Notes on Music: Shut Up, Listen, Then Talk (to me)

 Everybody thinks that they are somehow better at something, just one thing, than everybody else. And if that being-better-than-everybody-else didn’t come off as obviously as it should, people brag. They jibber-jabber about it like crazy.

If there is one thing in life that bothers me (problem is, there is not just one thing in life that bothers me) is my lack of opportunity to talk to friends about music. I think it would be fun to have a breezy conversation with friends, perhaps over a couple of drinks, about which new songs are good or what new bands have great sound or how OneDirection sucks and how black Justin Bieber tries to be. You know, we can share links or exchange tracks or have a track-by-track analysis of new albums. But, no, things like that don’t happen in my world.

I am no expert and definitely not as knowledgeable as I hope I am with music, but, truth be told, I am kind of snob. I’m in no way saying that I am in a much superior musical high ground than most of the people I know. I am guilty of listening to trash pop and old love songs. I like Ke$ha and Air Supply (definitely not in the same level, but I like them just the same). But at least I try to improve my taste. And just because I don’t listen to the hit songs that much and I listen to songs that aren’t too overplayed doesn’t mean that I’m not in the know. (A “friend” once laughed at me for playing Mumford & Sons aloud. Bastard.)

So, here I am blogging my old blog just to put things out there. You know, some points I want to raise if ever I get to a music conversation with someone ever. (If you happen to even read this, feel free to think what you want but save your judgments to yourselves. I do a whole lot of judging myself, I don’t need help.)

*Sara Bareilles has a New Record

Sara Bareilles just released her new record entitled “The Blessed Unrest”. And just like her previous ones, her lyrics are impeccable (with the right mixture of poetic and sometimes cheesy writing). The sound of her new album is still very her, but that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t changed anything. Still bubbly and heart-breaking and quirky, with a nice kick.

Just like with her previous records, there’s always a bunch of tracks that really stand-out for me. And by that, I mean that only a majority of songs that make it to my mobile playlist. Among the songs from “The Blessed Unrest” that do it for me are “1000 Times”, “I Choose You” and “Manhattan”. The carrier single “Brave” and the bonus track “Parking Lot” aren’t bad, too.

*OneRepubic > 1D, M5

The reason why OneRepublic is not the more famous band with their name starting with one is beyond me. Well, I think that OneRepublic is a bit underrated as a band. If I were to listen to falsettos, I would rather listen to Ryan Tedder’s than to Adam Levine’s. But more people prefer the latter. I guess good lyrics and sound don’t guarantee off the charts, over the top success.

Anyway, I’m really digging OneRepublic’s latest album, “Native”. It’s diverse but it doesn’t stray too far from their previous hits like “Stop and Stare” and “Secrets”. The singles off Native, “If I Lose Myself” and “Counting Stars”, are both promising and very catchy. But my favorite track is “Burning Bridges”. It must be the melody, or the guitar, or the lyrics that really sell the song. Perhaps even the falsetto on the chorus, but no complaining.

*I Think I Know a Lot About Damien Rice

I have only tried listening to Damien Rice very recently. And I’m really glad that I did. There’s something very organic about his songs. He sounds like Jason Mraz but less poppy. Maybe even like James Morrison but less dramatic. His songs, lyrically and melodically, are very raw and on point without being in your face. Gritty but not abrasive.

Of course, I really like his song “Volcano” (who wouldn’t?) There’s also “Cannonball”, “The Blower’s Daughter” and the very brilliant “Unplayed Piano”.

*”The Civil Wars” Have Internal Discord, New Self-Titled Album

Internal discord. That’s the reason given by Joy Williams and John Paul White, collectively known as The (Awesome) Civil Wars, when they announced their hiatus. It’s not that I’m affected by any of their several cancelled shows, but it’s just that the two of them do break-ups and chaos so well in their songs and it just seems like an overkill to really take that personally and take a break from one another. Needless to say, they really are good together. Winning Grammys and all.

