Sunday, June 24, 2018

It's Summer, Bitches!

Merry Belated Litha, y'all! Yep, it's that time of year again. School is out, beaches are crowded, and some of the best songs of the year are being released. I've combed the interwebs and my own memory to bring you my top 5 Summer Songs. Some of them are officially on professional lists of the best songs of the season....and some are not. However, they all mean something to me so I hope you enjoy them. Just a quick warning - I am going to get quite rant-y, in many directions, so keep up!

5. "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Ray Jepson

"Call Me Maybe" came out in the Summer of 2012. You know how I remember that? Because it was an election year and some asshole made a parody of Obama on the campaign trail. That summer, I was volunteering for Ron Barber's special election campaign. He was running to take over for Gabby Gifford's seat, because on January 8th of that year, some asshole shot up a "Congress on Your Corner" event in Tucson. I'll never forget where I was when that happened. He murdered 8 people (including a friend's cousin) and injured several others, including Giffords and Barber. I know that took a dark turn, but it's background. Let's get back to that summer.

Anyway, I volunteered for the Barber campaign. I most remember the guy who ran the local Democratic office because he would always give me shit about stuff....mostly my clothes and the fact that I wouldn't register Democrat. "Why do your jeans have holes in them?" "Why don't you wear more clothes?" "Why are you still an Independent? Choose a side!" No. I'm still an Independent because, like George Washington, I believe that parties are the worst thing for this country. Honestly, if you removed the "R" or "D" next to candidates' names, most people wouldn't know who they were voting for. It would be chaos and I think that might actually be good for this country. But I digress. Sure, he gave me a lot of shit, but he also seemed genuinely impressed that I actually talked to people and tried to understand what they thought was important about the person they were voting for. Because it is important. I may not have talked to the most people but I like to think I changed the most minds when I called.

Back to the song - go ahead and judge me, but I really like "Call Me Maybe." It's cute, it's fun, and it's young, which makes it the perfect song for Summer. The video is pretty funny, too. Carly is trying to get the attention of her cute neighbor (who is HOT and just my type) but he's pretty oblivious. Well, we find out at the end of the song - to Carly's chagrin - that Hot Neighbor is gay/bisexual and he would rather fuck her guitarist. That's fair. The guitarist is also pretty cute.

"Call Me Maybe" Video


4. "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles

I know this isn't particularly original or interesting, but "Abbey Road" is my favorite Beatles album. It's very clear they wrote it while they were on drugs, which makes the sound totally unique. Also, some of their craziest songs are on there. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a personal favorite - it's upbeat but it's about a serial killer. Yeah....I'm....odd, sometimes. Some of my other favorites include "Oh Darling!" and "Something." The latter in particular reminds me of my parents. "Something in the way she moves/Attracts me like no other lover/Something in the way she moves me/I don't want to leave her now/You know I believe and how?" I'm going to stop there, because that song deserves its own post. Needless to say, I believe true love exists because I know how my dad feels about my mom. Sappy indeed, but I don't care.

Another favorite on the album is "I Want You (She's so heavy)." The lyrics are pretty simple - it's mostly just Paul singing "I want you" several times - but the instrumental piece is so dark and luxurious, it kind of pulls you in. It's supposed to feel like a heroine trip - or like if you are lying in an opium den, which I think the Beatles did quite often when this song was written. My dad told me once that Paul was singing to a cheeseburger but I think he was just fucking with me. Anyway, after you get trapped in the thick fabric of this song, "Abbey Road" pulls you back out of the depths with "Here Comes the Sun," which is so chipper, you forget you were drowning in bass guitar only moments ago. I have fond memories of "Abbey Road" because we'd always listen to it at least one time through when my dad picked me up from college for breaks (I didn't drive back then). I definitely know this album like the back of my hand but it's one I could probably listen to over and over. There aren't many albums like that - most only have one or two good songs - so take some time to do some listening. For your musical education, of course.

