Music and Me

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
-Nietzche

Music, music, music. I can’t believe I’ve never posted anything about music because it’s a topic I care deeply about. Music is something which has intertwined itself in my life. I wake to it, I listen to it on my way to school and then at school. I tap my fingers against the bike’s handles to a tune that’s stuck in my head and I do Maths homework to it. I read to it and when the song matches the mood in a book, I cry to it.

People say that scent is the most powerful sense that humans have. It’s the one that links you effortlessly to a certain memory or a time. Supposedly, the smell of Vanilla will drag you back to Grandma’s kitchen and the smell of petrol will take you to a gas station you stopped at in the middle of THE road trip. But I have a much more powerful and nostalgic reaction to music.

Music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in your or the world, that one song says the same, just like that moment.
-Sarah Dessan, Just Listen

I’ll admit it: my music habits are somewhat strange.  I listen to an artist, fall in love with them and then associate them to a genre of books I’m currently reading. When I’m done reading that genre, I move onto a new artist. Today it’s Halsey and All Time Low, but I think I’m moving on to Muse and the Offspring. A couple of weeks ago it was Sia and Panic! At the Disco. And before that it was Crown the Empire. (Thank you Pandora, you’re awesome!) By moving on, I mean I’ll stop playing their albums on repeat. But if I hear a snatch of one of their songs on the radio or in a store, I’ll involuntarily be dragged to a time when they were my number one, and I was obsessed with a certain book. I’ll smile a little and when the song fades away, I’ll wish that the song was longer

I associate different characters to different songs, and different genres to different artists.
For example, My Song Knows What You Did in the Dark is definitely Katniss’s song, and Fall Out Boy just goes so well with dystopia. Don’t you think?
I can’t listen to any song in Krewella’s ‘Get Wet’ album without thinking of Harry Potter fanfiction and Pink is Discovery/light New Adult.

Not only do I read to music, I write to music as well. What can I say? It sets the tone for what I’m writing. I’ll listen to a song, type out any lyrics that jump to me. Then when the song’s over, I’ll write whatever comes to me. The next poem I’m posting will be from Halsey’s Young Gods.

These lines,

You know we’re gonna be legends

If there’s a light at the end, it’s just the sun in your eyes

Gave me ‘Immortalise You’. Yes, it’s a part of Gods and other Greek things. I’ll post a part of it now.

I’ll tell the Gods to give you back.

I’ll beg them, bargain with them.

And then you’ll live forever.

Amongst sea foam or bright-stars,  
Wherever you want to live.

However you want to live.

But Godsdamnit all, you will live.

I come from a family that doesn’t really care about music. I mean, it’s not like they hate it- but they could leave it as easily as they take it. I don’t think I can imagine a world without music. It would be silent, I suppose. Less beautiful.

Five Flavors of Dumb: A Book Review

“…bands fall out. But at the end of the day, they’re like family. You get back together because you have to, because you’re stronger together than you are apart.”

Book: Five Flavors of Dumb
Author: Antony JohnFive Flavors of Dumb

Blurb:

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band’s manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she’s deaf?

Piper can’t hear Dumb’s music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb

My Thoughts:

This book has hovered around on my TBR list for over a year, but I’ve never gotten around to reading it. When I saw it in the library, I felt chastised and I picked it up. Trust me, I’m glad I did.

I hate to sound pretentious and condescending, but initially I found the premise impossible. When I read the blurb, I wondered out loud: How can Piper be a band manager when she can’t even hear music?
I’m sorry for that tactless question. Piper really proved me wrong. At the risk of sounding cheesy, just because you can hear music doesn’t mean you understand it; just because you can’t hear it- doesn’t mean you can’t understand it.

This book is a journey on appreciating music, family, friends and your own power. This is a coming of age book set in Seattle focusing on the early heavy and grunge rock that the city’s famous for. If you’ve ever lived in Seattle (like me!) or even visited- you know how much pride the city takes in its’ music scene and its’ casual love for the art.

The supporting characters were well-developed, multi-facetious ones. The band was full of strong personalities (that clashed more often than not). In a non-preachy way, Mr. John shows us the perils of quick judgement and how powerful bonds can be formed amongst the most unlikely people.
Family played an important role in the book. Mom, Dad, Younger Brother, Baby Sister- Piper’s eyes opened to who they really were and vice versa. In recent memory, I can’t think of any book with such stupendous character development.

The romance in this book is seriously cute. A crush which grows into friendship which grows into something more, all set against the backdrop of chess, drums and coffee (yes, another Seattle thing).

This book is a fantastic learning opportunity. You will learn so much about deaf culture, Seattle and music. At the same time, you’ll empathise so strongly with Piper and the Five Flavors of Dumb, you will walk away amazed. Read the book. You will not regret it.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Books Like This: Everything Leads to You, Made You Up

Quotables:

“Don’t worry about wanting to change; start worrying when you don’t feel like changing anymore. And in the meantime, enjoy every version of yourself you ever meet, because not everybody who discovers their true identity likes what they find.”

“Not at all. It’s why people come. They say it’s about looking smart, or beautiful, or professional, but it’s not. Gray-haired ladies try to recapture their former brunette. Brunettes want to go blond. Other women go for colors that don’t arise in
nature. Each group thinks it’s completely different than the others, but I don’t see it that way. I’ve watched them looking at themselves in the mirror, and they’re not interested in conforming or rebelling, they just want to walk out of here feeling like themselves again.”

“Music. It’s not about those things. It’s about a feeling. It’s about expressing yourself. It’s about letting go.”