The Vines – “Rainfall”

When: October 2007
Where: CAD Lab, DBTI
Who: Chavez and my classmate
Weather: Raining
Book: I Am America (and So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert

It was the first rain of the season and fall had officially arrived. I was in the CAD lab working on drafts with Mr. Chavez, but I usually finished my drafts early and just drew cross-sections of the Death Star while listening to some podcast, or in this case music.

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The Strokes – Under Control

When: Late at night, October 2007
Where: My mother’s car
Who: My mom
Weather: Warm, dry

Me: “Hey, Tom, I gotta tell you something.”

Tom: “Go right ahead.”

Me: “I’m really sorry about homecoming. I voted for Karen. But I think something good came out of it.”

Tom: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, I’ve been writing this…screenplay.”

Tom: “Yeah?”

Mee: “Basically it’s everything that just happened, except that I stole your girlfriend.”

(long pause)
Tom: “What the fuck, dude?”

I love the motown quality of this song as well.

Next: Kanye touches down.

Modest Mouse – “Dashboard”

When: August 2007
Where: My mom’s car
Who: My mom
Weather: Hot

The pedigree was undeniable, the beat inescapable. Johnny Marr’s guitar shone with distinction. I realized what I was hearing right away. In future period pieces, it was inevitable, I imagined, that this would be the song that says to the world, “Hey, it’s 2007!” Just listening to it made me feel effortlessly cool. School was coming, senior year, and I was certain to have the adventure I was dreaming of. Or maybe I was just thinking too hard.

Next: Returning to the Strokes.

Smashing Pumpkins – “Tarantula”

When: July 2007
Where: Jim MacQuarrie’s car
Who: Several people
Weather: Hot but unseasonably humid.

Smashing Pumpkins in name only of course.

Some friends of mine were going down to Monterey Park to get some business cards. I was particularly excited to get a box of free business cards for my mostly theoretical production company Septentrionale.

Next: Velvet Revolver, now that’s problematic.

Beck – “Timebomb”

When: 23 July 2007
Where: Southbound on Lake Avenue
Who: My dad
Weather: Warm, clear

Friday. My summer was going a lot better. I’d spent some time walking around Downtown LA during a mild stretch of summer, entirely losing my shit over the movie Barcelona and the guy who made it, Whit Stillman. I’d run into old friends, girls who had crushes on me, and their mothers who love me, and always with a sunflower on hand. I saw movies in theaters, frequently, like never before or since. But my excitement that day was for more than just beautiful weather and hilarious movies. It was Hallows Eve.

Tonight, I was going to a massive street party (the kind Pasadenans will find any excuse to have) at Vroman’s Bookstore for the debut of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, so I decided to win it. After all, I would never get that opportunity again. I spent the better part of an hour circling the store while crappy wizard rockers pounded away and news cameras rolled. Luckily, rescue came in the form of the Art School Girls and their leader, Taylor Doran. We go back when the line starts, a grad student hits on me, and I get my book.

Monday. I’d already finished the book. I had attended a scout meeting earlier that night that was sure to be among my last, and as my dad drove me home, this strange song came on the radio, the definitive song of 2007, if I had to say so myself, effortlessly cool. It was the song of the summer. When it ended, the DJ posited a question: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if that was meant to be a cover version of Time Bomb by Rancid?”

And I thought to myself, “hell yes.”

Next: Things get gross again.

Stone Temple Pilots – “Silvergun Superman”

When: June 2007
Where: Claremont Street
Who: Nobody
Weather: Foggy

After the exciting events of the spring, I jumped, yearned for summer to arrive so I could make some real trouble. It was not the whirlwind adventure I’d hoped for, but it was good enough, because every once in a while, you realize that there are some fundamental things that you have missed. For me, that meant catching up on Stone Temple Pilots.

I spent much of that June wandering under the fog, confidently walking around town feebly looking for something to do. At the time I was listening to this, I was on my way to get a sandwich after “the Sunflower incident”– yet another failed attempt to do something interesting. But like always, adventure would have to find me. Seeking it out only made me look crazy or stupid.

Next: Hallows Eve.