As I approached Demarest Hall* on Sunday afternoon while scurrying to find my key, I could hear, from below my feet, the faint strums of a guitar, beats of a drum, and voice of a young man on the verge of something so wrong, it was right.
The sounds I was hearing were coming from the New Brunswick punk band, Jack and the Me Offs and the cause, was them giving birth. The five guys were frying up a creation so precious that it made them reach to the Rock N’ Roll heavens, for its upbringing.
In my 7th grade health class, we were forced to watch the stale 1982 film, The Miracle of Life. What middle schools fail to mention are the other forms of life that take part in the human experience. In other words, it is possible to produce offspring in the form of art. As music is exhaled from the body, like foggy breath on a cold morning, it is inspiration being birthed, or brought into life. This idea of bringing inspiration to life comes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.
Men & women alike, can birth music. The initial idea for a song is the conception, and when the inspiration reaches the brain- the fertilization. In a hunched position, trying to find the write words, and the right chord progression, the artist is pregnant. This pregnancy may take days, weeks, or even months of patience.
Before an artist brings the creation to life, he/she must make sure it’s in the right hands. The song must be taken care of in a nurturing environment, with the right amount of attention. The proper development of that inspiration takes time and care.
4:47PM:, Demarest Hall, Bringing Home Baby
The Demarest band, Jack and the Me Offs*, is rehearsing and I watch the members contort their bodies in new ways, making the ultimate “stank” faces. Hanny, one of the guitarists, is sweating, and Jack, the vocalist, screams profusely. Friends are waiting on the sidelines while this miracle is taking place. The music is coming to life, igniting the room with an unexplainable kind of energy. The guys have been training for this moment by taking lessons, buying equipment, and going out of their ways to come together today.
The essence of the band’s dynamic is a family not defined by blood. Everything the family does, is for the music. It takes patience and extensive communication between members, to bring up the music. There is a chance that this family might divorce after graduation, and lose all inspiration to create. However, right now, in Demarest Hall, the music is flowing, there’s love in the air, and the band has never seemed more connected.
When most people think of their mom, they think of the someone they go to in times of distress. A mother’s embrace can instantly fill the heart with love. There is nothing like the healing powers of a mother, except those of a musician.
It may take a certain liking towards music for an audience member to receive what a live performance has to offer. The lyrics and noise inspired by the muse, or father. The music is a fusion of both the inspiration and the artist him/herself. Not only does the miracle lay in the lyrics/sound of the music, but the way the artists grasps his/her instrument, as if it holds the key to the greatest love. Like the umbilical chord has not yet been cut, caressing the instrument, encouraging it to SPEAK UP, and GO OUT INTO THE WORLD!
Overlapping quotes of rehearsing band/woman in labor:
-“What time is it?”
Jack and the Me Offs, a video by Emily Girgis
*Demarest Hall at Rutgers University invites a new dimension to the American Dream, Rock n’ Roll and the Pursuit of Happiness.
*Jack and the Me Offs are an up-and-coming punk rock band from New Brunswick, NJ. Sprouting from walls of Demarest Hall, the band represents a new generation of punk rockers at Rutgers. Stay tuned for more Me Offs in the near future!
Until then, here’s more Jack and the Me Offs:
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