I've been wanting to do a post like this for months but just got too lazy. Sarah posted one like it (but was able to trim her songs down to ten) and it inspired me. It's so strange how puting your iPod on shuffle you can hear a song that just takes you back to such good, or hard times. I remember Katie once mentioning before she and Cam take a vacation they purchase a new album and listen to it a ton on their trip. That album then forever takes them back to that trip. Such a great idea.
I put my iPhone on shuffle and the below is what came up.
One Two Step – Ciara feat Missy Elliot
This song will forever take me back to the many dance parties that happened in the three building at the Ridge. It makes me think of Toni, and especially Becky doing her choreographed solo to the Missy Elliot part. That girl can shake it.
Cemeteries of London – Coldplay
This whole album takes me back to a cold New York winter. This came out around the time Curtis moved to Kansas City and I was holding on to a straining relationship that was just beginning to be really unhealthy. It’s sort of fitting it was a long, cold, dark winter because I was very much in that place. There were some serious lows.
I Can’t Stay – Killers
I hear this song and immediately feel like I’m walking the hot pavement of 40th Street from 6th Ave to 5th, to the office in the morning. It’s a humid New York summer and I just want to salsa to this song, the whole way to work.
Why Do I Keep Counting? – Killers
I’m driving my little Civic from Murrieta through the pitch black dark where there’s no lights anywhere on my way back to my parents after visiting Nathan, who I was dating before moving to New York. I would scream this song (and the whole album, really) at the top of my lungs.
You’re Not Sorry – Taylor Swift
Hands down the lowest point of my life, when things were the absolute worst with Curtis. This song, word for word, summed up my thoughts perfectly. Ugh. It was brutal. After reading this I can't help, "Why did you let this go on so long?" It's incredible how much I was willing to torture myself. Thankfully I learned. A lot. (And I’m starting to think I should remove all the sad songs that have ties to exes from my iPhone.)
Swell Charger – Hey Stroker
High school. No specific memory, but hearing this just makes me feel young, carefree, and like I’m headed to the beach.
Forever – Chris Brown
Oh gosh. I can distinctly remember dancing to this song with Britt at a party at Curtis’s old apartment (he didn’t live there anymore at the time) and she was crushing on someone who will remain nameless and I remember he came over to dance with us and I just wanted them to fall in love so badly, as he’s like a younger brother to me. However now I’m so happy she’s marrying Logan.
Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine
M & Ms. Kaleidescope. Commerical. Oh man, Toni Evans I hope you’re reading this. This song used to come on my favorite mix of Danny’s. My last semester of college a few of my girlfriends and I spent so many nights at our friend Danny’s playing cards from about midnight to 4am or sometimes later. Danny had a mix on his iPod that I absolutely loved and when this song would come on Toni and I would always say those three words because this song was on an M&M commercial. Danny lived in married housing because there were no rules there, and he wasn’t going to school at the time so he didn’t have to live in approved housing. He always had tons of Skittles and Dr. Pepper. Man, good times at Danny’s. He was like 27 and we always thought he was just a big kid who would never grow up. Now he’s expecting a baby girl with his wife.
Love Song – Sara Bareilles
I played this song on repeat like crazy around Christmas/New Years 2007. Curtis and I were in the honeymoon stage. We’d only been dating a few weeks when we both went home for 10 days for Christmas and it was like torture. I was completely twitterpated.
God Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
I love this song but it also has an annoying connotation because it came out when I was in college and so many kids were getting married and thinking this was their song. As if 21 year old BYU-Idaho students had had such long and broken roads to finding their ECs.
Misery – Maroon 5
Flying down the 15, rushing to see Dave in California. I couldn’t get there fast enough. (Foreshadowing)
Blow – Ke$ha
This might be the anthem of summer 2011. I traveled a lot, especially to Utah, and had a LOT of fun with friends. The first time I heard this song was in May, the last time I drove up to the Berkshires. Courtnie, Libby, and Ashley were in my car and I fell in love immediately. We had a dance party the whole way and I knew I had to download this song immediately.
