Dec 8th Discussion / Single Song Memories...

As always, feel free to rip me apart about my reviews or whatever. Nobody has really commented on specific reviews since I started this function, would it be better if I opened commenting for each review?

The topic for this weeks discussion is a little more specific, and it came about because my favorite comments from past threads seem to be about a story. So...Are there songs that take you back to a certain memory each time you hear them (no matter what the setting is)? What's the song? What's the memory?

Commenting has been closed on this article.

lush - "ciao!"
got really drunk alone and tried to convince myself that i really want to break up with my boyfriend. i'm really glad that i was alone because it must have been a very pathetic and funny sight...

It's nice to read all these stories. Especially as some people have really big memories attached to certain songs or albums. I wish I had that too. Songs that represent a certain period in my life but it's a little bit different for me. My memories connected to music are mostly very small and almost unimportant. As I listen to music sometimes I recall a certain moment and after thinking about it for a few seconds I move on and forget.

A couple of days ago I listened to 'I Don't Know What I Can Save You From' by The Kings of Convenience and remembered my mother saying to me how much she liked my new sweater. I think that must have been in october 2001.

About three weeks ago I listened to Solomon Burke's album 'Don't Give Up On Me' and remembered very clearly the smell of fresh leather when playing that record for the first time in my parentís new car.

Those are mostly the kind of memories I have of music.

If you are posting on this thread, it's probably because you enjoy music than most...and much like many of the posts I've read, it's difficult to pinpoint one moment becasue there are just so many of them.

If I have to pick one song...I will select "Timorous Me" by Ted Leo & TP from the album "The Tyranny of Distance". This appropriately titled album is one of the best road trip records ever written and reminds me of the open boring highway 71 stretch that runs between Cincinnati and Cleveland. I make this trip often enough...and "Timorous Me" reminds me of one of my recent trips a few summers skies, silos, barns, cows, interstate overpasses and the radio really loud. The whole album reminds me of this really..."Timorous Me" just happens to be my favorite song from the record and receives a lot of spins...especially in the Cincinnati to Columbus stretch which is really, really uneventful.

Thanks for making it bearable, Ted.


My song is not a song, but an album - Flaming Lips, Yoshima Battles...This was the ultimate make-out album with my lady. Sitting in my car in front of her house, with the cd on repeat...over and over again. Such a good album, that it remains somewhat of a timeless memory.

Stupid Doobie Brothers song?!?! How dare you!! One of the best pop songs ever written.

It's not the Doobies fault that mullet boy chose to ruin it for you. Mullet boy should have known that song isn't even remotely a love song.

Don't blame the Doobies. The Doobies are your friend.

My first experience with psychedelics in college was spent listening to(or experiencing)Brian Eno's On Land. To this date I almost re-live that amazing trip every time I hear Eno's ambient masterpiece. Strong psycho-emotional associations indeed!

mrs. almostcool
When I was 16 years old, this very nice boy had a crush on me. He liked to work on cars, had a mullet and walked around pouting most of the time. I liked him because he let me drive his car, but otherwise considered him to be "just a friend." I had recently become aware of my powers as a young cute female and was all about invoking them to my own benefit.

The very nice boy wrote me several heartfelt notes expressing his fondness for me. I ignored the notes because I didn't know how to respond and I still wanted the very nice boy to be my friend so that I could continue to drive his 1950's muscle car around the neighborhood with the window rolled down and the wind blowing my hairsprayed bangs ever so slightly.

One day, the very nice boy showed up at my house. I went out to his car and we sat in the front seat talking for a moment without starting the car. I could tell that something was bothering the very nice boy. He excused himself for a moment, got out of the car and took a boombox out of the trunk. He put the boombox on the backseat and pressed the play button. A casette tape with the Doobie Brothers' song "What a Fool Believes" started to play. I could tell that the very nice boy had anticipated this moment and he watched me somberly, waiting for my reaction as I listened to the lyrics.

