Next week I’m going to get a new phone. My faithful iPhone 3 has served me well and witnessed many eventful scenes over the past three years. Today I looked through its various apps, nooks and crannies and realised that I’ve had the same limited playlist saved on there for over a year… since I planned the music for my bar shifts at Zoo Venues. I listened to the same songs every day for a month… then took the same playlist with me to Portugal and listened to it every day for two weeks. Now I listen to it most days on the tube! I’m over it! I am known for playing songs to death, but this has gone too far.
Another wake up call to my lack of musical development of late was my construction of a Spotify playlist (today’s version of a mix tape, sadly) for Jim. Of course it’s great to showcase your faves… songs that have helped shape the person you are today. But I used to make playlists with songs that I had just heard, by bands I was just discovering! I blame this on my lack of driving nowadays, and thereby my disconnection from my beloved local radio station RTRfm 92.1. I really miss driving along and hearing new independent songs that aren’t gross, autotuned, mass marketed piles of poo (sorry UK). It’s exciting to hear something new and then go on a search to track down more by that artist. There’s nothing more awesome and surreal than driving around the abandoned streets of Perth city in the middle of the night to the sounds of Difficult Listening – RTR’s experimental music show. Oh well. I guess I need to find something that will fill the gap, or just suck it up and stream it online (it’s not the same!).
It was while I was sitting at the beautiful Public House in Islington having a roast with my friend Alex that I firmly decided to do something about my dire musical situation. Song after beautiful song played and I had no idea what they were or how to get them. Ones I almost recognised would come on and drive us crazy, even when we cornered the super friendly bar guy and demanded the names and artists, he helplessly told us he made his playlist ages ago, it was on shuffle, and there was no way to see what songs had played recently and in what order. Maybe he needs to take a good hard look at his approach to music too!
Anyways, I did manage to put together a mix tape for Jim, and I’m going to list the tracks here. And before you’re all like ‘ew, no one gives a fuck about your weird lovey dovey mix tape, and anyway, isn’t that meant to be private?’, let me reassure you that in typical narcissistic style, the mix tape was mostly about me. I was trying to tell a story about my life before Perth, how I felt just before I left, and some of the things that have happened since then. So whatever, here it is. Rah.
1. The Chemical Brothers: The Test
This is a bit of a celebration of my early twenties… hazy, crazy early twenties. There were moments that seemed a bit of a test, set to a backdrop of wobbly sounds and wobblier people. It was really really fun though.
2. Warpaint: Shadows
This band is famously hot. Shannyn Sossamon (indie princess and DJ extraordinnaire who named her kid Audioscience), co-founded it. A rather morose second track, but we’ve skipped forward to my Paused Period, just before I bit the bullet and fully decided to make the move from Perth. No other song captures the apathy, the anguish, the endless languish, oh!… that was my life when I tried to just sit on the couch and not make anything go wrong. Delightfully depressing.
3. The DO: Travel Light
These guys are a French/Finnish two-piece band. I said that the previous song captured my apathy. Well I guess this one captures the process of detachment from everything and the realisation that I had been, and would be alone, and that was OK. ‘I don’t care about the scratches, no one followed me this far. Oh broken bones but empty head’.
4. KYU: Pixiphony
KYU are two girls from Melbourne. You have to listen to this loud, with lots of bass. Also fill your heart with girl power, or just the realisation that everyone is powerful (cheeeeesey). Seriously though, this song meant to lot to me and was in my head a lot as I left home.
5. Architecture in Helsinki: Hold Music
Yay fun! I had such a light hearted and amazing time in New Zealand for 6 weeks, where I started remembering who I really was and the fact that I love meeting new people. I learnt a lot and hung out with a whole lot of English under-25s on their gap years. Woohoo! This song is just silly.
6. The Mint Chicks: Fuck the Golden Youth
These guys are from New Zealand, my brother introduced them to me (by that I mean I stole his CDs for ages). I love most of their songs, they’re geat to jump around to. This song is also dedicated to the one bum-hole on the Kiwi Experience who ate my banana and then constructed the skin in the fridge to make it look like there was still a banana in it. You hilarious asshole.
7. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind
I had to put this in, I had quite a few moments to this song in NYC! Singing along to it with an entire bar in Hell’s Kitchen, alongside hardened New Yorkers as well as travellers. My friend Jo and I danced on the red steps in Times Square Alicia-styles, which was awesome, particularly as I was wearing ridiculously high heels. Also, I remember walking out of my dingey (but cool movie dingey) hostel off Times Square and walking around thinking ‘bah, it’s just like any other big city’. Within half an hour, I was almost euphoric. The streets really do make you feel brand new!
8. Gill Scott-Heron: New York is Killing Me
This is exactly how I didn’t feel about New York. Gill S-H is a really influential/important poet though, and I think this song is really cool. Remembering how tough people can have it in big, enveloping cities makes me grateful that things have worked out for me not only in New York, but in London too.
9. The Fall: Edinburgh Man
It’s sort of distant now, but before my festival experience in 2011 I held this really idealistic view of Edinburgh. After NYC I spent a week in London lazing around and annoying my friends, before living in Edinburgh for a few weeks. It was in May-June, so it rained heavily and steadily. I moved in with a Scotsman, a Spanish girl and a Scotswoman and loved my time there. Then I got a job in Doncaster and had to go because I was broke. Hang on, anyway, this song is about how much I love Edinburgh and how, despite all my subsequent fallings to Earth and intense experiences there, it will always have a kind of fairytale status in my heart.
I’m sleepy now. One more day of work til the weekend!
Playlist to be continued…