The State That I Am In

So our team won the office pub quiz.  Sadly, it wasn’t on the depth or breadth of knowledge we had amassed on all things related to history, politics, science, sport, geography or general trivia…but on the double points we (read I) had claimed for being able to state the name of the song and the artist associated with a bunch of sound bites of tunes from the 80s which had been sped up or slowed down.

Maybe John Peel’s radio shows with their selection of obscure records that were sometimes played at the wrong speed had influenced me more than I had ever acknowledged?  Maybe I had simply filled my head with stuff that was just a lot less important than much of the other subject matter?  Maybe I have wasted far too much time getting excited about songs or bands?  Maybe I have spent far more time than appropriate thumbing my way through dusty stacks of vinyl in record stores, reading interviews and articles and books about artists I love, browsing the Internet to find the songs that are still missing from my collection?

In a, so called, iPod generation where we all carry the soundtracks to our lives in our pockets, it just seems that music often encapsulates or evokes a time or place – a memory or a long forgotten feeling.  So many of the snapshots in my head are accompanied by a song. 

I often underestimate the power of The Word.  The words we speak (or don’t) have the power to build up or destroy.  When words are combined with the right tune, somehow they can convey so much more.

 “Funny how I find myself in love with you” may seem like a simple observation on paper, but when heard as the opening line of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life” it has always sounded so much more profound to me.  Similarly, “In a big, big way, I am really small” from Mew’s “156” conveys a simple truth that redirects my perspective.

So, what is this blog all about?  That remains to be seen, I guess.  It has been germinated by the musings and ramblings via an email exchange over the past 12 months or so between myself and three other thirty somethings.  We have found that life is different to how we envisioned or dreamt of it at 16.  We have recounted our own individual journeys, pilgrimages and testimonies in brutal honesty.  The different terrains, panoramas and views these have offered at times.  I have come to increasingly see how music has connected with me, permeated my very being and helped to shape my world view.  Maybe this blog will help me make a bit more sense of my journeying forward.  Maybe it will create a little space for me to scribble, type and reflect.  To look back and to move forwards.  To see how books and music and circumstances are challenging or encouraging me.  To see how I am struggling, wresling and growing.  So this may be some form of travelogue.  Maybe it will fall into the lives of some other sojourners and our songs and stories will help us to press forward toward the goal.

So why the name for this post and this blog?  It comes from my fovourite lyric:

“The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard.

He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called “The State That I’m In””.

From “The State I Am In” by Belle and Sebastian


7 Responses to “The State That I Am In”

  1. 1 Rich July 9, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Hi Brian, good to be in touch again. So I am the first offical comment on your blog – woo hoo! Look forward to checking in on your happenings. believe it or not today is a cold day in Sydney. Wore my gloves for the first time this year this morning.
    Converse again soon,

  2. 2 bringonthejoy July 11, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Hey B, well done, it’s looking great and is a really interesting read. I look forward to seeing what else you’re going to share with us all.
    And it has proved to me that you really do pay attention to song lyrics in a way that I just don’t…

  3. 3 bringonthejoy July 11, 2008 at 8:11 am

    And I thought Rich should know our Scottish summer may yet lead to us also wearing gloves…

  4. 4 calamateur July 11, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Hi Brian,

    Good to see you making your thoughts public – I’ll be a regular reader, and you’ll be on my blogroll soon. We must start getting back on track with the emails! Think I’ve still to reply to the film question…

  5. 5 thestatethatiamin July 13, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for popping in to my blog to say “hi”.

    It’s in its infancy and being refined in my head constantly. If I could just plug a USB into my mind and upload my thoughts to the blog, then that would save some time.

    Hope you are all well and that you enjoy my updated posts and pages.


  6. 6 brunettekoala July 13, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Do mine eyes deceive me…you’ve joined us on WordPress! Totally amazing!

  1. 1 If You’re Feeling Sinister « The State That I Am In Trackback on September 25, 2008 at 5:45 am

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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