Whether you’re high or low…

I’m way late on the Janelle Monae bandwagon but this song has been making grape picking bearable for the last few weeks. The video is even better. How good is it to see a hip hop video that’s not all flesh and ostentatious bling? (I’m looking at you, Yeezy) And more importantly, where can I get some of these shoes?

I tip on alligators
And little rattlesnake-uhs

The “classy brass” and the ukelele fade-out are just gorgeous. And how great is Big Boi in this? He was always overshadowed by Andre 3000 in Outkast, but by all accounts his 2010 solo record Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty is the business. I love the chorus to his song “Shutterbug” (now party people in the club it’s time to cut some rug / and throw the deuces in the sky just for the shutterbug / I’m double fistin and you’re empty you can grab a cup) and it has a great video – including some muppets! But I think I prefer the song mashed up with the Black Keys:

Perhaps most of my pleasure in this comes from the phrase “cut a rug”… So reminiscent of the rum-sozzled discos they used to hold at the agricultural college my friends attended just out of school. I didn’t turn eighteen until almost a year after we left school, so I spent a lot of my first year in Brisbane bussing out to Gatton and Forest Hill for weekends – where my mates were studying things like “agribusiness” and “animal studies”, and where the publicans never bothered to check IDs.

They had the best parties out there – pigs on spits, bands on the backs of trucks, and the aforementioned Wednesday night discos where there were always random themes. And there, dressed as rednecks or Hawaiians or whatever, we’d bust out all our best moves. “The shopping trolley”, “the sprinkler”, even “the worm” for those with gymnastic leanings and no fear of writhing in the rum spilled on the dancefloor.

Oh my god, that reminds me. Around this same time I was, as I remain, laughably naive about drugs. And I remember someone telling me about how everyone on ecstasy does the same dance – this kind of jerky robot, all elbows and angles, a stylised mime of filling boxes and stacking them.

Years later, shortly after moving to Sydney, I was having drinks with some new friends and desperate to appear urbane. A number of beers in, I was tuning in and out of the conversation when they started talking about pills. Thinking of the box stacking dance, when they mentioned “shelving” I enthusiastically brought up my own experience in this area, to the surprise of the group. It was months before I realised what the process of shelving actually involves (kids – and Mum – please don’t click that link). Suffice to say I have never done it, and I hoped fervently that conversation was forgotten…

3 replies on “Whether you’re high or low…”

lord, i had no idea what shelving was either. but now i do. i will never look at my pretty book shelves the same way again :SLOVE Tightrope… James and I do this silly dance to it whenever it comes on, which looks much like the ecstasy dance you described.Who wants to be urbane? it's overrated. your stories about bush discos are way cooler.xxo

Mortifying.. I may well regret sharing that story with teh interwebs. But yes, I gave up on urbane. I guess this is growing up – I'll never get any cooler, but at least I know my limitations. Sadly they also include inability when it comes to Monae style dancing. I would LOVE to see you and James cut the rug though!

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