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What Lies Beneath (an iPod)

Greatest Hits Volume I (Barry Manilow album)

“It’s not mine, it was planted!”

I was thinking the other day (it hurt, I don’t want to talk about it) and among the marvellously perverse things involving dwarves, shoes and vodka that popped into my mental peripherals, I also got to thinking about what my greatest fear in the world is. I used to be utterly petrified at the thought of turning into my mother, but seeing as I’m already half way through that process, I’ve had to learn to get over it. I also used to think that my greatest fear was of paper cuts on the eyeballs (it totally could happen and it would be utterly terrifying), but there is now one thing that has taken over as le fear formidable (go back and read that last part in a French accent please, it sounds better). My greatest fear is losing my iPod.

I don’t particularly care for the cost of the thing; I had just enough of a hippy upbringing to know that money comes and goes and Apple products may do also, and neither one grants instant and everlasting happiness (ok, I’d be mightily irked at misplacing a £200 gadget – I’m not made of money!) What would really bother me about letting my iPod out of my clutches, is the horror that someone else would be able to see my entire musical collection and therefore have unadulterated insight into my appalling, shameful taste in tunes. The illusion of my being anything near cultured and refined would forever be shattered like an abandoned warehouse window.

I have never understood what sort of over-confident freaks casually proffer their personal playlists at parties, eagerly handing over their iPod to the resident DJ (recognisable as the sad little git in the corner, bobbing his head earnestly and wearing shades in-doors, who swapped social skills for high-top trainers), so that the best and worst of their musical collections can be laid bare for all to judge. I’m convinced they’re either an evolutionary jump in human egotism or they have two iPods; one fit for human consumption and another one that they actually enjoy. I’m not fooled. For every cool Ibiza DJ or as-yet-undiscovered indie rock band, I know there’s a Cheeky Girls album lurking cheeky-cheekily somewhere in their possession.

On every first date I have ever been on, there comes a time when my stomach flips like a Burger King employee; not the moment the charming chap walks through the door of the restaurant (seedy bar), or leans in for a tender kiss (full tongued snog), oh no, it’s the moment that they nonchalantly ask what music I’m in to and if they may peruse my pod of i. No you may certainly not! They may as well ask if they can rummage through my undercracker drawer, and quite frankly, I think that would be far safer for all concerned, a lot less intimate and far more chance of a second date (or at least a goodnight fumble).

I shudder every time I see a Spotify shared music link on Facebook or the “np” (now playing) hashtag on Twitter that tells all and sundry exactly what someone’s ear worm du jour (French accents on again please) is at that very moment. For now these are an optional tool for flaunting your musical enjoyment via social media, but how long until we’re forced to openly declare the contents of our iPod closets, and the skeletons of a hundred boy bands come tumbling out?

You may be wondering why I am so shy when it comes to my music preferences, especially when I’m never so shy with an opinion, and because I’m clearly one of such impeccable taste and with a well manicured finger firmly on the pulse of all that is credible in today’s cultural marketplace, but the reality of it is, my guilty pleasures have way overtaken my quality control and anyone who looks to my playlist for some insight into my persona will be left with the urge to call mental health professionals for my removal from the streets of decent society, which in turn will discredit all my hard work at harshly judging my fellow humans. My quest for a world without cretins will therefore be brought crashing back to square one and for why? All because someone saw Barry Manilow lurking in my iPod.

In amongst my more creditable musical choices, I will confess to having questionable “gems” such as The Spice Girls, which was forced upon me by a misguided relative. Ok, I bought one album for myself. Fine, I bought both at the same time but it was a drunken mistake. Alright, alright, I set out to buy them and I still dance around my flat to them, slamming it to the left and whatever-ing it to the right, but who doesn’t love the Spice Girls? They’re a symbol of hope to all talentless pop tartlets everywhere, teaching us that success can be yours if you wear high enough shoes.

I did actually slip up the other night and inadvertently let my boything hear that I possess, and know all the words to, the soundtrack of the movie Footloose. I pretended this was the worst of it and we both silently agreed never to speak of the moment again but I have to say, relations have been awkward since then and he can no longer look me in the eye. Or hold my hand… Or return any of my calls. Oh well, it’s best he found out now and not further down the line when I’d tried to merge our CD collections and Britney Spears raised her embarrassing head.

I think I’ve said too much.

From now on I’m going to have to keep an extra close eye on my iPod, lest it fall into the wrong hands, and by wrong hands, I mean anyone with the ability to become the music police (not Sting’s band) and pass judgement on my crimes against taste and lyrical prowess. Failing that, I could always turn the concept into an award-winning psychological horror movie and see if Las Ketchup will provide the soundtrack.

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About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

26 responses »

  1. Sadly, you blatterings hari-karied yourself as effectively as if you handed us your iPod. The good news is is that it is your iPod, not mine.

