Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sounds of Spring

Curious to find myself wanting to hear side one of Outlandos d'Amour this morning on the way to work and then side three of Three Sides Live on the way home--okay they were discs but had I been a teenager back in my bedroom acting like I was doing homework with my headphones on, it would have been vinyl and those would have been the sides. But why the sudden urge to hear The Police and Genesis? Could it be just more signs of regression as I head for the fetal position searching for some lost happy time?

Possibly. But more likely it is the fact that the weather for the last few days has actually felt like spring. The sun has been out and the days extend. The air is decidedly warm by afternoon and evening. People are outdoors, working, eating, enjoying the luxurious warmth. And that has us all believing that at long last, winter might (knock, knock) be done.

For me that means that certain music starts to call to me. Music that reminds me of springs past like that first Police album and how "Roxanne" mysteriously came on over the loudspeaker when our tennis coach in high school was giving us our pep talk. Music that hints at summer and so you put it on urging the sun and summer to arrive (but not really, because spring and the promise and the anticipation are so wonderful). Music that is jangly and a cacophony of sounds like spring. Music that celebrates the end of another academic year--a cycle that I still cannot shake after ten years out of the classroom. But mostly, music that makes you want to put the window down and let the warm spring wind with its hint of summer (and the music) brush over your skin and awaken your senses.

So here are just a few bands and albums that make me think of spring. Some are from many years ago and some more recent. They aren't only "spring bands" but many are. And no apologies here for the sappy or overly popular as these are all bands that hit me at a certain time in my life and still stay with me.

  • Steve Winwood: Arc of a Diver and Back in the High Life
  • English Beat: I Just Can't Stop It and Special Beat Service
  • Dire Straits: Communique
  • Los Lobos: The Neighborhood
  • Ani Difranco: Living in Clip
  • Soul Coughing: El Oso
  • Van Morrison: Moondance
  • Rickie Lee Jones: The Magazine
  • Wilco: Sky Blue Sky
  • Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin
  • Rilo Kiley: Take Offs and Landings
Then there is all that acoustic music that comes out when the long rains and lush spring green comes out in full ranging from Celtic music to Nick Drake to Fleet Foxes. But for now, we enjoy the anticipation.

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