Fade into you…

June 11, 2011

…I think it’s strange you never knew.

Oh dear!

June 6, 2011

Yup, another update fail. OK, so I’ve decided to switch the Cute Characters post day to Wednesdays instead of Fridays as once again, I had no time to write on Friday. I went straight from work to Nagoya to go see Capsule at Diamond Hall. I know, this must make it sound like I have the most dazzling social life ever (I don’t really!)! So yes, Fridays: apparently a bad day for updates. Wednesdays (and Mondays!): hopefully better. I didn’t really get any photos at the gig I’m afraid so ah, here’s a picture of me posing around  beforehand :P


It was a really great show, very long though: five hours!! That’s three DJs, Nakata’s DJ set and Capsule’s actual performance. Toshiko Koshijima is so cute!! She was wearing the outfit from all the promo material (and the World of Fantasy video). I love her dancing! We got to meet Nakata briefly afterwards too which was pretty cool! Got a photo and everything. Oh and a tipsy-ish girl took a photo of me in the bathroom hahaha! I was fixing my hair and she was all like “Kawaii!” and then she started going “Chotto matte, chotto matte” while she fumbled around in her bag. She eventually produced a camera and asked if she could take a picture. Thank you for boosting my fragile little ego lovely tipsy girl!

Anyway, listen to Capsule’s new album “World of Fantasy”. Capsule are awesome :)

Karaoke on Thursday! Thanks Matthew for taking these cool pictures! I should do karaoke more often, it helps me deal with all kinds of emotions. Actually, I should just be a singer in a band. That would help even more!

Have to keep walking.

Songs that make me cry

April 16, 2011

OK, so I was reading this article in the Guardian about songs that make people cry: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/apr/08/nick-clegg-songs-make-writers-cry

Inspired by this, here is a small selection of some of the songs that (usually/often) make me cry.

Cocteau Twins – Half Gifts
A lovely, pretty sounding song to describe heartbreak and pain.”That’s what grown ups do”, the way Liz Fraser sings it just sounds so lost to me, like she’s repeating it to herself to convince herself that it’s true. It’s something I tell myself sometimes when I’m sad or confused by the world and when I just want to run home (as in, to my parents’ house) and curl up in my bedroom with my headphones on. Grown ups are meant to act maturely and wisely because that’s just “what they do” but of course it’s not always so easy.

Spiritualized – Broken Heart
Yes, I know, the first choice by the first writer in the Guardian piece, how original of me! This song has always made me cry but my reasons are very different from Dorian Lynskey’s reasons. It’s probably because I heard this at a particularly bad time in my life. I thought I was heartbroken, I wasn’t really. I was more…tired of not feeling loved and tired of feeling so overwhelmingly sad all the time. I think “I’m too busy to be heartbroken” is the line that made me the saddest because I had so much I needed to do at the time and this neverending sadness just seem to paralyze me. I got through but I still try not to listen to this song if I can help it. Disturbing as it sounds, this song also made me sad because listening to it made me imagine what heartbreak might feel like in the future!!

 Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work/Deeper Understanding
Again, there’s a sort of tiredness about This Woman’s Work that makes me feel sad. Or, a weariness rather. The video just makes it even sadder, I can hardly stand to watch the video at all!
I guess the reason I don’t like the new version of Deeper Understanding as much as the version on The Sensual World (I’m sorry Kate Bush! I love you!!) is because the chorus doesn’t soar. I felt that in the original, the computer voice was a kind of…heavenly voice coming to the narrator from the computer. It sounded ghostly enough for me to register it as something other than human. Sometimes just hearing something like “Hello, I know that you’re unhappy” is enough.

Radiohead – No Surprises
Well, I could choose almost any song from OK Computer and a lot of  The Bends and Kid A as these were some of the albums I used to shut myself in my room with and play repeatedly. Climbing Up the Walls used to destroy me but I would say it’s a kind of desperate song rather than a sad song exactly. No Surprises frequently turns up in unexpected places like cafés or bars and I just have to try to zone out for fear of crying! Again, it’s the feeling of giving up, of being so tired and wanting someone to comfort you or at least not to be subjected to any more emotional turmoil. While writing this I suddenly remembered another Radiohead song that I used to cry while listening to: Lozenge of Love. I haven’t heard that song in years so I have no idea if it would still produce the same effect!

Interpol – The New
I listened to this a lot right before going away to university but it’s meant different things to me at different times. I like (if that’s the right word to use?!) the line “I gave a lot to you, I take a lot from you too”. He just sings it in such a worn out sounding way, it’s so sad.

Low – Words
This song is very connected with the video for me as I used to watch the DVD that came with A Lifetime of Temporary Relief over and over again when I was home alone in the flat I shared during my third year of uni. Just hearing the first chords is enough to make me feel a bit wobbly and lost. Again, it was a time when I was so full of sadness (although far less than I was in my first and second years! Progress!) and also hating myself for feeling so sad all the time! “Too many words, too many words” just seemed to sum up how I felt. There were too many words I couldn’t say, too many words I didn’t feel I was able to write, too many negative words being poured into my diaries, and too many words in my own head, telling me again and again that I was a massive failure and that everyone around me was sick of me being such a depressed idiot half the time. It’s a beautiful song though!

