December 7, 2009 by A.C. Rhodes
keeps you from or jogs you out of depression? Extra credit for holiday listening.
Category: Question of the Week
Bruce Springsteen. If it’s a fun song, it makes me happy. If it’s a sad song, I feel better knowing someone else understands.
This doesn’t hold for “Mary, Queen of Arkansas.”
My musical tastes are all over the map! And seeing that I’ve had unipolar depressive illness since birth (yep, really, and that truth begs for an hour of killer jokes at a comedy club), I have a gazillion songs that can answer your question. My question is why did you ask? If you want recommendations for yourself, e-mail me! I’d be happy to answer.
That said, a very random sampling from my iPod — “Some Weird Sin”, Iggy; “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by cool girl singers; Patti Smith “Rock and Roll Nigger”; “I can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” from Elvis Costello; assorted Todd Rundgren (can’t pick right now); assorted Bruce Springsteen (can’t ever pick); “Love Gets You Twisted” Graham Parker; “Beaten to the Punch”, Costello again; “Because”, Dave Clark Five; “Living In America”, James Brown; “I am Only Lonely”, the Divinyls; “Just Another Picture To Burn”, Taylor Swift; “Cherry Bomb”, Joan Jett!; various exteme moments by Adam Glambert; “Christmas In My Soul”, Laura Nyro; “FutureSex/LoveSound”, Justin Timberlake; “Get This Party Started”, Pink; “I Brought Kicks”, the Figgs; many various moments by k.d. lang; “Burning Up” by Madonna; “I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock And Roll), Nick Lowe. That’s more than enough and that’s not even the beginning of the start. I didn’t even mention those glorious goofballs the Ting Tings. Enjoy or hate, but enjoy! Miss Laura (who often dances her way out of a slide toward depression)
Mainstream music doesn’t haul me up and out of the blues. To accomplish that I need to crank up some ethnic sounds, maybe some Tejano, Zydeco — something with horns, guitars and squeeze boxes. Give me Wayne Toups, Little Joe Hernandez, or Brave Combo. Oh, and some full-tilt boogie piano, please.
It’s great to see music being used to start a conversation on the often taboo topic of depression. I don’t have any data to support it but I would say that there’s more than one rock critic/writer who struggles with depression. So exploring this topic on Rock Critics is a great thing to do!
What songs do I turn to? Any Jimmy Cliff song usually helps. Of late Saul Williams’ Niggy Tardust and 2005 S/T album; Mos Def’s Ecstatic: some of Kanye West’s more gospel, soul-based or spoken word tracks like “Never Let you Down”, “Jesus Walks,” or “Roses;” Johnny Cash is always a perfect remedy, Black Flag’s “Rise Above;” recently rappers Atmosphere and Brother Ali have been great too. Really any hip hop that reminds me of how important life is is always something I reach for or suggest to others. We should really put together a mix tape on this subject because I have so many other songs to suggest.
As a music writer, I’ve noticed that it also helps to write about depression, so I’ve written a few pieces on how Joy Division and others have helped me deal with the suicides of close friends over the last few years.
Many have said my writings have helped them too, so you’re welcome to read them here. http://christophercatania.com/album-cd-reviews-features/
Again, please let me know if you need any more help in developing this conversation. I care too much about my fellow rock writers to let depression keep us down.
Bang Bang Bang – Big Al Anderson, The bigger they Come – Steve Marriott, Arkansas Razorback and Lovebug – Junkyard Men, Broke Down on the Brazos – Gov’t Mule, Runaway Run – Hanson, Candyrapper – Harvey Mandel, When the Angels Cry – Jason and the Scorchers, Gravity – John Mayer, I ain’t Hurtin’ nobody – John Prine, All Tore Down – Johnny Winter.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new posts via email.