into buying the least of a band’s output but hey, whatever.

Zep is Zep.

Zeppelin for me was great because there was so much to it, they could groove, could jam, and could dance around getting heavy musically.

Man, ALIVE do I still remember buying GWAR’s Slumdogs of the Universe on tape. It felt weird.

I felt weird.

The cover features the band, which presented themselves to be costumed aliens here to dominate and destroy humanity – and give us wicked STD’s – in front of a glacier. This was around when they started making the circuit because they were so weird and ‘eeeeeeevil!’.

Great record.

Their best.

It’s fun, it’s mean, and it’s chunky.

I actually like their first record Hell-o but this was when they found their groove and really proved what they could do.

            From there my friend influenced my music interests a LOT. That’s what friendship does and is though – influencing one another, hopefully for the better. His influence was what got me into metal though. He’s who helped form that interest. We definitely diverged though as we got older – he went for MARILYN MANSON and I went to more hard stuff. That sorta typified our relationships end, our diverging in interests in life and music. He was into the sort of lifestyle image some Manson fans got into and I just wasn’t into it. Grunge was a bigger influence on me and had a deeper connection to me. Heck, I even did the flannel over t-shirt thing though, in my defense, I just like to layer, but yeah, I did it.

Whatever.

            Music for me has been about expressing things that didn’t easily fit into words.

Anger.

Love.

Pain.

Outrage.

Sorrow.

You know, the good stuff.

Music is the language of my inner world.

My head is full of enough words that sometimes I need someone else to speak for my soul and need that outlet to let out all of the pent-up things that MY words can’t encapsulate.

That’s music to me.

Aggressive.

Soft.

Sweet.
Angry.

Weird.

Evil.

I love all of it.

If I have my druthers, I listen to metal in the car but sorta adore far too much of the soft rock/yacht rock stuff. Maybe it’s from childhood and these were all implanted like evil seeds into my head.

I dunno.

            Music is also about connection. Connection to the self, and to the other. I was never someone who sat around listening to music with friends or significant others, it just wasn’t where I came from, but it is about sharing that experience. That’s part of the power of live shows, to share that energy with others and to reflect it back to the musicians. Live shows complete a circuit and man alive, a good live show is like uncorked energy, pure and primal and explosive and beautiful.  

            Over the years I have known so many musicians and people who can speak in the language of music. I can’t. I mean, I wrote like four songs a few years ago, being silly, but I don’t hear music that isn’t someone else’s. I make up little beats in my head but that’s about it and that sort of thing is just part of the human animal, that primal beating like a drum.

My music comes in the form and rhythm of words, and that’s it.

That’s why I connect with music so deeply.

I could never put my heart and love and heartbreak into words as clearly as some songs can.

I could never capture my outrage and anger at the world like some performers are able to.

And if you just need something that taps into a happy place inside of you that reminds you of cool October nights, or Christmas lights, or your youth. Music is a time capsule to better days and a rocket ship to the heart of darkness.

I don’t often just sit and listen to music unless I am in my car but maybe I should. I guess I did write this to music, which seemed only fitting, to be honest.

But whether on or off, the music is always there, somewhere, spinning around in my head like the radio that won’t turn off.

Records just spin, spin, spinning away.

…c…

To The Beat Of A Drum

            It feels strange that for the many, many years I have been writing and writing blogs that I rarely talk about music and its influence on my life. It’s not that music isn’t a constant in my life, a constant in my head, but that I feel like an imposter talking about music. I feel like a sham.

Which is silly.

Music is one of the arts that you just like what you like.

You should try other flavors, like everything else, but you dig what you dig.

You connect with what moves you.

I just feel like I don’t have one of those tastes in music that elevates my opinion past – huh, I like that.

Let’s backtrack.

            As a kid my family wasn’t a very musical sort. Dad and mom liked music, but it was all the old crooner stuff they grew up with and it wasn’t as if they played music and we all sat and mooned over it. Naw. We were a television family. They were born just after WW2 and I dunno if you ever get over the novelty of television if you grew up at its beginning. Sure though, music was there. Dad loved Fiddler on the Roof and played the 8track from time to time. We were all about Christmas music when the holidays drew near. They just weren’t really into modern music. It wasn’t until I was around fourteen that I started really paying attention to music consciously. My sister listened to a rock station out of Flint – that has since become Pop 40 – and had a friend that was deeply into music so that was where my ears perked up a bit.

