Driving in your car with the windows down and a beat up stereo

And then the sun came out
And then the sun came out, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

Clearly, I am highly useless at this one-post-a-day drama.


Now that this ridiculous work-week is over, I can breathe more easily. I drove to the office this morning while squinting against the sunshine, wearing the orange-brown aviator sunglasses the Lovely L Lady recently approved and made me buy on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue. Clad in my favorite dress with the strings (“Why can’t you cut them off?” says the Daddy-o, exasperated) and flared jeans and flip-flops and greenish-black nailpolish, music from my favorite singer turned up high and no pressing deadlines for the day (well…), I felt much happier than I had felt all week. My favorite doughnuts were sold out at the Safeway bakery, and the lines were so long that I put my selected bearclaw danish back on the shelf and walked out of the store, and I didn’t even get to eat lunch today because work caught up with me again…but at least I drove home in the evening drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream, and that helped put things to right, too.


Yesterday, my new Darren Hayes CDs came in the mail (a two-CD set! 25 brand-new, spiffy tracks!), along with the Brett Dennen album, because Amazon.com promised me free shipping if I ordered another $10 worth of something, and I am nothing if not open to the idea of spending money to save money.

Once upon a time, I was quite obsessed with Darren Hayes, in case you didn’t know. I was just skimming through sent-emails from the old account I never use anymore – yaznotjaz at yahoo, if you must know – and came across the following, dated November 9, 2001:

I’m supposed to be doing my freakin’ English paper, and here I am sending you guys this email and drooling at this hot picture of Darren Hayes, which, incidentally, I’m attaching to this email, so we can all drool together! The guy is HOT!! I’m seriously gonna marry this guy. All I have to do first is track him down, and then I’ll ask him to marry me, and of course he’ll say “yes,” and then he’ll wake me up every morning by singing to me with that sexy Australian accent of his.

Attachment filename: TheManImGonnaMarry. Too funny.

The worst part is, apparently I was also a fan of multiple exclamation points back in 2001. I can’t believe it.

Of course, I thought Darren Hayes was much hotter before I realized the black hair on the cover of the Affirmation album was dyed and he’s a natural blonde. Still, I’m an unabashed Savage Garden fan (really, what could beat the breathless brilliance of the “Chic-a-Cherry-Cola song”?). They’re the only band for which I know all the words to all the songs, and, although it’s hard, in my opinion, to beat the Savage Garden lyrics, there’s not a song so far that I don’t like on the latest solo offering, either. I have no shame – I love pop tunes, and catchy hooks, and especially Darren Hayes’ voice. The end.

A Conversation with God was a particularly apposite song for this week, so I played that and another new favorite on repeat today. Check out the following, and enjoy!

A Conversation with God
How to Build a Time Machine


I am sitting next to my father now, as he reads The New Yorker and pauses to share excerpts of various articles with me, including one about Kosovo: “This is war, and injustice, and cruelty,” he says. My own life, petty drama notwithstanding, seems so simple and carefree by comparison. I have no right to whine, when I’ve not even been up-to-date in following the latest news from Pakistan these last couple of days.


Here is a beautiful photograph by horse.hugger. I found it via Artemis, and, at the end of this long, exhausting week, it refreshes my eyes and brings me much joy:

Green Plums, originally uploaded by horse.hugger.


Tell me what music you’re listening to these days, and how your days are going, and what you’re doing to relax and unwind.

23 thoughts on “Driving in your car with the windows down and a beat up stereo

  1. hi. =) i’ve visited your blog on and off for a while, but i don’t think i’ve ever left a comment.

    now, since you’ve asked about music, i just have to. it’s kind of an obsession you see. =S

    these are a couple of songs i’ve been listening to a lot the past few days.

    merde a l’amour, by vive la fete.
    a cover of kate bush’s running up that hill, by chromatics.

    i hope those links turn out right.

    and i remember that savage garden song too. i think i was around 12 or 13 when it came out and i loved it!

  2. I sometimes listen on to phil collins. I find his poems, well I see them as poem as his music has a deeper message, soothing for my eyes at times , heart and soul.

    I also listen to the legend of zelda sound tracks, they are a great piece from nintendo. I find nintendo a company very family a tradition orientated, a interesting company in this material world. perhaps the japanese tradition is living in this japanese company,

  3. Metric Metric Metric, all Metric.
    one song in particular – “Siamese Cities”:

    When you walk / you move like Moses
    When you look / you look like / red roses.

    second best is “Grow Up and Blow Away.”

    it took a while and a few songs for them to grow on me. and now they are on auto-repeat and i cannot disconnect. unfortunately, i have only their latest album. i need more Metric.

    i’m also listening to MIA and Imogen Heap. Brett Dennen, too.

  4. Darren Hayes….omg omg omg! But like, wouldn’t he have to convert to Islam first before you got married and stuff? Like, I’m totally sure.

    I’m not a fan of the Cherry Cola song, or Savage Garden in general. But I might be if I were a 14 year old girl! :)

    About Pakistan, all you need to know is that Parvez uncle is one, cranky lawyer-and-judge-hating muthafuckle and as MY buddy Z said, “he just needs some lovin’ from aunty.” That, and everything Reza Aslan said that night at that function about us being lucky to live in a country where freedom of religion and the rule of law are sacrosanct. Good day

    ps relaxation? Wuzzat?

  5. Dude, I thought Darren Hayes was HOT too when he had that whole dark hair/eyes thing going. I think I bought that first couple of CDs for his looks (ok, not true. I liked the songs). But then he had to go back to being blonde. Booooo

  6. asad,
    Thanks so much for the links! I’ve downloaded the songs and am listening to them right now – I like much! Thanks for sharing, buddy. You should comment more often!

