Song Break #2 – St. Walker by Young The Giant

The purpose of this Song Break series was initially humor. But I don’t want to limit myself so here’s a more serious analysis.

Today’s Song Break is:

This was one that I have had to churn and think over for a couple of days. It suddenly hit me as I was sitting in class listening to a lecture on Philip Larkin’s poem “Dublinesque”. The haunting music began playing in my mind and I suddenly found myself fascinated. First of all, a street walker is a slang term for a prostitute but in this day and age, the interpretation of the street walker in this song is most probably a certain kind of woman, perhaps a sexual connoisseur.

There are two people in this song; one is the singer and the other is the Street Walker. It tells a tale of one person who is perhaps infatuated by the other, and an elusive woman who, through her thoughts, lives elsewhere. It’s very clear from the first chorus that the speaker’s desire is sexually fuelled and the woman – as her title suggests – is almost like an apparition, neither here nor there.

There are a few tricky lines in this song, one is the line: “Oh what a pretty high note…” The first image that came to my mind was the image of the siren, a feminine creature of myth whose songs sent sailors to their doom. But it could also be the sound of orgasm, a sign for the speaker that he’s pleasing his lover.

And then there are the words, “glistening” and “water”. It becomes clearer now that he is the sun and she is the water. He wants to shine for her wherever she goes so that her distracted mind will have a light to focus on. And she is the water, the life force that drives his desire. But that is only the first chorus.

As we proceed onto the second verse and so forth, the atmosphere turns dark. There are shadows walking on the wall. There is a palpable sense of paranoia in the speaker’s dark visions. Sameer sings the line “Just tell me where you are” with so much pressing desperation, you can really feel the neediness in his voice and in his desire to be with the Street Walker. Then comes the water but it is not a life-giving force anymore, it drowns, it kills, it is in fact a stand-in for an orgasm. She drowns in sexual ecstasy. The speaker’s position shifts from the subject of unfulfilled desire to an almost prophetic one when he warns: “you’ll drown, drown down in it.” What I see in this change of voice is the actual position between the speaker and the Street Walker. All this while I thought the power and agency were in the Street Walker’s hands for possessing something that the speaker was lusting after but in a cryptic turn of events, the Street Walker has no power at all. She goes, she walks without moving because it is a necessity, she runs.

The speaker is not actually a separate being but part of the Street Walker’s consciousness. The speaker is more like a voice of reason, battling with the absence of its other half, its emotions. It hears echoes of emotions in the drowning, that is how it knows she is alive somewhere. The water, in this final moment, stands for a destructive and mysterious force that will ease her pain. Water is both soothing and chaotic. The one constant question – tell me where you go – becomes effete because it is an unanswerable one. There is no such place where she can love without leaving. The high note is a performance; the sin is very real; the water is climactic. And the climax is another name for death.


The Forcefully Awakened

I’m up way early in the moment but hey you know that’s what happens when you’ve got Star Wars on your mind.

I’ve decided to attempt making one Star Wars portraiture at least once a day. If that doesn’t work out, please feel free to send spite over universal vibes my way.

If you’re in any interested in what I’m saying and would like to see all the shitty daily art I’ll be putting up, head on over to my personal blog where I speak of art, music, writing and other nonsense.

Anyway here’s two I made this weekend:

Trooper Old Trooper

Domo Arigato for the time-o. I’ll be expecting you.

Song Break #1 – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Ever wonder what that strange earbug truly means? Ever thought the lines “Call me maybe?” were actually about intergalactic alien communications? Well, wonder no further for I have risen up to the challenge, the responsibility and privilege of putting my three years worth of literary criticism into breaking down the oh so powerful and mighty verses of today.

Today’s Song Break is:

The lyrics:

When I wake up, well, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you

When I go out, yeah, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you

If I get drunk, well, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you

And if I haver, hey, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

The first verse is an octave wherein the first lines are made up of 11 syllables and the next ones of 12. Furthermore, there is a rhyme scheme pertaining to the abab format. It is of interest to note that the a’s rhyme with the personal pronoun ‘me’. The Proclaimers, genius that they are, really want to highlight the fact that this song is about ‘me’ and ‘you’. It is of further note that the subject here is ‘me’ and the object is ‘you’, thereby signifying that ‘you’, man or woman, will forever be the silent listener.

