For every relationship, both failed and successful, there's a song that reminds you of that special (or not-so-special) person whenever it plays. Not to be used with the more cliched "our song," which is picked by both parties and can, most of the time, be repeated out loud with some pride. For the first installment of our new column about the songs that shape our lives, Rocks Off asked a few local musicians for a tune they associate with a past or present lover. Chris Wise, Buxton The Mountain Goats, "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton":
"When you punish a person for dreaming his dream Don't expect him to thank you or forgive you The Best Ever Death Metal Band out of Denton will in time both outpace and outlive you. Hail Satan, Hail Satan tonight Hail Satan, Hail, Hail."
I was introduced to "indie" music early in high school, and I did not find it on my own. Instead I was introduced through the heaviest, meanest infatuation that has ever dwelled in my mind, and her name was Kristie. Kristie liked to wear black, but not in a death-metal way and that truly confused me. We got to know each other and in turn she introduced me to this band called The Mountain Goats. Seeing as how System of a Down ruled my life, this really kinda fucked with my head. How could something sound so bad and so good at the same time? Why does he sing like that? I cannot tell you if I truly loved the music or if I was just holding on to the one thing I could force myself to have in common with her. But I do know that this song reminds me of the heavy heartbreak induced by this girl, who I eventually grew to hate. Hail Satan indeed. Find It: All Hail West Texas (Emperor Jones, 2002) Carlos Andres, On My Side Blue Scholars, "Life and Debt":
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"And I love how you don't like art without a message. I love it how you call some fellas on they fetish. Third world sister, never sacrificing substance for style, but stylish with a golden type smile. I love it how you organize with other strong sisters. Love it how you talk about tearing down the system.
Like a soldier, my dialectical reflection, yes is the answer to your question." From day one, it was like we were on the same brainwave. From music, to the things that we believed, the ones that made our hearts race and our faces turn away. It was insane how many things we had in common and how everything just... worked. Find It: Blue Scholars (Massline, 2006) Chris Applegate, Mechanical Boy Dismemberment Plan, "The Other Side":
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"If we don't keep moving on that last hill, we'll never know what's on the other side."
It is safe for me to say that I have found the love of my life. Reality seems to glow now more than ever. Problems I touted in the past disintegrate and uncertainty of the future once feared, I now embrace. However, as is often the case with life, things were not always so optimistic. And as is always the case with love, things were not, nor will ever be perfect. For longer than I'd like to admit, I watched this love from afar, witnessing both of our descents into unhappy, unsatisfying times, neither one of us realizing we were watching the other. After stepping up to each other, this clarity of purpose in my life became so obvious, but it never came easy. Taking the time to recognize this fact changed instability into permanence. The raw honesty of the observations pertaining to such realizations, laid out in breathtaking fashion, is what always drew me to "The Other Side." There are too many songs about perfect love, unfaltering happiness, and every other unattainable wish that we, as impressionable beings, long for each day of our existence. "The Other Side" reminds me that the true beauty of life lies in between those dreams, in the times where we are most aware of what is real. Those times are not always joyous, unfortunately. Such is life. But it is what we see in and take from those moments, be they pleasant or pained, that gives us the strength to push on and the ability to share our love completely with another. Find It: Change (Desoto, 2001)