But hiatus or not, they are set to release their self-titled sophomore album early next month. If we are to believe their press statements, they are saying that the new record tackles whatever went on that brought about the break the band’s taking. And if we will base it on the whole feel of the carrier single “The One That Got Away”, seems like some serious shit is going on. The song is big, bold and heart-breaking. On a lighter note, though, their other song off the record called “From This Valley” is a bit subdued and a whole lot catchy.

*I Don’t Have to Try Hard to Like Daft Punk

It turns out that Daft Punk has been around since forever. Forgive my ignorance but I must’ve spent a lot of time on the pop rock I live under. But it’s not really hard to figure Daft Punk out. They made the soundtrack for “Tron: Legacy”, they wear helmets when they play, they do EDM, which means that they are pretty cool; ergo, I’m jumping into this whole Daft Punk bandwagon.

But all jokes and being a push-over aside, their latest album “Random Access Memories” is not hard to enjoy. With its mixture of disco beats, collaborations with other artists (yay actual lyrics!) and same robot feels, RAM rightly deserves all the hype. There’s the highly successful collaboration with Pharell Williams, “Get Lucky” and a bunch of other dance-able in the club and/or the shower tracks like “Lose Yourself to Dance”, “Instant Crush” and “Fragments of Time”.

*I Have to Try Hard to Like Francis and the Lights

There is also this guy, by the way, Francis and the Lights, who has some good stuff to offer too. According to this guy’s Wikipedia page, his genre is piano rock and R&B and his last name is Starlite. Whatever, especially on the genres he choose to associate himself with. As far as I’m concerned, he’s sleepy slippity bop. And I mean that he’s quite good.

He has some sick (ugh) beats on his songs, which don’t sound as raw as piano rocks go but not half bad, too. I personally like “ETC” and “It’ll Be Better”.

*”Frightened Rabbit” has a Good Case of Potty Mouth

There’s something so different about bands from the United States and those from the United Kingdom, and I am not just talking about the way both sides say can and can’t. I mean, with their sounds. But you don’t have to take my word for it. To underscore that, there’s Mumford and Sons from London, which has become the poster boys of folk rock. Those guys are good. Then there’s The Script from Ireland, which is mostly “pogi rock” with some good songs and a sloppy third album. Then there’s The Fray from Colorado, which is mostly piano rock and criminally underrated. (Truth be told, I just wanted to namedrop those bands. Just because, eh.)

Anyway, there’s this Scottish indie band calling themselves “Frightened Rabbit”. They are really an indie rock band, not quite as quirky sounding as The Fratellis, but very distinct just the same. Some good songs from them are “The Woodpile”, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” and “If You Were Me”. And, oh, their song “Keep Yourself Warm” is really awesome. They sing: “You can’t find love in a hole… it takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm.”

My Twitter WTF (Who To Follow)

It’s been two years since I joined Twitter. As we all know, Twitter is a micro-blogging site which enables its members to post random thoughts within its 140-character limit. I favor Twitter over other networking sites although it serves a different purpose just like other networking sites.

I have grown to love Twitter because of its utter simplicity. It has become my repository of random things. It’s like picking on someone’s brain virtually.

Over the years, Twitter has evolved into something that is very adaptable to everyone. From simple status updates called ‘tweets’, people on Twitter can now post images, videos and audios. These upgrades also made tweeting beyond Twitter’s 140-character limit possible.

Twitter’s format of ‘following’ accounts and having ‘followers’ also adds fun to the whole virtual world of stalking. Twitter has become a place for ‘guiltless’ stalking.

Along with the changes and the growing number of people using Twitter, this site has transformed into something more fun, more informative and more addicting. People went beyond answering ‘What’s happening?’, the main Twitter question. And answering beyond what was asked could either be good or bad, but we just don’t care (which could also be good or bad.)

Twitter is something worth the time because amidst all the normal ‘I just ate a whatever’ and ‘Here at wherever’ tweets are interesting and unique tweets.

As of press time, I am following 96 people, 22 of which are persons I know personally. And there goes the joke that Facebook is for people you know, and Twitter’s for people you WISH you know. This statement holds water, right?

