Thursday, October 6, 2016


Just back from a Built to Spill concert in Brooklyn. God, that seems like such a different life. It's been years since I've seen them. I hardly ever go to shows anymore. Hardly ever play music, if I'm being honest. I know "if I'm being honest" is seen as a throw-away phrase. Why shouldn't you always be honest? But in some cases you want to maintain some idea of who you think you are and it takes some kind of effort to break through that and admit that no, you're not that person, at least right now. Built to Spill memories are really most deeply tied to college. I can picture myself in the river dorms, listening to Perfect From Now On over and over and over. Wherever you were, you just listened. I remember after college listening to every day at lunch in the spring of 1999 when I worked at Thermo-Retec in Concord, Massachusetts. I'd sit out by the little stream with my CD player and headphones (is that called a walkman or is a walkman only cassette?) and eat lunch while I listened to "Carry the Zero" singing "you're so occupied with what other persons are occupied with and vice versa" but I wasn't, at that time, so occupied with what other persons are occupied with. I was so much more in my own head. At that moment, I didn't really have any other choice. Doug Martsch had no idea, when he wrote that line, how much that would come to define our distant but constantly, maniacally interconnected lives now. 
  
                   

4 comments:

  1. I think I called it a discman back in the day :) I haven't been to a concert since January 2011, iron & wine at radio city music hall...

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  2. Oh I love iron & wine...have never seen them/him. Discman! Yes!

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  3. I remember those young days when my world was filled with music to near obsession. Eras of my life set to soundtracks. Before we moved, I pictured music flowing through this house, but combined with the kiddo, it often feels like noise, and I find myself longing for quiet. But a live show, that's where it's at. Did you feel completely reinvigorated?

    It's funny you mention "if I'm being honest" because I frequently resist writing, "the truth is..." which translates to "if I'm telling myself the truth." You're so right, it's about being honest with ourselves, "you want to maintain some idea of who you think you are and it takes some kind of effort to break through that and admit that no, you're not that person, at least right now."

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  4. I miss that music-filled-world to near obsession. Turning on a tape or CD the second I walked into my room. Radio for hours and hours and hours. Perfect line "Eras of my life set to soundtracks." I too often feel like the music has become noise, on top of the toddler, and all the virtual noise. I do play music (on the radio/pandora) but I don't play piano or guitar much if at all anymore.

    Thanks for understanding "if I'm being honest" - right - same as "the truth is". It makes sense to have that hiccup in writing b/c you really are trying to push through something (I think).

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