Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Insta-Nostalgia; Missing 2010 Already

Every year since 2007 this DJ, DJ Earworm, has put together a mashup of the top 25 Billboard hits of the year, which he calls "United State of Pop." Typically he takes an emotional-sounding melody (like the "Love the Way You Lie" piano) and overlays recognizable lines from various songs, cued up to rhyme with each other. It's a simple system that makes the full collection of songs seem bittersweet and nostalgic. Simple but affective.

It's an audio/visual synopsis of the past year, just like any year-in-movies or books or news aggregations. Taken together with those other compilations it forms some semblance of comprehension that the last year was something discreet, recognizable. Plus, recollecting the high moments of the last twelve months is such a fun exercise; it compresses 365 days of mostly mediocrity to a few hundred words or, in this case, minutes of poignant images and sound.

In any long enough time frame there's bound to be a montage worth of compelling sounds, pictures and ideas, and looking back at 2010 in this way makes it beautiful. In annual lists the year comes off as worthwhile, as if it helped us reach our current state of understanding in some way. When really, this year was the same as any other -- alternately cold and hot and full of as much suffering as any other time in recent memory. But it's nice to think it meant something.

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