Monday, October 4, 2010

Land of a Thousand Dance Moves

When GMR was out of town, I decided to clean the house so only my mess would be there and not his...huhn. But before I picked up rag, vacuum, sponge, I slipped into the player a mix of CD’s labeled “Fun Music.” It’s an eclectic blend that GMR doesn’t enjoy so much—he loves his jazz and even sometimes "show tunes," and the like, and I like some of that (and not some of that), but there are times I am bored with Jazz, bored of what I also deem as the “Elevator Music” he listens to in the car when he’s not listening to jazz. My main requirement for the music’s enjoyment, which GMR does not enjoy, is to play it very loud. How else can I experience it properly? It’s the same way in my car or when I am running on the treadmill—I must turn it up to obtain maximum pleasure from all the thumps and fwumps the music offers. The beat has to pulse in my veins so the blood is racing willy nilly, make my marrow boil, cause my bones to rattle, jitter my ear drums.

I push “Random.” And Wait! The first song happens to be one of my all time favorites: Wilson Pickett’s “Land of a Thousand Dances.” I've told GMR when I die, go head and play that song so that my ghost will feel happy. One simply cannot be still when Thousand Dances is playing. I shake, I shimmy, I rotate, I want to watusi, alligator, and mash potato as the song instructs, but I don’t know what those dances are (and I vow right then and there to learn those moves). I do my own wild jittery dance, laughing to beat the band, “Na na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na.”

Once Dances is over, I begin my wiping and dusting…until! Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” blares from the speakers. Well, how can any woman clean house during Respect? It's just too too . . . ironic! I pretend I am in a karaoke bar with an audience. I point, I pose, I sing out: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Take care, TCB,” and then I gyrate to, “Oh, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me.”

And then it’s back to cleaning. La la la tee dah (and why on commercials is it always the woman cleaning up and doing the laundry? Even when the guy makes the mess? It's 2010, y'all! Still, commercials use the woman - - well, GMR cooks, cleans, and does his own laundry, so commercial land, what's up with that? huhn, just saying!).

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy shouts “King of Swing!” right as I’m about to vacuum. Well, one can’t vacuum during Big Bad Voodoo Daddy—“When you feel your bones a shakin, and your temperature is risen… .” I do a quieter, but no less energetic, cleaning job until one of my least favorite songs comes on—it is a woman’s strange rendition of “Girl from Ipanema,” except she’s singing it as “the Boy from Ipanema” . . . bleah . . . it doesn’t have the same charm--time to vacuum to drown out her voice.

The music helps the time go by swiftly when I’m cleaning, driving, running, or maybe just goofing off.

In fact, the very first introductory lines to TG came from listening to Angels of Venice's "Lionheart" while driving with a "Natural Wonders" CD blasting. I could picture VK riding up her mountain, hair flying, hooves thundering; I saw her jump of Fionadala's back, holding her momma's ashes; saw her turn turn turn spilling the ashes . . . It was such a concrete real beautiful image, those words formed and I added them to the manuscript almost as a P.S. right before mailing off the query that brought my contract with Bellebooks.

Music has inspired me many times in my writing life, even if I can't or don't listen to it while writing. But cleaning house: yeah. Driving: definitely. Running: a must.

I bow to you Musicians: thank you all—I blow to you a kiss, a shimmy, a bust-a-hip move...Watch me work, now!

What's music for you?

(Jacqueline Cook's SUNRISE is still available for give away - see post below. I do like to support other authors and their works, even outside of my genre. This is a Bellebooks author and of course I want to support my publisher's authors! I'll keep it on give away one more day and then if no one claims it, I'll donate it to the library.)


Terri Tiffany said...

I love some of those same songs! When I get on my treadmill, (soon) I blast my music and it gets me walking or running--the only way to go!

Lori said...

There is no better way to clean then with great music playing "loudly". As I read this I pictured you dancing around your house and belting out the lyrics and I couldn't help but smile. :)

Hope your Monday is marvelous! XX

demery bader-saye said...

Wow - I think you may have actually inspired me to do some cleaning today! (Much needed, to be sure.) A couple of all time favorites: James Taylor, Nancy Griffith, Trisha Yearwood. But they're all kind of mellow for housecleaning and might make me want to sit down with a glass of tea. So I'm going to look through our music library for some peppier stuff. Thanks for the boost!

