Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, December 22, 2005

"To old friends that we forgot, blah blah blah, old lang syne"

Today is Christmas, which means we are at the furthest possible point on the calendar from the next time we have to be subjected to wall-to-wall Christmas music. Enjoy the silence.

I hate Christmas music. Not to sound like a Scrooge, but Christmas music is more chipper than Katie Couric on two quarts of Mountain Dew, and twice as annoying. If holiday songs weren’t tied to the holiday season, would people put up with so many “fa la las” and “ring ding ding-alings” without “pa pa punching” somebody in the “fa la la face”?

The next holiday on the calendar is New Year’s Day which, interestingly, only has one traditional song of celebration, “Auld Lang Syne.”

Everybody sings “Auld Lang Syne” to welcome the new year and yet nobody knows the words. Being drunk has a lot to do with it, but even a sober person would have trouble making heads or tails of this: “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?/Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?/And days of auld lang syne, my dear, and days of auld lang syne/ Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?”

OK, so if I forget somebody, what should I do? Unfortunately, the lyrics offer little in the way of coherent guidance. Apparently intoxication played as big a role in the writing of “Auld Lang Syne” as it has in the performance.

You don’t have to understand “Auld Lang Syne” to know it’s a sad song about remembering old friends. If Christmas brings out the manic in us musically, New Year’s seems to bring out the depressive. U2’s “New Year’s Day,” for instance, is a joyful ditty about nuclear annihilation.

If the bomb drops in 2006, does that mean I can break my resolution about working out more? Sweet!

Looking for more New Year’s songs? There aren’t many of them. Death Cab for Cutie, the Breeders and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion each have a song called “New Year,” according to Allmusic.com. Donovan and Otis Redding have songs called “New Year’s Resolution.” Indie rock band the Walkmen did a song called “New Year’s Eve” on their 2004 album, “Bows + Arrows.”

Jeff Buckley practically is the Burl Ives of New Year’s with two songs: “New Year’s Prayer” and a cover of “Auld Lang Syne.”

Other songs can be interpreted as New Year’s songs. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by R.E.M. fits in with U2’s end of the year/end of the world theme. The Four Seasons could have been talking about New Year’s Eve on “December ’63 (Oh What a Night),” but it’s one of the worst songs ever, so don’t play it. (Just mentioning the song got it stuck in head. D’oh!) My

New Year’s songs are going to be “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes and the impossibly lovely “This Will Be Our Year” by the impossibly lovely British Invasion band the Zombies. Both are upbeat tunes for what will hopefully be an upbeat ’06.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Somebody get this guy a girlfriend

If Rivers Cuomo is happy not getting any, fine. But the man's art obviously has suffered. Weezer's first two albums are genius power-pop classics with a perverse streak a mile long. (You can take your pick of "Pinkerton" tracks to prove that one, but I'll take "No One Else" off the Blue Album.)

The past three records have seen Cuomo's creativity shrink like George Costanza five minutes outside a wading pool. This period of artisic castration roughly coincides with his sexual castration. Or it could be that he misses Matt Sharp.

Did you know that when a rock star doesn't take advantage of easy sexual conquest, an angel is murdered? Rivers, can't you find some cute half-Japanese and put us out of our misery?

Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line

I heard once that scent is the sense that jogs your memory the quickest. When it comes to women, I think the quickest sense is hearing. Yes, scent is powerful with perfume. Every now and then I pick up a trace of whatever perfume my sophomore year high school girlfriend wore, and I instantly remember the time we made it out in my church parking lot. (Um, forget I mentioned that.)

Anyway, I find that hearing, or hearing a certain song specifically, is stronger than sense when it comes to remembering women. I realized this weekend that every girl I have ever dated, loved or been close has a song I associate with them in mind. And those songs compiled together make a really good mix tape.

Here are the songs:

1. Bob Dylan, "Shelter from the Storm" (Lori)
2. Tobin Sprout, "Moonflower Plastic (You're Here)" (Jess)
3. Everclear, "Electra Made Me Blind" (Andrea)
4. Al Green, "Let's Stay Together" (Laura)
5. Bryan Adams, Sting and Rod Stewart, "All for Love"(Geri)
6. A Tribe Called Quest, "Excursions" (Megan)
7. The Postal Service, "The Destrict Sleeps Alone Tonight" (Cait)
8. Indigo Girls, "Tangled Up in Blue" (Carrie)
9. Steely Dan, "Aja" (Amy)
10. Peter Cetera and Amy Grant, "The Next Time I Fall" (Rose)
11. Belle & Sebastian, "Stars of Track and Field" (Liv)

Actually, there are some terrible songs on here. And the disc is pretty short, which I guess reflects my low number of relationships (two of which lasted two plus years, just so you know I'm not totally pathetic. I'm a quality over quantity guy).

I didn't even date all these people. I just think of each person when I hear their corresponding song. This only works for girls. My mind doesn't associate men with songs for some reason. Maybe because there is no chance that we'll ever get so drunk that we will end up sleeping together. Or so I tell myself.

For me, the best love song on the list is "Shelter from the Storm." Love doesn't get more noble than when it saves your life from a one-eyed undertaker blowing a feudal horn, which I believe is a metaphor for not having a girlfriend for more than one year. If I could, I would let "Shelter from the Storm" be the theme song of every girl I ever was in love with. Being in love has made me feel saved, which seems like a dopey thing to say at the moment because I'm not in love. Bob Dylan clearly was in love when he wrote "Shelter from the Storm," though it is also clear that he wasn't loved back. The song has the same melancholy feel found on the rest of "Blood on the Tracks," but Dylan is closer to moving on than he is earlier on "Idiot Wind" and "Simple Twist of Fate," where he's angry and despondent and on the verge of throwing rocks through her bedroom window. On "Shelter from the Storm," he's almost at acceptance, and he starts to enjoy his memories again. What gets me is how grateful he sounds to once be in a position where he had so much to lose. As it is, "Shelter from the Storm" only makes me think of one girl, I guess because there are just so many songs.

Monday, December 19, 2005

New blog

I'm switching to this new blogging site because I think it looks better than MySpace. I want to start blogging on a regular basis so I think this will work better. Anyway, um, enjoy.