Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

02 Nov 2005, 12:32 p.m.

Music In My Cube At Work

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I have some sufficiently non-mainstream music in this pile, so I am going to say bah to my insecurities and share the list of CDs on the shelf in my cube here at Salon:

  • Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys
  • The Three Pickers: Earl Scruggs/Doc Watson/Ricky Skaggs
  • Tarakani! Strakh i Nenavist
  • Rock Against Bush Vols. I & II
  • Greatest Marches, various
  • Future Fossils by Christine Lavin (not actually listening to it that much; requires concentration)
  • End of the Summer by Dar Williams
  • Emergency 3rd Rail Power Trip and other CDs by Lawsuit
  • Freaked Out and Small by the Presidents of the United States of America
  • a bunch of Moxy Früvous
  • You Could Have It So Much Better by Franz Ferdinand
  • If You're Feeling Sinister by Belle & Sebastian
  • Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats
  • Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea by PJ Harvey

Right now, The Mountain Goats are soothing me. I cannot resist "Southwood Plantation Road", "Game Shows Touch Our Lives", "Idylls Of The King", or "No Children".

I've got you
You've got whatever's left of me to get
Our conversations are like minefields
No one's found a safe way through one yet


I am not going to lose you
We are going to stay married
In this house like a Louisiana graveyard
Where nothing stays buried


And I handed you a drink of the lovely little thing
On which our survival depends
People say friends don't destroy one another
What do they know about friends?
I hope that our few remaining friends
Give up on trying to save us
I hope we come up with a failsafe plot
To piss off the dumb few that forgave us
I hope the fences we mended
Fall down beneath their own weight
And I hope we hang on past the last exit
I hope it's already too late
And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
Someday burns down
And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
And I never come back to this town
Again in my life
I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

I don't know why the songs are soothing, but they are.

Update: I can vicariously feel the hate I would feel in an awful relationship, and hear elegant expressions of it, and I am soothed both by the beauty of the songs and the fact that I'm not either person in this (fictional?) horrible relationship.