Another top 5 list. I was faffing around the house today and listening to music, and got to thinking about those songs that you listen to when you’re having A DAY and you want to clear your head. Usually it involves turning the music on REALLY LOUD and flopping down on the couch and playing a song over and over and over… and just getting outside whatever’s going on in your head for a little while.
I know, this is a VERY subjective list. Everyone has their own. These are some of mine.
1. The Weight — The Band
When I was at school in Indiana, and Coach was shitting all over me at practice, I’d go back to my room and put this on and just get away from it all for awhile. It was one of those songs that did that for me, all through university. When school was too stressful or men were asses or money was tight, I’d put this on the stereo and just vacate the premises mentally. Nowadays, it still has a calming effect on me.
2. The First Day of Spring — The Gandharvas
This is THE ONLY song to put on when the first warm weather comes at the end of winter. Open up all the windows, turn it up loud, and thank God the winter is over. Not that you can’t listen to it any time, but that is when I discovered this song. It was the first warm, spring-like day of the year, and I was listening to the All Request Breakfast back in the glory days of CFNY/The Edge. And this song came on, and I cranked it up, and sat at the window and soaked it all in. And it’s one of those songs that starts slowly, builds to this amazing crash of noise in the middle, and then chills back out again. I LOVE those.
3. Cubically Contained — The Headstones
Completely different mood to this one. This is a sitting-in-the-pitch-dark, exorcising-some- demons kind of a song. I love to listen to this song in the dark. It is a DARK song, there’s no two ways about it. But sometimes that is good. After a really bad day with the shitheads at Agfa, this became a ritual. Decompressing in the dark.
4. Uncertain Smile — The The
I love The The. I love the whole upbeat “Oh death, and grief, and sorrow, and murder” silly dance music thing they had going on. Smiling while the shit rains down. And I AM SORRY, but nowhere in the WORLD are you gonna find another piano solo like that, smack in the middle of an alternative dance tune about a bad day. This is one big, loud, lying-on-your-back-in-the-middle-of-the-floor fuck you to a bad day.
5. Caravan — Van Morrison
Okay, ending on a happy note. Maybe it’s the whole Johnny Fever, spinning around in your chair, pounding on your chest kind of happy, but this song, and the voice of the immortal Van Morrison, takes me to a better, sunnier place. Dancing around the room, singing at the top of your lungs happy. It takes you, for 5 minutes and 2 seconds, to a more peaceful, joyous place.