A Day for the Absent


I stopped listening to music I like a couple of years ago. The songs I have collected from friends somehow disappeared. I don’t remember now if it was because my old laptop crashed (where I store all the music) and I accidentally deleted everything from my iPod. I used to think it represents how I managed to lose my former lifestyle, my former world. I have stopped using earphones three years ago (and glad I did because I used to buy cheap earphones after cheap earphones). When I see students wearing headphones, I recall the feeling of owning a pair and how the world turns different once I put them on, blocking the world’s natural sound.

I remember being asked by a foreign artist why I never remove my earphones. Even when I talk to people, I often leave one earphone on. She must have found it both fascinating and impolite. I don’t remember my response but it must be something like, “to block the sound of people and the tension I feel.” I used to feel tensed and nervous and intimidated and mainly scared all the time. “You should welcome that,” she must have responded. I didn’t want to but circumstances pushed me.

When I found out I was pregnant, I had to prepare not only for my child but also for marriage. My life was never the same and somehow I never found the time to rebuild the collection of albums I lost. And then last week, one of my students asked, “Ms. Rae, where do you get your music?” I was surprised because I stopped recommending songs and lending CDs to students before she came. And I replied with something trivial and now the question still haunts me. The better question would be “Why have you stopped listening to music?” The only music I know now are the ones aired on FM radios (and the same old abums I keep in our glove compartment) and that’s just when I drive alone, part of my husband and I’s morning drive is listening to the news.

So, here’s an entry dedicated to recalling (the mostly mushy) songs and albums I used to listen to. For Soleil and for myself:

  1. Karen O and the Kids 
  2. St. Vincent‘s Cruel
  3. Camera Obscura‘s My Maudlin Career album
  4. Reverie Sound Review (where I got the name of this blog)
  5. Pains of Being Pure At Heart‘s Young Adult Friction
  6. I know all the songs of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and was mocked for it, too
  7. She & Him helped me survive my daily commute to Cubao and the dingy bed space along Yale Street I used to rent
  8. Tegan and Sara
  9. Belle and Sebastian‘s Act of the Apostle Part 2
  10. Acid House King‘s This Heart is a Stone
  11. For the local bands: Encounters with a Yeti 
  12. Some Terno Bands like Musical O, Hidden Nikki, Not Another Boy Band, Radio Active Sago Project and Up Dharma Down
  13. Duster
  14. The Sleepyheads 
  15. Outerhope‘s A Day for the Absent album should be on the top of this list if this list is not randomly arranged
  16. Hannah+Gabi, Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad
  17. Taken by Cars
  18. Techy Romantics
  19. Vince Noir Project
  20. Imago and Mojofly and many alternative bands in the early 2000

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