Too Drunk To Dream

…ain’t no drinking when the bottle’s dry…

The Earth is blue, nothing left to do. The Earth is pink, nothing left to drink.

Just finished listening to the audiobook version of Rob Sheffield’s Love Is A Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time

As described by Publisher’s Weekly,

A celebratory eulogy for life in “the decade of Nirvana,” rock critic Sheffield’s captivating memoir uses 22 “mix tapes” to describe his being “tangled up” in the “noisy, juicy, sparkly life” of his wife, Renee, from the time they met in 1989 to her sudden death from a pulmonary embolism in 1997. Each chapter begins with song titles from the couple’s myriad mixes—”Tapes for making out, tapes for dancing, tapes for falling asleep”—and uses them to describe a beautiful love story: “a real cool hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl” meeting in graduate school a “hermit wolfboy, scared of life, hiding in my room with my records,” and how they built a tender relationship on the music they loved, from the Meat Puppets to Hank Williams. Their bond as soul mates makes his reaction to her death deeply moving: “I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language.” But Sheffield’s wonderful, often hilarious and lovingly detailed stories about their early romance and their later domestic life show how they created their own personal “mix tape” of life in the same way a music mix tape “steals moments from all over the musical cosmos and splices them into a whole new groove.

I didn’t want this book to end. I really identified with the way that the author found love, actual LOVE, through music. And I truly identified with his inability to cope with certain aspects of his life after a significant loss. Renee was his life, his counterpart. Everything he lived for was embodied in that woman, and after she passed away, he found out that a HUGE part of his life was suddenly devoid of meaning, vitality, and purpose.

There are so many other similarities to my own life in this text, too. When Rob first met Renee, he responded to her realization that she had never been without a boyfriend for longer than two weeks, by thinking “Two weeks? I could do a year, standing on my head…”. And Rob channels myself in my own life . He falls in love, and knows that there is very little else that he will ever need in life. His retelling of the halcyon days spent with an amazing woman and plenty of good music should serve as a reminder to all of us that life should be enjoyed, not wasted. Enjoy the innocent days. Enjoy the bad days, too, because even those will be a godsend some day.

This book should have a permanent residence under the needle on the turntables of the music-minded. So very highly recommended for all of you music snobs out there.

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October 22, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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