Fade into you…

June 11, 2011

…I think it’s strange you never knew.

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!

I’ve been really obsessed with Ladytron’s first album lately (604). I listened to it like, every day when it came out! In 2001. It’s still great.

Unbelievably cool…

Sitting here , listening to Disintegration and drinking red wine (on a Sunday, awful!), it feels like being back at university. Isn’t it weird how albums can do this?

The only thing missing is nag champa incense. (I’ve got vanilla and cinnamon instead).

So here’s a picture of me while I was at university:

See, no fringe!

This was taken at a Band of Horses concert. They remind me of university too but I still listen to them on a regular basis whereas I haven’t listened to Disintegration all the way through for ages. And considering how sad it’s making me feel then maybe there’s a reason for that.

Here I am, wearing some awesome headphones:

I tried them on in Bic Camera and cool as they were I couldn’t buy them. I’ve always really wanted a pair of big headphones but I’m not entirely sure I could ever bring myself to wear them… I think I’d feel like people around me were looking at me thinking: ‘Who does she think she is! How arrogant!’ Why do I think this?? I’m not sure. I’d worry about the volume too. When I listen to music on my headphones on trains/buses/in cars I start a song, then hold the earphones away from my ears to check if there’s any sound coming out. I really hate the thought that I could be bothering someone and also the thought that other people might hear what I’m listening to! Imagine if they heard me listening to Duran Duran or something! I’d have to shake them and explain that it was part of a long, eclectic playlist! “Look at my mp3 player!! look! Grizzly Bear! Bjork! Tindersticks! Low! Explosions in the Sky! I’m a serious and proper music fan, honest!!” Haha, I think recently the song I’ve worried most about people overhearing is Konnichiwa Bitches by Robyn. Some of the lyrics are a bit ‘Oh dear..!’ but it’s so cute, I get addicted to it sometimes. I do wish Be Mine was available at karaoke, I rather love that song and video.

I don’t listen to headphones when I’m walking around quite as much as I used to though. I used to like, drink too much coffee then wander around listening to the most messed up Radiohead songs. (Climbing Up the Walls can make even the sunniest, happiest day seem twisted and scary!). Headphones on the train are my favourite though. All that lovely scenery, all those interesting buildings swooshing past + music, yay.