"Here Comes the Sun" Video


3. "California Girls" by The Beach Boys

I'm a California Girl - I have the birth certificate to prove it! Okay, I only lived there like a month after I was born but I do like the state for small bursts. Not to live there, of course - it's too expensive. But I always enjoyed our visits to LA and San Diego because I love - LOVE - the beach. This song posits that the girls from California are prettier. Honestly, I feel like I'm a California 7, but it's a nice idea. Just for reference, a California 10 is like the hottest a girl can be, so I'm probably being overly generous to myself. However, it makes sense that California Girls would be the prettiest, since that's where the majority of our film, music, and modeling industry is. Marilyn was from California and she was stunning, even before they got to her with the peroxide. My favorite picture of Norma Jean is one of her earlier modeling photographs, when she still had her red hair. She standing on the beach...she has her hands up near her face and she's just smiling at the camera. Here, I found it....

Norma Jean Baker
It's so innocent, like she doesn't have a care in the world. Of course, we know she did. She was the poster child for Borderline Personality Disorder and what we know about her life has helped me to understand more about what has happened in mine. She wrote poetry, you know. I've read some of it - it was quite good. It makes me kind of sad, because she felt like she was worthless without her looks but she wasn't. Norma was really beautiful inside, it's just that no one really bothered to see it. I didn't really mean to rant about Marilyn for this song - it just sort of turned out that way. However, I think that's where I needed to go so I'm gonna leave it.

"California Girls" Video


2. "Despacito (Remix)" by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (feat. Justin Bieber)

This was last year's Song of the Summer. It's kind of ridiculous. Personally, I only understand the Justin Bieber part and the bridge. Because I never learned Spanish, despite living in the Southwest for a good portion of my life. I make bad life choices - one of those choices was getting a degree in French. But hey, if you ever need someone to let you know if they've translated the French parts of American movies correctly, I'm your girl. Anyway, my older sister loves this song. She had it on repeat the whole time we visited North Padre Island last year....and I didn't mind it. Neither did the baby, but he's inherited my weird taste in music.

If you remember, "Despacito" was banned in Malaysia for being to racy. Which made me curious as to what I'm singing along to....so I looked up the English translation to find out. And - holy shit! - I think Malaysia might have had a reason to ban it....and I'm generally against banning stuff. Basically, "Despacito" (which means "slowly" in Spanish) is about Luis Fonsi telling some girl how he's going to make slow, sweet love to her. The Spanish lyrics include lines like, "I want to see how much love fits in you" (Oh my!) and "Let me trespass your danger zones/Until I make you scream" (Whew...is it hot in here?) It makes the actual English lyrics in the remix sound tame. I highly doubt Puerto Rican girls scream "Ay Bandito!" when they orgasm....but, to be fair, I'm not Puerto Rican, so I'm not the expert here. Whatever. The song is catchy as hell and I was super excited to hear it in the radio playlist again.

"Despacito (Remix)" Video



1. "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley (as sung by The Ataris)

The Ataris cover of "The Boys of Summer" is probably my most favorite cover ever. They update the lyrics slightly to make it current. Instead of a "Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac," it's a Black Flag sticker. And that's the extent of it....she still wears Wayfarers, not Oakleys or some shit like that. The Don Henley version of this song is the 5th best Summer song according to music critics, so I feel like putting it at number 1 on my list is accurate.

The lyrics tell a story, but not like how country songs tell a story. It's more subtle. You start with this boy who is in love with a girl. Perhaps a little obsessed (he's driving past her house at like midnight...) but clearly he wasn't ready for it to end, so that's understandable. I imagine it was a summer fling and I think her family must have a summer home in this lake town, where this boy is a local. Depending on how you imagine the lyrics, either he's remembering the summer fling and she's not actually around anymore. Or you can imagine it how I do - she actually lives in town and he sees her everyday, flirting with all the "boys of summer" when they come to town. I think that version is more tragic. Essentially, we see the narrator going back and forth throughout the various stages of grief for the end of his relationship. Confusion ("I don't understand what happened to our love"), Denial ("But, baby, I'm gonna get you back/Gonna show you what I'm made of"), and then briefly touching on Acceptance ("Those days are gone forever/I should just let 'em go") before plummeting back into Depression for the last chorus. Man, it really is kind of a sad song. I hope Don Henley eventually got over this girl....because it sounds like he needs a hug. Including both versions of the song, because they are both excellent.

