shuffle 25

This is going to be self-indulgent. But then, when is a post here not?

So here goes.

Inspired by a friend’s post, I put my iPod on shuffle mode and patiently listed out the first 25 tracks that came on. The Hubby has always gone on about how playing music on shuffle is the best way to explore your own person music archive but I never did listen to him. I’m quite particular about what I wanted to hear, depending on my mood and what I’m doing then. But! I have to admit… this little exercise brought back some interest in the other 75 gigabytes of music that I don’t regularly listen to, but happily tote around with me every single day of my life.

That said… here’s my 25 tracks. And the thoughts that went through my head as I listened to them.

01. River by Madeleine Peyroux (oooh, nice. Why haven’t I been picking this album out to listen to? It’s almost perfect in every way for my midnight time alone…)

02. Everything In Its Right Place by Radiohead (classic band alert)

03. Space by Spiritualized (another amazing band. Grew up listening to them… still do actually… erm, both the growing up and listening…)

04. There’s No Home For You Here by The White Stripes (listened for a while, then promptly forgot… sorry White Stripes fans)

05. I’ll Be Your Pot Of Coffee by David Knight

06. The Love Of Richard Nixon by Manic Street Preachers (who could forget this early punk band? Taboo album titles, a missing member… just another band whose every album I owned with such pride back then)

07. Voicething by Goldfrapp (I enjoy listening to them while running. Hmm…)

08. High & Dry by Jamie Cullum (which is actually a cover of Radiohead’s classic)

09. Ladies Of The New Century by Mum (a band the Hubby introduced, which I fell in love with)

10. Robot by The Futureheads (I be honest… I not listened to them… yet)

11. The Best Of My Love by the Eagles (vintage no? What does that say about me?)

12. The Hollow Earth by Thom Yorke (my love and passion for Radiohead is showing a little too much)

13. Laid by 1969 (cover of a James’ classic, and a band that refired 2009 for me, reminding me to live with a little passion)

14. Polmont On My Mind by Glasvegas (a band, which if you haven’t listened to yet, you must! Worth your ear-time. And the gorgeous internet landing page is beautiful…)

15. Helter Skelter by U2 (classic cover by a classic band of another iconic group – the Beatles)

16. Bird Song Intro by Florence & The Machines (barely a song really, at 1:42 seconds… loved watching this band live)

17. Know Who You Are At Every Age by Cocteau Twins (gosh… we’re really going down memory lane here. This band accompanied me throughout my teenage years… I remember smoke-lit nights writing and listening to their music)

18. Fragments by Manic Street Preachers (I’m starting to see a pattern here… with the music that I have in my iPod)

19. Lasted In Different View by Yasushi Yoshida (beautiful instrumental music, fanstastic for late night pondering)

20. In The City by the Eagles (oddly, I hardly listen to this band much now. Maybe it’s a sign)

21. Halo/Walking On Sunshine by the Glee Cast (embarrassing… I am a closet Glee fan. I can’t help it. I love watching how they do the covers and mash-ups. No excuses…)

22. Don’t Be Afraid, You Have Just Got Your Eyes Closed by Mum

23. Amsterdam by Coldplay (needs no introduction, really)

24. Catastrophe And The Cure by Explosions In The Sky (one of the ultimate bands to watch live. Ever. I love.adore. them and am weirdly thrilled I’m nearly ending the list with this spectacular track)

25. A Three-Legged Workhorse by This Will Destroy You (another awesome track, awesome band… and awesome way to to end this very dull and inconsequential list)

 

Coolest bit to this entire exercise? I’ve begun listening to my iPod on shuffle. It’s… liberating. And just like watching MTV, I hang around waiting to see what pops up next. A little rainbow moment in my constant colour-shifting world.

So what is your shuffle 25?

Advertisements

dreaming it real

A boy in a wheelchair dreams of dancing.

It’s the biggest dream he has that fills him up with hope.

‘There’s all this new research that they’re doing and I think if I tried them all, one of them is bound to work for me,’ he smiles at his school counselor.

‘I read your file and… you know you are severely crippled,’ she answers him, holding sheets of medical research in her hands. ‘These studies take ten years or more before they are even tested on humans…’

And as the words of his counselor sinks into his heart, he bows his head and leaves the room. He lets go of his dream. Someone finally woke him up to reality.

‘It’s not going to happen, but I’m really okay,’ he says to his girlfriend. ‘I’ll make new dreams. I’ll dream of things that are possible.’

Yes, I was watching episode #19 of Glee’s first season and in my heart, applauded the scriptwriters for handling the delicate, nearly intangible topic of hope and reality, with dignity and grace. Year after year, thousands of hopeful wannabees put themselves out in American Idol auditions… and I am always amazed at how many people live in a bubble where all things are possible.

‘My momma says I’m a great singer so f%#k you Simon Cowell!’ I hear that statement repeated time and again on the show.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to handle, when auditioning singers in the past, was telling them that they didn’t have the natural foundations for what makes a good singer. Here I am, on one hand, telling people to build visions and dreams, while the flipside to what I do is bringing reality into what simply cannot be. I do my best to help them seek out their natural giftings and build on what’s already in them.

Dreams and reality – if there ever was a better conundrum, I haven’t found it.

‘Years ago, I couldn’t carry a tune,’ SoftSpeaker once said to me. ‘I know you won’t believe it but I never sang in public, and when I did, people told me I wasn’t cut out to be a singer. But it was all I dreamed of doing.’

She has since recorded albums and her voice is heard on at least two internationally marketed albums. She has performed in front of thousands and yet, here is a girl who says she couldn’t sing. What would have happened then, if she allowed someone else’s opinion change her course?

Can a dream be so powerful it changes the very elements of a person’s physical makeup, taking the impossible into the realm of possibility? Would that have worked for the boy in the wheelchair?

*

The first song I ever sang for my vocal teacher (more than ten years ago) was Dream A Little Dream (funny… I only just saw the irony of my selection) and because she was a jazz singer, she cut me off. I think I hurt her ears and caused embarrassment to her favourite genre of music.

Back then, I actually harboured dreams of performing on stage. My first vocal teacher (the temperamental witch!) was unyielding in her attack on my dreams and truthfully, I thank her for that because in injecting such mockery at my juvenile vocal attempts, she steered my dreaming into the right direction.

Today, I know that I’m not cut out to be a singer with albums under her belt. My ideals are lowered and I just want to sing well enough to hold a song without the cringe factor, while I do what’s necessary on stage. I have since sung in choir recordings, taught choir singers, done backing vocals, performed in musicals and my forte (if any) would be funny, dramatic and hilarious pieces. Yes, my singing is more a support role to what I do better – I am a communicator.

Do I still dream? Hell yes.

But I’ve also learnt the difference between fantasies and actual dreams. My definitions of both categories are based on a healthy combination of experience, brutally honest people, hope… and a sprinkling of all-things-are-possibility.

I fantasize about writing a book (while I battle deadlines for short articles), running a restaurant (I don’t even cook regularly though I must say, I eat well) and being in the top 20 fastest runners of a marathon (when I can’t even finish running 10k).

And my dreams? Ultimately, I just want to be happy and fulfilled every single moment of my day.

But that might just be made up of many tiny little fantasies… and that’s why it’s important to keep it all alive. With the power of dreaming and the Dream Maker’s ability, it might all come true.

Am I contradicting myself in this entire post? Yes. Because that’s precisely what dreams do.

They contradict reality and offer the solace that one day, what we want will happen, what we want changed will finally transform and what we desire most of all is really, already in our hands.

I say, dream on.

Now please excuse me while I go back to my fantasies.