In RL news: I'm an idiot who fucks up her life at every available opportunity! :D :D :D Also kind of slutty. I guess. Well not really, but meh. I would be if I could! Probably. Anyhow I've done some excitingly idiotic things or not done things I should have in the last several months, in a quite diverse range of life areas, so I guess I can be proud that I don't just stick to one SORT of fuckuppery. I'm a very well-rounded person! In a sense. >_>
But never mind all of that. Sigh. SIGH.
I was gonna put some updates here re: things I've done/seen/read since last posting, and in fact wrote them up and everything, but they got rather long and I remembered baoh was bitching about the excessive length of my entries and saying I needed to break them up, so I guess I'll post them later. They involve such divergent topics as whitewater rafting, the Dark Knight, Southland Tales, Dr Horrible, Slayers, moomins, and Siberian Huskies, so look forward to the next few posts, I suppose. (Yes, the Democratic National Convention was here in town, but aside from causing me to see 50000x more police hanging about downtown it did not affect me so I have nothing to say about it. Other than that there really was a rather amusingly large variety of law enforcement; in the ped mall I saw regular uniformed cops, cops on motorcycles, cops in squad cars, cops in SWAT gear, cops on bicycles, cops on horses, cops in helicopters, cops in boxes, cops with foxes, cops eating green eggs & ham, etc.)
One thing I did between last post and now was go to see The Faint in concert, and I wrote up some nonsense about the experience (involving all sorts of squishing, elbowing, and even groping) and uploaded some sample tracks and such, which I was gonna post as part of this entry (well, it's music-related!) but it got too long so I guess I'll give The Faint their own entry as well. Perhaps with all this breaking-up of subject matter I'll post more frequently. >_>
NOW: ON TO THE SHOW!!
So the theme of this muzakblog is "Unusual Subject Matter." I love songs that are ABOUT something, especially unusual topics. The beauty of music is that it can be about anything; the annoying thing, of course, is that it usually is ACTUALLY about one of a fairly small number of subjects. The first and foremost, of course, being love/breakups/romantic relationships. As someone a bit resentful about being alone in the world, I am always happy to listen to fewer love songs! They make me feel quite tragic. Well okay, not really, I listen to such things all the time, but it's a topic which I do weary of, especially since there's usually not a lot of new things being said (there are exceptions of course). I also don't need to constantly hear about related topics (unrequited luv, breakups, boohoo heartbreak, grrr haet, jealousy, etc).
It's not that I hate relationship songs or something, it's just that, well, I get bored. Music can be about so many more types of human experiences or emotions than that! So I decided to make a post of songs which are not about luv. Then I decided to be even more ambitious and try to avoid other overused pop music topics as well! This cut out a number of songs about wangst, the Man keeping one down, why doesn't anyone understand me, drugs/alcohol are good/bad, the government sucks, death, sex, dancing, and of course hos/bling. In the end I've attempted here to post a batch of songs which may not be incredibly unique, but feature content not usually present in the top 40.
As a bonus, you get my excellent rambling song commentary, which today comes with super-bonus personal TMI story at one point! Whee.
* The Holloways - Generator
When I first heard this, I was quite taken by its message: Shut it, your life's not that bad, there are starving children in Darfur etc. (Not that I do any less wallowing in self-pity knowing that, but I do appreciate the sentiment all the same. XD;;) It's fun, lightweight British pop rock music, and quite energizing as well. If you like it, other songs I've listened to so far by the same band are actually just as fun for the most part. They've got another cheery tune which is about how you basically fuck your life over if you knock someone up and are an at all responsible sort of person. Although you will at least love your kids. XD
* Bad Religion - Broken
* Bad Religion - You
* Bad Religion - 21st Century Digital Boy
* Bad Religion - Queen of the 21st Century
Okaaay so anyone who knows me should know that of all social-issues-obsessed, preachily idealistic sparkly unicorn punk bands, Bad Religion is my favorite. XD Pretty much all of their songs are about some social injustice or problem. At the least, the Man is keeping us down! My fav song is Kyoto Now! about Bush not signing the Kyoto Treaty, but I've posted that a billion times before. Another good song is "News From the Front" re: AIDS epidemic (and also, the Bleach manga image song for Ichigo???) but you flisty people are likely to already have it for nerdy reasons. So I picked some other favs with fun subjects instead.
#1 here is "Broken," which I wrote about last time I posted -- a song for today's maligned youth and low-self-esteemers, saying "It's fucking sad to see someone with potential give up because they don't believe in themselves; so bugger off and stop telling me there's something hopelessly wrong with me, I'm not perfect but I'm also not worthless."