The Ataris Version


Don Henley Version



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"No Roots" by Alice Merton

I feel like something bouncy tonight....and this song fits that description. Alice Merton wrote "No Roots" to work out some angst she had leftover from her childhood. She moved like a dozen times when she was a kid. Kind of reminds me of my childhood. I'm an Army brat and as such, I moved around quite a bit. Every three years, in fact....well, we were someplace for 6 years once but that's because we didn't move with my dad that time. They let us stay at our previous base because he was going to be deployed pretty much the entire time he was stationed at the next base. I used to hate it, but now that I'm older, I've got that anxious feeling. What do they call it? Wanderlust....

I've been in SA for exactly 5 years now and, don't get me wrong, I like it....I just wish I could escape it every once in a while. I used to fantasize about the nomadic lifestyle. Still do, in fact. The Husband watches all these yacht videos and jokes that we should buy one and sail the world. I would do it, though, if I knew we could kept our son fed and cared for. Some people actually do that - they sail the world and make YouTube videos or set up Patreon sites to make enough money to survive. That wouldn't be too bad. If my writing made any money, that would be ideal. Of course, we used to watch a lot of RV videos and he would say the same thing. We still don't own an RV or a yacht.

Enough about me, let's dissect this song. The lyrics remind me of something a bird would sing. "I've got no roots/But my home was never on the ground." Essentially, I think Merton is saying that it's hard not having one place to call home but the memories from her years of traveling - and the fantasizing she did while on the road - is what grounds her. I can relate. Some of my favorite memories I have are of playing pretend or daydreaming while we drove cross country. But some of the saddest ones I have are of leaving friends behind. It's bittersweet - a new adventure but you're still leaving part of your life in each place. "Digging holes" if you will. Alice Merton wrote the song to cheer herself up and it definitely has that upbeat-ness about it. I love to sing along with the chorus, mostly because it's fun to do that coo'ing sound when she sings "roots."

The video is a typical low-budget indie video. Alice Merton is in a trendy apartment, looking beautiful and singing/dancing. She moves to different parts of the apartment and the cinematographer plays with different lighting effects but it's nothing to write home about.

"No Roots" Video

Monday, June 18, 2018

"EP 1" by Black Canary

Oh. My. Gawd. Did y'all know that DC Comics released an album as a companion piece to the "Black Canary Vol 1: Kicking and Screaming" graphic novel? I fucking love when pop culture franchises do this! When "Josie & the Pussycats" came out in theaters, I had that soundtrack on repeat. And the tapes that came with the Jem dolls (to my recollection, we only ever had the "Asia" doll) kept me going through a tremulous childhood. Yes, I love fake bands, because usually the music is surprisingly good. Black Canary's "EP 1" is no exception. The sound is super darkwave and 80s goth, which is where I live. And the girl who is singing as Black Canary has a great voice. I dig it. Kind of makes me want to by the graphic novel. Shut up and take my money!

New Earth Black Canary (DC Comics)
As you can see, I'm bringing back Discover Monday, because my googling brings me to some pretty interesting places. Don't ask me how I found it (hint: I may have been researching the Black Canary symbol for....body modification reasons....), all you need to know is that it's awesome. But it's got me wondering why I'm drawn to Black Canary. Obviously, I like her superhero outfits. They are always unapologetically sexy. Again, here I go solidifying my "bad feminist" credentials, but I don't think there's anything wrong with dressing sexy or feminine, and being comfortable with that. If a girl wants to wear fishnets and thigh high boots, who am I to tell her she shouldn't? I'm also kind of in love with the mythology and symbolism of Black Canary, as gleaned from the comics and the TV interpretations on CW's "Arrow," which is one of my current favorite shows (even though I'm so far behind).

