i’m a junkie. now hit me.

Ever had the ‘chills’ when you listened to a song?

Well, it seems like music could quite possibly function as a drug for some people. In a recent study published by Nature Neuroscience, they found that music can increase the dopamine levels in your brain (like how you feel after having that delicious dessert you’d been craving for) and certain tracks – from classical to rock – actually causes you to feel that wonderful ‘shiver’ down your spine.

In the study conducted with 26 individuals, their emotional arousal (monitored via a brain thing-a-majig… not anything else!) was documented and their top 40 hits can be found here.

I’m not surprised that some of my all-time top bands were on the list. And at the same time, pleased that these scientists have a wonderfully diverse playlist.

Yes, I am a music junkie. And now we know why. Take a listen to some of my personal favourites.

1. Lamb – Angelica (electronic)

2. Explosions In The Sky – First Breath After Coma (post-rock)


3. Led Zeppelin – Moby Dick (rock)


4. Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake (classical)


5. Ennio Morricone (Film score for Kill Bill)


6. Steve Vai – Beethoven’s 5th (rock/metal)


7. Tiesto – Adagio For Strings (trance)


8. Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (rock)


9. Dave Matthews Band – #34 (rock)


10. John Williams – Across The Stars (film score for Star Wars)


*

When I think about how music has the power to cause such reactions in people… is a wonder then, that the importance of harnessing this power to create dreams becomes all the more important to me, and what I do?

Dream Maker… you know what makes people tick. Cause me to hear that heartbeat – yours and the people’s – and to create landscapes upon which they too, can paint their own visions for tomorrow.

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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?

huffing and puffing song

I have found the perfect song that defines my running attitude from the 8km marker onwards. It’s extremely poetic, consisting of a few words that anyone can hum along to when they’re huffing and puffing away.

‘F%$k it, f%#k it, f%#k it, f%#k it!’

I know many say that encouraging remarks helps one to cross that mental barrier we face when we hit a wall. ‘Picture yourself running with ease’ or ‘ tell yourself you can do this! You can make it!’ and I’ve tried all that. None of it works. Chanting the above in sync with my footsteps however, causes me to smirk. And that propels me forward.

Especially if I meet Red Runner again.

I saw her last night, as I did my circles around the pond and for the first few rounds, we were in sync. She was running the other way around the course and we crossed each other at the same points for the first three rounds. Our only difference? I was struggling while she was obviously doing an easy pace. I hated her for that.

‘Damn it,’ I muttered to myself as I struggled to bring air into my wretched lungs. I dreaded seeing her again, which I did, unfortunately, as I walked around the circuit. I could have sworn I saw a gloat in her demeanor as she flew past me, over and over again.

‘F%$k it, f%#k it, f%#k it, f%#k it!’ Daftpunk was never more eloquent.

*

The longer I run, the faster I run out of things to think about. Try sitting in a chair and staring at a wall for two hours. Wonderful, isn’t it? Even the usual stories I make up about other people turn into sarcastic commentaries as I begin to find little things about my random companions annoying.

That said, I love every passerby with all my heart. They are a good break from the tedium and monotony of putting one foot in front of the other.

Yes, even Red Runner – god bless her darling heart.

I wonder what she does on a normal day?

*

So Smiley said that my knees hurt purely because it’s doing more than it ever did before.

‘You just need to recover. Take it easy this week and slowly build up your stamina and strength again,’ he said.

‘But they ache all the time,’ I whined.

‘You just did a 10k run last week,’ he stated. ‘It’s more than you ever did before. Just relax…’

Has it only been a week? But yes, Smiley is right. I did a little more reading today and found out that these aches and pains are normal. I, being the over-dramatic person that I am, have been entertaining images of me injured, over my short runs. Forgetting the simple fact that prior to this season, the only running I ever did was to walk quickly in my heels to the office was I was late. I didn’t even break into a jog to catch the train/bus, always preferring to take the next one that came along.

Right. So there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just… pain.

Altogether now, ‘Pain is inevitable. Suffering, optional.’

Now where’s Daftpunk?

bleedin’ youth

enjoy

Everybody’s talking ’bout the stormy weather
And what’s a man do to but work out whether it’s true?
Looking for a man with a focus and a temper
Who can open up a map and see between one and two

Time to get it
Before you let it
Get to you
Sonic Youth

Alright! Enough of all the dismal reports in the news. Let’s get on down with some happy riotous tracks to race the blood again. If you’re looking for dance-y, electronic tracks, this is NOT for you. But listen to this mix if you want to return to the great days of dancing away in indie clubs. This will make you walk with a strut. Yes, you can face the days ahead with a swagger!

