I was driving down Ridgefield in my car with all the windows open.
It was summer and the breeze was warm as it playfully blew my hair away from my face. The lights were all green, and the smell of sizzling dinners hung like an afterthought in the night air. It was late enough to hear the bullfrogs and crickets, playing their own symphony as I played mine, rushing back from visiting the boys of River Road… aka my friends from across town. Radiohead, The Garden State Soundtrack, OAR, and The Shins were all jammed into my CD player, where they would remain for eight years. In that moment, high school Britney was content… and almost late for curfew.
But content, nevertheless.
Just the other day I was walking in the East Village, listening to the same playlist I had been driving with all those years before. CDs have since been swapped out for MP3s, and OAR has “sold out,” now making three minute pop songs. Still some things remain the same, despite the location change, lack of vehicle, and iPod upgrade.
One of those consistencies is certain music choice.
The Shins played in New York City two weekends ago. I’ve always enjoyed their tunes, and proudly purchased their CDs – even during that time in life when an illegal download carried only an iota of consciousness. I never remember The Shins being my self-proclaimed favorite group, nor do I ever remember not listening to them. High school, college, graduate school… Yes, there was an album for each mile marker in my life, making this band a subtle preference and a catalyst of nostalgia.
So you can imagine my delight when I was standing second row in a New York concert venue, with both a friend from 9th grade and a friend from graduate school. “New Slang” began to play, and past Britney met present Britney as the soundtrack to both my worlds forced these selves to crash into one another.
It was an epic explosion.
And in that moment, I was content all over again.
"September" from their newest album, "Port of Morrow"