A car ride without great music is just a means to Arcadia.
As a commuter, music is essential (gas, too, but no one likes to talk about that). While some people depend on the radio for background, I’ve always been a CD girl. It’s the main reason I’m so horribly behind on current music. I also don’t play a CD through once and move on. I play it through on repeat for days and weeks on end. I am not a passenger friendly vehicle.
What I’ve learned from this procedure is how faulty first impressions can be when it comes to songs. Forgetting for a moment the ones you somehow miss hearing the first play through, I can’t name the number of times I’ve grown to love a track I never would’ve thought twice about if I’d replaced the CD after just one listen.
Another benefit of repetition is lyrics. My favorite musicians are often the ones who double as musical poets and storytellers (Johnny Cash, Lorde, etc.). By listening to their songs over and over again within a short period of time, it’s incredible how many more words and layers of meaning you pick up (it took me way too long, for example, to recognize the pun in the title of Lorde’s CD, “Pure Heroine”).
This last month (though really my whole life) David Bowie has been my driving muse. Best Buy had a deal on a 3-CD set and, after telling myself I already have Bowie CDs in my collection (he and Cash share the spot of being my favorite music legends/inspirations/idols of all time), I bought it.
The first week of school, “New Killer Star” was the song stuck in my head:
“Don’t ever say I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready/ Don’t ever say I’m better, I’m better, I’m better/ Don’t ever say I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready/ Don’t ever say I’m better, I’m better, I’m better, I’m better than you.”
Second week: “Oh! You Pretty Things”
“All the strangers came today/ And it looks as though they’re here to stay”
This week: “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”
“Remember when we used to go to church on Sundays/ I’d lay awake at night, terrified of school on Mondays/ Oh, but it’ s too late now/I wish I was a child again/ I wish I felt secure again.
I can’t help thinking about me…”
I bring this up because we have two great articles this issue about songs I’ve almost universally never heard of before, which makes them even more exciting to read: Tashna’s “The Most Influential Songs That I’ve Heard from the Previous Decade” and Nicole’s “7 Songs to Remind You That You’re Strong.”
With so much music available to listen to–past, present, and future–it’s easy to miss out on some brilliant stuff. Equally brilliant, however, is that, with YouTube, finding these songs is easier than ever, especially when you have guides like Tashna and Nicole to steer you in the right direction.
Be sure to check their pieces out, along with all the cool articles we have this week, including Kelli’s for any pumpkin spice latte fans out there.
For now, signing off with another Bowie classic: “Starman”