---=+? (a.k.a. three lefts make a right & three negatives have somehow defied mathematics and created a positive, which makes Pascal angry. I assume.)

The universe sometimes coalesces in oddly amusing and comforting ways. Recently I found myself walking out of the Salvation Army with a new record (excuse me - lp). It's part of a genre I hate (movie soundtracks), based on a book I thought was ridiculous (Jonathan Livingston Seagull), performed by an artist I'm completely indifferent toward (Neil Diamond). So it's got nothing going for it. What, exactly, is the attraction?

Despite my dislike of the record's three basic components, I kinda dig it. Not because it's musically brilliant or rises about its weak, quasi-motivational source material. I like it because it reminds me of where and who I was the night I first heard it about five years ago - a half-awake young artist in the middle of a late-night roadtrip following an underpaid, under-appreciated gig in northern Idaho. That night was part of my "blue" period, back when I couldn't afford to heat my bedroom at night. The cheapest solution was to pile my dirty laundry on top of my covers to try and insulate.

Things are a bit easier now (though I'll still accept your sympathy offer to buy me a drink), but listening to Neil caterwaul over substandard orchestrations takes me back to that season of life when lunch was a day-old scone from Espresso Roma and nighttime was for skinny-dipping in the Willamette River and reading Poe up at the Masonic cemetery. I liked that me, poor and hungry though he was, and I'm glad that this me descended from him. While I miss having the overabundance of fearlessness and curiosity of those days, I've retained enough of the wonderment and unconscious naiveté - two qualities that should be valued, not dismissed - to genuinely be thrilled by each new day, excited by each new adventure and eager to take on each new challenge. Melodramatic lyrics and saccharine string arrangements aside, I think Neil's onto something. It's still awful, awful music, but in the right mood it's exactly what I need to hear. Give one song a listen (all the way through, no cheating) and let me know if sentiment is clouding my judgment.

On a tangential note, Google Maps has a neat feature where you and any number of your cartographically-inclined friends can plot a map together. I've included the four locations I mentioned in this post on this map and I'd be thrilled if my Eugene homies (current residents and former) would tag some of their significant spots. You can include pictures and add your thoughts to mine. Just initial your contribution. If I know my friends at all, none of you will do it and this was a waste of time, but as I said earlier, I'm naive and I like surprises.

"Actually I find it quite difficult to not crack a smile over this fool's weak-sauce math skills."

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Blogger's title maximum prevented me from adding that I thought Radiohead would be proud of my alternative title (as would Fiona Apple). Freakishly, I'd forgotten that the Oxfordshire lads had very similar main title on the album I was referencing. They probably wouldn't be proud. I don't get the impression that they're very pleasant people, just very talented.
---=+? (a.k.a. three lefts make a right & three negatives have somehow defied mathematics and created a positive, which makes Pascal angry. I assume.)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

5 responses:

Sarah said...

Wasn't it just two nights ago that as I was about to go to sleep, you were heading out for a night of hot-springing followed by writing until 6 am?
And sorry, I can't listen to the song at work, I will later, but I'll probably forget to comment again.

Erin Michelle said...

Jeremy: I appreciate your poetical reminiscing and the connection which you (for some reason) feel with Neil Diamond, but I am still not sure I can forgive you for making me listen to that song. I'm just saying.

Valerie said...

Jem- I must say, I am so far less than a minute from the end, and the word which keeps flashing in my head is vapid. But using my word of the day from Feb. 10th I'd have to say it's also rebarbative.
That said, I deeply understand the sentimentality of bad music. I just went back and watched the " No Scrubs" music video for that very reason. It's still crap, but it's crap that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Trespasser said...

I know, it's seriously awful, and the musical equivalent of offal, and strangely seems to make some people feel awe-full, which isn't a word.

I'm glad - or disappointed - to see my assumptions about my friends remains consistent with reality. No one has seen fit to add to my memory map. And why should you? No, wait, I've decided. I'm disappointed.

meg said...

I know you asked, personally in a text, but I'm an idiot and can't figure out to add to it. wanna help us out and make it easier?