Please Excuse This Interruption: A Personal Note

The other night I came home, exhausted from the day but energized by a new musical discovery. Ryan was sitting on the couch in the dark, working on his photographs and website.

I don’t even think I said hello to him. Instead, I said, “Open up Spotify now; you have to listen to this album.” I went into the kitchen and reheated some leftovers I could jam into my gob as I waited for him to be ready for further direction.

Used to my unusual dramatic antics, especially when he hasn’t seen me all day and I have had 12 hours to let my mind wander to all sorts of crazy tangents, he pulled up the program and just looked at me. Well? his eyes said.

“For Your Own Special Sweetheart. By Jawbox.”

He sighed. He played a bit and I was doing the lean-over-the-computer-big-eyed-oh-my-god-tell-me-what-you-think thing, but he seemed to be only mildly interested. Already sensing this and with an, oh yeah? inflection, I said, “Go to their Wikipedia Page.”

He read a little and mumbled, “Lead singer was in Government Issue, whoa. hmmm….”
Not being able to help myself, I ordered him to go to J. Robbins’ page and said like an overly-excited teenager, “Yeah, read off all the bands he’s responsible for producing and engineering…” His eyes widened. “…they were basically all of your favorite bands growing up.” Not as easily excitable as I am, Ryan continued to read and take it in. “Paint it Black…NONE More Black, wow,….no way, Modern Life is War?”

Satisfied that I’d at least brought this information to him, I continued to listen to the album while I read over some email.
A few minutes passed. I went in the other room and got ready for bed. Brushed the teeth. Washed the face. I go to the kitchen to grab some water when he yells at me, “great, now you have me hooked.”
“I told you, this album is great.”
“No, not the album,” he said. “Listen to this…” and he began playing “Doom! Doom! Doom!” by Latterman. “You have me wanting to listen,” he broke off, “I’m feeling nostalgic.”
I sat up for a bit longer, sitting next to him in the dark as he thumbed through the archives on Spotify, sometimes drumming along to certain songs, sometimes pulling up a youtube video just for me to watch kids we remembered or looked up to, kids he played with or alongside, kids in music videos just being fools, kids just immortalizing themselves for moments like this.

I left him alone at one point to do his thing because I had to wake up early the next morning for work. I set the alarm, rolled over and fell asleep.
As I was getting ready the next morning, I opened up Spotify just so I could have some background noise.

I noticed a new playlist at the very top entitled Nostalgia, containing the following albums:

A Flight & a Crash (Hot Water Music)
Based on a True Story (Silent Majority)
Jersey’s Best Dancers (Lifetime)
Frame & Canvas (Braid)
Dear You (Jawbreaker)
Won (As Friends Rust)
Give Blood (Bane)
The Troubled Stateside (Crime in Stereo)
Explosives & The Will to Use Them (Crime in Stereo)
Kid Dynamite (self)
We’re Down ‘Til We’re Underground (Give up the Ghost)
My Love My Way (Modern Life is War)

I was happy. And not because I had introduced him to new information or had him listen to/partially like something he’d never heard before. He found himself reminiscing on his own, without me, as though the memory took hold and he couldn’t shake it until he made a list; his own personal catalog.

So what about you…what albums would be in yours?

NOTE: My sudden interest in Jawbox was spawned by the book Post by Eric Grubbs. If you haven’t read it, please do. He’s a super nice, incredibly knowledgeable guy and I’m currently learning a lot from him.

Next up, I am working on a story from one of my Brooklyn friends, Mike Clark. It’s going to be a good one, so sit tight!

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