Music makes the people come together

So I saw this on dooce once, quite awhile ago, and I’ve been meaning to plagiarize the idea. It seemed like a great way to stretch the memory, and keep the creative writing juices flowing. How it works is, you put your iPod (or iTunes, or whatever) on shuffle, and start blogging about whatever the first 5 songs are that come up — no matter how embarrassing or silly. Whatever memories, or thoughts or images come to mind when you hear the song, you write down. When the song’s over, you stop writing.

Its interesting how certain memories about times in your life can become associated with lyrics or a melody. I should interject, before I begin, that we’ve been collecting MP3s since college, so who knows how bad this could get. But I’ll roll the dice, and see if I don’t dig up something interesting…

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So first up is Machinehead, by Bush. This was, I think, the second big song on their first album Sixteen Stone. I’ve actually blogged about this song before, randomly, because the words are utter nonsense. None of the lyrics make any sense, but we sure thought they were deep at the time. This song distinctly reminds me of 11th grade. The album is full of memories, but this one reminds me of one of Laura Bolt‘s famous parties, at which I often insisted on playing DJ.
Laura had this unique way of transcending high school cliques, and collected friends from all statuses. As a result, her parties were usually an odd grouping of mismatched people — some with only Laura in common. Actually, the annual Christmas party still happens, 10 years later, and Nic and I still go when we’re in the area.

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OK, so our first slightly embarrassing song has arrived. You Found Me, by FFH. Nic asked me to download this song, after hearing it at work. I’ve never liked it (it sounds too much like country). Despite what the RIAA would have you believe, after illegally downloading the track, we were inspired to go out and buy the album. I actually ended up picking up WOW 2004 — making one of my first Christian music purchases in easily 5 years — which contained this song, among others. Soon afterward, we discovered TFK, and that Christian rock hadn’t died when Petra broke up…

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Um, so toward like the end of college I sort of got into trance music. I blame it on a few things.
A friend from school (who later dropped out) was big into E and trance and jungle music. He had his own reasons for liking it, most involved staring into a fish tank while high, with the music playing in the background. I can say proudly that I was never interested in the drug-use part of that culture, but I did find a use for the driving beats. It turned out that it was very helpful during late-night programming sessions, getting my work done, for both school and my employer. The rythm set a tempo, kind of like a metrinome for my key strokes, and the creativeness of the music kept me awake.
My number 3 song is Trancemission by Paul Oakenfold, appropriately from the Swordfish soundtrack (an awful John Travolta movie about a computer hacker). I don’t listen to trance much these days, but I still pull it out occasionally, for the more intese coding sessions.

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Lying from You, Linking Park. Its hard to place Linkin Park with any one memory, or time period in my life, because I’ve been listening to them continuously since their first album dropped. Very few of the individual songs have any specific meaning left to me, so I guess I’ll just blog about when I first discovered the band.
Nicole and I were living in our first apartment, newly married. I was in school in one town, while developing my career working part time in another (about an hour away). My computer desk was the kitchen table, and had, at any one time, 3-5 computers on it. Some my own, some belonging to my employer.
When I wasn’t furiously writing code, or alternating between being incredibly happy and incredibly terrified to be married, I could often be found listening to Linkin Park and playing Unreal Tournament online…

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I cheated and skipped a song. It was a Beach Boys song, many of which have memories associated with them, but this was one I didn’t know. The next song is better anyway.

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Song #5 is I’ll Lead You Home, by Michael W. Smith.
A few weeks before I turned 17, at the end of what will likely remain the most difficult year of my life, me and two of my friends since kindergarten got on a plane and flew to Germany. We arrived in a tiny village called Kandern, where I’d spent my ninth grade year, and after a short visit with friends there, headed to France to meet up with the One Accord choir. (Yes, I was in a choir. I have a good singing voice, deal with it.)
We toured for the better part of a month, and while there I met, and became close friends with a girl named Jennifer. She was 4 years older than me, so it wasn’t “that” kind of relationship. But it was special. She was from Winnipeg, and in coming to France, was leaving behind her mother, who was terminally ill with cancer.
Jenny and I looked out for each other, helped each other heal, and kept each other facing forward. On the bus between churches where our choir sang, we sat next to each other, wrote notes, quoted Shakespeare, and listened to Michael W. Smith.

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Alright, one more, since I shafted the Beach Boys. I skipped ahead a bit (cheating again) until I hit You’re So Good to Me.
I don’t remember this song as being particularly catchy, but I do remember the cassette tape this song was on. I have no clue how old I was — I’m sure my parents could fill in the hazy details — but I remember being in the car a lot, which likely means it was during a time when my family was raising support for a missions trip. I’m thinking I must have been about 11.
At any rate, I have very clear memories of being in the backseat of the brown, 1979 Buick LeSabre (which would have been about 12 years old at the time), singing along to Beach Boys at the top of our lungs. We knew practically every word of every song, and used to give “concerts” to my parents in the basement, with guitars made of Construx, and drums made of buckets…

What do you think Dave and Liz? Should we get the band back together this Christmas?

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Well those are my memories. There’s still about 2500 songs in the library, so maybe I’ll do this again some time. Anyone else have any songs that bring back memories?

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2 thoughts on “Music makes the people come together

  1. hahaha!! how do you even have that picture?! terrible! it seriously took me a couple mintues to remember that night – hmm.. “Welcome to The Jungle” right?

  2. Ya, you look pretty classy in that pic, Liz! It was either that song, or something by Frank Sinatra — although I think I did that one solo.
    I’m totally up for butchering some Karaoke again this Christmas if you are 😉

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