Friday, 5 September 2014

Travel musings, travel music (personal, irrelevant)

As an aside...

For the quote completist, here is the source of the title of the last blog post: "Kare Kare", by Crowded House.

Yes, my musical tastes are twenty years out of date. But that's nothing special. Judging from my reaction to the new series of Doctor Who, my television tastes are 50 years out of date. And I know that my reading tastes are 100 years out of date. If someone would pay me full time to catch up on popular culture, maybe I would try a little harder. If the Swedes would be so kind as to offer me a Nobel prize, I could even follow in the footsteps of previous laureates and become a fan of Arcade Fire. For now I dutifully include their songs on playlists, and sometimes I do try hard to listen to them. But usually I press Skip.

A good playlist is important when you're traveling. The atmosphere of "Kare Kare" is ideal at the beginning of a flight. The trick is to disregard all of the flight attendant instructions, and keep your headphones in and the music on during take-off.

Later in the twilight of the flight, when you can't sleep, the perfect source of sympathy is the song "The Bends". Whatever miserable self-pitying meaning you usually attribute to it, at 30,000 feet you know for certain that its real meaning, its very centre, its most resonant lines, are
Alone on an aeroplane
Falling asleep against the window pane
My blood will thicken
That last line is especially useful: it will send you out into the aisle to do some calisthenics, before deep vein thrombosis sets in.

Many people prepare fine playlists for traveling, but most of those who are foolish enough to risk taking checked-in luggage, are also going to forget to prepare a song for that crucial last step: baggage claim.

This is the song you need: "Landed", by Ben Folds. It's perfect if you can manage to put it on about three minutes before your bag appears, then you're sure to stride out into Arrivals in a jaunty fashion.

You can also find the video on YouTube, but in my opinion it's not correct. The video for this song should be four minutes of footage of myself standing at the baggage claim conveyor belt, listening to headphones, nodding along and tapping one foot. Is that too Andy Warhol? I would have thought that's how people believe that most music videos should be. At the end I would collect my bag and walk outside, with only the briefest pause to note that, contrary to the very clear instructions in the song, no-one had arrived to pick me up.

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