Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spurgeon’s General Warning: Good-Mood Music

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

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I’m one of those bitter workaday people who are stuck in a hellish commute five days out of seven — I don’t like cars, I don’t like driving, I don’t like traffic, and I don’t like wasting my time and money. Not blessed with a fancy car stereo, a lot of my driving time is spent listening to your basic radio stations that play the same 40 songs on rotation. It only recently occurred to me that one band, every single time they come on, manages to elevate my inner monologue from “Fuck this town, I’m quitting my job and moving somewhere with a subway” to “Hooray! Turn it up! I don’t care if those strangers watch me sing along!” That band? The Doobie Brothers, my friend. Instant good mood, every single time. And here’s how they do it:

I. Not Over-Thinking It

Easily the most important part of turning your mood around via music is totally erasing your mind of any sort of proactive thinking. You don’t want profound lyrics steeped in meaning, no messages, no heartbreak, no politics. Your consciousness needs to disappear into dumb funness — hey, look, you’re not worried about being broke anymore! You are listening to the music! Perfect job, Doobies, well done.

II. Familiarity Without Condescension

Like any white Southern liberal, feelings of “pride” in your geographically determined raisin’ place are fraught with second guesses and rationalization. For a group that wasn’t Southern, The Doobie Brothers managed to occasionally evoke a bluegrassy Southern sensibility without coming off as proactively defensive (Skynyrd) or feeling like a parody (CCR, YEAH I SAID IT). I don’t even like Mississippi, but I love this shit. Much like my beloved “Chattahoochee,” if you’re going to write a Southern song that Southerners of all sorts can enjoy, it’s smart to stick with the landscape, specifically the rivers and/or moon. KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK, DOOBIES.

III. Universal

Serbia thinks so!

So does France!

And Spain!

Only about six more hours, now, until I get to head home. Is there a particular band/song that raises your mood? Am I wrong about CCR? Do you want to buy me a new stereo? Comment and share!

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