Many times on the Shack’s main message board, we share some of our favorite music with each other by posting a video or an audio clip so everyone else can hear it. Sometimes we do it to express how we’re feeling on that particular day, sometimes it’s to expose everyone to an underrated artists, and sometimes it’s just done for fun. Maybe one our favorite bands has a new music video out, or maybe we got a flashback to one of our older favorites that meant a lot to us growing up. Whatever the reason, music can be an amazing equalizer for us all. I’ve always loved that.
Music is one of the great joys of my life! There’s no way that I could live without it. I listen to everything that I can, and I’m always hungry for more. And I worked in a music store for many years, and I loved every single second of it. I got to be exposed to sooooo much stuff and so many artists that I had never heard before. It opened my mind to amazing bands and artists from all over the world. Older stuff, current stuff, and music that was definitely paving the way towards the future! So why not share that with the Shack? You guys are my online family, after all.
When I started posting a few songs or videos here and there, I don’t think people liked it very much. Either that, or they were silent about it. Still, I kept trying. The thing about music in general is that every artist has something to say. Every band has a message and a form of expression that might just catch you by surprise if you just listen to it. Haven’t you ever been in love and had that random song come on over the radio that you never truly understood until that very moment? Hasn’t music touched you when you were heartbroken? Or fired you up when you were angry? Or maybe helped you get past a low point in your life by giving you the exact inspirational answers that you were looking for? I’ve had it happen to me a billion times, and I just…I WISH people could somehow listen just long enough to get that message. To experience that feeling of awareness where you’re like, “Wow! This person really gets me! They understand completely!”
However, one of the first things that I learned while working in music is that not everybody has an eclectic taste with that sort of thing. Hehehe! In fact, more often than not, trying to get someone to listen to something they’ve never heard before can be as difficult as prying open a bank vault with an aluminum spoon! LOL! I mean, I get it. Some people are hardcore metal heads. If it’s not heavy metal or hard industrial rock…don’t bother even mentioning it to them. Some folks are ‘hip hop or die’, some refuse anything that they can’t dance to, some only listen to top 40 hits that they play on the radio, and others might claim that there hasn’t been ONE good song written since 1965! I guess some folks just…like what they like, and that’s all there is to it. No discussion, no compromise.
Hehehe, naturally…this doesn’t work for ‘Comsie’ at ALL! Nope! I’m all about opening minds! That’s what I’m here to do, and I plan to give it my best. Be careful! I’ve been known to be quite stubborn about this stuff! LOL!
I’ve always thought of music the same way that I think of my stories. Like…there’s soooo much out there for people to absorb and enjoy, and they may never take a chance on the story that might actually change their lives forever. Maybe the message I need on a particular day, when I’m in a particular mood, isn’t in a rock song. Maybe it’s in an R&B ballad. Maybe it’s in a rap song. Maybe a country song captured it best. Who knows? I can remember being really REALLY fed up with something that was going on with the site, and demands and insults and criticisms about the stories…I was seriously ready to put my fucking FIST through a wall! (Sometimes…the Shack can be a handful, believe me. My temper can’t always handle the stress of it.) And I remember listening to this “Way I Am” remix with Eminem and Marilyn Manson…and every single lyric was, like…a HUGE release for me at the time! Like, “YES!!! That’s EXACTLY how I fucking feel right now!” That was a full volume, anger bang of a song. There was a time when I actually was ready to walk away from the whole online personal completely, and I heard a song from an R&B artist named Brandy, and the song “Finally” was such a word for word expression of how I felt during that time. Like…what the hell was I doing to myself? And am I even having fun anymore? At that time, that song meant SO much to me. You have no idea. Like…what would happen if I just got my regular life back, and could breathe again? I remember a time when I said some things to my boyfriend at the time, and John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’ ended up putting things into a much better perspective for me. Thanks to that song (Which I sent to him with a sincere apology and an invitation to talk and work things out) might have saved that relationship. At least for a little bit longer. Whether it was Hanson’s “Broken Angel”, or Fiona Apple’s “Fast As You Can”, or Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, or Macklemore’s “Same Love”, or Aaliyah’s “How Could The One I Gave My Heart To”, or Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks Of My Tears”, or Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”…there is a song out there that can truly ‘touch’ you, and speak for you about whatever it is that you’re going through right now. It can come from anywhere, at any time. Don’t limit your input and miss it. Seek it out! These moments are golden, after all, right?
That brings us to ‘Jukebox Jimmy’!
I chose a cute boy as a visual, hehehe, mostly to make sure that people would pay attention. Because, let’s be honest…”Cute boy! What’s this about?” You know it’s true. Hehehe! It’s ok though. It works on me too. And I got my notebook out and got a ton of ideas for weekly themes that would get people posting their own favorite songs. Themes like heartbreak music, or music that you play on a rainy day, or songs about the weather, or songs about cheating…anything that I knew would have a huge number of selections for people to choose from. I never choose a theme unless I can personally think of ten songs that can fit into it. We only post FOUR choices every Friday, but I make sure that there’s ore than enough room for other people to play the game along with us. I am happy to say that I honestly get surprised every single time. Shackers come up with songs that I never even thought of, and that’s AWESOME! Hehehe! That’s exactly what I was hoping for. Like I said, I’m always hungry for more music! And I often end up downloading the music that I discover through the Jukebox Jimmy game! I’m surprised that my laptop hasn’t exploded yet!
The whole idea behind Jukebox Jimmy was to bond us all through music, and for people to listen to everybody else’s favorite music so they could expand their knowledge as well. So they could find those special songs that speak to them in those moments when they really need speaking to. Its a gentle crowbar for the brain to say, “Hey…I know you said you HATE country music, but try this song out. Just give it a listen.” Music can surprise you. No matter what era it came from or what genre it supposedly represents. Open your heart and let it in. You’d be surprised what you can find by adding just a bit of ‘adventure’ in your musical journey. Some songs will blow you away! Trust me! You’re not ready for some of the awesome stuff that’s out there. Even from artists that you claim to HATE! Explore the playing field once in a while. Get out of that comfort zone and I promise you’ll be wiser for it.
Now…of course, this doesn’t mean that every single person who embeds music videos every week is suddenly going to be a master DJ of all things ‘music’, and will listen to everything with a tune the way that I do. Hehehe, I don’t expect them too. There’s nothing wrong with liking what you like and nothing more. BUT…every once in a while…if you listen to the favorites of someone else from the site, I’m willing to bet that you find a true musical jewel every once in a while. And isn’t that worth it? Imagine what you might have stuck in your head tomorrow if you just give it a chance.
That said, feel free to drop by the Shack and play the game with the rest of us on Friday evenings! Bring your favorite songs with you, and prepare to find some new favorites somewhere along the way! Different flavors, different tastes! ::Winks:: You can’t go wrong by trying to hear it all! The opportunities are limitless! Enjoy!