I’m happy with the people I follow on Twitter. Their posts vary from inspiring to profane, funny to touching, and informative to downright useless. I am greatly entertained by the diversity of thoughts from the people I follow. (Although I follow some people just to check on their stupidities. It makes me feel good about myself. I am THAT needy, yes.)

To cut all this shit off, I am putting up a list of people who I think are worthy of your follows.

 LC (@evrythingmustgo)

Followers: 15, 415

Claim to be Followed:

This guy is my favorite follow. His posts are very diverse. He touches you with a post about love and loneliness, then he posts something profane. His tweets speak of realities many of us choose to be left unsaid.

Sample Tweets:

If you can’t express your pain and suffering, where’s the fun in having it?

It’s no coincidence that “Holy” goes so well with crap, shit and fuck.

If you listen carefully, the silence is beautiful.

Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles)

Followers: 2, 054, 968

Claim to be Followed:

A self confessed potty-mouth, international singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles’ Twitter page isn’t always as sweet sounding as her voice. But that made me love her a little more. Reading her tweets will either paint a smile on your face or make your heart skip a beat. No, we are not complaining. A proof that she won’t be writing us a love song anytime soon.

Sample Tweets:

Watched a little of the MTV movie awards. They made me feel old. Or maybe the afghan blanket, knitting, hearing aid and sciatica did that.

Wrote a song called Beautiful Girl. About loving yourself. Made the mistake of looking up “beautifulgirl.com”. Should be renamed vagina.com.

Dear Fly who refuses to go out the window: I’m trying to save your life, you dumb piece of sh*t. Now I have no remorse for ruining your day.

Fake Noynoy Aquino (@fakenoynoy)

Followers: 10,565

Claim to be Followed:

Need I say more? This is the parody account of the 15th president of the Philippines. He makes fun of Kris Aquino and her kids, the Cabinet Members, even his love life and pretty much anything and everything the President dare not make fun of. This account is fun to follow because it talks about things that are relevant, something that the president don’t usually do.

Sample Tweets:

I just caught Boy Abunda secretly watching #Amaya. He REALLY wants to become a strong warrior princess some day.

My Sister’s capacity to shut her mouth was severely diminished by the hormones injected in her bosom so she can produce more milk for Nido.

CONFIRMED: Osama Bin Laden is dead. – I will issue a statement regarding this important matter after I play bingo with Joshua and Bimby.

KC Montero (@kcmontero)

Followers: 144, 360

Claim to be Followed:

Although he plugs his shows a lot, KC Montero’s tweets are beyond hilarious. He is my favorite DJ to follow on Twitter. (@djmotwister on a close second) He pokes fun on himself more than others, he’s cool with making a fool of himself and his sarcasm towards bashers is commendable. He doesn’t need to give himself entitlements to be considered relevant (read: HD Tweets. What the fuck?)

Sample Tweets:

When girls call you kuya, its hard to hit on them.

Athletes get endorsements: Phil younghusband is everywhere. Wtf! I’m a beer pong champ, where’s my billboards?..yes its a sport.

I’m supposed to wear something “car” related for party p opening. How about a car air freshener?

Ramon Bautista (@ramonbautista)

Followers: 97, 786

Claim to be Followed:

UP Professor, DJ, TV Host, internet superstar, actor- an eclectic mix of  jobs this guy is currently doing. One of the few ‘swabe’ guys on Twitter. When he tweets, 100+ retweets his tweets. He speaks of things everybody can relate to. He speaks of things everybody can say. He is the voice. He is Philippines’ multimedia king. He is the new ‘gwapo’.  He is the modern Ramon Bautista. He is THE Ramon Bautista. Follow mo na lang.

Sample Tweets:

LSS labadami, labango…

e kung gawing parang driver’s license yung kasal, tipong dapat i-renew every 3 years?

pwede wag muna mag end of the world, kakabayad ko lang ng kuryente? pag dumating na yung disconnection notice, yan…

Funny One Liners (@funnyoneliners)

Followers: 272, 153

Claim to be Followed:

If you like reading funny tweets from different people but are too number conscious, then follow this account. He posts only the funniest tweets and he credits the owners, too. And he also tweets his own jokes. You won’t feel cheated because you know that the funny tweets are stolen from other accounts. He follows back, too.

