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1000 Minutes: Andy #17

Today’s installment of my 1000 Minutes project – in addition to netting me marriage proposals via e-mail – is brought to you by the letter ‘C.’

35. Cold War Kids – Hair Down (mp3) from Robbers & Cowards (3:41) [Time Remaining: 800:38]

I can only imagine that, when this exercise has run it’s course, I’ll have relatively few songs on it which can’t be attributed some kind of memory to explain why it’s on my list. “Hair Down” is one of those relative few. I’ve loved this song on my headphones, in my car, whenever it finds me – but never because of an explicit recollection on my part.

Love – especially of the young variety – is a difficult emotion to explain. It’s often fleeting, more often misdirected, generally unreciprocated, and frequently an ultimately unpleasant experience. “Hair Down” is a melancholy remembrance of time spent with a past love – someone who brightened you in a very specific and memorable way. It’s regretful, wistful about the experience – a gentle reminder of the simplicity of how we all used to love when we were first learning how. And besides that, the song is downright fucking incredible.

36. Counting Crows – Round Here (Live) (mp3) from Across a Wire: Live in New York City (10:00) [Time Remaining: 790:38]

I’ve always been a fan of the way Adam Duritz sings his songs. He has an uncanny ability to communicate – at least to me – his feelings through his vocal inflection. In this particular version of “Round Here,” he sounds alternately overwhelmed, inconsolably weary and angry as hell.

I’d wax poetic about the song – how much it meant to me when I was 15 and looking desperately to balance myself out – to walk the line between the way I was being raised and the need to figure out what I personally thought. But really, everyone has that particular song; this one was just mine. And it’s still as heart-wrenching today as it was 15 years ago.

There’s a part of this version – a little more than halfway through, after he quiets the crowd down – where there’s some piano, and he starts singing again, where it really feels like he’s just telling me the story. I love that.