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Feb. 10th, 2013

bois bois bois

30 Day Song Challenge- A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure



Much like Patrick Bateman finds social commentary buried in mindless pop, I actually find permission to be myself in Ke$ha's We R Who We R. Released simultaneously with the more eloquent Raise Your Glass by Pink, the insistence on acceptance over a driving dance beat just screams liberation. Ke$ha doesn't have time for the politics around gender, sexuality, youth, age, sobriety or intoxication. We are who we are you and you may as well accept it. Go out there and dance, fucker, filthy and covered in glitter. Don't sweat the details. Everything is easy so long as the party don't stop.




30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Jan. 26th, 2013

bois bois bois

(no subject)



I don't listen to much DI6 these days. I'm less angry about a lot of things and I've lost touch with the majority of people I shared my common music taste with. This band is still in my top ten on Last.fm and I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Douglas P's music. It was there when I felt alone and isolated and equally as misunderstood.

Anyway, this track. I started on the softer side of Death in June- this track, Hullo Angel, I even consider The Torture Garden to be softer and less politically inclined than their other work. I saw the melancholy side that many fans seem to be attracted to and note to defend the band's more controversial body.

I took Douglas P's narrations to be one of a passive body, of someone who's bearing witness to apocalypse and has just resolved themselves to accepting what horrors to come. You hear it on the All Pigs Must Die album and it comes through brilliantly through his covers of Jim Jones' People's Temple Choir on ...What Ends.... It's a disturbing take on things, considering his work is conflated with Nazi sympathy, especially via use of the band's imagery.

But I'm not here to discuss the politics of DI6.

I'm not sure how many people I told at the time, but this delicate, tinny track inspired a photograph for my thesis. I had a dream about a dying, screaming bird and wanted to make a visual. Rather than show outright agony, I wanted something soft and vague. The first few incarnations had me photographed topless on top of a small stool while feathers fell around me. I had a long, white skirt and my hair covered my face. This didn't quite work, so I went with further anonymity, on the part of the bird and myself:

 photo ToDreamofBirds.jpg

The track was just that side of painful, like the dream and like the photograph. Even now, I still think of the first incarnation of that image- how I wanted to make myself out to be just that side of painful. Naked, cut by sharp little feathers as they fell.

A delicate little pain. Just like listening to Crush My Love.




30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Jan. 5th, 2013

bois bois bois

30 Day Song Challenge- A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

YouTube wasn't ponying up the proper embed code. Sadly, you have to click here.

There's no single song that I fall asleep too, just a set station. It was a habit I picked up from my father.

I never thought it was weird that he spent a lot of time alone in the master suite of our family's second apartment. My mother explained his hours alone in the dark as his time to relax. His perpetual eye trouble meant sitting in the dark was relaxing. The world-band radio he was given one year was appropriate company. Who wants to sit in the dark with no soundtrack?

I'd keep him company on occasion, as I got a little older. Looking back, it strangely coincided with the fraying ends of my parents' marriage. I remember CD 101.9 coming out of the scratchy world band radio- Spandau Ballet's True coming into the bedroom from some studio in New York City. He'd open the blinds and we'd just contemplate the red sky as snow or rain fell. I'd get bored and press my face against the chilled glass and take in the semi-circle drive of the building.

I don't really remember talking to my father when we'd sit together. The moments probably didn't last long anyway.

I realize now that it was a little weird for him to do that. I mean, he did spend time with us- watched TV on occasion, sat in the living room on Sunday afternoons to watch and yell at the McLaughlin Group. I assume my parents talked to each other.

But that was where my father could be found if he wasn't anywhere else- sitting in the dark with his contact lenses off, window open and smooth jazz drifting out from under the door.

It was the first place I would wander to when he first left us. I'd go back and turn the lights off in that room, thinking it would be like having him around. My brother would go on to be less forgiving of my dad leaving, we would make each other laugh by dragging our feet across the floorboards. We needed to hear his limp above the near audible tension of all the adults in the house. I'm glad it was only a matter of a few months that it took place. I can't imagine a year of looking for someone who wasn't there.

