It was with this certain Cure song that I remember you.
It was called 'High' I first heard it when I was 16 and was on my way to college and was a point in my life that I have found the joy of new wave music a decade too late.
I remember hearing it on The Cure's live album called Show whereupon I preferred hearing 'Just Like Heaven' and 'Friday I'm in Love' where the former song by sheer liking became the first song that I ever tried to learn it’s bass line. I imagined playing it in the quadrangle in our high school, back before me or my so-called band ever got the chance to have a gig.
New wave was a welcomed relief for me after getting myself soaked on Greenday, The Offspring, Pennywise and all the other famous punk rock bands at the time all thanks to the sudden influx of cassettes from Epitaph records. It was with this certain Pet Shop Boys song that I still sing to that brightens up my day whereas Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' makes me eagerly await an impending doom that never seemed to materialize.
It was with New Order that I learned to appreciate the value of beats and bass lines it was with their song 'Regret' that I learned to welcome songs about despair and betrayal. It was with new wave that I learned to love ska, reggae and circa 77 punk bands whose names vibrantly ring a bell like: The Ramones, The Clash, The Dictators, Blondie, The Talking Heads, and The Sex Pistols etc. Whose sound made Nirvana seem like whining brats who always mess up their live performances.
And now here I am a decade after hearing The Cure I can’t say that I am as youthfully hopeful as I was when I first heard them. Certainly it’s no longer like the way Billy Corgan described it in the Smashing Pumpkin song ' 1979' which describes the joy of newfound teenage rebellion in the package of new wave music.
It's been a decade now and I have again found this joy in danceable music that wrings of troubled feelings and emotional despair. If you’re chic you'd say its emo if you’re a scenester you’d say that it's post-2001 rubbish mall punk that takes inspiration from the early 90s emocore band Jawbreaker who’s song 'Chesterfield King' has sort of become the standard sound of guitar playing for these new school emo brats who’d say sorry about not being perfect.
It's been a decade now and I still listen to The Cure though not as much to their lovely poppish radio friendly songs like: 'Boys Don't Cry', 'Just like Heaven', 'In Between Days 'and 'Mint Car'. But that of 'A Letter to Elise' where Robert Smith makes my heart pound and seemingly bleed with the songs opening line. Or how 'Pictures of You' bring certain inertia of undropped tears with the song being inspired by a literal fire that Smith personally experienced. Or how 'A Night like This', makes me "want to change it all". Or how 'High' right now reminds me of you.
And leaves me thinking that: is this what I’ve added up to?
A shell of flesh that talks in his third person pondering on rock and roll lyrics consuming them as though they were words of poetry... and thinking them of value enough to stuck in his head hoping that a mental picture of a line from a song would someday come true and hoping that the songs in time be the soundtrack rather than the screenplay of my life...