2005:  the year I turned 30.

I know a lot of people who seemed really downcast on their 30th birthdays. Honestly, by the time 30 rolled around I felt like, ‘Bring that on!’ 29 was much harder for me – I was still laboring under the weight of all the shoulds I had somehow picked up over the years, the ones that told me what kind of person to be, what to be doing, where and how – when I turned 30 that is. So there was a last gasp at 29 of thinking, ‘Can this be done?!’ Um, no. My best seller, Become Fully Established in Your Career, a Home Owner, Married, and Fabulously Adult in Twelve Months or Less: still unwritten, and probably will remain so (not least because who the heck knows what “Fabulously Adult” even means anyway … certainly nothing that nice girls do, right?). So once that unpleasant wrestling match was over I was free to settle into the delight of no longer being in my late 20s, which seemed to be sort of a holding tank prior to real adulthood.  Since I’ve been in my 30s I have yet to have someone give me the indulgent smile and nod that I seemed to get quite a lot from 26-29. Maybe I’ve ditched those people; maybe I’m more sensible. Probably both.

I think I was a little bit all over the place at this point; things at work felt a little endlessly transitional, and in my personal life I was in the middle of something on, and off, and on, and mostly off, and then on … When you see the albums below, you might get a sense of that.

Getting to the music, then…

Garden State soundtrack

Unlike many in my peer group, I managed to miss out on the Garden State phenom until it arrived in a Netflix envelope in January 2005. I should say here that I have long been a lover of and scavenger from soundtracks, whether film or TV – and this one proved to be more successful than the average. I don’t think I was alone in that, but I thank Zach Braff and his music supervisor for catching me up on some bands that I ought to have run across earlier: The Shins, Frou Frou (and Imogen Heap, but that comes later), Iron & Wine, and Zero 7. To be fair, I believe my sister had tipped me to Zero 7 earlier, but it finally took this time.

Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism

This remains the only of their albums I own; it’s not that I’m against owning any others, I just … don’t. I particularly like the title track.

Snow Patrol – Final Straw

I hate when a band I like has a hit single that gets played into the dirt. I’m sure they don’t and I’m not unsympathetic to that. Oh well. I stand by this album, and by their second (although… I think it’s my least favorite of the three), and particularly by the latest one, which I’m liking more as I listen to it more. 

Chemical Brothers – Push the Button

Of all the places to run across the Chemical Brothers, I’m betting a gigantic business luncheon at the Association of College & Research Libraries Biennial Conference is maybe the most unlikely. And yet it happened. Yes, I skip some tracks. But I listened to it a lot – can I recommend it for coding, or the gym, most especially?

Kasabian (self titled album)

Another possible surprise, and to be honest, I’ve no idea how I stumbled across this one. I can tell you that it was a solid choice for those days when you have to burn through a lot of things at your desk and want something with forward motion that’s not going to trouble your mind too much with lyrics and such that need to be mulled over or worked out. I’m not sure how well it’s held up, on the whole – but then, what was I really asking of it, yeah?

Honorable Mentions: I think I was still trying to get down with the iTunes Music Store at this point. My feelings about their protected files and such … you can guess, but I do sincerely thank them for the rather large bunch of one-off singles or tracks I downloaded based on their recommendations which led me to, among others: Spoon, Rilo Kiley, Aqualung, and Feist.

My sister and I saw U2 on their Vertigo Tour (as pictured above, on our way to show at bus shelter on Madison) – gigantic arena, blah blah blah but whatever, it was a good show and I love U2 with a love that I reserve for very, very few bands, despite the fact that you haven’t seen much of them in these posts. Due to that I did some auditing and discovered that it was time to update into digital copies of a crapload of old u2 singles, B-sides, live shows, etc. for which my analog versions were just too scratched and otherwise over-loved to import into the ‘puter.