I’m one of many users of the music service Spotify. I use it for many reasons – mainly supplementing my already reasonably-sized music collection (made up of both CDs and downloads), but it also recommends music to me I might not otherwise listen to (in full, as opposed to iTunes, which will let me hear snippets before buying), and lets me hunt down music which I either know well but don’t own, or which I’m interested in, such as music I’ve heard part of thanks to adverts on tv.
This morning, while I was sat working at my desk I found myself hunting down, out of curiosity, the music from the latest VO5 Extreme Style advert (The Pliktisijiteur Pageant), which is shown repeatedly in the ad-breaks during the ITV4 coverage of the IPL cricket – which is frequently on as Mrs Nomad is a big fan of the short form of my first loved sport. Now, the link above to the TV Ad Music website will indicate, via the comment section, that there is a debate over who the actual music is by, but what I found on Spotify was version of “Word Up” by The BossHoss. Having listened to that I ended up listening to a great deal of the rest of their music.
Now, I’m not usually a great listener to Country & Western style music, but their “country trash punk rock” (their own description) was enough to intrigue me and cause a wave of nostalgia. You see, as some will already be aware, my nomadism hasn’t just been in this country. When I started following our local National Trust property on Twitter their tweeter tweeted me and asked “Did you really live in Mississippi?” as my own Twitter bio says. I most certainly did. And in general I absolutely loved it.
It was an amazing experience and I fell in love with the place – the climate, the people, the place (the University of Mississippi, where I was living and studying, the town of Oxford, MS, which sits alongside the university’s state-owned campus, and the countryside around about), the sport, the hospitality, the general laid-back atmosphere. Whilst I still dream about owning and driving an early-series Land Rover, I also now have a think for big US-style pick-ups. Whilst I love steak & kidney pudding, “bangers and mash”, and fish & chips, I also now have a thing for BBQ ribs, hot dogs, and catfish. Whilst I love a good pint of real ale and a dram of good single malt, I also now have a thing for an ice-cold Miller Genuine Draft and a shot of good tequila (with or without salt and lemon). Whilst I love cricket and rugby (which I actually played for “Ole Miss”), I also now have a thing for a Bowl (American) football game, or a Final Four basketball game.
Of course, all this nostalgia and reflecting on a part of my life and likes that most people would never guess at on meeting me for the first time based on the country music of a German band is somewhat ironic, but it also goes to make the point somewhat stronger that first appearances can be somewhat deceptive as to where people have been and how it has affected them – something we all, including those of us in the Church, need to be aware of!
Wherever you’ve been, whether it’s obvious or hidden in the background, travel well.