Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Music's Been Ruined By Dating 10 Step Handbook

This is long overdue...

In 2008 and 2009 a few of you may remember that I did a performance called "Music's Been Ruined by Dating". It consisted of inviting 4 audience members into a tent made of bedsheets, where we proceeded to session the songs that were ruined by my four most significant ex boyfriends. Writing it down now it all sounds very high fidelity. Well, all those years ago, I Also made a 10 step handbook to help others follow in my footsteps. Having a few friends who are recently single, it seemed like an appropriate time to publish the ole' thing, in hopes that we can all continue to enjoy music without those pesky emotions to drown out the sounds.

Ever wanted to reclaim the music that was ruined by your string of failed relationships?
Are you avoiding your favourite Prince album like it was the plague because it reminds you of the time he told you he cheated on with a girl who wore a raspberry beret?

Does everything on your playlist, even if it’s not supposed to, scream “Heartbreak”?

Well suffer no more… You can chase those musical demons away with the Music’s Been Ruined by Dating 10 Step Handbook.
Listen to “your song” without batting an eyelid! Dance to the ditty she broke up with you to! Never feel anything when you listen to music again! All with the Music’s Been Ruined by Dating 10 Step Handbook!

Step 1:
Make a list of all of your relationships that have ruined music. Not ALL of your relationships – if you went out with someone who was deaf or didn't like music, you’re probably okay – only relationships that took a song, took everything that was great about it, and made the song one big stupid memory that hurts every time you hear it. This is a ruined song.

Step 2:
Put down dates for all of these relationships. For example, if you went out with Jo from October 30th 2005 to November 11th 2006, write Jo, October 2005 – November 2006. Leave out precise dates, because the fact that you remember those will make you feel, well, a bit pathetic.

Step 3:
Now go through an approximate list of all of the music that reminds you of that relationship. Don’t press yourself to be too specific, the internet will help you sort that out later. If the relationship ruined an entire musical artist for you, for example, Bjork, try to pick the most famous and often played Bjork song. This is the song that will exorcise the demons of your past first and most effectively.

Step 4:
Try to group the songs in memorical order (the order that you remember the relationship in, see Annie Hall for guidance) for when exactly in the relationship they were relevant. I recommend putting the songs that remind you of breaking up, or having mistimed sex after breaking up, last. But you need to relive the relationship through the music in an order that makes sense to you.

Step 5:
Get access to a computer with the internet, a cd burner and a downloading engine. I suggest Acquisition. If you do not remember the precise artist of a song but only a line or two, use Google to help answer your questions. These are the songs that have been so ruined you have attempted to block them out completely, but these are also the songs that are the most worth saving. Now Download, download, download!

Step 6:
Play some of the song to yourself on your playlist to make sure it is the right song. DO NOT listen to the song in its entirely, or the exercise will not work as well. You may also notice, at this stage, that some of the music that you believed was “ruined by dating” was actually ruined simply because it is not very good music. Do not worry too much about this – it is important to reclaim all the music and your ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Step 7:
Religiously follow your pre-prepared playlist and burn the cd. Do not worry if you were not able to find every song on the internet. In fact, this is a sign that your relationship was more special because your musical taste was more obscure. (ha.) If a song was particularly important to you and you could not find it on the internet, delay your project a day and keep searching. Sometimes that one song really does make or break your playlist.

Step 8:
Listen to the cd. The first time you do this you will find it difficult. This is to be expected. Listen to it all the way through and try to do an activity while listening, like reading or surfing the internet. It is important not to focus too much on the music unless you are particularly moved to.

Step 9:
Listen to the cd again, but this time in a situation where you are sure to ignore it, like at work or at a party. Do not let yourself get sucked into the tunes, but instead enjoy them for their ocular qualities.

Step 10:
You can post your playlist somewhere on the internet if you like. Or make it a mixed cd for a friend. The moral of the story is, we’ve all been there. I can’t listen to “Raspberry Beret” anymore either.

Warning: Do not use an ipod instead of a cd. Your relationship may have ruined music for you, but ipods have ruined music for everyone.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Canadian content blowing my mind

Courtesy of the amazing Magda. Check out her blog here.