Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love Song

In case you haven't noticed by now, I'm a bit of a music fan.

I've been known to stop conversations mid-sentence if I happen to hear a favorite song of mine. The conversation can continue at any time; I've only got scant minutes to sing passionately along with the song. I staunchly defend my favorite music, despite what anyone else may think of it. I have a very active, if wholly irrational, crush on Buddy Holly. Seriously.

I recently had drinks with a friend of mine, and when he told me that he doesn't really pay attention to lyrics and that most of his music is in storage and he doesn't really miss it, I can proudly say that I didn't just get up and walk out right then and there. I do think I looked at him like he was insane and asked how he could function in the world while separated from his music, but at least I stayed on my barstool until the cocktails were gone.

Anyway, you also may have noticed that this particular music fan has been a little restless this winter. To satisfy said restlessness, I hopped a Southwest flight to L.A. today. I chose as my airplane book a tome I have wanted to read for a while now: Rob Sheffield's Love Is a Mix Tape. I heard about this book almost as soon as it was published last year, but I'm a kind of cheap (although apparently not cheap enough to do something financially and environmentally prudent like set foot into a library), so I waited for the paperback release.

I'm only on page 72, but Love Is a Mix Tape is exactly the kind of book that makes me so very happy. I have spent all 72 pages full of emotion and on the verge of tears... not only because poor Rob Sheffield lost the love of his life when his wife died unexpectedly in 1997 at age 31, but because Sheffield is a man who gets it. With all due respect to his wife, the love of this Rolling Stone writer's life may very well be music, and that is a love I completely understand. Sheffield benchmarks the major events of his life with music he was listening to at the time. In fact, often the music is the major event. Plus, he knows the value of a good (or even bad) mix tape.

At one point during his recollection of the early years of his relationship with his wife, Sheffield writes: "I realize it's frowned on to choose a mate based on something superficial like the music they love." He goes on to say how music served as a bond between him and his wife, but.... I'm sorry, Rob, "superficial"? Music? Virtually all of the most intense love affairs and crushes I've ever had began because the guy had a passion for music. Maybe that could well explain why I'm still single, but still. There is nothing superficial about the love of music. Please.

Even though I suspect I may actually cry at some point, I can't wait to continue reading this book.

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