"As he rises to her apology/
Anybody else would surely know/
He's watching her go"

I got out of the car, smiled, waved goodbye and went inside the house without saying anything. I never talked to or hung out with the very nice boy again. I totally forget about the boy and this moment until I hear that stupid Doobie Brothers song and suddenly, I'm 16 years old again, staring at the dashboard uncomfortably while a boy with a mullet waits for me to show some sign of feeling.

Matt McCaleb
I like your reviews the way you write them. I vote against opening up commenting. Maybe it would be nice to get to voice my opinion, but I really only come here to read what you think. However, I imagine it would be more fun and engaging for you if you got more feedback, and knew what your readers thought, so, if you do it I for one will post :-)

Matt McCaleb
I like your reviews the way you write them. I vote against opening up commenting. Maybe it would be nice to get to voice my opinion, but I really only come here to read what you think. However, I imagine it would be more fun and engaging for you if you got more feedback, and knew what your readers thought, so, if you do it I for one will post :-)

I wish Mrs. Almostcool would tell the story about "What A Fool Believes" by Michael McDonald. I found it quite amusing but don't remember all the details anymore.

Hrm. I seem to remember Crowded House "Together Alone" playing, the first time I had sex. I could be wrong though.

Most of my song memories are related to girls and heartbreak, unfortunately. Including, but not limited to, Tom Waits "Closing Time", Mark Hollis "Mark Hollis" and U2 "Achtung Baby".

One very white, snowy day I walked to the corner grocery and Keith Fullerton Whitman's Playthroughs album was playing on my iPod and it just completely clicked. Regrettably, it's never sounded like anything other than crap headache noise since that day.

I will always associate The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" and the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy to my parents when i was a kid.

Tears For Fears "Head Over Heels" always takes me back to one insignificant day at my grandparents house watchng teh video on TV in the late 80's. It was a beautiful spring or autumn day. That's all I remember, but that day is stuck in my mind forever.

Cycling with headphones is very dangerous. I did while I lived in Amsterdam, but only because every one else was bicycling with headphones, and drivers were more likely to expect such a thing. As for here in America, I would never dare to do such a thing, nor suggest to anyone it is a good idea.

But enough of playing mom.

Explosions in the Sky is another band I closely associate with my time and travels in Holland. EitS and Greg Davis' "Curling Pond Woods" both helped me through my points of homesickness.

And "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" is simply a fabulous album for driving. When my girlfriend and I began dating, that album was a constant companion through our travels in and around Minnesota and Wisconsin, and still always makes me smile.

I agree that "Cripple Crow" is Devendra's best. It wasn't until it that I could go back and really enjoy his older albums.

I would be interested in reading reviews for the Akron/Family and Angels of Light split and the new Lightning Bolt album. Both of those are two of my favorites of this year.

Whenever I listen to "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" by Tortoise I always think back to this time over the summer when a bunch of friends and I took a trip to Delaware. We had left at midnight and because of getting lost a few times didn't get there until about 6, just in time for the sunrise over the ocean. We listened to the album a few times through on the way down.

And once me and a friend took a trip to NYC and even though we only listened to "Yankee Foxtrot Hotel" once I always think of that trip when I hear the beginning of I am Trying to Break Your Heart.

mrs. almostcool
the magnetic fields/let's get lost album: i listened to this album on an amtrack train during the middle of the night as i headed home after a visit to my hometown. i had just been introduced to the man i would eventually marry. i had not gotten his phone number or exchanged email addresses with him, but i knew that i had met THE ONE. i listened to this whole album and felt absolutely giddy. when i got home, i tracked that man down. we fell in love long distance style and eventually got married and live in eccentric, goofy bliss.

pixies/doolittle: swimming in a lake in Kansas at night with a boombox on the beach playing this album, circa 1991. good memories of being young with my whole life ahead of me.

