The Good Life

Metaphors Galore
Metaphors Galore

I haven’t listened to Weezer, consciously, in quite some time. I went through a phase where I had to listen to Pinkerton once a day, and had almost all of lyrics (that I could make out) memorized. I would sit in my office (when I worked at the Museum), listen to Pinkerton all the way through, let out a life-long sigh, and get to work.

It was actually kind of terrible; there were a lot of days where I would just start crying before I got to the end.

It’s strange the kinds of relationships we build with albums. Since those cube-dwelling, working-days, my music-listening habits have transformed so drastically, that the only time I sit down to listen to albums anymore is when I actually pull out a record, lift the needle, etc. (And this is generally a fairly social occasion, with other people around.) The i-ification of our music listening habits (through shuffle and random features being prominent in the Apple-dominated world of music listening) has de-centered the album and returned music to the pre-Beatles world of The Single. Songs, Earl-forbid, have taken prominence again, and while I miss the album quite a bit (and still cling to the belief that it will return as a form), I have to admit that the next generation of music fans that have come after me are not as attached to 45 minutes of listening as they are to three minutes. Sad, but true.

Nonetheless, I have faith in the album as something that has an unbreakable hold, at least on this listener: while I was getting ready for school this morning, I shuffled my way through a half dozen songs until “Falling For You” came up. I had to stop, suddenly; I unconsciously began to mouth the words, and my skin began to crawl with the chord progressions. The hours and hours I spent listening to this album had practically become muscle memory, but even worse, everything embedded in listening to that record came back to me in a wash of huge, tangled, complicated, and frustrating emotions that I wasn’t exactly sure how to purge.

The solution was simple: I had to stop the shuffle, and put the album on from start to finish, the way it was meant to be heard. It wasn’t easy; chance is a bitch, and it just so happens that a lot of what I was trying to sort out then has come back to haunt me, now. “The Good Life” has never meant more; “No Other One” & “Tired Of Sex” not only sound just as good as I remember, but it’s weird to think that I still quote lines from these songs in everyday interactions. This record has become part of my DNA, and if I give blood, I imagine anyone who receives it will probably get Pinkerton as part of the package deal.

I just wish, for my own sake, that I didn’t need it so bad anymore.

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