Friday, January 18, 2008

Music is the Soundtrack to Your Life

I really think it’s true that music is the soundtrack of your life. I can listen to a CD (or even tape) and know exactly what was going on in my life when I bought it or first listened to a song on it – I remember the season, who I was dating, what I was doing, and what I was thinking.

For instance, Gwen Stephanie’s “Holla Back Girl” played all spring and summer long when our league first formed. This was a time before we actually played roller derby, before we had closed practices, and this song played at the rink every night for “ladies skate.” I wouldn’t typically listen to Gwen, I don’t own anything by her or No Doubt, but I’ll always crank up the volume if Holla Back Girl comes on in the car.

When I was in high school I remember listening to Fugazi’s In On the Kill Taker. It was spring time, and there was a lot of rain that year. I remember listening to it during thunderstorms with my bedroom window open, drops of water splashing in through the window screen, and the smell of fresh-cut grass wafting in with the breeze. I felt like I was anticipating something. It was a great time in my life.

When I was a kid, I remember listening to Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual in the car with my dad. We would be on our way to picking up my girl-scout uniform or just making a trip to the store, and we’d sing along to every song on that album. We lived in Columbus, Georgia then, and I can even remember the scenery I saw driving along a certain road while we listened to that album. I remember looking at the cover of the tape – it was so colorful, and Cyndi Lauper seemed so cool to me! I wanted to dress just like her.

The problem is, I’ve been spending the last year listening to much of the same music – music from the past. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I could use something new. This morning on the way into work I was scrolling through my iPod and couldn’t find anything I wanted to listen to. I think I settled on an old Pixies album and then gave up after 3 songs and hit “shuffle.” I heard some Dead Milkmen, Ween, Twilight Singers, and Flaming Lips. Too bad none of them have any new albums out. Still, I want something new.

So, I’m thinking about how I got introduced to most of the music I have listened to in the past, because it’s not usually something I hear on the radio. I suppose most of it was word-of-mouth or a band I saw who opened for another band. Now I’m old and go to maybe 4 shows a year, and I don’t feel like any of my friend have the same taste in music as I do anymore.

So, readers, please. Is there an album you would recommend to me, and why? Help a sister out. I’m dying to recapture the exhilarating feeling you can get from finding something new and wonderful.


Meghan said...

Have you heard any Josh Ritter? Jeebus, that man writes songs that just kill me. His last two albums especially - Heaven!

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying Feist right now. But I know what you mean. I rarely find new music now because everything sucks and I'm too lazy to search.


You put in an artist you like and they play that artist and other artists it thinks you will like. I've found a few good bands this way.

Julia said...

i don't know if you read comments on old blogs, but, in case you do...

"Foundations" by Kate Nash is my new favorite song

The White Stripes' latest album, Icky Thump, is effing amazing

not a new song, but I can't stop watching "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck" on youtube

I second the Pandora nomination, too. Also, there is usually good music on satellite radio. If you don't have it, you can probably google their playlists. I know that on XM, the alt stations are called Fred, Ethel and Lucy.