My Beautiful Wickedness

A midnight reverie
April 14, 2007, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Dancing About Architecture (Talking about Music), Good to think

I just spent the last few minutes sitting here in the dark with my head thrown back, just letting my memories stream by, remembering all too well what it felt like to be young, the taste of lipstick kisses and the smell of hairspray mingled with beer and smoke. In my mind, I remember watching the raindrops cling to a car window while the short licks of white lines roll under the wheels on wet pavement. The night was warm and the wind was wild, the dress is a vintage number of cream shantung silk in a Jackie O style. The boy, well, he knows who he was. My heart pounded with the whole joy of it, the freedom one has before knowledge intrudes that these perfect nights of music and deep talk will be followed by others less overbrimming with cool.

The soundtrack that night was Marshall Crenshaw. I’ve written in other places about how much I love certain types of music and musicians, the soul-satisfaction that they produce in me, the way that they have preserved and sustained me in times when I could barely stand up. When I want to hear about love, when I want to think about love and losing love and growing up, when I want to sing along with love, when I want to remember these times long ago when everything was possible and on a good night, I knew every word to every song and danced every dance, I pull out my Marshall Crenshaw records. His musical sensibilities — the way he structures songs, thinks about melody and texture and instrumentation — come close to how I hear the world and I hear his “voice” even in his instrumental music. (Yeah, maybe that’s a little autistic, come to think of it, that things and colors and stuff create music in my head. One gets used to it.) Of course, he’s progressed and changed as an artist since his early work — if you have a chance to see him in an acoustic live show, by all means do so — but there remains that core of fundamental decency, honesty, and lyrical directness that I find very appealing. He longs for beauty. He’s wistful. He’s diverse. As I age, I’m not into his music so much as a nostalgic act (though the early songs bring back a ton of memories, all wearing skinny ties), but as a hopeful articulation that there’s transcendence to be found in the daily sacraments of life.

If you haven’t listened to him in a while, go to his Myspace page and cue up Television Light. What a good song.

This song captures a little bit of the happy anticipation I associate with his music. (For those of us who spend more time than healthy feeling blue, I’m grateful to whatever makes me feel light.):


1 Comment so far
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I’m not familiar with him. I’ll go check him out.

I love the idea of certain music creating the soundtrack of our lives. I’ll always associate Carole King’s Tapestry (I know. I’m old.) with yellow and the smell of poplar trees in the fall.

Comment by listmaker

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