"I've escaped it, a life wasted/And I'm never going back again." - Pearl Jam, "Life Wasted"

Monday, October 30, 2006

This Modern Love

- I wish I could post nasty pictures, or write something as vitriolic as Wee Shu Min's controversial masterpiece. Then more people would come visit my blog.

Stupid, the above sentence, right?

See, people want privacy to their thoughts, yet crave to be heard and appreciated. Ta-da! Here's the blog to the rescue.

I admit I was appalled by her article. But not surprised. Very few things surprise me these days. I always believe the youth of today are so totally cocooned, pampered and primmed by their parents that they will suffer once they get in touch with the real world.

Or rather, we will suffer once they get into our real world.

Wake up and smell the dung, I say.

- I am a private guy, but I speak my mind. I aim to please, but I like to be left alone. I love Chinese, but I edit grammar for an English newspaper. I have a rock band, but I don't have any groupies. I feel I'm creative, but I work the most conservative media company. I love sports, but I'm way too fat. I look young, but feel so old-fashioned.

I feel normal, but I'm full of paradoxes. This, modern, love?

- "When a man loves a woman/Can't keep his mind on nothing else/He'd trade the world/for a good thing he's found."

I wonder how many men nowadays can still fulfil this.

I wish I could be. But sometimes I can't make it on my own.

- Here comes your man.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Top 15 "Good Ol' Rock & Roll" Songs

Finally, another music list. Lazy lazy bones I have.

Rock And Roll music originated when the melodies of country music were married to the stomping beats of blues. Here are 15 of my favourite "old-school" songs. Okay, oldies.

Since I've already done Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dylan lists, they are naturally not here.

15. Miserlou - Dick Dale
Unmistakeable surf instrumental, revived in the 1990s by "Pulp Fiction". Full of hedonistic energy, incomparably cool. Spine-tingling moment: The opening guitar pulse sets you up nicely.

14. Daydream Believer - The Monkees
The first boyband? Likely, as the band were formed for a TV series about....a band. But wait, don't puke yet, this song is whimsical rock at its most supreme. Spine-tingling moment: The opening riff is cool and, of course, the chorus is so catchy it's criminal.

13 Piece Of My Heart - Big Brother And The Holding Company
Big who? Doesn't matter, hear the vocals, and there can only be one vocalist that powerful and haunting: Janis Joplin. It's a voice that can lift the most mundane lyrics to chilling heights. Spine-tingling moment: Near the end, when she finishes the line "Take another piece of my heart", she lets out a spontaneous "WOOOAAAAHHHHH!!!" that simply breaks a piece of your heart.

12 Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
Dum-a-dum-a-dum-a-dum-dum. The riff, at its most basic, most primal. Plus point: The man has ultra-cool looking guitars. Spine-tingling moment: That insistent riff sounds at once stomping, and at once ethereal.

11 Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) - Neil Young
A rip-roaring declaration of everything good about rock and roll. Young penned the song as a riposte to punk's revolutionary antics in the 1970s. "The King is gone but he's not forgotten/This is the story of Johnny Rotten." The spirit of rock passes on from Elvis to Sex Pistols. Spine-tingling moment: The chilling line, often misquoted, misinterpreted: "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Kurt Cobain's last words on his suicide note, but Young meant it as an urge to live life to the fullest.

10 Baba O'Riley - The Who
Awesome band, capable of writing incredibly powerful songs like this. Three repeated chords are all they need to pummel you senseless. In lyricist Pete Townshend, emotional conflicts are transformed into epic rock. Spine-tingling moment: "Don't cry/Don't raise your eyes/It's only teenage wasteland." Then Keith Moon comes in with a tremendous drum fill.

9. Imagine - John Lennon
Deathless meditation on peace. Lennon has never been afraid of being outspoken, stinging and strident in his protest songs, but this is him at his most restrained. And most revolutionary -- no religion, no heaven, no countries, no possession. Spine-tingling moment: "You may say I'm a dreamer/but I'm not the only one."

8. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
"Ah Louie, Louie/Oh baby/we gotta go." That's the only discernable lyric in the classic garage rock. Yet, it's enough. No matter how much the singer slurs through his drunkedness. Spine-tingling moment: Then in pops a frantic guitar solo. Ah, glorious sloppiness.

7. Mystery Train - Elvis Presley
A sad tale - Presley started out as an exciting showman and top-notch singer, but degenerated into a bloated pop star. This song was recorded in his first session at the famed Sun Studios, and his utter conviction in his vocal delivery is already evident. Spine-tingling moment: His voice, full of bluesy emotion. What a waste.

6. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
This exquisite, painfully beautiful ballad marks the turning point where The Kinks transformed from a kick-ass rock band (which I like) to a milder, more multi-faceted one (which I don't like). You would think, from the lyrics, that watching a sunset from Waterloo in London would be one of the most beautiful things. Wrong, it's downright unpretty. Which makes the song even more poignant. Spine-tingling moment: When Ray Davies leaps in falsetto: "But I don't need no friends."

5 Rockin' In The Free World - Neil Young
The newbie among all the oldies, this powerful 1988 song still embodies everything about rock and roll - a mighty riff, simple chords and a whole lot of attitude. The title is meant as pure sarcasm, as Young paints a bleak "Free World" that we continue to live in. Spine-tingling moment: Every line in the song's three verses is brutally sobering.

4 Maybelline - Chuck Berry
The most important star in rock and roll's early years. Berry wrotes timeless rockers, played indelible riffs and, most overlooked of all, expressed emotions that rockers continued to write about today. All his songs are brilliant, but I prefer the energy in this rollicking number. Spine-tingling moment: "Maybelline/Why can't you be true?" The classic teenage boy's frustration.

3 Jealous Guy - John Lennon
I've written that Lennon has the magical gift of expressing the most complicated feelings with the simplest words. So when he sings about him being a jealous guy, you know exactly how he feels. Spine-tingling moment: Such a glorious melody too, plaintive and utterly heartbreaking.

2 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
The only group that is good enough to be known simply as "The Band". They have four incredible vocalists, and one incredible guitarist/songwriter. Robbie Robertson may not be singing, but he pens this moving tale about the American Civil War with such authority and emotion, you would he lived through it. Even more surprisingly, he's Canadian. Spine-tingling moment: Sample the lyrics first: "You take what you need and you leave the rest/but they should never have taken the very best." Then be swept away by the haunting chorus.

1. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
Supreme rock and roll. Unmatched, unparalleled, and unbridled brilliance from one of the best bands ever. Pete Townshend pens his anxiety that all the revolutionary spirit in the 1960s might not have changed much after all. A unique perspective, matched by some truly unbelievable music. The stuttering synthesisers, Keith Moon's frantic drumming, John Enwistles's throbbing bass, Roger Daltrey's stellar vocals and of course, Townshend's thunderous guitar work. Spine-tingling moment: The one and only rock scream, courtesy of Daltrey: "YEAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Battle Of Evermore

Wow. This is bloody brilliant. For music geeks and Monty Python fans.

Album Covers Battle.