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A snippet from my memoir…

June 29, 2010

Here’s a snippet from my personal memoir (ahem, diary) that I thought I would share with everyone.

…speaking of music, even though Jodie is sleeping in the extra bedroom upstairs and I can have music playing normally, I much prefer to wear headphones.  It’s not just because I have a smoking ass set of phones, but I just enjoy blasting fucking music right into my head.  It has some strange quality to it.  I remember when I first starting writing seriously…

(Cue flashback sequence music)

Once I had Mrs. Lata’s IBM Selectric II and figured out how to load the ribbon, I started writing.  I was stone sober as this was the beginning of my famous 21st year and the clean life that came with it.  I don’t know if it was straight from the first time or the fifth, but I started blasting music on headphones alongside writing pretty early on.  God, it seems like I’m going for hipster credit here but please know I wish for no such thing…but the albums that I really listened to a lot where Neu! 1 and Tago Mago by Can.  They were just so energetic and foreign.  I couldn’t get lost in the words because most of them were in a different language, if there were any words at all.

I fucking loved it.  Man, thinking about that August back 9 years ago now really makes me sentimental.  It’s when we first saw each other through different eyes.  With The XX’s “Vcr” gently playing in the background, I feel like I’ve never been more in love with you then I am right now.  I’ve never spent more time with anyone in my entire life.  It’s gone by so fast, yet it seems like we’ve always been together.  Sitting up all night in my old bedroom, talking about music and our friends, our hopes and dreams, and the endless possibilities we could share in our life together.  Oh, the effortless work we put in at the beginning came so easily to us.  It wasn’t destiny, it was gravity.

We fell asleep and woke up together every day that Fall and it wasn’t long before our first two children were born.  They arrived so closely together that they could have been twins.  We worked with them constantly, hoping to shape them into their own personalized version of perfection.  And then I stuck my penis in the typewriter and shit got real weird for a long time.  We barely spoke until we had moved on to see other people (Hey Camera, I’m looking at you, you sexy whore) and even then it took time.

Aw, wasn’t that cute?  It seems like I should enter it into a contest for up and coming teen writers.  Writing: Mi Amore an essay by J. Charles Scro.

Here are some deleted sentences from that Peabody award winning article:

We’ve been through everything together and whether mired in our failures or elevated in our triumphs, we have found a way to make our life together work.

Sure, like any other young couple we’ve had our financial burdens loom over us, but it is clearest during these times that success nears every single day.

That was pretty lame and this is how I’ve chosen to redeem myself as a badass pimp mother fucker…

Man oh man I love me some Lady Gaga.  I’m high out of my mind and “Paparazzi” is hitting the spot.  And it was primed to because Jodie and I watched her on SNL and the her talent show footage on Youtube.  The SNL was killer and I’d seen it once before.  The first song “Paparazzi” was just okay, but her second one, um the icky “disco stick” one was FUCKING AMAZING!!! I hadn’t been that swept up in a moment of music on SNL since I was living in Elgin and I saw the Arctic Monkey’s perform “A Certain Romance” ( I literally cried it was such an amazing moment).  She played a little of the shit song I don’t like, but her performance was great because she was wearing a dress made out of huge metal rings and she and them moved perfectly with each other.  But then, she sat down at the piano, rings and all.  She waved to the crowd as everyone watched in dead silence.  “Hi New York,” she said before playing a prototype version of “Bad Romance”, improvising her piano playing and singing about growing up in New York, over into “Poker Face” before shifting into another improvisation.  This was all just her singing and playing the piano.  You could hear a pin drop.  It was the ballsiest thing I’d ever seen on SNL and it was the free formed playing part, not the metal dress or handjob gestures.

Then, Jodie and I watched the clip that got me curious about Gaga in the first place; a young Stefani Germanotta playing a talent show at NYU in 2005.  It’s just her and her piano, yet you feel that she was this little fucking Lady Gaga hiding underneath the surface.  It wasn’t destiny, it was gravity.  I’m kind of just learning about her, but everything I learn, I like.  Not her bullshit antics or anything like that.  I could give a shit, but I like knowing an artist’s history.  To find out that her talent had landed her a record label as just herself before she realized her true potential as Lady Gaga interests me a lot.  I read some dude on the internet that said recording a more traditional (and respected) Norah Jones like record and getting dropped from her label for it caused her to marry art and entertainment in Lady Gaga.  Here’s the quote from some kid on Youtube:

“I think getting dropped from her label for writing sad piano rock made her realize that no one gives a fuck about you or your pain unless the chorus is catchy.  Which she basically said in an interview. I don’t call that selling out; I call it being practical.”

