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Soundtracks (and texts) to your life

What are you listening to today?

by BillyGoat » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:51 am

This post isn't entirely about music, so I'm half-expecting Pancake, who has an appropriateness fetish, to move it to another forum, but I'll blaze on anyway...

A few periods of my life have either been directly shaped, or eerily mirrored, by music and literature.

My first (retrospectively identified) hypomanic phase in my early twenties had me reading, and repeatedly re-reading, three particular texts: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig, and a novella and a collection of short stories by J.D. Salinger titled Franny and Zooey, and (I think, it's been a while) A Perfect Day for Bananafish, both of which shared a character named Seymour Glass, who intrigued me.

They prompted me to drop out of the economics degree I was then enrolled in at uni, and transfer to a double-philosophy major in an ultimately failed attempt to work out the meaning of life, and, consequently, how to live.

The closely following bout of major depression (and first psych ward stay) was preceded by about three weeks of listening to the self-titled They Might Be Giants cd on repeat for hours at a time. Possibly foolishly, I'm cranking that up on my headphones right now. It still resonates...

The cd Tails by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories captivated me for about 12 months around the time I got married in my mid-twenties. I was (in hindsight) cycling a lot back then too.

During my wife's journey through terminal cancer, I had Julian Cope's epic Peggy Suicide on permanent rotation on the stereo, and the track Beautiful Love was one of three I chose to play at her funeral, even though she'd probably never heard it before.

Anybody else had life-periods where you couldn't leave particular music and/or books alone?

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by Pancake » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:25 pm

I do?
Not that I want to derail the thread, BUT....

The tracks I've played repeatedly on repeat are probably very embarrassing and I'm not going to talk about it. Mostly it's been in angsty phases. Certainly I had it pointed out to me at the time.

The better (but no less embarrassing) times were skiing with Nickleback and Robbie Williams blasting my eardrums via MP3. I might have sung out loud and off key roaring down a mountain if I was hypomanic, possibly while wearing a tutu or underpants on my head.

Mostly though, I prefer silence. Noise tends to aggravate me. I do like classical music.

I was always a voracious reader but I've been struggling with that lately, I don't have the attention span.
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by Mocha » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:34 pm

BillyGoat wrote:Anybody else had life-periods where you couldn't leave particular music and/or books alone?

Oh yeah.....big time.....Music anyway......Your post made me think of so many things. Things I haven't thought of in years.....

As Dick Clark always is the soundtrack of our lives.....some good times, and some not so good at all. But it's always there.

BG, I need to go back and think about my post for a while.....I am getting on and have a lot of years to cover....( don't you dare say a word, you wanker.... :twisted: )

Great idea for a post/topic...... :)

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by Jaivi » Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:51 pm

Yes BG, in h.s. I got really into a bunch of writers (I really wanted to be a writer at that point) and after I read Catcher in the Rye and Cuckoo's Nest by Kesey had aspirations to read F & Z and the other few of Salinger's books but never did...loved his style though.

Got really into The Beatles and Bob Dylan also, then. Dylan inspired me to write my first songs...

Depakote fucks my memory up so I have a hard time remembering other phases, but I really got into Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", "Meditations" (out there free jazz) and Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" always hits me nicely.

Lately, really have taken to the fm classical station only now because, as Pancake said, noise (shallow lyrics, etc.) bothers me.

I also listen to my own ambient/experimental shit that I have recorded on garageband because it makes me feel better about myself sometimes.

Books now: Bhagavad-Gita. Eastern religion has fascinated me since i was 18.
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by AvantGarde » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:59 pm

I'm a rock junkie, I spend my days watching and listening to classic rock. Or jazz and blues when I need something to calm me down.

When I'm hypomanic I like pop, go figure.

I had a hiphop phase when I was manic!

I couldn't concentrate to read when I was manic but now that I'm more stable I returned to books. I just finished reading a book about antisocial personality disorder, Bad Boys Bad Men, scary stuff. A friend is dating a sociopath and I was trying to help her, but after reading that book I just gave up, it's too stressful for my mental health. I'm also reading Aravid Adiga's The Last Man in Tower, I loved his previous book The White Tiger, and I'm really enjoying this one.
On my computer I'm reading Bipolar Disorder: A guide for patients and families, and my mom is reading it too.
When I finish these I'll probably start The Outlander books, by Diana Gabaldon, since I'm loving the tv show.


I had a classic literature phase, and my favorite book is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
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by konagirl » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:45 am

AG: I'm also reading Adult Bipolar Disorder: A Reasuring Guide for Patients & Families. Not sure if it's the same one as you. I checked it out of the library. These types of books are my go-to reading either during or after a mini-episode. Trying to make sense of it all, once again.

As far as music, when I'm down, I've replayed a few songs over & over either out loud or in my head: One of my favorites: Be Ok by Ingrid Michaelson, The ending part of Possum Kingdom by The Toadies (Do you wanna die?...), & Crazy Girl by Eli Young Band.
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by Sovereign » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:57 am

When I'm down I (stupidly) listen to downer music. Lot's of shoegaze like Tamaryn, Slowdive, but also stuff like Of the Wand and the Moon, and back in the day, Shining and Lifelover, I don't know why I listened to that, that's just asking for trouble when depressed.

When I'm normal it's actually a lot of pop music, but also metal, classic rock, cyber gothic, industrial, (neo) classic, soundtracks, you name it.

When I'm manic, pretty much anything upbeat or dancable. I really had a blast dancing to Justin Timberlake - Can't stop the feeling. Stuff with loads of energy. Upbeat hard rock, hardstyle, hardcore, music that makes me want to tear down trees with my bare hands or drive 200km/h down the highway screaming and bashing the steeringwheel :lol:
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by cottontail » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:59 am

My major was philosophy (I loved it). Michel Foucault, Franz Kafka and Albert Camus etc ...

When I am manic it is full on Nirvana really loud!

When my voice and I are feeling all lovey dovey its Kate Bush's 'Running up that Hill'.
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by Duckysmom » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:45 pm

I don't know that I have a soundtrack to my life. My misical tastes jave always been eclectic. I listen to everything. I can't do heavy metal much anymore as it tends to trigger me, which is a damn shame. I was a roadie for a local and very popular heavy metal band in the 90's. Worked my ass off but got into all the clubs free. It was a fun time and long before I was properly diagnosed. I'm pretty sure I was hypomanic during that whole time. So much energy, out every night, little sleep, still went to work and did fine. These days it's classic rock or whatever is on the radio.
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