Thursday, November 6, 2008

Music--Post 6 for 30dow

It’s hard to pick one song that means a lot to me. I’ve never been one with “best.” I have about 5 “best friends,” 3 “favorite movies,” and about 4 “favorite colors.” So I think I’ll write about a couple of favorite songs from various stages of my life. I know we're supposed to pick from our iPod, so really, only the last song qualifies.

Early Early years
Swingin'—I still have this on a record single. Listening to it now reminds me of sitting with my fisher price record player on Tina Mallory’s front porch, listening to the record. It’s a strange memory because I don’t think it ever happened. I think that as I listened to the record as a child, I must have imagined myself on her front porch, seeing as how mine must have sucked due to lack of the necessary front porch swing.

Early years
Our House—oh, man, I loved that song. I remember my mom playing it in our suburban, pre-divorce. She’d let me sing along in my loudest voice. I have very clear memories of listening to it in the old Chuck E. Cheese partking lot, then the old Target parking lot, now the …um… Michael’s? parking lot. “Our house is a very very very fine house fine house with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard. Now everything is easy ‘cause of you and our looooooooooooooooooooooove.” (I typed the o’s to the beat. They should be right.)

Post-divorce years
We were big country fans for a while, and I remember going to Mason & Dixon concerts with my mom. I still look for those albums, but they were a small group in the late 1980s, so I never have found an album online. There was some song about gold. That reminds me of the years where my mom was trying so hard to make things normal, but they definitely weren’t.

The defining songs of my teen years
Typically, the two songs I think of the most, given my current age of 30, are Smells like teen spirit and Alive. I remember the very first time I saw Smells like teen spirit. I was forbidden to watch MTV, so I watched it in the living room, half watching the television, half watching the open window behind it to see if my mom was pulling in the drive. I remember the exileration I felt as I sang along to the lyrics I didn’t understand. I remember how happy I was when they once showed the video with subtitles. It didn’t make any more sense, but I knew that I was who Nirvana wanted to sing to. It was a song made for me and my anger. Of course thousands of teens and pre-teens felt the exact same. With Alive, well, that album always reminds me of Joel. When we were in eighth grade, I had a crush on Joel, who was in my journalism class. He used to listen to Pearl Jam A LOT. I had seen them on MTV, but began to pay more attention to them because of Joel. That spring, he was in a skateboarding accident and was in a coma for days. The way I dealt with that was to go out and buy a Pearl Jam CD and listen to it almost non-stop. He obviously survived, and though Alive isn’t the happiest song, I still associate it with the hope that he would survive. Those in my grade still remember when we gathered in the cafeteria to get an update on his condition, and his dad, Johnny, said he was going to make it and then dipped his then wife LaDon in a kiss.

Blah blah blah liked a bunch of different songs since 1992.

Now, My favorite song for the past few years is Get the hell out of the way of the volcano. I don’t really know what it means, but that isn’t a surprise, given it’s Phill Elverum. I just picture a woman running towards what she thinks is a mountain to throw herself on the ground crying, but it’s a volcano. She still finds shelter there, at least temporarily, but we don’t know if she can get out safely. I could google the lyrics, but instead, here’s what I remember or what I sing when I sing along.
Get outta my way
The hill’s erupting now
Get me outta my way
See the lava pouring out
I watched you watch me watch you weep
I watched your eyes get wet and wild
And like a mountain I had icy slopes, I was a glacier high and far
And you watched me catch the dawn each day
You watched the pink light bathe my hills
And I watched you go and come and go and go and come and go away
Get outta my way
The evening’s coming now
Get me outta my way
See my mountain’s furrowed brow
In my shadow’s shelter she shed tears
She fell asleep in my mossy cave
She thought now here’s a place where I can be alone, where I can blossom by myself.
‘Cause I’m a mountain girl, you’re in my cave, and I’ve got old love, red and raw
And like a mountain I’m an ancient way and I’ve got lava from the jaws
Get outta my way
There’s no way you’ll get out
Get me outta my way
Have my guts on your nightgown
Get outta my way
Have me surrounded
Get outta my way, have me Pompeii your town!

I’m sure it some metaphor for a horrid break up, but I like imagining the woman in a nightgown, hiding in the mossy cave of a volcano, right before it erupts. I think my next tattoo is going to be “In my shadow’s shelter, she shed tears. She fell asleep in my mossy cave. She thought now here’s a place where I can be alone, where I can blossom by myself.”

That’s it. Sorry my post isn’t a profound post on one meaningful song and is more of a smorgasbord of songs I’ve liked. But I’m writing it on BART as I head to work. The train is shaking back and forth, my computer is balanced on my knees in the crowded train, and it’s hot and smells bad in here. And I have to get off in 30 seconds. Will post later.

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