The Friday Morning Listen: Cab Calloway – Minnie The Moocher (1940)

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If you’ve paid any attention at all to what I’ve been writing about over the years, a simple conclusion can be reached: this stuff is very important to me. Sure, there have been jokes about music being an important food group, and about how I’ve ignored a girlfriend (or two) because of some musical event. But those light-hearted moments can’t mask the fact that music has always been there for me. For reasons that have never made themselves known, music has attached itself to me and by extension, to my life’s timeline.

I know that I’m odd in this respect, that most people kind of lose the desire for new music as they enter young adulthood. And I have to try hard to not think less of a person who has made that choice. What makes it difficult is the sheer emotional weight of the music that I’ve got stored away. The incidents range from the fairly trivial (the clear yellow vinyl copy of Grand Funk’s Good Singin’ Good Playin’ that I found in a department store cutout bin during a visit to my sister out in Cleveland) to the song I listened to one fall while yearning for an unobtainable person (“I Don’t Want To Wait Anymore” – The Tubes) to the Liz Story record that played in my Mom’s room as she flew from the earth. It’s not just nostalgia; it’s an entire life.

Don’t let that description — just nostalgia — allow you to think that nostalgia is somehow a lesser category. Yes, people do sometimes demean nostalgia, as if the emotion devalues the memory it’s attached to. Not so. Nobody is allowed to tell you how you feel about something. You have the emotion, it is valid.

I thought about all of this as I watched the following video. The human mind, it’s an amazing thing. I’m flooded with all of these thoughts, even as I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to hold back tears. When Henry said he felt “a band of love…of dreams”…well, that’s it, isn’t it?

The music brought Henry back to his youth and to the present. I saw my Dad sitting there like that. Thankfully, it was only for a short while. But it did make me wonder what he was thinking. That he was tired? That he missed his wife? That, just maybe, he’d see her soon? After seeing this moving video, it made me wonder again: what music would pull me back from the edge like that? Pat Metheny? Bruce Springsteen?

I kind of hope I never find out.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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