Tindersticks – Pretty much their entire first album/Waiting for the Moon
Yeah, it’s hard to choose any one song from the first Tindersticks album, I really do tend to listen to the whole thing in one go. Like The Boatman’s Call it’s a surefire trip to Sadnessville.

Waiting for the Moon, from their album of the same name includes the lovely line: “Ease this raging heart, this raging love. Sometimes it feels like a knife, but not tonight” Even though the lyrics refer to “we”, for some reason this song makes me feel like the protagonist in Bjork’s ‘Hyperballad’ (another song I love which could, at times, go on this list!), like someone trying their best to deal with their sadness at night while everyone else is sleeping so that the people they love don’t have to.

Death Cab for Cutie – Your Heart is an Empty Room
“And all you see is where else you could be”. Dissatisfaction, emotional numbness, but made to sound so beautiful! It’s a really pretty song and I guess, whatever it’s supposed to mean, the lyric I quoted really stands out to me because I’m always struggling with a dissatisfaction with wherever I’m living. Not because of the people I’m there with but because I just never seem to be entirely happy no matter where I am, I’m always longing for that perfect country/city/town where I’ll feel happy and complete. I just haven’t found it yet. I know, it’s a very self-indulgent way to feel. I’m sorry.

Smashing Pumpkins – Perfect
This is the sound of teenage love, unrequited love, endless summers, school, blablabla. I never listened to this song until years after it came out, I had some kind of problem with the Smashing Pumpkins. Then one of my best friends in senior high school made me listen to the Rotten Apples compilation and I got really into them. I don’t know, this song feels like it’s about all the things that never happened and (thanks partly to 1979 companion piece video, which is also excellent) a sadness about things that didn’t go quite the way they maybe should have. It makes me feel like a kind of bruised happiness can come from jadedness or that, even when adult life doesn’t seem to be working out the way we hoped, we should hold on to all the things in life that are  beautiful.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
In a similar way to Words, this song is sad, but also signifies the opening of the emotional whirlpool that is The Boatman’s Call. I hear this and I think “I’m going to be in tears for the next forty minutes”. This song is so caring and so sweet compared to the bleakness of a lot of the other songs on the album. It’s the sound of someone picking up a broken person and telling them they’ll take care of them. The video is lovely too.

OK, I’m done. Just writing about these songs is making me feel a bit upset! That reminds me of a childrens’ book… I won’t tell you which one, it deserves it’s own blog post actually! I’ll find a picture of the cover and then I’ll write about it!

I left lots of songs out, either because I don’t want to explain why they make me sad or because I can’t think of any good reasons for finding them so upsetting. I left others out because well, there really are an awful lot of songs that make me cry! Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, The Cure, Mew, Kings of Convenience, Bjork, Nina Simone, the list could go and on! Then there are songs that don’t normally make me cry but have done due to my hearing them at a very specific time or in a specific place or something.

I was also going to include links to the songs but then I thought: wait a second, these are really sad songs, people shouldn’t be listening to them!! I also worried that people might listen and then think “Wow, these songs are terrible, who could possibly find any emotional meaning whatsoever in stupid songs like these, she is a total idiot!!” So, if you want to listen then feel free to head to youtube/spotify but don’t come back and tell me that you hate the songs or I’ll be very upset! I might cry!

Yes, in an attempt to get the song out of my head, I made this:

I know, I know, I’m a big lame ;P Oh, in case you have NO IDEA what I am even talking about:

Went to the Grasshopper Manufacture event at Shinjuku Loft Plus One on Wednesday and guess who were there? Vanilla Beans! Yay! I do rather love their videos, they always look sort of bored and their dance moves are all slightly half hearted. Anyway, their performance was very cute! Their dresses: so monochrome and matching! I saw them on the way out of the venue and I wanted to take a photo but they were so cute I got really embarrassed and forgot how to say ANYTHING in Japanese (not that I can say a lot to begin with…).  Also I had a massive cold and was probably a bit drunk, oh dear. They said something and then the lady next to them said something but I got so flustered I just apologised and ran away! OK, I walked, but I was still running away. I realised as I was leaving that what was probably the case was that they were asking for donations in exchange for a polaroid photo with them! By this time I was so embarrassed I just couldn’t go back! I wanted to but couldn’t face it so I headed off into the night instead. Oh well. It was a fun night anyway, apart from the cold. I took a few videos too, might upload later! Here are some photos though, cute!

addicted addicted

February 6, 2011

I’ve been terribly addicted to this song today. Rediscovered it on an old birthday mix CD from my lovely brother :)

It really makes me want to go to a gig. No, scratch that, I wanna be a rockstar. I’m going to buy a guitar actually! Acoustic or electric?

