I’m now a whole six years into what was a sort of twelve-month “get yourself in order” exercise, and I’m still none the wiser. As results go, I’m pretty happy about it. Well, five years and a complicated hiatus anyway but never mind that.
I had no idea how I was going to mark this anniversary, as I had no plans for there to be an anniversary at all. The hosting period was supposed to expire, the place should have simply vanished and that would have been the end of it. that would have been the sensible “business” thing to do. But, as I’m neither business-minded nor sensible, I accidentally paid for part of the hosting last week and forked out the rest yesterday afternoon with a few hours to spare because I just got really sad about just letting five hundred pages of drivel just disappear. And getting really sad about it made me realise just why I did it in the first place – because music makes me really sad.
It doesn’t always, and it didn’t always. But it mostly does, and I seek it out. So why bother? What it is about the things that other people set to music that makes me sit here listening as I alternately attach or desperately try to remove my own memories, emotions and experiences from the words and sounds of people I have (mostly) never met or spoken with? And I’m no nearer sussing this out than I was at this point in 2010.
Elsewhere, I wrote that my own record collection is skewed towards a split of about 80% towards music that makes me sad. While this is true, it doesn’t paint a full picture. Records aren’t climate, they’re weather; they are random moments of unpredictability hidden within systems that seem fairly stable. Shiny Happy People is a great example – I bloody love this song, yet sometimes it triggers a deep memorial response that chokes me. There is no telling what’s going to happen. That for me is the hallmark of a great, long-lasting record. Something that takes hold from the start either by means fair or foul, and then grows up with you whether you want it to or not, soaking up whatever you put into it while you listen and then, at a much later random date, either gently coaxing you with honeyed reminiscence or spitting it in your eye. Songs, albums or artists that don’t do that are soon forgotten, no matter how much you think “this is great!” at the time.
So while 80% sad is a fair reflection on the state of what I choose to listen to, it can also be about 95% joy, and that’s why I put myself through it sometimes. Pink Moon may have Know, but it also has From the Morning. The Winding Sheet has Mockingbirds, but it also has Ten Feet Tall. Rollercoaster has Grace Cathedral Park, but it also has Grace Cathedral Park. It’s an emotional gamble sometimes, but that’s because it’s supposed to be.
What next then? I have no idea. Good. I’m not good at plans, and so hope instead to bounce around here, on Echoes and Dust and anywhere else that’ll put up with me for half a thousand words or so rather than repeating blurb for the sake of page hits. Here’s to the past, present and future of 6 Days From Tomorrow, if only to see if I can be bothered to make it to this time next year x