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Chasing The American Dream

December 30, 2004


"If music be the food of love, play on." -- William Shakespeare

There has been much discussion on my blog regarding my passion for music and/or music gift giving and how important that should be as I chase a lasting relationship. It’s hard for me to put this passion into words and make it jump out at you to convince you how it has impacted me and why I deem it so important that I share this passion with my girlfriend-to-be (wow, that sure was a run-on sentence). Most, sans Greek Tragedy, have said I need to forget about this ‘insignificance’ since there is so much more to relationships. But I can’t forget it. There’s always a song playing in my head. There’s always a CD playing in my car (no talk radio for this guy). Embarrassingly, I want to share the joy of being silly and singing these songs in the car.

It all started back when I was just a boy. I remember songs I heard on the radio when I was just 4 years old. Yeah, I’ve been listening to the radio ever since. 38 years and running. So I remember most everything I’ve heard since 1966. Song titles and artists don’t seem to escape my memory. I may forget your name that you mentioned to me a minute ago, but I remember that the group Harper’s Bizarre sang a remake of Simon & Garfunkel’s The 59TH Street Bridge Song (better known as Feelin’ Groovy) in 1966. No my younger readers, Limp Bizkit did not originally sing Behind Blue Eyes. Great song yes, but it was originally sung by The Who off the Who’s Next album circa 1971. Alicia Moore? Yeah, I know she’s better known as Pink.

So I have all these musical facts and figures from 1955 to present rolling around in my head. When I listen to my alternative music these days, I can ‘feel’ the lyrics run through me. The songs move me. The lyrics I relate to. My book-to-be and this blog are flooded with song lyrics. I need music in my life. I need to share it. I love to share it. Some of you know this to be true. I’ve given out over 150 CDs this year. Most of these, I’ve mailed to people I hadn’t known very well. Strangely, friendships developed after we bonded with the music sharing. I do it because I love to share, and I know I’m likely to get smiles on the other end of the UPS delivery truck. Music sharing and smiles make me happy.

Is my passion for music and the desire to seek it in a relationship really just trivial and ‘insignificant’ or does it really have some meaning behind it? I’ve often pondered this question myself; science came to my rescue about a year-and-a-half ago. I was reading the local Phoenix paper and came across this article on music preferences. The article said musical preferences could offer insight into a person’s personality, emotions, compatibilities, etc. I was curious to find out more. I Google searched the article and found the authors of the actual case study.


Turns out, the authors were professors of Psychology at the University of Texas. The case study is 21 pages long and is filled with high-level statistical and pyscho-analysis. It spoke of orthogonal models, chi-squared, standardized root-mean-square residuals, and goodness of fit models. You remember all that from your college Statistics class, right? How bout psychology stuff like adrenal corticoids, blirtatiousness, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological consequences of rapid responding??? Wow, complicated! They do bring it down a few notches though so I was able to understand the results of the study. So what’s the bottom line? Well, you can read through the 21 pages of psycho-babble and statistical theories, but basically it was concluded that yes, music preferences can offer insight into a person’s personality, tastes, and how they feel about themselves.

So I’m glad to have Science on my side. Sure this is only one measure of a person’s personality, but to me, it’s an important one and one I just don’t think I can ignore. I may prove myself wrong; it's doubtful, but who knows? Well now, must get busy compiling my new Alternative CD volume 15. Say, have you heard Alanis’ new song, Knees of My Bees? How bout Howie Day’s Collide or Gavin DeGraw’s…


  • What does science say about someone who now DETESTS the human voice in song, and only listens to hard-bop jazz and classical music?

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 7:41 AM, December 30, 2004  

  • I know how you feel...I can't imagine life without music.

    By Blogger M, at 9:55 AM, December 30, 2004  

  • LX, I have a great writer for you. His name is Charles Schultz. Can you relate?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 11:23 AM, December 30, 2004  

  • I don't think I ever told you to forget about music. What I might have said is to forget demanding someone with the exact same musical likes that you have. There are so many other levels to a relationship (which I don't have to convince you of). I think demanding that a person likes music is ok--music is passion, and I'd have a hard time with anyone who "just didn't care for" any kind of music, but I'd never insist that he love all of my music. Appreciate, but not necessarily assimilate his musical tastes into mine. Get it? That was where I was dissenting.

    By Blogger Esther Kustanowitz, at 1:44 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • Howie Day is an asshole, and his song "Collide" is on the weak side. You should try his older live stuff, it's at least less contrived. If you like this kind of music, you should try Ari Hest and Marc Broussard. Oh, and of course there's always Jason Mraz's live album (WAY better than his overproduced studio attempts)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:53 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • I wouldn't classify Schultz as a GREAT WRITER; perhaps a Great Man, or a Good Artist? But I see where you're going with that.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 4:43 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • E, it's not that I would 'insist' or demand someone convert to my tastes necessarily. I just think someone who digs the same music as me is a strong attractive quality for me. Like if you gave me a choice between choosing hair color or music, I'd take the music any day.

    Lainy, I saw Howie on Carson Daly and like his live effort. Also saw Ari Hest on Carson when he sang 'They're onto Me.' And, I actually saw Marc Broussard in concert in August. He opened for Gavin DeGraw. Mraz is good, too. Thanks for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 4:47 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • There's always Teitur, Matt Nathanson, Rockwell Church or maybe Fooling April (sounds almost like Ben Folds). You've probably been there, done that. Just suggestions from someone who definitely appreciates and understands with your musical passion. Let me know if you like any of those.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • Will you goddamned music gliterati please at least mention Teenage Fanclub or The Wedding Present? And throw in Catherine Wheel for good measure. Yous snob obscurantists yous.
    (note: High Fidelity reference)

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 8:24 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • Say Lainey, don't forget about Teenage Fanclub,The Wedding Present, or Catherine Wheel. I like your suggestions though {embarrassingly} had not heard of Teitur or Fooling April. Glad you share the passion. What are you doing for New Year's? ;-)

    LX, you're killin' me with HF. I'm getting even with Mr. Wink above...

    By Blogger Plantation, at 8:53 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • My new years plans have yet to be finalized, and yourself?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • Available as always, Lainey.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 11:18 PM, December 30, 2004  

  • I've got 3 bottles of bubbly chilling, for after the wifey and baby hit the sack.

    Why don't you two come over?

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 9:02 AM, December 31, 2004  

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