Music takes you interesting places

I’d known this my whole life. Music is universal in the way that it affects everyone differently. All of us in one way or another respond to it. Depending on what it is, you can have ranting & raving on one end and booing and hissing on the other.

Because music is a big part of therapy that has kept me sane through the crazyness of my life.

Life isn’t fair and life isn’t easy, everyone generally accepts that too.
And ironically enough, the crazyness in my life is usually the result of something I did.
Classes I choose to take, decisions I chose to make and regretted.

Or when you go ahead and dare to do the impossible, the improbable, you relish in the victory or you dwindle in the darkness of the disappointment.

Every song has a story and if you survey a number of people on their take on the same song, they’ll each give you a different story. In some cases, multiple stories.

I’ve said how music can act as a time capsule as much as it helps make sense out of things that are happening, what is going right and whatever went wrong. It acts in the present, helps you reminsce about the past and sometimes makes you ponder the future.

But I stand by music acting more on the present and past.

Very early on, music invoked images in my head that had nothing to do with the song itself, but whatever images were fresh in my mind at the time.

Then when I reached high school, I became one of many delusional teenagers plagued by “love.” For me, sometimes became obsession. I didn’t have many friends I was close with, no extra-curricular activities (though school musicals and concert choir slowly filtered into the mix)… my mind had to go somewhere.

At the same time, I was finding myself through music because the industry was going downhill at that point. The local stations Q102 and 975PST started playing what I didn’t consider music at all. Names like the Pussycat Dolls, Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” and several hip-hop songs that I must have worked to block out of my mind to the point I can’t remember any of them.

I listened to the good in the 90’s on Radio Disney and really had no other choice at that time but to listen for artists that might be interesting to look into.

Something I really should do within the next couple of weeks:

When I was maybe in 2nd grade, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” was my favorite album. Technically not mine, my mom or dad has the album.

I remember very closely at least the first few songs. I believe there are 9 tracks and they include:

Material Girl
Like a Virgin
Over & Over
Love don’t live here anymore
Dress you up in my love
?Pretender? (just came back to me… I’m not 100% on this, but I very vaguely remember it)

But as far as I can remember, I almost never went past track 6, which is my favorite on the album.


Okay… I’m going to come out and say it right.

Now that I’m 24… well, technically, I figured this out maybe three years ago… you know, when I started listening to Prince… you know where this is going.

There’s a certain innocence that comes with childhood and you hear things in songs and just learn lyrics. You never think too much about what you’re singing, once you get to the point you can sing along.

I didn’t know what I was singing, obviously. I didn’t know what a virgin was… hell, I didn’t even know how dirty my favorite track was.
It’s supposed part of the list Tipper Gore drew up that includes two penned by Prince, Darling Nikki and Nasty Girl.

Part of the reason that I didn’t get past that song was because the CD might be in ill-repair, starts to skip a little in the later stages of the album. Our copy of the Immaculate Collection isn’t necessarily immaculate either… in the middle of “Into the Groove” and in “Like a Virgin”… sometimes even in “Cherish” the CD skips at times.

There were days when I woke up in the morning and played the cassette copy of the Immaculate Collection for the songs “Into the Groove,” “Express yourself” and “Cherish”…

but whenever I hear “Into the Groove” on the radio (been more frequent lately), it takes me back to that wonderful place. There is something special about that one as well, I get very nostalgic about it.

So where I was getting with the earlier statement… with new ears, I’d love to pick up that Madonna album again and listen through it.

OMG… how old am I? I’m talking about my younger days, even of my teenage years as if I’m this old fogey…

I suppose I get this because I spent more time with my parents and the people of the private community (in their 50’s and older) than people my own age.

It’s not my fault that I hadn’t spent more time here and I don’t know many people my own age. Scratch that, any, not many… not any…
I don’t spend a lot of time with my college friends and really ought to start up a dialogue with them again. It’s been a while.

I saw some of them in a dream I had last night along with Justin Long, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody and Jon Stewart. There was a point where I see one of them and have this urge to kick him in the face while he’s lying down on the ground.

I was thinking even in the dream as if my thoughts of reality were coming into play… I’m having a fit of PMS right now, I really aren’t mad at him for anything.

Not that I can recall.
Maybe I just wanted the attention in the dream and he wasn’t giving it to me. Whatever.
Anything’s better than dreaming about being at work and stressing about that.

