november playlist: the stone roses

Note: So the theme for this month that I’ve been kicking around in my head is to do a playlist of sorts, and I think I’m going to give it a shot. It’s a little funny that in all my years of blogging, I’ve never written much about music, since I’m pretty much always listening to something — a friend once said to me (and I will most likely misquote, but I remember the point, which is the important part) that I seem like the sort of person who lives life to a soundtrack, which is a fair assessment of me, I think because almost every moment of my life that is associated with a memory comes with a song — and I figured this month I could pick some songs that I love and write something about them. I may not do a song a day, and there may not be any unifying theme to the songs other than the fact that I sure do like them. I may write specifically about the songs or I might write something entirely tangential. But that’s what I’m up to this month, anyway. Here we go, then.

Until earlier this year, I always associated The Stone Roses with this weird non-date I went on a really long time ago. How long ago was it? It was the summer before I started college. That’s how long ago it was. See, at some point that summer I started talking to this boy. He was in college, which just made him so cool. You know, because I was a couple of months away from starting college myself, and I hadn’t yet learned that boys in college are basically the same as boys in high school, except college boys are chronologically older. Anyway, he seemed smart and interesting and we talked a bit and one night we decided we would go out. I’ve written this bit before. (I have no new material, ever.) I’ll just quote it, if you don’t mind:

I went on, um, I don’t know. A date, I guess. I’d been talking to this guy and he said we should go do something and it was Friday so I guess that’s kind of a date or something, but then while I was talking to him on the phone and we were making plans, my friend showed up and then I was all “So I’m going to go meet this guy” and then somehow she came along? And it was weird? And not very much like a date at all. But he and I did have a conversation about The Stone Roses and he said that their eponymous first album was like the Sgt. Pepper of our generation, and I’d been listening to The Beatles a lot that summer and I think I said something really smart like “Oh.” And then we had coffee and there was sugar spilled on the table and we drew circles in it with our fingertips and I never saw him again.

FYI: Bringing a friend with you on a date kind of ruins anything that might possibly be date-like about it, you guys. In case you were wondering.

Anyway, you know how some things just create immediate associations? Since that night, which was one of those nights we all have, and you know the type — So, That Happened… Awesome — I’ve associated The Stone Roses with this guy I went out with on a weird non-date nearly a decade and a half ago, and if I heard one of their songs or someone mentioned them or whatever, my brain would drag out that memory, down to the feeling of spilled sugar beneath my fingertips as I wondered to myself what the Sgt. Peppers were of the generations prior to the release of Sgt. Pepper.

But then one night a few months ago, I got a series of text messages, probably at least a dozen, and the messages contained the lyrics to this song, “Standing Here,” which is an amazingly fucking good song, by the way. Nothing else, just those lyrics. And since then, I have a new thing to associate with The Stone Roses, which is checking my phone and then smiling to myself in that way I do, that way that makes me look like I’m up to something, even if I’m not actually up to anything. Remembering this makes me smile exactly the same way.

This is much better than spilled sugar and awkwardness.

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