Category Archives: Music

The Cranberries – Zombie

(taken from my tumblr blog)

I’m not a huge fan of The Cranberries, but this one… Beyond amazing.

One of the best songs of the 90s (and it was a decade full of amazing songs). The heavy riff and all. But it’s still more about the bigger picture.

When you live in a specific time and place you are forced to a certain circumstances beyond your control. It’s easy for an outsider to say “there’s no need for violence”, but when you are there, in that time and place and historical conditions, things can get really complicated.

So people that live in those places and those times have, basically, only two choices: to take a side or to escape.

Escaping is the only way.

Zombie

Another head hangs lowly,
Child is slowly taken.
And the violence caused such silence,
Who are we mistaken?

But you see, it’s not me, it’s not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are crying

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What’s in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, dou, dou, dou, dou, dou

Another mother’s breakin’,
Heart is taking over.
When the vi’lence causes silence,
We must be mistaken.

It’s the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen.
In your head, in your head they’re still fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are dying

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What’s in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, hey, oh, ya, ya-a

Am I Sexist?

Toni Morrison… Because I don’t like female authors?

Ok, this isn’t easy for me to admit. I am not even sure if it’s true. I don’t even know if it’s sexism or something else, but there are so many male authors on my favourites list- and only a few females.

You might say it’s not surprising. After all, there were- historically- more male writers. Women of the past didn’t enjoy the freedom to write and to get their voices heard. It is, more or less changed today. Still, number of male writers is still higher.

Not to mention most of the so called “classics” are written by men. It’s not surprising for anyone to have more males on the list of favourite authors.

But there’s more. I seem to dislike most of the books written by females. It’s not like it’s impossible to find many books written by female authors these days. But it seems I don’t get them. And I’m not even talking about the so-called “chick lit” garbage that we all know it’s a poor excuse for literature. I’m talking about serious books. Why don’t I like them? Or to say it better: why don’t I like them as much as I like those written by men?

Why isn’t it easier for me, as a woman, to identify with stories written by females? Am I so brainwashed with testosterone-filled world to see anything different as a good thing? But hey people, I do not believe in male vs female writing. I do not believe men write differently than women- I swear, I don’t. I do not think it’s possible to say whether a writer is a man or a woman. I don’t think testosterone or estrogen guides anyone’s heart, mind or muse. I think the whole “men and women are soooo different” issue is rubbish.

In short, I don’t think females write differently than males- but I still seem to prefer literature written by men. (On the other hand, I enjoy academic books and essays written by female scholars. But that’s not the same).

There seem to be only a few female authors I enjoy reading. One of them is one of my favourite authors (and, along with Ian McEwan, my favourite living author). I’m talking about Toni Morrison, of course. Her novels are one of the best I’ve ever read, and “Jazz” is easily in my top 10 books. The way this woman writes is unbelievable and beyond amazing. (The funny thing is, I had no idea author was a woman (or black for that matter) when I first read “Jazz”).

Except for Toni Morrison, I like work of Pearl Buck (ironic, isn’t it? I mean, for these two ladies to be my fav female authors?) I also like, in a very nostalgic way, Charlotte Bronte (but I guess that’s because Jane Eyre was perhaps my favorite book when I was a kid). And… And I can’t think of more authors at the moment. And it’s not like I don’t read.

This trend, I’m afraid, goes beyond literature. My favourite musicians are men. Maybe it could be explained with the fact I prefer deep voices and to give it as a reason for preferring male singers. Maybe. But literature?

So, am I sexist?

PS-As a little gift, here’s one female musician I like. In fact, I’m really into this song these days, it is amazing on so many levels and it inspires me. And only really unique songs can truly inspire an author. A female one, in this case.

Fuck

At the moment, it sucks to be broke because:

You can’t go to a Bob Dylan concert in Belgrade (June 6th 2010).
You can’t go to Krapina, see Neanderthal site and visit relatives.

Oh well. I just wanted (needed?) to share this one.

5 songs I dislike against all odds

Saul HudsonAdmit it, you’re like this too. You like a band, and almost all of their discography- but there are simply some songs you can’t stand. By all the “rules” of your music taste, you should like those songs. But you don’t.