john coltrane/love supreme: walking on grafton street in dublin. the hood of my sweatshirt up and tied close around my face and over my headphones--like surround sound for my own personal soundtrack. i spent the whole summer drinking guinness, reading yeats and pining for the boyfriend i'd left home in the US. later, i would learn that the boyfriend immediately started sleeping with his ex girlfriend after i'd left the country.

natalie merchant/space oddity (cover of the bowie song): i had been living in a cabin in the costa rican rain forest during the rainy season. it rained for 2 weeks straight and everything i owned grew mold. i played solitaire and read dozens of paperback books while trying not to worry about mudslides. i had this tiny am/fm radio that i'd listen to in the evenings. it seemed like every time i turned on the radio, lou bega's 'mambo #5', the macarena or some drek was playing. one night i turned on the radio and natalie merchant was singing space oddity. the whole memory feels surreal. i remember standing in the little cabin, with rain beating steadily on the tin roof, listening to Space Oddity on the transistor radio. at the time, it seemed like the music was coming from another planet.

I'm mexican and live in a quite warm place but during 2003 lived 7 months in Helsinki,Finland. One October afternoon y was listening to Mogwai, while I was reading in a small coffee shop by the sea, and the first time I ever experienced snowfall I was listening to "Yes! I am a long way from home" which immediately became the trigger of snow memories, and a riual song that I play each time I hop into an airplane. One month later i was listening with some friends Sigur Ros's - "Olsen Olsen" while watching the northern was pure magic.
and (strange one)
Beastie Boys "Sabotage" from my very first swim in the sea by night. (not a very poetic association I know)

i went to intonation in chicago last summer, with a boy i liked in tow. after enduring two days of unbearable heat and humidity (we're from CA)-- albeit soundtracked by many amazing bands-- the decemberists finally took the stage just as it was starting to get dark. there was a perfectly light breeze blowing and colin meloy and several thousand of us were singing, "july, july!" in unison. now whenever i play a decemberists album, it's summer all over again.

chungking express cafe
hi. i am from hk. there was a time when i was studying in a high school which is located at the most southest part of the hk island (called Stanley), however at that time i live in Kowloon across the Victoria Harbour. geographically, it takes 1-1.5 hr to get there, so basically i spent 3 hr everyday on travel, first MTR to Central and then by minibus to Stanley, vice versa.

well. at that time, i just have discovered electronic and post-rock. to relieve myself from that extremely crowded and noisy journey from city to (so call) more country-side, i need a longer album (rock album like pixies wouldn't do as those albums are too short) and of coz i need some chill out music.

therefore, mum's "yesterday was dramatic and today is okay" and do make say think's "& yet & yet" were the regular player during the journey.

the best thing about "yesterday" is the subtle electronic sound somehow in sync with the pattern of backward flowing scenery outside the window (esp asleep and awake on the train), and for the latter part of the album, i was on the minibus, that for the whole journey you can see the beautiful seacoast in panorama, again accompany with (sunday night just keeps on rolling & slow bicycle), it became a perfect ride.

after i have finished the day and also those extracurricular activities, on the way back home, i ususally put on & yet & yet as the music is more uplifting and jazzy, again with the panoramic view of sunset which resemble the cover of Manual's album a lot.

now i am studying in Sydney, looking back the journey and the life in high school that so many things became framed in memory, and you started to recall the great old times with friends whom you have lost contact etc ...

therefore, i seldom listen to these two album anymore as i would become too sentimental. "yesterday was dramatic, today is okay", so true!!!

Umm...there are many songs with many memories in them...just to recall one:
The Postal Service - the district sleeps alone tonight.
I was inside my car waiting for someone...I waited for a long time and I don't smoke but I smoked a full pack of cigars while waiting. My mouth was dry, I spent 4 hours inside the car with this song constantly being repeated through my stereo (it was the only cd I carried that day)

Wow. Good question, but one that must prompt a lengthy answer. Music IS memory. Albums are like time-capsules for me. SOme specifics are:

Radiohead-Hail To The Thief: travelling all around England and Wales in 2003.

Piano Magic-Disaffected: walking really late at night in my hometown.

