Playlist Weeks 15-18: I’m Climbing Up An Endless Wall

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week (er, yeah…or every four weeks). I planned on combining weeks 15 and 16 due to my Mom’s visit over Easter. But then I started reading a very important work of literature on my commute, which interfered with music time. Then my computer’s hard drive crashed. I am behind…on life.

The title of this post comes from my theme song, “No Time This Time” by the Police. Indeed… “If I could, I’d slow the whole world down, I’d bring it to its knees, I’d stop it spinning round, but as it is I’m climbing up an endless wall…”

Here is the playlist summary:

* Songs listened to in weeks 15 through 18:  201

* Completed:  70%

* Number of double shots:  7 (The Police*2, The Beatles*3, Genesis, The Innocence Mission)

With so many weeks of listening to summarize, I just picked some songs that resonated most with me.

Some might call this a guilty pleasure, but I love April Wine’s “Caught in the Crossfire” too much to bother with that label. Picture 1981. My older brother had just gotten some nifty new headphones when this album came out and he called me over, plopped the headphones over my ears and said “listen to this.” The laser gunfire during the chorus sounded like it was skimming right past my ears, each shot alternating left, right, and back again and it blew my 8-year old mind.

I have fond memories of belting out the do-do-do part of Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” back in high school with my friends. Multiple times I have stayed in the car and driven further than I’ve needed to just so I can finish listening to this song. How can you miss the big payoff?

Freshman year of college. I’m dating a guy who has, along with his girlfriend, “agreed to see other people.” She is over 1,000 miles away and I am a naive 19-year-old who is also desperate to get over an unrequited love. Dating this guy starts to seem like an OK idea. But the girlfriend visits over her spring break and although I know about her, she clearly hasn’t been told about me. I am persona non grata all weekend, while they get to monopolize most of my damn friends. One of my best friends is away, but I have access to his room while he’s gone. Luckily, he has a copy of U2’s Achtung Baby, and blasting the shit out of the song “Acrobat” makes me feel quite a bit better about life.

While many songs bring back memories, The Ocean Blue’s “Between Something and Nothing” somehow manages to just feel like my freshman year of college, not a specific event or a specific person or interaction, but the whole damn thing. Before this week, it had been at least five years since I heard this song (and, uh, longer since freshman year itself) but the second it started, a movie of freshman year started rolling in my head.

Chimera’s music bridges the gap between graduate school and my adult life. Their CD Earth Loop was on heavy rotation during my onerous drives from D.C. to Syracuse to visit Dave. I particularly remember one Friday night when I thought it might be a good idea to avoid the traffic on the Beltway by taking 66 all the way to 81, since I needed 81 to get to Syracuse anyway. Um yeah, that was dumb, but at least I had some good tunes, because that was a long drive. “Catch Me” is the song that got the most airplay. Seemingly nothing came of this group and they disappeared just like that after this CD. Too bad really.

I think many people probably only know Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” because it’s the theme song for House. I had the opposite experience. I was obsessed with this song when it came out back in 1998 and listened to it over and over again until I became one with it. Years later, flipping through channels looking for something to watch on TV, I heard “Teardrop” and that was enough to make me stop to see what the heck the show was. A TV show using Massive Attack as the theme song seemed worth watching.

Though my time in Belgium preceded the release of Mew’s album And the Glass Handed Kites by more than a decade, the song “Louise Louisa” reminds me of my time in Brussels anyway. With the dual-language system used in Brussels, the Louise metro stop is “Louise/Louiza.” Tenuous connection, I know, but the mind makes links where the mind wants to make links. This song came up yesterday and I had it in my head all day today. For the first time in shuffle challenge history, I went back and listened to a song again. After finding this video, seeing them live is now on my life list (preferably in Denmark!).

I have been finding it harder and harder to develop a taste for new music. Land of Talk’s “Some Are Lakes” is an exception. I keep internet radio on very low at work because I don’t want to disturb my colleagues. So a song has to be pretty special for me to even notice it. The lyric “I’ll love you like I love you then I’ll die” really jumped out at me and after several listens, I decided I really loved this song. The rest of the lyrics are harder to decipher, but I have it on good authority that the bit before the part I like is: “We’ve seen how Sick Wind blows, but I’ve got your bovine eyes.” Say what? I’m no poet, so if anyone thinks they can help me understand what the fuck that is supposed to mean, that would be great.

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