Monday's Adventure: Part One

So Alex made his way down from Eastchester in the trusty Camry as I scrubbed away a long weekend's worth of sunscreen and bug repellant. He called to say he was downstairs whilst I was madly shuffling through shoeboxes of once-treasured mixtapes.

Alex's car stereo, like his car, is a testament to our youth - so it's cassettes only.

I grabbed the most promising tapes- some bearing no label at all and ran downstairs. I threw on the first tape - a compilation I made in the fall of my sophomore year in highschool. The cover bore a Snow White sticker and was elaborately festooned with several shades of nailpolish.

Lots of Pavement, Sebadoh and Blake Babies. Even a song by Alex's highschool band, The Heathers.

When a Beck song started playing Alex inquired as to what album it was from-
"Is this from 'One Foot in the Grave' ?

"No it's from ...oh! that Jabberjaw compilation"
We both then began singing the that dog. lyrics that reference the same club. Such nerds.

As is usually the case with car trips involving Alex - getting there is half the fun and I love these long drives down memory lane.

I can't think of a time where we didn't reach a destination and say, "Well let's just sit until this song is done." Most of the time it doesn't even need to be said. It's a silent agreement, a bond. When Sebadoh's 'Dramamine' is on we roll up the windows, turn up the volume till it's painful, rewind and repeat as necessary.

As we drove along singing, air-drumming on the steering wheel or dashboard to Cap'n Jazz, Alex creating new harmonies where My Bloody Valentine forgot them- I realized that the two of us would gladly live out the rest of our lives in an early nineties mobius strip.

We rehashed memories of fallen venues, we discussed Pavement's luck/good taste when it came to opening bands, and how Matador used to have alright people on their label.

I reminisced about my fanzine days and being so nervous to talk to Kim Gordon. The obligatory shock and awe we expressed at the near 10 years since Kurt Cobain's death still seemed a far cry from what it meant then. It's become just another post-it note on teh pages of my adolescence - but one I'm sure to reference 20, 30, 40 years hence as long as music is still a part of my life.

My boyfriend Mike was talking recently about how the music one gets into around ones mid-twenties tends to be the stuff that you carry with you - but I think for me this happened a bit earlier. I didn't cut myself off anything and while I may not listen to my early nineties favorites as much as recent additions - those old songs will always resonate with an unrivaled poignancy.

Said another way- there are handful of bands from the past 5 years that I would even consider some of my all time favorites, but although I may like these recent discoveries more musically , I doubt they will ever evoke the same emotional response or posess the same "those were the days" nostalgia of The Pixies or Superchunk. I saw things through the rose-coloured glasses of Sonic Youth, but as I move further away from a sonic youth of my own, so I feel it is unlikely the experience will be repeated.

What I am trying to say with this wordy, maudlin little essay, is that it's not just the bands that change but the way you digest/ appreciate music as you mature. But often times these bands are inextricably linked to that listening experience - hence nostalgia.

I originally intended this entry to deal firstly with mixtape selection, secondly with driving but largely about our trip to Atlantic City and I have failed on two counts. So stay tuned for the trip report, which will also boast photos from atop ferris wheels and whilst losing our shirts. (figurative, not literal)


6 comments so far

previous / next



July 18 - 16 July 2007
Weekly recap. - 28 May 2007
That's Immaterial! - 25 May 2007
A Shalom to Arms! - 07 May 2007
YEAH RIGHT - 20 April 2007