I've been listening to a lot of music recently. I've also been in a very reflective state of mind as of late. Both these things point to one obvious fact - I am not doing enough - but they make for some fun memories and inner monologues (I'm a massive fan of the inner monologue. I'm also a big fan of the outer monologue, but I think most who know me would agree I should probably stick to the inner more often).
The music has been a pretty typical line up for this time of year, and for me. I have a tendency to fall in love with a song/band/album and listen to it repetitively until I never want to hear it again, move on, then re-discover it at a later date and repeat the whole pattern. And this tends to work on a yearly cycle, because certain times of year call for certain music. Every year my line up grows a little, as new artists are introduced to me, although I do keep returning to the same ones over and over - I'm pretty sure this will continue happening for a couple of years max, then I will hit that age whereby I have no interest in new music whatsoever, am happy (and indeed prefer) to stick to what I know, and condemn everything else as 'that dreadful noise'. Various sociological studies* put this occurrence at around the same time as one has children, so maybe I have a few more years in me yet. I'll let you know when I don't want to know.
So as I wander the cold lonely streets of London these days (ahem, or sit in my warm, lovely house) I find myself listening to the mildly-quirky-but-not-challenging strains of the likes of Regina Spektor, Noah and the Whale, the album for 500 Days of Summer, a little Ray LaMontagne, and...um...well, that's about it. How embarrassing. Had I realised how little has been filling my ears these last couple of weeks I wouldn't have started this, but I have, and I'm not prepared to stop now. There's been a little more, but not enough to make it leap out in my memory, and I don't want to lie just to save face (although, this is a very good reason to lie, in my book. I'm embarrassed enough without being entirely truthful all of the time). You see, this music is ideal for this time of year - melancholy enough to reflect the still frosty ground, the still bare trees, the still predominantly low, grey skies, but cheery enough to remind you that spring is on the way, and to make the leap off Putney Bridge look a little less tempting (total jokes, please don't call any hotlines about me. I would never jump from Putney Bridge. How tragically unglamorous).
As the days grow longer and the flowers start coming through, I'll be hauling out some more upbeat music to get me through, probably a bit of Devendra Banhart, some Newton Faulkner, The Shins for sure. Summer will approach, and with it a desire to bounce rather than walk, twirl rather than turn, and those acts will be performed to the downright poppy strains of Vampire Weekend, The Beach Boys, The Dandy Warhols, and The Chris McCarty Band. I'll also probably** up my outdoor exercise, which will be soundtracked by The Black Eyed Peas, Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, and other fairly crappy songs that get me moving faster than my normal sloth-like speed. And then I will compare the English summer to the New Zealand one I recently experienced, and find it sorely lacking, and will try to resurrect the Kiwi within with vast amounts of Fat Freddy's Drop, Salmonella Dub, The Feelers, and Fly My Pretties. I'll also haul out The Bads and The Heavy Jones Trio, because experience indicates I'm one of three New Zealanders who actually likes those bands, so I kind of feel like I owe it to them. Oh, and I'll go hard on the classics - the Finns in all incarnations, the entire contents of all Nature's Best CDs, a sprinkling of Dave Dobbyn - because you have to, and nothing reminds you where you're from quite as quickly and succinctly. I also know I will hear some incidental Kiwi stuff in random places, which will raise a feeling of verging-on-the-ridiculous nationalistic pride (they've heard of us and they like us enough to be playing us in this actually-quite-average bar in Hammersmith!) that is totally undeserved (I can't take any credit for the musical talent of various New Zealanders - I can't sing, I can't play any instruments, and I've never been in a band. In one Christmas play at primary school I was a xylophone-playing angel with a tinsel halo - the high point of my musical leanings).
Anyway, off topic. After summer...I don't know. At this point my life changes rather dramatically, and I just don't know what will work for me, music-wise, from here on in - but I'm guessing it could well be more of the same. Just because my life is changing doesn't mean I will (I'm 26, I'm stuck in my ways). But I will be sure to let you know.
Oh and a little reader interaction would be greatly appreciated - if you think my current choices are a little sad please let me know of anything I should be listening to. But you don't have to tell me I'm sad, mmmkthanks!
*Pure bunk, by this I mean 'based on my own infrequent and casual observations'.
**Um...possibly, no promises made or inferred.