Metric – “Help I’m Alive”

When: 28 November 2009
Where: Font Boulevard, San Francisco
Who: My mom
Weather: Cold, windy

My mom came up to see me after Thanksgiving, and knowing I would never go there myself, I asked if she was interested in going to San Jose. Nobody wants to go to San Jose except me, and only then because I’d been once before but didn’t have time to check everything out– I was busy.

But actually getting there felt like trespassing. I walked around self-consciously, almost expecting to be caught. It was a familiar feeling that wore off with time. This song was on a lot; I hadn’t listened to the radio so regularly as I had in the car that day, and I must have heard it three times, a fact I pointed out repeatedly because my mom continued to insist she’d never heard it before.

Next: The bad times will continue, but the ugly times are almost over.

Vampire Weekend – “M79”

When: November 2009
Where: My student apartment at SF State
Who: Possibly my roommate
Weather: Cool, clear

Vampire Weekend had loomed over me for at least a year. My first roommate, the more eclectic of the two so far, had their album, and at least one of the guys pirated it back in high school. Probably Marc Meehan.

But I was faced with the challenge of coming back into contemporary, 2009 society from a long hibernation, and thanks to a recommendation from the MacQuarrie sisters I started here. I also started listening to SF’s local rock station Live 105, which was somewhat better than KROQ down south but still in the same vein.

I was coming back from buying groceries at the Stonestown Trader Joe’s while listening to this song, and as I returned to my room the same song was playing. I smiled approvingly. I was already on my way.

Next: Was Flight of the Conchords darker, or was I?

MGMT – “Kids”

When: 28 May 2009
Where: The southbound 605
Who: Assorted people
Weather: Mild

I was invited to a beach party by the girlfriend of an old neighborhood friend, and I decided to go. Unexpectedly I found myself with more than a few girls I’d known from middle school, but the Pasadena area catholic school circuit is a small world.

That spring was my britpop phase and I was on my way out, but it was a shock to hear contemporary music on the way down to Orange County. They alternated between KIIS-FM and KROQ, and was surprised to hear this song. Wasn’t it already pretty old? The whole ordeal made me feel very out of place, and I decided that once I got my composure and got back to San Francisco, I’d make more of an effort to be in touch with current culture.

It would be a while.

Next: “Take it on the run.”