Bruce Springsteen - American Land Lyrics AZLyrics.com
Bing Crosby Lyrics
Elvis Presley – An American Trilogy Lyrics Genius Lyrics
Kate Smith – God Bless America Lyrics Genius Lyrics
Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims' pride, From every mountain side Let Freedom ring. My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills, My heart with rapture thrills Like that above. Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees Sweet Freedom's song; American love American love Yah wait American love American love American love Yo baby your love is a drug She said I'm a snub She said I don't talk She said ama fss Rich and I'm young I'm praising the Lord I'm rich and I'm young American love American love Yah wait American love American love American love Damn my girl know how to use a glock (Everyday) Heroes lyrics (You're a) Grand Ole Flag lyrics A Country Boy Can Survive lyrics Always On My Mind lyrics America (the Beautiful) lyrics American Pie lyrics Ballad Of the Green Berets lyrics Beer Run lyrics Before I Knew Better lyrics Best Of Intentions lyrics Born in the U.S.A. lyrics Born To Boogie lyrics Candle In The Wind 1997 ... An American Trilogy Lyrics: Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton / Old times there are not forgotten / Look away, look away, look away Dixieland / Oh I wish I was in Dixie, away, away / In ... God Bless America Lyrics: 'While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair / As we raise our voices in ... Bing Crosby. Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation. When you make your home in the American Land There's diamonds in the sidewalk, there's gutters lined in song Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long There's treasure for the taking, for any hard-working man Who will make his home in the American Land I docked at Ellis Island in a city of light and spire Maroon 5. Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band from Los Angeles, California. While they were in high school, lead vocalist and guitarist Adam Levine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bass guitarist Mickey Madden, and drummer Ryan Dusick formed a garage band called Kara's Flowers and released one album in 1997.…
An Anaïs Mitchell Primer
2020.09.29 10:22 ZhanteimiAn Anaïs Mitchell Primer
Personal interaction with the artist
I remember searching for new music one day, and I ran across an album called Child Ballads and thought to give it a try. I usually throw on new stuff while I'm having a leisurely breakfast, so I don't really intently listen at first. Anaïs Mitchell's music (or rather her rendering of these traditional folk ballads) seized my attention at once. Even my wife, who likes to sleep in, raised her sleepy head from the pillow and paid attention. After this initial exposure, my wife went digging and got a hold of the 2010 studio version of Hadestown, and that was us basically tripping and falling into the rabbit hole... though it's not very deep. Like Tom Waits, Anaïs Mitchell is a family favorite. My daughters practically worship her music.
Overview of the artist
Anaïs Mitchell's claim to fame at this point is her Tony- and Grammy-award winning Broadway musical, Hadestown. As far as I see, she treads the line between confessional lyrics and political commentary with the skill of a mountain goat. And that's a large part of her charm. She can criticize Bush's war and the Patriot Act with as much honesty and intimacy as she can ponder her lover's eyes as they watch the ships coming into the harbor. It's no wonder her songs are so well-crafted, her lyrics so intelligent and thoughtful: her novelist father raised her on books, on words, on creative expression. It's clear from her lyrics and her Vermont upbringing that she's a liberal American who bleeds blue. But I'd expect nothing less from a folk artist like her, one who can effortlessly blend her politics into the greater tapestry of songwriting that runs the gamut from romantic love to religion to the historical continuity of music inherited like sin, drunk in like mother's milk. You might like her if...
you want overtly political music
you like Baez and pre-electric Dylan
you want music with traditional folk themes
You might not like her if...
you like a lot of percussion and heavier sounds
you like vocal range in your singers
you want music to pump you up
Similar artists and influences
Her father, about whom Mitchell sings so intimately on Young Man in America, has to have been the earliest and most profound influence on the girl's young and growing mind. As a late teenager and into her early 20s, she found inspiration in the bold songs of female (folk) singesongwriters such as Ani DiFranco (whom she later signed with), Tori Amos, and Dar Williams. Last.fm provides a list of similar artists, none of whom, in my opinion, meet Mitchell on her elevated level. Laura Marling, Jesca Hoop, Ani DiFranco, Laura Veirs, Joanna Newsom, The Mountain Goats, and Bon Iver. I'm not really sure about the Newsom correlation. Both are female and folk, but that, in my mind, is where the similarity ends. They're just so... different.
This album list does not include singles or compilation appearances. Links added where found. The Song They Sang When Rome Fell (2002). So why did Rome fall? Well, the short answer is: because it didn't want to stand. Romans forgot the freedom of nakedness as they wrapped themselves in heavier and heavier robes of work and school, strangling them like a slave's chain. They fell because they had everything to lose. ...anyway, can I just ask, Anaïs: how the fuck do you dance to Leonard Cohen? Album art Hymns for the Exiled (2004). This is (for me) her delicate, intimate debut, despite its dark subject matter of war and Orwellian politics. The production is simple and elegant, and her songwriting is superb. She tells stories as the government tells lies: that is, boldly, easily, unflichingly. Album art The Brightness (2007). She continues her understated magic on this album, simultaneously being intimate yet keeping us at arm's length. We get a few glimpses into her life, but she still seems to be the kind of artist who plays her cards close to her chest. Album art Country (2008). This short, five-song collaborative EP (with Rachel Ries) contains a bit of country charm from women known more for their folk, and though there are some similarities in the consciously poetic lyrics and turns of phrase, the music is constructed along traditional country lines. There are really no surprises here, but it's a beautiful, comfortable EP. Back cover art Hadestown (2010). This one needs a walkthrough. To bring the listener up to speed: Orpheus is a penniless artist living in the city. Eurydice is the girl he wants to marry, but there's no work, and she's afraid how they'll live. There's work in Hadestown, and that promise has lured a lot of people into Hades' trap. Album art, full art experience
Orpheus and Eurydice have a conversation about how they're going to live. With every objection Eurydice brings up, Orpheus confidently answers with the wit of a poet. E: "Who's going to buy the weddings bands?" O: "When I sing, the rivers will break their banks and lay their gold at my feet." E: "Who's going to lay the wedding table?" O: "When I sing, all the trees will bend their branches down for me to lay their fruit around my feet." E: "Who's going make the wedding bed?" O: "When I sing, the birds all sing along, and they'll fly down to me and lay their feathers at my feet."
Epic (Part I)
Orpheus has heard of Hades, and he detects Eurydice's desire to go get a piece of his wealth. But Orpheus tells her what it's really like in Hadestown: dirt, sweat, back-breaking toil. Hades is "a king of bricks", living in a land built by hands not his own. Orpheus is wise to Hades' game, and he's the only one not fooled or tempted.
Way Down Hadestown
Eurydice doesn't listen, though. She seeks out Hermes, a harmonica-playing, blues-singing conductor who operates a night train straight to Hadestown. He welcomes Eurydice aboard, but there's another passenger: Persephone. Hades is calling his wife home for the winter. Eurydice sits back amazed at everyone with their pockets full of gold. Orpheus makes one last plea, calling Hadestown a graveyard. His wife doesn't listen, and she leaves on that one-way train while Orpheus is at work.
Eurydice meets Hades. A haunting violin plays.
Hey, Little Songbird
Hades entices Eurydice with an offer her empty belly cannot refuse: food, shelter... security. This underworld king guesses she's married to some poor minstrel, and he warns her against idealism. Love can't feed you or keep you warm. "Why not fly south for the winter?"
Gone, I'm Gone
Eurydice loves Orpheus with her heart, but her empty stomach cannot be ignored. She accepts Hades' offer.
When the Chips Are Down
What would you have done in Eurydice's situation? Love is unconquerable! Love is all you need! That's what you might say, right? Well, that's easy to say when you're well fed. It's easy to have principles when your belly is full. But when the chips are down, what would you really do?
Wait For Me
Orpheus returns from touring or a gig or whatever he's been doing to try to scrape a living together and finds Eurydice gone. He finds a guide who's willing to show Orpheus a secret way into Hadestown... not the train, but by his own two feet. "There ain't no compass, there ain't no map." Undaunted, Orpheus follows some old telephone line. He climbs the razor-wire and cinder-block walls. He's hungry, too, just like everyone else, but he goes after Eurydice anyway, risking all. All for love. "Wait for me," he cries to his absent wife.
Why We Build the Wall
Why do they build the wall in Hadestown? To keep themselves free. How does the wall keep them free? It keeps out the Enemy. Who do they call the Enemy? Poverty. Others outside the wall want what they've got... What've they got that others want? They've got a wall to work upon. They have work, and others have none.
Our Lady of the Underground
They may have food in their bellies in Hadestown, but it's a dreary state of affairs. Because there's none of the old things the people used to love. No moonlight, no smell of flowers, no warm sunshine on your face, no music, no autumn leaves, no wind or rain. "When's the last time you saw the sky?" No worries. Persephone runs a bootleg operation. She can get whatever you miss from your old life. She's the Lady of the Underground, the Lady of Ways and Means.
Flowers (Eurydice's Song)
Eurydice walks away from that night in Persephone's tavern, where weeping workers were spending their hard-earned wages on brief glances into the simple pleasures of their old lives, and she realizes what she's done. She's signed her soul away. She remembers flowers, fields of flowers. And she remembers... someone. Someone by her side. He turned his face to hers, but she turned and walked away. Whoever that stranger is, she wants to see him again. She sings alone, begging him to come find her in the shadowy mess she's made of her life.
The Fates tell Orpheus he cannot win. He cannot change what Eurydice has done. Her fate is sealed. No one escapes Hades' grasp.
If It's True
Orpheus ignores them. He doesn't care. He's going for Eurydice anyway. If she's gone for good, so is his heart. He might as well die. His voice and hands would be worthless. Music would be meaningless to him. "The ones who tell the lies are the solemnest to swear. And the ones who load the dice always say the toss is fair." He refuses to play a fixed game.
Papers (Hades Finds Out)
This is an instrumental, but it captures the hubbub in Hadestown at the arrival of the indefatigable minstrel. Having taken the secret way down, he did not have to pass through death to arrive.
Hades' and Persephone's pillow talk consists of the only topic in Hadestown: Orpheus. Persephone tells of the minstrel's song, of his passion, and of his desire to reclaim Eurydice. But Hades remains pitiless. "Nothing comes of wishing on stars."
Epic (Part II)
We hear Orpheus sing to the miserable denizens of Hadestown. And he sings specifically of their king, Hades. He pulls back the curtain and reveals the man behind the throne. Hades is king, aye, but Orpheus paints a picture of the moment Hades first saw Persephone. In that moment, he was thunderstruck by love and was nothing more than a man. And that's what Orpheus is: a man. A man in love. Just as Hades once was when he saw Persephone with "the sun on her shoulders, the wind in her hair". The pitiless king had tasted nectar that day, and all Orpheus wants is what's his.
Another instrumental evoking the turmoil Orpheus' music is causing in Hadestown. People are flocking to him, for in him they see hope, beauty, love, freedom--all the things mere gold can't buy.
His Kiss, The Riot
Hades has to get rid of Orpheus before he ruins everything the king has built (upon the backs of others). So he concocts a plan: he'll give Eurydice back, but only on one condition. Orpheus cannot look back to make sure Eurydice is following him. He must trust that she is there with him, though he is not be allowed to confirm that she is indeed with him. Only when they are out of the Underworld can he turn to look at her. Hades is hoping Orpheus will turn back. After all, "she's out of sight, and he's out of his mind".
Doubt Comes In
The long march back to the sunlit realms begins, but Orpheus feels as if he is going alone. Where is Eurydice? Is she there? Is she really behind him? She left him once. Could it be that she would be faithful and strong this time, when she failed and abandoned him before? Eurydice calls to him, but as a shade, her voice does not carry to Orpheus' ears. She begs him to be strong and carry on, but he cannot hear her. At last, doubt gets the best of him, and he turns back. And Eurydice is forever lost.
I Raise My Cup to Him
The workers, Eurydice included, are all sitting in Persephone's tavern, drinking to the memory of Orpheus. They toast him and wish him well. I find this track to be poignant, for in the original myth, Orpheus, after losing Eurydice, travels the world singing his sad songs until one day he is torn apart by Dionysus' maenads. What this means is: in his sorrow, he drank himself to death. Cast Orpheus: Justin Vernon Eurydice: Anaïs Mitchell Hades: Greg Brown Persephone: Ani DiFranco Hermes: Ben Knox Miller The Fates: Tanya, Petra, and Rachel Haden Daytrotter Session (2011). Another tiny, five-song EP by the Mistress of Folk, but on this one she brings material that has shown up or will show up on other albums, specifically from Hadestown and from Young Man in America. Bringing Rachel Ries and Jefferson Hamer in to guest was a brilliant move, and it's such a delight to hear Hamer's warm guitar tones on "Why We Build the Wall". Album art Young Man in America (2012). This is a really evocative album, painting pictures of America of a certain time. In this case, she follows the coming-of-age of her father. She also touches on a very Americana feel in songs like "Shepherd" and "Dyin Day". And the way the album ends, with the harbor bells tolling at the end of "Ships", brings about a perfect unresolved resolution to a storybook epic. We really are just children wandering in the wilderland. Album art Child Ballads (2013). I've heard many folk artists cover Child ballads. Folk's my thing, both avant and traditional. It depends on my mood. This album is full of traditional English folk songs. The thing is, they're Child ballads, which means they're some of the 305 old folk songs "from England and Scotland, and their American variants, anthologized by Francis James Child during the second half of the 19th century". There are lyrics but no music, so each folk artist who comes to these ballads has to interpret them in his/her own way, and of all the Child ballads I've heard, Anaïs Mitchell's (and Jefferson Hamer's) interpretations are superlative, better than anything done by Dylan, Baez, Strawbs, Renaissance, etc. etc... and those are really good, too! Cover, inside 1, inside 2, inside 3 Xoa (2014). I'm just going to assume, based on what Mitchell said about this collection of new songs and re-recorded songs from her catalogue, that XOA stands for "sending kisses and hugs to my audience". This limited release was intended as a personal thank-you gift to her fans. "Any Way the Wind Blows", "Now You Know", and "The Pursewarden Affair" are the three new tunes written for this album. As far as I'm concerned, this could be a live studio performance, and that's the way I'm going to think of it, since the recordings were all made for the same purpose. "Now You Know" is a perfect example of Mitchell's ability to associate disparate elements of life together and weave all of the vagaries and happenstances of life into a tapestry, from childbirth to death, from making love to making war, from loneliness to pillow-confessions. All in all these stripped-down, intimate, acoustic recordings of beloved songs are simply charming, an album made for the fans and nothing more. Album art Why We Build the Wall: Selections from Hadestown (2016). This EP is four songs selected from the Original Cast Recording (to be released the following year), and they break the story down succinctly into its unskippable plot points: Eurydice's temptation and Orpheus' objection to Hades and all he represents, Eurydice's protestations of self-confidence and -reliance and how Orpheus' love just isn't enough in hard times, Orpheus going after her despite her faithlessness, and a grim look into Eurydice's fate, everlasting life as nothing more than everlasting overtime. Hadestown: the Myth. the Musical. (Original Cast Recording) (2017). This live recording lacks much of the singsong banter that would be expanded in the Broadway version. Although "Any Way the Wind Blows"--first appearing as a new song on Xoa--was reimagined as part of the opening of Act I, it's not included on this recording. I assume it was performed on the stage before the show reached Broadway, though. The songs I love from the 2010 studio version of Hadestown are not as embellished or digressive, thus making this whole performance feel more like a folk opera than the overblown show tunes of Broadway. You can hear the crowd not only cheering but laughing in reaction to bits here and there, highlighting the intimacy of the live setting and the audience's familiarity with the subject matter. Certain indispensable lyrical phrases later abandoned are preserved here, much to my delight. I feel like this recording, in its song choice and editing, focuses more on the Hope Springs Eternal motif, what with this performance ending on "Road to Hell II" (celebrating Persephone's return to the world) instead of "I Raise My Cup to Him" (mourning the loss of Orpheus). By the way, that reminds me: changing the song from "I Raise My Cup to Him" to "We Raise Our Cups" is clear evidence of injecting solidarity politics into a love story. Moreover, we raise our cups "to them", not "him", thus making the song not so much about Orpheus but about the listener, who can delude himself into identifying as an oh-so special and unique bird that sings in the dead of night or an oh-so special and unique flower that blooms in the bitter snow. Hadestown (Original Broadway Cast) (2019). I'm not going to do a breakdown of the songs/plot here, since I already did that on the more mythical-leaning 2010 studio version of Hadestown. I want to look at just the differences between the two. As a Broadway musical, this one's penchant for embellishment and throw-your-hands-up song-and-dance ecstasies are forgivable, but though I adore Anaïs Mitchell's creative genius, I have the tiniest little bit of distaste at certain points of this production. I'm not saying that the plight of the poor shouldn't be brought to the forefront, discussed, and struggled against, but when its intimated that the downtrodden workers are following Eurydice, who is in turn following Orpheus, I feel like, suddenly, the politics of the show get in the way of the love story, and thus the myth. In fact, I'd say the myth itself is in the service of politics here, unlike in the 2010 studio recording, which focuses almost purely on the mythical to-hell-and-back love story. It is love itself that is struggling against all odds, not the working class rising up against their oppressor. That's just a side effect, something Orpheus thinks about less than this stage production does. There might just be the slightest bit of pandering here. But whatever. It's a brilliant show and suffers only if one first fell in love with the myth long before ever having heard the music. It comes down to this: the stage production trades "suddenly Hades was only a man, with the taste of nectar upon his lips" for "you gotta keep your head low if you wanna keep your head". Woyaya (2019). This collaborative EP with UK folkette, Kate Stables, is five versions of the same song. Unfortunately, the lyrics are rather trite and repetitive, not at all what I expect from the ever-thoughtful and -creative Mitchell. Of course this is nothing more than cover of an 70s afro-pop song from Ghana, so I guess the only blame I can lay at these ladies' door is bothering to cover the tune in the first place. Basically this handling of the song is like frolicking on a beach full of landmines when you should be in school. The instrumental version of the eponymous song is a form of folktronica, which leads into the "flipped dub" version. You know, that kind of spaced-out folk that people on drugs put on their Awesome Chill Mix Vol. 1 playlists. Album art There's a folk-singing girl out there who was a livewire long before her Broadway fame, and if you tune in your shortwave radio, you might just be able to pick her up. Sources: RYM Wikipedia Last.fm All Music Other Primers Tom Waits
2020.09.29 03:32 CyrusWaughEvery Taylor Swift Song Ranked (2006-2020) Part 2
67. The Lucky One (Red) I view this one as her missing her old life, if we had a path to stardom, there is no doubt we'd all take it. But the path is like a contract, with hidden messages that will screw you over at times, great messaging and irony throughout all of it. 66. Haunted (Speak Now) The orchestra is amazing, this is some of the amazing experimentation I was talking about, they capture every emotion Taylor envisioned for this song, and they build to such an emotional climax. 65. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince (Lover) After watching the documentary of the same name last night this song risen by like 15 spots. You can see her mentality at the time of writing this record. I've had a complete 180 in how I view the production. I still view it as inferior to her old high school style, but that still doesn't mean its bad, the cheerleader part is ingenious, as is a lot of the song. 64. Speak Now (Speak Now) Man a lot of people seem to dislike this song, I don't see it, I find it so charming, when was the last time you heard a song about crashing a wedding like this one, it is very descriptive, and ties into the theme of suppressed emotions. 63. Paper Rings It is pretty simple, but the message is so wholesome. 2018 was so many wedding songs, some worked, like Speechless, or Homesick, and some didn't like Big Big Plans or Good As You. This isn't a first dance song, but it gives a better message than all 4 of them. (scratch that, Speechless is still better) 62. Red (Red) Red is a song I adore, from its relation of emotion to colorization, its blending of pop and country. The lyrics are great, the melody is iconic, but I CANNOT stand the weird audio effect they put in the word red. It annoys the living daylights out of me. 61. Change (Fearless) I relate to this message so hard, and maybe that's why it is ranked as high as it is. The usage of the word hallelujah, its a great inspiration for overcoming adversity. It's an iconic melody, and I can't recommend this enough especially if you're feeling down. 60. Call It What You Want (Reputation) Originally this song was supposed to be waving a white flag to the critics, where she's saying call it what you like, she doesn't care anymore, great way to close out a record, but this doesn't hold up at all in the Lover Era. 59. Tied Together With A Smile (Taylor Swift) After re-watching Miss Americana the documentary, I was listening to the album one last time before writing this and I shed a tear or two, after reminding myself of her insecurities of personal image and her eating disorder. I don't think that is what the song was originally about so I can't really give it bonus points for that but now I get a whole new perspective every time I hear this. 58. This Is Me Trying (Folklore) This song highlights how she has to juggle so many things in her life, songwriting, recording, touring and personal family issues. How she acknowledges she isn't a 16 year old anymore. She's done so much in 14 years, won several accolades, become a political advocate, even though I don't agree with what she stands for, I'm proud regardless. 57. Tell Me Why (Fearless) This song has a lot of fun instrumentally and lyrically. Definitely the last 2 songs beat it in a lot, but it blends pop and country so well, and really is a blueprint for what mainstream country should follow, even if this song is dated. 56. I Know Places (1989) Definitely leans on the more bombastic side of things, but with some intellectualism sprinkled throughout it, its fun and clever which is something you don't get a lot of in the Reputation to Lover Era. 55. Mary's Song (Oh My My My) (Taylor Swift) The story telling is so good, and the instrumentation is great, but it misses the one aspect Love Story hits which is great melodies and vocals. I'm not saying its bad, I'm just saying there is better stuff she's done, at this point we've reached the 8/10 range, and a lot of songs get heavily competitive. 54. A Place In This World (Taylor Swift) One of my favorite melodies from her first record, and it's my last year in high school so I'm giving it bonus points for the messaging. It sounds great as does 90% of her first record. 53. My Tears Ricochet (Folklore) I need a bit more time with this song, its obviously well written and sung, but it really only succeeds when you get the full context of what it's about, give it more time this could end up in the top 30. 52. This Love (1989) Similar to how I Almost Do relies too much on I Bet, this one relies too much on This Love, but still it's a great song regardless. Beautiful and kind of haunting at the same time. 51. I Knew You Were Trouble (Red) A great introduction to the pop world, instant classic for her, and demonstrates how to do pop well and not fake it like a 50% of country stars, signifying the best of Taylor Swift was coming soon. 50. Enchanted (Speak Now) Enchanted brings out this shimmery feeling I really only see in Disney musicals, which is amazing. When was the last time you said to yourself this country song sounds like a ballad in a Disney musical? It is beautiful and builds up to a great climax. 49. Epiphany (Folklore) A great dedication to those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, still have issue with the reference to the storming of the beaches but hopefully I'll let go of it after a while. 48. Superman (Speak Now: Deluxe Edition) What a great way to show off unique storytelling, I never thought I'd adore a country song talking about Clark Kent but here we are, beautifully narrated, and shows off this new style of writing which would get better and better as years passed. 47. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Red) Instant classic right here, not the most emotional (at all) not the best written, one hell of a time and there is no doubt about it. 46. Exile ft. Bon Iver (Folklore) One of her best collaborations ever, we get 2 different perspectives and those are often the most emotional, I don't really get the whole film line, that still eludes me and feels out of place, but the climax of the track makes up for it. 45. So It Goes... (Reputation) I've stated many times I will never go to a club, I've vowed never to drink, I think it is just a place to hook up and that grosses me out. But if there ever was a reason for me to go to a club, it would be to jam to this song, it is one of my all time favorite club anthems. 44. Mean (Speak Now) The acoustics are some of her best, its goofy, I love how she says pathetic it still makes me laugh, I'm still shocked it won a Grammy, being how goofy it was, but still well deserved. 43. Long Live (Speak Now) A great way of looking towards the future, not so much for Taylor as it would be a downwards spiral for emotionally and I sympathize for her, but for me it gives me hope and makes me believe all of dreams will be achieved. 42. Teardrops On My Guitar (Taylor Swift) Just because its #42 doesn't mean I think it's dull. Lyrically the using of names still is great, but a lot of the lyrics don't really hold up to my standards today, I'm not asking you to agree I just hope you can understand it. 41. The Other side Of The Door (Fearless: Platinum Edition) Little simple stories are the best. How she's testing this person to see if he is willing to commit and endure, and he fails to do so, and how she blames her stubborn pride. Great storytelling plain and simple. 40. Dancing With Our Hands Tied (Reputation) Great imagery and messaging, I view there are two ways to interpret this song's message and both are equally great. It is my late night street jam kind of like Blinding Light's by the Weeknd. 39. Come In With The Rain (Fearless: Platinum Edition) A lot of the platinum edition songs are so good, she's done calling out his name and leaves her window open just a little bit because she's hoping still he'd come back. It is extremely well rounded as are a lot of songs are from this point on. 38. Ours (Speak Now: Deluxe Edition) My favorite of all the deluxe tracks, is one of her best, and before she was really obsessed with her public image, she could churn out a great song. It is great melodically and we lyrically with the details of elevator buttons, and gaps in teeth. This is one of the more glanced over tracks of all the bonus tracks which makes sense, the more intellectual songs get their popularity goes down which is a darn shame. 37. Clean (1989) Still one of my least favorites in the percussive sense. But it does a good job in ending the emotional story this record tells. Clean represents the aftermath of a breakup so well, and only going through the storm are we able to finally be free. 36. Fifteen (Fearless) From this point on honestly every melody is iconic. Fifteen while bringing this wave of nostalgia that makes me feel like a kid again, isn't one her best written songs, it's pretty dated and corny so a lot of people these days won't really connect to it as much as I do. 35. How You Get The Girl (1989) A fun time from beginning to end, little simple pieces of advice for the dos and don'ts of a relationship and in way calls back older songs. Brings out what I love about a majority of 1989, fun times, neat lyrics, and loads of synth. 34. Innocent (Speak Now) There is so much I love about Innocent but it is such a long song and I'd need to go into every detail and I don't have much time. In a way its an anti-power ballad, as it doesn't really rise to this big epic moment, it stays mostly grounded which is something I love, it has a meaningful message, my only real complaint is that the opener is out of place. 33. Mad Woman (Folklore) Mad Woman is kind of Reputation's message in one song, after so much time poking her she's fighting back, people say she's petty, she'll be even pettier, she's too angry, you get the idea. Great reinvention of talking about reputations, and I doubt she'll ever stop singing about it, but I'll take it in this style. 32. Bad Blood (1989) Bad ass, all that needs to be said, it has a tremendous bridge, Kendrick Lamar does a great job (unlike future) I don't really see the hate for this song, the point of the song is to be petty and it doesn't come off as over petty at least to me, great single and one of the best of 2014-2015. 31. Last Kiss (Speak Now) It is the 5 stages of grief in a song, we get every gritty detail, from sadness, anger, denial, not so much of bargaining and by the end of the song we reach acceptance, its a beautiful ride for all 6 minutes of it. And it just barely missed the top 30 if I'm being honest. Now that we're in the top 30, I can go into these songs in greater detail, and show my full appreciation for them. 30. Breathe ft. Colbie Caillat (Fearless) It isn't as compelling as Last Kiss, but I just connected more to this on an emotional level. How letting go of someone is so hard, but for us to move on and be better people, we need cut the loose for both your sakes. And it may be painful, like holding your breath, its supposed to, it's kind of like working your muscles, in order for us to get stronger, we need to feel pain. The chorus is so nostalgic, while I agree it is pretty simple and repetitive, I don't care, as my emotions get the best of me. This song has stuck with me, for so many reasons, my personal struggles, the vocals, the instrumentation. I'm still bitter it didn't become a single but hey, what are you gonna do. 29. Picture To Burn (Taylor Swift) This was either the first or second Taylor Swift song I could remember hearing and therefore it has a special place in my heart. It does pander to southern audiences I'm not denying that, but its rocking country feel is so good. One of the best sounding tracks on her first record, and yes in terms of messaging involvement this song would land itself way lower, but I have such an emotional connection and how important this song was to me as it is arguably one of the major reasons I listen to country music today. 28. Begin Again (Red) Her farewell letter to country music couldn't have been better. About how love isn't a cycle of bitterness and moral high ground. But it is truly about emotional connection and sincerity. Little things like laughing at jokes, coming early, pulling a chair out. Love isn't a glamorous story of epic proportions as most try to view it, it is pretty underwhelming, but I find the underwhelming details more compelling than anything. Red definitely has its issues but the beginning and ending of this record is perfect. Even though I view this as a pop record, she still has so much respect for the genre, its not a drum loop song, not about going to a club, nothing bombastic, just real instrumentation honest lyricism and compelling vocals. 27. Shake It Off (1989) I admit Shake It Off, isn't anything truly special, but it is one of the songs that define Taylor as an artist. And I love it regardless of all of its problems and false promises. It's a jam, which at the time, was her taking the high ground of addressing haters. Shake It Off out of the big 5 of 1989, is the most unique instrumentally, it isn't using synth and as a marching band type feel, with marching snares, trumpets and Bari sax and as someone who does marching band, this has a soft spot. Some people hate the bridge. I don't, there are arguably 10 songs better than it critically, but for once I'm gonna stand by my ears not my brains. 26. The Archer (Lover) The Archer is one of the more emotional songs on Lover. About a collage of themes, the media's perspective of her, her dating habits of men, and arguably politics. And if it is this is the best song about politics she's ever written, Only The Young is tedious and comes off as pandering, the man is her worst song by a lot, but the archer addresses politics not in the way you think, its all about her perspective of it, I don't have to agree with your politics, just present it in a compelling manner, The Archer does it so well. And besides that, she asks herself the question when it comes to love interests which is one her most compelling lines. Who would dare leave her, but who would dare stay. It is heartbreaking, emotional, and it adds up to one of the best songs on Lover. 25. Mirrorball (Folklore) Mirrorball is one of her most honest songs yet, how writing songs can emotionally tear one apart, Taylor isn't know for being the most fun artist, or the most powerful vocally, she's known for being one of the most honest. And this highlights that perspective of herself, while we see her shine, there are cracks for every honest story she's written into song. But she's so passionate about what she does, she will keep pushing for us, for her fans. One of the most compelling songs I've heard from her yet. 24. Getaway Car (Reputation) The documentary once again boosted the ranking of a song. I felt so engaged in her songwriting process, its so interesting and fun. Getaway Car is a prime example of singing about relationships in new and profound ways. The Getaway Car being Tom Hiddleston and how he was just an escape from her previous relationship. And the song is her saying sorry for what she did to him. One of her best metaphors yet. I think my love for Getaway Care is just gonna grow as time moves on, but who knows, I love the rest of these songs just as much or even more. 23. Cardigan (Folklore) At this point yeah I think Cardigan is a better metaphor than getaway car, mostly because of how it ties into the story of James & Betty, but that might not last long. Cardigan is a great first single, similar to Blank Space, she says random things that don't really correlate to each other. One of the most vivid songs on Folklore, which is why I put it above Getaway Car, in terms of message its better but Cardigan paints an amazing picture of this world she's singing about. It gives the melancholy reflective emotion I don't really know how to describe and after listening to the 3 remaining songs of this story, everything just makes sense. Grammy noms are coming soon I have no doubt this will be nominated as it should be. 22. Welcome To New York (1989) One of my favorite album openers ever, it gives me such a rush, it is what 22 failed to do for me, which was be relatable, look this song isn't the smartest, I'm not saying it is, but it draws a fine line between what pop tends to do which is either be smart in their writing or vocals, or just go for a catchy beat. It also serves as a welcome to the pop world, she finally left the genre holding her back and would've destroyed her if you think about it. It's a well written smash that would've fit perfectly with the big 5, and I'm still bitter it didn't. 21. Wildest Dreams (1989) 1989 had so many great singles, this was its big ballad. My perception of this song is a one night stand, and how she knows this can damage her but she doesn't care. Chances are these 2 will never see each other again, so he's asking him to remember her in this way and not the (you know what) The melody while only 6 years old, feels even older somehow. Production is around 9.5/10 for me, lyrically is around 7.5/10, the bridge really boosts that score, and vocally it is around a 9/10. Wildest Dreams set a standard for a lot of pop ballads for years to come and not many have reached it or surpassed it. 20. Back To December (Speak Now) I've met people who've said this song isn't really mature, I've met people who say it isn't really emotional, but I've yet to meet someone who said it isn't good. I think it is all of those things, Taylor Swift was know as the girl who wrote the best break up songs mostly about douche bags. So for her to take the blame is a sign of real maturity. Her vocals reflect the sincerity of her apology, an the orchestra elevates everything. I wish she did more work with an orchestra the tracks that use it are so good. Back To December, is one of those songs that makes you go back to terrible mistakes, awkward moments that could've gone differently. This was one of her major stepping stones in how she writes songs, she still wrote breakup songs but it would be in more unique ways, some not as good, but a few have surpassed its greatness. 