Monday, November 21, 2005

#6: This is raw: Music

Wow, it took ages to upload those images! Anyways, here's tonight's main entry. This is raw. This is exactly as I wrote it - not because I couldn't be bothered to edit, but because I thought it was an interesting excerise to demonstrate my thought-process in direct action. An hour-and-a-half of my life last night.



Music

I’ll admit it, I was struggling slightly for a post topic for this Sunday. It’s not that I haven’t got a bunch of thoughts banging about upstairs, more that none of them have really had a chance to fully form themselves yet. To prove this point, I’ll mention that I spent about an hour this evening with one particular item, hearing the echo as it bounced around the inside edge of my empty skull…

So, what to do. Well for one thing, I’m typing this the night before I go see MPH ’05 again. If the worst happens, I could always knock something out about that when I get in – but that’s risky. Something else, then.

Well, aren’t I the lucky one? All tucked up in bed at 11.30 (“Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week for me,” etc, etc – to quote one of the crummy car DVDs that resides in my collection, but which makes me smile every time) when my [insert suitable expletive here] buildingmate in the room above switches on his crappy stereo and cranks up the dance music.

Now, he – I’m pretty sure, though we’ve never met… – has a habit of doing this. I tend to amuse my ex- by texting her in complaint instead of banging on the ceiling. But it’s particularly loud tonight – while sticking to the usual god-awful selection of dance or trance or whatever the fuck. Basically bass-heavy, repetitive, shite. I’m sorry – the swearbox seems to have switched itself off this evening. Probably shocked by the vibration.

This makes me very awake. Despite several late nights writing this week, and the early start I’ve got in the morning (somewhat convoluted journey plan – explain another time) I’m obviously not going to get any downtime while my eyeballs are bouncing in their sockets. I lay in the dark for a bit, having also given up on Russell Bulgin, then figured well I might as well use the time and get the laptop out. I put this off for a few minutes on the basis that I actually needed something to say, rather than just killing the planet through battery usage. Then I got it.

[Hold on. Oh God – now he’s playing that bloody terrible recent dance version of “Days of Summer”…]

Context. That’s an interesting thing. I’m aware that I’m often on about it here, but bear with me. How is it that on occasions such as this I want to take every dj, remixer, sampling machine, and sub manufacturer and blast them to the moon – yet when they’re associated with a motor vehicle these things seem to make a certain sense? Actually, I’ll go further than that: there are practically no other circumstances when I will willingly listen to anything with such a regular reminder of its beats-per-minute. I don’t even like clubbing.

At such times I’m reminded that my closet blasterism isn’t always confined to lurking in a blindspot. Much as I physically resist the temptation, the thump of a bassline from the trunk of any passing car always tugs at me to turn round. Usually the rattle of the bootlid or some ineptly secured piece of interior trim confirms my smug superiority complex as a Fiesta full of chavs rolls passed, but sometimes, just sometimes the car impresses as much as the noise. Christ, what’s wrong with me?

This kind of music does have a kind of motive power. No doubt. Night clubs aren’t popular for no reason. That constant thump, slamming you in the back if the sounds are loud enough and the speakers are up to it – just drives you along, it sets the scene, adds atmosphere. Even gets you into the respect zone without the tricksy paint jobs and body modifications – should you care about that sort if thing.

What’s more, I’ve long held the theory that sound systems in cars has become such a big industry because they enable you to have a soundtrack to your own movie. It doesn’t quite work the same with anything else: if you’re listening to music at home you aren’t moving, and like with a personal stereo – sorry, it’s mp3 player these days, isn’t it – not many people are in on the selection. If you’re going to have a soundtrack to your life you want everyone else to hear, right? And I guess like the rest of that scene, there’s a certain something in the dedication and money involved in developing a kick ass ice installation. I remember reading once about a demo van from some company or other that had so many low-range drivers in it they reckoned that it shifted so much air you could probably suffocate anyone you locked long enough in the back.

Funny how I should be reminded of that just now. For the record (ha ha), it’s gone 1am, and he still hasn’t dropped the level.


You can figure the picture out for youself. It is helps, it was taken today!

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