Monday, September 6, 2010

Music Monday: Definitely Not a Nashville Party

Miley Cyrus- Party in the U.S.A.

So I still haven't quite found the proper soundtrack to my adventures in London yet (mostly I've been too concerned with marveling at the beauty of the buildings and being lost)--Belle & Sebastian feels too tired, all the Robyn I frantically listened to in New York seems too frantic, my collection of French pop drifts through my head now and then, but feels like it'd be better suited when I head to the streets of Paris. What, then? The Cure, The Smiths, sure, but that feels outdated. Maybe it'll take another week or two to find it, but in the meantime, there's this. (And no, it's not a joke, though a bit of a remainder from California.)

NYU threw us a get to know your fellow NYU in London students/come to the LCKSU waterfront bar social on Saturday night, where it seemed like the DJ tried a bit too hard to play songs she thought were American. (Think "Bad Romance" and "California Gurls," and later, inexplicably, "Don't Stop Believin'") Familiar, sure, but so was everyone I saw, and even the free Budweisers as part of our package. I get the feeling that we didn't come to London for a taste of American culture.

Luckily, I stumbled across the an indie dance night upstairs, and free from the confines of familiar faces and accents, with the spiked and pink haired DJs playing infectious songs I hadn't heard a hundred times before, I could dance without fear, and even chat with strangers and make friends who knew next to nothing about NYU. It was rather elating, and a bit like what I imagined my experience to be here all along. But best were the moments when the DJ played songs I knew, be it The Cure's "Close to Me" or Daft Punk's "Digital Love" or a familiar anthem from Sleigh Bells, when I could sing along to the lyrics and smile at my new friends, who were also singing along. It wasn't Miley's Britney or Jay-Z, but there is something fantastic in dancing to a familiar song in an unfamiliar place, this faint sense of belonging, of comfort in release.

"Party in the USA", I think, more than just an absurdly catchy pop song, hints at something bigger. The inevitable discomfort and anxiety of new beginnings, and finding solace in something so simple as a song, and finding delight in that reckless dancing, is very much a real and wonderful delight. And though that was far from a party in the USA (and, surprisingly, not as many girls here wear stilettos), the comfort of a song I love made everything feel that much easier.

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