Musical Mystery Tour

I got to my aunt’s mom’s house safely earlier today. I lucked out in a big way; I have the upstairs of her home to myself, my own bathroom and cable in the room. As my aunt said, it’s probably the best living accommodations I’ve had all year. But it still means I am essentially a hobo. I am feeling pretty blessed and, for the moment, too comfortable to be scared to death by what I’ve done. I’m now at a Caribou in the neighborhood, emailing to confirm a time to see a Roscoe Village apartment tomorrow and looking at the latest job listings.

On my drive up I listened to seven of my nearly a dozen CDs, all of which were different from the next and equally amazing. Each one really took me by surprise in its own way, and I loved them all. A few people commented when they gave me their contribution that making me a mix had been harder than they thought it would be; some told me they spent a really long time on their choices and I think their efforts really showed. The mixes are thoughtful, poignant, emotional, humorous, diverse.

In the order I listened to them:

My best friend’s mother, Lorie, has known me since I was six and joked that she was just going to make me a mix of Rod Stewart songs since we used to tease her about her high school obsession with “The Bod”. While she did include some of his, she also picked a wide variety of 80s power ballads and a couple songs I could tell reminded her of me when she heard them. For example, her inclusion of “Imagine” leads me to believe she recalls MY high school obsession with John Lennon.

Dennis and I are on a pretty similar musical wave length and he always has some band I have heard a little of but not enough, and he’s willing to share. He unintentionally put a couple really sad songs back to back and told me if I wasn’t sobbing by the end of the second I had no heart, ha. He was right, they were extremely sad.

My friend Rebekah’s was a complete shock because I had no idea what kind of music she liked, which turns out to be everything; she certainly wins the prize for most eclectic, including a country song, the Indigo Girls, “Float On” by Modest Mouse, that theme song from “Dirty Dancing” and much more. Hers also had a gem I instantly fell in love with: “The Guy That Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind,” by Griffin House. Find it! Listen to it. Love it.

Christina’s was a surprise in the emotion it evoked; when I read the track list I remember thinking it would be a fun, girl-oriented mix, ranging from childhood revered Disney songs to favorite selections from Glee. However, a song from Wicked had me in tears as I thought about our friendship as if we were the ones singing “Defying Gravity”. Granted, this scenario made me the Wicked Witch of the West, but it was endearing all the same. Crying at the end, I had to laugh out loud when it was followed immediately by the Spice Girls.

My brother Owen’s was a collection of songs about travel, being on the road and on your own (“like a rolling stone”), and mostly classic rock. He mixed it up with a couple voice tracks, including his intro choice: “Some Words From the Bride,” the famous monologue from “Kill Bill”. Listening to it, I knew he wishes me the best and he hopes I find what I am looking for in Chicago. It was really nice. Owen also designed a piece of art for me, a poster for “The Royal Tenenbaums,” one of my favorite movies he introduced me to. I had to leave it in Columbus because I was afraid it would get damaged, but I can’t wait to display it.

Stacey’s mix was a collection of songs I knew, but didn’t know I knew, which is awesome. She also put a few techno songs on there that I ended up liking. She and I both like Regina Spektor a bunch so she included a couple of hers and some by similar artists.

The last one I listened to was a CD by a band called Ratatat that my friend Brad gave me while I was home in Caldwell. They are pretty awesome and I would definitely say they are a band I never would have heard of otherwise. Additionally, he gave me a CD by an artist name Jay May, who also kind of fits in the Regina Spektor type category, but stands out on her own with her lyrics and a common theme throughout the CD. I love me a good concept album now and then.

Listening to these mixes made the trip absolutely fly by and I am so happy so many people contributed to this. I made the request on a whim and the results were better than I would have ever expected. My friends have pretty awesome taste in music and I appreciate them giving me new stuff I hadn’t heard before. I’ll always think of them when I hear it again, and that’s one of the most incredible things about music: its ability to take us back, or to invoke some kind of memory, whether it’s a specific moment or a vague feeling. There’s nothing like it and I welcome it.

Thanks to everyone who gave me a CD and if you didn’t, don’t feel bad. I still have plenty to listen to that I didn’t have time to get to today.