Last tracks and title tracks. I’ve always had a fascination for both, as well as first tracks. Back when I lived in albums. Lying on my bedroom floor, or in the living room of the house I grew up in, big headphones on, or leaning up close to giant speakers. This was before I made mixtapes. This was when I lay album covers out in front of me, sliding the inner sleeve out, devouring liner notes and lyric sheets, taking in each in every song the way they were meant to be heard. Like reading a book from page one to the last.
It wasn’t all that long until grabbing favorite tracks and putting them with others became a thing. I suppose its what radio play was. Singles and top lists. DJ favorites. I spent hours and hours with my fingers poised and ready on the play, pause, and record buttons, in the quest for the perfect mix. I still do it. Weekly, sometimes more than weekly. Except now its search and drag into place. The ease of finding music, and making the perfect playlist is a blessing, but also a curse.
How often do we listen to an album from its start-to-finish? I try to pride myself on doing just that, but I don’t do it as often as that young girl me did back in the ’70s. Music was a voyage of discovery, and it took time. A lot of it. It was worth it though. Those albums from back then, start-to-finish, are among my all-time favorites.
The Voyager, the album, is one of those recent albums I’ve listened to in that old start-to-finish way, many times over. I’ve played it, along with Jenny’s other two albums, and a few Rilo Kiley ones, in that album-love kind of way ever since getting a hold of each one. I only wish I had actual albums of each (someday).
What is it about Jenny Lewis that has me enamored with each album in its entirety? I know it lies in the songwriting, as much as it lies in her voice and the music itself. I know here love/hate relationship regarding Los Angeles plays a part, too, as well as her take on being a woman in this world. Each album feels like a voyage in itself, and each song resonates with me on different levels, frequencies, and emotions.
“The Voyager” by Jenny Lewis
from the album, The Voyager (2014)
Song of the Day
“By the time I got your letter,
I lost my mind.
I was trippin’.
“When you gettin’ better?”
It’s a jagged line.
Nothin’ lasts forever,
when you travel time
I’ve been sippin’ that Kool-Aid at the cosmos.”
Time travel has been a lifetime love of mine. The fascination that goes beyond my gypsy soul who loves road trips and traveling, whether planned or spontaneous. The notion of traveling time also hits on my obsessions/fixations on the past. It may fuel my anxieties, or be part and parcel to them, and I may strive to be in the moment with all my mindfulness endeavors, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find myself often looking back.
Maybe if I could travel time I would lose my mind. Maybe that kind of kool-aid would do me in more than any possible addiction or self-destructive choice ever could. Would I get lost somewhere in a portal from one time to the next? Would I choose to voyage, never wanting to come back? Would I find myself stuck in a loop of trying to recreate, and do better, the same moments over and over? Or would I simply shoot through the cosmos, landing at certain music events, time periods, moments of art and experience that are not my own?
Maybe it’s a blessing that I don’t have access to time travel. That my voyages are limited, though I’d certainly like there to be more. I am itching for an adventure, even if just one of the weekend afternoon variety.