16 August 2005

songs of myself : part two

train in vain (stand by me) : the clash
click here to listen. 3m 12s.

this is the sound of me, happy. i'm someone who's easy to please, and because i'm also easily delighted, it's not hard for me to have a spring in my step. i feel like a self-help-book-reading old woman saying this, but i do take pleasure in the little things around me, which is probably one of the things that keep me sane. here are three that have proven to be reliable sources of occasional joy for me. and when one of these things happen, i feel like doing a fred astaire...with this song by the clash as background music, of course.
  • discovering a good vegetarian meal. i'm putting this on top because i just had one tonight. it's called mjuddrah -- basically a wild-mushroom risotto topped with caramelized shredded onions -- from a greek/middle eastern restaurant called olive. it was the best risotto i've had in ages, and this is saying a lot because despite being a vegetarian for almost two years now, i still hate mushrooms with a passion. 
  • having a nice chat with a stranger. it's funny how this happens more often when you're travelling than in your normal, immediate environment. it's easy to strike a conversation with fellow travelers because you already know that you have something in common. but why does it take a lot of effort to initiate a casual dialogue with someone at the same table in the cafe near your office? or with a fellow elevator passenger? heck, even with someone you know is working on the same floor for the same company! what's wrong with people? haven't we learned from uncle walt? he said: stranger, if you, passing, meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? and why should i not speak to you?
  • hearing good music for the first time. speaking of middle eastern stuff, you won't believe the physical reaction i exhibited when i first heard rachid taha's yah raya in a record store. thank god it happened in a small shop, with only the shopkeeper as witness, or i would have died in embarrassment. it was the same as when i heard panjabi mc's mundian to bach ke, but at that time i was at a multicultural festival, so dancing was encouraged. (that song, by the way, would later be used and abused by jay-z to become the appalling beware of the boys.) 
what songs do you listen to when you're happy?


  1. Hi. Kind of found your blog at random through Blogwise. Really great place ya got here :)

    This may sound weird, it all depends on what kind of "happy" I'm feeling. I've got my high energy happy, and that usually ends up being something like some great classic punk like the clash, or the ramones, or maybe even some surf punk. Then there's my stay at home mellow happy that ends up being a lot of pop type stuff... Death Cab for Cutie, Gentleman Reg, The Shins...

    I actually have different "mood" playlists set up in iTunes: happy, boogie, fun, mellow, moody, pretty, RAWK!, and sad. I also am a big fan of making playlists that get heavy rotation for a couple weeks or so. Unintentionally, I think these always reflect the mood that I'm in when I make them, and they end up kind of extending the mood while they're in rotation.

  2. thanks, andy. i know what you mean by different kinds of happy, though i guess for mellow happy i'd be listening to bands like the belle & sebastian and reindeer section. and i too am a big fan of playlists that i'd play over and over again for about a week or so. right now i'm listening to a playlist i call "kickass intros" that's got about 50 songs in it like kashmir (led zep), blisters in the sun (violent femmes) and mysterious ways (u2).