Happy New Year! I’m sitting cozily listening to Bobby Darin and thinking about all the music related resolutions I’d like to make but can never really stick to. There’s trying to expand and always find new (and old new) good stuff, and to stick with things longer than the average online cycle attention span, and to take every opportunity to see more live music and discover new acts that way (especially since the Bay Area is such a great for music and venues).
But when I reread the little piece below that I’d written at the end of 2018, I realized that for the most part, I do get to do all of that throughout the year, and it’s just that by the time the end of the year rolls around, it’s hard to recall it all.
‘Remember This’ is a letter sort of to myself and sort of to The Music to remind myself of all the things I did actually experience, and that there are songs that I will hear five or seven or ten years from now and 2018 is the year they’ll take me back to.
Since Janus, the Roman god that January is named after, is about endings and beginnings, I’m looking at these good music moments from last year as a way to get psyched for another year’s worth of culture. And it’s also a reminder that no matter whatever else happens, there’ll be music.
Remember how we started the year seeing Passion Pit at the Fox, and then it seemed, for a while, that we went there almost every weekend. To see Tune-Yards and King Krule and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and we felt the most lucky to call this beautiful expansive place Basically Home.
Remember when it started to get warm out and we’d sit on the front steps and play music loud enough for people walking past on the sidewalk to hear. Brazilian Girls and the Gorillaz record that were both perfect for Friday afternoons.
Remember when we saw John Mayer and Dave Chappelle and I cried when John Mayer sang ‘Free Fallin’ ‘ because I couldn’t believe that it was real.
Remember when we saw Kali Uchis on a Tuesday and went to that invite-only show to see Peter Bjorn and John on a Monday. Remember Treasure Island Music Fest when we came early for serpentwithfeet and he read a poem and Pond blew my mind and my dream came true and we saw Courtney Barnett singing ‘Depreston’ a little bit before sunset.
Remember all the times in the kitchen while making dinner, or in the bedroom right before going to bed, or the times on BART and Oakland streets when songs made me smile or laugh or sad or nostalgic or dance or an addict that couldn’t stop getting my hit from the replay button.
Remember when I was addicted to ‘Biking (solo)’. Remember when I was addicted to ‘Heartbreaks + Setbacks’.
Remember every time the mail would come and we’d see those tell-tale boxes that told that Billie Holiday and Nina Simone and Pastor T.L. Barrett had arrived, and we’d listen to those records on Saturday nights while playing cards or Sunday mornings when no one else was up.
Remember when my parents came to visit and my dad said I actually had good taste since I had moved on from collecting Now That’s What I Call Music compilation CDs.
Remember discovering music like Tierra Whack late in the year and wondering what you had been doing all this time. Remember that we’re waiting for Solange to drop an album any day now. Remember that there’s so much more like this to come.