Anyways- old habits die hard. New York doesn't have a Smooth Jazz station anymore, and I never liked leaving my computer on all night. I'll set my clock radio to a classical station and let foreign strings carry me off to sleep. If I don't feel like listening to anything necessarily familiar while I clean the house, I'll stream a station on Last.fm or Pandora. When J and I held our family Christmas lunch, I opted for this over holiday music on Music Choice. It felt right. Like my father's habit could be there with me, along with his new habit of being absent.

So I sort of lied, I don't sleep to smooth jazz.

But my brother does.

For all the animosity he has for the man- for every drunken conversation he and I have had over him that leads to horrendous fights and extended absences in each other's lives- he secretly carries our father in mind.

I had to slip into his bedroom one morning to grab a cord or a pen. It was early enough for him to still be asleep. His laptop was on, streaming iTunes' equivalent of CD101.9- with the faint threads of inoffensive sax and atmospheric keyboards coming out of tiny speakers.




30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Oct. 30th, 2012

bois bois bois

(no subject)





I can't separate this from this.




30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Oct. 27th, 2012

bois bois bois

30 Day Song Challenge- A Song You Know All the Words To







30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Oct. 12th, 2012

bois bois bois

30 Day Song Challenge- A Song That Reminds You Of a Certain Event



This is really an incident of an unfortunate montage. January something something 2002 and I was in homeroom, subjected to a new year of Channel 1 television. The first chords threaded in and out of sound clips of Al Gore whining and George Bush tripping all over himself. Possibly some world leaders shaking hands. A US missile, green in infrared, devastating a city whose name I couldn't pronounce. People hugging. A crowd chanting.

And by the time Brandon Boyd confessed his last wish that you were here, the second plane crashed into the towers, that familiar plume of black smoke on the last drumbeat. A shock to my sleepy system.

I'd never hear that song the same way again.






30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Jun. 2nd, 2012

bois bois bois

30 Day Song Challenge- A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere



Tokyo to Kyoto via the Bullet Train.

Watching fortresses of glass and steel fade into greenery at breakneck speed.

I was alive 13 hours ahead of everyone back in New York.



30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Apr. 15th, 2012

what a day

Somewhere Only We Know



I couldn't remember if they had opened for U2 the night I saw them at MSG. I was convinced it was either Keane or Kings of Leon.

It didn't matter, I found them so bland at the time. I just wanted to make my dream come true and just finally see U2 live.

After Chris died, I'd listen to Somewhere Only We Know obsessively. All I wanted were five more minutes to talk. I wanted to hold on to what I had of him that no one else had. To take him aside and make peace.

This could be the end of everything.... Of course it was the end. It was over and I never had my time.

As it turns out, I would hear Somewhere outside of the context of our posthumous dialogue. Keane performed the song on 11 October, 2005, the night they opened for U2.

I stopped building the myth and the soundtrack around Chris. There are no more stories to tell and there are fewer and fewer people I've met who had known him.

I just can't help but cry. Because so many parts of this narrative had other, happier meanings.

Mar. 17th, 2012

Carry me, Ohio

30 Day Song Challenge- A Song That Makes You Sad




I've had this thing with human hearts since Chris died. The first threads of his passing indicated that his heart failed him. That a muscle about the size of his fist had given up overnight and there was nothing that could be done to get it back into working order.

I considered the chest pains I'd have for months to be a thread between us. I used to wish that my own heart would slow down, or stop, too. Anything that I could do or feel was a channel of communication that I wanted to open. The last time we spoke was on such jetlagged terms. We were so confident we would be home together in New York, that we spoke for only a few minutes. My mind and body wanted more of him. He was quite a difficult gent to shed.

This track is nothing short of genius. The beat, of course, is in perfect sync with the beat of our hearts. Karin's voice is plaintive, almost tired. By the time she's asking for divine support through this breakup, her voice is cracking. It's not enough to ask for help; it hurts too much to do so.

It's funny, the recording is a bit more lighthearted. It's bittersweet, but the lush beats make it seem almost hopeful. Neither party is dying, they're just trying to move on.

I used to take pause and cry whenever this came up on my iPod or media streams. I'd think about Chris and reflect on our own promises to each other. I went a few months without spinning it simply because it's just what happens. I probably found something else to cry to.

