Singalong Saturday 30/9/06

First and foremost, an apology. I know I’m not updating as often as many of you guys, but there are two major reasons for this…1, no net access chez moi; 2, the evils of working a pretty hardcore 6 day week most weeks. I am averaging 2 or 3 posts a week though, so don’t worry, I’m on the radar. Thanks as always for the comments – many a fudged up day of marking, worry and kid-based stress has been sweetened by some witty bon mots from you lovely folk.

On with the singalong!

1) Supermassive Black Hole – Muse.

Oh my, how I love this song. And this band. Muse are just incredible, and the first 30 seconds of this song are probably the best thirty seconds of music I’ve heard this year. A wall of sound, dark, bassy, riff tastic. The whole of the album is awesome, but this track takes it one step beyond.

Muse remind me of my misspent youth as well – a twenty year old country mouse could often be found in a mosh pit at the notorious Mudd club in Aberdeen, mixing with Goths and grungers, drinking watered down beer, breaking out some awful dance moves, being chatted up by inappropriate guys with eyeliner and attitude, debating the Foos vs. Nirvana, always hungry for the next new track, the next hot mix. This was the place where a friend had an arm broken in a particularly rabid mosh pit. The place where the opening chords of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, or ‘Sweet Child of Mine’, or ‘Enter Sandman’ provoked a huge swelling of the dancefloor, pints abandoned, conversations left hanging in mid-air. A world away from now, but I owe a lot of my musical knowledge and passion to those smoky, overcrowded, random Monday nights.

The Mudd club has closed down since, and reopened a couple of times, but I’m still a fan of the original recipe!

2) Dinner At Eight – Rufus Wainwright

Ah, Dr McSlur-y, I presume? I kid, I kid, one of my favourite voices ever, the auteur of both my favourite version of ‘Hallelujah’ and the musical pop genius of ‘14th Street’.

His voice is so velvety, but so full of pain and sorrow. I’ve been thinking of pain and sorrow and loss and depression and sadness a lot lately. As happy as I am, I have a pretty hardcore seam of melancholy running throughout my character. My insistence on trying to see the best of people, to get the best from people is coupled by a terrifyingly low self-esteem and self-worth. I guess we could call it depression…but what’s in a name, anyway?

As a teen, and in my early twenties, my depression/sadness/blues (delete as applicable and as preferred) was quite all-consuming. I comfort ate amounts that make me shudder now, burying pain and hurt the best way I could, the easiest way I know how. I read somewhere that the difference between comfort eaters and other addicts is that comfort eaters must wear the effects of their addiction where everyone can see. Your mileage may vary, but I think that person is pretty darn clever.

3) Annie Waits – Ben Folds.

You all know how much I love this guy…so I’ll continue with the ramble.

As well as the eating, there were the lows. My lows have a wonderful spiral effect to them, like a circle of dominoes hitting each other down, down, down. One tiny thing goes wrong (bad date, fudged up test, argument..) and kaboom, kaboom, kaboom, before I knew it I’d be slumped in a darkened room, hiding under a duvet, sobbing and dying to escape the horror I perceived my life to be.

The girl has issues, y’all.

Then, at about twenty-two, I realised I had to fix this, or get it fixed. So I set myself the challenge – either I had to give myself ways to master these lows, or I was going to get it sorted by the professionals. Stubborn cow that I am, I figured I could do it…

4) Be My Yoko Ono – Barenaked Ladies

I love this song! Go Media player!

…and do you know what? I sorted myself out. I don’t know if I’m actually depressed (and if you are reading this and you are, please do know that I wish to offend no-one with my use of the term). I read self-help books, I scrutinised my behaviour, I got my ass back to church (I’d never lost my faith, just ignored it a little), starting helping more people, and, most importantly, I started taking care of myself.

5) Call Me When You Get This – Corinne Bailey Rae

Buy her album, please. It will improve your day, if not your life!

