During the drive I took in my last playlist, my mind raced from the early morning coffee. I thought of Epitonic's January theme "The Start," and I suddenly began laughing to myself as I recalled one of my favorite lines from the Coen brothers' cult classic The Big Lebowski. While sitting at the bowling ally, Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) declares, "Life does not stop and start at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit."
It's hard to say if this was aimed at Donny (Steve Buscemi), the rich Leboswki (David Huddleston), or one of the Coens. Regardless, Walter brings up a good point. In the midst of an insane week, when I can't seem to find the time to do laundry, get a haircut, or even eat properly, I wish I could freeze time just long enough to take care of my basic needs. That's never going to happen though, this is real life. League play. If I keep wishing for that I'll end up as a miserable piece of shit soon enough. Maybe I'd even die face-down in the muck, like Walter's buddies. There are many lessons to take from the dude and his companions, but the most obvious and important is to just take it easy, man. Even if it seems there are a million things to do, letting go for a second will let you get a better grasp on life- just don't drop your bowling ball.
My band's singer introduced me to The Big Lebowski, and he happens to be the most Lebowski-obsessed person I know. He has the collectors edition bowling ball dvd case, a t-shirt printed like the bowling shirts in the movie, and recently got a tattoo of the trio facing left on his left bicep (pictured above). He introduced me to many of my other favorite movies, as well as some of my favorite bands. He also exposed me to electronic music, but my teenage reaction was similar to Maude Lebowski's opinion of the fictional band Autobahn*, "Some sort of--ugh--techno-pop."
He is about three years older than me, so there has always been a slight gap in attitude and taste, but as time goes on I find myself understanding his opinions more and more. At the age of sixteen, my criteria for listenable music boiled down to natural tones, musical virtuosity, and interesting rhythms. Over the years electronic-influenced music slipped into my library, including Nine Inch Nails, Minus the Bear, Ratatat, and Beastie Boys' To The Five Boroughs, but it wasn't until Bonnaroo 2010 that I really started to open up to the genre.
After enduring fifteen minutes of a mind-numbing set by The XX, I ditched my friends to wander the festival grounds in search of something a little more lively. I had heard of Lotus, but didn't really know what they did, so I headed toward The Other Tent (I checked a Bonnaroo map to confirm it wasn't This Tent or That Tent). As I approached, the mellow yet energetic light show and funky sounds drew me closer, but had reservations about the electronic noises up to the moment I realized a live band was playing these smooth funky dance grooves, and it even had jazzy soloing! It not only lived up to the criteria I had for music, it shattered the need for it, because there is no reason to judge music by anything more than how it makes you feel. It took me a while to become comfortable with forgetting the rigid rules of my little world of music, but since then my ears have been enriched.
*Ironically, "Autobahn" by Kraftwerk is now one of my favorite electronic songs.
Your playlist is lookin' mighty bare, hoss.
Click the '+' and add some tracks.
Click the '+' and add some tracks.
Empty (add some tracks!)