Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Memorial Day Weekend Playlist

This weekend will mark the first time I've taken Memorial Day off in 14 years.  Don't cry for me, Argentina -- I usually took a Friday off before it, because what's the point of a Monday off of work? MONDAY IS STILL MONDAY, whether or not you work on it.  (For more on that subject, here's a 2008 post by me on The Best Day To Have Off Of Work.)

But to celebrate a three-day weekend, here's a playlist of songs that seem particularly fit for the kickoff of summer.

Stuck Between Stations: The Hold Steady

There's nothing I love more than a good road trip.  Unfortunately, this weekend does not include a road trip to anyplace more exciting than Best Buy to get printer ink. Or Michael's, to get velcro.  But if I were to head out on the open highway, I would blast this song as loud as I possibly could, because this song sounds like long stretches of countryside punctuated by bathroom breaks necessitated by the 144-ounce soda I bought on the way out of town.  Cars, highways, blue skies, loud music, more sugary liquid in a single cup than one person ought to be allowed to drink... AMERICA!

Unbelievers, Vampire Weekend

The subject may seem grim, but the song feels so uplifting.  I heard this song last summer, which was one of the worst of my life, and it helped me get through that horrible period, giving me a boost whenever I heard it.  I interpret it as sticking to your guns, no matter how uncaring the world seems to be.  It's a great song to have in the background while you and your sons spend a brilliant July afternoon rolling down a grassy hillside over and over.

Dance Dance Dance, Lykke Li

This song is the aural equivalent of taking a walk on one of those summer days that seems too bright to actually be a real day. Not going anywhere or doing anything.  Just walking, for the sake of walking.

Prove My Love, Violent Femmes

THIRD VERSE SAME AS THE FIRST we used to chant, driving around in Bob's white 1968 Chevy Impala in high school, looking for that very particular kind of not-really-threatening-trouble that suburban kids wanted to get into to feel dangerous.  This was the beach rock song for kids like me, who didn't really go to the beach but who wanted to rock out anyway.

Folding Chair, Regina Spektor:

It's about sitting on a beach! And it's so happy and bouncy.  And it makes you feel good about yourself: "I've got a perfect body/but sometimes I forget." Go have a snow cone, you perfect body person you.

I know Sweetie is horrified by this idea, but about 35% of the time, I would gladly get a silver bullet trailer and head out on the road forever.

I Will Live On Islands, Josh Rouse.

There's always the chance that one of those lottery tickets will pay off, or a hundred million people will buy my book, or on one of those lazy walks I will find a bag full of money with a note saying Don't bother returning it, it's yours to keep, signed, A RICH GUY.

And then I will live on islands.

Until then, we're going to a bakery today and for a walk.  Have a great weekend.

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