Music used to be my proxy for talking, for expressing my feelings and thoughts. I needed high doses of Joy Division and The Cure to feed my weirdly dark and nihilistic mental processes, the guidance of The Clash to channel my ever-present anger and latent wish to destroy the status quo, and Tom Waits, well Tom Waits for all of those strangely attractive sleazy corners of society, places where I would love to be.
No king in my universe. The king is dead. David Bowie is my queen. She rules the world, sometimes assisted by Lou Reed, the black prince. The stray cat in the corner of my eye is Iggy Pop, always restless, always roaming the streets for dope and cheap pick-ups. Would he meet up with Dee Dee Ramone and Sid Vicious? Are they together waiting for the man? This is where I want to be. The ghosts of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin don’t scare me at all. There is so much to be learned. I want the comfort of Nick Cave’s stories, Patti Smith’s poems and Brian Eno’s sonic experiments. Can I stay a bit longer?
No. Sometimes I have to go out and talk. No one is tolerated in isolation. Talk or be excommunicated. Besides, the more time I spent in my musical universe, the more intense my feelings. Feelings of melancholy, of self-loathing, of hate, but also of love. Lust and love to be precise.
Enter the Compilation Tape, universal communication device of the 80’s. Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, all rolled up into one. Encode, encode, select songs that perfectly describe someone, a situation or a set of observations and feelings. Create a storyboard. All songs at exactly the right place. Hit hard when attention is still fresh; selecting the best opening songs is a skill in itself. Close side A and side B with extra drama, some true reflections, a bit of contemplation. Finally ready. Hand it over, mail it even, and wait. Will the receiver understand all nuances, are my messages clear enough to decode unambiguously?
I Wait in vain. Dance on my own to the tunes in my head. The real connection never happens, and as I retreat back into my void I hear new voices. The precision of a Zappa guitar solo, the emotional messiness of Talking heads and PJ Harvey, the sci-fi noise of The Pixies, the playful revolutionary art of Fela Kuti, the endless rants of Mark E. Smith, the insane brilliance of Miles Davis, it’s all there, it keeps coming to me from all angles The world of an introvert is endless…and expanding.