The Musical Cocktail

The Musical Cocktail


Originally written for The New York Times’ ‘Modern Love’ section and titled ‘Modern Love for the Modern (Music) Hipster’. I’m a pussy, whatever, fuck off :/…


Dated: From March, 2016


I (pretend to?) like music =D.


A lot of people claim to listen to all different types of music, but I find this to rarely be the case X//. Once pressured, this person may either give a generic rundown of artists in the same general genre or else accidentally avoid answering the question entirely! And excluding my always subconscious ignorance to the fact that I may be guilty of this as well, in order to justify my next statement /> apparently, Metal isn’t even considered real music by many people (bitches) :’(. Listening to all types of music is a lot like moving on from your first true love *TheTruest #BelieveMe: you’ll never forget it, you’ll always be looking for a replacement, and it’s only long after the fact that you realize you’ve had like, a billion replacements (a different song for every important day in your life <3), but only because you have ADD out the ass, there is no One ‘greatest song’ possible in existence #MetaphorForThat’FirstLove’CrapJustMentioned, and you realized several years ago that ‘Friends’ was totally full of shit-


People sometimes tell me that going from Talib Kweli to Jack Johnson to Meshuggah to Taylor Swift to The Bad Plus’ cover of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ could be considered the attempted emotional equivalent of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie made only-for-MTV and aired exclusively in working-class conservative areas. It takes a special kind of ‘depression’ to understand this ‘musical cocktail’ as I like to call it, one depended on the fact that all genres, relationships, songs and people are emotional equals, though a depression that you don’t necessarily need to in order to ‘get’ it (you could just not be a dick, for example). For the sake of learning from others’ mistakes and experiences, as well as attempting to help myself to grow the fuck up in the process #IListenedToWayTooMuchBlink-182AndEminemAsAKid(A), I’ll reluctantly detail how I’ve gotten here. Fair warning-pun intended: you’ve been warned.


I first met Jane the night before my first day of 12th grade. I had a group of friends with whom I partied quite frequently, and she ended up at this one because one of her friends was dating one of mine. I’d never had a girlfriend or any type of romantic exploitation before Jane, always thought it was stupid, still do. I played guitar in, and wrote for, some ‘rock band’ and I was obsessed with becoming a burned out rock-star who died of an overdose after he’d made the best record of all time at age #27 (!!!). This led some of my friends and family to fear for my maturity and sexuality by the time I’d turned 17 (compared to their male counterparts, for whatever reason, there seem to be very few pictures of female rock stars to hang on my walls), but I didn’t care. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I liked #WhiplashMovie(WatchIt). I figured that if a girl existed out there who could make me forget about drugs, partying and Iron Maiden, she’d find me and I didn’t need to do any searching or caring on my part. I’d seen Titanic. High Fidelity had no true representation or connection of or to people like me XD. Fuck foreshadowing or any deliberate emotional deviations from fact.


We didn’t talk much on that first night, but another girl there had lost a bet and, as a result, had to lick my ingrown toenail or else get buck-naked in front of everyone, so when I walked into my music theory class the next day, on my first day of senior year, and saw Jane sitting in the back smiling at me, I knew I’d at least found a new friend. Over the course of the next several months, we ended up at the same parties talking, we hung out amongst friends and my band played a show at one of the ‘bigger’ venues in the Philly. It was my only year of high school in which I spent the majority of it not totally-depressed-as-shit on the couch watching ‘Seinfeld’ for four hours straight (alright, ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘Friends’ (or ‘Jersey Shore’), what-the-fuck-ever #GetOverIt :/).


On our senior trip to Disney World that April was where we ‘hit it off’ if you could say that (which I’m doing). I was listening to a lot of classic rock at the time (Hendrix, Aerosmith, Zeppelin, The Beatles, Slash’s Snakepit) and I must have slapped on Life is Beautiful by Sixx A.M. at least four times a day, every day I was down there (five days in total). When we came home, there was an obviously new ultra-inspired quality in the air whenever I was around her so, long story short, we ended up seeing Jason Segal’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall one night after I’d nonchalantly mentioned in class that I didn’t know anyone who was willing go with me (I hadn’t asked anyone). She volunteered and it was a great time, the first of many that summer after high school, before college, before ‘adulting’ is forced to happen, and ‘childing’ is rubbed into the background as if we have much of a choice when the world throws what it will at us.


Following that yet-another bout with accidental foreshadowing (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Jane and I hung out every day. To this day I remember every movie we saw, in theaters or elsewhere #Basements, every place we hung out at throughout that whole summer. It was a real story-book kind of thing, that summer, something I never thought was possible after having a three year-long period where I listened nothing but death metal and read A Clockwork Orange four times. We’d stay up all night watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and movies only one of us had seen, eating full bags of Smartfood popcorn in less than 20 minutes. At least three times a week, we’d take a long walk around the local state park and would finish the day with a session of the card game ‘Egyptian rat screw’. She always won because I fucking hate that game :;D. There literally wasn’t one day between the day when I asked her out close to the start of the summer (or: when I officially ‘asked her out’ (“… okay, so; hey! … So how do I ask you out?..”)) and September 1st where we didn’t hang out for most of the day. It was awesome.