Savoy Grand-Burn The Furniture: walking at night.

Bark Psychosis-Codename: Dustsucker: going to Germany and Belgium in 2004.

Simian-Chemistry Is What We Are: camping with my father in Southern Alberta.

'Pon my word, I could list so many more...but I will leave some room for others.

Ah, feel free to rip on me. Heh. I am curious about your statement, though, because it seems that (and not just from me) Banhart has gotten his best marks for this release from most people.

I know fans who have liked him from the start would probably argue against that, because his new album is definitely more tame, but at the same time I think it's definitely his most consistent. As I mentioned in the review, I think it's a bit overlong, but yes, as a whole I think it's his best to date. I like individual songs on his past releases, but I don't feel like he completely pulled it together until "Cripple Crow."

:: k
well Aaron - you may be the first person whom I respect the opinion of in the realm of new music to say the new Devendra is his "best to date".

not going to rip you on it though, for they are you own 2 ears.

: k

Cocteau Twins: "Ivo" - I bought the "Treasure" album because I liked the cover. I put the record on, and sat down with my then-girlfriend for a bit of fumbling. The song started, and we stopped!

The first "Voix Bulgares" album reminds me of mint-flavoured toffees, for some inexplicable reason.

Babes In Toyland: any song from "Spanking Machine" - I saw them at the 1991 Reading festival, and when they started their set I got the most intense stomach-ache, because the bass and drums affected me so much. When they finished, the pain went. Weird.

La Düsseldorf: "Cha Cha 2000" - My formative years of music listening was spent with my brother, who liked bands Henry Cow, Soft Machine and Yes. He also owned a few krautrock records - Faust, Neu! and so on. "Cha Cha 2000" was my favourite song of all that my brother owned. It was also one of the longest he owned, so my occupation of his bedroom while it played couldn't have helped him with his homework!

First: No, Chris, it won't be the last time Def Leppard's mentioned on this board :) When I hear the song "Hysteria" I think about the fall of fifth grade (in elementary school). There was something great about fifth grade, one of the final years - if not, THE final year - of innocence before that polluted period of pre-adolescence. That ideal and idyllic time, for me, included lots of Def Leppard.

Second: It's funny, Chris, that you mention BOC and GYBE. After graduating college, I began working where I still currently work. At that time, internet radio was just taking off, and the site I listened to most was SonicNet. I stumbled across both BOC and GYBE there, and when I listen to either group, they often remind me of just starting my life after college. So there ya go.

I know there are others and will promptly flood the thread with more as I remember them.

It's not a specific song (from reading below, it seems like people have memories with certain albums moreso than individual tracks), but during a certain point in my life, I did a lot of bicycling at night. At the time, my favorite headphone album while doing this (kinda dangerous, yes) was "Consumed" by Plastikman. I don't play that album as much as I used to, but when I do, it reminds me of hauling ass around town on my bike (without a headlamp). Amazingly, I only had one accident in that time, when I hit a dark-colored post and flipped off my bike, dislocating my shoulder...

whenever i hear anything off of "sufer rosa" or "come on pilgrim" I rmemeber working at a summer camp with my brother and a couple close friends. we played those two albums incessantly but I distinctly recall one day between camps where we were sitting on the warm roof of the male staff cabin/dorm and screaming along with the songs.

Whenever I hear "memorial" by explosions in the sky, I remember seeing them live and being moved to the point of tears at the end of the song. I can hear their other songs and not necessarily think of the show, but memorial was the best. That was one of the best shows I've ever been to.

I just remembered another one: "Neon Golden" by the Notwist. I bought this album near the end of my living in Amsterdam, and remember listening to it while biking around the city, over canals on beautiful summer days ,lined trees in full bloom. Wonderful stuff.

Flaming Lips - The Soft Buttelin reminds me of the first time I visited home (Montreal) after moving to Florida.

