Thursday, June 12, 2008

'I haven't seen you since I was a kid . . .

Basically! Jennifer Louise, you don't know me and we're not friends . . . I was just w-w-w-w-w-w-wonderin' 'bout you, wonderin' if you ever think-think-thinka-think about me . . .'

So I have been listening to some playlists (#19-25 On-the-Go out of 147 in total) lately, most of which were composed in transit to work, walking to the bus stop while drinking coffee, reading and spinning the conceptual 'wheel' on my most presh-us Butter Moon and pushing down my thumb to add a highlighted song to my list, swerving to avoid someone else walking then looking down and spinning the wheel again. While passing the Crescent (a bartender invariably cleaning the floor mats, invariably one to two older queens having their first beers [one presumes] and squinting at the bright or dim light filtering into their not currently smoky but smelling like it cave), pausing to pick up an orange or tangerine juice at the corner market, reapplying the earcovering headphones all while adding, adding song to the playlist. I would put the finishing touches on as I waited for the bus, but was generally finished when I mounted the bus and would go (preferably) to the seat just behind the back door and listen to my newly amalgamated list of 'singles of the week' as I called them when I got to the restaurant and pumped it through the 'CD Cruiser', a silver and red Corvette-ish mini boom box which slowly turned the color of grease. 'This is my new favorite song!' I would proclaim every ten minutes.

Listening to these playlists, 3ish years old or maybe more?? I was ever-so-pleased to run up against one of Of Montreal's hidden gems off of what was probably their worst album, or their most forgettable (a feat for Mr. Barnes, to be forgettable, the worst dream of a dandy). The song is called "Jennifer Louise" and it runs a very to-the-point 2 minutes, 1 second. The song is about a cousin that the singer is wondering after, whom he hasn't seen in a long, long time. He can't even imagine what she was like, but hears about her 'good' standing in life from his mother. He remembers good things that her father did for him when he was a child. He admits that he will probably never make the effort to contact her, via a letter or phone, let alone actually speak to her in person. But he wonders about her and wonders if she wonders about him.

I remember being so enthralled with how this song cut to the chase and the range of complex thought and emotion expressed-- no time for bullshit in a song that is about as long as most Ramones' songs. It's a difficult thing to create something minimal and connect emotionally at the same time. The sentiment in this song is so delicate, yet very succintly put together and sad and all. I wonder if Kevin Barnes is on Facebook and if so if he sent a friend request to Jennifer Louise, assuming she exists and if she accepted.

It made me think about what Facebook is becoming and is. How it allows you to spy, sort of, on those people that helped make you you. To recognize that they were part of your daily life at the very least. I am still unsure if those old meanings can be rekindled and put into use again, but you don't have to wonder the same way anymore. It's easy to search for people nowadays. I wonder how this will change the fascination, repulsion and ultimate dynamic of high school reunions?

1 comment:

OCD OD said...

Good point. I found my high school reunion highly anticlimactic for that very reason. There were few surprises. That and it was really sad, but that's another story.