Music is a relatively recent rekindled love in my life. Having small children and cranking my music of choice has presented some difficulties in my thin-walled cottage. Sure, they like Underworld and James Brown but only about one-tenth of the time. The rest is strictly devoted to a rotation of my kid-friendly mixtapes (Shirley Temple, Danny Kaye, classic musicals, Sesame St classics and slippages in taste as unfortunate as The Wiggles) and weird talking books like E. Nesbit‘s Five Children and It.
But now in the car I listen to my music, and have an office with speakers for my computer. Before long I’m dreaming of installing something wall-mounted, small and sexy from Bose in my house, as part of the grander fantasy of renovating it.
So I thought I might you know, reconnect with music a bit. It’s only been five years, right? I can’t have got a completely tin ear in that time? I like The Eels and Hot Chip and Vampire Weekend and listen to JJJ until it shits me (not long – it’s the announcers) before furtively slipping the dial to 3RPH for the oldies reading the newspapers in between sucking on butter menthols and drinking tea, god bless them. Or slipping on the even less hip local station, WMA, with its restricted playlist and regular doses of Waylon Jennings and Bread.
Re-reading that last para has confirmed that I am old. Def. But care factor zero, as we used to say. For the young people reading (none), that is equavalent to “wev”.
And the opshops have provided a freaking shitload of musical love. CD format is FINISHED, mos def. Which makes me happy. For two bucks a pop I’m taking chances on stuff I’d barely heard of like The Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible (this was before the Grammys scandal that popped a million Belieber brains like so many grapes). What a mindshredding score that turned out to be.
Other extremely happy additions to my live have been Moloko’s Things to Make and Do (it’s daft and dancey) and Idol Songs: The Best of Billy Idol. Billy Idol is camp fabulousness that I’d completely forgotten – Adam Ant is still alterna-cool so why not Billy? Dancing with Myself? Hot in the City? Flesh for Fantasy?
I’ve never had a copy of Joni’s Ladies of the Canyon either, and it’s fascinating for all the wrong reasons. It evokes a strange land before (righteously) angry feminism when free-lovin lasses like Mountain Girl and Joni baked bread and endured bad sex with too many smelly men who let them be liberated enough to do all the cooking and cleaning, while said men sat around the narghile and dreamed of freeing some other underclass. I’m fucking glad I didn’t live in Laurel Canyon. It sounded a tad Stepford Wives under all those wampum beads and cheesecloth. I do love Rainy Night House though, and the unassailable vibrato of her voice, it’s style from another time.
I’ve also massively dug Aussie Crawl’s The Boys Light Up (naughty, colloquial, scandalous nipple on the cover) and Suede’s Head Music (adenoidal Britpop), but don’t kid myself that this is more than nostalgia. Some of the cds in the stack haven’t even been graced with a listen yet. Maybe I’ll do potted reviews of all of them.
In the meantime, I’m going to buy myself a kicking pair of noise cancelling headphones and dance like I learnt how in the 80s. Because I did. If you get me drunk enough, I’ll even robot dance.