But fortunately, I was able to pull enough Random Oldies a few days ago to make a 65-minute playlist with no particular theme that makes me ultra happy, and because I would like to remember this feeling of contentment, here is the list, along with reasons why.
Any Way - Fisher
This is an occasionally bizarre but also very heartbreaking and thought provoking song, and I cannot stop feverishly wondering what fandom it would work for. Or writing my own story for it. Either way.
Miseryland - Fisher
It has literally been 11 years and I am STILL amazed at her ability to write a song around this extended metaphor of a bad relationship as an amusement park ride.
Headset - Avril Lavigne
I have no idea where I picked up this B-side, but it's from her first CD era and I love it. Reminds me a tad of "My World," with the reference to growing up in a small town.
Basement Apt. - Sarah Harmer
This was basically my theme song for the fall semesters of 2006 and 2007, when I lived in a basement dorm room and later apartment at college, and from 2006 especially I get the good twinge of recognition every time she sings "the toaster sticks / and the empities are piled / I haven't been upstairs in a while now." and/or. . "there's nothing like watching TV all night underground / and no one is watching me slide / below street level, barely alive"
Half Acre - Hem
I am entirely inarticulate about why this is such a masterpiece, it's just tailor-made for me. The combo of soft voice, beautiful lyrics about finding/remembering home, and the piano/strings/clarinet feature is indescribable.
Harbor - Vienna Teng
I just really love the rollicking piano and strings, especially following the similar sounds in the above. Forever grateful to the...CSI:Miami fic, maybe? That introduced me to it.
Telling Stories - Tracy Chapman
MULDER OR GENERAL X-FILES FANVID OR BUST. (I still don't have enough images in my head to outline one, but mark my words, every time I hear this I think about it)
Les Derniers Seront Les Premiers - Celine Dion
A really gorgeous song from The French Album that is basically a take on "the meek shall inherit the earth." (or paradise, to be more accurate)
That's The Way It Is - Celine Dion
Where one Dion song goes another shall follow. My middle school self does the happy dance every time I hear this. None of her others are so mainstream to me.
Falling Is Like This - Ani DiFranco
IDK why, but lately I've found this song really makes me think of Tonks.
When I Come Around - Green Day
My interest in this was rekindled by Songs for a Teenage Nomad, and I still flash back to my happy place upon hearing it.
New Slang - The Shins
This alternately reminds me of fandom-discovering Scrubs in 2011 and reading my classmates' Xanga blogs in college where people were obsessed with The Shins. What odd lyrics, but so smoothly delivered.
Soda Pop - Britney
I have been professionally enjoying this song since about 2001, but right now my interest is rekindled because of the featured artist, who feeds my needs for reggae-infused pop after I've spent 40 minutes in traffic where the radio constantly taunts me with Cheap Thrills when it KNOWS all I really want to hear is Rockabye Baby.
Bye Bye Bye / I Want It That Way - Glee Cast
This is a damn spiritual experience, okay, everyone's voices are infused with so much meaning. Angry hothead Schue and his backup kids who just wanna make music! Finn's smooth "calm it down" answer and the amazing harmonies...sorry, season 4 is still kinda my fave, got lost in nostalgia there.
I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
And somehow, immediately after hearing the above, I wanna slide back into the longer, slower version of the 2nd song proper. The voices & harmonies of the real thing are great too.
Bye Bye Bye - N*SYNC
See above. But with the really iconic opening notes.
It's Gonna Be Me - N*SYNC
Because I'm already there, and also I have not yet tired of the "it's gonna be May" meme even though it's been 6 weeks. Also, this is the first time I've actually thought about the lyrics, and they are kind of a delight. There is something very charming about the certainty in the narrator's voice. (hi my name is RS and I think Nice Guys (TM) are bomb).
Larger Than Life - Backstreet Boys
Because much like Pringles, once you pop, you can't stop ('til you run out of major boy band songs, anyway). But really, the package is incomplete without that maniacal space cowboy yell.
[edit: I am watching the music vid for what is apparently the first time ever, and oh my god this is the purest crack I have ever seen.]
Bonus fun: Windows Media Player resets itself every so often, so the "oldest" songs in my library all say they were added in 2014, leaving me with no easy way to group the songs I added in a certain year -- but I looked back at some of my old Music Of... lists while writing this post, and it is really wonderful to be able to recreate the feeling of a certain year. And occasionally, find out how I discovered a song, when the memory of that is long gone. I feel a Random Nostalgic Playlist II (2007-2008) coming on...