This song is all about Charlie and Craig (yes, those are two separate people, 1988 did not perfect its Parent Trap technologies just yet), as all previous love sonnets have been since Shakespeare. “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”; “Those eyes, ‘neath which my passionate rapture rose”; “That the dear She might take some pleasure of my pain”. This song is no different from these age old masterpieces, pedestalizing your women is the way to go, guys! Gag and bind your beloved in bed, swing out your guitar and serenade her with this song. They will enjoy it nonetheless. Proof: that one episode on How I Met Your Mother irrevocably proves that you too can last the duration of a 500 mile car ride listening to this song without throwing yourself out of your moving vehicle.

 But I would walk five hundred miles

And I would walk five hundred more

Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles

To fall down at your door

How much is 500 miles? To begin with, a 500 mi radius of Scotland will most likely lead to a water-body.This is no joke, ladies and gentlemen. If you’re pondering further how they’d have done it, check out this helpful article I found: Beep.

When I’m working, yes, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you

And when the money comes in for the work I do

I’ll pass almost every penny on to you

When I come home, oh, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you

And if I grow old, well, I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

Now we’re getting into the meat of the poem. Before this stanza, we knew nothing really about the beloved, except that Charlie and Craig really really are stoked to walk to whoever she or he may be and collapse at their front door. But now comes a crucial tidbit of information. Charlie and Craig are being catfished.We know this because of the fourth and fifth line: “And when the money comes in for the work I do/ I’ll pass almost every penny on to you”. The Proclaimers use of delayed decoding is very effective here when we know for the first half of the song that they would walk 500 (and 500 more) miles to be with their beloved. But why? “Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles/ To fall down at your door,” is not an actual reason, that is what logicians call circular reasoning i.e. I would walk 500 miles because I want to walk 500 miles.

It seems like a gag at first, walking 500 miles, but you cannot deny the importance of the details surfacing in verse 2. Who would be crazy enough to literally walk 500 miles and consequently spend all their pay on this one person who is incapable of even meeting them halfway? The answer is sadly, someone who is being catfished. It makes sense now doesn’t it? What other idiot in this world would travel thus far if not for a catfish? Add to this the inability to FaceTime or Skype and you know these guys are screwed.

But that was Scotland in 1988, there was only one definition for catfish back then and that was “a freshwater or marine fish with whisker-like barbels round the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.”

A catfish.

The rhyme scheme gets a little messed up here. That’s what falling in love with a Norwegian middle-aged man who calls himself “Nancy” will do to you.

Da lat da (Da lat da), da lat da (Da lat da)

Da-da-da dun-diddle un-diddle un-diddle uh da-da

Da lat da (Da lat da), da lat da (Da lat da)

Da-da-da dun-diddle un-diddle un-diddle uh da-da

There are two consecutive beats happening here. The first line has a beat of 12 and the second has a beat of 21. 12 and 21 are the same numbers backwards. Boom. Nailed it.

The video:

The video features two very handsome ginger men standing, in real life, in front of what is presumably a green screen onto which are projected monochromatic images of a voyeuristic view into an apartment building, walking, traffic, cars, and a lady sentimentally peering outside the window of a moving train. One interpretation of this is that they’re lying bastards. A second interpretation is that these are in fact images into their states of desire, in other words, projections of their consciousnesses, of the silhouette of a mysterious girl.

1988 was a year of soaring heights in inventions in communication and outreach. The first transatlantic fibre optic cable made it possible for the simultaneity of 40,000 telephone calls. Stephen Hawking published “A Brief History of Time” where perplexing questions as to the universe were made clearer. The Hubble Space Telescope was successfully put into operation. Carbon Dating proved that the Turin Shroud was not in fact touched by Jesus. Add to this list, The Proclaimers with their timeless masterpiece “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and we’ve hit a very pivotal era in travel and communication. It also helps to know that Prozac was introduced around this time to numb those feelings of lovers’ woe.


What do you do when you’re in musical limbo? Maybe it’s because it’s a dreary Saturday evening. Maybe it’s because it’s getting hotter here. Or maybe it’s because college is ending.

I’m not currently in a musical limbo. In fact, I’m having my monthly dosage of the US Billboards. Bring on the country music! But I got to thinking about this when I spent the past hour trying to record something in my room with the fan switched off (background noise) and mosquitoes biting my legs (how pathetic is All Out sometimes?).

I know there are always days around the corner where I feel as helpless and frustrated and just uncomfortable as I was an hour ago. That was, for me, last Tuesday. Nothing new to listen to, just a couple of recycled tracks I rediscovered on my parents’ PC. Some Fall Out Boy, Erik Hassle, Mylo Xyloto.

