Sonic Seducer: A Heavy Story About Always Being Present and Passionate With The Philosophy of Rock and Roll

Sunil Singh
9 min readJan 11, 2024

Sometime this Spring, I will finish my fourth book. My first three were about math. Not the math you learned in school. That was not cool. School does the awesome job of making every subject uncool.

Everything comes down to content and its quality. What is great food? What are great places to travel to? What are great books to read? What are the great bands/songs in rock music?

For me, the last question has consumed most of my life. I am known as math educator who likes to tell stories — highlighting great content/moments in the history of mathematics.

But, music has been my quiet, burning passion — trying to find the edges of great bands and songs for the last 40 years.

So, I have a great story to tell you that is centered around the most important element in writing a great story.

I am sharing with you the the beginning of The Introduction, so that you can get a glimpse of what this book will be about.


Born to Go, Hawkwind

The last words I wrote in this book are right here in these opening paragraphs. I wanted to meet myself back at the beginning, and see how the start of the book might be affected by the 32-month journey of completing it. The main thing was, that the years in which the book was written, also happened to be the years in which I enjoyed listening to rock music–especially new music–the most in my entire life.

Did I see that revelation coming? Truthfully, no. I didn’t see that coming, or the journey that writing the book took me on. However, now that the adventure is over, I am not surprised by the conclusion of my soul-searching/soul-crushing audit of rock music. That in the “Fall” years of my life, I found an eternal spring through the constant and consistent absorption of all things new. New and heavy, to be perfectly correct.

The music fed the writing, the writing fed trying to find more music. A perpetual machine of curiosity was born in this most natural union of two of my biggest passions in life. So much so, that many of the new bands mentioned in this book were discovered while writing this book. It would take my sixth decade of existence for this manic loop of curiosity and creativity to emerge. In the end, I think I extracted a bolder narrative of rock and roll’s connective tissue–its heaviest moments, and the blissful consequences of being submerged in them.

That’s all great. But, I am guessing you might want me to back it up a bit regarding my confident proclamation about new music. Most, Sunil? Really? Come on. That sure is a bold and dissonant statement from someone who is a baby boomer — and one that should be rightfully audited for potential exaggeration from all of you!

So, the only proof I have for making such a potentially audacious claim are the 100 000 words that lie ahead. There is also a strong correlation between this “most” and “heaviest moments” — and how it took me most of my life for those ideas to collide. Simply put, I am listening to bolder and more challenging music now more than I ever did in all my younger years.

Yes. I lived through the golden age of FM radio in the 70’s. I listened to Metallica via cassettes in the 80’s. Almost every band of Generation X’s Lollapalooza years I saw not once, but twice–often in dingy bars. But, as the 21st century opened, with many confidently proclaiming rock’s best years were over, I fell down a rabbit hole of unfettered heaviness. More than two decades after tumbling around in this endless world of immensely gratifying sounds, I am ready to tell the story of my sonic seduction. This wasn’t a marginal experience. This isn’t a marginal story. My very ordinary life has been coloured in with extraordinary musical discoveries and adventures. I lived my teenage years listening to old music. I am living my soon to be senior years listening to new music. That’s the simple story of this book. Like all good stories, however, it is more complicated than that.

So, for me to correctly communicate the enrapturing detail of these seemingly bazillion moments of musical epiphanies, and my relationship with the present state of rock music–much of which will be foreign to some of you–I had to honor the past with fresh deference.

Rock music has been a spiraling and sprawling continuum of our wildest and most raw emotions for over half a century. Sonic Seducer is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual mosh pit for that idea. If this sounds like great sex, that’s because the greatest rock and roll–and its charged intensity of unbridled and uncompromising expression–is communion of the highest pleasurable order. Rock and roll is not an accompaniment to sex. It is sex on its own. Equally wild, and only limited by its own creativity and curiosity.

The real beginning of this book starts below this italicized interception of it. It’s a deep, lustful plunge into an updated story of rock and roll. It also comes as advertised–heavy. But not any cliche, societal, and industry definition of heavy relating to volume or taxing mood. Fuck that. Heavy is beautiful. Heavy is celebratory. Heavy is love. Heavy is being vigorously alive.

When the book gets musically heavy, it’s unbridled and unapologetic. When the book gets musically light, a different but equally valuable heavy is experienced. It remains also unbridled and unapologetic. Heavy is the abundance of all rock’s expressions and emotions. It’s the entire spectrum of sound, oscillating with frequencies that will soon become wonderfully unpredictable here. Questions like is my head going to implode with crushing doom or is my heart going to explode with transcending love will mud wrestle throughout this book. This will be our more inclusive and intense definition of “heavy”. There will be zero deviation from it as this rock and roll story slowly unfurls its many feathers of many sizes of many colors.

