The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Life Without Melodies Is Life Devoid of Memories Part 1 (Reprise)

At last! I was able to rewrite the following article the original of which I carelessly erased.

I got this survey from the blog site of my friend, fellow blogger Jennie, who currently lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. A music enthusiast myseLf, I couldn't let topics like it escape my ever wandering mind and restless fingers.

My answers are not necessarily in order. And, oh, pardon the overindulgence. Typical I. Ha-ha-ha! Enjoy!

I. My Dozen Favorite Artists of All Time

"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick; the one that makes me scream," she said...
1. The Cure – If I need to mention only one favorite artist, it would be this band. The first time I saw the nest-haired Robert Smith, in 1985, on the music video of "Inbetween Days," he got me hooked big time right then and there. I was smitten not only by his queer sense of style but also by the music. After twenty years and numerous albums, The Cure still has it! And I'm still a fan! From the debut Three Imaginary Boys (1979) through The Head on the Door (1985), to Wish (1992), Wild Mood Swings (1996), Bloodflowers (2000), and the latest self-titled (2004), The Cure's music never fail to mesmerize me. Every album gives me several songs to remember. I always took as a compliment my erstwhile band Half Life Half Death's being tagged by friends as the Philippine version of The Cure. Of course, the honor will always be mine! I blush now with pride. One of my fervent wishes is to see The Cure perform live before I die. But would you believe me if I say that I have most of The Cure's songs? Such bliss! "Just like Heaven"!

The rain falls down on a humdrum town; this town has dragged me down...
2. The Smiths / Morrissey – I first encountered The Smiths in 1986 through my Aunt Eloi's cassette tape copy of the album A Hatful of Hollow (1984). I remember myself always playing it repeatedly without skip. From the danceable "This Charming Man" and ponderous "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" to the somber "Back to the Old House," the album was a true gem. I since then tried to acquire a copy of each of The Smiths albums, which have all been well defined by the jangly guitarworks of Johnny Marr and the intelligent lyricism and trademark croon of Morrissey. After the breakup of the group, Morrissey soldiers on to produce solo works, which doesn't veer away much from the trademark sound of The Smiths. From his debut, Viva Hate (1988), through his latest, You Are the Quarry (2004), Morrissey remains the same quirky artist. Johnny Marr, on the other hand, had collaborated with numerous artists like The The, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Billy Bragg, Ian McCulloch, and Bernard Sumner until finally forming his own band, Johnny Marr & the Healers.

The handshake seals a contract; from the contract there's no turning back...
3. Depeche Mode – Listening exclusively to Depeche Mode's music can singly transcend me to a nostalgic trip back to my highschool days, when I got to attend numerous open-house parties powered by mobiles and loaded with New Wave music. The quartet of Martin L. Gore, Dave Gahan, Andy Fletcher, and Alan Wilder was the peak of DM's career. The reason my fondness for DM has waned since the departure of Alan Wilder, who was the genius behind those infectious melodies. I wonder how would they sound on their forthcoming album, slated for release this year. "All I wanna do is see you; don't you know that it's true...."

On a thousand islands in the sea, I see a thousand people just like me...
4. New Order / Electronic / Monaco – Who would mess with New Order's music? They can be as obscure and cultish as with tracks like "Dreams Never End," "Temptation," "Leave Me Alone" or as anthemic and commercial as with "Love Vigilantes," "Crystal," "Regret," and "Bizarre Love Triangle." Loved by the underground as well as by the masses. And behind all the melodies lies the beauty of Peter Hook's bass works, which continued to be felt in his other musical collaborations like Monaco. And Electronic? Didn't you know? The Sumner-Marr collaboration? with a little help from Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys and Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk.

Nighttime slows, raindrops splash rainbows...
5. The Wild Swans / Care / The Lightning Seeds – Oh, my, the hauntingly breezy voice of Paul Simpson ("Whatever Possessed You") and the saccharine-sweetness of Jeremy Kelly's guitar works ("Bringing Home the Ashes" and "Whirlpool Heart"). Add to that, the priceless contributions of Ian Broudie, who eventually flaunted his magic through his own outfit, The Lightning Seeds. "Perfect" and "Pure" and definitely not simple every time.

It's warm, in and out; the flow'rs are flowing love...
6. The Lotus Eaters – The first ever album I bought, in 1985, No Sense of Sin (1984), which to this day I still play in repeat mode. The reason I felt ecstatic when the duo of Jeremy Kelly and Peter Coyle reformed in 2000 and recorded the second Lotus Eaters album, silentspace, after more than 15 years! And I got to meet Jem during their Philippine gig in 2001.

