Although this isn't a music blog, you may have noticed the occasional song title creeping into my posts... I've spent a large amount of my professional life selecting and programming popular music, I've even managed to incorporate it into my studies on mediasport - it forms a soundtrack to my life, as it does for many people. For whatever reason, sometimes certain songs will attach themselves to moments in our lives, forever reminding us of a particular time and place.
Such a thing happened to me today... a pairing of music and moment that has now etched itself into my memory. It was caused by another small step towards normality - the resumption of production by a local marketing firm that employs my vocal chords. Situated on the edge of the CBD on Fitzgerald Ave, they had only recently regained power, water and access to the building.
The drive to get there however, was anything but normal.
This was the song that started playing as I entered onto Bealey Ave at the Hagley Park corner... Dance Yourself Clean by LCD Soundsystem... and it just fitted the mood and the sights perfectly (hint: play the song while you scroll thru the pix).
As I drove down the tree-lined avenue, the soft hues of early autumn were starkly contrasted by the army tanks and ruined buildings. These are places I've known all my life, now altered dramatically and lying discordently along my driving route. The variation between the gentle harmonics and jangling keyboard that roll through this LCD Soundsystem track is reflective of how it feels to drive around C-city these days... soft, safe little Christchurch now has some angry, jagged edges that wound the soul whenever you happen to see them.
Around the corner, onto Fitzgerald Ave...
There was another surreal moment (ok, an entire hour) as I tried to make my way home at around 5pm. Anyone who's still here in Shakeytown knows that these days, afternoon traffic around the city is just a slow-moving gridlock. Familiar routes are either cordoned off or broken and anyone trying to manouvre around the constantly changing landscape is soon stuck with no real clue as to what's going on ahead to cause the jam. I tried retracing my route into the studio... down Fitzgerald Ave... only for it to take 20minutes to travel 4 blocks. It's like someone moved us all to Auckland without telling us - the traffic is diabolical and none of the streets are familiar anymore.
At this point I turned around, drove all the way back down Fitz and took a circuitous route home that avoided most of the major snarl-ups, but still took me about 45 minutes. This is not the city I know and love... the matrix has some serious glitches in it nowadays.
So tomorrow morning I am making my escape from the disaster zone... heading far away from the madding crowds, the cordons and the chaos. Just for a couple of days, to spend some time with kindred souls in Wellington, attending the Orcon Great Blend and just hanging out in a functional city for a change of scene.
I just hope the earth stops dancing soon.