    Reply
  2. I know exactly what you mean. Although I don’t have any Manilow or Spice Girls on my iPod (you REALLY do?!?), I do have some Bananarama, some Avril Lavigne, some Monkees, and even some old TV theme songs (like Hawaii Five-O) on mine. When one of those tunes comes up in the car and I have a passenger, I am now very quick at hitting the skip button. But when I’m alone, I’m probably singing along!

    Reply
  3. My taste is immaculate but my partner used it to copy their small volume of CD’s, all of which are awful, so if I shuffle I have to frantically skip the Cher or Whitesnake track that pops up, or the Michael Thomas French language lessons where he spits at his student for incorrect pronounciation.

    Reply
  4. A couple of years ago I was mugged and the stupid muggers took my purse. The most prized possesion in there was my iPod. My music was stored in my computer, but still, I was devastated and horribly shaken, of course.

    Reply
  5. Love it, you always make me laugh!

    Reply
  6. Nothing wrong with having an eclectic taste in music, even if that includes Barry Manilow, The Spice Girls, and Britney Spears. Hey, I’ve got some songs from all three in my collection, plus some Abba and a whole host of other currently uncool music.

    I would like to say that I will stand up and declare proudly to anyone and everyone what music I have; but that wouldn’t be true. On occasion I have been known to falter in the face of peer pressure (it’s true, I am shame-faced to say) and won’t admit to anything other than such classics as Axiom, Masters Apprentices, Elvis, and Creedence.

    But so long as you can enjoy your own music in your own place, that’s the important thing. No-one need ever know that you were bopping along to Abba or Britney. What happens in the house, stays in the house.

    [BTW, re. “who swapped social sills for high-top trainers” – are social sills something like window sills? I’m guessing that a social sill is someone on the edge of society, who – if they fall out of line of social decorum – face a long drop down to the ground, a descent that usually ends with a loud “splat” that ends their social acceptableness. Did I get it right?]

    Reply
    • That typo will cause me sleepless nights for a month, which is exactly why I had a typo in the first place (stupid blog writing at 01:00 on the day before it’s due to be published! Grrr). Let’s just say yes to your theory and move swiftly along, shall we? 😉

      I’d love to say I don’t care what other people think but that would make me a liar as well as a poor judge of musical taste.

      I didn’t incude ABBA in my post, not because I’m too ashamed (others didn’t make it for fear of mocking) but because I count them as musical geniuseseses.

      Reply
  7. I don’t own an iPod (I hate Apple) but on my walkman I have the Spices (natch),.Britney, Guns n Roses, Bon Jovi… The list of poor taste goes on… Andy’s and his dads musical taste is what Andy’s mum describes as ‘chocolate box’ which I believe to translate to music for closet gays.. Kylie, Cher, Madonna and the Venga boys.. Need I say more?

    Reply
    • missy amber

      G’n’R – no guilty pleasure!! That’s classic rock, now. I’ve got my old Use Your Illusion II cassette in the car – but I have to remember to FF past all the really sweary bits when the kids are there. They love it!
      It’s just possible that I might have copies of your other dodgy choices too. Only just persuaded Mark to get rid of his Brother Beyond cd. I worry about him sometimes. best ipod moment ever – the transistion from The Fall to High School Musical. Now THAT’s eclectic!

      Reply
      • The man who lives upstairs from me plays the Glee soundtrack, Cher, Spice Girls and something else with an 80’s plastic toy drum beat. I can only assume he’s gay or in the same gang as your other halves.

        Reply
  8. I am sorry if the boy thing is truly gone, though, I would have to say that leaving because of a great album like “footloose” and leaving you, no less, would have to label him as somewhat of a person lacking in smarts (no offense intended). I would listen to “Spice Girls”,
    “Footloose” and “Barry”, so know you would be welcome here. Now, you would have to put up with a multitude of differing sounds – from “The Carpenters” to “Two Steps From Hell” to “God Smack” (only one or two of that one). I am eclectic.
    Scott

    Reply
  9. I like Barry Manilow.
    There, I said it.
    Martha….the iPod is a very personal piece of technology! Share it with NO ONE! It’s none of their business what songs you like (you wouldn’t believe the eclectic song list I have), or what apps you’ve downloaded (Playboy I believe has an app–*runs to go look*) or what level you’ve attained on Angry Birds!
    Speaking of apps, have you ever seen “Office Jerk”!? OMG, go get it, it’s free!

    Reply
    • There are two reasons I believe in very good earphones. One is so they don’t annoy my fellow passengers with that annoying *tink-a-tink-a-tink* oh a half heard tune and the other is they don’t give the game away as I pull my coolest “I’m listening to the cutting edge of musical finesse” face while actually listening to Girls Aloud. Share? Never.

      Reply
  10. I’m sure papercuts to the eye aren’t that bad – I’ve had scalpel cuts to the eye and now I can see without glasses, it’s brilliant! As for losing your iPod, my sister once did that and it was full of Japanese pop music. I wonder what whoever found her iPod thought of that 😉 just embrace your taste in music, I have everything from alt rock to synth pop to classical – I am sure if I lost mine people would be very confused, or maybe they would enjoy it?

    Reply

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