Sunday, November 24, 2013

For the love of music


















   There is something about music that touches all of us-at least everyone who can hear. I wonder if songs play in the minds of the deaf but they don't know how to express the melody. I believe Beethoven was deaf, but I'm not sure if he was born that way or if it came upon him later on in life. I guess I should research that. Whether you're riding in an elevator and having Musak piped in or shopping in your favorite department store during the Christmas season and listening to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for the four hundredth time, we're surrounded by music. If I may, I would like to give a word of advice to retailers all over the country. Stop trying to sell Christmas before Halloween is even here. Remember that your customers have already heard the country rendition, the rap rendition, the new age rendition and the original rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing more times than they care to ever hear again in their natural lives, long before they ever step foot in your store.If you want to play music during the holidays, try playing something that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. You might find your sales exploding.  We're all well versed in knowing that Santa Claus is Coming to Town, someone has Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire and Bing Crosby is dreaming of a White Christmas. By December 25th, Santa runs the risk of being shot out of the air by angry duck hunters, the chestnuts are burned to crispy carbon marbles and hopefully Bing, who has been dead for a number of years, isn't residing where snow would bring some small relief from the eternal fires. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.  So, as you can see, music has the ability to be a blessing or a curse. The folks in Hollywood discovered some years ago that it could be used to produce the desired effects during a movie. If the hero of the ninety minute movie dies, the sad music cues and you can see folks wiping their eyes. When the scene is one of danger or suspense the scary music builds to a crescendo and the hair on your neck starts to stand on end before the final act of terror ever occurs. I don't think having Enya play in the back round would have the desired affect in, say, the scene from jaws right before the shark attacks. How often have you heard a melody and your mind goes back to a pleasant time in your life when that particular song was playing? We want to recapture whatever the good feeling was and somehow music helps us do that. The good folks at Apple computers know this and have done quite a booming business making countless downloads available of almost every song imaginable. Jan bought me an I pod last year for Christmas and I've thoroughly enjoyed it.  I can download stuff that I listened to when I was a teen, like the Moody Blues, theme songs from favorite movies like The English Patient and even stuff from a skit from Saturday Night Live when Michael Bolton was a guest and portrayed himself as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I have to admit, I even loved the song from the Geico commercial when the little gecko was down in Texas dancing on top of the bar. I liked it so much that I tracked it down and found out it was called Central Daylight Time by a group named The Wrinkle Neck Mules. I wasn't alone in my search for that song. There were a lot of folks who inquired about it. Frankly, I think if the folks who produce the commercials think they have a winner, they need to put the name of the artist at the bottom of the screen so that interested customers don't have to work so hard to track them down. Do you remember the commercial with the dog who had a bone who couldn't rest for fear that something would happen to it until he ended up insuring it with Travelers Insurance and was able to find peace with it buried in his back yard? The song, Trouble was playing during the whole commercial. The singer was Ray Lamontaigne and I don't doubt that his popularity soared after that commercial debuted. I know I ended up with a couple of his CD's. Obviously the executives at the insurance companies know good music when they hear it. Music most certainly affects how we drive. No doubt if you're on a long stretch of empty highway you could probably get away with some loud, head banging music. For some reason the foot hovering over the gas pedal automatically gets heavier. However, if you're stuck in traffic in someplace like L. A. it's probably not a good idea. I also am not a big fan of really bouncy music when I'm in the car and have to pee and the closest bathroom is miles away. Even with the radio off at such a time, the loud suspense music in my head starts to rise and the apprehension builds- will he make it? Is there a rest stop around the corner? Oh, I can't bear to look.  At times like that a little Bach might be appreciated. Music to calm the savage beast or the savage bladder. One thing is certain, as the holiday season approaches, you won't hear any rendition of Up on the Rooftop, Click Click Click, down through the chimney comes Ol' St. Nick playing on my car radio.

8 comments:

  1. Like the blog dad! I love listening to music and really enjoy a lot of soundtracks. And the deaf community tends to listen to songs that have a heavy beat, and a lot of bass. They can feel the music that way.

    ~Autumn~

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  2. Hi Autumn- Oh good, I'm glad to know that they have some means of enjoying it. It would be awful to be unable to enjoy something that brings so much pleasure. The nice part, if there is one is that you wouldn't have to listen to obnoxious people or music that you hated coming from your neighbors.

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  3. So, is that why the houses on either side of you are empty? Playing that Yani a little too loud? ;)

    Autumn

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  4. No, no I think not. It might have something to do with my love of chile and prunes

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  5. A while back I was listening to a CD that you had made for me. The CD has a variety of music on it including some songs from The Last of the Mohicans. I think we were eating dinner when we were listening to the CD, one of the good songs ended then a country sounding song came on, Noah jumped up from his chair and turned off the music, I asked him why he did that and he told me that that song was inappropriate. BHAHAHAHAHAH. Good blog dad.

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  6. Inappropriate? How would he know what is inappropriate? I bet it was the song from the Wrinkle Neck Mules- Central Daylight Time- the song that the little Geico gecko was dancing to on the bartop in Texas. Love that song. I'm getting ready to send you some videos. Tell Noah if any of them are inappropriate that he better leave the room!

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  7. Had no clue on that on one, Tom. Had to look it up. Fun song.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNECmUlnjjM
    TDH

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  8. Hi Terry-
    yeah it is a fun song. I downloaded it to my laptop when I was waiting for the PC to arrive and it won't transfer over, so I've got to make a CD I guess so it will copy to I tunes.

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