16 January 2008

Melodic Memories

Today whilst driving home for lunch, I was flipping through radio stations and the oldies station was playing "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate. Immediately I was transported back to 2002 in Washington D.C. in the Commons area of the 3rd floor of the Milton A. Barlow Center watching my friend Elizabeth -- a usually dignified pre-law student -- recreate a commercial she had seen, involving a mouse singing this song to some cheese. Needless to say it was late at night and hilarious. Anytime I hear that song, I think of that night and of Elizabeth. So I thought I would share the music that has the power to viscerally transport me back to a certain time and place.
  • Sunshine On Leith, The Proclaimers -- I bought this CD in the early 90s, sometime between junior high and high school, but it always reminds me of my senior year in high school when I was half in love with a boy who declared this to be one of his favorite albums. I listened to it a lot. I don't know if it was because I thought it meant something, or would give us something to talk about, or if it simply made me feel closer to someone who barely acknowledged my existence, but the music is irrevocably melded in my mind with that boy, his Mustang, and Mr. Robertson's College English class, in which we sat by one another.

  • "Here With Me", No Angel, Dido -- This song takes me back to the second year Parker and I were roommates. We would listen to this song on repeat as we lay in our respective crappy beds under The Shrine to David Duchovny that took up three of our walls. We listened to this song ad infinitum because we were just a little bit obsessed with the first season of a show called Roswell about 3 aliens masquerading as teenagers in Roswell, New Mexico. One of the actors playing an alien was a clone of David Duchovny. I think he is on CSI: Miami now, but the obsession died a quick death the next year and I only really think about it when I hear this song. Sorry if I outed a little too much of our geekiness, Parker.
  • Details, Frou Frou -- Parker and I became preoccupied with the song "Let Go" on this album after hearing it on the Garden State trailer, so one day she came home with the soundtrack to the movie AND the Frou Frou album it came from. We listened to both fairly regularly. So everytime I listen to this CD, I am back in our freezing living room in that first apartment in Salt Lake, also known as The Rat Hole, reading Anthropology of an American Girl. I never actually finished the book, but I'll remember it forever, thanks to the music.

  • A Cheap and Evil Girl, Bree Sharp -- This CD and the book Bridget Jones's Diary entered Parker and my apartment the same week during the spring of my junior year at BYU. Because of the song "David Duchovny" the CD became an instant hit with us. The rest of the CD is great too, so it was constantly playing for about two weeks, until we were forced to return it to the friend who lent it to us.. The book was just hilarious and we spent a lot of time laughing hysterically over various passages while Bree was playing in the background. So now the two are inextricably linked in my personal narrative.

  • "Why Does It Always Rain On Me", The Man Who, Travis -- I first heard this song on the radio when I was living in London. I loved it instantly and it became my Karma Hates Me theme song. Everytime I hear it, I'm back in London, walking down the sidewalk between the Notting Hill Tube stop and Palace Court Road, where the BYU London Center is located. On the other side of the road I can see Hyde Park and I feel the humidity and smell the acrid combination of bus exhaust, urine, and garbage that permeates most metropolitan streets. The song always makes me homesick for London, but in a pleasantly melancholy way.
So there you have it, a little peak into my odd little psyche. Feel free to share any music-memory associations you have.

3 comments:

two forks said...

oh wow it just all came back to me!!! elizabeth LOVED to sing that song!!! man i was zapped back to the barlow! what a scary thought. do you know what elizabeth is up to?

chosha said...

ACDC (Aussie metal band) 'Back in Black' always transports me back to my year 11 art class. The teacher would let us play music while we worked on projects and my first love was in the class and loved ACDC. I can still remember him singing along to it.

Music is so powerful that way.

Scully said...

Two Forks, Laura M (now Laura F). from the Barlow days emailed me a while back and she said Elizabeth and her husband, whose name I have totally forgotten, live somewhere like Kansas or Nebraska and have a little 1 1/2 year old girl. But that is all I know.

Chosha, that song always reminds me of the tv show Alias and the tv show Supernatural. Both used it quite prominently. Also, it is a great song to work out to. And isn't it wonderfully bittersweet to remember first loves?