What you think, how you move, how you live - these are always reflected in what you get out of music.


Today I started listening to Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space while in the elevator, going down. The very first reverberation rippled up just as the elevator hit its characteristic moment of hang, right before arriving at the first floor - so when my ears were hearing the notes floating up, and my body was going with them, so was my mind, for just that instant.

On the sidewalk, swaggering along to the rolling bassline in "Come Together," I closed my eyes, briefly. For an experiment. I closed my eyes and kept walking for a few seconds. The buffeting, disorienting quality was amplified greatly. When I opened my eyes I was still basically going the same way, just a ways ahead, but I felt out of place.


Off the bus and home I transfered the CD from my headphones to my stereo, loud and satisfying. The rental company still hadn't called. Few things faze me but money troubles, and those get me needlessly anxious and nervous. Pacing incessantly, fidgeting, cotton-mouthed and clammy-palmed. Once I couldn't stand it any more I called the company, and got a computer saying they closed at 4 on Fridays - almost 2 hours ago. Meaning they didn't call me, approving my application for lease to start the first, on this, the twenty-eighth. As my apprehension and what-if worries mount (they're going to deny me they're going to deny me they're going to deny me) "Broken Heart" starts. Always a heart-wrencher, tear-jerker, now it is devastating. I want to cry but I am so numb I just sit there in shock. I stare blankly through the noise-skronk of "No God Only Religion" which follows.

But "Cool Waves" comes on and after about half the song I actually realize this and begin to sing along. Shamelessly so, loud, imitating the choir badly, off-key. I am great. The music isn't just redemptive, passive voice, it redeems me, cleanses me. That J. Spaceman knows his shit, knows what he's doing. The sudden onrush of despair dissipates, floating away with the flute, orchestra, and choir. Leaving behind a profound sense of peace. So when the fadeout comes, rather than listen to the final 17-minute skronkfest, I turn off the stereo and go pack more boxes, and actually stay mostly worry-free for the rest of the night.

Josh Kortbein
- 29 July 2000