“Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be—gimme, gimme.”
After music platforms smashed that song into my head years ago, I was fried from the band Weezer—until I was asked to tag along to a concert. An old favorite, The Pixies, was co-headlining, and the invite came from two hiking friends from Switzerland. I knew it wouldn’t be that bad.
And, I was right.
The energy in the air from beginning to end was constant and contagious, and when the golden sun dipped behind the stage that night in Denver, I gazed down around the blanket-strewn lawn and realized something. I had been smiling, dancing, and purely happy for hours—because of Weezer. They carried the show. Ever since, my ear has been to the ground for their sound.
When their latest album, “OK Human,” came out in January with a song titled after the book Grapes of Wrath, the ol‘ English major in me was crazily curious to know what these mighty music men had created this time. As these lyrics slipped in through my headphones, I wasn’t disappointed.
“I’m gonna rock my audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
You think I care, I just don’t care
I just don’t care
I’m barely there
I just don’t care.”
The lyrics totally represented me during this worldwide pandemic.
The tension between our constant togetherness as a family and our separation from friends flew out the window with headphones and the right tunes or audiobooks. I mowed the lawn, did the dishes, and carried on happily half checked in while being half checked out with a classic. For a while, I didn’t care—I was elsewhere.
The lines in Weezer’s song gave a hat tip to John Steinbeck because the songwriter and lead singer of the band, Rivers Cuomo, does the same thing—pops on headphones and checks out with literary hit after hit. In turn, his Grapes of Wrath lyrics are a full-on danceable reading list—Mrs. Dalloway, Moby Dick, 1984, Neverland, and Catch 22 included. I was hooked.
Mindfully staying in our present moment to defeat anxiety or stress by noticing each step, bite, or breath we take is what we practice. However, escaping into headphones while folding laundry felt more than okay sometimes. In fact, the joy from the night of their concert years ago was plastered across my face the whole time.
Weezer’s recently released music video for Grapes of Wrath was launched to honor the 82nd anniversary of when the book was originally published, and I’m sharing it to honor inspirational writing, music, and momentary escapes.
Have a concert or song that rocked your world with a mindful message to share? I’d love to hear it—submit here.