all my friends

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 and sensitivity, about moving around the world — you’re always losing people, so many people, for so many reasons.  But no matter the situation, I’ve found if I can submerge myself in an ocean of loud music I can survive almost anything.  It soothes me, music, and what’s more, it records:  Old playlists are better than any diary.  When I hear a song that flooded my life during an emotionally resonant time, it takes me right back to not just the place, but the feelings and sensations of being there.  The immediacy of the emotions is almost frightening.

We live in a magical time for this, a digital golden age unlike anything that preceded it, where all the music ever made is literally in our pockets, available exactly when we want it.  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 soundtrack.  From the dramatic to the profound to the mundane the scenes line the shelves of my mind, cinematic, infused with art and meaning and metaphor, and I picked the score myself, and it’s perfect.  The memories aren’t just linked to songs, they’re linked to the right songs.  It’s incredible, all this activated potential, all the sensations of life on constant offer; truly, unspeakably gorgeous.  But the film I see when I listen, for all its loveliness, all its emotional depth and richness, is ultimately very sad.

“…where are your friends tonight?”

 

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