As of today, I’m transitioning back into full-time Texicanism. I’m sad to leave New York (really, really sad when I think of all the stuff I’m missing entertainment-wise), but I suppose it’s time. I guess.
I’ve gotten to do a lot of stuff over the past 4 years, major stuff, like getting my MA at an awesome liberal arts school and teaching at the college level. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the homeless pet populations in Yonkers and NYC (my two cats are from the Yonkers Humane Society). I’ve had the chance to see and meet people like Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf and Toni Morisson and Junot Diaz. Jeffrey Eugenides told me the Greek meaning of my name. I got to see JEREMY IRONS on Broadway (people who know how far back my crush on him goes know how major this was for me). I’ve run into various celebs at concerts, and in one case, I almost ran over Heather Graham while driving through the hell that is midtown.
I’ve had the chance to live life outside Texas, where I–a chicana–am not the majority, and I realize I’ve been so extremely privileged to have gone through all of these things. It’s been 4 formative years, indeed.
Ah, but those concerts. Those are what I’ll miss the most. Those are what I spent my disposable (and sometimes not-so-disposable) income on, especially after all my friends moved away after grad school and I had nothing better to fill my evenings with.
So as I begin my 3 day road trip back to south Texas with my two cats and beat up car, I’ll leave you with a mix of some of the music I hear and immediately think, “That’s sooooo the soundtrack of my NY life!”
Peace out. Catch you in a few days, if my car hasn’t imploded and Teddy’s car-related howling hasn’t driven me to full-blown insanity.
My NY Soundtrack
[Right-click and save to download the files, or just click to listen.]
1. Of Montreal – Wraith Pinned to the Mist (and Other Games)
I’ve been an OM fan for years, but looking back at my first semester of grad school, I must’ve played The Sunlandic Twins a billion times!
2. Sleater-Kinney – Rollercoaster
S-K is one of my fave bands ever. Along with Sunlandic Twins, The Woods is another album I played a billion times during my first year here. S-K was also instrumental while I was writing my MA thesis. Their entire music catalogue was the soundtrack to my thesis process. I’m so glad I got to see them at Webster Hall before they split up.
3. System of a Down – Revenga
I look back at this with fond memories. I waited outside in Times Square all night in sub-zero, rainy weather for 15 hours to get my copy of Mezmerize signed by the band, and to get a ticket for their show at Webster Hall later that night, so I had to stand another several hours in the crazy weather for that as well. At said concert, my ribs were almost broken in the mosh pit (I was right up front), and I couldn’t really breathe/laugh/sleep on my stomach for about 2 weeks. It was awesome (and yes, reallyfreakinginsane). And yes, I spent that Thanksgiving alone in my apartment with the flu from hell, hoping my roommate wouldn’t return from break to find me dead.
3. The Mountain Goats – No Children
I was the only brown person at that concert. For real. People were staring.
4. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife 3
Played when depressed. Which, frankly, was often. Depressing music rules.
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Said Dance
Love this song. LOVE. And since it’s about Satan making people dance, I put it on every Halloween mix I make.
6. Beck – Girl
Yeah, yeah. Told you I liked Beck!
7. Art Brut – Emily Kane
Good times. If I’m ever diagnosed with tinnitus, I can pinpoint it to the Irving Plaza show a couple years ago? (Earplugs are your friends, kids.) But other than that, good times.
8. The New Pornographers – Myriad Harbour
“Stranded at Bleeker and Broadway looking for something to do.” Definitely been there.
9. PJ Harvey – The Devil
She’s been my favorite person in the world for about 10 years now. It’s hard to choose one song to represent, but I’ll go with “The Devil” off her last solo album, White Chalk. I got to see her 3 times while living here, so I can definitely die happy.
10. Rufus Wainwright – 14th Street
Oh, Rufus. What would NY be without you? What would I have named my cat (Rufus Boogers) without you? (Probably just Boogers.) This song got stuck in my head many a time while walking down 14th Street. I saw him perform it twice with the full orchestra, once in Central Park and once at Radio City Music Hall, which is definitely the best way to hear it. But I’ve also heard him do it acoustically, having seen him in concert 6 times (I’m a stalker, I know). I’ll be sad to not have those opportunities anymore, but at least I got to meet him/take a pic with him at City Winery. 6th time’s the charm, I suppose…