Rooms With Many Doors
I've been overdosing on music, which is always the clearest way for me to take me out of myself, "release me from the tyranny of conscious thought" and all that. Except, well, no, because the process of listening to music is a steady stream of mental and emotional imagery - both swooning subjective identification and sharp objective analysis.
I've been on a spree of listening to older stuff - both digging out CDs I bought ages ago and revisited them, and downloading new things. (one-click iTunes account + superfast connection = RUIN)
I wandered through the ruined elegance of the Fever Ray album, a weird, magical creature that seems to be slightly different every time I listen to it. "A room with many doors," I described it as, on Twitter. The Lex shot back "i still don't feel that i've found all the doors yet and others, i've felt like i haven't been able to open - but their presence makes it special" - but I insisted that part of the appeal of this album was those closed doors, that refusal to open up and reveal their mysteries immediately, or maybe even ever.
I listened to School of Seven Bells and Telepathe, and wondered to myself, why the hell doesn't music this magical come from mine own country?
Oh, but it does. I dragged out the Goldfrapp back catalogue - or at least I dragged out Seventh Tree, that last, weird, slightly "folk" album which I always thought I didn't like because I'd been so enamoured of the robo-glam disco stomp of the previous two albums. And this time I got it - it's a headphones album, not a dancefloor album. I thought the textures were gone amidst all that acoustic guitar wibbling that passes for "folk" to most ears - but no, they were there, submerged, subtle, a much more complex album than I'd given it credit for being.
From there, it was a hop and a skip to Roisin Murphy's Overpowered. Someone on ILX linked the video, which I'd never seen.
The boys of ILX complained that the video was bad, but the moment I saw it, I identified. That feeling of coming offstage on a high, in your glittering stage clothes - and then the comedown. Lord knows I've taken enough busses home from gigs, go home late at night, alone, make a cup of tea, put the laundry on, and climb into bed alone - still wrapped in your shimmering shiny personna that you can't ever really seem to take off.
I don't know; I like Murphy, I love that song, (despite nicking the synth line off Yazoo) but although they are often mentioned in the same breath, she's not quite in the same league to me as Goldfrapp. There's something so *ordinary* about Murphy that the video really picks up on - but I suppose that's the point. This ordinary Norf London Irish girl wrapped up in these weird clothes, this high fashion pose. Goldfrapp is theatrical as hell, poses are put on and discarded - but still, somehow, doors remain closed.
This is the complaint, again and again, about the current crop of "quirky" indie girls. Someone on ILX (I forget who, or even in refernce to what, I'm sorry) talked about how women like Florence and the Machine (or worse, the dreaded La Roux) though in massive debt to the sainted Kate Bush still manage to come off like giggling drama students who give a little bow at the end and reveal themselves to be totally unthreatening nice little girls under the facepaint and glitter. The overall effect is just a bit too Elfine Starkadder
But that's it, isn't it? They're *girls*. They're too YOUNG to have closed doors, to have secrets, to have mystery and GLAMOUR (original meaning of magic, sorcery and spells, concealment and disguise).
And that's when I realised what I was doing in this musical quest. I was searching for a place for mine *own* music, for what I consider its references, its contemporaries, its influences - and the pidgeonhole where I suspect I will end up filed. And more than this, I was searching for mine own place in society.