Monday Music: Texas – In Demand

I love Sharleen Spiteri’s voice. In Demand is likely my favourite Texas video, and one of my favourite music videos ever just for yummy Alan Rickman.

The song’s probably the catchiest diss song I know.

Now I’ve got someone who cares for me
He wrote my name in silver sands
I think you know you’ve lost the love of your life
(and you said) I was the best you’ve ever had
Because I’m in demand
You’re thinking of the way you shoulda held my hand
And all the times you said you didn’t understand
You never had our love written in your plans
But now I’m in demand

A poser attempts to like ‘cool’ music

I admit it.

I have appalling, atrocious taste in music.

Bubblegum pop, boybands, kitschy daft one-hit wonders. Yep, that sounds like my playlist.

Though I also have an aversion to certain popular bands and a marked inability to appreciate supposed ‘good’ bands.

Confession No.1: I fell asleep listening to OK Computer.

Confession No.2: I do not get Oasis and prefer Ryan Adams’s version of Wonderwall. But Don’t Go Away is a sentimental favourite, so sue me.

Confession No.3: Hearing Richard Ashcroft singing The Drugs Don’t Work while I was still clinically depressed made me cry. In earnest.

Confession No.4: I am unable to fathom the supposed genius of Pete Teo. Or Jerome Kugan. Or “insert critically acclaimed local singer-songwriter” here.

Yes, I am a music pariah who should never be allowed to review music. But to make up for my aural shortcomings I do attempt to locate and listen to supposedly ‘good’ music.

This week I stumbled upon Spiritualized, a space rock band whose album Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating in space is supposedly one of the most brilliant albums ever.

I am attempting to listen to it but somehow the jangly jazz/garage/spaced out drugged out junkie sound…I’m not feeling it.

But I nominate the track Broken Heart as most wrist-slashingly depressing song about a breakup I’ve ever heard. There’s J.Pierce’s half-dead faltering singing, the atmospheric strings in an arrangement that seems almost too full-blown for a breakup song, dammit and the lyrics that funnily remind me of a funeral hymn.

Do not listen to this song while consuming alcohol.

 

Though I have a broken heart
I’m too busy to be heartbroken
There’s a lot of things that need to be done
Lord I have a broken heart
Though I have a broken dream
I’m too busy to be dreaming of you
There’s a lot of things that I gotta do
Lord I have a broken dream
And I’m wasted all the time
Ive gotta drink you right off of my mind
I’ve been told that this will heal given time
Lord I have a broken heart
And I’m crying all the time
I have to keep it covered up with a smile
And I’ll keep on moving on for a while
Lord I have a broken heart

A reminder to love

CLTCL4It isn’t often I tell my friends to go watch a play, especially not something local. Too much overacting, horrible enunciation (I will never get over a certain thespian saying "CHAL-dren" instead of "chill-dren") and the feeling that the players are acting, instead of becoming, their characters.

But if you have a heart at all then I’d suggest you let Footstool Players remind you about that "Crazy Little Thing called Love".

They’re making the rounds at churches right now because their roots are in Christian-themed theatre, but this particular show isn’t about faith – it’s about love. And few things are as universal as the feeling that inspires more songs or works of art than any other emotion.

It’s a series of rather poignant sketches that alternately poke gentle fun at relationship cliches, or paint pictures of hurt, loss and longing. They also have the nifty addition of songs to create a sort of musical flow between the sketches, to help create the mood.

One sketch that bothered me, yet at the same time rent the edges of this jaded heart to shreds was Word Picture acted ably by Ee Soon Wei and Adrene Wong. Soon Wei has a slight lisp, which could have proved distracting but instead added a touch of vulnerability to his silently hurting career man character. I applaud Adrene’s daring tackle of dialogue which is a little unrealistic in its verbosity – the metaphors seem too carefully written to be believable but in the end, it’s not the words but the general feeling conveyed. It’s real in the sense you really feel the hurt, you see the gulf they unwittingly put between them and you want them to build the bridge they need to cross it and find each other again. Oh, my poor, poor heart got such a workout at the end of it.

Thankfully not all the sketches are as emotionally-wrenching as that one, with plenty of room for brevity and laughs.

So do yourself a favour and catch the Footstool Players at KLPAC next month.

Dates and ticket prices are below:

6–8, 13–15 November 2008 @ 8:30 pm
8–9, 15–16 November 2008 @ 3:00 pm
Tickets: RM30 adults / RM20 students, senior citizens and disabled
Tickets available from: KLPac Box Office Tel: (03) 4047 9000
Actors Studio at BSC Tel: (03) 2094 0400/1400
Tickets on sale from late September. Check www.klpac.com for details.