She takes me on a rockin’ stroll; if you won’t wave, guess I won’t know...
7. The Lemonheads – My most favorite band originating from the '90s; It's a Shame about Ray (1992) and Come On Feel The Lemonheads (1996) are both worthy of a nonskip repeat mode on my player.

Under blue moon I saw you; so cruelly you kissed me...
8. Echo & the Bunnymen / Ian McCulloch – Next to The Cure, for me, is The Bunnymen. Next to Robert Smith is Ian McCulloch. Next to The Head on the Door is Ocean Rain (1984). Next to "Inbetween Days" is "The Killing Moon." Oh, I'm already excited with the forthcoming new album, Siberia, to be released before the year ends.

Harmful elements in the air, cymbals crashing everywhere...
9. Siouxsie & the Banshees – The makeup! the attire! the haunting melodies! Gothic Rock at its finest. Once Upon a Time Singles (1981) is a blast!

I try to remember a kiss, and I only get sorrow...
10. The Psychedelic Furs / Love Spit Love – What '80s child would forget "Pretty in Pink" and "The Ghost in You"? Oh, my heart is melting! "Am I Wrong?"

I can't remember anything; ' can't tell if this is true or real...
11. Bon Jovi / Metallica – from Glam to Thrash, I also have my angst side and killer instinct. Grrr! Oh, memorable '90s Metal. "Blood on Blood," "Bed of Roses," "I'll Be There for You"; "Seek and Destroy," "Master of Puppets," "Motorbreath"; Kill 'Em All (1988), crank the volume up to 40 and piss off thy neighbors! "Whiplash"!

Clean sheets mean a lot to a guy who sleeps on the floor...
12. The Descendents – my most favorite Punk Rock band..."Wendy," "Get the Time," "Cheer," "Sour Grapes," "Clean Sheets," "Peptalk"...Enjoy! (1986) and All (1988) in full blast! And did I say "Wendy"? Wendy, Wendy left me alone!

II. My Dozen Favorite Songs with Invoking Lyrics
For the complete lyrics, CLICK on the song titles.

1. "German Girl" by The Lotus Eaters (No Sense of Sin, 1984)
.... Through the cities and towns we've been
....Cities full of bright lights...
....We can build a humble home
....A home without woes

2. "Somebody" by Depeche Mode (Some Great Reward, 1984)
....Though my views may be wrong
....They may even be perverted
....She'll hear me out
....And won't easily be converted
....To my way of thinking
....In fact she'll often disagree
....But at the end of it all
....She will understand me

3. "It's a Shame about Ray" by The Lemonheads (It's a Shame about Ray, 1992)
....If I make it through today
....I’ll know tomorrow not to leave my feelings out on display
....I’ll put the cobwebs back in place
....I’ve never been too good with names, but I remember faces

4. "More to Lose" by Seona Dancing (single release, 1983)
....We used to cry about the days when one of us might fall
....Weak and blindly into another's arms
....We thought we'd nothing more to lose
....We'd tear our hearts with jagged truths
....And everything we'd hung to for so long just slipped away...

5. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" by U2 (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004)
....Tough, you think you've got the stuff
....You're telling me and anyone
....You're hard enough

....You don’t have to put up a fight
....You don’t have to always be right
....Let me take some of the punches
....For you tonight

....Listen to me now
....I need to let you know
....You don’t have to go it alone

6. "Blood on Blood" by Bon Jovi (Slippery when Wet, 1986)
....I can still remember
....When I was just a kid
....When friends were friends forever
....And what you said was what you did
....Well, it was me and Danny and Bobby
....We cut each other's hands
....And held tight to a promise
....Only brothers understand...

7. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" by The Smiths (A Hatful of Hollow, 1984)
....In my life
....Oh, why do I give valuable time
....To people who don't care if I live or die?

....In my life
....Why do I smile
....At people who I’d much rather kick in the eye?

8. "I Melt with You" by Modern English (After the Snow, 1984)
....Moving forward, using all my breath
....Making love to you was never second best
....I saw the world crashing all around your face
....Never really knowing it was always mesh and lace

9. "All I Want" by Toad the Wet Sprocket (Fear, 1991)
....Nothing's so loud as hearing when we lie
....Truth is not kind, and you said neither am I

....Nothing's so cold as closing the heart
....When all we need is to free the soul
....And we wouldn't be that brave, I know

10. "Light and Shade" by Fra Lippo Lippi (Light and Shade, 1987)
....Be proud, to wear the colours that you call your own
....Be loud, speak out when you want the world to know
....Be strong, hold the flame for everyone to see
....Be weak, if you want to love

11. "Trust" by The Cure (Wish, 1992)
....And still the hardest part for you
....Is to put your trust in me
....I love you more than I can say
....Why won't you just believe?

