Arya’s Notes: Episode 18

Arya may be in India for a month, but he still wanted to weigh in on each of our topics, and let us know what he’s been up to. Here’s his notes for Episode 18: Friends & Rock Bands. Enjoy.

What did you get up to this week?

I’m in India.

On the flight from Seattle to London, I watched Argo, which was very very satisfying. It was interesting to watch it in the context of being on British Airways, which is the airline flown in the movie. There is also, spoiler alert, a crux of the plot which depends on landing papers being filed right, which is something I had to fill out on landing in London and in Mumbai. I also listened to Jake Bugg’s album, which was solid from start to finish. Kid’s a keeper. I also listened to Pet Shop Boys’ album Elysium — very chill as fuck. Dudes might be underrated in terms of the style they’ve set. The track “Ego Music” sounds a lot like a swipe at Bono in particular so if you’re a h8r crank that shit. I’m not but I still respect PSB.

On the flight from London to Mumbai I finally watched an episode of Girls called “Leave Me Alone”. Holy shit!!! Such a good show. The dialogue is so rich. Also watched an episode of Veep and that was pretty great too.

Since being in India I’ve finally started reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids — um, why did it take me so long? Everything happens when it’s sposta. I borrowed this book like over a year ago but I’m really glad I’m reading it now in the place where i am. Absolutely required reading for anybody who wants to lead a creative life, whatever form that may take. I’m also finally reading the 33 1/3 about The Kink’s We Are The Village Green Preservation Society.
How much does our taste in music affect the relationships we have with friends and partners?

I’d hesitate to put a number on it but I would be comfortable with saying “a lot”

Is there any problem to be found in trying to establish a relationship, romantic or otherwise, with someone because of a common thread in enjoyment of music?

I don’t think there is a problem with this. To me, music represents a universal human equalizer. What ever else you may not have in common with somebody, be it politics, spirituality, or sports, surely you can find some music you can agree on. Obviously I’ve been working in the music business in one form or another for over a decade now so discussion of it permeates most functions of my life and knowledge of its history and current events fuels my conversations with people who share simliar sentiments. I’ve made some of the best and closest friends I have because of music, and that was true before I started working in music too.

First day of freshman year of high school the kid across the aisle from me is wearing an Abbey Road shirt – I compliment him on it, we engage, we team up for one of the first projects of the year and go on to be friends throughout high school, being locker partners sophomore and senior year. Today, Nick Winterfeld is my closest and dearest friend, my vault for all that I think and do. We cast no judgments on each other and share one of the most rewarding friendships of our lives. Music is still a part of our interaction, we have shared Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and others with each other as well as newer artists like Kyle Riabko, Paolo Nutini, Cut Copy, Chris Koza and others.

Similiarly two more of my closest friends, Joey Gerber and Nilina Mason-Campbell, were people I met at shows in Portland in 2007. Our friendships were forged in the fires of music appreciation and survive today through the continued aesthetic discussion of music and other arts, including the art of living. Nilina and Joey are among my most rewarding friendships as well, and we are bedrocks of support and fountains of encouragement and unconditional love for each other. My deep and powerful friendships with Nick, Joey and Nilina are relationships that began with a spark of common interest in music and have grown to much more. They have grown to the point, really, where music is only a small fraction of what we talk about anymore!

There are many many more names I could mention of people I’ve become close to through music, including you guys. Perhaps even more than not being able to imagine my life without music, I truly can’t imagine my life without the friends I’ve made because of music.

The flip side of forging friendships on music is when they fail, when the center can not hold, and things fall apart. You may draw associations forever because of what you shared with somebody and it may not always leave you feeling like a fresh rose. I’ve known people who can’t listen to Van Morrison because of their first marriages. I choose not to listen to Pink Floyd because of my first real heartbreak.

Conversely, is it wrong to avoid that relationship because of a large difference in these tastes?

You can tell a lot about a person by their tastes in the arts. You can’t tell everything, but you can tell a lot. The fact that 3 Doors Down performed at the Republican National Convention last year says perhaps as much about their regrettable mentality as it does about the Republicans. However, Ray Charles performed at the 1984 Republican Convention so one must never assume that all will be a go because you agree with somebody’s tastes. As with most things, there is no hard and fast standard, no litmus test that should be applied to burgeoning relationships based on taste; these things are to be explored for other reasons too, whether it be conversation skills, world out look, or the intangible general affect of how you feel around them. If you meet a beautiful person who makes you feel good, and the last song they bought was “barbie girl” and the last song you bought was “aqualung” it could prove well worth it to still strive forward past this, for you may find new common interests together and that can make all the difference.

I’m Arya Imig.

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