Archive for February 27th, 2007


Connections between music and place

The other day Heather and I were watching TV and a PBS promotional ad came on.  The music in the background was “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” from the Smashing Pumpkins’ similarly titled 1995 double album.  I haven’t listened to this album in a long time and hearing it again made me remember my history with it, which is intimately tied to geographical location.

During high school, my indie purism prevented me from my buying any of their albums – they were just too mainstream.  However, during my year in Germany after college, I bought this album at a used record store in Cologne just before I moved from Cologne to Wilhelmshaven.  I listened to this CD a lot when I lived in Wilhelmshaven.  Because I listened to the album so much while living there, any time I hear it, it brings to mind images of the place.  Vertigo by Jump, Little Children is another album that is linked in my mind to Wilhelmshaven.  My friend Jeff sent it to me for my birthday just after I had moved there and I listened to it all the time – particularly while I was on the bus or train.  So, whenever I hear that album, it conjures up images of bus and train travel through northern Germany.

I have a similar connection between the Pixies’ Come on Pilgrim and a driving trip through England that my family took in the 90’s.  Now, whenever I hear songs from that album, I remember getting out of our car at Stonehenge and driving down the left side of the road through the English countryside.

It’s funny how our brains make these sorts of connections.  Does anyone else have these sorts of connections?


February 2007

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