Frank Zappa once stated that “without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid,” a vision of life strikingly similar to that of the average college student. With near-constant academic goals and looming tuition bills to pay, music has played a huge part in my life, and the lives of countless others, as a stress reducer, whether through performing, dancing or just plain listening.
After a long day, there aren’t many things that relax me more than a well-deserved session of belting out Bruce Springsteen songs. I treat this musical catharsis as a sacred ritual and usually expect to have to seek it out on my own.
It’s with this mindset that I had a moment of pure, joyous shock. A few days ago, as I walked into Center Court at Sadler, I noticed a familiar tune come over the speakers: “Fluorescent Adolescent” by Arctic Monkeys.
The song immediately took me back to my early high school days, when I would sit in awe as a few of my more musically inclined peers shredded guitars and pounded drums to the song’s vigorously euphoric chorus. This emotional journey was not one I expected to have prior to scarfing down chicken tenders before a club meeting. With song choices like these, Sadler has upped their music game to a beautifully nostalgic degree.
While “Fluorescent Adolescent” might seem like a niche choice, I’m not the only one experiencing such sentimental feelings. Later during that same meal, “Paper Planes” played, resulting in an impromptu fork-in-hand dance party. The next day, “Fireflies” by Owl City played shortly before I arrived for lunch.
Not only did I receive several Snapchats lauding the choice and sharing nostalgic flashbacks like mine, but the positivity of the song choice was still being praised by the time I arrived about 10 minutes later. I’m not sure who is in charge of Sadler’s music this year, but whoever it is deserves accolades for understanding exactly what Zappa was getting at in his quote. When Zappa says “decoration,” he is not talking about plain floral wall dressing; he’s talking about surrounding one with beauty, artistic feeling and decorations that brighten life and give it extra meaning.
The music selection in Sadler serves as more than just background music, hitting a distinctly emotional portion of each student’s brain and triggering musical jubilation students didn’t even know that they longed for.
Everybody desires musical bliss, craving meaningful decorations to help light up their frantic lives. Over the last few weeks, Sadler has been providing this glee in spades. I will always have my late-night Springsteen “yell-alongs” to soothe me but having similarly mindful experiences as I eat certainly does not hurt my busy soul.
Email Anthony Madalone at [email protected]