Category Archives: MUSIC
It pays to lurk in Charity shops. Where else are you going to find a Westfield guitar in mint condition for €20? Say it with me, Huzzah.
Although my previous musical experience does not stretch far beyond the tin whistle (and a brief but dangerous stint with an accordian), I feel the guitar could be my thing. Check back in a few weeks to hear me whine about my callused guitar-hands and the music choices of the youth of today.
One song that immediately makes me laugh and transports me to a different location is “Alors On Danse”. A french song which had become popular in English-speaking countries because of its dance beat, I had known it and liked it while at home but never thought much about it. On a recent trip to Jordan though, after a long and tiring day trekking through Wadi Musa and Petra, I was recuperating in front of the hostel’s tv when I heard a familiar refrain. It was “Alors On Danse”! In Arabic. It’s a strange sensation when something is simultaneously familiar and alien. I began to hum it out loud, while the hostel manager hummed the arabic bit. When it got to the chorus we were both humming the French lines. Barely able to communicate with a lack of Arabic on my side and a lack of English on his, we had found our common language.
When Ben Gibbard sings “In my head there’s a greyhound station, where I send my thoughts to far-off destinations. So they may have a chance of finding a place where they’re far more suited than here” I am instantly back in the winter of ’09, nervously summoning up the courage to commit to a summer abroad, working in San Diego, California. I had never lived away from home before and the whole thing was at once tremendously exciting and terrifying. That particular line of “Soul Meets Body” fascinated me. It appealed to me on one basic level. This mythical and unnamed Greyhound station where you could put a pin in a map and hop on a bus and go somewhere new and exciting, anywhere you wanted. That was intoxicating. During my time in the States, I spent a lot of time in various Greyhound bus stations and while not the most glamorous of locations, they delivered that promise. They also provided the setting for some of my most memorable trip moments: getting stranded in Santa Ana on the way to Vegas when our bus broke down 21 times in 30 minutes (our driver was persistent to the point of insanity), realising that in order to get a corrupt cop off our backs we would effectively have to call the police about the police in Vegas, unwillingly learning more than we ever wanted to know about Chinese rap in San Francisco. Since coming home from that trip, I’ve realised that, when not travelling, we are all waiting in a Greyhound station. We can go anywhere we want. We just have to pick a destination and get on the bus.
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