chapter ii

chapter ii


While in the pursuit of trivia...

Some people grow up in really musical environments. Mary Claire's mom for instance majored in music (an appreciation we appreciated ourselves while in college when iTunes purchases were seen as basic necessities) and didn't think it a strange request for a 12 year old to want a set of bag pipes for her birthday.

Then there are those parents who have the phenomenal music collections, stories from concerts from a different day, and occupy the homes of fun late night gatherings where people dance loosely or tap their feet to the sounds of old classic musicians played through speakers placed around the house and patio. These people most always have patios and good lighting; Christmas lights year round.

Just a couple of weeks ago in Colorado I had never been more on the edge of my seat listening to a story as Bon Iver and The National loomed in and out in harmony with the crackles of an authentic (not flip the switch gas) fire in the fireplace.
And Johnny's brother Tom, in addition to playing the piano flawlessly by ear which I forgot to mention Mary Claire's mom can do also, can basically make an iPod play through an oven and flashlight, I mean I think it's just an iTrip but it seems like McGiver style magic.

And people play different roles in the whole music scene. Some people are seekers, others receivers. There are editors and sharers. The snobs and historians. Then there are people who you would swear must be joking when they say they can hear.

And it's multi-purpose. Growing up (not that I have stopped) my parents didn't lay claim to a towering collection of music, nor do I think they spent much time in the concert my dad spent summers teaching horseback riding
rather than taking trips without leaving the backseat of a van...and my mom as the oldest of 5 had to have started early to develop senses as keen as McGruff's.
(trust me, she knew this was happening.)

Music was a common reward for all A's or I guess "E's" it was, for Excellence in subjects like reading in elementary school. And it played on our back porch when people came for dinner or my dad grilled, but not with any specificity as to what song would come next.

But a couple of weeks ago I found my parents watching that "Rain" tribute to the Beatles special (on HBO or Showtime can't remember which) and I was a little bit amused to find out that they actually both really love the Beatles. Obviously not a love strong enough to develop that obsession Beatles fans tend to catch but one attached to a time in history where music became an example of something bigger. It was funny to hear their separate memories of the same band. To my dad, they were the band to break the rules for, being that it would have been his parent's nightmare to have a hippy, free spirit type son. While my mom was on a different track hula hooping to the tunes freely playing throughout their house. I think they were like 10ish. And while it seems so innocent and nostalgic now, it was such a big deal then. Revolutionary is the word I would use if I weren't self consciously paranoid about being cliche when trying to write about music at all.

Anyway, I guess all this thinking came from the basic question that I was wondering the other day which was why The Beatles were called "The Beatles." From a quick Google I could simply report that apparently they were big fans of Buddy Holly and The Crickets specifically appreciative of the double meaning of their name. (The bug and the game.) Sooo, when they changed the spelling of their band from "Beetles" to "Beatles" people have deduced they were working on a double meaning themselves. On the one hand you have a bug while on the other you have beats. And I think what I liked about that trivial piece of information, aside from word play, is how much it mimics the larger role of music. It can have double meaning lyrically, and millions of meanings subjectively. People can have whatever relationship to it and use it however they please. It can make or break a film, a room, a party, a boat ride, a roadtrip, the weather, an attitude, your outlook. And as per our philosophy, it's basically a marshmallow, it's what you do with it that counts.

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