    I like that you see songs as poems. =) I just got home from the South Asian Film Festival, and one of the films, Pyaasa, contains beautiful songs that are actually poetry written by the poet character in the film. And I liked how they tied together the poetry as song, and vice versa – often, I forget that they can be one and the same. Thank you for the reminder, buddy. =)

    I fixed your tag, because you are awesome and I have never heard of Metric, so I must check them out. I like those lyrics you quoted. I’m listening to Grow Up right now, but I can’t find Siamese Cities on iTunes. =/ Thanks for the recommendations – I like this; something new.

    yes, he shall have to be Muslim, though, so that might be slightly problematic. Thanks for the heads-up about the motherland and Uncle Parvez Who is On Crack. Your buddy Z is freakin’ hilarious, and he’s probably quite correct. Also, I’m still laughing to myself about the “big words” I busted out with in our conversation about Pakistan.

    fathima again,
    Do you mean the songs linked in this post? That’s Darren Hayes’ solo estuff, and, yes, it’s unabashed pop, what can I say. Honestly, I liked his music more when he was Savage Garden, though. But, again, this is new and different. (He’s gotten a lot of comparisons to Justin Timberlake, too, so there’s another boy-band reference for you.)

    Seriously, the blondeness is just not as attractive on him, even if it’s natural. I’m glad we agree on this.

  7. hey, i’m glad you liked them, yasmine and anjum. you’re welcome. =)

    i’m not so glad, however, that it’s now sunday morning, and another ridiculous work week is about to begin. =(

    i just saw darren hayes’s video for words, btw, and it’s pretty cool.

    and, if you like simple yet well-made videos, check out the ones by la blogotheque. they film bands live in places like cafes [so cute!], stairwells, and freight elevators, good bands at that. =)

    now, i think it’s time for me to stop, before i turn this into a music blog.

  8. Anjum,
    Thanks for the flickr link, buddy – I had forgotten that one! Hilarious comments on there. You are very welcome re. the free downloads – let me know how you liked!

    You may not have guessed Savage Garden in terms of my music tastes, but get this – before I got introduced to SG (when I was about 16-17), I was listening to only R&B and hip-hop. hahaha

    I liked Savage Garden from the start because:
    1. Daren’s voice
    2. They were the first band to teach me that you don’t have to have rhyming lyrics to have good songs
    3. Different, creative lyrics (he’s a bit lacking in this lyrical creativity in his solo efforts, but I’m holding out hope yet)

  9. Asad,
    you are my new favorite commenter. =)
    i NEVER watch YouTube videos, but you’re getting me hooked (I followed that Words link of yours and then watched a few more Darren Hayes videos, too – here’s my favorite one!)

    the La Blogotheque ones are AWESOME – i’m having so much fun watching those right now. the elevator one is so slick. yet more rocking new music! thanks, buddy!

    i feel your pain re. ridiculous work weeks. =/
    to make myself feel better and get out in the sunshine, i’m thinking of going to the afghan store and picking up some stuff for dinner (i know it’s only 2pm, but who says we can’t think about dinner-food already?!)

    PS: keep on with your efforts to turn this into a music weblog – i’m having so much fun with the comments on this post!

  10. ok FINE. sheesh. i will find links to things too so you people don’t have to download things. you people are so passive aggressive with your silent judgements.

    i kid. :)
    but ok, for reals, i will look into links.
    but only after i do something that makes me feel like my weekend was productive. apparently, who knew, trolling the blogworld and effbooking and sending one-line (and yet still typo-ridden) emails is not productive. who knew, i ask you.

  11. “Asad,
    you are my new favorite commenter. =)”

    i’m honoured. thank you. =) but i’m afraid i might crumble under the weight of it, not to mention the competition [fathima]. =S

    i love the way the guy at the back of the elevator imitates the sound of a cymbal [i think that’s what it is] by tearing pages from a magazine. arcade fire are true rockstars. after they did that, they went out to play a big show, and started playing in the middle of the crowd! you should definitely check out their albums, esp. the first one.

    i keep coming back to the au revoir simone one, partly because they are ‘so cute!’ as i said before, and i love the way one of them laughs at the end. but it’s also a pretty song, and it makes me happy when i’m not.

    that wolverine video is hilarious. i love it when celebrities show a sense of humour like that. for me, i think few can come close to travis in that department. all their official music videos are so funny [the video for sing is my favourite, with the slow-mo flying octopus]. and then they also do things like this.

    and [wow, this is one long comment] even though i’m dreading tomorrow, today was better than i thought it would be. my mom is visiting from karachi, and i saw her for a few hours, so that was nice. oh and, if it was 2pm there, it would have been 5pm here [in boston], so it’s always dinnertime somewhere. i think that justifies thinking about dinner anytime, right? =)

  12. Thanks Asad for sharing some really awesome music audios/videos- I love that elevator one – Quite intriguing.

    yasmine beta, i’ll come back to actually comments aboot posts – Three in one day, nice.

  13. you’re welcome ayesha. =)

    i used to be on last.fm until a couple of months ago, fathima. do you use it? i stopped because it didn’t really help me find new music. i mostly just rely on blogs for that.

  14. i joined, i think, about the time you left – http://www.last.fm/user/fathima/

    but i found out last night you can integrate your playlist with WordPress blogs, which i proceeded to do, instead of doing my essay.

    anyway, yeah, i don’t use the radio function much. i like it more for the patterns it produces about my listening habits. also because now i can stalk friends. if they’d join.

  15. Since we all are on the same page of music, can somebody direct me to a fast paced/hip music for workout?

    urgh. I now know why they call it workout . man its damn boring without good music/entertainment.

    And, yasmine..what? How could you think about someone else when you are suppose to marry MacGyver?

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