This blog is a connection with my radio show which you can hear live on The Wildcat 91.9 in Manhattan, KS or live at thewildcat919.com.
Every now and again you hear a song that has nothing to really do with your psyche but yet you connect to it in some way. Not just in the way that you like the song either, it’s more of a soulful connection, like the song is your best friend that you haven’t seen in years. There is comfort and understanding in it and you feel it down to your bones. For me there have been many songs lately that I have been able to connect to on a soulful level. I always had the ability to be connected to a song, find some kind of truth in the lyrics to my own life, but since the death of my Aunt in May I’ve had a new connection with life and what it means to me.
The byproduct of my own personal Carpe Diem is a new appreciation for the beautiful and the simple. Two things that can make a song connect to the soul. For this specific example there are two songs I have to say take the proverbial cake the first is “Revelry” by Kings of Leon and the next is “Squirm” by Dave Matthews Band.
“Revelry” by Kings of Leon
“What a night for a dance, you know I’m a dancing machine. With the fire in my bones and the sweet taste of kerosene. I get lost in the night so high don’t wanna come down; to face the loss of the good thing that I have found”
I like Kings of Leon for two main reasons. One: They are southern and Nathan Followhill’s voice is one of the most unique things I’ve ever heard in my life, and Two: They have an unconventional way in which they write love songs which is unique to them. They are the only band I’ve ever seen talk about a girl as a cunt in one song then as a lover in the next (see Taper Jean Girl off of Aha Shake Heartbreak for that example). This song I think the reason it spoke to my soul so easily and attached itself there is the sound of this song along with the lyrics. It’s eerie and beautiful, profound and vague all at the same time. Southern style guitars twang in the background as Followhill’s voice rings out over them declaring his love for a girl who is gone and that the times they spent together were precious to him. The song itself is simple, the content of the song even more simple but it’s not the traditional, I-mess-up-take-me-back love song. It’s more of a hey I kinda miss you but I get why you left, love song. Unique to them, this song is wonderful and has a soft place in my soul, I never skip it when it comes on my shuffle on my iPod, that is something extraordinary in and of itself.
“Squirm” by Dave Matthews Band
“Out there, no food or drink, how many days do you think you’d last on your diamonds and your pearls? I’m not a king, no, not a hero, not a fool. I’m not perfect, I’m flesh and bones, and I’m exactly what you need.”
This song I discovered ironically, on New Years. I was waiting anxiously to get on a flight to Las Vegas and in my clammed up hands and ever spinning mind about flying I ended up listening to Pandora to calm my nerves. I had just recently added Dave Matthews Band to my station list and needing the chill the fuck out before I got on this plane, I decided to listen to it for that purpose. This was the first song it produced and I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t sure I wanted to listen to it but something kept me from hitting the “next” button on Pandora. That something was the amazing sound and lyrics of the song that came through. At first I just fell in love with the sound, from guitars to strings to the actual drums beating louder with the actual lyric, it is a composers masterpiece. I’ve always been a fan of musicians who step outside their boundaries and use other forms of instruments to make art. This song definitely does this, it gives it a sound of the south, a southern hymn mixed with Creole spells, it sounds like sticky New Orleans heat and sin. I love ever second of it. Behind the sound of the song the lyrics are quite profound. In a nutshell the song is about acceptance of others and humility. This is why I quoted the lyric at the beginning, in a time of America literally falling to ashes due to corrupt government schemes, bail outs, and economic turmoil, the song brings up a lot of good points. That naked we are all the same and that diamonds and pearls will get you nowhere.
“Open up your head, you’re sweet primitive”
Well said for the society and hand.
I love music.
It’s not just your normal, run-of-the-mill, love of music either.
I recently took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada where I went to an exhibit of the human body. It was quite amazing and there I learned, much to my own amusement, that we are born with an innate preference to either salty or sweet. For my own life, I’d like to think that’s how it is with people and what we like, dislike, love, or hate. That when whatever up in the sky made me (I’m not one for scripture, but more on that later) it gave me the special ability to feel the music that another person creates.
Of course, there are plenty of people who will think I’m completely out of it for thinking this, but the people who are close to me would agree, I am a different music fan. I rarely am obsessive about members of bands, I do not shy away from different genres, and most of all I can appreciate all forms of music, from Bluegrass to Heavy Metal, it all has it’s merit…and it all has an important person.
Have you ever met anyone who hated music? Didn’t have a favorite band? A favorite song? A favorite genre, style, musician? Well I know I haven’t and this is my point of this project. We all are built into our own worlds, a small soda straw in which we look out into the world but with the help of music people who are in wars with each other, countries torn apart by economic stress, families torn apart, and gluttonous Americans can have a common ground in which we can relate. We all have experiences that others have had, we can understand the pain of suicide, of death, of heartbreak, of joy, of imagining all the people living in peace. That is what this project is about. Bringing human beings together through musical experience.
Which brings me to myself.
My name is Maura Wery. I am not an exciting person, I go to college, I work at a local Applebee’s, I will probably only make a maximum of 40,000 dollars in my entire career, I am nothing to write home about.
But I have a gift, a gift of feeling.
I remember the first time I listened to a mainstream radio station. I live in the small town of Junction City, Kansas, a population of barely 22,000 people. We had 4 radio stations. One rock, one easily listening, one country, and one top 40 station, I was eight years old, cleaning my room with a large boom-box with a cassette player and a CD player. Which at the time probably cost my parents a good 100 dollars for my “big” Christmas present. I had grown up on Country music, my family had come from the sticks of Tennessee and Texas so regardless of what I liked the set stations of vehicles and stereos other than my own were fixed on the one whole country station. Not that I hate country music, I just wanted to branch out, it was something my 8 year old self didn’t know at the time, but it would change my entire life. I turned it to the top 40 station after hearing a song I couldn’t stand and the very first song to hit my ears was Oasis’s “Wonderwall”.
To this day, if that song comes on the radio, television, iPod, music making machine, it is one of the most beautiful and simple songs that I have ever heard.
“I said maybe, You’re gonna be the one who saves me ? And after all, You’re my wonderwall”
A love song with a loving back-beat and melody, simple lyrics that get the point along. I often credit it with causing my love affair with music because in a sense I fell in love with the song, therefore I went out looking for anything like it.
That is the power of music my friends and what a power it is.