Let’s say that you were to allocate me an hour with which I could entertain myself. Very little of this hour would be spent with music. If I were able to make a pie chart my preference of entertainment would be as follows:
Movies: 30 minutes
Reading: 20 minutes
TV: 4 minutes
Music: 1 minute
Obviously this doesn’t make any sense (who would watch 5 minutes of TV?) Consider it pro-rated across a week or month or whatever. But it is the best way for me to illustrate that music is not a medium of expression that I get and/or gets to me. For every one good song they play on the radio you have to suffer through 20 awful ones. And usually the same ratio proves true for songs on CDs you buy (Gob bless downloads).
I own about 10 CDs and I haven’t purchased one in about 5 years (a bunch of Dylan, a few Lyle Lovett, one Republic of Loose, Pete Yorn (Addendum: is Pete Yorn duetting with Scarlett Johansson for commerical appeal reverse-analogous to Mandy Moore marrying Ryan Adams for indie credibility?).
For about a year now I have had one CD in my car and that is pretty much all I listen to:
Failer by Kathleen Edwards
I have spoken in this space before about “knowing” the people portrayed in certain movies, well this is the exact opposite. The characters of whom Ms. Edwards sings are wholly unfamiliar and the type of women I would like to meet. Put it this way; when I first heard the album I put it on a loop and wrote a screenplay that could use it as a sound-track.
Hard-drinking, tough-talking losers. Think about how novel that is in this post-Buffy the Vampire Slayer world. Every cultural portrayal of a women is like some sort of Barbie fantasy. That women can, do and must have it all. But some don’t (men, too), some of us were meant to fail and/or compromise. Some of us are “thinking about drinking half-way through the day” or get knock-up by the boy who’s face is all over the six o’clock news or even (heart-breakingly) can’t skate backwards.
It was Halloween yesterday, do you realize how many girls came to my door dressed as Princess? At least with boys the costumes were equally distributed between superheroes (Spider-man) and civil servants (fire fighters). With the girls it is all Princesses. These girls would be well-served mixing a bit of Ms. Edwards with the Disney propaganda.
I feel like I have a lot more to say about this album (it’s great start to finish, with the exception of one song that may or may not be about a wolf) but again, I don’t have a grasp of the effects music has on me. Sufficed to say that if I had a forum (like this) in which I could talk to people (like you) about things that have impacted me–one of those things would be Failer by Kathleen Edwards.