jeudi 28 janvier 2016

Role reversal/reversible roles

The first Cat Power song I ever heard.  It was on a mixtape a friend made me; I don't talk to her any more, but I loved that mixtape.

I hadn't listened to any 'old' Cat Power in ages, when this song came on the other day and took me by surprise.  It came on and sounded hauntingly familiar and yet slightly unfamiliar all at once.  It took me right back, to a house I lived in over a decade ago, where I would listen to that mixtape - and particularly that song - on repeat for hours at a time.

I was quite unhappy.  I was thin and pale, weighed down by hair and eyeliner, hiding behind outfits that now I cannot fathom.  I was in disguise.  I was a bit lost.  I was difficult to be around.

Hearing this song now, I am shocked by how dark it is.  How very bleak.  I don't remember being struck by its darkness at the time - it just matched my mood; it sounded exactly how I felt.  That makes me feel a bit sad; it sounds now like wasted time.  This song sounds very, very sad to me, in a way it never did before.  It's still beautiful, though.  I'm very glad it sparked a lifelong love affair with Cat Power - and that she and I have both got a lot happier since those days.

mardi 26 janvier 2016

Nearly there.

January always feels like a long month.  We're all poor; we're mostly trying to be healthy and all that kind of stuff.  I have mostly been hibernating with a lot of Netflix and soup.

But we're nearly there!  It's nearly payday!  The mornings are definitely getting lighter - there is some discernible navy blue in the sky when I leave the house first thing in the morning now.

Last night I went out for dinner with my mum and ate ramen, and she gave me some sparkly shoes and very jazzy new running leggings (Christmas presents that she had hidden away in a drawer and forgotten about!).  Honestly, in the bleak depths of January, it was better than Christmas itself.

On the train this morning, this song came on and it lifted my heart as it always does.

samedi 23 janvier 2016

But I know what I like.

It’s retro of me, I know – but I love an iPod shuffle.  I like to call it iPod iChing: sometimes seeing what comes up, which random songs I stick with and which random songs I skip, tells me great truths about myself and the world.  Or something.  Kind of.

Yesterday, on a train, I found myself gravitating towards unexpected choices.  It helped me unravel my mood.  Really.

So, Buckets of Rain came on.  I nearly skipped it.  I’m only a very casual Bob Dylan fan.  ‘Fan’ might even be pushing it.

I’ve always thought of this as a very throwaway song, for some reason.  Maybe it’s all that ‘buckets coming out of my ears’ stuff.  If I want to listen to something like this, I would always go for You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go*, which I have always thought of us a similar but very superior song.

Anyway, I didn’t skip it, and I was struck for the first time what a really, truly sweet song it is.  It made me smile to myself on the train, and listen to it again and again in a row, and then finally listen to all of Blood on the Tracks.  I had actually forgotten how good that album is, I hadn't listened to it in years.  Turns out, I love it.

I like the cool way you look at me
Everything about you is bringing me misery

When I got home and was Googling about it (obviously), I came upon this version.  I can already hear the consternation of the purists.  Sorry.  I don’t expect you all care for The Divine Miss M.  In fact, I would scarcely have imagined that Bob himself would, either – until I heard it on good authority that they ‘got to first base’ in the back of a Cadillac…  But it makes me feel very happy.

* For some reason, for a long time, I always thought this song was called You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When *I* Go.  Which would surely make it the most outrageously passive-aggressive song ever written, and probably says terrible things about me.

vendredi 8 janvier 2016

To be a superhero, to be like nobody

I was reminded of this song today, which I haven't listened to for a while.  I remember a time a few years ago when I would use this as my anthem, listening to it constantly on my headphones to keep me sane, to make me feel brave.  That was a bad time; maybe I don't need it so much any more.

I had strange dreams last night and I feel out of sorts today.  But this song was in my head when I woke up.  To keep me sane, to make me feel brave.

It's sunny.  It's Friday.  It's going to be a lovely weekend.  It's OK.

It's up to you to be a superhero.  It's up to you to be like nobody.

mercredi 6 janvier 2016

January - not only a Jacqueline Susann heroine

Hello, January.  You've been around a while now, but I am still coming to terms with you.  I am kind of torn between being glad that Christmas/New Year is all over, versus a very begrudging 'bloody January again' mentality.  Getting up in the dark is not fun; roll on the spring.

That said, it was a lovely New Year's Eve.  One of the nicest I can remember ever having, in fact.  It was simple and fun, involving a very favourite friend (aka The Wife), record shopping, fizz, cocktails, pizza and a kitten.  And some interpretative dancing to Joanna Newsom, always a must.

And, yes, now it's January again.  No big resolutions from me - minus perhaps some vague attempts to be less 'cool girl' plus a bit healthier.  I've started 2016 off the booze, but also off the running, as my sinuses appear to have been hijacked by a slimy monster - interesting stuff, I know.  I'm doing a 10K at the end of January, so I need to get back on the running, at least.

However, in further evidence that middle age surely beckons, I find myself more excited about the country walk I am planning for Saturday than I am about most nights out.

As January is a month for hibernation, I have also resurrected my on/off romance with Netflix, which I think may currently be my most meaningful relationship.  I have recently watched The Babadook, Coherence and Frank (all very excellent and recommended), as well as a lot of vintage episodes of 3rd Rock From The Sun (still funny).

In other news, I am still obsessed (OBSESSED) with Star Wars, and looking forward to seeing The Hateful Eight.

This morning on the train, I finished Chrissie Hynde's memoir.  She is very, very cool.  In fact, my only criticism of the book would be that she is perhaps a little too cool.  Still worth a read, though.

Here she is being cool.  And with an apt title for current back-to-school feelings.  Oh, and excellent fringe - although I shall perhaps explain at a later date my ongoing personal issues when it comes to Chrissie Hynde and her fringe).