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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Once there was a haunted loop / of your deep fallen tears / a forehead resting / on a record shelf
— A.C. Newman, There are Maybe 10 or 12
November 6, 2006
Some Songs Can’t be Interrupted

With a new iPod in town, I’ve been going through the process of building it’s playlist—titled Running since this is the music that will, theoretically, accompany my reinvigorated running schedule. I say theoretically because it hasn’t happened yet…just you wait until Saturday.

My musical taste is diverse, and the playlist reflects that. Music with a beat like the Dream Warriors rests comfortably beside the ambient techno of Moby and the lyrical lushness of Feist. The autofill and random play feature of the iPod Shuffle make sure that the mix is always interesting.

This is an interesting process, becuase it has me going through my music song by song and picking things out. Music is full of memories for me, and as I stumble upon certain songs they come flooding back.

Some songs just can’t be interrupted, and this is a list of some of my favourites.

  1. Wheat Kings, The Tragically Hip
    I attended the first Another Roadside Atraction concert in Markham, Ontario and it made me a Hip fan forever. The tour got bigger in later years, and the next one I went to was at Molson Park on a sunny summer night in a year I’ve long since forgotten. As I left, ducking out early in order to avoid the traffic jam, the strains of Wheat Kings came wafting towards me through the humid Ontario air. It’s never sounded the same since.
  2. Like a Rolling Sone, Bob Dylan, Live at the Royal Albert Hall
    A song that stops me in my tracks whenever I hear it, not only because it’s strong and powerful but because when Richard died it was in my CD player and it resonated in my head for weeks on end. I’ve written about it before, and I can’t again because it’s too painful.
  3. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, Wilco
    With lyrics like Disposable dixie cup drinking / I assassin down the avenue people either love this song or hate it. It doesn’t matter where I am when I hear them, the first strains of this song reach somewhere deep down inside me and grab my heart.
  4. Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O’Connor
    A performance this raw, honest and pure simply has to be listened to from begining to end every time.
  5. Pink Moon, Nick Drake
    The Arnold ad agency made it famous in a Volkswagen commercial, leaving me to wonder why I’d never heard this most perect night time driving song before. Nick Drake’s story is the classic tale of a singer/songwriter dying young of a drug overdose. His music has long since outlived him.
  6. Gabriel’s Oboe, Ennio Morricone
    The consumate soundtrack artist, this song places an unusual instrument in the forground with a forlorn voice.
  7. Famous Blue Raincoat, Lloyd Cole
  8. Halleluljah, Jeff Buckley
    Two Leonard Cohen covers, both incredibly stripped down and bare interpretations of complex lyrics by accomplished artists. Both lay lyrics out at your feet in a way that can’t be compared.
  9. Temptation, Moby
    When New Order sang And though it hurts me to treat you this way / Betrayed by words, I’d never heard, too hard to say it was too a synth pop disco beat. When Moby reinterpreted the song to ambient tones, the lyrics were apparent in a way they never had been before and a song that had milliong of teenagers dancing in the 80s became a song of loneliness and sadness.
  10. Helpless, Neil Young, The Last Waltz
    If you haven’t heard this, you need too. Joni Mitchell sings background vocals. One of the greatest performances at one of the greatest concerts ever.
  11. Vancouver Divorce, Gordon Downie
    Sitting here at the Hortons / so you know this is important opens Gord Downie’s tribute to a rainy Vancouver day. Another one of those songs that’s very personal for me, for weird and not always obvious reasons even to those who know me well.
  12. MLK, U2
    Two and a half minutes of musical purity, on the best rock and roll album of the 1980s. You can keep The Joshua Tree if you want (although I have fond memories of riding my motorcycle through the desert with it’s songs ringing in my helmet) but you can’t beat The Unforgettable Fire.

So if you tap me on my shoulder and I completely ignore you for a couple of minutes, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s one of these songs I’m listening too. The list will change, but it will never shrink.

Posted by skooter at 9:11 PM This entry is filed under Music.
This entry is tagged: Lists, Songs, Tim Hortons, Tragically Hip, U2

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