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Flashback Monday has no alliteration and is not a catchy title at all.

I found myself thinking back to my freshman year of college, when I coined the…

laying on the floor thinking about stuff

…playlists that I still make today.

If you’ve been there, then you know – dorm rooms weren’t very big. My roommate 202 and I did ended up doing the laying down listening to music thing all the time. The songs I listened to back then are like therapy. Play me some Something Corporate and I’m right back there in my dorm room with the smell of burnt popcorn from down the hall and the sound of various friends yelling up at our window, because we were right above the door to the lobby.

In tiny little picture version, this is where I spent an excessive amount of 2005 and 2006.

In tiny little picture version, this is where I spent an excessive amount of 2005 and 2006.

So, I started making a list of those songs. The ones that pretty much summed up that year of life, because for some reason, that’s one of those really vivid years in my memory. I even went back and looked at an old journal and found out that Yes, these songs are those memories, and if you’re ever trying to time travel ala Christopher Reeves, this is what you should listen to.

I didn’t even realize how much the songs resonated in my memory until I re-read various portions of Hook Ups, Let Downs, and the other Nine Inches.

Like…

Dean started hanging out in my room a lot more. After dinner, when Nicole went off to rehearsal, he’d come over, eating my food and sneaking in beer. He and I had what I considered a real college friendship. We’d bash W . and contemplate how the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s had saved us from teenage angst.

And…

I lay down on the floor of the dorm room. I had the Yeah Yeah Yeahs playing on repeat, Karen O wailing over and over.

They don’t love you like I love you…” I whispered along, not able to move, or not wanting to.

Yeah. Karen O was pretty much my best friend in 2005.

The Time Traveling List of Songs that L.A. overplayed in 2005

  1. Jack’s Mannequin – The Mixed Tape
  2. Jack’s Mannequin – Bruised
  3. Matt Nathanson – Angel
  4. Matt Nathanson – I Saw
  5. Something Corporate – Walking By
  6. Something Corporate – Punk Rock Princess
  7. Death Cab for Cutie – Photobooth
  8. Lifehouse – You & Me
  9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Modern Romance/Poor Song
  10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

Do you have any memories that are triggered by music? Any songs that just resonate a time or a place or a person for you?

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Things that keep the world spinning

I don’t know if you remember, but a few months ago, I headed out to Vertigo in order to attempt the rebuilding of my precious vinyl collection.

It’s ridiculous how music builds up — you just have so much of it that you forget exactly who or what you have. Especially with iTunes nowadays – I tend to be that asshole that just puts my collection on shuffle and hit play. A certain song comes on and I’m all…

Holy fuckballs, I forgot I even had this song/album/artist.

I actually ventured out to an estate sale the other day, and was sucked into a box of old vinyls.

FOUND. A copy of The Who – Tommy, for 50 cents. Sold, and sold.

Everybody loves some Tommy.

Everybody loves some Tommy.

The woman who sold it to me started talking music with me. First it was the “you’re too young to listen to the Who,” then it was the “It’s so good that young people respect how music should be,” and it ended with “Why don’t you take this Beatles 45 of ‘Twist and Shout’ because you like the Beatles and we both know it’s too scratched to play anyway.”

I want to be this woman when I’m old. She told me about how when she got married, all she and her husband could afford was a reception in the church hall with a record player. When she and her husband danced their first dance to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” the record stopped working, and her husband sang to her for the rest of the song.

That’s fucking adorable.

But the best thing she said was this:

Think about all that music you had. Can you remember it all? No. Probably not. And it’s not about the record, or the CDs, or the way you kids have your music now. It’s about the music. It’s about the impact it had on you. And if you can think of any song that did that, that’s all you need.

Therefore, in no particular order, these are the albums that have made an impact on me.

1. The Beatles – Let it Be

Cover of "Let It Be (1990)"

Cover of Let It Be (1990)

The first Beatles record and CD that I ever owned, both purchased by my father. I came home one day singing a Catholic school redone version of Yellow Submarine, and he decided that I needed to know who the Beatles really were. Absolutely the reason that I fell in love with the Beatles from a young age.

2. Jack’s Mannequin – Everything in Transit

Cover of "Everything in Transit"

Cover of Everything in Transit

I worked at American Eagle for a fateful holiday season my freshman year of college and “The Mixed Tape” was on repeat on the store’s playlist. I have a recording of me trying to perform  “Dark Blue” on both piano and guitar. “MFEO” was my theme song for those self discovery confused years. And I still listen to “Bruised” everytime I get moody and have to lie on the floor listening to music.