One of the things I do when I’m in limbo is recycle music. I never really thought about it until this morning, how utterly simplistic yet powerful a single song can be. Do you ever stop to realize that tracks such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Never Gonna Give You Up” take up exactly between 1 – 9 minutes to experience yet how stubbornly they hold their ground in history? 3-minute songs that last forever. I was watching my daily dose of a Shaytards vlog in which Shay says you only need that one perfect piece of something and then that’s that. It’s down in the records.

On a further profound note, do you realize that the music you listen to shapes your life in at least one way? How immensely important are musicians in shaping our lifestyles? How weird is it that something as small and instantaneous as a One Direction track can make your 9-year-old niece experience such mania and craze? Or how much better your day gets when you hear that one song that tells you everything will be alright? Fuck, therapy. Get some music. Talk to someone. That’s really all you need.

We could veer off the tracks here and say “don’t be in limbo; look at all these possibilities!” but life is more complicated than that. We are a very complex and weird species, you and I. Somewhere in the back of your mind rationality falls short, no amount of music can help, and you sit there blankly staring at a wall, living in Groundhog’s Day listening to “Heat of the Moment“. Most days when I recycle songs, it really does zilch to improve my general discomfort. That’s where exploration comes in. Go out there, stop being a lazy jerk and surf the web, surf the radio, surf the idiot box, surf the coffee shop tunes, ask people what they’re listening to. And when that doesn’t work, hope. Hope that the universe isn’t ass enough not to yank you out of limbo. That’s all.

It was the heat of the moment

Telling me what your heart meant

Heat of the moment shone in your eyes

Why does everything come down to sex? Take a note from Gabrielle Aplin, please.


Beep beep boop.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been MIA for a while now and it happens. I cannot offer up an excuse for this except that I am human and we humans relish in our own respective states of procrastination. As compensation, I will relay a few random, incohesive thoughts:

A lot’s changed on this site.

Incohesive is a word. Why is the bloody red squiggly line there???

My legs are cramping up even though I’ve done literally nothing all day.

I have 10 friggin’ followers! How sad for you to be reading this shit, followers.

No I’m kidding, but thanks anyway.

I would like to promise more content but promises to blog from this person over here are pointless and pathetic.

Here’s a little shameless self-advertising:

I was completely lethargic and pissed off at the world yesterday. Today, my legs are lethargic and my stomach is pissed off.

Two aunts came over today and, because I’m super cute and adorable, one of them was asking me what I was doing. I was about to write a song. But before she left she just HAD TO stroke my bristly-needs-shaving left leg. Why? Why would you do that?

I guess that’s all for now. Stay tuned for more. Possibly. Maybe? Wha?

In The Case For “Blurred Lines”

I haven’t been able to blog for the past two/three months as I am now back in college, spending my days loathing all of my professors for being uberly under-qualified (none of them have doctorates in English or otherwise). But that is not the issue I wish to address here. Nay, that does not even bother me as much as this: the controversial “rape” messages surrounding Robin Thicke’s summer extravaganza “Blurred Lines”.

I was so bothered by this that I couldn’t sleep last night for almost an hour just thinking about what I would type out when I awoke in the morning. I even wrote a rage-filled message to my friend Apple just yesterday because I felt like no one would listen to what I had to say about the song seeing as all of my female friends in college are quite feministic.

I have only recently gotten into the song “Blurred Lines”. It must have been this past weekend. That may sound like shocking news but I like to let music – that is, pop music that seems to play on repeat EVERYWHERE – simmer down a little before I really grab hold onto it. This past Wednesday, I read a post shared by one of my friends: HERE. I don’t know if you’ve been living under a rock but the issue of rape and consensual sex has been recently raised by countless number of people all over the world. I could name a few examples but that is not my point. My point is, my whole good-vibes about “Blurred Lines” vanished from the moment I read this. I was disgusted to even listen to the song, not because I was disgusted by the so-called “message” of the song, but by the fact that my obsession hadn’t run its full course and I felt betrayed by the world for ruining my moment.

Since I love making bullet points and lists because it just easily maps everything out for me, I am now going to run you through the reasons why I am not okay with this complete ruination of my cloud-nine moment with “Blurred Lines”:

1)      I already had a preconceived notion of what’s been going around, that no one should listen to “Blurred Lines” because of its pro-rape message so I knew going in to my obsession, not to take heed to the lyrics (also, I have never watched the music video of the song itself but rather have relied on the song’s debut performance on The Voice and The Graham Norton Show so you can tell we had a little bit of history). NOT in the sense that I already knew the lyrics and therefore chose to ignore what could possibly be “implied” (I have put that in quotations because this is an issue I have with MANY MANY things in the world) but in the sense that in my mind, I kept mumbling the words and distorting them so I honestly didn’t know the words by choice. So that’s one thing ruined.

