Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"I BET YOU LOOK GOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR"


The Arctic Monkeys
Originally uploaded by Frida Borjeson Photography.

Actually, I don't. But that doesn't stop me from getting out there whenever I can--though these days the occasions for embarrassment are usually limited to dancing in the corner at the weddings I work or gyrating with my co-workers at the annual company Christmas party.

In the privacy of my little office, however, my inner dancing queen still reigns. When I'm first dreaming up a character or tiptoeing in the vicinity of a plot, I turn off the computer and dance to something slow and languorous. (Think Billie Holiday wrapping her sinuous voice around "In my Solitude" or Tori Amos crooning "Sleeps with Butterflies." Then when all the story synapses start to fire, I crank up something loud and triumphant. (Maybe U2 belting out "It's a beautiful day!" or anything by the GoGos.)

It also takes music to get me to clean the house. For me, freedom from dust bunnies isn't enough. There has to be a little fun involved, and that means music and maybe even an occasional dance with my bumble bee yellow Dyson (fortunately very light weight).

Currently, my favorite music-to-clean-the-house-by is The Arctic Monkeys, Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not. (In my case, that would be a housewife--though I doubt that's what this iconoclastic young band had in mind.)In case you're as out of the musical loop as I usually am, the Arctic Monkeys are Britain's hottest band, a group of young men who've won the Mercury and the Brit awards and gotten all kinds of media attention by insisting they don't want any.

Clearly, I'm not their target audience. In a recent rave in The Guardian, Alexis Petridis wrote:


...anyone over 30 who finds themselves reflected in Turner's stories of alcopop-fuelled punch-ups and drunken romantic lunges in indie clubs should consider turning the album off and having a long, quiet think about where their life is heading.

Bob Dylan said something similar back in the sixties, and lived to disprove his own words. So no, I don't haven't gotten into any "alcopop fuelled punch-ups" while dancing in my living room (not lately anyway); and I'm not looking for a drunken romantic lunge either (though I must say I admire Petridis's turn of a phrase.) As far as the suggestion to have "a long, quiet think where you're life is heading," well that would seem like good advice for anyone who regularly gets involved in alcoholic punch-ups and drunken lunges. Or maybe that's just the mom in me talking.

But music is energy and sound and poetry; if it's any good, it's going to strike a universal chord. And the Arctic Monkeys are good.

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Meanwhile, in Blogland:


Tess Gerritsen defangs a bad review and opens up the discussion to writers everywhere...

Myfanwy Collins goes to the dump and makes the trip well worth your time...

David Thayer reveals why the blogging phenomenon is far from over...

And a family challenges their own materialism--and ours--by vowing to buy nothing they don't need for 30 days on Intent.

26 comments:

colleen said...

I dance to raise energy. As someone who struggles with energy issues, it's ironic that dancing is an acitivity that can build it. "It's a beautiful day" is one I've danced to often. I'm going to ask my son about the Artic Monkeys. He recently turned me on to Jack Johnson...wonderful! (sort of a Hawaiian cross between Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens).

Patry Francis said...

colleen: So true. Dancing can also ease pain. If my back starts to ache at work, dancing always makes it feel better. Now I have to check out Jack Johnson. If Josh likes them, they must be cool.

Brenda said...

This was funny! Too bad we can't see a mini-video of you doing your dancing housework to the Arctic Monkeys... :)

Vacuuming is what I most dislike in house cleaning- though there are possibilities, I see, in turning the hose into an anaconda and bopping around in a sinewy way to some secret music on my headphones (I'll have to check the Monkeys out)! My dog already thinks the vacuum is some terrible, noisy dragon monster that drags me around the house, and from which she flees and hides, and I'm sure this new dance would only confirm her suspicions.

Patry Francis said...

brenda: Actually, your photo captures some of the spirit of it!

p.s. My dogs feel the same way about the vaccuum cleaner; and once I start dancing, they probably also hold it responsible for driving me insane.

Brenda said...

They say that's one way you know you've got a dog :-) The vacuum cleaner distinguishes people from dogs! But we are getting sidetracked...

Patry Francis said...

brenda: anything to avoid vaccuuming...and other activities resembling work.

rdl said...

Hey I thought we looked pretty good out there. Trying to find that song out there in blogland to listen to, no luck yet.

robin andrea said...

When I was a child my mom worked on Saturdays and my dad was home with the four kids. He would put show tunes on the victrola and we would clean the house to music in the morning. We couldn't leave until the house was sparkling. He would say, "Robin, you do your bedroom and the living room. Michael, you do your bedroom and the dining room..." He cleaned and danced right along with us. I always have music on when I clean, and if "Some Enchanted Evening" comes on, it's like magic! Dancing and singing was an essential part of the routine.

Fred Garber said...

Patry...We like to play old music when we clean our little place up. Carlos Gardel (Tango), Duke Ellington(Swing), Charlie Parker(Be Bop), Brook Benton(Do Wop), Los Jaguares(Cuban Do Wop), Tito Puente(Hot Timbales)and Celia Cruz(True Blue Hair)!

Edie said...

Ah, but i did see an mini video play in mind as i read the words...and a wonderful video it was.

Patry Francis you sound like an amazing up-beat soul...i love this

Patry Francis said...

r: Actually, I think we're awesome; I was faking humility.

robin: I love your story. It has so much warmth. Your father was definitely my kind of guy.

Fred: We seem to have similar taste in music (and lots of other things). I love Duke Ellington, Bird--and anything Latin. I'll have to check out the albums on your list.

edie: Really, you see me dancing with my Dyson to a teenage rock band? Oh no! (Don't show anyone else!)

p.s. Thanks for your kind comments--here and elsewhere. You are my favorite new friend.

Lorna said...

I houseclean, especially if the hated vacuum is involved, to MeatLoaf turned up to 11 on the volume control.

rdl said...

Whoa, you have a Dyson !??( i just figured out what that is). I'm too cheap to even spend that much on a Ureck. What happened to your old Hoover or Eureka? :)

Patry Francis said...

lorna: Meatloaf! How could I have forgotten them?

r: Very chi chi with my Dyson, aren't I? Actually, with all all the animals around here, I was desperate.

Mary said...

Dysons are the best.

And my choice for music-to-clean-the-house with is "The Best of REM". Nothing beats Losing My Religion while cleaning the bath ....

Myfanwy Collins said...

Hey Patry! Thanks for the link.

Patry Francis said...

Mary: Since cleaning the bath (my least favorite chore) is on the docket for today, I'm in a mad hunt for my REM album.

Myfanwy: Thank YOU for the great post. I immediately had to go and clean out a few closets.

paris parfait said...

Yes to dancing around the house while doing housework. Is there any other way to get through those drudgeries??!!

Anonymous said...
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Patry Francis said...

paris: I can tell you and i think alike on many things.

Anonymous said...
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Iiain said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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