Published – 2009/09/25
Music and me have a wild dance. It has no steps.
It likes to do flamenco to hip-hop, disco to rock n roll, and jive to gypsy bands. Whatever it wants, whenever it wants. Sometimes even keeping in time is an optional extra.
Usually my best dances happen in my lounge room, where I don’t have to ‘dance like no one is watching’, because no one is watching. Perfect. But even though The Yang calls me the private dancer, I am partial to getting down when out and about. It can be hard to get loose in public, but I often remember to scan around the room so I can invariably realise that, just as the cheesy motto goes, no one is, in fact, watching. If that fails I like to think of my sister’s tattoo “life’s not a dress rehearsal”. And then I just get down to that shit, cuz this is it, right?
Something that I really don’t understand why people go into environments clearly catered for dancing – gigs, sound systems, polished dancefloors – and just stand there. Or worse, stand in the way of people trying to dance.
Nowhere is this more rife than in my beloved Sydney. A city stuck so far up its own ass that it’s become too cool to dance.
It leaves me scratching my head when my boyfriend comes home from DJing, where he plays some of the hottest disco, funk and boogie music ever made, and tells me that people just ask to hear ‘something they know’.
I just reckon it’s got to be like all those old funk and disco songs say, if you listen to the lyrics – not the ones about womanising misogynists – the ones that say things like…You’ve got to get up and shake your pants, break it loose and get down to the boogie. When you hear the music let your feet feel the beat, get out of your seat. Take off your shoes, don’t be worried, if you want to dance you’ve got to loosen up your body. You just get up and do your thing, there really aint much to it…
They are like the gospel of good times. I have a religious like reverence for the message of encouragement, of living life, of having a party and enjoying yourself, of feeling the music. Listen to those words in that music and you’ll never need some other shit top 40 song to get you comfortable again.
But music for me is not just about this dancing/not dancing thing. I also occasionally do interviews and reviews – most famously one of the only three interviews James Brown gave in his 2004 tour, and most proudly with Dennis Bovell and Linton Kwesi Johnston.
And I’m also a dirt music wannabe on my front porch with a harmonica, and a muse for my muso boyfriend. I’m singing in the shower and I’m dancing through the house. I’m driving down freeways and hollering out open windows. I’m having melancholy moments in the kitchen with country folk songs. I’m walking down city streets to funky beats. I’m making mix cds for Christmas presents and I’m weaselling my way into every different kind of gig in town. I’m soaking up music everywhere I can, every way I can, deep down into my bones.
You can read more about it here