Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Five Songs That Changed or Impacted My Life by L. Brown

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"10,000 Days (Wings Pt. 2)" by Tool This summer, I received a call from my sister. She told me that my mom fell from the top of a ladder, headfirst onto a concrete driveway below. She knew that my mom had been taken to a hospital, but she didn't know how she was doing, or even which one she was taken to. As I called from hospital to hospital, I prepared myself for them to tell me the worst. Finally, I found out where she was taken and called to find out how she was. They told me that she was alive, and then said the words I really didn't want to hear: "You need to get here soon." On the way, I knew I couldn't listen to this song. I had been in emergency mode, and I needed to know exactly what was going on before I would let myself feel anything about it. When I got to the hospital, I found out that the fall was very serious, but she would live. So as I left the hospital, I listened to "10,000 Days" so that I could break down. I knew that in the coming days, I would have to keep it together to help her recover, but for a little bit, it was okay to be upset by it.

2. "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and Johnny Cash. What can I say? The CD came out the year I graduated, but having grown up in a strict home, I certainly didn't hear it. It wasn't until I went to college and saw the video that I realized the full extent of the music scene I had been missing all those years. This is the song that welcomed me into adulthood and making my own music choices, for better or worse. Like everyone else, I was moved when Johnny Cash covered it, and I think both are excellent in their own right.

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3. "When I'm 64" by The Beatles My dad was a huge Beatles fanatic, and his most prized album was St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I remember that he would grab my mom and dance with her, or serenade her, such as it was, to this song. Sadly, he never made it to 64. It's a bittersweet song for me. I know it made my dad smile to sing it, but I wish he could have lived to see how 64 would have treated him.

4. "Baker Baker" by Tori Amos I actually lived this song, almost word for word. An early relationship of mine was breaking up, and my boyfriend was leaving me for someone else in Los Angeles. As the date of his trip approached, I convinced him to take a trip, but come back to me. The whole week he was gone, I had no idea whether he was actually going to return or not, or even whether I really wanted him to come back. I still can't listen without feeling a little helpless.

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5. "Epicentre" by VNV Nation For years, I had wanted to direct music videos. That was my dream job, and I spent my time coming up with a treatment for each song I heard. Except for this one. Although the rest of the ideas came easily, I never could come up with an idea for this song. I spent years trying to think of something that would work with the song. Because the character in the song is going through his own personal hell, I thought about what my version of hell would look like, and that's when it dawned on me. This song would be a modern version of Dante's Inferno, set in a department store. Although I never filmed this for my own amusement or became a music video director, it taught me that years of patience can pay off. Even now, when I listen, I can picture every scene in perfect detail, and on days when I'm not feeling particularly creative, I'll pop in this CD to listen to this song.

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