More Song Associations

I have done absolutely nothing all day except listen to the radio and download music onto my iPod. I've discovered that even though I have over 400 songs on the thing, I still have more than half the space left. For some reason, I thought 2 GB only allowed you 500 songs. Oh, whoops, just looked more closely and I have 1,000 songs. What's a girl to do? I don't think I even know 1,000 songs. More like 469.

One of the groups I rediscovered today is Magnetic Fields. Their lyrics are supremely silly and no matter what they're saying, they always sound like they're singing a funeral dirge.

I asked my friend BB of Chicago if it was okay if I wrote about what songs remind me of him. He said okay, but I have to only use his initials. There are lots, because he burned me several CDs--he's one of those people who knows about cool music before it's even released. He's sent me two songs over email (Feist and Something I Can't Remember at the Moment) which is amazing to me--I am still behind the times and find it crazy that you can send songs to someone and then that someone can download it and actually listen to it. Anyway, let's see...BB is Belle and Sebastian and The Spinnanes, Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins and The Donnas though that's because I vaguely recall an argument about that particular chick band--him not liking them and me defending. And also, he will hate this, but the other song that reminds me of him is this really bad pop song, Sister Hazel's "All For You." It's a terrible song, particularly because the lyrics are something like, "It's hard to say what it is I see in you/Wonder if I'll always be with you..." but that song was popular when I lived in Chicago and saw him on a weekly basis. We always had this strange relationship--I liked him and I thought he was attracted to me, but every time I was around him, he couldn't keep still. He would jump up and show me things, his record collection, his yellow fireman's glove, his report cards from 3rd grade. We kissed once when I went back to Chicago to visit Renee and I think something odd happened, like I got a shock when we kissed, that kind of shock you get when you run on carpet in socks and then touch someone. Not a bad thing, just odd. And now we are friends.

My friend Jamie was also really influential to my musical tastes because he also had his ear to the ground and knew cool stuff before anyone else. And, he burned me a few CDs. Neutral Milk Hotel, Luna, Portishead, ani di franco. I am a lucky girl. I can pretend to be hip without doing any of the work. Jamie and I also had a strange relationship, similiar to BB though a little more intense b/c he wasn't as shy. Jamie has very blue eyes and when he looks at you with them, you sort of want to hide or else tell him everything you know. Now he's moving to Texas with his fiance and I worry he will become a Republican (no, never. He never would. He hates George Bush almost as much as I do). But ani di franco's "Untouchable Face" reminds me of him. As in "Fuck you/And your untouchable face." He was somewhat untouchable.

And okay then there's Chris, Christian, who recently emailed me to let me know that he read my blog and just did a search for his name and found nothing. Try again, Chris. Christian C. is a Southern boy I liked in grad school. I mostly hung out with him just to hear him talk with his slightly Southern lilt and to play with his black dog, Kenai (sp?). He is blind in one eye like someone else I just met, but you wouldn't know it. His eyes are brown, the color of walnuts. From him, I learned to like Yo La Tengo and Guided by Voices. We went to a Bob Dylan concert once in State College and took acid beforehand (sorry, mom, I swear, it's the only time I ever ever ever did drugs) and it didn't sit well with him. He disappeared and reappeared later, saying he had gotten sick in the bathroom. I was convinced that the acid was a bust until we went to the 7-11 by my apartment and I was fascinated by the Rolling Stones cover. I remember asking him how they managed to get the photo in 3D. He said, Uh, it's not. That's when I realized I wasn't as unaffected by the drugs as I had believed. It's because of Chris that I won the National Academy Poetry prize. His existence forced me to write poetry, even though I hadn't ever done it before. When I left SC, I gave him a copy of one of the poems I wrote about him...It had an unflattering title: "34 Reasons I Hate (him)..." But really, if you read the poem, you would discover instead 34 reasons to love him.

