What I’m Gonna Do in 2002

What I’m Gonna Do in 2002

What am I gonna do in 2002? Glad you asked.

Gonna blow your mind. Gonna fly now. I’m gonna knock you out. I’m gonna crawl. I will survive. I’m gonna be a cowboy. I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets. I won’t dance — don’t ask me. I will walk 500 miles. I ain’t gonna give no one none of my jelly roll. I’ll see you in C-U-B-A. I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you. I will be there. I’m going mad for a pad. I will always love you. I ain’t gonna be your lowdown dog. I will buy you a new life. I shall be free. I’m going where the cold wind blows. I shall be released. I’ll be around. I ain’t fuckin’ wit cha. I’m going home. I’ll never fall in love again. I promise you a happy ending. I won’t back down. Gonna have a funky good time. I’ll give you money. I won’t be home no more. I’m going to California to find a queen without a king; they say she plays guitar, and sings. I just won’t be your fool anymore. I ain’t cryin’ over you. I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair.

Oh, and I’m not going to do cutesy little song-title lists and call it “profound” anymore.

And I’m not going to live my life through music anymore. Seriously — stop laughing. Music has come to dominate every fiber of my being, every waking moment, and it’s too much. I’m forgetting the value of silence, of wind and air, of the little noises that the world makes. The wonder of a far-off dog’s bark and how it hangs in the winter air like love. The whisper of my children in the morning; kinda tough to hear Emma’s latest dream, or Sammy’s latest scheme, when I’m making morning lunches to a Busta Rhymes soundtrack. Musiclust is turning my life into a Pollock instead of a Picasso. This will end in 2002.

All of which doesn’t mean I’m done listening to music. Good lord sweet jeezus no. Forget that foggy notion right away. Quite the contrary: I’m going to learn to listen better, smarter, harder, by listening less often, and more judiciously. No more junk background music when the occasion doesn’t call for it, no more thinking my life is bland and colorless if there isn’t some typical new emo band ululating on somewhere about how they love her, they love her, but why doesn’t she like them? Hearing the toaster is better. Hearing the snow hit the screen window is better. Hearing the inside of my ears is better.

2002 will also see me returning to my expensively-assembled back catalogue. I’ve gotten a little caught up in the reviewing game this last couple of years — all the new new NEW is pressuring me to forget the CDs I’ve had for years, the ones that lifted me up when I needed it. How long has it been since I really sat and listened — Listened with a capital L — to Songs in the Key of Life all the way through, lyric booklet in hand, following every twist and turn of Stevie’s voice on “Love’s in Need of Love Today” and “As” and “Black Man”? Where’s my Big Star Third/Sister Lovers? My Shonen Knife? Where the happy hell is my Jackie Wilson CD, the one my girlfriend and I fell in love to, the one we played when we got back from our honeymoon, the one we took to the hospital when both kids were born? (Frantic search.) A-ha! I knew those bastards in the graphics department had it. Damn, “Baby Workout” is a fine single… and listen to what he does with “Danny Boy”!

Sure, yeah, I know that this is all just so much hoo-hah unless I actually do it. But you just watch, brothers and sisters. You’ll see.

This is the year that music means more to me — by meaning less to me — than ever before.

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