Monday, October 4, 2010

Audio with Imagined Visuals

Despite being a bookworm, I do love (some) music, (certain) TV shows and (select) movies. As fun as reading is, sometimes it's nice to have a audio and/or visual feast that you don't have to just imagine. In fact, usually, when I read, my books have a "soundtrack." What I mean is, I'm usually listening to my iPod, CD player or the radio while I'm enjoying a book. Of course, even being enveloped in a fictional world doesn't stop me from hearing the songs playing, and sometimes "seeing" something that has nothing to do with the novel I'm reading.
This is going to be hard to explain, so bear with me: Sometimes, when I hear certain tunes, I imagine things. I say "imagine" because I know I'm not really seeing them, but, in my mind, they're right there. Some of the music-induced visualizations are things that would only exist in fiction, anyway, although probably not in a book. Often, what I see in my mind's eye while listening to those songs makes them even more enjoyable. Here's a partial list:
  • When I hear George Harrison's "Got My Mind Set on You," I can see a woman (who bears a striking resemblance to one of the girls in the music video for R.E.M.'s "Stand") standing in the same room as me doing a somewhat crazy dance.
  • "The Way" by Fastball evokes images of young people riding around in a bright red convertible.
  • Lately, while listening to "Come Out and Play" by the Offspring, all I can think of is me and Siobhan Magnus doing a duet of that song. The way I imagine it, all I have to do is say, "You gotta keep 'em separated!" in a strange voice! How hard is that?
  • The Polyphonic Spree's "Section 23: Get Up and Go" elicits images of a music video starring my friends during the ending credits of a movie.
  • Josh Groban's Italian song "Canto Alla Vita" has an opening that, for some reason, makes me think of a group of people doing the Robot (as in the dance.)
  • I saved the best for last: Every time I hear "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead or Alive, I see in my mind a Super Smash Bros.-style battle between one or more people who bullied me in middle school and myself, and, true to the song, it takes place on a quickly spinning record player. Yeah, there's a reason why Nintendo hasn't made and never will make a game like that.
All that may sound completely strange to you, but keep in mind that I know all that I described "seeing" is imagined. It's not like you're going to see me sitting in Starbucks thinking I'm talking to the dancing woman when I'm actually just sitting there by myself and looking like an idiot. I know it's not real, and all those things I mentioned do is make great songs even better.

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