The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
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07-07-2015, 05:00 AM
The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
I firmly believe that music is the closest we will ever get to a Time Machine.

You can put on almost any random song you know and you instantly get all sorts of different reactions.

Madonna - True Blue
Whenever I hear this I am instantly transferred back to my bedroom as a child. Playing my ZX Spectrum while my sister blasted this song out all day.

Lindisfarne - Meet Me on the Corner
Straight back to an old pub I used to work in. When I hear the song now I can smell the cigarettes and beer. A regular in the pub used to put this on about 20 times a day.

Now on the downside, I struggle to listen to my favourite song. Probably the best song ever written.

Rainbow - Stargazer
At the time I had to learn the bass parts for this song for the band I was in at the time. So I was listening to it 40 times a day instead of my usual 20 lol

Now at the time I also found out my girlfriend at the time was cheating on me. I remember the horrible twisted feeling in my gut when I found out. Now whenever I hear this song now I instantly get that twisted feeling in my gut again. I'm not even thinking about my Ex, I'm not upset or anything but that feeling just comes in my stomach as soon as the song comes on. A shame really considering how awesome the song is.

Does anyone have these feelings with particular songs? Does music have the same impact on you?
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09-07-2015, 12:18 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
Yes, I have similar feelings about music and its effect on me, although there are way too many individual pieces of music to list them all. The ones with the greatest effect would be from my "formative years", and those would be the 1960s and early 1970s. So we're talking Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Carole King, Santana, etc. -- as well as the jazz music of earlier decades that I was just discovering during those years (favorites were Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Billie Holiday).

One amusing example is Traffic's "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys". That song doesn't evoke anything particular for me -- I just always liked the song, and used to listen to it a lot. But a friend of mine had one of his first sexual experiences while listening to that song, and forever associated it with that. He couldn't understand why anyone would want to listen to it in any other circumstance. It always seemed to baffle him that I (a virgin at the time) liked the song. To him, it was "music to have sex by", and useless for anything else. And my dad didn't want me listening to it because it was obviously "gay". I can see how the title might give one that impression, but it never meant that to me. I actually didn't pay much attention to the lyrics -- it was just a really good song musically.

I can't think of any particular songs that bring back bad memories, like the OP's last example. Of course, my life has not been all peaches and roses, but when I remember the bad times, I don't hear any music playing. I'm not sure why that is, though.
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09-07-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
Absolutely. Music is certainly one of the key timeline-metrics in my life -- who I was listening to, what songs I myself was writing, those songs all carry emotional luggage. "Songbird" makes me think of one particular plunge into love; "Aimee", from the Pure Prairie League, reminds me of my first hot kiss; "New Season", from the Church, makes me want to leak even as I'm typing, thinking about my late stepfather.
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09-07-2015, 02:02 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
That happens to me a lot with summer songs, the kind you hear playing on somebody's radio while you're at the beach. Most of my beach time was in the 80s (by the 90s I was worried about skin cancer and didn't have spare time anymore), so just about any crappy pop song from the 80s makes me think of Lake Michigan. "Careless Whisper," for example.

Also happens for me with certain old concert band pieces that don't get played much anymore (I am a classical musician by trade); hearing one unexpectedly will take me back to my high school band room.

Very few songs bring back bad memories, but I hate anything by the group Bread, which my mother listened to obsessively while she was making up her mind to leave our family.
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09-07-2015, 02:21 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
It can also be a time machine back to moments that might be tainted by revisiting them, and better left to memory, however fuzzy and incomplete they may be. There are certain albums or songs that were indispensably important to me at different points in my life, but which I find really difficult to go back and listen to now, specifically because I can not separate the music from the experiences I had when I first listened to it. Led Zeppelin IV is my primary example. I played that album on repeat probably HUNDREDS of times between the ages of 12 and 15, usually at my dad's place to avoid having to interact with my stepbrothers. I just can't listen to it anymore. Still respect the band, still acknowledge the album's greatness, but if I never hear that album again, that'd be just fine with me. I think it's a little more than just having grown too accustomed to the songs, I really don't have much desire to revisit my 14-year-old self, or my 16-year-old stepbrothers, or the shitty over-crowded bedroom we had to share every other weekend. I think one of the things that makes music so important to teenagers is it helps that get through things. LZIV was definitely one of the albums I turned to when I was having a hard time. The older I get, the harder it is to want to drudge up all that stuff, which inevitably happens as soon as I hear, "Hey Hey Mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove." Even typing it gets me all wrankled up for a potential fist-fight, lol.
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09-07-2015, 02:34 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
(09-07-2015 12:18 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  One amusing example is Traffic's "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys". That song doesn't evoke anything particular for me -- I just always liked the song, and used to listen to it a lot. But a friend of mine had one of his first sexual experiences while listening to that song, and forever associated it with that. He couldn't understand why anyone would want to listen to it in any other circumstance. It always seemed to baffle him that I (a virgin at the time) liked the song. To him, it was "music to have sex by", and useless for anything else. And my dad didn't want me listening to it because it was obviously "gay". I can see how the title might give one that impression, but it never meant that to me. I actually didn't pay much attention to the lyrics -- it was just a really good song musically.

I absolutely LOVE that song. To me it's more for smokin' joints than gettin' it on though. That and "Light up or Leave Me Alone," too.
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14-07-2015, 11:58 AM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
(07-07-2015 05:00 AM)TheStraightener Wrote:  Does anyone have these feelings with particular songs? Does music have the same impact on you?

Indeed! Thumbsup

Although, music isn't the only thing that transports me back in time. It is the most common "time machine", though. Smile
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20-07-2015, 05:01 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
When I'm listening somewhere Electronic Music from 90's like "No Limit' by "Knut" or "Insomnia" by "Faithless".
I'm thinking about these moments that I passed in a travelling funfair in my childhood 2 or 3 time (maybe more) between 1998-2000 because they passed these Music at each time they comes in the city in which I live.
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20-07-2015, 05:04 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
(09-07-2015 12:18 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Yes, I have similar feelings about music and its effect on me, although there are way too many individual pieces of music to list them all. The ones with the greatest effect would be from my "formative years", and those would be the 1960s and early 1970s. So we're talking Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Carole King, Santana, etc. -- as well as the jazz music of earlier decades that I was just discovering during those years (favorites were Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Billie Holiday).

One amusing example is Traffic's "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys". That song doesn't evoke anything particular for me -- I just always liked the song, and used to listen to it a lot. But a friend of mine had one of his first sexual experiences while listening to that song, and forever associated it with that. He couldn't understand why anyone would want to listen to it in any other circumstance. It always seemed to baffle him that I (a virgin at the time) liked the song. To him, it was "music to have sex by", and useless for anything else. And my dad didn't want me listening to it because it was obviously "gay". I can see how the title might give one that impression, but it never meant that to me. I actually didn't pay much attention to the lyrics -- it was just a really good song musically.

I can't think of any particular songs that bring back bad memories, like the OP's last example. Of course, my life has not been all peaches and roses, but when I remember the bad times, I don't hear any music playing. I'm not sure why that is, though.

Low Spark is awesome! Thumbsup

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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20-07-2015, 05:17 PM
RE: The Closest Thing to Time Travel?
Smells are probably a close second behind music. A certain smell can take me back instantly.
Like the smell of Pepsi fizz coming off the top of a cup.This takes me back to the concession stand at the park near our house when I was a kid.
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