Help Change My Life (At Least Musically)

Most everyone in my age bracket saw Garden State last year. It was heaped with praise such as “It’s like a perfect pop song — that thing that makes you smile and tear up at the same time,” and “Garden State is nothing short of genius, as moving as it is hilarious.” Who could resist what might be the defining movie of a generation?

Those who have had the unfortunate experience of being with me at the movies will not be surprised that I found it a tad overrated. On the whole I liked the movie – I thought Zach Braff has a good eye as a director and as an actor – but there were bits of writing that murdered my sense of logic. The scene that stood out the farthest was when Zach Braff’s character first meets Natalie Portman’s character, and after some casual chit-chat, Portman forces headphones onto Braff, swearing this song will change your life. The song is New Slang by The Shins, and no matter how many times I’ve tried to listen to it, I don’t feel my life getting changed. Even with the lyrics in front of me, I can’t feel anything for this song.
Perhaps part of my problem is that the writers didn’t give any reason why it should/would change our lives. We sit, staring at Zach Braff’s face, trying to read the appropriate emotional response out of him and the song – and I just can’t. I need to be handed those reasons, or at least pointed down the path with something more than a facial expression.

My trip to San Francisco last week, combined with the vacation the week before, gave me a lot of time to reflect on life. Perhaps it has a bit to do with turning 25 – although on a conscious level I’m not really feeling any different. Still, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot out there that I’d still like to try; people I want to get to know better; places I want to go; things I want to see; et cetera.

So where is this going? Here’s a total swerve: over the last week, I have received two gift cards to the iTunes Music Store, totaling $30 in credit. While there are a handful of songs I plan on picking up (assorted singles I’ve been meaning to grab for a while), there is plenty of credit that I don’t have any plans for, and I’d like to remove the temptation to browse the store endlessly for music I don’t want.

This is where you come in, dear friends: I want you to force your headphones onto me and play that one song that changed your life – and I want you to tell me why.

The “rules”, if you want to call them that, are very simple:

  • You really need to pick a song that’s available on the iTunes Music Store. Despite some magic powers, I am unable to buy songs using this credit that are not there.
  • There is no limitation to who can make suggestions, but preference will be given to people I know, as is human nature. One suggestion per person, please.
  • You can submit your song and reason one of four ways: a comment on my blog proper, a comment on the LiveJournal syndicated version of the post, an email to me (remy AT the domain of my blog), or via IM if you’re so inclined. Use email or IM if your story is of a very personal nature and you’re worried about the Googlebot picking it up for all eternity.
  • No musical genre or artist is off limits, so long as you justify it.
  • Anyone who successfully tells me why a song changed their life stands a good chance of having the song enter my purchase list. Bonus points will be given if you can explain why it’ll change my life.
  • I reserve the right to politely refuse songs for whatever reason I see fit. This is an unlikely proposition as I’m trying to buy stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise, but always leave yourself an out.
  • All songs purchased will be listed and strung together as a playlist in a future day-long radio session.

I look forward to your responses.