Music: Happy Halloween!!

So my playlist for Halloween is AMAZING! Pretty contemporary, but none the less…AMAZING. The first song that I want to mention is Thom Yorke’s “Hearing Damage”. Now, this song is perfect for Halloween, because it not only sounds like an endless stream of chaos but the message: to HEAR DAMAGE, brings on the science-fiction + realism of the track. The opening lyric: “A tear in my brain allows the voices in”…WOW! Ok, the song is basically about becoming a zombie or being a living zombie. I know, I know. I went there. Yes, it’s about today’s life of technology – chaotic and somewhat soul draining. We live by the machine and become walking zombies of ourselves because we believe that technology can “do no wrong”. Thom repeats this to the point of it losing meaning and as though he’s become sucked in this warped world of machine music. I love it, though. So, zombies = Halloween. Check. But, this song means so much more. It’s kind of creepy because it sounds like a pleading chant, but then the voice becomes so distorted that it’s not even human anymore. NICE! So are we hearing damage by listening to this song? Maybe. Or, are we hearing damage by listening to the message of this song, because it’s a reflection of a real problem? We could be.

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Your speakers are blowing. Your ears are wrecking. You’re hearing damage. You wish you felt better. You wish you felt better.

Another great tune in my playlist is Phantogram’s “When I’m Small”. It’s another track that’s eerie and packed with meaning. I hear it as a story about a girl named ‘Lucy’ and her willingness to ‘die’ than be with whoever she is in a relationship with. She feels ‘small’ with this person, because of a lack of love in the relationship or a lack of power. This person knows how to push her buttons, and does so to get a rise out of her knowing that she needs him for some reason, so he can take advantage and feel powerful without her actually leaving. Kind of dark, yes. But wow, this song makes me want to dance. It’s hypnotic, but meaning/story aside, the more I listen to it, the more trance-like I become. So, evil boyfriends/vampires = Halloween. Check. How did I get vampire out of this song…just listen to it?

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Am I still alive or has the light gone black?

TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me”. Now, this is a band that I have been meaning to write more about. I will have a full post on them in the near future because THEY ARE AWESOME! In the meantime, this track is the epitome of the Halloween music that I long for. It’s another catchy, trance-like track. But it’s also NOT. There’s something about the song that makes me more awake. Though it’s so chill, it’s also fast and pulling all at once. The vocalist has a soulful voice, but the music is chilling and impulsive. Which brings me to the story = animal instincts and giving in to impulse. Sex. Yes, a little dirty, but surely not distasteful. It’s a sexy tune using the metaphor of becoming a werewolf to becoming one’s true self and giving into desire. Letting out and “howling.” That’s what makes it trance-like, the sexiness, but then it wakes you up with the speediness. Listening to this song is like running a marathon. So yes, werewolves = Halloween. Check.

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When the moon is round and full gonna teach you things that’ll blow your mongrel mind.

Also, check out Kasabian’s “Vlad the Impaler”. This song is catchy, made for dancing, and about Vlad, the Impaler aka Dracula. 🙂 “You can’t kill me, I’m still alive.” There’s more humor in this track. Especially with the “get loose, get loose” part. In all seriousness, though, this song is about snapping people out of our sometimes zombie/undead lives. “Get loose” from the trends. Be an individual. Be yourself. Take charge of your own life. “We need to raise the dead / We need to raise the people.” We need to wake up! Also, it’s about telling the difference between the alive and the dead. The real and the fake. The genuine and the imposters. It just speaks so much. So, Dracula = Halloween. Check.

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You can’t kill me. I’m still alive.

Check out these tracks for Halloween or just for whenever! They’re great! These are only my interpretations of the songs. I would love to read some of yours!

‘Til next time! and Happy Halloween!

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Music: “Silver Coin” by Angus & Julia Stone

Hey guys! Yes, I know it’s been a while. I’ve been busy trying to get my life together. No, honestly I’ve just been working my butt off and haven’t had the energy to post. But, I’m back and I’m going to go ahead and really kick-off my “Listen With Me” series. If not daily posts of what I’m listening to then for sure weekly posts.

Alright, so I’ve been playing the heck out of this track…”Silver Coin” by Angus & Julia. It’s mesmerizing and whimsical. I feel like the song is the perfect addition to a winter playlist (which is where I filed it in my iTunes). It feels like wind blowing in your face – in a good way. The vocals are nicely harmonized with the subtle piano and wind instruments that’s layered within the tune. I feel like the track is perfect for napping, thinking, reading, whatever really. It’s mellow and surely it’s calming.