And you see you’re very alone in your thinking. Everyone else is charmed. Even the people who dislike said band are crazy about it (sure, this can backfire, because fans tend to dislike stuff that is popular with non-fans). And you just don’t get the hype.

I made this list using bands I currently like, or I used to like, or like enough to expect to like a specific song, but for some reason, that doesn’t happen. Also, another criteria for forming the list was the song’s popularity. Everybody else had to like it (preferably non-fans also).

Scar Tissue (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

I love this band. Yes, even after their… questionable concert in Indjija (not to be confused with India) in 2007. And just for the record, I love Flea. One of my fav musicians. A great bass player indeed. I like almost all of their songs, even the “WTF?!” ones. But not “Scar Tissue”.

I know I am alone in my thinking. Also, I do know this song posses a certain quality, if nothing else, the way John and Flea are complementing each other. But something is missing. It’s just… I don’t know- boring? Yes, that might be a good word. No building, no passion. I am not saying they didn’t make the song with a passion- but to me it just falls flat.

Once (Pearl Jam)

Given the fact this song is basically the first thing we hear on their FIRST album (save for Master/Slave intro), one would think the song is a great opener. It isn’t. It’s not a bad song per se. So I blame the production. Or perhaps Eddie Vedder really didn’t know what to do about sing-screaming on this one. Don’t get me wrong, I like that man’s voice (I could listen him read mumble a telephone book), and his singing in the 90s was quite good. But “Once”? He failed. But the song sounds pretty decent live (or so I heard), so I think we should indeed blame the production. Several songs from “Ten” have the same problem (“Why Go”, anybody?).

Also, if “Alive”, “Once” and “Footsteps” are, indeed, a trilogy, don’t you think they should… I don’t know? All appear on the record? And is there a significance behind choosing “Once” to be the first we hear- while, according to most (if not, all) sources, “Alive” is the first one? Or is there some actual meaning behind this (for example, “Once” really being the beginning). I’d like to know.

Always (Bon Jovi)

True, Bon Jovi is not one of my favourite bands, but it’s not like I don’t know their songs. I even like some of them. I like enough of them you might think I should like this one. But it doesn’t work that way.

Originally written for the film “Romeo is Bleeding”, the song never appeared on the soundtrack because the band disliked the film. Can’t blame them- not many people would find a quality in said movie. But the film’s absurd premise, film-noir-but-not-really style and hilarious execution quickly made it some sort of an underground cult movie status. It looks like Bon Jovi didn’t want to be associated with that. Fair enough, but it’s their loss.

“Always” is just… Way too soft for my taste. And not soft in a cute kind of way, but cheesy. Musically, it’s ok but nothing special. But what made this song a big fail to me are the lyrics. Yes, I do have a prejudice when it comes to using a word “baby” in lyrics, unless you’re referring to an infant. But even without it… “I’ll be there forever and a day, Always”. Oh, gimme a break. This is a type of songs teenage couples choose to be “their” song. I wonder what they would think if the song was, indeed, included on “Romeo is Bleeding” soundtrack.

I Want to Break Free (Queen)

Gotta love this band, with all their flamboyant harmonies and borderline-kitsch-but-not-really (kitsch, not borderline) style and Freddie’s voice.

But “I Want to Break Free” does nothing for me. Simple as that. It’s not trash per see, but I fail to see its appeal. It’s simply not working for me.

November Rain (short version) (Guns N’ Roses)

“November Rain, the short version” happens when they cut the outro of the album version of the song. That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t get it, especially given the fact last 2 minutes feature one of the best guitar solos known to man. But let’s start from the beginning.

The song was written sometimes in early to mid 80s and, for all we know, represents Axl Rose’s deepest and most serious feelings/beliefs/memories. He wanted to include this song on a GNR record so badly, and he worked on it for years and played it on any piano he could find, anywhere. Nothing wrong with that.

The other guys were less than eager to ever make it a GNR song, but Slash was happy to play a solo for it (or so they say). About a decade (or a little less) later, we got album version of “November Rain”, neatly packed in 8 minutes and 57 seconds. There was an iconic video to go with it, too.

