Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fare thee well

I’m off!

Off off off into the wild. I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a while yo. Especially what I was gonna quote, there was an amazing Gandalf sentence that I picked up while re-watching the film for the umpteenth time but it seems my memory is as bad as his…
Bunch of songs I could post as well (and I will) that would adequately depict the situation!

The time has come to leave this hectic society behind and move forth into the sweet nurturing (well, we’ll see) arms of mother loving nature. 3 airports, 8 + 4:30 hours (+7 stopover fukdat), I shall arrive in the city of Darwin, I shall land in (one of) my motherland(s), and I shall step forth into the new and invigorating airs of what I like to think of as Freedom.
As through this freedom shall come, piercing the bright white clouds, speeding along under the deep blue sky, unified as one, glinting in the dazzling sunshine, blinding all in their way, the vessel, the wagon, the van bearing my fellow kindred and brothers as, finally united, we set off into the wild.

Khanyways, enough with the lyrical waxing, before I make my leave to spend hours ripping my hands to shreds upon mountain facades, break me wee leetle feet upon trails and trails along mountainsides and repeatedly fall off a piece of damn string tied between two trees; before sitting down in the campfire light and waiting for the ghost of Tom Joad, chillin’ in ma hammock with ma guitar, jamming around the van with our utensil like instruments (utruments? instrensils?), well before all this, I should like to leave you with a song or two (or many fucking more) that portrays my current mood.

Peace mofos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy6iwP9Ux3A (duh)

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(Song)writing & composing (The Night Receptionist)

To follow up on my previous post about lyrics: how does one write them? compose a song?
Focusing here on the lyrical aspect as opposed to the instrumental section, well there really is only one answer: each to his own. I don’t think there really is a secret to it, maybe some tips and such, but as long as you work on it yourself and write what you want, it’s allll good.

I usually write with music, with my guitar, playing the chords or riff or whatever piece of music I’ve come up with before finding a melody/words/gibberish to sing along to it with (guess the music helps with the melody, makes it smoother and easier, though I find breaking the vocal melody away from the musical melody often yields the most original results and is also the hardest thing to make work together -.- ).
However, sometimes, I’m playing 4 simple sets of chords (cause sometimes, nice and easy is just so relaxing and pleasing), and you think “why the fuck don’t I have a pre-written bunch of lyrics”. That’s another way to write, kind of like writing a poem, with no accompaniment. It also allows you to focus more on the lyrics, the downside being that when you apply said song/lyrics onto a certain piece of music, you might have to modify/shorten/lengthen lines to suit the song.

The following song came both from wanting to have more pre-written lyrics at my disposition and also came from Guy Harvey (Elbow) inspiration (with a nod to the idea of their song title “Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver”):

Always on time to join the fun,
But can only watch as they wander on,
It’s night time and it’s high time to start winding up my mind,
As I roam the lonely little halls,
All through the night,

The night receptionist job is quite a soulless one,
Nothing but a lie, and an evident one,
The janitor’s cousin, I clean & clean & clean,
Take care of the drunk,
& make sure I’m always seen,

Every task at hand is but another chance,
To let your thoughts ferment,
And watch them spread & spread,
Taking all in their way,
On their way to making you feel dazed,

Like the bedtime resolutions that fade upon awaking,
The mind leaps and soars from subtle places stored,
Thoughts you’d thought would never see the light,
Now they’re knocking at your door.

Up comes the sun to wash away,
All the tired crumbs upon your wake,
So you head back home a heavy head,
Struggling with your feet,
On waking you won’t realise,
All that’s left is to repeat.

