Writing prompts to reflect on the year past and the year to come at WEverb11.
What song did you listen to in 2011 to completely change your mood? Think about ways you can you add more music to your life in 2012.
When I saw this question in WEVerb11′s line up, it’s just sealed the deal that I had to participate in this project… just so I could answer this question because I can’t think of a more appropriate question to apply to 2011 considering that I spent a good portion of the year pondering the mood altering power of music.
I think this is something a lot of people don’t consciously notice, or at least, I didn’t notice it until sometime in the past year but those things we call emotions? You feel them in your body. Like, when you’re feeling sad, it’s pretty common to feel tension in your chest… a tension that can be resolved by crying or laughter. Music affects us the same way. Music is a way of capturing and expressing an emotion to be able to share with others… And if a song is well written and well engineered? You can’t help but feel along.
When I think of “mood changing” music, I tend to to think of two types… One, the songs you put on because you’re feeling yourself fall into a blah mood and you want to catch yourself before you fall any further. For me, these are usually the happy upbeat songs. Two, the songs you put on because you’ve got yourself stuck in an unpleasant emotion that you’d like to pass… these are usually your crying songs and your angry songs (I tend toward needing crying songs, and have issues with angry songs…. but that’s another post for another day).
Music is a pretty damn central part of my life, so I’m not really sure how much more music I could possibly add to my life. I think if there’s anything I can do, it’s go to even more live shows in 2012 than I did in 2011. Living in NYC does have me pretty spoiled…
But anyway… I think that’s enough lecture for now. The tunes. You came here for the tunes, right? I managed to distill 2011 down to two songs… (okay, technically four but that’s because one of them is a medley).
1. The Beatles – Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End
I consider this one to be the gold standard of a crying song… or well… songs, because technically it’s three songs that flow into each other, but whatever. It’s a great medley because it starts out making you cry in Golden Slumbers… it eases you into that comforted post-crying state in Carry That Weight, and then when you get to The End you’re up and wanting to dance and happy again.
“And in the end… The love you take is equal to the love you make.”
God, I love The Beatles.
2. Cowboy Mouth – Jenny Says (Live)
I think the chorus really says it all…
Let it go, let it go, let it go
Let it go, let it go, let it go
When the world is coming down on me
Let it go!
When it comes to this song, it HAS to be this video though (or live and in person). I cannot stand the studio recording of this song. Cannot stand it. It does not sound or feel the same at all. Don’t believe me? Go listen to this when you’re done watching that. Also, watch the whole thing, don’t pansy out and stop it halfway through.
Fred LeBlanc (the lead singer / drummer) is like a force of nature. A God when he’s on stage. The video captures this pretty effectively, especially the second half of that video where he’s barking out commands and the audience just obeys. I had the opportunity to see Cowboy Mouth at the Highline Ballroom over the summer, and he’s totally like that.. There was one point at the show that I went to that he decided the crowd was not standing close enough to the stage for his liking, so he just jumped out from behind his drum kit, off the stage and into the crowd and started walking through the crowd to push us forward to where he thought we ought to be…. and in the process of doing this touched me. Squee! I GOT TOUCHED BY A SWEATY ROCKSTAR GOD FROM NEW ORLEANS, BITCHES!
“Now ladies and gentlemen, here’s the deal. At this moment, reach inside of your heart and reach inside of your soul, and when we start singing ‘Let it go, let it go, let it go’ and when I say ‘Now!’ and the lights come up on high and the PA is as loud as it can go, at that moment throw your hands up in the air, jump as high as you can, and forget all your troubles and worries, scream ‘let it go’ and dance like your life depends on it and celebrate the fact that you are alive. Are you with me here?” – Fred LeBlanc
Oh, and they’re back in the city three days before my birthday in January. I am so there.