Music, Memory, and Moments

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Nov 1 2009, 23h47

No one can argue the importance that music has on a movie. A great soundtrack can make a bland movie a bit more colorful, and can turn an otherwise dead-pan scene into a creepy or suspenseful moment. And sometimes there are moments when the music flares up and sends a tingle down your spine, gives you goosebumps, makes you just think to yourself, "That is IT." It's an impression that can stay with you long after that initial contact.

That's kind of how I felt the other day when I chanced on an old playlist of songs I've had on my computer for years. They're songs I hadn't listened to in what felt like forever, songs associated with very specific images and memories, more often than not of events and people I tried so hard to forget. Despite not thinking about them for years everything came washing back to shore in one swift motion like a tidal wave of nostalgia. What I found most interesting was how I associated particular songs with ... well, let's be honest, with particular ladies in my life. Unsurprisingly, each one links up with particular periods in my life, periods where I went through major changes, which you can kind of track across the list if you look at it in chronological order of what I listened to.

Personally, I find it amazing how these individual songs can trigger such strong emotional reactions considering how little I've listened to them in recent years. Heck, some of them I didn't even realize were still on my computer. It makes me wonder what songs will achieve similar reactions when I'm older. What songs will make me think most of my college life and my current girlfriend? What songs will make me think of being back at home in San Francisco and trying to find my way in life? Who knows if I'll even listen to the same stuff a year or two from now; my music taste has been shifting in the last few years or so as far as I've noticed.

For now though, here's what I've been calling my "Nostalgia" playlist:

1. Back To Me
2. Everything You Want
3. You're a God

These tracks comprise some of the songs I listened to in my late middle school years and when I first got into high school. I had a huge crush on this one girl who was worlds different, and since I had never really had a girlfriend I guessed I kind of put her on a pedestal, which caused a lot of anguish.

4. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
5. Summer Wind Was Always Our Song
6. Screaming Infidelities
7. Again I Go Unnoticed
8. Heart Of A Broken Story
9. Apt. #5

Next we have the mid-high school years when I was with my first girlfriend, the one I can't ever forget and who I despised for pretty much the following five years or so. A lot of these songs were actually from her MP3 player, which I borrowed on the way from her place on a few occasions. Mostly emo stuff, which accurately reflects the mood of that tumultuous relationship.

10. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
11. What Sarah Said
12. You Don't Know Me
13. Fire Eye'd Boy

There's a huge gap between my senior year of high school and the start of my second year of college when I was in my second serious relationship, but ... eh. The above tracks are mostly from the last two years of college, around the time my current girlfriend and I started dating. Going through a second major break-up not long before was still pretty gritty, and I was feeling somewhat vulnerable and lonely. Yeah, kind of emo, but what a slightly different feel to it.

14. Whatever You Want
15. Spectacular Views
16. The Only Moment We Were Alone
17. Tracy (Kid Loco's Playing With the Young Team Remix)

Tracks that remind me of living in Santa Cruz with my girlfriend from 2007-2008. It was probably the best year of my life, and these are some of my current favorite tracks of all time. Nice correlation, huh?

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