Monday, February 12, 2007

I Don't Need No Stinkin' Boyfriend

As I stared out the car window that grey, rainy morning, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. How much longer did I have? Would I accomplish everything I hoped to in the little time I had left? What was my purpose in this life? Oh, it was all just so unfair, this fleeting life of ours!

I was eight. My mother was driving me to school and Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” was playing on the radio. It was a milestone in my life because it was the first time I experienced how music could uncover emotions that I never even knew I had—emotions my eight-year old self didn’t yet understand.

From that day forward, music became my faithful servant. I used it to hide, to cope, to motivate, to laugh, to cry, and to remind me of special people and places. As I got older and life became more complicated, I used it to manipulate my emotions, to suck out painful feelings I’d buried so I could (in theory) spend some time with them and hopefully move on.

That’s why I love my iPod. It allows me to organize my emotional manipulation by mood. My combined playlist titles read like a strange poem composed by a Chris Martin-Missy Elliott hybrid: “I don’t miss him,” “Move your ass,” “London,” “Don’t Panic,” and “Yep, I’m hot” (hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do).

But my trusty playlist stand-by is still “Good cry.” Because sometimes I just don’t want to move on or cheer up. I want to wallow in the self-pity that only Damien Rice’s “Blowers Daughter” can evoke. I want to marvel at how Ben Folds Five hits the nail on the head in “Brick” when they sing about feeling loneliness in a relationship instead of companionship. I want to believe the Indigo Girls when they tell me that love will come to me. I want to be transported to my favorite bench in Hyde Park again while I listen to Zero 7’s “In the Waiting Line.” Is that so wrong?

Since I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to throw myself a musical pity party, I wanted to share my favorite playlist with you. Maybe you’ll see a song on here that you forgot about that resonates with where you are right now. (Or maybe you’ll just laugh at how I shamelessly worship at the altar of heartstring-tugging Brit pop.). As always, lurkers are discouraged - feel free to post your favorites. I’m always looking for new material.

Good Cry:

Long Road, Eddie Vedder

High and Dry, Radiohead

Don’t Panic, Coldplay

Run, Snow Patrol

The Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley

In the Waiting Line, Zero 7

Strange and Beautiful, Aqualung

This Is the Last Time, Keane

The Scientist, Coldplay

The Wings, Gustavo Santaolalla

Heartbeats, Jose Gonzalez

All I Want Is You, U2

Pictures of You, The Cure

Brick, Ben Folds Five

The Blower’s Daughter, Damien Rice

Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

The Dance, Garth Brooks

Iris, The Goo Goo Dolls

Love Will Come to You, The Indigo Girls

Fix You, Coldplay

Rewind, Stereophonics

Walk On, U2

Cannonball, Damien Rice

You’re Beautiful, James Blunt

So Cruel, U2