Picture-perfect: Somebody that I used to know – Gotye

 

The Australian Wouter De Backer alias Gotye certainly scored a hit in Germany with his song “ Somebody that I used to know” from the album “Making Mirrors (2011) and the  wonderful  associated official video.

Once more it is all about love – better said the failure of a relationship. Why, oh why are these things meaning so much to us so complicated? Peace, Justice, love – we are always looking for them and sometimes we seem to get hold of them, but then all of a sudden they vanish again.

What stays is the retrospective on something that the singer thought to be love:

“Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me…”

However, there was a doubt from the beginning, a sadness, knowing that she was not “the one”:

“But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember
You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end…”

Can you get used to such a feeling, wallow in self-pity? I guess you can – and as nowadays relationships tend to be short term it might be necessary and even healthy to get used to this kind of experience. And anyway, we are adults and know how to deal with the situation, don’t we?

“So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over…”

Until now the singer in the video stays relatively calm and motionless. He seems to be on top of things, but then suddenly he bursts out in pain:

“But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing…

But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number…”

The “Love of his life” becomes “somebody that I used to know”…

So far one side of the story. Now its HER part, sung and performed by New Zealand singer Kimbra :

“Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say…”

She feels betrayed, constrained, made responsible for all the problems – and she draws a line. She literally moves out of the picture, shakes off the colors that weren’t hers. It  looks as if HE really sees her for the first time, now that she has become an independent person.

Can you be so wrong about someone, so blind? Maybe we are all too busy designing our picture-perfect lives? Too busy to be aware of the persons living next to us – trying to insert them into the art work that our life is supposed to be?

Let’s have a closer look at those who are important to us before it is too late – and we have to add one more name to the list of those we “used to know”….

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About finding and losing love: New Age – Marlon Roudette

Marlon Roudette’s song New Age has nothing to do with esoteric religion but a lot with an experience everyone goes through at least once in a lifetime: it’s about finding and losing love. When you compare all the song lyrics in the world, which ones do you think prevail: the ones praising the happiness of love or the ones complaining about the pain which comes with the end of a great love story? I don’t know, but for me, the sad songs are often the deeper and more beautiful ones. Happiness and pain, they both inspire artists to create melodies and lyrics that help us to deal with these experiences in our life.

The song New Age” by Marlon Roudette (the complete lyrics can be read here)  is for all those who have to deal with the end of a relationship – whether it was love or something else… sometimes it’s hard to tell, isn’t it?

“If  love was a word, I don’t understand.
The simplest sound, with four letters.”

Loving someone is sometimes an all-embracing experience; another person takes over our life:

“I’m walking away, from everything I had.
I need a room with new colors.
There was a time,
When I didn’t mind living the life of others…

So much fire that it burned my wings.
Her heat was amazing.”

When it’s over, there is only the love of pain as a memory of what we had. “Everything” turns to “nothing”. A person changes and with that my life changes, there is nothing in common with the old life, an new age begins:

“Are you loving pain, loving the pain?
And with every day, every day
I try to move on.
Whatever it was,
Whatever it was,
There’s nothing now.
You changed.
New age.”

What remains? Daily life, the daily routines, the simple things:

“Now I’m dreaming of the simple things.
Old ways, erased.”

But – there is hope, a perspective:

“And with every day, every day
I try to move on…   I need a room with new colors.”

At the moment it might seem  impossible, but whoever has gone through the experience of a breakup knows: life goes on. There is a new life waiting, new experiences, new colors, and new songs. It’s strange: to tell someone this in such a situation is often not very helpful. However, a song CAN do the job without sounding too shallow. Music has its own and very powerful ways of reaching and touching the hearts of humans, and it does so also in the case of finding and losing love.

Thank you, Marlon Roudette, for finding these beautiful and comforting words and tunes in your song “New Age”.

Love is a Losing Game – Amy Winehouse


Amy Winehouse passed away on 23rd July, 2011. There have been many obituaries celebrating her talent, and her voice will certainly be with us for many years to come. Looking back at her short life many song lyrics gain a very special meaning and impressiveness. We always knew that her life inspired her song lyrics in a very tragic way.

