Music Post Cleanup

Hello readers, how long have you been blogging?

Me? I was using Xanga back in the day, technically still have a Livejournal, and have been using this site on-and-off since 2014, I believe. Shown by that unstable status, I was posting about things I like and would still like here, just not in the most efficient manner. So I’m trying to re-do some of those old posts, add pins, and stuff like that. Hope you enjoy today’s playlist!

And And And “I Want More Alcohol (It Makes Me Sadder)”

I was originally going to do a meme where you post a song for different ideas, and the first one was drugs or alcohol. I don’t even know where the template for that meme is now, but I like this band because the singer sounds like if Will Forte was a singer.

Barrie Gledden “Alarmed”

This was used in an ad for Orphan Black. At the time I said that if somebody asked me what the show was about, I’d shrug, “clones,” and I stand by that. That being said, Tatiana Maslany is incredibly talented!

Agnes Obel “Philharmonics”

This song was used in an odd little Jessica Biel film called The Truth About Emanuel. It’s about an asocial teen (Kaya Scodelario) whom seeks out an peculiar relationship with her new neighbor (Biel). There is a great eerie aesthetic to the movie in part thanks to Obel’s music.

Nine Inch Nails “Heresy”

Technically I didn’t blog about this song, but I did share NIN’s performance at the 2014 Grammys and just wanted to make sure y’all knew of my goth tendencies. Also, I did post a #TBT about how when I was 13, I’d want to arbitrarily belt this tune out but was pretty sure my church-going bestie wouldn’t appreciate it (see next song).

Pigeon John “Life Goes On”

To show what a tolerant little atheist I’d watch the music programs on Christian tv channels. They weren’t all the stale hymns one might expect– a few popular (at least in my day) bands featured included P.O.D., Switchfoot, Chevelle, and Flyleaf. However, there were ads that said abortion causes cancer, so… maybe you kids nowadays can avoid that. 😷

Whew! Cleaning up posts actually kind of feels like clearing your room. I feel a lot lighter and relieved.

Are you keeping old posts?

You’re the Worst

Hello readers, need some new tunes?

Some things just sort of happen whether they be the assemblage of couple-that-probably-shouldn’t-assemble-but-are-trying-anyway Jimmy and Gretchen or me watching the show about their unconventional relationship, You’re the Worst.

I wouldn’t say this is a programs you have to see and since I just wrote a whole post about unfortunate ethnic jokes, I’d give a heads up to anyone interested. However, I do really like the bar/garage band aesthetic or at least, soundtrack, that reminds me of when I actually used to go to shows in standing room only areas that smelled like smoke and felt like 7pm and alcohol on your shoes.

Oh man, I haven’t been to a show in a while. Do you know any songs that could fit this playlist?

Link up: Sincerely Jenna Marie & More Pieces of Me

Scandalize My Name pin

Scandalize My Name

Heya pals, give up your resolutions yet? 😅

Perhaps I should start a series on the things I find at 4am. I wrote about The Visit, and today I want to share a short documentary called Scandalize My Name.

Although the US allied with the Soviet Union in WWII, soon afterwards, we decided that communists can’t sit with us. McCarthyism became the witch hunt of the times. Like how witch hunts targeted those on the fringes of society, conservatives exploited such hysteria by accusing political opponents (e.g., suffragettes, black civil rights activists) as undercover agitators.

Scandalize My Name is about black US performers who blacklisted– their names and affiliations compiled to shun. Celebrated singer/actor and activist Harry Belafonte recalled how black people had served their country in WWII, defeating fascism abroad but faced discrimination at home (such as being rejected for housing and jobs).

Belafonte and guests including Ossie Davis and Rosetta LeNoire talked about Paul Robeson (whom you may/may not know as the incredible baritone of “Ol’ Man River“). They doted on how handsome, intelligent, talented, and charismatic he was. Davis compared that inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr. Those who know how politics are played wanted to prevent Robeson from similarly leading masses.

Robeson spoke at the 1949 Paris Peace Congress, making comments seen as sympathetic to the Soviet Union. HUAC subpoenaed Jackie Robinson (yes, the baseball player) to divide support from Robeson. His concerts were protested and there was even an effigy shown with his name on it, lynched.

Scandalize My Name pin

The film touched on other performers and topics. Theatre producer/director Dick Campbell wrote articles protesting the often janitorial roles to which black actors were relegated. Davis said that undignified representation gave whites justification of stereotypes. LeNoire and Frederick O’Neal spoke of repercussions of blacklisting which included loss of careers and even suicide attempts.

Scandalize My Name was a little meandering to me, but it sheds light on a covered up subject that has so many parallels to today. What Ossie Davis said about holding the community to a higher standard because representation impacts real life is exactly what Hari Kondabolu attempts in The Problem with Apu, a critique of the Simpsons character. After our last presidential election, many want to blame the US’s problems on Russia, and anyone that dares to criticize the Democratic Party are Putin puppets.

