The White Stripes – “Icky Thump”

When: April 2007
Where: Old Pasadena Parking Lot
Who: My mom
Weather: Warm

My mom decided she needed her own computer, which for me was a massive step forward.

We kept getting PCs that crashed every three years on the dot, so she got a mac. When we pulled into the parking structure, she registered her irritation with this song. I loved it. I first heard about it from Christian Robinson, a guy from my school who generally had terrible taste in music. He got really into dubstep in college.

I hadn’t worked on a Mac since 2nd grade, and I had some catching up to do. Soon I couldn’t imagine working any other way. Soon I was using iMovie. I had a new idea.

Earlier that spring I’d developed a new screenplay called Monty Park, a mockumentary about a high school student who bankrolls his own TV show online. Keep in mind that iCarly wasn’t around yet, and I had my first workable script. The only trouble now was getting into the editing room.

One day, my mom was at home, getting a visit from her friend Linda, mother of the filmmaker Amat Escalante. To impress her, I made an impromptu promotional video for this film I was going to make.

The movie was never made, but I definitely had something new going…and I couldn’t stop. It was as if the past two years had been leading up to that point, a teenage mythology was set up for me to actually make something real. One cold November I’d felt as if I were a new man. His name was Monty Park.

Next: What happens when you get a song stuck in your head, and you love it?

The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

When: August 2003
Where: Monterey Park
Who: My Bubby
Weather: Hot, dry

“I’m going to Wichita, far from this opera forever more.” Jed the Fish repeated, agonizing over these lyrics through the whole afternoon.

Next: Do you believe in a thing called love?

The White Stripes – “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”

When: November 2002
Where: Mountain Street westbound
Who: My mother
Weather: Cold, overcast

When Jack White said he was taking a break from the Blues, he had no idea he was creating his signature style. And I had no idea that the album was over a year old when I heard the appropriately gloomy first track from White Blood Cells on a dark november afternoon.

Next: Winding down the Jewish journey with Soundgarden.