learning love songs

est. 2008




First bike ride of the season took me on my favorite solo-cruise route – from Millvale along the Three Rivers trail, past PNC Park, around Heinz Field, across the bridge and down to Point State Park. The scenery changes quickly, the path goes from crushed stone to pavement to concrete with varying degrees of incline, and on the first free day I’ve had in awhile that just happened to the warmest yet, I could not resist putting on my headphones and going for a ride. 
Shuffle did not fail me, starting with a strong run of modern pop punk.

“I’m safe, and who ever thought that was difficult?
My nerves start to feel so frayed.
I’m trying to turn things around, but instead
I’ll say ‘Why do I feel so invisible?
Good things will come my way.’
I’m trying to turn things around, and I wait

‘Till the day when I stop making big mistakes
And the clouds, they roll out of this whole damn state
I believe in a place and I wanna go
Honesty will leave me feeling livable
Once I change.

Now that I’ve found some time, all the pain won’t bother me.
I’ve wanted to find what my head keeps filtering.”
~Good Things

The Dangerous Summer, War Paint

The trail was full of so many people – solo riders like me, couples jogging, small groups of  walkers or cyclists – so I knew better than to blast the volume and tune out. Never know when someone’s speeding up behind you. I quit dodging the crowds for a bit when I got to the Point, and decided to stretch out and lay on the grass. Like divine intervention, or the mathematical realities of an 8-gig device, a sliver of “Clarity” arrived on cue. 

I laid there for awhile, listening to the same song over and over again. I put the volume up and watched the clouds, watched the fountain, and stretched my feet in time to the staccato strings. I let the rest of the album play the whole ride back.

“I promised I’d see it again
I promised I’d see this with you now.
I promised I’d see it again,
I promised I’d see this with you now.

I said, said, said it out loud over and over
Said, said, said it out loud but it did not help
I’ll stop now just enough so I can hear you
I stay up as late as it takes”

~Just Watch The Fireworks
Jimmy Eat World, Clarity

By the time I made my way back to the trail head, I was just sweaty enough, feeling tension-free and exhilarated by the spontaneous ride. I switched back to shuffle and found myself where I started,with “Suburbia” piping through like a boisterous old friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Usually, I plan rides for certain early mornings or with friends. It’s a scheduled activity. But today, with my bike fresh from a tire tune-up on the back of my car, I decided to deviate from my to-do list in favor of what felt right, and it was worthwhile. What a change of pace, what a pleasant reminder of the control we have over our own destinies. 
I strapped my bike to the trunk of my car. I kept my headphones in.
“I’m not a self-help book; I’m just a fucked up kid.
I had to take my own advice and I did.
Now I’m waiting for it to sink in.

Expect me standing tall, back against the wall,
‘Cause what I learned was
It’s not about forcing happiness;
It’s about not letting the sadness win.

~Local Man Ruins Everything 
The Wonder Years, Suburbia, I’ve Given You all and Now I’m Nothing


“Got this sin in her brain
But she ain’t gonna see me again
See me again, this I know
But oh, deep down I can’t let go

Oh, don’t let it be over, over oh
Oh, don’t let it be over, let it be over, over”

~Mind Eraser
The Black Keys, El Camino

Probably my second-favorite track off El Camino after “Gold on the Ceiling.” Came on shuffle when I was driving home from a 10-hour day at the office, feeling spent and confused. The drive was taking the edge off, though.

Windows down. Shades on. Smattering of clouds on a icy blue sky, stop and go traffic in the city.

Well, yes, you should remember you met me. 

It’s been a long, cold minute since I was excited by meeting someone else. Of late, my affections have drifted towards the comfortable – in some cases that’s brilliant, in others complete idiotic. Something about the summer, and The Black Keys, makes me think of fun, flirtation and those too-long glances that are too hard to come by.

Last summer will be tough to to beat.

But after all, have I anything to lose?


My theory that computer-chosen music has a way of reading our minds continues to be proven — Good Riddance by Green Day and I Miss You by Blink-182 just came on one after another on Pandora, as I sit here trying to dissect myself from yet one more thing in my life that I thought I knew.

Don’t waste your time on me
you’re already the voice inside my head

~I Miss You
Blink-182, Blink-182


Crush + Little thing on shuffle = heart in pieces, in a good way

Just because things change doesn’t mean they don’t stay the same — it’s why the same stuff gets you, I think.

2/1/10 – 2/2/10

My iPod on shuffle takes me so many places, keeps lines and riffs and moments stuck in my head. Their only purpose for being connected, somehow noted of their influence, is that they connected to me.

back to where we started, losing who we were
everybody knows that you’d break your neck to keep your chin up
~Chin Up
Copeland, You Are My Sunshine

wake up, you’re alive, we’re on your side
~Everything Starts Where It Ends
Lovedrug, Everything Starts Where It Ends

now, in the deep and down
your heart moves
now, in the deep and down
i don’t know how but i know i want out
wait for something better,
will I know when it can be us?
Jimmy Eat World, Clarity

freeze your blood and then stab into me
stab your blood into me, and then
~Night On The Sun
Modest Mouse, Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks

i can’t believe how you looked at me
with your James Dean glossy eyes
Lady Gaga, The Fame

since i’ve been loving you
i’m about to lose my worried mind
~Since I’ve Been Loving You
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III

Wake up! Say good morning to that sleepy person lying next to you
If there’s no one there, then there’s no one there, but at least the war is over
It’s us – yes, we’re back again, here to see you through, ’til the days end
And if the night comes, and the night will come, well at least the war is over
~In Our Bedroom After The War
Stars, In Our Bedroom After The War

This plane is definitely crashing
This boat is obviously sinking
This building’s totally burning down
And my, and my
And my heart has slowly dried up
~Shit Luck
Modest Mouse, The Lonesome Crowded West

Love shuffle. It’s really great. For some reason, I can’t figure out how to get “Genius” to work on my iTunes. If anyone can tell me how, that’d be great, because I hear good things. I’m just an idiot when it comes to upgrades. Anyway, shuffle is fun; sometimes I play a game where I leave it on and make myself listen to whatever I put on there, no skipping.

My only regret is my inability to remember what order I heard what songs/what was good about it — for some reason, I find that significant in my undenying love for shuffle.


iPods on shuffle…I can’t give it up.

1) Say Anything-Spores, In Defense of the Genre
2)Ani DiFranco-Shameless [Re-Recorded Version}, Canon (Disc 1)
3)The Beatles-Hey, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Help
4)Radiohead-I Might Be Wrong, Amnesiac

I don’t know why but it totally worked. And I love Spores. More on that later.


I’m working playlists tonight!
These are just songs.

Just take them as music. Not songs that are the best anything, they’re not this, they’re not that. They’re just…21st century popular music songs. How they sound under the context of’s so hard to define, isn’t it?

Just read an essay about that–about the finesse of popular music that musicologists cannot make the right term for. It’s not complicated or complex the way “classical”era music was. A new term will hopefully be made someday, probably in terms of times and eras. The Pre-Rock era/Post-Rock era? The switch is mid 20th century, 20s-60s? It’s so bizarre, and hard to pin down, so I don’t know why I’m taking classes in it.

Love is Real, Ode to Darryl, Newerwaves-Jimmy Chamberlin Complex
..other stuff unconsciously on shuffle
2)tonight, tonight–smashingpupmkins 40 sec.
which led to for me this is heaven-jimmy eat world (first 30 seconds), started over, finsihed, which led to Sympathy of the devil for a nice rolling stones marathon followed by feist, followed by sarah mclachlan for like 6 songs within 50 seconds, until the thing went on shuffle and picked Ckaustrophobic Sting by The Prodigy which actually fit the mood REALLY well. Fun, crazy shit is great to listen to sometimes. Followed by this song We Both Go Down Together by Colin Meloy that i found on a sampler from a Paste album, I think…which sounds eeriely like ‘choosing my religion.’

I might do my pop music term paper on how music magazines pick the samplers.

Also, iTunes interface is killing me lately. It’s not set up as well as the iPod touch. With that, you can do so much more–for example, when you’re on shuffle and hear an artist you want the full album of you can get it pretty easily by clicking the list button on the upper right hand corner. If you click the arrow by the album title in iTunes, it brings You to the store. Goddamn it. That’s cause it’s free. i’d love to see a music playing program Apple put money into…

(If anyone knows a feature that would fix that–a button or a good program!– let me know, and then if that’s the case, istillloveyouApple! Steve Jobs, Keep it Up Buddy!!!!1)

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