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When I Grow Up…

22 Aug

Today I discovered Matilda: the Musical. I had heard word a while back that this was going to be a thing, but I had no idea that it had already hit the west end and Broadway. Upon hearing about it, I was feeling pretty indifferent. It’s not that I didn’t like Matilda as a kid, and it’s not that I don’t think it’s good musical material. On the contrary, I’m very particular about what film/book material does or does not make a good musical. Shrek? Not musical material. Billy Elliot? Definite musical material. Once? Hella musical material. Legally Blonde? Hell no.

I knew right away Matilda would make for a good musical, I just wasn’t feeling up to tracking the soundtrack down. Then my friend Jon went and posted the song When I Grow Up on tumblr, and, well… here are the lyrics, and you might see why I’ve changed my mind:

When I grow up,
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb the trees
You get to climb when you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to before you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work, and I will
Go to bed late every night.
And I will wake up
When the sun comes up, and I
Will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,
And I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up
I will be strong enough to carry all
The heavy things you have to haul
Around with you when you’re a grown up.

And when I grow up…
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will have treats every day,
And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
That mums don’t think are fun.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up and I
Will spend all day just lying in the sun.
And I won’t burn ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up,
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

When I grow up…

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.
Just because I find myself in this story,
It doesn’t mean that everything is written for me.
If I think the ending is fixed already,
I might as well be saying I think that it’s okay,
And that’s not right.

Looking at the lyrics typed out, I can now easily see how the lyrics/music are written by Tim Minchin, which I didn’t know until only a while ago. And, dear me, I fucking love Tim Minchin.

I’ve felt so nostalgic as I’ve replayed this song on constant repeat all day. This song achieves it’s purpose: to make us remember what it’s like to be a kid and to have such fantastic aspirations. I remember going around as a kid swearing, when I was adult, that I’d eat candy all the time, lie around in the sun, climb trees, and essentially still be a child. This makes me sad, because I feel like I’ve lost so much of what made me such a wonderful child. Of course I couldn’t hold onto some of the things, but there’s so much of my childhood I wish I had held onto. My immense imagination. My optimism. My hyper-ness. My energy.

And yet, most of the time I feel like I’ve managed to hold onto more of my childlike wonder than the majority of people I know my age. Everyone takes everything so fucking seriously. People don’t take joy in the little things anymore. I feel like I’m much better at rolling with the punches than everyone. Maybe it’s because of everything I’ve gone through in my life, but I’ve learned to differentiate the little things and the important things. Speaking of which, I’ve always tried to enjoy the little things. Always.

I went and watched Matilda, the movie, today, which was a lovely experience. I think the quintessential difference in being an adult vs. being a child is that when I was a kid I fantasized about being Matilda. Now that I’m an adult I fantasize about being Ms. Honey.

I find the last stanza to be incredibly inspirational, especially the beginning part that goes: “Just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.” It’s just something nice I’m going to have to remember when things get me down.

I’m tremendously excited to listen to the rest of this musical. I know it’ll be a great one.

my summer 2012 playlist.

10 Aug

Even though summer is almost halfway over, yesterday I finally compiled my Summer 2012 Playlist. It is as follows:

  1. Follow Me — Fraggle Rock
  2. Dance Music — The Mountain Goats
  3. The Coolest Girl — Starkid
  4. Love Lifted Me — Bernie
  5. Haven’t Met You Yet — Michael Buble
  6. Only the Good Die Young — Billy Joel
  7. All This Joy — Matt Singer
  8. This Year — The Mountain Goats
  9. The Bitch of Living — Spring Awakening
  10. Winter Winds — Mumford & Sons
  11. Days of Summer — Starkid
  12. Hold On — Lysistrata Jones
  13. Waiting for My Real Life to Begin — Colin Hay
  14. Gold — Once (OBC)
  15. The Only Living Boy in New York — Simon and Garfunkel
  16. Love Love Love — The Mountain Goats
  17. Wonderboy — Tenacious D
  18. Son of Man — Tarzan
  19. Yer Spring — Hey Rosetta!
  20. My Heart is Split — Kerrigan and Lowdermilk
  21. Up the Wolves — The Mountain Goats
  22. Mean — Taylor Swift
  23. No Way — Starkid
  24. Lay All Your Love On Me — Mamma Mia!
  25. On the Bus Mall — The Decemberists

Some of these songs have a real summery feel to them (Days of Summer), some are uplifting (No Way), others remind me why I love life (All This Joy, Follow Me), some are just gorgeous (Yer Spring), and others are just fun to rock out to (Lay All Your Love On Me). The song Love Lifted Me is on this list because I saw Bernie this last Monday and it’s been stuck in my head ever since, so, meh, might as well. And the other day I wrote for five hours straight while listening to Yer Spring on repeat. I may add more songs to the list if they somehow have a powerful impact on a certain part of this summer.

