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Loud Minded: An introduction to a loud mind

Music columnist William Schmitt on musical experiences and expectations

By William Schmitt | Jan. 24, 2013

Tags: Music

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Allow me a preamble: this column will cover very beautiful music. I am open to listening to any musical request. I will lend an ear to anyone, but I cannot promise I will like what I hear. I will do my damnedest to appreciate music.

I hope that you didn’t find this on the ground. I hope you picked it up with the intention of discovery, and I hope that I can deliver something new. You might be sitting in the Student Center, pretending to read intently while your phone whispers your name and prods your leg. You might have a choice between taking a picture of somebody strange or continuing to read.

I like music that produces emotion because those are the songs that were created with emotion. Emotion can be created, destroyed and transferred by words and gestures. You can feel the embers of rage dripping from a New York barbecue pit as El-P and Killer Mike feast on pork chops with the bass turned to 11. 

Similarly, you can taste the sour energy of Danny Brown as he screams something about Hannibal Lecter, rare treasures and condoms in the confines of a Detroit basement. Your soul is touched while listening to STRFKR and realizing: “This is the same fucking song in a different tempo and key, and I still like it!” No, there’s nothing quite like nervously laughing along to Sublime’s greatest hits album while shooting glances at your mother in the next room.

But this is no time for levity; this is the time for discovery. You should either be talking with someone about music or listening to music or both. You can learn most about a person from their taste in music. Music is the one joy that we can always find security and comfort in. Music won’t shout you down unless you wish, in which case, music can erase your surroundings and swaddle you in whatever you find comforting.

I discovered my love of music when I started listening to hip-hop on the regular around 14 years old, but I’ve been branching out. I grew up listening to The Beatles at home and alternative rock in the car. I discovered jazz and rap in middle school and set my roots down in high school. 

I’ve never found the words to describe how important music is to me, and there is no phrase that can capture the happiness I get when I listen music that reaches inside and touches me. “Elation,” “euphoria” and “joy,” are close but they can’t fully seal what I feel. 

Perhaps that is the beauty of music: it somehow makes sense and feels exactly right in a busy world where animals rush around pretending to be people.

As a conclusion, I have included some of the albums that I’ve been playing recently, which you can also keep up with on my Last.fm page (find me at flyingwill777), which has a host of features related to my musical tastes. I’m usually not a talkative person, so in case we never meet, this is the best way for you to learn about me. That said, if we ever run into each other, please, PLEASE talk with me about music.

I will be in my element, with sincerity and honesty radiating from every word. We can teach one another through musical recommendations and past experiences. For example, I might tell you about the time I went to a Wu-Tang show, and you can regale me with the story of your favorite concert. I don’t care what kind of music you like in the sense that I won’t hold it against you, but I also do care because of the importance I place on music. Thank you for reading.

Recently played:

J Dilla – Donuts

Real Estate – Reality

The Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

Common – Like Water for Chocolate

A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory

Trebles and Blues – The Blue Note

John Legend & The Roots – Wake Up!

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