I usually listen to it on my way to work. It helps me get my thoughts together before I enter the hustle and bustle. It’s a lovely song and kind of depressing if you’re interpreting or just reading the lyrics. I don’t really listen to it out of sadness. But, if you’re sad, go for it. It helps. Like my previous post on Pearl Jam’s “Black” (and darn-it, I said my next song post would be more upbeat didn’t I? Oh, sorry guys, my bad. I naturally listen to more mellow music like such, but I promise I listen a ton of upbeat tracks too and I’ll post them eventually), it’s about lost love or losing something that you love. I mean Angus is saying that he “had a dream that you were gone” and he “woke up and you were gone” / then there’s the repetitive “I miss you when you’re gone”…that’s definitely not a good feeling. So, depressing – check. Angus’s voice is beautiful though, so it adds that extra spice to the song. He gets kind of angst-y along with Julia as he sings “this goddamn room gets so small sometimes” which is a relatable feeling for sure. So the song can be interpreted as losing thoughts that you’re trying to hold on too but being bombarded by the outside world that makes the room feel smaller and more suffocating. Again, kind of depressing. But I promise, I don’t listen to the song out of depression. It’s just a nice little sliver of air for me. If that makes any sense. The song kind of helps me breathe due to its windy / whimsical feel. Listen to it and see how it makes you feel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APa5eDGl4Uk

‘Til next time…

Music: “Black” by Pearl Jam

I don’t even know where to begin – this song is AMAZING. I’m a bit frustrated to be perfectly honest though. It’s mostly due to the fact that I’m just now discovering this song. It’s also due to my jealously of Eddie Vedder’s intense emotion and the emotion he had to have gone through to create such a powerful song. Yeah, I sound ridiculous. I mean who wants to feel HEARTBREAK? Ya know, it’s like asking for pain. But think about this, you don’t feel pain from a breakup unless you really love that person and that love was true and transcendent. I want to feel that. I do get a taste of it when listening to this song, but I’m itching for the real deal. Guys, I know I sound like a crazy person, but if you listen to this song, you’ll hopefully get it. It takes me on this whirlwind of emotion. I’m honestly a bit dizzy. It’s so calm in the intro and all of a sudden, I’m listening to the lyrics and then Vedder’s voice hits me, BANG! He starts feeling the emotion and he throws it straight at me. It’s like a punch in the gut – but it feels good. I know, I know…what the heck? Guys, you just have to listen to this song. If you’ve heard it (and you SHOULD have because it’s indeed a classic – or you’re like me) then you know (or at least sort of know) what I’m talking about. I’m so mad that I found it so late. Thank you, Pandora by the way.

Anyway, I’m also just so angry that I am just LISTENING to this guy with a beautiful and powerful voice beg and plea about his lost love and his world being empty and turned to “black” when my world is empty, because I haven’t even attempted to FIND what he had. Get me. He’s heartbroken and so am I. My personal circumstance affects my reaction to this song and it may be different from anyone else’s, but I definitely love this song. It has pushed me to open up my eyes and see that loneliness can really make someone feel down right AWFUL. But at the same time, love also makes you feel awful, but it’s something worth feeling…I think. I don’t know. I’ll let y’all know if I am ever brave enough to put myself out there and risk being shattered like Vedder. But look what was the result of such heartbreak. A MASTERPIECE. A WORK OF BEAUTY. TRUE ART. I just love this song. Listen for yourselves!

I’m not as pathetic as I make myself out to be. Seriously, I am on this journey of figuring out my career and how the real world works. I haven’t had the opportunity to be interested enough (read ‘brave enough’) to complicate matters more by worrying about or trying to understand that crazy thing called love. From what I’ve seen just from being on the outside, it looks messy. Vedder proves this. But I’ve also seen the beauty of it and of course, heard the beauty of it. It’ll happen when it’ll happen. At the perfect moment. I am a very idealistic-fairytale sort of person mixed with a dash of cynicism. So yeah, I’m screwed. No seriously, I strongly believe it’s one of those things that you can’t force or actively search for. It’s complicated like life itself. My eyes are just a little more open when/if it does sneak up on me.

Here’s what Vedder said in an interview about the inspiration for and meaning of ‘Black’:

“The song is about letting go. It’s very rare for a relationship to withstand the Earth’s gravitational pull and where it’s going to take people and how they’re going to grow. I’ve heard it said that you can’t really have a true love unless it was a love unrequited. It’s a harsh one, because then your truest one is the one you can’t have forever.”

‘Til next time!

P.S. The next song that I talk about will be more upbeat. I swear I’ve been in some mood lately. 🙂

TV: Sons of Anarchy

“Sympathy for the Devil” – Jane’s Addiction (re: The Rolling Stones)

I spent the first half of my summer trying to catch up with shows that I already love and just lagged behind on due to my schedule at school. For some reason, after watching eleven seasons of 7th Heaven (actually seven seasons since I watched the first four seasons during my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college, but I took a break from the lengthy series, because it’s ya know – lengthy), I decide to watch something new to me and something a bit more raw. Que, Sons of Anarchy. I’ve heard about the show and actually watched the first two episodes while at school this past spring, because I was curious after the whole Charlie Hunnam ‘Fifty Shades’ recast. I knew of Ron Perlman’s tough-guy/somewhat comedic acting style so I at least had some familiarity leading into the show. Of course, I was six seasons behind and there’s only one season left for THIS Fall, so I had to get in the loop and see what this show was all about. Outlaws on bikes…totally different from 7th Heaven. Also, *I’m going to review 7th Heaven* as well, because though the series has been over for a few years, it made an impact on me. Also, I’m impressed/annoyed when a show lasts for so many seasons. Usually the show jumps a few sharks in these cases. Trust me, every show that I watch lasting for an extended amount of seasons has jumped the shark. **I think I’ll actually rant about that in a post, because it’s a pet-peeve.**