Additionally, the government keeping a naughty list (with a malleable definition of naughty) still exists today. Like Paul Robeson, Colin Kaepernick speaks of and acts on the injustice but is mischaracterized as unpatriotic and harassed by the racism he points out!

I guess one could say the whole “those who don’t know history…” thing, but I’d a whole spiel about how flimsy it is. So perhaps it’s better to end with lyrics from the Robeson song which Scandalize gets its name:

I met my brother the other day
I gave him my right hand
And just as soon as ever my back was turned
He scandalized my name

Now do you call that a brother? No, no
You call that a brother? No, no
Call that a brother? No, no
Scandalize my name

P.S.- Did you know that Lucille Ball was registered as a Communist and also had to testify before Congress?

RIP Chester

On Thursday, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, passed away. The reported cause is suicide.

Linkin Park meant a lot to me. They were my first favorite band (as opposed to liking the pop groups everyone else liked). I was in MSN groups asking why they didn’t sing LP songs on American Idol (give me a break, I was 11). Looking back, I think that as a person of various identities that I didn’t have examples of, their rap-rock niche told me that was ok, you don’t have to be either/or and totally fucking rock it. I wasn’t watered down, diluted, or less than.

I didn’t know if I should’ve made a playlist of my favorite songs or talk about heroes or idols or make an impassioned plea for people to reach out for help because as Abdurraqib says and I know, it’s hard.

I do hope that he is at peace and that his family and friends find solace. I do thank him for his music, charity, and honesty that helped so many. And in a sorrowful time like this, I do always want to look forward and address what made them so to honor Chester.


chester.linkinpark.com

Music Monday: Salsa & Choke

Here’s a little bit of a Music Monday for you since I misscheduled my last post. I went to YouTube an artist I heard on TV, but eventually found Ana Tijoux and her song with Shadia Mansour called “Somos Sur.”

There are so many reasons why I love this song. First of all, it’s very subversive. I don’t speak Spanish, but thankfully, we live in the future where at best, blessed souls provide translations or at worse, you can get a mangled one from Google Translate. This isn’t just about having a bad day or saying girls are pretty princesses; this is about the colonial theft of land and resources!

It’s rare and difficult to hear anti-establishment music in the US, and we practically discourage the use of languages besides English. So to hear such a dauntless and unifying track in Spanish with an Arabic rap verse, (and I’m going by the YT comments here) that blends the sounds of each culture, that’s not a sleepy folk song, by two women!!! is so beautiful and inspiring to me.

Ok, it was so hard for me to choose which ChocQuibTown song I’ve been replaying. After listening to Tijoux, Youtube recommended fellow Nacional Records trio, ChocQuibTown, all of whose videos, well, as one commenter says of “Salsa & Choke”, “Si no te nace bailar con esto…sos un robot.”
It’s interesting that they say, “El Pacifico en la casa” (which Google translates to, “The Pacific is in the house”) because I just kind of always associated the Pacific with Asia… But do other people say this? Is it like in the US with the East / West coasts? 🙂 Also check out–

I feel like I’d heard of A Tribe Called Red years ago but never actually got into them. At the very least, I did love “The Virus” that I checked out because I do follow Saul Williams. I do like the “Sisters” as well, but I chose this song because I liked the little video game-type sound effects.

I’ve actually lost a lot of time and interest in music, so it was very satisfying to get back into the groove even if all of these songs are actually a few years old! No idea if I will continue the outside the United States theme, but I could always use recommendations! Let me know what you’ve been playing!

Selena Wants Revenge?

As someone who used to actively seek out music from every genre and location around the globe (but snobbishly, not American pop music), it’s a little depressing that I just listen to whatever’s on FM in the rare car ride nowadays. But if I happen to be awake at 4 in the morning and there’s nothing else on TV, I’ll actually check out MTV during the one hour they actually play music. Recently I saw the video for Selena Gomez’s “Kill ‘Em With Kindness” and heard a little tune that sounded familiar.

What do you think? Do you think the little whistle at the beginning and throughout sounds like She Wants Revenge’s “Someone Must Get Hurt” around 2:40? It shouldn’t be too surprising as Revival is categorized as electropop. Even the synthesizers of “Same Old Love” reminded me of SWR, but I couldn’t place anything as specific.

(Sidenote: TBH, I really hate the message/saying of “kill ’em with kindness.” It’s just so exemplary of a passive or even submissiveness to a broken status quo that tells the abused how to behave rather than tell people not to be assholes. I guess it also shouldn’t be too surprising that when I wanted to post this [amid the more recent Kimye/Tswift drama], Gomez wanted to vehemently say, “Let’s talk about something that fucking matters!!” but conveniently and perhaps hypocritically choose not to.

