Last night I fell into a peaceful, victorious sleep on my sofa during the final minutes of the Sharks' 5-0 blowout over the LA Kings. After the post game coverage, the special Bay Area sports channel went into off-the-air mode, where they show the DirecTV logo and play crappy music. But then something strange happened. After about 20 minutes, I slowly awoke to this deeply moving music, I would even call it soulful. It felt like a guitar was reaching into my chest cavity and squeezing my heart, simultaneously triggering every so-sweet-and-perfect-it-makes-me-cry feeling, and it was uncontrollable. The steady drum beat periodically exploded in a way that made the adrenaline simply rush through my body and I was ridiculously close to jumping up and actually shaking my booty--not an activity for which I am known. Then the drums settled back into the beat-keeping role while the guitar rose up and reminded me what passion feels like, dedication, faith, belief, optimism, wisdom--basically everything I felt when I was a teenager, when I still believed I could change the world. So imagine my horror as I slowly awoke to this crescendo of emotion and musical epiphany only to realize it was Jimi Hendrix playing Voodoo Child. You have got to be kidding me.
It's not like I don't feel passion for music anymore, and I am certainly inspired by music on a daily basis (ignore the fact that are playing Billy Joel on the office stereo right now). But emotionally inspiring music, for me, has the tight, energetic drumming of Dealership, the knock-you-down powerful harmonies of Mates of State, the melodic genius of Pavement, the lyrical perfection of M. Ward. And yes, the toe-tapping fluff of one Mr. William Joel. But I hate--nay, loathe Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the like. "Classic rock" honestly gives me indigestion. I'm not a fan of virtuoso guitar solos and lackluster lyrics like
"I’m a voodoo child, voodoo child
Lord knows I’m a voodoo child
Hey hey hey
I’m a voodoo child baby
I don’t take no for an answer
I mean, come on. I am also averse to the blues in general, and this particular song was obviously done in the style of the blues. So why did it make me feel as if a thousand angels were playing hacky sack in my heart? I have no idea. But I'm going to listen to that song again while I'm fully awake and see if it has the same effect. If it does, I'll refer to that feeling as the Jimi Hendrix Experience. 'Cause I'm super clever like that.