All this month we are celebrating the art of the opening track here on TMSDOTORG. Some of our favorite people will be sharing some of their favorite opening tracks and we hope they become some of your favorite too. You can listen along on Spotify! Have any suggestions - hit up our Facebook page (please?!?!)
As I've gotten older, it's been harder & harder for me to 'live' with an album. I guess that means I'm digesting music quicker than I used to (this is a BAD thing). Really sitting with an album was a lot easier to do when I was in high school - I'd buy an album & it would stay in my CD player for months. I’d put an album on and stare at the ceiling, or clean my room, or do my homework and music would really sink in. I remember that weird fall of 2003 when I wore a denim jacket & wanted to go to juggling school. It was the same fall that I used 50 + sheets of printer paper to print out old Rolling Stone articles written only by Cameron Crowe. I listened to nothing but Led Zeppelin I – IV and my modus operandi was "denim or perish" – I was awesome.
This small list of three songs is going to be somewhat recent and somewhat biographical, I'm not going to justify WHY I love these songs - I'm just going to list bullet points of where I was mentally, physically, and metaphysically at these times. Think of these as simple vignettes.
Wilco – “At Least That’s What You Said” (A Ghost is Born) – Summer 2004:
- I did lots of push-ups on my bedroom floor.
- I had lots conversations with disgruntled, acid using post office workers.
- I ate lots of lunches standing up.
- I tried to grow a beard.
- I worked as a bus boy / food runner at a bar near my house.
- I constantly smelled like French fries.
Sonic Youth – “Teenage Riot” (Daydream Nation) - Fall 2005:
- I dated a girl with a lip ring who actually owned a horse.
- I was summoned to court - I knew a guy who got stabbed (the stabber here claimed this was an act of God - yikes).
- I wore a denim shirt to the above court date.
- I attended a meeting of the minds in Worcester – this involved Vietnam War veterans and elderly Brown alumni brainstorming ways to have the most effective non-violent peace protest in downtown Worcester.
- Their final production involved a mock lottery, grim reaper masks, ripped up checks, and crying mothers.
LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean” (This is Happening) - Summer 2010:
- I worked a night job with an awesome cast of characters:
- A cat lady who accused neighborhood boys of stealing soda from her house (soda and soda only).
- A Coldplay loving Trinidad man who said I looked like a cowboy.
- An aspiring commercial actor, comedy writer (this deserves its own entry).
- A Quaker turned atheist who ‘mumble-swore’ & ultimately wrote a resignation letter composed of seven words: "You can go to Hell, I resign!”
Openers are always so exciting – first, there’s silence…….. and then what? Jeff Tweedy’s transcription of a mental breakdown (At Least That’s What You Said)? Thurston Moore’s robot guitars (Teenage Riot)? James Murphy’s synth freak-out dance party (Dance Yrself Clean)? They grab you, and they pull you in – “you can’t win / you can’t break even / you can’t even get out of the game” (Allen Ginsberg’s thermodynamics).
[Tim Cahill is a lover of dogs, an eater of foods, and a self-proclaimed sideburns activist. He doesn't have a Twitter, who has the time? But here is a picture of Tears for Fears he quite enjoys.]