#132 Playing music so loud you lose yourself in it

Get lost, elevator jazz. Hang up, hold music. Pack your bags, grocery store soundtrack.

Your whispering background noise is an insult to music everywhere.

Yes, when the soul-lifting beauty of music dissolves into fluorescent-dim worlds of three-piece suits, can-clinking carts, and phone calls to cable companies, it becomes Music Wallpaper – polite, pleasant, pastel-pasted.

Loud music demands attention.

Booming tunes shush coffee table conversations, ringing cell phones, and scattering thoughts. When songs slam your brain, bass shakes your bones, and chest-clenching notes sponge into you, it’s like you suddenly slip outside of being you…

1. Dark dance parties. I was hanging at my apartment a few weeks ago with old friends from school. After clinking drinks and chatting about old times we suddenly shoved all the furniture to the side, flicked off the lights, and cranked up the music. Mortgage rates, back pain, and job fears all disappeared into darkness as we slipped and skidded across sliding floors. Sweaty bangs, big smiles, and twenty-finger cracks squeakily lowered the velvety curtains on the backdrop of the world.

2. Airplane escapes. Cranking your headphones on long flights helps you slip into safe spaces in strange places. Rip-rocketing through thunderstorms at breakneck speeds in liquidless, security-screened worlds of emergency exits, recycled air, and screaming babies can be stressful. So pull on your hoodie, close your eyes, and slouch deep into the blaring abyss.

3. Midnight drives. Fresh farm air rips through open windows, painted lanes whip by, and skunk and hay bales fill your car as you twist down empty roads on your way home. Let the bumping radio snap you to attention and sing-a-long on the dark drive home.

Yes, loud music demands attention.

Suddenly all the energy the band bucketpoured into the recording flies straight out of your speakers and into your heart. Drum beats revolve as your worries dissolve and cymbals crash to pieces as your brain finally releases.

Let your self float away.


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Photos from: Lumperjack and Laura Galley

83 thoughts on “#132 Playing music so loud you lose yourself in it

  1. Totally agree with this! Do this every day I go to the gym or go for a run … let the music pace me and I’m totally focussed on it!


    1. This!

      I don’t always run with music, but in the times I do, I LOVE it when this happens.. when the absolute perfect songs come on, and it just gets you in the groove, and it feels like your stride is in perfect pace with the music… it’s a really great feeling.. and the miles just seem to melt behind you!


  2. Neil, thank you for making my night/early day so much better.

    My roommate and I were just jamming to 80s tunes whilst studying for midterms, and I happened to check Awesome Things. We both squealed, and proceeded to turn the music up louder.


  3. My friend and I were driving in her car, and I put on a new song by one of my favourite artists and we full-out JAMMED. We got so into it, it was wild. I looked over a couple lanes for a couple seconds and saw a lady and a girl in a van staring at us! I said EFF YEAH and we just kept dancing :) Life is just made so much more awesome when it involves dancing like a maniac in your car :D

    1. At work, when I have to call the computer place because there’s something wrong with the computer, I get stuck on hold for upwards of half an hour… listening to what sounds like the background music from Oregon Trail.

  4. Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you
    I wish nothing but the best for you two
    Don’t forget me, I beg
    I remember you said
    Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.

  5. anything from my childhood/teen years in the late ’90s and early ’00s, but especially N’SYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears (her earlier stuff), Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, etc. You get the picture! Even the slow songs can be turned up loud so you can all sing, but still hear the actual singer so it sounds good… My friends and I all do this all the time, especially in the car. Oh, and some songs such as Baby and Year 3000 can also be rocked out to while we pretend that we don’t actually like the songs but know and sing al lthe lyrics loudly and exactly on cue! :)

  6. It’s also AWESOME and kinda odd that we can hit every note of these songs that we haven’t listened to regularly for years and yet we can’t do this with songs we listen to regularly now. My friends and I feel that this is because of the ease of retention before puberty and I’m sure it just gets worse from there on out so even the teen years would be better than adult years. :)

  7. One of my favorites so far! When I was an angsty teenager, I used to crank up the stereo in the basement, turn off all of the lights and sit leaned against the speaker so I could hear it AND feel it. This made me feel so much better that now I am a professional musician in a rock band and there is NOTHING in the world that can replace that feeling on stage when thyour amp is blaring behind you and you feel that wall of energy come out, through you, and hit the crowd!

    Unfortunately, I also have to hold a day job, but as I blearily sit here at my desk, ready to start the day, your post reminds me of that feeling and I realize that this day is going to be AWESOME because I can go home and rock out! Thanks Neil! :-)

  8. Huge props for “Girls Just Want To Have Fun!” Just cranked that awesome tune up on the beach over the weekend and we sang and danced in the sun!

          1. Look at that! It’s the same email address, but it looks like the avitar generator is giving out hugs and kisses today xoxoxo. Sweet. :)

            1. That was a little out of place, all things considered. I’m sorry Laura, Simone, black bear and about a billion other people here in awesome land. Let’s keep just the hugs :)

                1. lol! Yes, definitely *the miracle of the hugs and kisses avatar.*
                  A couple of years and few more of these and we’ll be telling our kids about them ;)

    1. OMG my brother had that little cardboard space ship thingy hanging from his bedroom ceiling for a time.

  9. If it’s really good and loud enough it will strip that crappy old wall paper right off the wall without any elbow grease, soap or water!!! Awesome!!!
    A FABULOUS must see movie:
    “The Music Within”

  10. As long as we’re living there will be dreams, heart-breaks, trials and tribulations passionately composed into tunes.

  11. Well… I got so inspirered by your blog, and by yopur talk on TED, that I just saw a couple of days ago, that I deciced to write my own blog, not to be like you, but to challenge myself to make more out of life. I deciced to do what I am good at, not trying to do what others do, Im no scientist or optimist, Im just good at getting ideas, so deciced to do a 1000 ideas, so that people in 10 years maybe can find a 1000 new things that are awesome.

    1. Yes! A perfect belter. Additional entertainment comes from the terrible fake Scottish accent you have to put on when singing this. Or is that just me?

        1. I’m pretty sure this is what Black Bear meant…#450 awesome, Jenn!
          And a definite MUST for this song! There is no other way to belt it out!

  12. I love music and I love the night =). Good music makes long drives faster and red lights shorter, especially when I’m listening to Brett Dennen <3

  13. On my bus coming home from school, it’s really, really loud, so I crank up my Led Zeppelin and just get lost in it. And the best thing is on the highway stuck in a traffic jam, but the guy in front of you cranks up the music for everybody to hear. In most cases, I hate competing music, but in our car, we crank it up even louder to show our dominance.

    1. This is undoubtedly a most excellent song, and one that I love, but not sure it would be a song I would “blare”. But I’m glad that you shared it here, anyway!

  14. I think this also applies to going to concerts when I go to shows I get completely lost in the moment and forget about all the stresses in my life. I love to dance in my car with the windows down….. nothing better.

  15. Did you know as of 1/5/2011 there have been 623,162,727 songs written/recorded…”known to man”…AND every 2minutes a new song is produced! If I had to go without, this would be the song/music I’d play so loud to lose myself in it…(makes sense to me;); I know there are more belted out versions but this is the original/authentic, I howled to!

  16. Music is one of the most beautiful and uplifting things that God has blessed us with. :)

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