Sex & Romance & Love & Music
We all have albums that are like mile markers. Albums that, when we hear them, send our memories into overdrive and remind us of who we have been, what we have seen, and who has been around. Some albums can remind you of someone you used to love, someone you used to want to spend every waking moment with. Some albums can remind you of trying not to fall asleep at the wheel and cross the median in the middle of the night cutting through Kentucky on your way to do the hardest shit you will ever have to do as a living human being.—Sean H. Doyle
Music has always felt like a toy to me. As a kid, I liked to record songs off the radio onto cassette tapes. Then I would masturbate and coincide my climax with either my favorite lyric or the song’s climax. As an adult, I liked to do the same thing, but with a human.
2007: My first and most memorable sexual music obsession was with For Emma Forever Ago by Bon Iver. The way that CD ended up in my Brooklyn apartment was a mini miracle. My roommate worked at the Strand bookstore, and an elderly and mentally disabled man befriended her. He liked her silver necklace and told her he would trade her a CD for it. She came home from work with a gold CD and scrawled on it was Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago. It was barely legible. In the morning, Noelle put it into the Discman, which was hooked up to our loud and expensive speakers. The first song started to play. We looked at one other and simultaneously shrugged and sort of nodded, a silent agreement that we both liked it. We thought it was pretty good. Pretty good turned into pretty great and 2007 turned into 2008 and the CD had taken up permanent space in the Discman. I had it all queued up to begin when this guy that I was interested in came over. Let’s call him B. B. sat at the table and started rolling a joint, and then I watched his body respond to the music. He moved his leg up and down, nodded his head, moved his shoulders. He asked me what it was. That’s when I knew I would love him.
We didn’t know how much that CD would define us. Years later, when we’d be in a different apartment in a different bed with a different computer and a song from that album would randomly come on Pandora or Last FM, he would say, “We even have our old soundtrack playing!” Or I’d get text messages like, “Fuck you Bon Iver! I want you.” I truly feel like that CD is now a living thing in both of our lives, like a plant. Sometimes we water it, sometimes we don’t. Talk all the shit in the world you want to about Bon Iver. When it is playing loudly in your first Brooklyn apartment that would soon be condemned and the season is changing from Winter to Spring and you are falling in love, there is no more beautiful album. When I snooped through B.’s journal once, I saw that he wrote that “Skinny Love” was the soundtrack to our affair.
2008: Summer came and I was drunk more often than I would like to admit. I regressed and thought it would fun be to start to listen Everclear again. A lot of times I’ll do something as a joke, only to realize that even though it’s a joke to me, I’m still actually doing it. Liking it. What happened was that I found my old CD case and I was subletting a little bedroom, furnished with things all bought from Ikea. There was a boom box in there. Everclear made me feel youthful and cracked me up. B. would come over and we’d drink liquor on ice during the day, and he’d say, “Do we really have to listen to Everclear?” I liked the fact that Everclear annoyed him. He humored me though.“Have you ever had sex while listening to Everclear with anyone else?” I’d ask him. “No,” he’d say, pulling me closer. Good, I’d think in my head. We were both writers and I liked to think of him writing sentences like, “One summer I dated a girl who listened solely to Everclear.”
My two favorite songs to have sex to were: “White Men In Black Suits” off of So Much For The Afterglow: All I want to do is lose myself in your room/all she wants is just a slow fuck in the afternoon. And “My Sexual Life” off of Sparkle And Fade. I more or less listened to that one on repeat. She gets tired of all the stupid boys/She can’t wait until they’re done/She wants a man who can take his time/She wants someone who can make her come/Yeah, can you make me come? “She makes me listen to Everclear while we’re fucking,” he would tell my friends, over beers, amused, shaking his head.
2009: Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion came out in January and by the time spring rolled around I was enthralled with it. My boss saw me walking around New York City holding a Discman and was embarrassed for me so she gave me her teenage son’s outdated iShuffle. I remember stumbling into B.’s apartment on my twenty-second birthday in an inebriated horny rage and bitching about how my headphones were old and tangled and how I had no money for new ones. “You think I didn’t used to have headphones like this! You think I was never poor!” he yelled back. Sometimes my iShuffle died and we’d put his Mac on the bed and plug into that. It is funny being plugged into a big silver box while orgasming. For a while, I thought I couldn’t orgasm without music. “Bluish” and “In The Flowers” were my absolute favorite songs on that CD. “Put on that song that makes it feel like we’re underwater,” he would say, referring to the song “Bluish.” Sometimes we’d smoke and then look up lyrics online. “When I get high I want to fuck,” he’d say, “But when you get high you just want to look up lyrics all night.” Bluish is one of the most romantic Animal Collective songs, in my opinion. It’s so romantic that it hurts: Put on the dress that I like/Makes me so crazy though I can’t say why/Keep on your stockings for a while/Some kind of magic in the way you’re lying there.
2010: I began my fetish with Fever Ray, lead singer of the better-known band, The Knife. “What is this new age shit you’re listening to these days?” B asked me. I’d just sing along. When I grow up/I want to be a forester/Run through the moss in high heels/That’s what I’ll do
2011: We were at the ocean and after drinking tequila in the afternoon well into the evening we sat in the living room, by the woodstove, on our knees. We were on the computer looking up the lyrics to “Don’t Haunt This Place” by The Rural Alberta Advantage. “Let’s sing it together,” B. said to me, “You be the girl, I’ll be the guy.” And so we did–with any humility we might have experienced, blinded by the tequila. It was one of the most tender moments we’ve ever had. My friend was there, and in the morning on the drive home, she said: “I almost cried when you guys were singing last night. I almost cried.”
In the L Magazine, Hannah Miet wrote:
Most striking is the album’s single, “Don’t Haunt This Place.” Amy Cole, who plays a ridiculous amount of instruments on the album—everything from a tambourine to a glockenspiel–adds her vocal harmony to the refrain, “because we need this oh so bad, because I need you oh so bad,” making it even more (oh so) emotional. If you drink while listening to this album, you might want to throw your phone out the window. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a nostalgia-fueled drunk dial, and if there’s any album that will send your heart shattering back ten years, Hometowns is the one to do it. Pass the tissues, please.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook
- 10 Surgeon General Pleads For Americans to Chew Their Food 3 or 4 Times At the Very Least