fleetwood mac

the beauty of giving music a second chance

When I was a teenager and impressionable rather than cynical, my love for music flourished beneath my pain.  I let music guide me through everything I couldn’t handle.  Part of me still clings to that sentiment, but I’ve found that musicians and songwriters are just as fucked up as (if not more than) I am and it’s like the blind leading the blind.
Of course, I still look to music first when I feel like I’m drowning, but age and experience have provided me with heroes and role models to help with the mental pain while music mends the emotional bumps and bruises.

Not that any of you are just dying to know what the hell I’m on about, but my god, I’m not often blindsided by music these days.  I feel like my ongoing 14 year music search has turned up quite a bit and provided me with grade-a band-aids for my pain.  But, every couple of years I go back and listen to bands I never quite grasped before, and a lot of the time I actually have a change of heart.
Recently it was Fleetwood Mac (the Stevie Nicks years).  I used to hate Stevie Nicks (no reason, just didn’t like her), but now I find myself reading everything I can about her and bookmarking sites with the cheapest Rumours and the self-titled 1975 re-prints.  Whatever I didn’t understand before, makes total sense in my life now when I listen to the Mac.  That is the most wonderful thing about age.
But that’s not what I’m going on about.  Fleetwood Mac didn’t’ blindside me, I just found warmth and understanding in a place I felt unwelcome in before.

No, it was The Jesus and Mary Chain.  Yesterday, they came at me like a sledgehammer.  I used to hate them.  I remember buying a Sebadoh album and a Jesus and Mary Chain album at the HUGE Warehouse Music I used to go to every weekend when I was a teenager.  My love for Dinosaur Jr. folded over in to Sebadoh so my guard was down on that one, but the Jesus and Mary Chain.. forget it. “Go back from whence you came!” I said when I put that album in a garage sale and that was the end of that.
But what’s this?!  Welcome back 27-year-old pre-mid-life crisis crisis Whitney who happened to put her not-enough-room-for-shit iPhone library on shuffle yesterday after downloading Darklands and Psychocandy a couple of weeks ago without yet a listen (this run-on sentence is absolutely necessary)…
I cannot explain the life that exploded inside of me the second Deep One Perfect Morning shuffled it’s way in to my life.
Who says:

“Deep one perfect morning
As the sun is heading up
Into the sky
And i’m sitting here warming
To the coldness of the things
That meet my eye
Something in me’s stirring
And the moon and all the stars
Fail to comply
And my thoughts are turning backwards
And i’m picking at the pieces
Of a world that keeps turning
The screws into my mind …”

behind such a wonderful backdrop of musical melancholy and understanding?  It’s those two elements combined that keep my head afloat when I’m lost somewhere in the dark moments of my past.  It’s those ingredients that have given music just the right amount of fluff through ages of amazing talent and made those with the gift legendary.  That place where you can feel miserable and listen to miserable music and feel understood and welcome in the world that seems to be pushing you out.
It’s one thing to be a talented musician, I have infinite respect for those who have that sort of natural partnership with their instruments, but to put down words that echo across an abundance of feelings and tie them all up neatly in a 3 minute song.. you have to stop and wonder “wow, what the fuck just happened to me?”
Poetry is like an amazing drug that lies in a world where music doesn’t need words and words don’t need a meaning.  Where all of the letters blend in to perfect metaphors of things only the irrational mind can understand.
But when you can take the components of that world and mesh them into the world of the rational mind… then you have something rare. I’m not saying that the Reid brothers are the best songwriters there ever were, I’m just saying they are part of a rare breed.

This meaningless blog post is just me welcoming The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands to my future and to my coveted list of comfort albums.  It’s also me kicking myself for thinking of all the holes that could have been filled in my past if I’d just saw the JAM Chain (like that?) through instead of putting a $2 sticker on their album and forcing it out of my life.
Growing up has so many benefits but with the benefits come regret.  Second chances are always worth the risk.

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