Tuesday, 6 September 2016

City of Stars + a scenic drive in Melbourne

I just put all my songs on Spotify to play on shuffle.

How apt that the track to come on right now would be Logic's City of Stars.

The first time I heard that song, I felt like Spike Spiegel, leaning handsomely against the large window of their interplanetary fishing trawler (The Bebop), slow-burning a cigarette, and staring out into a swirling mass of glimmering stars, an insouciant expression hiding deeply felt pangs of existential awe. Spaceships hover in the distance, infinitesimal dots of colour interspersed among the hugeness of the universe. Words cannot possibly describe the feeling, but it tugs profoundly at the heart, and at the parts of the brain which process pleasure.


When I first heard it, I asked my boyfriend to take me on a drive. It was late at night, and with City of Stars pounding through the car's speakers, I felt a strong hedonistic need to see the city lights. We ended up doing a slow drive down Yarra Boulevard, in Kew.

You know. I've never done any drugs (unfortunately). But there are times where I certainly feel like I am on some. This usually occurs when I come across some exquisite concept art, or watch a really visually striking film. Blade Runner. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Tron Legacy. Dark City. 

A conglomeration of colours, evening textures, restrained pacing, and haunting music will make for an overall atmosphere of psychedelic paradise. And I wasn't kidding when I said it tugs at the heart. A physical weight comes over me. The experience, for me, is both extremely cerebral and wonderfully somatic. In other words, it feels fucking amazing on every possible level. #betterthansex

So we're driving down this winding boulevard next to the Yarra river, and I had turned City of Stars up to dangerous volumes. I had obviously never been down the boulevard before (apparently it's a popular meeting place for drug dealers), and didn't even know such a scenic drive existed.

For a while, we were just driving in darkness. There weren't any lights because the boulevard was technically, located within the Yarra Park reserve. All I could see on either side of the car was bush and shrubbery. Well, black lumps and shadows that swayed against the crepuscular, purplish shade of the night sky.

Then. All of a sudden. Boom.

There it was. The Melbourne skyline, rising majestically above the jagged outlines of the foliage that festooned the entire length of the boulevard. It was like watching an 8-bit cyberpunk city come to fucking life.

The skyscrapers appeared to shoot out of the ground right in front of us. From our elevated perspective, the city indeed looked deceptively close. As the car continued forward, I would crane my neck back, admiring the blue, red, silver lights. And the crane! A brightly lit construction crane, with the construction company's name emblazoned brightly across its shaft, positively glowed against the city backdrop.

Yep. It was like drugs. Or how I imagined MDMA might feel.

Even reminiscing this night is making me feel all sorts of awesome right now.

Oh, and it turns out that Logic's album - The Incredible True Story - the one with City of Stars on it? I could not fucking believe it when I found out.

The entire album is a fictional story set in space, on a spaceship, with a rat-pack crew of friends. One of the characters that speaks before a few of the songs? Is the actual fucking guy who voices Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop (Steve Blum). AND it turns out that Logic is a huge Cowboy Bebop fan.

This is why that album will always be one of my favourites. Or even my favourite album of all time.

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