And Dave. Dave who I have been a very bad friend to. He called me on my birthday and I didn't call him on his, even though it was just three days after me. Oh, I loved, loved, loved Dave. We had this saying: DWD. I would say, I am DWD around you. That meant "Dumb with desire." I was. He could just be in my general vicinity and I would feel all crazy and unsettled and like climbing on a lampost. We had some great moments and some really bad moments. I remember sleeping at his house in the woods and waking up to find myself covered in ladybugs (they had an infestation problem). We drove to Chicago together and he gave me some of this strange work out fuel he was taking, some kind of over the counter speed and I remember saying, I would like to just get out of the car and run alongside it until we get there. We went to his house and the only thing I remember about it is that there were two portraits in the living room of him and his brother. Like, these paintings that were obviously done from a photograph. I think he was wearing white pants. He had an old golden retriever named Maggie and I loved him for that too. So, okay, the songs that remind me of him...David Gray's "White Ladder," Cheap Trick (he gave me their greatest hits. "I Want You to Want Me" reminds me of him). And most every Simon & Garfunkel song--"Homeward Bound" and "America."

Is it strange that I'm still friends with all of these guys? I guess not. I guess it's just that there were things I liked about them that were real, that I like all of them as people.

Oh, and Ben. Ben wrote poetry too. I still have his poems somewhere, in some brown folder. Ben was the mail boy from when I worked at DePaul. We never even went out on one date, but he was funny and smart (and is still funny and smart). I can't honestly think of any songs that remind me of him, except for maybe 'What I Like About You." I wrote a short story "Hardcore" where he was the featured boy character. I don't think he's ever read it and he probably wouldn't like it if he did, not because he was featured in a bad way, but I wrote about his sister who has brain damage. Everything is fodder for fiction, I warn you.

Pete Groff. We dated for six months and when I finally said, I love you, he said, Oh, I think of you fondly. I started crying. He is all Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots." He too made me about 6 CDs with great cover art. He was a sweet, sad person who couldn't get over his ex-wife. He had two cats that he spoiled. The first time I met one of them, the black cat, she scratched my face. I never told him that. I thought it was a sign. I thought it was her saying, Get the hell out. You're not my mommy. Pete wanted to love me, but couldn't.

And Shawn wants to know what songs remind me of him. More than one. Franz Ferdinand. Elliot Smith's song, not sure of the title but the lyrics say something like "It's your heart/ not mine/that's scarred...You're just somebody that I used to know." Sad, isn't it? Also any song by TV on the Radio. And, yes, Neil Diamond's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." And too many others to mention.

And RL--the song that reminds me of him is Bright Eyes "The First Day of My Life." Look it up. You'll like it.

"Red Rubber Ball" belongs to Christy. I forget why--I think she just really liked that song.

Oh, and Mom, one of the songs the makes me think of you is Aretha Franklin's "I Say a Little Prayer." Remember? I made you a tape once that had that song on it. Also, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" because it reminds me of Nebraska. "When are you gonna come down...When are you going to land? I should've stayed on the farm...I should've listened to my old man."

And Becca Babbit from college, she gave me 10,000 Maniacs. She had a black dog named Oliver. Gretel hated him. We had to put her cat food on the mantel so he wouldn't eat it. But he was a good boy.

Lastly, I realized today that the Guns N' Roses is singing "Take me down to Paradise City" not "Take me down to the very last city" as I had previously thought. Is it a bad to go to sleep listening to your iPod? Cause that's what I'm going to do.


Ben said…
Ben wishes he were still the mail boy at DePaul. Those were the best years of his life. He and a secretary exchanged dirty notes to pass the time. And there was this little room outside the fire escape on the 8th floor where nobody ever went. It was a great place to both hide and reveal yourself, all at the same time. I was a mint green firecracker. And thankfully you were there and you kept dragging me up from my own discordant ashes.
Anonymous said…
good lord...did you take truth serum or something?? You are being ESPECIALLY revealing!! And what about the songs that remind you of ME, byotch? I'll name one: "I wish you would step back from that wedge, my fwiend." OK, two: "take your fast car and keep on driving."

guess who.
Aimee said…
Yes, Elmer Fudd, there are many songs that remind me of you. Give me a day or two...