Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home Alone



This song has been on my radar for days and I was horrified to find that it's not among the 258 Bowie songs (some double-ups, some live versions) we have on the ipod. Travesty. Even on a cruise ship this song could not be wrong.

Vincent is at the basketball and, for once, I'm managing to keep out of trouble quite nicely. I watched Home and Away. I dusted (this took far too long than is healthy for anybody. I wonder that either of us has any skin left). I went to Food Alley to get a Massaman curry (no-one to cook for) and ate too much of it (no-one to try not to be disgusting in front of) while watching Shortland Street (no-one to advocate better viewing choices). I went on facebook twice. I still need to cut my fringe, vacuum, iron, clean the bathroom, mop and tidy, but I'm so full I can't move (plus I'm now watching Biggest Loser - no-one to suggest activities that get me off the couch).
I think you'll agree it's best I'm not home alone very often.

Anyway, yesterday one of my favourite friends - who was born overseas - officially became an NZ citizen. I'm too tired to talk about all the things I love about her and NZ and how they're such a good match (had a cheap celebratory dinner together last night and mine had half the chillies produced in NZ this year - the cramps woke me up at about five. But I didn't poo! My stomach amazes even me, and I've known it for 27 years). Instead I am going to write a list of five of my favourite NZ songs, ever. Vincent and I tried to make definitive lists a few weeks ago, but as always, as soon as it became an official list it became life and death... so this is just a list. Just a list!(?!)

1. Beside You - Dave Dobbyn
This song has me on the verge of tears every time I hear it (sometimes a bit past the verge). I can only imagine what she went through and I know this song can't make up for it, but what a beautiful tribute to someone sticking by you when you don't deserve it. Dave Dobbyn makes me very, very proud of New Zealand.
2. Be Mine Tonight - Th' Dudes
This song is so important to me, it makes me feel a bit sick. I used to play it on Friday afternoons at work, on repeat, and feel so much goodwill and connection with everyone else; there's already something uniting about the Friday feeling, but with this in the background I was almost tu meke. Then the first time I played it with Vincent... I can't actually describe how I felt. If reincarnation is the deal and in a thousand years I hear this song, I know I'll be transported back to that exact spot in Christchurch in 2009. We played it at our wedding, and we'll play it at our next one, and the next one, and the next.
3. Jesus I was Evil - Darcy Clay
This takes me back to my cousin's bedroom in Mt Roskill, his sister and I listening to this giggling at the audacity (we grew up attending a church/time-machine in which this was devil's music, regardless of Darcy's apparent reformation). Why can't all music sound this dirty? Another question for the big guy.
4. 40 Years - The Phoenix Foundation
Man it just about killed me settling on this one (I actually wanted Nest Egg but it's not on Youtube; how?! why?!). But this song is so great and has the best demonstration of NZ mating/dating habits ("I'm your man... so get over here"). Vincent and I have seen these guys in concert twice; the last time, at BDO, they were decidedly average - they were having problems with feedback but jesus, we'd been standing in the pouring rain waiting for them - but the first time, under the kind roof of the Powerstation, they were incredible.
5. Slippin' Away - Max Merritt & The Meteors
I don't remember the first time I heard this song; I feel as if I have always known it. I do remember listening to it at work with a girl I didn't know very well. We were both crying by the end, a bit shyly, and then we played it again. She's my friend now, and it's really no surprise I feel so comfortable confiding in her. Every time I hear this song, I see it all so clearly, and feel his pain and helplessness like it's mine. A few weeks ago I heard a busker sing it and play it on his guitar, and then just before the key-change (which is cut from this stupid video), do the drumbeat in perfect time on his guitar (that might not sound like anything but it's impossible to nail). He made me feel happy to have hearing.

There are at least another five I could add to this but I have to at least vacuum; I joked to Vincent that he might come home and find me on the couch and I think we both stiffened a little.
As for NZ, well, it's having some troubles right now, especially in that little beehive, but it's the best country I know, especially with new citizens like my lovely friend, and excellent songs like these.

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