Thursday, October 06, 2005

it tends to make the day go by just a bit quicker


today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Pyramid Song" - Radiohead, from Amnesiac

i listened to this album a lot post-september 11. it felt appropriate. i worked in what had at one time been a closet for filing cabinets at one of my non-profit jobs in dc, which had no window or door, but which i liked, as it was sort of a little cubby off of the hallway. my co-worker mob, who became one of my favorite people and close friend, despite being 10 years older and gay and way smarter than me, used to call down the hall while i was listening to "you and whose army?" - my favorite song on this album - "are you drowning cats in there again?" so whenever i listen to this album i think of him and our office. his quarters map was stolen that fall. not the entire map - just the quarters. we think it was the guys that came in to lay the new carpet.

songs inevitably become tied to where i was working when i listened to them a lot or first heard them. when i worked at sam goody in the summer of 1998, my co-worker bm was really into big wreck, this band from boston that was technically very good - skilled and well-crafted songs and all that, but lacked a real sense of uniqueness or style, and she used to play their album constantly. we could play whatever we wanted as long as it didn't have any swearing and your co-workers didn't hate it, and i heard that album so many times i had to buy it because it was simply what i became so accustomed to. i do really love the song "blown wide open" off of that album. we actually sold a lot of big wreck cds that summer, even though it was over a year old and there were no hit singles. people would walk in and point towards the ceiling (where the speakers were) and be like "what IS that?" like they knew that they should know (that's the effect big wreck has on you - the band sounds exactly like every other decent-to-good mid-90s band), and they would end up buying it for $18.99, which is highway robbery. i didn't love working there - corporate lameness, expensive, lots of tools would come in, it was situated in the mall right next to a cookie store (so it smelled like butter) and across from a country western clothing store with an offensive-as-all-fuck confederate flag displayed. but it was the best summer job i could get in sucksville, usa.

oh, and i also did double-duty that summer, walking across the mall parking lot to the blockbuster to work there at night. we had to play a video on repeat that was probably three or four hours long that featured coming attractions and a few videos and commercials. i heard faith hill's "this kiss" so many fucking times that summer. also on the tape was semisonic's "closing time," and i actually like that song, despite its incessant loop. whenever i hear that song i can smell the air-conditioned plastic environment that was the blockbuster. that job was pretty thankless. i did become friends with jk through that job, though, and we still email like every day - usually "what are you doing?" and "i got really drunk last night" - but that's pretty impressive, considering the nexus for our friendship was shelving videos and deleting people's $43 late charges.

3 comments:

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the syracusan said...

Big Wreck sucks. Of the 1700 songs I snagged from you in June, that's literally the worst thing on there. Maybe the hippie nature guitar guy is worse, but not by much. Big Wreck sounds like fucking Dream Theater.

lostsatellite said...

I lovelovelove that "Pyramid Song" single...there's some excellent b-sides on there...since I pulled out Kid A this week, and listened to "Amazing Sounds of Orgy" on a mix I made, I know I'm gearing myself up to be listening to that single as well as Amnesiac...

I had no idea you ever worked at Sam Goody or Blockbuster...guess I'm pretty thankful I never had to work in a retail environment, and much less a chain store...one reason being the constant loop of music designed to make me crazy...