Sunday, June 12, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Song Challenge -- Day 3: A Song That Makes you Happy

As I mentioned in my first post in this series, I prefer music to be sympathetic to my moods, rather than changing them. It is difficult, therefore, to find a song that will turn my mood around outright. It’s easy to find songs that take my happiness and “plus” it, but a song that will turn that frown upside down, as they say? Pretty uncommon. Here’s my best guess:

Eddie Money – Shakin’

I first discovered this song earlier in the year, during the tail-end of a fairly tiring and slightly crappy weekend. I was in Helena filming a deliberately-bad sitcom to submit for Carroll College’s film festival; I was hoping it would take Worst Picture, so I made sure it was awful as I could make it. Unfortunately, it was crappy in all of the wrong ways—rather than memorably bad, it was just bad enough to be entirely forgettable, and not entertaining the way that most of my favorite “bad” pictures are. It was the worst way the project could have turned out: it was mediocre. Not only that, I had spent 36 hours editing the damn thing, forgoing interactions with my friends and bringing myself dangerously close to my wit’s end.

In short, I was in a foul, tired mood. I was about a mile and a half from my apartment when I decided to turn on the radio; perhaps something would distract me from this cranky, miserable feeling. It was at this time the classic rock radio station, my old friend and ally, came to my rescue yet again, giving me one of my new favorite 80’s gems.

Like I said earlier, I’m not usually one who can have his mood altered, so what makes “Shakin’” so great? First off, it’s slow. When I’m sad, I start to shut down, and any of my favorite pop punk track would have been way too fast. Second, the melody is simple, and easy to follow; by the third chorus, I was singing it like I’d known it for years. Lastly, and most significantly, the guitar in “Shakin’” is perhaps one of the sexiest things I have heard in music. Something about the sheer size of those 80’s riffs touches me deep inside, and I hear them as my wants and dreams.

The long and short of it is that when I hear “Shakin’”, it almost acts as a release for me. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable, and, sonically, the song just speaks to me. It lets me unwind when I’m down, but I can rock to it when I’m up. Best of all is the lyrics: it’s a short story about Eddie wanting to get laid in his girl’s car. As a young man in his early twenties, I can sure as hell relate to that, and if I were to give it a shot today, I’d probably start with “Shakin’”.

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