Have you ever listened to a song, for decades perhaps, and it never rang true, it never connected, until one day you sing it, and it clicks.
Today was that day. I got the song stuck in my head, maybe because I saw the vinyl record laying out of the stack from my last analog session. So when I put on Nimrod by Green Day, and finally got to track number four, I started singing:
Now I cannot speak, I lost my voice
I’m speechless and redundant
‘Cause I love you’s not enough
I’m lost for words
I’m looking at my puppy and she’s going her thing. And in that moment, the poetry transmuted the meaning of redundancy. I think the artist tried to convey that he’s giving up in this song, but my interpretation of it now as of this morning, as I sang to Rosa, my miniature German Sheppard is that the consistency and day-to-day involves saying “I love you,” is not enough. There’s revelry in the silence. “I’m lost for words.”
Perhaps historical music keeps us engaged by challenging our growth and interpretations of meaning. The song is the same as it was written in 1997, however, 25 years later, I am a different person. So my relationship to music, a piece forever framed in a place, in time, in history, and in my heart, paradoxically evolves.
As a product of being raised in Miami from the 80’s til now, commitment and consistency are not values I grew up cherishing as they are not heavily heralded by Miami’s local culture. The only commitment is to ourselves. The only consistency is the persistent tidal wave of new venues, new scenes, and new people.
So I am really relishing the growth in myself, as evidenced in my new-found interpretations of music, valuing commitment and the day-to-day. Redundant is typically a negative connotation. But I think there’s beauty in redundancy. Perhaps the appreciation of redundancy, or call it habits, consistency, repetition, is the true turning stone of adulthood, or maturity. Maybe Miami is really immature. And I think that makes sense when I say Miami is youthful. We are a bachelor/bachelorette paradise.
But I don’t think it’s natural to stay the same. We all change. Music changes. And naturally the aesthetics of Miami are changing. In those changes, I would like for the city I love, despite all its flaws, to showcase the values I didn’t grow up with in the music scene. To see support in the values of commitment, respect, aging, and wisdom in our music scene would be a wonderful sight to see.
I’m blessed to have my roots in punk rock, and germination in house music. Miami has done a really good job at bringing music to the people. It’s the cultivation in people that would transcend our music scene once again. Music is a by-product of us. Not the other way around. <3