I have been meaning to write a blog entry today but I actually find it hard to find what to write tonight. I suppose I’m just in a relaxed mood after four eventful days. It’s a short week at the university but it feels that it’s quite packed with things to do and matters to think about.
I’m listening to Mandalay‘s This Life on another tab at the moment and it’s transporting me back to the turn of the millenium when I was part of the clubbing scene in Jakarta and in Singapore. Mandalay is one of my favourite band – too bad they’re no longer around. The duo disbanded many years ago apparently. Their music is classified as trip hop, which is the genre where Massive Attack and Portishead reside. I have both of Mandalay’s albums and it was only last week when I thought that I should load both of them into my iPhone.
From Mandalay, I’m now turning into the smooth voice of Frank Sinatra – I have an album of his love songs that I haven’t heard for ages. It seems very appropriate to listen to a compilation of old songs, in a house built in 1940’s. 🙂 Undoubtedly, growing up listening to Frank Sinatra, Jim Reeves, Dean Martin affected my interest in music of the bygone era. My mum and dad used to turn the radio to an easy listening station playing old songs when we were about to retire for the night. Mum loves music – as I have mentioned in my blog previously and that love of music is also in me. Dad also loves music but not as much. Thanks to my mum, I was already familiar with The Righteous Brothers, Doris Day and Frank Sinatra when other boys were still singing Old McDonald. Now, I have my own personal favourites with singers of the years past: Johnny Hartman, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald – their music calms and soothes me, brings me back to the era when things seemed so simpler and so idyllic.
It’s probably this interest in music of the golden days that makes me like Pink Martini. Pink Martini is a group of musicians from Portland, Oregon who loves to sing old songs and turn them into their own. When you listen to their music, you’ll be excused if you think that you are listening to music from 1940’s or 1950’s. I bought their latest album Splendor in the Grass last week and it’s a great continuation after their previous albums: Sympathique (1997), Hang on Little Tomato (2004), and Hey Eugene (2007). You have probably heard their most famous song: Sympathique, which contains the following lines ‘Je ne veux pas travailler, je ne veux pas déjeuner … je veux seulement oublier et puis je fume’. (I don’t want to work, I don’t want to have lunch – I just want to forget and then smoke). 🙂 I actually saw their concert when they came to Adelaide in 2008 and they were fantastic! By the end of the concert, we were dancing and bopping along to their songs. 🙂
Apart from Pink Martini’s latest album, I also bought So Frenchy So Chic 2010. Every year, whenever the Alliance Française’s French Film Festival takes place, the unofficial soundtrack album is also released for the francophiles. I have selected five movies that I will see this year and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the sceneries and in the French culture again. Even though I have never been to France, it feels great to see European sceneries – at least if I can’t travel to Europe in the near future, I can bathe myself in their movies. 🙂
So there you go, the music that I listen to recently. Berthold Auerbach, a poet in the 1800’s said, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” How true!