Odd Nostalgia


Set 2 2008, 17:09

As one could easily see by looking at my plays for the last month or two, I've been on a pretty heavy shoegaze bender. It was a pretty productive run, found a few new bands (Rollerskate Skinny, Secret Shine, and Malory especially) and rediscovered a few (how did I forget about Chapterhouse?). Of course, there was a lot of terrible stuff in their as well, but that is to be expected.

What is interesting to me is what has been replacing the shoegazer stuff in my listening. Generally, it's twee-pop and early indie-pop stuff- generally mopey and lovelorn kind of stuff. Not outright depressing, but more whistful fare, like that found on Sarah Records or the C-86-style acts. So far, I've discovered two great acts, Aberdeen and Blueboy, rediscovered Heavenly and Comet Gain, and have picked up a number of things I'm excited to check out.

That's all well and good, but it got me thinking about why this stuff appeals to me right now. Little bit of backstory- I'm getting married in May to a woman who I genuinely believe is perfect for me. I've been engaged since last July, and I've had absolutely no second thoughts. Basically, I'm very happy with my romantic situation. So why am I listening to music that is almost exclusively focused on the either the absence of or difficulties relating to love?

In a weird sort of way, I guess I've become nostalgic for the days of being a lovelorn teenager/young adult (I'm 26, do I still count as a young adult - I hope so). I don't seem to be nostalgic for a specific period of my life, as I'm mostly listening to stuff that's new to me, rather than the music I listened to "back in the day". Instead, I'm inexplicably reminiscing about a time when I was, frankly, pretty miserable all around. I'm avoiding the REALLY depressing stuff, and keeping with the more wistful longing theme, rather than the "everything is hell" theme. It's just odd in two ways: 1) realizing that I really don't have "girl problems" like I had back then (I sometimes have "problems with a girl", though minor, but not "girl problems" writ large), and 2) that part of me misses having "girl problems".

Anyway, in honor of my misplaced nostalgia, I'm going to highlight a few songs (in no order) that helped me get through that period.

1) Dinosaur Jr. - "Raisans" - For when I needed to rage against something

2) For Against - "Coalesced" - While I was a little bit older when I first heard this song (first year of law school), it still hit me hard at the time. A good friend of mine at the time told me that he thought the song perfectly described me, so I guess that counts for something.

3) Nikki Sudden - "Chelsea Embankment" - "There's too many girls in my dreams" about sums up that feeling perfectly

4) The Stone Roses - "(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister" / "Made of Stone" - These two songs, coming sequentially on The Stone Roses' first album always spoke to me when I was depressed.

5) The Clash - "I'm Not Down" - because you sometimes need someone to kick you and tell you it's going to be better.

6) The Chameleons - "Soul in Isolation" - because sometimes it never feels like it's going to get better.

7) The Modern Lovers - "Roadrunner" - because nothing cures teenage angst like driving to a great song.


  • mrshake

    yes, yes, yes. I have this feeling all the time. Both in listening and writing. It's hard to crank out 4-track demos about being weird and angsty (which all 4-track demos need to be), when I don't have 5 hours a day to sit alone with the 4-track. When I get in a bummed out mood, I listen to "comfort music". Not music that comforts, but music I liked to listen to when I had girl problems. Elvis Costello is a BIGGIE. Great playlist for that. I do get this weird nostalgia for when I was young and bummed out and smoked. I'm currently in my "fat and happy" artistic period.

    Feb 14 2009, 17:10
  • Namey

    Cool journal. Lately it has seemed to me that my relationship with music is all about nostalgia for something, for nothing..."I'm drowning in my nostalgia", like David Sylvian sang -

    Dic 5 2009, 11:44
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