Monday, October 23, 2006

Random, left-of-field, call it what you will...

but here's my question: is it wrong to enjoy music without really paying attention to the lyrics? Well, with the internet being what it is these days, I have no excuse. Most media players allow you to read the lyrics of the song currently playing (I use Winamp, so Lyrics Plugin works best for me). I'm a musician first and foremost, so to me, the music is key. But I'm proud to announce that I've begun listening to lyrics. And I've gotta say, music is a lot more fun! Its almost as cool as the time when I became able to listen to bass, keyboards and guitars separately on tracks!
As it turns out, everyone's got something to say. Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder creates all these images and stories that simply unfurl of their own volition in my head (See Severed Hand, Jeremy, Ocean, Garden, Rearview Mirror). In hip-hop, The Roots get real tongue-in-cheek kinky on The Seed, as do Gym Class Heroes on The Queen & I. Maynard James Keenan of Tool/A Perfect Circle really gets me (or do I get him?) - The Outsider, Schism, Right in Two, The Noose, Blue, The Pot, The Grudge are all simply perfect pieces of work. Steely Dan lyrics are always a joy to read, though sometimes I have to refer to The Steely Dan Dictionary to understand what Becker and Fagen are smiling about.
I wish I could write like some of these folks. The ability to plan an idea in someone's head, and then direct its course, is something I've always wanted. So far, I've only tried writing about things that scare or amuse me, but I haven't been able to go much further than pulling a bit of wordplay here and there. Its kind of like how your bodily movements are inhibited by some mysterious force (try walking a like a crazy for a bit a la Jack Black in Nacho Libre (5 stars!), or twist your arms while you jump - the fact that you're not leaving your seat bears testimony to my theory). I wonder how listeners will react to my contrived imagination, all of it. Because thats what I would like to be able to put down on paper. All of it. Samples coming soon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Digging Deeper

So I've got my semester finals on right now, and what better time to get important things done, like cleaning up rooms, moving furniture, taking long walks, and reading news on things I enjoy? Well, helps you get the last part done, and how! Most of you might already be familiar with the Web 2.0-styled news giant, but for those of you who haven't stumbled upon it yet, be prepared for a treat! The site gets news articles from all over, with little blurbs from users. If you found the article enjoyable or useful, 'digg' it, so that it gets a higher ranking. You can pick from topics like Technology, Science, World & Business, Videos, Entertainment, and Gaming. You can even personalize your news preferences, view all news at once, and search for articles as well. Check it out!


Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm Back!

I'm not very sure how one goes about making a comeback on one's blog, especially when your reader base is, well, small. Still, I've always enjoyed writing for anyone who'll read, so here goes nothing.

Fiction / Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry A poignant, personal and touching story about the trials and tribulations of the aging Nariman Vakeel and the various people whose lives he has touched. The tale makes its way through avenues of grief, bylanes of mirth, and side-streets of intense drama. All the while, Mistry ensures that each character creeps into your psyche, yanks out every ounce of feeling you've ever had and hands it to you wrapped in gilt-edged paper. Mistry's attention to detail is impeccable, and his understanding of the human mind and heart belies his age. His sensitivity draws you in, and his imagery alienates you, both deliciously so. The story ends with a touching epilogue which makes for a fitting finish to a masterpiece like this. A great read!

Music / Steely Dan - Aja I can't get over just how amazing Steely Dan is. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are some of the cleverest musicians to ever walk this earth. Aja, their 1977 album, features a bunch of 7 great tracks that showcase witty lyrics and fine songwriting, especially Josie and Black Cow. Steely Dan specializes in smooth jazz-pop; this album doesn't feature their now-signature horn section in all its glory, but the sound is full and warm, with great keys and guitars. Aja also sounds like the perfect forerunner to their more recent work, such as 2000's Two Against Nature.

Film / 16 Blocks / Directed by Richard Donner, Starring Bruce Willis, Mos Def
Easily one of my favourite suspense movies of all time, this 2006 flick follows retiring cop Jack Mosley's (Willis) last assignment: to transport a witness from a police station to the court where he will testify. However, there are lots of folks who don't want this witness to reach the court... ever. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Its up to Mosley to keep the nervous, edgy Bunker alive. I loved this!