Monday, July 18, 2011

so, how's it gonna be?

When it all comes down to cycling trivialities?

Songs that will make me think of this year:

1. Cycling Trivialities by Jose Gonzales

One of the many random songs I put on my random cds before I left California (wow, left California. that's... well). Rather a long song, a very rich, impassioned acoustic piece that sounds like the overcast sky after a rain. Or before. Anyway, I listened to it a good deal the day that I departed Ashland and climbed through the mountains to Portland. Everything was deeply green and wet and the road was windy for hours and hours, and all I saw between towns were very small, abandoned-looking farmhouses, overgrown by the green and the wetness. At one point I reached the top of an incline and noticed, emerging from the incredibly high, dripping trees, gigantic birds circling through the air. They reminded me of a mobile, the kind you hang over a baby's crib. I was listening to this song at the time, and it made sense (cycling).

2. Rivers and Roads by the Head and the Heart

Definitely the best find of the year. Something random I downloaded from a music blog and tossed onto a cd. I finally heard it just as I was leaving Northern California, and I couldn't believe my ears. You know that thrill you get (followed by a sheepishness, of course, that you could be so self-important and predictable) when you hear or see something and connect with it so much and feel like it's about YOU? That is what I felt. And I sang along so heartily it was ridiculous. I cannot believe the lyrics of this song-- the songwriters found a very simple way to express everything all of us are feeling right now. And it is me, me, me. And if you don't know what to make of this, then we cannot relate.

3. My Name is Jonas by Weezer
The week after I got to South Heart it was just Amanda and Grandma and myself, and the three of us spent alot of time with Guitar Hero, which I had never played. I didn't like most of the songs on the game, but this one I became obsessed with playing. I still don't get what on earth it's about, but I LOVE the part about Wheatfield: "Got a box full of your toys! Fresh outta batteries, but still makin' noise, MAKIN' NOISE!" GAH!! I love it! And it will always bring me back to curling up with kittens and watching the May Day blizzard rage outside. The soundtrack to my first blizzard, if you will.

4. What Sara Said by Death Cab for Cutie
Plans was my Portland soundtrack. I walked around in the rain, mostly silent, but sometimes humming various songs from this album. Finally, when I was in the Japanese Garden (my FAVORITE part of Portland and maybe the whole trip), I was staring at the zen garden for a very long time and all of a sudden all I could hear was "So who's gonna watch you die?" I finally got out my ipod and listened to the song repeatedly for the rest of my garden tour.

4. Indian Summer by Ben Gibbard
My summer theme song. Too predictable? Perhaps. I heard it at the magic coffee shop here and immediately adopted it. It will always make me think of driving from South Heart to work, and turning it up for the peppy parts.

5. ET by Katy Perry
I have long accepted that Katy Perry is to be placed alongside Justin Timberlake as my ultimate guilty pleasure, and this song tops all guilty-pleasure lists. When I hear this I now think of Ringo and I, struggled our way up the Rocky Mountains at night in the rain and dying. At one point I was just like, well. I have to stop freaking out. And what better way to combat freakage then singing along loudly to a total crap song? KISS ME, K-K-KISS ME!!

6. Baby by the Biebs
In keeping with the guilty pleasure thing, my friend and roomie Amanda and I have long joked about the Biebs and her little sister's obsession with him, so I downloaded this song as a surprise for a cd that I made her. It was meant as a joke. And now... it will not leave our heads. The other day we were both putting on mascara in the bathroom and found ourselves humming the song at the same time. NOT OKAY.

7. Piledriver Waltz by Alex Turner
Must have listened to this a million trillion times this year. I think I found it shortly after I got here and obsessed over it for months. I fell asleep to it playing on repeat many, many afternoons in a row, and listened to it sorrowfully during my last visit to California. It's the flow of his wordplay that slays me: "...lose your weight-tress was miserable, and so was your food..."

8. Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People
A weird obsession. I don't know what's special about this song at all, except that it's wormed its way into my brain and it's constantly torturing me with its catchiness. Also I became re-obsessed once I realized what the lyrics were ("all the other kids with the pumped-up kicks/better run, better run/out-run my gun" HAHAHAHHAHA death of hipsters?).

9. Have to Drive by Amanda Palmer
My sad song of the year perhaps. Amanda Palmer is a crazy great songwriter, and I can identify with her self-obsession and her insecurities. I especially love this song, and how she turns a roadkill incident into an existential ballad. Obviously, I listen to it when I have to drive.

10. Sit Down by the Fire- The Veils
Reminding me ALOT of the Smiths, the Veils are my latest discovery (let's be honest-- could I or could I not be an amazing music producer? the answer is yes). This song reminds me a good deal of the Smiths, in style and in substance ("ain't no way to get what I want" vs. "let me get what i want/lord knows it would be the first time"). The lead singer's voice is so soulful and dripping with longing that I find this song weirdly romantic. I think I will always associate it with waking up at 9PM and getting ready for work at 10, in the dark, as everyone else's nights are winding down.

Oh life. You are a bugger.

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