Now we ask ourselves: did it really have to end this way? Was there nothing and nobody to prevent this from happening? Sadly, there are often people living close by the ones with depression, suicidal thoughts and drug problems who nevertheless aren’t able to help – sometimes because the victims don’t want help for whatever reason.

One of her life’s subjects was love. The relationship with her later and then ex-husband Blake Fielder Civil didn’t work out. Love as Amy Winehouse experienced it had something self-destructive about it as shown in her song “Love is a Losing Game” from the album “Back to Black” (2006):

For you I was a flame 
Love is a losing game 
Five storey fire as you came 

To be on fire can be a proper image for love, but this fire is destructive. Their love lies in ruins, destroyed by abuse, drugs and violence. The game is over.

  Oh what a mess we made 
  And now the final frame                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Love is a losing game

Love as a game? It looks as if she saw it like that. The images she uses to describe her experience come from the gambling sphere – and we all know there aren’t many winners in this game:

Self professed and profound
Till the chips were down
Though you’re a gambling man
Love is a losing hand

Much ventured – but nothing gained. She feels doomed. Maybe it’s easier to blame the gods or fate if things don’t work out – and who would dare to say that it’s only up to you to make your way in life. Whoever insists in this hasn’t experienced fate’s blows.

Though I’m better blind 
Love is a fate resigned               
Memories mar my mind                         
Love is a fate resigned

Over futile odds                           
And laughed at by the gods                      
And now the final frame 
Love is a losing game

For many of us love is heaven on earth. For Amy Winehouse it was just another disappointment. It wasn’t as good as its word; it didn’t give her what she needed.

She must have been very lonely if this was her solace:

Tears dry on their own

(from the same-titled song)

I hope you have made a distinct experience. Love CAN be different, don’t you think?

The woman of his dreams: You And Me / In My Pocket – Milow

Milow – You And Me (In My Pocket) from Daily Dolores on Vimeo.

Finally it has arrived in Germany:  Milow’s new album „North and South“. And finally, thanks to the song “In My Pocket” (you can read the lyrics here), we know what the woman of his dreams looks (and smells) like: “I wish you smelled a little funny … I wish you were a little bigger, not just big but really fat.” She doesn’t even have to have those long legs that are supposed to be so sexy nor be fast or very sportive: “I wish you were a little slower, not just slow but paralyzed… I really wish that you were smaller, not just small but really, really short.

Well that’s good news, isn’t it? So there is hope for all of us who don’t have the chance to compete in TV series like “Germany’s or America’s Next Top Model”… We still have a chance to win Milow’s heart!

He really comes up with some strange images to describe the woman of his dreams: a mermaid, a cat on the street, a bird, a lamp or the little rag doll that gave the song its name: “…so I could put you in my pocket and carry you around all day”.

What all these images have in common is the wish to keep his dream woman safe and prevent her from running away from him. Maybe Milow has made this experience? Today’s women tend to run away once they are not happy any more. Times are changing… 😉

I guess it’s just meant to be fun. A nice and catchy song and a funny and creative video that comes along with the song. I’m sure Milow knows that you cannot confine a woman, be it in a cage or a tub or your bed. The last scene in the video reveals the only place that is capable of keeping the one you love safe and secure: your heart. If you can’t keep someone in there, you won’t be able to keep him or her close to you at all. On the other hand: you may be able to release a bird from a cage easily – it is much harder to release a person you love. There is always a lot of pain involved. Also, it is no comfort to be reminded that “…there are plenty of fish in the sea” if you are in love with the one and only.

At the beginning the only thing that counts is being with the loved one: “Oh you and me, it would be only you and me”. Once a relationship endures it is important to widen the circle again. Everybody who has been there knows this. But this is a song about the beginning, I suppose….

Actually, I would really love to catch a glimpse of the woman at Milow’s side (if there is one): I bet she has the longest legs, she is slim and clever, she can run and swim very fast and maybe even fly like a bird. Has anyone ever seen her? Maybe he DOES keep her in a bathtub or birdcage?  😉

Bruno, don’t blame the piano! Grenade – Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars – Grenade from Mazlanlan on Vimeo.

Bruno Mars – Grenade from Mazlanlan on Vimeo.
In case the video doesn’t work watch it on this website. The song’s lyrics can be found here.