I was very taken by surprise one evening in November, when I was en route to a friend's apartment off the F train. The doors opened on Broadway-Lafayette to a gentleman playing this on a homemmade xylophone. The pulsing was just as perfect, his voice was just as sad. I may as well have been back on the Q platform at Union Square...in his arms...promising I'd marry him on the beach.



30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Feb. 18th, 2012

Carry me, Ohio

Grief Soundtrack

I woke up with U2's _If God Will Send His Angels_ in my head this morning. I know this sort of thing just a bunch of brain synapses. Buried sentiments, pictures, words and songs will bubble up in your mind's most vulnerable states. I still think magically, though. I woke up thinking he was perhaps saying hello.

The song is off their 1997 album, Pop. It was the first U2 album I bought and I loved it to death. It was a dance record riding the Cool Britannia wave. I was 12 and wanted to live in the UK. It was all big shoes and listening to Electronica, which we were waiting to carry us into the future of music.

I remember the single was released in the dead of December. The song had a sense of sad resolve and the video didn't detract from it. Phil Joanou utilized Wim Wenders' isolation motifs from his Wings of Desires/Faraway, So Close! films, giving us Bono as an ignored but very present angel at a diner.

I could identify with that. It was a dark, isolating time in my life. My great aunt was being taken care of by my grandmother and mother at the time. My brother and I were packed up and made to stay in my grandmother's studio apartment while she was tended to. I never saw friends. I felt like the world was moving around without me and all I could do was watch it pass on MTV.

I'd outgrow the record and forget it completely. I had things like goth and industrial to envelope myself in. It wasn't until I met Chris that I started going back and really listening to U2. He introduced me to their early work, which sounded so much like the post-punk I was spinning that summer. _11 O'Clock Tick Tock_ could have easily come from The Cure or the Virgin Prunes. It was crazy to hear it all coming from U2, but it was very beautiful.

So, of course, I raided my file sharing network of choice for anything I could get my hands on. One result was The Big Yam Mix:



Here's the thing: U2 remixes are generally terrible. The source material doesn't make for good dance music. Bono's voice is too bombastic, Edge's guitar is too distinct and it's just a U2 track without him on it and I hate that Adam and Larry get the shaft because bass and drums have to go electronic. There are a few exceptions, but that's really for another entry.

This particular mix was just so delightful. The sad resolve of the source was made so much happier. Things were still terrible, but the optimism for the future burned a little brighter. The remix doesn't spurn god completely- it shows an acceptance of his absence and having the will to carry on alone.

I played that mix obsessively and quite possibly put it on a few mixes I made for Chris. I know I played it on the six-hour flight to San Francisco, in a attempt to ease my nerves. I'd listen to U2 again on the emergency flight back, _Electrical Storm_ stuck in my head as I sent a text to his phone: You're in my mind/all of the time/I know that's not enough


U2 - If God will send his angel by Angkor

It was a dark time again. I'd listen to the mix here and there, but it would eventually be too hard to sit with. So I buried it like I buried the record the first time.

What gets to me the most are the words towards the end: ...and I don't have to know how/and I don't need to know why.... I don't think about the circumstances of Chris' passing much. The question of why and how died the moment his was ruled inconclusive. I had an inkling I'd never know and any research beyond the medical would be futile.

The last time I tried was my last conversation with Kathy in 2011. I had never yelled at someone so loudly in all my life. I nearly punched out the windows in the library. It wasn't worth it. Any answers I'd get in year six would be compromised. The answer lies somewhere between her, god and Chris; I don't believe in one and the other is dead.

I just can't believe that seven years later, some practically insignificant song can still make me cry.

I'd like to think that Chris were still here, we'd pick that album apart. Track the falloff point and agree that _Velvet Dress_ and _Do You Feel Loved_ are _Love is Blindess_ rehashed. We'd consider _Miami_ the useless track, slap _Playboy Mansion_ with a thousand WTFs, but forgive Flood and still want him to produce our albums.

I wanted to believe I was past avoiding certain songs. I had a list a mile long and I thought that I had taken everything back.

I thought I had everything back.

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