Welcome back to the blog! I was in the middle of writing another blog post about something very personal and painful, and I want to give it as much time as it needs to be a post I’m happy sharing. I’ve been writing it for nearly a week and I’m only half-way; like I said it’s a very painful but very poignant subject that I’ve been wanting to talk/write about for a while. It’s just not quite ready.
So, I thought I’d do a fun kind of series of posts! This weeks Podcast episode is a bit glum so I wanted to keep the blog post a bit lighter. I’m not sure if you’re aware of the ’30 Day Music Challenge’ that’s going around Instagram? There’s a table with 30 days and 30 prompts for songs:
Pretty fun! My Father-in-Law has been doing it on twitter (his preferred SM of choice) and I’m going to share it on here! I’ll do 6 at a time (a row) and share a little bit more about myself as each song has a little story behind it. I hope you enjoy!
1. A Song You Like With A Colour In The Title: Static-X – Black and White
Static-X are a band I got into when I was a teenager, around 14/15. I saw them live for the first time last year, 3rd October 2019. Unfortunately the lead singer, Wayne Static, died in 2014 so the tour I saw them on was a tribute tour with a brilliant guest vocalist.
Even though it wasn’t the original lead singer, the concert was incredible; my Husband went with me and he…well…we don’t have the same tastes in music. Let’s just leave it at that. But it was a really fun evening, listening to songs I’d loved since I was a teenager and an emotional one; paying tribute to a singer who is greatly missed. I’m gutted I never saw them live with Wayne but the gig in October is definitely one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to.
The song above is from the first album of theirs I owned, Machine. This is the album that made me fall down a rabbit hole of Industrial music and bands that I still love today.
2. A Song You Like With A Number In The Title: KMFDM – WWIII
There isn’t actually much of a story with this song. As far as I know this is actually the only song of theirs that I know well. My twin sister had this album and found this band; I’m not really sure why I didn’t really get into them. Listening to that album now it was right up my street!
But if I really think about it, I know the reason. When this song came out I was 16 years old and, as a lot of people do at this age, trying to find my place in a world that frankly scared the hell out of me. I’m quite an outgoing, social and personable person now but back in my teens I was painfully shy. Being a twin and figuring out who I was as an individual, it was an added issue – don’t think I don’t love being a twin, I do! I adore my twin sister and I love so much being a twin; but back in school and in friendship groups we were “The Twins” or “The Girls”. We were rarely approached or seen as two individuals and that weighed on the both of us. That pushed both of us, I think, to try extra hard to be nothing like one another. I dyed my hair red when I was 14 and I’ve never been my natural hair colour since!
So, the reason I didn’t get into this band more? They were a band my sister really liked, so I distanced myself from them, only wanting to listen to bands that I liked. Does that makes sense? If you’re a twin, I think you’ll understand my reasoning. Anyway, it’s a good song that I still enjoy listening to.
Oh hey, look! There was much of a story behind this song!
3. A Song Which Reminds You Of Summertime: Head Automatica – Beating Heart Baby
This is an absolutely brilliant tune; it always puts me in a good mood! I’m not 100% sure why this song makes think of summer but the album is a corker and reminds me of visiting my Husband whilst he was at university.
At the time I was living in the south and was pretty miserable. I went down south with dreams of a career, making loads of friends and having an incredible adventure. I met friends and had a job I enjoyed (before it shut down) but an adventure I was not having. I was suffering with undiagnosed mental health disorders and my mental health was not good. I missed my Boyfriend so much, going to visit him was pure unbridled joy and happiness. We discovered and listened to a lot of albums over and over and these albums hold these memories for me.
This song reminds me of visiting him during the summer and having picnics in the woods, walking around Coventry and enjoying each others company.
4. A Song Which Reminds You Of Someone You’d Rather Forget: Imogen Heap – The Moment I Said It
This is going to be a hard one to write so, sorry in advance. Things get real in respect to the times I mentioned above; living down south and having horrible experiences.
There are a number of people I wish I’d never met and would love to forget. It took a long while to come up with a specific person and even longer to find a song that I felt comfortable sharing with my Instagram followers that encapsulated this memory, this person.
I have a Twitter thread about the Imogen Heap album ‘Speak For Yourself’. I adore this album and every song has very specific and deep memories for me. I may do an episode or blog post about the album…but I may not. There are a lot of feelings and incidents I haven’t been able to deal with from those times; this is one I feel still does a lot of damage to me.
