Bright Eyes’ song “First Day of My Life” makes me so happy whenever I hear it, especially the line “I’d rather be working for a paycheck than waiting to win the lottery.”
Interpol’s “Slow Hands” always puts me in a James Dean mood, you know the kind: I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.
The Bootcuts’ “Six Bux Waltz” inspires crazy hopping and arm-flapping. I long for a top hat and cane when I hear Pink Martini’s “Hang On, Little Tomato”.
Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Pat Metheny, Black Flag, Wally Pleasant, and Pixies remind me of college; nine inch nails and New Order remind me of high school; Violent Femmes and the B-52s remind me of junior high; Bach, Willie Nelson, Cole Porter and “Jesus Christ Superstar” remind me of childhood.
Massive Attack and Miles Davis remind me of the MSG.
And of course, when the world feels awful and serrated and wrong, They Might Be Giants makes it a little less so.