Thursday, September 29, 2011

Soundtrack of My Life: Chariot

Is it weird that my favorite songs are still the songs I couldn't stop listening to in junior high and high school? Along the road from then to now, I have discovered some new favorites, but I can't escape the nostalgic feeling that rises in me each time one of those songs plays--or the fact that it doesn't feel like nostalgia: it feels like it did then.

But I'm willing to say these albums contain some lyrics that are just plain great, so I'll be highlighting some of the lyrical gems here in the next little while. Stay tuned.

Today, we're starting with Gavin Degraw's Chariot album. Here are the top 5 lyrics that won't escape my mind.

Many of Gavin's lyrics are about the need to express suppressed feelings or the fact that expressing feelings accurately and eloquently is nigh-impossible (although Gavin usually does both when expressing that sentiment). The first two examples fit into that category. I guess I'm still working on the communication thing.

5. From "Just Friends": "It's not my style to lay it on the line / But you don't leave me with a choice this time"

4. From "More Than Anyone": "What can I say to convince you to change your mind / Of me?"

This next lyric...I have no idea what it means. But one day I'll figure it out. So I think the mystery of it keeps drawing me in. I think I'm pretty good at putting the story to the lyric, but this one has me stumped. Still, I like it. It's a tad "Tender Buttons" in the way it uses words almost more as sounds than as meanings.

3. From "Belief": "Tonight, you arrested my mind / When you came to my defense / With a knife in the shape of your mouth / In the form of your body, with the wrath of a god"

The first two words of the next lyric would almost be enough. Gavin demonstrates the ability to set the scene with brevity. And brevity is the soul of wit. Plus, it makes me think of the scene from The Goodbye Girl when Richard Dreyfus serves dinner on the roof. Magic.

2. From "Meaning": "Situation candlelight / Enough to see the bits around you / But it's never very bright"

And finally, the lyric that makes me hungry every time I hear it. Almost like "chicken cherry cola" from Savage Garden, but more delectable-sounding.

1. From "Chariot": "Your favorite fruit is chocolate-covered cherries / and seedless watermelon / Nothing from the ground is good enough"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't Worry, Baby

As I contemplate my impending 24th birthday, I keep worrying about things I thought I would do by age 24. Josie Grossie-type things. I makes me want to throw a "let's be 17 again" birthday party and stage a do-over (at least in the relationship department).

On my 17th birthday, two of my best friends had me watch Never Been Kissed since Drew Barrymore's character repeatedly exclaims, now that she's back in high school, "I'm seventeen. I'm seventeen."

But I'm not 17 anymore. And I am working towards becoming an editor like Josie Grossie, and I am still waiting for a few rites of passage to occur.

As I wandered past the ferris wheel set up on the campus quad today, I had my don't-worry-baby calming epiphany, which I now share with you.

Epiphany: The point of Never Been Kissed wasn't that Josie hadn't been kissed. It was that she should have been. Her personality, her quirky charm, her super intelligence--the audience loves her and she deserved to have a man who did, too. People weren't stunned about her virgin lip status in a sideshow freak kind of way; they were stunned in a you're-too-good-for-that-to-be-true kind of way.

As am I.

Here's to 24 and not being Josie Grossie. And many upcoming kisses on baseball fields with The Beach Boys serenading away things that have been building up for, oh, I don't know how long.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

U.S. Open: Love Is All Around

I think I'm in love. Tennis love. 6 feet 9 inches of tennis love.

His name is John. He's a southern gentleman, who can hit a 141 mph serve.

He looks good in Banana Republic.

And he participated in the longest tennis match ever. And won.

Just one more reason to get that job next summer in London at the Olympics.

I know, John. I don't want to wait that long either.