2012 started with, unfortunately enough, will.i.am, j.lo. and Mick Jagger screaming you can go HAAAARRRDD or you can go HOME. We did neither, we neither went hard, nor did we go home, we stood about aimlessly on the streets of Dubai and screamed the lyrics which had been burned in our brains from overexposure on the contraband satellite channels.
In the remaining bits of winter, I listened to and watched MIA’s Bad Girls music video a few million times, entranced by the beat, her dead eyes, the cars and the horses.
As we edged into Spring, our new music, to be listened to in mornings as we struggled to get ready was, of course, Lonely Boy by The Black Keys. I could not get enough of the sad dancing guy.
By the time I was packing my bags for Iran, summer of 2012, it was Live To Rise by Soundgarden. My obsession with this song did not lead, surprisingly enough according to some, to an obsession with either Chris Cornell or Soundgarden, although I dutifully listened to some of their older “good” stuff too. At some point the Princess screamed at me to stop playing this song. Live to Rise quickly rose in my music charts, and now nestles alongside old Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Metallica and GnR in my favourite playlists.
As usual, the sojourn in Iran exposed me to a wealth of new music. For reasons I can’t put onto words, Korn’s Chaos Lives in Everything became the anthem of that summer, this year, my life. Even though I couldn’t even hear the lyrics properly, except that part where they say “Guilty not ashAAAAAAMed…”. The video and the song both mesmerized me. The union of order and disorder at the end? The conventional rejection of the conventional life by the bespectacled protagonist? The fabled purging effect of violence?
Fall 2012 was, of course, dominated by the dancing Korean- we would watch Gangham Style at least six times every evening, for it had become Golden Boy’s favourite music video alongside another billion viewers. We first heard it on the radio, and sought it out that very evening.
During the very last few days of 2012, I heard a song I had never heard before, by artists I had never heard of. Gentle Reader, have you heard of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? Neither had I. Yet the moment I heard the low growl “only twenty dollars in my pocket” I knew I was listening to a winner.
Something of a colourful medley, I admit, the musical arc of 2012, laced with darkness and muted rage, but yet ending on a note of humour and good will, and limited cash. Like, I guess, 2012 itself.