My Current Desktop Image (DC Bombshells by Ant Lucia)
Canaries are a symbol of joy and freedom. When they're happy, they can sing all day, spreading that happiness as they go along. I'm definitely the same way. That's how you know I'm happy, in fact - I can't stop singing. Or smiling. It's embarrassing because I look like a damn fool most of the time but - you know what - who cares? I've so rarely felt happy in my life, it's been so rife with turmoil. Still is but that's just the chaotic nature of being alive. Sometimes you have to go with it. And I make my own path. As does Black Canary. In "Arrow," Sara Lance (my favorite of the "Arrow" Canaries) gets her League of Assassins name - Ta-er al-Sahfer, which is roughly translated to "canary" in Arabic - because of the joy she brought to Nanda Parbat. When Nyssa brings her to the League, R'as al-Ghul tries to frighten her...and Sara just laughs. The sound is so pure, it just rings through that dark place. What a beautiful idea. That's the type of person I hope to be someday - someone who just brings lightness where it's needed. I could use a little bit of that. Side note: There may be a Black Canary cosplay in my future...one day. Gotta get a superhero body, first.

DC Comics actually released two short albums for Black Canary, "EP 1" and "EP 2" (so creative!) and they are both available for sale ($3.50/each) on bandcamp, if you're interested in buying. If not, you can still listen to the entire albums for free at the site. Dropping the links here:
EP 1 | https://blackcanary.bandcamp.com/album/ep-1
EP 2 | https://blackcanary.bandcamp.com/album/ep2
"Black Canary Vol 1: Kicking and Screaming" graphic novel | https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/black-canary-vol-1-kicking-and-screaming

Found a sound video with my favorite song on "EP 1." Enjoy!

"Old World" Video

Saturday, June 16, 2018

"I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)" by Auli'i Cravalho and Rachel House

::WARNING:: I am going to get kind of super-ranty because "Moana" inspires all the fucking feels. I've seen it probably a hundred times and the story still brings tears to my eyes. Luckily, my son loves the movie as much as I do. Also, there will be spoilers if you haven't seen it. ::END WARNING::

I'm not sure if y'all know much about the structure of musicals. I doubt it....no one loves musicals as much as I do. In fact, it's a point of contention in our house because The Husband fucking hates musicals. (But why?) Here's where the rant starts. There is always a theme (sometimes two or more, if there are multiple main characters, as in "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables"), which is the underlying melody that is carried throughout the other songs and holds the score together. Some songs may differ - usually, there is a ballad and/or a villain song that, although it still uses similar musical elements, is much more powerful and the influence of the theme is less noticeable - but overall, you'll notice that the songs complement each other. This is by design. In "Moana," the theme is "How Far I'll Go," which always triggers a feeling of intense hope within me. And yes, I prefer the Auli'i Cravalho version in the movie as opposed to that crap knockoff Alessia Cara sings in the credits.

The theme shows up early in the movie, because it is usually the main character's big song. For example, "Think of Me" is Christine Daae's debut in "The Phantom of the Opera." This is true in "Moana" as well - I believe "How Far I'll Go" shows up within the first 30 minutes, if not sooner. However, there is always a point in a musical when the theme is repeated, almost note-for-note. Generally, it will have different lyrics and it might even be played in a minor key, to make it seem darker and more sad. As you may have guessed, there is a reason for this. The reprisal usually appears when all hope seems to be lost, when the main character is about to give up. This song serves as an auditory signal that the character is having (or about to have) an epiphany. They've discovered some hidden truth - sometimes it's about their quest, but usually it's a revelation about who they are - and they are ready and willing to continue the journey. To fight for their end goal. As such, reprisals tend to be pretty inspiring, like "I Am Moana."

