The last remaining songs on my mix tape for Jim enter into the seriously nauseating intricacies of our relationship and how it’s developed over the last 11 months. So of course I’m going to include them! I’ll make a token effort to spare you by not going into as much detail as I did for the previous tunes… sort of.
15. The Magnetic Fields: You And Me And The Moon
I know I know, breaking the mix tape rules, but it’s not my fault The Magnetic Fields have a song to fit every idiosyncratic romantic situation that any of us have ever had! ‘In a cool gay bar where the people are entertaining…’ Jim and I had our first kiss in a gay friendly pub in Shoreditch called George and Dragon (I know this is from 2010 but read the last line of the review… spooky!). We were on the opposite side of a booth we were sharing with two guys who were also making out. A picture of diversity.
16. Cut Chemist: What’s The Altitude?
This is one of my favourite tracks from Cut Chemist’s album The Audience is Listening. It’s about a boy and a girl whose relationship flies so high that it reaches outrageous altitudes.
17. Aphex Twin: Window Licker
It’s the moment every new couple has (I think). The moment you seriously discuss music and show each other your favourite music clips. In my nervousness and preoccupation with appearing ‘cool’ all I could remember were the intensely disturbing videos by Aphex Twin. So the first impressions Jim got of my music taste were Window Licker and Come to Daddy. Way to make a guy think you’re really weird. This track is actually better enjoyed via purely aural means – it’s amazing. If you do watch it on Youtube, be warned, the introduction goes for about 7 minutes and as my Year 8s would say, ‘has a lot of swears’.
By the way, I forgot to mention that track number 1 (The Chemical Brothers – The Test), is one of the coolest videoclips out there (controversial statement I know).
18. Radiohead: Thinking About You
Usually I find it insanely annoying when people join in with my singing. I sing away all day like a child with a social skills disorder, which understandably annoys friends, housemates and partners alike. I guess they assume I want them to join in with me. Not so! Nothing’s worse than having your own personal boogie interrupted by someone else. Even worse, when it’s interrupted by someone who can actually sing. So although Jim subtly removes himself from the room when I’m belting them out, I appreciate that he a) doesn’t whinge too much about it (I have made a huge effort to decrease the volume when he’s around at his request) and b) doesn’t intrude on my moments as he never sings anything! Or so I thought… until this song came on iTunes shuffle one Saturday morning spent pottering around his room, and we quietly began singing along at the same time. Jim broke through his singing barrier and I loved it rather than being annoyed. I didn’t look at him for fear of breaking the spell. Ahh Radiohead… bringing people together since Pablo Honey. ‘I bled and I bleed to please you…’
19. Nina Simone, Horace Ott: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
This plaintive plea from one lover to another speaks for itself really. My old housemate and I used to joke about waiting for the right amount of time to pass with a new boy before ‘showing him the crazy’. To say I have… issues… with relating to men would be an understatement, but I really am just a soul whose intentions are good. Really.
20. Missy Higgins: Stuff and Nonsense
One big thing that’s changed for me over the past couple of years is being able to name my anxieties and, in fact, to acknowledge that I have an ongoing problem with anxiety. One of the triggers for which is being in a serious relationship. It’s bubbled underneath the surface in lots of past situations, often with negative consequences. A nice lady called Roxy who I saw once a week for a few months this year gave me the ability to identify and acknowledge the reasons that that kept happening. While that process was happening, I needed things to be ‘just about the now’ as Miggy Higgins explains in her great Split Enz cover. Live for the moment, don’t worry about what might happen in the future and get caught up in catastrophising. I couldn’t let things go forward before I felt ready, and being honest about that in a calm, reasonable way was something new… scary but ultimately amazing. To get closer, I had to step away a bit. I knew the issue was with me, and for the first time I really decided to do something about it.
21. Joanna Newsom: Good Intentions Paving Company
A lovely song about complicated patriotism, exploration of identity and love. Also very fun to sing in the shower! A couple of years ago my friend James and I had the opportunity to see Joanna Newsom play at the Beck’s Music Box as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. I was hoping all night that she would play this, and hurray… she did!
22. The Panics: Don’t Fight It
The Panics are a local Perth band who Jim now loves thanks to being introduced through this song! It contains one of my favourite lyrics at the moment: ‘I left my heart in places, forgot every one of their faces, and tried to navigate a broken path of which I may have helped create. In any incident, this is never no accident, to stand alone… and let the silence make itself at home. Oh give it up, those dirty tricks, no quick fix could undo it. Oh give it up, I won’t resist.’
23. Crowded House: It’s Only Natural
This song completely speaks for itself in regards to how I feel after almost a year together. It also makes me think of sitting in a pub somewhere in Perth on a hot afternoon, and all of a sudden a Crowded House song starts playing. A few enthusiastic drunkards from each table join in with New Zealand’s finest and my happiness levels go through the roof. Not long now! It’s just 6 weeks until Jim and I are with his family in New Zealand, and after that, drinking beers in Perth pubs. I just hope we don’t take the weather with us *nudge nudge*
So Jim, that’s it… the meaning behind all of your songs. If, by chance, you’re considering breaking up with me, could you at least wait a couple of months so this isn’t so embarrassing? Thanks.