Art: “Heights” by Tony Caballero.
In each edition of Rhapsody, we ask our guest artist to curate a playlist, write about their experiences with that music, and create a piece of original art that ties it all together. It’s a way for artists of different mediums to share musical memories through their own art, and for us to understand how music impacts creativity.
Tony Caballero: Writer & Photographer
Tony is a Los Angeles native and yes, he has a therapist. When not writing about personal experiences with music, he likes to go to bars and drink whiskey or maybe stay in with a great video game. Whatever. You can catch him taking pictures or writing bad poetry on just about any social media platform under the moniker, LupinBeast. And yes, he’s single.
Decade In The Life of Tony Caballero
I’ve been going through a change over the last couple of years. I’ve loved, lost, found myself and learned to love again. It’s been a hell of a ride. Instead of taking you through a timeline of my life as whole, I think chronicling this stint of about a decade would be a bit more focused.
The 2 Bears: Not This Time
I can clearly remember the first time I heard this song, I was heading downtown to go to a bar and I had Spotify on radio for a playlist I had made. This song started playing, I remember the killer bass line. I started to walk in step with it, thinking this would be something upbeat that could pump me for the night to come. I was wrong.
The danceable bass line was hiding something almost sinister. The lyrics hit my heart like a poison arrow and before I knew it, I had stopped right outside the subway entrance with tears streaming down my face.
It reminded me of a relationship I was in. One that I thought I had left behind. I was instantly transported back and relived it.
It was a cathartic release that I desperately needed.
PAPA: Young Rut
This song reminds me of a time where I ran into an old friend. We hadn’t seen each other for years. He didn’t know that I was bisexual. After a barrage of prodding questions he said that I carried myself differently. He hardly recognized me.
That interaction made me realize that I was more confident and more comfortable in my own skin. I was a different person than the one he knew. I have not seen him since.
Talking Heads: This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)
This will definitely be my wedding song. I think what I love most about this song is that the lyrics as a whole, don’t make sense. There isn’t a narrative to the song. It’s more like a list of reasons why you love someone. There’s something very reassuring about that. Love doesn’t make sense and you give it meaning. It is what you want it to be.
Tegan & Sara: Drove Me Wild
I know that Heartthrob is a departure from their usual sound but god damn, it’s such a great album. It’s very poppy but it has so much heart. I can listen to this start to finish, but I always play this song a couple of times before moving on because it’s my favorite.
It’s a song about reminiscing about the time spent with a past lover. There are always things you will remember fondly and some things you would like to forget. Everything, as a whole, is a learning experience.
I saw the Pixies during their Doolittle anniversary tour back in 2009, it was amazing. I was always aware of their music but seeing them live made me a fan. I remember getting chills when they played this song. It had always been one of my favorites. To hear it live was an amazing experience.
Carly Rae Jepson: Warm Blood
I had been entertaining the idea of starting to date seriously for a while. I thought that enough time had past. I was out one night with friends at this place called The Satellite. It was a Saturday night, so Dance Yourself Clean was in full effect, it’s a weekly indie dance event. You know, hipster bullshit. This song started playing, and I remember being able to hear the lyrics. It validated what I had been feeling–wanting to tear down the walls I had built up after my last relationship, wanting to find someone for more than just a night. Wanting more.
Murder By Death: Foxglove
I met someone that made me feel funny. At the time I couldn’t describe what I was feeling. I haven’t felt it in along time so I had forgotten what it was.
I was in love.
It took me a hell of a long time to figure it out. It didn’t end up the way I would have wanted it to, but it gave me hope. I was able to love again and more importantly, I was ready to be loved again.
I woke alone
I was still burning
The fire was all that was left
All that’s left of you
He left a fire burning inside me and I will always be grateful for that. And that’s where I am after a decade long journey. I’ve grown as a person and I’m ready to see what the next ten years hold.