19. Look What You Made Me Do (Reputation) Yeah I love this song: Deal With It I think it is one of her best written songs, most just say the chorus is garbage and skip it. They don't check anything else, a lot of effort was put in this song after you get past the chorus. The pre chorus was a well added touch, people kept complaining about Taylor, so she decided to become their critiques, and come back with a vengeance. The song broke the internet, it shocked the world leaving most people's initial reaction as confusion, I thought that too, but over time I've come to appreciate this song for what it is, as has a lot fans. Most still won't give this song a chance, they won't even give the record a chance because of this song, you're doing yourself a major disservice. A neat thing I realized is that with most pop songs, they go for the ears instead of the brains. This one goes straight for the brain and ignores the ears entirely, which is something pop should do a lot more often. 18. August (Folklore) August is the 2nd part of the saltbox house chapter, giving us the conflict of this story, coming from the perspective of an unknown girl. How she seduced this boy James, how overtime he felt guilty, and how it tore a rift between the 2. How she thought they were in love but it was all an illusion, the entire of month of August. And now everything she thought was love was lie, and how she describes it like slipping though time, bottles of wine sipped away. One of the best bridges she's ever done, giving us fictional emotion that feels so real. It makes you invested in this story line, like a book or a film and you can't look or well in this case hear away. 17. Cornelia Street (Lover) Cornelia Street takes a page in her personal love life, which she doesn't usually talk about, she mostly talks about the aftermath of a relationship, not the present. How Cornelia Street, represents so much she's invested into a relationship and she's so afraid to lose it all, lose the memorization of creaks in the floor, playing cards and board games, she leaves but unlike others, he goes after her, and gets her to stay, if you notice, in past songs, the one thing the dude in most of her relationships, was willing to endure, willing to stay, but he is willing, that's the cherry on top for me, Lover is so far away from being an amazing record, but it gives me some of the most satisfying moments in any album. 16. You Belong With Me (Fearless) The most well known melody in her entire catalog. I know people who hate pop country, and can't help sing along to this, it is so heartwarming, silly, encapsulates the narrative of the small town boy and girl better than almost every song that has before and after. I think everyone at some point has felt this way about a person, and if you haven't well than lucky you. It captured everything I loved about the 2000's all American pop, its silliness, emotional value and nostalgia, I could back to this song 15 years from now and feel the same way I do about it now. It is one of the only reasons I tolerated pop at the time, club anthems weren't my style and nor was people Britney Spears, Beyonce or Rihanna and I could go on. The song is an iconic piece of pop culture, that generations from now will never be forgotten. 15. White Horse (Fearless) White Horse was the baby steps to her getting more mature. As we got into the 2010's the all American genre was fading away, and in a similar way, she acknowledges this isn't a lovey dovey story like You Belong With Me, this is real, and she's sick of trying to achieve that story, and it's time to cut this dude love. And now he's everything she's ever wanted, but that phase of her life is over. So she'll keep looking, because the fairy tale is fake, and move on with her life. I've felt that way and this song helped me mature and see new perspective in love. 14. Never Grow Up (Speak Now) I still view this as the best track of the record but I'll put it lower for its emotional impact. I think the message is so compelling. How she doesn't want to grow up, kids like dream about being astronauts and presidents, they don't understand how big and often cruel the world can be. During our time innocence we don't often experience, true heartbreak, sadness, stress so the little details of going to the movies, dancing in PJ's move me so much. The vocals have a touch of sincerity and wisdom into them, and we build to a soft climax, about how she wishes she never grew up, money and fame is great and all, but her truest possessions are her family and friends, and those will fade away in time. It's a wholesome simple message that is so powerful and speaks volumes and I think this song should get more appreciation than arguably any of the one ahead as they are more well known. 13. Love Story (Fearless) Unfortunately no song from Fearless could make the top 10, makes me sad, but I knew at least one record was going to miss out, I'm shocked it was this one. But still, this is the equation for a great Taylor Swift song, great instrumentation/production, iconic melodies, great storytelling, and clear crisp melodies, that last one really only applies to her country songs. Love Story, is one of the most well rounded songs in all of country, I don't understand how someone can hate it, the only opinion I can really agree with is the corniness of Romeo & Juliet, but still I love that this is what the song is about. We get phenomenal story progression, to how they met, sneaking out, a conflict and an emotional climax with a great ending. One of my favorite fiddle tracks, if I'm ever sick of what's on the radio I'll just play this a nostalgic actual country song. A lot of Fearless could be argued to be not country, but Love Story is and that isn't an opinion, its a fact. 12. Delicate (Reputation) Delicate also claims the title for my favorite music video from Taylor Swift. The rhythm is so calming, and makes everything around me disappear. Which really blows my mind, which is what the song is about. For roughly a year she disappeared from the media's eyes in 2016. The verses highlight this as she question's if what she said was okay, is it okay to let this person in my life? And how during this time period, she experiences more freedom than ever. I can always rely on Delicate to relax me whenever I'm stressed out. Delicate is an excellent way to enter Reputation, most are so afraid to touch the record, Delicate is the best produced song on the record and my 3rd favorite produced song regardless of albums. Never before has a song's production reflect the message of a song as well as this song did for me. 11. Lover (Lover) Just barely not making it into the top 10 is Lover. Which is a great first dance song, I've seen people use it, and this feels like the vows of her if she ever gets married. She sees herself at a point where they don't have to fight for moral high ground. They have such a well understanding of each other, they leave Christmas lights till January, let friends crash. As well as the fact that I view this as her best bridge yet. It is endearing and kind of provocative. Lover is a great blend of country and pop, I'm kinda shocked this wasn't promoted there, I would rather have be number one for 20 weeks then see the Git Up at #1. I'm a little bitter that Bad Guy won over it, I get it Bad Guy is insanely catchy but Grammy's are about critically choosing a winner, does anyone really think Bad Guy is a critical masterpiece? Lover is her coming full circle, she doesn't need to sing about boys being douche bags anymore, as she's found the 1 for her. Finally I've reached the top 10, this has spun around a lot over the past week, 10th originally peaked at #6, this list went through some crazy changes 10. Betty (Folklore) Betty is an evolved version of Love Story in terms of structure, it has everything it does, great instrumentation, storytelling, the whole package. But what puts it above it at least for me is the greater emotional investment. I've gotten to know the story of Romeo & Juliet in less than 4 minutes, and I was totally invested in the story, but with Betty, we've gotten to understand this story for the past 3 wrongs, arguably 4 if you count Exile. You wonder how this will be resolved, will it have a sad ending, like in most realistic circumstances. Or will we get a semi-unrealistic ending. We get the second option but at least we get to understand why this is the way it is. Take out the 3 other songs this takes out of the emotional impact this song gives. It's a new way for how she approaches music and I'm here for all of it. 9. Dear John (Speak Now) While I view this as inferior to Never Grow Up, I cannot deny the emotional impact this has had for country music and her entire fan base. I enjoy every moment of this near 7 minute song, how she's felt like she had to fight to enjoy this relationship. And now that he's out of her life she gets a new perspective of love, it isn't clear cut, it isn't always happy, Dear John really was one of her biggest stepping stones in singing about relationships, up to here you'll see a lot of stories about a sweet sincere relationship and after Speak Now, you never really see that until Reputation. This relationship has scarred her, I realized this honestly hours before writing this. Dear John hurts so much, and was the most emotional song for me, for about 2 years. I remember skipping halfway through this song like an idiot because I got bored, never again, whenever it is on, I stay and listen to its entirety. Dear John is an monumental piece of the long and winding road of her career, and it's a piece I'll cherish, till I die. 8. State Of Grace (Red) Is my second favorite produced track, it is a pop song that doesn't really rely on electronics, I get real drums, guitars. It is a legendary album opener, while I prefer Mr. Misunderstood as a song, it never really made sense to me why it was the opener to the album. State Of Grace right out of the bat tells you this is different, and different couldn't have been better. State Of Grace while 8th is #1 in what I want to see live, it gives a sense of freedom most songs can only dream of achieving. It sums up how I felt when I first felt in love. Trigger, one of her harshest critics gave this a 2 guns up. 2 for crying out loud!!! If he gives it a score that high you know it is good. State Of Grace climbed the highest out of any song on this list, I originally had it at I think #16. I was reminded of that time when I really first experienced love, because I tend to keep my emotions to myself when around people. And I told myself no, this has to be higher, which is why no song from Fearless is in the top 10. Man the 2010's were so good for a lot of stuff, Eric Church's Springsteen, Josh Turner's Why Don't We Just Dance, and Red, which made me creep into pop just a little bit after 2-3 years. Okay Time To Bust Out The Tier List: 134-132 You Got The Bad Taylor Swift Songs 131-116 You Got The Decent Taylor Swift Songs 115-81 You Got The Good Taylor Swift Songs 80-38 You Got The Amazing Taylor Swift Songs 37-13 You Got The Iconic Taylor Swift Songs 12-8 Are The Masterpieces And At 7-1 You Got TheBIG BOI'S These songs are the reason I love music regardless of genre. 7. Illicit Affairs (Folklore) Illicit Affairs is the best track of Folklore plain and simple. She has mastered the dual perspective storytelling tool she's used for several years, we get every detail going through their minds in a clear vivid understandable and arguably relatable manner. We go through James' mind, what to tell his friends, where to go. The unnamed girl's mind is whether or not to wear perfume for him. Don't get too attached, but she does regardless, and ruins her image for him and be rewarded with rejection. The music begins to swell as we get catch up to the reveal that James told Betty everything. I'm definitely in the minority here as not many tend to see this as one of her best, it brings us to the emotional climax of the story in the album, my favorite point of a story isn't really the build up or the ending, its the climax, and this is one hell of a climax, my first listen I told myself woah, and kept listening onward. 6. Soon You'll Get Better ft. The Dixie Chicks (Lover) Lover's emotional peak is without a doubt this track. The first verse broke me, my favorite verse in any Taylor Swift song, nothing else from the song really tops it. It is heartbreaking, this isn't her singing about her personal problems, it is dedicated to her mother diagnosed with cancer, and you may wonder, why would you bring this up in a song? Well she brings this up, and that's because she might not make it. I'm strictly assuming, I know very little about her condition as of today, but if this were true I would rather keep this as private as I could, but I assume she's running out of time and this is a eulogy for her, god I hope it isn't, I pray it isn't. I can her emotion, and empathize as I was in a similar position just a few months ago, thankfully this person came out of this okay. This song prepared me for the worst, but now I view it in a sense of slight joy and hope, that if you have someone who is terminally ill, it's never too late. 5. New Years Day (Reputation) New Years Day is the best love story she has ever written. It isn't a glamorous love story, with beautiful gowns, clubs, unique story telling. Just vivid honesty. How a new years kiss is meaningless, its just a shallow tradition, how true love can be found in some of the most uninteresting areas, like cleaning up after a party, that is what I love to see. I don't by the BS, of hooking up at a party and boom you're married for the rest of your lives. Chances are if I ever get married, the story of how I met my significant other will be pretty similar to New Years Day. As is for a lot of people. You may never enjoy Reputation as a whole but you can enjoy this song. It isn't this big bombastic trap song, it's not a 80's synth jam which I adore. It's just simple piano chords and masterful lyrics. 4. Tim McGraw (Taylor Swift) Tim McGraw I'm 90% sure is the first Taylor Swift song I remember. In today's standards yeah it sounded like an FGL song. But before the bro era, I could actually enjoy singing about dirt roads eyes and jeans. The acoustics are beautiful, we fast forward to where the guy is gone from her life. But one thing connects them, their love for one artist. I don't even need to say the artist's name that's irrelevant. Love for an artist adoration for their music can speak volumes, my friends listen to songs for how catchy it is. They question my taste of music, I always say, I'm here for the emotions a song gives, the stories it provides, one day they'll understand at least I hope, because they are missing out on so much. The story of Tim McGraw has been done in bigger ways, one being Springsteen by Eric Church, but as much as I love Springsteen, how much I adore it, Tim McGraw is simply better. 3. Style (1989) Style is the best produced song in the history of ever. That's really a personal preference. Now you're probably thinking I'm full of crap putting Style in the bronze spot. But it is my favorite song of hers plain and simple, I listen to it more than any song in any playlist of mine. So there was no way I couldn't put it in the top 10. Is it irrational yes, but I don't care. Yes it is pretty shallow lyrically, but the instrumentals and production are flawless, which is next to impossible to do. Style captures everything of the 1989 era I adore, irresistible melodies, 80's appreciation. This is one of the only songs that don't really have a bridge. But it doesn't need it, it's not a story, its an emotional rush. I lose all of my inhibitions when listening to this song. I never do that, even to songs I relate to so hard. For 6 long years no song has been able to touch, no artist could claim the spot, not Eric Church, Cody Jinks, Luke Combs or Tyler Childers not even Castle On The Hill which is my favorite pop song, and chances are its going to stay that way for a long time or possibly forever. 2. Blank Space (1989) Without a doubt the best song about her reputation. While not flawlessly produced, it is a flawless pop song. It is her best pop song by far. It is sassy, well written, produced and great story wise. Some might complain of why these 2 pop songs are so high, but 80% of the top 10 are country songs, well 70% if you don't count State Of Grace. This is my opinion and I will be honest, I'm not going to pander to certain audiences, this is just how I view it. Blank Space is one of those songs where you could release it any time and it will always cement itself as a timeless classic, the are very few songs capable of doing that. For years people questioned her date life, complained and this is the only time she look the low ground and came out triumphant. For years people have taken advantage of her in relationships, that is evident with a majority of her output from Fearless to Red. But now she has all the power in a relationship, while I don't think its right, this feels like a mid way point in her story telling, she's taking jabs at the media and comes out victorious. If she wants someone gone she can do it with a snap of her fingers, its a (lord help my soul) yass queen moment. Dear god what did I just say. Still it's a great song, I'm everyone's heard it at one point, maybe even tap their foot to it who knows. It's a timeless piece of art that will be cherished for years to come. And Now The Moment You've All Been Waiting For What Is In My Opinion The Very Best Taylor Swift Song In Existence: 1. All To Well (Red) All To Well feels in a way the inverse of Dear John, Dear John talked about the dark parts of a relationship, whereas All To Well, gives us the entire package. We get the good and the bad, the good is painted into my mind like a dream, and the bad feels like a tragedy. Most people like the lyric about breaking the promise is their favorite it's great no doubt about it, I take a bit of a more weird path, I prefer the line where he's described as kid with his cheeks red, and how he used to be a kid with glasses in a twin sized bed. Giving an introduction to innocence and it makes the break up even more emotional as she makes it seem like this can work out if they try hard enough, but unfortunately she knows this situation all to well, god the songwriting on this track is damn close to flawless. And then we go back to the scarf, we've come full circle, and it feels like being hit by an emotional garbage truck. All To Well stands tall above the rest because of its emotional honesty, the most emotional I've really ever seen her. One day I'll see her perform this song live, that is on my bucket list, I've never cried to this song shockingly, like Soon You'll Get Better, but no song has tugged at my emotions this hard, not even Mr. Misunderstood, my all time favorite song. It is a masterpiece, if you've never heard this song, stop reading this. You need to hear this song. All To Well, has taken everything I loved about Taylor Swift, songwriting, honesty, production, instrumentation, vocals, and brought it all together to create a masterpiece. I may give Style, Blank Space and Tim McGraw 10/10's but if I was as critical as I could be those songs would be lower. But All To Well is an actual 10/10 through and through, and for the rest of my days be the greatest song she'll ever sing.
2020.09.27 22:33 SleepyMoonSheep21 [F4M]- Midwest/Anywhere- Curvy girl getting surgery tomorrow, Mind keeping me company? (Looking for LTR)
Imagine a road trip to nowhere in particular. Going anywhere just to explore. Maybe the two of you threw a dart at a map? Maybe you had planned to go ghost hunting in a haunted B&B... You look to your right and find a girl, shes short and very chubby with long brown hair that has seen its crazy colors in earlier years. You look at her as she belts out the lyrics to a song you have heard many many times before. Big doe eyes that have a touch of makeup to them on those "special" occasions are covered with the biggest hippie glasses you have ever seen. She has always loved the hippie aesthetic but stays far away from the mary jane portion and more on the peaceful and bubbly side with the aesthetic to keep. Once in a blue moon her arms covered in henna with designs she did herself, too skittish to go and get a real tattoo. She's always got fur all over her shawls because she loves pups (Especially her own whimsical dog) so very much... It isn't her fault that she mostly wears wool shawls and a dog who's fur seems to be magnetized to them; but still, she may as well keep a lint roller strapped to her side in a holster. It doesn't help that she loves to cuddle anything and everything, especially you (and her dog..) so once in a while you will pull a small white wisp from your sweatshirt and look to her as the culprit. She stares out the window with an old-school map in her hands, no idea how to use it with the knowledge that she's only going to use Google maps later and you smile at her. She turns to you and holds your free hand and plays with your fingers because she loves all the groves, scars and little curves of your hands. Hi~ That girl is me and i'm on the journey to look for my person.. atleast someone who will want to put up with my antics and 3AM giggles. I'm a 21 year old Female with a pale complexion and a love for the creative. Safe to say I'm plus sized, I'm considered a BBW I believe. All I know is I do look more like Adele's "before" pictures. I promise ill be very gentle when sitting in your lap!! Most of the time you will find me in either a colorful array of clothes that resemble a wannabe hippie witch, or just in sweatpants and a baggy shirt with messy hair to match~ I am always in a cuddling mood, my love language has to be physical touch and my clingy ass loves to be held and snuggled with. It gives me a feeling of comfort and safety. Normally my dog is my cuddle buddy but I think she's getting tired of watching American Horror Story, Black Mirror, Parks and Rec and How I met your mother, with me.. They grow up so fast.... I have a few different medical issues that effect me on a day to day basis. I have a fainting problem once in a while that flares up. Even so, I have a dream to be a Doula/Social WorkeArt Therapist one day and achieve my dream home and a lifelong career of helping others. I am an Empath and I care very strongly about emotions and being very transparent with the people around me who I get very close to~ That being said I am very cautious of the people I let into my life. I have been in a few abusive relationships and because of this I can be quite guarded, but I promise you! Once you crack open this little oyster, there's a bright shiny pearl waiting for you c: If you actually end up reading this far and would like to message me, I would love to hear what your favorite flower is! Because of these negative relationship-based events in my life, I have been made nervous about how my future partner will treat me, and I have my worries about love to come—being that, I hope what comes my way is love. Fortunately, I have my groovy, rose-colored glasses equipped, but now a clearer head to wear them on. What I'm looking for in a significant other is someone who is willing to provide that comfort for me. Someone who understands that I will need guidance a lot of the time, and has the patience and the heart to take the lead. This goes for in everyday life, and for our potential sex life. I need someone to guide me and make me feel very safe with intimacy before anything can blossom on that end. I would love to meet someone who would share the same dream that I have. I hope to one day have a small house surrounded by land and woods, enough space for my big muppet-looking dog(s) and a big garden for me to plant a bunch of flowers and veggies in. To find someone who would sit and listen to the rain with me. Little I love more than the sound of rain on a dreary morning. It clears my mind from anxieties and makes me very calm~ I am an ambivert but lean towards introverted (INFP) who is very comfortable being at home for long periods of time but I LOVE road trips and hope to do many in the future! I'm not a hard person to please, I don't need expensive dates or jewelry to be happy, simply a soul I can connect with and have cherish me as much as I cherish them. I know some of you graze these just to get to the juicy bits but please don't contact me if you're not serious with actually getting to know me as a person with the potential of something blossoming. In other words, get outta here fuqbois. With that being said. It should be known that I am looking for a partner who is more on the (soft) dominant side. Someone who is able to take charge, has a comforting and gentle demeanor to them is very attractive to me. Though In a bedroom side, I am interested in not-so-vanilla things. In other words! Sweet by day and a little spicy at night would be ideal 😊 As a person, I'm a groovy hippie chick who finds beauty in most everything, and I collect oddities! I love the rain, flowers (especially sunflowers & peonies), and big dogs~ I really enjoy cooking and baking as well which is one of the reasons why I am a plus sized gal. I am around 300lbs but Recently I have really put into efforts of loosing weight with this quarantine being in effect. My intentions are always good, as I am extremely empathetic and I feel with my whole heart, from the outside in as my friends say. I have a lot of emotions, and they really help me stay in tune with the world. I am very sensitive and I am a very gentle person, and always make a point to be! I am very fascinated by communes, and honestly wouldn't mind living in one~ My dream is to live in the woods somewhere, far from city life. I want to raise an extraordinary garden, with heaps of flowers and vegetation! All grown, of course, with the help of my own bee farm. Someone who knows their way around the outdoors or a farm is someone who definitely has bonus points in my eyes. Ideally am looking for someone; -Single & Monogamous, Between the ages of 21-29 who is in the US/Canada (and/or Not opposed to LDR). Seeking Long-term/Forever relationship wise. Willing to travel and take things to IRL, Not a smoker, No Kids~ Who is willing to make a home for me within themselves (and of course it will be mutual ♡). Silliness, Comfort and communication are necessities to me. I want someone who will kiss my bruises, and praise me for my accomplishments but will also laugh with me till the sun comes up. Someone who will be proud of my doodles, lose his mind over my selfies, kiss all my special spots, and love me so heartily I'm not left needing to ask myself if it's real. Definitely someone who doesn't mind me being a duckling of sorts, staying to your side and basking in your affection. Someone I can be silly with is an absolute MUST! Someone who's into more flavors than Vanilla in the bedroom (in a more dominant sense). If you want me to get specific, I really adore taller guys~ I really admire someone who could be ok with me sitting on his lap or hold me in his arms... someone who can dress to the nines with me too! Bonus points for you cuties with long faces and big noses (Facial hair is a plus)~ I would like to have a gentle dom, I also love me an artsy guy, or at least someone who'll appreciate a girl covered in paint at the end of the day c: As long as you see yourself adoring a plus sized hippie bunny babe that decorates her small woodsy home in lights, blankies, stuffies, plants, skulls, crystals, flowers and other odd things with a bunch of big ol doggos, I think we will get along beautifully c: I will give brownie points to those who include pictures of themselves and give me more than a sentence to go off of 🌼 I promise to send decent memes and old vine references~ Im looking for my best friend. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, I look forward to hearing from you!! Stay safe~ 💛
2020.09.27 18:06 CyrusWaughAll Taylor Swift Albums Ranked (2006-2020)
And now we've reached the beginning of the end of CountryMusicStuff's first appreciation week, I loved every bit of this process, even when I was stressed out with deadlines, I kept pushing forward for you guys as a community, this has been the most fun I've had with the sub in a long time and I can't wait to explore other big and underappreciated artists. After 8 albums its time to answer the big one, which album stands tall above the rest, I'd love to know your opinion, even though I'm not touching Taylor Swift for a long time after this, I'll give a little shoutout here and there when I see it fitting. A lot of people this week have come together to appreciate all the music she's put out, and I don't want it to fade away. I'm gonna announce the placements Drum Corps style because this has built up a lot of momentum over the past week, also this was not easy, a lot of these albums were highly competitive, some rose in placement, some did not, a majority of the scores were really tight, and I'm being as critical as can be, because the fanboy in me would put all these albums around 8 or 9 out of 10. In 8th Place With A Score Of 6.9/10: 8. Lover (2019) Lover is last for me, as I feel like it has a lot to offer, but it fails to be cohesive, the sound ranges from candy sounding pop, to 80's synth style, to the style of Reputation and country, it's a mess in terms of lyrics and production. There a few instances where we get the peak of Taylor's vocal performance and writing skills, but mostly it feels contrived and lazy. Also this isn't last for my disdain of the trash that is the man, the album score is the average of my song ratings, so The Man only counts for 5.5% of the score. 1 song doesn't determine where I place a record. I've seen records where I give one song a 1/10 and the rest are 8,9 or 10 out of 10, and I give it a high score. The writing and sound for a lot of the record, is kind of dated, to be honest, songs like ME! or You Need To Calm Down's sound was already done 2016 and 2017, and in 2019, the sound of music changed drastically, either trap songs by DaBaby, or mellow pop songs by Billie Eilish and Post Malone trended, I'm not saying it failed as it has sold 4 million worldwide which in the streaming era is huge, and it still landed to be the most popular album of 2019, but chart wise this album didn't land, for an artist a few years back was a head of the times it feels on this record she's playing catch up. In terms of the tracks themselves, this is the only record where I actually hate some of the tracks, them being The Man, I Think He Knows, and I Forgot That You Existed, one being dishonest lyricism and the other 2 being lazily produced and sung, normally I can pick up on something I like but not on Knows or Existed, out of context The Man is fun, but using my brain I can tell its the worst of the 3. Then we get into the decent section which is, Miss Americana, False God, You Need To Calm Down, and Death By A Thousand Cuts, these tracks are give or take, you may like the lyrics which are clever or honest, while you get bad production, like on Death By A Thousand Cuts, which is pretty descriptive but it suffers from a lot of the production concerning her vocals or in You Need To Calm Down where it is a jam, but the lyrics are lazy, and pandering, and how she keep's singing to haters and critics, why? There was a whole record dedicated to this, why do you keep bringing it up. And if you are going to, be clever about it, like Blank Space or Delicate. Then there's the good tracks that have a decent balance of both, like ME!, or Paper Rings, these tracks are often silly in their lyricism, which is okay, I'm cool with dumb silly songs, and the production really reflects the seriousness these songs lack, there are some tracks where the lyrics are so dumb and the instrumentation is advanced and beautiful, they don't fit together usually, so these tracks offer the middle lane. The great tracks are the ones where we get to see inside her head, her personal stories, such as The Archer, which actually does a good job in describing the battle of her reputation, not addressing the haters but her own personal perspective, her relationship with Alwyn is on full display with Lover, which is one of the biggest standouts of the record, where get arguably the best bridge of her career, Luke Combs does pretty good ones, but Taylor is on a whole other level, even on tracks that aren't as great, she puts a lot of effort into bridges. Her matured view point of relationships in Cornelia Street, how this relationship is getting so good, and how if they fail, she's afraid to walk that street because its a scar. And the crown jewel of the album, Soon You'll Get Better, which is dedicated to her mother diagnosed with a terminal illness, beautifully written, I can hear every emotion going through her head, and it is heartbreaking. The record offers some of her best songs, my favorite melodies and lyrics, Just because it is barely misses a 7/10, doesn't mean don't listen to it, still 80% of this record I still listen to, I judge songs intellectually, so in terms of fun, this is around 7.5 or 8, if you are getting into pop for the first time after listening to country all your life, this is a good way to enter the genre and what to expect. In 7th Place With A Score Of 7.4/10 7. Reputation (2017) Reputation is considered by many to be her worst album, and majority of the people who say that, only listened to the singles, this album's opening is supposed to break your perspective, I think it is also dated, this sound of EDM, Trap was big with people like The Chainsmokers and Imagine Dragons and they were already on the decline, but while it doesn't hold up compared to the other records, there is a lot I like on it, Taylor's songwriting skills are still here, even if vocally and instrumentally it isn't, even on the bombastic EDM I Did Something Bad, there is still quality, and personally I like the production, the overall package isn't as intelligent as I'd like it to be but by the second chorus it brings it. Even on my least favorite track This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, while pretty forgettable melodically, is really raw in the writing, detailing how people have betrayed her over the years, and highlights her feud with Kanye West, also if you're interested in the context for a majority of the songs, I highly recommend the Netflix Documentary, Miss Americana, I skip over the political nonsense, but you get to see her mind set in her modern songs especially in Lover and Reputation. The singles themselves are bombastic like Look What You Made Me Do and ...Ready For It, people's complaints are valid, it really comes down to personal preference, most people when listening to pop, tend to go for their ears rather than their brains, its easier when listening to country music, as the best of it reflect both instrumentation and lyrics, pop is a lot harder as songs for casual listeners are carried by the production, so she has my respect, for putting intellectualism in this style, the only other artist I think that used to be able to do something similar, was 21 Pilots but they've turned into a joke imo. The record really is divided into 2 parts, the dark and heavy sounding side which is all about her reputation and the other is her personal stories, which has a lot lighter production style, with songs like Gorgeous, if I were to put a song from Lover and Gorgeous together, you'd probably think they came from the same album, I tried it once, and that is what got a friend of mine to check out Reputation. Also quick side note, Her concert at Metlife Stadium 2018, is arguably the best concert I've been to, then again I've only been to 4 or 5, which were Toby Keith, Midland, Florida Georgia Line, and I wanna say David Allen Coe, I can't really remember, I was pretty young at the time and it was raining that day in Metlife. The remainder songs actually highlight her new style or throwback to previous styles from older records, my favorite of the new style being So It Goes, its semi-dirty, and I gag to That's My Kind Of Night, but So It Goes is my jam. Don't Blame Me, has a electronic bass drop gospel feel to me, and while not that great lyrically, makes up for how much on an ear worm it is. Getaway Car is a fantastic metaphor, and is a great throwback to 1989, how she talks about a man, being a getaway car, and her guilt of using him like that. Dancing With Our Hands Tied is another great example of her growing skill of unique storytelling in describing relationships. Delicate is my favorite of the entire album, and highlights how she sorta disappeared for a year in the media's eyes, and how all eyes are on her, and you get a sense of freedom when there's no one watching you, the vocals are so soothing, and the drum loop blends in so well, and according to Grady, he calls it his "Chill Jam" I completely agree, then there's the elephant in the room, Look What You Made Me Do at the time really divided the fan base, but overtime this became a beloved piece of pop culture, it is lyrically so interesting, the chorus is a turn off for people, but after listening to this track tens of times, it's become on of my favorite tracks in her entire catalog. Then the closing track New Years Day, without a doubt the best track, highlighting how true love isn't in kissing, their body, or sex, its in their actions, how something as small as cleaning up after a party does so much, Overall yes I enjoy Reputation, I encourage those scared of checking out this record, give it a listen in its entirety, it's better than you think. In 6th Place With A Score Of 7.5/10 6. Taylor Swift (2006) To all the traditionalists before you downvote this because her countriest record is placed 6th, hear me out. Yes sonically her first record is the best. As is the case for a lot of artists in Nashville during the 2000's. But lyrically, this certainly isn't her greatest. Arguably this album is revolutionary for its key role in the start of the bro era, now I'm not comparing her to bro artists, but if you pay close attention, after 2006, you begin to see a rise in her more bro like songs charting slowly. And in this record, you get all the bro tropes, like Trucks, someones eyes, jeans, dirt roads. I certainly think she did a better job at describing adjectives than most artists, I'd put her around the same level of HARDY in that aspect, but simple adjectives are simple adjectives and there's no getting around that. And while there is a lot of traditional country sounds, to help make up for this issue, around 25% of this record leans in the 2000's pop rock trend, and that lowers my opinion of a lot especially with songs like Invisible which sounds awkward vocally for me, or A Perfectly Good Heart, I think the 2 styles in both the lyricism and instrumentation don't blend together great, and similar to how I view songs like Hey Cowgirl by Randall King, the sound