first kiss

Walking across the college campus where I work, cold, forlorn that a nor’easter is bearing down on us, so soon after Hurricane Sandy wrecked so many lives in New York and New Jersey. (As I write, the power is still out in many parts of the city). Here in Maine, the sky is grey, the leaves are being whisked off the trees. My eyes focus on the concrete path ahead, my headphones on, some EBTG remixes rattling around in my brain. Suddenly I remember a blurb I read in the back of New York Magazine, again while watching my son’s swim practice. This one mentioned a band called Tamaryn, a San Francisco-based neo-dream pop duo, playing at the Mercury Lounge in a few days with another of my favorite bands (and blog victims) Young Prisms. I search for their newest album, called Tender New Signs, and start listening to the first track, “I’m Gone.” And I am too. Right from the opening  shoegaze chug of the guitars and the Mazzy Star-like vocals, a Day-Glo drill begins to softly burrow its way between my eyeballs. I’m reminded of a line from the Ryan Adams song “World War 24” that goes “Coma comes/like bullets from a candy gun.” I think that I should hurry back to my office and start listening to the whole album, but that somehow seems wrong. So much of the music I listen to for the first time is heard at my desk, working in a windowless basement office. Not like it used to be when I was a kid, sitting in front of a stereo in my parents’ living room, or with the windows down in the car. As I’ve said before, you can only listen to a new song for the first time once. When and where you do that is a matter of great importance. First listens, like first loves, determine the fate of your future  relationships forever. So as I approached the tower my office is located in, I paused my music. The candy drill stopped buzzing. I decided I’ll wait for the right time to give Tamaryn my first, trembling kiss. And to hope she gives me hers.

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