Monday, June 22, 2015

Hot Summer Car Jamz: Super Nostalgia Edition!

I think the beginning of summer makes me nostalgic; I totally had the urge to listen to Liz Phair today. I always get a little sad too, realizing that the days will get shorter for the next six months. Whip-Smart got thousands of plays in my car's tape deck, back in the day. Before the mp3 revolution, people had that connection to music; you'd buy something, and that would be it, you better like it, cause it's gonna be a week before you have disposable income again. You looked for reasons to like it. There were plenty of albums I didn't really dig, but I committed to giving them 3 or 4 listens, because dammit, I bought it! And you know what? Sometimes, you'd catch something on that third listen and the album would end up in permanent rotation. Nowadays, it's the opposite, you look for a reason to hit the skip button; to go ahead and find the next thing. It's hard, cause a lot of the music I love didn't instantly grab me. I really think that most people will like an album if A. they culturally identify with it, and B. they are familiar with it. These days, I need to actively decide to get into something and then see how it plays out. It works for me, but it's not the same.

One thing that kinda sucks about living in NYC is that you don't spend any time in people's cars. I know it sounds weird, but there's an intimacy factor; it's probably as close as you get to someone until you get into their bedroom, if you ever get that far. A lot of the music that really sticks with me, and would guess most of you too, has a strong person/place/time connection. In a car, you instantly had person/place association. Whenever I hear "Only in Dreams," I'm baked out of my mind in the back of Chet's police issued Crown Vic with four other kids, parked down by a lake where no one would bother us. Whenever I hear "Mayonnaise," I'm cruising around with Meg in the middle of the night, feeling lost and hopeless, but also feeling like we belonged; if not to the world as a whole, but at least to each other. Whenever I hear "Marquee Moon," I know it's exactly as long as it took me to drive from the giant Victorian house I split with six other people across from the JCA in Amherst, to Rachel's two bedroom apartment on Randolph Place in Northampton, provided it was late at night and there was no traffic on Route 9.