There are some songs that you just can’t listen to anymore. Smell is supposed to be the strongest sense tied to memory, but I don’t think the scientists who wrote that report listened to Rhett Miller in high school while drunkenly, and very innocently, sharing a bed with a guy they were friends with.
I’m listening to the album right now, one of the specific songs right now, and it’s all I can think about. I don’t know if I've listened to this album since high school. I don’t know if that was on purpose. It’s not a weird memory, or a bad memory, or a good memory. I’ve drunkenly, innocently or not, shared beds with a dozen people since.
I can’t listen to Minus the Bear because they remind me of someone.
I can’t listen to Hanson because they remind me of parts of my life that hurt only in hindsight.
I can’t listen to Elliott Smith because it reminds me a time when I felt sad enough to really listen to Elliott Smith.
I can’t listen to Rihanna's Umbrella because it was playing the moment I was pulled over for driving 86 mph on the 118 freeway when I was 20.
I can’t listen to a half dozen other songs for reasons that are too personal, and too transparent, to allow on a blog that is read by people I know.
But I like listening to The Shins because they remind me of getting out of my two-year depression and ready to go out to my final year of college.
I like listening to Jenny Lewis because she reminds me of my friends.
I like listening to Rilo Kiley’s With Arms Outstretched because it reminds me of one vivid moment in time: driving, on the Grapevine, while Michael held an open umbrella out the passenger window for shade. Singing as loud as we could in the midst of the gateway to the Shittiest Part of California.
Isn’t it funny that your favorite song can be ruined by one single moment? It makes you wish you were the only one privy to your favorite songs.