Tonight Matthew, I want to talk about music. Not diabetes.
GASP. Bear with, I’m making a diabetes link in here somewhere. Once I’ve figured out what that link is…
I LOVE LOVE LOVE music. So so much. I don’t claim to be a muso; I’m not cool enough to be a muso. But it is a huge part of my day, every single day. And not just because I work in radio. It’s because it’s the most wonderful, universal language in the whole of existence. It’s flipping tremendous. It divides people, but ultimately it unites people. Music = Love. I think I could count on one hand the number of people I’ve met in my life that aren’t fussed by music. It’s just an incredible thing don’tcha think? It DOES THINGS to people. Physically it makes you move (bum wigglers, head nodders, you count just as much as those partial to a running man), emotionally it reaches out to you, chemically I’m sure it must do something because bloody hell it lifts you up. It transports you to a time, a place, a memory, a person and it tells you in no uncertain terms that there is blood in your veins and a heart in your chest.
Too much? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
And lyrics are bloody wonderful things aren’t they? When you shuffle through your generic mp3 player and find that lyric that describes how you are feeling in a way that your brain could never otherwise comprehend, it’s like stumbling on a goldmine. Someone, somewhere out there who doesn’t even know you exist has managed to create something that gets you, entices you; draws you in, makes you stop what you’re doing and just LISTEN. And I’m not necessarily just talking about bawling your eyes out to Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ as you stalk your ex’s Facebook profile (yes, I know you’ve done it). I’m as much talking about jumping up and down like an absolute loon to James Brown completely naked after you’ve had your morning shower and the sun’s flooding through the windows. It’s about the girls who should know better than to drink two bottles of wine on an idle Tuesday evening and then annoy their neighbours with yet ANOTHER rendition of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ at 2am. It’s the guys who play the Rocky theme tune in the changing room before the game (do they exist, or is that a myth?). It’s about the person who got on the train feeling indifferent about their morning commute until a random shuffle selection to Kenny Loggins’s ‘Footloose’ leaves them unexpectedly pirouetting over the barrier and skipping along the pavement into work. (Okay, that one I will admit to. I know, I know. I do like good music too, promise).
If you’re currently wondering what the hell I’m on about (probably) and what the jeff has happened to YFT1 – here’s the convoluted diabetes link that’s allowing me to expand the topic of my idiotic ramblings to something beyond HbA1cs, injections and blood sugars.
When my diabetes is doing my absolute head in, there are generally two things that make things fine – more often than not a combination of both. Those two things are 1. People and 2. Music. And for that reason I make no apology for wanting to discuss music on this blog. Because what I’ve always maintained is that I live my life how I want to not in spite of my diabetes, but because of it. I’m just stubborn like that. These things that we overcome in order to achieve our dreams anyway – be it diabetes, or another disability, or a confidence issue, or a lack of opportunity – these things make us appreciate what we do achieve, and what does make us happy. Seeing live music with friends makes me ridiculously utterly and deliriously euphoric, a la this slightly deranged and not particularly pretty picture:
(I wrote a post on grappling with the heady mix of diabetes and festivals here, if you’re interested).
I also have what I regard as the best job in the world (seriously, the trumpet I blow for it is getting a little embarrassing), and this has absolutely nothing to do with the daily grind of having to inject four times a day and constantly monitor my blood sugars, and ignore that sickly ‘can’t be arsed’ feeling when I’ve not got my doses right. I’ve grafted my arse off to get to where I want to be, to a job that I adore, in spite of dealing with something that potentially may have stopped me from even trying. Slight disclaimer – I don’t on a day-to-day basis think I’m overcoming something massive – I’m not. It’s just something we’re dealing with because we have to. In the realm of relativity, it really ain’t that bad. But to some people it IS that bad. So I want to put this out there for people that struggle with this; who are angry about it, and are perfectly entitled to feel angry about it. Because being able to do the things I love beats any double figure that my glucose monitor can throw at me. And when I stomp to the tube with a face like thunder because I’ve screwed up my blood sugar AGAIN, it’s music (and people) that pulls me up and makes it not so bad after all. So THERE you crapper of a disease. I’m going to strut down the street to Kenny Loggins whether you like it or not.
Phew, that was a bit deep and meaningful for a Monday wasn’t it? I’m giving Oprah her mic back.
So, it’s ok to talk about music now right?
I have tweeted about my love of Jessie Ware many a time. I LOVE HER. The girl crush for her is strong. Her debut album is WONDERFUL and I have a particular love for the next single Night Light. It comes a close second behind Wildest Moments, which you should definitely also check out. Night Light is as hauntingly sinister as it is hauntingly beautiful. The strings at the beginning and the guitars at about 2’30” are exquisite:
See? Gorgeous video too.
But then last week I happed upon this little beauty, a remix of Night Light produced by Joe Goddard (off of Hot Chip <3) that is so very detached from the above single, yet just as wonderful. This remix is quite simply delicious – it’s smooth, synthy, with more than a little sprinking of serious funk, and yet still somehow maintains the darkness that makes the original so enticing. It feels like a shortcut down a dark alley you know you probably shouldn’t be walking down after a certain hour of the evening. Dangerous, yet irresistible. I like it. A lot.