Music and the Moment

10/23/2008

The right song can make any moment perfect. This notion is so accepted that it’s cliche to point out that Marvin Gaye is great music for moments of romance. If you’ve ever been to a professional sporting event in the US, it’s likely you’ve heard in some form Queen’s song, “We Will Rock You.” At some point, society seems to accept the usage of songs with certain activities.

Unfortunately, music is critiqued in this regard in a very limited manner. All music is reviewed in some context as either danceable or listening music. An album might be referred to as good “car music” or great “club music.” This post is about music that can be heard for other uses, particularly, fighting.

I recently got in an argument with someone, which in turn lead me to want to fight the gentlemen. If you know me, obviously that didn’t occur; however, to my chagrin–I did imagine myself victoriously standing over my defeated opponent after fearlessly winning the battle. The problem was I lacked a soundtrack to my truimph.

In Hollywood, there are two motifs I’ve found in “battle” music. If the movie is like Braveheart, it’s likely one will hear a orchestra compostion full of heavy drumming and clashing wind instruments. On the other hand, if the movie is like Fast and the Furious or Transformers, it’s more likely to hear some fast paced popular rock music or a trash talking rap song in some light of DMX.

Neither of these motifs seemed to fit my need for a soundtrack, so I began digging through my library and these are some of the songs I’ve choosen to woop ass to:

1. N.W.A. – Fuck the Police
2. Ghetto Boys – Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangsta
3. Method Man – Bring Da Pain
4. Screaming Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell on You
5. Sizzla – Solid as a Rock

While maybe the songs I’ve chosen are not as frequently used, I can’t deny that there remains parallels in my choices and Hollywood. To begin–the music must be coarse. Putting on D’Angelo or Marvin Gaye (as mentioned earlier), would seem laughable because it’s soothing and warm–lacking the “edge” needed to get rough. The songs can’t be slow. A battle is fast, and just like a DJ, you got to match your rhythm.

That’s the interesting part, when DJing, the DJ has to think about the moment. How will people react to the music? Will it make them want to dance, or sit down? Or in films, is the soundtrack representing the emotions shown through the film?

So, again this is just another way to think about how music reflects moments in life. What songs would you fight to?

For Listening:

D’Angelo, How Does It Feel

Method Man,