The Soundtrack You Knew First

Oh honey.

There is literally nothing that gives me this kind of sound pleasure.

Listening to an entire album, in order the way the producer and artist intended, is a kind of holy experience. I finally. FINALLY. got a receiver so I could connect my turntable. I have missed this. A lot.

The first album I ever purchased was Flashdance. I loved that album and memorized its contents completely. I choreographed dance and ice skating routines to Irene Cara’s iconic “What A Feeling,” imagining myself landing triple axles and all the fancy stuff ice skaters can do.

No. I was not a very good ice skater. I mean, I could stand up and do a few leg moves, but I was firmly a solid D skater.

That didn’t matter. The music gave a soundtrack about what I believed about myself, that I was invincible. That I could meet challenges like Jennifer Beals did, from iron worker to ballerina. I knew this about myself as long as I can remember. Life had challenges, I knew this, but listening to music was transporting. I knew I was going to live a full life.

There’s nothing fancy about my setup.

It works and produces pretty good sound and allows me to play my albums. While I am writing this I’m listening to Rattle and Hum by U2. Did you remember that it’s a double-album? I had not remembered this until today. Yes, I’m playing my actual teenaged copy. And it’s fucking good. DAMN. I’m still bummed I never saw U2 in the 80s or early 90s.

I’ve also listened to my iconic Make It Big by WHAM!, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, Joshua Tree by U2, and The Dream of the Blue Turtles by Sting today. There’s something incredibly chill about putting an album on, and committing to being present enough to turn the album over when a side ends. I forgot how it feels to hear the sound of the turnable arm lift, that little scratch of the needle picking up, and the whole thing retracting and coming to rest. It’s a moment to take it in.

“Here. What are you feeling in your body now that you listened to those songs?”

Music has been the method by which I moved through some of the greatest pain and deepest joy of my life. Music has sometimes given me words to explain my feelings that nothing else could. Music has given me a container to hold myself in, a velvety hug when everything else made no sense.

Bring yourself to your music today. Hold yourself in your music and let it help you find your center.

It always works for me.


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