My son and I had a conversation the other day that went like this:
Him: “Dad, I don’t understand how some people can listen to music on their earbuds and stay perfectly still.”
Me: “Me, either. Sometimes when I’m listening to music on the train I worry that I’ll be unable to control myself and leap into the aisle dancing like a maniac.”
Him: (Gut-busting laughter)
Granted, the sight of me dressed for “legitimate” work and suddenly busting a move on the commuter express into Philadelphia is pretty funny, but that’s not really an exaggeration. Despite the near ubiquity of earbuds (discrete, once considered cool) or those giant headphones I remember bumming off my dad to make mixtapes (now inconvenient, burdensome and therefore hipster cool), you see very few people publicly responding to the music they’re listening to.
I’m a little biased. I’m the guy you pull up next to on the road who’s singing at the top of his lungs in the car. I’m the guy on the train who simply can’t restrain some little form of rhythmic movement, whether it’s a finger tap or a head bob. God help me if I was a hardcore Rush fan, because I’d either careen off the road or injure my seatmate on the train during the drum solo for “Tom Sawyer.”
Even at live shows it’s unusual these days to see folks really getting into music. Exuberance seems to now be placed alongside social disfunction or mental illness. Honestly, I’d much rather be the crazy guy at the front of the stage dancing and singing the lyrics to every single song than the self-important turd standing in the middle of the room displaying no response whatsoever – no head bop, no finger pop, no air guitar … nothing.
Is that really how you enjoy music? If so, I’m revoking your music card, because you’re obviously not worthy of it.
I’m not going to call for you to dance like no one is watching, A) because that’s been said so many times it now only belongs on lame motivational posters, and B) because someone is always watching. But I will say this. Remember to feel the music once in a while. Tap a foot, play bass on your thigh, or break down and push your pelvis.
So for those about to shake your groove thangs, I salute you.