It’s a story that will hopefully leave you breathless, astonished, and grateful about how rock and roll can be a trusted advisor, confidant, and soulmate in our lives–in both the loudest moments and the quietest moments. This only becomes more possible if the story of rock and roll is wider, deeper, and fuller, flirting purposely and amorously with all its boundaries–past and present. A story that will get examined through a dauntingly large collection of shared, lingering musical moments–through the seconds of our lives. Away we go…


If I am truly lucky, I have one billion seconds left on this planet. That’s about 32 years. Statistically though, on the precipice of turning 60 in 2024, I should expect to shave off a couple hundred million of them, right? No matter. The key is that my happiest intervals of time are now seconds. I thankfully lost interest in measuring life in revolutions around the Sun many moons ago. And, over the last few years it has been, whenever possible, about moments, organically calibrated by seconds. It’s all that we ever have had. I think it takes being drunk on music for most of your life to sober you up to that fact. At least it did for me.

Specifically, it has been rock and roll that has wisely engineered me to live, love, and laugh through those fleeting seconds. I am hardly alone on this. The uptick on so many different rock festivals over the last twenty years is the data set for the spiritual bliss that rock music has always been a provider of. It’s just far more pronounced now than anytime in the past–which is completely related to my obsession with current rock music. That’s the only reason this book was written–turning 60 and being deliriously alive with the greatest musical period since the Age of Bowie.

There is a vibration of sound happening now whose summoning power is literally cosmic. Rock and roll is evolving into a new beast, while maintaining all the rebellious and creative characteristics of its primordial past.

Without obsession, life is nothing.

John Waters

While sure there is a thankful base, sexual candor to the collective and historic spirit of rock and roll, it has also elevated our consciousness to higher realms. It has cradled and comforted our darkness, helping us to mourn, cry, and scream with soul-nourishing catharsis. Rock and roll’s alchemy of sound, ageless desire for connection, and appetite for fearless expression has created something that is, honestly, bigger than life itself.

And that is what is rock and roll’s new North star–a spiritual awakening to the power and purpose of today’s thundering riffs, hypnotic beats, and deeply infectious vocals. It has consumed me, and to a depth that could have only been revealed through the process of writing not just any music book.

It had to be this one. Sonic Seducer, written intentionally to remember, find, and catalog over a thousand moments from rock and roll, emptied my tank. Even though I have never smoked one, I could have used a cigarette after hitting “send” to my copy editor.

I am also more happy than I have ever been in my entire life–and I was plenty happy before. Listening to music for pleasure and research the last few years has knocked the fifties out of my fifties. Life and music just pulsate better when we splice them into smaller and smaller fragments, worming our way down to those tiny moments that surprise us with their anchoring and levitating power. There is something sacred about falling in love with the entire continuum of the greatest music ever made, and being able to joyfully smirk at whatever time interval of songs you are offered from this continuum–whether it is the whole song or just one of its tiny moments. No moment sits in isolation. Each mere “splatter” of sound sits with its own significance on a larger canvas of splatters. For me, the entire spectrum of rock and roll is like a collection of Jackson Pollock paintings. Sonic Seducer is not just about mooning over them, but pointing out ones that have been forgotten or worse, never remembered in the first place.

Sonic Seducer moves through even the tiniest connections with detail, satisfaction, and patience. Sonic Seducer is a sipping tequila–albeit about a dozen bottles of it…

Savouring seconds in life with the aid of rock music came, however, via slow seduction. That’s a philosophical mind-bender on time and our own mortality, right? What better song to christen this book with than Time(1973) by Pink Floyd, a song that only amplifies the currency of our lives through capitalizing on our moments–which don’t have to be dull.

There’s a lot of songs mentioned in Sonic Seducer–723 to be exact. Each one has some role to play in writing the larger and more surprising narrative of this book–which by the way will be, at first, only cryptically revealed.

Alright then, since rock music has been this sacred and seductive place of restorative energy, meditation, and soulful reflection for me and so many others, we might as well get comfy with even a deeper philosophical dive about those precious seconds–the lens of measurement that defines this book. And, by intended association, our lives as well.

“Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal. For the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it persists forever.”

Become What You Are, Alan Watts

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