might be beautiful but the lyrics are still pretty simple. She was starting to write songs at 16, she hasn't really sharpened her skills yet, this is evident on tracks like I'm Only Me When I'm With You, its sweet and fun but arguably besides the instrumentation and vocals, this is a 7/10 song, and others songs like this include Cold As You, The Outside, Stay Beautiful, all great, but I think we can agree these aren't masterpieces. But while I approach this brutally in some of your eyes, there is still a lot I adore on the record. Our Song is a jam and while simplistic, that's the intention, the melody is as iconic to me as say something like Toes By Zac Brown Band. Picture To Burn is just a blast all the way through, that offer a lot more than a majority of the other tracks on the record, they let the instruments shine more often, you can tell she had a lot more fun with these 2 tracks than the others. The more mature songs signaled that the best of Taylor Swift was yet to come, Teardrops On My Guitar, A Place In This World, are the standouts for me as these are the stories I connected to more, I'm in my final year of high school and I this record feels so nostalgic. Teardrops captures a feeling we've all felt at one point of our lives, it's not that big lyrically, but it has so much emotion, it feels so raw and pure. Then there's Tim McGraw which was the prequel to one of the most iconic tracks of the 2010's Springsteen, who knows, maybe Eric Church was inspired by it to write his own perspective. Tim McGraw is captures every element I love and brings it all together, the great lyrics, the fantastic instrumentation and emotional vocal performance. Her first record may be your favorite, like I said almost all of them are close in striking distance for me, originally I had this in 5th place, but after listening to it 3 more times I came to accept that while the sound is gorgeous, there was just as much quality in her later years. In 5th Place With A Score Of 7.6/10 5. Red (2014) Red as I've said before is her most important record, which was her smooth transition of genres from country to pop, as you can tell by the ratings is a pretty good album, but while this does have the least amount of 6/10's for me, it is overwhelmed with 7/10's. 63% percent of this record is 7/10 for me. And for a pop record which I view it as, that's pretty good, it's extremely hard to make an intellectual pop record in this day and age. Most artists like Camila Cabello or Shawn Mendes while great performers don't put much brains into their songs and you're left with a 5/10 record. Red played it safe in terms of it leaning into the pop genre further than it ever did with songs like 22 and I Knew You Were Trouble. It's what I like to call a wholesome album, which is an album which intellectual and casual listeners can enjoy, songs with so much heartfelt moments, and fun moments people can universally enjoy. So the fun moments for me are definitely songs like 22 and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, 22 is more of a bubblegum anthem, and those never really have vivid imagery, but this does put me in scenarios I've been in, like breakfast at midnight, however I will never EVER!!! go to a club. So there goes the relatableness. But still that melody is impossible not to enjoy (unless you're trigger) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is my favorite of the pop tracks, I don't think she's had as much fun in a recorded track, its a jam, still had a grudge as it was pushed to country, but still a lot of 2013 singles weren't country. Stay Stay Stay, is another fun little jam that border lines pop with modern country. It is harmless, hilarious and a good time throughout all of it. The S Tier of this record lies within the the opening and ending track, which is State Of Grace, and Begin Again, State Of Grace, shows the beginning of the end for her country career. I regret never seeing this song live, I adore it, and Begin Again, is her farewell to the genre, we get everything I love in a mature Swift song, beautiful instrumentation, compelling lyrics and sensitive vocals. And then imo the best track of the record: All To Well, so well written, beautifully sung, so perfectly built up to this dramatic conclusion. Red, is the safest record she's done, but the best of the record, is some of the best Taylor Swift has to offer. In 4th Place With A Score Of 7.6/10 4. Fearless (2008) This is what I call the golden age of Taylor Swift, drawing a fine line between mature lyrics and great instrumentation. This is the second time I've seen an album average out the same score, so to break it , I counted which album had the most 9/10's and here we are. Fearless brings back to a time, where I didn't have to worry about college, who I'm going to be, all I had to worry about was band and maintaining good grades. Her voice is slowly getting deeper and I got a feeling idolism. It is was my first record Taylor Swift record and I cherish it as much as I do for Chief By Eric Church, arguably 3 records broadened my perspective of the potential of country music, them being This One's For You and these 2. I've talked so much about my love of the album and I've yet to highlight why the album is good. Definitely the simplistic parts of her writing haven't been fleshed out yet, so you have a hand full of 6/10's but they are improvements from her first record. Like Hey Stephen, to me it is clever but I find the melody extremely tedious. The Best Day, I'm sorry if you guys love this one I just don't see it, it feels too perky and you guys describe this to be over emotional, but I can't be on the same page with this. The Way I Loved You, is a bro song, her first 3 albums heavily inspired the lyrical aspect of the bro era, and I don't know whether that's a good or bad thing. Still all of these songs are good especially when I compare it to songs today. This is also her 2nd best single output for her 8 records. The singles here aren't just great for radio, their great overall. You Belong With Me is impossible not to sing along to when it comes on when we play music on the bus after a competition. This was the peak of 2000's pop. Like Robert California from the office, I don't like the Blacked Eyed Peas, I wasn't a fan of the output for a majority of these artists like Usher, or Eminem, so to hear this everywhere was amazing. White Horse is arguably the best lyrically, with how it progresses the story, but Love Story is the perfect balance those 2 songs possess. Great story production, unforgettable melodies and the best sounding song on the record. Fearless for a long time was my favorite record, it was my childhood (the parts I can remember) In 3rd Place Receiving My Bronze Medal With A Score Of 7.8/10 3. Speak Now (2010) Speak Now had the highest expectations from me, given how much I loved the previous record and for a long time I always viewed it as inferior to Fearless, it wasn't till this even where I realized its slight superiority. My only real complaint is how I'm not a big fan of the punk rock sound a few tracks had, but still the tracks were good nonetheless. For a long time I viewed this as her most mature record, where we got to see more of her life as a celebrity rather than stories from her past. There was a lot of innovation with the record as she also experimented with orchestras for the tracks Haunted and Back To December, both capturing the theme the lyrics capture, Haunted obviously bring out haunting melodies and Back To December, bring out sincereness. You could tell she relied less and less on the high school narrative, she really uses it 2 or 3 times imo. A lot of the stories are so unique and feel interconnected in what I think the album's theme is which suppression of emotion. Speak Now the title track is about expressing love to some one who is about to marry the wrong woman, this is a perfect example of suppressed emotion as she does consider this is wrong, but she's tired of hiding it. Back To December is about swallowing pride rather than making a song about the man in the relationship being the wrong, this track is about how she was. Never Grow Up show's her side that never wished she grew up, how everything that matters to her aren't selling out shows, making millions but her family, I can tell I'm in the minority when say it's my favorite track, Better Than Revenge is her unleashing all her bitterness on Joe Jonas. Mean doesn't really convey the them of suppression, but still it's MEAN. The sound of it is amazing, it's pretty goofy, but that's why I love it. Dear John is the longest and most emotional roller coaster out of any Swift song, perfectly paced, unleashing all of her emotions about what I assume to be John Mayer, but I still have my doubts, take him out of the context, doesn't do a darn thing, I love this song just as much. Normally long songs eventually get me bored, but not Dear John I am moved by its haunting somber melody, the build up to her powerful vocals and one of her most compelling stories. Dear John while not my favorite, is what universally unites all fans of this record. This is currently the best country record she's ever made, who knows, Red is creeping up in appreciation, I learn a new detail every time I listen to a Taylor Swift record, so a year from now this record could be 5th or 6th or 2nd or 1st. Receiving My Silver Medal With A Score Of 8/10 2. folklore (2020) I don't think many people realize how much of a game changer this record is. I've argued Taylor has played catch up with Reputation and Lover, but once again she's ahead of the game. This blends several genres at once, country, soft jazz, rock, folk, pop and it doesn't feel disjointed. Without a doubt the most mature and well written record of her career as of now. If folklore was a country album, and given today's standards it is, I'd put it as the #1 album in the mainstream even above Never will by Ashley McBryde, the current leader of this year. Every single song is a fantastic album cut, it has changed the game for how she writes her songs, she's taken new perspective when singing about how she keeps up with appearances, new perspectives in break up and high school songs. The Saltbox House Chapter is a story line the spans off 4 songs, I don't remember the last time something like this has been tried, I'm sure it has but it's been a hell of a long time. The weakest song on this track is still something with so much effort put in, Seven's only major issues are vocal and melodical, lyrically it tells the story of a forgotten friend, and she can remember everything but her physical details. One great example of new ways of writing about her reputation, is The Last Great American Dynasty, instead of talking about herself which she's prone to do a lot. She sings about others and in this case, her Rhode Island home's previous owner. It's very compelling and one of my favorite lyrically, but similar to how much I love Round Here Buzz, the percussion here is too big of a problem. The 1 definitely feels like an outlier, as it doesn't really go in the theme of the saltbox house story line, or her new perspective of her appearance. But still it's fun to listen to. I can picture myself walking through grey skies in downtown for school listening to this record. When I walk alone, I like to be alone with my thoughts and this record allows me to reach that state, even simple songs like this one. Her songs about her and Alwyn are so wholesome, Invisible String is all about how an invisible string tied them together and they didn't know it. Little details of where they would've met earlier, places they've been to. Peace is about how while they are together, people will always look for cracks to get a story, and he doesn't are if its peaceful. Alwyn seems like the one for Taylor and I hope they last, he's better than everyone she's ever been with. I wouldn't be shocked if an engagement would be announced in the next few months as this song has finally brought her full circle as she's finally ready to commit, after everything she's been through. Mirrorball tugs at my heartstrings more than any song on the record, how she's giving everything she has in her songs, and each detail of heartbreaking her life is a crack in a disco ball. The world of music is heading into 2 directions, the trap path, which is a young generation singing in vulgar. The Saltbox House Chapter is undeniably the best part of the record, Cardigan, is a great lead single, while not my favorite, it deserves a Grammy nomination, as does the record, most can agree 2020, was mostly a trash year for pop/r&b/hip-hop/etc, and country music is actually getting good, with quality returning more and more with people like Maddie & Tae and Ingrid Andress. August my 3rd favorite track, fills the gaps left in cardigan. We get the details of how James was seduced, how this unnamed lover felt, her joy, her guilt, and sadness. This is Taylor Swift in her prime, something she's hasn't really been in for 6 years. Betty, which is climbing faster than New Years Day, or Soon You'll Get Better ever did, is becoming a defining part of country music for 2020. Betty was the entire reason appreciation week happened, after I was done smashing stuff after the load of crap that was the ACM awards, I reminded myself of how perfect Taylor's return was. Betty in terms of structure is 2020's love story, great storytelling and the key change implies a happy ending. But Illicit Affairs takes it over the top where we get the perspective of James and the unnamed girl, every dirty vivid detail on full display. Folklore brought back the Taylor I knew as a kid, she's changed drastically in the past 14 years, and this is a sign of maturity I can respect, I do have my problems with her but this isn't the place to discuss them nor do they damage my perspective of how talented and heartwarming she is. Folklore isn't going to be for everyone, this is an intellectual album, there isn't a jam piece like ME! or Delicate, its her being the best version of herself on full display for the world to see. And Finally In First Place Receiving My Gold Medal With A Score Of 8.8/10 1. 1989 (2014) To put it simply 1989, is one of the greatest records ever made, I use 3 lines when I describe my praise in reviews like this and that's favorite, best and finally greatest, favorite is pretty simple, I like this song in a non-intellectual manner, it's great not in critical aspects and mostly relies on earworm melodies and licks. Examples are Tequila, or Marry Me. Best is what I use to describe what is critically great. How good is the instrumentation, the lyrics, vocals, production, examples of Best are Mr. Misunderstood, Seneca and Heartache Medication, Greatest is a combination of both but with a 3rd factor, and that is revolutionizing music all together. 1989 broke music, starting a trend that would bring me back into the pop world after I abandoned it around 2009. 1989 would change the songwriting styles and production value of many albums for years to come, in away its the here's to the good times for pop music, difference is this would improve the genre over time, not damage it. 1989 simply is a perfect pop record. Now I say perfect pop record, not perfect album there are problems with it, but a perfect pop album, to me is an album with an engaging sound, unforgettable melodies, rhythmically well tuned lyrics, and great vocal production. 1989 even its weakest moments accomplishes everything. The opening track Welcome To New York, engages you into a thrilling setting, I'm about 15 minutes away from NYC, and while most of it is a rat hole, my first real experience by myself was this song, it is an instant classic, and I'm still mad it wasn't pushed as a single. When I take off for college this is my theme song when I leave as chances are I'm moving to New York to study Music Education. Up until folklore 1989 handled her songs about her you know what (I'm sick of using that word) Out Of The Woods, is about her wondering if she can finally relax with whoever she was dating at the time, as the paparazzi made it their mission to sniff around her personal life. I Wish You Would, while my least favorite is still a great song that probably would've hit #1 like every other single released on here. The irony of song feels so realistic, as the awkwardness and fear of a breakup can make our minds run wild of what the other is thinking, yes both Woods and Would are pretty repetitive in their melody but still they are great pop songs, compared to other songs trending in 2014, Ariana Grande is not my cup of tea, I'll never listen to her unless it's a song from Victorious. Bang Bang was mediocre at best, the literal garbage that is Anaconda. The only artists that really caught my interest was Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran, and really only their singles did, this whole record captured me. All You Had To Do Was Stay marks the line from the good to the great pop songs, those are jams, but Stay highlights realistic issues in a fun manner, the toughest part of relationship is arguably enduring. And by leaving you show you're not ready and not the one. This Love, could arguably be called a country song, if you use 2010 standards, its beautiful if not a bit repetitive. The only real issue the record has is how repetitive the record can get in terms of lyrics. Clean is my least favorite in terms of production and percussion, but still great lyrical messaging of how going through a breakup is like ripping off a band-aid, it will hurt no matter what, the best you can do is endure the pain and once it passes you'll clean and free of most of the pain. I Know The Places was the first hint of the reputation era, and it's all about escaping the media vultures. Pretty simple messaging, but pretty descriptive in it's rap verses. Her metaphors are well put, how they are foxes, and they will hunt them down. How You Get The Girl is another synth smash, giving simple dating advice, for both short and long term. It's a jam and honestly nothing more, with a little bit story driven details sprinkled in. But the biggest reason this record is #1 and stands tall above the rest is the big 5: Shake It Off, Blank Space, Bad Blood, Style, and Wildest Dreams. One of the greatest single outputs ever in the history of music. Most lead singles sell around 2-3 million, and the other generic ones make around 800k. In 1989, 1 surpassed 12 million 3 surpassed 5 million and 1 passed 3 million. The only record last decade to surpass it in numbers was 21 by Adele, and it's Adele, who is extremely tough to beat, and in terms of single output I still prefer this over 21. The only album that I probably enjoy more in terms of singles in the pop world is ÷ by Ed Sheeran, and even then, you can tell in terms of a lot of the album process this record was heavily inspired by 1989. Bad Blood is my least favorite as its the most repetitive of the bunch and while Kendrick Lamar spiced it up it didn't change my view as much. Still that opening intro is fantastic, it's what Reputation wish it could be in terms of sound. Still salty we didn't play this in Marching Band. And even so lyrically a lot of interesting stuff is going on especially in the bridge. Shake It Off while never holding up to its standard is one her best jams, alongside New York, 22 and Delicate. Some people don't like the douche like bridge, I can understand and respect that, but I act like such a kid when singing along to it. For once I thought she's rising above it all, (boy what a lie that was!) Wildest Dreams restructured the sound of a lot of slow tempo contemporary ballads. It's beautifully sung, and gives off the emotion of pleasurable guilt, I can see the influence of Lana Del Rey, and that and this 80's synth remaster give the perfect combination. Style is the best song in terms of production, nothing over the past 14 years has been able to claim that title. For about 3 years it was my favorite pop song only being surpassed by Castle On The Hill. But still I listen to this track more than any Luke Combs song, Eric Church song, or any other song from indie and Texas artist. Style gives me an emotional rush, some of y'all will be pissed with how high I rate it tomorrow, as the lyrics I admit aren't substantive, but the production is something I haven't let go of for 6 long years, Blank Space is the best of the 5 and the record as while not a return to form sonically, it is a return in terms of storytelling. Brief little details of how she behaves, her next boyfriend, highlighting and summarizing every relationship she's ever been up till 2016. No one has truly escaped her wrath in songwriting, it is arguably her peak in pop, and I'm still considering where it will end up on my list. I do acknowledge when I praise this record it has it's problems, most are in terms of lyrical maturity, I gave it a 8.8/10, if I wasn't as critical as I was put this record around 9.3/10. There are better records out there like Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves, The Tree by Lori McKenna, but while they are better critically in my eyes, I'll be honest, I would choose this record a thousand times. This record has one thing they don't, this record is unforgettable, if I live to 70 or 80, the 3 records that will always stay with me are Mr. Misunderstood, Seneca and 1989. Fearless is the golden age of Taylor Swift, Red is her most important record, Folklore is her most mature record, but 1989 is her Magnum Opus. It defied all of my expectations with how she handled Red, Mr. Misunderstood is the best mainstream country record of the decade in my eyes, 1989 is the not only the best pop record of this decade, but one of best of the century regardless of genre. It revolutionized the sound of music, changing it for the better, brought me back to a genre I abandoned for shallowness in every aspect, it somehow reignited that spark it had missed for several years. And that's why to me it is the crown achievement of Taylor Swift.
2020.09.26 00:44 larki18Interview with Brandon in Hot Press: "All Killer, No Filler"
Whilst buzzing with new album excitement - kd lang, Weyes Blood and Lindsey Buckingham are among those who helped his band score yet another No 1 - Brandon Flowers is sickened by the state of the American nation and praying for a Biden victory in November. He talks heroes and villains (thankfully there's more of the former) with Stuart Clark. He hasn't seen any little girls riding tricycles down corridors or maniacally typed 'All work and no play makes Brandon a dull boy' a gazillion times whilst possessed by a demon, but otherwise life during lockdown for The Killers lead singer has been a lot like The Shining. "Yeah, we've been away from everything and everyone up here in the Utah mountains, which when all of this craziness started in March and April were covered in snow," laughs Brandon, who, with there being nothing quite as romantic as a Hot Press interview, is curled up on the couch with his wife Tana Mundkowsky. "It is a bit like The Shining. We've done okay, though. Well, apart from the home schooling. That was a disaster!" So his three pupils, Ammon (12), Gunnar (ten) and Henry (nine) gave Mr. Flowers a hard time. "No, we're just really bad teachers," he grimaces. "I tried the piano a little bit with them and it didn't go down very well. Our oldest boy was able to navigate it - he's more independent - so that was nice but the other two had a tough time." Asked whether he was a model pupil himself, Brandon gives me a withering "are you kidding?" look and says, "No, I wasn't a great student. It was before they were really handing out ADD diagnoses and I had a touch of that for sure. It feels like such a long time for kids to be sitting at a desk. I can't remember a time that I didn't really struggle." How bad did it get? "I missed most of sixth grade. I was having a hard time at school and we moved from one town in Utah to another one thirty miles away. We were doing a bunch of renovating at home, which was a nice experience. My Dad always had the oldies station on when I was a kid, so I discovered a lot of great music early on. I'm kind of equating what's happening with my kids now to that - hopefully we're bonding the way I did with my Dad. We've talked before, haven't we?" Yep, twice in 2004 just before and immediately after The Killers' debut Hot Fuss went to number one in a pile of countries including Ireland (see page 24). It's fair to say that Brandon's life since then has not been dull. We'll run through some of the many highlights later but first to the not inconsiderable matter of Imploding the Mirage, the band's eighth studio album, which has also claimed the top spot on both sides of the Irish Sea. It's an, ahem, all Killers, no filler affair with a guest list that includes Lindsey Buckingham whose six-string participation in Caution is one of the numerous highlights. Was he still smarting at being booted out of Fleetwood Mac last year? "Um..I think he was just, you know, happy to get the call," Brandon says diplomatically. "I can't speak to the problems within Fleetwood Mac but from our short encounter...I blame everyone else! We recorded that a couple of months before lockdown so we got to share a studio, which I loved, and afterwards go to dinner. He was open to everything. We felt like we needed something for the end of Caution and to hear Lindsey deliver his solo like he did is something we'll remember forever." Was there a money song they nailed and thought, "We're okay, we have that one in the bad, the rest will follow"? "I think Bono once said, 'If you aren't sure what your second single is, you don't have one,'" he reflects. "There's another great quote from [legendary Queen producer] Roy Thomas Baker which is "There's no such thing as a bad mix of a good song." So these things were swirling around my head - 'Maybe Caution isn't good enough.' So I kind of went and forced My Own Soul's Warning out of the universe. I knew I was really proud of that one, and then we came up with Running Towards a Place and Blowback, and I was really like, 'I can walk with my head held high now.' A kitchen-sink drama about a 'born into poor white trash' girl leaving home on the bus - it's so cinematic the screenplay writes itself - Blowback features Adam Granduciel, which I'm assuming is code for just dicking around in the studio. "No, he does a great synthesizer on the second verse, and a really cool slide part on the chorus in the counter melody, which he took and applied effects to," Brandon says, sticking up for his new studio buddy. Whose idea was it to also throw a bit of Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle's Chicago house classic, Your Love, into the Blowback mix? "Did you pick up on that?" I knew it was something I'd bopped around to during my chronically ill spent youth, but no, I had to wait for the nice record company person to mail me the credits, which also confirm the sampled presence of Krautrock legends Can on Dying Breed. "I wouldn't sit around listening to them all the time, but I know about Can's impact on a lot of the music that's shaped me. They're in our DNA. That song was going down a very particular road, but the sample opened it up. As for the Frankie Knuckles one, that was Shawn Everett's idea." Everett being the quintuple Grammy Award-winning Canadian who co-produced Imploding the Mirage with Foxygen's Jonathan Rado. He previously shared a studio with Bob Dylan, as did another album contributor, Blake Mills, who plays guitar on The Big Zim's Rough and Rowdy Ways. Did he give Brandon and the boys the nod that a new Dylan record was on its way? "No, he kept his cards quite close. Only a few people knew Murder Most Foul came out and I thought it was going to be a one-off. And then we started getting more singles. I really love I Contain Multitudes. Gosh, that song just floors me." Murder Most Foul feels like doing round to Bob's house and flicking through his records and his DVDs. It's 17 minutes long and too short. "Yeah, I loved it," Brandon enthuses. "What a song to come back with - especially during lockdown." Dylan dropped Murder Most Foul just after we'd seen Bono sing Let Your Love Be Known in his living room after very obviously staying up all night, and just prior to Michael Stipe debuting No Time For Love Like Now (there's a theme developing here) in his own not-so-humble-abode. It's interesting how many big artists thought, 'All bets are off, let's just get it out there,' during the height of the pandemic. "Yeah, necessity is the mother of invention," Brandon nods. "The first performance of Caution ended up being for our friend Jimmy Kimmel. It's just me and Ronnie in a bathroom. No amplifier, no effects, no Auto-Tune. It forces you to prove yourself in a different way, so it's been interesting." Lockdown also found The Killers performing a poignantly paired down version of Land of the Free, their 2019 standalone, which reacts to the murder of George Floyd with the updated lines: 'When I go out in my car, I don't think twice/But if you're the wrong color skin/You grow up looking over both your shoulders/in the land of the free/How many killings must one man watch in his home/Til he sees the price on the tag?/Eight measured minutes and 46 seconds/Another boy in the bag/Another stain on the flag." Like Bruce Springsteen's American Skin (41 Shots) before it, it's a damning indictment of the institutionalized racism that blights US law enforcement. "We did it in Provo, in a great studio, June Audio, which is about an hour from where I live, Brandon adds soberly, "I just felt compelled to rework it and document it. I was broke. I believe it was the CNN video. I cried on my couch watching it. I couldn't believe that people weren't rioting already. I thought that first night that things were going to start burning - and they did. It simmered for a minute before they went onto the streets." Depressingly, Provo was also where the 15,000-strong Utah Citizens Alarm militia staged its first anti-Black Lives Matter counter demonstration, which resulted in the shooting of a passing motorist. The fallout is still being felt statewide. "You get people coming out of the woodwork for strange things like that," Brandon rues. "They're worried about their guns being taken away from them. Whole campaigns are run on issues like that." Does Brandon regard Trump vs. Biden as the most important election he's been able to vote in? "I think so. You know, four years before was important and my wife and I voted for Hilary Clinton. We deserve more from our leaders. It's sad that democracy has led to this, and that celebrity has gone this far." Having done some top quality digressing, let us return to Imploding the Mirage, which with Lucius, Weyes Blood and a certain catherine dawn lang also on the guest list is purposefully not The Killers boys' club of old. "The women being on there was a very pre-determined thing we wanted to do because we had the album cover picked out long before we finished recording," Brandon explains. "It's a painting by Thomas Blackshear of these two celestial beings, so it needed to have a female component. We started thinking about women who might work, and came up with Lucius who are great singers and toured with Roger Waters; Weyes who'd just made a record with Rado - her bridge on My God is so beautiful, and then because I needed someone to basically represent my mother on Lightning Fields, kd lang." Was she told that when they were selling the song to her? "No, she still doesn't know that," he says a tad guiltily. "It was my late mother talking to my dad. It was during quarantine so she was up in Canada and sent it in. It ended up being great. She's iconic, and it was so gracious of her to lend her voice to us." As I mentioned in my Imploding the Mirage album review, it's a peach of a song with a half-inched Pet Shop Boys intro giving way to a barrage of synths and guitars of the squalling maelstrom variety. Brandon is great but lang is even better as she belts out her Mrs. Flowers verses - "Don't beat yourself up/You laid good ground/Look at 'em walk from scratch to sundown/You put in the work and then some/Where is all this coming from?" with 80s AQR gusto. It's another example of Brandon painting his characters in an almost Springsteenian way. "I was lucky enough to get to Bruce's Broadway show and it was just the best," he coos. "To do that and Western Stars and the autobiography at this stage in his career gives us all hope. His work rate is phenomenal. It's almost an addiction. You don't want to take the opportunity for granted. It becomes part of your DNA and your identity." Bruce's film version of Western Stars is part of The Killers' reason for working with Muse and Halsey director Sing Lee on their own Imploding the Mirage short. "It's going to be 30 minutes long and feature Caution and snippets of other songs," is all a spoiler-avoiding Brandon will say for now. Given Lee's past output, it's likely to mirror the epic widescreen feel of the record - and then some. I happened on a Youtube clip the other day of Brandon grinning like a kid at Christmas as he belts out Thunder Road with The Boss. One of the best moments of his life? "It's up there," he reminisces fondly. "It was 2008 and we were on the same Pinkpop festival bill as him and the E- Street Band in Holland. I looked over during Mr. Brightside and behind our sound engineer you saw these Aviators and a very familiar countenance nodding along. We finished the set and walking back to the dressing rooms with Bruce, he said, 'Do you wanna do a little Thunder Road later?' It was just a dream. My favorite part was the preparing for it. I got to go back to his dressing room and we chose which verses we were going to sing. It was almost like a test, you know? I knew all the lyrics by heart and I wrote them by hand, and he helped me me mark up which parts he would sing and which ones I would sing. We got a guitar and worked it out. That behind the scenes moment was very special. I didn't really have time to feel nervous. If it had been suggested a day or two before I don't know if I could have made it!" Before we let Brandon and Tana snuggle up properly on the sofa - two's company, three when one's a journo is definitely a crowd - what have been his other 'pinch me, am I dreaming' moments? "In the early days, it was things like being recognized by people you admire," he concludes. "Getting to open for U2 on the first album. Or Morrissey. That was like, 'How did this happen?' These are people who I still had posters of on my wall. Glastonbury 2019 was a special gig for us. I was just really proud and thankful for everything. It felt full circle. That was a great moment." ------ THROWBACK - THE FANNISH INQUISITION Brandon Flowers has always been upfront about The Killers' influences - and especially when talking to Hot Press! You can tell from the vastness of his Utah mountain retreat and the cut of his designer cobbler that Brandon Flowers has done extremely well in life, but in some ways he's still the same shy 22 year old with a nervous giggle and the serious musical hots for The Cars, he Beatles, U2, The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, and Oass - roughly in that order - that I met for the first time backstage in 2004 at Oxegen. Hot Fuss had only been out a few weeks and, while there was a buzz about them topping the Saturday New Band stage with Halie, Sone & Daughters and Razorlight on the undercard, there was no indication that some of the world's biggest stadiums awaited. If we hadn't mislaid the video of it, you'd be able to see the brilliant bit in the interview when a drunken punter who'd managed to sneak past security, staggered over to us and initiated this conversation: Drunken punter: "Are you in a band?" Brandon: "Yeah." Drunken punter: "Whassyername?" Brandon: "The Killers." Drunken punter: "The Killers? Ah, yer a bag of shite!" I think we know who had the last laugh there. "There's a bit of 'The grass is always greener' going on, yeah," Brandon, who I noted had a bit of the Matt Damon about him, agreed when I accused him of being an Anglophile. "We've never thought, 'Oh, we wish we were British,' but the music from The Beatles all the way up has always been really good. Hearing The Cure's Head on the Door for the first time was pretty special, and The Joshua Tree was a big record for us. I was inside the heart the last time U2 played Las Vegas, which was amazing (Before Angry in Athlone writes in, Brandon does know that U2 are Irish, Editor). "Our guitarist, Dave, placed a 'Musician Wanted' ad mentioning Oasis, which came directly after me seeing them in Vegas as well, and deciding that's the direction I want to take. A couple of weeks later we were a band." Asked whether he'd met any of his heroes, Brandon beamed and said, "Morrissey stood right next to me at soundcheck when we opened for him in LA. You've looked up to this guy since you were twelve and there he is eyeballing you." By the time our paths crossed again in early December in the penthouse (natch) of Dublin's Clarion hotel, The Killers really were living the rock 'n' rock dream. "It's been one amazing thing after another," he gushed. "Gold discs, being sat between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Geri Halliwell on The Jonathan Ross Show and looking up at Irving Plaza in New York and seeing David Bowie singing along to Mr. Brightside. I couldn't believe it! Afterwards he complimented every single one of us individually, and said that he could hear the whole history of rock 'n' rock in our songs. He's a hell of a musician and a hell of a nice guy. Elton John's the same - he's actually coming to our Manchester show tomorrow which is a follow on from us doing a TV special with him in Paris." He almost started hyperventilating when I took him out on to the balcony, pointed at U2's former Hanover Quay HQ on the other side of the Liffey, and told him they were just about to announce their own branded iPod (remember them?) "Man, that'd be so fucking cool!" he enthused. "The first thing I'd stick on it is the U2 Digital Complete Works followed by John Lennon Imagine, David Bowie Hunky Dory, Morrissey Vauxhall & I and The Cure Head on the Door. Those are the records I'd go into a burning house to rescue." Brandon was in fan mode again when he finished by saying: "Watching Smiths videos with my brother when I was 12 and hearing Just What I Needed by The Cars on the radio are the two main reasons I got into music. As far as I'm concerned, Ric Ocasek is God!"
2020.09.25 18:19 KieselguhrKid13Gravity's Rainbow Group Read Sections 62-65 Week 19
Howdy, folks! Stepping in this week as pinch-hitter, so I'm still finishing out the discussion post. However, since I'm sure some of you are anxious to start discussing this week's thoroughly fascinating sections, I'm posting now with some introductory thoughts and discussion questions to get things started. I will update this to include discussion notes for the individual sections this evening! "What?" - Richard M. Nixon Thus begins The Counterforce, the final book of Gravity's Rainbow. Interestingly, that wasn't the original epigraphs. Before Watergate hit, Pynchon had the following lyrics from Joni Mitchell's song "Cactus Tree" featured.
She has brought them to her senses, They have laughed inside her laughter; Now she rallies her defenses, For she fears that one will ask her For eternity And she's so busy being free."
