I’m a musician. I have musician friends and musician acquaintances. We talk about musician things- gigging, touring, recording (though usually not in that order…) and we we dream musician dreams. Strike “dreams” and replace it with “dream”. There’s only ever one dream when you’re young and you’re a musician.
To make it. To sell enormous amounts of albums. To have your songs on the radio and your face on the cover of Rolling Stone.
My more industrious musician friends impress the hell out of me with the lengths that they’re willing to go to achieve this dream. I can’t say that I always respect the choices that they make in order to go to those lengths, but I’m still impressed.
Mostly because I’ve never been able to make those same choices.
It goes without saying (though I’ll say it for clarity’s sake) that electing to go one way at a fork in the road leaves the other either unknown or left alone. If one is always focused on one’s career, songs, recorded catalog, etc., there isn’t a whole lot of room left in one’s attention span and memory to consider events, milestones and happenings in other’s lives. If one is always away from one’s friends, those friends slowly become less and less known until the fateful day that those friends have become just “people”. And, of course, if one is always away from home, how much of a home does a person come back to after their travels?
I would argue no home at all.
The reverse is true as well, as is ever the case. If all one does is stay at home, stay safe in their communal bubble and never take risks of any kind- whether artistic or otherwise- life is much the same. Somehow unfulfilled and incomplete. To say that finding a balance is difficult is the understatement of this still very young century.
I had avoiding listening to the new band, Fun. for as long as I could in an effort, I suppose, to show my support for singer Nate Ruess’ former band, The Format who were a favorite band of mine. While in Oregon over the weekend visiting friends and attending a wedding, a friend of mine asked if I had heard their song, “Some Nights”. When I replied that I had not, she glared at me, jaw agape and then did what normal people (I’m not including myself in this) do: she cued it up on her Droid and shoved its speaker into my face.
Ah, the wonders of technology.
You (because you are undoubtedly much cooler and up-to-date than I) already know that this is an irresistible, undeniable song. So catchy is the damned thing that I knew the chorus after hearing it one time. So catchy indeed, that I have had it stuck in my head ever since. Wanting desperately to get it out of my head at all costs, I did what most normal people do.
I went to You Tube.
Watching the official music video (which, as you know, is MUCH different than unofficial music videos), I was struck by its wartime imagery, but even more so by a part of the song that did not translate well (if at all) on my friend’s Droid’s paltry speakers.
It strikes me as extremely ironic that Fun.’s big hit- the one that’s been all over the radio, has gotten them on Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, et al.- is about sacrificing one’s life, home and community for “the dream”, the one big shot, etc. and about how much lyricist/singer Ruess hates himself for being willing to do so.
It’s ironic, and also a little sad, and also funny and finally, of course, really, really, catchy. I’ll be damned if I can make heads or tails of it either way.
(Here is the video, by the by…)