My Seven Favorite Disney Soundtracks

26 Jul

I’ve been meaning to write this entry ever since the beginning of July when a group of high school friends and I got together for a day of Disney marathoning. Most people might find the idea of a group of girls, ranging from twenty to twenty-two in age, sitting around in sleeping bags and geeking out over these animated features strange, but not us. I grew up with these movies, as I know the rest of the girls did, so rewatching them all in one sitting felt a bit like coming home.

While rewatching all these films, I couldn’t help but focus on the music aspect of each one (it’s hard not to when you’ve got eight girls screaming the lyrics to every song). I then decided to write up an entry on my favorite Disney soundtracks.

(Side note: These are all just animated features. If not, then Newsies would be on here.)

Aladdin is on here because, like every other soundtrack on this list, every song in it is a home run. From ‘Arabian Nights’ to ‘A Whole New World’, this soundtrack is stellar. The weakest song is probably the ‘Prince Ali (Reprise)’ and I don’t even skip that one when it pops up on my iTunes shuffle. Disney did it right by recruiting the one and only Alan Menken (ie. the man I wish would compose the soundtrack of my life) to act as the composer, with lyricist duties given to the amazing Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Rice went on to win an Oscar for ‘A Whole New World’, and Menken won the Oscar for Best Score. You can’t go wrong with a soundtrack that’s got Lea Salonga’s voice; not to mention Robin Williams nails both of his Genie songs. And, honestly, what small child didn’t run around their house singing “One Jump (Reprise)” to themselves? What? That was just me? I see how it is…

Another Menken-Ashman collaboration masterpiece. This soundtrack won both Best Score and Best Song (‘Beauty and the Beast’) at the Oscars the year it was released. This is a gorgeous soundtrack, with a beautiful score and a wonderful voice cast. Paige O’Hara’s Belle is lovely, Jerry Orbach’s Lumiere is fun, and – for god’s sake – it’s got Angela fucking Lansbury in it. The ‘Belle (Reprise)’ remains to be one of my favorite songs to emote to.

As most Disney fanatics know, The Little Mermaid was the start of the Disney Renaissance (ie. the era where Disney put out amazing movie after amazing movie, lasting from the late 80’s until about 2000). It also was the first Disney feature Alan Menken was hired to score, and, you guessed it, collaborated with Howard Ashman (though the two had worked prior on the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors). Little Mermaid is probably my favorite of this group of soundtracks. I could take or leave ‘Fathoms Below’, but you seriously cannot go wrong with a soundtrack that has ‘Part of Your World’, ‘Kiss the Girl’, ‘Under the Sea’ (which won Best Song (the film winning Best Score as well)), and ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. This is also my favorite of all the Disney scores. Whenever I listen to the track ‘Main Titles’ I get all choked up when the music swells at the end of it. This soundtrack is just lovely music at its finest.

I remember being a kid and my mother verbally expressing distaste for this movie. Whether it was because it was so different from the original source material (which would understandably tick off my English teacher mother) or because it was much darker/grittier than the past Disney films, I’m still not entirely sure. But this movie has, without a doubt, one of the loveliest soundtracks out there. With Alan Menken composing and Stephen Schwartz taking up the reins as lyricist (by this point Howard Ashman had passed away from AIDs), the two present a truly amazing score. ‘Hellfire’ is irrefutably one of the best songs has ever made, which I doubt Disney will ever admit to due to the song’s inappropriate for children feel. It’s also got ‘Heaven’s Light’, ‘Out There’, ‘The Bells of Notre Dome’, and ‘God Help the Outcasts’. The score was nominated for an Oscar but, alas, it did not win that year. Also, you really can’t go wrong with Tom Hulce singing, like, at all.