I think that last line in particular relates to Katje's conversation with Enzian in section 65, but we'll get to that. Section 62 We open with Slothrop being woken up by the sound of none other than our old friend, Pirate Prentice, buzzing overhead in a P-47 Thunderbolt, aka a "Jug". It's an older model, "one with a greenhouse canopy" - just like in the beginning when he was harvesting bananas, Pirate finds himself in a greenhouse. 'Cept this time, he's having a bit of a conversation with Katje's dodo-killing ancestor, Frans van der Groov, musing over the nature of wind and windmills-as-mandalas. I'll pause to note another possible Waste Land reference here that admittedly may be a stretch, but this is Pynchon we're talking about here, so it's entirely plausible. In Section II: A Game of Chess, we see the lines, "yet there the nightingale / Filled all the desert with inviolable voice / And still she cried, and still the world pursues, / “Jug Jug” to dirty ears." The nightingale story being that of Philomela, who was raped by her sister's husband, king Tereus. She managed to get revenge via her sister, and the two were transformed by the gods into birds - Philomela into a nightingale. The connection becomes less tenuous when you consider how this is a story of preterite vs elect, with the preterite actually managing to strike back for once. So flying a plane nicknamed the "Jug" fits Pirate's counterforce rather well, no? We then shift to Gustav and Säure, discussing a game of chess. Gustav is focused on "moving beyond the game, to the Row" (in Chess, if a piece makes it all the way to the opponent's back row it can become any piece, including a queen). Gustav sees the Row as "enlightenment"; however, Säure is a bit more disillusioned and recognizes the Row for what it is - "another game." Säure recognizes everything as a game - so if he's going to be stuck playing games, he can at least choose which game he plays - hence is taste in music and his propensity for narcotics. We'll see this idea spring up again later when Pirate discusses paranoia with Mexico. Back to Slothrop now, who's washing his harmonica in a stream. Bafflingly, it is the very same harmonica that fell down the toilet that night at the Roseland Ballroom, though who knows how... Slothrop is holed up in the mountains, playing the role of the Hermit in what honestly seems to be a pretty pleasant lifestyle. Before recovering the harmonica, he stumbled upon (?!) a set of bagpipes and taught himself to play. His music seems to have prompted someone to leave offerings of food, though whether the offering is a "thank-you" or a plea to stop with the bagpipes is a mystery. He takes the hint and stops playing, and finds his harmonica the next day. In keeping with his new hermit lifestyle, he's letting his hair and beard grow out, laying naked in the grass and being one with nature. Honestly, I keep thinking how nice that life sounds, especially with how this year's going in the US... But much as Slothrop's embraced a return to nature, there's still part of him, the American part, that just can't let go of the dream of somehow finding a way back to his home country. He's hooked on the ideal, the promise of America, even though she is "immune to [her citizen's] small, stupid questions" because they "have no rights." (623) He's also a bit stuck, still, on the question of Jamf and his own childhood, but he knows that any form of putting his head out carries risk. As the Hermit, he's searching for illumination, but just one step at a time. Already, he's become one of the Zone's legends - he finds a graffito of "Rocketman was here" and next to it, almost without thinking, he draws the mandala of the rocket. He starts to see fourfold mandalas everywhere. from windmills to swastikas, even becoming one as he lays "spread-eagled" in the sun, "becom[ing] a cross himself, a crossroads, a living intersection" where a criminal was hung and a mandrake grew. Mandrake, being magical, used to be taken by magicians so they could make their money multiply, but did they ever take inflation into consideration? Thankfully the Committee on Idiopathic Archetypes steps in to remind said Magician of the broader economic disadvantages to such folk magic. Anyway, Slothrop's now fully transfigured into The Fool (not as bad as it sounds - think new beginnings, innocence, a free spirit). The zero card of the Tarot. Since it's the zero card, apparently, it "does not have a specific place in the sequence of the Tarot cards. The Fool can be placed either at the beginning of the Major Arcana or at the end. The Major Arcana is often considered the Fool’s journey through life and as such, he is ever present and therefore needs no number." (https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/fool/). Gosh, sound like anyone we know? And what of the Magician we just encountered? Well, turns out he's the one card, signifying new beginnings and the "connection between the spiritual realms and the material realms" which he uses to "manifest his goals in the physical realm" (https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/magician/). I'll add, too, that Weisenburger has a brilliant note on Slothrop's astrological chart based on the line, "Past Slothrops, say averaging one a day, ten thousand of them." (624). Turns out that would place his birthday on March 21, 1918 - on the cusp of the Vernal Equinox (spring, rebirth, the return to the living part of the great cycle). Not only that, but the "midheaven of Slothrop's chart would be a perfect zero" and his whole chart aparently is perfectly balanced - a "motif of opposites held in equipoise" - a mandala, in other words. (Weisenburger, 327). Good lord, Pynchon is either insanely thorough or super lucky with how that turned out, and I've gotta lean on the side of that being deliberate. Section 63 We've finally rejoined Roger Mexico! Though he's not in the best of states anymore, Jessica having finally called off their wartime romance and settled back into "normal life" with Jeremy. Strangely, his car is full of jars of baby food in colors reminiscent of Mrs. Quoad's pre-war British candies, but he feels it's better not to ask where the jars keep rolling out from. Seems Roger still feels some duty to poor Slothrop, who's been abandoned in the Zone, though Jessica is happy to put them both safely away in her past. But Jessica seems a bit optimistic here - "But, 'Roger,' she'd smile, 'it's spring. We're at peace." (628). But no, that's just "another bit of propaganda." It's the illusion of spring, but there's no true rebirth here - just a different form of war, a more subtle, hidden version. Because waste lands like this one have broken the natural death-rebirth cycle in favor of an artificially long life, at the cost of a slow, wasting death with no return. Roger's gone a bit mad from his break with Jessica, his realization of being manipulated by Pointsman, and his new insight into the degree of cooperation between industry and military, even before the war, and certainly after. So what's a man to do? Well, crash into Twelfth House and assault both Géza Rózsavölgyi and a poor German secretary via a truly deranged psychological campaign that manages to break them both into pointing him in the direction of Pointsman, in Mossmoon's office. Roger breaks into a meeting of some high-level government and corporate folks, stands on the meeting desk, and proceeds to take a piss on them. Then cue an exciting chase scene for the action enthusiasts, and Roger makes his exit to go meet up with Pirate Prentice. Prentice seems amused by Mexico's amateur-paranoid attempt at striking back against Them, and proceeds to school Roger in a more mature form of paranoid systems, explaining that, in the face of a "well-developed 'They-system'" one must develop a "We-system" comprised of delusions of unity and the ability to strike back. Prentice explains:
Needless to say, 'delusions; are always officially defined. We don't have to worry about questions of real or unreal. They only talk out of expediency. It's the system that matters. How the data arrange themselves inside it. Some are consistent, others fall apart. (638)
Mexico counters that "you're playing Their game, then," to which Prentice explains, "Don't let it bother you. You'll find you can operate quite well. Seeing as we haven't won yet, it isn't really much of a problem." (638) Then, after a dizzying scene of defiance against Their orderly, rational system, that sees Nora Dodson-Truck set upon by visions of freaks, fluorescent Jesus, and elephant soixante-neuf, we are treated to a song that encompasses the Counterforce in its final line: "it isn't a resistance, it's a war." (Incidentally, during the Pynchon in the time of Covid reading of GR, someone did an absolutely bang-up rendition of this song - anyone remember which video that was?) Section 64 We're now introduced to Pfc. Eddie Pensiero, who's the company's benzedrine-fueled barber. His friend Paddy McGonigle is an example of "those million virtuous and adjusted city poor you know from the movies" (641) - think the merry, dancing immigrants in the bowels of the Titanic - the good obedient preterite who have embraced their lot in life (and who, incidentally, probably did not get first, or even second, dibs on the lifeboats...) This being the Zone, power is still limited, so the lone lightbulb is powered by McGonigle hand-cranking a generator. Though the bulb seems to be providing steady illumination, it is in fact subtly pulsing based on the speed at which Paddy cranks. A series of slivers with a ∆t approaching zero creating the illusion of a greater whole. Just like Slothrop's daily iterations of self, just like the minute course adjustments made by the rocket. To the tune of Slothrop's distant harmonica, Eddie commences cutting the colonel's hair, prompting an immediate, unfiltered monologue. If you've ever seen Waiting for Godot, this reminded me of the character of Lucky who is silent until his hat is removed and who then begins reciting endless philosophical musings. The colonel seems fixated on sharing his journey up a concrete mountain of rubble, dodging arms of black rebar. The image is almost like a close-up of a scalp, with black hairs poking out. In this vision/story/? we witness a dialogue between Skippy (the colonel?) and Mister Information, who kindly explains the idea of forking paths of probability, and the pointsman (Pointsman?!) who "is a nice man" "wearing a white hood" who controls these points of inflection, of branching, that determine if we go to Happyville or Pain City. It's about as ominous a vision as GR can present - the white hood imagery bringing to mind both the Klan and possibly an executioner or judge. Not exactly who we want in control, is he? And apparently even pre- and post-war, "the dying tapers off now and then" but the real War, the endless War, carries on and kills people "in more subtle ways. Often in ways that are too complicated, even for us, at this level, to trace." (645). Think of the nature of violence - not direct, obvious "stab you in the gut" violence, but slow, invisible violence - the kind the State likes to enact. Racial segregation, building chemical plants in the poor parts of town, running a highway through a previously-thriving neighborhood, choosing which laws to enforce, and who to enforce them against, denying people vital healthcare, letting hundreds of thousands of people die from a pandemic. That's all violence - just the invisible kind we don't see. The slow, wasting kind that drags people down. And if only we could just eliminate all those undesirables, those preterite swine, completely? "Wouldn't it be nice..."? Seems the Germans weren't all that original, just more direct, more hasty. Then our pal Skippy (the colonel?) gets taken to Happyville, by an amicable robot crab (Cancer) that throws out quips like it was made by those bastards as the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and I'll be damned if that didn't inspire Douglass Adams when he wrote Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Cut back to the colonel's haircut, and we are informed that that flickering lightbulb is none other than Byron the Bulb, preterite hero and immortal lightbulb. (If you hadn't noticed a significant number of mentions of lightbulbs throughout this book on this read-through, you will on your next.) Turns out there's a real, honest-to-goodness conspiracy to fix the energy usage and lifespan of lightbulbs by the Phoebus Cartel (look it up - it's real). They've worked to find the perfect balance between using up energy to keep the power company happy and lasting jusssst long enough to keep customers from complaining. Well, Byron, being immortal, wants to inspire a lightbulb revolution - a guerrilla campaign where lightbulbs take out humans in revenge for their artificially-shortened lifespans. But turns out, the cartel's a lot more powerful than one little lightbulb, immortal or not, and they send a hit man out for Byron. But Byron escapes through a series of lucky breaks, and avoids capture. We learn that Lyle Bland has discovered a powerful corporate weapon - "that consumers need to feel a sense of sin." (652) Think about it - don't you love buying something nice enough that you feel just a twinge of guilt? Who doesn't, in one way or another. But hey, I'm in marketing, so I can at least put this to good use on the job... Sadly for Byron, he grows old without being able to inspire revolution, instead becoming something of a Sibyl - gifted with long life but not eternal youth and optimism. Taken out of the cycle - no return. The immortal's curse. The scene ends back on the colonel, head tilted back, Byron watching on powered by Paddy, with Eddie's clutched fist holding the scissors over the colonel's exposed throat. But we end mid-sentence, forever waiting and wondering. Section 65 A shift, now to Katje, who's meeting up with Enzian to discuss their mutual acquaintance, Weissman. They're both part of the Zone-legend as well, now, as they've begun to realize. They also have more questions than answers - neither knowing what's become of Slothrop, or of Weissman for that matter, and feeling powerless in the Vacuum. Katje's laugh is world-weary, without it's edge and thoughts of "deeps, profit and loss, H-hours and points of no return." (659). Contrast that to part IV of The Waste Land - Death by Water: " Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, / Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell / And the profit and loss. / A current under sea / Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell / He passed the stages of his age and youth / Entering the whirlpool." We also learn that Enzian is overseeing the Schwarzkommando as they build out "underground schools, systems for distributing food and medicine" (660) - exactly what the Black Panthers accomplished in numerous cities before the FBI shut them down and vilified them to the nation as terrorists. Another counterforce shut down by those in control. Katje offers some insight into the nature of racial prejudice - she realizes she is projecting her own darkness onto Enzian. What she fears in him is what she sees in herself. I think there's merit to that angle. Finally, Enzian tells Katje something that seems to scare her: "you are free. You are free. You are free..." (661) Katje, as Weissman observed, depends on masochism as a form of reassurance - that she's still human. She's been so beaten down and conditioned by society that she's come to depend on control as part of her identity. So of course freedom is terrifying - everything in her past, in her conditioning, has taught her to depend on being controlled. Suddenly, she becomes a much more relatable character... Note: In the Weissenburger guide, his introduction to The Counterforce includes a sentence that truly made me laugh - "In a minimal nod toward conventionally realistic narrative, part 4 brings most of the novel's other main characers to well-defined ends." (321) Discussion questions:
The four books of Gravity's Rainbow are significantly different in their lengths. Do you think this is intentional? Is there a pattern or meaning behind their lengths (21, 8, 32, and 12 sections, respectively)?
What do you think of the two different epigraphs for this section? Why do you think Pynchon selected the original Joni Mitchell lyrics, and why do you think he made the choice to instead feature the simple, "What?" from Richard Nixon?
How do you interpret Slothrop's transformation? Do you think it's a positive or a negative?
What do you make of the colonel's climb? Of Eddie's scissors poised over his jugular at the end of section 64? This is the second time we've seen someone with a knife (or runcible spoon) to their throat - why the repeat of this imagery?
2020.09.22 10:19 Subject_Memory_2417The Last Great American Dynasty and Hoax connection
This is more my imagination than an actual evidenced theory, but just thought I'd share. I've always seen Hoax as a fictional song, not strongly connected to Taylor Swift's life - it's just the feeling I get from it! The way I imagine it is the antithesis of TLGAD, a different part of Rebekah Harkness' life that isn't captured in the romanticized summaries of her life or the wild, crazy rumours - Hoax is about someone who has been through a lot, has been let down a lot in love (RH was married 4 times) and has just had a knife in the back, so to speak. Here are some lyrical connections: • "They say she could be seen on occasion, pacing the rocks, staring out at the midnight sea" vs. "Stood on the cliff side screaming give me a reason" • "her salt box house on the coast took her mind off St Louis... they said, there goes the last great american dynasty" vs. "This was just as hard as when they pulled me apart" - RH will have faced scorn and scandal for remarrying to Bill after her 1st divorce, I can imagine she was pulled apart by gossip in St Louis. • "There goes the last great American dynasty" vs. "My barren land" - RH had 3 children (1 with Bill) but due to the way people saw divorce back then her children may have been pushed aside, not seen as fitting for a great dynasty. • "You know I left a part of me back in New York" vs. "Rebekah gave up on RI set forever, flew in all her Bitch Pack friends from the city" - there's a sense RH didn't fit in, that her heart was really in New York. I'm sure Rebekah Harkness' life was filled with wonderful things but I'm sure parts of it were hard too - that's sort of where these ideas came from. Let me know what you think! Edit: formatting
2020.09.16 16:45 IndieheadsAOTYAlbum of the Year 2014 #16: Spoon - They Want My Soul
Hello everyone and welcome back once again to Album of the Year 2014, the daily write-up series for the month of September where we bring you a new write-up each day from a different indieheads user talking about their favorite album of 2014. Up today, the former head of the Canadian Indie Rock Canon, rccrisp, is up swinging today talking about Spoon's 2014 album, They Want My Soul. August 5, 2014 - Loma Vista Listen: Spotify Bandcamp Apple Music Background Formed in the Mid 90’s and coming into their own in the back half of the decade’s post Grunge landscape, Spoon, formed in Austin, Texas with SingeGuitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno meeting as part of the band The Alien Beats. The band name was chosen in homage to the German Krautrock band Can whose song “Spoon” was the theme song to American release of German film Jagged Edge. After singing with Matador Records, they released their debut LP Telephono, an album that had mixed reviews but showed signs of promise, allowing the band to sign a major label record deal. After singing with Elektra, Spoon recorded A Series of Sneaks, a better received sophomore effort that had poor sales causing the band to be dropped by their label. After signing with Merge Records, Spoon would find its niche in the growing Indie Rock landscape of the 2000’s. Coincidentally the band would begin a string of stellar albums that today are considered modern classics. From the dark and experimental Girls Can Tell to the manic Kill the Moonlight to the pop sensibilities of Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon developed a reputation of being one of the most consistent bands in music, able to shift slide and adjust their sound with ease while not alienating their fans. After the (initially) lukewarm received Transference, Spoon would go on to release They Want My Soul after a four year break. Review In the world of rock music it’s hard to age gracefully. Look no further than the kids that made up the Meet Me In The Bathroom set. The only people sitting there waiting wistfully for the next Strokes album are a bunch of hipster boomers unwilling to let the past die. Sure enough the slow switch of indie rock from college slackers in too big sweaters to “too cool” young adults who took indie rock and turned it into a life style (Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, PBR, American Spirits) should’ve known that as their music became co-opted by branding and identity, the bands that mode up that culture wouldn’t last past the zeitgeist explosion. Bands like the aforementioned Strokes, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand are five to six albums in and are only bringing back diminishing returns. Even the pillars of the genre, your TV On The Radios, Arcade Fires and, gasp, Animal Collective aren’t exactly releasing their best albums as they approach and ultimately pass middle age. Maybe it’s a reflection of the people who consumed this music in the first place (see: me, who is also aging horribly) but these bands were here for the sprint and, seemingly, not the marathon. Because in order to run a marathon you need steadiness, consistency. In Indie Rock you need to be Spoon. Spoon’s biggest insult is that “they’re the most consistent band in Indie Rock.” It feels like a hollow knock against them and implies a lot of things that are simply untrue. For one it implies the band is “boring” which is patently false. You can’t tell me from their slick, only major label release A Series of Sneaks to the dark and brooding Girls Can Tell to the frantic Kill The Moonlight and trying to find the pop hooks in Gimmie Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga that there isn’t a band that’s operating on another level, able to shift and shimmy their sound and yet retain an indescribable “Spoon-ness” that seeps through the songs. Even at their worst Spoon are less “egregiously bad” and more “off the centre of greatness.” Sure I haven’t listened to their debut Telephono in over a few decades but even when I did, I could hear the moments of greatness in its sludgy production. The criminally underrated Transference might dive a little too deep into its dark lo fi aesthetic but it contains some of Spoon’s best singular songs and is an absolute killer live. And while Hot Thoughts misses the mark it’s still refreshing to see a band try throwing a curve ball nine albums into their discography. The other ridiculous notion about calling Spoon a “consistent band” is the insinuation the band hasn't released a stone cold classic. Kill The Moonlight and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga definitely refute that claim, Girls Can Tell and Gimmie Fiction have a strong case but in my opinion They Want My Soul can stand up to any of Spoon's classic albums. Spoon began the sessions for recording They Want My Soul in 2013 after a lengthy hiatus which saw the band members splinter off to do their own projects. Frontman Britt Daniel said that after touring for Transference that the band felt “a little burned out” and for himself he needed “something that was going to reinvigorate me, to excite me abut working on new stuff again.” Daniel ended up forming The Divine Fits with Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, Jim Eno ended up doing production work for other bands, Rob Pope returned to his band The Get Up Kids and Eric Harvey recorded a solo album. Sessions for They Want My Soul were broken up into two parts, with much of the early song writing involving Spoon going into sessions with no songs in mind, being assisted by Joe Chiarelli. Dan Friedman however, (notable for producing albums such as Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot, Era Extraña and most of MGMT’s discography) is said to have the most impact on the album. As per Daniel, Friedman’s producing style “maxes everything out. We've never worked with somebody like that before - somebody with such a strong sense of their own style." Surely enough when most artists entering their 40’s are releasing their most down-to-earth, quiet albums, Spoon, whose sound while “guitar rock” never really leaned into the “rock” aspect, release their most powerful and bombastic album. On album opener “Rent I Pay” Eno lets his musical voice be heard, the punctuating snappy snares open and continue to pierce through the track as Daniel succinctly describes every day drudgery over a song that sounds like 60’s Classic Rock fused with the punk minimalism of Wire. The urgent and tense “Rainy Taxi” feels like re-contextualization of those frantic and nervous piano-centric tracks from Kill The Moonlight but mixed with a healthy dose of Chicago with its heart beat bass lines over squealing guitars. Spoon’s strength has always been it’s been hard to pin point where their sound comes from, making their albums feel wholly their own even though elements of their influences pop and peak in. The ethereal “Inside Out” feels like a continuation of much of what they explored on Transference but cleaned up while the synth tinged album ender “New York Kiss” is a crowd pleaser that hints at the upcoming more tech leaning Hot Thoughts. However Spoon feel at home on this album when they get back to their “indie rock roots.” Songs that feel like proper continuations of the sounds heard on Ga Ga Ga Ga and Gimmie Fiction like “Let Me Be Mine” which takes the energy of “The Underdog” but tempers it with darker moments that feel Transference-era as Daniel fights between the ideas of freedom and commitment. On title track “They Want My Soul” Daniel uses faith and astrological imagery (as well as a shout out to Jonathon Fisk, the name of Britt Daniel’s school age bully who had a song dedicated to him on Kill The Moonlight) as a metaphor for his public persona allowing people to take pieces of his life away from him. “Do You” feels like it has all the elements of the greatest Spoon songs (an absolutely catchy chorus, piano, hooks and Daniel’s intense vocal delivery) while the lyrics explores the traps and charms of memory and nostalgia. Daniel’s explores love, desires, intentions and self sabotage as he describes himself as a drunken mess in the first verse (“I was half out of the bag”), but follows up on the nature of imperfect love, one night stands (“Flipping back pages, unbuckling belts”) while accepting this is the nature of modern love (“Oh love, that’s the way love comes"), Few artists ever get to this point, in their 40’s and releasing one of the best albums of their discography. But there’s still a hungriness that it palpable when listening to They Want My Soul. Time didn’t bog down Spoon, their relative success not becoming a hindrance on writing thought provoking music but instead taking everything they had worked on in the past and bringing it in the present. While their contemporaries were slowly releasing weaker albums Spoon can at least own the fact they had one last gasp, their familiar sound fitted for the modern Indie Rock landscape, being both familiar and expansive and evolving of their albums till that point. Favorite Lyrics
There's intense gravity in you Yeah, there's intense gravity in you I'm just your satellite I'm just your satellite
Oh, love, that's the way love comes Do you, don't you know that that's the way love comes? Do you feel it black and blue? Oh, do you, do you, do you, do you?
Educated folk singers want my soul Jonathon Fisk still wants my soul I got nothing I want to say to 'em They got nothing left that I want All they want's my soul Yes, yes, I know it They want my soul
"They Want My Soul"
Right now I know no other time Right now I know no other place I say good night
"New York Kiss"
What do you think is Spoon’s “sound” if you think it can be easily described?
Seriously why are their songs featured in so many commercials?
Where does The Want My Soul rank for you in the band’s discography?
What other past decade releases from older established indie acts did you enjoy?
Where does They Want My Soul land on your 2014 list?
Thank you to rccrisp for their write-up! Up tomorrow, we've got Mko0987 scheduled to talk about TV Girl's debut album, French Exit. In the meantime, discuss today's album in the comments below where the schedule for the rest of the series will be posted.
2020.09.14 23:04 PierreXSLegend - Metal Galaxy The One Interview translated
This translation was made from Japonese to Portuguese by https://twitter.com/diomatsz I translated from Portuguese to English. I used DeepL, which does a great job of translating Portuguese to English and then I checked and fixed some little translations The really hard work was from https://twitter.com/diomatsz. All credits to him. diomatsz I - Interviewer SU - SU-METAL MOA - MOAMETAL I: How were the two days of the show METAL GALAXY WORLD TOUR IN JAPAN EXTRA SHOW LEGEND - METAL GALAXY MOA: The elaboration of the shows was super full and four songs were performed for the first time. I myself am surprised that we managed to do all that (laughs). I: Hahaha, that means you discovered your great capacity. MOA: Exactly. We've been preparing those four songs for a while now and I was happy to finally be able to perform them. Every song in METAL GALAXY is different, so SU-METAL's way of singing and the dance moves are completely different in each song. We really wanted to show this to the public and for that we ran with rehearsals after rehearsals adjusting the details until the day of the show. I: I understand, all this was necessary to reach that quality level. And how was it for you, SU-METAL? SU: I concentrated on rehearsing the new songs. I had to think a lot about how to present each song taking into account the unique aspects that each one has. We also had to consider not only the presentation of MOAMETAL, but also the dance style of each of the three supporting members. We analyzed the characteristics of each one of them and adjusted ourselves so that everything fit together well. This was a great stimulus that gave us the strength to mature. I am very grateful to all of them. I think it was also a surprise for the audience to see them doing all that. I: Of course (laughs). SU: (laughs) Couldn't wait to see the people reaction. We also wanted to differentiate the two days as much as possible. Letting all that variety out of myself was one of the most difficult tasks. I: It was a special luxury content for those two days. SU: So there was also a feeling of sadness. The rehearsals were super dense, so during the show I thought "ah... this song will never be performed like this again..." Of course I was excited about the performances, but at the same time there was a feeling of sadness. I: Maybe it's what we call momentary beauty. Besides the Avengers there was also the band of the Eastern and Western gods. I think there was a lot to rehearse. MOA: For everything to happen well we had to rehearse a lot, rehearse even too much (laughs). I had to combine myself with all three support members and memorize triple the details that each one was in charge of. All of them have different dance styles to mine and that's why we had to analyze several details to create harmony in the presentations. I: Wow, so there was a lot of work that we can't even imagine behind all those presentations. MOA: Yes. We're the type that doesn't show the exhaustive process (laughs). Besides, we know how to turn all this into fun on stage. I: On the first day "Brand New Day" was presented for the first time. During the recording of the CD I believe it was a challenge to sing in a more relaxed way. SU: Yes. But as we had already recorded, it was easy to create the image of the music for the presentation. By including the dance we were able to realize this image in the appropriate format for it. I: The production with the silhouettes and the dance with touches of elegance were very striking. SU: It is as if MIKIKOMETAL's choreography captured the sounds of the music. I believe it creates the steps in this way and it makes my side as a singer much easier. MOA: The choreography of this song was a novelty for me. I had never danced with such delicate movements and stops. Since BABYMETAL's songs are very metal (laughs) the dance movements are also focused on faster rhythms. But in "Brand New Day" the style of the music is totally different and even before we entered the choreography I already felt it would be something new. When we went on stage to rehearse the presentation with the silhouettes, I was surprised by how beautiful the production was being. The presentation was in that format due to the size of Makuhari's stage, but I hope that in the next show the music won't be focused on the silhouette so that the audience can observe all the details of the choreography, such as the differences in movement between the first and second verse according to the lyrics of the song. I: In this way we will have a different impression of the music? MOA: I believe it will give a totally different impression. That's why I want to present it in a concert hall too. I: What do you think of "Oh! MAJINAI" that made a huge impact with the Joakim effect? SU: Since the recording of the CD we knew it was a fun song. It's that very BABYMETAL song full of elements that provoke the reaction "what is this!? From the beginning it was the song that made me most excited and curious to know what the presentation would be like with the choreography and what the audience's reaction would be when presenting it on stage. And then, the result was as I expected (laughs). The choreography is kawaii, but a comic kawaii that represents well the BABYMETAL style. But, on the other hand, the movements are super difficult and I believe this makes the music more attractive. We had talked about how we would make her presentation and decided that it would be like an illustrated book for children, where several characters would appear.........and the frightening Joakim-san (laughs). I thought this contrast was funny and I was sure it would cause laughter in the show. And just as we expected, Joakim-san's impact was immense (laughs). MOA: That was a real shock to us. During the music you don't even have to pay attention to us, look at Joakim-san (laughs). I: I ended up hypnotized by the big screens and it took me a while before my conscience looked at BABYMETAL again. MOA: I was told that Joakim-san was so big that it wasn't possible to know where we were. SU: After the show, many told me they couldn't see the choreography right. We talked amongst ourselves that in this song we are just Joakim-san's back dancers (laughs). I: Hahaha, that dance is so cute but the difficulty must be very big, right? SU: Exactly. Those little moves may sound cute but they're pretty hard to perform. MOA: One of the difficulties was to combine with the style of folk-metal music. Especially the foot movements are very complicated. They all need to be in tune, because one mistake can bring down the others. At the end of the shows, the tips of the feet always come out bruised. I: I had no idea it would be so stressful! In the choreography there is even a combination of steps back. MOA: Making difficult things seem easy is our policy (laughs). We do everything with expressions of ease. I: There's a lot of training behind "cute". MOA: Yes. In my case, I was always the one who had to turn around. Being responsible for that position was quite a pressure. The force of union between us was very important because I had to believe in both of them and let my body be taken by them keeping the balance until I finished the turn. SU: At the premiere of the songs the atmosphere of the show is more chaotic, where we can see those people smiling, those who already sing with us and so on. I think this is a point of fun of the BABYMETAL songs and it made me like this song even more. I: Anyway, if we look at Joakim, we'll end up missing your performance. MOA: There's a lot to observe in this song.... But deep down I want the audience to see our dance too (laughs). I: I take care of spreading your desire (laughs). I: Now we will talk about "Night Night Burn!. The singing and the passionate dance combined well with the sound of Latin percussion, it was even possible to feel the atmosphere of the show warming up. SU: All the choreographies of the new songs were challenging, the way of singing and the mood of most of the songs were not at all similar to what BABYMETAL has been doing. Even without ever having done something with Latin elements, as BABYMETAL's initial principle, we had to study several ways to apply them. MOA: Well, the original version of this song had been produced a long time ago, and it was super kawaii by that time. Now it has the English title "Night Night Burn!" but in the beginning it was like a song based on children's songs. As soon as BABYMETAL evolved during the world tour the song ended up turning into the Latin style, but I never imagined this would happen. I: So the music was reborn in a more adult way. SU: I believe so. That day "Night Night Burn!" was right after "Megitsune", and I felt that this sequence would fit perfectly. Inside me the conception of these two songs are similar, being "Megitsune" the Japanese version and "Night Night Burn!" the Latin version. It's as if "Megitsune" grew up crossing several countries and then arrived in unknown lands.... That's the impression I get about "Night Night Burn! I: Interesting. SU: Even in "Megitsune" there are several stories inside the music, and I always think about how to sing in a way that can show a more adult part that exists inside me. In "Night Burn!" I also want to show the more adult and feminine side of BABYMETAL, so we analyzed and did our best to apply these elements during the presentation. On the other hand, the "call and response" part is very kawaii, easy to pick up the rhythm and that's where we can all sing together. But because it's a song that everyone can have fun getting into the mood, our challenge was how to show the details of the presentation and create a contrast. Sure this is a fun song, but on stage I believe that my position is not only to have fun, because I need to be aware of how to show the essence of each song. I: And you MOAMETAL, what are your thoughts about this kind of music? MOA: We had to research a lot about the passionate choreography of this music. We watched several videos to analyze the movements of the feet, the positions, angles and height of the hands characteristic of the style. We called the body traits created by MIKIKOMETAL "Mikiko Line", and we spent a lot of time analyzing how to present these traits in an elegant and feminine way. I: Now I want to watch the show again with all that you said in mind. I: Now we will talk about the second day, the reaction to the introduction of "BxMxC" showed that everyone was waiting for this moment. The flow part of SU-METAL created an atmosphere of exceptional euphoria. SU: At that moment the audience was very close to me. The stage was moved forward and I was down. As I stood face to face with the audience I could feel the reaction on my skin. Those "ohh...!" must have left by accident (laughs). MOA: (laughs) I: (laughs) Those were feelings that ended up escaping out. SU: I was happy about that. As I can say, it was like moving people through the feeling. Up to the moment of that presentation I didn't know if I was doing it right myself. I kept practicing and thinking about how to present in a good way, and as a result I arrived at that style that moved the audience. I: (laughs) SU: (laughs) In the introduction of the song it was possible to feel that the ambient temperature had increased instantaneously. Along with that sound layer I had the impression that the heart of the audience was coming up with everything. I was very moved by all that united power. I: A while ago you had said that you couldn't imagine what the dance would be like, but I could see that it was elaborated with dynamic movements and a pinch of insanity. MOA: It's really an interesting choreography, isn't it? (laughs). The METAL GALAXY album is full of hard songs. Especially songs like "BxMxC", which we had to include hiphop movements for the first time... The music itself is short, right? SU: Yeah, it's not that long. MOA: It's short but it's full of elements. It was a lot of fun to present it to the public, and more than that, through the rehearsals I could know the fascination of SU-METAL in this song. So I was very happy to finally bring it to the audience. I was also able to get closer to the audience by going to the end of the runway and feel the reaction of the people very closely. It was an interesting experience where I could hear sighs in the middle of the screams, and that was cool because for me it was like listening to the voices that were coming out of the audience's heart. I: Also "Headbanger" of that day was more thunderous than ever... MOA: Did we do anything special in "Headbanger"? I: (laughs) Well, halfway through the song you extended the demands to the audience, with your sharp eyes penetrating everybody. MOA: Aah! (laughs) That was quite a satisfaction. Ordering everyone to sit up there. I: It's one of the songs from BABYMETAL's early period but it gave me the impression of being a more mature version of "Headbanger". MOA: Yes, we even discussed how to make her more adult, and also how to keep some childish touches. That version was the result of those ideas. SU: Lately the audience has the peculiar habit of doing the "dogeza-headbang" during the presentation of "Headbanger" and my way of singing has also been changing through all this time. At first I had the image of a little girl running with all her might, but now I feel that my position is like being on top of the gods' servants, a kind of *"sovereign" (laughs). [*in the original text, SU-METAL used the term "nushi" = 主] I: This is how we arrive at the image with you lifting the microphone cable and watching the world of mortals. SU: When I was thinking about how to act in that part, I was lucky enough to have the audience having fun doing headbang and this ended up creating that image that has now become one of the attractions of the BABYMETAL show. I'm also having fun in this position myself. I: Now about a detail, during "Kagerou" MOAMETAL makes a discreet but provocative gesture of "I want more" with the hands. I found that attitude super cool. MOA: Huh, really? (laughs) We've been performing this song throughout the world tour, so I think it's easier to absorb and my body also gets in tune more easily. I: Do you mean that gesture came naturally? MOA: Yes, I was actually thinking "it's not enough, I want more!!" and I believe that this feeling ended up manifesting that way. I: At the end of the second day "Starlight", "Shine" and "Arkadia" were presented next. Listening to them as a whole awakened many feelings within me. SU-METAL: This part was like a summary of what happened in that one-year period. "Starlight" was released right after the announcement of YUIMETAL's departure, and six months later we presented "Arkadia". At that time we were moving forward determined to cross new paths. The first time we performed "Shine" was at the 2019 show in Nagoya (BABYMETAL ARISES - BEYOND THE MOON - LEGEND - M -), where only the two of us, MOAMETAL and I, were on stage. Until today I don't forget that "Shine" presentation. How can I say... At that moment we weren't holding hands literally, but it's as if we were holding each other's hands, showing that we would be able to move on.... Between me and MOAMETAL there is already something that you can't see with your eyes. MOAMETAL: (Agrees with the head and smile on the face) SU: I don't know how to explain it properly, but I feel this "something" with great intensity. We made our decision at that time and decided to start over... And now that we were able to present these songs to our audience, all this made me think about many things during the presentation. In a way this could have been the collection of everything BABYMETAL could offer, or just a beginning, or something inexplicable that doesn't fit this dimension. I can't say for sure, but we had in mind that this would be one of our masterpieces, and at the same time, the image of our determination. I: We could certainly feel it. MOA: Now seeing that repertoire again, I can really feel the weight.... There were several feelings in there. I think it would be possible to write an entire book with just that. We put a lot of our feelings into these three songs, we wanted to convey the determination of SU-METAL and MOAMETAL and show the future of BABYMETAL, that they feel this warmth inside of us. I myself was feeling this feeling growing inside of me. I: I thought that was the climax of the show and that we were already closing the day. SU and MOA: (giggles) I: How could I imagine they would close with "Ijime Dame Zettai" after their 25-month withdrawal from music. Did you think this would be the best opportunity? SU: Yes, it's a very important song for us and we love it too. I believe that the audience was also waiting for her and I myself felt pure fun in bringing her back. And besides that we had the five members and the two bands.... During "Road of Resistance" the day before, it was like that too, but for me, to unite the bands from the east and the west was an imaginable thing. The fact that we were performing a show like that already made me happy. But what impressed me the most was the reaction of the audience. I believe there were different kinds of emotions inside, I could feel the warmth out of the ordinary and I feel that all that was the expression of the feelings and the history that were accumulated during those two years. I: That was quite an impact... I didn't even know where to look MOAMETAL. MOA: (laughs) I understand, it was information to process. But we had planned everything for that (laughs). It was a period of two years and a month since the last presentation in Hiroshima (Legend - S). A few days before I had watched that show on YouTube broadcast, so thinking that was the last time, I really had the feeling that we made the audience wait too long.... But, well, it was all planned (laughs). I: I fell completely into your frame (laughs). Now that the official videos of Makuhari's show are ready, tell me what you thought of watching them from the audience point of view. MOA: First it made me think about the Metal Resistance Episode 8 tour, which started in Japan, then we went to the US, we did the arena show at THE FORUM in Los Angeles... It was very hard to complete all the shows with one body... I want to send a "you are too much" for myself (laughs). For example, in the case of the avengers, the physical condition and energy of each one were examined every day, and so we decided who would participate in the show. But in the case of SU-METAL and me, obviously we had to get on stage at every show, there was no escape. We couldn't use our physical condition as excuses.....because we are BABYMETAL. Every day I had in mind that it was my duty to perform with all my strength and excellence. Even with the accumulated tiredness, on top of the stage I had to follow the dynamism of the avengers taking advantage of each one's personality without restricting mine, and make our dance with the avenger embody BABYMETAL. Now to recap made me think it was really hard work (laughs). I: Wow... I had no idea you guys had to face such a stressful tour until you got to the Makuhari stage. MOA: When we were little, BABYMETAL's choreography was driven by energy, animation and impulse. But now that we have gained knowledge about the art of music through experiences and development, especially after I turned 20, I began to focus on how to perform in a natural way with more elegant and feminine touches. Just like the Japanese phrase "perseverance is strength", all my continuous dedication to dance has brought me strength and confidence. After overcoming so many challenges, I was able to remain firm and strong on both the physical and psychological sides during the two days of the show at Makuhari Messe. This strength is one more detail that I would like to draw attention to. I: Surely it's a detail that we can't miss. And you, SU-METAL, what do you have to tell us? SU: This was the first time we used such large scale screens in a BABYMETAL show. Of course we gave it our all in dance and music, but this kind of production is also a fun detail that is part of BABYMETAL's world. Also, between the first and second day we had a visible contrast of "kawaii BABYMETAL" and "cool BABYMETAL" where we incorporated in the show what we were saying all this time. It was like a movie..... I once found it interesting that an American assistant told me that the BABYMETAL show is like a Kabuki presentation. In other words, you can have fun with the live presentation, but also with the choreography, facial expressions and other details. There are several ways to have fun and also see it all as a narration. I believe that this show has expanded even more the possibilities of BABYMETAL. I: It's true, we stayed focused on stage like when we were watching a TV series. SU: I had a special feeling watching it myself. It's an inexplicable feeling, seeing the images and thinking "I was there myself". During the show, when the screens created the background images I had this feeling of being in another world. I: Not only the audience, but you also felt it from above the stage. SU: Yes. And now that the whole world is going through this situation, I wonder when we'll be able to do an "all standing" show like this again. We have performed in several arenas, but the Makuhari Messe must be the only place that allows us to do a show of that magnitude with the whole audience standing up. The mosh that appear in that environment are not born in other places. And it is in this kind of phenomenon that I feel the metal spirit. The recording of this show has become a work filled with the most diverse elements like these. I: I believe that this was a show full of diversity that only the current BABYMETAL team, which is completing 10 years of formation this year, could create. MOA: Me and SU-METAL have been together for 10 years, I can't say since when, but there are several moments that I feel our hearts are connected. At the beginning of Episode 8, the Avengers and the Western band joined us to support us, but there was no way we couldn't feel a certain emotional distance between us at first. But this distance was getting shorter during the tour and in the same way we were improving the performance. So, when compared to the Yokohama Arena concert, the concert at Makuhari Messe was a more united performance where our hearts and our forces were more united. We overcame many shows with this team fighting hard. And all this created bonds between us in the Makuhari show, characterizing well the Episode 8. I hope these ties of "Team BABYMETAL" will be felt by everyone's hearts. This is also a point that deserves attention. I hope you have fun with your eyes and ears, and also, that you feel with your heart. SU: Talking about team, the presentations of "Road of Resistance" and "Ijime Dame Zettai" that were possible for the current BABYMETAL to accomplish thanks to all the path taken so far. We have traveled several countries, we have met several companions and we have connected with people.... This is how the world of BABYMETAL is being born. This time we found new partners and that show was the result of everything that BABYMETAL experienced, and for sure, it was the greatest presentation we could give at that moment. I: I agree with you. Well, the conversation is very good but...... MOA: Ah, I remembered what I had to say about the images from the show! I: Go ahead! MOA: The dogeza-headbang was super fun. As I watched it I thought "what am I doing?" to myself (laughs). At that moment my wish was that everyone would bend down, but at the same time I thought "if I were in the audience's shoes I'd rather look right at the stage" (laughs). There were conflicts of many feelings, but I think I should have demanded more intensity (laughs). So I make it clear that next time I will go with the "listen to my words!!" mentality and hope everyone will obey me. Disobedience, DAME, ZETTAI... I: Understood (laughs). Again I had that concern if it will be possible to make a better show than this.... But you have always overcome yourselves and I am sure you will continue to do so. MOA: Stay in expectation (laughs). SU: Expectations have increased once again (laughs). MOA: That's right, they're increasing. It's always like this. I: But it's you who take the initiative to increase it (laughs). MOA: That's true, there's no stopping us!
