Rainy day music

Given the torrential rainy season lately, I've been tempted to look for a 300 x 50 x 50 boat (all dimensions in cubits, natch) and pairs of animals. But absent an ark, one takes comfort, paradoxically enough, in the charms of the music of anguish. So, my current rainy day playlist. It's set, if one can imagine a fantasy scene, to me sitting in a bay window looking out at the water hit the pane:
  • Otis Redding "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)". Those words in brackets are crucial, are't they? I just put it in my MP3 player, and there's something really haunting about hearing Otis through headphones as opposed to through speakers: it really puts forward the intimacy of the song, a pure confessional, a man laying bare his soul.
  • Sufjan Stevens "Casimir Pulaski Day". This is the song that made me a Sufjan convert: wrapped around its delicate memory are those heartstopping lyrics, with their little details of love intermingled with death and sensuality mixed with spirituality. (Download)
  • Jenny Lewis "Melt Your Heart". Meltingly beautiful. (Download)
And finally, this is an excuse to talk again about Simon & Garfunkel's "Only Living Boy in New York", always one of my favourites. I just watched Garden State, which features a climactic scene set to this song as the rain pours down in sheets, and it made me think of how it gets used here as opposed to in Tadpole. Essentially Tadpole uses the song as a song of desolation, while Garden State uses it to underscore Zach Braff's character Largeman's moment of connection, his first kiss with Sam (the Natalie Portman character) after a lifetime of having emotions numbed by medication. I suppose it's what you emphasise of that song's title: the "only" part, or the "living" part.

Just over a year ago, on the cusp of 2005, it rained on New Year's Eve: not quite the storms of this year, but enough to lead to a little car accident. And to hear the Simon & Garfunkel song then was to hear the sounds of desolation and loneliness. And now the monsoon rains continue to fall, as they will, year in, year out, and yet while the grey skies might inspire a melancholic selection of music I feel decidedly more alive, for better or worse. Context is everything. Here's to 2006.


Anonymous said…
a 300 x 50 x 50 boat (all dimensions in cubits, natch) and pairs of animals.

Which brings to mind this rather clever t-shirt design.
Neil Sinhababu said…
Thanks for the Jenny Lewis link... I saw Rilo Kiley here in Austin once, and I was completely overwhelmed by Jenny-Lewis-cuteness.
Daryl said…
Yeah, seems like more people should know about Jenny Lewis. But then I only found out about her recently.

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