the power music has on me


photo by Gigi DeManio

Happy New Year! Which translates quite naturally to going to see one of the many shiny new movies that come out around this time, am I right? There are traditions built around this for some of us from going while absolutely stuffed to the gills after Thanksgiving to see the newest Harry Potter / Hunger Games Trilogy / Percy Jackson type tween sci-fi blockbuster, to going out on Christmas day. Star Wars, anyone?

That may be all well and good and I mean I do love to get absolutely lost in a good movie, right? But the thing that will absolutely put me into orbit is if it has a soundtrack that I can just find myself swimming in emotionally… my heart strings are being attended to, my adrenaline is all fired up and flowing, then I am lulled back into melancholia land while spooned from behind, my quilt tucked in gently under my chin. I would wonder… what would my soundtrack be like today?

See, music has always had a hold on me from way back when. I remember fighting with my siblings over who gets to sit in the corner and zone out with Dad’s giant heavy headphones on and listen to his Beatles records non-stop. I would just get completely lost in those Lennon-McCartney harmonies and pretend I was in the band! Shit. I had a bowl cut too. #dorothyhamilllookedlikeabeatle

I can remember when music was not as accessible as it is now. It was vague and mysterious and for me, kind of hard to get my chubby little sausage hands on. There was no Google, people! If you wanted to know who sang a song you liked on the radio? YOU HAD TO PRAY TO JESUS CHRIST THAT THE STUPID DJ WOULD TELL YOU AT THE END OF THE SONG! And those fools didn’t always tell you. No, they would string you the f&ck along for days! Or worse? They would say it but your brothers and sisters would be too loud and you wouldn’t hear them! The struggle was in full effect in 1985!

There was also a time where I thought I had ESP. Like, radio ESP. Duh. Like. I would be absolutely dying to hear a song that just spoke to my heart, like say hypothetically… ‘Save a Prayer’ by Duran Duran and I would be wandering around my front yard in my teen angst with my little Sony Walkman on listening to the radio just needing that song to be on, and lo and behold … IT WOULD COME ON! I would dramatically throw my fist in the air in triumph because I had radio ESP and I had willed it to be!

So it is clear the power that music had on me during my formative years and has in fact carried over my entire life. There was a book / movie / album club thing that my closest college friends and I did for a year a few years after graduation. We all made a package that had our favorite book, our favorite movie and our favorite album. We included a blank journal in it so that once you got the package and watched / read / listened to what was in it, then you could write your thoughts to your friend that they would get once the package made it’s way back to them about a year later. Each person had a month to keep the package then on the first of the month we had to send it to the next person. It was quite genius and a really wonderful way to get to know my friends even better! Now I know while you were reading this you were simultaneously thinking about who you would have in your group of friends and what your favorite things would be, am I right? If not, you suck at multitasking and should totally have been thinking this!  But there was trouble ahead for me…I got hung up on the music part. There was absolutely NO WAY I could narrow down all of my favorite music to one album. Zero. Nope. Can’t. So.. I got creative and decided to make a two volume set called ‘The Anthology of Carla, parts one and two’ (One was slower tempo and moodier and Two was more upbeat) I then wrote about each song on the anthology set and why I chose it, and stuck the write up with the CD set as my own little liner notes! Yes. I felt so. cool. Like the curator of my own life soundtrack! Today’s soundtrack would be different, but I dare say there may be some repeats on there from my early 2000’s anthology, for sure.

Anthology of Carla Volume 1

Click the link below to listen to Anthology of Carla, Vol. 1 by jkdufair

1    Time After Time – Eva Cassidy
2    Singing in the Rain – Jaime Cullem
3    She – Elvis Costello
4    Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – David Gray
5    Pictures of You – The Cure
6    My Ship – Miles Davis
7    Maybe I’m Amazed – Jem
8    Love Will Come to You – Indigo Girls
9    In My Life – The Beatles
10    My How You’ve Grown – The 10,000 Maniacs
11    Turn the Lights Down Low -Lauryn Hill / Bob Marley
12    Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
13    Babylon – David Gray
14    All At Sea – Jamie Cullem

Anthology of Carla Volume 2

Click the link below to listen to Anthology of Carla, Vol. 2 by Jason Dufair

1    Sabor a Mi- Los Lobos
2    Crazy Ass Mexicans – Los Lobos
3    These Are Days – The 10,000 Maniacs
4    Just Like Heaven – The Cure
5    Beautiful Day – U2
6    I’m Looking Through You – The Wallflowers
7    Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing – John Legend
8    Beast of Burden – The Rolling Stones
9    Two Hearts – The Jayhawks
10    Walk On – U2
11    Your Love Keeps Lifting Me – Zydecats
12    Cruel to be Kind – Nick Cave
13    Body Moving – Beastie Boys
14    Under Pressure – Queen / David Bowie

Because technology is our best friend these days, I am including the links to these via Spotify for you to enjoy, should you so choose to! Now go on and craft up your own life soundtrack and share! Follow me on Spotify so I can see them!!

A few years ago I was on a trip to Aruba with some good friends. One night we sat around the table outside and each person had to find and play their ‘song’ that just pumped them up or gave them some kind of emotional bump to get through the rest of the day. I learned some wonderful things about this group of friends and the music that they felt represented them in their lives at that time. Some were a little embarrassed (for no reason, I might add!) and others grew emotional when it was their turn to play their song for the group. But me? I panicked. How in the big giant vast world could I pick just ONE song? I refused to. I said I couldn’t! I didn’t want to play! I got all weird and shit, but then while scrolling through my music, I found my jam. My throwback. It always makes me think of freshman year of college and driving home and reminiscing about my favorite John Hughes movie, Sixteen Candles. ‘Set Adrift on Memory Bliss’ by PM Dawn. Yassssss Gaga. Yassssssssssss…!! I played the song, not caring if anyone else liked it because sister, this shit was my JAM. I bopped along in my little Mexican head and just… mellowed the hell out.

What would your song be? Leave it on the comments!! I wanna hear it and bop my little Mexican head and wave my sausage hands in the air!

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