2020.09.11 16:55 PaulPM1All Time Fantasy Survivor Series (Me (Paul) and My Best Friend (Rob) every few months are tackling a ppv event and doing our all time version)
Pauls Survivor Series: Dream Survivor Series Card – Paul (2020) –“WWE vs The World” (NXT, WCW, ECW, NWA, ROH, NJPW) Announcers: Jim Ross & **Jerry “The King” Lawler (**Unless Stated Otherwise) Referees: Mike Chioda (Mens), Jessika Carr (Womens) Opening Video Package Content:Splintered Timelines from the territories daysOpening Video Package Theme:Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes 1. (Womens Match 1 of 5). “Women Past vs Present” - Stipulation: Win= Point for Respective Team.(Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Beth Phoenix) Build:Sherri as Captain tells the opposition captain Paige, she and her team want to prove a point and not just beat them in one traditional 5 on 5 match, but beat them over 5 single matches, Sherri says the best Paige and her team can hope for is 3 wins out of 5, but it’s going to be a 5 match clean sweep for the sensational ones.Sherri says by some miracle should they need a decider, she will kick Paige’s ass like a true captain. Paige goes away to matchmake who faces who. “Sensational” Sherri Martel (C), Trish Stratus, Lita, Wendi Richter, Alundra Blayze vs Paige (C), Charlotte Flair, “The Man” Becky Lynch, “The Boss” Sasha Banks, Bayley 1.Alundra Blayze vs Sasha Banks Finish: Banks goes for the backstabber, Blayze holds on runs her back first into the corner as Sasha turns, Blayze hits the German Supplex. (Result -Past 1, Present 0) 2. “UK vs Canada” - Stipulation: Traditional 5 on 5 Elimination Match(Announcers: J.R, Bret, Regal) Build:(Anti-America) Bret Hartis injuredas says even if he wasn’t he would decide to not represent any organisation and said if it was truly vs the world, Canadian Wrestlers would dominate, and it shows how America and other countries have to either take Canadian talent or model themselves off them. As Bret talks on. William Regals Music hits, William Regalis also injuredbut says he doesn’t disagree with Bret, however he says that everything Bret stated should be said about British Wrestlers instead and that if Bret was honest with himself, he needed a lot of help to be a star whereas British Wrestlers work speaks for itself. Regal ends by saying that Bret and his countrymen are so consistently average that it is almost impressive. Bret says he will Captain a Canadian Team and that Regal better find 5 British Wrestlers to represent him, he adds good luck scrapping the barrel. 2.Nigel McGuinness(C),Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Zack Sabre Jnr, Will Ospreay vs Owen Hart (C), Sami Zayn, Tyson Kid, Christian, Lance Storm Finish: Sabre Jnr applies a complicated leg lock submission on Zayn and Nigel McGuinness applies the London Dungeon Submission, this forces Zayn to tap out. 3. (Womens Match 2 of 5). “Women Past vs Present” - Stipulation: Win= Point for Respective Team.(Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Beth Phoenix) 3. Lita vs Becky Lynch Finish: Becky moves out of the way of the moonsault as Lita crashes Lynch does the armbar for a submission win.(Result -Past 1, Present 1) 4. “WWE vs NJPW” - Stipulation: 5 on 5 tornado Tag Match(Announcers: M Ranollo, Funaki, K Omega) AJ Styles (C), Finn Balor, Vader, Seth Rollins, Ricochet vs Antonio Anoki(C), Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shinsuke Nakamura, Keiji Mutoh (Great Muta), Kazuchika Okada Finish: Nakamura hits Ricochet with the Kinshasa , as ricochet turns he gets hit with the rainmaker by Okada for the 1-2-3. 5. (Womens Match 3 of 5). “Women Past vs Present” - Stipulation: Win= Point for Respective Team.(Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Beth Phoenix) “Sensational” Sherri Martel (C), Trish Stratus, Lita, Wendi Richter, Alundra Blayze vs Paige (C), Charlotte Flair, “The Man” Becky Lynch, “The Boss” Sasha Banks, Bayley 5. Trist Stratus vs Bayley Finish: After several sequences of reversals, Trish Hits the Chick Kick and gets the win when the ref declares a KO finish.(Result -Past 2, Present 1) 6. “WWE vs ROH” - Stipulation: Falls count anywhere 5 on 5 Scramble Match 20 minute time limit (Last Pin/Submission Wins)(Announcers: M Ranollo, Jim Cornette) Kurt Angle(C), Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Cesaro vs CM Punk(C), Adam Cole, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Kevin Steen Finish: The Animosity between Punk And Cole has been building all match over a dispute who should be captain, when punk accidentally kicks Cole instead of Jericho, Jericho takes advantage and hits the codebreaker on Punk, goes to pin punk but punk kicks out at 2 ¾, but out of nowhere you see Benoit climb one top rope and Guerrero the other, Benoit hits his Top Rope headbutt, then rolls out of the ring holding his head, but runs into a submission from Danielson, in the ring however Guerrero hits the frog splash and gets the 3 count however, as Eddie celebrates, it is revealed by another ref, through action replay that as the ref started the count, benoit had tapped out on the outside of the ring with 1 second left, and therefore eddie’s pin was outside of the time limit, therefore the winners are the ROH team. 7. “WWE vs ECW” - Stipulation: Hardcore Falls Count Anywhere 5 on 5 Hell In a Cell Match(Announcers: J.R, P Heyman, J Styles)(Guest Referee:Tommy Dreamer) Mick Foley (C), (97) “Big Red Machine” Kane, Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, vs Shane Douglas (C), Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-von Dudley Finish: Mysterio accidentally splashes into Kane when RVD moved out the way, Kane then chokeslams Mysterio, then Jeff Hardy, The Dudley’s 3-D Big Show onto a flaming table. Shane Douglas hits Foley with the Belly To Belly Supplex, Ref Tommy Dreamer, appears to do a slow count, as Douglas goes to confront Dreamer, dreamer just laughs, as Douglas Turns around he gets hit with a barber wire baseball bat, by the surprise debut of Brian Pillman, Foley then double-arm ddts Douglas onto the bat, and Dreamer does a very quick 3 count. 8. (Womens Match 4 of 5)). “Women Past vs Present” - Stipulation: Win= Point for Respective Team.(Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Beth Phoenix) Build:Paige realises they need the win here to make it 2-2 to take it to a decider, she secretly tells charlotte to prepare for the final match after Richter makes her entrance, to the surprise of everyone Paige’s music hits. 8. Wendi Richter vs Paige Finish: Richter goes for her Sitout DDT, but Paige reverses into the Rampaige for the 1-2-3.(Result -Past 2, Present 2) 9. “WWE vs NXT” - Stipulation:5 on 5 Iron-Team (30 Minute) Falls Count Anywhere Match(Announcers: M Ranollo, W Regal) Lesnar (C), John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Sheamus vs WALTER (C), Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black Finish: with 1 minute left, the score is 5 points to both teams, Gargano and Ciampa keep Cena and Orton busy, Velveteen Dream does a top rope body splash to the outside of the ring to take out Batista and Sheamus, this leaves Lesnar and Walter to finally come face to face in the ring, the crowd chant “This is awesome”, as they go nose to nose, Aleister Black enters the ring, eyeballs Lesnar, then turns and hits Walter with the black mass, then leaves the ring, Walter groggily gets up and gets hit with an f-5 for a 3 count, with 5 seconds to spare. 10. “WWE vs NWA” - Stipulation: Traditional 5 on 5 Elimination Match(Announcers: J.R and Gordon Solie) Build:WWE’s 5th Member Andre is a surprise and doesn’t show himself till there are no WWE Superstars left. Bruno Sammartino(C)Andre The Giant, Bob Buckland, Pat Patterson, “Superstar” Billy Graham vs Lou Thesz (C), Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Dory Funk Jnr, Terry Funk Finish: Bruno powerslams Race and pins him as he turns the Funks double team and pin Bruno, they think they’ve won, then the remember the surprise 5th WWE member. They look to the Titantron and Bobby Heenan walks onto the entrance and announces the 5th Member, Andre the Giants music hits, he enters the ring, Andre overpowers both Funks with a double bearhug, then slams dory, then slams terry on top and does a splash for the double pin to win. 11. (Womens Match 5 of 5)). “Women Past vs Present” - Stipulation: Win= Point for Respective Team.(Announcers: J.R, M Ranollo, Paige) (Guest Referee:Stephanie McMahon) Build: Sherri mocks the rookie charlotte, and tells her to enjoy her 5 minutes of fame, if it will even last that long. 11. “Sensational” Sherri Martel vs Charlotte Flair Finish: after toying with Charlotte for most of the match, she soon realises that charlotte is tougher than she looks and won’t stay down , after charlotte had attacked her knee one more time, Martel struggles to walk and decides it’s time for her to finally hits the sleeper hold on the floor, but charlotte rolls over the top and hits a natural selection, both too tired to cover, as they both get up Martel goes for a superkick, Charlotte ducks, sweeps the legs and hits a figure 4 leg lock, however she adds an extension to the figure four by putting her arms behind her head to the mat and raising herself up. The Ref Stephanie McMahon raises Charlottes hands as Paige enters the ring and raises Charlottes other hand.(Result -Past 2, Present 3) 12. “WWE vs WCW” - Stipulation: Traditional 5 on 5 Elimination Match(Announcers: J.R, Lawler, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff) The Undertaker (C), Stone Cold, The Rock, Triple H, Edge vs Ric Flair (C), Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg, Booker T Finish: Clean Sweep, Edge Pins DDP, Triple H Pins Booker T, The Rock Pins Sting, Strong Cold pins Goldberg, Ric Flair takes everyone’s finish, then gets picked by the rock and stone cold and pushed into The Undertaker who does a jumping tombstone to Flair, cross his arms and gets the 3-count pin win. Lawler can’t help rubbing it in Bischoffs face, Bishoff pushes Lawler off his chair and backs away laughing, but backs into Stone Cold, Bishoff turns around, see two middle fingers and gets stunnered. Stone Cold chucks beers all round. 13.7. “Past vs Present” - Stipulation: Last Man Standing Match(Announcers: M Ranollo, Funaki, K Omega) 13.“Hollywood” Hulk Hoganvs (97) Shawn Michaels Finish: Late run in by the outsiders Nash and Hall, as they stand over Michaels they turn, Hall throws the toothpick and blinds Hogan, Nash hits the Jack-knife Powerbomb on Hogan then as Hogan scrambles up, Michaels hits the Sweet Chin Music and Hogan falls face down for the 10 count, Nash Sprays “KLIQ” on Hogan’s back. Hall, Nash and Michaels connect hands to do the Kliq Signal. Robs Survivor Series: Survivor Series: The Fight for the right to Survive The show opens with the usual “Then,Now,Forever” video package, before the sound of static is heard becoming louder as the words forever fade out to be replaced by the nostalgic roars of “This is Extreme.” The Promo package for Survivor Series starts with Vince McMahons proclamation that if ECW win they live on. The Promo Package begins accompanied by the song “Rumours of my Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated by Rise Against. Images of former glories for NXT, ECW and WWE periodically flash up during the video package, as footage plays of ECW talent jumping the barricades of NXT and WWE shows. A smiling Paul Heyman can be seen stood next to Brock Lesnar as the ECW stars storm the ring. At the point of the song you hear the lyrics “When we built these dreams on sand” an image of Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA championship can be seen, as it transitions into the closing doors of the old ECW arena as the lyrics become “How they all slipped through our hands, this might be our only chance.” As footage appears of the previous weeks Raw as Sandman storms the ring and cracks Seth Rollins in the skull with a Singapore cane, before Adam Cole slides into shot and Superkicks Sandman in the back of the head as the images fade to black as Sandman collapses in slow motion ending on the face of a smug Adam Cole. Commentary Team consists of Jim Ross (WWE), Mauro Ranallo(NXT) and Joey Styles (ECW). Howard Finkel is stood in the ring welcoming everybody to the latest annual Survivor Series. His voice is cut off however, as the sound of Taz’ dubbed Network theme is heard, to a chorus of booing from the crowd. Taz appears microphone in hand accompanied by Bill Alfonso as he blows into his whistle, as the booing becomes louder. Taz screams into the microphone cut the fucking [Censored} music. PLAY MY REAL MUSIC, Taz’ Survive if I let you theme plays as the booing become cheers, Taz storms the ring and chokes out Finkel with the Tazzmission. As Finkel is being attended to by medics Alfonso gets on the microphone and starts screaming NO ONE CAN STOP THE PATH OF RAGE repeatedly between blowing his whistle before it is cut off by the beginning of Kurt Angles music. Angle walks down to the ring and gets in Taz’ face before Pete Dunne’s music plays and he comes running down to the ring to get between the two of them. The Referee looks towards the ringside area and calls for the bell. The commentators inform everyone watching at home that all brand warfare matches will be held under triple threat rules. 1st Match Kurt Angle (WWE) vs Pete Dunne (NXT) vs Taz (ECW) Winner Taz: As the result of Tazzmission as he reverses Dunnes bitter end as Dunne becomes unconscious before Angle could break up the submission. WWE-0 NXT-0 ECW-1 2nd Match Women’s traditional survivor series match. Elimination Rules 5 vs 5 vs 5 In the weeks leading up to the match WWE team captain Charlotte Flair chastises Paul Heyman saying that ECW never cared about womens wrestling and that they never had a womens championship and that WWE and NXT will win by default. Heyman says his team will be revealed on the night and that he may have formed some dangerous alliances. WWE Team- Team Captain Charlotte Flair, Madusa (Early 90’s era), Paige, AJ Lee and Trish Stratus. NXT Team- Team Captain: Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Toni Storm, Rhea Ripley and Ivory (1999-2000 era) ECW Team- Team Captain- Sensational Sherri Martel, Bea Priestley, Awesome Kong, Mercedes Martinez and Meiko Satamura. Guest Referee- Stephanie McMahon Winners: NXT – The Final fall of the match happens as a result of Asuka being outnumbered 2 to 1 against both Charlotte Flair and Madusa. Charlotte has Asuka in the figure 8 as Stephanie goes to check on Asuka a scream is heard as Madusa deadlifts Stephanie into a german suplex and grabs a chair from ringside and decimates Charlotte with it. As Asuka goes for the cover on Charlotte, Madusa uses a knocked out Stephanie’s hands to count the pinfall. As she gets up she writes ECW in the air with her finger as Asuka celebrates. WWE-0 NXT-1 ECW-1 3rd Match Cruiserweight Championship Match Jushin “Thunder” Liger (Pre 1996 era) vs Ricochet Winner Jushin Liger. After a string of adverts in the ring is recent NXT signee Danhausen with a microphone fidgeting on the spot. Danhausen: “Good to see all of you here... Yes Danhausen likes, good to be here for Survivor Serieshausen. Yes.... This is Danhausen, love that Danhausen.” (Famous ECW fan Straw hat guy, can be seen in the front row as usual and audibly shouts fuck you Danhausen whilst pointing at him) Danhausen: “NO SWEARS!! We will be taken off the air....” (Doinks music hits and he starts walking towards the ring waving at the audience, who react in a mixed way due to the mixture of fans in attendance.) Danhausen: “Ooooooooooooh. Clownhausen!!” (Points at Doink) Doink gets in the ring and looks directly into the camera and smiles revealing a set of yellow teeth and a sinister smile. As the two stare down in the ring, a familiar sound is heard. WHAT DOES EVERYBODY WANT... Al Snow wearing an ECW shirt and with Head run down to the ring to join the other two. The Referee signals for the bell. 4th Match WWE: Doink the Clown (Matt Borne Era) vs NXT: Danhausen vs ECW Al Snow (1997-1999 era) Winner: Doink – After the Fiend appears towards the end of the match he applies the mandible claw to Al Snow as Danhausen runs outside to get his jar of teeth to pour onto Al Snows prone body the Fiend and Danhausen have a brief staredown before Danhausen shouts to the crowd saying WHO DO YOU LOVE as they shout DANHAUSEn before rolling back into the ring. Doink hits Danhausen with Head as he climbs back in the ring before pinning him for the win. WWE-1- NXT-1 ECW-1 5th Match Champions Challenge – No Titles on the line. ECW Television Champion: Rob Van Dam (Mr Monday Night- Era) vs NXT North American Champion: Aleister Black vs Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit. Winner: Aleister Black. Match ends after Benoit is hit midair with Black Mass after going for a top rope swan dive head butt onto a downed RVD. WWE-1 NXT-2 ECW-1 6th Match Men’s Traditional Survivor Series Extreme Rules Elimination Match. 5 vs 5 vs 5 Paul Heyman joins the commentary team for this match. Team WWE: Team Captain- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Undertaker (American Badass Era) Edge and Christian (Attitude Era)and Shelton Benjamin. Team ECw: Team Captain: The Sandman with Woman, The Eliminators (Saturn and Kronus),Tommy Dreamer and Cactus Jack(Anti Hardcore 95-96) Team NXT: Team Captain: Drew McIntyre, WALTER, William Regal, Tomaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Winners WWE. In a match filled with twists and turns and defections from all sides the last two people left in the match are Austin and Tommy Dreamer, Dreamer will not stay down for the 3 count whatever Austin does, Dreamer desperate for the memory of ECW to survive. Austin eventually beats Dreamer senseless with a steel chair, as Dreamer again uses his famous line of “Please sir may I have another” whilst on his knees as Austin swings the chair and hits him square in the top of the head as Dreamer crumples to the floor his arms outstretched in the crucifx pose. Paul Heyman looks on shocked. WWE-2 NXT-2 ECW-1 7th Match: Special Challenge Match: An Enemy in Every Corner. Angelo Dawkins with Johnny Grunge vs Montez Ford with Rocco Rock. Winner: Angelo Dawkins via disqualification as both the Public enemy and Montez ford obliterate Dawkins, standing over him at the end of the match and doing the cabbage patch as they become a three man group. 8th Match Womens Championship Challenge: Extreme Rules Match In responds to Charlottes comments about Heyman never cared about women’s wrestling, weeks previously. A new ECW Women’s championship was created and a small tournament held in the weeks leading up to survivor series with Candice LeRae the eventual winner. WWE Women’s Champion: Lita vs NXT Women’s Champion: Kimber Lee vs ECW Women’s Champion: Candice LeRae. Winner: Candice LeRae- after a hard fought 20 minute match Candice hits Lita with a curb stomp before hitting Mrs LeRae’s Wild Ride on Kimber Lee through a flaming table to shouts of “OOOH MY GOD” from Joey Styles. WWE-2 NXT-2 ECW-2 At the commentary desk Heyman wipes his forehead in relief as its all square going into the main event. Main Event: Special Stipulation- Loser of the fall loses their title. WWE Champion- Shawn Michaels (2002-2005 era) vs NXT Champion Adam Cole vs ECW Heavyweight Champion “The Franchise” Shane Douglas (2003-2006 era) with Francine. Winner Shane Douglas- The match ends after a hard long fought contest. Cole tries to hit Panama Sunrise on Shane Douglas, just before he lands it he gets hit in the face with a superkick, Douglas sensing his opportunity musters all of his remaining energy to life Michaels as he delivers the Pitsburgh Plunge to Michaels for the 3 count. Final Score WWE-2 NXT-2 ECW-3 Douglas slowly gets to his feet with both the ECW and WWE Championships in his hands as an elated looking Heyman wipes tears from his eyes. Douglas gestures towards ringside audibly shouting “give me a fucking mic.” Douglas stares at his newly won WWE championship for a few moments before putting down the ECW championship and picking up a microphone that had been rolled into the ring. Shane Douglas: “Well here we go again, I told you this would happen McMahon. First things first haha. I stand here before God and my Father in Heaven tonight as I said I would once more become the heavyweight champion of the world in the tradition of Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund that asshole Dick Flair, and Steve Austin.. (The Crowd pop for each name mentioned) But wait Fuck [Censored] this and fuck [censored] all of you, you’ve heard all this before all the way back in 94, get in here Francine [Francine Enters the ring putting her arms Shane then picking up both belts.] I proved to all of you universal morons tonight that I am without a shadow of a doubt the Franchise, I have the titles I have the girl. [Shane looks at the WWE title for a moment before taking it from Francine contemplating it for a moment] Just like in 94 the Franchise Shane Douglas is the spark that lights the new flame of Extreme.” Shane grabs the ECW title and the WWE title and begins to leave before. YOU’VE GOT NO CHANCE... As Vince McMahon’s music starts to play and Vince begins walking to the ring, Shane and Francine walk past him and eyeball him the entire way with smiles on their faces as Vince stares straight at the WWE title on Shanes Shoulder horrified. The WWE logo starts to show up in the bottom corner before fading into a video package of all of the extreme events of the night, with Survive by Rise Against playing in the background. Opening with the lyric “Somewhere between happy and total fucking [censored] wreck.. The music pauses as Heyman flashes up on screen and says “No, no no McMahon no censors not anymore!! Restart the damn song”. The package and song restart from the beginning with no censoring. Ending on the lyric “How we survive, is what makes us who we are..” the final image seen is Shane Douglas holding both titles in a freeze frame, the last voice heard is Joey Styles cry of “This is Extreme” Fade to Black.
2020.09.10 16:12 IndieheadsAOTYAlbum of the Year 2014 #10: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste
Hello everyone and welcome back to Album of the Year 2014, the daily series where the users of indieheads talk about their favorite albums of 2014. Up today, u/tropikhana makes their series debut talking about Azealia Banks' long-anticipated debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste. November 7th, 2014 - Self-Released/Prospect Park Listen: YouTube Spotify Apple Music Background Broke With Expensive Taste, the debut album from Azealia Banks, seemed like it would never arrive. After years of delays and label issues, and well after the release of the Fantasea mixtape and 1991 EP in 2012, Broke With Expensive Taste was finally born on the 7th of November 2014, in what could almost qualify as a surprise release. Both in the conventional Beyoncé’d sense of the word, and in the sense that: this album is real, and it’s here. I had never been so excited about the release of an album, and may never be again. And not only was the album finally here: it was also undeniably excellent, even for some of the most hardened Azealia Banks sceptics. Released independently, the album works not only as a showcase of everything Azealia had been in the years the album was recorded (2011-2014), but also of her capabilities as an artist. A multifaceted, immensely talented artist with an even more immense creativity. Across 16 songs, Azealia glides effortlessly between styles and tones - why so many continue to doubt her versatility is beyond me. There is one feature here, from Theophilus London, but you would barely notice. This was Azealia’s moment. And God, it was a long time coming. Even if only for a few days in November 2014, it felt as if Azealia’s talent and artistry was finally being recognized for what it was. Review byu/tropikhana The album opens with ‘’Idle Delilah’’, a theatrical, larger-than-life song which was (is?) supposedly part of a fable Azealia was writing, recounting the story of ‘’a slave master’s inquisitive daughter’’ (more about that here). It’s strange, it’s unconventional, it’s somehow a perfect opener to the first ever album from Azealia Banks. Next comes ‘’Gimme A Chance’’, a fan favourite from the pre-’’212’’ days, now revamped into some kind of hip-hop/salsa hybrid, with Azealia rapping in Spanish. This is probably the point where any casual listener realizes they have no idea what they’re in for. Track 3 is ‘’Desperado’’, maybe my personal favourite from the album. It’s Hot 97, my name is Peter Rosenberg, and, uh we're gonna get to some new music right now. This is a record called "Desperado". The production, taken care of by M.J. Cole, is perfect - the song, with samples from the New York City subway among other things, is chaotic, busy and fast. I do think this one is a bit underrated in Azealia’s catalogue. Possibly even better than the song itself is the transition into ballroom-esque ‘’JFK’’ - Azealia does not miss. God, I love nothing more than a good song transition, and these two songs are perfect. "JFK" contains a feature with Theophilus London, not that anyone’s presence was particularly necessary here - Azealia absolutely dominates this song with a confidence that even most of the rest of the album can’t match. Track 5 is ‘’212’’. Has a song so instantly timeless ever existed? Nine (oof) years after its release, this song continues being fresh, packing the same punch it did when it first came out. Every. Single. Time. It was the perfect introduction we could’ve gotten to Azealia Banks. It’s also undoubtedly one of the best songs of the 2010s, as we were kindly reminded in last year’s onslaught of lists. The bridge. The final chorus after the bridge. The way the song fades out. Whew! On a personal note, I’m consistently and repeatedly surprised at the crowdpleasing potential of this song. I don’t think I have ever been in a group of people where its presence isn’t enthusiastically welcomed. "212": Connecting People. I do however have to give an honourable mention to the mother who took it upon herself to angrily call into Irish radio station RTÉ in 2012, complaining that this was the most vulgar song she had ever heard and expressing her shock that this was the state of music in 2012. Hope she’s well! ‘’Wallace’’ is another whimsical, fun track where Azealia’s creativity shines through. Speaking of creativity, this song actually received an interactive music video back in 2015 - more about that here. The lyrics and flow here are meta-Azealia, in the best way. While it’s not my favourite on the album, it’s a very welcome addition. Track 7 decides to give the listener a jolt: ‘’Heavy Metal and Reflective’’, the single that finally indicated that maybe the album was coming, is two and a half minutes of pure energy. Azealia’s delivery here is unrelentless, with samples of scenes from Blade Runner giving some dramatic effect. Not to say ‘’it’s Azealia at her best’’, but... it’s Azealia at her best. Also, there is just something so fun about the lyric ‘’I'm in every city / They say hello to the head bitch’’, or maybe I’m just easily entertained… Maybe both. ‘’BBD’’ is another personal favourite of mine. It’s probably the most conventional song on the album, but that’s not a bad thing. One of the most gratifying things about Azealia Banks is her capacity to switch between more established hip-hop styles (here, a pretty standard trap backing) and the more experimental. Where this song really shines is the second verse. Whew, it’s maybe one of my favourite Azealia verses ever, actually. ‘’I’m bringing out the dyke in her’’ will always be a bit of a giggle. Fittingly, the song’s cold atmosphere segues into ‘’Ice Princess’’, probably one of the instant standouts from the album. And while I don’t love this song as much as I did in 2014, it’s an undeniably great track. Built over a sample of DJ Morgan Page’s ‘’In The Air’’, it’s another great example of Azealia’s propensity to effortlessly mix styles. Bonus points for the video, where Azealia is some sort of animated snow Medusa with backup dancers? I suppose? I don’t know, it’s cute, I like it. Now, let’s talk about ‘’Yung Rapunxel’’. Released in April 2013, still in the wake of ‘’212’’’s massive worldwide success, I feel like it was poised to be some kind of follow-up. And while it does have the abrasiveness of ‘’212’’, it could at best be some kind of evil cousin. This song is insane. Set over a choppy, industrial, almost gabber-esque beat, Azealia raps and shouts her way through four minutes of chaos. An oasis of respite comes in the bridge, complete with a little Mary J. Blige sample (‘’So tired… tired of all this drama…’’) before exploding back into the final chorus. The song never settles down, it just ends, still kicking and screaming. It’s just an immensely fun, great song. It also gave us this timeless GIF from Coachella 2015. Cultural patromony imo. Oh, and it has a great music video - she was lucky to release it in 2013, because that way it even got the whole ‘’illuminati imagery’’ analysis treatment that was raging at the time. Too relevant! Track 11, ‘’Soda’’, is an anomaly in Azealia’s catalogue. It’s easily the most raw, poignant song she’s released. The song uses the classic trick of putting sad lyrics to a cheery backing, all while Azealia addresses themes of drug abuse and mental illness. ‘’I'm trying to hide behind tired eyes, I sigh / I'm tired of trying to try not to cry.’’ It’s a key song in Azealia’s discography, a well-needed reminder that behind the internet beefs and scandals, Azealia Banks is a person, a person with bipolar disorder on top of the same personal struggles we all have. It shouldn’t need to be said, but unfortunately it does. The quickness with which people dismiss celebrities’ humanity is alarming, even moreso in the internet era, and scarily so in the case of Azealia Banks. ‘’Soda’’ has without a doubt earned its place as one of the all-time fan favourites. ‘’Chasing Time’’ is a house, Euro-popish number, and to be honest, my least favourite on the album. It is, though, a very decent song, and may have lured in some more pop-inclined listeners to the album. Despite this, it’s probably the only song on the album I would call non-essential. This is not the case of track 13, ‘’Luxury’’. Rescued from the 2012 Fantasea mixtape - it was too good not to make the album - it’s a welcome addition to Broke With Expensive Taste. It’s expertly produced, and probably one of Azealia’s songs with the most universal appeal. Honestly, it’s the kind of song where you forget how good it really is. I’m about to get up and listen to it now. A classic maybe. And again, great music video, under which I found the very accurate comment: ‘’she sounds how perfume smells.’’ Here? I get it. Aaand we’re back to the weird stuff. ‘’Nude Beach a-Go-Go’’ is a cover of an Ariel Pink song, whom Azealia always liked. It’s unexpected, it’s silly, it’s fun. I love it, I love that it’s here. It’s probably the kind of decision that would baffle a casual listener, but fans have known for years about Azealia’s long-standing admiration for this kind of white man indie rock (See: her great "Barely Legal" cover). Hope she liked the new Strokes album, the fans seemed to like it, so good for them I guess. Anyway, it’s a fun song, the kind of thing that few other hip-hop artists would dare. That’s why we have Azealia Banks: to do the things no one else is willing to try (also see: Yung Rapunxel II mixtape from last year - come back to me and let me know what you thought.) The album closes out with the sister songs ‘’Miss Amor’’ and ‘’Miss Camaraderie’’. They’re both great songs, although I do prefer ‘’Miss Amor’’, the extraverted, outgoing sister. ‘’Miss Camaraderie’’, though, is a firm fan favourite, and a perfect way to close the album. And what an album. I told myself before writing this piece that I’d try not to mention Azealia’s infamous internet presence - which is, I must say, near impossible. Azealia’s art is so eclipsed by this presence that merely the sight of this piece will probably shock or entertain more than a few. It’s understandable. If there’s one thing you take away from this write-up: give Azealia Banks a chance. If you want, of course. I’m not forcing anyone, nor do I want to. But this album and this woman’s music in general were such an important part of mine and many others’ formative years, and this album will forever be in my heart. No matter what Azealia says or does. We don’t choose these connections we make with music, and we don’t always get to choose to break them, even if we wanted to. Understand that Azealia Banks is a complex person, like us all. That she is a young American black woman raised in an abusive household. And most of all, consider taking away from this piece that she is an extraordinary artist, who despite endless obstacles and pitfalls, managed to deliver one of the best, most thrilling albums of 2014, and one of the very best albums of the 2010s. Will we ever get another Azealia album? Hopefully. I really am hopeful, even as the follow-up to Broke With Expensive Taste has itself been delayed countless times. But even if we don’t, would I be mad? With this album, Azealia left her mark on music, her mark on her era, her mark on millions of listeners, and maybe an even deeper mark on a few thousand like me who will treasure this album forever. Don’t dismiss Azealia Banks. Favourite Lyrics
Darling Miss Delilah While you're wasting your days alone All your friends are hired, all your friendships are fading.
