Waking up in the morning is rarely pleasant as pressing snooze over and over is typical. This being a post in a music blog, it is expected that I write a lengthy paragraph or two on how music cures all and therefore makes every morning vastly more pleasant. Frankly, in many cases it does. However, there are certain songs that no matter how much I enjoy, I simply cannot start my morning to. The song I choose to wake up to is reflective of my mood and does not simply have to be something that will magically jolt some mystical energy into me. Often, it is the same song that I have fallen asleep to, the one I have not been able to get out of my mind. This post and those like it will spotlight the first song that came to mind as I woke up.
Tuesday morning, and the alarm goes off. It’s ten am and I have the same lyrics running through my head. Stephen Malkmus’s voice repeats “Paris is stale and it’s war if we fail.” Just as expected, I am quick to press play and I condemn myself to having “Frontwards” on repeat in my head throughout the day.
Pavement is a band that was introduced to me by a new friend my first semester in college. With “Cut Your Hair” being their only true mainstream hit, it was obvious that that was the first Pavement song that I had in my iTunes library. Slowly my interest in the band increased and eventually “Zurich is Stained” became the most played song in my music library. Though not even playing a song 114 times was able to bore me, I was ready for something new. Reading the wikipedia article for the band, I recently discovered that the band had released a compilation of their music in 2010 titled “Quarantine the Past.” What primarily struck me was the album title; what better way to name the album than with a lyric from “Gold Soundz.” While listening to the mix, I could not help but admire the track listing, leading me to listen to it in full four times over after the first time I pressed play. The biggest surprise was “Frontwards,” a song that I had never heard. I am not sure how I missed it, but it was a pleasant surprise to say the least.
The appeal of the track lies not only in the sounds of the guitar or Malkmus’s lyrics. It lies in the emotions that it brings. I click play not only hoping to hear the music that has been playing in my head, but also to feel what I felt the last time I had listened. It makes my mind race as I try to discern the way I feel. Not truly sure of what’s at hand, I feel like it’s a song that I turn to not only when I want to quote powerful lyrics, but also when I want to remember the moment when I last listened. “Frontwards” makes me miss a particular time I listened and the feeling associated with it. It makes me miss the company I had, the location, and the weather. Similarly, it is able to inspire new thoughts while building upon the former ones. I cannot get bored no matter how many times I listen as it has built a multifaceted story in my head allowing for a different (but still familiar) listening experience each time.
Such feelings, that are often difficult to pinpoint, are the ones I want to profile when writing these posts. Almost a journal, I hope for a better understanding of why automatically turning to a certain track is what I do after I can no longer Snoooooze.