Flashing Lights – Kanye West feat. Dwele
I absolutely love this song. I feel like just hearing this song immediately makes you cooler. I’ve loved this song for years but one distinct memory I have tied to this song is when I was in Rio driving to Buzios. The sun was shining, we were driving along the sparkling water, the windows were down, and this song was blaring. It was such a good day.
A Little Bit Stronger – Leighton Meester from the Country Strong album
This song (and whole album) take me back to all the early mornings during unemployment. I came back from Paris and had a really hard time adjusting back to New York time. I’d wake up around 5am every day and by 8 was ready to go do something, but had no job to go to. It was nice to live only a block away from a movie theater (especially since it was January.) I saw so many movies. When the nominations for Academy Awards came out I’d already seen 9 of the 10 best films nominated for best picture. Country Strong was a movie I really loved and I loved the soundtrack even more and played it over and over again. Dave was flying out a lot at this point so this album also has strong ties to him.
Any Other Name – Thomas Newman
This song is on the American Beauty soundtrack but I just fell in love with it in the last year. I guess maybe it’s sort of weird, but the music I listen to during most of my runs is melancholy, or thoughtful. I have my best runs when I’m down about something, or just have something really heavy on my mind so I guess that makes sense. This song is absolutely perfect for a thoughtful run around the reservoir at twilight. It almost makes me cry to think about. Those runs are just so therapeutic. I think so much, meanwhile looking around at the most gorgeous scenery, falling completely in love with my city all over again. I frequently think about what it will be like to leave the city someday and how heartbroken I’ll be when that day comes. It’s a really strange mixture of feelings of sadness and gratitude, and somehow in the end my head is clear.
New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
Oh wow. What doesn’t this make me think of? When I was visiting the city to decide if I wanted to move here I’d made a New York mix and of course this song was number one. I made sure it was playing when my cab drove into the city and it was magical. This will always make me think of Yankees games where they play it (whether we win or lose) and inspire me to run the New York City marathon (one day!) because they play it after the the gun fires, starting the race.
Swallowed in the Sea – Coldplay
Oh Kevin. I was so in puppy-love. Kevin took me to a Coldplay concert in 2005 and really kick started my love of Coldplay. A little part of Coldplay (I guess just the earlier albums) will always be tied to him. (PS Is it awkward that every guy I’ve mentioned, except one, is married now? Sorry to the wives if you’re reading this…)
Closer to Love – Matt Kearney
This song is me, riding my pink cruiser, up and down the West Side Highway along the Hudson River, so many days after work, summer 2009. Pure bliss.
Last Request – Paolo Nutini
This song was playing on repeat in my room the (first) time Curtis and I broke up. It was the least messy break up (funny how if you break up over and over again it just gets worse and worse.) The lyrics were perfect. I just wanted one more night.
My Milkshake – Kelis
This was my ringtone in college and I’m not even embarrassed to admit it.
Halo - Beyonce
This is a really great song. But even greater is a memory so many of my New York friends have tied to it. There’s a game we call iPod karaoke, that you can only play with really good friends, and everyone’s gotta be on board. Someone picks a song they know really well, and sits (or stands) in the middle of the group. The put the song on their iPod and crank up the music as loud as they can, and are also blindfolded at the same time, then sing along (and hopefully bust out some sweet dance moves.) It. Is. Awesome. And obviously not for the insecure. We haven’t played it in a couple years and I think we’re all kind of over it, but the times we played in the past were great. There’s always a couple people who bust out a song totally shocking. Like this one, for example, which was sung by our great friend Jeff. He pulled up a stool and sang his heart out. He knew every word and hit some serious high notes. One of my favorite moments was when I leaned over to his roommate and said, “Something tells me this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this” and he just laughed. Oh Jeffy, thank you for being such a good sport.
