Archive for November, 2011

Bruce Springsteen needs the workers but the workers don’t need Bruce Springsteen – Crucial Unit

Bruce! Crucial Unit always seemed too close to metal, the vocals too much monosyllabic on the beat banshee shrieks, the songs too ploddingly, traditionally structured and long for my tastes. Of course that is a taste nearly ten years old and of course they rule, those things above being the point of the band. The thrash revival needed a band like Crucial Unit.

Doesn’t this claim completely miss the point and narrow the effect of music, defining need not by essentiality but monetary benefit. It sounds good, Crucial Unit were not the first to say it, and i’m sure Bruce Springsteen is a very rich man, but i think the value of Bruce Springsteen to many people, working class or otherwise, is a measure of importance too great to deny it as necessity. It comes off as privileged classism, dismissing the very real pleasure and support gained, showing a prejudice for the kind of lives it affirms, and those living them.

Yes the music industry makes billions of ill-portioned dollars off us rabble, yes it can be distracting and pacifying, yes it is an industry concerned with myth making and perpetuating, but moments, memories, hopes, dreams, lives are shaped by what it produces. We need and are better off for that. Maybe. Until the revolution comes.

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Roly Poly

Roly poly – T-ara

I stayed up way too late last night, pushing sleep back further and further, delaying work that needs to be done later and later, caught on some youtube related video circle of performances of this song. So while i don’t have a handle on life and responsibility, i do have a handle on what the best performance is of this song. I believe it to be this one with the fantastic Music Bank audience and camera operators:

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JM Y La Furgoneta Azul

JM y la furgoneta azul – Juniper Moon

I love how stock the verse of this song is, only for it to be met with some glorious chorus that probably isn’t all that remarkable but boy does it ever sound good. I love how quickly it gets there. Four times without vocals, four times with, a chord held a little longer for transition’s sake, chorus. Yeah. I love this band. Only Vacaciones wrote more perfect, more blissful whirlwinds.

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Mr. Taxi

Mr. Taxi – Girls’ Generation


An Hypertonic solution contains a higher concentration of electrolytes than that found in body cells. If such a solution is allowed to enter the blood stream, the osmotic pressure difference between the blood and the cells will cause water to flow out of the cells, which will then shrink. This may cause serious harm, or even be fatal. Consequently, it is essential when blood transfusions are given, or blood replacement products are used, that the electrolyte concentration in the material to be given to a patient matches that of the body.

I guess it makes sense.

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Silly Me

Silly me – All

There certainly is a thing in punk rock circles, and especially the larger punk rock circle All and all them aging Epitaph and Fat bands command, of older men courting younger ladies. And not only a thing in its occurrence, more often a thing in the resentment those on the side direct at it. The scorn leveled at bands of old men singing love songs to young girls, keeping themselves in and around an ever-replenishingly young scene. Hmm.

Of course, this punk rock being what it is, it’s never a case of a sensible, strong, clear thinking woman making a cogent choice to involve herself in such a relationship. It is the predatory male sweeping in, fooling and taking. Even this song – one mourning the troubles beset on such a relationship – denies her agency and her feelings heard. There is a power thing here, coupled with the power of celebrity – its benefit, its exploitation – but there is a more afflicting point: What affords that power?

It’s the flow of discourse: Men singing songs about and to women in a scene which mostly only ever gives them presence when referred “about” and “to”. Repetition, relent, reinforcement. In every direction, unquestioning acceptance of the order this sets up feeds and legitimises this “predation” because it maintains that only the actions and desires of the male are important and carried out with agency. That is not to say real, horrible predation does not exist. Just there is a damage, a denial of consent, a bolstering of an order entrenched with all the inequality (perhaps more?) of the outside world, that is carried through in this discourse.

These are blanket statements, i know. And a bit messy, a bit insufficient. Clumsy morning mind flow and unobscurable prejudices. I don’t mean to speak for and over the many women and men who are disgusted and will never abide by this (yes, even at this level) and the just as many happy with the way things are. Denying them myself by saying they’re denied. Non-hetero, non monogamist relationships were not examined because when has this music ever referred to them not in the other? Blanket again.

There is one thing, though: By not giving them voices, the “too young” girls come off as more mature than the men who use their little, whiny punk rock songs to sing about them. A sort of beneficial default of language and being silent in it.

p.s. I like this song.

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Mr. Taxi

Mr. Taxi – Girls’ Generation

It is in my worthless opinion that Girls’ Generation have not released a decent single since Oh!. So since early last year, yet they’re more popular than ever and we still lap everything up. There has been an ease of operation running for a while now, but why ever alight from a gravy train? I do wish they would release better material, but i guess it doesn’t really matter business or fan-wise. They could do anything at the moment and it would sell and excite enough to stifle the strongest criticism.

Proceeds from this single (which is actually sung in Japanese) were donated to the Japanese Red Cross following the April 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. It sold a lot of copies.

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Marshmallow – IU

I went to the board game cafe last night on one of my precious, precious social outings. They played this song over their stereo and i was the dork who basked in and was excited by it a little too much. “It’s Marshmallow!” No one cared. Oh well. My ears were at attention and i shuffled alone in my seat, but it did make me think of how visible i was and should be in my love for this music.

Not to my friends – who cares what they think? – but to the staff and other patrons of the cafe. I did express my joy loudly when it came on, and i’m sure they don’t need some ugly dweeb of no capital whatsoever crashing, latching on to and tainting their scene. I’ll keep it to myself.

We played scrabble and i lost badly because apparently everyone has it on their iphones and plays it against everyone always, knowing and exploiting rules, tricks and made-up words en route to victory. I wish we played Catan. I’m good at that, and people don’t fall asleep waiting for others to play their hands. Anyway, i tipped the staff four dollars – two for this song and two for T-ara’s Roly Poly. Thinking back on it, it seemed a gesture of apology. I apologise for my ugliness. It’s one of those days…

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Puro Teatro

Puro teatro – Juniper Moon

I like when this song speeds up at the chorus into that punk beat, yet doesn’t seem to speed up fast enough for it to keep in time. It’s as though they wanted a let(‘s) go, freak out moment and settled on going punk double time, but didn’t have the training or experience to do it right. They’re a little slow in their transformation. It still works though. It’s still fantastic. It’s still every bit a run-around-in a-circle freak out moment.

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Good Grief

Good grief – The Parasites

Where would pop punk be without television and comic strips? Ain’t it America?..

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Because You’re Mine

Because you’re mine – G.NA

This is another song from the drama The Greatest Love, which i finished watching yesterday and now feel empty without. Happy endings are still endings. There are only ever a few songs on the soundtracks to these shows, meaning they are repeated constantly throughout, used as leitmotifs to give meaning, poignancy, dramatic lift to scenes so often so that on hearing them the tenth, twentieth time through your emotional response is automatic. And always as affecting. This song was the theme to so many gentle, uncertain moments flowing into explosions of emotion, conviction and passion as G.NA raises her voice for the chorus. I can see them all now.

I’m sorry. I’m a sap.

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