Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Fickle Listener

Not that it has anything to do with this post, I figured out how to allow people to comment! Good, I was getting lonely. Now back to your regularly scheduled thing you neither think nor care about:

My first thought upon waking this morning was that my alarm clock didn't "feel friendly" and I'm still not sure what that meant, though perhaps it's related to also having woken up in the middle of the night twice this week anxious about not knowing where the alarm's non-existence remote speaker unit was. I'm afraid that my clarity of thought didn't improve exponentially over the course of the day, so I'm not able to guarantee this entry will make perfect sense.

But be glad, instead of talking about music, I could talk about the other mysteries I ponder on dopey days like this: why does no brand of women's underwear have sizes 1-4? Women's & Junior's pants have those sizes. And it's not like shoes - girl's underwear goes up to size 16, so it's not as though there's a confusion to be avoided by skipping 4 numbers. And what, exactly, would happen if you threw a raw egg in a fryer, shell and all? Anyway...

I've been wondering what the difference is between songs that I love for a brief time, and those I love forever and ever. I'll play songs I really like on a loop for an hour or more at a time (this week's songs that I'm that enamored by: "Sour Cherry" and "Tape Song" both by The Kills, "Cowbell" by Tapes n Tapes, and "Stay Don't Go" by Spoon) but I often just stop listening to them at all after a few weeks. Why? Sometimes you discover that the song recently got divorced and has an eighteen-month-old daughter, but- No wait, that's an example of my not-infrequent fickleness about men; a guy I was interested in for less than a week three months ago. Why are you letting me digress again?

Take Neil Finn's cover of "Billie Jean" for example. I was all over that in September, but I haven't listened to it at all in a month or two. On the other hand, there's "Weird" by Menomena that I've loved loved loved since July. Since I haven't listened to commercial radio for four years (besides getting songs from music blogs I use Station Ripper, which makes and downloads mp3s from the tracks streaming audio radio stations air, to listen to content from commerical-free indie and alternative stations across the country), I make myself a new CD of MP3s for my car once a month on average, with 200 or so songs on each one. "Weird" has been on more than half of those CDs for almost a year. Ditto for "Baby Girl, I'm A Blur" by Say Anything, "Pretty Little Nightmare" by Stefy, and the Young Americans mix of "Here In Your Arms" by Hellogoodbye.

And of course there are the songs that I re-fall in love with too. That I understand is just one of my quirks because I do that with other things, including foods, TV shows and the occasional human male, too. But why those songs? Why has "Coming Back to Me" and "To Your Bedroom" both by Paper Models, "The Rock Stop" by The Sun, and "Careful What You Say" by Up The Empire begun to resonate with me again? The latter two certainly don't have lyrics that are more meaningful at the present, so who knows.

The only person whose thoughts and actions I ever try hard to understand the motivation of is myself, and I can't but help to wonder if I could solve the mystery of what makes me love some songs for now and some forever I might learn something interesting about me. Or, maybe it's just mental masturbation, and I'm better off not bothering to think about it. Damn.

"I once had a grip on everything / It feels better to let go" - Carolina Liar, I'm Not Over

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