I already know this post isn’t going to win me any new friends. No one really likes a music critic.
But as a former serious aspiring musician, singer and songwriter, it just feels like it needs to be said – somewhere, by someone – that music really should come with warning labels (or at least a healthy disclaimer or two).
A few days ago I was in one of my favorite thrift stores. I was shopping around to see what I could find that would keep me warm in the Antarctica that my normally tropical city had suddenly become.
As I browsed through gently used turtlenecks, wool sweaters and endless reams of flannel, I was at the same time listening to a steady selection of the sort of hopeless, heart-wrenching lovesick ballads I honestly haven’t heard since my own songwriting days.
Then all of a sudden, right there in the middle of the store, my heart started to hurt.
And when I say hurt, I don’t just mean my eyes began to tear up or I suddenly wondered if I had forgotten to take my anti-depressant that morning. I mean it actually started to HURT. I felt physical pain in the general vicinity of my upper left chest, right in between my left collar bone and my left boob – and we all know which vital organ makes its home there.
If you’ve ever stuck a power cord in an electrical outlet and see a brief spark of electricity fly out, that is about how it felt. My heart was ping! ping! pinging! these little sparks along with the beats of the songs.