With global warming, political unrest, and a cratered international economy serving as the shaky pillars of today’s world, we need pop music now more than ever. As hopeless headlines continue to paint dark horizons for us, pop is one of the few lights to shine through and inspire whimsy. Even the harshest skeptic has no choice but to relent and give into the genre. So we present Pop For Skeptics, a regular Flavorwire column committed to curating and commenting on the best ear candy from the US and around the world.
In life and pop music, nothing is more difficult than saying goodbye. It’s a word none of us want to let fly out of our lips because it indicates that something we’re intimately familiar with has ended and something scarily abstract is about to begin. Perhaps most terrifying of all, then, is saying goodbye to New York City. It’s akin to breaking up with your beloved, if your beloved happens to also embody the most lusted-after lifestyle in America.
I know all about this because I had to leave the city just last week — bidding adieu to everything from the Williamsburg Bridge to Sammy’s Noodle Shop and even the reliably unreliable 7 train — as I decided to swap New York for Detroit, perhaps at Patti Smith’s behest. And while throwing scarves, old mementos from ex-boyfriends, and books written by friends into boxes, I found a little time to construct an ideal playlist of songs that seemed to reconcile and make sense of the heavy emotional baggage that tends to come with having to say goodbye, especially to a city like New York.
Jewel — “Goodbye Alice In Wonderland”
For all the creative missteps in Jewel’s career, engineering a pop song that perfectly portrays the process of leaving a circus like New York for less frenzied departures is not one of them. In saying goodbye to the city last week, I found myself bidding farewell to a version of me who could’ve only existed in the pressure-cooker ecosystem unique to New York City — a world of soaring rents, shrinking apartments, quirky characters, and an abundance of noise that rewards its loudest citizens. Perhaps when many of us leave the city, we leave behind such proverbial, wide-eyed Alices with their sky-high ambitions and do-anything attitude to cultivate personae with more tempered expectations of the world.