I can't sing. At all. I also can't play an instrument. After quitting gymnastics I took piano lessons for, like, three whole weeks before deciding I was going to learn to play the guitar instead. Never did learn to play the guitar. I think a brief stint snowboarding caught my attention shortly thereafter. Perhaps that's why musicians fascinate me. I am in awe of anyone that can create a tune that dances in my head long after the music stops. Not only the tune, but someone who can link words together. Like threading popcorn onto a string destined for Christmas tree stardom. Word after word... link 'em all together, hang that string on the tune and you've got yourself a song.
The Surge has arrived home from Nashville with a whole slew of songs. I heard the musical skeletons of some of them a while ago.. The skeletons have done gone and grown tendons, ligaments, flesh and blood. They are living, breathing songs! It's so exciting to hear the progression. Words on lined notebook paper, chords plucked on a guitar.. then he goes away, sometimes ironically to a studio called "The Magic Shop" and ABRACADABRA! He returns with these songs. Stories from his life. From my life, your life, from everyone's life.
There is nothing better than hearing a new song you love. It's a best friend that understands you. The song gets it. It knows how you're feeling. I'm the kind of girl who plays the same song over and over and over again. Musical medication. Not only does music medicate, it inspires, causes introspection, reflection.. A song can take you back to your youth like no picture can. It can bring a person from the past, gone fuzzy 'round the edges with the passage of time, into sharp focus. Suddenly you remember. Ever been drunk in a bar when a particular song leaps out of the jukebox and slaps you in the face? Suddenly, you're standing out in the frigid winter night, finger jammed in one ear, cell phone in the other as you drunk dial the person with whom you shared that song? Yes. You have.
I'm continually amazed by these two brothers from a working class Pennsylvania town. The boys who dressed like the guys from Kiss, substituting ketchup for blood, boys who taught themselves to play the guitar, boys who played in a garage band with their high school buddies for years before starting their own band. The brothers who, despite fights, distance, crazy girlfriends and poverty managed to stick with each other for a decade - through circumstances that would have driven anybody else insane. And here they are... still playing. Still touring. For one reason... because they love it. The music.
During the long distance portion of our courtship, The Surge asked me what album he could buy that would best reflect me, my personality. He wanted to listen to the album and learn more about me through the songs he knew I loved. Under my instruction he promptly bought Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That album was me. It was my summer of 2004. I listened to it so much, so hard that I had to go buy another copy.
I asked The Surge which album I should buy that best reflects him. (if you, gentle reader, fell in love tomorrow, which album would you tell someone to buy that best reflects you?) And so, one hot Sunday in August Max and I drove into the Utah mountains listening to Springsteen's Darkness On The Edge of Town. I listened hard. And I understood. Fell deeper in love. We had conversations through the music we loved, my husband and I. Had he told me to go buy Nickelback or Matchbox 20 and said "this is me" I don't know that I'd have married him.
The Surge grew up listening to Springsteen. Probably dreamed of being Springsteen. I think Springsteen has a lot to do with why The Surge is such a great songwriter. Someone posted this video on the Marah message board. Although I've heard stories, I've never seen the video. Imagine growing up to play on stage with your idol. S'like Mark Twain getting a kick outta me and inviting me to read one of my chapters at a book signing of his at Barnes & Noble... which would never happen for a million and one reasons, not the least of which is the fact he's dead and Twain probably wouldn't be a Barnes & Noble kinda guy. Regardless, I love this video.