May

7

"Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles
(there's more beyond the lyrics…)

Turn off your mind, relax
and float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying

Lay down all thought
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining

That you may see
The meaning of within
It is being
It is being

That love is all
And love is everyone
It is knowing
It is knowing

The Fab FauxI'd be willing to bet that anyone who was at least a teenager when JFK was shot remembers where s/he was when s/he heard about it. I was in Mr. Pinataro's French class in J.H.S #59 in New York City. The announcement came over the PA system. I can visualize it as if it was yesterday.

How many people who are in my age group (~5.6×10^3) remember where they were when they first heard a Beatles song? I do. I was in my homeroom in J.H.S. #59, wearing trend-setting, tight, iridescent-green pants (hot stuff), white shirt and a tie. Someone had on 57 WMCA-AM (which is now 'New York's Christian Radio,' to my surprise when I just checked). That's where I first heard the Beatles.

Tonight I went to a benefit at McCarter Theatre in Princeton NJ that featured a band called "The Fab Faux" - they're a Beatles Tribute band; supposed to be the best. It was really amazing! No, they didn't come out dressed in Sergeant Pepper outfits, rather, normal clothes. But they really were into recreating the music. They kept changing the guitars that they were using to better reproduce the original sounds. Highly recommended!

But you know, I have heard these songs SO many times that for the first half-hour or so, the pattern matcher in my brain heard every difference, every note that was different, every timing discrepancy. My wife said that I looked spaced-out. After a while I was able to ignore it and have fun.

I've often felt that the brain evolved as the ultimate pattern matching engine. How else can I recognize a song from the first note? See the predator, hear the noise, recognize the visual/aural pattern, flee, survive, reproduce.

Pass along the trait of good and quick pattern matching in your genes. Millions of years made us able to drive without perishing, cross a busy Manhattan street without getting run over, play tennis or chess, appreciate and/or play music; so many, many things, including, in my opinion, trade. I can't believe there isn't some instinct involved.

I wonder how that works as you age. Why is it that the music we grow up loving in our youth becomes mostly all we want to listen to? Do we run out of memory? Are there co-related patterns of music and experience that can't be dislodged? When I was listening to the Beatles my parents said it was garbage - why didn't I like to listen to Frank Sinatra? Why can't I get into the Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance, and 'Emo' music that my kids love? I don't think it's 'crap' but I can't get into it. Although I finally have a greater appreciation for Sinatra and big-band music.

So the song remains the same - is that dangerous? This weekend I have read articles in various magazine about 'sell in May…' and similar. The intraday news service I use has been warning 'keep an eye on your longs and consider taking profits. So my expectation is that there will be some sort of a gap-down on Monday morning that will reverse up; I'll probably be wrong.

I think that it was in Chair & Collab's Practical Speculation that we learn about how when a certain pattern emerges and is recognized by everyone, it will shift and/or change. Excuse the misquote if I didn't get it exactly right. I've always taken this to be valuable advice.

Right now we're in sort of a no-man's land. There are a lot of conflicting bits to think about. People have been getting really used to the pattern of buying the dips. There've been huge short squeezes, especially recently. What is the song we are about to hear? Will it be All You Need is Love?

Scott Brooks adds: 

Could it be that we associate the music with fond memories?

The worry free days of youth, the hot balmy days of summer with our friends playing the neighborhood, the blustery days of winter with our friends in school, or maybe a birthday party.

I can't help but think of Mo-Val Summer youth camp, whenever I hear "Indian Summer" by Poco, or my first make out session with Cheryl C. from Mexico, Missouri (yes, I still remember her name) on the dock at camp Mo-Val while the song "More Than a Feeling" played in the background.

Put on Sammy Hager's "Turn up the Music" and I'm back cruising with my buddies on the Lindbergh Ave. to Tesson Ferry loop.

Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" reminds me of baseball practice with dad coaching the team. We always came in first place!

Van Halen's "Runnin' with the Devil" was in the cassette 8-track on the way to football practice.

Of course, every time I hear "Sister Christian", I think of the time I pulled out into traffic and smashed into by another car.

But I'll take the good with the bad. It's all the memories that make up my life.


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