Everyone loves The Lion King. If you say you don’t, you’re a liar. What’s more, everyone loves the songs in this film. And guess what! It wasn’t done by Alan Menken! I know, I’m as shocked as you are. This gorgeous score was done by Hans Zimmer, with the delightful Tim Rice and Elton John on lyrics. It features many wonderful vocal talents (Nathan Lane being my favorite), and every song and track is pretty much a win. I’d list off all my favorite songs, but that would be, um, all of them, so I’ll save myself the trouble. (Fun fact! During the recording of ‘Be Prepared’ Jeremy Irons’ voice gave out, so Jim Cummings (ie. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Ray the firefly, Pete (Mickey’s enemy), Steele from Balto, and pretty much a character in every animated thing you’ve ever watched because, holy fuck, he’s awesome) came in and finished singing the song for Irons.)


I remember being eight and going into the movie theater to see Mulan. I was not excited. Leading up to this film all I had seen was a teaser for it that did not go in-depth into the plot. Well, it did, I was just a dumb kid and didn’t pick up on it. All I took away from the trailer is that a big war happens and… yeah, that’s all I was expecting  (again: dumb kid was I). Of course, by the time the movie was over I was in love with it, and what really helped was the fact that Mulan has such a kick ass soundtrack. Scored by Jerry Goldsmith, with lyrics by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel, the soundtrack has such memorable songs as ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’, ‘Reflection’, and ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For’. Not to mention they brought Lea motherfucking Salonga back, which is just the best.


I love, love, love, love, LOVE this soundtrack. It’s my favorite thing to put on when I’m biking. Or working out. Or walking. Or, well, doing just about anything. With a score by Mark Mancina score and songs by Phil Collins (who took the Oscar for ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ (sorry South Park)), this is a gorgeous piece of art. The funny thing is that, out of all the soundtracks on this list, this is the only one where most of the songs are not sung by characters, but rather serve as background music, which works perfectly. The only two songs that integrate the characters from the film is the short version of ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ (Glenn Close) and the whole ‘Trashing the Camp’ scene (which, oddly enough, is the only song I can’t stand on the entire soundtrack. There’s even a cover of it done by N*Sync on the soundtrack. Why the hell does that exist?). But seriously, ‘Strangers Like Me’ is one of the greatest songs ever, and there is no better power song than ‘Son of Man’.

How I Listened to the Lysistrata Jones Soundtrack Four Times in One Bus Ride.

5 Jul

At the start of every summer I swear to myself I’m gonna start listening to more song artists and bands. Y’know, cut back on showtunes and Disney, and listen to “real” music. That’s what I tell myself… and, every summer, without fail, I fall in love with an entirely new musical. Last summer it was Book of Mormon, the summer before it was the showtunes of Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, then Next to Normal, then In The Heights, then Spring Awakening, etc. etc. etc.

Well this summer, as of today, I am in love with Lysistrata Jones.

This really is a new development, seeing as of twelve hours ago I only knew two songs from the entire show. It’s been sitting on my iPod, unlistened to for a couple weeks now. The only reason I went and hunted it down in the first place was because of the song ‘When She Smiled’ – I’m in love with the Andrew Rannells version of that song – but really had no interest in actually listening to the entire soundtrack… or so it would’ve seemed.

Then today I had a seven hour long greyhound bus ride to deal with. When finally on the bus (after a stressful ordeal of almost missing said bus and having the bus driver yell at me), I was nestled up on my bus seat, tuckered out and wanting to sleep. I realized I had three unheard soundtracks on my iPod: Newsies, Once, and Lysistrata Jones. I was really only looking for music to fall asleep to at the time, so I selected Lysistrata Jones, closed my eyes, and prepared to sleep, figuring I’d listen to the other two soundtracks later on the bus.

I never listened to Newsies or Once.

I’m sure jaws have dropped by now, seeing as I snubbed the two most popular musicals on Broadway this year (based on two of my all time favorite films) for this somewhat shallow seeming musical, but I’ve quite honestly had a hard time getting into these two musicals as well. The film version of Newsies is so near and dear to my heart, that whenever I try to listen to the Broadway version I get angry over the whole purpose of ‘Sante Fe’ being changed, that Max Casella is no longer Racetrack, that Denton’s a chick, and so on. I realize the changes they made were for the better and I have no doubt someday the musical will grow on me, but for now I prefer Christian Bale’s (terrible) singing to whoever the new Jack Kelly is. The Broadway version of Once, on the other hand, sounds just like a bunch of covers of Glen and Markita’s music. What I’ve heard is beautiful, but I guess I just haven’t been in a mood for it much as of late (though, I will say, their version of ‘Gold’ is astonishingly gorgeous).

