Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Playlists - Intro and Part 1 of 9: A Cry From the Inside

Since the era of the mix-tape I’ve always been fascinated by playlists. I love making them, and I believe some insight can be gained to the way a person’s mind works by looking at his or her playlists. Since the invention of social websites and rings, I’ve encountered a few invitations to make up “The Soundtrack of Your Life” by determining which song fits this or that special event in your life. Later on, the web itself has spawned more than a few music-profile websites (see: Last.FM, Pandora Radio, eMusic) in which you make your own playlists by listening to the music you love, and in the process discover new things to like.

My listening habits have obviously changed from the time I taped songs off the radio (in an attempt to save a few bucks, ‘cuz it’s not easy for a 12-year-old to come by $15 to buy a cassette just for the one song she likes). In the process, my playlists have become more varied, motley if you will, and yet, I always come back to the basics, to the songs that were the soundtrack to my puberty, to my childhood even.

I want to share the playlists that have recently taken residence in my iPod (yeah, that creaking antiquity of an iPod Photo which no one has anymore). You might find some things as embarrassingly commonplace as a Thalía hit (because, come on, admit it! There was at least one time in your life in which you danced to Menudo in diaper-clad bliss. Or perhaps there was at least one marquesina party in which you enjoyed Richard Marx more than you’d care to admit….). Likewise there are things so obscure that they never left the household (like the enjoyable song blueprints my brother used to cook up with Fruity Loops).

My intention, however, is not to bedazzle anyone with my hipness or my musical knowledge. I know I possess neither of those things. But I do have an immense desire to finally share some of my feelings about the music I love without limiting myself to rigid formats, without having to wait for the inspiration to review the latest album by Björk (which I loved, by the way, but I rarely ever know how to express my reactions logically enough to call it a review).

So, without further ado, I introduce my Playlist series, in which I shall post almost every day one of my 9 playlists, including a heartfelt description and explanation of why I decided to put all that music together under one (very unapt) title.

A Cry From the Inside

This was actually one of the most whimsical playlists to make. It includes songs and pieces which to my ears sound as if they were truly heartfelt. It could be the quiver of a violin line, or the sound of a broken heart through a skillful voice, what places these pieces together is that they earnestly pluck the heartstrings.

Unfairly enough, this is the only playlist to feature Antony and the Johnsons. Such a beautiful voice should be given more chances to be heard. However, as with other artists and albums, I haven’t fully gotten to the groove of Mr. Johnson just yet.

"Why won't you listen to me more, you bitch!?"

Artists prominently featured in this playlist are:

Deftones – Chino Moreno’s voice, though not exactly artful in the classical sense, has always managed to give me the shivers. So it has come to be that the music by his band is not only one of my favorites, but it also brings not-so-distant memories flooding back, feelings of misplaced hopefulness included.

Superaquello – This band, contrary to Antony, is repeated over and over throughout most playlists. It’s my favorite local band, and with good reason too. Eduardo and Patricia (the lead singers) can swing your mood around into “Play Time”, just as well as they can reach into your throat to squeeze those tears out. If you add to that mix the incredible talent of their fellow bandmates (Francis, Jorge and Pablo), you get an all around Cry-and-Dance Machine.

The Cranberries – My high school sweetheart introduced me to this band back in 1994. The Cranberries made up a huge chunk of the soundtrack to those memorable years. The transition into college included a compulsive obsession to look like Dolores O’Riordan, and songs like “Empty” and “Disappointed” accompanied resentful tears when I started a custom of fighting with Dad. Even later on, the album Bury the Hatchet was the background music to one of the most scarring moments in my life. Dolores’s voice is a fixed feature in my life.

Other artists worth mentioning in this playlist are Damien Rice, whose heartbreak anthem, “Cheers Darlin”, I adopted off the one that now sleeps by my side; Marianne Faithfull, with the crooner “Who Will Take My Dreams Away”, which was shared between two excellent movies I loved: The City of Lost Children and La Fille Sur Le Pont; Múm, which you will notice is a recurrent artist among my playlists; and likewise, Tori Amos.

Portishead - Portishead Damien Rice - O Patrick Wolf - Lycanthropy Antony and the Johnsons - Hope There's Someone
Marianne Faithfull - The City of Lost Children Sigur Rós - ( ) Múm - Summer Make Good Said the Shark - Always Prattling On About Wolves

Download A Cry From the Inside.doc

Sunday, November 4, 2007

This was supposed to be different

I had this entry written out in my mind some 15 minutes ago, but now it's gone. I was in the passenger's seat of Eze's car fifteen minutes ago. I think I need a small electronic tablet, something to record my thoughts as they happen. If I let it go, I m ight never get it back again. Fickle fickle fickle inspiration.

It was all about how Eze and i see and do things differently in life. He's usually the keen observer, while I remember things more like a collage, or "like a trailer of glimpses and brief moments, spliced with images burned onto the wooden cortex of my mind." (see? that bit I did remeber! yay!) There was much more to say though,but it all seems moot point now. Another article/essay that never came to be. Bad too, because it's been a long while since I've written regularly.

It's the job, really. I like working for the company I work for, but the irregular hours and the stres over the learning process leave me with very little energy to sit down to write in the evenings. If you add the spent energy necessary to keep a clean house with a new puppy (with full run of the house during the daytime), you'll understand why I've been mostly absent from my writing hobby. Not so with my beading hobby, but that is only due to yesterday evening, which I spent at a friend's house. There was a beading demo from a representative for a company that sells Swarovski jewelry. I didn't buy anything (the kits were a bit on the pricey side for my standards) but I put together a couple of pieces, which inspired me to make a piece of my own today.

Caprica did something this morning that totally blew my mind, I've never seen a dog doing anything like it. She started pawing the water out of her bowl onto the floor, and after she had made a small pool of water at the kitchen's entrance, she started running around the dining table and back to the puddle... and as she got to the wet area she'd let herself slide. She apprently likes the waterworks more than she's let on before :D Totally nuts!