Sunday, February 22, 2009

headphone home #1

i have been sitting in my bedroom with my headphones on for several hours now. sometimes i do this--just sit and wonder how all these sounds can make me want to die and live forever. one song that i continually come back to (it makes me cry because i can't imagine how all the parts come together to form this whole) is "Vacant Skies" by Sparta. i went to see Sparta at the Metro in Chicago back in 2002 or 2003 with Erick and I think Aaron was there and we missed the first song, which was, of course, "Vacant Skies," and i never forgave myself for being late.

so now, sitting in my room, having happened across the song in the trolling of my iTunes, i figured i'd see if i could relive what i missed at that concert, and lo and behold, this video of a totally decent quality on the You(series of)Tubes. if you watch it, please note the amazing work of Jim Ward's alien-like fingers at the beginning of the song (he's the front man, and the skinniest person on earth, so it shouldn't be hard to figure it out).

i told ChloƩ recently that i try to give my life meaning by making soundtracks for it. one way to do that is to constantly remake soundtracks for the movies in my head. i just titled this post, thinking that it would be something of a recurring theme working with my deeply nostalgic use of music. here it goes.

this Sparta song was on an EP that came out when Jesse and Cush were living together on the East Side of Milwaukee. Joshua Hren came over and we listened to the cd in Jesse's room (there was only one room--Cush slept on the couch--the landlord thought they were gay). there was a certain dim light. i can almost remember what i ate. i parked on the north side of Brady Street, just west of Farwell. perfect weather after it stopped raining. after listening, i think we recorded, very coarsely, a song that we referred to as "0.9% Interest" on Josh's analog 4-track. (that was for the band we wide-eyedly called Kindness Quotient.) i still have a different recording of it in my GarageBand files. at the time we thought it was great. but held against something like "Vacant Skies"--at least the way i see it--it was nothing. nothing i touch ever is.

i think, now, that why i listen to music, why i blog, how i use culture is to realize that other people move through life in the same ways i do. some of them would be sad without me. that seems an odd jump to make. with music it is stupid not to make those connections.

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