So, yes, Lysistrata Jones.

I’m sure most of you know the tale of Lysistrata. The story of all the wives of Athenian warriors who hold out on sex until their husbands end the war? Right. Well. Lysistrata Jones is about a college where the boy’s basketball team never wins, so their girlfriends hold out on sex until they win a game. Oh. And a Greek Goddess narrates and also acts as the mistress of a nearby brothel.

I know. It sounds kind of awful, doesn’t it?

That’s what I thought when I turned it on, thinking it was just going to be my background music to fall asleep to, but what follows is clear evidence that it’s more than what its shitty summary leads you to believe (which is probably why it closed so quickly on Broadway).

LISTEN #1 –> CATCHY MUSIC

I did drift in and out of sleep upon my first listen, but I was still lucid enough to grasp that the music was really damn catchy. I wasn’t paying very close attention to the lyrics, just kind of gleaning the bare minimum of what was going on in each song. I caught lines that said things such as “No sexo!” “Do your duty, no more booty!” and “That’s why God invented porn!”, which made me inwardly roll my eyes. It was proving to be everything I had expected it to be, leaving me very unimpressed.

Don’t think Aristophanes had this in mind when he wrote the original.

So I wasn’t paying much attention, dozing a bit and such, not caring much. Cut to one of the last songs, ‘Right Now: Operetta’, and suddenly my interests became peaked. Suddenly these characters became… well, more fleshed out. I had absolutely no clue what was going on in the song (since I hadn’t been paying much attention leading up to it), but suddenly the characters were no longer 2D caricatures of ditzy/jock-y college students. Emotions were being expressed and fears were being concerned. This confused me. What happened to the campy, silly musical I had been listening to?

Then the final number of the show (‘Give It Up’) came on, and suddenly it was uplifting and inspirational and, Jesus, was I so confused.

This is the day we start to fight
This is the moment I’ve been waiting on
For what seems like an eternity

I am a match that you ignite
And letting go of every expectation
Reservation, deprivation, liberation

The song also kept repeating the line: “Give it up, whatever’s keeping you from being you.” It’s such a simple phrase, which left me astounded at how much it literally effected my person. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe this was more than just a musical about girls holding off on their boyfriends.

So I gave it a second listen.

LISTEN #2 –> LISTENING TO THE LYRICS

(The soundtrack, by the way, is only a little over an hour long, hence how I listened to it so many times in one sitting.)

This time through I actually stayed awake for the entirety of the soundtrack and was able to get a (shaky) grasp on the plot. The plot, while still is basically the whole withholding sex story, also has many different facets and subplots to it, which can be kind of confusing when you dive in head first. I didn’t have a plot book to follow and I had no bearings of the relationships between the characters, so I spent most of this listen-through paying attention to the lyrics and music. While I already knew the score was catchy, the fact of the matter is this: Lysistrata Jones has a great soundtrack.

Of course, not every song is a keeper. I could take or leave ‘Party Time’ and ‘Don’t Judge a Book’, I tend to skip the last two numbers on the soundtrack (‘Never Say No’ and the redone ‘Hold On’), and I still have absolutely no idea what ‘Writing on the Wall’ is about because THAT’S how unforgettable that song is.

That being said, Jones has got some absolutely incredible music, such as: ‘Right Now: Operetta’, ‘Hold On’, ‘You Go Your Way’, ‘Where am I Now’, ‘When She Smiles’, and ‘Give It Up’. These songs are, to me, the best of the show, but I think pretty much every number is stellar (and definitely good dance music). They’re very campy and fun, and that’s kind of what I’m looking for in a musical right now. I think ‘Hold On’ may be my favorite as of right now (Jason Tam, I wanna be all up on you), since it has an absolutely lovely message tied in with it.

They marched down Pennsylvania Avenue
Plant a tree! Make it green!
No more carbon! Keep it clean!
They held their banners high till their fingers all turned blue
Well I know mother earth still cries in pain
As long as I can taste the salt of her tears
I know the fight must still remain
See, I know you gotta hold on
Don’t let go
In the morning when the lights are low
You gotta hold on, hold on, hold on

You can watch the awesome Jason Tam perform this song here (and understand why I’d very much like to jump his bones).

So this listen through hooked me with the songs and reeled me back in for more, which explains why…

LISTEN #3 –> TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE CHARACTERS

The most annoying thing about listening to this soundtrack, and let me make this abundantly clear: all of the actors and actresses sound alike.