#2 is the first BR song I ever heard; it was on a "Punk-O-Rama" compilation and it always strikes me as the "punk version" of "Castle in the Clouds" from Les Mis. XD (Well, it starts out, "There's a place where everyone can be happy, it's the most beautiful place in the whole fucking world...")
#3 is the song that made me want to get a lot more BR songs to see if they were all this cool. "I'm a 21st century digital boy, I don't know how to read but I got a lot of toys..."
#4 is a song about, as far as I can gather, girls who do internet pr0nz and are coming to represent something significant about our culture. >_> And it's catchy!!
* Regurgitator - Black Bugs
In general Regugitator is an Australian rock/electro type band, although their sound varies wildly from song to song and they seem to enjoy emulating other styles at random. This here is an electro song about... um... I dunno, I guess about getting WAY too into a video game, to the point where it takes over your life, and wondering why it happens; what kind of reward does the fandom-fevered brain expect for all that hard work? Although it's about a video game, I think the song works for fandom/nerdy escapist hobbies in general. Also it's quite dancable. :D
* 13 & God - Soft Atlas
Without a universal law there is no gravity, without gravity there is no atmosphere, without an atmosphere there is no chance for life, without a chance for life I don't exist ~
(As a side note, this band is actually a collaborative side project between The Notwist and Themselves, so if you like either band, check it out. I guess you'd call this trip-hop or something.)
* Slow Runner - Break Your Mama's Back
A short, cute indiepop song which is basically a list of pointless things you can do in order to upset your mom (the final item of which is "step on cracks," thus the name of the song).
* Flobots - Handlebars
The song is basically the singer listing a large number of things he can do, including riding a bike with no handlebars, keeping time without a metronome, running a business, and guiding a missile by satellite. Essentially I think the point of the song is that progress of society is continuous, but progress isn't always in a good direction. Also, when it comes to doing stuff, you (or anyone) can potentially do any number of amazing things... but before you get a warm self-esteem fuzzy, remember that it also means there's someone unpleasant out there who is just as capable of amazing things. (It's sort of like how Otacon wants to use his skillz to build animu defense mecha, whereas the military would prefer a big death machine.) As a side note, this is a local Denvar band who've recently become more widely known. :D Their album is a bit more hiphoppy overall and is chockfull of social issues and political commentary (this song is very light on those compared to most of the others).
* 311 - Transistor
This song is about... er... renegade sound system 311. Who are apparently quantum saints of the universe, hailing from the, uh, mysterious blue planet, which allows them to breathe anywhere: underwater, out in space, and in L.A. And stuff. Actually I'm not entirely sure what this song is about but it is awesome so who cares. >:O also VIVA THE 90S
* Darren Hanlon - Punk's Not Dead
It's not what you expect. XD This is a charming folkpop song about the experience of a wussy folk singer who winds up with a hardcore punk rock chick as a roommate. They are of course total opposites but apparently still able to live in harmony! But the singer still finds their lifestyle differences amusing and describes those differences with affection throughout the song.
* Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs (feat. William Shatner)
Unlike the previous song, which is titled in a cleverly misleading manner, here the song title pretty much sums up the song. Ben sings catchily about the nature of bland suburban existence and inane suburbanite behaviors, and then Mr Shatner enters at the bridge to give a passive-agressive speech about how your home is not pleasing to him in several ways and he is going to complain to the HOA!! >:O There may also be a petition!!!
* LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
I believe I've posted this before, but it's just really amusing to me for some reason. If you have it already then you can leave me a comment telling me what you think of it! Anyhow, here we have electro/dancepunk type band LCD Soundsystem saying something to the effect of, "uh, yeah, I know our music doesn't suck, but despite that we're still actually from America, and your nonstop America-bashing kinda hurts our feelings because our country is not, in fact, 100% sucky. SO SORRY to be North American scum. Nyahh."
* Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
Well, I'm not sure what it's about, so even if there are other songs on the same topic, how would you know?? Also, how can you not like a strange, rhythm-based folk-rockish song with a Jojo character named after it? :D
* Collective Soul - The World I Know
Okay, well, as long as I'm posting old rock songs. >_> This one really doesn't have THAT unique a message, I guess, but um. I dunno. Actually I just listened to it again for the first time in a long time last week and was like, o rite, this song is pretty awesome!! So I'm posting it!! >:| For those of you too young (or entombed in a cave) to remember, the video is of a guy on a rooftop about to jump, but there are birdies and it's actually quite nice up there and he recognizes that he doesn't really want to. Then he tosses his wallet off the roof. At some point in all this, I always get all verklempt and misty-eyed. XD (It just speaks strongly to me, I guess. It's one of my fav music videos, though I haven't watched it in a while. I should check youtube.)
