Saturday, August 25, 2012

Adam Brent Houghtaling

Adam Brent Houghtaling is the author of This Will End in Tears: The Miserabilist Guide to Music.

From his Q & A with Randy Dotinga at the Christian Science Monitor:

Q: What makes sad songs unique?

A: Sad songs are a really intimate thing. They're not something you listen to with all your friends at a dinner party or when you're hanging out at a lake house with your buddies. You're doing it by yourself.

If you're listening to a lot of sad music, it's because you're not in a great state of mind. You've just gotten your heart broken or suffered some kind of loss. It becomes intimate, but it's also comforting in a way.

Q: Can sad songs actually be good for us when we're feeling down?

A: There's this idea that listening to sad songs may drag us deeper into our despair. But it may also help us go deeper into a despair and focus on whatever the problem is that brought us to that point.

Q: Do you mean a kind of catharsis?

A: I found catharsis to be a very tricky topic, but...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue