I know the clocks went back at 1:59 a.m., but I like to think that I have the option of spending or stretching that extra hour as I please when I see fit to officially acknowledge it as such. With that in mind, I’ll say I spent my extra hour laughing in the park with The Friend exchanging former workplace fiascos and taking in the pop-up book beauty of San Francisco’s buildings and houses stacked on top of each other.
We were on a pie hunt in the Mission when I realized we were right by Aquarius Records, a record shop almost forty years old with all kinds of treats and good things inside. The first thing I got my hands on was some Bootsy Collins album with him looking like Marlon in that episode of the Wayans Bros. where he wears a Jheri curl wig and acts in the JOB commercials. Hilarious! And, to no one’s surprise, the guy has a thought bubble [one of many] over his head that read: “I need a job.” No, Bootsy! No!
Sleeping Lessons – The Shins
They had a pretty wide variety of selections at the shop’s listening station but I thought I’d go for Wincing the Night Away, the Shins album that came out in January that I hadn’t even heard a single note of. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even know the ish had come out. There was some static-like experimental music filling up the whole store. The old, remote controlled stereo was locked behind glass. I chose disc 11, pressed play on the remote and this dreamy, slow-paced song started floating out of the headphones.
I don’t really know why my heart fell out of my chest the way it did. All these things that I wasn’t expecting to happen kept happening. I love layers in songs and this one has them meandering in and out of the track like names on a scrolling marquee. If you remember, I talked a little bit about how your brain tracks notes and tones in music, groups together sequences and can actually form expectations. Once a melody has been established, you anticipate it. When I hear songs that surprises me, it excites me. Everything was moving fine until about 52 seconds into the song when the vocals jumped from the expected melody for just one or two seconds, moved up an octave and ushered another quick layer of tambourines that disappeared just as quickly.
I mostly just love the first 2:26 minutes/seconds of the track. After that it breaks from the fuzzy, barely-awake mode and turns into some upbeat pop song with guitars and percussion. It isn’t that the rest of the song is bad. It’s just the beginning is so delicious…and I keep listening to it over and over.