Tag Archives: rock music

Doing NaNoWriMo

Two years ago, just a week before I graduated from university (and had a nasty cold shower of reality when it comes to job options in my country – first of many, that is), I joined NaNoWriMo.

So yes, you can say this happening is important for me. Both emotionally and as a writer. I need someone to, well, make me write. I really like the support and the sense of being there together, writing 50 000 words (or more!) in a month. It may sound counter-productive (you can’t create art on a cue, right?), but it’s actually important becuase it does make you write. This is a great thing for those who tend to find excuses and procrastinate to no end. To all those who never feel ready or never feel like it’s the right moment, or who never feel their ideas are good enough. It does make you write, as in, actually write; put words on (electronic) paper, turn your inner editor off and don’t look back.

There’s some great motivation coming from the task of writing a novel in a month.

The Novel Itself

There’s this idea of mine I feel really passionate about. It’s almost decade in the making – sounds ambitious, but frankly, it’s almost a decade of daydreaming and procrastinating and not the actual writing. Not really proper outlining, except in some key concepts.

It’s a story about a somewhat crazy world of hippies and rednecks and evil magnates and nature and a group of misfits on a journey. And rock music. Lots of it.

It’s fantasy, and it requires a lot of world building. In a way, you are never ready when you wish to do something like this. There’s still a lot of research and world building you need to do. But I kind of realized that I have to start writing it at one point. I need to write that first draft because I really want to tell this story, but daydreaming about it is just not enough. I need to write that first draft, at least partially and NaNoWriMo seems like a good place to start. Like I said, writing a novel with so many other people doing the same can motivate a person to stop procrastinating and actually do it.

Am I scared? Shit scared. But I really want to tell this story.

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