Wednesday, August 25, 2010

i guess he's an xbox and i'm more atari

I was told when I was a little girl, all done in pigtails and pink shorts, that I should be gracious.

That I should be nice.
Should be forgiving.
Should be kind.

But there are those times in life... the times when someone or something just spits in your face and punches you in the nose, and maybe breaks a couple ribs, and you're left laying in the dirt staring into the bleak infinity and thinking...

Well fuck this.

The new Cee-Lo single from the new album Ladykiller out October 4, is simply entitle "Fuck You."

And it needs the Fuck.
It's a song about reclaiming anger in a way that the quiet singer songwriters that I so love just can't do sometimes. Sometimes I want to let myself revel in the soulful injustice of it all. And Cee-Lo (as you would expect from the other half of Gnarls Barkley) does it in the catchiest way you could imagine. You know what this liberating, sunny, angry song tells me?

I don't have to want the right thing all the time!

We don't have to be so damn graceful about the things that just frankly suck.

It's OK to be a sore loser.

But most importantly; rejection doesn't always need to be so uncomfortably pathetic.

I love Cee-Lo's declarations in this song, so blunt, so often hilarious, and so in the moment:

And though there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best
With a "Fuck you"
Ooo ooo ooo

This song does not break any musical barriers. It's not awash in sentimentality (on the surface at least), and it doesn't beg for me to overanalyze it. So I won't. I'll just be happy I relate to something so visceral and human. And I'll play it again. Right now.

Fuck You-Cee-Lo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

so go play with your piano/ and write a mediocre song

"A Dark Haired Girl Tries to Seduce a Piano Player"
by Ian Francis
Sometimes Damien Rice is too much for me.

To much digging, too much burrowing into the emotion steeped parts of me that I guard with flinching possessiveness, like day old yellowing bruises.

But I was caught today, thanks to the suggestion from the musically clairvoyant Heather, by a b-side off the 9 Crimes Single, "Rat Within the Grain."

Rice sings about this helpless, most likely hopeless, love that he circles around with building, repressed resentment and barely disguised brokenness.

What kills me is his blank honesty. But it's not a hopeful honesty, not like he's singing to someone on the verge of coming back. It's like he is singing to her back as she leaves, resigned to being forgotten, knowing something has died and he has no more power, and still almost tenderly reassuring the deaf ears;

I wouldn’t want you to want
to be wanted by me
I wouldn’t want you to worry
you’d be drowned within my sea

I only wanted to be wonderful,
in wonderful is true, in truth
I only really wanted to be wanted by you

The powerlessness is what gets me, and knocks the wind out of me with every turn of phrase that brings the lovely melody around to the disarmingly relatable conclusion that he can't do anything to keep things how he wants. And then his anger and self deprecation come careening through. He teeters on the edge of hating her and loathing himself for caring.

So go play with your piano
And write a mediocre song
About the shell of mediocrity
And pretend there’s nothing wrong

I never thought
You where a chicken shit
I never thought of you at all
Until you asked me to be part of it
And now you're showing me your wall

It's an all too human and real story of caring, of holding on, and of watching someone break your heart and walk away.

What I love and appreciate so often is that Rice seems to bring us to his stories at their close, leaving us to insert our own storylines and letting us join him on the dark stage watching the backs recede out of the theatre.

Tonight this song is on repeat, as though listening to the end of something can somehow push forward to the beginning of something else.

Rat Within the Grain- Damien Rice