A Rambling Meanderthal: Mood Music

There’s something about music…that slip of noise in perfect alignment with the particular moment; the riff or twang, the beat or scream, the lyric/line or note; and in the particular moment, you’re captivated, enthralled, overwhelmed even. The moment becomes noteworthy, transcending into something it otherwise would not have been. All of us could right now pin point a piece of music, which has been significant in the fashioning of our lives, music that has molded itself into memory.

Go ahead. Remember.

Anytime you hear it, that song of either beautiful, or perhaps dreadful (depending on opinion), noise turns the instance into one of recollection. I remember driving around in an old Camry listening to the Department of Eagles a day before my uncle’s funeral. I would have been eighteen, a little more than eight years ago. The song was Phantom Other. The moment is etched forever, tangled in between the confines of my brain. Even now, emotion releases instantly, the very moment I hear that first scratch from Daniel Rossen’s guitar.Daniel_Rossen

There are certainly important moments that become that much more important with a particular tune playing in the background. There are certainly less important moments that become important with a particular tune playing in the background. There are certainly unimportant moments that become important with a particular tune playing in the background.

The evoked memory of an unimportant moment, becoming important due to music, is one of my tenth grade self, sitting in English class. I’m sitting there. My parents had bought me an iPod mini for my birthday a few months earlier. Some girl asks what I’m listening to. I happened to download Gimme Fiction a few days before. I didn’t know what I was listening to. My Mathematical Mind had been a free iTunes download, and I liked what I heard, so I got the album. I said, “Spoon.”

She replied, “That’s like the worst band name I’ve like ever heard.”

I retorted her statement, asking what kind of a band name was Fall Out Boy (she said it was a cool name). But I remember listening to Gimme Fiction later on during the day. I didn’t know what I was feeling. It was unimportant. But I felt like it was important. Britt Daniels had made sure of that.

We’ve all had those emotional moments of importance with music. We’ve all had the unimportant ones; the breakup songs, the teenage dissidence songs, the “I’m too cool for pop music” party songs, the “I’m too cool for music after 1998” hangout with a chick who’s into avant-garde movies songs, the “I won’t ever take acid ever again” songs (well…maybe we haven’t all had these songs, for instance I’ve never had a “I’ll never listen again to anything but Brad Paisley” song (to each and their own, right?)). People say that music makes the moment more memorable. (I just watched Boyhood. It’s kind of lame. Nice concept though, and of course we all love Ethan Hawke. But the movie perfectly portrayed music as a memory maker.) I’ll take it a step further though. Yes, music can make the moment more memorable. Yet, music, more potently than any other artistic median, can change the moment or, for lack of a better word, your mood.


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