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.
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.
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.
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
- Jack’s Mannequin – The Mixed Tape
- Jack’s Mannequin – Bruised
- Matt Nathanson – Angel
- Matt Nathanson – I Saw
- Something Corporate – Walking By
- Something Corporate – Punk Rock Princess
- Death Cab for Cutie – Photobooth
- Lifehouse – You & Me
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Modern Romance/Poor Song
- 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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
- A Song Can Change Everything (yearigrewup.wordpress.com)
- Matt Nathanson Talks New Music, New Album & the 9:30 Club (947freshfm.cbslocal.com)
First off. I know I’ve said it already, but I want to give a big thank you and send lots of love to anyone and everyone who commented on my last post or sent DMs or tweets or texts or called. I appreciate the love and support so much more than I could ever say.
Back to the normal.
When I was just a wee freshman in college, there was a program called MyTunes. My first “cool college friend” Blackbird introduced me to it, and showed me just how easy “borrowing” my fellow dorm mates music could be. Seriously. This program would show you the libraries of anyone on the college network, and allow you to download their music in a matter of minutes. That was so fucking fast back then.
The best thing to come out of this program, besides the obscene amount of time I’d spend with Blackbird listening to Radiohead (always good) and Coldplay (when they were good), was the discovery of one Matt Nathanson.
202 (my college roommate) and I decided that since we could download so much music so quickly, that we might as well sample everything. We were like senior citizens at Old Country Buffet. And one day, we randomly stumbled upon the album Beneath These Fireworks.
The rest is history. The song Angel defined the rest of my college career. I sang it to Boo when he was born. I sang it with Matt Nathanson when he did a set in Grand Rapids one year.
I love Matt Nathanson.
Thus, when I found out he was coming back to GR this month…
Hi, tickets, plznthx. I coerced Goalie into going to the game with me, since I owe him for getting me Abdelkader’s autograph. I’m sure he’s a solid Matt fan by now. Also a solid Matt fan? Derby (@dweezlepip), my fabulous hockey friend from twitter. She was at the concert and we met up and formed a clique in the masses.
The concert was at The Intersection, which has one of those big open standing room spaces. If you were there for the music, you found a table and got a drink. If you were there for the music AND the concert atmosphere, you crowded the stage and sang along with every song, including when he pulled out Amazing Again. Which is a great song. And a great album, if you don’t have it. If you came to see exactly howcloseyoucouldgettoMattNathanson then a) I hate you, b) you may have spilled on me, c) don’t go to a concert again until you have better etiquette.
Matt Nathanson has a great stage presence. I’ve seen him with an audience of twenty some odd people, and he has exactly the same interaction with his audience as when he’s in front of a huge crowd like he was last Friday. He talked for five minutes about a piece of gum…and I was somehow amused. If I could compare sex to scrabble and get laughs like that, I’d be thrilled with myself and retire.
He put together a really great show too, mixed songs from his last two albums, including an ALL MATT version of “Run,” which normally features the chick from Sugarland. Seriously, Matt. I can sing. I can harmonize. I will totally sing her part for you.
This show was better in that aspect than the last few times I’ve seen him perform because this is the first time I’ve seen him where he’s pulled some older songs that not many people know. The last time I saw him perform was right after Some Mad Hope came out, and the whole show was songs for that album. Which is understandable, given the timing, but a little disappointing when you’ve liked an artist for so long.
He also, like most artists, had merchandise for sale in the back. Normally, I don’t get anything, unless there’s a CD I don’t have (And I have all of MN’s already), or something that just grabs me to the point where I cannot go home without it. And Matt Nathanson had one of those. His shirt had a line from Modern Love. Derby pointed out how well the shirt fit in with [ex]Red Wing Mike Commodore and his twitter motto “Stay Single.” I needed that shirt. Well played, Mr. Nathanson. Well played.
PLUSES: The set list. The fact that he STILL performed Run, even without whats-her-face. The humor, despite being a little tongue in cheek due to minors. His beard. The new shirt I procured, namely for the fact that it fit so well with Mike Commodore’s life motto of Stay Single.
MINUSES: the opening act – bless her heart, but she tried way too hard (Notice this is all I mentioned of her and her strange white girl rapping and beat-boxing ways). The fact that all ages were welcome. If I were 18, I would’ve appreciated this, because I would have been able to get in. But I’m older and wiser, and didn’t like the cheerleader in front of me who kept getting in my personal space and screaming while he was singing.
ALL IN ALL: I still love Matt Nathanson. I would have wanted it to be a 21+ show, but the show was so good that I dealt. And maybe gently pushed a girl away form me at one point. I still want him to come back to GR though. And eventually, I will sing with him again.
Oh. By the way. Those awesome shirts Derby and I got? Guess what we did with them?
Yeah. We went there.