Monday, August 19, 2013

Song of the day

"Walking In The Rain", by Grace Jones.

When I do not have much spring in my step, I have probably not been listening to enough music. When I get the chance to listen to music, the spring returns. I don't know why this is. I think it has always been this way. It seems like a relatively simple and inexpensive form of therapy, and one that should be inherently manageable; and yet it doesn't always work out that way. Perhaps sometimes I am not actually in the mood for music. Or I cannot find the right way in, the correct path through the seemingly impenetrable forests of hard drive clutter. The silence of the blog tends to coincide with such phases. The takeout lesson: if I am silent here, I am most likely not travelling as well as I would like to be. Because if I am listening to music, words are usually forming in my head. Maybe descriptors. Maybe comparators. Little sentences and paragraphs arrive in my mind, perfectly formed, only to instantly vanish into the ether. But some remain, and I write them down, here, maybe out of vanity, maybe in order to empty them out of my head to make room for more useful content. Actually I don't know why I endeavour to capture and pin them. does there even have to be a reason? The 15-year-old recently asked me why there is always a song of the day, and whether there is actually a song of the day every day. I said there wasn't, that it was just what I called whatever song I was writing about. But I think there is always a song of the day, it just doesn't always (often?) get documented.

What I think I have figured out, though, finally, is why I don't do holidays and weekends well. It's because I don't always get the chance to listen to music, or at least to listen to music in a meaningful and uninterrupted fashion, at home. Because of, uh, "circumstances". Maybe the particular thing I am wanting to listen to is on a laptop that someone else is using. Or I am listening to something on the stereo in the living room when I get Bruce Doulled by the 15-year-old, so he can listen to one of his many video game soundtracks. Or the 13-year-old wanders in and says something harmless, yet damaging, like, "Ew, who is this? They can't even sing." (Jonathan Richman in particular is a frequent victim of this observation, for some reason.) In other words, normal life conspires against me.

But as the rasta man says: Don't think about me; I'm alri i i i i i ...

Because unlike, probably, most of you, I can listen to music practically all day at work (a) without getting into trouble, (b) without annoying anybody and (c) with no noticeable drop-off in productivity or quality, possibly in fact the reverse. So I am actually frequently in a better frame of mind at work than I am at home. No, I am not proud of this. Nor do I understand it. But it might actually be a useful thing for me to have figured out.

Which, somehow, if only because I have run out of anything else to type and because "Media Watch" will be on shortly, brings us to Grace Jones. A song of hers, not this one, shuffled up onto my work computer this morning, and reminded me that what I really wanted to listen to was her singing "Walking In The Rain". There is just something about it. Sly and Robbie in the rhythm section. The Compass Point vibe. The glamour of the production, of the sound (and of the singer, obviously). The synthesiser that sounds more 1986 than 1981. The fact that it was written by Harry Vanda and George Young.

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Grace Jones ...