Diane said...

I don't listen to music that much. I seem to do better in silence and just talk to myself.... Hmmmmm. :O)

demery bader-saye said...

By the way, I would LOVE to win Sunrise... looked up the tender graces reading guide author: Mary Ann Ledbetter, writer & teacher from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I thought I posted this elsewhere earlier today - but it must not have come through.

Deb Shucka said...

I read this with the music from Angie's Friday post loud in my head. I am in awe of the magic musicians create and the energy music calls out. And now I have this great picture in my head of you doing housework. :-)

Susan R. Mills said...

Music is a huge inspiration to me. It inspires story ideas, and it also energizes me to clean or walk, or whatever I'm doing.

ficwriter said...

My first blog post was called The Song of Writing. Songwriters were the first to ignite my call to write. And, by the way, I do the same thing when my hubby is out of town. It's so fun!

Elisabeth said...

Music, they say soothes the heart of the savage beast and what more savage beast than a woman- or for that matter, a man - locked into the housework grind.

Anything that helps get housework done is worthwhile. Thanks, Kathryn.

john bord said...

Music, that raises the roof, vibrates the rafters, loosens the dust bunnies and brings cleaning to a crescendo, crashing of the cymbals with the vacuum retreating to the closest, ready for an encore.

Ta Da...

Marguerite said...

Music and moving to music is my #1 favorite thing in the whole wide world! It's what drives me, and makes me feel alive, and keeps me motivated!

Carolyn V. said...

I totally agree. Music makes cleaning, running, and life so much better! I love to run to a good song in the morning! =)

Walker said...

Music make everything feel real and alive and if the cleaning solution is strong ..........

Umm what was I talking about?
Chicken wings right?

I listen to alot of music, mostly Rock.
Heavy metal
Soft Rock
Beethoven, that would be deaf rock I guess.
Practically anything but country and rap.
One leaves me sad the other mad.

Hmmm, has there ever been a country rap singer?
I wonder what that would be like?
Probably make me feel confused.

Enjoy the music, Oh, may I suggest, Madrugada.
A band out of Europe that's was around for a while but i just recently discovered.

Kristi said...

Oh, I'm with you!

I love the music pumped up at the highest possible level when I attempt to jog....otherwise, where will I find that kind of energy?

It's amazing how it can take us to so many different places...

Suldog said...

Music was my lifeblood, not too many years back. I lived it and breathed it. When I wasn't playing in bands, I was writing music or listening to music or shopping for music. It has now become more of a soundtrack for my life, and less of a life unto itself. It was a necessary change, and my life is good, but I do sometimes miss that rock 'n roll lifestyle :-)

By the way, the fact that you took the time to actually print the correct numbers of "na"s for the Thousand Dances is admirable. And the fact that I counted them, to see if you did, pitiful.

Masia Mum said...

I hope you were dancing barefoot because I couldn't help but notice [after all you pointed them out] that you have bunions. Probably you got them, as did I, by the years of disco dancing in ridiculous but beautiful high heels. For me it's not just the music, it's the dancing - unless you are in the car when it is singing as loud as possible whether the other occupants want you to or not. I worry about anyone who doesn't sing along to "Heard it through the Grapevine" and, as far as I'm concerned the whole Stevie Wonder Catalogue.

NCmountainwoman said...

I have an iPod playlist for housework. First on the list? R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

t i m said...

some good music taste there :)

Radio is my friend, it helps me multitask [yes, men can do that too b4 u start laughing ;)] when I’m at home as well as in my office.

I tend to alternative between talk radio and when they’re discussing a thorny subject that nearly turns me into the Hulk, I switch stations to calm me down to BBC Radio 6Music who play great music from yesteryear [including BBC archives from the 50’s 60’s etc] intertwined with some newer tracks.

I highly recommend it to anyone to sample it online if you’re ever curious about what some of us Brits listen to, in particular one of my favourite hosts, one time Nashville, Tennessee resisdent Cerys Matthews who's on air this week between 1pm – 4pm UK time [the time difference would be in the morning for you guys I guess] this week.

Ok enough with the selling, I’m not even on commission, he-he. ;)