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30 days of music

Tuesday, 08 March, 2011

I don't think I want to be “into blogging more” so much as writing more—about anything, really. I saw this meme ages ago on Kieron Gillen's workblog

30 days of music

  • Day 01: Your favourite song
  • Day 02: Your least favourite song
  • Day 03: A song that makes you happy
  • Day 04: A song that makes you sad
  • Day 05: A song that reminds you of someone
  • Day 06: A song that reminds of you of somewhere
  • Day 07: A song that reminds you of a certain event
  • Day 08: A song that you know all the words to
  • Day 09: A song that you can dance to
  • Day 10: A song that makes you fall asleep
  • Day 11: A song from your favourite band
  • Day 12: A song from a band you hate
  • Day 13: A song that is a guilty pleasure
  • Day 14: A song that no one would expect you to love
  • Day 15: A song that describes you
  • Day 16: A song that you used to love but now hate
  • Day 17: A song that you hear often on the radio
  • Day 18: A song that you wish you heard on the radio
  • Day 19: A song from your favourite album
  • Day 20: A song that you listen to when you're angry
  • Day 21: A song that you listen to when you're happy
  • Day 22: A song that you listen to when you're sad
  • Day 23: A song that you want to play at your wedding
  • Day 24: A song that you want to play at your funeral
  • Day 25: A song that makes you laugh
  • Day 26: A song that you can play on an instrument
  • Day 27: A song that you wish you could play
  • Day 28: A song that makes you feel guilty
  • Day 29: A song from your childhood
  • Day 30: Your favourite song at this time last year

and took an instant shine to it—not just because Kieron was doing it (and his posts are probably the closest thing I'll get to Phonogram perhaps ever—unless both he and Jamie McKelvie are free enough and wealthy enough and motivated enough to do more)—sorry, not just because Kieron was doing the meme, but because the meme reminded me of Nick Hornby's 31 Songs (which goes under the title Songbook overseas [what necessitated the title change? Why???]). And (Must. Not. Drag. Out. Sentences.) one of the things I loved about Nick Hornby's 31 Songs is that watching him going on about stuff sort of freed me up to do likewise:

My second thought is that I'd like to write stuff about stuff. It's almost as if Hornby has given me permission to publicly declare my small opinions on things to the rest of the world. But in a way that would be meaningful, not the rantings and ravings of some juvenile self-obsessed blogger, balancing precariously on her soapbox …

So I'd like to have a go at the meme, but like Kieron, not tackle it in order and definitely not every day.

My other reservation is that I feel like I only listen to music partially. Craig W (in his wedding speech, of all places) reckoned that the world can be divided into people who are music people and people who are lyrics people, and Ben and I are most definitely in the former camp (whereas people like Guan give due attention to both). I couldn't tell you what most of the songs I listen to are about. I wonder if it matters.

Ben reckons it does not. I'm kind of inclined to agree with him. I do not pretend to be any sort of authority on music. Music is just a significant part of my life that I'd like to write a bit about. It's partly stemming from a desire to share (as most of my friends do not listen to the music I listen to), but also, as I said, it's just an excuse to prattle on about stuff.

So bearing all that in mind, let's proceed …

(Oh, I should note that the editor in me could not resist rewriting the meme to reflect Australian spelling and my own punctuation tastes!)

Day 09: A song that you can dance to

I'm not much of a dancer (never done a dance class, despite stating in kindergarten that my ambition in life was to be a ballerina), but ever since reading Phonogram 2.1: Pull Shapes (which is named for a Pipette's song about dancing; please refer to my fangirl tribute to the comic or read the preview online) and a related piece in the Phonogram fanzine, I've thought more about that aspect of music that makes you want to move (a kind of magic, I think), and even though in the past, I have been reluctant to embarrass myself in public, Pull Shapes changed my mind—to the point where, in 2009, I danced in front of the stage in the larger auditorium where the majority of the bands did their set. I probably wouldn't have done it were it not for the fact that Ben, Tim B, Mel B and a few others were also doing it. (One of the bands even commented on the fact that they didn't normally get people dancing at their gigs and that it was really cool that we were.) I still remember that night—how it felt to give yourself over to the music physically and feel it with your body, how much fun it was to do that with other people who were enjoying doing the same thing, and how much I did not, for once, care what other people thought. I am not a good dancer; I'm sure I looked really daggy. But I asked Ben later and he said that my dancing was quite joyful, so perhaps I did something right as I felt joy as I was doing it.

I keep thinking I must compile a playlist of songs I'd like to dance to—a playlist for some imaginary indie music party I keep dreaming about in my head. It would include songs like “Elevator Love Letter” (Stars), “Gimme Sympathy” (Metric) and recent obsessions like “Dancing On My Own” (Robyn) and “Black Sheep” (Metric again).

High on that list would be “Another Runaway”. Ladyhawke's self-titled 2008 album has, for some reason, become a perennial favourite. Like most of the music I listen to, I discovered her through Ben, then listened to her almost obsessively for a number of months. I think I kept coming back to it because it was one of the CDs we kept in the car stacker, which meant I often listened to it on the commute to and from work. Every time I thought about replacing it with something else, I'd remember how much I enjoyed listening to it and refrain. It's funny: the album has a definite 80s vibe, and normally I hate just about all 80s music. But for some reason, to me, “Another Runaway” is what 80s music was trying to be but never succeeded. It's the perfection of that era. Most people prefer “My Delirium”, “Paris is Burning” or “Magic” on that album, but “Another Runaway” is my favourite track. (It should be noted that Ben reckons it's the worst song on that album.) I love the fat synth and the driving, stamping beat of the drums that kick it off; I love the gloriously fun riffs; I love the way the chorus has the flavour of falling in love; and I love love LOVE the instrumental bridge section in the middle where the lyrics fall away and it's like it's just all about the dancing.

As I said, I'm not a lyrics person, so I have no idea what the song is actually about. But it speaks to me of being young, being reckless and being in love, and throwing your body around in space as though it doesn't matter who is watching because you're not doing it for them; you're doing it for you.

Just magic.

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