Welcome. You know those albums or songs that you so profoundly associate with a moment in your life that just the opening bars, maybe even just a couple of notes, function as a sort of time machine? You hear a song and you’re transported to that room in that house — maybe it’s your childhood bedroom, or your college dorm room. Maybe you’re 11 years old again, or you’re dating that person again, or you’re walking that very specific route to school again, the one on which you listened to this same album, over and over, on your Walkman (or Discman or iPod Nano).
One of those albums for me is Rufus Wainwright’s “Poses,” which turned 20 this past June. I was living abroad soon after it came out, and my boyfriend back in New York sent me a burned copy of the CD, which I listened to ravenously in that single-minded, pre-streaming manner that made you feel like the music was getting into your cells.
This weekend, if you’re feeling a bit restless, like you might want to go away but, for a variety of reasons, it’s not practical or possible right now, maybe some music could take you elsewhere. I’m going to listen to “Poses” and let the cinematic swells, the hyper-romantic lyrics (“I did go from wanting to be someone/Now I’m drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue”) take me to another time, with its own sights and smells and sensations. I’m going to let it all in.
An audio trip could take all weekend, but if it doesn’t, The Times Magazine’s Voyages issue has a full virtual itinerary for you: Athens, the Swiss Alps, Machu Picchu, Spokane. You might visit Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard or a hamlet in Umbria that the reporter Helene Cooper calls “legitimately the most beautiful place on earth.” Or take a bike ride to Queens with David Byrne.
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