Sam Phillips Top 5 Music Obsessions

Top 5 Music Obsessions featuring Sam Phillips

Short day on the eve of a holiday. The traffic was non-existent, though that will change later in the day. I listened to Top 10 lists for “Gilmore Girls”, as my boyfriend and I were talking about the show last night. My favorite, it is one I hope he’ll like when I finally show it to him, though I’m nervous about the prospect. It can be scary to share something that means so much to you with someone who is so important to you, and your heart. But, in the upcoming four days off I’m considering it.

Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions starts with a significant song from the series, one that is used in two seasons, between the same two characters. A song that would definitely be considered “theirs”. From there, the next four are feel-good songs to play me through the day, which though will be short, seems long as I am anxiously, and excitedly, awaiting the upcoming four-day mini-holiday vacation.

I’m still feeling better, which is a nice change from the last month, or so. Every day I seem to be reclaiming more of my hope and optimism back. I’m very, very in love, and feeling overwhelmingly hopeful about our love. I’m also getting back my writing spark, which helps with the whole feeling better thing, too.

I’ve started to come up with ideas for this space in 2019, as well as thinking up some other writing ideas beyond this space. I’m looking forward to the remaining weeks of this year, definitely, but more than that I’m hopefully anticipating the upcoming year. I think it will be the best one yet.

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Top 5 Music Obsessions – Tuesday, November 21, 2018

1. “Reflecting Light” by Sam Phillips
from the album, A Boot and a Shoe (2004)

Sam Phillips Reflecting Light Top 5 Music Obsessions Song 1

“Now that I’ve worn out,
I’ve worn out the world,
I’m on my knees in fascination,
looking through the night,
And the moon’s never seen me before,
but I’m reflecting light.”

Though lyrically this song feels like an ending to a life, or at least an ending, it has always felt full of love and hopes to me. Maybe it’s the waltz tempo and the comfort it emanates. Or, maybe its the association I have with it, and “Gilmore Girls”.

Gilmore Girls Dance Reflecting Light

The song was used in two seasons, Season 4, and the Netflix reboot “A Year In the Life”. “Reflecting Light” plays an integral part in the story arc of a somewhat “will they/won’t they” love story.

Perhaps an odd choice for a romantic “their song”, but something about the melancholic sensibility, and the structured waltz tempo, fits Luke and Lorelai. It ends up feeling like the perfect song for their story.

2. “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones
from the album, Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)

“Have you seen her dressed in blue?
See the sky in front of you.”

One of my all-time favorite Rolling Stones’ songs, “She’s a Rainbow” is one of feel-good go-to’s. The track also acted as muse for a piece of writing I did back in 2014.

Dreams in Blue

she dreams in technicolor
her mind a big screen flicker
full of unexpected corners
unsaid words
kisses in airport terminals
and 2am coffee shops
red lips
blue skies
and that goddamn blinding sun

the city looks like a fairy tale from here
far away and inconsequential
like her dreams
in vivid disarray

he dreams in criss-crossed imagery
his mind a rhythm of tumbling notes
full of sharps and flats
dates yet to arrive
confessions in Chinese restaurants
and white linen sheets
brown eyes
smoggy skies
and all they’ll never be

the city looks full of promise when she’s in his arms
tucked away and nearly invisible
like his dreams
in black and white display

3. “Lost In the Supermarket” by The Clash
from the album, London Calling (1979)

The Clash Lost In the Supermarket Top 5 Music Obsessions Song 3

“I came in here for the special offer,
a guaranteed personality,
And it’s not here,
it disappears.”

My favorite song by The Clash, “Lost In the Supermarket” also resides on my favorite songs of all-time. I’m a fan of grocery shopping, though most people I know do not share my fondness.

Lost in the Supermarket

There is something I find completely zen about supermarkets. Wandering up and down the aisles, pushing the cart in front of me, and slipping into some kind of zone where all I think about are the labels and colors around me. It clears my head and I find it strangely relaxing. If you visit me and take a trip to the grocery store, you will find that the experience sparks conversations in the same depth and scope as driving around in a car with me does, or sitting with me at the beach.

Though lately, I’ve found the experience stressful and anxiety-inducing. I’d like to find a way back tot he way I typically, and historically, have felt about pushing a cart through aisles. I’ll work on it (though maybe not in the midst of a holiday week).

4. “Cool For Cats” by Squeeze
from the album, Cool For Cats (1979)

Squeeze Cool For Cats Top 5 Music Obsessions Song 4

“To change the mood a little,
I’ve been posing down the pub.
On seeing my reflection,
I’m looking slightly rough.
I fancy this,
I fancy that,
I wanna be so flash.
I give a little muscle,
and I spend a little cash.
But, all I get is bitter,
and a nasty little rash.
And, by the time I’m sober,
I’ve forgotten what I’ve had…
and everybody tells me that it’s cool to be a cat,
cool for cats.”

“Cool For Cats” is the first Squeeze song I ever heard, and one of my Top 5 favorites of theirs. I love the storytelling aspect in this track, and how British, and day/night in the life, it seems.

The title phrase is a reference to the 1950s/60s UK TV series Cool for Cats, the first British series to regularly feature rock ‘n’ roll music acts. (from Wikipedia)

It is the title track of Squeeze’s second album, which also includes my all-time favorite Squeeze song, “Up the Junction”.

5. “These Days” by Nico
from the album, Chelsea Girl (1967)

Nico These Days Top 5 Music Obsessions Song 5

“These days I seem to think about,
how all the changes came about my ways.
And, I wonder if I’ll see another highway.”

Another song that feels like an ending, or a feeling of giving up, yet has romantic connotations to me. Some of that comes from the film its featured in, Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (my favorite Anderson film).

The Royal Tenenbaums

It also reminds me of my boyfriend, and his love of Wes Anderson movies, and a discussion we had last night about romantic stories. I look forward to watching this one together someday.

Did you know that “These Days” was written by Jackson Browne? I didn’t, until just now. He wrote it when he was just 16 years old and has said it is a song about loss and regret – which seems like heavy emotions for someone so young to write, but maybe it isn’t. Adolescence is rife with heavy emotions, and loss can play a big part of it, as can regret, though I think loss, and unrequited wants, are the bigger factors. I feel the unrequited part of this song, too.

All that said, it still a shock to realize how old Browne was when he penned it.

Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of November 19, 2018

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