From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Advice

Music for Melancholy

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Allow me to have a bad day. I am sat nursing one of the many bottles of wine leftover from the M&S dine in for £10 offers that have been collecting in the kitchen reminiscing on the past 12 months.

I got made redundant last August, found a job I was excited about only to discover on my second day that the office was closing down by Christmas. So the panic of finding regular employment started all over again just as soon as it had stopped. After a lot of energy sitting in my uncomfortable interview clobber I found another job by November. I jetted off to Istanbul for an exciting work trip within two weeks of joining them and contracted Tinnitus on the return flight to London.

12 months later I am being made redundant yet again as the office I work for closes. My lovely ENT Doctor who (not Doctor Who, that’s a very different Doctor) has worked so very hard and dealt with all my frustrations patiently and kindly, threw his hands up today and told me he’s exhausted every avenue he can think of to cure it. All of which have failed (regular readers of this blog will know that music is the centre of my universe and therefore my hearing is precious). Add to this the break up of a long-term relationship earlier in the year, which despite the fact I am happier out of that relationship I miss my sidekick and it was a tough thing to go through. Most days I laugh at all this shambolic rotten luck, because of all the wonderful amazing things landing on my doorstep (London 2012 especially inspiring, friends and families support even more so).

The point to all this? None really. I am by nature a glass half full sort. In fact I’m more glass half full, favourite crisps in the cupboard and a bottle of rum under the kitchen sink. I’m not typing this to offer any wisdom other than to say I think it’s OK to have a shit day every now and again, and it’s more than OK to admit it. This post isn’t intended to cause worry. It’s just about that one message, that it’s fine to have a melancholic evening. Drink wine, feel a bit peeved about the hand you’ve been dealt and listen to lyrics. Then wake up in the morning ready to kick the world in its chops and run round the park listening to Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On  A Prayer (I do that).

It’s good to have a soundtrack to wallow in, and beautifully sad music has a magical way of lifting me out of a sulk. Here’s what I’ve been listening to, just in case anyone out there is feeling a bit naff. Music offers a million things to me, that it can be cathartic is just one little element.

You can play this mixtape on Spotify or YouTube.

  1. Bat for Lashes – Laura
  2. Florence + The Machine – Never Let Me Go
  3. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  4. The Middle East – Blood
  5. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
  6. How To Dress Well – World I Need You, Won’t Be Without You
  7. Perfume Genius – Hood
  8. Anthony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
  9. Bon Iver – Holocene
  10. Kindness – House

Edge Of Seventeen

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I alluded briefly on my blog this Sunday to two teenage girls we met at the Hot Chip iTunes festival. They were in front of us in the queue and immediately started chatting away. At first we just talked about their love of Madness, how much they liked the tattoo behind my ear, cars (of which I am brilliantly ignorant, that’s Lucy’s department) and make-up. The usual topics I’d expect to cover with two sixteen year-old’s (apart from Madness, that threw me). They also couldn’t get over how old I was. I told them I was 33 (it turns out I am not 33 at all. I am in fact 34 and at some point over the past couple of years I have accidentally been lying about my age. That’s another story I’m still trying to get my head around).

This may also go some way to explaining why at one point I found myself screaming “I don’t even know if you kids think high-fives are cool any more but I’m giving you one anyway”. They humoured me with part pity and part bemusement.

Conversation soon moved on to truancy, let down dads and getting into fights. That’s when, in my drunken state, I imagined a cape falling from the skies and wrapping round my shoulders. I must be a responsible and inspirational person in a queue for a very brilliant band. They had to endure lectures about why they shouldn’t fancy Chris Brown, that if they keep on getting into fights how they need to join a boxing club like Nicola Adams, drugs, careers, school. I covered it all in a breathless whirlwind before the band started, each time something they said gave me cause for concern. We just danced non-stop after that, pausing only for me to give them horrendously middle-aged nods and winks every time boys their age walked past.

I was so determined to make some small impression on these girls, some little dent that come Monday morning they’ll decide not to bunk off school after all  that I didn’t really take into consideration some of the things they were saying to me. When I told them I had a date soon they grabbed me by the shoulders and told me not to sleep with boys on the first night with furrowed brows and a stern pout, it was the most serious I’d seen them all night. When one of them said she had an audition for a talent show she turned to me and said “It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out, life carries on doesn’t it? You just keep putting one foot in front of the other”. Wise words from one so young.

Followed by the other one grinning at me, pointing at Hot Chip and saying “I like the beats”, North Face jacket pulled up over her head, Nike Blazers keeping perfect time. I am in love with that simple sentence. All my music reviews now will have that ode to her, even folk music. I like the beats.

You know, I told someone about these girls and they told me they’re probably already a lost cause. I’m not so sure. After all they burst into song during Hot Chip covering Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere and with huge grins said “We love Stevie Nicks”.

Written by Anon PA

October 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm