Music for Mondays: Joy Division

photo (2)Happy 2014 everyone. We have finally done it. We have finally traveled into a non-unlucky year. For the last year I have been avoiding cracks, the centers of ladders, and every mirror I can so that I would be okay. But now I have little to fear. Except for the freezing cold. Colorado like everyone else was hit hard by the cold front. Dipping into the negatives and being cold, the walk to work was miserable. Grey clouds, slippery ground, it was not nice. But even for how bad it was I loved my walk today. Because today, I slipped my music on and listened to Joy Division. The music for a bleary snowy day, Joy Division will put you in the right mood of grumpy to bear the freezing tundra and get through to the next beer  day. 

When I am listening to music I always think about two things. My mood and the weather. I know that seems a little strange but hear me out. Sometimes you need motivation to change your mood. Sometimes you want to brood in your existence and pessimissm. Sometimes you need to zone out. Or sometimes you need to just purely enjoy what you have around you.  Much like background music in movies, the music that you choose to listen to can intentionally enhance the moment. Whether it be good or bad, happy or sad, music can add to the ambiance.

When weather is as bad as it is today sometimes I feel like brooding. Sitting in my anger and frustration over the cold and fighting to get to work. I want something to motivate me and something that understands “yeah my flippin nards are freezing and year I’m ticked off!” Joy Division is that band.

Joy Division was first introduced to me almost offhandedly in high school and I never thought about them again till college. In all honesty, I never really liked them when I first heard them. I thought that the music was slow, boring, and not really my taste. I wasn’t into punk and new wave stuff so I didn’t care. For me to really love the band it took me building up my music palette and coming to learn and appreciate the inspirations for my favorite bands.

Unknown Pleasures, even the cover art gives me chills.

Cut to 2007 when I was in college. I was the music director of my college radio station, I had just found a new appreciation for hip hop and started to respect DJ’s for their music prowess. All of the sudden one day, I am rifling through music and I come across an album. Joy Division “Unknown Pleasures.” It was a 20th anniversary re-release. Well, I had never really listened to the album but when I was holding that iconic sound wave cd album cover in my hand I couldn’t help but feel that I was holding something special.

I took the album, pulled it out of it’s deluxe 2 disk case complete with b-sides and raw edits of songs and pressed play in our office over our large speaker system. Sometimes when you don’t like an album, you should try changing the way you are listening to it. Some albums are meant to be enjoyed on headphones and some albums are meant to be on sound systems. This is a  soundsystem album. The eerie guitar intros, the echoing voice screaming in agony, the repetitive almost pop like format to the songs, this was an amazing album. This was one of those jaw dropping, life changing moments with an album. I felt like my eyes had been open, I felt like I had so much teen angst and my parents didn’t understand me so the only way I could lash out was throw things and blast this album at 11. I was angry, I was angsty, I was moody, but all in that amazing feel good way. I loved it. I couldn’t wait to listen to that album. In fact, I have come to love it so much that it is now a must have on my music player all the time and one of the albums prominently featured on my music shelf.

It’s amazing to me how sometimes the right mood, weather, aesthetic, can truly open up your love of music. This album was pushed aside by the younger me for not being good but the older me who has gone through crap, has come to appreciate the subtle nuances of life and has grown to need this album. I now demand that Joy Division be the soundtrack to the angst in my life. To help me push through say “Fuck the world” and trudge my way through the snow to work.


Listen, listen often and listen loud



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