I Finally Get What All That Screaming's About

Monday, January 27, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

I know after the Grammys I'm supposed to write an article that drips in snark. These award shows are all virtual snarknados (though that may be a redundant turn of phrase).  People wore stuff, some of it looked like a child's paper snowflake cutout, and Ozzy definitely forgot who he was honoring and/or what band he most admired and/or where he was.  But there was also music, and that is really what the whole Grammy circle jerk is supposed to be about in the first place, so I figure it shouldn't be too out of line to have a musical revelation.

And when I say I had a 'revelation' I know that we are conditioned to think that I was somehow touched by an angel or magically transformed.  But the truth is that even large revelations come in small packages.  And while Kendrick Lamar blew my mind and I love always seeing Pharrell (and the Hogwart's Sorting Hat) smiling next to the winner, the final rock number is what caught my attention for some reason.

I should take a second to remind you all that I am not a "music person".  If I can't understand the lyrics or the volume is ear-scorchingly loud, the chances of me enjoying the track decrease exponentially.
But I also don't want to paint myself as some fuddy-duddy who only listens to Jack Johnson and calls Michael McDonald the King of Soul.

I listen to a range of genres, but when I feel lost musically, I actually seem to always find my way back through hip hop. Even if you get some bad hip hop, at least you can get down to it, and as a dancer, that's important to me.

Alternately, the musical offerings I tend to turn my dial away from are the screamers.  The, mostly guys, who you think might swallow the microphone whole because it's already jammed so far down their throat.  Sometimes it was hair metal, sometimes it was bad (aka. most) of the grunge movement, I just didn't understand what all the friggin yelling was about.

exhibit A
But tonight, for whatever reason, as the 15 or so rock soloists all lined up across the 100-yard stage to fill that theater with sound, I got it.  I got what all the screaming was about.  I think they are screaming their mortality.  And I realize I could be projecting, but I think that when they rock, the artists feel most attuned to that ineffable 'something greater'.  And in that appreciative moment of living, they are screaming the last words they would want the world to hear.  They are forcing those lyrics out of themselves with such velocity as to maximize the volume of their last rites, as dictated to you, in that moment.  In what could be the last moment.  They shout that loud because they aren't able to unhinge their jaws to swallow their audiences whole so that they might keep them safely stored for eternity inside their oft maligned stomachs.  As long as they can feel the vibration of their vocal chords burning through the thin skin of their throat, they must still be alive.

And sometimes I think they scream because when you're faced with the inevitability of your our impermanence, what the hell else are you supposed to do except wail until the seams on their face try to bust right open.

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