Assassinate the look - murdering the gown Fashion-Killa, the body dipped in brown.
Why you procrastinating girl? You got a lot, but you just waste all yours and They'll forget your name soon (name soon) And won't nobody be to blame but yourself, yeah.
I’m in every city, they say hello To the head bitch.
"Heavy Metal and Reflective"
Tits out with your wife, n—, I’m bringing out the dyke in her.
I'm trying to hide behind tired eyes, I sigh I might survive the nighttime, I might die I say soda soda, I'm a high roller.
AZ stay talking that sick sadistic shit.
Did Broke With Expensive Taste get the credit it deserves?
Does Azealia Banks get the credit she deserves?
Had Azealia Banks been a man, could her career have taken a completely different trajectory?
Azealia Banks’ influence on 2010s pop culture and music - it’s bigger than many would like to think.
And finally, where does Broke With Expensive Taste land on your 2014 lists?
Thank you to u/tropikhana for their write-up! Up tomorrow, we've got u/kappyko scheduled to talk about another debut, Christine & the Queens' Ch\*aleur Humaine*. In the meantime, discuss today's album in the comments below where the schedule for the rest of the series and every write-up so far will be posted.
Pocahontas is a phenomenal movie that was made in 1996. I used to rewatch Pocahontas a lot, but it is only now that I have begun to acknowledge and appreciate it's soundtrack more. The Soundtrack was done by Alan Menken (Music) and Stephen Schwartz (Lyrics). They have both done a lot of great soundtracks and I'd just like to credit them for their amazing work. Awards Won It has won and been nominated for many awards, but I'm just going to mention 3:
Oscar - Best Music, Original Song - Colours of the Wind
Oscar- Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score
Golden Globe - Best Original Song - Motion Picture
General Songs The songs in this movie are very beautiful and thought-provoking. The gorgeous animation combined with the beautiful instrumentals and lyrics really fleshes out the art of animation and its ability to tell a story. It teaches us lessons through its wonderful songs. I have learned so much over the years from songs like Colours of the wind, that talk about spirituality, unity and appreciation/understanding of nature. Just around the Riverbend that touches upon destiny and decision making (a fork in the road/stream). Savages that outlines the truths of life and the way many diverse people clash because of their differences. The songs in this movie teach so much and I'm happy about that. One can learn so much from this music and the art of thought and philosophy that surround it. General Score The scores and instrumentals complement the characters, cultures, animation, and surroundings very well. I think they really emulate the feeling of the Native Americans' beliefs and spirituality very well. In the instrumentals, I can hear a lot of rattling, windy and natural sounds. Many a time the increase in volume and pitches are used very well to express the danger or emotion in each scene. Overall, the score is amazing and definitely deserved all the awards it got. Deep-Dive So here, I'm going to look a little bit into each song and score. Be it exploring the meaning, lessons or just the general sound of it, that's what I'll do. So here goes: Songs These are all songs, except from 3 scores. 1. The Virginia Company
This song comes at the beginning of the movie. I like how it sets up the story and the motives of the Europeans. It even shows that before reaching the land of the natives, John Smith was alright with going to fight the Natives. So, this is a set up for a lot of character development.
Besides that, I like the way it is recognizable. I always believe that songs and scores from movies should be so unique that you know the movie they are from....when you hear those drums at the beginning. You know that it's Pocahontas' Virginia Company.
I like this score. It's very good at showing the danger of the scene. If I recall correctly, this is the scene where there was a storm and Thomas fell off the boat. Anyway, I really enjoyed its use of high pitched sounds, as well as the soundtracks overall uniqueness to give up a danger score that isn't like the others.
Be aware that I haven't watched Pocahontas in years, although I want to this week. So I completely forgot what John was like in this song and his motives before he met Pocahontas.
Anyway, I believe the importance of this is still to set up John Smith's character. Now, he's more than willing to kill the natives, but at the end of the movie, he is different. He has learned so much from Pocahontas. And this really shows the importance of educating people on such matters.
I love this song. I've loved it since I was super young. I always used to sing along to it. It's a really beautiful song. I remember loving it so much because of the gorgeous animation and also because the Natives were being introduced. It is such a peaceful song. You can feel it's ancient vibe and tunes. It's steady and calm. I like how it shows the people in their normal lives.
The fact that they are at peace in this scene reminds me of that lyric from Tarzan's "Two Worlds One Family" - A paradise untouched by man, Within this world blessed with love, A simple life, they live in peace... Yes, they did have wars before the Europeans came...but it's still a paradise untouched in a sense. Then the mining, cutting, and digging comes and in a way disrupts the balance of their simple and peaceful lives.
The lyrics in this song are also very beautiful and seem to hold great meaning to the people
O great spirit hear our song Help us keep the ancient ways Keep the sacred fire strong Walk in balance all our days Seasons go and Seasons come Steady as the beating drum Plum to seed to bud to plum
It also seems to touch upon the balance they have. The cycle that continues to happen every moon and every season. Plum to seed, to bud, to plum. They are praying for goodness, peace and balance to continue for years. To keep their ancient ways and the cycles of seasons and fortunes to continue on.
Chief Powhatan's singing voice (Jim Cumming's) is really nice and calm. It's steady, like the steady beating drum. I really like this scene where he shares some kind of wisdom with Pocahontas. So overall, it's a nice short song. It sounds really calming and melodic and has a nice message in it.
This is a really catchy song. Just around the Riverbend is upbeat, hopeful and freeing. I really like Pocahontas' (Judy Kuhn) vocals in it as well.
I like how in this song, Pocahontas kind of contemplates on her father's words. On whether to choose the smoothest course, steady as the beating drum...and also whether she should marry Kocoum. The main thing I get from this song, is making decisions. There is a fork in the stream/river...there the rough and smooth course. The smooth course has the straight forward life that is planned for her by her people, the rough course is an unknown destiny waiting for her...one hinted at in her dreams.
So I like the deeper meaning in that song and how it reflects on real life choices people have to make everyday.
This is also a very beautiful score. Like many of the other scores, I really enjoy it's incorporation of tunes from the songs in the movie. In this one, I can hear a bit of Listen with your Heart. Also, I like the reoccuring rattle sounds in many of the scores, as well as in this one. The calm and soft drums, ancient rattles and shakes, sharp whistle like sounds and smooth tones really go well together and make this score all the more enjoyable.
This song is very spiritual and connected and disconnected at the same time. It involves Pocahontas listening to her heart to know her path. To me, it's like disconnecting from the material world and desires in a sense, but also connecting to the spirits around and within yourself in order to understand what your path is. It's like finding yourself. That's how I see it.
Besides that, the instrumentals, lyrics and Grandmother Willow's voice are all good as well...Adding more to the calming and wise feeling of the song and it's message.
This is a really really catchy song. I remember liking it so much...and I still do. Something about David Stiers's voice here is just so compelling. I thing he did very well with expressing the greed and selfishness in Ratcliffe's voice. It really shows the motives of these characters and differentiates them from people like Pocahontas.
That is also why John Smith (Mel Gibson) going from being more like them and looking for a land he could "tame" to being more appreciative of nature and living as one with it because of Pocahontas, is very good character development.
Also, I'd help you to dig boys but I've got a creek in me spine is like the most Disney Villain like thing I've heard in this song. We all know that's what they're kinda like with their henchmen.
If I never knew you's tune plays as the two first meet. It sounds really nice and I like how it connects to both of their characters. It also goes really well with the misty visuals in the scene. The transition from this tune to the next is also really nice and neat.
I like how it get quicker and the rattles and drums softly play as Pocahontas runs away...once again showing the some what danger of the scene. Then it softens as John Smith leans in closer and extends his hand towards her.
Now, why did she take his hand? In the background we can hear the tunes Listen with your heart, and If I never knew you once again. She listens to her heart and takes his hand...her heart is leading her to her path...and some what Destiny. A destiny to meet and fall inlove with John. That is why If I never knew you plays, it was always meant to be for them to meet, that's their path and destiny. That is the meaning I see to it and the reason why I think it was so great to have those tunes play in this scene.
I've discussed this song before Here...so I'll just summarize here.
There is a strong message in the begining that says: You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you, but if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew. It is a very thought provoking and wise quote. I really makes people see things differently and I like that.
This song talks alot about appreciation of Nature. It connects alot to the beliefs and values many of us know about the Native Americans and how they respected and valued the sprits of nature.
The way I see it...the wind is invisible. We cannot see it. But painting with the colours of the wind is like open your eyes and mind to things beyond what others can see. You open your eyes to the beauty of nature, all the souls and life around you and learn to live with and respect them. To look at the land as life and not just profit.
The vocals in this song as well as the instrumentals are also great. They sound really cool. I like the depressions and lifts in the sounds as things happen with the character's exploring. Besides that, the animation in this scene is phenomenal. This definitely deserved the Oscar and other awards it won.
This song scared me as a kid. Like alot. Not only because of the lyrics but also the instrumentals.
When they said drums of war...they meant it. The percussion and brass instruments in this song are so strong and perfectly emulate war and conflict brewing. Also the voices are really great in this song and really complement the loud instrumentals.
The lyrics...this is a really serious movie that touches hard to deal with topics. It touches upon prejudice, misconception of people, conflict based on difference and so much more. I'm honestly really shocked that Disney once did a song and movie about this. This is the first Disney movie and song I've actually heard the word race....
The song also really goes well with the fire and smoke animation.
I really like Pocahontas' voice here. Judy Kuhn really expressed hurry in this song very well. Because Pocahontas is hurrying to save the person she loves and to stop a war.
I really like the instrumentals in the beginning. You can hear Listen with you Heart in it because Pocahontas is choosing a path and making a decision to save John Smith.
The way they play the warriors' voices at the same time as Pocahontas' sounds amazing. Especially when Pocahontas is saying How high are the drums of War? and they are saying We will sound the drums of War.
You can hear If I Never Knew You in this score. It's really calm but at the same time conveys Pocahontas' sadness very well. This plays in the cut version of the movie where Pocahontas and John say their goodbyes the night before his execution. It's a really nice scene.
Still can't believe this was cut. I remember when I first used to rewatch it...before I knew this song was cut I was always confused about something, like something was missing in a sense. For all the 1990s Disney Movies, I listened to the end credit songs. The If I Never Knew You end credit song always confused me because the original song wasn't in the movie. I was always like where did this song come from? This song...It really made the ending make more sense to me after I heard it.
If you have watched a version that had it...then it was probably the 10th anniversary edition of Pocahontas. But I watched the original the first few times so that's why I didn't get to see it. But I think I remember rewatching the version with the song in the early 2010s.
The ending in which Pocahontas and John accept separation. In this song, it explored how they came to terms with separation from each other because it had to be done...and also because they were grateful for what they had together and for the things they taught each other. The value they brought into each other's lives.
Overall, it's a great song, with great vocals and great character relationship exploration.
Scores and End Titles These are all scores, except 2 end credit songs. 16. Pocahontas
I like the way this score perfectly emulates Pocahontas' free spirited, playful and adventurous character. Especially when she jumps off the cliff and into the water. This is also a good thing about her character because Pocahontas means playful one.
This score is very unique. When you hear it you can clearly pinpoint which scene it is and exactly when Pocahontas jumps...as well as when Meeko jumps.
This is the scene where Kekata uses smoke to show a display of the Europeans. In this scene...I think I remember Kekata comparing them to ravenous wolves who destroy everything in their path. I remember one smoke figure of a wolf encircled Kocoum...that must have been foreshadowing to him being killed by Thomas, one of the Europeans.
It sounds really mysterious, showing the lack of knowledge the natives have of the europeans...it is also very high pitched at a point, displaying the danger of the Europeans as their figures shoots thunder and lightning and their wolf forms devour everything in there path. Overall, it's a really cool sounding score.
I liked the light hearted scenes with Percy and Meeko. When you hear Percy's bath you can hear it's playful and nonsensical feel. It really added some nice wholesome fun to the movie. So, Percy's Bath is alright. I like the instrumentals and their great way of emulating fun.
This is also a peaceful and beautiful score. Close to the end you can hear some of the tune from Virginia company...but played with a high pitched (maybe woodwind) instrument. It has a climax where it increases in volume and grandeur then it ends in a beautiful silence. Really nice score.
This is a very emotion packed score. In here you can hear love, passion, a feeling of betrayal, shock, fear, anxiety and rage. It 's all packed in a few minutes and is expressed with every increase and decrease of volume, with each and every intrument the emotions are felt.
You can really pin point were John and Pocahontas kiss, there is passion and strength in the instrumentals. Thomas sees them, and you can here the severity and danger of the scene in the music. Where Kocoum sees them, you hear a rattle as he appears, you can feel the betrayal he feels and the jealousy. You can hear alot of danger when Kocoum and John fight, the fear and anxiety of Thomas as he aims to shoot...the rage in Kocoum as he tries to kill John and the dead silence when he is shot.
Definitely one of my favourites in the entire score list.
It also has a playful and light hearted feel to it because this is when Pocahontas and John Smith get to know each other a little. From what I remember, it was a fun and wholesome scene. Meeko and Flit were in it as well.
Also, at 1:06, the tune there sounds kinda like something from Beauty and the Beast. Although I wouldn't be surprised because Alan Menken worked on Beauty and the beast as well. It fits really well with this score.
This definitely sounds like a song where a villain is making an evil plan. This is a good score. I really like how it combines so many different types of tunes and intruments without feeling confusing or clastered.
I like the soft drums at the beginning of this score. In this song you can also hear the tune of Steady as the Beating Drum, but it's more high pitched and grand at the end rather that low and calm... and then I think I can hear a few seconds of a Just Around the Riverbend tune...not sure. It sounds like the "Or do you wait for me" part then it ends. It could just be me though. Anyway, it's a nice short score.
I like the rattles and shakes in this score. As well as the trumpets and drums. They sound really beautiful and really emulate the war preparation feeling. Besides the score, I've just always really liked this scene beacuse of it's beautiful and colourful sunset aesthetic.
In this score you can here some kind of trumpet similar to the one from Virginia Company. You can also here the instrumentals expressing the severity and danger of this scene. Not only because he's sneaking out....if I recall correctly it also has a loud dangerous drum and brass sound because Thomas saw John leave and followed him. Overall, it's a good score. Definitely recognizable...when you hear this you can tell what is going on. Especially if you've watched the movie alot.
There's a connection here. When Powhatan tells Pocahontas to stand back she says "I won't! I love him, Father. Look around you! This is where the path of hatred has brought us. This is the path I choose, Father. What will yours be?" The Path she chooses, the decison she makes. I related this to Just around the Riverbend and her choosing a path to take...it also relates to Steady as the beating drum because of the wisdom Powhatan gave Pocahontas on making a choice.
Steady as the beating drum's tune plays as Powhatan gains some realisation of what he is doing and how it is wrong. Colours of the Wind plays at that part of whether we are white or copper skinned. Showing the messgae of we are all the same people and do not need to fight each other. Painting with all the colours of the wind...meaning acknowledging all life, even the life of John Smith. Then when John is let go I think him and Pocahontas hug, that is where If I Never Knew You's tune plays (correct me if I'm wrong).
If I recall correctly, its abrupt ending is because at that point, Ratcliffe aims to shoot Powhatan and then John deflects it. Those abrupt endings usually occur when there is danger or death... so based on my memory that is what went down.
This is one of the most beautiful ending scores I have ever heard in Disney. You can hear Colours of the Wind, Steady as the Beating Drum and If I Never Knew You. They are all incorporated really well. I like the rushing tunes as Pocahontas runs through the trees...Which transition into the final beautiful oprah voices singing a grand tune of colours of the wind. Truly a masterpiece.
Something I wrote about Farewell in another discussion: In Farewell, when John and Pocahontas say their goodbyes...we hear the tunes of Colours of the Wind and If I Never Knew You. Which connects with the message of If I Never Knew You (The Good they brought into eachother's lives even though they have to say goodbye) and also Colours of the Wind (Reflecting on what John Smith learnt from Pocahontas and also the message of how we are all the same people).
That beautiful 90s sound. You can feel the 90s vibe in this song and I love it. This is it's own kind of song with it's own different and unique feeling. I love how 90s this movie got with it's end title. They also gave this song a different flow and amazing instrumentals that really complemented Vanessa William's voice and singing style. Great song.
This is the version by John Secada and Shanice. I love this one so much. Disney 1990s end titles were fire. Especially the ones that embraced their 90s music vibe...like this one. It's amazing. It feel so...90s. It's got those 90s chimes and that kind of tune and angelic feeling that many 90s love songs had. I have never skipped the Pocahontas end credits and this is one of the reasons for that. Both John and Shanice's voices are phenomenal and they really go well together.
Overall, it was a great soundtrack and it's also my favourite. What did you guys this of this soundtrack? Please say so in the comments. Thanks. P.S. Correct me if I made any mistakes with saying what was going on in the movie at the time of a score. I did this based on all the Pocahontas knowledge I acquired from watching it dozens of times when I was younger...and I last watched it in 2013.
2020.08.25 14:37 LordChozoHindsight is 2020: #29 - Seven Stones
from Nursery Cryme, 1971 Listen to it here! Luck, be a lady tonight! Lyrically, “Seven Stones” is a metanarrative of three smaller tales. The first sees a tinker lost in a storm. He finds seven rocks under a pile of leaves, takes it as a sign, and sure enough finds shelter within the seventh house he comes across. The second tale is of a sea captain unknowingly making a beeline for disaster, only to see a single seagull over what appears to be open water. He thinks, “Well that’s odd,” and turns the boat just in case, never knowing for sure that he just saved the lives of everyone on his ship. And the final tale is of an inexperienced farmer trying to buy wisdom, only to have his money taken with no answers. He did buy wisdom in the end, if only the certainty that wisdom can’t be bought. These stories are pretty different things, but they’re all framed within the song’s lyrics as being told by a singular old man who laughs at grief and grieves at mirth. He’s passing his own brand of wisdom onto the listener, as each story has a different but related moral. The first, that pivotal things can happen totally out of the blue. How unlikely is it that at the exact moment of despair, this tinker finds an apparently meaningful marker on the ground that actually leads him to safety? The second moral is that we can never know what roads other decisions may have led us down. The sea captain didn’t know there was a rock there, and he never truly will. And finally, that our plans are useless. A farmer who doesn’t know when to sow wants to plan his whole crop, but for his trouble is only cheated of his cash, because what answer could the old man possibly give? You make the decision and you live with it. This is an odd thing for Genesis - well, almost certainly Tony Banks, at any rate - to be writing about, isn’t it? To be sure, they’d by now proven their penchant for fanciful stories and drama that would befit some kind of Age of Legends, but “Seven Stones” isn’t quite that. It’s not a grand tale of kings and betrayal, or a description of a pastoral scene, or even a channeling of a particular emotion. It’s just a kind of proverb, told as a set of proverbs, about how the world is ruled by randomness, and that to an extent simply believing in the power of good fortune can almost will it into existence. Where did this come from? My theory is that it had a lot to do with the uncertainty the band had experienced over the previous year, how much stronger they came out of it, and how outrageously unlikely all of that was. Let’s take a walk down memory lane, and as we go, I encourage you to continually ask yourself: how incredibly fortunate is it that this happened? The trouble started, of course, with Anthony Phillips’ departure from the band, which initially seemed to spell the end for all parties. Peter and Mike figured they could roll on, but were having trouble getting buy-in from Tony. Which is when old schoolmate (and part-time cook and part-time roadie and full-time #1 Genesis fan) Richard Macphail told Tony he couldn’t let this drop.
Tony:Anthony Phillips left, and so we had to make a decision. As I said before, Anthony I saw as group leader in many ways. Certainly the most influential person in the group. And I thought when he left we probably would split up, actually. And then we had a conversation: Mike and Pete were very keen to carry on, and Richard Macphail - who was our roadie, but a good friend, sort of a big fan and everything - said, “There’s no way you should [break up]. You must carry on, you’ve got something going here.” So all these things came together.1
From Genesis to Revelation didn’t sell. Trespass didn’t really sell. The band was gigging, but no money was being made. They were making some inroads at some venues, but if they left, would anyone really miss them? How lucky then that they could have such a supportive and unflappable fan in their midst, who could talk to the band’s most stubborn member and convince him that this was worth doing? Of course, Tony was still Tony, and thus put a condition on the whole thing: find a new drummer. Which led to auditions at the Château du Gabriel, where a guy named Phil Collins showed up early, but just so happened to be placed last in the audition order. Out of hospitality, the Gabriel parents cheerfully offered that Phil could take a swim in their heated pool. He hadn’t brought trunks, but on a whim he decided, “Sure, that sounds like fun.” And this pool, naturally, happened to be right next to the auditioning area.
Phil:We’ve arrived a couple of drummers early and, as I’m splashing about, I hear my rivals go through their paces. The standard is decent and I quickly appreciate what I’m up against. I keep my head down in the water a bit longer, calming my nerves...I’m the last drummer that day…2 Peter:It was a painful and really time-consuming process, so we thought, “OK, we’ll throw some different tests at these drummers and see how quickly people pick up these ideas.” Phil arrived early as he often does...listening to the other drummers run through these tests, so by the time he sat down, he knew it.1
How fortunate for Phil that all these things landed in his favor that he could nail the audition! Does Phil Collins get the Genesis gig without this extra leg up over the competition? We’ll never really know, though to hear the band tell it now there was never any doubt before the “tests” even began:
Tony:Of course everyone’s going to say, “Oh, I thought Phil was the best,” but Pete and I definitely thought he was. Phil had something about him that was kind of special.3 Peter:I was convinced from the first moment. I knew when Phil sat down on the kit, before he’d played a note, that this was a guy who really was in command of what he was doing, because he was so confident. It’s like watching a jockey sit on a horse.3
From Genesis’ perspective, they felt really lucky to have had a drummer of this caliber - he’d recorded at Abbey Road! - show up to their audition. From Phil’s, he felt really lucky to finally be in a band that actually got work.
Phil:I try to play it cool, but inside I’m jumping. I’ve finally found a band; or a band has found me.2
Tony, Mike, and Peter likely felt some disappointment at not being able to find a guitarist in those sessions. Phil had even brought along to the audition his friend, guitarist, and fellow Flaming Youth member Ronnie Caryl, but the guys didn’t feel he was a fit. A bummer, it seemed at the time, because this forced the band to go gig for a while as a four-piece, without any guitarist at all. As simply removing the guitar parts would damage the integrity of the songs, Tony had to pick up the slack.
Tony:We went out as a four-piece for about two or three months, I think, which taught me a lot, because I ended up playing - I had this piano I put through a fuzz box - all the guitar parts that Ant had played. Well, all the ones I could, anyhow...and at the same time playing the organ parts! So suddenly I was doing this two-handed stuff, which I had never really done before, but it made me mature as a musician a great amount.1
Yes, the missing guitarist appeared to be a problem, but as time would reveal it was really a blessing in disguise. Not “how disappointing we didn’t get one sooner,” but now “how surprisingly beneficial this turned out to be!” But of course, they didn’t stop looking for a guitarist. Or at least, Mike didn’t stop looking. Yet he still wanted Ant, or someone just like him. Someone who could produce the same kind of sound, intertwining with him on 12 strings and really just doing “the Genesis thing” as he’d come to know it. So it probably felt like defeat that after months of fruitless searching he came down with a stomach ulcer. But wouldn’t you know it, at precisely that time a young guitarist going by the name of Steve Hackett put out an ad for a band. How serendipitous!
Mike:In truth, I was too set on finding “the son of Ant.” I still missed him...For Pete and Tony, however, it was much less complicated: we needed a new guitarist, simple as that. And so when I fell ill with a stomach ulcer, they simply went and got another one...Steve was different...His real strength was doing the most amazing, unique, quirky-sounding things on guitar - he brought something to the band that Ant never would have done and I fully appreciated it.4
If Mike is healthy, does he reject Steve like all the others? Does Mick Barnard stick around the guitar stool for entirely too long? Does Nursery Cryme as an album really come together in the same way, and inform the future of the band as strongly as it did? Who can say!
Mike:Fortunately Steve fitted in really well and it’s much stronger now than it ever was.5
Fortunate indeed. And this new five-piece, assembled by a series of increasingly unlikely rolls of the dice, was expanding the band’s sound and presence both ever further.
Tony:Phil and Steve’s contribution, particularly at this stage, was to bring a bit of musicianship into the group. I was still learning very much as a musician. I mean, it was OK, but nothing brilliant. And Mike was certainly still finding his way as a musician. Whereas Phil came and was a really high quality drummer right from the word go; he’s got a brilliant sense of rhythm. And Steve obviously was technically a better player than we were at that time. And that’s what it really gave us: a bit of technique in there as well as everything else. Gave us a better chance to do things.1 Pete:Phil definitely just lifted the foundation of everything, just with great grooves...and I think Steve, it was coloring. He was a coloring agent in lots of ways. And it was this sort of dark, contained personality that was struggling to get out. I think that’s partly why we connected with people, because there was this yearning, longing buildup of some compressed energy that needed to explode and get out, and we didn’t always get it out, but people could feel and touch those sort of vibrations humming beneath the surface. And Steve definitely had a good dollop of unfulfilled frustrations, I think, that gave it a good personality.1
Heck, even the American press kit for Nursery Cryme admits that this was all really just a good deal of a hand, a fortuitous shuffle of the deck. And it goes back even further to the band’s discovery as they weren’t sure how they were going to escape the grand chasm of listener indifference generated by the efforts of their debut:
A group whose considerable talents left them a bit sprawling, Genesis had the good fortune to attract the attention of the head of Charisma Records, Tony Stratton-Smith. Smith put them together with a “benevolent and indulgent” producer, John Anthony, and paid a considerable tab for studio time at the Trident Studios in London. This was a wise and necessary investment. The results are “Nursery Cryme”...6
“Well, these guys were pretty good, but they also kinda sucked, but along came Tony Stratton-Smith to give them a record deal anyway! Fate must’ve been smiling upon them!” And now, audiences still had to dig their sound. A sound like we hear on “Seven Stones”, with its big organ, sauntering bass line, and effortlessly light drum rolls with clean vocal harmonies delivered from the band’s new drummer. Its melodic interplay between keys and flute. Its lead vocal delivered with a gravitas beyond the singer’s years. And of course, its dramatic yet still textural guitar, putting a heavier edge on the sound than listeners were accustomed to from the band. And they loved every bit of it.
Peter:Our style has changed a lot - evolved in the last year. It changed when Phil came along and Steve joined on guitar...Originally we tried to do folk type numbers, and it’s all worked up to a crescendo. Now we’ve got an act [where] we’ve started to take control of the audiences.7
What are the odds? Let’s hear it from the band!
Peter:A step into the shade, if you like. There’s more sort of sun shining in Trespass, more sort of folky feels and outside stuff, and we’d [now] gone indoors on Nursery Cryme.1 Mike:“Seven Stones” was very much Tony’s song. It was a great example of what I’ve come to call Tony’s cabaret chords: his big, schmaltzy, music-hall chords which Phil and I struggled with but he loved. In the end we had to make a rule: Tony could have three or four per album and no more. We always wondered what happened to the ones we’d turned down. Then in 2011 Tony released a wonderful classical album and we found out.4 Ant:There was a huge silver lining for Genesis which was that me leaving meant they had to have a time of reassessment. They got Phil. I mean, come on, it’s got to have been worth it to have got Phil. I feel sorry for John Mayhew, saying that, because John was a decent drummer, but what an impossible act to have preceded, if you like.3
2020.08.21 17:56 AmigoDelDiablaStreetlife Serenade is underrated as an album
I think I can safely assume that if you're reading a post in this sub, it won't take much convincing for you to agree that Billy Joel is one of the greatest American lyricists in history. In short, I feel he belongs in the same company as Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Joni Mitchell in his ability to capture American culture in lyrics. With that being said, I frickin' love Streetlife Serenade, and here's my song-by-song description why:
Streetlife Serenade (Title track): If Piano Man was an ode to barrroom musicians, this is an ode to buskers. Joel's love for the everyman is evident here.
Los Angelenos: A stranger in a strange land. I love his description of LA from a Long Islander's perspective
Great Suburban Showdown: One of the best on the album in terms of capturing a relatable experience: that of coming home. The descriptions are appropriately bland, which enhances the effective message of the song
Root Beer Rag: If you don't bust out some air-piano during this song, are you even a Joel fan?
Roberta: "Roxanne" by The Police may be more well known, and Sting's vocals are not to be overlooked, but this song captures the feelings a man might have for a prostitute much better. There's genuine emotion here.
The Entertainer: consistent with Seger's "Turn The Page," Bon Jovi's "Wanted: Dead or Alive," Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar" and numerous others, this is Joel's cynical look at being a musician and the business behind it. But Joel isn't trying to garner sympathy here; there's no "Woe is me" tone like some of the others. He's almost writing as a disinterested third-party: there's a lot of fun to be had but I know it could end any moment. So don't bust my balls for playing the game.
