For Christmas one year in high school, my parents gave me a CD changer that held 51 CDs. This enabled me to control my music selection with a remote from anywhere in my room. And from the right angle, the bathroom, too. It was my personal jukebox in the pre-iPod days. There was a small binder with numbered slots to hold liner notes so you'd know which slot held which CD. As a rule, *NSYNC always took the top spots, soundtracks at the end.
The CD changer got the most use in the summer, when I could spend hours lying on my stomach on my purple plaid bedspread, with a small gray chenille pillow bunched up under my chin while I read a book, the cool air from the ceiling vent pouring over me. As a result there are a number of songs that, 10 or more years later, always make me think of air conditioning. There are certain songs that I swear make me instantly cooler, just by memory.
My interest in music started around the seventh grade. I used to think I wasn't allowed to say this because pretty much all the music I listen to can easily be found on MTV (when they played music) or in the Top 40 charts (when they were still printed in the paper.) But that doesn't bother me anymore. More obscure music is great but it doesn't mean it's automatically better. Plus, I just don't think you can easily judge the musical tastes of others because you don't know what a song means to them. Don't know where they are transported to with that opening riff or soothing chorus.
So here is my summer 2011 playlist. For better or worse, there are a number of songs that I won't be able to listen to without thinking of this summer. Of sticky hot days, of rainy days in the office, of long walks in DC, of air conditioning.
Summer 2011 Playlist
Animal - Neon Trees
Hair - Lady Gaga
Call it Off - Tegan and Sara
Answering Bell - Ryan Adams
Power - Kanye West
1000 Julys - Third Eye Blind
Turning Tables - Adele
Knock Down Walls - Tonic
Little Lion Man - Mumford and Sons
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Constellations - Jack Johnson featuring Eddie Vedder
Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart - Samantha Ronson/Mark Ronson/Alicia Keys
Why I Love You - Jay Z and Kanye West
F**kin' Perfect - Pink
19th Nervous Breakdown - Rolling Stones