When I lived down south, I’ve mentioned above, it wasn’t the best time for me. I had some brilliant times down there and some amazing memories but they are few. The brightest shining and deeply painful memories are the ones that dominate. One evening, not too long before we moved back up here to the north, I went to a pub that my sister worked at.
I had lost the job I loved and made a decent wage on not too long before, and was now in a job I despised. I didn’t have much money, most of it was spend visiting my Boyfriend at University whenever I could. I didn’t have friends of my own; most of the friends I had made down there were linked to the job I had recently lost (the place shut down, I was devastated). I can’t remember why I went but I think I may have just been lonely and fed up of being indoors almost all the time. My memory is fuzzy about most of that night, my memory isn’t the best anyway and I’m really good at blocking out bad experiences so I only remember them like a dream. The night started well enough but ended with someone I knew spending roughly 3 hours verbally attacking, abusing and belittling me. He followed me around wherever I went, to tell me what a worthless piece of trash (I won’t use the language he did, it’s disgusting and incredibly triggering for me) he thought I was. I was scum, worse than scum. I didn’t deserve to have someone as amazing as my sister in my life and I deserved every single bad thing that had ever happened to me.
He was drunk. I think. I’m not sharing that as an excuse for how he was but I imagine he would never remember following me outside, into the beer garden, sitting next to and putting his face right up to mine and tell me how pathetic I was, how he hated me and hated even looking at me. It went on like this as the night wore on.
Like I said, I don’t remember everything, and I will never let myself remember them, but I walked home that night alone, in the dark, in the middle of the countryside. Something else happened on my way home but I can’t talk about it.
I almost threw myself off a bridge into freezing canal water. I just didn’t want to live. I can’t think of this night often as I haven’t ever dealt with it. Writing it down was painful. I almost didn’t share this part.
5. A Song Which Needs To Be Played Loud: Garbage – Why Do You Love Me?
There genuinely isn’t a story behind this one. It was REALLY hard to pick just one song for this one but this is an absolute banger! Also, I wanted to be Shirley Manson, and I still do!
6. A Which Makes You Want To Dance: Imelda May – Inside Out
This is a fun song for me and has a great story behind it. I used to be a Burlesque dancer, and I loved every second of it. I had so much confidence, I felt creative and had loads of friends I’d met through the Burlesque Society at the University I was at in my mid-20’s.
I LOVED Burlesque and everything that it stood for. It wasn’t anything I’d set out to do but saw the table at the Societies fair in my Foundation year and I was completely hooked! The girls (and a few boys) that were in the Society were as varied and interesting as you could ever come across and I felt so accepted and treasured.
I’ve always had self-esteem issues, for as long as I can remember, but when I was up on stage dancing, I felt amazing. There is no way I’d be able to accurately describe in mere words what it felt like to be up there. It might sound crass but hearing the whooping as you twirl your tassels and stocking above your head (the stockings…not the tassels…) was intoxicating. I joined the Manchester Burlesque Society and made even more friends.
Putting together a routine from scratch was so enjoyable and being creative was a huge release for me after the stresses of starting a degree. I did shows in the Uni, in Lancaster, Blackpool (I was a semi-regular!) and Manchester. I had my sights set on Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival,. and I genuinely believe I’d have made it there.
I really, really miss my Burlesque days. The above song was the very first solo routine I did and it is one of my fast favourites. I’m not going to apologise for saying that I was good at Burlesque. I was a good dancer and I look back at those days extremely fondly.
So that was the first 6 of the 30 Day Music Challenge! I’m either going too intersperse my usual blog posts with another 6 OR I may even do it daily during the week between my usual scheduled podcast episodes and blog posts…
Thanks for reading,
Please feel free to get in contact with me, I always want to hear from people and, as I said before, I really want to have more guests on my podcast.
Stay safe out there.
This blog post is accompanied by a Podcast episode and Vlog. If you’d like to check them out please feel free:
Exercising Depression YouTube Channel
Exercising Depression Podcast on Spotify
Exercising Depression Podcast on Apple Podcasts
Exercising Depression Podcast on Google Podcasts
And available on many more podcast platforms – just search Exercising Depression Podcast.