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Won’t somebody please hug me?

October 26, 2009

I’m still getting used to the fact that people actually read this and guess I should stop acting surprised when I begin to tell a story and am interrupted with “Oh  yeah, I read that on your blog…” as happened four times last weekend.  Another symptom of blogging, not sure if it’s a perk or a pitfall, is that people actually take your words seriously.  I blogged about my aversion to a guest leaving condensation rings all over my furniture and to people I’ve just met engulfing me in hugs, and now nobody will put a drink down in my home or make physical contact with me.  So I write this post with a bit of trepidation —

People, well actually, guys, keep sharing music with me and I don’t know how to handle it.

I love music.  The first thing I do when I get home is turn it on.  The first thing I do when I get in the car is turn it on.  One of my favorite gifts to give are mix CDs.  Life can’t get much better than an acoustic guitarist sit-down concert in a small venue close to an El stop.  Belting 80s tunes at karaoke, fantastic.  Discovering a new artist, awesome.  Singing at the top of our lungs on a road trip, yes please.  Associating a song with a memory, good or bad, funny or painful, such a part of life.  But I never have the urge to share a song with someone else, let alone discuss its intricacies.

Guy #1 mentioned a reggae band that does Radiohead songs.  Once.  Twice.  Three times.  Did you check them out?  Did you get a chance to listen?  I’ll burn you a CD.  Over a couple of months, he’d keep asking about them.  I like Radiohead and reggae, listening to the band just kept slipping my mind, it wsan’t something that registered on my priority list.  I went to pick him up one day and he again inquired if I had heard them.  Upon my sheepish no, he got out of the car and came back a couple of minutes later with the CD.  We listened to it on the ride up to Evanston.  It was fine.  I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it.  But with Guy #1 looking expectantly at me, I felt pressure to discuss the lyrics, comment on the beat, delve into the artists’ motivation… I didn’t and still don’t understand why it was so important that I hear the Radiohead reggae band.

Guy #2 came over for a little birthday celebration and stayed to chat for a few hours after the others left.  At one point, he was reclining on the couch reciting lyrics from a song that seemed to mean a lot to him.  He’d say a verse, forget a word, roll around in his brain for the word, find it, and then continue reciting.  A few times.  I loved how serious he got during the recitation and loved that he was sharing a part of himself – isn’t that what girls are always complaining guys don’t do enough of? – but I wasn’t sure how to react.  Should I have come back with my own oration?

Children behave
Thats what they say when were together
And watch how you play
They dont understand
And so we’re

Running just as fast as we can
Holdin on to one anothers hand
Tryin to get away into the night
And then you put your arms around me
And we tumble to the ground
And then you say…

The next day “Beats for the Birthday Girl” was in my inbox, an email with a link to two songs he had mentioned/sung.

Guy #3 has burned a couple of CDs for me and recommended a few bands he digs, not because of any conversation we’d been having, just because he’s really into music.  They’ve all been hip-hop and while I like hip-hop, I’m more old school, cheesy hip-hop like Young MC Bust a Move or Biz Markie Just a Friend; these were more… contemporary?  Like the reggae Radiohead, they were fine.  Not something I’d play at home.  Some good beats I’d use in my media projects maybe.  When Guy #3 asked what I thought, that’s what I told him.  Should I have lied and raved about how much I loooooved them?

Guy #4, a music-lover if there ever was one, who goes to about fifty-three concerts a week, sends out a weekly (though I got daily emails?) like the one below, with some background on a song and then the song itself —

so, yah, phoenix covering air. you have probably heard the original version of this song in the movie, “the virgin suicides,” or in this levi’s commericial. wow, it’s rare that i give a shit what levi’s has to say, but i do dig the commercial. phoenix has actually just landed a commercial, too, for cadillac. kinda odd, but it seems that the indie bands are seriously *dominating* the commercials these days, especially cadillac, which has used hum, teddybears, m. ward, and now phoenix! crap, i can’t find the ad on youtube.

His passion is commendable.  His writing is detailed and descriptive (journalism background).  But after seven days of emails, I asked him to remove me from the list.  Felt like a bitch but I just didn’t have the time (or was it the interest?) to read/listen to them.  I did it as nicely as I could.  But when I saw him a few days later, very intoxicated – him not me – he kept bringing up that I was the ONLY person to ever ask to be removed from his list.

I truly don’t mean to piss on what others love, but being truthful seems a better route in the long-run.  What if I say how much I love reggae Radiohead just to not hurt his feelings and then Guy #1 buys me a CD and then surprises me with concert tickets and then hires the band to play at our wedding??!?!  I don’t really want to do tropical-Yeah Mon-hip gyration groove to Karma Police for my first dance.

All that said, there’s this song you just HAVE to hear –

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