What music do you listen to when you are happy? Sad? Working out? Driving? Dancing? We all have our favourites. Different music for different emotions. Different music for different activities.
To me music has always been an important aspect of my life. In high school I was always found with headphones on my ears, or the very least around my neck. This is what inspired my headphones I have tattooed on my back. Since attending my first concert back in my early pre-teen years, I’ve lost track of the amount of concerts I have attended. Somewhere around 100 or so, I just stopped counting. Going out to see a band play live is my favourite thing to do. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good music festival with some good friends. When my favourite band takes the stage, the music takes over and I can’t help but lose control of my body and my emotions. Depending on the band, I either dance, cry or go into an all out singalong.
When I was preparing for my road trip across Canada, I was told by numerous people to make sure I don’t listen to too many sad songs. But I am an emo kid at heart. And the sad songs are always my favourite kind. And I enjoy a good sad song when I am sad, it makes me feel like I am not alone in my sadness.
Luckily for me I have great friends, with great music taste. Two friends of mine were nice enough to make me USB sticks full of great music for my drive. And one even specified the exact moments to listen to specific bands. And he was right. If you are ever driving through the mountains, I suggest throwing on some Junip, or Fear of Men. They are the perfect mountain music. It’s amazing how Dan knew that.
I started thinking about how music affects your mood. I have never found that listening to happy music when I’m sad helps. I have always been a sad music in sad times kind of person. But the funny thing was, I started my drive with sad music and as I drove across Canada my music turned more into anthems. I started each day with Death Can for Cutie’s ‘You are a Tourist’, because for me the lyrics are one that hit close to home. ‘If you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born then its time to go & define your destination, there’s so many different places to call home’. As the days went on, I listened to one of my favourite bands, Stars. Their music had a way of making me feel like I was strong enough to make this journey across Canada and be on my own. Something about a lyric that says ‘take the weakest thing in you, and then beat the bastards with it’, that just makes you feel like your weakness can be turned into a strength.
So maybe I didn’t listen to the typical road trip music. Life is a highway, but I didn’t need it sung to me. I needed my favourite bands, to comfort me and bring me strength. And I needed to find new music, provided by friends, to remember the bonds I share with people. Music brings people together, you get to know others through music. And you get to know yourself. The drive may have been a strengthening journey, but without a soundtrack to guide me, I’m not sure it would’ve had the same affect.
Nietzsche was right, without music, life would be a mistake. Music is magical. It’s mystical and healing powers are hard to explain. And it will always be a huge part of my life. It will always be the only constant that keeps me comforted and feeling like myself. So as I put my favourite record on today, I remember that drive and the way the music acted as my passenger. I was never truly alone, I had some great musicians joining me on my journey.