* Eve 6 - Enemy
I actually am very fond of about half this album, "Horrorscope." Tragically, it became known only for having the song "Here's To The Night" irritatingly overplayed at like 50% of graduations/proms that year. People won't check out the mostly rather weirder contents of the rest of the disc, because zomg that one song got overplayed and was cheesy and poppy and I can't get over it!!1 More people need to appreciate the daydream imagery, and the senseless rhymes designed to communicate feeling instead of meaning, and the unusual vocabulary and such, dammit! Grr!!
Uh. Anyhow! For a long time I never really thought about the words in this song. "I took a ride to meet an enemy, I faced a fear of mine and shivered but didn't blink..." Guys are always going out to fight each other and have manly drama and shit, so I just figured the song was about, you know, an enemy. Seemingly unrelated: when I was 20 I, uh, had a sort of pregnancy scare and had to go get checked out. (TMI WARNING: my period had stopped, but I wasn't pregnant -- ironically, it was because I was so stressed out and depressed at the time that my body apparently felt I shouldn't be allowed to get pregnant or toss out perfectly good blood, lol.) When the doctor told me what was up, I felt this massive sense of relief and lightness; I think you can't really imagine it unless you've been in a similar situaton. Later, I was listening to this song whilst staring morosely out the window of a Greyhound, and the lyrics suddenly percolated into my brain: the song is about that exact experience, that crashing wave of relief when the doctor gives you good news despite your hormone-driven idiocy. (For a guy, obviously the unknown fear would be about something like The HIV, syphilis, etc, which are probably even scarier, though frankly I was pretty terrified. Although I guess as STDs go, pregnancy > herpes.) Suddenly lyrics made sense: "if I die before I leave, tell her I'll never leave her," or "I'm here to pay for my mistakes in a humiliating manner," or "a kind man takes my hand and draws the curtain, in a word he saves my life" and so on.
Short version for lazy readers like Steve: the song is not about a human enemy, it is about having to go be tested for an STD. Which I personally have never heard another song about.
That was, like, a ridiculously long song commentary. Even for me. >_>
So, did I post stuff that wasn't full of cliches? Was anything thought-provoking? You can decide if I succeeded and let me know, I guess. However, I think the most important lesson we've learned here is: there is no subject, no matter how bizarre or serious, which cannot be made catchy and dancable in 3 minutes. :D
Yeah so I was gonna post a list of all my upcoming Shows of Interest but frankly this has already taken a billion years to write, and that list always takes forever because of all the research/links, and this is already really long anyhow. I'll just post them separately later, so as to post SOMETHING now. Argh.
LINKS OF TEH DAY:
*** Has the LHC destroyed the Earth.com? I lol'd. (Then I said, "it needs an RSS feed so I'll know if it updates!" and bobthetrout told me to check the page source code. >_>)
*** McCain Gives Speech In Front Of Green Screen. Predictably people have made use of it. In this one, the musical stylings of Obama loom behind him. >_>
*** Emo To Be Made Illegal In Russia. Old news, but I had to link it for posterity. (I showed the article to my roommate J and he was very offended and stated that the music/photographed kids in question are mostly from the nu-metal/hardcore scene, not emo at all, and why are people calling it emo and clearly they don't understand genres or the musical roots of emo and blah, blah, blah)
*** Scary Frog Herpes Cake or Sadistic Anthropomorphic Watermelon Disembowlment Cake? You be the judge!!
*** Undergear: from the people who brought you International Male. Frankly their headline pretty much sums it up. XD Actually when I was in college, my friend Ryan-chan (yes) had an International Male catalog, and he was all "it's gay lol" and I was like "what!!! Nonsense!! Look, there are chicks!!" and he was like "they're all beards!" and then he had to explain what that was since I didn't know (I was so innocent ;o; alas for my youth!).
*** House Being Sucked Into Wormhole. This is cool. I wish I could have seen it (and crawled through it... I love art you can climb about on or go into).
*** Emo Wall Is Sad. Also, in the same vein, Emo Bath Is Pensive. I don't hang at 4ch and I don't follow the macro scene (so to speak) at all, but I found these pretty amusing. XD
Later. "I think I'll let them shoot me so that I can die..."</lj>