Research tells us that children up to pre-school age laugh about 300 times a day. 300 times! It’s because to them, life is one big happy occurrence. They have what they need and are not concerned in the least about what they don’t have – children are experts at the art of happiness… As adults, we laugh about 15 times a day. That doesn’t mean that we’re miserable, but it does indicate that as we grow up, we start to worry and concern ourselves with things, and unfortunately, we end up laughing less. – quoted from Buzzle.com

Laugh at the comedy that life is, the absurdity of mishaps and let’s take back what belongs to us; the power to laugh at hell in the face. ‘Oh… ah-ah-ah-ow!

To help you along, here’s another mix, courtesy of the Husband. Enjoy!

Bleedin’ Youth

01. Sonic Youth – Teen Age Riot
02. Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out (Daft Punk Remix)
03. Gang Of Four – To Hell With Poverty!
04. Joy Division – Transmission
05. The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty In Pink
06. Echo & The Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar
07. The La’s – There She Goes

addictions

birdstrings

There’s an addiction to checking one’s Blog Stats. It gives me a secret thrill to see that there are people out there who actually read my stuff. And today I saw that someone googled ‘Ineedtopee’ and was somehow redirected to my pages. I almost chuckled out loud because… why would someone google that? If you’re that person, do let me know. I wait with bated breath to find out.

But back to addictions.

An addiction is the compulsive physiological (the body) and psychological (mind & emotional) need for a habit-forming substance or the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.

Righto.

So here’s the list of things I am addicted to.

1. Coffee – I need my coffee. Most preferably a triple grande hazelnut soy latte in a take-away cup (they stay warm longer) but if I can’t have that, a home-made drip coffee will suffice. Instant coffee doesn’t count. Firstly, it doesn’t taste like coffee. Secondly, it’s almost always too sweet, too thin, too lacking.

2. My laptop – surprisingly, I can survive without a mobile phone for a day but I cannot live without my umbilical cord to the cyber world. It feeds me. It nourishes me. It makes me feel a little less stupid when I know I can Wiki or google at an instant.

3. Any reading material – I will become a classic grouch if I cannot read. Newspapers, magazines, books, articles on line, signboards, pamphlets… anything. I even read while I shower and brush my teeth. There was once I was stuck in a salon having my nails done and there was nothing to devour. After reading the chemical components found on the nail polish bottle and memorizing the nail colour and number reference, I developed a severe headache. That was the last time I went to that salon, or had my nails done, for that matter.

4. Love – at the risk of being corny, I love being loved. Come on, who doesn’t? I love being around people who love me and I love in return. This of course is a double-edged desire because I have moments when I really need…

5. Me time – solitude is my breath of fresh air in the coagulated atmosphere of work, demands and needs that I can’t meet.

6. Music – it’s not a snack to me, it’s the main course. I don’t blame people these days for treating music with a casual air because there is just so much of it floating around. But listening to a hit song is akin to reading a quote. It can be good, but will be made richer if you actually read the whole book/article that it was taken from. Self-exploration is part of the fun and that is perhaps what I try to do here at the marionette. To bring music away from it’s viability as a hit song and more as something you’d sit down to honour, respect and listen to.

Take the journey the music man took in crafting the songs.

So there. Addictions. Is it a bad word? Perhaps, if taken in context of substances that do damage to one’s person. Is it a sign of a greater need? Many psychologists would think so. Or maybe… it’s just what we need to make sense of an ever-changing world – the constant in life’s waves, like an anchor.

bootie quiz

boots

This should be easy for some of you. Click on the links below, take a listen to some of 2008’s best booties, then try to figure out what amalgamation of songs they are. This entertains the Husband immensely as I hardly get all the songs correct and he being Mr. Know-it-all in the arena of music (the guy collects music trivia for fun!) feels then that his ego is affirmed. Still, it’s great fun. I’ll post the answers up a few days later. The titles are a dead giveaway.

1. Dance dreams by Divide & Kreate

2. I want you dance by Comar

3. Duffy train running by DJ Y (Alias JY)

4. Paper rump by DJ Tripp

5. Low Dog by DJ Fox

And here’s one more that is just enjoyable but was made earlier than 2008.

6. When will I be supermassive by DJ Schmolli

I wore my 4-inch platform heels today. Completely forgetting that I had to stand on stage for 2 over hours. It was not a good feeling. But it could be the reason why I had the sudden desire to listen to happy music. They give me happy feet. Whatever.

Oh, and a big thanks to the Husband’s friends for doing these. Hope you don’t mind that I featured them here.