Friday, December 14, 2012

Keeping time through music

From time to time, I get hooked into new (to me) music and binge. I play an artist's songs and/or albums over and over until overload sets in or I've memorized all I can. I don't always remember what triggers the obsession or how I begin to ease away from the incessant listening patterns, but I know I've been doing this since I was a kid. I spent a lot of time with the record player, headphones, and an all access pass to my brother's record collection.

I usually latch onto one summer song as an anthem. Sometimes it's something current, most of the time it's something on the way to being played out. For 2012, my summer song was Human by The Killers. I played this one to death. I still like it though because it puts me in a dance-y mood. I love it for that. I wish we would go dancing more often but Eric and I are no longer spring chickens. It's tough to stay up past a certain time and during the week, we're just too plain tired to go out after work.

I binged on everything by Everything but the Girl back in college. I consumed Amplified Heart so hard it was almost glued to my Discman. Even though my brother had some of their earlier albums, I consider this one to be my introduction to EBTG. These days, I associate Amplified Heart with autumn, the cool brisk weather that it brings, and a number of wonderful and bittersweet episodes from the mid to late 90s. I usually bust out Amplified Heart just a little before Thanksgiving during the first chilly evenings of the season. This album always reminds me to be thankful and appreciative for all the challenges and graces I've received.

Lately, I've had a band crush on WALK THE MOON. My recent playlists have included most of the songs from their current album. I credit late night TV for indirectly introducing me to WTM. I fell in love with Grouplove's Tongue Tied from watching them on some late night talk show and in my search for that song's video, I bumped into Anna Sun as a suggestion from YouTube. There were other suggestions on my sidebar but WTM's live performances stood out. Their energy is infectious. I was constantly playing their iTunes Festival 2012 performance from London and finally saw them perform live not too long ago. If they come to your neck of the woods - GO. Don't hesitate. I look forward to more music from these guys and I hope they swing around San Francisco sooner than later.

Winter is just a few days away and I haven't been playing as much holiday music as I have in years past. Probably because I was playing holiday music during non-holiday times. I bought Pink Martini's holiday album Joy to the World last year after the holidays and I know I was playing Ocho Kandelikas (Ari Shapiro, your voice is butter!) way past Hanukkah. I also got really addicted to their upbeat and cheerful version of Auld Lang Syne. I think it deserves to be enjoyed all the time.

All that to say, I think I'm just in denial that time is slipping away so fast. If I don't play holiday music, maybe I can hold off the holidays a little longer and 2013 won't just be around the corner. Maybe I can slow down time if I continue listening to my summer and fall playlists. But I'm not crazy. I know time will go on and the holidays will come and go regardless of what's on my playlist.

With that, I leave you with Phoenix's Countdown (with commentary!) Happy holidays and have a great 2013!