Yep, I started taking care of myself. I’ve always been a nurturer, but I had such a low opinion of myself, I never extended this caring nature to myself. I was fat, ugly, stupid, a mess, unreliable, untalented…..

I grew up. I changed my view. I took stock.

Now I know I’m not perfect (far from it!), but I can appreciate the things I bring to the table….

I’m quite funny. I have an infectious smile. Kids tend to really, really like me. I dance like a maniac. I am widely read, love music and know far too much about film and TV. I’m a good hostess. I have a voice which many people love. I am an extremely good hugger (I can give references, y’all). I make a kickass Bolognese sauce. I love to write letters and send gifts.

OK, enough with the love-in, right?

6) At My Most Beautiful – REM

One of the most romantic songs I know. Makes me feel all gooey inside!

But the love-in is important. So, for me, is recognising the signs, knowing when a storm is brewing. I’d had the feeling all this week, slightly on edge, homesick, sleeping far more than usual…..I knew a low was coming.

And yesterday afternoon, it arrived. One teeny bit of bad news and I was beginning to go. The stress and the pressure of the last few weeks, the loneliness I had been feeling, all conspired to send me on a low. My demons started preying on me, hitting my Achilles heels, trying to send me, quite literally, off on one.

7) Today I Sing The Blues – Aretha Franklin.

Haha, yet another case of media player reading my mind! Hee.

But do you know what? I prevailed. I didn’t eat too much. I’d didn’t drink too much. I didn’t make a fool of myself. I didn’t go on a crying jag. I didn’t take to my bed.

No, I was constructive. I read the NME, took a walk, had a bath, made a salad, watched some TV, sang really loudly, hit some pillows. I made a list of twenty things to be thankful for, and I steadfastly ignored what the demon on my shoulder was telling me (you are worthless…no-one even likes you…you are always going to be alone…why do you bother?). Riding my lows is an extreme sport, but when I beat them it feels awesome.

8) Stand – REM

Yay! Feelgood pop!

So that was my Friday…how was yours?

Haha, sorry if that was an overshare, but this is where I deconstruct my life…

So we are a month into term, and I get a long weekend. Two days, woot! Yesterday was getting over the blues (I know, I know, boo-fricking-hoo!), today is…nothing so far. I woke up at eight, read the pure cheese fest that is ‘Hello’ magazine (hey, don’t judge me, posh totty is my weakness!), watched the ‘Friends’ finale (again) on T4, did some ironing (I always iron in high heels for some reason. Odd, non?), had a bath and now I’m blogging. It looks like a day of chores and chilling and marking and phoning and letters and stuff. Tomorrow is church, then possibly something – what I don’t yet know!

9) True Love – Elton John

This song always reminds me of Christmas. I think it’s the bells. I am already fairly excited about Christmas…how sad am I? I’ve already started thinking about gifts, and this weekend I think I’ll order the stuff I need to make my Christmas cards. I adore the season.

On one of the forums I frequent there’s a thread where singles are moaning (for want of a better word) about being single for the holiday. Now, I can sympathise with this a little but it doesn’t actually hit me that hard. For me, Christmas is magical no matter what – and I have been single for every. single. Christmas of my adult life. I’m just happy to be safe, content and with the people I love for the most part… however, I am finding that with each year that goes past I do kind of wish I had a partner, someone to share the holiday with. But not so much it ruins the whole holiday!

10) Stronger – Britney Spears

What a delightfully cheesetacular note to end on….I hope you are all well – more soon, I promise. Have a great week (I would say weekend, but this will probably get uploaded on Monday!),



  1. bee
    2nd October 2006 / 11:27 am

    claire!!sweetie, first of all, there can NEVER be enough self-love. i’m sorry you had a bit of a rough go but it’s amazing how you caught yourself – giving yourself a bit of what you need as well as a bit of what you want, and being gentle all the way…i love the image of you ironing in high heels, by the way. not odd at all – ingenious. sometimes you need a bit of glitz to get through mundanity (is that even a word??)i like you, sweetie. that’s a pretty big constant.-email duly noted. 😉

  2. Los
    2nd October 2006 / 1:36 pm

    Claire – I love these musical posts of yours, just thought I’d let you know.I’m so glad you confronted your demons – many people probably just ignore or suppress them.

