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Joel Arnold

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Member Since: May, 2010

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Blogs by Joel Arnold

The Power of Music
11/16/2010 8:51:03 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

You know how certain songs can evoke certain feelings? Or perhaps there's a song that brings back a specific memory or reminds you of someone? There are certain songs from the early '70's that provoke this strange feeling in me. Sort of a longing, a melancholy that I couldn't quite place my finger on - until last night. It's like these songs were trying to bring back some memory, or some sensory...something. When I heard these songs, it was like there was a dream on the tip of my memory that I couldn't quite place. One song in particular that did this was One Tin Soldier - the 1971 version sung by Jinx Dawson of the band Coven (I had to look that up!) for the movie The Legend of Billy Jack. Another was Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by (gulp) Cher, also from 1971. I totally remember listening to the '45s on my Show'n Tell Phono Slide Viewer when I was 3 and 4 years old. I can even picture what the label of the '45s looked like, down to the font used.

But so anyway, I discovered another group that evoked these exact same buried-dream-can't-quite-place-my-finger-on-it feelings. The late 60's/early 70's Korean band The Pearl Sisters. The reason I looked them up on You-Tube in the first place was because I'd talked a while ago with my sister Lori, whom my family adopted from Korea in 1970 - she was 12 and I was 2 at the time. In fact, my very first memory is of picking her up at the airport, and she had this purse on her shoulder with a long strap, and I held onto this strap as we walked through the airport, looking up in wonder at my new sister with long, black hair. But we were talking recently about her life in Korea before coming to the U.S., and she mentioned how one of her favorite bands was The Pearl Sisters. I finally looked 'em up, and there are a bunch of their songs on YouTube.

So last night after my wife and kids had gone to bed, I sat up listening to a bunch of their songs, and my God, did it ever send me back into that same mind-frame, that mysterious longing/loneliness/melancholy/not-quite-sure-how-to-describe-it-feeling.

And so I think perhaps I figured out what it is - what that feeling is, or what it's associated with; my sister. She was really my first friend, I think, and she'd listen to these songs when I was 2, 3, 4 years old, and she'd play with me and we'd have so much fun jumping on the bed, singing along - it didn't matter to me that she wasn't conversant in English, yet - and she'd let me hang out with her and watch her and bug her... But then she and I both grew up, and a big part of me missed having that new, exotic sister/friend to fawn and fuss over me and indulge my infantile whims. So I think the feeling is a nearly subconscious longing for my early, early childhood, and the early attachment I had with my big sister.

She's still a wonderful big sister, and I really should give her a call one of these days soon.

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More Blogs by Joel Arnold
• The Sucking Suckathon of Suckiness - Monday, May 21, 2012
• Mississippi Pearls and a Car Biding Its Time on the Ice 'til Spring - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• One Decade, One Story - or how One Thing Leads to Another - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• Racing Minnesota-style! - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• This Here Minnesota Horror Author was a Big Old Scaredy-Cat - Thursday, December 22, 2011
• Jack the Blob Killer - Monday, December 19, 2011
• Death Rhythm - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
• More Writing What You Know - Monday, September 19, 2011
• How I Interpret 'Write What You Know' - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• Blessings - or - What I write after having one too many... - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• 120 Miles in a Canoe - Monday, June 27, 2011
• On Stephen King - Thursday, June 23, 2011
• Why Horror? - Wednesday, June 22, 2011
• Zen & the Art of Swearing - Friday, June 10, 2011
• If Coffee Shops were Run by Airlines - Thursday, May 12, 2011
• Trying to Figure Out What Scares Me - Monday, March 21, 2011
• My Confession - Tuesday, March 08, 2011
• Going Indie with my novel Northwoods Deep - Friday, March 04, 2011
• How I Envision Conflict When Writing - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Wall Drug - why it's one of my favorite places - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Jonesing for a Road Trip - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Snowmapocalyptopalooza - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
• How Do You Remember? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• When your parents are librarians... - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• The genesis of a novel - the first 6 days - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
• Searching for Truth - Characterization - Thursday, December 16, 2010
• Control - and a little more about Northwoods Deep - Monday, December 13, 2010
• Bukowski - Wednesday, December 08, 2010
• Flies, Flies, Spam, and Flies - Friday, December 03, 2010
• Naivete and the Young Writer - Thursday, December 02, 2010
• For Writers looking for some Adventure - Wednesday, December 01, 2010
• My usual rider for family/friend appearances - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
• Writing and Me - a dramatization - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day (now with vitamin C!) - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
•  The Power of Music - Tuesday, November 16, 2010  
• To All the Bookstores I've Loved Before - Monday, November 15, 2010
• The Care and Feeding of Writers - Sunday, November 14, 2010
• Rudiments - Thursday, November 11, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
• Tragedy - now with 50% more pathos! - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
• Perspective - Monday, November 08, 2010
• The Daunting Dauntiness of Tweeting on Twitter - Saturday, November 06, 2010