Monday, April 14, 2008


My whole life has heavily revolved around music. I became obsessed at the ripe age of nine perhaps, when my friend, Tracie, and I discovered Duran Duran. From there I went through the crappy pop music phase (Nelson? Linear? Srsly) and the hair metal phase (first concert: Firehouse opening for Slaughter, which Tracie won tickets to and we went together) and the late setting in cornchip phase with Jennifer. Jennifer and I had a public access show on music (I kid you NOT) and we both wrote for a new defunct music magazine in the Quad Cities, OIL, the Music Magazine, and the Rock Island Argus.

There was a long time where I wanted to be a music journalist, and that dream died when I realized journalism would suck my soul away, and I decided I liked my soul.

But writing about music never stopped.

In fact, I have several works inspired by Stuart Davis, Elvis Costello, and tons of others. Music has always been so important to me.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was listening to 'Closing Time' by Leonard Cohen. I am a very late comer to Leonard Cohen. I discovered him by reading an entertainment magazine while I was waiting for my car's tires to get put on. There was an article about a movie that was made about him and his music and his influence, 'I'm Your Man' and the magazine reprented the lyrics. I read them and I had one of those moments where my breath was just snatched by the words to this song. I hadn't heard it ever, I was pretty sure I'd never heard Leonard Cohen sing before, but I was obsessed and had to hear that song. After I heard it, I was hooked.

How does this relate to my plays? There's this emotional experience I have when I hear certain songs: 'Closing Time', 'Lightning Crashes' by Live, 'Am I Wrong' by Love Spit Love, "The Luckiest' by Ben Folds, 'Back to Black' by Amy Winehouse, 'Half-Life' by Duncan Sheik, 'Slide Away' by Oasis...there's so many more, but there's an emotional reaction and experience I have when I hear these songs that I would love to translate into my writing. I want others to get that charge from my work that I get from a good song.

The funny thing is, if I do accomplish this, if I give a work I create an emotional charge that I feel I get from a song, how am I going to know if anyone else feels it, experiences it? I don't think I would ever know. And I don't think I should be bothered by it either. If I feel it, certainly others should be able to feel it. I just hope that's how it ends up.

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