I think I’m slowly getting myself back together here, though this will all go under once the next week starts. I feel like its sucking the soul out of me like the dementors in Harry Potter series.

Holy crap, that explains the morale at work.
Muggles can’t see dementors, so for all we know, they could be sucking the happiness out of the air, leaving behind the stress and the anger and all the bad emotions.

I’m reaching, I know.

I just gotta remember that paycheck waiting for me on Tuesday. But I’m not looking forward to the possibility of working solo this upcoming Sunday.
I hate the fact they’ve been booking me for Sundays when I’m supposed to have a 3-day weekend. And I really could use a three-day weekend after these past few weeks of hell.
I don’t hold anything against the people who have been taking off for medicial reasons. But I hold a lot against our customers who send us a ridiculous amount of samples when we don’t have the man power to handle it.
Especially on Saturdays.

So where was I?

Interpretation of music.

I used music as my life’s soundtrack. When we got a computer equipped with a CD burner, I took advantage of it.

The first mix I burned were songs that inspired different fanfiction short stories all interconnected with each other.

Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and a couple randoms from the NOW series (volumes 4-6).

The NOW series was fantastic when it first came out. Every song I heard on the radio in 1999-2001 was on those discs and it was like I had all of my favorite songs on the radio at my disposal.

I don’t get that now.

I purchased NOW 33, but only listened to it a couple of times.
I wanted it for some R&B tracks featuring Jay Sean, Iyaz and Jason DeRulo (although I do have his CD and very much in love with it), and Lady Antellebum’s big hit… and Adam Lambert’s single that I have since ceased listening to… its just too much airplay.

NOW 7, one of my longtime friends burned and gave to me, it was my first disappointment in the NOW series and I hadn’t been able to pick up another disc since… except recently with 33.

Actually there are some in the upper 30’s with some songs that made me seriously consider getting them, but I decided instead to check out the artists that I was interested in on my own time.

Since I couldn’t get them all in one spot, I started the trial and error process of picking up new artists on whims called singles.

Michelle Branch I think I starte considering after seeing a little half-hour special on her, though I don’t remember much about it.
Her singles struck me and it was one of my best gambles.
And aside from maybe one track, I play through the whole thing… a rare thing as I have mentioned, for a non-Prince album.

Although I’ll be honest, unless I’m stressed for time, I will automatically play through all of Dirty Mind, at times Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, ATWIAD, Parade… even Sign o’ the Times… if I’m not stressed for time… Lovesexy, I have no choice, obviously, lmao… and Come.

Huh, I thought there were fewer albums I listened all the way through, lol

For my second mix, I meshed up songs that either inspired my favorite work or fit into the mood of the work.

Three of them are, coincidentally, from that Madonna album. This is going back maybe 7 years…

Angel was inspired by my protagonist

And somehow, Over & Over and Dress u up in my love became part of the story itself, though I’ll have to work on editing my work so I’m not caught for copyright infringement, lol

One was played at a school dance and the other was used for a pep rally sequence that ends in disaster.
Not in the order, regarding the songs or chronologically in the storyline.

I haven’t listened to that soundtrack I burned for myself in ages. Something else I gotta do soon.

So back to the delusional teenager… all of these songs I was listening to sounded like they were pointing to this one guy friend I developed feelings for and still kinda have even though he turned me down.

Michelle Branch was very prevelent in that particular year. At least three songs of hers ended up on the CD I burned to commerate my 10th grade experience. Each song has a story behind it that comes from something that happened that yet.

Sweet Misery and If only she knew came early on…

and then when I went through a low after the rejection Here with me became the song of the hour. It made it easier to deal with and helped me make sense of things.

Other songs were from Plus One, a Christian boyband… some from Dream Street if I remember correctly… I don’t have the faintest idea, lol… a bunch from Vanessa Mae from her greatest hits album… or whatever it was called. There was one in the first handle of songs, one in the middle… and then the last four songs were also hers… more or less filler, extra tracks, but I wanted to have them on a CD I could listen to anytime. The real copy was a staple in the Lexus… now my car, but since my mom got pulled over for speeding under its influence (her violin is very persuasvie), we haven’t used it since, lol.

