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After reading p_cat's nostalgic post on '90s gothclub music, i found myself scratching my head yesterday, trying to work out what my own Olde Days soundtrack would be.  I couldn't even put a finger on an Olde Days that i could feel nostalgic about.  When i think about it, it seems that for most of my clubbing years, i actually loathed the bulk of the music that was played at the clubs i went to.  There were exceptions, and i did have many good times and met some great people, but musically it was always Russian roulette and too many times a good night out was one in which i *hated* less than half of what i heard.  When i look back now, it's the disappointment i remember, and a sense of settling for less and wishing for something different. 

Ironically, it's only been in recent years, since the deathrock revival has caught on, that the sort of scene i spent most of my 20s and 30s longing for finally exists.  Of course i'm now in my mid-40s, with different interests and priorities, and that sort of thing doesn't seem to matter as much any more.  This weekend there's a big deathrock night on at DV8, with live bands and "my kind of music" all night, but i've been in two minds as to whether i could even be arsed going.  It's not that i wouldn't enjoy it (i always do) but the question is whether it's worth feeling wiped out not just for the weekend but for the rest of the week.  I think i will end up going, even if it's partly out of nostalgia for a Good Old Days that never actually happened.

Do you think i if asked nicely they'd reschedule it to maybe 15 years ago?
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The gorgeous spring air this week has had me pining to hear some Psychocandy era Jesus and Mary Chain, as a perfect soundtrack to the warm, blossom-scented mornings and also as a taste of the 'paisley punk' days of my late teenage years that the springtime seems to speak of.  This morning i brought the cd in with me and saved the songs onto my computer to listen to at work.  

This music always makes me nostalgic for that time and conjours images of lazy days spent wandering about the streets of Ballarat, browsing in opp-shops, reading poetry in the gardens and generally enjoying the carefree post-uni, pre-employed lifestyle.

I do worry, though, whether having those songs so easily accessible, day in, day out, will diminish their value, gradually wear away at the vivid sense of time and place that is attached to them.  I wonder now if i should delete them from here and keep them as a hidden treasure to be dug out from time to time when the occasion calls for it, or if i should just enjoy them in the moment here and now as the mood takes me.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have special mementos - music, film, books or whatever - that you save for rare occasions so as not to lessen the associations they carry, or do you immerse yourself in them and the memories attached whenever you feel like revisiting that mood or spirit?  Does regularly evoking a certain mood through something like a piece of music enhance that association, or alter it?  Do new layers of association diminish older memories, or just add to them?  Can some things be so imbued with a sense of time and place that nothing new can overwrite it, or are such impressions always set in clay and liable to be reshaped?

Nostalgia

Aug. 31st, 2006 01:08 pm
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Today i'm having unexpectedly nostalgic thoughts of those proto-grunge days of late 1989, of people i haven't thought of in years like Avalon and Trisha and Dave Ramone, of tattoos, faded white band t-shirts, ripped denim and afternoons of warm beer and a soundtrack of Cosmic Psychos, Bored and Mudhoney.  Partly it seems to have been prompted by a woman in a random porno clip i came across on the internet this morning, who just had something in her look/mannerisms/attitude that reminded me of that time/crowd, that i couldn't quite put my finger on (i suspect she resembles someone else who reminded me of someone else who reminded me of someone else..).  

But, thinking more about it, this particular memory trip had already started in a dream i had last night, where i was hanging around a flat in St Kilda somewhere, possibly the vicinity of that Kathmandu block or similar, making a playlist of Exploding White Mice and Radio Birdman songs to feed the mood of '89 nostalgia i was feeling even in the dream.

The warm, last-day-of-winter sunshine outside is also joining in, calling up images of spring mornings spent walking around Kew to hang out at Steph's brother's flat in those days.

And now i keep thinking of another dream i had years ago, where i was visiting an old friend in Brazil, reminiscing about an earlier road trip there with the '89 crowd and watching Brazil's version of Rage, which showed nothing but Sepultura videos all night.

I'm quite enjoying this bit of nostalgia, as a lot of these styles and images have come to signify the '90s 'grunge era' to me, which i usually don't look back on fondly at all, so it's nice to appreciate being taken back to a mindset and a time before i grew to dislike all of that.

Come to think of it, this whole thing may have been started by some mp3s i listened to yesterday, which reminded me of bands i used to dislike in the mid-'90s and simultaneously made me nostalgic for a time i usually associate with dreariness and dissatisfaction.  Maybe once my nostalgia button was pressed, my mind kept rewinding until it hit a time that has better memories attached (and worse ones glossed over).

Or maybe it's just this virus i seem to be getting that's messing with my moods.
 
Anyway, here's to enjoying it while it lasts..

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