4 Minutes – Madonna feat Justin Timberlake
Man, I am so glad in every phase of life I always have friends who love to dance. I think summer 2008 was the summer for dance parties. There were a ton of parties that year and this song was one of the musts. When I hear this I’m immediately taken back to 7A in 71 Broadway, having a dance party, either with a completely packed apartment, or just my roommates.
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen – Manheim Steamroller
Did anyone else grow up on Manheim Steamroller every December? This album makes the spirit of Christmas for a child come flooding back. I can feel the excitement all over again. It’s crazy how as adults we’re always saying, “I can’t believe Christmas is only xx days away,” but as kids it’s like torture waiting for the countdown.
Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons
I was sitting in a bar on a date this summer and this song came on. I haven’t ever heard Mumford anywhere like that and got super excited. Here’s a funny story that maybe isn’t so funny if you’re my mom (sorry, if you’re reading this.) I’d met an older gent we’ll call Don Quixote earlier in the summer and we hit it off. He’d asked me for my number the first time we met and I didn’t really ever expect to hear from him. But I did. I didn’t think anything of it and was sort of oblivious to the fact that he was interested, because of the age difference. He’d text me pretty regularly and it was fun and flattering. I’d been with a friend when we met, and he’d been with a colleague. We happened to meet on a Tuesday at my favorite Yankee bar, and apparently he and his colleague went there every Tuesday. For the next few weeks after we met he’d always ask me on Tuesdays to swing by and the four of us always had a great time with tons of laughs. I would go when I could, but it was usually just for an hour or so because I always had something else going on.
One particular Tuesday I met up for about 30 minutes and then left because my mom, aunts, and grandma were in town and we were having dinner. He continued to text me while I was out, giving me a hard time for always being too busy. I finally agreed to meet him after dinner with my family.
While I was at Shake Shack with my family (the original, outdoor Shake Shack) we had one of those New York summer downpours that comes out of nowhere that leaves you completely soaked head to foot. I ended up going back to their hotel to chat for a while, and then used their ladies’ room to freshen up my makeup and blowdry my hair. My mom was worried about me going home “so late” (10pm.) She kept asking me if I was really going home and I kept smiling and saying of course, thinking it was obvious I wasn’t primping for the subway ride. My aunt Vicki just laughed and said, “Of course she’s not going home. She’s young and single. She’s going out and she should!” I just smiled.
I met up with Don Quixote and we were sitting in this bar chatting and flirting away and I found myself having a really really good time. We’d been talking about what kind of music we liked when this song came on and I asked if he knew who it was. He said without hesitation, “Mumford & Sons.” I was really impressed because I wouldn’t necessarily expect a guy in his 20s to know who it was, let alone someone who’s 50. There. I said it. Judge away but it was one of the most fun dates I’ve had in years, and one of the hottest New York makeouts after outside of my building. (Again, sorry Mom.)
First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow
Fall 2003. The girls in 303 and 304 were absolutely obsessed with The Very Best of Sheryl Crow, mostly this song. We’d have it on repeat in the apartment or the car and sing at the top of our lungs. Over and over and over again. I miss those girls and those days of 303 ½.
Apologies – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Last winter I was sitting on the Eurostar at the station outside London. I was waiting for the train to depart to take me to Paris. My very first trip to Paris and my very first solo trip. At the exact moment the train pulled away the beginning piano keys played into my ears and it was this moment. I wish I could put it into words but it’s a moment I’ll never forget. It was like this moment of reason where I felt like a bona fide, independent, grown up. I was taking a trip to a foreign country all by myself. I was going and I didn't know a soul on the whole continent. In less than a week I’d come home to my own apartment for which I'd just signed the lease four months earlier, and I’d face a life of unemployment and bills that don’t stop and deal with it by myself. It sounds a little sad, and I actually did tear up, but it wasn’t a sad moment. It was like a step into a new phase of adulthood, taking a new step by myself, and also dealing with a new problem that most people face in adulthood.