(Job update: The other day, I was so in love with my job I wanted to marry it; the next day I wanted to arrange for it to have a "tragic" "accident" during our Carribean honeymoon so I could collect the insurance money and shack up with a much younger cabana boy by the ocean. Today we were back on decent terms. I'll keep you posted.
Apartment update: None. In denial. Moving on.)
A few weeks ago I saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, which I thought was really cute (thanks in large part to Michael Cera, who Manic likes to call "that boy from Juno" even though he's really that boy from Arrested Development. I MISS THAT SHOW!). The other day, my friend sent me a little package with fun magazines and caramel popcorn and the Nick and Norah soundtrack. I was reading the liner notes and the director talks about how he worked in a music store when he was in high school. People would come in just desperate to find out the name of a song they heard in passing, a snippet they heard on the radio or in a store or through the open window of someone else's car, and he would help them find the song.
I have done that SO MANY TIMES, just gotten absolutely crazed over finding a song. I'm constantly scribbling down, like, five words on the back of some receipt and then Googling them to death later until I find the right one. I searched for MONTHS for the song that played when Carrie saw Aidan again at the opening of Steve's bar on Sex and the City (Love for Real by Everlast ... it threw me because it was mostly instrumental, and the vocals that WERE there were by a woman). I was at lunch with someone once and, I don't know, it was kind of one of "those" conversations, and this perfect song was playing in the background, which I found out later was Statue by Low Millions. A couple of months ago, I heard a line of this song that I just loved and HAD to find, and it was Just Say Anything by Five a.m. (My favorite example of that on the CD is a song called The Last Words, and there's a part that goes, "You said you loved me and I kind of believed it, but who knows what that means anymore." It's like 1:20 in, listen to it, it's so good.)
Anyway, reading that reminded me of that scene in Garden State where she's like, listen to this song, it will change your life. I didn't love that scene, actually, but I like the idea of a song moving you so much it changes your life a little. I was trying to think of what mine would be, and it's HARD! I feel like they shouldn't just be songs I like, they should be songs that MEAN something. Here's what I've got ...
Fire and Rain and Carolina in my Mind, James Taylor. When I was 13 or 14, I had this incredible crush on a boy named Drew. I went to this dance and they played Fire and Rain (totally random), and Drew actually ASKED ME TO DANCE. We (I) had our little three minutes and 26 seconds of bliss, and then I didn't talk to him the rest of the night. My friend's mom came to pick us up. We were all packed into the minivan, and I was in the way, way back, looking out the window, when Drew's mom's car pulled up right next to us. Drew was in the backseat, and I just stared at him, like, having a mini heart attack while everyone else around me talked and laughed and whatever. I didn't think he could see me, but then all of a sudden, right when the light turned green, he put his hand up and gave me a little wave. Carolina in my Mind (double random) was playing on the radio, and I swear to you, it was the first time in my life that time froze just for a second. I am a HUGE "moment" girl, which is why I can remember things like what song was playing when I had lunch with someone three years ago. That was the first real "moment" I remember.
Closer to Fine, Galileo, Least Complicated, Indigo Girls. I listened to a lot of Indigo Girls my first year or two of college. I had this all-nighter ritual: Excedrin, Dr Pepper, Goldfish crackers and Indigo Girls. I think it was the first time I realized there was stuff outside of Top 40 radio, which definitely impacted the kind of music I liked from that point on, and all of the lyrics were about figuring out who you were and what it means to be in love and things like that, which were pretty appropriate for a 17-year-old girl away from home (2,000 miles away, no less) for the first time.
Angel Dream, Tom Petty. I dated this guy once who was in a band. He used to say this song reminded him of me, and he put his version and Tom Petty's version on a tape for me when I went off to college. Why was it life-changing? Because he was the first person who really loved me--not just liked me, but loved me--even though he didn't have to, even though I didn't quite love him back the same way, and that song reminds me of that.
Falls Apart, Sugar Ray. This is the song that caused me to hurl myself at the stage and tell Mark McGrath I would have his babies. (Did I say I was proud? No. No, I did not.) But I HAVE loved concerts ever since.
Chocolate, Snow Patrol. The first line is: "This could be the very moment I'm aware I'm alive." I think a lot of times we can catch ourselves sleepwalking through life, but no matter how much time you've wasted, no matter how you've screwed up, it can all change right this second. I can't tell you how many times I've blasted that song and been like, OK, this could be it, this could be the beginning of the rest of your life.
Mr. Brightside, The Killers. It totally represents to me the beginning of one of the more significant relationships of my life (timing, maybe?). For a long, long time, I listened to it every day on the way to work.
And two albums: August and Everything After, by the Counting Crows, and Futures, by Jimmy Eat World. I did not like Counting Crows when that album came out. As a matter of fact, I think it's fair to say I HATED THEM. But a few years later, when I didn't hear Mr. Jones every single time I turned on the radio or see Courteney Cox moping in the video for A Long December every time I turned on MTV, I rediscovered that CD and just fell absolutely in love. I just GOT it. I feel like I can relate to just about every song on that CD.
And Futures ... oh, Futures. There are a few songs on Futures that completely, utterly and totally capture some very big years of my life. Do you ever feel like if someone watched something or read something or heard something in particular, they would be able to get you that much more? I feel that way with some of those songs. They're me, in four-minute increments. I guess that's why they made such an impact on me, because someone was able to put into words how I feel and I know I'm not the only person in the world who feels that way.
What about you? What songs changed your life? (Maybe we'll make a life-changing soundtrack and do a giveaway!)(*Although, yes, you should stand in line and vote and blah blah blah. I was totally into this election for a long time, and now I am so sick of it I could scream. I'm sure I'll still have my butt in front of the TV watching results all night, though.)