Thursday, 7 May 2009

Life soundtracks

I've been listening to Jagged Little Pill today. Not because I'm some closet Alanis Morisette fan, I just like that album. It's angry. Some of it's really pissed off. It's perfect for getting your head on straight. It talks about sore points and break ups without sentimentalising them, it just puts everything out there.

Those of you on twitter will know that I was having a bit of musical angst this morning. I was getting very frustrated at my iPod, which was supposedly on shuffle, yet continued to throw up break up song after break up song. Or nostalgic stuff like "Better Together", "Better that we break", "Back to you", and "Ben Harper - Forever". Turns out it was just on normal play, and we'd got to the 'B' section. Bum bum.

It wasn't what I wanted to hear. What I wanted to hear was the music I'd been recommended in a facebook message yesterday. I loved it after the first listen. It was spot on, just my kind of thing. Exactly the sort of album I, or should I say "we'd listen to relentlessly" - which is exactly why I can't listen to it. The music is immediately inseparable from the message that it came with. The recommendation was of course from my ex.

Anyway - it got me thinking. Music's the soundtrack to life, right? They don't even have to be good songs to qualify, they just stick in your head. Like You Oughta Know from Jagged Little Pill is my ultimate song to get angry to. Warwick Avenue by Duffy reminds me of the night of the break up, because it was playing in my iPod on my way home afterwards as I was on the Bakerloo Line. John Mayer's Something's Missing and Back To You plucks some heart strings for me too. My "I'm feeling ok, now" song has to be I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel.

I was just wondering - what are your buzz tracks? Like what song has a real link to an event or heartbreak, or amazing night, awful day in your life? A song or album that you hear and immediately smile, or conversely just start howling like a massive walrus?


Anonymous said...

I love the Jose Gonzales bouncy balls song (you know what I mean)... it blisses me out. I can't think about songs that make me sad too much but I know that Everybody's Changing by Keane is NOT good for me and strangely neither is Better Together by Jack Johnson.
Also, my ex wrote a song for me/about me while we were together..which I was so happy about.... but seen as I'm a total 'lyrics' dunce, I didn't realise it was about how things weren't right any more. Snap. Indeed.

Brennig said...

I have so many. Thousands. The A and Z is simple, filling in the blanks would take hours:

A = All Along the Watchtower because it was the first song I played on guitar in public.

Z = Zombie (Cranberries) because it was the first song I played on electric guitar in front of a paying audience.

Robbie said...

DJ Shadow Endtroducing reminds me when I first moved out of my home town and to Leeds. Everything was new. Leeds was a new city I had new commuitng routes, new views, new bars had to make a whole new set of friends and a new (to me) album on my player.

Justice Cross reminds me of leaving England. I listened to it a lot as I was at my last job. My last commutes (no more commutes for me) the last times I would swear under my breath at waiting for late buses in the rain. My last trips to actual sandwich deli bars. My last proper lunch breaks.
Plus I went to see Justice during my last visit in my home town which was a very enjoyable gig.

Dandy Warhols reminds me of my youth and when I wanted to be a grungy smelly student. It was hard doing that when all your mates were listening to Korn and Marulyn Manson and generally being goths.
(Despite failing miserable at being a smelly student, I never went to uni, I still secretly like that grungy look, like you see in the Bohemian Like You vids.)

Most of the time I forget about these albums. I wont realise until 2 or 3 songs in and then old memories come back. Theyre always good memories.
I don't have any sad songs.

Blonde said...

I'm totally with you on songs that sum up a moment. The Cash's Cocaine Blues = Sunday afternoon, hurtling round country lanes with SL; I credit Beth Orton's Pass in Time with getting me over LTE.

smidge said...

Although its one of his most cheesy songs, Bright Side of the Road by Van Morrison is the song i played the most after the boy finsihed with me before Christmas out of the blue. It never fails to cheer me up when im down.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

"New York" by U2 always gives me a sense of place and belonging when I'm badly adrift.

Anonymous said...

Mr Brightside by The Killers = the sunny April day I got my mojo back, when I was in Canada trying to get over Xbox (during the long tortured period before we properly got it together.)

- Homer

Anonymous said...

Oh so many.

"You're so Vain" reminds me of my mother doing the ironing (presumably she used to play it when she did so when I was a tot)
Any version of "Crazy" but particularly the cover by The Kooks has me sobbing in an instant.
And "Mr Blue Sky" makes me smile however glum I feel.
But there are stacks. Some I daren't mention on here cos you never know who might be reading!!

pawpads said...

Different Class by Pulp. This came out while I was living in Spain and I had to travel a hell of a way to buy it ~ but everytime I listen to it I'm transported straight back.

Ellie said...

==>Gloria Gaynor's I will Survive.
==>Madonna, almost anything, but specifically Beautiful Stranger & Hung up, Ray of light.
==>Chico Buarque's Que Sera Que Sera.
==>Fiona Apple's Get Gone.

The list can go on and on. There are some exceptions, but on the whole, they're upbeat, don't give a damn about shit type of songs.

Kirsty said...

Jagged Little Pill is a pitch-perfect album with hardly a duff track. I love it!
Funnily I've just written a similar post about music being the soundtrack to life...

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Interesting comments, everyone seems to have their own songs which bring back memories.

A very eclectic mix of music in here...might have to get on spotify for some of these tracks...

Time traveller said...

Blue Moon - the lyrics 'I heard somebody whisper please adore me ...' reminds me of my ex and makes me cry.

Time traveller said...

Oh and Mr Sandman - makes me laugh but feel sad at the same time, again because of the ex.

Ella said...

Elvis' Suspicious Minds reminds me of the ex - he used to sing it to me in a silly baby voice with a lisp ...

Kings of Leon's Cold Desert makes me suicidal when im sad and appreciative of good music when im balanced.

Mykonos by Fleet Foxes - when I was sad at work I used to go downstairs and listen to it to make me happy :)

Oh, and Bon Iver rocks.

Anonymous said...

There are a few songs which if I hear them have the ability to stop me dead in my tracks, usually because of their association with someone of the opposite sex.

"Screaming Infidelities" by Dashboard Confessional being the worst, I can't even listen to it now!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I love this...feel free to keep adding to this list

I thought of a new one

Shola Ama "Imagine" (the garage remix) reminds me of my first boyfriend.


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