Last of the Big Time Spenders: Another simple, genuine ode to the everyman to which we can all relate: spending time on a love one is more important than spending money
Weekend Song: Almost a continuation of the everyman theme, who hasn't felt like this on a Friday after a shit week? Just a "fuck it, let's go have a good time."
Souvenir: Sometimes elegance is shown through brevity. In a previous post, I saw the last line of this song as many people's favorite Joel lyric.
Mexican Connection: OK, every album has a weak song that doesn't contribute much. Such is this song. Not bad, but doesn't bring much.
I realize this album is often considered a disappointing follow-up to Piano Man, and it doesn't have the depth that a lot of his other albums had. But I think the lyrics just add to Joel's oeuvre that captures the nuance of common American life.
2020.08.16 19:42 smay1233 MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS for each ‘FOLKLORE’ SONG: A Masterpost
hey everyone! i’ve been listening to folklore nonstop the last few weeks (like everyone) and one of my favorite aspects about this album is how storytelling-driven it is. listening to the songs over and over again, i was constantly reminded of movies that follow a similar storyline and/or vibe to specific tracks on this album. as a swiftie and a cinemaholic, i decided to combine two of those passions and recommend movies based on folklore songs! i hope you enjoy this list and that it gives you new movies to watch soon, and realize how some of taylor’s lyrics match the plot like a pair of gloves. the 1 (and if my wishes came true/it would have been you): Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) La La Land (2016), Someone Great (2019) cardigan (when you are young they assume you know nothing/but i knew you): “Before” Trilogy (1995-2013), The Notebook (2004), Never Let Me Go (2010) the last great american dynasty (there goes the most shameless woman this town has ever seen/i had a marvelous time ruining everything): Pretty Woman (1990), The Princess Diaries (2001), Carol (2015) exile (you never gave a warning sign/i gave so many signs): 500 Days of Summer (2009), Blue Valentine (2010), Marriage Story (2019) my tears ricochet (you know i didn’t want to have to haunt you/but what a ghostly scene): Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), Vertigo (1958) mirrorball (spinning in my highest heels, love/shining just for you): Frances Ha (2012), A Star Is Born (2018), Her Smell (2019) seven (pack your dolls in a sweatewe’ll move to India forever): A Little Princess (1995), Bridge to Terebithia (2007), The Florida Project (2017) august (to live for the hope of it all/cancel plans just in case you call): Say Anything (1989), Princess Cyd (2017), Call Me By Your Name (2017) this is me trying (they told me all of my cages were mental/so i got wasted like all my potential): 28 Days (2000), Rachel Getting Married (2008), One Day (2009) illicit affairs (and that’s the thing about illicit affairs/clandestine meetings and longing stares): Brief Encounter (1945), The Apartment (1960), Brokeback Mountain (2005) invisible string (time, curious time/gave me no compasses, gave me no signs): When Harry Met Sally (1989), You’ve Got Mail (1998), Beyond the Lights (2014) mad woman (no one likes a mad woman/you made her like that): Gone Girl (2014), mother! (2017), Midsommar (2019) epiphany (with you i serve, with you i fall down/watch you breathe in, watch you breathe out): Steel Magnolias (1989), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Thank You for Your Service (2017) betty (i’m only seventeen, i don’t know anything/but i know i miss you): Grease (1978), Some Kind of Wonderful (1989), The Spectacular Now (2013) peace (would it be enough if i could never give you peace): Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Lady Bird (2017) hoax (your faithless love’s the only hoax i believe in): Cruel Intentions (1999), Lust, Caution (2007), Jane Eyre (2011) NOTE #1: since some of the songs on folklore are more specific and story-driven than others (such as the last great American dynasty and betty), that means hardly every single movie follows the exact trajectory of the song i’ve connected it with. some more-or-less follow the general SPIRIT of the song instead. for example, for last great American dynasty, i tried thinking of and researching movies about a “shameless” woman who arrives and messes up the social order of the oppressing society surrounding her. with betty, i was thinking of teen movies where the the love interest is severely flawed and makes mistakes, but tries to atone. NOTE 2: if any of you also have movie recommendations based on this album or would like to question/debate a specific choice, please mention it in the comments below! i love talking about folklore and movies so doing both at once sounds ideal.
2020.08.14 22:46 xKAMEHAMEHAxOld Gods Of Asgard Predict AWE Events (Theory)
The Old Gods Of Asgard predict a lot of events in the Alan Wake games through their songs(or cause them to happen possibly), and the last song given to us in an Alan Wake game was found a while back to have a hidden message when reversed "It will happen again, In a Town Called Ordinary". This was one the first hints that Jesse Faden's origin might not have been the result of a random AWE but rather possibly the writings of Alan Wake in hopes of escaping the Dark Place for good. The key to understanding the Old God Lyrics in the frame of Alan Wake crossing over to Control is remembering the game Alan Wake and more specifically the first encounter with Thomas Zane in AW. It is a dream sequence where Zane teaches you the ropes of fighting the Dark Presence. He also recites lines that appear in the song. As not to get too complicated I will approach the song verse by verse and assume it is lineasemilinear in storytelling. But also I need to set up and break down the possible meaning of "Its not a lake, Its an Ocean", it is almost certain that it is referring to the oceanview motel and casino which is another place of power that operates on dream logic which Alan wake seemed to be getting better at during American Nightmare, this would imply he is navigating the ocean finally and might have found a way to land. The first verse is "Deep within the ocean of darkness, In the Mirror of Light, Balance becomes a stranger, And in your fantasies, he rides a storm on your peace". So the "Ocean of darkness" may as well be the stand in for the remedy multiverse and the "Mirror of Light" is something that we will get to at the end once "Balance Slays the Demon". However at first the "Balance becomes a Stranger" seemingly in the "mirror of light". It finishes with "And in Your fantasies, he rides a storm on your peace", this most likely to Alan Wake's evil twin Mr.Scratch who may be still around or possibly just referring to what brought Alan here. The next line is "Beyond the Shadows he settled for, There is a miracle Illuminated". This line has a lot more than meets the eye and is what triggered my investigation into this song after seeing the AWE 15 min preview. This is a line from one of Thomas Zane's poems, poem 5 from "This House of Dreams" a 2012 remedy ARG in which a woman named Samantha buys a house sold to her buy the daughter of a woman who owns the house but is in an assisted care facility. This would match the description of Jesse who lost her mom and would have a lie like that for anyone who asked about who owned it and also has memories of poems by Thomas Zane possibly from said shoe box before the FBC came in and took the evidence. Those are the last 3 lines and are noted to be "E’s favorite line" and that the writer had "a long talk with him about the meaning". "E" being Emil Hartman which has now been revealed to been turned into The-Thing-That-Was-Hartman and then "a worm through time/The-Third-Thing" after it encountered "a new resonance". The next verse repeats the opening 3 lines but finishes the line symmetry with the 4th line "Then wake up and smell the danger". The line symmetry of the verses now started to show a pattern, the first two lines are refering to one universe and the second pair of lines describing the other universe. This would mean that the "mirror of light" would be the Control Universe as the fantasies/darkness are the alan wake universe/pocket of reality. And that Alan must wake up and fight against what Mr.Scratch has done. This brings us to yet another verse that mirrors itself and describes a yin and yang relationship between the light and dark. "Even the light cast a shadow, Even the night springs from the light". Implying that even the "light" universe has evil and uses the setting of American Nightmare, Night Springs as a play on words to say that even the darkness comes from/with some good. This is then followed up on in the next verse that starts to really tie things together. "In the end, it's never just the light you need, When balance slays the demon, you'll find peace, In the end, it's never just the dark you seek, When balance slays the demon, you'll find peace," This verse is firstly important because it strengthens the notion that the light of the projector in American Nightmare was not enough to defeat Mr.Scratch and it is necessary for both Jesse and Alan achieve balance between the two mirror universes and as a result they will both have their respective demons destroyed and along with it their current story arcs will probably be resolved, Alan defeating Scratch/escaping the dark presence and Jesse rescuing Dylan from his Coma/defeating the hiss(both possibly implied to be coming from Hartman as he may have first merged with the dark place and then the remaining hiss resonance) or possibly one or both sacrificing something for the other. This all ties back into the mirror universe idea that keeps coming back up as once you see it you cant unsee it, so many mirror images/opposites in the games while still feeling decidedly similar. Jesse is female while Alan is Male, both are thrust into combat with little to no experience or warning in order to save their loved family member of the opposite gender. Both fight against possessive forces that turn the people they knew into killers or worse and have some hugely important piece of their history hidden from them revealed during the second act of their story. They both feature living objects that try to kill you as well as possessed enemies but while Alan Wake is constantly on the brink of death and fearing the next enemy, Jesse is charging in commanding the supernatural forces as firepower. Alan needs to learn Control if he wants to escape the dark place/achieve balance/peace as his learning to control dream logic was his only escape method via the Oceanview Motel. It was also forshadowed during the Foundation that a triangle standing on its base with 2 points down and one point up is known for balance this supports the fact that the light mirror universe needs the dark as well to be balanced and in the end have "Balance Slay The Demon". The only question I have right now is if Alan or even Thomas Zane wrote Jesse's story and created the light universe for Alan to finally leave the Dark Place. TLDR: The Dark Presence possessed me to write a rambling story about how I will probably be wrong about what happens in AWE
2020.08.08 08:39 flowerlikerMicrophones in 2020 Synchronized lyrics
I made a synced version of the lyrics for the new album. Here's the goods for other ppl who use music players that support synchronized lyrics, like musicbee and stuff like that, so they'll scroll automatically when you play it. ok by
[07:38.05]The true state of all things: [07:50.72]I keep on not dying, the sun keeps on rising. [07:57.66]I remember my life as if it’s just some [08:00.65]dreams that I don’t trust, burning off, layered thick, [08:06.90]a cargo that I haul, wounds and loves unresolved. [08:15.16]I wake up with the sun in my eyes. [08:23.97]The present moment tries [08:30.71]but now I’m back where I was when I was 20, [08:37.71]crashing through salal alone and mumbling, [08:44.41]one moment thinking I’m wise [08:51.35]and in the next one I writhe, [08:58.91]trying to re-remind myself of something [09:03.91]learned then forgotten. Countless sunrises [09:08.36]burying the things I’d figured out the day before. [09:14.36]Like that I probably won’t find shelter [09:17.80]in the arms of any other person [09:21.86]though I will try. [09:25.23]Again I’ll deny [09:28.85]the blanketing sky, [09:31.47]the thing I just realized [09:35.38]for probably the millionth time, [09:39.42]that walking with my knees trembling is [09:44.29]the true state of all things. [09:59.66]The true state of all things is a waterfall [10:05.91]with no bottom crashing end [10:09.29]and no ledge to plummet off [10:12.60]full of debris and flowers, [10:15.91]never not falling, [10:19.60]and in it we swim and fall. [10:25.79]Sometimes beside, often apart. [10:33.23]It’s just chaos heaving. [10:42.41]I wake up with the sun in my eyes [10:48.55]beneath present moment skies, [10:56.43]squinting and wondering how I got here. [11:03.12]Going through the contents of my backpack, [11:09.99]shaking out the dust to bring some empty space back, [11:16.93]filling a long merch table with artifacts, [11:23.49]looking back to see if I could draw a map [11:28.99]that leads to now. [11:33.18]I remember where I was [11:46.55]when I was 20 or 17 or 23. [11:59.64]The disinterested sun would still rise every morning [12:05.70]same as now. Dawn was loud. [12:10.95]I took my breakfast to the couch on the porch of the punk house. [12:18.08]Coffee and low tide smell and my life stretching out. [12:24.95]Spending hours each morning reading poems and staring off [12:31.45]and then snapping back to urgency, I did my dishes [12:36.70]then I would sprint to the studio again. [12:45.04]Spend all day and night digging in, [12:52.48]distorted bass, spliced tape, singing lines like [12:57.04]“there’s no end” [12:59.54]and “I won’t look for you in my room” about my friends. [13:08.23]I checked [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) like once a week. [13:14.92]I would drive out to the ocean and not tell anybody. [13:21.85]I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in a dollar theater in Aberdeen. [13:28.48]It was a rainy matinee 2001, Sunday, March 18th, [13:34.61]and in the parking lot afterward [13:41.23]for a few minutes in the rain [13:48.73]I stood glowing with ideas of what I might try to convey [13:55.42]with this music. At that moment my mind flashing like a blade. [14:02.60]A 22-year-old in flip flops running around in an empty mall parking lot lost in a martial arts fantasy, [14:11.98]it looks ridiculous now but the truth is: [14:16.29]alone there [14:20.48]something was formed. [14:26.19]The way they held themselves upright with tea in the opening scenes, [14:32.88]a warm formality, spines straight and feet planted wide, [14:39.32]un-tip-over-able like the bamboo’d undulating hills, [14:46.25]walking slowly, making eye contact, gliding, [14:53.06]the sound of empty wind when they sword-fought weightless in the bamboo [14:59.94]with a purity of heart that transcends gravity [15:07.19]leaping off the mountain into ambiguity [15:12.50]falling slow [15:19.94]as the end credits rolled. [15:27.13]I decided I would try to make music that contained this deeper peace [15:34.19]buried underneath distorted bass, fog imbued with light and emptiness, [15:41.94]I kept on driving out to the ocean. [15:47.25]It was raining so hard, I was wet wool caked with sand. [15:53.88]I watched the dunes migrate slowly. [17:03.70]Lost mind in the tall grass [17:08.01]Slowly the sound of roaring waves returned. I rose. [17:18.52]I returned to my station wagon with a wet face. [17:25.70]Extravagant solitude invigorates. [17:32.77]I drove back to Olympia clear headed temporarily and went back into the studio to resume whatever this thing is: [17:46.08]this spooling out repetitive decades-long song string, [17:52.64]this river coursing through my life, [17:56.27]these wild swipes at meaning. [18:01.08]Now I circle back to look into the spring. [18:12.01]When I was 17 it was 1995. [18:29.14]I put the name “Microphones” on the tapes I would make late at night after work at the record store. I was already by then a couple years deep into this weird pursuit playing drums, copying lyrics out to hang them in my room until I started making my own embarrassing early tries at this thing that sings at night above the house, [19:00.63]branches in the wind bending wordlessly. [19:09.57]I wanted to capture it on tape. [19:24.88]At first I called my recordings a different name. I called it “the Microphones” on the 3rd cassette I made. [19:38.01]I loved recording and the equipment seemed to be living and it sang to me like static interference from the small AM radio station down the street, night in Anacortes in the mid 90’s, oil tankers rumbling. [19:58.38]I stayed late recording every night then I drove back to my parents’ house. My headlights through the trees along Heart Lake Road, [20:12.00]winding down the dark slope beneath Mount Erie, I was already who I am: [20:29.88]a bottle of india ink, masking tape, a cardboard box of dubbed cassettes, Julie Doiron, Tori Amos, Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, Eric’s Trip, Red House Painters, Sonic Youth, This Mortal Coil, My Bloody Valentine, Jack Kerouac, radio stations coming from Canada, Elevator To Hell, Moonsocket, Gravel, Lou Barlow, the first mysterious Palace record, Glenn Branca, Beat Happening, Jale, Snailhouse, Pond, Steven Jesse Bernstein, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Lee Ranaldo, Julie Doucet, Chester Brown, Krzysztof Kieslowski, dubbed VHS tapes, the scenes in the Black Lodge, [20:48.46]Kurt Cobain had died. I had my driver’s license and a girlfriend and we’d cling to each other and dream that anything’s permanent. [21:02.21]Even back then the beast of uninvited change insisted itself in, and look here it still hangs [21:14.65]but when I was young I’d go driving in the rain. [21:25.21]I saw Stereolab in Bellingham and they played one chord for fifteen minutes. Something in me shifted. I brought back home belief I could create eternity. [21:40.65]Leaning the guitar up on the amp, taping down organ keys, feeding back forever, distorted waves of cymbals oceany. [21:53.58]Slowly starting to try to move the words beyond mere melancholy into something that rings true and old and useful hopefully, but when I was 17 I sang in the moment hurt romantically, grasping in the dark, like [22:22.40]“shadows of the moon [22:28.46]on the back [22:29.52]of the car seat [22:36.08]where she sat once.” [22:40.33]It’s not that bad but I know I wanted to go deeper, beneath pain, beneath the human. [23:08.69]Is it because my parents barely had any money and preferred to leave the baby in the garden that I grew up to blur the boundary between myself and the actual churning dirt of this place, that it feels normal to me to speak with the voice of weather, to build and move into a mirage made of songs cascading down a rock face in a homemade myth? [24:05.16]Even deeper back into the mist: [24:09.96]when I was 12 or 13 on a family trip we hiked down a steep bluff to an ocean beach in whipping rain. My little brother’s clothes got wet from playing in the winter waves. My parents made a fire of smoky driftwood and we huddled in and took his wet clothes off and held him naked above the flames. Smelling like smoke and salt on the drive home, surely this experience explains something about whoever it was that sang all these songs. [25:04.51]When you’re younger every single thing vibrates with significance. [25:11.58]Gazing at the details in the artwork of a 7”, devouring every word in a zine, there was barely internet. [25:24.89]Meaning gets attributed wherever appetite bestows a thing with resonating glowing ringing out through a life. [25:38.45]What from these times do I carry with me still? The things I survive return repeatedly and I find again that I am a newborn every time. [26:07.59]When I wake alone in the dark again [26:19.96]I swim [26:24.03]out into the lake of the heart [26:31.59]and in. [29:17.53]When I got back to Olympia from the ocean [29:23.28]I woke up early before dawn to start recording. [29:30.22]The things I wanted to communicate had to do with finding how to break out from seeing only the inside of reflected ocean on the sky. [29:45.58]It was early 2001 and I was almost 23. I’d finished recording the Glow pt. 2 and I was either always on tour or setting up a tour, always running, voracious, thirsty. [30:05.33]I’d go out to the lake with friends, swim out to the middle and dive as far as I could down to where the water gets cold, with open eyes. [30:23.20]We’d go up on the roof at night and actually contemplate the moon. My friends and I trying to blow each others’ minds just lying there gazing, young and ridiculous and we meant it, our eyes watering. [30:42.39]The moon without abstraction then became a floating ball of rock in outer space, not a sticker or a light or a hole through black paper. We were making food and records and paintings and walking around beneath a real infinity. I felt my size. [31:12.76]That brief dissipating shock of looking into outer space and seeing just for a second the bottomless distance pressed against my face. My little mind trying to write it down, zooming out, a faint yelp lost in a thunderstorm. Sufficiently small, thinking on the geologic scale, making the voice of mountains. [31:46.04]Reaching beyond my old concerns from when I was 17 in 1995. All the layers of life glint in my flashing eye [32:13.09]simultaneously and at any moment we could die [32:26.28]and so with urgency I keep a candle by my side [32:40.28]and watch it disappear and glow at the same time. [33:00.81]The weather moves across the land and doesn’t have a reason. This rippling uncertainty beneath our bones is still the true state of all things. [33:36.62]It was at a truck stop in northern Italy. I was on tour playing drums and always wandering off alone squinting into the setting sun, my notebook filling. [33:58.43]I was touring, living on an alternate plane within but set apart from this life where people wake and work and don’t self-uproot each day. Instead we passed through the towns like criminals. I was so gladly included in this rare world, this moving cult of groundlessness, roomless, moving, awake. [34:31.79]Across that parking lot, recognition of the same: Another touring American band, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, all dressed in matching track suits and sunglasses, grizzled and silly, a kind of Italian tour costume, blending in but not really, and their playfulness with persona liberated me with permeability. I thought [35:09.48]“who is it even that sings and who comes to life between the ears of the hearers in the rooms at night and how can we all get deep?” [35:23.04]The packaging distracts from the nourishment it wraps. Fixation on the singer’s face or on the band’s name keeps us groveling and blind at the edge of a sea, unsubmerged in the singing waterfall, looking for a door into the mansion, taking this weird art project out into public, indulging in cultivated ambiguity about participants’ identities, letting misperceptions hang because nothing’s really true. [36:20.35]With this imagined collective called the Microphones I wrote about climbing up and dying and flying off as vultures, and a universe beyond, innocent of the real air of death that awaited down the path. [37:00.61]At the very end of 2002 I took the Microphones name and crumpled it up and burned it in a cave on the frozen edge of Northern Norway. [37:14.04]I made a boundary between two eras of my life, a feeble gesture at making chaos seem organized. [37:27.85]The roaring river carves on, laughing at my efforts [37:34.41]while the idea of something called “Mount Eerie” engulfed me and time refuses to stop. [37:54.34]Many many years later I heard “Freezing Moon” by Mayhem and these words jumped out: [38:08.65]“the cemetery lights up again,” “eternity opens” [38:21.65]and I say “nothing stays the same, no one knows anything”. Someone else lives in the house I used to live in and soon it will be torn down or burn and who would even want to live in a prolonged stagnation? I am older now and I no longer feel the same way that I did even five seconds ago. [39:02.58]Watch me thrash around and try to gracefully allow the past to hang like “no big deal.” [39:13.02]Bands that break up and then reunite for money can do whatever they want but it makes me glad that I am only this one contrary grump impossible to reunite. [39:33.46]Live, the present moment burns. [39:50.62]I will never stop singing this song. It goes on forever. [39:56.73]I started when I was a kid and I still want to hold it lightly: this luxurious privilege to sit around frowning and wondering what it means, playing with words and trying to prove that names mean nothing. [40:20.23]A finger pointed at the moon [40:27.23]mistaken for something shining and true. [40:37.42]I never used to think I’d still be sitting here at 41 trying to breathe calmly through the waves [40:54.41]but nothing’s really changed in this effort that never ends. [41:00.85]When I took my shirt off in the yard I meant it, and it’s still off. I’m still standing in the weather looking for meaning in the giant meaningless days of love and loss repeatedly waterfalling down and the sun relentlessly rises still. [41:47.85]It seems like I’ll never not lose wisdom. Constantly re-learning all the basics, never recognizing any faces, crawling out from under living layers, squinting in the light of earth, bathing, shaking off the weight of expectation, plus all this nostalgia is embarrassing so I walk into an unknown room without a name. [42:50.99]So what if I label this song “Microphones in 2020”? [42:58.30]I hope the absurdity that permeates everything joyfully rushes out and floods the room like water from the ceiling, undermining all of our delicate stabilities, admitting that each moment is a new collapsing building. [43:26.55]Nothing is true but this trembling, laughing in the wind. [43:53.74]Anyway every song I’ve ever sung is about the same thing: [44:00.61]standing on the ground looking around, basically. [44:07.23]If there have to be words, they could just be [44:14.23]“now only” and “there’s no end”
2020.08.07 14:36 YossarianLives1990Gravity's Rainbow Group Read Sections 34-37
[All page numbers refer to the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition.] Section 34 It is "full summer" in the Zone. “The silences here are retreats of sound, like the retreat of the surf before a tidal wave.” It may be the end of the War, “peace time”, but it is a major sea-change on the political front. Land is being reshaped and repurposed for the Rocket-State. We have the advantage of knowing the outcome, Corporate Capitalism is the victorious country with its technological systems of control, but this was a time analogous to the sixties where major change was happening and there was some hope it could turn for the better. Tchitcherine calls this period an “interregnum”. In this section we get to know the Soviet intelligence officer Tchitcherine, who we first heard of from Geli Tripping (Geli is just one of many harems Tchitcherine maintains in every rocket-town in the Zone). We learned earlier in the book that Tchitcherine, like Waxwing, is a legend in the Zone. He is a “rocket maniac” just like Slothrop, and we learned that he received mail regarding information on how to purchase the S-Gerat for half a million Swiss francs. Tchitcherine is a mad scavenger who is “more metal than anything else. Steel teeth wink as he talks” (Tchitcherine a Superman, man of Steel, to Slothrops Rocketman?). Under his pompadour is a silver plate and in his knee is gold wirework (“his proudest battle decoration”), which causes him to walk with a limp. He comes from Nihilist stock, his ancestors were “bomb throwers and jubilant assassins”. Tchitcherine, the anarchist,
"is bound, in love and bodily fear, to students who have died under the wheels of carriages, to eyes betrayed by nights without sleep and arms that have opened maniacally to death by absolute power." (p.343)
Officially he searches for rockets and reports to the Central Aero and Hydrodynamics Institute in Moscow, but his real mission is private, obsessive, personal: to annihilate his mythical half-brother Enzian. We flashback to the early Stalin days where Tchitcherine was stationed out in Seven Rivers country. He is sent here (Kyrgyzstan) to give the natives an alphabet. For them it was “purely speech, gesture, touch among them, not even an Arabic script to replace.” This was a part of the Soviet liquidation of illiteracy (Likbez) campaign. The alphabetization campaign was to give the people a written language: the NTA (New Turkic Alphabet). Tchitcherine’s daily crew here includes Galina “the school-marm” and her dear friend Luba “a pretty hawk”. There is also the Chinese swamper Chu Piang and the “native” school teacher Dzaqyp Qulan. ("Native" is in quotation marks because Džaqyp is a Kazakh, an ethnic minority in Kyrgyzstan.) Dzaqyp Qulan’s father was killed during the 1916 uprising “one of about 100 fleeing Kirghiz massacred one evening”. In 1916 when compulsory military service was imposed, the Kazahks rebelled against the crown. Per Weisenburger from the GR companion:
"The czar had been moving settlers into Kyrgyzstan for some decades, and many of these Russians used the revolt as a pretext for seizing land and ousting dissident Kazakhs, sometimes murdering them at random."
The thousands of natives slaughtered by the Russians brings to mind the dodo birds, the Hereo genocide, Native American genocide (Kirghiz is described as “like a Wild West movie”), and colonialism and imperialism in general. Also this enforced NTA on the natives is a kind of linguistic imperialism. The rumors on why Tchitcherine was punished with this task (why he was “posted far out to the wild East...clearly under some official curse”) connect him with a Soviet courtesan whose lovers ran from ministers down to the likes of Tchitcherine. Another rumor connects him to "the legendary Wimpe," a traveling German drug salesman specializing in opioids, who worked for a subsidiary of IG. Flashing back to Tchitcherine’s discussions with Wimpe we (of course) get a connection to Laszlo Jamf: (“Jamf was on loan again, this time as a chemist, to the Americans … to find something that can kill intense pain without causing addiction.”) Continuing this conversation with Wimpe, we get a paragraph that even reading today makes me paranoid:
"We know how to produce real pain. Wars, obviously… machines in the factories, industrial accidents, automobiles built unsafe, poisons in food, water and even air- these are quantities tied directly to the economy. We know them, and we can control them. But ‘addiction’? What do we know of that?" (p.354)
They have control over the pain, They have many ways to produce pain (and it looks a lot like things associated with “Progress”), but They want control over the addiction as well. This drug/product would have us under the ultimate control. They could plan. I also think of the mindless pleasures like entertainment and TV that serve as pain-reducers and distractions and how these are under Their control as well. We find out that Tchitcherine is a pretty heavy doper. Flash forward to his days on the battlefield, Tchitcherine gains the reputation as a “suicidal maniac”, presumably by being on Wimpe’s drugs feeling no pain and feeling invincible, he leads the charge himself. A “reckless blood” never holding back, there'll be no rounds that can ever bring him down, the indestructible man of metal. But for now we are back in Kirghiz where he smokes opium with his buddy Chu Piang. They use Tchitcherine’s pipe (the West supplies the technology) to smoke it together on the outskirts of town. His connection with Wimpe can’t be the reason he is here because everyone knows that representatives of IG are actually German spies and Tchitcherine would have been executed if They knew of this connection. Tchitcherine thinks he was sent east "because of Enzian, it's got to be damned Enzian." We then get the story of Tchitcherine’s father, a gunner in the Russian Navy, who was in South-West Africa during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). The fleet was there to take on some coal “some went crazy, a few tried suicide”, old Tchitcheine walked out into the darkness and found a Herero girl.
“He will think of the slowly carbonizing faces of men he thought he knew, men turning to coal … a conspiracy of carbon … it was power he walked away from, the feeling of too much meaningless power, flowing wrong … he could smell Death in it.” (p.356)
He didn’t need to wait for the coal to fuel the War, these men were turning into Death right in front of him. He sensed the power of coal, the fuel of our destructive industries (the Death that fuels our “Progress”). Recall the Rathenau seance (where we get the first mention of Wimpe) back on page 196: “death to death-transfigured … Death converted into more death.” Old Tchitcherine had left his Herero girl with a child, born a few months after he was killed at sea. The dossier on Enzian shows he entered Germany in 1926, and later applied for German citizenship. The Rapallo Treaty being in force made it easy for Tchitcherine to get these documents. Tchitcherine gets a little paranoid and thinks “how his own namesake and that murdered Jew put together an elaborate piece of theatre at Rapallo, and that the real and only purpose was to reveal to Vaslav Tchitcherine the existence of Enzian”. Enzian’s dossier was actually put into Tchitcherine’s own dossier, and not long after that he was sent to Baku to attend the first plenary session on the NTA. Cause and effect or just a coincidence? So we shift back to the days in Baku and the alphabetization campaign and we learn of Tchitcherines rivalry with Blobadjian, who wants to take Tchitcherines assigned letter and change them to Gs (for example: they fight over which NTA letter to use for the G sound in “stenography”). Here we get some funny pranks like stealing pencils, changing around the alphabet on the typewriter, and sawing off chair legs. Tchitcherine finally wins by transliterating the Koran into the proposed NTA over the name of Igor Blobadjian. As Blobadjian gets chased by Arabists through Baku oil fields we reflect again on the conspiracy of carbon. “Time for retrospection here, for refining the recent history that’s being pumped up fetid and black from other strata of Earth’s mind…”(p. 360) I'll say it again: DEATH CONVERTED INTO MORE DEATH. We see how “alphabetic is the nature of molecules” words taken from speech and shaped, arranged, cleaned into an alphabet like molecules “modulated, broken, recoupled, redefined” in chemistry. This book explores the inorganic replicating the organic, and here we have spoken words being replicated, transfigured, and demystified into a written language. Back to Kirghiz where Tchitcherine is riding off with Dzaqyp Qulan over low hills into a village they've been looking for. There’s a singing duel going on and then they hear a song about the Kirghiz Light. Some key lyrics: “It is a place where words are unknown But this light must change us to children Now I sense all Earth like a baby.” He takes down the song (“In stenography”) sez “Got it” and rides off. Did he really “get it” tho? He will reach the Kirghiz Light “but not his birth. He is no Aqyn, and his heart was never ready.” Yeah he gets to see It, but he will hardly be able to remember It (he does have dopers memory, he won’t even remember Galina). “But in the Zone … the Rocket is waiting. He will be drawn the same way again …” Questions/thoughts: -Why was the Kirghiz Light such a letdown for Tchitcherine? The song tells us a man can not be the same after seeing the Kirghiz Light. Does he ruin the magic by converting The Aqyn’s Song into a written language? Maybe he tried to write down his experience of the Light instead of just letting it happen. Tchitcherine himself even understands “that soon, someone will come out and begin to write these down in the NTA he helped frame...and this is how they will be lost.” The Kirghiz Light is supposed to be a place where words are unknown. -What is going on in this book with language/words/the Word,etc.? Pirate Prentice’s name refers to a character who’s name comes from mistaking a word (pilot) with pirate. Slothrop’s family history is tied to the Word. The NTA gets put to political use when the first kill-the-police-commissioner signs go up and “somebody does! this alphabet is really something!” -Enzian may be Slothrops opposite, but I think Tchitcherine is Slothrops counterpart in the Zone. They are both connected by Geli and their search for the rocket. Tchitcherine has his girls in every rocket-city in the Zone, Slothrop similarly had his map of girls in London. And, like I've pointed out above, Tchitcherine has the Superman/superhero qualities to him and Slothrop (lover of Plastic Man) is now Rocketman. Slothrop recalls in his youth waking up to watch the Northern Lights “They scared the shit out of him. Were the radiant curtains just about to swing open?” and Tchitcherine checks out the Kirghiz Light, although anti-climatic and not memorable to him. What's the meaning behind these parallels? Hell, Tchit is just as controlled by Them and paranoid like Slothrop. Can you think of any more connections? ~~~[Due to the extensiveness of Section 34, Section 35 will be short and sweet]~~~~~ Section 35 Slothrop, after making it to Berlin via hot air balloon, is now in an empty cellar feeling sick from drinking (unboiled) Berlin water. Up all night and thirsty, “Fool). Vomiting, cramps, diarrhea.” He begins to hallucinate “Rolls Royces and bootheels in the night, coming to get him.” He then recalls his second encounter with Enzian. The Schwarzkommando was dredging up pieces of rocket when Slothrop stumbled upon them on only two or three hours of sleep. Glum faces when the serial number is not 00000, Slothrop now realizes they are after his holy Grail as well. But later, back in the Berlin cellar Slothrop thinks “The Schwarzgerat is no Grail, Ace, that's not what the G in Imipolex stands for. And you are no knightly hero”. One night Slothrop goes out to steal something to eat from a vegetable garden when he smells some “REEFER!”. The smell leads him to Emil "Säure”(acid) Bummer, notorious cat burglar and doper, and two beautiful girls (Trudi and Magda) who give Slothrop a cape and a helmet transforming him into "Raketemensch" (Rocketman). They head to the Chicago Bar and what do ya know, it's the American sailor Seaman Bodine picking quietly at a guitar singing “The Doper’s Dream”. (Seaman Bodine appears in V. as Pig Bodine and his dad appears in Against the Day, and rumor has it that a Bodine relative pops up in Mason & Dixon.) Bodine wants Rocketman to go to Potsdam to retrieve six kilos of hashish he buried there. They’re going to give him one of the kilos, and a million counterfeit marks printed by Bummer. Slothrop sez “Uh” … “Aw, come on”, sez Bodine. “Rocketman, jeepers. You don't wanna do nothing no more.” ~~~~~~ Now I will tag in the legendaryu/KieselguhrKid13for Sections 36 & 37~~~~~~ Section 36 This section, which I mentally refer to as "The Potsdam Penetration," is a lot of fun, but there's more to it than the overt fun of a stealth mission by good ol' Rocketman. We open with Slothrop and Säure discussing how to sneak into Potsdam to recover Seaman Bodine's stash of hash. Doesn't sound easy - Slothrop's gonna have to get crafty. They continue their discussion through the rubble of Berlin. Pynchon's description of postwar Berlin is incredible, and I love the idea (as another poster shared recently) of "the City Sacramental, the city as outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual illness or health" (372). I mentioned last week my realization of Gravity's Rainbow as an inversion of/riff on the Arthurian Grail myth and this sentence ties right into that. In Arthurian legend, there is a consistent theme that the health of the king (as the physical embodiment of society, order, divine authority, etc.) is fundamentally tied to the health of the land. When the king ages or falls ill, the land becomes wasted and descends into infertility or war. Only completing the quest for the Grail can restore both the king and the land. But, as Pynchon himself teases, "The Schwarzgerät is no Grail, Ace, that's not what the G in Imipolex G stands for. And you are no knightly hero." (364). (Incidentally, if you want a great presentation of this Arthurian myth, check out the movie "Excalibur" - it does a great job hitting at this core of the myth.) In fact, on the next page, Slothrop learns that FDR "died back in the spring. Just before the surrender" (373) and was replaced by Truman. But this death and replacement of the leader doesn't seem as restorative as tradition would have you expect - Truman seems to be simply Their instrument; Their puppet. Back to Slothrop and Säure in the cafe, and we learn that the rocket has caused more than just physical destruction - the need for chemical propellants has disrupted even the cocaine market, which in comic turn has spiraled out of control and is disrupting the markets for vital supplies - food, powdered milk. We also see Slothrop (who has fully embraced his Rocketman identity by this point) assume yet another identity - this one "Max Schlepzig". However, I would argue that this identity is simply a disguise - an alter-ego for Rocketman, rather than a true identity change for Slothrop. I would supplement this by observing that his transforming identity is not without direction - a reversal, in fact. We've seen him go from Slothrop the American, back to being British (Ian Scuffling), to a hunter-gatherer existence in the Zone, and now to Rocketman - in the superhero sense, superhuman, in the literal rocket sense, a man-made object. From here, Slothrop in full Youthful Folly mode, just saunters right through the Russian checkpoint, hijacks a boat, and rows himself up to the edge of the Russian sector, then hoofs it on foot toward Potsdam. But what about that Autobahn?
