Shaped by Songs

While I was pregnant I constantly listened to the Deftones’ White Pony.

The album came out in 2000; I was still in Manila then, and I had the album on repeat every evening on my way home from work, and people in the MRT (metro) would stare at my hugely ridiculous headphones (stare if you want at people with huge headphones on public transport, but the joke’s on you because the sound is amaaaazing.)

A million songs remind me of millions of places and situations, but I can’t list them all or I’d be stuck here forever, so here are some of them, off the top of my head, in no particular order:

Deftones’ White Pony: it will forever be associated with the daily metro travel to and from work in Manila, and that hot summer where I was ordered to stay in bed by the OB-GYN while preggers.

My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless: sitting on the steps of UP Diliman’s Film Center during twilight, trying to dodge the security guards (because we were smoking weed, heh)

Weezer’s Blue Album: highschool, sitting on the floor with several friends around the cassette tape player (contraband) and listening open-mouthed to Only in Dreams, completely blown away, completely in love with Rivers Cuomo (that was in ’94. My god. Is it weird I still find him hot? I’ve always liked geeks)

Beatles’ Please Please Me: Buying my first ever cassette tape (yes) from Unimart Greenhills’ little music section (remember this place?) with the money I had saved. I was 11 years old.

Massive Attack’s Mezzanine: Julien and I zoning out at Tanguy’s apartment in Hongkong, Angel on at full blast, Stanley Bay spinning outside the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Blonde Redhead’s Misery is a Butterfly: Sitting in the passenger’s seat while driving down to Aix-en-Provence’s centre ville, Lionel behind the wheel, saying, “Listen, listen to this… it’s amazing… listen…” and turning up the volume on Falling Man.

David Bowie’s The Best of David Bowie 1969/1974: sleepless nights finishing my thesis, David Bowie on repeat.

Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots: Sitting in the dark with a group of friends after a funeral, the Flaming Lips playing somberly in the background, a heavy feeling of sadness and happiness cloaking my heart as my friend wistfully said, “I guess you’re my family now…”

Crystal Castles’ Crystal Castles: Their debut album blaring from my speakers, Crimewave, Magic Spells and Knights on repeat, driving to Al Khor alone for the first time, Doha disappearing in my rearview mirror and the desert stretching out before me.

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