music and memory – 2011 to 2012

Music and Memory – Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Hearing Music From His Era

i think the video is worth watching, but if not, the tl;dr of the video: there’s a senile old guy who can’t take care of himself or respond to questions or communicate.  he’s played his favorite music from when he was younger, and he becomes responsive and can then communicate with people again and is transformed into a completely different person.  it is like an elaborate, beautiful long con.  it’s pretty incredible the power of music and we can associate it with specific memories and cause nontrivial psychological and physiological effects on us. 

power of music

to that end, a walk through memory lane and the various memories that are triggered with various songs:


Natasha Bedingfield – Run, Run, Run
(late 2010 to early 2011) – the initial honeymoon period i had at 736 ended after white james moved out and several housing issues rested on my mind.  leaving bain and the end of my relationship with chris led to one of the darker, more unsure periods i’ve had in my life as well as the time when angeles and i embraced our friend-poor situation and adopted an “aggressively social” stance toward life, approaching strangers and inviting ourselves to parties.  but this song got me through it!  it’s the song i would play to calm down or when i felt overwhelmed, it’s the song i would play after i moved into the master half-bedroom and repainted the room with nana and mark, it’s the song that i would listen to when wendy and i would catch up on our days in my room. 


“Just A Dream” by Nelly – Sam Tsui & Christina Grimmie
(march/april 2011) – “have you ever actually LISTENED to the lyrics of this song? they’re actually quite sad :(” mark mentioned. it was about then that we also discovered wendy’s penchant for asian youtube covers, and wham bam we happened across this song…. just as i fell head over heels in a weird soul-consuming love-at-first-sight romeo-and-romeo temporary-insanity sort of thing. it was irrational and unreasonable and unhealthy and not real and hundreds of other caveats that everyone else gave me for the period that followed, but never before has my heart felt like i had sprinted a mile while waiting for our first date, never have i been willing to sacrifice so much to make things work, and never have i felt so hopeless about ever loving anyone again.  “don’t worry, you’ll find your iceman some day”.  everyone needs to become cynical somehow.

(also was the exact song that i saw on dave’s profile that was singularly responsible for that first date. The One AM Radio – Ticking Heart was my other broken heart song. Victor Magan – Love is a Gamble became my mantra.  Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone will be his song.)


Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina – Stereo Love
(2011) – 2011 was the year of party cat, and this was party cat’s song. who knew that my best former coworker’s former girlfriend, the innocuous asian runner from the street corner who became my running buddy, and my ex-boyfriend’s bubbly kawaii friend would form one of the funnest, most dynamic, high volumed, bizarrely balanced foursome i will ever experience. everything from my and wendy’s trying to sing the song into shazam after hearing it at a club to giving the song the “full hestia treatment” in mark’s car to requesting it at every club that we went to and then shrieking at the top of our lungs when it came on to becoming the namesake of the inaugural tough mudder training (TMT), that accordion motif has become burned in my mind.

(Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor ft. Pitbull deserves an honorable mention for partycat.)


Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
(late 2011 to early 2012) – there was a time when i was absolutely determined to create a gay network.  once i had an in, the rest would be gravy!  in theory.  a fortuitous run-in with a friend opened the black box of the castro and taught me how to go to the castro without having panic attacks, and introduced me to sean and others who would eventually lead to the the gaywakening and gay-everything that i imposed on my life.  badlands became a mainstay and i was happy to be anyone’s friend as long as they were gay.  it led to a period of learning a lot about the gay culture and population of san francisco and a period of self-discovery for learning how to be more comfortable with my own sexuality.  what a great song to represent the drunken, jubilant, unabashed, carefree, singalong atmosphere of the castro. 

(very much so the song i associate with jerome.  Britney Spears – Till The World Ends was my and sean’s song (even though he grimaced every time i said that); Rihanna – We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris i will associate with AJ.) 

Eagle Eyes (Sander van Doorn vs. Kaskade) Uplifted Mashup (2012) – i came across this song randomly on facebook, and instantly fell in love.  the style felt familiar yet totally foreign.  i looked up sander online, and lo and behold, he was going to be in the bay area not a month later!  this song represents a lot of why i like electronic dance music: the build to the drops/release, the danceability, the way that it transports you and makes you surrender your individuality to this communal trance-like state.  this song reminds me of the circuit parties and edc and exploring a whole new genre of music and experiences.  it represents the more ballsy, spontaneous, party-crazy, first-time-i-felt-remotely-rebellious stage of my life (relatively.).  EDM is the soundtrack of many of my and daniel’s shared experiences.  

(Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab – On A Good Day (Acoustic mix) and First State – Reverie (ft. Sarah Howells) are the james/daniel EDM songs)

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