Elizabeth McMahon's elegant essay, 'Lost in Music' on Christos Tsiolkas's coming of age novel Loaded cites how, for the narrator:
'It is in the North where I search for the body, the smile, the skin that will ease the strain on my groin, that will take away the burning compulsion and terror of my desire' (83).
The novel's narrator, Ari, walks through the different axes of Melbourne - north, south, east, west - the Beastie Boys' beats into his ears, as he tries to lose himself in music, to become lost in the crowd ...
Paris is forever marked by fashion trends
Recent trends: a canvas bag with logo; white sneakers à la Serge remain a constant; but for now everyone has solid-looking Marshall headphones, with the distinctive white-scrawled logo, on their ears.
For reasons of poverty and laziness, I make do with cheap Sony buds and a positively ancient Nokia phone. I go and stand outside a public service office building at Marx Dormoy.
Posters remind us to vote for the French Communist Party; a guy with dreadlocks and roller-blades loses it - I notice the singlet under his pale orange T-shirt - and then starts screaming at the black security guards in their creased, white shirts (who check our bags before we enter).
Shirley Bassey's 'Goldfinger' fills my ears. What a glorious contrast it provides with the grey/black geometery of the railway just before Marx Dormoy (this is Paris, the tag tells me). Such a monumental track, listen to that instrumentation ...
Near métro Stalingrad, I walk past shops selling all manner of objects 'exotic' and PFC (Paris Fried Chicken), that singer from 10CC trying to convince me that no, he doesn't love her (I'm not in love). 'Free Palestine' ... 'Free Gaza' reads the graffiti above the community garden.
Sometimes the music is so affecting, I stop right there/right now to scrawl down the date/time on scraps of paper (movie tickets mainly) to later check on Nova's website, or Fip. (This happened today with 'Dub Delay' from Grand Pianoramax's album, 'Till there's nothing left'.)
Other times when skipping from station to station, I wonder, could this be serious?
As Prince's 'Kiss' segues into AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' - no break - or I hear Massive Attack's 'Karmacoma' for the third time on the same day (or Kim Carnes's 'Bette Davis Eyes'; or Joan Jett singing about a 17 year-old boy standing 'beside the record machine', let alone Supertramp on repeat).