Tuesday 26 August 2008

To Every Season, There is a Playlist

Today I was watching this YouTube video (1) and it made me wish two things: that I was in Ireland, and that it was Christmastime. I realized my desire for Christmastime was not just because of the beautiful white snow, or the cookies or hot chocolate, or family or presents, but because I missed listening to "winter music" - which among other things, features that very Pogues song.

Throughout the year, my music tastes tend to change according to the season. This should make some sort of sense to most people - you listen to Christmas music at Christmas time, maybe Jimmy Buffet during the summer, and perhaps drinking songs on St. Paddy's day (2). For me, there are certain bands that sound better at certain times of the year - I think the Goo Goo Dolls sound best when the earth is covered in snow, and Oasis is best when that snow begins to melt. O.A.R. is best on those exceptionally hot days of spring, and Pearl Jam is great when the leaves begin to change. These particular tastes may not be as understandable to everyone. I think it may have to do with what season it was when I was first introduced to these bands, or maybe a great moment I had listening to them at a certain point in the year.

This would be a very long blog if I told you the exact times of the year to listen to each band I enjoy. Here's a brief music calendar.

Summer, as you may expect, is all about taking it easy. Dave Matthews Band is the boss of summer music. O.A.R., Bob Marley, Allman Brothers Band, Phish, the Grateful Dead, and various country music are all good options for summer.

Fall mellows down a bit, at least for me. I have so much going on, that I need to just get lost in something. Pearl Jam is a fall favorite, as well as Explosions in the Sky, James, Travis, Wilco, Oasis, and Band of Horses. As well as whatever random songs my girls XC team decides to relentlessly chant allllllllll season long.

Winter is tricky. You've got Christmas music (3), and you've got the music you listen to when you get sick of Christmas music. I think the Goo Goo Dolls are always enhanced by snow. I'm not sure why, but sometime this winter, on a bright, snowy morning, play Black Balloon and see what you think. I think winter is the time when I start listening to new stuff the most. I listen to a lot of celtic music around now, but I tend to listen to girly music often too - Ingrid Michaelson, Michelle Branch, Dido, Fiona Apple, Feist, Sarah McLachlan. Winter track often requires something to entertain me during long, 8-hour meets (4); Dropkick Murphys and Green Day are usually a good choice.

Spring is my time to run by myself, on my own schedule, and I usually opt for long, slow runs. These are usually fueled by The Who, The Shins, Oasis, Spoon, Beck, Carbon Leaf, and Zeppelin. There's something about Oasis when it's starting to warm up outside - I think it's Oasis's mix of energetic, dance-worthy pop and their fuzzy, lazy, wintery sound. They're laid-back and chill, but they're kind of excited too.

Of course this varies year to year, as new music comes out and I discover new tastes. If you're wondering, no, there is not an ideal time to listen to Celtic music - that takes place all year long. If you made me put it on a calendar though, I'd obviously put it in March - St. Paddy's Month, as I like to think of it.

So, soon I'll be putting my Allman Bros away and bustin' out the Pearl Jam. I'll have to load my Sansa up with Explosions in the Sky for those long XC and Marching Band bus rides. I'll have to put "New Slang" (5) and "Hey There Delilah" (6) on a playlist for the girl's team to belt along to. Then I'll be waiting three or so more months until I can righteously listen to "Fairytale of New York" every single day.

1. This is "Fairytale of New York" by 80's celt-rock band the Pogues. You may have seen it in the best movie ever made, P.S. I Love You.
2. An everyday occurance in my household.
3. I like Christmas music too much - I love listening to the 646843871126458 different covers of War is Over.
4. During which the RENT soundtrack is often sung in its entirety.
5. Usually sung to Alexandra when her SHINS are causing her pain.
6. Usually sung to L. "Two more years and I'll be done with school, and you'll be teaching history like you do!"

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