Recently, I was out with my friend having a fun time watching her flirt it up with an Australian who was trying way too hard. Seriously this guy had an accent and that’s all you need in order to sufficiently woo someone in LA. I was enjoying their staggered banter and observing all the other intimate interactions going on around me when the innocuous background music changed from an undistinguishable Phoenix song (aren’t they all) to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. As if on cue, tears began rushing down my face in a moment of uncontrollable emotional reaction. I had a second of “What is this water coming out of my eyeballs?” before my body clicked into self-preservation mode and alerted my muscles to haul it out of the venue. I rushed through the congregation, bumping into several people, one of whom threw her drink in my face. “Yes… mask the tears,” I thought in a maniacal tone before the alcohol started burning my eyes. I managed to get to the parking lot without creating too much of a scene. There, I located a vacant, black Escalade large enough for proper coverage until I could pull it together.
When I returned about 10 minutes later my friend asked me where I went.
“’Tiny Dancer’ came on so I had to get out of here,” I responded casually.
She looked confused.
Apparently this was not an acceptable answer. After a moment it registered to me that “Tiny Dancer” may not be a trigger for everyone, and that my emotional display may seem “out-of-the-norm” or “akin-to-crazy-person-behavior” when considering the general tone of the song.
“Nevermind,” I said.
She shrugged me off and went back to her foreigner.
As a person who has lived her life accompanied by an ever-evolving soundtrack, this sort of a thing happens far too often. Songs are so intertwined with a memory, an emotion or a representation of a person that sifting through my iPod can seem like a round of emotional minesweeper. For a couple months, I became so exhausted with tip-toeing around my music that I just stopped listening to music altogether.
Living in fear of your shuffle is a fairly ridiculous and inconvenient way to live your life. Right now I just want to detach from certain aspects until the level of emotional connection returns to homeostasis. In other words, I’m putting away Elton until I can trick people into thinking I’ve regained sanity. Until then, and heaven knows how long that will take, I have recommitted to submerging back into “the music scene” to locate new treasures devoid of preexisting mental connections. We’ll call it my Spring Cleaning. Here’s a sample of what I’m listening to currently. Eventually these songs will develop synapses in my brain linking them to new memories/events/people in the which case I will clear them out and make way for a new batch. Such is life.
Thumpers- Unkinder (A tougher love)
Waters- Go to my head
Sleeper Agent- Waves
The Black Keys- Everlasting Light
Kings Of Leon- Beautiful War
Wild Nothing- Paradise
Rodrigo Amarante- Hourglass
Jack White- I’m Shakin’
Bear Hands- Agora; Giants (but mainly for the chorus)
The 1975- Settle Down
Cash + David- Funn
Shibuya- Beat Culture
Iggy Izalea- Work
Toro y Moi- Cake
James Blake- Lindisfarne
Banks- Waiting Game
James Vincent McMorrow- Cavalier
Surf Club- Until Then
Twin Sister- All Around and Away We Go
The Velvet Underground- Ride Into The Sun
Talking Heads- Psycho Killer