So, here’s the thing. If a song is 8 minutes and 57 seconds long, you don’t cut it 2 minutes early. Especially if what happens in those two minutes is the best thing about the song. I know I am alone here, but I simply don’t get “November Rain” appeal without the outro solo. The song is good- but nothing special. Musically, it’s good- but nothing special. Nothing that would tell you there was almost a decade of work behind it. When 13 year old romantic and gentle girls find something adorable, that’s usually not a good sign for a rock song, not even a rock ballad. Oh, more people than 13 year old girls adore this song, I know. But there’s nothing pass the “ok” for me there, not without the outro.

And yes, I know many people consider the first song solo to be the better one, and THE “November Rain” solo (and it’s still unclear on which solo Slash actually means when he’s talking about “the solo”). I don’t care. Cut the outro and I’m out.

See also: 5 songs I like against all odds

5 songs I like against all odds

MikaI’m not your regular music geek, but I am some sort of music obsessed. Mostly rock music.

The irony: I am untalented for singing or playing (not that I don’t try to play bass guitar from time to time), and I am definitely not one of those people who can name every single obscure alternative band from the 80s. Alternative rock (whatever than means exactly) is great, but I don’t have any problem admitting my passion for more “mainstream” stuff, too.

But when I look at my playlist, I do see it’s mostly rock music- some sort of it. As if other genres don’t really work for me. Another thing I notice is the lack of music created in the last-what? 10 years or so. Yes, I am getting old and I can’t stand modern popular music. Apparently.

And yet, there are some songs that I like, against all odds. I try to resist the urge to actually feel ashamed because of it. Only one of these songs could be somewhat categorized in the rock subgenre (perhaps), and most are recent. Some of them are quality songs, but not in a genre that usually gets my attention. Other clearly lack substance, but were overplayed and catchy enough to make an impact.

Right Here, Right Now (Fatboy Slim)

It was a smashing 1999 hit. To my knowledge, this is the only Fatboy Slim song I really liked.

Why this song? I must admit, it’s not so much for the song- it’s the video. I consider this video to be one of the best ever created. It’s certainly my favourite. It must be noted this was the only time I liked the song because of the video.
Why is this surprising? I am not into this kind of music… Whatever “this kind” might actually be.

Sky (Sonique)

Wikipedia defines it as “a trance-house song by singer and DJ Sonique”, released in 2000. It was a big hit where I live, but for some reason people in general don’t seem to remember it.
Why this song? “Oh I wanna touch the sky I wanna fly so high / Oh I wanna hold you I wanna love you tonight”. It’s too catchy to resist.
Why is this surprising? It’s not particularly surprising, considering the fact that I like to dance, even as this clumsy. I do feel rhythm inside me. But I am not usually impressed with this type of songs.

Ya Soshla S Uma (t.A.T.u.)

Yes. That one. Russian (and, I believe, original) version of “All the things she said”, created in 1999. Remember these energetic fake Russian lesbians? (Fake lesbians, not Russians). And yes, their music is too catchy to even make sense. Their Eastern European accents are clearly touchable when they sing in English. They sound better in Russian.
Why this song? Because of the atmosphere at one moment in the song. And yes, that’s about all.
Why is this surprising? You’re kidding, right? Do I really have to explain?

Bring Me to Life (Evanescence)

Yes, they were a rock band… Technically. But I never considered them as such. This song was impossible to escape in 2003. It’s not that I was ever overly impressed with their music, or even the lead vocalist, but out of all the crap that was out there at the time, this one stank a little less than your average Britney Spears song.
Why this song? This damn thing was catchy and impossible to escape.
Why is this surprising? Because even with Amy Lee’s voice and electric guitars here and there, this song (or band’s work a s whole) never managed to make me believe they are a rock band (I have the same problem with Bon Jovi).

Relax, take it easy (Mika)

Seriously, people. We need more quality vocalists in popular music. And Mika is such a great singer, he could make me listen any sugar-high-pitched-song there is. And this one is actually memorable enough. That being said, I hate remixes.

Why this song? Because it’s actually a decent song. Perhaps the best on this list, sung by a really good vocalist. And it makes me feel calm, yet excited.
Why is this surprising? I prefer deeper voices. I don’t particularly like when a man sings that high: apart from concern for well being of his testicles, I can’t really enjoy the velvet beauty of a baritone.

See also: 5 songs I dislike against all odds