Tag Archives: pain

Week 38: Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley

11 May


I think we all have those records that transport us out of our mundane lives and take us away somewhere magical.

When I listen to Kyuss, I’m floating on a psychedelic sparkly cloud 10 miles up above a desert canyon. I am not on my hands and knees scrubbing the skirting boards, rigid with backache and praying this baby will turn into a slightly less awkward position for birth.

This week I have been mostly hoping that with the gut-shaking power of rumbling bass and downtuned guitars, the baby will flipflop around into prime position, thereby saving me hours of googling back-to-back babies and sobbing with the fear of being in agonising back labour for a week. On the up-side, at least I know both of my TENS machines are working now. And there are many spare batteries. Many, many spare batteries.

Back to the music. I think when you’re a youngster, or maybe during a particularly thoughtful period of your life, you have those albums or songs that let you vanish inside yourself. It definitely gets harder to lose yourself in music as you grow up, but the second you put on an old CD or song – BOOM. You’re floating in space again, suspended above the canyon, or getting whatever it is that feeling is that transports you. I think this is what inspires legions of embarrassing uncles and aunts to leap onto the dancefloor and start fist-pumping at weddings the second a song from their youth comes on. The opening notes in that song push those magic brain receptors and they’re young again, and they can get away with dancing like that (even if they really can’t).

These magic switches are also helpfully effective at distracting you from pain. Need to push out another impossible 2 kilometres in your half marathon? Put on your favourite songs, get the endorphin release, take your mind somewhere away from it all. Stub your toe? Put on something REALLY loud and angry and let it block out the pain signals. Works with broken hearts too, ask any teenager.

Anyway. Giving birth to a human out of your foof. The music admittedly might not help towards the end of it, but if the first part is going to be a muscular endurance test lasting days on end, I’d better get prepared with with as many psychological tricks as I can read up about. And two lovely, lovely TENs machines with their sticky stinging pads all over my back all at full electrocuting power.


Week 22: Massive Attack – Blue Lines

16 Jan


Bloody toothaaaaaaache

Honestly, I have never experienced anything more horrific. 48 hours of feeling like someone’s hammering a white hot nail into my jaw with no respite (supermoan coming up, turn over to Countryfile for five minutes if you wish), counting down the minutes til I can take my next paracetemol dose which will allow me to sleep for an hour before being dragged screaming back into my hellish reality for a three hour wait where every second feels like one long, agonising week. Hugging my knees and screaming and crying and fantasising about breaking all my teeth with a hammer. Not being able to eat anything apart from yoghurt. YOGHURT. And not very much of that because I’ll be SICK.

OK, OK, come back now. This isn’t going to be one long downer I promise.

I’m better now, yayyyy! Well, as of this afternoon it’s gone rapidly from excruciating to simply annoying (hurrah for my elephant dose of antibiotics finally kicking in!). I feel like I have been kissed by angels. I want to dance naked in the street, giving out heart-shaped balloons to passers by. Seriously though, is there any bliss greater than the absence of something that was truly and relentlessly horrid?

Anyway, I had intended to play Gaga NAPALM DEATH next. Oh how I was looking forward to a bit of juicy thrash metal! But even I couldn’t tolerate anything remotely jarring when writhing in snotty spasms of mouth-based pain. So I picked the mildest thing I could think of, and that thing was – for some reason – Massive Attack.

I was never very into these when they were first about. The 90s, for me, were pretty much all about raucous guitars played by the art school brats and lumpen anoraked oafs I aspired to be like. Dance music was for pretty people wearing white clothes from Morgan. That was not me. I overlooked an entire genre in my teens purely because I was a genre snob.

Since then, I have learned the error of my ways. I have vowed to never be a judgemental about music again. If you like Kenny G, baby that’s fine with me. I will listen to it all and love it all, however challenging or bland or critically reviled. Good music is good music. This statement may not apply to the work of Kenny G.

Yesterday was the first time I’d ever listened to this album, and, even when in paroxysms of pain, it’s really really good. I lay with my laptop on my belly with a packet of veggiemince slowly defrosting on the side of my face and felt Gaga flip like a little baby sealion to the music.