One and a half years ago, I was driving across Washington state towards Spokane, listening to the MP3 player and I discovered a new-to-me song, The Fire Inside, by Bob Seger. I was just back from Europe, unemployed, living with my mother in Oregon. I had no idea where my life would go. But I was enjoying the time exploring the Pacific Northwest very much. I loved that Bob Seger song so much that I played it over and over, and now when I hear that song, like I did this morning, it takes me right back to Washington state and my footloose exploring days that weren't that long ago.
I do that with music. I look for new music to "discover," and then play a song or an album I like over and over - I never get sick of it. It attaches the music to a time, and since I've been around a bit, a place. Here are some of those songs and their attachments.
Lyle Lovett, Road to Ensenada - driving through southern Utah, some of the most stunning scenery I've ever seen
The Weakerthans, Left and Leaving - 2004, playing golf in Myrtle beach with wonderful friends
Holly Cole, River - getting divorced in 1998
The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow - getting comfortable in Washington DC
Lucinda Williams, Those Three Days - Miami Beach
Cowboy Junkies, Rock and Bird - April 1995 in Cleveland
Joni Mitchell, Coyote - late summer, 1988 in Cleveland
Drive-By Truckers, Sounds Better in the Song - coming out of winter 2009
I've discovered a new way to discover music - Pandora - and now I've discovered a bunch of new songs. In heavy rotation now are: Evangeline by the Lost Immigrants, Gringo Honeymoon and What I Really Mean by Robert Earl Keen, Jr, and Checkout Time in Vegas by the Drive-By Truckers. I looked up the style for some of these songs, and common words applied to most of these is 'bittersweet,' and 'melancholy'. I've always been attracted to music in a minor key! Not sure which one is going to get that lifetime "attachment," but I think I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the listening while I find that out.
Edit: A few people contacted me off-list about this. Just because I like melancholy, minor key music doesn't make me a melancholy person! Far from it! My natural state is happy. I'm normally an upbeat type of person. No worries folks, OK?