Thursday, 26 January 2012

Jetlag Music

The following blog post was brought to you by a combination of jet lag, bananas and listening to Spotify playlists for almost twenty four hours straight. 

I have been so cocky since my return. “You sound perky,” had been a regular comment on my mood since I landed back on Scottish soil. Jet lag wasn't going to get me. I left Los Angelos six thirty in the evening, managed to doze on the plane and allowed myself a pint once I passed through the hell that is Heathrow's Border Control service. Back on a plane to Glasgow where I dozed again on the short flight. By this point it was five in the evening, GMT style. I had been (relatively) awake for twenty four hours, eaten two dinners and a breakfast in the middle of the night. Somehow I made it through the evening until bedtime.

Then I slept for twelve hours straight.

“You sound perky,” Him Indoors muttered as he stumbled into the living room this afternoon. “I feel great!” I replied.

Yeah, I don't feel so perky now. Wide awake at three in the morning, GMT style, when I should be finishing off my last beer before bedtime, LA style.

One of my New Year's Resolutions was not to get stuck in a musical rut. I am cheating a little bit in January. Due to my travels across the pond, I thought it was a wise idea not to actively pursue any of my goals. Apart from the musical rut. That was relatively easy one to achieve. In total I was spending approximately forty hours on planes plus a lot of waiting around at airports. I assumed I would read on the plane; an incorrect assumption as I entered that hideous state of being too tired to read but being too aware of my surroundings to stay awake. Planes are a sociologist's dream and a OCD nightmare. 

Thank God for Spotify and its Offline playlists feature. Below are some of the songs I enjoyed on my trip to LA and San Francisco. Some have stories. Some don't; they're just there to be enjoyed.

The Walkmen – Juveniles

Story: Him Indoors and I decided to partake in a gig whilst we were in San Francisco. Originally, we decided to go and see The Walkmen after catching them as support for Arcade Fire in June. Unfortunately, the decision to buy tickets was left a little late and the gig sold out. I had made up a playlist before I found out we couldn't go. I hummed and hawed about whether I should remove the playlist. We were both determined to go to a gig in San Francisco and had booked tickets to see these guys:

Voodoo Glow Skulls – El Coo Cool

Authority Zero - No Regrets

A bit different, huh? I was worried that I'd love The Walkmen, hate Voodoo Glow Skulls and Authority Zero and spend the evening glowering into a pint. The gig is an entirely other blog post so I'll summarise by saying I threw caution to the wind and decided to listen to The Walkmen. 

So that is the tale of the Gig That Almost Was. 

(On a side note, I really enjoyed the Voodoo Glow Skulls/Authority Zero gig. More on that later, kidlets.)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll

warning: may contain glitter

(Also many thanks to @kirstininnes for recommending the Yeah Yeahs Yeahs amongst many other great artists)

Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory

Story: Fortunately for Him Indoors I chose not to renact this video on the fire escape of our San Francisco hotel.  

Aloe Blacc – I Need a Dollar

Coming Soon: The true extent of America's poverty problem really hit me in San Francisco. I was staying near Union Square, on the border of the Tenderloin district. This area was described to me by a native San Franciscan as “the kind of place you see everything: trannies walking around in the middle of day, drug dealers, pan handlers. Just give them a look of disgust and walk on.” A bit like Glasgow on Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday evening. 

No matter where I went in San Francisco, I was confronted with the homeless population. Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, the CalTrain station, swarms of people on the corner of Market and Powell. Always asking for a dollar.

Cold War Kids – Golden Gate Jumpers

Story: Not much of one but not enough material to warrant a blog post of its own. There are no barriers on the Golden Gate Bridge across the Bay. Anyone who jumps is not coming back. This is not a spot for attention seeking suicides.

Coming Up:

A trilogy of songs from The Killers; the 'most played' tracks from my Killers playlist if you wish. Just because. And yes, I know the middle one is a cover but I didn't know that until Him Indoors pointed it out.

The Killers – Read My Mind

The Killers – Romeo and Juliet

The Killers – When You Were Young

College Featuring Electric Youth - Real Hero

Story: The song above is a fitting end to my holiday and, indeed, this blog post. On the plane home, I planned to watch Drive. I had missed its outing at the cinema and had heard great things about it. Ryan Gosling is absolutely fantastic as the lead character, a movie stunt driver that gets involved with LA gangsters. At times my inner feminist bristled at the stereotypical representation of women: the only two female characters featured were passive creatures that were either brutalised, sex objects or passively relied on the men in their lives. Overlooking that minor quibble, the film had a great storyline that kept me hooked. Also its run time comes in at a respectable 100 minutes which is becoming a rarity in today's blockbuster world.

This song plays over the closing credits to Drive. It gave me a timely reminder that music and my personal preferences are constantly growing and changing. At the Voodoo Glow Skulls/Authority Zero gig, the support band was SkyFox*. Ten years ago I would have loved them: their cheeky pop punk style, the crude songs consisting entirely of curse words and about church girls being“easy chicks.” In ten years from now, I may cringe at this blog post and this small sample of my music tastes.

So, to end, here's a song for everyone's inner seventeen year old:

* I'm quite surprised that SkyFox have been around for so long. Their appearance at the gig last week was really clumsy and smacked of a band that had just formed. Mind you, they have a long way to go before they beat the two decade run that Voodoo Glow Skulls have enjoyed. 

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