Everyone has a varying association with music. Whether we realise it or not we all have one; for some it is their life-blood, something that punctuates their very being, for others it is just something incidental that occurs when they turn the key in their car.
I am closer to being the former, though I’m not fully there. There are many parts that make me tick.
It is very rare that throughout the day I am not listening or, ill-advisedly, singing. iPod, radio or mumbling that Kee-Mo Ky-Mo song by Nat King Cole I’ve been unable to get out of my head for about three years now. I cannot live without music and thankfully everyday presents an untapped mine of aural delights which I can revel in. To be spellbound by something every day, even if only for a moment, is a beautiful thing.
I don’t listen to different music constantly, I don’t strive to constantly chop and change my devotions. I mean I do love finding new sounds to make me giddy but I have also listened to the same two albums on my bus journeys for the past two years (Tame Impala’s mesmerising debut, Innerspeaker and Two Door Cinema Club infectious first offering, Tourist History). Sometimes it feels like the only constant in my life. Sometimes I worry that I use music far too much to regulate my moods. That I require something that is produced so organically yet spurts forth from a device which feels so artificial to make me feel. Have I replaced a part of my brain with my iPod?
As with most things I obsess about they exist in my life in more than one facet. Naturally I go to gigs, I used to go to lots but now with work I find nipping out for a quicky near impossible, but, I also read a disgraceful amount about music. In fact one of my favourite pieces of bound paper is 1001 Albums to Listen to Before You Die…which is a touch morbid to say the least. I love reading about my favourite albums and then completely disagreeing with what the ‘respected’ journalist is spoon-feeding me. I know. I’m a gobshite. I even have gig tickets as book marks in these books and though I am quite vain I’m not so anal as to match up the gig tickets with the relevant subject matter.
The more I immerse myself in one particular genre or a particular area of a particular genre I sometimes find I shut myself off to other sounds. Just thinking about this distresses me. I want to be completely receptive to everything all the time and be able to form a judgement without the threat of a pause.
I despise that pause button. With its unapologetic abruptness. I usually snap at people when I am forced to press it. Though I suppose I do that anyway.
I’m often called a music snob due to my vaguely left field listening habits and my passion for it. But, is it wrong for me to enjoy the music I listen to and hate the music that you may listen to? I don’t hate everything that creeps into the saccharin sweet ‘pop-charts’. I mean I even have an Enrique Iglesias song on my iPod.
The majority of it is an abomination though, usually with a slippery quality that reminds me of phlegm (thanks Johnny Clarke) and the catchy qualities of chlamydia or your other STI of choice (go wild with you imagination, go on I dare you).
My dissertation for my English degree revolved around man’s relationship with music and how it differed from the female of the species and how men use music and associate with it. Probably the main inspiration for this is Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelity, my favourite book and one of my favourite films. I knew in my heart of hearts that this dissertation topic was of no real academic worth and that I would not uncover anything ‘real’. Indeed I found very little to back up my own thoughts so had to wing it by either going it alone as the unmoved mover or by getting creative with the truth. I waved goodbye to a first (well, by doing this and by doing very little work in the other three years of my course) in writing about something I loved. I don’t regret my decision for a second. Mainly because I believe my qualification to be useless. Getting a first would only have added to my job application rejection anger.
As I write this tripe I am, indeed, listening to music. I listen to music when I read, when I write, when I walk to the shops, get on the bus, go to the gym, when I am nodding off to sleep, when I am just sitting, being I am usually listening to music. Right now I have The Lumineers eponymous debut effort playing at my desk. I recommend it. Like with most of my recommendations, if you don’t take due care to pay attention I will end up despising you. You’ve been warned. But, you probably won’t care. Which is the right way to go on this occasion.
Despite my love of music I have found myself constantly frustrated with the lack of anything ‘incendiary’ happening right now. Sure, there have been a lot of decent releases over the last decade or so but I bet you can count the great ones on one or two hands. Certainly not three though. We were only given two hands. Hence all of those sayings.