Of course, "I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)" inspires an even more dramatic emotional response in me than "How Far I'll Go." At this point in the movie, Moana - our heroine, if you couldn't tell - has just been abandoned by Maui and she's telling the Ocean (which is a real character in the movie) that's she's not built for her quest. She's not strong enough and that the Ocean should choose someone else - even though her island is pretty much out of time and is about to be swallowed by the darkness currently enveloping the world. But then her grandmother - the wise "village crazy lady," as she prefers to be called (a personal goal of mine...my master plan is to be the crazy old woman who lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest by the sea) and a spirit at this point, because she died right as Moana leaves on her quest - shows up and tells her that, no matter what happens, she is who she is. That's the revelation. Everything that we've learned about Moana up to this point - the pull she feels from the ocean, the wanderlust, her drive to please her family and ancestors - all of that makes her who she is and that's what makes her strong. The final lyric is her saying, point blank, no hesitation - "I Am Moana!" A battle cry, if I ever fucking heard one. Holy Self-actualization, Batman! Now if only we can all learn that lesson. I think I figured it out a while ago. My ancestors were treasure hunters and adventurers and, thus, that is who I am, too. I've tried to embrace that. It's hard sometimes....life gets in the way, doubt gets in the way. But I'm trying to be more of who I am, and that's a start. I'm including the lyrics to the final verse, because that's when I really get choked up.


Who am I?

I am the girl who loves my island
I'm the girl who loves the sea
It calls me
I am the daughter of the village chief
We are descended from voyagers
Who found their way across the world
They call me
I've delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther
I am everything I've learned and more
Still it calls me
And the call isn't out there at all, it's inside me
It's like the tide; always falling and rising
I will carry you here in my heart, you'll remind me
That come what may
I know the way
I am Moana!


I love "Moana" for all sorts of reasons. The animators did so much research on Polynesian culture and mythology and it shines. Every part of the story is beautiful, from Moana's journey to the legend of Maui and the return of Te Fiti's heart. In fact, I would argue that Te Fiti's revitalization is one of the greatest transformations in film history. Go ahead....Fight me. Also, it should be known that I have often imagined that - if I became magical, for some reason - making flowers pop up wherever I walked would be one of my "powers." I know that's probably a pretty useless gift, but I still think that would be amazing. Yeah, my brain goes weird places.

Anyway, I've been playing with the idea of making a collage for my desk at work - I know....so craftsy! - centered around the following quote: "Well-behaved women rarely make history." It would just be a collection of pictures of women - fictional and real - whom I admire. Moana would be featured, of course. Black Canary, who is my favorite superhero of all time - mostly because the original BC dressed like a punk street walker and could take down bad guys just by screaming. Agent Peggy Carter, my Marvel spirit/style/career guide. Scarlet Witch, who has experienced so much pain but still loves with her whole heart. Josephine "Josie" Marcus, of Tombstone fame. Stevie Nicks, obviously. I should get working on that....it sounds awesome.

Sorry for the lengthy rant but I did try to intersperse some knowledge so that it wasn't all completely pointless rambling. Video below.

"I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)" Video




Tuesday, June 12, 2018

"There She Goes" by Sixpence None the Richer

Ever since I searched for that LFO video, YouTube thinks I must be nostalgic for the 90s (which I am....always). And for some reason in particular, it feels like I should be listening to Sixpence None the Richer, which I don't honestly hear too often. I like them, I just didn't like them enough to buy an entire album. Of course, every girl loves "Kiss Me." In fact, that could've been the Song du Jour....but I didn't feel like going back to prom today.

Instead, I've chosen the only other song Sixpence is known for, which is their cover of "There She Goes." This song was originally written by UK punk band, The La's. According to Wikipedia, this song is either about "heroin or just unrequited love." Just unrequited love?! Like it's some trivial thing, not that some guy is dying inside over a girl? Which, I would like to say, I'm actually really happy that they didn't change the lyrics just because Leigh Nash was singing it. Because girls can have unrequited crushes on other girls, too. Also looking at Wikipedia, apparently Sixpence None the Richer is from New Braunfels, TX, which isn't too far from here. That's my surprising fact for the day.