3. James Taylor – Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits (James Taylor album)

Greatest Hits (James Taylor album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back when CDs first came out, one of my parents bought James Taylor’s Greatest Hits, put it into our new car’s new CD player, and then basically just left it there for the next ten years or so. I’m originally from St. Louis, but when I was two, we moved to Michigan, and proceeded to drive, not fly to St. Louis for holidays and vacations. 8 hour drive each way, with the whole family singing Sweet Baby James.

Deep greens and blues are still the colors I choose.

4. Matt Nathanson – Beneath these Fireworks

Matt Nathanson ~ Beneath These Fireworks

202 and I stumbled upon Matt Nathanson thanks to one of those download programs that were so freaking popular in college. I’ve never loved a CD so much. In the front of every journal I kept since college, are the words “all moved up and all moved on.” Plus, he’s the artist that I’ve seen the most in concert and then there was that I time I sang with him. Matt Nathanson, you own part of me. Oh, and thanks again to Vertigo, for having all of his old CDs, which I bought for under $20 when I was 19.

5. Wicked

Wicked (musical)

Wicked (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This musical. If you’ve seen it, you understand. If you haven’t, why the hell not?! Oh, and if you didn’t know. Everyone deserves a chance to fly.

So, what are some albums that you keep with you? Leave them in the comments. I always like hunting down new music –obviously any and all suggestions are welcome. Even Rod Stewart. Because for serious, I love that forever young song.

I like it best in small, dark places.

The very first concert I went to was in the 7th grade. It was K-Ci and Jojo, and we were young, and thus poor, and thus were sitting on the upper level–far, far away from them.

Lyrics for your hit song? More like LIES. WE WERE NOT CLOSE TO YOU AT ALL, ASSHOLES.

A typical conversation during this concert:

“Who’s the guy in the red pants?”

“I think it’s Jojo?”

“What’s Jojo look like?”

“I don’t know, the guy in the red pants?!”

“Maybe that’s K-Ci!”

“Are those REALLY their names?”

Needless to say, it wasn’t the best concert experience. But it was a learning experience. And I thus spent the next few years polishing my concert going skills.

I dropped a chunk of money to go to a Blink-182 concert in 9th grade, only to find out that when you’re small and near the big group of moshers, people try to lift you up and crowd surf you. You know who is afraid of crowd surfing? 9th grader L.A. and her baby blue Old Navy tech vest.

I found a niche in Christian rock in 10th and 11th grade. Everyone was religious and nice and the artists would autograph things and we’d all hold hands and sing. It was fun, for awhile, until the groups that I liked went mainstream and their ticket prices went up.

And then, one fateful day, after years of going to concerts, I saw a sign at a local music store. It was for a free acoustic set, and an autograph signing, and best of all, even though they did not advertise this on the sign, this happened:

L.A. sings with Matt Nathanson. Heart attacks ensue.

Clearly, this moment was the most awesome thing that I still remember even though I freaked out and suffered from a stroke of musical proportions. I mean, come on people. Matt Nathanson asked if he could hold my baby.

There would eventually be a conversation about this photo. Boo: “Mommy, who’s holding me?” Me: “Matt Nathanson.” Boo: “Matt Nathanson’s my Daddy?”

Since this sort of-concert-but mostly bonding with Matt Nathanson-acoustic set, I’ve seen Matt play three more times. Two of these were bigger concerts, where I bought t-shirts proclaiming my singularity and tweeted about their awesomeness to Mike Commodore, or rocked out to Jack’s Mannequin too.

Yesterday’s was a random stumble of a musical event. Derby caught me off guard with a tweet that she was going to go see Matt Nathanson. GoldDust and I decided at the last minute to head out there, and just hope that we made it in time. Did we? Sort of. Matt was performing in a bar in Royal Oak. It was a small place, clearly a random blip in his touring life, and the place was packed to the point that GoldDust and I were sitting on a window ledge to listen.

Is this a bad thing? Possibly. But I like Matt enough that I was okay with it. We were out of the heat and sweat of the indoors, we were still ridiculously close to what was happening, and I didn’t have to go all spaghetti arms like Johnny in Dirty Dancing to assert my personal space.

Honestly, I’ve realized that I like concerts better this way. I’ve been to so many small events where I walk out feeling like I got to pay more attention to the event that I would have if I’d paid $50 bucks to be rubbed up against by over eager females that yell and jump like cheerleaders high on music.

The last concert I went to was still good, but let’s think about this:

  • Beer was spilled on me.
  • People shoved.
  •  A girl in front of me had to lean back to yell that she loved the music. I kept gently pushing her forward, lest she tip over. She yelled at me.

Sure, this acoustic set was shorter than a regular concert would have been. But it was free. He still played for an hour, got more involved with the crowd, sounded great.

WHERE IS THE LOSS IN THIS?

There isn’t one. I’d take a coffee shop over an arena concert any day. What do you think, readers?