“I encourage everyone who watches this video to understand that it is an artistic interpretation of the song, and not something to imitate.” This is what Bruno Mars advises on his website.
That’s good to know, Bruno! I was already picturing in my head all those painful and somehow senseless actions you are singing about in this song.

I have to admit I quite liked the hook, the melody, the rhythm of “Grenade”. But then of course I was curious about the lyrics. Why would someone “catch a grenade, throw his hand on a blade, jump in front of a train, take a bullet straight through his brain, yes, even die” for someone else? Well, obviously because he is in love with the girl – and she is not. He would do all these things for her – but what for? To save her life? To attract her attention? To show her how much he loves her? I’ m not sure that would work – and if it worked and she would start loving him he wouldn’t look nice anymore… 😉
But it all starts with some heavy reproaches: “Easy come, easy go, that’s just how you live, oh, take, take, take it all, but you never give.” He gave her all, but she “tossed it in the trash”, she “doesn’t understand” and even seems to be the violent kind “beat me ‘til I’m numb”, coming straight from hell (“tell the devil…”). I wonder why he loved her in the first place, but then again, love happens, right, and you don’t have the choice…? Bad woman, good guy – the modern version of a drama, another bad romance?
I am not saying that people don’t do these things for someone they love. I’m not sure if I would catch a grenade, which means to kill myself to save someone else’s life – maybe I would for my children, but I don’t know if I really had the courage to do it in the very situation. But why would I jump in front of a train for someone – this doesn’t make sense, really… which leads me to the official video for this song.

The idea of dragging a piano across town and overcome several obstacles such as traffic and street gangs is quite a romantic project. I like the idea. However, we already know that the girl is a bad one, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she is with another man. Poor Bruno decides to end his life (and the piano’s!) by positioning himself on a rail track. He kills himself because she doesn’t love him. This is suicide – and it happens all the time and has nothing to do with martyrdom and saving someone’s life. So what’s the point? I don’t really get the message. Lyrics and film tell a different story.
Can someone please come up with some less destructive ways of showing your love to someone? Dragging a piano to the beloved’s house and singing a song would indeed be a good start… 😉  Any other ideas?

I Wanna Be A Housewife – Jay Brannan

What a wonderful song! So simple, so easy to listen to, so without-a-big-fuss – after all these expensive, hyper-technical videos and songs I lately talked about in my blog. I like it for many reasons.

One being the fact that I am if not a full-time but certainly an 80% housewife myself. Not a perfect one and not one who loves all the duties that come with this job. I don’t like scrubbing the floors or cleaning the toilets, that’s for sure.

Jay Brannan seems to like even these humble activities.” I like to wash the dishes, I like to scrub the floors, don’t mind doing his laundry”. Why? Well: “what are boyfriends for”? In his song “ Housewife” and the respective video he describes the perfect suburban idyll: a couple busy with their weekend activities: one working on the car, later at the barbecue, the other one preparing guacamole, doing the laundry and the dishes. I can already hear some women’s outcry: No, please, not that cliché again! What a traditional and conservative role model. Reality has outgrown this way of life. Well, has it really? I doubt it. But it’s not this topic I want to talk about right now.This is not what the song propagates either. The couple Jay Brannan  is singing about is a gay couple, two men with “fucked up pasts” as he calls it but living together very happily: “Two bodies pressed together, two boys are falling hard. The smell of sweat and leather, a kinky greeting card”.

Love makes the singer even wish he could “have his baby” and “wear his ring”, and that is why he enjoys doing all the “housewife-things” for his lover. So it’s not about fixed role models and expectations but only about love and what everyone in this relationship loves to do.

Maybe this could be a clue for a more relaxed attitude towards these expectations in our society. Why not accept it if someone, be it a man or a woman, decides to “work” mainly at home for the family and others go out to “”work” (and earn the money, of course). Both works have to be done, alright?

Jay Brannan dreams about the man he still hasn’t met: “can’t wait ‘til he’s in my life, yeah, cuz we haven’t met …”

I like the way he plays with the cliché. A woman singing this song would possibly risk being harassed. Jay Brannan is certainly allowed to sing it. And he is fun reading, too. Go and check out the bio on his website! 😉

I definitely like this. It is fun. It makes me think about the clichés in my head. Enjoy the song. Enjoy whatever you are doing!