1. Talk about a memory triggered by a particular song.
said, we're both certified music geeks, so today's prompt is not so much "can I do this one" as it is "how do I narrow it down". So instead, I'm going to pick various songs and give short vignettes of what memories are tied with them.Violent Femmes, "Kiss Off"
Spring 1989. Chris and Ann and I driving down Route 32 towards Worcester. We're heading down to the Centrum to buy tickets for the REM/Indigo Girls show on the 9th of April. It's a wet spring day, having rained the night before, so the air is humid and cool. Ann and I are in the same Humanities class in high school, Chris is our friend who graduated last year. We're throwing in various tapes to listen to on the way down, including REM's Green
, but it's when Ann puts in the Violent Femmes' self-titled album that the three of us go to town, belting out the songs, including this one.Cocteau Twins, "Blue Bell Knoll"
Early autumn 1988. Early evening, listening to WMDK 92.1 out of Peterborough, NH, which at this point has become an AOR station and is playing the lighter 'modern rock' of the day. The deejay announces that Cocteau Twins are releasing a new album after a freshly-inked deal with Capitol Records. They preview the new album by playing the first side. I pretty much stop everything I'm doing and listen in, entranced by the sound. I end up buying the new album soon after, and teaching myself how to play the bass by playing along to it.Nine Inch Nails, "Terrible Lie"
November 1989. Riding the commuter train out to Fitchburg on a dark Friday night, heading back to my parents' house for the weekend, frustrated and angry as hell. Two months into my college life and already it's bugging the hell out of me. I don't get along with my indie-hip roommate, I'm far away from my gf Tracey, and I'm not nearly as good in school as I hoped I'd be. I start hiding in the solace of music and writing, and NIN's Pretty Hate Machine
becomes my de facto soundtrack.Elvis Costello, "Alison"
Spring 1991. Working down in the basement of Emerson College Library (back when it was on 150 Beacon) in the Media Center. Hearing this song playing on WFNX nearly every morning, I'd sit at the front desk there, sipping coffee and trying to wake up. To this day I equate this song with morning coffee.Duran Duran, "Ordinary World"
Spring 1993. Broken up with Tracey for the final time, lost connection with most of my friends, and have no friggin' idea what the hell I want to do with my life, feeling that I just wasted four years of college. Angry and pissed off at the world and myself, but I force myself to start thinking seriously about my future, even though it'll be derailed a few times. Still one of my all-time favorite Duran Duran songs, though.White Zombie, "More Human Than Human"
.Ned's Atomic Dustbin, "All I Ask of Myself is That I Hold Together"
.U2, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"
Summer 1995. Spending a free afternoon in my bedroom at the apartment in Brighton, listening to WBCN and writing on my gf Diana's PC, working on our co-written science fiction novel while she stays the summer down in Florida with her family. I have an index card taped to the wall above my desk that says "Just SHUT THE F**K UP and WRITE." The windows are open and a nice breeze is coming in off of Brighton Avenue. These songs are blaring out of the speakers. A lean yet productive summer.Hooverphonic, "Dictionary"
.Dishwalla, "Until I Wake Up"
.Belle & Sebatian, "The Boy with the Arab Strap"
Autumn 1998. Listening to cds I recently bought from HMV, the record store in Marlborough that I'd been working at for the past few years. Sitting down in the basement of my family's house in what I would soon dub "the Belfry" (due to a few errant bats flying over my head one summer evening), my dedicated writing nook. At this point I've finished The Phoenix Effect
and am currently revising it for submission. All of these songs point to this time when I'd started my ritual of writing nearly every single evening down there. Beck, "Little One"
Spring 2003. Hearing the album playing softly in the background while walking through Wordsworth Bookstore in Cambridge MA, one of my favorite places to stop during my frequent road trips to Boston during that time. They had a great (and quirky) selection of books and I rarely if ever left emptyhanded.Boards of Canada, "Dayvan Cowboy"
Autumn 2005. Wasting time at my temp job of scanning paperwork, goofing off online, and listening to streaming radio or cds. emmalyon
has been offered a managerial position in San Francisco, which she accepts. We'll take a trip out west in November to scout apartments, and will move in December. At this point I'm just counting down the days until that point, and enjoy the relaxing pace. An interesting way to end a year where I move out of my parents' house after ten years, move to New Jersey, ride a commercial airline for the first time, go to Europe (Scotland) for the first time, and get married.Mutemath, "Blood Pressure"
Autumn 2011. Frustration with work and lack of progress in writing is winding me up, and I finally make the decision that I need to do something about it. This becomes sort of my theme song in the process. It's slow going, but it's going.