What do you love about Music?
To begin with – everything…
Music is a very powerful thing for me. So it’s only fitting that at Project Shandy, music should be a big deal. My oldest and best friends will tell you that I tend to think in song lyrics. They are a form of poetry to me, something which speaks to a corner of my heart which will never open up to prose. The addition of music, harmony, rhythm – these only serve to make poetry more powerful.
When I have something I want to get across to my friends, I love to find them songs that sum up what I want to say. I love to share music with people and it’s something I use to define my life when I am experiencing strong emotions or when my memories are laced with powerful emotions. It’s easier for me to point to a song and say ‘There! Go listen to that” than to explain how I feel in a given situation. So let’s get a few things straight:
I’M A 90’s BITCH
A former friend once described me as someone who never left the 90’s. I’m not sure if he meant it as a compliment or not, but I took it as one and it’s absolutely right. Cool cymru, britpop, girlpower, nu/rap metal, soft reggae, movie power ballads, Balearic beats, the Ministry of Sound – I’ve played ’em all with no apologies. I’ve also got special affection for the Lilith Fayre sound, classic Motown, 70s rock, the Stock Aiken and Waterman studio and Angry Girl Music of the Indie Rock Persuasion. I was a little too young for the Hacienda and Madchester, but I do dip into their collections occasionally.
MUSIC AND FILM
Films which feature music are among my favourites, especially ones which feature characters with strong emotional connections to music. Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You was my absolute idol in my early 20s. In another life, I must have been Rob from High Fidelity. My husband describes large portions of my record collection as ‘music to slit your wrists to’. There are times when he has a point:
I desperately wanted to work in a record shop when I was younger. I loved hanging out in Phase One Records, a second hand store in the town where I grew up. I felt safe and happy there, even on bad days. Why? Well, Penny Lane from Almost Famous sums that feeling up best:
And while we’re on the subject of Almost Famous – I might not have a favourite song but I absolutely DO have a favourite film. If you haven’t seen this film and you are a music fan, you need this in my life. This scene shows me how powerful music can be. On the verge of separating under the auspices of an almighty row, the band Still Water and their followers sit on their tour bus and listen to ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John. By the end of the scene they are all signing along. Not one thing has been resolved, but they’re back to where they were. Home.
William: “I Have to go home”
Penny: “You ARE home”
SONG OF THE YEAR
For ten years I completed a meme online each December called the Review of the Year. I don’t do it any more, but while I did, I would find myself wondering what my ‘review of the year’ song would be, sometimes as early as July or August. Something about this notion appealed to me massively, the idea of summing things up in the neat package of a song.
I gravitate towards songs with something resembling an addiction once I find one which resonates in my soul. I cannot choose a ‘favourite’ song, because my ‘favourite’ changes with my mood, my life path, the happenings around me. It changes with the people I engage with and those that I have lost. It’s extremely comforting when I find songs which describe or encapsulate negative emotions or situations. I take some comfort and reassurance from the idea that someone else has been through this and experienced it strongly enough to capture it, pin it down into words and music, share it with the world. Summing up my year in a song helps me make sense of it and leave it behind. I’m able to put it in context and move on. The same thing goes with relationships, friendships, jobs. Anything that brings out the feels in me needs its own soundtrack.
‘Songs of the Week’ and ‘Songs of the Year’ will be my musical autobiography. My own personal soundtrack, if you will. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.