Friday, July 9, 2010

Sticky summer bummers.

The months are stacking up like a pile of well read books - stories and events running into each other. The summer is a sudden thing for me; no more winter blues - just sweaty blah. Nostalgia smells strong in this hot-breath air. And the warm air draws people out of hot-box apartments and into the bars, the streets. It has always felt electric and slightly sinister.


Walking home from the pub last night - a friend and I went into a recently abandoned apartment building. We were reeling from last call and red-faced from walking all over. It was an older brick building - structurally sound. There are so many abandoned properties that are livable in Muncie - left due to taxes, the recession, etc. The inside was lit with a yellow bulb. The wood trim around the heavy, locked doors, was carved in ornate patterns. The stair railing was wrought iron. It felt solid and cool in my hand.


I got the strongest sense of deja vu while standing there. It was a sudden, intense feeling of familiar loss. The walls seemed to be swollen with heat and moisture and the air was redolent with old plaster. It reminded me of the crumbling family home I had to sell for taxes around July or August - 2002. That was such a hot, sticky, somber affair. The walls were caving in in the kitchen - bursting with rainwater and mold. The roof was falling in. There was no a/c and the toilet was broken. It had become a very sad, empty place. I finally had to leave. My mom stayed on until the last possible day. We frantically cleaned it out - sweating over boxes and utter defeat.


And I think I just glanced back in my memory - my brain lubed up with beers. I was back at that house - my whole consciousness. Recently on a trip through Anderson I made Jim let me get out of the car and peer in the windows of my old house. It had a sign that declares it unfit for inhabitants. Inside someone had set up a degenerate bachelor pad: a dirty couch, a toaster oven, and bags of clothes were in a corner. It was not my house and I didn't really care. But I have that with me all the time. These things we go through become slight lines on our palms; they are stacked up inside of us and give us precedent for what comes next. To literally make a connection with the past like that was both jarring and strangely natural.

I now present you with a summer mix of melancholy music. It is dangerously woven together with some of the saddest, beautiful songs I have. Mixes like these are coping mechanisms - they are aides in the very important need to grieve occasionally. I don't promote staying in and listening to sad bastard music all the time. But when I do - this is what I jam. I hope you enjoy it.

Sticky skin, salty tears: A melancholy Summer mix

1. M83 - You, Appearing (3:39)
2. Vivian Girls - Before I Start To Cry (2:23)
3. A-SQUARE (OF COURSE) - Somehow (2:50)
4. The Modern Lovers - Hospital (5:31)
5. The Smiths - Asleep (4:09)
6. Mogwai - I Know Who You Are But What Am I? (5:17)
7. Pink Reason - Motherf*cker (3:18)
8. Guided by Voices - Drinker's Peace (1:51)
9. The Smashing Pumpkins - Blank Page (4:51)
10. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Something's Wrong (4:01)
11. Television Personalities - All My Dreams Are Dead (3:00)
12. Fucked Up - Golden Seal (3:35)
13. Elliott Smith - The Biggest Lie (2:39)
14. Guided by Voices - Learning to Hunt (2:24)
15. Neil Young - Oh, Lonesome Me (3:50)
16. Violent Femmes - Something's Wrong (2:22)
17. Magik Markers - Bad Dream/Hartford's Beat Suite (4:13)
18. Elliott Smith - Waltz #1 (3:22)
19. GG Allin - When I Die (3:53)
20. Band of Horses - The Funeral (5:22)
21. Alessandro Moreschi - Track 1 (2:51)
22. Sonic Youth - mama you've been on my mind (2:30)

Here is a way to listen online w/out a download: