Documentary Inspiration: Sound City

You know what I love? Being inspired. It’s like a fire being lit inside of me, and I just go crazy. 

I’ve had it on my ‘to do’ list for quite awhile, but Monday I finally got around to watching Sound City.

My childhood is kind of a blur. There isn’t all that much that sticks out in my mind. I have musical memories, though. My favorite band as a kid was The Beach Boys. When we went on vacation, I remember being squished between my sister and brother in the back seat, with one CD player that we took turns listening to. I had a few options, but I most often chose Queen. Not because I liked Queen (although I did sing their songs all of the time, so I must have), but because it was the longest CD we owned and I wanted to make my brother wait. 

I remember having my older cousin over one day and asking her what kind of music she liked, and she responded that she didn’t like music. I remember being stunned into silence. 

After a very short stint in late elementary school listening to Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The Backstreet Boys and N*sync (did I do that right?), my musical tastes were pretty much locked in. 

We were leaving Washington D.C., and stuck in horrendous traffic. At this point, I think my brother and I had each our own CD players. I believe that I was 10 or 11, and he was 17. He recommended CD’s out of his case for me to listen to. 

Nirvana, Everclear, Lit, Smash Mouth, and many other bands filled my ears, and I became insatiable. Growing up wanting to go to concerts all of the time (especially when they were all 3+ hours away) became tiresome for my parents. I always made sure to tell my mom to blame my brother for my “obsession” with music. 

And it wasn’t long after that that I decided I wanted to make a career in it, somehow. I took guitar lessons, attempted to teach myself to play the drums, and dabbled with the piano, too. I wrote songs at that age that now make me cringe. 

It’s a hard road. No one can be sure of themselves all of the time. I’ve still yet been unable to find myself a steadily-paying gig in the industry, but that hasn’t stopped me from working feverishly at it. 

Over time, though, I find myself getting more and more disgruntled. At one point, someone tried to get me into Pro Tools and Garage Band and I just hated it. I didn’t want to use technology as a crutch for making music. I only like music that comes from the soul. I don’t like “perfect” music. Nobody is perfect, so how is music supposed to be perfect if it’s a reflection of the soul? Is your soul perfect? I think not. 

I had heard of Sound City before. Watching the movie brought me through more emotions than your standard tear-jerking Nicholas Sparks production. The whole thing was just so damn beautiful. Seeing people who care so deeply about music and what goes into the music they make is heartwarming to me. It inspires me because it makes me want to fight that much harder for a part in my career. Because I want to be a part of making that music, even if I don’t see myself as a musician. So much greed is in the world, and it has seeped its ugliness into the music industry more and more. Seeing all of these musicians come together to make music on the board that they all loved so much… How often do you see that? Really. Tell me. 

Maybe if you’re not into the behind-the-scenes aspect of music, you might not like this movie. Maybe you will. You should give it a try, either way. For those of you who hold a deep appreciation for music, especially music made from the soul, you should check it out. Please do, and report back.


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