Happy new moon season my lovelies!
I took a break from this here space for a while to spend a few weeks in Berlin on a sorta working holiday. It was a thought-provoking stay and, while I haven’t been listening to a whole lot of punk or hardcore lately, I do have a bunch of jams I discovered, both new and old, which I will be sharing with you soon. (I swear I haven’t given up on punk just yet…) I’ve definitely lost track of the many great new bands that have been popping up on my punk horizon in the last six months or so. I guess I’ve been consciously avoiding too much new information. I need to de-clutter my brain from the vast amount of junk that already resides there. And, if you couldn’t tell already, this podcast isn’t really about delivering new music anyway, it’s autobiographical sets of music you may or may not enjoy.
I always listen to the radio a lot in the summer, and find myself reverting back to a teenager and getting excited with ridiculously pop songs. Is ‘Drunk In Love’ a certified banger and one of the sexiest mainstream songs to come out in the last five years? Yes. Can I deny how catchy Jarfaiter is, or how fucking annoying Drake is, or how cheesy the Chainsmokers and Tove Lo are? No. But I like it either way, I don’t know what to say… It’s not so much a guilty pleasure; more like declared deviance from the path of punk.
In some cases they’re actually gems of motivational, linguistic brilliance, like The Streets and their masterpiece ‘Turn the Page.’ Or diamonds in the rough, like Burkinabé musician and singer and song-writer Victor Démé. In others it’s a testament to artful songwriting that sounds stunning even at the wrong speed, like Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene.’ Some of it was purely circumstantial—I heard ‘My Broken Heart’ covered by Personal Best in Berlin, and I’ll admit I prefer the original. Other times it was regional, dropped pins on a mental map. Like last summer when I lived with summertime Sadness down on the West Coast; I couldn’t escape Lana Del Rey. And there’s something so quintessentially West Coast about Best Coast, that it brings back so many memories from when I lived in the land where they swing their cars.
The songs all made it into my mental music library. Some seeped their way in subtly, insidiously, reluctantly even. Some left their mark indelibly, like dates circled on a calendar. Others have been orbiting my existence forever, like Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed and Lee Hazlewood; tracks I first discovered as a young child sitting in the back seat of my mother’s yellow 2CV, enchanted by the music coming from the dusty speakers up front. I guess some experiences come with a soundtrack whether you like it or not, and—topped only by my weakening sense of smell—music is the strongest thing to evoke those memories of summers past. Some of them seem like a lifetime away, more like a hazy dream on a hot day after a long drive up the coast. My my, how the seasons go by. Halfway through August already. Exactly one year ago I was in LA having one of the dreamiest weeks of my life, unaware of the leaps and bounds I would be making a couple months later. Funny how often ‘dreamy’ is synonymous to ‘bittersweet.’
I’m in a strange mood. Not fragile or down, but not exactly booming with energy either. I’m laying low and mentally —and to some extend physically —detoxing until the fall. That requires a certain level of solitude. Ideal for focusing on the two new jobs I just landed and getting into a healthier routine. (Though I could never give up some of my bad habits…) For now I am happy to pause my bouncing around and just stay in one place for a while, shut the world out and work work work work work. Securing my assets, taking stock of my loses and making worst case scenarios in case the apocalypse finally decides to grace us with its presence. We all have our battles, our problems and ambitions and it’s easy to be disheartened by fear and distracted by self-doubt. Sometimes you just need the comfort of silence. ‘To let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.’
Find your mountain and climb it. Send me a postcard from the top.
With love from outer space,