Sample Tweets:

I just sprayed a mosquito with mosquito repellant. Now, he’ll never have any friends. RT @funnyhumour

Don’t insult my intelligense. RT @xflansx

I’m giving up on the silent treatment. Going to start talking to myself again.

Rhian Ramos (@whianwamos)

Followers: 190, 568

Claim to be Followed:

She’s one of local tinsel town’s prettiest faces but don’t be fooled, she has more than beauty to make her worth your follow. She posts thoughts that are hers, and only hers. Love her because she’s pretty. Follow her because she’s witty and funny, a combination not all actresses on Twitter have.

Sample Tweets:

With the way he drives, i feel like it’s only a matter of time before my driver kills me.. or at least gets me injured…

glad i’m home, safe. – i assume.

well thank you for breaking into my twitter. nice job. i hope you get all the sympathy you hoped for.

Jason Mraz (@jason_mraz)

Followers: 1, 894, 887

Claim to be Followed:

An international singer with numerous worldwide hits under his bet. Not good enough for your follow? Then you have to know that he is humorous. He’s the male version of Ms. Bareilles’ Twitter page. He’s less profane, though. He seldom tweets but his random tweets are too good to be missed. Don’t hesitate no more, his follow button cannot wait.

Sample Tweets:

Riding a bike with no hands is like riding a unicycle with a large training wheel. Pedestrians Beware, I’m doing it right now as I tweet!

To my friends who put the RAD in graduation, congratulations.

“Party Boobytrap” – Best Palindrome Ever. I think I just found my next album title.

Gabe Mercado (@gabemercado)

Followers: 22, 536

Claim to be Followed:

He tweets about parenthood, technology, pop culture, things about the 80’s, sports and every random thought that comes into him (even adding girls in bikinis on FB). Following him is picking one’s brain at its finest. You don’t have to relate to everything he posts for you to know that he’s making sense and he’s funny.

Sample Tweets:

Your kilays are disturbingly thick. Shudder.

And tonight is 80’s dance night with The Body Buddy Dancers!

I want to eat your Kropek.

_____

There. 9 people who I think are worth your follows. I know there are a lot of good accounts out there, choices are pretty much based on preferences. Whatever. They are the people I like to follow. I would love to put more entries there but I guess my mind has adapted to Twitter’s character limit. Everything more than what my laziness can adjust to is too much.

I actually made this post because it’s my second year on Twitter *yay!*

So happy Tweeting to me and may all my tweet dreams come true.

 

LSS #10001: Sara Bareilles

I LOVE SARA BAREILLES!

You probably know her for her songs ‘Love Song’, ‘City’, ‘Bottle It Up’, ‘Gravity’ and her latest hit ‘King of Anything’.

Other than her singing and song-writing skills, her honesty is so adorable. She is funny, to say the least. Follow her on Twitter and be one of nearly 2Million followers who get a daily dose of her witty quips. Let this Twitter Shout of hers be an example. You can also check her Facebook page to get a glimpse of her fun persona.

Now back to the music. My favorite Sara Bareilles song is ‘Gravity’. The song was well-written and the arrangement is so emotional. Add to that Sara’s honest delivery. Plus this song never gets old.

Check out my favorite Sara Bareilles’ Gravity performance:

It has been weeks since I downloaded some of the songs off of her sophomore record, ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’. As always, her songs are well-written and are very catchy. Among my favorites are ‘Hold My Heart’, ‘Uncharted’, ‘Breathe Again’, ‘Say You’re Sorry’ and ‘Gonna Get Over You’.

Check out her live performance of Gonna Get Over You:

PS. Download her ‘Live from SOHO’ album on iTunes. She is fucking awesome there.

PLUS..

Here’s Sara Bareilles’ cover of the Coldplay song ‘Yellow’ for iheartradio. Haunting, it is.

*image from Sara Bareilles’ Official Twitter Page