Tag Archive: music


Drink up baby, look at the stars
I’ll kiss you again, between the bars (Elliot Smith)

Elliot Smith’s ‘Between the bars’ is a song that focuses on ‘drink up’ and ‘drink up’. It is probably a love song written from the perspective of a bottle to an alcoholic. In other words, every line seems to suggest that the alcohol is mentally controlling the alcoholic. Lines such as ‘Drink up one more time, and I will make you mine‘, and ‘The people you have been before, that you don’t want around anymore‘ suggest that the alcohol has absolute control over the alcoholic, and the alcohol promise to ‘keep them still’, and ‘them’ refers to the people who ‘push and shove and bend to your will‘.

That is how people get addicted to alcohol, because alcohol can give you the false imagery of the reality by affecting your senses. It can also draw you into drinking more. To some extent, this is somehow equivalent to the addictiveness of emotional pain. Sometimes, when you undergo personal problems, especially when it comes to relationship, it is extremely hard to get over the problems, unless you have 0 hope in it, an absolute 0. Or else, the lingering hope would be similar how Elliott Smith would describe alcohol, ‘drink up one more time, and I will make you mine‘, making you to dwell on your pain, and by dwelling on your pain, you feel like you are still in your comfort zone.  People who ask you to move on, might eventually turn to the ‘The people you have been before, that you don’t want around anymore‘ because they ‘push and shove and bend to your will‘. By dwelling on the problem, nothing is fixed or improved. If one dwells on the problem for too long, the promise that ‘tomorrow will be better’ is merely void.

What a brilliant song with beautiful lyrics, and a song, that can help one reflect.

 

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The resonance and meaning you get from a film, is the real reason why you would like a film so much: it could be from a very astonishingly beautiful scene, a very poetic plot, or a very cheesy character.

I have heard that Your Lie in April is a touching anime about piano. As a wee pianist, I decided to give it a go. I was utterly shocked with my eyes moist after watching it. It’s a very, very beautiful series.

As long as you are a person, there must be a time when you lie, no matter whether it is a lie of good intention, an evil lie, or a lie to cover the other lie. There are many different lies in the world, and there must be a story behind every lie. Your Lie in April, is a story, about a beautiful, but sad lie.

This series is not a simple story, not a simple love story at least. It is a story about growing up. The series uses music as a mean to portray the plot, and the soundtrack of the series is just amazing. Yes, music is for people to hear, and is a way to respond to the hope, fear, or any emotions of people around you.

‘Sadness makes one grows’. Kaori’s death makes Kōsei grows up, and it takes Kōsei out of his shadow. The theme of ‘keep going no matter what comes next’ just comes out of the screen and get injected to my heart. The young Kōsei sets Kaori a goal of her life; and the wee grown-up Kaori rescues Kōsei from his shadow, taking him back to the right track of his life. The two people help each other at different times, with different things, is this not what growth mean? People get together, helping each other to grow: in your life, there must be some people around you, while no one can stay with you eternally. This is the colour of life, making life interesting, making every moment treasurable. At the end of the series, Kaori, who rescues Kōsei from his shadow, has already passed away. Kōsei, however, cannot dwell in the loss anymore, because in his heart, he knows that living and blooming his life in a world without Kaori is the best way to respond to her love and help.

For this story, it is suitable to have a tragic ending. The tragic ending elevates the series to a higher level, giving an after-taste of the story. The plot itself is not that innovative, and it is easy to spot the tragic ending from around half-way through the series. Whether a series/ film with a predictable plot depends on how it is portrayed. For this series, I’d say that it was done perfectly. Songs, sound effects, drawing…. everything is significantly above average, and it succeeds on giving me teary gas and keeps me in the plot a day after watching it.

After reading the last letter of Kaori, Kōsei wipes his tear away, and continues to go back to his life.  ‘Spring will be here soon. Spring, the season I met you, is coming. A spring without you…is coming.’