I hadn’t made a mix of songs since 11th grade and I defined my senior year using the music of Ashlee Simpson, Ryan Cabrera and Lindsay Lohan’s “Speak”… too many songs between the three and then some to make a mix.

Wait, I take it back, I have made other mixes since then.

One has songs that I got from google searches, all random ones that I liked on the radio and tracked down with a lot of trial & error.

The first started with early Dream Street, some solo work from Chris Trousdale and Jesse McCartney… a couple from Anthony Fedorov of American Idol fame (i’m still waiting for that album, dude!) Bailamos from Enrique Iglesias… Madonna’s version of American Pie… Desert Rose by Sting… to name a few… then I slowly started adding more recent songs I fell in love with… Nobody’s Home by Avril Lavgine, Makes me wonder by Maroon 5, Cable Car by The Fray… Ever the Same by Rob Thomas… and then to help segue into what was going on with me at the time… two songs by the Bangles… Walk like an Egyptian and Manic Monday… hint hint

Then I found a bunch of songs from my favorite video games to put into another mix, along with songs I’d seen with featured in youtube videos using clips from my favorite animé Inuyasha… songs like Numb by Linkin Park… two songs from Nightwish… and several others I can’t even remember right now… three songs by Cascada, techno tracks if you will.

But my crowning achievement, which I now use to play through one part of Jak & Daxter as brilliant motivating background music… was my mix from 11th grade.

It starts with a song by my Physics teacher’s favorite group, Guster. He had a radio in his desk and played it on our first day. A couple other songs he played were Stand by Me (got a lot of play) and a few other Guster tracks.

For two songs that ended up on the mix, I bought the album… and after I ripped the tracks I ended up selling it back because I didn’t enjoy the album all that much as a whole.

Then were a couple of random tracks from random bubblegum artists… Play, Greg Raposo… Clay Aiken’s first album had four tracks on this mix…. two at the beginning and two towards the middle… they reminded me of hands down, the most brilliant musical actor I’d seen in my life. He was AMAZING… I hope he made it to Broadway with that brilliant tenor voice of his.

Vanessa Mae got one song on there… a cover of a classical hit with a twist.

Stairway to Heaven is on there… I first heard it in 8th grade, my dad played it for me and it wasn’t until that year of school that I started to respond to it the way I do now.

Stacie Orrico’s “More to Life”… another album I ended up selling back because the overall vibe of the album wasn’t working for me.
Now I kinda wish I hadn’t because its one track that started skipping… in fact, because of the quality of the CD-R or because I might have accidentally got water on it… even after using a CD cleaner on it (a christmas gift I wanted but never got much good use out of it), some tracks have had bad times on the album.

In fact, I lost the last song completely. “The Prayer” by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church.

Because my mom was really into Josh Groban at the time, I was inspired to put two tracks on the disc. One is entirely in Italian, but inspired by that musical actor, we needed someone else with a brilliant voice on the record.

“Perfect” by Simple Plan was another of my favorite tracks.
And Vanessa Mae’s “Contadaza” was another I HAD to have on here… and the full version at that with the flute ending… it was my theme song for when I had to go in to do my gradution project presentation, something all juniors have to pass to graduate… and it pumped me up and it was my victory song, lol…

Good times…

Which brings me back to Prince… his music can take you really interesting places, even within one album…

Come has a very unique vibe as something a little more underground rather than mainstream… I was reading over a short story I wrote inspired by the tracks earlier and man, it really did inspire some great stuff.

It’s been ages since I’d been inspired by anything. And really, Prince’s music, as much as I haven’t been able to write about it the way I used to, its definitely keeping me sane as of late.

Come tends to depress me if I listen to it too much, but just maybe I need to give it a few more listens…

I don’t believe I’ve recommended this yet, but I totally do…

Listen to any given Prince album at night in a dark large room with no light (no joke or pun intended)… and you’ll hear things you never heard before.

Come is an especially good album to do this with, just as long as you’re tired enough to start falling asleep…
I don’t know quite what it is about. Probably is the cover art… but it feels like the perfect album to listen to in the dark… even better if its in the winter time because, I have said this, it feels like a winter album… as in, a symbolic winter, the winter of one’s life, meaning towards the end… as it would be “the death of Prince”

I’m hung up on the bells playing in the background throughout Come & Letitgo reminding me of a gently falling snow… its a beautiful picture.


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