Thursday, August 08, 2002

I'm slouched in a chair, listening to a mix I made early in the summer, Jay-Z's Hard Knock Life hanging langorously in my headphones, feeling annoyed at a long and kind stupid day of work. I'm so flat and drained right now- I feel like I'm 15 and furious that I'll never be old enough quick enough to move out of suburban NJ- anywhere, as long as it's far away and doesn't have split level homes and huge shopping centers in the middle of clover leaf interchanges. This song is ok- I loved it a few years ago when it was new, shocked to hear a song from a movie I loved as a little kid taken and re-claimed in such an amazing way. I'm not really listening to the words, just the thump-thump-bass-cymbal clash that repeats through the bottom, chorus, same beat but a little less bass at the very beginning of the verse, then back again. Did I mention I feel completely drained? Insert sardonic comment on the hardship of modern life and technology here. The first chords of the next song start up, then a quick drumbeat, and I try to remember what song I put on next. I think for a moment that it's Fell in Love With a Girl- close, but it's actually Hate to Say I Told You So, suddenly sounding quite good for the first time ever.
Do You Remember the First Time? -my introduction to Pulp, buying His & Hers in Newbury Comics- visiting Harvard Square with my mom, I felt kind of silly dragging her here, past the skateboarding kids sitting out on the sidewalk. Hunting through the bins with your mom standing a foot away is kind of weird- I remember thinking right, I should avoid this in the future. Later, getting driven through Boston's snarled mess, I put the album into my discman and tried to turn it up loud enough to hear over the conversations in the car. Next, Let Down by Radiohead, which I'm tempted to not even try to write about in this mood. It makes a nice gloomy, man-we're-screwing-up-this-century-already pairing with the Pulp song. Wilco's Jesus, Etc used to throw me for a loop with the strings that it starts with on this mix- wait, what classical song did I put on here? I was walking home on day, playing this, when it suddenly started pouring out of nowhere. I got drenched, and looked down Pine St to see that the bay was still sunny, then this song came on. Caught at a no walk light, I stood there and counted the blocks to home, hunting up the title of this for a moment. If I think about it, the weird suspended-time seconds from the sudden shock of a sheet of rain on my face and the quick skip out of Radiohead into some new type of music still hang in my head when I walk by that intersection.
Wild Honey, Beach Boys... "sweet sweet, honeybee" start off one of the best songs they've done. It's a funny little tune, bongo drums swelling up the surface fo r a moment, then dropping right off, falsetto notes, then "let me tell you how she really got to my soul" full of earnestness. Slips simply into You're Just A Baby, which puts me right into France, slouched just like I am now, but with my one bag underneath my feet, fiddling with my discman and turning around every so often to see what time it was, checking my tickets. I was debating whether my speaking was yet up to ordering a drink at the counter without any pantomine. It almost was, until it was time to pay- no total lit up on a cash register, so I had to tease out the "deux euros" but gave up on the change part, and feebly held out a palm of small coins. Unable to put together the process of recognize words- translate to english-do the math, four twenties + 11 maybe, I couldn't pick out the correct coins myself. Fame and Fortune - I love the "Hey!" and the way the song picks up quicker halfway through, the urgence of the last minute or so. I'll end before the end of the mix- the last song before I turned it off is Rolling Stone's Brown Sugar, also a song I've loved for so long that I'm unable to write intelligently about it. I've also been trying to use XEmacs keyboard shortcuts on my mac for the last two paragraphs- generally a sign that the upper functions of my brain have turned off & I'm running on some kind of computer nerd instinct here.

No comments: