“All My Friends will not make your coke habit more poetic.”
-LCD Soundsystem, Official Website
(bullshit it won’t).
That’s the thing about co-dependency, about anxiety and addiction, about living around the world: you’re always losing people, so many people, for so many reasons. But music soothes, and what’s more, music records — old playlists are better than any journal. When I hear a song that was on repeat during an emotionally resonant time, it takes me right back to not just the place and the people, but the feelings and sensations of being there; there’s an almost frightening immediacy to the emotions it evokes. Music is my diary.
We live in a magical time for this, a digital golden age unlike anything that preceded it, where music is always available, exactly as we want it, and never more than a moment away. My parents were good hippies and listened to good music, truly they did, but their relationship to it was more along the lines of buying the new Cat Stevens album and getting everyone together to share a joint and listen. There was a record-player plugged into the wall and there were crates of vinyl you carried about when you moved. It was something you did at home, there was a physicality to it, a degree of separation between music and life. It’s not the same.
My entire adult life has been set to a personalized soundtrack. Even the mundane becomes not a moment, but a scene, cinematic, infused with art and meaning and metaphor and beauty, and I pick the score myself, and it’s perfect. The memories aren’t just linked to songs, they’re linked to the right songs. That being said, far too often I’ve found myself scoring lonely, despairing scenes. It’s a powerful diary, all this music, and an excellent one, but the film I’m watching when I listen to it, for all its loveliness, all its emotional depth and richness, is ultimately very sad.
“…where are your friends tonight?”