Archive for ‘music’

15 August, 2011

Prepping for the Big Move

In two weeks I pick up, move to a new state, and begin the adventures of an English grad school student. I’m knee-deep in preparation work, and I need to remember to take pictures of my room at home before I completely dismantle it. Already, parts of it are starting to look pretty spare. While I meditate on that, have some music, some words, and some peace of mind.

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Spun silk of mercy,

long-limbed afternoon,

sun urging purple blossoms from baked stems.

What better blessing than to move without hurry

under trees?

–from “Last August Hours Before the Year 2000,” You & Yours by Naomi Shihab Nye

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19 February, 2011

In which we are chased by the bliss…

I love how sometimes people and things sneak their way into your life. This is a very Campbellian “Follow your bliss” kind of moment for me, so I hope you can bear with me here. Sometimes you just have to let go and let the world take you where it is going to take you, and accept the fact that your input, at this point and time, does not matter in the least.

Is this an invocation for fatalism? No. There’s a difference in not having freewill and not having control. We rarely have control. Control is collective. Right now control rests with five grad school committees, two hiring committees, and people I never have and never will meet. What I can control is myself, the number of books I read, the number of tea cups I empty, the number of walks I take, and other microscopic things.

That being said, in the dozens of touchy-feely conversations I had about life and its direction last year, all of them inevitably mentioned that the right path will seem easy– it isn’t the easiest path, but pieces fall into place. The path feels right. There’s a part of me that feels like that’s happening right now. I’m not following the bliss…it’s kind of stalking me. One of the things I continue to be is an artist, and I keep selling stuff, and showing stuff, and making stuff. Seems pretty natural, but I never intended to be a professional artist– I actually turned my back on that avenue with all the venom I could manage. Now I’m beginning to wonder if that was the right choice. If the bliss tackles me and beats my head into the pro-art direction (why not, I’m going to be poor anyway), I’ll let you know.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.

I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
-Joseph Campbell

Also, Adele has been sneaking into my life for a while without me realizing it. Every time I saw the I Am Number Four trailer, I went “I like that song a lot.” I finally looked it up, and found out it was hers. Then I looked her up, and discovered that I knew five or six of her other songs, too. I’m being stalked by music! Blissful, bluesy music!

Anyway, enjoy.

Here’s the official video. It won’t let me embed it, but the official video is nice and pleasantly bizarre (there are ninjas and lots of broken white things.) I actually went through about twelve videos before I could find one that would embed. By the way, no one seems to know what she’s saying in the “lay your ???? bare” line. I’ve seen ship, shit, and sheet.

(lyrics after the cut)

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12 February, 2011

Alles Neu / All Is New

I burn my studio, snort the ashes like coke
I slay my goldfish, bury it in the yard
I blow up my digs, I let go everything I’ve got
My old life, tastes like a sloppy toast
Roast me a grand steak, Peter cooks finest meat now
I am the update, Peter Fox 1.1

I want to dance, celebrate, but my pond is too small
Grow me new chompers like a white shark
Waxed, doped, polished, brand-new teeth
I am euphoric, and have expensive plans
I buy me construction machinery, diggers and barrels and cranes
Jump at Berlin, press the siren
I build beautiful speaker-towers, bass stimulates your soul
I am the wrecking ball for the g-g-g-german scene

Hey, every thing’s shiny, pretty new
Hey, if you don’t like it, make it new
The world covered in dust, but I want to see where this is going
Climb the mountain of dirt, because on top the air is fresh
Hey, every thing’s shiny, pretty new

I’m fed up with my old stuff, let them rot in a sack
Throw my clothes away, and then I go naked shopping
I am completely renovated, chicks have something to stare at
Right as rain, well-toned, world champion in chess and boxing
From now on only concrete talk, give me a yes or no
No airy fairy, I stop with the old grimaces

Should I ever smoke weed again, I’m gonna hack an axe into my leg
I want to never lie again, I want to mean every sentence
My head bursts, everything has to change
I seek the button, meet the most powerful men
Force the land into luck, buy banks and broadcast stations
Everything goes nuts, shaky sheep and lambs
I look better than Bono, and am a common man
Ready to save the world, even if that’s maybe too much

Hey, every thing’s shiny, pretty new
Hey, if you don’t like it, make it new
The air here is all consumed, breathing is difficult
Bye bye I’ve got to get out of here, the walls are getting closer
The world covered in dust, but I want to see where this is going
Climb the mountain of dirt, because on top the air is fresh
Hey, every thing’s shiny, pretty new

Translation borrowed from Last FM’s Aroused Ninja.

 

The first time I heard this song I was really intimidated by its tone. The second time I followed the lyrics (I don’t speak more than a pathetic smattering of German, but there are enough random cognates and words like “gluck” and “alles” in the song, along with natural pauses, that I actually was able to follow line by line through the translation) and I feel like I got it.

I’ve been wondering for a while if lyrics matter. A lot of people ignore lyrics in songs, and I myself have a difficult time following lyrics the first, second, or even eighth time I listen to a song. It involves real effort on my part. I have to say, though, I think this song is a great example of a song whose lyrics matter incredibly. Without them, you watch, more or less, wondering “why are things exploding,” and realizing “Oh my god, the monkeys are following him!” With them, this is an anthem. It’s really something special, I think.

This song originally came to my attention through Goodmorning and Goodnight.

I could wax poetic/philosophical on the ramifications of everything being new, and the utter radical nature of the declaration, but not today. Or, at least, not right now.