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Highlights from the Soundtrack to my Life

February 26, 2009

What would the final scene of West Side Story be without the music? Without the music complementing Maria’s anger and sadness, the scene wouldn’t be nearly as compelling. Maybe it’s the same for you — it certainly rings true for me. Maybe because of all the years I’ve been singing, music is an integral part of my life, pumping me up when necessary and soothing me when I need to relax.

When asked to write a blog about the “Soundtrack to my Life” as part of an online journalism class at USC, I immediately thought about songs that, when played, instantly remind me of a certain point in my past.

Let’s start with Wang Chung.

Before you roll your eyes, have you ever listened to a full album of Wang Chung? Didn’t think so. In any case, play Wang Chung and I’ll probably start thinking about Highway 111 near the wind energy plant. I’ll think about anticipating a trip to Palm Desert, where my family has trekked once or twice a year for the past decade or so. Wang Chung reminds me of my family, vacation, and those “sad days” before I got my driver’s license. Of course, Palm Desert was also the site of my first automotive accident, something I’ll never forget. It involved pretzels, Erin Brockavich, and a black Lexus, but that’s a story for another time.

I can’t forget about Elefant’s “Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid.” When this awesome rock song is played, I remember hiking with my longtime girlfriend in Thousand Oaks near a waterfall, after one of our biggest arguments, which was about music. We listened to songs from this album on the drive home and we both settled down and resolved our differences peacefully. It reminds me of how great that relationship could be and one example of why we lasted so long.

Lately, I’ve been replaying a song called Bom Sinal by Celso Fonseca. A Brazilian song from 2003, it’s just beautiful. I still get chills when I hear it — and I listen to it a lot lately. The song soothes me — a good thing with all the work from USC — and makes me smile. When that happens, I start thinking about how lucky I am to be where I am right now. Mostly, though, it’s a great song. Enjoy!

What songs remind you of certain moments in your life? Share it below in the comments section.

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