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Requiem for a Soundtrack

Soundtracks were, as a teenager in the nineties, a fantastic resource. Reservoir Dogs, Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine; even the Clueless soundtrack was worth a whirl and gave us No Doubt's Just A Girl before it charted. The Trainspotting soundtrack gave me Lou Reed, who evoked an America I had only read about in John Rechy and Hubert Selby Jr novels like "City of Night" and "Last Exit to Brooklyn". "Satellite of Love", "Perfect Day" and "Walk On The Wild Side" and others infused the summer of 1996 with a mischievous, melancholy tone. My geezer, Peter Pan-like uncle loved Lou Reed and, around him, his music acquired a sort of dangerous, contemporaneous quality. It sounded like a much more intriguing society than what appeared to exist on the face of it; the runny layers of social relations began to be visible through the thick mist of youth and guilelessness. For a moment earlier as this song played I was transported instantly to the tepid Irish summer, and the bracing freshness of the morning after sitting up all night with friends, listening to music like this. Having been transported back I, just as quickly, was catapulted back to life as a man in my thirties in Melbourne. The arc of affairs seemed to end, for a moment, in a non sequitur; not being reasonably foreseeable from that callow point of view. Still; no matter where you go, there you are.

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