So today I’d share my piano cover of the song ‘Through the Years and Far Away’, it is from the short film called ‘Voices of a Distant Star’. Hope you guys would enjoy it

Lyrics:

Hello, little star
Are you doing fine?
I’m lonely as everything in birth

Sometimes in the dark
When I close my eyes
I dream of you, the planet earth

If I could fly across this night
Faster than the speed of light
I would spread these wings of mine

Through the years and far away
Far beyond the milky way
See the shine that never blinks
The shine that never fades

Thousand years and far away
Far beyond the silky way
You’re the shine that never blinks
The shine that never dies

Hello, tiny star
Can you hear me call?
I’m so blind as everything at birth

If I could flow against these nights
Straiter than the string of light
I would lay these hands on time

Through the years and far away
Far beyond the milky way
See the shine that never blinks
The shine that never fades

Thousand years and far away
Far beyond the silky way
You’re the shine that never blinks
The shine that never dies

Through the years and far away
Far beyond the milky way
You’re the shine that never blinks
The shine that never dies

So a few days ago, I was listening to 90s/ 2000s music while studying (probably not the best idea ever!), and I came across the song ‘Teenage Dirtbag’. This song reminded me of my ‘prime’ time in my second year, partying every night. I dwelt back into the time, and watched the MV. I found that the song is based on the movie ‘Loser’ (2002) (or the other way round, just that the two things are connected!) Anyway, so the song and MV initiated my curiosity for the movie, so I watched it yesterday.

Well, no spoiling for the plot here, but despite all the bad comments about the film, I have to admit that I found it quite sweet. Generally it is a high school, teen romance. There’s nothing very fancy about the film, the plot is simple, the soundtrack is quite good….. but sometimes simplicity is the beauty. I wouldn’t say the plot is very realistic, but for certain parts, you can really link yourself into it: there must be a moment in anyone’s life that he feels he does not fit in his social group, yea? Once again, it is a very simple film, but it did warm my heart a little. So, give it a go!

I also think Mena Suvari stood out from the film, she did a great job in being a pure, cute, cheeky, but struggling girl. I will definitely watch more of her films in the near future.

Lastly, here is the Teenage Dirtbag song for you!

It has been quite a while since the High School Musical (HSM) trilogy, but it’s always been one of the ‘Brightest’ series of films I’ve ever seen. Brightest? Yes of course, it gives you fantasies that rarely come true: like meeting a girl from a karaoke and it lasts from high school age to university. Not saying it’s impossible but it’s just not the usual case.

Well, although it’s not quite realistic, it still has its value in my opinion. I would think HSM is actually quite romantic in its way. It’s not like a very very cheesy ‘you-jump-I-jump’ that sort of stuff, but just the scenes like the dancing/ music scenes are romantic. Here’s one example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCa8pxUtN1s

Also, it’s not only the relationships portrayed in HSM that makes me like it, the friendship too. The struggle of friendship and relationship in HSM can somehow be quite realistic I guess. Sometimes when you want to get something, you have to give something up, so….. but of course in the film it all gets settled at the end. But it’s not quite easy in real life. And of course, there are much more struggles for students that are entirely not mentioned in HSM. But well, it makes the audience happy, and that’s what films are supposed to do! 😀

‘La La Land’ won a lot of prizes at the Golden Globe awards. So yesterday, I went to see the film with my awesome friend. It was already dramatic at the cinema as we went to the wrong screen, feeling shocked and seeing people being so focused as if they knew all the plot during the first 5 minutes of the film….. well of course at the end we found the right screen!

So the film itself is, to my mind, good. Everything in terms of the effects, such as the music, camera angle, special effects…. are all great, all the hard effects are great. The song is definitely impressive, it is always on my mind now. However, I do believe the plot can be developed a little bit more. The story itself is quite simple: a dedicated jazz musician trying to set up his own jazz club somehow comes across an aspiring actress, and they encouraged each other somehow. They are two ships which passed in Sheep Meadow. Just a simple story with a ‘sad’ ending (as many viewers would say).

However, while some people don’t like the ending, I do find it quite okay, although it could be better. At the ending bit, you see when Emma Stone and her husband going to the jazz club set up by Ryan Gosling. When Gosling start to play the piano music, the scene go to the imaginary scene in which Stone and Gosling get together. After the scene, it takes us back to the reality of Gosling finishing playing the song, and Stone leaving with her husband. It is good, but I thought if it ends at the imaginary part, then it may be more open to interpretation and would be more interesting? That’s just what I think. But overall, it’s a good film, showing how some small decisions in your life can end up giving you a big change, just like if Emma Stone does not go away for her career, then she and Gosling would be together. Is it a happy ending or sad one? I don’t know, dreams or love, it depends on how people pick.

The Real Artist

Yesterday, a friend of mine and I were talking about music. Speaking about music, we discussed about how music (trend of music) changes from time to time.

