When I was a bit younger, probably about Middle School age, I used to think of a music video for almost every song I listened to. I knew I’d never have a future in the music video concept business, though, because my idea for each music video usually consisted of exactly what I was doing while listening to the song. For example, if I was packing to go on a trip, I’d think “man, the music video for this song should focus around someone packing to go on a trip!” I like to think that this wasn’t so much an exercise in narcissism as it was a testament to my ability to choose music for whatever suited my mood or activities.
I’ve never really listened to Hum. I know that I’m probably the only music nerd that this is true of, but that’s just how things have worked out with my listening habits thus far. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was kind enough to let me stay with him while I was doing some heavy commuting between Connecticut and New York City. One morning he played Hum’s “If You Are To Bloom,” which was one of the most beautiful songs I’d heard in a long time. So, when I stumbed across Hum’s You’d Prefer An Astronaut in a Goodwill yesterday, I snatched it right up.
I was listening to it (and really enjoying it) today while I was setting some things up in my bedroom in my new apartment, and decided to take a short break and people watch from my window. One of my windows looks out on a fruit stand, and I decided to set my bed up right next to it. I ended up watching a man re-stock the various fruits and vegetables while listening to the last two songs on the album, and the image seemed to really fit the songs, so I was reminded of my music video idea tendencies from when I was younger.
I’m looking at that fruit stand now, and I don’t think it’s open (a 24-hour fruit and vegetable stand hardly makes any sense, but then again, this is New York City), because there aren’t any lights on inside, but there’s nothing preventing any of the produce from being stolen. No nets, no plastic overhang like they usually have at bodegas. Even if it is indeed open, considering that it’s nearly 2 in the morning, it would be very easy for someone to walk off with some free food. I find it kind of heart-warming, because it seems like a gesture of optimism and trust in a city that isn’t exactly known for posessing either of those characteristics. (In this way, listening to Hum kind of fits, because their lyrics and music were certainly more optimistic than most music that was getting press in the mid-’90s.) It’s little things like this that remind me why I love New York City (and Brooklyn!) so much.
Of course, I also just saw a bug in my kitchen sink, and that wasn’t so heart-warming, but you have to pick and choose, I suppose.