Friday, May 18, 2012

I wish I loved Cat Stevens as much as I did when I was 13

At some point I used to listen to Cat Stevens. And his songs filled me up with happy feelings. I associated them with afternoons in middle school when I would sit with my best friend (we would make an unsuccessful foray into boyfriend-girlfriend hood a couple of years after this) and sing Beatles and Cat Stevens songs. He made me a mixed tape with Tea for the Tillerman and a couple of songs of Sheryl Crow. She hadn't hit her beach bum stage yet. One of our long standing discussions was why we didn't know of more famous female rock stars, feminist before we had learnt the vocabulary.

Soon after I turned 18 my friend died. I don't listen to Cat Stevens very much any more. At first it hurt too much because of memories of a best friend and high school boyfriend. And later he stopped making sense. The sweetness of his music no longer related very well to the somewhat more chaotic and bewildering turn that my life was taking. I discovered the Postal Service, where every song was deep and meaningful. Death Cab for Cutie, who have written an accompaniment to every kind of heartbreak.

And now I wish I could go back to having the kind of relationship I used to have with the music I listened to.  I wish I wasn't listening to Adele and singing along in her anger and rage, but just listening to her because her songs are fun. This isn't because my life is all longing, tears, heartbreak or rage. Far from it. But for some reason the music I listen to is. I am going to set about fixing this. I don't see myself going back to my Simon and Garfunkel days, but perhaps there is hope beyond this current swamp of moody indie dominated stuff.

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