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Five pivotal albums (lemming)

Rules
List 5 albums that are pivotal to you. Write about a special memory for one song from each album. Tell us who the albums make you think of. Tag 5 friends to do the same.


pyrogenic did this one, and I just have to jump onboard, though I may skip tagging specific people.

Flood, by They Might Be Giants ~ 1995/6
Picture a 15-year-old Lunatic, wearing a black ribbed tight-fitting t-shirt (back when those were just starting to come in) over a long flowy straight pink skirt. Picture her chin-length brown hair flying around as she dances barefoot, barely aware of her surroundings. You can't go back to Constantinople / It's a long time gone, Constantinople...

pyrogenic was there. moonberryq was there. Alice was there, and Emily, and Dave, and oh! So many of us. Kathy. Amol. Jimmy. Gella. Rebecca/Gertrude. boojum was an invisible presence. She'll be waiting in Istanbul. I know I'm forgetting people. But we were there, and it was timeless, and how we danced. (I got the album somewhat after coming home, and played it endlessly.) It was the album of friendship and quirky humor and noticing that lyrics that read dreadfully on paper just worked in the music.

It's nobody's business but the Turks.


Document, by R.E.M. ~ Late December, 1995
I slip the CD caddy all loaded up into Majel (the pretty Quadra 660 AV named in honor of the noted voice actress Majel Barrett, as the computer could speak in a calm female voice and take voice command), and select my favorite songs to repeat themselves several times. It's a party, with the adults downstairs, and me holding quiet court upstairs in my new room with the screensaver and my new lava lamp lighting up the room. I am dating -- almost engaged to -- the most beautiful girl in the world, and I am so very happy. I giggle and whisper with Dad's co-worker Glenn's daughter Sara. Sara is a year younger than me and a year older than my baby sister Tay-Tay. We've had such fun in the past playing together, and I want to tell her my secrets.

I've been testing to see who I can tell about my girlfriend. So I tell her about my friend Savil who's dating a girl who goes to the U. "Eww, gross," Sara says. I go silent, and eventually Sara wanders off to re-join the party.

It's the end of the world as we know it. I'm drifting away from the people my parents have chosen to populate their lives with. I am making this conscious disconnection from them. I can't make them accept me. I have to just step back, lest my wiring and my love disrupt my parents' lives. But. I feel fine.


Parallel Lines, by Blondie ~ 1997
I'm sitting outside Austin Lathrop High School after the Driver's Education class with Mr. Bodle, with the tape player that's been in the household for years in my hand. It's got fresh batteries. It's only monaural, but it's what I have. I'm snuggled up in the battered brown leather jacket with the vastly inaccurate map on shredded silk lining inside. The jacket was from a thrift store, and I love it so much, because it makes me look so vastly cool (I fondly believe). It isn't black, but it is leather. "Fade Away and Radiate" is in my ears. I am alone, for the moment, and waiting. I do a lot of waiting alone in these moments, but I'm singing to myself, loud and proud and strong. Sometimes it's for joy. Sometimes it's to shout out the pain. But I'm always singing.

That's a Shawn era, with Shawn a silent presence just in front of me. I trailed after him like a guardian angel, and that's how Death Child always saw me. Shawn was turned on to the TV culture, and I wasn't.


Aquarium, by Aqua ~ 2000
This is the album of my relationship with BJ, the good times and the surreal times. It might not have been, except George left it on for three days straight on repeat, sort of to counteract the fact that BJ and I were having noisy sex. "Good Morning, Sunshine."

George. BJ. BJ's scary little brother. Sue-bug and John. The whole crowd at work. Bonnie the little red car and long drives at night for the sheer joy of the road and motion. My virtual aunt renting us her little cabin. Independence.


Country Grammar, by Nelly ~ 2001
I moved in with Sis in April of 2001, and our musical tastes clashed. She loved rap. I hated it. I loved R.E.M. She hated it worse than she hated country music. We eventually worked out that she couldn't take twangy minor chords, and that I did not do weaponry and lip service to "no drama" that worked out in practice to shooting anyone who tried to start drama. She conceded that she liked some of their covers that didn't have the problematical chords. I conceded that the beat and sound of nonviolent rap songs could be all right.

Think of a hazy hot evening in late April or early May, with two white girls in a beat-up old used Buick Skyhawk with about three weeks more life in it cruising down the streets of Phoenix, windows down with no AC, belting out the chorus of "Ride Wit' Me"...
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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