Tomorrow is my birthday. I haven't been nearly as preoccupied with it as I usually am, but I am going to take the time to compile the 30 songs for 30 years playlist that I shared song-by-song on Facebook when I turned 30. It's a pretty good playlist. I'm just going to share it exactly as I posted it on FB.
30/30 Playlist #22 Mr Brightside by the KillersThe Killers - Mr Brightside - Album Version + Lyrics
I bought Hot Fuss and the disc didn't leave my CD player for months. It was just SO GOOD. I honestly had a hard time choosing a song from it to put on my playlist. I don't really have a story to go with my love of the Killers. They just make my ears happy.
"Coming out of my cage,
And I've been doing just fine,
Gotta gotta be down,
Because I want it all"
Runners up: Midnight Show, Smile Like You Mean It
30/30 Playlist #23 If You Don't, Don't by Jimmy Eat World
I didn't find this album until they re-released it as a self-titled album (rather than the original Bleed American). This was another disc that I lived and breathed for ages. What to say about Jimmy Eat World? The lyrics are awesome, the sound is perfect, they put on a great lives show. What more do you need?
30/30 Playlist #24 The Sound Of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie
I hate to be the person who is all like, "Oh, I listened to Death Cab way back when..." but I am that person. I started listening to Death Cab about a million years ago back when half of their songs were so slow they felt like they were going backwards. And I loved them. And I love the subtle and not-so-subtle ways their sound changes over time while still managing to sound like them.
This is one of those songs that speaks to me in sound and lyric and it reminds me of the year before I moved to Chicago. I don't think this is my favorite DCFC song but it's one that's stuck with me over time.
"My brain's repeating: If you've got an impulse, let it out.
But they never make it past my mouth."
p.s. their song "What Sarah Said" is featured on my unpublished "songs that consistently make me cry" playlist.
30/30 Playlist #25 The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon & Garfunkel
This is sort of a dual meaning entry that takes me to very specific moments in my life. This is at once me flying across town on my bicycle, listening to the Garden State soundtrack as I tried to figure out my life in the summer of 2005 and also standing shin-deep in horse track mud in the New Orleans sun, seeing Simon & Garfunkel live in 2010. It's fond reminiscence and echos of distant and not-so-distant past heartache. And it's just beautiful.
"I've got nothing to do today but smile."
30/30 Playlist #26 I Spy by Guster
Sarah introduced me to Guster (via "Two Points for Honesty") in 2005(ish). I'd heard of Guster before, even was an usher at one of their concerts, but I didn't fall in love with them until I listened to the Lost and Gone Forever album. "I Spy" was my favorite song on the album from the first time I heard it. I can hear why in the way he sings "I've been so damn tired" -- it really resonates with how tired I've felt in my life. Which probably doesn't make any sense to anyone but me.
Other favorite Guster songs: Demons, This Could All Be Yours Someday, Careful, Come Downstairs and Say Hello. And most of the rest of their catalog.
"There is something I've been meaning to do
I am dying to tell you
I've been so damn sad."
30/30 Playlist #27 Slow Pony Home by the Weepies
I don't know what to say about this song. I love it (and many of the Weepies' songs) so much that it's hard to share it with other people because it feels like it's a part of me. It's hard to explain a strong emotional attachment to specific music so I'll just post the link. You'll like them or you won't.
I can remember when I first saw you
You said in my photograph I looked more far away
I laughed and smiled and didn't say
"I am a bit afraid to be here."
Runners up: Painting by Chagall, The World Spins Madly On, Nobody Knows Me At All
30/30 Playlist #28 Cat in Sunshine by The Lucksmiths
I fricking love the Lucksmiths. Straight up. I love their clever and sometimes funny lyrics. I love the lead singer's accent. And I love this song.
"And when you're near I feel like D-Day is here
All those songs about burning houses are giving me ideas
If I hear those words once more, I'll pour the petrol on the floor
And I'll watch the flames caress your door"
Also go listen to: English Murder Mystery, Untidy Towns, World Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Murder
30/30 Playlist #29 That's Some Dream by Good Old War
I've been to a lot of concerts, which means I've seen a lot of opening bands. It's rare for me to walk out of a show even remembering the name of the opening act, let alone hastily downloading all of their songs because they were so awesome. But that's Good Old War.
"There's a time in our lives
we start again on writing our part
as the story goes on, it's the rule that we remember our lines
I know everyone would want me to say
that I'm not afraid to be alone
I'm gonna live I'm alright,
I'm gonna die it's alright, I'm okay"
30/30 Playlist #30 All I Ever Wanted by the Airborne Toxic EventAll I Ever Wanted
When I first heard this song last fall, it was just... love.
When I think of Airborne, I think of how I survived last fall. I think of how much of my life and my plans and my sense of who I was was demolished. And I heard this song (and some of their other ones) and felt deeply, viscerally, that I would not only be okay, but I could be great. They're like putting on warm clothes straight out of the dryer on a cold morning. Then as I learned their catalog I would be surprised by lyrics, sounds that fit precisely how I was feeling or how I hoped to feel some day.
For a writer, I'm pretty terrible at putting how I feel into words. Possibly because I'm trying to dance around the fact that these guys are the best thing since sliced bread. Since Culver's custard. Since the best thing you can think of ever.
I can't list a runner up or other suggestions because you should really try on all of their stuff. That being said, the Live at Walt Disney version of "Innocence" is absolutely gorgeous, while the studio album version is simply fantastic.
And so that's that! That's the end of my playlist. Of course I didn't cover every song or artist that was meaningful to me but I hope I hit the high points and gave you a little glimpse into who I am and who I've been in the last 30 years.
"All I can think is that it must be a kind of rebellion,
To arm your fears like soldiers and slay them..."