I’ve been having a lot of feelings lately, and music has been helping me to live with ( as opposed to cope with) these feelings, and as a result I’ve been having as many thoughts as feelings. I won’t bore you with these ( well, maybe a few…sorry..), but don’t you think there’s something quite magical about music? When you think about it, it’s pretty much a mind altering drug. It can make you cry, or move your limbs around in an ungraceful ( if you’re me) fashion, or inspire you, or excite you, or even make you feel like you’re in love. Listening to a piece of music can be quite the emotional workout, and at times I find I can’t bear to listen to any music for just that reason. How weird is it that innocent little sound waves can have such an effect on us physically? I dunno about you, but that amazes me.
Another thing that’s pretty cool about music is the way it unites people. Go to any concert, and when the music gets going, it feels as though the entire audience are your friends. I generally hate crowds, and definitely need a drink in order to relax enough to not panic at a concert, but by the end of the first track, I feel connected and safe. Everyone is there for the same reason, and the collective love is palpable. And just how cool is it when you meet someone who has the same taste in music as you? There’s something really lovely about getting excited about something with a complete stranger. Bullshit smalltalk falls away, and you connect. It’s nice.
Ok. So, this post does have a point, and I will get to it now. I’m going to list and link a few tunes. These will be tunes that represent pivotal moments for me, due to the artists performing them having a profound influence on me/ my life. I don’t expect anyone to sit through all of them ( and I can’t possibly post ALL of them anyway, or I’d be here all evening), but what I would like is if you ( if you’ve read this far) could list/ link in the comments some “life changers” of your own if you have any. I want to know about what really floors you musically, and with any luck it’ll be stuff I haven’t heard of which will also floor me. I’m generally up for being floored by amazing sounds.
Alrighty then. Here is my teeny selection:
1. Manu Delago and Christoph Pepe Auer: “Abstract Damensattel”. Manu Delago is the reason I got into percussion a few years ago. This vid I’m sharing here isn’t one of the initial “OMG! I MUST LEARN HOW TO DO THAT” inducing tracks that I heard from him, but it does remind me of when I got to see these two guys play live, and that memory makes me happy, because they were brilliant. Manu is very adorable and funny, and when I saw him, things like this happened, and my massive crush on him had greatly intensified by the end of the show.
Anyway, I hope someone out there enjoys this track, and gets a giggle from Manu’s ridiculous wig ( and the hilariously still audience! I’m not sure how people can remain so composed; when I saw them I was involuntarily chair-dancing like an unhinged bobblehead).
2. Björk: “Isobel”. There are too many amazing Björk tracks to list here, and “Isobel” is by no means my favourite. But when I first heard this song as an angsty teenling, I was enchanted. I’d been mostly listening to guitary stuff at that stage, but Björk opened my punky little eyes, ears, and mind to a whole new world.
This clip is beautiful, but always makes me a little sad. The relevance of the solo woman keeping safe in her own little world is much more acute now than it ever has been. The prospect of growing old alone can be depressing and frightening, but the prospect of falling in love can be equally so. To place your heart in someone else’s hands seems a reckless act. Is it a brave or stupid thing to do? Probably both. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that maybe ‘crazy-single-mother-in-her-late-30’s’ isn’t anybody’s ‘type‘, anyway. But given that there are certifiable twats out there with all the charisma of a mouldy toilet bowl who still managed to find partners who think the sun shines out of their arse, who fucking knows what’s going on with the “L” word. I’m getting too tired for this shit. Maybe it could be liberating to be a Crazy Cat Lady. I don’t know.
3. Soundgarden: “Jesus Christ Pose”. This is something that I’ve also loved since highschool. The first time I saw the filmclip to this on ‘Rage’, the ‘HOLY FUCK’ factor of the whole thing was overwhelming. Not just because I was a hormonal teenage girl and Chris Cornell was hot, but because of the energy of it. A lot of grungey stuff going around at the time was your typical half arsed 3 chord dealy with sloppy guitars and half asleep sounding vocals that sounded like something a bunch of your drunk friends at a party could’ve recorded. I still loved all that stuff regardless, but Soundgarden sounded like they could actually play quite well, and this particular track excited me with its screamy-but-somehow-still-in-tune vocals, fierce guitars, and manic drums. I spent my remaining teen years ( and most of my 20’s) trying to become a Guitar God, and I feel that this track was one of the inspirations for that.
4. Wintergatan: “Paradis”. Yes, it’s no secret; I’ve become quite the Wintergatan/ Martin Molin fangirl. This track is my favourite Wintergatan thing I’ve heard so far. It’s utterly magical. At no point during the 14 minutes (!) do I get remotely bored. The music flows seamlessly from one change to another, but without being predictable in any way. (The sexy guitars at the end were NOT something I was expecting upon my first listen! ).
For my upcoming berfdee, I will be treating myself to some physical CD’s of theirs from their website ( if they are still available! I hope!). Mp3’s are available for download, but I like having a physical copy of the stuff I really love. I tend to forget to back up files on my ‘puter, or, I back them up and lose the thing I backed them up on.
Anyhoo, this is included in my list not just because it’s amazing, but because although he’ll never know it, M.M. is directly responsible for me feeling the spark of musical inspiration again after a period of total apathy towards my musical instruments. I’ve been playing guitar again, drumming again, and, thanks to his very easy-to-follow tutorial on how to play the Marble Machine Piano Version, I can almost play that through without mistakes now ( which is saying something, because I really suck at keys). This mightn’t mean much to anybody else, but I’ve been feeling pretty lost lately, and this sort of thing is a great ( and necessary) distraction from my sadness.
Now, over to you! ( If you want )