Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #23

The Medicine Cabinet
by Nayt Housman

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

'Rachel' by Nayt Housman

Some people when you meet them, you can just tell they’re going to be an amazing human being. That’s precisely the way I felt when I first met Rachel. I know “down to earth” can sometimes be a bit of a wanky term but that and “total babe” is definitely what I’d say when asked to describe her. Now the thing is I already knew a little bit about Rachel’s music taste as we’d discussed our loves and hates in the past and attended a Presets gig together. Though, I mean, how much can you really know someone? I know she’s 38, loves beer, tea, books, and school, has a babe of a hubby and a few rascal kids she adores but I wanted to know more than I knew before. I wanted her music life answered in my six questions.


Who are the musicians and/or bands that flick your switch and turn up the volume?

God, Helmet, The Cure, Paul Mac, The Presets, Ministry. Shit, shit! So much pressure! Danzig, Stone Roses, Soul 2 Soul… Lots of cheesy pop too (like you I had a really obsessive Savage Garden phase).

Why do you think they are the pills that cure your ills?

As an angsty teenager I used to put on my Walkman and charge around Armidale. I guess it was escapism and I suppose it's still the same. I like angry, heavy music a lot and it's always made me feel I have a purpose when things are poo. Especially Ministry. Ministry are fucking awesome. I would love to see them live.

What kind of high do they give you?

Ministry would be some natural kind of opioid released by a super heavy bout of hardcore painful exercise. Paul Mac’s 'Just the Thing' is 1/2 an E in a song. Perks me up without fail. Reminds me of the dance floor at Fluffy in the early '00s’

When do you find yourself craving music for relief?

I crave musical relief at night. Kids asleep, no Uni tomorrow... Musical relief in the form of a room full of people hearing the same thing and feeling connected. Get messed up and lose myself in it. Oh god that sounds reeeally bad! I am such a bad grownup. Fuck me what a wanker I've become.

Where in life, home, and your world does music take you?

I guess right now it takes me out of my head. I spend so much time thinking these days that when I listen to music I just get out of my head and feel stuff. I had a really nice moment today when I was walking over the bridge to uni listening to ‘Perfect Skin’ by Lloyd Cole, a song I’ve probably listened to for 25 years, and I just thought – “I am happy with myself, it’s a sunny day and I’m wearing cool shoes: YES!”

How do you share your music love?

WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE!!! Muahahaha!!! I was 8 1/2 months preggers with Joe when I saw the Presets for the first time - he knows Pacifica inside out.

It’s true I did fucking love Savage Garden and would have given anything to be the teenage meat in that sandwich but that’s beside the point. What I can take out of all this is that life doesn’t have to take away our youth, it’s always there. Some of us choose to push that inner child aside when we reach a certain age for fear of being labelled childish and some of us are able to embrace our innocence, our rebellion, and integrate it with who we have become and also pay homage to it, often in the form of music.

Rachel likes to say “Left foot, right foot, repeat.” And I really connect with this because why does everything have to be complex? Life is actually simple, one foot after the next. It’s this child like simplicity, which has often made more sense to me than any textbook definition of adulthood, sanity or how to make a pavlova. Left foot, something bad happens, right foot, distracted by a flower, left foot, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WOO!” right foot, “I STUBBED MY FUCKING TOE!” left foot…you get the gist.

I shall dub this ‘The Fountain Of Youth Effect’. Music really is my fountain of youth, as it is Rachel’s. It takes us back, it grounds us, it brings us home and it ignites that inner spark, the spark of the child inside.

Doctor Nayt’s prescription this week is directed especially to those who may have forgotten what it’s like to be joyous and childish in their play. Put on the first ever band you can remember loving, go out in the yard, drop to the ground and roll. Do cartwheels, scream at the top of your lungs “AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” Pick flowers and put them all through your hair, stick them up your nose until you sneeze, give a bunch to a stranger walking by or the neighbour then stop, look at your feet and step, left foot, right foot, repeat. It’s that simple.

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