Last Friday I listened to Air on the way to work. Sitting on the train into town, staring out the window I felt like I was in the opening titles of an independent film. Lots of long, wide shots to set ‘atmosphere’ and you leave the cinema wandering what you had done to deserve losing two hours of your life to such monotony. Think Broken Flowers meets Napoleon Dynamite, without the redeeming dance scene at the end. It took me about two hours to shake the funk off me and actually get some work done.
Today I put on the back catalogue of Powderfinger and suddenly I was the lead in a Hollywood blockbuster. I could have wrestled the terrorist to the ground and stopped the tram from dropping under 55mph if I needed to. I was John McClane, Tyler Durden and Maximus all rolled into one. The work just flew by and I more than made up for the distractions of Friday.
I know that music can affect your mood – you don’t try and seduce someone with the musical stylings of Rolf Harris in the background – but I’ve never personally had such a weighty demonstration before. The closest I’d come previously was when I first got my MP3-player not long after I moved to Melbourne. I used to cue it up so that the first track that I played as I left my flat every morning was Bohemian Like You. I’d like to say that it was because I hoped to meet some rising musician waiting tables, who would take a shine to my hair and would invite me back to her place but the truth is that I just needed something to put a spring in my step and help me forget that I was separated from Robyn.
Ah, the soundtrack moment. I love the 'soundtrack to my life' approach to MP3 player programming. I wrote in my diary as an angst-ridden teenager that I felt like I was 'dress-rehearsing my life to a Bad Religion song'. Of course, listening to Tori Amos on the tram and imagining you are in a huge, faceless city, on your way to your job as a waitress in a dingy diner (love that naugahyde) is always spoiled when a 200 kilogram wino sits next to you and offers to brush your hair.
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