30 songs in 30 days: #30 – Up on the Hill (The Fun Lovin’ Criminals)

Day 30: Your favorite song from this time last year

It’s the final entry! (Read to the tune of Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” of course.)

I’ve been looking forward to this post since I compiled the entries for my song challenge list. Looking back on my selections, I’m pretty satisfied with the diversity of bands, genres, and eras represented. Yet there are so many artists and groups who didn’t make it on, for whatever reason. So I’m going to start today’s post by giving a bunch of them the shout-outs they deserve, and since the topic today is my favorite song at a particular time of year, I’m going to do it in the form of a calendar tour.

I tend to form strong associations between new music and the time of year during which I start listening to it heavily. I think I first noticed it in college, when I began exploring the entire catalogs of bands I liked from their radio hits. It happens regularly now, so much so that as a season begins waning and I crave the beginning of a new one, I also want to listen to those same songs and bands that remind me of the weather to come. So what gets me in the mood for a given change in seasons? Winter will always be ‘80s U2, Keane’s Perfect Symmetry, Blink-182’s self-titled album, and Linkin Park’s Meteora. Spring brings to mind ‘90s U2, the catalogs of Nirvana, Oasis, and the Spin Doctors, and Eve 6’s self-titled debut. Lazy summer days are perfect for the Beastie Boys, Everclear, the Dave Matthews Band, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, Weezer, and Sublime. And then there’s possibly my favorite season (or at least it’s in heated competition with spring) – autumn. So much great music reminds me of harvests and Halloween, new school year beginnings and the family gatherings of Thanksgiving. The Smashing Pumpkins, the Black Crowes, System of a Down, John Mayer, Incubus, and Rob Zombie fill my earbuds as the summer winds down and the leaves begin to change color. Even Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP sparks memories of moving into my sophomore-year college dorm room. In short, music always plays a huge part in my preparations for seasonal shifts.

This time last year, autumn 2015, I was exploring the catalog of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, whose debut album Come Find Yourself (a “spring” album) I purchased in high school solely on the merits of their surprise hit “Scooby Snacks.” I’d always liked that album; it’s one I can listen to beginning to end. To my elation I discovered that I liked a lot of their other material as well. The taste of diversity in musical styles from Come Find Yourself broadens even further in their other albums, as they infuse their brand of laid-back hip-hop with jazz, funk, blues, latin, rock, dance, and even country. Soon their catalog was on repeat in my car and headphones (I get a little obsessive when I find good new music). I was listening to them as I decorated my apartment for a Halloween visit from my brother, sister-in-law, and six-year-old niece. I also listened to them while driving to and from a coworker’s very casual wedding reception at a local brewery on a sunny fall afternoon. Now most of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ music has joined the list of that which reminds me of autumn, and today’s entry is one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy it too.

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