But let me halt my rambling a moment to talk about music again - I promise, there's a point.
There are various objects and their interaction with our senses that bring back memories; everyone knows this. The smell of an ex-boyfriend's cologne, the scene in that one movie that you watched and giggled with your best friend on the couch, and probably most effective trigger: music, songs, lyrics. And there are times where that means something awful - where the first chords of that one song that used to mean so much to you (and someone else) comes over the loudspeaker in a store and you're flooded with all these feelings you've tucked into the deep, dark abyss of Never Again. And sometimes that song is really, really good and you get ANGRY that it was essentially stripped from your life. Lucky for me, one of my ex-boyfriends chose Lifehouse's "Hanging By a Moment" as Our Song. I don't miss it. (Or him.)
THEN there's those music-triggered moments of nostalgia that can fill you with glee. I've kind of micro-touched on this before, because, really, it happens quite often. Last night, in the midst of a couple of down-in-the-rut days, I was completely enlivened by a trigger from years ago; it's not what you might think, and I have no shame in admitting, that the All-American Rejects' music makes me really, really happy. Last night we went to see them live at Irving Plaza.
Jesse is old friends with the Rejects; Motion City Soundtrack have toured with them several times. Jesse did a lot of reminiscing last night as well. Him and the guys retold a story about their first tour together many years ago, when the Rejects were opening for MCS at an Iowa show, and not one person showed up. They laughed, they drank, talked about possible future collaborations or tours and had a good time catching up - which, while they were doing it as friends, I was thinking of my own music-infused happy thoughts.
I remember buying the Rejects' first album in the Virgin Megastore in Times Square on one of my college spring breaks with Kells right next to me. I hadn't even heard "Swing, Swing," their radio single at the time, but it had been suggested to me by someone (I don't remember who) and I had this urge to buy it. I loved it, of course. I went to their shows, I bought their merch. My first All-American Rejects show in college, I believe in 2003, was my first Motion City Soundtrack show. I obviously fell in love with MCS as openers.
As I watched them open with "Swing, Swing" and play songs off their first album, I was reminded of those times and when I would dance around in my room or turn the stereo up really loud while driving. I haven't personally listened to them in a long time, but all the words came flowing back last night. I remembered the times when Erica and I would put on "Move Along" and get ready to go out, and pump our fists in the air together and jump around at live shows - I saw those girls there last night, too. The Rejects are a veritable hit parade, and the songs make me HAPPY.
I'm doing a poor job of articulating all the transformative power their music had over me last night. It may not have even shown, as I was sitting in the balcony, bopping my head - but I was smiling, and meaning it, and loving how sometimes music (no matter how cliche this sounds) really is just what you needed.
Jiscilla took this photo of me fist-pumping during AAR at Hammerstein Ballroom in 2006.