  3. Claire
    2nd October 2006 / 2:22 pm

    bee – Thanks honey! Your kind words are always appreciated, and your posts really inspire me. Stay fab always, chica. (Also, mundanity needs to be a word!)Los – thanks, buddy! These posts are such fun for a music geek like myself. And I just never know where they are gonna end up :-).

  4. cruisin-mom
    2nd October 2006 / 4:15 pm

    Claire: fantastic post…love the way you weave songs into what is happening in your life. Your honesty is appreciated.

  5. Scott
    2nd October 2006 / 6:37 pm

    Great great tunes! Love the eclectic mix that you have going on there. Very cool.Scott

  6. McG
    3rd October 2006 / 11:31 am

    You are spot on about Rufus Wainwright. He is one of the few singers I actually get excited to hear his voice. Instant pleasure is a pretty funny song (see ‘Big Daddy’ Soundtrack. But i definitely am a big fan of hallelujah (however it’s spelled) Thanks for the comment!

  7. Claire
    3rd October 2006 / 12:45 pm

    cruisin: aw, thanks! I love your posts, and it’s great to know you like what’s here. Honesty is my watchword :-).Scott: Thanks – I’m g;ad I’ve finally found an outlet for my music geekery!McG: Thanks for stopping by, and always good to meet another Wainwright fan!

  8. Heart Of Darkness
    3rd October 2006 / 5:24 pm

    Just got myself “The best of…” Nina Simone… not a jazz-type-of-gal, but I can’t stop listening to it!Sure, all through my time off, it was Train, but it’s getting more and more Michael Buble, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone… I think some strange creature has taken over my body! :O;)

  9. bee
    3rd October 2006 / 6:11 pm

    please tell me you’ve heard jeff buckley. if you like rufus’ cover of hallelujah, you gotta listen to jeff’s – leonard cohen stopped performing that song because he thought jeff’s version was the definitive one – and cohen wrote the song.

  10. Bossy♥'s YOU
    4th October 2006 / 2:04 am

    stand in the place where you live:)man agian I only know like 2 songs..I so need to get out more.

  11. McG
    5th October 2006 / 11:46 am

    I really like your blog, i was stumbling through a couple of your entries! I plan on reading it some more! So I am curious, how did you stumble upon my blog?

  12. Claire
    5th October 2006 / 12:49 pm

    Heart of Darkness: Hee! Isn’t it funny how tastes change?bee: OMG, yes. I love the Jeff version, but my absolute favourite thing of his is ‘Lover, You Should Have Come Over’ – I adore it. Poignant as heck, and can reduce me to tears…Bossy: Hey, with you, I’m just in awe of your convict handling, baby!McG: I tend to follow comment trails when the time allows – I found you and liked what I saw….well, read!

  13. bee
    5th October 2006 / 5:59 pm

    NINA. SIMONE. lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove her. 😉

  14. bee
    5th October 2006 / 6:02 pm

    oh, and ditto on “love, you should’ve come over”. and “last goodbye”, but less so. i think i listened to lover non-stop one summer in the midst of “horrendous break-up”. erk. tres cathartic, though. i think i made a whole new species of plant grow in my backyard due to the mucus and tears mixture i watered the grass with. you know, i’ve been meaning to get more of his albums beside grace. i really should get on that. oh, and claire…my life has been insane lately. as i said; email noted, but no time to write the impressive one i want to. mine is we should tag each other!!(love);)

  15. Claire
    6th October 2006 / 2:18 am

    I have an a capella version of Be My Yoko Ono that I love to sing to. Good list.

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