“Songs Are Time Capsules Of Memories.”

I read this quote on Facebook today and it got me thinking…

“Songs are time capsules of memories. Hearing one can bring me back to places I need not remember.”

The ending to that quote went the complete opposite of what I expected. I would have ended it by saying, “Hearing one can bring me back to places that I love to remember.”

Now, I’m not saying the first quote is wrong. That is very true. Somewhat pessimistic, but true nonetheless. I’m saying that when it comes to music, for me, it more often leads to a positive memory. Probably because my job in high school was a DJ and I had a lot of good times hitting the play button on the CD player and fading back and forth between songs.

I could go into a rant about how you shouldn’t be scared to remember your past because it leads to who you are today (damn clichés…), but I won’t do that because I’d rather talk about the music and the good times. There are plenty of memories I have that I’d rather not look back on. But today, when I look back on them they have different meaning than they did at the time the song was popular.

Pardon me for getting a little personal here, but songs like Alanis Morissette’s “One Hand In My Pocket” and TLC’s “Waterfalls” bring back memories of junior high dances where everyone waddled in small circles at arms length, if they even danced at all. And of course there was Metallica’s Black album getting me through the other fun times of junior high. Side note: more than 15 years later, I know my grandma was right when she said I wasn’t “dry behind the ears yet.”

How about we step it up to high school where “Footloose” reminds me being a dancin’ fool in Show Choir and loving every minute of it. You know, dancing like nobody’s watching. Only I was on stage with an entire group performing for judges. Or we could go for Will Smith’s “Miami” or “Wild Wild West” and watching my cousin freak out on the skating floor at SkateAway.

A lot of songs would bring me back to SkateAway – that’s where I was a DJ after all. Just a few songs would be Eve 6 “Inside Out,” Eiffel 65 “Blue,” Eagle Eye Cherry “Save Tonight,” Edwin McCain “I’ll Be,” and pretty much any N*Sync, Backstreet Boys and Brittany Spears song. What? They were popular and beloved by the little kids that were there all the time. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) There are many, many more, but I won’t waste time looking them up and listing them here.

Let’s not forget the good times jumping on the trampoline in the back yard while listening to Incubus “Stellar” and Cypress Hill’s “Rock Superstar.” Man, we spent a lot of time in my parent’s basement and hanging out in the back yard in the summer…

How about we skip to college. There were many different artists in that 5-year period that I listened to like Reliant K, Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, Hawthorne Heights, Fall Out Boy, Something Corporate, etc. But what brings me back to Focko’s Barnyard – the nickname for the room Doug Noble and I shared in the Big House at the fraternity – is definitely The Spill Canvas, Anberlin and This Day and Age. The sappy, emo-esque tunes that we really enjoyed listening to. They weren’t sad as much as they actually made us happy. Then there’s the less popular Nutsnack. They are the group that proved we like to listen to anything funny that could make us laugh and smile.

We also kind of liked to dig for the next big thing, which led to us listening to a bunch of stuff that not a lot of people will recognize, like Straylight Run’s “Existentialism on Prom Night.” We did end up listening to Panic! at the Disco earlier than most people – which was later referred to, in a fantasy football team name, as Distress at the Opera. (Sorry, too funny not be noted here.)

During college, and right after, I lived in a couple different places, so naturally, songs remind me of those times and places. The entire Spiderman 2 soundtrack mixed with a little Yellowcard reminds me of the three summer months I lived in Phoenix. Boys Like Girls, JT (Justin Timberlake to the lay person) and Hinder remind me of my internship in Washington DC – my last day being the day Senator Johnson went to the hospital with AVM/Stroke symptoms. Boy did I learn a lot by being in his PR office that day…

Back to the music and on to married life, “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascall Flatts reminds me of proposing to Melissa and our wedding day, while “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas and “Ours” by Taylor Swift remind me of my wife being happy and silly either singing made up words (“Thursday, Friday, Yesterday, Tomorrow!”) or dancing and clapping her way around the kitchen.

Today, I listen to a lot of random stuff that people would definitely say is obscure and not mainstream, like Mariana’s Trench and The Dangerous Summer. It’s just what I jam to while I’m working. I listen to a lot of mainstream stuff and pretty much like anything with a good beat and good lyrics. Any goofy stuff like “Wobble” by Family Force 5 gets a thumbs up in my book as well.

In summary, “Yay music!” I look forward to the capsules of memories you bring me in the future with good things to look back on. One thing’s for sure, every time I hear “Wheels On The Bus” I’ll think of having to sing it a minimum of five times in a row to my little man, Thad.

In the future, what will today’s music make you think of? Hopefully something good!


About Justin Ochsner

Live Events Marketing and Public Relations. Connect on LinkedIn or Twitter @jochsner4
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