Friday, January 7, 2011

Playlist of the Week: Audio Joy Pills

Joy.  When you're so happy, you need to punch something.  But in a good way.  Joy.

Ah, the enthusiasm and hope of the new year!  It's that inspiring combination of resolutions made and a clean slate that makes our desire for mission statements, climbing mountains, and picking fights with grizzly bears all the more feasible.  But much like the euphoria one feels with new love or the season premiere of Jersey Shore, the post-holiday reality inevitably sets in, expectations get lowered, and disappoint is likely to follow.

So how do we cope?  Well I--like many of you--partially cope through external self-medication.  But at least I do so in more positive ways now than before--though I'm sure that even "positive" is a relative term.  Where once were cigarettes, booze, fast food, and music there's now exercise, less booze, good food, and music.  Never being one to preach (about anything important, at least), I'll focus on the common denominator between the bad old days and the current slightly less bad new days.  I have used and will probably always use music as a means of self medication.  I spoke about this a bit in a previous entry, but while sad music will always be a strange and necessary bedfellow to one's own misery, there must be music that can provide that little jolt of joy.  Maybe not so much as some long term treatment of your view askew, but as a quick fix whenever we feel that hopeful feeling we've seized on beginning to dwindle.  

Consider those joyful songs we all have in our catalog like our own musical 5 Hour Energy.  They don't solve all our problems, but they help remind us how great solutions can feel so that we might persist in this pursuit of that which we cannot completely articulate but that we somehow know is good and right.  Audio catharsis. Stereo therapy.

On November 11th, I posted this as my Facebook status:
Just walked home from dinner, listening to my iPod and singing along at the top of my lungs to every word of "Stereo" by Pavement without a care in the world about anyone hearing or seeing me. And it's the happiest I've been in months. Amen. 
These are the songs that give me those little moments of reprieve I need.  They are my little audio joy pills.  You've got yours.  I've got mine.  And mine are probably/definitely better, but that's alright.  That's what I'm here for, remember?  Now keep that brand new 2011 enthusiasm going.  But don't be afraid to take a little boost here and there when you need it.

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