12. "Butterflies" by Half Life Half Death (Pymyth Prahn, 1995)
.....There they soar high in the sky
.....The only hope for flowers now to bloom
.....You're the only reason for my existence
.....So fly, fly me high with all your love and persistence...

III. My Favorite Song from Each of My All-Time Favorite Artists

1. "Pictures of You" (Disintegration, 1989)
2. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" (A Hatful of Hollow, 1984)
...."We Hate It when Our Friends Become Successful" (Your Arsenal, 1992)
3. "Everything Counts" (Construction Time Again, 1983)
4. "Regret" (Republic, 1993)
...."Forbidden City" (Raise the Pressure, 1996)
...."Shine" (Music for Pleasure, 1997)
5. "Bringing Home the Ashes" (Bringing Home the Ashes, 1988)
...."Whatever Possessed You" (Diamonds and Emeralds, 1997)
...."Perfect" (Jollification, 1995)
6. "The First Picture of You" (No Sense of Sin, 1984)
7. "Rudderless" (It's a Shame about Ray, 1992)
8. "Seven Seas" (Ocean Rain, 1984)
...."Candleland" (Candleland, 1989)
9. "Cities in Dust" (Tinderbox, 1986)
10. "Angels Don't Cry" (Midnight to Midnight, 1987)
....."Am I Wrong?" (Love Spit Love, 1992)
11. "Blood on Blood" (Slippery when Wet, 1986)
....."One" (...And Justice for All, 1988)
12. "Get the Time" (Enjoy!, 1986)

IV. My Dozen Favorite Music Icons/Tandems
My reasons include the artists' distinct sense of style and proficiency in making music.

1. Robert Smith of The Cure
2. Johnny Marr and Morrissey of The Smiths
3. Martin L. Gore and Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode
4. Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner of New Order
5. Paul Simpson and Ian Broudie of Care
6. Jeremy Kelly and Peter Coyle of The Lotus Eaters
7. Evan Dando of The Lemonheads
8. Ian McCulloch and Will Sargeant of Echo & the Bunnymen
9. Bono and The Edge of U2
10. Siouxsie Sioux and Steve Severin of Siouxsie & the Banshees
11. Paul McCartney and John Lennon of Beatles
12. Rain Paggao and aLfie vera mella of Half Life Half Death [Hahaha!]

V. Song that Can Make Me Laugh
That certain version of the Christmas song "Jingle Bells," in which the singer was laughing instead of singing, never failed to make me laugh.

VI. Song that Can Make Me Cry
"I Melt with You" by Modern English (After the Snow, 1984) never fails to send me to nostalgic tears, perhaps because it reminds me much of my youthful heydays...when life was more fun than woes.

VII. Song that Can Bring Back a Specific Vivid Moment from My Highschool Days
1986, I was in a New Wave party; the girl I was courting at the time was dancing the night away with her boyfriend, there on the dancefloor. I just stood there and stared at them. Playing in the background was "A Night like This" by The Cure..."Say goodbye on a night like this, if it's the last thing we'll ever do?"

VIII. Song that Can Make Me Dance
Hearing "Mad World" by Tears for Fears, "All I Want" by Toad the Wet Sprocket, or "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M., I couldn't keep my hands from waving in the air. Yeah, that New Wave dance!

IX. Song for My Loved One
"Walk Forever by My Side" by The Alarm (Strength, 1985) will be the main song in my wedding ceremony.

X. Song I Most Dislike
"Bini B. Rocha" [in reference to cunnilingus] by Andrew E. which I find very bold yet cowardly at the same time. I remember Andrew E. denying, in an interview, that the lyric has double meaning. What was he thinking? That the Filipino masses were stupid? Hmm, he could be right after all. Ha-ha-ha! I'd rather listen to Vincent Dafalong's "Nunal" [Mole] or Blakdyak's version of "Bikining Itim" [Black Bikini] or even Salbakuta's "Stupid Love." Stupid!

XI. Music Genres I Most Like
Obviously, the following:
1. Alternative (particularly New Wave, Gothic Rock, Grunge Music, Britpop, Indie Rock)
2. Punk Rock
3. Metal (from Glam to Thrash)

XII. Music Genres I Least Like
1. Hip hop
2. Country
3. Jazz

Part 2


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