I think maybe I only thought I fell a little out of love with music because I wasn’t spending nearly enough time on public transportation with my headphones on.
Wifi too shitty for Pandora to stream clearly? Nothing on boyfriend’s laptop iTunes? FINE, I will just listen to the one thing on my phone, the Matt Skiba record, all the way to Eugene, and IT WILL BE PERFECT.
I used to walk to work with music all the time. It was a longer walk, then, from the East Village to Penguin, or, later, to Union Square, and I still associate records with streets. Orange Rhyming Dictionary is that pretty West Village street by the place that used to be STA Travel, where I slid right to the edge of the icy sidewalk one morning, walking in inappropriate boots. I listened, unabashedly, to Robbie Williams when FSG was in temporary offices way over on 17th somewhere, occasionally taking the L if it was raining and marching through the transfer tunnel pretending I was in my own music video.
The summer of 2000 is We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes, and it doesn’t matter where. In Williamsburg on rooftops, walking to work, not getting enough sleep.
The Jealous Sound was morning walks in 2001. I wasn’t listening to anything on That Day, but I was in my own world all the same.
Living in Oregon, I would sing the whole way back from Portland to Eugene after concerts, coffee and the windows down and pretending I could keep up with Catatonia because it would keep me awake. Good Mourning is the summer of 2003, when I had a crush I never actually met. And Blacklisted on the way to California, Mount Shasta in the distance.
Fall 2010, The National on repeat, the pattern broken with the Avett Brothers when I needed a change. Christmas 2010 is the Walkmen, “Torch Song,” and the empty bars on Avenue A.
Sense-memory needs a cue. A scent, a verse, a chorus. The song that plays when you roll down the window because the view is just that amazing and you don’t want anything in the way. But something in the air - that’s entirely different.