“lyrics, lyrics, constant controversy”

For those of you unaware, the title refers to Eminem’s song “White America”. Proper tune mate. No really, a great song, one of his more old school (pre-Relapse in my eyes) and serious song, to differentiate those songs with his comical ones. Eminem’s a fucking great lyricist, grand wordsmith. Not only has he great crazy rhythm (not that I’m an expert on rap but daaaamn son he got some skills) but he has amazingly well written songs. I say this as much from vocabulary and rhythm as from a literary/poetical point of view. I mean, check out dem alliterations and assonances, he just strings them together effortlessly (well obviously while singing, he probably practiced them for ages, who knows how long it took him to write them..) and it isn’t pointless or useless cause it helps his rhythm and flow and makes him all the more impressive.
To take the above example: “lyrics, lyrics, constant controversy, sponsors working ’round the clock, to try to stop my concerts early”, look at all the ‘esses’ and ‘tees’ yo. Beautiful.
(if you dig this, check out the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, king of Kings for this).

Now these alliterations and assonances may seem more at home in the realm of rap due to the more complicated inducing nature they lend to the genre (to the flow and such) but they can be just as useful and prominent in other genres. I obviously have no concrete examples in my preferred genre of Rock………
*pause to think some more* : still no results. Anyways, you’ll all notice it in some songs.
Lest we forget, the content is just as, if not more, important and again, Eminem hits the nail on the head as regards to that as well. Again in “White America”, he talks about the controversy surrounding his fame, his reputation, with kids, with the law and it’s all very interesting and poignant. The same can MORE than easily be said about songs such as “Sing for the Moment” or “The Way I Am”.

Now I’d like to take a moment to talk about the nature of writing and judging lyrics. First of all, you could ask: who the fuck are we to judge what someone’s written? Fair question…but come on, it’s been going on for centuries in all arts (but who’s to say Shakespeare is actually good? eff off mate, whatever). We criticise Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber to Nickelback and AC/DC.

Let me say two things about that: first of all: some lyrics are pretty unforgivable, I mean, “Anaconda” (just read the lyrics, maaaan), some of those lyrics might actually be alright on a standard scale of what’s happening nowadays but you know THEE part I’m talking about (wow, it’s actually the whole last stanza…):
“Yeah, he love this fat ass
Yeah, this one is for my bitches with a fat ass in the fucking club
I said, where my fat ass big bitches in the club?
Fuck those skinny bitches, fuck those skinny bitches in the club
I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the motherfucking club
Fuck you if you skinny bitches WHAT?
I got a big fat ass
Come on”.
I mean wow. ‘Nuff said.

Now that I’ve just taken the piss about her, it makes it easier to compliment Nickelback. I’m juuuuuust gonna say, sometimes it’s fucking pleasing to hear things being said nice and easy and simple and straightforward, which they do well (some will say TOO well..). I just can’t help but compare to Radiohead when you sometimes wonder “dafuk is he talking about?”. Not a criticism here, just a remark, I looove me all of Radiohead and the lyrics make for more interpretation and metaphorical allowances, no problem about that, just a different style that sometimes mean switching to more easily understandable lyrics leads to some sort of “oh well at least with this guy I know what he means”.
If you’re wondering why I “praise” Nickelback but not Nicki Minaj, well, I shall answer “lyrical content” AND “presentability”. Yes, Nickelback have many songs about sexsexsex and alllll the such, but just take a look at HOW it’s done (look at that those Anaconda lyrics, there’s a certain way to present stuff to people’s ears…)

I will take a minute to wax lyrical about Elbow and more specifically the singer and songwriter Guy Harvey for his beautiful distribution of lyrics. Seriously, just check it out. Stunning.
Also in for due praise, among others: Eddie Vedder (he makes any cheesy lyrics NOT cheesy, too much emotion…), Zach de la Rocha (raging political bashing at its subtlest and exquisite finest).

I’d like to end on the note, that writing anything is first of all something very intimate, revealing and daring and that it doesn’t matter too much what you write as long as you believe in it really.

I once read an article where Sting was rated worst lyricist: the fuck does that even mean? Yeah he wrote “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” but The Beatles wrote “Obla Di, Obla Da”, seriously…