So many ways to Make You Feel My Love

I’m a little tired of thinking about politics. Instead I’ll dig up covers of my favourite Bob Dylan song and possibly my favourite love song, period: Make You Feel My Love.

My favourite version is Adele’s:

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging down the rolling sea
And down the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love

So bad it’s good

Some things are just so mind-screwingly in bad taste, you just have to look. Mind-numbingly wacky choreography, Scandinavian blonde male with low-necked sparkly shirt, super-schmaltzy music.

For a real-life parallel, I’d compare the dancers to the members of Barisan National. No matter how horrible the choreography (party line), they blindly dance to it anyway.

So hopefully we will see the end of the status quo next week.

But never, alas, the end of bad choreography.

John Legend: Stay with you

I will stay with you through the ups and the downs
Oh, I will stay with you when no one else is around
When the dark clouds arrive, I will stay by your side
I know we’ll be all right
I will stay with you

Monday Music: Jesse Baylin

I found Jesse Baylin’s Was I On Your Mind on music.download.com. And I wasn’t sure what I was getting from someone purportedly ‘alt-country’.

Am beginning to think I really dig alt-country since I’m now quite fond of the Old 97’s. Baylin has big names behind her, including country-dabbler Norah Jones which means I’m not getting Mutt Lange-penned poppish ditties ala Shania Twain.

Not that I have anything against Shania. I can sing most of her songs, after all.

Have a listen to Baylin if you want something that’s not quite George Jones, not quite pop-country. Somewhere in between and very listenable.

Was I On Your Mind

Did it feel any good?
Did it hit you like it should?

Was I on your mind, was I on your mind?

Were the lights in your eyes?

Did reflections leave you blind?

Was I on your mind, was I on your mind?
 

Chorus:

Ooohh, did you think it was free?

Ooooh, did you just wanna see?

Well I dont want to be right,
I want a good lie

I want a new truth,
I want your fight

Tell me I’m wrong instead

Tell me I’m wrong instead

Give me what I need,
Just take my heart

Break my love and before you start

Tell me I’m wrong instead

Tell me I’m wrong instead

Did you have to burn it down?

Did our ashes make a sound?

Was I on your mind, was I on your mind?

Does it make you feel alive
to have something to survive?

Was I on your mind, was I on your mind?

Now every breath feels like a new charade…

I’m as lost as you, just stubbling through our sad parade…

Augustana: Somewhere between Switchfoot and Deathcab

My new favourite music blog is the fun SellTheLie.com where I discovered people like the Old 97’s and Augustana.

Augustana might appeal to those who like standard American pop/rock. They’re not as commercial sounding as Maroon 5 or Switchfoot, but aren’t as rough sounding as Death Cab for Cutie. They’d probably fit somewhere in the middle. Their most acclaimed album has to be the 2005 All The Stars and Boulevards. I keep getting told to go listen to Boston from there.

But my personal favourite is something from their Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt album – Where Love Went Wrong. Easy on the ears and easy to relate to – how sometimes when you’ve done all you can to the point all that’s left to do is walk away.

(lyrics from the blog Living in a world suffused with sound)

Where Love Went Wrong – Augustana

The day is done, and now we’re older
The feeling’s gone, so now you’ll show her

Where love went wrong, on your shoulder

But I tried
I tried,
goodbye

You’re all alone, and you can’t take it
You’re just too tired to suffocate it
And all along we’ll just fake it

But I tried,
I tried,
goodbye

You try to breathe, you try to save it
But it marks your skin, until they break it
Well could you call when
They’re taking all that you left for me

But I tried,
I tried,
goodbye

I Repent – a gentle chastisement

Some songs, you can’t quite listen to because they hurt too much. They remind you of what you don’t want to remember or admonish you for what you willingly forget.

I guess Derek Webb’s I Repent is that way.

It remind me of the ethos, the creed I live by. It also reminds me how far I fall from it. How every day I wage, and lose, the battle against my ego and my reluctance to embrace humility.

And I forget too often, in my love of material comforts, the good fight for those who have no food to eat and peace is a dream too far distant.

I Repent

(words and music by Derek Webb)

i repent, i repent of my pursuit of america’s dream
i repent, i repent of living like i deserve anything
of my house, my fence, my kids, my wife
in our suburb where we’re safe and white
i am wrong and of these things i repent

i repent, i repent of parading my liberty
i repent. i repent of paying for what i get for free
and for the way i believe that i am living right
by trading sins for others that are easier to hide
i am wrong and of these things i repent

bridge
i repent judging by a law that even i can’t keep
of wearing righteousness like a disguise
to see through the planks in my own eyes

i repent, i repent of trading truth for false unity
i repent, i repent of confusing peace and idolatry
by caring more of what they think than what i know of what we need
by domesticating you until you look just like me
i am wrong and of these things i repent