There were seriously three characters I could differentiate from the group (Cleonice, Cinesias, and ‘Uardo), and that’s only because they had either Hispanic or Brooklyn accents (and also Hetaira, since her voice is a bit older than the rest of the cast’s). Because of this, and because I’ve never seen this show, it made it really hard to understand what was going on at times. It wasn’t until listening to it my fourth time that I realized Robin and Myrrhine were not the same character. Plus the character of Xander is never introduced via song (unlike everyone else in the show) so when he randomly popped up for ‘Hold On’ I was just like, “Ummmm… who is this (gorgeous) voice singing?” I also didn’t realize Xander was singing during ‘Operetta’, and I thought his part was Mick’s, so, yeah, lots of confusion to be had.

Props to casting for having a really ethnically diverse cast.

That being said, I did have a really fun (though at times aggravating) time deciphering the characters and learning all about them.

After I moved past that confusion, I started gathering character’s backgrounds. I was able to match up characters to songs and relationship, grasping their stance in the musical better. My best revelation was when I realized the song ‘When She Smiles’, which I’ve loved so much for so long, wasn’t directed at the protagonist. It made me incredibly giddy, finding out I was wrong after all this time.

And, hey, I had already listened to it three times to make the bus ride go faster, so…

LISTEN #4 –> CONNECTING WITH THE MUSICAL

By now I had gained a better understanding of the musical as a whole, and I now knew that while this musical comes off as a raunchy comedy about girls, guys, and sex, there is definitely an under layer to it. The first act really is the more satirical of the two, but the second act is where the characters become more fleshed out, since that’s where things start to get real for them. I love the character of Lysistrata, because she’s a good example of having a belief and sticking to it. Is it a ridiculous belief? Mayhaps, but it’s still awesome to see her become independent and self-reliant. The characters of Tyllis, Mick, Robin, and Myrrhine all really grew a lot as well.

The character that changed the most for me over the course of the day was Cinesias. Upon first listen he just came off as a white punk who was trying to be a “gangsta” or a “playa”, and he quite frankly annoyed me a lot. I didn’t understand the depth of what his character goes through  in ‘Don’t Judge a Book’ until the fourth listen, but I see that moment in the play as a big revelation for his character. While he wants to seem this certain way to all of his friends, he just can’t because he really is a good guy. The most heart rendering line he has in the show is:

“Just don’t know who I’m supposed to be,
Don’t you understand?
I’m tired of being me.”

The line was almost thrown away, which left me amazed because I think it’s such a crucial line to the show. That’s when it hit me: this is a play about the struggles of maintaining, not only a relationship, but one’s own self-image in a college setting.

While the characters are in this strange situation, and yes the comedy is a bit ridiculous in hopes to gain some laughs, there’s a sense to it of these characters being so unsure of themselves. At the end of ‘Operetta’ there’s a moment where all the students sing of their own, personal fears, their lyrics beautifully intertwining with each others, displaying how this can be a scary age at times for just about anybody. To exemplify this idea even further, Lysistrata ends the first act with the (show stopping) number ‘Where Am I Now?’

Where am I now? How am I here?
Which way do I turn when it’s all so unclear?
I’m standing alone with nothing but fear
Where am I now, now that I’m here?

Maybe I’m digging a little deep, but this to me really is a musical of people my own age coming to terms with themselves, which I find comforting. I know it’s something I’m gonna be dealing a lot with this upcoming year.

Now, I wrote an entry a while back about how Spring Awakening helped me come to terms with my own sexuality, and that’s where this musical differs. While sex is definitely a heavy subject in the show, it’s never really an issue people struggle with (except possibly Robin). It’s an issue, just not of the same magnitude as in Awakening, which I sort of like. It’s nice seeing a musical where there are female leads that have a handle on their sex lives.

Oh Jason Tam… ❤

So is this a musical for everyone? Definitely not. But is this a musical for me? Definitely yes.

Is this all there really is?
Just endless games of making do
Putting up with second best
Always wanting new
Wanting something better
To shake me to my core
Something magic, something more
I want more

::thoughts on the new THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL soundtrack::

4 Apr
I was one of the many who purchased the The Devil’s Carnival soundtrack yesterday when it went on sale. Here are my opinions of the best and the worst of the songs. All the “in between” songs aren’t on here, because I quite honestly don’t have a strong opinion on them just yet. I want to like “Grief” and “Beautiful Stranger”, but I honestly don’t know how I feel about them. I think I’ll have to see TDC first. Anyway, to my thoughts!