First, "Winter's Going" feat. Buck 65 by DJ Signify. I remember listening to the whole album while riding a train through Poland. The beauty of the country side was amazing, and when I hit that song, yeah. It just fit at that moment, and that time.

Second, I was at a party at a squatter bar in Amsterdam, and it was my friend's birthday. I just remember it was like three in the morning, we were going crazy and dancing like mad to "Love Cats" by the Cure.

Finally, in a quasi-related story, I just recently 'got' "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine. Despite having owned it for nearly seven years, I never understood it, or the true beauty of it (though I did always enjoy it). One day at work, with the headphones on, I just looked out the window and it all made sense. The next day I blasted it out of my speakers and just rocked out hard. Amazing album. Better late than never.

For me, "Von" by Sigur Ros reminds me of the sun coming up at 5 AM when I was on the Greek island of Crete. I was sitting on a beach with a cold bottle of beer when this song came on my stereo. Ive never felt so relaxed . Everytime I hear it now it reminds me of that day

Two quick things. First, I'd love to be able to comment on individual reviews. That'd be great.

And along those lines, I just listenend to the Village Orchestra disc....and wow! 7.5 is a little stingy! I was blown away by it.

My song memories...the one's that come to my mind first are mostly bad ones. I'll have to think of good memories in another post....but here's the bad one's that come to mind.

1) About 12 years old and my parents catch me air-guitaring to "Rock Of Ages" by Def Leppard! Ouch!! First and last time Def Leppard will ever be mentioned on this board!

2) Walking down the hallway of my dorm for the first time in college...and as I walked past each room "No Rain" by Blind Melon was blasting out of each room as I passed. Brutal.

Ok, a couple good one's. More associated with albums than songs. I read a review of Music Has the Right To Children...ran out on the spot and bought it and spent the rest of the night laying on my apartment floor with the CD player on repeat.

Hearing Portishead's album Dummy at the apartment of a girl I was dating. I remember leaving feeling stupid cause it was so good...and thinking about all the stupid crap I was wasting time listening to.

One more, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven was really the first post-rock disc I discovered. And I'll never forget hearing driving around listening to disc two. The first track "They don't sleep anymore on the beach". I was floored, jaw agape. And just when you think they can't push it any further comes that point at about 16:30 where it just explodes. You think it's going to taper off as it slows and the shuffling drums come in. But then, what, around 21:00 comes those soaring guitars and you just can't beleive what you're hearing. I drove around for a long time that night going back to the 16 minute mark of that track and listening through to the end.

I guess the Godspeed and Boards memories are of signifigance because they mark the discorveries of whole new genre's for me.

that Désormais track Hell'n Ohio is undeniably one of the best this year!

Luke A.
Modest Mouse - "3rd Planet" - I had never heard anything by Modest Mouse, but I had read one very glowing review, so before a friends birthday party, I went and picked it up for myself at Best Buy. I was about 20 minutes late for the party, because I kept driving around listening to this one song.

Leighton Parr
Broken Social Scene - Feel Good Lost
Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place

and anything by Do Make Say Think

I have many many. So I'll think of one.

Well, what I was listening to today. Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel. The album takes me back to last year, when it was starting to get cold and crisp and the air was damp with rain. In particular, "At The Zoo" brings me back to when I was making Christmas-shaped sugar cookies with a friend. The album makes me happy, but I never listen to it when it's warm.

I have a bunch of these, and I'll probably post several in this thread as the days go by.

One that is very specific is "Cherry Chapstick" by Yo La Tengo. For some reason or another, whenever I hear the song, I remember that the first time I heard it, I was sitting in my little apartment chatting on instant messenger with my girlfriend (who is now my wife). It doesn't matter where and when I hear the song, I always remember what I was doing the first time I heard it.

Another one relates to the song "Sour Times" by Portishead. Almost every time I hear this song, I remember driving back from college for Thanksgiving during my freshman year of college (which was the first time I heard the song). I had a lot of mixed-up feelings going on in my head and at the time that made it seem so fitting and perfect.