June 12, 2020

Summer night anticipation music

Summer 2008, somewhere in the Mountain West.

Cruising around after dinner with the A/C off, caressed by the crepuscular warmth that's wafting through the open windows.

I can't even tell what day it is -- I'm out getting warmed up before nightclubbing later on, but I'm going dancing four nights a week, so it could be any of those. Every evening feels like the weekend during summertime anyway.

The university is deserted, and I've got the four-lane road out of campus all to myself. Farther away, signs of life start to emerge. Housemates shooting the breeze on the porch of a bungalow. A group of teenagers laughing while dangling their legs over the bleachers, across from their film-famous high school. Lamps being turned on inside the Storybook style houses.

I don't want to over-stimulate my social sense before showing up to the dance club, so I avoid the main drag nearby and settle into a small strip center instead. The sparse crowd at Barnes & Noble was under-stimulating, so I walk over to the only other place that isn't a restaurant, a used video game store.

Not a soul there either -- except for a curvaceous girl behind the counter, who locks on with her large green eyes, and goes on to babble about video games through a coquettish smile. At one point she makes a conspicuous aside about how some game earlier in the decade came out "when I just in middle school," letting me know she's still under 20, and studying my face to see if I'm intimidated that she's nearly 10 years younger than I am. (Of course I'm not.)

Having worked myself up enough for tonight's opening course of socializing, I drive back playing the same CD as I had on the way over -- Lust Lust Lust, the new album by the Raveonettes. One song in particular -- "You Want the Candy" -- makes me play it on a loop, amplifying the mood of anticipating the wild night that is still to come.

The melody is just stimulating enough without going over the top, while the droning layers of noise give you that floating-through-space feeling of lacking responsibility. The surf guitar timbre and the high-pitched pining vocals transport you back to southern California during the carefree early '60s, on a night overflowing with possibilities.

Overtly about drug use, it is equally enabling for those whose addictions are driving around with no destination in mind, flirting with whoever strikes your fancy, and moving your body to the rhythm with the rest of a crowded dance club.

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