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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Remember Iggy Screaming at Me...

My memories of summer always begin with music. There's something about the warm months that creates a distinct and memorable period of time that's unlike any other part of the year. Maybe it's the fact that it's book-ended by long months of academic pressures (I'm only 21). Or maybe it's something to do with the green and the heat. But more distinctly than at any other time of the year, in summer, there's a vivid connection between the sounds I'm listening to and the people and places populating my life. My memories have a soundtrack. And the associations I make between the places where I play my favorite music has a grander effect; they define my entire memory of summer. I'm glad I live a place with such contrasting weather.

It's hard for me to separate the Charlotte Ferry on Lake Champlain where I worked for three months in 2008 from the psychedelic apocalypse of Comets on Fire's Field Recordings from the Sun or the space freak-out of Acid Mothers Temple's IAO Chant from the Cosmic Inferno. It helped that I weathered a couple lighting storms with my iPod plugged into my brain, my socks soaked, guitar feedback blazing in my ears. 

In 2007 I had a long drive from my home in Vergennes to Burlington to visit a lady friend. The ride gave me sufficient time to have Elton John's Madman Across the Water and The Stooges Fun House implanted in my head. Now every time I stop at the main intersection in Shelburne I hear Iggy screaming at me. As I sit and write this I'm listening to David Gilmour's screams on the Live at Pompeii version of 'Saucerful of Secrets.' And my morning drives through downtown Burlington are always filled with the carefree sound of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's debut or Asobi Seksu's Hush.

Music-induced nostalgia outdoes any other memory association ten-fold. Music is pervasive. I still spin Fun House and Field Records to the point exhaustion, and they'll continue to be a soundtrack. It's possible to have such a personal and profound relationship to music  — it's a constant vehicle for memory.

Solid State, what are some of your favorite or most vivid summer music memories?


Cathy Resmer

Summer of 1997 for me is Ani DiFranco's "Living in Clip" and Shawn Colvin's "A Few Small Repairs."

That was the summer after I graduated from college. Not coincidentally, it's the last time I remember having "summer music."


I remember playing The Wallflowers' "Bringing Down The Horse" pretty much every day of the summer it came out. Must have gotten it out of my system--haven't had a desire to listen to that album since!

This year's summer jams have been Animal Collective's "My Girls" and Sun Araw's "Horse Steppin'". Oh, and funny you mention Iggy---my winter was all about "The Idiot" and "Lust for Life", but this summer "Fun House" and "Raw Power" have been in heavy rotation. Along with a bit of "Metallic K.O." for the more rowdy evenings :)


Animal Collective's new album is great. That song especially. Metallic KO is quite the ride.

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