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Saturday, June 04, 2005 

burn down the disco

When I saw the topic for this week I thought, “Of course, of course music affects who I am,” but something Kaycee said has me changing my mind a bit. What she said was this:

“I don't think that music affects who I am, but it can affect HOW I am….Maybe who you are is just a function of how you are…”

That got me thinking, if music affects who I am, does that give credence to the idea that music makes people do bad things? When Marilyn Manson comes on the radio do I suddenly think it’s a good idea to eat live puppies and throw small children from moving vehicles? And if I listen to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir do I suddenly want to gather the family together for an impromptu devotional and testimony meeting? No way! I grew up listening to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and I can’t stand it—I’d rather tear my arms out of their sockets or listen to Marilyn Manson and I can’t stand Marilyn Manson. Though Mr. Manson is wildly misunderstood by his detractors his “I’m here to shock you” game wore off long ago. He’s like a clown now; I expect him to start juggling or do some sort of mime bit.

Music is like some nifty powerful emotional tool. It does alter emotions, definitely can intensify them. Parents worried about their kids listening to Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson didn’t go looking for their kids; their kids went looking for him. If anything is wrong with kids that listen to Marilyn Manson (and there usually isn't) it didn't come from Marilyn Manson, it came from the kids.

I don’t know if music it made me who I am but it definitely helped me get where I am. Currently I’m the middle of a love affair with bossa nova, the old stuff from the 60’s mostly, though I like what Bebel Gilberto is doing these days. For years I’d been looking for just the perfect music and bossa nova was it. Lucky for me VL (that’s my wife) digs the bossa nova just as much as I do. I hope this love affair lasts a lifetime. It just sucks when the people you love don’t like the music you love.

I too was interested in Kaycee's take on music affecting HOW you act etc. I was hoping that you would share a connection (if there was one) with music you listened to as a teenager and if that had anything to do with your father's concern. You mentioned he didn't love the way you dressed and I was wondering if he didn't like your music either...as teenagers, those two things aften go hand in hand. And I also love bossa nova and I hope you share some of your "all-star" songs so I can load them on the old iPod.

Actually, my parents never said much about the music. Very little of what I owned was objectionable and I managed to never expose them to anything that was objectionable.

So bossa nova, I don’t have many full on albums that are solid; I’ve got a couple fantastic albums and most the others are half good, half bad, if that. If you’ve got any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

For starters, the album “Getz/Gilberto” (by Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim) is like the pinnacle of bossa nova. It’s perfect. Another fine album is the soundtrack to Black Orpheus (the 1959 movie, not the remake) composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa. For individual tracks, off the top of my head: “Aguas de Marco” sung by Elis Regina (there are a couple versions floating around; both are fantastic); “Sofrer e da Vida” by Mario Reis; “Tristeza,” “Bermibau,” and “Canta de Ossanha” sung by Astrud Gilberto. I’ve only heard a little of the Tamba Trio but everything I’ve heard is quite fun. If you want more, send me an email and I’ll come up with more as I get the time (I don’t know the names of a lot of the songs so I’d have to dig them up).

I think that very confused kids/teenagers can get caught up in the music they choose to listen to. I'm not blaming the music, I'm just mentioning the connection. People are so quick to blame "evil" music when something goes wrong, when there should be more responsibility taken by those kids and their parents. When I've had a bad day, I tend to choose to listen to really loud, rock n roll, etc. If a depressing or negative song comes on, I usually change it because it can get you down. But i make the choice to listen to a song or not...i make that choice.

Great post, my new VSofM Friend

I was a very confused, screwed-up teenager, and music was one of my lifesavers. I remember loving "Hey Jude" the first year I was in foster care, and dancing in the street in Long Beach to the Supremes and Marvin Gaye with a bunch of friends whose parents were equally drunk and unavailable.

I loved going to discos, I loved "Another One Bites The Dust"! I never heard "Smoke marijuana" I just heard, let's dance.

After my son died, I began to be entranced by classical music. Now I pretty much listen to quiet stuff, although we put on boogie music to clean sometimes, Norah Jones is awesome, but my favorite is my Bach tape.

I flunked music, maybe I said that already, I've never met anybody else who flunked music, it's like flunking home ec. I am tone deaf and when I sing, people laugh. But I just laugh with them and sing away.

This morning I woke up with Andy Williams' rendition of Moon River going through my head. Now that is a beautiful song. Also a stupid song. The words don't make sense.

I think music, any kind, is a good thing. Bach was pretty radical in his day. Although rap doesn't seem like music to me.

annegb -- that was a delightful comment on the post.

I've found that the books I'm reading can affect my attitude. I've been amazed at how being immersed in some books affects the way I deal with people immediately after surfacing.

But music is such a tangled thing.

You know, you're right, I've noticed that I will start thinking and talking like the person in whatever book I'm immersed in at the moment.

My daughter is gifted musically, she can play the piano and read music and she has a beautiful voice. But she doesn't appreciate music like I do. Or maybe I don't know her that well.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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