2)      Secondly, this “implication” maddens me to the depths of hell’s fury; after all, assuming makes an ass of you and me. Do you honestly think someone in their right mind would purposefully and knowingly write a song about rape? And for that matter, someone like Robin Thicke who has a beautiful son with his even more gorgeous wife Paula Patton? If we want to blame the composers of this song for anything it’s that they speak of promiscuity and nothing else. All other “rape” “implications” have been projections made by individuals who are completely disappointed by the crappy thing we call society. The closest thing to an implication of rape would be a mere Freudian slip and, ladies and gentlemen, psychology is not 100% just like astronomy is horse shit.

3)      We are currently studying the Wife of Bath’s Tale from “The Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer and today we came across a passage that totally fueled my argument. This is in her prologue where she says: “He spak more harm than herte may bithinke/And therwithal he knew of mo proverbes/Than in this world ther growen gras or herbes.” This is the part of the prologue where the wife of Bath’s 5th husband reads out of his Book of Wicked Wives in order to somehow tame his lecherous wife. The point is, I don’t understand why people have to dwell so much on the negative, so very much, to the point that they almost fetishize the horrible deeds done by horrible men and women. Yes, I said fetishize. I understand that some people need the shock, that some people will never get the message without a little punch but what does that say about the world that we dwell on such miserable topics? Someone I know who is an avid animal lover keeps sharing morbid pictures of physically abused pets on Facebook that I sometimes wonder if she likes the pain. Yes, you are trying to help but that is why we have freewill. I can’t stand people who complain and complain and do nothing to change their situation when they know they have a choice. Like my pops who complains about how much food my mom gives him for lunch: JUST CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS DAMMIT!

4)      There’s the whole misogyny of it all, or rather anti-misogyny. Why is it that when a man sings about sex and whatnot that there is this whole shit storm of feminists that follow close behind like a cloud of locusts? Why is it okay for women to sing about promiscuity and it being translated into female empowerment? Isn’t sexism twofold? Have feminists forgotten about their very own demeaning stance on men? Sure you may say feminism is about equality of sexes but I’m just implying that it isn’t. Am I wrong to “imply” such a thing? I don’t see why not.

5)      In that case, combining my points made in 2 and 4, let’s analyze any song that comes to mind. Let’s start with the obvious ones. Selena Gomez’s “Come And Get It” is a sultry song about a woman writhing in the agony of waiting for her lover to ‘come and get it’ and could also be about an ‘easy-target’ sort of woman who is telling any and all men that she is an open house. Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” is obviously about being in an abusive relationship and enjoying it. Where’s the harm in that if she likes it right? One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young” is about a group of young men seeking out potential sexual partners while they are still rampant and potent, obviously about gang rape. Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” is about a man who wants to ‘swag’ on you. No need for any further explanation. Taylor Swift’s “22” is about a girl who craves company to point where she desires to meet someone she doesn’t know but she “bets you want to”. She is blatantly considering a life of promiscuity with anyone she doesn’t know, duh! Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is about an insecure woman who has just had the only sexual experience she will ever have in her life, possibly by the friendly and extremely creepy old guy living next door, and wants him to desperately do her again. I could go on but I think I’ve scarred most of you enough. Now you know how I feel, now you know how upsetting it is to have a great song ruined just because of some “implications”.

6)      The last point I am going to make is that “Blurred Lines” is not some piece of exquisite propagandist poetry which we can compare to Yeats or Browning or Plath. It is just a song that a bunch of people wrote to make millions and millions of dollars, but besides this, it is just a song that a bunch of people wrote for the enjoyment of certain individuals (obviously excluding hardcore feminists). More than this, we should concern ourselves with songs such as “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Daylight” by Maroon 5 and “There’s No Going Back” by Sick Puppies to name a few contemporary ones. Why do such, I hate to say it but, useless songs come under the radar of people who work for important causes against societal problems? You’re just taking the easy way out and projecting your hatred onto something so dismal. Don’t create controversy over a peace of steaming poop.

