Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's late at night, and I've been sewing by hand. I was listening to Wooden Wand, and the urge struck to listen to Wilco. That urge has been in my head off and on for a while recently, with Jesus Etc. running through my head, as well as vague memories of Misunderstood and Via Chicago. I haven't listened to them in ages- At some point I realized that I didn't actually like them, I just liked Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and a few songs apiece off the two preceding records. And I had fun at their show on the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot tour. Also, freshman year in the dorms, my official copy of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot kind of disappeared, and was replaced in the packaging with a burn labeled Yankee Hotel Buttfuck. I never listened to it because of my fears that the audio would be much lower and that this would really bother me. Somehow I think also that this experience and relabeling got into my memories, like I would associate it with freshman year and not the time I actually listened to it the most, which was high school.

Specifically, the room I had in high school, and the rust belt summers, hot and humid. My room was a loft that went unreached by the central air conditioning, so it got to be pretty sweltering. Somehow in my mind Yankee Hotel Foxtrot got haunted by humidity. It's a warm weather record, but that country vibe that hangs over it reminds me of the south. It's not even an alt-country record. Still, when it's hot in the poor places at night, I'm not going outside, I'm listening to that Wilco record. Even that production, thick with noise and odd percussion rattles like insects in the night. Or the feeling of sitting in a car with the windows up and heat accruing in between the glass. I remember Jesus Etc running through my head as my mom and stepdad looked at houses to buy and move into after I graduated high school.

Now I'm living in a moderate climate. It's starting to get warmer, t-shirt weather, but in the night I am very very comfortable; still keeping a blanket on my bed rather than investing in an oscillating fan. The Wilco record isn't alone in seeming like hot weather music- This Silver Jews record I'm listening to right now? Or those Wooden Wand records. Looking at my 2007 playlist- that Modest Mouse record that's not too good, that Shins record, Deerhunter, The Ohsees, Boris with Michio Kurihara- all of these would benefit from that type of thickness to the air and the drunkeness of dehydration, and a different relationship between the inside and the outside.

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