Sunday, May 20, 2018

Song of the Day: "All the Stars"

Kendrick Lamar curated the soundtrack to Black Panther, and it stands as one more aspect of the project's success (critical praise? check; massive box office? check; a part of the zeitgeist? check; hit soundtrack? check). 

It's really kinda weird they didn't make the movie sooner. Like much, much sooner.

Also Kendrick Lamar isn't doing too badly for himself. Sure, his last 2 albums received the highest Metacritic scores for their respective years (2015's To Pimp a Butterfly with a Metacritic score of 96  and 2017's DAMN with a 95) but lost the Grammy for Album of the Year to Adele (Metacritic score of 75) and Bruno Mars (Metacritic score of 70), respectively. But he's at least won one Grammy (take that, Liza), and the Pulitzer Prize has him looking toward PEGOT. Of course he needs to win EOT...

Song: "All the Stars"
Artist: Kendrick Lamar/Sza

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Song of the Day: "Lottery"

There's a mildly amusing story that describes how I cam to hear this song, but I'm not going to share it here because why should I start being amusing now?


Song: "Lottery"
Artist: Jade Bird

Found Wisdom

Friday, May 11, 2018

Song of the Day: "The Enlightenment"

It's fitting that this post, from Mastersystem, a side project of Scott Hutchison and his brother (both from Frightened Rabbit), along with dudes from Editors and Minor Victories, pushes down my obituary for Scott who ended his life this week. As angst-ridden and foreboding as his songs were with respect to his life, it's the fucking music that I connected with and loved. Love.

And even this rollicking big 90s angst fiesta is fucking awesome.

Vive Scott's music.

Song: "The Enlightenment"
Artist: Mastersystem

R.I.P. Scott Hutchison

"I'm away now. Thanks."--Scott

I saw a post on Twitter from the @frightenedrabbit account that expressed concern for Scott, who'd been missing a day or 2: "He may be in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now. Please could Scott or anyone with any information on his whereabouts please contact Police Scotland (101)." 

"This won't end well," I thought. That's actually a pretty standard thought, and one I apply to many situations in an almost prescient manner. 

Which is to say it doesn't end well if you embrace the orthodoxy that suicide is a bad outcome, which I'm not sure I do. Those who call someone who takes his/her own life (I'm struggling with a term that doesn't use a word like "victim" and went down a rabbit hole with respect to the academic study of suicide and the language around suicide) selfish do so with no real sense of understanding, and prioritize the loss felt by the family and friends over the pain endured by him/her (the suicide, if you will). I'm not convinced that suicide is never the answer. I didn't mention that to my friend who's been training as a therapist and was proud to have helped someone change their mind about taking his/her own life, when she shared that information with me the next morning at breakfast. 

Maybe later I'd suggest that she just prolonged someone's agony, but not that Saturday morning. 

What's my point? Oh, fuck, right/ Scott is gone. 

If you do a search for "Frightened Rabbit" in the search box for my blog, you'll get over 20 results. If you search for "Paul Weller" you'll get dozens more, but then Paul Weller has been an important part of my life since 1982, while Frightened Rabbit only appeared on my radar in 2010. So per year they're pretty notable.

Also if you add in "Frighten the Rabbit" and "Frightened Rabbits" you'd find a few more near-misses. 

I've described Frightened Rabbit as a band seemingly grown in a lab for me to love: the bombastic percussion, the snarky and dark lyrics, the ample use of "fuck." What's not to love?

I've also described them as being suspiciously perfect, but let's put that aside.

Frightened Rabbit was the musical equivalent of the darkness I find so rewarding in Bojack Horseman. In "Floating in the Forth" Hutchison lays it all out: "Am I ready to leap? / Is there peace beneath / The roar of the Forth Road Bridge?”

The song ends with his proclamation that he'd save suicide for another year. His body was found on the banks of the Forth, just down river from the Forth Road Bridge. 

The man who wrote "Swim Until You Can't See Land" and "Die Like a Rich Boy" and "State Hospital." When it's this clear it doesn't really count as foreshadowing. 

That being said, when it happens to me it is totally unplanned (otherwise it might fuck up the insurance payout). 

Clark and I went to see the band in Eugene back in 2012. My blog posts make it clear that I was a bit dubious about that actually happening, and I can tell you the drive home the next morning was a bit rough, but OMFG we both really loved that show. They'd been selling out all their gigs in Portland, and Scott even lamented that their Portland shows tended to suck because they'd have way too much fun in town before going on. They were well-rested in Eugene. Tight. Clark didn't really know the music but the percussion reawakened the old drummer in him. 

This sucks but then life sucks. 

Rest in peace dude. Both of you.

Thursday, May 10, 2018