Protecting the next generation of music lovers and individuals is important but “shielding” them from these types of songs isn’t going to get you anywhere. In fact, shielding anyone from any music can only ultimately be achieved if you pour hot metal into their ears because these are organs that we possess to perceive the world and to exercise free will. We must find both the pros and the cons to everything in life not only to keep our minds sharp but to also keep the light going. If we only focus on the cons, how can we improve? After all, doesn’t improvement entail a positivity towards a better future? So, come on folks, sit back, relax and enjoy “Blurred Lines” just because you enjoy it.

Echo out.

Gabrielle Aplin

Ahh so here we are back to reviews and really talking about music.

I first came across Gabrielle Aplin through a UK Top 40 download casually actually. I don’t think I made myself listen to it but it just seemed to pop up and I’m glad it did. It was definitely around the time the single for “Please Don’t Say You Love Me” came out and since I haven’t said it yet – d’oh – this was the track I first heard.

The first time I really took notice of it was during the early morning cab drop offs from our PG to college and I remember how serene it made everything even though mornings make me dreary as hell. I felt as though I was cruising down an open road surrounded by yellow fields and clear blue sky which is something you seek when life just seems like a monotonous burden.

Gabrielle Aplin is 20 years of age – which makes me feel like I’ve done nothing with my life being a year younger – and got her start on YouTube, something all we fellow musicians want to accomplish. That’s why we make covers for y’all, because we want to make something of ourselves, prove ourselves worthy of your ears. The future begins with one view from you.

Semantics aside, I know now why I feel connected with her. GABRIELLE APLIN IS A LIBRAN!!! I welcome all Librans with open arms because I know how you are, you know how I am so let’s just be BFFs, kay? Aplin was born 8 days and one year before me. How cool.

Maybe as soon as you read “got her start on YouTube”, you roll your eyes thinking “here we go again, another talentless schmuck ‘making’ music but not really.” Well, you sir are wrong. Her first EP, Acoustic EP, reached the Top 25 UK iTunes chart. Her second EP, Never Fade, reached number 14 on the UK albums chart – legit charts – not to mention, she played all the instruments herself. Then we get the EP Home and finally English RainIn the span of three years.

Now, I haven’t heard the whole album yet but I’ll be talking about two tracks that I think perfectly showcase the opposite ends of Gabrielle Aplin’s debut album “English Rain”.

First off, “Please Don’t Say You Love Me” is one of those classic tracks. Simple melody, simple lyrics, a love song in its essence but with something unspoken, some sort of aura that gives it that extra punch. It’s more than a love song. I mean, courtesy of Pops, I really can’t say it better: “the lyrics are so simple and cliched yet no one has ever thought of saying ‘please don’t say you love me/cause I might not say it back’…” This covers the pop segment of ‘English Rain’. It’s catchy, snappy and light. It’s the perfect start for any up-and-coming artist. It’s calm, serene, extra smooth and breezy. The perfect soundtrack for any road trip or drive-around.

Then comes the highlight of this post, the reason why I even bothered to open WordPress at 1 in the morning. I’d heard this one time before while my music player was on shuffle and I was baking some chocolate chip cookies at 3 am and did in fact notice it but it kind of flew over my head in the coming days. Then here I am again, listening to it. It’s called “Start of Time“. This covers the ambient, alternative side of English Rain. The first verse covers everything you need to know about Gabrielle’s voice, it’s just like “a drop of water/…running down a mountainside/…rising with the morning tide”. I haven’t felt this crazy about a song in a very long time because of my compulsive listening disorder which is that I can’t stick to one track for too long because I get inevitably bored with it.

There is absolutely no harshness in Gabrielle’s voice. It IS literally like water. Smooth and almost invisible to the senses, pleasant to the touch. I wanted to take the easy way out and just use “Start of Time” as the “Current Obsession” widget over there to your left but decided that it was time for me to start reviewing something and not talking about pimples and rashes.

I have watched a few of her earlier covers on YouTube and they don’t impress me much. You don’t see the potential she possesses as an artist so I thank God Gabrielle has had the nerve and passion to start making her own music and done something with herself. I feel ashamed as an artist standing against Gabrielle because we are practically the same age yet I’ve done nothing outstanding with my life for others to admire or even for myself to admire. I’m just…average. But that’s why I love people like Gabrielle Aplin because they make me believe in the future, in a future when I can finally take the reins and “make good art” (Neil Gaiman). World, stop pressuring me! I’m going to be a good girl and get my college degree like Jay-Z did.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen to English Rain you will not be disappointed by Gabrielle’s voice or her songwriting abilities, or her musical composition, or anything else. Gabrielle Aplin, I worship you and respect you as an artist.

Echo out.