there was a time, when most of the things that i built my life around were still largely unexamined.
[ i’m thinking about writing a series of posts that begin like that. ]
so, this is about music. and exactly about a playlist that i put together last night. and what it means. “pre-enlightenment bliss” was its name, the playlist. because it’s from a very different time.
do you remember napster? well, they shut it down before this story really takes off. but then kazaa came, and that was when i really hit my stride in illegally downloading music. kazaa let me download all my favorite songs, free of charge. it would be quite a few years – 5 or 6 – until i began to value complete albums. at this time, though, all my 8th grade self cared about was this song. this one song that was going to take hours to download at 3 kb/sec. ( “dad, can we please get a cable modem?” )
but it was a good time. it was a time when i still relied on the radio for my musical education [ which is still the most american way to discover your musical tastes ]. it was a time when the best songs were the ones that could be sung over and over again on all those hot, humid summer days in arkansas that seemed to come over and over and over again. or else they could be learned by beginning guitar players in one sitting.
we sang them on the long cross-country runs. we sang them on the short walks from 8th street to the Big Red burger joint. we played them to impress girls. we burned them onto cd’s in nearly infinite combinations and permutations. we wrote their lyrics in emails. we tried to perform them exactly the way they sounded on the recordings. and we turned the radio up when they came on. at some point later, music would acquire for me something like a holiness. but, that was after these songs came – most of them, at least. perhaps that is why i spend so much time now, canonizing these old friends.
it’s amazing how i remember so many of these songs in exact places, exact times – memories which are approaching the 10-year old mark with disquieting speed. stay together for the kids is in the galbo’s basement and we’re making a music video with brooms instead of guitars, pots and pans instead of drums… and a special effects department that includes a box fan, confetti, and camera-shaking. and a lot of sincerity, in spite of all the irony we could muster. black balloon is in a dark bedroom in mayflower arkansas, watching a dear friend write a heartfelt letter – there it is again, the sincerity. sweetness is sitting in a trailer next to a fireworks tent, trying to understand what it will mean to graduate; to go to college. grey sky morning is the drive from my house to tucker coliseum, wearing my cap and gown and sitting in the parking lot so that it will have time to finish.
there’s more i could say, but i think i’ve indulged myself enough. here’s the playlist:
All the Small Things – Blink 182
Stay Together for the Kids – Blink 182
First Date – Blink 182
Yellow – Coldplay
Trouble – Coldplay
The Way – Fastball
Everlong – Foo Fighters
Hemorrhage (In My Hands) – Fuel
Broadway – Goo Goo Dolls
Slide – Goo Goo Dolls
Black Balloon – Goo Goo Dolls
Basket Case – Green Day
Time of Your Life – Green Day
Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World
3am – Matchbox Twenty
Wonderwall – Oasis
Champagne Supernova – Oasis
Don’t Go Away – Oasis
Sadie Hawkins Dance – Relient K
Closing Time – Semisonic
Good Souls – Starsailor
Last Nite – The Strokes
Fat Lip – Sum 41
Still Waiting – Sum 41
Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning) – Vertical Horizon