Things got complicated once college started #Expected(OrSoIHear:/). We both went to schools in the city so we were still able to hang out a lot, but things were becoming different. I could never put my finger on why. Within the next three years, she’d up break up with me three times, only to come back after I inevitably started talking with her on Facebook and coaxed her into doing something she knew her heart was telling her she shouldn’t, as far as I could (or couldn’t) tell at the time. I stopped writing my own music and joined the band of one of my good friends, where we mostly just smoked pot and covered Megadeth songs for three hours straight, four nights a week (‘Skull Beneath the Skin’, ‘Five Magicks’, ‘Chosen Ones’, ‘My Last Words’, ‘Wake Up Dead’, you get the gist (early Megadeth)). I was in school for sound recording, which I got an associate’s degree in, but I hate recording (as opposed to playing). Just following Jane and I breaking up one of these times, I got very into Howard Stern and came to the conclusion that I’d be good at hosting a radio program, given my innate knowledge of all different types of music and my ability to banter with anyone about anything so long as being PC all the time wasn’t necessarily an absolute or irrefutable indication of deeper views or beliefs #It’s2016,Dude,That’sNeverTheCase=P. With a resume that clearly implied these things (which were, by no means, professional-sounding or realistic), I got offered an internship at a popular Philadelphia classic rock station. I turned it down because I was too heart-broken to think I’d actually be any good at it, or that I could put up with waking up so early three days a week…


(Dumbass :/-) One winter morning, when we were ‘on’, I woke up next to her and we both decided that we needed to figure some things out and that, in order to do that, we shouldn’t chill for a little bit. It was my idea and I stand by it. ‘If she doesn’t want to be with me, she should know that.’ I left feeling hopeful. She texted me forty minutes later asking if we could still talk on the phone and through texting. I was super-stoked J. I look back on that day now and think that maybe such an immediate steeped-in-positivity reaction on my part could have been what fucked me, or what’s still fucking me, but I dunno. I figure now that if there’s something wrong, there’s about a 99.9999 chance that it comes down to one thing: your ability to, or lack of responsibility in, grow(ing) up. Which may have something to do with expectations (moving on may suck, but we all have to do it at some point from something. Trust me when I say: the longer you put it off, the harder it is), but perhaps there’s a glance of something else buried somewhere deep in there, and a glance is all you need…


We talked every day throughout the next two weeks until she suddenly stopped responding. A few days later she told me that she found someone else, and that was it.


That was five years ago. I haven’t dated anyone else, haven’t tried, I was never good at talking to girls anyway (nervous bitch :/). I’ve since slept with one woman and it was complicated, and not something I thought serious at the time. I don’t have the money to move out of my parent’s house, I have a piling mound of medical bills to pay because my tax dollars are evidentially better spent locking up weed addicts for no rehab and telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies #Clearly #Priorities. I pass by her old place, past the state park, past my old high school, every single day on my way to work. I don’t blame her anymore, or at least I hope I don’t, but hope only goes so far… I still play guitar, but I’m not in a band anymore. I’ve rediscovered a love from my childhood in writing stories and I’ve written three novels, one a politically incorrect murder-mystery shit-fest revolving around what it really means to be hardcore, and two about ‘Jane’ (more or less (<I mean that =P)). Nothing gets my mind off her; nothing makes it easier when she pops in there. The newest Bowie record (*) is amazing (!), but even that can’t do the trick for more than forty-one minutes at a time, on a good day.


About three years ago, I listened to nothing but Radiohead for a year straight. Nothing but Radiohead (!) =O. Radiohead is probably one of the most self-deprecating acts out there. There can be a ton of hope in their message (*Post-Edit: “Different types of love are possible.” (“Desert Island Disk”, A Moon Shaped Pool <3), but it all depends on how you listen to it. Very few metalheads like Radiohead, for decent reasons (Metal and Radiohead are like, total emotional opposites if you didn’t know #WhatALoser #MusicHipster). Very few Radiohead fans like Death (band) or The Black Dahlia Murder or King Diamond (“Grandmaaaaaaaaa!!!!”), and very few King Diamond fans like Beyoncé or 2Pac or Lucinda Williams or Merle Haggard. People say your first love is the one you never get over, but what if that also means, for you personally, that you’ll never grow up? What if that means that you’ll never love again, that you’ll never find that new song or that when the new Radiohead album finally comes out, you won’t be able to truly listen to it, and that your ability to listen to anything just gradually deteriorates over time, turning into a drunken mush of lost opportunities, along with anything relating to your ability to be happy, or your ability to retain a general understanding of what that is (happiness)? And on the flip side, what if that means that escapism is the only way you can be happy? In a world where it seems like everyone else is trying to tell you what that is (escapism, love, Radiohead, true happiness), and is, meanwhile, subconsciously trying to blame you for their own faults, misunderstandings and ignorance regarding it, and their own unnoticed or nonexistent reactions to it and to their own long since neglected inabilities to forget their own beloved first loves /> if they don’t care, why the fuck should I?? X// :’d </3


I think it’s time I go check out the newest Revocation record (!!), preceded by a quick dose of ‘All Too Well’ #Red #Swifty #OhNoIFuckin’Didn’t. Then maybe some Biggie, some Rakim, hit the Les Misérables soundtrack for a half-hour or maybe Sweeney Todd (two hours, give or take), some JOHN COLTRANE, a little Dizzy Gillespie, Zeppelin, a Patsy Cline or a Sinatra song or twenty, some MOZART or BEETHOVEN or STRAVINSKY. The New Deal is pretty good. So is Mutoid Man. I’ve been really into J. Cole recently, and Kendrick and Big Pun of course (this is getting to be a bit of an exaggeration), and Bowie, Tool, Converge, Squarepusher, Nas, Bad Religion, Mastodon, Neil Young, Sigur Ros, The Mahvishnu Orchaestra, Miles Davis (any era), Immortal Technique, Local Natives, The Police, Pat Metheny (Pat Metheny), THE FLAMING LIPS, Peter Tosh, Behemoth, Sublime, Diabolic, Adele, The Beatles, P-Funk, Descendants, NEUROSIS!!!!, R.E.M., Fleet Foxes, As Tall as Lions…


Yea all right, I’ll care (fuck off =P) :)