Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Blindsided By a Boy From Queens

I wrote this back in March. I am not sure now how I feel about the person, but here is how I still feel about the music:


Why is it that this music we love invades our souls, that we let it break our hearts over and over again?

With the advent of corporate radio and the fragmentation of the music business, I thought there would never be that lightning bolt moment with a band ever again, had resigned myself to once in a generation talents such as Westerberg and Williams (Lucinda) never rising to the surface but instead existing in obscurity on satellite radio or eking out a living playing in cheap strip mall bars. You can't let this music inside you anymore, I thought, because it will just be taken away or destroyed.

And then along comes this person who makes me fall in love all over again, who adores everything I do about it: the romance, the passion, the intensity, the drama. Who understands and respects its history and traditions and carries them forward. Someone who's my age, who's been through the era of disco and divorce, of punk rock and Reagan. Someone who's felt the pain and anguish of being alone and misunderstood, of feeling trapped and helpless. And best of all, someone who expresses all these feelings with lyrics that tear your heart out and lovely, delicate melodies that seep into your consciousness and bury themselves there. He is a figure straight out of a Phil Spector song: tough streetwise exterior but underneath it all a romantic with a heart of gold.

His music makes you care again, takes you both outside and deep inside yourself, tears you down and leaves you broken. You understand the emotions in these songs intuitively you want to hug him and tell him it's going to be all right. This is music that kicks you in the gut - you know it will be unbearable to let yourself be drawn in, but like a grisly traffic accident, you can't turn away. It's music that makes you wish you'd never heard it because it hurts too much. It pulls your loneliness and sorrow out from where you've buried them - deep down so you can get through the day - and leaves you shattered. You are twelve again, and trying to drown out your parents yelling at each other with your Beatles records.

This music that I love with ever fiber of my being has broken my heart again. I swore I would not let this happen, but I have been blindsided by a boy from Queens.

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