Here are my six favorites:

6. The Devil’s Carnival – Okay, so I had determined a while ago that I was going to hate this song after hearing just the chorus (repeatedly) in the trailers for TDC. It’s not necessarily because I found it a bad song, it just kept getting stuck in my head and I got super annoyed with it. But man, I love the verses. Plus, oh my god, Bill Mosley’s voice is so silly compared to Luigi. And I love Alexa. So, yeah, it turned out to be such a fun song.

5. A Penny for a Tale – Hobo Clown, you’re okay in my book.

4. Prick Goes the Scorpion’s Tail – I’d never heard of Emilie Autumn until I discovered TDC and I’ve still never seen any of her other work, but this song definitely helps me understand why she’s got such a big following. She’s got a great voice. This song’s really entertaining. Love the implied sexual innuendo.

3. Trust Me – Quite frankly, it’s a really pretty song. I sort of love this dude’s voice (Marc Senter). I’d be seduced by the Scorpion too.

2. Grace For Sale – TERRANCE’S VOICE. UNF. THE THINGS IT DOES TO ME.

1. In All My Dreams I Drown – Yup. No surprise. After watching the video of it over a week ago I knew no other song in the film would top it. It’s just so wonderful and beautiful. I guess I really super love all of the songs tied into all of Tamara’s tale.

Now.

Here are my least favorite songs (no order):

+ Heaven’s All Around – This song was actually the one I was most anticipating, and, well, I was really let down. I love Paul’s voice, but this song is just… boring. Let’s just say this: I was expecting ‘Things You See In The Graveyard’, and instead I got ‘Gold’. Boo.

+ 666 – I don’t know. I don’t want to blame Dayton, but I think if his voice were stronger I’d like this song better… actually, I’m listening to it right now, and I think it’s just not the best written song.

+ Kiss The Girls – This. Song. Is. Really. Damn. Annoying. Love the concept of the Woe Maidens, but this song is just… no.

+ It’s Off To Hell We Go – Skiiiiiiiiiip.

These are my personal opinions. Obviously there are people who’ll agree and some who’ll disagree. I just thought I’d share my thoughts. 🙂

I don’t understand “Team Breezy”.

13 Feb

I don’t understand why anyone would want to be on a team that is all about supporting Chris Brown.

I realize this could easily draw in some hate, but I don’t care, I’m gonna say what I need to say. I know that three years have passed and it’s time to “move on”, but the media has recently been welcoming Chris Brown back with open arms since it was announced he was performing at the Grammys. They act as though he’s been on some long term vacation; like it’s no big deal.

I will state now that I can’t comment on his music. I’ve only heard snippets of it before, so from what I know apparently his music is great, and that’s all well and good… but good music should not be enough to condone his actions in the past. And you could argue that it was only a one time thing, and while he may not be hitting anyone now that doesn’t mean his actions are any more forgivable. I mean, the man put a woman in the hospital. That’s how hard he hit her. I will never understand how there are teenage girls all over the internet who are so enamored with him. I saw a tweet on twitter today that read “IDGAF if he beat the shit out of Rihanna, Chris Brown is sexy”. That’s just not an okay thing for girls to be thinking. It’s okay if I’m in a relationship with a guy who may hit me so long as he’s sexy (and has a successful music career)? No. That’s just wrong. I’m sorry, but it really is.

Music to Help Find the Beauty in Life

26 Jan

So, like most people in this world, I love sad songs. Songs that bring tears to my eyes, songs I can heavily relate to, songs that I can listen to when I’m already having a bad day. We, as a people, like songs that let us emote with them.

That being said, I don’t think there are enough songs out there about beauty. No, not the beauty of a woman or the beauty of love, but the beauty of the world. The beauty of life. Songs that make you stop dead in your track, ponder the lyrics, and say to yourself “Why yes, I am rather grateful for this life I’ve been given.”

So I composed a list of ten songs I think best do a job of this. I did it really rapidly in my Young Adult Fiction class, so I’m sure I’m forgetting a song or two, but whatever. This is what I came up with:

1. Beauty – Starship

We don’t got
Any kind of worries
Our way of life is laissez-faire
No wealth, no poor, no hypocrisy
Just beauty
Beauty everywhere

Yes, Starship, the Starkid production from last year. I think this song is absolutely gorgeous. It builds up this world where anything and everything is considered beautiful, and, sure, it’s a world made up entirely of bugs, but I think that drives the point home even more. They don’t have materialistic wants or needs; they’re simply happy doing the jobs they are assigned and living their life out in peace.

