I Wanna Be Literated #219

I Wanna Be Literated #219

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Tuesday, 28 April 2020
BOOKS

My War
by Kurt Morris

There are music lovers and then there are music lovers. To some of us, music is more than just something you play in the background, something that can be used to fill dead air, or something to decorate our day. To some of us, music can offer a deep sense of connection and help us understand ourselves. It can get us out of a tough spot. It has healing powers. Yes, not all of us are good with emoting, and for those people, music can be a safe haven. Probably the most accessible and emotive music is punk rock. Everything about it is deeply personal and rebellious. No other musical genre was founded by such uninhibited ideas.

I say this as a punk because I like to talk about what I know. Like many people, I have that song or that album that defines me. Or, more accurately, that I connect with at a deep emotional level. It’s the kind of album that when I turn it on, puts me right back in that certain mindset. It’s the kind of album that I won’t defile by interrupting it or playing it when I can’t give it my full attention. It’s my special album. Most of us have that album.

For Kurt Morris that album is My War by Black Flag. My War is an album I enjoy, I appreciate, but not one I play very often. I like Black Flag. I more than like them, actually. But I think I’m more of a Circle Jerks guy, you know what I mean? But, for Kurt Morris, it’s My War that he’s made a connection with. One so deep that it saved his life.

My War takes us on a journey, one where the songs serve a backdrop to Morris’ life. It’s not Herman Melville (was his life interesting? I don’t know. But, this IS New England), but it’s one all of us can relate to. Morris dissects the tracks on the album and takes us right to a moment in his life where songs fit perfectly. Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s harsh and brutal. Black Flag was never afraid of the truth, and neither is Morris. His stories deal with mental health, love, frustrations, shitty jobs, and the meaning of it all. Find me one person who doesn’t have a story for each one of those entries. It’s a curious situation when an album helps us understand not just ourselves, but someone else entirely. And an even curiouser thing when it does it so intimately.

My War is a book that exemplifies the power of music and serves as a vector for the life of a man who could be any of us. It’s full of hope and reminds us we’re not alone.

Get it from Morris himself.

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