 

Thursday? Tuneage + Poetry

MartyrLoserKing Art

I named my last post after a line in Nâzım Hikmet’s “On Living,” and the quotation at the end is from the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. I originally wanted the title to be after something more in the vein of Darwish but thought Himet was more appropriate. I wasn’t familiar with them before posting, but I’m definitely interested particularly as Darwish has an activist section on Wikipedia.

I finally got around to listening to Saul Williams’s MartyrLoserKing which has an interesting AF concept and backstory. Basically he heard someone with a French accent say, “Martin Luther King” and it became an idea of this hacker kid in Burundi.

I’ve been a fan of Saul ever since I saw him on Girlfriends, but I’ve never really gotten into his poetry which isn’t to say I don’t like it. It just hasn’t happened; I don’t usually read poetry. Although I seemed to be the only kid in class who uncomfortably got what “Blackberry-Picking” was about, I am also Homer Simpson when he says, “I don’t have time to read it. Just give me the gist of it, son.”

But has dude been hanging out with Kanye? I see him share these ~ colorblind~ messages, and granted, I never watched them, but one) I never watch videos (see Homer) and two) I saw him share some poet who said, “We are all Asian.” Yikes!

Pare, I see and appreciate the idea of treating each other like ~ we’re all the human race ~ but we are not all going to be called a ch*nk walking down the street. We are not all going to have our natural hair play a factor in our employability. We are not all  going to have our skin lightened on magazines.

We are not all going to be reduced to our skin color or ancestry as a form of foreplay or pick-up line. We are not all going to have our race as a porn category.

We are not all living it up because there’s a new sushi joint downtown or Whole Foods is selling chickpeas. And to ignore this is rather baffling and disjointed and some might say even hypocritical when one has such other bold stances.

Tuesday Tuneage: The Apology Song

I just watched The Book of Life, and it’s probably the best film I’ve seen in awhile. The animation is so interesting and unique which is how I’d also describe the story. I may have expected a silly kids movie, but I laughed at Gabriel Iglesias’s mariachi character, gasped along with the children being told the story, and wept for Manolo.

Anything about Manolo in particular? NO JUST MANOLO IN GENERAL.

It also has a pretty amazing soundtrack that includes original movie tracks as well as fresh takes on songs like Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” and Radiohead’s “Creep.”

But if you want to get back to crying, here’s “The Apology Song.”

TUESDAY TUNEAGE! Mashups

Should I bring back Tuesday Tuneage? With so much stuff out there, I’m highly valuing quiet time and hardly listen to anything anymore. But I just happen to be in a mashups mood, so I thought I’d share some great ones I’ve found lately.

Corporation- “Hello 679” (Adele’s “Hello” vs. Fetty Wap’s “679”)

Adele’s much anticipated new single not only scored a funny SNL sketch but tons of mashup ideas. Here is my favorite.

Brilliant- “Toxic Dragula” (Rob Zombie’s “Dragula” vs. Britney Spears’s “Toxic”)


I’m sure this might be sacrilege to some; it very well might’ve been to me when I was 13. But this is honestly so good.

Logan Mashups- “Back to Here” (Alessia Cara’s “Here” vs. Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”)

Usually, I can tell more or less immediately if I like a mashup or not, but this one isn’t funny or a clash of opposites. It’s quite interesting.

BotanicSage- “K.K. Good Day” (Ice Cube’s “Good Day” vs. K.K. Slider’s “K.K. Cruisin'”)

I love mashups that incorporate video games or other audio that isn’t a song. This features a remastered acoustic from Animal Crossing.

Sarah Mashups- “Heart on Replay” (Sia ft. The Weeknd’s “Elastic Heart” vs. Zendaya’s “Replay”)

I was very intrigued at the idea of this as I love Zendaya, but “Elastic Heart” was so emotional for me? But this turned out amazing!

Movies

Like a Slug

Greek film Attenberg
Randou & Labed as Bella & Marina

Attenberg is an interesting film that I’m definitely going to have to revisit in the future. There are many facets worth exploring managed with only a handful of characters.

  • While misfit girl/sexually experienced girl might as well be a trope (perhaps it falls under Only Friend?), it’s great to see variations of weird girls e.g., they’re not all Enid Coleslaws or Junos.
  • Marina’s own admissions made me think I was going to see an asexual character, however she seems panicked at her own wondering of this. She begins having sex with an unnamed man, first having practiced with Bella. Neither of these relationships are fetishized and wonderfully awkward.
  • It’s also great to see a father-daughter relationship that isn’t just him providing sound advice at the end and a peck on the forehead. This helped me sympathize with Marina in her tumultuous period.

Attenberg jumps scenes quickly, has a recurring bit where Marina and Bella perform something that I missed, and has a lack of explosions that may make someone else feel like nothing’s happening, but I fully support a coming-of-age story that isn’t rambunctious or snotty.