Tuesday, May 27, 2008

my music depends on circumstance ...

there is no legitimate reason for me to know every word of "love song" by sara bareilles. but here i am, not riding my bike, and delilah is playing this song and i am singing along like the driver's seat is an elementary school stage and i'm wearing a pair of loud red jams and mirrored sunglasses and i've whipped up a special dance routine to the song "wake me up before you go-go."

when i realize i'm singing along and haven't missed a beat, key change, a single emotional nuance, i start to feel extraordinary. like i have this bizarre talent, the anticipation of lyric before its verbal release. it's simply not possible that i actually know this song.

in the fall, starbucks was giving out a free song from itunes with a purchase -- and as a indiscriminate liker of things free, i collected them all. this was one of them. something about the song must have interested me -- the way the song "no one's going to love you" by band of horses did. in a 'i like this song, but i doubt i'll ever listen to it on purpose and i'm very sure i won't buy the cd in its entirity' so i started making myself a mix called "building a mix."

for whatever reason, this song became my "cool-down-from-a-run" song. it's upbeat and almost fast. perfect for walking, drinking water, ruing my achilles tendons and patting myself on the back for a job slowly done.

so that is this song's job: to coax me through 4 minutes, 20 seconds of walking, of filling my water bottle and of sanitizing the treadie of my disgusting germs.

and now, accidentally, i can croon it like a little lark without even knowing it was seeping into my brain. i should start listening to songs in spanish or about math or changing my own oil.

i'm realizing that the music i like relies on circumstance. i have about 10 things i listen to regularly in a normal, focused setting, including: bon iver, ida, cat power, the national, radiohead, colin meloy [does morrissey], feist, rilo kiley ... i learned the hard way that for some reason that "the trapeze swinger" by iron and wine make me weepy. no idea why.

and there is little on my running mix that i would listen to under normal circumstances: janet jackson's "nasty boys" and "control"; britney spears' "toxic" and "i'm a slave 4 u"; new order's "true faith" and "bizarre love triangle"; "run" by gnarls barkley.

while i love camera obscura and ben kweller, i only want to hear them on long car rides. and the dresden dolls' take on caberet punk when its winter or raining.

lately i've been craving phil collins. i don't know what circumstances, aside from driving alone in my car at midnight, would call for me to play "against all odds" and so i've not downloaded it. i typically don't like to delve into the 80s unless i have an audience and a microphone and i've done my hair and -- let's face it -- it's madonna or denise williams or stevie nicks. lionel ritchie is fantastic makeout music. the fleetwood collection and supertramp, simon and garfunkle -- great for epic cleaning.

"tears for fears'" album "songs from the big chair" was perfect for grilling at 2 a.m. the other night. but only the album. and only when grilling.


Jodi said...

"Against All Odds" was my favorite song in 6th grade, I thought it was the most romantic thing I had ever heard in my entire life.

I still love that song, and I have this kickass cover it by the Postal Service (i think that's who it is) that I will e-mail you when I get home.

Maurey said...

My music depends on circumstance as well. My husband gives me endless crap when my iPod is plugged in my Forester and I haven't updated the playlist from my last five-miler, and Kanye or Justin or whoever pops on.

I get instantly defensive. "Um, it's a run mix!" Running is supposed to make poor taste okay, I guess.

Angie said...

i have the same odd talent for memorizing certain songs. huh.

Kristabella said...

I'm the same way. Which is why I have some embarrassing songs on my iPod because in the moment, I HAD TO HAVE THAT SONG. Like more than one Fergie song.

Beverly said...

I agree with maurey that "it's a run mix" is a very good excuse. You do what you gotta do.

Perfectly Shelly said...

I'm not all that into music, but I swear, I've turned into my MOTHER...I don't know this new-fangled crap, and can SING the hell out of the 'oldies' they play (ahem, from the EIGHTIES)

I find a catcy tune and try to sing with it, then I learn the REAL WORDS and I'm usually SHOCKED. Also, words don't MEAN the same thing they USED TO MEAN.

I guess I need to invest in the Urban Dictionary.

Whiskeymarie said...

I don't know what this says about me, but the only music I listen to these days are the bajillion cds I have in my car. Unless the Mr. burns something new for me and physically puts it in my car, I listen to nothing new.
No ipod, not even a sony walkman. Just my car.