2. Good Morning, Baltimore –Hairspray

Good morning Baltimore
Every day’s like an open door
Every night is a fantasy
Every sound’s like a symphony

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t listened to this song in probably over two years now. Nonetheless, it’s still a great song. Baltimore’s not exactly known for it’s – erm – cleanliness, but even so Tracey’s able to find beauty in everything from “the rats on the street” to the sketchy people around her. It’s just a very uplifting song.

3. Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble

And I know some day that it’ll all turn out
You’ll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you kid that I give so much more than I get
I just haven’t met you yet

This one touches much more on the beauty of life. I just love the idea that in presents. We may be alone now, but that’s just because the person we’re going to spend the rest of our life with hasn’t been acquainted with us. Not just yet. But this idea that everyone has someone who they just haven’t met yet? Fucking beautiful.

4. Beautiful Ride – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

It’s about the good walk
And the hard walk
And the young girls you’ve made cry
It’s about make a little music everyday ‘til you die
It’s a beautiful ride

Yes, we’re talking about the Judd Apatow film that flopped at box offices several years back. Thanks to my best friend, Nick, I have seen this movie more times than I can count. That being said, the movie ends with this and, quite honestly, it’s actually a really beautiful song. This may be hard to pick up on whilst watching the movie, but if you have the soundtrack (like me…guilty as charged), then you’re bound to pick up on this fact. The lyrics are lovely. Simple, maybe, but beautiful. It depicts how materialistic needs can never hold a candle to the time you spend with your family and friends, and also “loving yourself”…”but not only yourself.” And, in the end, it’s about everything you achieve. Life is, simply a beautiful ride.

5. Life’s A Happy Song – The Muppets

Everything’s great
Everything’s grand
I’ve got the whole wide world
In the palm of my hand

Don’t act like you’re surprised a Muppet song made it onto this list.

I shouldn’t have to explain why this song is about appreciating life; the title really says it all. Life’s a happy song, and “we’ve got everything that we need, we can be whatever we want to be.” It’s such a lovely message.

6. Beautiful World – Colin Hay

And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you’ve given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now I leave the party early at least with no regrets
I watch the sun as it comes up I watch it as it sets
Yeah this is as good as it gets.

This has always been one of my favorite Colin Hay songs. It just describes some beautiful moments in life. Swimming in the sea, driving in your car, drinking tea, making love, and so on. It’s got a really gorgeous tune to it.

7. Twenty Something – Kerrigan & Lowdermilk

This is it. This is what’s hot.
It’s your moment. It’s your decade.
But you’re only twenty-something til you’re not.

This one applies more to my generation than others, at this point in time. “Twenty Something” is about being a twenty something year old and having so many opportunities open to us. The world is our oyster; we can accomplish anything.

8. Follow Me – Fraggle Rock

Everyday the world begins again
Sunny skies or rain
Come and follow me
Every sunrise shows me more and more
So much to explore
Come and follow me

Yes, I am, in fact, listing a Fraggle Rock song. Not too much to say on this song, it really just reinforces the idea that everyday is a new beginning and a chance at a new adventure.

9. The Beauty Is – Light in the Piazza

I don’t understand a word they’re saying,
I’m as different here as different can be.
But the beauty is I still meet people like me.

Okay, so maybe this one specifically made the list because I’m going to be going to Italy in two months, but there’s more to it, I swear. This song’s all about the beauty you find when going to a different place you’ve never been to and still being able to make these connections with the people there. It focuses on the beauty of how, no matter where you go, people are all the same. The end of the song is really my favorite part: “And the beauty is, when you realize, when you realize, someone could be looking for a someone like you.” It really ties more in with what’s going on in the show than with the rest of the song, but still, it’s lovely.

10. Being Alive – Company

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.

This, to me, has been the most beautiful song since I first heard it back during high school. It’s all about coming to that realization that we need people in our life, and that we can’t do it alone. We need other people to “make [us] alive”, even if it is being “used” and being “put through hell”. It reminds us of the beauty of lie and the beauty of making those connections with those around us, because, in the end, there is nothing more beautiful than being alive.

Make me confused,
Mock me with praise,
Let me be used,
Vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!