Sometimes I just car-rave the music

This week, the ever-lovely Jen and her awesomerockin’ co-host Kristi totally couldn’t be bothered to come up with a theme for TMT decided to encourage us all to contribute a list of ANYTHING we like – tres exciting!

There are times in life when we need our ‘alone time’, right?Β 
For me, music can provide this – specifically, music in my car, on the radio (because I have no tapes, am too cheap to install a CD player, and the MP3-to-tape thingummy I had for 99p off ebay, broke).
But I need to be alone. Husby’s not a massive fan of music, or at least, not as wide a variety as I am, and he’s no-where near as passionate about it. He also *hates* it when music is too loud. So when he’s there, I have to play nice.
But when I’m driving on my own, especially if it’s dark (one of the only good things about the onset of autumn), and a song akin to one of the following comes on, I love to crank up the volume good and high, and enjoy the magic of my very own, private, car-rave.

Let me take you on the journey…

So I’m sitting there, at the traffic lights or somesuch, idling away the time. The radio’s playing, but nothing that good. Perhaps my toe is absently tapping the gas pedal as I wait. Then a break between songs. Boredom. Eye-rolling (especially if there are adverts, at which point I may very well exercise my inner radio-slut and skip through all the other channels I have saved, in case something better is playing elsewhere) until I click into a station with something truly awesome playing.

My pupils dilate, my stomach clenches, and my face breaks into an involuntary grin as I reach out for the volume dial…

Something happens to me then. And each turn of the volume dial soon seems insufficient, and I keep reaching to turn it up again. The music is swamping me, taking me over – I can feel the rhythm vibrating through the car, through my whole body. My hands are drumming frantically on the steering wheel, trying to keep time. I know I’m being an asshole because the cars all around me can hear the pounding music, but it’s in my brain, and I just can’t stop…

Then the song ends. And the silence is jarring.

But wait, this is a radio for crying out loud – there has to be something else good on, somewhere. And so I’m back into the search.

YESS! I’ve got a good one. Up goes the volume again, and my concerns about being an asshole fade into the distant recesses of my mind as the dirty, thundering rhythms wash over me, bring a curtain of haze over my mind. Thinking stops. Considering stops. I stop. All that matters is the music. As loud as possible, rolling through the car, pouring into my ears and filling my head. I’m dancing in my seat, driving faster and faster (with only a tiny portion of me keeping an eye on the speedometer, feeding messages of safety and circumspectness to the rest of me…) never wanting this to stop.

Yet because it’s the radio, and songs don’t last forever, it inevitably does. And then a wait before another slice of dark beauty begins.

Pure notes like oxygen precede the rest, dragging me willingly down into the depths of another time-out from reality, from the roads. I’ve never been to a rave (partly because I’m too scared of being illegal, partly because drugs aren’t my scene (nor herpes, which I hear on authority gets shared liberally on the free-for-all water bottles), and partly because I’m just not cool enough to go) but in my mind, I’m there, in the midst of the dance floor, thrashing away, rising and falling and moving as one with an amorphous, anonymous throng of people, all lost in the music, and displaying it as violently as the sound requires.

And stop.

And the vision melts, and it’s like a physical pain. I want it back. So I channel-surf again, clicking through and through and through; needing my fix.

And there it is – I can breathe again

The vision returns, and the frantic drumming, and the fast driving, and the breathing in and out with the music, feeling it swirl through my veins – exciting, energising, making me want to scream, dance or punch things. None of this allowed whilst in my car, so I settle for the milder head-nodding, whilst going absolutely mental in my imagination.

But the end is in sight. I’m nearly home. I nearly have to return from my car-rave to ‘normal life’, where the music is quiet and in moderation. Dancing is silly, but never frantic, never stuff I disappear into.


Surely there’s time for one more? If I can just find a channel playing the right kind of…got it.

Volume right up this time, so it almost hurts my ears; so high the music barely makes sense, just the pounding rhythms and notes flooding into that tiny space of my car, flowing through the bodywork, tangible through the seat and steering wheel and pedals – I am a part of this.

My final hit.

It takes me higher than the others, on the back of their build-up, I become almost dizzy as I give myself up to it again, lights flashing in my imagination, the darkness of the world taking over and reducing to the reality of the song; the tunnel vision in my mind narrowing out all but the most auto-pilot of functions (yeah, like driving…) and I pull into my road, not caring that I might disturb the neighbours, and park, turning off the headlights, but keeping the engine running until every last note has been absorbed.

Then it’s really over.

I turn the radio off, turn the engine off, and take a few deep breaths to try to come back into the real world. Back into the light and scope of normal life, where the music is never strong enough to reach inside me and journey me away.

