The River's Badge

Friday, October 2, 2015

Why Do We Like What We Like?

It might have started in the womb. Maybe it's life experience. I'm skeptical.

Why do we like the kind of music we like?

I think it's just a click - click on, click off - but mostly on. Our brain synapses zzzt on something and they we are - hooked.

I'm a rather eclectic music lover. I love lots of things, and I don't know why. I love big bands, and I surely wasn't around during their heyday. I love sixties rock because, yea, I was around then. I'm not completely in love with sixties rock, though; maybe because it's too familiar. I used to love it, but now I say I love it because - well, that's what I'm supposed to say.

But the topic of why we pick what we pick fascinates me. I should have been some kind of scientist, or at least a sociologist, but I have no discipline or ambition. Really, I have neither. I just like to "wonder" about things.

I like to play the game (sometimes) that if I was suddenly catapulted onto a stage with a live band, what songs would I sing? Well, first of all, as a known failed singer, I would gravitate toward something that was within my vocal range. I would also lean on the songs that are waaaay familiar - you know, like something by Merle Haggard, or any three-chord song from the sixth decade of country music - again because I am lazy and insecure.

But say my voice could magically wrap around any song.

I believe I would choose something like this:


Or:


I'm a sucker for those classic songs - maybe I'm just old, or maybe my taste has improved with age. When I was a kid and Sinatra would flick onto the TV screen, I would stomp away. My dad wasn't a Sinatra fan, either, so I took my cues from him. One has to become old before they appreciate Sinatra, maybe. But I watched this movie - "The Joker Is Wild" - on my portable black and white TV and I folded that memory inside my skull - it was a sad, melodramatic movie, trust me - but kids gravitate toward melodramatic things - emotions that are "out there" - because our brains aren't fully formed and we have to be hit over the head with stuff before it registers.

On the flip side, maybe I would sing songs like this:


Because that would just be fun.

I suppose I could channel Mike Love, because this is a song that I will fold into my heart forever. I even, at ten years old, wrote alternative lyrics for this song, because girls couldn't sing about "California Girls". So I titled mine, "English Boys" (I was heavily into the Beatles then,)


But honestly, I'd probably just do this one:


And no, he doesn't say "pickles in my head", but I'd probably sing that, just for fun. And everybody would get it. Because that's what everyone hears.

Yea, Dwight. I mean, if I'm going to spend my teeny vocals on one song, this would be the one.

But I'm open to requests.










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