Dude, that’s exactly how I think except that I don’t make that kind of music.  In fact, I wouldn’t even say I think that way.  I would say I feel that way.

And the best part about me nerding all over her; it has been bookended by two of her songs even though many others played in between them.

“Heligioland” by Overseer, one of the most beautiful and unique pieces of music from all time now pours out over the speakers and my love of music continues seamlessly from one aspect or another.  Music is so free formed.  I love pop music like a teen girl and yet I’m now emotionally moved by someone playing a synth violin over an English man reading the shipping report.

The first time I heard “Heligioland” was during the period that I would take longs walks before working out when I still lived in Elgin with Joey, Rebecca, Matt, Ryan, and Andrea.  This one particular day it started to storm wildly while I was still 20 mins away from the workout center.  My regime was that I would leave the iPod on complete shuffle while taking my walks to hear new music.  Then, I would make a playlist of the songs that interested me.  While I was working out, I would review these songs and decide which ones would make it onto “The iPod’s Best” playlist.  This would then be the playlist that I would take public, play for friends, and at gatherings.

The storm was raging and I without shelter.  I didn’t care because this song had just come on that tied everything together.  It was like I had never noticed something so completely in my life while also making me feel so comfortable that part of my mind barely noticed a storm at all.  I had one of those rare life moments were every aspect of existence came into harmony.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned them here, but Oliver Touching the Sun, The Puppies in the Snow, Oliver and “Demon Days” from Demon Days, and Rebecca and “Demon Days” from Demon Days are the titles of those stories in addition to The “Heligioland” Storm.  I’ll have to check whether I’ve written about them or not because they are the reason I stay alive.  Not for the past moments, but future ones.

Now, since the Overseer song has a twenty minute hidden track of nothing that I have to sit though, I will talk about my need to make a playlist (now replacing mix cds which replaced mix tapes) of the Pavement songs they are playing all the time that I don’t know well.  Out of the 23 songs they’ve been touring, these are the ones I do not know well or at all.

  1. Silence Kit
  2. Stereo
  3. Elevate Me Later
  4. Rattled by the Rush
  5. Gold Soundz
  6. Date w/ Ikea
  7. Unfair
  8. Fight This Generation
  9. Kennel District
  10. In the Mouth a Desert
  11. We Dance
  12. Starlings of the Slipstream
  13. Father to a Sister of Thought
  14. And Then (The Hexx)
  15. Fin

It makes me look like a weak ass Pavement fan, right?  Which is weird because I obsess over these guys and have for the last four or so years.  They seem to stay away from the weird jams I like, such as “Passat Dream” (my name for their biopic if I ever write it), “Western Homes” and late Terror Twilight personal favs “Cream of Gold”, “Folk Jam”, and “Ann Don’t Cry”.  Man, I would pee my pants to hear any of those.  I’m hoping that they vary it up a little for Pitchfork, but I don’t care if they don’t.  I want to make this playlist because I’m sure those other songs I don’t know are awesome.

Pavement were my first favorite band of my iPod era.  I had just spent the previous period wearing out my copy of Slanted and Enchanted, so I knew one full album and two songs of theirs before loading everything (from cds I bought, for real) they had onto my iPod.  Oh, the two songs where “Cut Your Hair” (of course) and “A T & T”.  I liked that song, but never got into them from there, even though those songs were spread out for my by 5 years…

Jesus, you’re baked, Justin!

Long and short of it being that I didn’t discovery most of my favorite Pavement songs by listening to the whole albums, but rather having their songs come up on shuffle and falling in love with them from there.  It seemed I would pick up a new one every week.  The first song was “Cream of Gold”, followed shortly by “5-1=Unity”, “Folk Jam” and so many other. Hell, even large chunks of time later, I first heard “Grounded” (my all time favorite) only two years ago and “Ann Don’t Cry” shortly after.

So I know that a great Pavement song is lurking around the corner at any time, even ones that I should have known for years.

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