Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day 5: Remember, Remember on the 5th of November

Day 5: A Song That Reminds You of Someone

Easiest prompt yet. As soon as I saw this one I knew which song I'd pick. Of course, just diving right into that piece from the get-go wouldn't be fun, would it? No, first I need to blather on about a bunch of other songs in addition to today's selection.

Music can be a pretty powerful trigger for memory, but it can also be a pretty random one. Some associations come through significant personal events and some seem to just inexplicably happen. Whenever I encounter any song by Broken Social Scene I immediately think of a friend of mine who once randomly asked me on Facebook if I'd ever heard of them, and the only time I remember ever hearing Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To?" was when I was dancing with a girl I'd just met at Thursday's in Akron. I've danced with plenty of girls, so the reason I'd remember this so vividly escapes me. The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights", however, is a song I've heard countless times but now whenever I hear it I instantly think of a particular fri3nd and his wedding when we lifted him up into the air when this song came on. Whenever I hear "Baby Love by the Supremes I always think of my aunt who apparently used to sing it to me when I was a baby and who told me about this when I was a teenager by singing it to me again.

So which song has a connection so vivid for me that it immediately sprang to mind the instant I read "Song That Reminds You of Someone"? Well, let me start off by telling you a story.

The year was 2000. I was fully immersed in a pop-punk phase and my favorite bands at the time were Rancid and Less Than Jake. I was driving with a couple of friends of mine, let's call them 4 and 6, and we were listening to the self-titled first album of a certain L.A. pop-punk band that had become one of our staples. We were rocking out, as always, singing along, but when this song came up we took it to another level.

As the song progressed I pulled up to a stop light, put my foot securely on the brake, and belted out the lyrics along with my two friends. We were bouncing out of our seats when the guitar breakdown started at 1:27 and when it hit for real at 1:43 let me tell you: we air guitared that shit hard. Like no other three people have air guitared anything in the history of air guitar. The unfettered air guitaring madness of those five seconds has reverberated forward through time so that hearing any snippet of this song immediately brings me back to that moment with those two guys. The lyrics advise to, "Feel it all and know that this will pass," but this is something that never has, and I hope never will. Air guitar.

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