When this kind of thing makes Maya and me cry, we always turn to each other with "Look, I'm crying! See?! Tears..." as if to prove that we have emotions. I've always been a little envious of people who are able to feel things strongly, on a regular basis, without the aid of music.
I've loved the B-52's my whole life. I've been trying to figure out why, exactly, aside from the timing of their career and their magical Sesame Street-like ability to appeal to all ages, and I guess there are certain qualities that I can name -- raw talent, total lack of inhibition -- but those things don't incite love. It's something else. Sure, perfect songs like "Roam" always render me incapable of performing basic societal functions for a few minutes, but I really think it's songs like "Deadbeat Club" that tear me apart the most because they're so earnest and they're trying so hard to make you understand and it reminds me so much of the stuff Maya and I used to do when we were little, the tapes we made and the Entertainment Shows we put on and the songs we wrote for our My Little Ponies and all that stuff -- not because it necessarily sounds anything alike, but because the motivation for both came from the same place. The Cara Latimer stuff, Marshal Seth, Ponies, Princess Amethyst or whatever it was, all of it -- why'd we do it, why did we make up those stories or sing those songs or write that stuff down or record it or whatever? I think it was just that we had the need to create. I don't know how to explain the need. I can't imagine what my childhood would have been like without it. I am frightened that I might have made most of it go away, sometime between eighth and tenth grade or so, by trying to pretend it wasn't there.
So I think I that's why I love the music I do, not so much because I appreciate the creator's ability to make music, but because I appreciate his or her need. When I hear that need in something, I wonder at it and delight in it in a very personal way. I hear it in Reputation songs, in Steve Earle songs, in Cure songs and Prince songs and Squeeze songs and Nields songs and "Last of the Good Straight Girls" and "To Forgive" and Schubert and Flux AD. I don't care about the songs anybody writes because they can. The ones I want to hear are the songs they write because they can't not.