30 Day Song Challenge, Day 6: A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere

This song will always remind me of Toronto.

OK, this one might need a bit of explanation.

A few years back, I moved to Toronto. It didn’t really take. I had gone there for the wrong reasons — it was half because of a girl, and half because I thought it was a fairly bad idea, and something about making a big mistake appealed to me. So I packed up my worldly belongings, got on a plane, and found my way to the apartment of the girl I was to live with. It was a nice apartment — I think it was even on top of a craft supply shop, and for some reason I’ve always wanted to live above a store.

Within a couple of hours, I’d been dumped. (It’s cool. We’re still friends.)

Needless to say, this wasn’t the best timing, and didn’t leave me feeling particularly great about Toronto as a whole. Fortunately, I have some pretty awesome friends, one of whom flew to Toronto to keep me company for a couple of days just out of their own kindness, and another who was on tour with his band and so was passing through the city during my brief tenure anyway. Between the two of them, I managed to stave off depression and realize that going back to Calgary was probably the best decision for the time being — but not before we ended up at Lee’s Palace for… whichever band happened to be playing that night.

Turns out, that band was Limp Wrist, proud purveyors of queercore — the gayest form of hardcore punk imaginable. Needless to say, it was awesome. I don’t listen to hardcore too often, but live, it’s somehow irresistible, and that’s no less true when half the guys in the crowd are running up on stage, stripping down to their skivvies and crowd-surfing au naturel. The pure spectacle of it made it next to impossible to spend too much time mourning the relationship. You can’t take yourself seriously in a crowd of amped-up punks shouting “I LOVE! HARDCORE BOYS! I LOVE BOYS HARDCORE!”

Alright, granted, I don’t hear this song particularly often. Or ever, really. But that just makes the association that much stronger. Sure, Maroon 5’s “This Love” is always going to partly remind me of Indonesia, because I remember sitting on a hilltop in what I thought was the middle of nowhere, and suddenly hearing a cover band practicing it over and over. But “This Love” is also going to remind me of being in the mall or eating at Boston Pizza or any hundred generic memories. “I Love Hardcore Boys” is for Toronto and Toronto alone, and I plan to keep it that way.

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