But there’s always next time…

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30 thoughts on “Sometimes I just car-rave the music

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed them Shae – I'm lucky in that there's a BRILLIANT radio station where I live, which *might* have some of these played once in a blue moon, but I love them and it was far more a 'fantasy radio playlist' than anything else πŸ™‚

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  2. You are a brilliant writer. Really. You describe that feeling so perfectly! Once a week, if I'm lucky I meet a girlfriend very late, after the kids are asleep over at the 24 hour pancake house. It's really sad. But on the way I crank the music, it's my me time. I know what you mean.

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  3. People's tastes differ though. I get that πŸ™‚ But I LOVE these.

    (is it a 'roger' thing then perhaps? Michelle? Any insight?)

    That happens at junctions for me. If I suddenly need to focus, the sound needs to go, because music carries me away.

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  4. you know the odd thing is that I can't imagine anyone *not* enjoying this music (in your list) especially in the 'venue' you describe.

    (Phyllis is like that, the not liking music at more than a polite decibel level.)

    the best description of loud car music came from someone I knew in …1980 or 81. he said very simply, “..driving in my car the other night, it started to rain pretty, I had to turn down the radio so I could see better.”

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  5. Why thank you Troy πŸ™‚

    Prodigy – how I love them in many different ways and songs!

    And sure – just hoot, flip me the middle finger, and overtake if I'm raving out in front of you πŸ˜‰

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  6. One of your best TMTT posts to date, and the Prodigy track in particular was choice!

    Also, based on your reaction to the radio, please remind me to never follow behind you on any given thruway… =)

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  7. If you were there, I'm sure you'd be too busy begging me to slow down, and hanging onto the sides of the seat to laugh πŸ˜‰ But it's awesome fun. Especially when the roads are empty and it matters less. Just me and the music. Bliss.

    Double jamming in the car is fun though, when someone shares your musical taste. I've done that before and it's great fun πŸ™‚

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  8. Ohhh I so need to get my MP3 plugged in again, BUT as you say, I get to listen to a lot of new things which I would never have heard if not for the radio. My favourite station is really good at playing awesome tracks from back in the day.

    I'm glad I'm not alone in finding the 'car concert' a really fulfilling experience.

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  9. Ahhhh I have the advantage there – Husby doesn't drive, so I always get to pick πŸ˜€

    Feuer Frei is awesome! I do also like Du Hast, rather a lot. Certainly music you can lose yourself to. But the iPod idea is a great one πŸ™‚

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  10. Love the eclectic music you featured!
    I'm like you. I use my alone time in the car to jam out. I don't have to please anyone else with my selection. It's like an impromptu concert just for me…and I always sing along. I usually listen to my iPod, but I do enjoy the radio because I get to hear things that aren't on my playlist! Awesome post! –Lisa

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  11. Fantastic choices, you even got in my favorite Rammstein track. I have a hub that's pure country and doesn't appreciate my musical tastes in even the slightest manner. We reached an accord that whoever is driving picks the music. I'm so glad I invested in an iPod for when he's in control.

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  12. Ohhhh I remember Stripped – just put it on to see what it is, and I know it already. Not bad at all πŸ™‚

    I'm glad your hubby managed to remain disease-free. A raver friend of mine tells me that coming away with coldsores is pretty much mandatory over here! It just doesn't appeal to me!

    Glad you enjoyed your rave – it sounds pretty unique!

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  13. Wow, you've surprised me here, Prodigy, Queens of The Stone Age and Rammstein you little raver you! Danielle at Gosport introduced me to Rammstein – there's a song called “Mutter” – he has some real Mummy issues! I can translate lyrics if you want :).

    I particularly love the Example track.

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  14. Ah! Haven't thought of Rammstein and Prodigy in years and enjoyed them both. Rammstein did a cover of Depeche Mode's Stripped that I adored!

    As for Raves – my hubby did them in his youth and came out herpes-free! I only ever went to one: in the middle of Rural Quebec. In a church basement. It was fun, but I'm not sure it gave me a full appreciation for the culture πŸ™‚

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  15. Try to resist turning them up too loud (though they're awesome louder). I've sadly only been to one concert, and it was with a friend. I don't think Husby would ever go to a concert! Just not his thing at all.

    But never mind – I can have this as my personal hobby, and it's definitely one I love.

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  16. Love that you love music. I am same way and we share hubbys that aren't so crazy about it. I tried to drag him to some concerts and I never ended well. So we just have to live separate lives where music is concerned. I'll have to go find my headphones and listen to your selections. He's snoozing in bed beside me.

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  17. I love listening to the radio when I am driving alone and I am with you the louder the better. Really does make me so much more at ease and truly amazing what music can so for you and make you feel and think when you are indeed alone the confines of your own car.

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