Overdue, I know. Also, I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures because I didn’t take my camera *gasp!* so any pics are from my phone or Danny’s phone. I know, why didn’t I take it? We-ell..I just decided that I didn’t feel like carrying it around and I didn’t want to spend the whole time looking for cool stuff to photograph. I just wanted to walk around, feel good, listen to music and be! I do love taking pictures, really, it’s just that…well my gig pictures never look thaaat great anyway and I wanted to be unencumbered! It was a good idea, I think. I mean, it was insanely hot of course so…the less to carry around the better really! Of course within minutes of getting there we’d bought T-shirts and the most awesome bag ever (it has Morten Harket’s face on it) but they weren’t so heavy. Anyway…

I’ve been to a lot of gigs over the years but not a lot of festivals. I think this year’s Summer Sonic was the closest I’ve come to a ‘Perfect Festival Experience’. OK-no camping. I know for some people that’s a great big deal but I hate camping so the lack of tents was a bonus to me! Also the line-up, while good, wasn’t perfect or anything. I loved it though. I went last year too and I spent quite a bit of time feeling kinda stressed out. I still enjoyed it, I just felt a little frazzled and missed out on a lot of bands I wanted to see through sheer exhaustion. This year felt a lot more chilled out. We went down to the front more often and danced more! Maybe the dancing helped. It sounds lame but, dancing surrounded by hundreds of other people dancing just makes me feel really happy and free. It makes me feel like -Hippy Alert!-everyone is connected.

Here is a list of the bands/singers we saw:

7th August:
One OK Rock, the pillows, The Drums (end of set only), Band of Horses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jonsi, Stevie Wonder

8th August:
Hurts (end of set only), Yes Giantess, Two Door Cinema Club (end of set only), Delphic, Passion Pit, a-ha, The Offspring, Jay Z (beginning of set only), Calvin Harris

One OK Rock were good at SHOUTING VERY LOUD. The pillows were very happy and self deprecating. The singer stopped a few times to go “Atsui desu ne?” (“It’s hot, right?”) and to comment on what was playing on the loudspeakers over on the main stage. I really thought they were going to launch into ‘Jump’ by Van Halen at one point! Band of Horses were lovely and had pretty background visuals (I wish they’d played ‘Monsters’ though!). BRMC were great, we were almost right at the front for them. I’ve only ever owned their first album and hearing them really reminded me of high school. It was one of my ‘zoning out’ CDs. (‘Red eyes and tears, no more for you my love, I fear, no more tears, no more tears, I’m in love…’). Jonsi was the only artist of the weekend to make me cry a little (a-ha were close though!!). His voice is equally beautiful in real life, it really is unreal, like crystal, and heartbreaking. He looked like some kind of broken angel on stage. Heart rending.

And Stevie Wonder? Wow, what a special guy! He had me from the moment he stepped on stage dressed in head to toe white and playing a white keytar (which he proceeded to play lying down and then behind his head). His backing singers were awesome. How much would I love to be a backing singer!? I want to sing and do very literal mimes! Their miming for ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’? Immaculate!! They mimed signing something, folding an envelope and handing it to someone! Me too please! At one point he had the crowd chanting “Free, from racism!”, “Free, from poverty!” and so on. He brought some of his children on stage and later professed his conviction that he’s “Gonna have some more children, yeah!”. He sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and invited everyone to record it so that, in case today was not their birthday, they could play it when it was their birthday and remember this moment! Oh wow. My cynical little heart melted into a puddle. It was such a warm, lovely performance. Everyone seemed really happy, loved it. Thanks, Stevie Wonder.

Next day we started off with Yes Giantess. They were pretty energetic and fun. Two Door Cinema Club was PACKED and had a moshpit and everything.  Delphic I quite liked and danced around to a lot. Passion Pit are one of those bands I’ve failed to check out but have been meaning to. Really liked them. A-ha were, of course, fabulous. Morten Harket looks amazing. No ‘Manhattan Skyline’ though!! They finished with ‘Take on Me’ and as they left the stage Magne Furuholmen muttered something like “What else could we play?”. Not angrily, more cheerfully matter-of-factly! This was their last ever gig in Japan (not that I ever REALLY believe artists when they say ‘Farewell Tour’…) so lots of people were shouting stuff like “Morten!! Thank you so much!!”, “I love you!” and so on. Some people were waving little Norwegian flags! Incidentally this was the only show where there appeared to be someone passing out in the audience. She didn’t, she clung on to the railings but she really, really looked like she was about to faint the whole way through…

After a-ha we saw The Offspring and the start of Jay Z (pretty lights) then headed over to the Dance Stage to catch Calvin Harris’ DJ set. I was terribly tired but threw myself into dancing for the next hour anyway. It was so much fun. No one pushing, everyone just jumping around like crazy and throwing their hands in the air. Lovely. So left the festival feeling hippie-ishly mellow :)