The change of music nowadays is likely to be caused by the change of tastes of audiences. Pop music is the kind of music that the producers try to ‘sell’ to the audience to make profits, and that’s what I call ‘commercial music’. From the pop songs in different periods of time, we can more or less get the taste of the audience at that time. In my opinion, there are 2 types of music producers: One takes music production as a pure product or as a money-making tool; while the second one is more artistic, that the music producers bring their own music to the audiences, regardless of what the majority of people may like. I think the term of ‘artist’ should only refer to the second type of music producers, as the first type is more of business people. Well, there are some singers who begin as true artists, but then change to the money-making ‘artists’, as the fame they get drives them to be greedy for money, as they know they can be really rich.

The first example I can come up with, is Taylor Swift. First of all, it’s just my opinion, you can always disagree with me. I think the old Taylor Swift is quite a real artist that she creates her own songs, in which the lyrics seem to be pretty real, as in songs like ‘Mean’ and ‘Love Story’. Art and literature come from human life, so I would really think that her work was really great at that time. However, her album ‘1989’ changed my thoughts about her. I think the songs in ‘1989’ lack the qualities of her previous work, as they seemed to me that they were produced purely to suit the taste of nowadays audiences. As I read the comment ‘I miss the Old Taylor Swift’ on Youtube, I could not agree more, although I can’t deny her success as she’s one of the highest paid singers in the world.

The second example I could think of is Zara Larsson. You may not have heard of her, but she was the winner of Sweden’s Got Talent in 2008. She is not a song writer, but she is a good singer. I thought (when I saw her performance in Sweden’s Got Talent) that she could be another Mariah Carey, I mean, really that good. However, She changed her way of singing to some pop singers. I’m not saying I don’t like pop music, but I think artists should keep going on what they are good at, and not blindly following what the trend is going.

There are, nonetheless, some singers who I admire because they really perform themselves in front of the public.

The first one is Lily Allen. When the first time I heard her song ‘Fuck You’, I thought this lady was either a crazy one, or a very honest one. The more I knew about her and the more of her songs I heard, I started to like her more. Most of her songs are so realistic, and if you look at her personal life as well, you’ll even see the connection between her life and her songs. This is what I like from a singer/ artist, writing songs with her heart. This, I think, is the best way, to produce the best, the most touching, the most meaningful music of the human kind.

Jackie Evancho is, on the other hand, a singer but not a song writer, whom I admire. It is so obvious that, singing opera is her field. I would dare to say that she is a bright star in the opera career if she keeps doing what she’s good at, and not being affected by what most people like. Opera seems to be less popular nowadays than it was before, so it would be hard for her not to be tempted to sing other kind of songs. May be it would work, no one knows, but I think if she’s good at doing opera, why give it up?

Well, the above is just my opinion, you can always disagree.

The more I listen to ‘Somebody Told Me’, the more I believe that The Killers have been friend-zoned before. Or else, how can they write about songs which are that realistic to the guys being friendzoned? Arts comes from experiences in life, how can they write lines like ‘Somebody told me, you have a boyfriend, who looks like a girlfriend, that I had in February…’ ? Those lines can pound the heart of people who get friendzoned as they are just so so real!

Although ‘Mr Brightside’ should have no relations to ‘Somebody Told Me’, I see it as a sequel of ‘Somebody Told Me’. After the jealousy you get when ‘Somebody Told Me, you have a boyfriend….’, then you have ‘Jealousy, turning saints into the sea’ as ‘She is touching his chest’ and ‘he takes of her dress now’….

‘It’s not fair, and I think you’re mean, I think you’re really mean, I think you’re really mean.
It’s not fair, and it’s really not okay, it’s really not okay, it’s really not okay.’ —> Guess whose song is this?

Here are the two friendzone-pounders:


Enjoy! Bon appetite!

Although it’s exam time, my revision has continuously been interrupted by “Stacy’s Mom”. Yes, “Stacy’s Mom” is kind of my date, for the exam time. Yes, “Stacy’s Mom” has got it going on, as “I can’t take my eyes off you”. I am determined, to name my future daughter Stacy, because her mom would have got it going on. Then it would be a family of ‘Mr. Brightside’ and “Stacy’s Mom”, the best family ever.

The tune is good, but the MV actually caught my attention, as it can be seen as a film, maybe quite a tragic one. It is about a 13-year old boy having a crush on the mother of his classmate, the 14-year-old Stacy. So, he kept on making excuses to come over to Stacy’s home, to see her mom, while Stacy liked the boy. The boy went to the pool to swim with Stacy, while still looking at Stacy’s Mom while opening trying to open the drink; he offered help to mow a lawn in Stacy’s garden, while kept staring at Stacy’s Mom who was having a massage; he went to Stacy’s home to watch TV (technically the MV of the song), while turned around his head to look at the mom. He then developed the fantasy of the mom. The MV then ended with Stacy catching the boy ‘entertaining himself’. The boy was probably thinking about Stacy’s Mom, as the MV suggested; while Stacy seemed to believe that the boy was thinking of herself.

