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And when we come back to Boston, we feel it

Written by Lauren Albano

March 25, 2024

Not to bring about feelings of frustration and anticipation for Stranger Things season five, but the show’s cast has heavily infiltrated my music taste. 

The summer I binge-watched season three of the show in 2022, I discovered that some of the actors made music. Maya Hawke’s “Thérèse,” “Menace,” and “Luna Moth” soon became a few of the stars of my chill playlists. A cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” by Calpurnia, Finn Wolfhard’s band, became an alternative rock staple as well.

The most impactful addition to my music library was the work of “Djo,” the stage name of Joe Keery. His debut solo album Twenty Twenty transported my pandemic-hit self into another dimension — plus, it was simply a vibe. I’d take night drives and sing along to the dreamy “Chateau (Feel Alright)” or the psychedelic “Tentpole Shangrila.”

Djo released Decide shortly after my obsession peaked, and I was met with a whole new selection of tunes to enjoy. At the time, “On and On,” “Figure You Out,” and “Go For It” were some of my favorite tracks.

But recently, one song from Decide has been revived, making its rounds and receiving its flowers on TikTok. Not only have I rediscovered its brilliance — but I’ve found that it hits pretty close to home. That song is “End of Beginning.”

“And when I’m back in Chicago, I feel it / Another version of me, I was in it.” 

“Chicago” could be anywhere to anyone. Some users’ “Chicago” is their hometown, where they feel they fit in whenever they return. 

For many, “Chicago” is just Chicago, Illinois. The city has received a lot of love and attention from the “End of Beginning” trend, with users posting edits of various picturesque parts of the city, romanticizing and showing their appreciation for it.

My “Chicago” is Boston. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to leave home and move to a city for college. Now that I’m here, I finally feel a sense of belonging and that I’m where I was meant to be.

I’m sure many others feel the same, so why don’t we reclaim this trend and show Boston some love?

Of course, we need a song. My proposal is “Wake up sleepyheads” by The Modern Lovers, purely for this lyric:

“I say ‘Wake up, sleepyheads! / Boston is so pretty, but we’re half dead!’”

A seemingly silly song overall, I’d like to endow upon this lyric some meaning to make the song worth putting behind an aesthetic clip of the North End.

In this city and in college, we’re constantly on the move. With our busy classes, extracurriculars, and social lives constantly eating up our attention, we really are half-dead sometimes. 

I find myself falling into ruts from time to time, overwhelmed by responsibilities that I prioritize at the expense of my mental and physical health — and the expense of my gratitude for the fulfilled dream that is my being here.

This song shakes me awake and urges me to drop everything momentarily, stare out my window at the glimmering Charles River, and appreciate how far I’ve come.

Just one song is not enough to encompass the remarkable energy of Boston and the singular experience we have had living in it, but feel free to check out this playlist I created of Boston and Boston-reminiscent tunes.

We need to “wake up” from time to time –look around and admire the incredible, beautiful city of Boston where we live. And, hopefully, the rest of the world can see how incredible it is too.

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