Sunday, 16 November 2008

#82 Music to make-up to...

Musico. Sometimes my alarm-clock-led life means that I can manage a week or more without listening to any music...not a note. When this happens, my mind and body begin to subconsciously crave a good song and the only antidote to my ensuing fidgety panic is an entire morning, hours on end, spent shuttling through my favourite tracks on my i-pod, filling my little flat with a pounding bass, transporting vocals and medicinal melodies. The day can be rainy, snowy, gusty or befogged, it doesn't matter... Midlake, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Laura Marling and Vampire Weekend all have the power to coax me out of a stormy-weather or inner-storm-induced stupour. Music is my elixir and soul-saver, centering my head and heart once more, reminding me of what matters, how to smile, laugh and dance like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (I try my hardest, never quite pulled it off) and also helping me to forget that I'm old enough to know who Molly Ringwald is and how her Breakfast Club dance was literally the coolest thing I had ever seen. Like. Ever.

Then there's the way in which a good tune can verge on being alchemistic - banishing torpor, motivating me on the worst of days, instilling confidence even when I'm feeling self-conscious. Which is why I think the music you pick to make your face up to is just as important as the make-up itself. It helps to shape the face in the mirror long before you've rouged and contoured it, helps refocus the eyes, beckoning towards an inner Cyndi Lauper, Siouxsie Sioux, Blondie or Vanessa Paradis. For big nights out, my friends and I have a playlist - a set of cheeky tunes that often result in false lashes and glittery lids, other times in cherry lips and indigo liner... the tune, like a mystical snake charmer's melody, guiding the hand across the face in previously unstudied ways. I've made some regrettable mistakes and incredibly fun faux-pas over the years, all while listening to a battery of unsuitable tunes. Power ballads invariably coax out a Bonnie Tyler-esque 80s popstar; love songs a slightly too-powder-and-painted pretty girl; dance tracks an acid-trip teenager... but through trial and error I've honed a pretty perfect playlist - all the songs managing to achieve my main aim of a night out: feel good, feel like me, just a bit more adventurous, expressive, a bit braver...

The Arctic Monkeys: Fluorescent Adolescent - let your hair down, perfect a naughty smile

Muse: Supermassive Black Hole - sexy, bold and head held high

Justin Timberlake: What Goes Around - heroine (not heroin) chic with a dramatic dark eye

Anita Ward: Ring My Bell - Disco curls, ruby lips

A warm-up act to support the headliner, lipstick and lashes... and make your heart beat that little bit faster. Hey Mr DJ...

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