I really like the video....mostly because Adam Goldberg is in it (I have a thing for scruffy Jewish-looking guys....I don't know what the politically correct way to say that is). I don't know why, but I always thought his psycho roommate character on "Friends" - Eddie Menuek - was kinda hot, in a slightly scary way. It's not even that interesting a video - it's just Goldberg chasing after some beautiful mystery girl while Leigh sings about it and does that sweet, seductive thing with her eyes. It has a good color palette - mostly gray tones so that Leigh's red lipstick and blue eyes really stand out. You know...now that I'm listening to the lyrics....maybe it is about heroin addiction? "There she goes / There she goes again / And I just can't contain / This feeling that remains...." When I was younger, I thought that last lyric was " I just can't contain / This feeling that we made," which explains why I would think it was a love song, not just another drug-addled song of longing and pain. Which it absolutely is.

Including both versions of the song, for your musical education. The Sixpence version is pretty true to the original, it just sounds different (purer? more ethereal?) with a female voice.

Sixpence None the Richer Version


The La's Version


Monday, June 11, 2018

Semi-Charmed Life: or When Radio/Video Edits are Dumb and Screw the Message

Sometimes, Youtube decides I am in a nostalgic mood. Usually, Youtube is correct. Big Data (the computer concept, not the artist - he makes good stuff) is scary guys.

Youtube decided I should listen to Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life." So, I did because I am a piece of elder Millennial trash that would do anything to capture the feeling of the prelapsarian age before 9/11 (note to self- future topic: 9/11, impact on pop-culture never mind everyone with a Medium has written that piece). As the cheery pop hook filled the bedroom I've spent most of my time in on my abbreviated summer break I heard the infamous "wighsash." For those of you not old enough to remember what I'm calling the "wighsah" (technical term, I asked people) was all the rage in the late 90's for censoring radio edits - take your bad word and reverse it! If you're lucky and it's like the word "shit" you end up with "ish" and create an entirely new pop-cultural shorthand that means exactly the same thing but gets past the FCC's naughty word detector despite the fact that the definitions and general offensive connotations are the same!

So, dear reader, why am I writing about a song that's twenty years old and how does it relate to censorship? You're wondering, "Why are you so mad they censored a word? Are you mad it was the radio edit?" No, and you should feel bad for thinking that. Let's start drilling down shall we? Here is a selection of lines that are not altered in any way in the radio edit of Semi-Charmed Life:

"She comes 'round and she goes down on me"

"And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse / chop another line like a coda with a curse"

"The sky was gold, it was rose / I was taking sips of it through my nose"

"It won't stop / I won't come down, I keep stock / with a tick-tock rhythm and a bump for the drop
And then I bumped up / I took the hit that I was given / Then I bumped again / Then I bumped again"

"How do I get back there to the place where I fell asleep inside you?"

"The days you were wearing that velvet dress / you're the priestess I must confess 
those little red panties they pass the test / slide up around the belly face-down on the mattress"

So dayum! This song is rife with explicit references to drug use and is rather sexually explicit even in the radio edit. Hell, that last one gives me the fucking vapors! After typing it I had to go lay on a fainting couch and fan myself lest I get too excited. So what IS censored in this sexually explicit song that frankly discusses drug use?

"Doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break"

"Now you hold me / and we're broken / Still it's all I want to do
Feel myself with a head made of the ground / I'm scared but I'm not coming down
And I won't run for my life / She's got her jaws just locked now in smile
But nothing is alright / All right"

This censorship deeply harms the message of the song. It's pretty common knowledge that Semi-Charmed life is a song about the dangers of crystal meth addiction hidden under a pop veneer. The pop hook helps create the sense of disconnection that the drug itself creates; it makes you feel great even though your life is falling apart around you. With this form of art there's always the chance of it being misinterpreted. Clearly, somebody with power decided that saying the magic words "crystal meth" would create an impression in the listener the message of the song was "crystal meth is fucking awesome and everyone should do it." That person was a fucking idiot. They censored the only explicit mention of the drug in the only instance it appears in a line that is about as anti-crystal meth as it gets outside of those stupid "this is your brain on drugs" PSAs. They further compound this problem by removing an entire sequence of lines that, again, explicitly are anti-drug, describing in detail how the drug gets its teeth into you and takes over your thoughts; how it's possible to be afraid of what's happening to you but more afraid of quitting and coming down.

