in talking with a few friends, i've noted that i'm one who doesn't easily fall in love, but when i do, i'm in for the long haul, not giving up easily or without a fight. my listeners inevitably praise this quality, telling me that it's one of my best traits, although considering my life history, i can't help but wonder. at times, it feels akin to owning a fully-equipt mechanic's garage but not having a car.
whatever the case, in light of alyssa's analogy, i think i'm the same with my musical relationships. behold:
my goofy, junior high romance: dated the class clown, felt silly for a while, and now respect him for what he is. we still go out of milkshakes occasionally, just to reminisce (musical metaphorically speaking, that is.)
the barenaked ladies
they're that date that you're friends think you'd be great with, and you go out and yeah, they're pleasant and nice and all, but there's just not really any connection there. they were one of the funnest concerts i've ever been to and i subsequently bought a few of their cds. "brian wilson" is one of my favorite songs (from anyone), but there's nothing special between us.
ben folds [five]
we connect on some great levels but it just can't work out. he broke up with his band and i kind of broke up with him. i didn't realized how different things were until i saw him in concert a few years ago; his solo stuff still sounds like the bf5 songs, yet i noticed that all of the best songs, the ones that i really loved, were from the ben folds five era. recently, his albums have had more and more words i don't like, so we're essentially over. i still listen to (and rock out and emote to) the old songs and remember how good things were. no one has a way with words and emotions quite like him.
we'll always have "best imitation of myself."
friends with benefits
like every other artistic male in college, i dated radiohead. they were so artistic and passionate, enigmatic yet they understood how i felt. or something like that, anyway.
their concert was a good life lesson for me, but i soon noticed that their moodiness and broodiness was starting to drag me down and i cooled things off, keeping them on the shelf for several years. with the release of their newest album this year, i decided that maybe that enough time had passed that we could be friends now.
the girl you're attracted to and she likes you, she's beautiful and inspiring and i have every cd and love them all, but we just didn't really click on a deep level like i did with some others. we're better as friends than dating.
the beastie boys
i guess even i wanted to date the bad boys, just to feel cool. but i'm not that kind of person and couldn't really go through with it.
then, about a year ago, popped in the one cd of theirs i did have (hello nasty, which i bought when it came out ten years ago because it didn't have "parental advisory" sticker on it) and really liked it. a lot. and when i found out that i could buy "clean" versions of their cds, we were dating and my roommates got to hear all about it: "you mean i get all the excitement of dating the rebel and can still carry my for the strength of youth pamphlet without shame? yeah, i'm free friday night!"
like the proverbial trouble-makers at school, there's really a lot more to them than their loud, obnoxious songs (in fact, i can hardly listen to their greatest hits cds, because it's only those loud songs; the rest of their albums have a much broader range.) i still have no idea why guys who are known for their rebellious attitudes keep releasing "clean" versions, but their latest album still has me very much attracted to them.
my true loves
they might be giants
in college we grew apart some, as relationships sometimes do, although i'd see them here and there (experimental film, anyone?) and remember why i was in love.
then, in the fall of 2009, i drove to montana for a commercial and listened to them shuffled on my ipod for five hours straight. this was our second honeymoon, and i was reminded once again that we were soul mates. it was love all over again and i'm never leaving them.
like i said, when i fall in love, i'm committed. i learned everything about them and collected every rare bootleg and import cd i could find (including their ultra-rare Christmas singles....)
they were my first concert and you always remember your first time. it was as magical as any high school romance: i got a call to go to the office on one of the last days of school my freshman year, where the lady in the office told me that my mom had gotten me tickets to the show in minneapolis and that my dad would be there to pick me and my best friend up after school.
it was incredible, a massive show that was everything i wanted it to be. i still have the shirt from that show, too....
we've grown old together. they faded from popularity through the latter half of the 90s and continued to dwindle in the 2000s, but i've stood by them, buying and listening to every release, long after their hot and popular prime. i saw them in concert in 2004, when they played to an audience a quarter of the size they commanded ten years earlier and it was just as good then as it was in high school.
today they're a dinosaur band. kids know them only from picking up their classic releases, like i do with the clash.
but true love endures. their release this year, collapse into now, is amazing, the best thing they've done since before i could speak japanese, and i'll be listening to it for a long time. it's a reminder that there is still life and vigor in the latter years of a relationship.
and if anyone wants to date me, you need to appreciate the hall, too. for thus saith the spice girls, "if you wannabe my lover, you gotta get with my friends. making love's forever; tally hall never ends."
sharing advice from his brother, michel gondry said, "you can't be in love with your girlfriend everyday. it come and goes and it's normal. but it always comes back. in general."
i suppose the same could be said for romantic relationships, too.