Gathan Beaga

thinking myself into a hole

The other day I was forcibly reminded of my lack of knowledge of the current music scene. Despite my pretensions that I’ve been following the whole mashup thing (such as compiling a mashes of the year list), it is clear that I haven’t heard as widely as I had thought. And I have a lot to learn.

I was walking to work, you see, and had on shuffle all of my recent downloads, when a track came on that changed my whole day: Flosstradamus‘s Overnight Star, the #1 of the year over here. It’s Sigur Rós Staralfur vs Twista’s Overnight Celebrity. (I write this as if I know what I’m talking about, having not heard of Twista before, and only really heard of Sigur Rós in the last year or so. Sad but true. See what I mean?)

So the Twista track is some technically proficient but forgettable rap, all frantic dribblings about getting famous, making lots of money, and getting one’s end away. But underneath it all, the Sigur Rós track rolls on achingly beautifully, a reproachful counterpoint to the crass materialism of the vocal track.

It was a bit of a downer actually. I felt the music was telling two stories at once. Staralfur is an observer: the universe; or Gaia; or even an alien unknowably wise and ancient and beautiful come to see what all the noise is about. And it observes the human race (the vocal track): terminally obsessed with status, fucking, and instant gratification.

But then, thankfully, the vocal track cut out before Staralfur finished. It left me to wonder in turn if this will happen to the human race as well: live fast, die young, never outlive anything of significance, or leave any memorials, just the expanding but ever-fading shell of our EM across the dark and dusty wastes of space.

Yes. Sometimes when I’m walking I just think too much.