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A Magical Musical Obsession

[Note: This article was originally published on July 15, 2009 on my new web site, www.zestfulcontemplation.com. If you like this article and would like to read my newer material, please feel free to visit.  Thanks.]

That rarest of wild beasts, a new Rammstein single was leaked onto YouTube last night in what one can only assume was a tremendously early fashion, causing all sorts of commotion among fans, at least one fan web site to close their forums (“due to piracy” their site states – wish I had been awake to see what happened there), and undoubtedly some very panicked members of Rammstein’s management – and possibly the band themselves.

But as much as I would like to gush about the new single, or describe it and how excited I am about what it might mean for Rammstein’s music, or, even better yet, repost it myself and get into loads of trouble, I’m not going to do any of those because that’s not what this story is about.

Listening to this new single last night has only reaffirmed what I have already long known – this band holds a very special place in my heart.

I know that sounds horribly cheesy, and it is, but I don’t mean that in some sort of obsessed stalker fashion.  What I mean is simply that there is no other band that I hold in quite the same regard as Rammstein and I wouldn’t give that relationship up for the world.

The key to my special feelings about this band lies in the fact that they were a formative band for me.  They were one of the few, the key, the building block bands that defined my musical tastes when I was younger.  They struck a chord with my tastes so strongly that it almost feels as if every other band I’ve ever listened to is somehow judged against their sound.

I don’t even mean to say that Rammstein are the most talented band around or that they make the best music ever. Simply because my biased ears tell me that is true doesn’t mean it’s true for any more normal person.

That’s exactly what I love about this musical relationship, though – unlike every other band I listen to, I seem to be relatively incapable of objectivity when it comes to Rammstein.  I just love them.

There is no other band I listen to, out of the many occupying my iTunes library, that gets me anywhere close to as excited as I get when hearing new Rammstein music.  It is a rare experience indeed, as Rammstein is certainly not the most prolific of bands, but that just makes it all the more special.

Listening to new music from the group, such as the track making the rounds last night, produces a feeling of pure joy in me unmatched by no other entertainment experience I’ve ever been a part of.  I’ve long wished that I could find another band like Rammstein, simply because I wish to experience such musical bliss more often.

As much as I love letting my analytical mind do its thing, when you’re as hyper-critical about everything as I am, it’s wonderful just to sit back and let the happiness wash over you when hearing music for once.  I don’t have to worry about why I like it.  I don’t have to worry about whether anyone else will like it or why or why not.  I just take in the churning industrial goodness with a big, goofy grin on my face.

Sure my analysis will come eventually, even for a band I place on such high a pedestal as Rammstein.  Unlike with just about everything else, however, it will only come with time.  Once the music has thoroughly sunk in, once the music has ceased to be “new”, once every note of the music has been locked into my brain, and once I can listen to it without said big goofy grin on my face, then and only then will I begin to analyze it like I do everything else.

But this won’t make me like it any less.  In fact, it may simply serve as a way to extend my enjoyment.  If I can no longer smile because it is new, then I can smile because it is different and there are details to pick out and analyze and compare.

I realize that some may find the level of dorkiness of such a strong, irrational obsession for one band simply off the charts.  I completely understand this reaction, but I make no apologies.  I wish everyone could have such a strong affinity for a band, as it is difficult for me to think of anything at all that brings as much instant, irrational, sweeping, total joy as hearing new Rammstein music, as last night served to prove.

Everyone deserves the chance to be as stupidly happy as I am during those fleeting moments.  It’s a feeling I truly wish I could share.  It’s a feeling I truly wish got the privilege of experiencing more often.  More than anything else, it’s an experience I greatly cherish.

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