22 April 2010
It seems like there are two distinct schools of thought re: the portable music player. One camp, in which I am firmly entrenched, is comprised of completists who enjoy having all of their music, neatly catalogued, with them at all times. The other camp is content having their iPod remain a compilation of selected songs, the bewilderment of choice eliminated via the canny use of the Shuffle feature.
I derive immense pleasure from being able to provide the soundtrack of my own life. It’s been intermittently cool and rainy during the past few days, but today it’s warmish in the apartment and from my desk I can see yellowish-green leaf buds hovering around the branches of the trees, and a hazy, tentatively blue sky. I reflexively played Orbital’s “Halcyon + On + On” — a song that I’ve associated with spring for as long as I can remember (or at least for the past four years). And I’ve been listening to Delorean’s Subiza tons, which is, as far as I can tell, a perfectly springlike album. These are the things that make life even better.
I realized a little while ago, however, the truth of some casual adage I heard somewhere a long time ago: that chances are, as you age, you’ll always remain somewhat centered in the dominant musical and sartorial aesthetic of your teens (a.k.a. why the music that Kids Today are listening to these days is a sad, pale replacement of what you grew up listening to).* I note this with chagrin after realizing just how much I’ve been loving the latest Polvo album, which — it turns out — is a recapitulation of a precise musical movement of the late 90s that’s still near and dear to my heart. Jagged, intertwining guitars, off-kilter time signatures… mmm. Sometimes I like being able to cloak nostalgia beneath the veneer of something new.
* Maybe there’s a more formal name for this phenomenon, but I’m not well-equipped enough to find it. Like how somewhere, there’s a reader noticing that a bunch of the older novels she’s been reading all feature the education and growth of the main character, but she’s not about to randomly Google the word “bildungsroman” on a whim.