There is a Jane Siberry song that goes:
Smiling at strangers reminds me of my dog
Better let them know you’re friendly
The way people dress reminds me too
Pissing on their favourite tree
Sad things remind me of my dog
Cockroaches and other insects
Remind me too, don’t eat them
The blank expression of the little boy
With thick glasses who picks
Himself up from the sidewalk
And stands there blinking in the sun
I am not a huge fan of dogs. I am a huge fan of this song: I understand the obsession, the way everything links back to one object or person or animal or circumstance. (This song is indelibly linked to a sad episode in my life: I am not going to discuss it here. You can buy the book if you are truly interested.) Also, it’s a metaphor duh. Most the time these days, it feels I can hear a phone vibrating somewhere out of reach. I keep missing the call. I think to myself, if only that person would reveal themselves then perhaps I might be happy.
The same applies to music: I am not able to listen to great swathes of music these days because the music is too linked to someone I am no longer. Or if I am still that person, he is out of breath and unsightly, possessed of little of the former stardust magic and perpetually weary. God, there goes that phone again. I wish they would leave a message.
Fortunately, there is always – at any given point in time – more incredible, insurgent, uplifting, life-affirming, infectious, sensitive (fill in your own adjective here) music waiting to be discovered than already experienced. Lift up the smallest of rocks and all manner of fascinating, inquisitive creatures come scuttling out. It is unavoidable. There is more great music around than at any other point in history (partly down to accumulation, partly down to the distribution of tools, partly down to training). Today, I would like to share three songs with you. They are my own personal Dog. Something that reminds me of everything else and vice versa. Context, context.
The first, I listen to constantly:
Man, this one makes me delirious with happiness.
The second, I listen to not at all but refuses to budge inside my brain:
Damn, if I am not convinced my own personal version sounds better than the actuality. (Not supposed to be a slight.) Quick, better listen to this one again and pretend I have a week-load of awesome gigs to look forward to and dance at (*instead of the reality).
Still paying attention? Good. The playlist should always contain repetition, to reflect life.
The third goes something like this:
I cannot listen to this one when anyone else is around, however. So in an odd way it is more representative of my life than anything.