"Each driver thinks he's in control of his vehicle, each thinks he has a separate destination, but Slothrop knows better. The drivers are out tonight because They need them where they are, forming a deadly barrier." (380)
I think that one passage really gets to the heart of Pynchon's idea of control - the drivers are all freely making their own choices, but within the almost-invisible structure of the superhighway. The drivers didn't choose where it would be built, which directions it would go in, what towns it would bisect - They did. When you build the system, you don't have to worry about the individual choices people can make, because they're all made within the confines of that system you built. Not a bad plan, eh? But this isn't just any old highway. No, this is a real boundary - a crossing-point. The highway goes north-south - Slothrop crosses it perpendicularly. And where does this crossing through an interface happen? Smack dab at the exact halfway point of the book. Right here in the middle, we have not just anyone, but Rocketman, screaming "Hauptstuff" and crossing over. Finally, Slothrop Solid Snakes his way into Potsdam and right up next to The White House to retrieve the hash, being seen only by a silently befuddled Mickey Rooney. Not to shabby of a mission, except there's that weiner again, in the form of our friend Tchitcherine, and our hero's in over his head and under the needle. Section 37 We shift focus here to the Argentinian anarchists that Squalidozzi told Slothrop about a while back. They're on their U-Boat and longing for the open grasslands of Argentina, even though the government in Buenos Aires has been gradually taking the provincecs under its control and centralizing everything. It's not an unraveling from, but a knotting into, right? Power centralizes and breaks apart the open, free land owned by all. In Argentina, in America, in England, in Africa. Over and over we see that theme, and it's sad. The imposition of artificial division on otherwise communal living space. But who knows, maybe der Springer can help this crew of exiles get an anarchist foothold established in the zone, if they just work with him to make a cinematic take on Martin Fierro. Finally, the U-Boat dodges a close-call with the John E. Badass thanks, not to any creative maneuvering, but to the time-modulating effects of Oneirine and the fact that they only intersected in 3 dimensions, not all 4. Questions:
What do you think about the Arthurian/Grail angle to Gravity's Rainbow?
I didn't touch on the theme of the white woman in the mountain - what's your interpretation of that recurring symbolism?
Given Slothrop's Progress and changing identity, what further transformations might you expect? What do you think of the nature of his changes thus far?
How do you interpret the time-shift of the scene with the U-Boat and the John E. Badass? I know I had trouble wrapping my mind around it on my first go-round.
2020.08.06 15:39 PuddoConcept/draft - anime shorts (work in progress)
I always feel like short anime movies get ignored a bit on this sub. It's a bit understandable since there isn’t much to discuss about something that’s only 2 minutes long. You liked it or you didn’t and you move on. The only short film I see getting mentioned at times is The House of Small Cubes and besides that I’ve only seen people mention short films when they needed something short as a way to complete certain anime challenges or with the anime awards. Oh and I guess there was the whole Shelter drama. Eventually I thought to myself that if I truly think it’s a shame nobody talks about them then maybe I should just start talking about them myself. So here we're. I'll start with some directors who made multiple shorts I consider to be worth checking out, then I'll mention some anthology projects/short movie collections, some commercials, some music videos and finally some short movies that I didn't already mention in the other categories. I'll try to post a link to a Youtube video or something similar where possible. I'll try to keep every category to 10-15 names (so that will also mean that I'll obviously miss a lot of shorts).
Makoto Shinkai - MAL - Cross Roads - Someone's Gaze Shinkai probably doesn’t need an introduction on this sub since his movies are incredibly popular and his Your Name is the highest grossing anime film ever. However before his first feature length movie Shinkai had already made some short films and even now later on in his career he’s still making them. Though nowadays it's mostly commercials. However something like Cross Roads nontheless feels like a condsensed Shinkai movie even when it's just a commercial for a cram school. And it did kinda become a longer movie because Shinkai has said that the idea of this commercial led to Your Name. The most notable shorts of his early career are probably Voices of a Distant Star a short film he almost entirely made on his own and She and Her Cat. The shorts I really like from him though are Someone's Gaze and A Gathering of Cats. Someone's Gaze will have a story that's very relatable for a lot of people. For once it's not about distant lovers but about the distance in different type of relationship. It's about growing up and trying to make it on your own and the loneliness that can bring (to you and your parents). A Gather of Cats is a comedic short that's part of the Ani*Kuri 15 collection that I'll mention later in the collection section. Osamu Tezuka - MAL Hiroyasu Ishida - MAL - Paulette's Chair - Fastening Days playlist - Rain Town Ishida is still a fairly young director and personally I'm really curious how he'll develop. In 2018 his first feature length movie, Penguin Highway, was released but before that he too had already made a few short films. He's certainly not as well known as the previous but I'm sure some anime fans will recognize one of his shorts, Paulette's Chair, from the Noitamina intro. It's an adorable short about a girl and her special friend. A chair. A pretty cute chair. One of his other works is a series of commercials for a zipper company called Fastening Days. Now you might think how do you make a zipper commercial fun? Well you do that by being creative and by making a bunch of kids dress up as superheroes who go around town solving problems by fastening them. My favorite short from him however is Rain Town. I would describe most of Ishida's works as colorful and energetic but this one is a bit different from the others and it's a very atmospheric and melancholic short about a girl finding a lone robot in a rainy town. Kousuke Sugimoto - MAL - YT channel - Don't Worry - Black White - Timeless - Kura Sushi - The TV Show - Sing In My Own Way Tarafu Otani - Sign - Harmonia - sparkle The beauty of projects like this is that you discover people you've never heard of and who suddenly become one of your favorite directors. Kousuke Sugimoto quickly became one of my favorites as well but I at least already knew his The TV Show. I'd however never heard of Tarafu Otani but while working on this post Sign randomly popped on Youtube and I loved every second of it. Compared to most others on this list Otani's works are pretty abstract and normally I'm not a huge fan of that but with all the morphing he uses he has created some of the most beautiful MVs out there in my opinion. Harmonia is a good example of the dreamlike feel of his works since it features a girl who's in that half asleep state where dreams and reality start to flow into each other. But even if his works are entirely abstract and just a bunch of lines and blobs they're still fascinating to watch because when all the animated effects are perfectly synchronized with the music like in Sparkle it becomes incredibly mesmerizing. Tekken - MAL - YT channel - Furiko - Furiko Muse version (I prefer this one) - Otousan wa Ai no Hito - Sketch - Slide The man with his signature flipbook style animation. You might look at the art style of his works and expect some silly comedy and the man is actually a comedian, but some of his works, while only being a few minutes, can really pack a punch. Furiko/Pendulum is probably his most famous work and a prime example of that. Especially Muse fans might know this short for the Exogenesis: Symphony Redemption MV. Oousan wa Ai No Hito is another short of him is another shot that moved me because it reminded me of my grandmother who had Alzheimer. That's not to say that the man only makes shorts that are sad or can make you emotional. Sketch for example is a light-hearted continuous shot that's all about creative transitions. Speaking about creative, Slide is the last short from him I want to mention. This one really plays around with the flipbook style in a creative way and I've to say I actually prefer if over Furiko (though maybe I just watched that one too many times). Masanobu Hiraoka - MAL - L'Œil du Cyclone Koji Yamamura - MAL - YT channel Kihachiro Kawamoto - MAL Kato Ryu - MAL - Paprika As soon as I looked up a Japanese song on YT I've been getting Paprika in my recommendations. Looking at the amount of views it has I assume that I'm not the only one so I think a lot of you might have already seen this one. Others might have Kato Ryu's work with the intro scene of the Naruto The Last movie. Tama Art University - YT channel - Memory of blue - Kinemacolor - Airy Me - lemolemo -D.C. Tama is a private art university located in Tokyo. Some notable alumni from this university are for example Hiroyuki Imaishi (director of TTGL and Kill la Kill) and Makoto Yukimura (author of Vinland Saga and Planetes). On the Youtube channel of this university you can find various short films made by their students. Of course the styles of these videos will vary and thus also your enjoyment. But these students can also just let their creativity go wild some will have an unique feel. Of course some like Memory of blue is more similar to regular anime (not that that's a bad thing) but you also have things like Kinemacolor that's mostly in black and white pencil style or something like lemolemo that's an odd visual spectacle that deserves more views imo. The last short I want to say something about is Airy Me. It's the graduation thesis of Yoko Kuno and it just blew me away the first time I saw it. The animation is simply incredible. Some of you might have seen some of her work by now with this stunning scene from Beastars or the ED of Land of the Lustrous and I truly believe she can become a great one. Geidai Animation - YT channel - Summer Time - Oh Dear Can't mention 1 art school and then not mention another one that also has a YT channel.
Japanese Animated Film Classics - Site - The Dull Sword - Arichan the Ant - Two Worlds - Propagate A project to celebrate 100 years of anime. On this site you can watch 64 short anime films from 1917 tot 1941. The people involved in this project obviously know a lot more than me and I haven't checked out all of them so I'll just link to the 4 the site itself considers to be the best and copy paste their description.
The Dull Sword is the oldest Japanese-made animated movie whose film strip has been confirmed to exist in Japan. In Arichan the Ant elements such as drawings that provide a sense of depth, story development focused on music, and stylized insect characters reveal the movie author's interest in American animation. Two Worlds is the finest example of detailed drawings of cutout animation by Yasuji Murata. Propagate is an elegant semi-abstract animated film created by Shigeji Ogino.
Personally I would like to add that Arichan is also the first anime created by using a multiplane camera stand. All in all if you're interested in the history of anime be sure to check out this site. You can also find additional information about the shorts. For example about the restoration process of the Dull Sword. History buffs in general might be also interested in the wapropaganda selection of films. Japan Anima(tor)'s Exhibition - MAL A collection of 35 standalone shorts made by various directors and studios. The third episode (MeMeMe) was incredibly popular for a while but I guess it didn't really make people interested in checking out the whole thing. Which is a shame imo. This collection is my go to answer whenever someone asks which anime I consider to be underwatched. I don't think every short is great or anything but it's a very varied group of shorts. For example you'll have some lovely cute creative stop motion (#18 Diary of Ochibi), a bizarre fast paced comedy about the problems of the “Creator” based on a play from the Czech writer Karel Čapek (#13 Kanón), a Kafkaesque story about a girl turning into a cockroach with some lovely animation (#6 20 min walk), 2 shorts from one of my favorite Sci-fi directors Yasuhiro Yoshiura (#11 Power Plant No. 33 and #29 Bureau of Proto Society), a music video about ice skating from Sayo Yamamoto before she made Yuri on Ice (#28 Endless Night) or just a straightforward story about revenge with a Western feel (#4 Carnage). But as you might expect from the name of this collection is the art and animation also very important and varied. Because of this personally I even enjoyed some of the shorts while I didn't really care about their story. For example one short is just pure Eva fanservice (#12 Another Impact) and while I haven't watched Eva yet I could still enjoy it because it had some pretty solid CGI. Another example would be 1 about a perverted robot who sneakily tries to take pictures of women for a smut blog (#34 Robot on the road) and that type of stuff isn't really for me. However because it's a short from Hiroyuki Okiura you can expect some amazing character animation that still made it enjoyable for me. Young Animator Training Project (Anime Mirai/Anime Tamago) -Wiki page A project launched by the Japanese government to, as you might've guessed from its name, train young animators. Basically every year 4 short movies of around 24 minutes are made through this project. Sadly the last few years they don't get subbed anymore but in the past it has produced some great short films. You could make a seperate thread just for these short films. The most famous ones would be Little Witch Academia and Death Billiards who both later on got an anime series. Besides that personally I really liked Li'l Spider Girl, The Old Man's Lamp, Kizuna Ichigeki, The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader. Memories – MAL A collection of 3 separate movies. At first I didn’t want to add this one since 2 of the 3 are around 40 minutes long (and making a list of films that are 30 minutes or less already takes long enough). However I did want to mention the one that was shorter so why not add the whole collection. Especially when I do really love the first movie, Magnetic Rose which is one of the few anime that made me a bit uncomfortable with its great creepy atmosphere. This film follows a space crew who decides to board a space station that’s supposed to be abandoned after receiving a distress signal coming from it. Of course distress signals coming from abandoned places are never good news in movies and as expected from something written by Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Paprika) all kinds of weird things start to happen in this movie as well that make it hard for the characters to figure out what’s real. The short film that I did want to mention originally is Cannon Fodder. This one is about a seemingly totalitarian and very militaristic state that’s all about fighting an enemy we never see. In this movie we get a glimpse of the everyday life in such a world and a big part of the movie is spend on the characters firing a huge cannon at this unseen enemy. It’s easy to see why this is not a movie everyone would enjoy. However the main draw here are its the visuals/the art direction. This short is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) himself and the entire film (22 minutes long) looks like one long continuous shot. It’s a fairly unique experience. Modest Heroes - MAL - Netflix A collection of 3 short movies from studio Ponoc. I mostly mention this one for the second short, Life Ain't Gonna Lose. It's a story about a mother and her son who has an egg allergy. Now I find it hard to imagine a full movie about allergies that doesn’t get repetitive eventually. Yet as a short slice of life piece about someone with an issue you normally don’t really think about is actually pretty interesting. Especially when you can feel that the creators did some research. It's honestly one of the reasons why i dived into anime shorts. You can tell stories that maybe wouldn't really work in a longer format. Some people prefer the third short though, Invisible. Feeling invisible being portrayed by an actual invisible man isn't a ground breaking concept but that doesn't make it less impressive. The whole short simply looks gorgeous. With a face you can easily portray someone’s emotions but you obviously can’t do that with an invisible man. So you’ll have to use movement and body language to convey their emotions and this short did that very well. To me it’s already worth watching for the character animation alone. Ani-Kuri15 - MAL A collection that's ideal if you want to watch some shorts but don't have a lot of time. It consists of 15 one minute long anime made by various directors with a lot of different styles. The most well known short film of this collection is probably Ohayo, the last anime made by Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Paprika). Some other notable episodes in my opinion are: the cute Amusement Park Kiss about a boy who made a Rube Goldberg machine to get a kiss from his crush. The comedic A Gathering Of Cats made by Makoto Shinkai about a cat that's getting sick of his owners stepping on its tail. Alien Invasion about an alien trying to distract a mangaka so it can fly away unseen. Yurururu ~Daily Chapter~ about the day of an animator. And lastly Sancha Bluess with a brief look into a record store where customers don't buy anything. Animation x Paralympic: Who Is Your Hero? - MAL - Official site - Playlist on YT (missing the last 2) A series of shorts that were made to promote the Paralympic games. It definitely made me check out some of the Paralympic sports and because of that I already think it's worth a watch. That's not to say that it doesn't have nice stories (my favorites are the 2nd and 6th one) but I didn't know half of these sports even existed so it introduced me to a new world full of impressive achievements. Also it's a collabaration with a bunch of anime and creators. The first story is directed by the creator of Captain Tsubasa for example and in 2 other episode the MCs of Baby Steps and Yowamushi Pedal show up. So if you're fan of those shows be sure to check their episodes out at least.
Baby I Love You Daze - MAL - YT A music video to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Lotte, a confectionery company, directed by Rie Matsumoto (Kekkai Sensen, Kyousou Giga) with music by Bump of Chicken. It features all kinds of characters who represent various Lotte snacks who I as someone who had never heard of Lotte before this video obviously didn't recognize. Nontheless is it just an incredible feel good music video with some lovely animation. Man I hope we'll get a new Matsumoto project soon, I absolutely adore her style. Choju Jinbutsu Giga - MAL - YT playlist Three 30 second long commercials made by Studio Ghibli for Marubeni Power. Choujuu Giga (also known as the Scrolls of Frolicking Animals) is a famous set of picture scrolls and these commercials are animated in the style of those scrolls. Personally I think it's a pretty charming artstyle and as a bonus is the commercial also pretty cute. Hungry Days - MAL - Twitter links to One Piece Commercials: Zoro - Nami - Vivi - Marineford Using an anime/manga franchise to promote something is of course also not incredibly rare. These commercials for Nissin's Cup Noodles are probably one of the more well known examples out there and it's easy to see way. In most of these shorts we see an alternative version of some famous anime like Kiki's Delivery Service and One Piece. I do have to add that I think the enjoyment of these shorts kinda depends on if you're familiar with the original anime. For example there are multiple One Piece commercials and they're basically school versions of One Piece with a lot of references/easter eggs. However I even enjoyed the commercials that featured anime I hadn't watched simply because of its incredible animation and art (and I always like seeing Eisaku Kubonouchi's character designs). (The last commercial, Marineford, is pretty spoiler heavy) Samurai Noodles: The Originator - MAL - YT Another Nissin commercial. This time it's the story of the first instant ramen told through rap and with a lovely black and white art style. Ryotei-No-Aji - MAL - YT playlist Staying with the food commercials. A collection of commercials for Marukome, a miso paste producer. A cute elderly couple, a mother sending her son a boxes with random stuff to support him, some children wanting to cook for their father. These commercials all focus on family bonds and how food can bring people together. They're still commercials after all. Luckily however there also isn't that much focus on the product itself and it manages to create some sweet moments in just a few minutes. My personal favorites are Together Forever, Coming to Tokyo and Working away from Home. Road to You - MAL - YT playlist This time no food but tires. Yes even tires can get a short adorable romance or emotional anime with some nice wintery scenery. Thinking about it making viewers emotional to get them to buy a product does feel a bit odd but just like the ones above it's pretty easy to ignore they even are commercials. In the first 2 (didn't care much about the third) you only get a brief tire close-ups. The second commercial by the way has a piano version or one with a vocal song and personally I prefer the piano one. Next A-Class - MAL - YT From tires to the actual car. Fun ridiculous car chase animated by Production I.G. through a sci-fi city and all for a bowl of ramen, now that's certainly a way to promote your car. AutoPanther CM - YT More cars. Well a cardealer and no CGI car chase this time. Instead you get a car race, a sketchy blue and white art style and some absolutely incredible animation from Shinji Hashimoto. Last Orders - MAL - YT Anime commercials aren't something from just the last few years. This one for Murphy's Irish Stout for example is from 1997. It's just 1 minute long and has a real 80s/90s OVA feel with a bunch of samurai running through a sci-fi city. Summer Garden - MAL - YT A commercial for Kagome juice's "GO!ME." project, a project that sponsors "youth who are going their own way". It's another example of a commercial where there isn't a lot of focus on the product itself. You see some Kagome bottles on a desk but for the rest it's a cute colorful short about a girl exploring her city that got turned upside-down. Ikebukuro - MAL - YT Durarara fans will probably recognize that name and yes this is a tourism ad for the Ikebukuro district. There are actually quite a few anime tourism ads out there but not many of them are such a visual treat as this commercial made by studio shaft. Kyoto Animation Commercials - YT playlist A playlist of 9 30 second long commercials made by Kyoani. Since they're so short it's all about that typical Kyoani charm so watch them if you like the studio and otherwise I wouldn't bother personally.
Eve - MAL - YT channel ZUTOMAYO - YT channel - Study Me Karasu wa Masshiro - Himitsu Spark - FAKE!FAKE! ORESAMA - Ookami Heart - Dramatic - Otome Chic - Utomaru's Instragram Is it still anime when there is barely any animation? However even with the lack of animation do I nonetheless love the aesthetic of these music videos. It's all thanks to the very colorful retro inspired artstyle of Utomaru that together with the music by Oresama immediately gets me in a good mood. So if you like these Mvs be sure to check out her other art work. On Your Mark I’m sure some people missed Hayao Miyazaki’s name in the first category. And yes the man has made a bunch of shorts. Most of his shorts are sadly only available in the Ghibli museum and thus I and most of you won’t be able to watch them. I’ve tried to find them online but I couldn’t find anything besides a few cam recordings. On Your Mark is the only short made by him that I can find online in good quality. We’ll take what we can get. The Drawing Song - YT A MV made by Keiichi Arai, the creator of Nichijou. It's not the type of MV you watch for its music (to I'm a bit surprised I got it stuck in my head) but it's a cute funny video about a mangaka struggling with her work. Amazarashi - Mudai mishmash＊Aimee Isobe - How much longer will I have you with me?, ENG version ryo(supercell) - Sekiranun Graffiti ft. Hastsune Miku Pretty clouds is all you need to entertain me. People 1 - Joyato Simply a dancing rotoscoped girl. YOASOBI - Halcyon Flowers Will Bloom - YT - About the song This MV is a bit different from the others I shared. It's a music video directed by Sunao Katabuchi (Black Lagoon, In This Corner of the World) featuring the NHK produced song Flowers Will Bloom. It's a song written by Shunji Iwai and Yoko Kanno and it was made as a support for the reconstruction efforts after the horrible 3/11 earthquake. When I first watched it I didn't know that and learning about that afterwards did make it feel more emotional so I'll share a link where you can find additional information about the song and its lyrics. Porter Robinson & Madeon - Shelter I'll be honest. I don't care about Shelter at all. But fine a lot of people love it so it also feels weird to just not mention it at all.
The House of Small Cubes - MAL Gisoku no Moses - MAL - YT An adorable ghost dancing to Singing in the Rain is all you need to get some minutes of entertainment. Traveling Daru - MAL Short, simple and sweet. One day a little girl loses her plush toy at the airport. This 10 minute short film follows the journey of that plush toy, Daru, around the world trying to get back home. Kuroko - YT A kuroko is a stagehand in Japanese theather and they wear black so they can appear to be invisible. In this amusing short everyday conveniences are being done manually by these kuroko. Natsuko's hot day - YT A short comedic work made by students of the Kyoto Seika University about a girl who's having a not so great day. This one doesn't have English subtitles but I think most will get the gist out of it nonetheless. Personally I also didn't get everything but I still think it's a fun short. Akai Ito - MAL - YT If you ever watched a romance anime you'll probably have heard of the red thread of fate. The people who're connected by this invisible thread are supposed to be soul mates. This short takes that single red thread and uses it to tell the story of a man and the person connected to him in a creative way. Pigtails - MAL The Girl From the Other Side - MAL The Portrait Studio - MAL
Aleksandr Petrov - The Old Man and the Sea Now I only wanted to mention anime (this is an anime sub after all) but if I'm sharing short animation anyway I do want to mention this man. Petrov uses his signature paint-on-glass animation method and his works are truly like watching a painting come to live. The amount of work that went into his short movies just blows me away. For The Old Man and the Sea he and his son painted over 29000 frames. If that doesn't make you want to check it out I don't know what will. Ow and it also won an oscar if those things matter to you. Gobelins - YT channel - In Between - Floating In My Mind - Memo - Hors Saison - Un Conte - Caldeira If you've made it this far you either really like shorts are you just scrolled down looking for a tl;dr. But if you're part of group 1 I really recommend checking out the Youtube channel of this French school. I listed some of my favorites but the channel is full with amazing short films made by their students.
2020.08.05 21:32 LordMacraggeThe National Anthem should be changed to 'The Battle Cry of Freedom'.
The Star-Spangled Banner's lyrics don't seem very American to me. No mentions of freedom or Liberty. This song, though, is full of freedom. Lyrics: Oh we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,Shouting the battle cry of freedom,And we'll rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,Shouting the battle cry of freedom. (Chorus) The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!Down with the traitors, up with the stars;While we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again,Shouting the battle cry of freedom! Oh we're springing to the call for three hundred thousand more,Shouting the battle cry of freedom!And we'll fill the vacant ranks with a million freemen more,Shouting the battle cry of freedom. (Chorus) We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,Shouting the battle cry of freedom!And although he may be poor, he shall never be a slave,[c]Shouting the battle cry of freedom! (Chorus) So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love the best,Shouting the battle cry of Freedom. (Chorus) I think this is a much better national anthem, and with the recent controversy over the anthem, now is the perfect time to change it. EDIT Sorry, has only one mention of freedom.
This round-up is for everything that happened in the /bangtan realm within the past week, compiled for your convenience! If you have feedback, please leave a comment or send me a PM. The latest weekly round-up is linked on the sidebar of the subreddit. The link to the archive of past round-up posts can always be found in the wiki index.
2020.08.01 12:47 spacedunce-5Folklore literary analysis Part 7: Seven
INTRODUCTION Taylor's lyrics are gorgeous (ding!), but is she a poet? I'm forced to admit that she's not; her brilliance relies integrally on the meter and melody of the song, and the way she sings it. For reference, go read her Reputation poems and cringe. But within that constraint and with the resources of the added dimension of music, what she can do is simply unbelievable. "seven" is a good case in point. --- If you're confused about what's going on in this series, you can read the Preamble to Part 1, which also has a table of contents. SEVEN "Please picture me in the trees / I hit my peak at seven / Feet in the swing over the creek / I was too scared to jump in" is a very sophisticated opening. The first line is a twist on the familiar Taylor trope of flashback and memory; instead of recalling something, the speaker asks the listener (not the addressee, who will come in later) to imagine something. The imagery unfolds counterintuitively: First the speaker is in the trees, like a wild person, then they say they hit their peak at seven, which brings us to childhood and bespeaks a terrible adolescence; but the third line reveals that they're talking about a swing, and that's echoed by how elongated all the assonant long "e" sounds are--it sounds like the speaker is going high on a swing. But remember, even discarded interpretations linger in the mind, so these ideas are all part of the atmosphere of the song. There's also a cool half-rhyme between "seven" and "jump in," and assonance on the short "u" sound between "jump" and "under" two lines later. "But I, I was high in the sky / With Pennsylvania under me": Only a child thinks that a swing can give you any meaningful height, so this line confirms the childhood timeframe hinted at but left ambiguous earlier. Sure, Taylor grew up in Pennsylvania, but the name of this state is particularly apt here, as the line is referring to the ground or land, and "Pennsylvania" is, etymologically speaking, "Penn's woods" (William Penn founded the original colony there with a royal land grant). Also, only after the darkness comes in later do we think back on this as a form of escape. Childhood is weird like that: It's the only childhood we've got, so we take all of it as normal, even the parts that, retrospectively, are really fucked up. That's also why adolescent pain can be so acute: It feels like the universe is against you, not just the bad actors in your own single life. "Are there still beautiful things?" would only be asked by someone who can't see the beauty, perhaps due to depression or trauma or something similar. This suggests strongly that all was not well in this childhood, and that, added to the escape on the swing, the speaker is the one with a bad childhood. The present tense moves the moment of speech to the past. "Sweet tea in the summer" is, I believe, a more Southern thing. "Cross your heart, won't tell no other": In English-speaking countries, before kids share secrets with each other, they get the listener to recite a short poem swearing that, if they reveal the secret, bad things will befall them: "Cross my heart, hope to die / stick a needle in my eye" (I think there's more, and there are probably variants). Introduces the addressee as the second character. Here the speaker is going to tell the addressee about the shit that goes down in their house. "And though I can’t recall your face" is from a different speaker: The speaker and addressee switch places. It also confirms that, though the first speaker asked us to imagine something, it is an impressionistic childhood memory; that one remove (from memory to imagination) is perhaps a defense mechanism. Funny how faces are often the first to go (be forgotten) in a memory (including a memory of a dream). "I still got love for you" is the best way I can think of to express this exact kind of love within this metrical constraint. Not romantic, not familial, not universal, a very specific bond. "Have" would've leaned romantic. "Your braids like a pattern" tells us that the (traumatized) addressee is most likely a girl; though of course girls sometimes braid boys' hair for fun, too, if it's long enough. "Love you to the Moon and to Saturn" ties in well with the sense of wonder throughout the song, even though here it's less childhood nostalgia and more celestial wonder. But then again, looking at the stars through a telescope is a very Americana suburbs childhood thing. "Passed down like folk songs / The love lasts so long": the central thesis of the album! This kinda explains why the speaker can't recall the addressee's face, and why we listeners don't need to see it to feel the song. "And I've been meaning to tell you" expresses hesitation at bringing up an unpleasant situation, especially when it's supernatural and may get the speaker dismissed as "weird." "I think your house is haunted": It's actually the present-day speaker who's haunted by these memories. "Your dad is always mad and that must be why" is yet another chink in the armor of the pristine cultural image of fatherhood. Note that the speaker, being a child at the time, has no idea why the father is shouting so often, but I bet the addressee does, even if they don't comprehend what they know. "And we can be pirates" leans slightly toward a reading of the speaker as a boy. Note how the speaker doesn't talk about their emotions but tries to think of reasons and solutions. "Or hide in the closet" suggests domestic violence, even if not directed at the addressee. "Please picture me in the weeds / Before I learned civili- / ty. I used to scream ferociously / Any time I wanted" seems to me to be said by the addressee, the same person as in the first verse, who is affected emotionally but is too young to know how to process it, so they act out; excellent use of a four-syllable word to describe that contagious rage. (Trauma is contagious, in case you didn't know.) I believe this marks the first time that Taylor has used a mid-word enjambment. "Pack your dolls and a sweater" leans slightly toward a reading of the addressee as a girl, though of course boys can have dolls, too. "We'll move to India forever" has the same number of syllables as the celestial line, but in a different meter. India is an excellent choice: It's primarily culturally other (which is metonymic for geographical distance, which is what the speaker actually cares about), but is also alluring in an Orientalist sense (I mean this very specifically to refer to the history of British colonialism that left an English-speaking legacy, making it just familiar enough to be an imagined getaway destination). The actual opposite end of the earth is, of course, China, but (a) they don't speak English there and (b) it's nominally Communist--I'm not saying that the speaker knows all this, but all of this influences how these two places are perceived in American culture in general, and that does trickle down to the young'uns. --- I want to thank you guys for reading and giving me encouragement to keep writing these. If I hadn't written this one, I would never have caught that there are actually two speakers in this song! It bears repeating: her M I N D !
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