The radio edit clearly undermines the message of the song. I also know you've read this article before - but this was the best one.

::JESS'S TWO CENTS:: I fucking hate radio edits as well. Mostly because the things that are censored or removed aren't as bad as you'd think. For example, the word "whore" in Everlast's "What It's Like," which is simply describing the extreme level of hate a poor girl is receiving for getting an abortion. They also censor "sex" in "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars (fucking Bruno Mars, for chrissakes!) - "Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some p90x/Meet a really nice girl have some really nice sex." I don't see anything wrong with that, especially considering that in the first verse, he alludes to masturbating and nothing in that verse is censored. But the thing that bugs me the most, I think - and this really deserves a post all its own - is when they remove rap/reggae interludes from songs for no reason. I never heard this happen until I moved to San Antonio but the pop stations will only play the versions with the rap breaks removed. It was most noticeable to me when hearing Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" and No Doubt's "Underneath It All." Because....why? There is nothing bad in either of the breaks for those two songs so, in my head, there's really only one reason for it: racism. As I said, that topic needs a post of its own, because I could point out a dozen songs off the top of my head where they do that when it's unnecessary and, quite frankly, ruins the song. There's a reason these artists chose to collaborate, and removing essential parts changes the entire tone of the song. Okay, sure, "whigsash" a cuss word or two, or even remove them altogether ("you're so very special"....rolling my eyes so hard), but don't remove entire verses just because it incorporates a musical genre or artist that society isn't comfortable with.  ::END::

Saturday, June 9, 2018

"Closer" by Nine Inch Nails (His Perspective)

Allow me to present my favorite song to blast at red lights. Double points if you make eye contact with the driver next to you while belting out the chorus. I've dubbed this "His" perspective, because it's a little less complicated and nuanced. A bit rougher, a bit more blunt in its honesty. Trent Reznor gets straight to the point, which is that he wants to have sex with whoever he's singing about. Definitely rough sex, too. That's not to say it isn't deep. There's obviously a need there that has to be filled. For example, the second verse ends with "You make me perfect/Help me become somebody else." Woah! Clearly, he's getting a lot more out of sex than you'd think....but doesn't everybody. That's why it's pretty great. I'm going to stop there before this becomes X-rated.

To be honest, when I hear "Closer," I think of "Project Runway" and Santino Rice. More specifically, "Project Runway: The Musical," which made the rounds on MySpace when YouTube and fan montage videos were a relatively novel idea. In the video, Santino - one of the designer contestants - is making fun of Andre (another designer) by saying the lyrics to "Closer" in a mock Tim Gunn-voice. It's actually kind of mean. He had this whole story, that Tim Gunn and Andre were dating and argued at Red Lobster. That was my big problem with Santino - he was always such an asshole when it wasn't necessary. Tim Gunn is just about my favorite person in the fashion industry and he dealt with a lot of bullying as a kid. True, it was funny and good TV, and luckily Tim Gunn was super cool about it, but still, Santino's a dick. And no, I don't believe that line that he was "doing it out of love." If that were true, he wouldn't have been so embarrassed that Tim found out about it. Anyway, it was fucking difficult to find that clip because it's so old. Therefore, I'm posting it out of nostalgia.

Back to "Closer"....the video is kind of weird but it's Nine Inch Nails, so that's okay. Expected, even. They were being purposefully creepy and that's always the best. Like "American Horror Story." Some nudity but not overly done. The video is more about inferences to sex, dancing around the topic, rather than outright being sexy. And maybe that's a good thing, since the lyrics cut right through the bullshit. Again, I'm thinking of this song as the thoughts in someone's head, so the video is more like a metaphor. He's ready to go but he doesn't want to be so fucking obvious about it. Oh. My. God. Did I just figure something out?!!!?1?!! Let's just say I did. I'm not a philosopher or a music theorist, and I make no promises that this is the correct interpretation of the song.

"Closer" Video



Santino Imitating Tim Gunn