2010: a new year and a new decade, and many people seem to be grasping hold of this "beginning" in the face of multiple levels of crisis. To me, the new year is all about symbolism, and its ability to channel growth and positive energy all across the world. With this in mind, I've created a 2010 playlist. 12 songs that address some of my own positive and negative attributes. I suppose they are resolutions of a sort, but not anything really clearly defined. For now, they are the background music to my life. It's like tattooing "love" and "hope" on your wrists; they're there to jumpstart you into action, not to create something from nothing.
I am going to start with a song that has been playing over and over recently on my radio, and not of my own choosing! It's a song about putting yourself out there, and maybe getting hurt, but trying nonetheless because you can't do anything but try.
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police.
"I resolve to call her up a thousand times a day,
and ask her if she'll marry me in some old fashioned way.
But my silent fears have gripped me,
long before I reach the phone,
long before my tongue has tripped me,
Must I always be alone?"
This next song has also been following me around, and I love Elvis Costello so I really cannot ignore it. Oh, synchronicity.
"Everyday I Write the Book" by Elvis Costello.
"...Don't tell me you don't know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter..."
I rediscovered So Much For The Afterglow when I was thinking about my two musical decades and focusing on the '90s. I relate to this song in too many ways.
"Everything to Everyone" by Everclear.
"You do what you do,
you say what you say,
you always try to be everything to everyone..."
I was at a Boxing Day party and this song came on shuffle, and I had to stop walking and talking, and just listen for a minute. Spoon has had this effect on me ever since I saw the movie Stranger than Fiction, which I found really brilliant.
"The Underdog" by Spoon.
"I wanna forget how convention fits
but can I get out from under it?
Can I get it out of me?
It can't all be wedding cake
It can't all be boiled away
I try but I can't let go of it
Can't let go of it,
Cause you don't talk to the water boy,
and there's so much you could learn but you don't want to know,
You will not back up an inch ever,
that's why you will not survive..."
I found this band back in the early 2000s, and I have followed them since. They don't always take me where I think I want to go, but once I get there it's usually right.
"Goodnight" by ZOX.
stand between the sidewalk and the sky,
and stare into the clouds as they pass by,
you have to leave the ground to learn to fly."
This song never ever fails to make me smile. In fact, it almost always makes me dance. Stevie Wonder's music can be a spiritual experiment, and this is a religious song.
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder.
"Seen a lot of things in this old world,
When I touched them they did nothing, girl,
Ooh baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours!"
The Grateful Dead have been a staple in my musical experience since I was in the womb, and I find myself regularly drawn back into their orbit. This song has been in heavy rotation over the last few months, and I find it comforting in many ways.
"Scarlet Begonias" by the Grateful Dead.
"Well, I ain't always right, but I've never been wrong,
seldom turns out the way it does in a song.
Once in awhile you get shown the light,
in the strangest of places if you look at it right."
Otis Redding is another kind of comfort food. This song makes me feel intensely calm. It is meditative, and it puts me in a contemplative mood. I feel myself growing every time I listen.
"Sitting On The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding.
"Looks like nothing's gonna change,
Everything still remains the same,
I can't do what ten people tell me to do,
So I guess I'll remain the same, yes!"
Positivity can be embodied so thoroughly in music, and in so many shades. I love it! This song is multifaceted. It has edges and curves, and more than a little sunshine. It makes me want to travel and see the world. It is so much greater than it appears to me now.
"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" by Paul Simon.
"And she said honey take me dancing,
but they ended up by sleeping in a doorway,
by the bodegas and the lights on Upper Broadway,
Wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes..."
Riding that vibe, you always need an upbeat, cheerleader song. You need people to cheer you on!
"Doing It Right" by The Go! Team.
"We have the right combination, we got everything.
And to strike faster than lightning, we raise what we bring.
We have the right combination,
It ain't time to crawl.
Give it all!
Give it all!
Give it all!
Give it all!"
Everything about Peter Gabriel makes me feel ready to take on the world. How can one person create that feeling? It is something I am striving for – for myself, and for the people around me. If I can inspire, I will be happy.
"Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel.
"So I went from day to day,
Oh, my life was in a rut,
'Til I thought of what I'd say,
Which connection I should cut.
I was feeling part of the scenery,
I'd walk right out of the machinery.
My heart going boom-boom-boom
Hey, he said, grab your things I've come to take you home
Eh, back home..."
If I have learned one thing this year, it is that "be yourself" is a loaded proclamation. More appropriate, I think, is "pattern yourself intentionally." So I've been listening to Mika... It's a work in progress.
"Grace Kelly" by Mika.
"I could be brown, I could be blue,
I could be violet sky,
I could be hurtful, I could be purple,
I could be anything you like.
Gotta be green, gotta be mean,
Gotta be everything more,
Why don't you like me?
Why don't you like me?
Walk out the door!"
Happy 2010 lovely readers.