19 February 2013

REMEMBERING: The Postal Service - "Give Up"


Ten years ago today The Postal Service released Give Up. Ten years! Makes you feel old doesn't it?

I find it difficult to figure out where I was in 2003 without a bit of context. (It's a sign of aging, I hear). A while back I wrote up a top albums of 2003 list which brings me back to records like So Much For The City by the Thrills, Rooney's debut album, Muse's third record, and Radiohead's Hail To The Thief. Digging back through email records doesn't really help because it appears as if I don't have anything in my Gmail before August of 2004 and my Hotmail account has long been defunct and the emails from there are lost forever.

I took a quick glance through the year 2003 on Wikipedia. That was the year where 100 people were killed in a Rhode Island nightclub at a Great White show. And that was the year America invaded Iraq (again) and George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished." I think the MTV Music Video awards was still pseudo-relevant, right? (The one in 2003 was when Madonna and Britney Spears open-mouth-kissed on stage). June and Johnny Cash passed away that year.

Frankly, I feel as if a lot of the years seem to blur together. Perhaps there haven't been enough hallmarks in those years to really make an impression. Though, I've come to realize that I'm simply not very good with marking the passage of time and have a lot of difficulty attaching a particular place/event to a certain time. I generally save my concert ticket stubs and I am routinely surprised at the dates on those stubs. Days that once seemed so long ultimately turned into years that were too short.

Listening to Give Up now, I can recall the strong impressions I had then: I remember thinking that this was a "hipster" record before the word became ubiquitous. I remember not wanting to like this record as much as I did. I remember thinking that - some sappy lyrics aside - this was a beautiful, near perfect combination of electronic music and indie rock. I remember playing this album a million times. There were countless nights this dreamy record lulled me to sleep. The hyperactive, ear-candy production kept me awake behind the wheel on long road trips. I remember songs that felt at home both in the club or on the living room hi-fi. Listening now, there is certainly an undefinable nostalgia that coats this album like honey.

The Postal Service are playing this April at Coachella. I'm not sure what sort of memories will come back to me in a sort of post-traumatic-Pavlovian sort of way but there is a good chance that a little desert dust will find its way into my eyes.

Stupid dust.


What are your memories of Give Up by The Postal Service? Comment below!


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