What effect does music have on you?
Well that really depends doesn’t it? It depends on how I’m feeling before it starts, what I’m thinking, what I’m doing and who else is around me. It also depends on the type of music.
I used to use this sort of music while I was writing. I’d put on The Lord Of The Rings soundtrack or something else that didn’t have any distracting words in it and it would just be a soft background sound while I typed. Now I don’t seem so able to do that; in fact, if I’m trying to write I can’t have any music on at all. I think this is because even the gentle stuff is so relaxing that it allows my mind to wander, rather than concentrating on what I’m supposed to be writing. It gives me an excuse to stop and listen, or else remember scenes from the films the music came from. The Lord of The Rings particularly. This is especially risky if I’m writing something new that doesn’t have its own voice, feel and personality yet; the last thing I want it to do is morph into Tolkien because I’m listening to music I associate with his work.
Love this stuff. Though I must admit, this style of music from more current years is getting more and more samey and more and more full of pimps, bitches, hoes, money and violence. I have lost interest in it. If I’m out on a night and I want to dance, then this is what I want to dance to; Beyonce, T-pain, B.O.B., Rhianna, all that junk will keep me reasonably happy (though that girls rule the world thing by Beyonce nearly made me want to cry). But it makes me feel like swinging my hips or pumping my arms. Sexy isn’t quite the world, but listening to the rhythms and the lyrics, as well as knowing who is singing, makes me more aware of my own body and what it can do; what I like about it and what I’m happy to show off. Its kewl.
Well its cheese isn’t it? It just makes me happy. It may make me dance, it may make me wriggle, but most of all, this sort of music makes me feel good. Its so light, cheerful and senseless. I really enjoy music where I don’t have to think, so something like Flee Fly Flo by Fem@il (which no one seems to remember but me) makes me smile.
If I’ve had a bad day I’ll even put on something like that or something like…
Angry Drums and Rock Music
It doesn’t even have to be ‘angry’ music. I mean something that is made to be played loud, with drums and guitars. Something with a hard, fast pace that, should you try to walk to it, will wear you out before you get half way through. I have a couple of songs that I call ‘walking songs’ and I use these when I’m pissed off, or needing to get somewhere in a rush. This music will make sure I do. But there’s quite a range in this category for me, even stuff which, to be honest, doesn’t really belong there. Scream by Michael and Janet Jackson for instance, is right up there with Play With My by Extreme or Explosivo by Tenacious D.
Not because of the sort of music it is, but because of how it makes me feel; energised, lively, pacey. Sometimes I even feel quickened from a poor mood by being able to shout along to the music as I walk along the street.
I’ve got links to the myspace accounts to some of my favourites down below. These bands and the music these guys play make me feel proud to live here. I may not be from here, but knowing that these wonderfully talented people live where I live makes me feel somewhat better about what I do. It also reminds me of fun I’ve had out during day time events or in the evenings when local bands get to play. There are memories and good feelings attached to the music played in particular by the bands listed in the links below and tracks from these bands are shuffled into my mp3 player playlist. When they pop up, I can feel the smile crack my face as my mind starts to take me back through my memories to good stuff which has happened while listening to these songs.
Those are the main categories. There are more, of course, but I find it easiest to identify how the tracks make me feel. There are also specific songs that, once upon a time I used to fall asleep too; The Wedding Song by Tracy Chapman or Into The West by Annie Lennox. Songs that bring me right down to the floor and soothe everything out of my brain; they’re so easy to listen to that suddenly my mind is clear and I can hear nothing but the beautiful melodic notes.
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.