It was really an old friend, the best friend I had for a long time, that really started to build my musical framework though.

He was a metalhead and that was what got me into metal.

My first cassette, if I am remembering right, was MEGADETH’s Rust In Peace. What a great record.

The album was MEGADETH coming into their own, out of the shadow of METALLICA and coalescing completely.

It’s a pinnacle not just of their music but of the genre.

I love that album.

My first Led Zeppelin cassette I got, on the advice of my sister’s friend – who thought he was funny in its recommendation – LED ZEPPELIN’s Coda, which was their final record release after the death of John Bonham. And it’s a good record, but it’s not the ‘go-to’ first record you buy from them, so it was a weird place to enter but it’s solid. It’s a weird flex to trick an ignorant kid into buying the least of a band’s output but hey, whatever.

Zep is Zep.

Zeppelin for me was great because there was so much to it, they could groove, could jam, and could dance around getting heavy musically.

Man, ALIVE do I still remember buying GWAR’s Slumdogs of the Universe on tape. It felt weird.

I felt weird.

The cover features the band, which presented themselves to be costumed aliens here to dominate and destroy humanity – and give us wicked STD’s – in front of a glacier. This was around when they started making the circuit because they were so weird and ‘eeeeeeevil!’.

Great record.

Their best.

It’s fun, it’s mean, and it’s chunky.

I actually like their first record Hell-o but this was when they found their groove and really proved what they could do.

            From there my friend influenced my music interests a LOT. That’s what friendship does and is though – influencing one another, hopefully for the better. His influence was what got me into metal though. He’s who helped form that interest. We definitely diverged though as we got older – he went for MARILYN MANSON and I went to more hard stuff. That sorta typified our relationships end, our diverging in interests in life and music. He was into the sort of lifestyle image some Manson fans got into and I just wasn’t into it. Grunge was a bigger influence on me and had a deeper connection to me. Heck, I even did the flannel over t-shirt thing though, in my defense, I just like to layer, but yeah, I did it.

Whatever.

            Music for me has been about expressing things that didn’t easily fit into words.

Anger.

Love.

Pain.

Outrage.

Sorrow.

You know, the good stuff.

Music is the language of my inner world.

My head is full of enough words that sometimes I need someone else to speak for my soul and need that outlet to let out all of the pent-up things that MY words can’t encapsulate.

That’s music to me.

Aggressive.

Soft.

Sweet.
Angry.

Weird.

Evil.

I love all of it.

If I have my druthers, I listen to metal in the car but sorta adore far too much of the soft rock/yacht rock stuff. Maybe it’s from childhood and these were all implanted like evil seeds into my head.

I dunno.

            Music is also about connection. Connection to the self, and to the other. I was never someone who sat around listening to music with friends or significant others, it just wasn’t where I came from, but it is about sharing that experience. That’s part of the power of live shows, to share that energy with others and to reflect it back to the musicians. Live shows complete a circuit and man alive, a good live show is like uncorked energy, pure and primal and explosive and beautiful.  

            Over the years I have known so many musicians and people who can speak in the language of music. I can’t. I mean, I wrote like four songs a few years ago, being silly, but I don’t hear music that isn’t someone else’s. I make up little beats in my head but that’s about it and that sort of thing is just part of the human animal, that primal beating like a drum.

My music comes in the form and rhythm of words, and that’s it.

That’s why I connect with music so deeply.

I could never put my heart and love and heartbreak into words as clearly as some songs can.

I could never capture my outrage and anger at the world like some performers are able to.

And if you just need something that taps into a happy place inside of you that reminds you of cool October nights, or Christmas lights, or your youth. Music is a time capsule to better days and a rocket ship to the heart of darkness.

I don’t often just sit and listen to music unless I am in my car but maybe I should. I guess I did write this to music, which seemed only fitting, to be honest.

But whether on or off, the music is always there, somewhere, spinning around in my head like the radio that won’t turn off.

Records just spin, spin, spinning away.

…c…

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