“In August and everything after,
I’m after everything”
– Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, on the unreleased “August and Everything After” title song
It’s interesting to me how the seasons of my life are divided into songs or albums. I can literally hear a song from a certain time or place, and it takes me right back to that moment, complete with smells and tastes. The album “Achtung Baby” by U2, and the song “Stars” by Simply Red take me back to being in England, because my boyfriend gave me both before I left, and they were constantly in my walkman. Musical scores for plays that I’ve done are particularly effective in this sort of thing, as they take me back to that time without fail. It’s hard to hear “Morning Glow” without picturing Aaron Krohn’s first triumph over the high notes in rehearsal. “Good Times are Here to Stay” brings Dames at Sea vividly to life again, and all the abject terror and exhilaration that went with it.
This being said, I literally listen to different music in different seasons. Winter brings me into the darker, harder music, like the Toadies “Possum Kingdom”, PJ Harvey’s “To Bring you my Love”, or NIN’s “Pretty Hate Machine”. Spring brings lighter, bubble gum flavored pop, usually in soundtrack form: “Josie and the Pussycats” (when I can steal it from J), “Ten Things I Hate About You” and the aforementioned musical scores are very common. Fall is punctuated with soundtracks of a ethereal quality like “Twin Peaks” or “Great Expectations”. Pink Floyd is also a fall standard.
Summer is a beast of a different color. Suddenly, my radio is playing the Cowboy Junkies, or Janis Joplin (especially her cover of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess). Blues and Jazz female vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones (again with the stealing) or Billie Holliday get dusted off and played ad nauseum. Jimmy Buffet, CCR and the Beach Boys come out my childhood, and make me long for the coast or New Orleans. (Concrete Blonde doesn’t help that latter yearning, by the way!).
Since Friday, I’ve been reading the new Harry Potter, which is VERY DARK, and ever since then, I’ve had the Storyteller’s disk of the Counting Crows live album – Across a Wire – playing constantly in my car. It’s really more of a fall album for me, but it seems to fit the book.
I’m sure I’ll write more on the themes of death, faith and friendship that run through both the book and the album, but I’m typing this in Word at work and I really should get back to what I’m doing. I’ve kind of lost the theme that I was working toward anyway in all the exposition. Talk to y’all later!