— And How They Influence My Art —
Only 10? This may be hard to choose – I have a list on my phone of “Songs I want to Dance To” and “Bands to Check Out”. Some of those songs first hit me like — Wow — With choreography and images already running through my head, however I had to pick only 10,
These ones were chosen because of their influence in my life, my art, and my dance.
Some of these favourites will be from way back, public school days, to the present. Old school rock, some Motown, some Metal, some World Dance… just a bit of a mix of everything! So here they are, in no particular order:
- ”I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” – by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Images of us kids in the back of the school bus, with Tim’s big ol’ ghetto-blaster sterio playing the song over and over as we all sang/shouted along, imagining us all as rock stars! Dreaming in our young minds that the sky was the limit! Lovely 20 minute ride to town for the bus driver, I’m sure!
- ”Nightflight to Venus” – Boney M. Immediately after this song came the much better known “Rasputin”, and although I love the energy of “Rasputin”, “Nightflight to Venus” had that techie sexy space nerd vibe I was loving at the time. Besides, it was the cover track, and the ladies on the album cover were so Intergalactically Glamourous!
- ”Holding Out for a Hero” – Bonnie Tyler. I absolutely loved this song! It was the MOST played out song on my “Footloose” soundtrack cassette. Instead of the racing tractor (like in the movie), I imagined a charging Knight on a white horse. No matter where I was, I’d bust out the moves and imagine there was some hero to sweep me away – or imagining I WAS MY OWN HERO. I believe it was actually the first song I started imagining choreography with! Her voice, the music, the lyrics, were very powerful to me at that time.
- ”It Doesn’t Really Matter” – Platinum Blonde. What more can I say? I love these guys, and the punk/pop/rock vibe of this tune. I’d stand there with my eyes closed, in my room, moving my head back and forth, pumping my arms, lipsynching along, in my own little “Mark Holmes” space, telling me life will go on, and these things happening right now, won’t matter later.
- “Pump Up The Volume” – M|A|R|R|S. (or MARRS). I still dance along to this song if I hear it in the grocery store. Here I am, in Isle 7, busting out the moves while hubby walks slowly behind….”I don’t know this woman”… lol. It’s quite a scene! Or, my mom and I carrying on, in whatever store we’re in, doing the same. I loved the textures, different levels, and the energy of this song at the time. I still do! I guess I can say this one introduced me to “Techno” – which I still love!
- ”We Are The Others” – Delain. I first heard this song a few years ago, when we first discovered Symphonic Metal (along with groups like Epica, Xandria, and Nightwish). This song speaks to those who are a little ‘different’, or ‘eccentric’ and who may not follow the social norm. What is “normal” anyways, but some ancient old ideology? Sad at first, but the lyrics move to embracing your uniqueness, love yourself, even though you may be one of the “Others”- not socially “normal”. This was one of my favourite songs to dance to – I loved working on the choreography for it.
- “Cthulhu” – Iced Earth. The slow, raw power and rich vocals of this artist. I love this band – and they have some of the most awesome album cover artwork! And when they came out with this song – gah!! I think this is the song that hooked me in. Images of the deep ocean, this primordial sea-beast rising from the depths for some Armageddon style wrath fire my imagination. I love anything to do with mythology, legend, and lore. Especially the tragic, epic world-eater variety. Don’t ask me why, as I’m generally a peace-loving person. I just love dragons, mythical beasts of land and sea, cataclysmic events, and unicorns!
- “Akkadian Penumbras” – Maduro. I found this little gem on my “Bellydance Underworld” CD, a compilation of Tribal-Fusion Experimental & Gothic grooves. This song actually has two parts – beginning half sounds basically like a bunch of madly ringing rotary phones (interestingly enough, this part is excellent for drilling isolations in my belly dance tribal fusion style), to some softer, melodic, flowing music – great for more of the graceful travelling steps (imagining some veil here). This piece is purely instrumental, with two personalities – maybe that’s why I like it so much. A bit of the Mad, with a bit of the Soft.
- “Superbeast” – Rob Zombie. An old favourite – actually, I love this whole album, (Hellbilly Deluxe), including “Dragula” and “Living Dead Girl”. I love dancing to this stuff – it’s a bit of grit, with some go-go girl stuff, and a lot of Hallowe’en – my Favourite Time of Year!! I’ve performed to both “Superbeast” and “Dragula” – and I loved them both!! It brings out the little witchy voodoo queen and allows me to dance into a strange world.
- “Summer Wine” – by Coeur De Pirate. I stumbled across this album in the World section at HMV Toronto. Hubby was going through the Metal section, and after I was done looking through that, I went over to the World section to see what I can find. This album was on the earphones, so I took a listen. Loved it right away. Her voice, the musical arrangement, all spoke to me. Soft, sad, a little smoky and folksy, I bought the album. And they are from Quebec! This song is on my “Songs I want to dance to” list – each time I listen to it, I HAVE to move! Actually, this whole album makes me feel like that – even their cover songs.
And that is it for this listing — there are many more songs that make me dance, move, cry, and move me, but for this posting, I was limited to 10. Most Honourable mention: “If I Had A Heart” by Fever Ray. Haunting, and gorgeous. Google some of these, if you have not heard of them, and check them out! As for me, I think I’m going to put on my “Coeur De Pirate” song and move around….
These are also the songs that have had the most influence on me. That reflect my style, my art, and in a lot of cases, my jewelry pieces!
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Until then, see you on the Flip-Side!
xo – Shari.
Tomorrow’s topic: “Pet Peeves”… hmmm.