Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lost Love and the Soundtrack of Life

If there is one album right now that I could listen to on repeat all day long, it would be Beck’s The Information. Beck Hansen, whose music completely defies categorization, is often described as an “artistic chameleon.” The Information, a fifteen-song disc that was released in October 2006, quickly became my favorite Beck offering. My most-played songs are “Think I’m in Love,” “Cellphone’s Dead,” “Strange Apparition,” “The Information,” and “Movie Theme.” Many of the songs seem to critique society’s heavy reliance on technological gadgets and an utter lack of appreciation for traditional forms of entertainment and human contact. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet located the album on vinyl, so for now my CD copy must suffice. Beck, I might add, would be proud of my search and appreciation for a more traditional audio format.

I first started listening to the album when my brother gave me a copy to listen to when I visited him in Utah this past January. My brother lives in a downtown neighborhood of SLC called the Avenues, which is built up onto the slower slopes of the Wasatch Mountains and was interestingly the first neighborhood in the city. The neighborhood is generally considered younger, more progressive, less-Mormon, and somewhat "artsy" and thus, a perfect fit for my brother. So each day, I would drive from his place through Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains to the legendary ski haven, Alta, while jamming to the brilliant beats of Beck’s latest masterpiece. The snowy covered peaks and winding mountain-road curves were utterly breathtaking, and the views will be forever etched in my mind. It was as if I was a new-born baby opening my eyes for the very first time. So I guess that’s a long way of telling you that I will always harbor fond memories of my scenic Utah mountain drives whenever I listen to The Information—and that’s definitely a good connotation.

Speaking of Alta, I’m quite certain I met my would-be husband while skiing Alta one day that week. After a dismal morning of shitty snow and being hit on repeatedly by 40-year-old ski bums and ex-Mormon freaks, I surprisingly hit it off with a guy on the chairlift. So cliché, I know. When we got to the top of the mountain, we (or at least I) reluctantly parted ways and skied off. He, with much greater speed and form than I. Miraculously, we skied down different paths but met up at the same chair lift at the same time, and rode up the mountain together again and again and again. He was from Chicago, a Northwestern MBA grad, very outdoorsy and sporty, and was visiting his sister in Utah for a month in between jobs. Sadly, I skied down the hill after what was our sixth ride up together, and when I got to the bottom and he wasn’t there, I thought perhaps he had moved on to a different part of the mountain. Thus, feeling somewhat dejected, I started to ski down to the lodge to get some hot chocolate to warm my hands and tender heart. Tear. As I was heading down, I heard him calling after me. But it was too late. There was no turning back. I spent the rest of the day hoping to run into him again, but alas, it was not to be. He was lost to me forever. Now, I don't even remember his name. Sigh. So I suppose not all of the Beck associations are as entirely heart-warming as pretty mountain views, but tis the soundtrack of life.

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