The MV seems to be quite realistic. As I have believed in ages, girls mature faster than boys, so boys tend to be comfortable with girls who seem a little bit older (This is not my perspective, I don’t mind age). The MV is an extreme case, with the boy having a crush on the mom. And it seems to be a BIG CRUSH. Why? In my humble opinion, Stacy is definitely more beautiful than her mom. But the boy still neglected her existence, and went for the mother. Oh dear, that’s a little boy in love, a scone in his eyes, turned into a swan, and he missed out the true glamour in front of him. The plot of this MV, probably echoes many people’s thoughts and experience. A MV with depth like this is rarely found nowadays, although this is pretty old already, in 2003. But it is still applicable today, still a legend.

Is it a little tragedy? Maybe, the boy likes the mom, who does not seem to like him in that way; while Stacy likes the boy. It is a never-satisfying relationship. Well, imagine there is a sequel of the song, the boy would probably end up with Stacy, as he becomes mature, he would notice his ‘fantasy’ would not be possible, and start discovering the beauty of Stacy again. It seems a little bit tragic, as a boy grows up, he finds out his dream is impossible, and gives it up. But it may not be a bad thing, as we can see, Stacy is better and more suitable.

I hope in the near future, “Stacy’s Mom” would be put into the theatre, it could be a really inspiring movie. If it turns out to be good, there would be a sequel too, possibly called “Stacy’s Lad”?

Here is the wonderful piece of music for ya, enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLfasMPOU4

Music as the paint of life

If life is a drawing, music would be the paint of life. We live in a world with sound and music, imagine if they don’t exist, how dull would life be? (LOL it is so philosophical)

Not trying to be philosophical here. But I think music can somehow make your day. For me, I divide music to different categories:

1) Dance Music
Nothing is better than beginning a day with some sort of dancefloor music (what I call). For me, the lyrics “It’s going down, I’m yelling Timber! You’d better move, you’d better dance!” can somehow make my day if I listen to it in the morning. Personally, this song gave me inspiration about table-tennis too, as “I’d BETTER MOVE!” is what I need to do when playing a match! Probably this is also the song that I knew the first time I went clubbing, so this song always have connotation to fun time in my mind. ‘Mr Brightside’ is also a good one, I knew ‘The Killers’ from the song ‘When you were young’ (I like that too!), but Mr. Brightside’s beginning instrumental is always a knock-out to my stress.

2) Reflective Music
There are some musics that can reflect your life/ experience. ‘Flying without Wings’ by Westlife is one, especially when I do some good deeds, I feel like flying without wings! In Contrast, “But I’m a Creep, I’m a weirdo….” would keep repeating itself in my mind whenever I do something bad. By bad, I mean REAL BAD! Whenever I lose a close match in table-tennis, I seem to hear Westlife’s ‘FOOL AGAIN’ in my mind…. “I can’t believe that I’m a fool again!”…. Oh dear, what a mess. Of course, one of the nicest songs, but you don’t want the lyrics to happen to you, is probably The Killer’s ‘Somebody Told Me’. Why? ‘Somebody told me, you have a boyfriend, who looked like a girlfriend….’

3) Music that tells a story
Yes indeed, story can be told through songs, that’s why BALLADS exist. (Holy cow, did I just mention Ballads? I don’t like ballads anymore after doing the essay on Lyrical Ballads!)  ‘Wake Me Up in September Ends’ is always a good one, everytime I listen to this song I would watch the MV too, I treat it like a story. California, for some reasons, seems to be a popular name for song, with ‘Dani California’ and ‘Hotel California’. Well, I don’t mean they are like movies, but they kind of try to give you a visionary experience of the lyrics (Not sure what I’m talking about lol).

4) Music for tea time
I am probably the only one who would categorize musics for Tea Time. Well, it’s nothing special, but similar to what other people would call ‘Love Songs’. Examples include the legendary Celine Dion’s ‘My heart will go on’, Richard Sanderson’s ‘Reality’, ‘Dan Hill’s ‘Sometimes When We Touch’….. Why do I choose those kind of music for tea? Those are love songs, with lyrics mainly about ‘feelings’. WORDS don’t come easy, and need to be tasted like food.

Yea, try to colour your life with more music! I’d better go and get prepared for the match tonight, so I wouldn’t be a ‘FOOL AGAIN’