Never on schedule but always on time

Often songs I love strike me like parasites sneaking in from far off. Such is the case with Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings.”

The parasitism begins often at a point of murky contact. Deep in the past (not to speak of time, but rather the intensity of mental magnification) I hear a strain of the music–a phrase, a chorus, a riff. It hangs in the darkness for a moment, isolated and promptly forgotten.

It returns! It resounds!

(In this particular case, it was a garbled version of the chorus punctuated by the only words I knew: “Pretty wings.”)

It echoes in the hollow drum of my mind, a single refrain reverberating, a dreamchild. It sings to itself, an endless call and response that forces it to exist. It sings out and repeats itself back to itself, clanging off the walls of my mind like overheated water molecules. It grows too hot, too big; the energy is too violent to contain. And so it erupts into existence, forcing its way into an already crowded playlist, its growing gut demanding to be sated with more of my time and attention, fighting for space with more benign bacteria and winning through sheer sonic will.

These are the songs that mean the most, that return to us year after year. We are drawn to them as by a divining rod. Beautiful parasites of chance.

But of course some of the best songs don’t strike surreptitiously, rather bursting through your speakers as if in direct response to your feelings and thoughts at that precise moment. Enter “women revolution tennis shoes” by Skipp Coon & Mr. Nick.

I don’t really want to cheapen either song more than I already have with an even lengthier dump of incongruous images that don’t even begin to fully explain how these songs hit me. So just listen and feel shit (and if you don’t feel something after the second verse of “women revolution tennis shoes,” you should check your nervous system). That’s the point anyway.

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