Now, back to SOA…this show is AMAZING. Outlaws on bikes, yes. Family, friendship, and community values/ties…oh yes! I was pulled in from the gritty look of the show and the harsh language and other explicit content…murder, sex, drugs, ect. Normally I steer away from paid-cable shows due to the less-restricted content, but I had to see for myself what this show was about. Also, the show wasn’t one of the paid-cable shows that A TON of my peers were talking about: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, ect. So, I didn’t feel like I was jumping on the bandwagon.

The writing on this show is top-notch and there’s non-stop action. Kurt Sutter is a genius. Everything in this show happens for a reason and it’s sensible and smart at bringing back things that happen in earlier episodes. It’s like none of the characters really can get away with something that has a negative impact on the club and their family. This was refreshing to watch as I am the kind of person who will throw something at the TV/computer when a character gets away with something. The outlaw culture and club rules were/are fascinating. Being a ‘rat’ is the LAST thing that you want to be. I felt like I was learning so much about the percentage of America that I am less familiar with…criminals. These guys live by crime, but at least SAMCRO (the main guys) have boundaries and standards on which crimes they want to be involved with. They kill other outlaws like no one’s business though. Killing/abusing women is something they are not fund of doing though. Morals.

The characters of this show are undeniably SMART, DIFFERENT, and you will hate to love them or love to hate them. They are involved with some of the heaviest of crimes, but I could not help but love some of them. Mainly Chibs, Happy, Opie, and Piney. I think that Jax is sexy and intelligent, but sometimes, he lets things happen right under his nose and doesn’t find out until later which irks me. Also, his life seems to weigh more than the others. Sure, he inherited the club from his biological father and has the position of power, but sometimes I think he allows the title go to his head. He sometimes makes decisions without the club and that makes me question his loyalty. Now Gemma (Jax’s mother and the matriarch) is all about loyalty to her family, but she goes OVERBOARD. She has too many secrets and when they begin to spill out, she goes to drastic measures to keep her hands clean. These two characters take turns on and off my favorites list.

The music on this show is without a doubt exceptional. A lot of the songs are  covers of classic rock hits. During those moments on the show when stuff is really going down, some of the best songs are played. My favorites include ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘You Are My Sunshine’, ‘John the Revelator’, and ‘Tessellate’.

If a show makes me shed tears, I mean genuine tears for characters and situations and I am rooting for the characters, I know that it’s a great show and I have become a part of the family of the show. Scary to think considering the nature of SOA, but indeed I am a part of the show. I cannot wait to see the final season. It’s going to be a hell of a ride. Fear the Reaper!

The 7th and final season premieres September 9th on FX! Check it out!

‘Til next time!

What I’m Watching: Romance Films

I don’t know if the genre term ‘rom-drams’ has already been coined, but basically I’ve been watching ‘romantic-dramas’ all week. Get it? Like I said in the ‘Fault In Our Stars’ review/post, I love romance movies. I really enjoy seeing two people fall in love. It’s really a beautiful thing. In terms of rom-coms, it’s a funny thing. But in terms of the rom-drams, it’s a very passionate and somewhat unraveling and unnerving thing to watch. Which I love. The movies that I watched are ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ (which was more of a drama about being an educated and empowered woman in the 1950s than a romance), ‘City of Angels’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Hope Floats’,’Notting Hill’ (rom-com), and ‘While You Were Sleeping’ (rom-com). Yes, I do love Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts. They are my favorite actresses. But in terms of romance movies, I love Jennifer Lopez and classic Meg Ryan as well.

What I really want to say about these films is that they made me feel GOOD. I loved how the men fell for the women. Most of the time in the films, the man was mesmerized by the woman’s beauty and her passion for her job or role or aloofness of him. Most of the time, the women were somewhat lost or there was an emptiness or longing for something more – love. Each of these movies were very different even though they were all about love or had romance linked with other themes. I’d already seen most of these movies when I was younger. However, watching them now, as a young adult looking for my next path (not to be too poetic), the films gave me a glimpse at what could happen if I journeyed through life with only my job in mind and if I was closed off to love for too long. I could find love too late or it could find me when I’m already dark and twisty (Grey’s Anatomy reference – review SOON). But you know, what if I’m too removed from the possibility of believing in love? I don’t know if I want to just hope that love will find me when it finds me. Later on. Eventually. That’s kind of risky isn’t it? But at the same time, isn’t it romantic to think so? The films were a reminder that I should keep love in mind. I don’t have to necessarily seek it, but I do need to keep an eye out for it.

Watch these movies if you haven’t already and if you have – watch them again! They’re great! Plus, Nicholas Cage’s eyes in ‘City of Angels’ are just beautiful!

Nicholas Cage in City of Angels

‘Til next time…