11. Billy Brag & Wilco – California Stars (143)

so the first thing that i do whenever i write one of these, what i now call “songs that itunes said, mean the most to me” posts, is listen to the song.
and as soon as i turned this on i started smiling.
“i like to dream my troubles are away on a bed of california stars”
i put my hands to cover my mouth, look towards the floor, silently smile to myself,
“i like to lay my weary bones tonight, on a bed, of california stars”
i knew this song before i knew who wilco was, before i knew who billy bragg was, before i knew who woody guthrie was.
all i knew about it was it was on a compilation cd after Insurges – I hate stupid people and before Buffalo Tom – Rachel,
the compilation was Indie 2000 vl 4 (my god i had a tricky time tracking that one down later on), the year was 1999, which was a particularly tough year for me growing up, and quite a definitive one for me emotionally. i had been loaned this cd by a next door neighbour just before we moved house – i had burnt it using my first cd burner (i was one of the few kids who had saved up to get one ($200+), i just happened to be interested in computers and music, i may have even burnt this onto tape thinking about it. it was definitely pre-ipod)
and this song was on repeat. even before i had itunes and started recording playcounts this song (and this album) would have been waay up there…

it is such a calm and relaxing song.
a bit of a country edge
and then rachel would come one, and i’d slip into a different alternate universe.

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