In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall


Isn’t music lovely? I love it. I especially love it when it moves me. There’s a lot of music I really enjoy, but music able to move me is rare. This is really a good thing because scarcity enhances value and I don’t want to have to really restrict what I listen to when I’m at work and in the car.

When 101.1 X‑FM was still on the air here in Ottawa, I was introduced to a lot of new bands who played a newer type of rock and really liked what I heard. The closing of the stations is still one of the many reasons I dislike Rogers so strongly. It was their station, and they replaced it with a country music station. Yea, thanks.

Everclear was one of the first bands I latched on to. I still really like their stuff though the band line-up has only one of the people who were in it back in the late ’90s.

I listened to their Songs From an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile last week and was shocked at how it resonated with me. Sometimes, things just fit together, and how I am feeling fits nicely with this album. Strangely, this first volume is loosely based on Art Alexakis’ (the band’s main songwriter) courtship with his wife. Volume two is about the messy divorce though there are already signs of it in the first volume.

Despite not courting anyone, marrying anyone, or divorcing anyone, there are snippets of lyrics that perfectly encapsulate how I feel. There are other snippets and entire songs that capture how I want to feel. And I love the music itself too, of course. What better combination is there, really? There’s one song from the album that I have a difficult time listening to because it hits a little too close to home. I was going to say this takes away from the album, but it really doesn’t. Just because a song generates strong emotion, it’s a bad thing? No.

Last week was a nexus of change for me, affecting many parts of my life. Some things are settled, some are not, but music helped me through all if it.

You say there is no perfect place, yes I know this is true
I’m just learning how to smile
That’s not easy to do

“Learning How to Smile”
Songs From an American Movie, Vol. 1

Album cover ©2000 Capitol Records, Inc.





1 Comment

  1. _Don

    Music is amazing. I listened to a lot leading up to, during, and after my wife’s and my separation. It helped me a lot.

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