Week #32: Idle Town

Hello and welcome to Week #32 of blog posts. This weeks song is “Idle Town”, a single by Conan Gray. I first found this song when a friend recommended it to me. It’s a song that is reminiscent of the songwriter’s hometown and the people he grew up with. Conan is a Youtuber and uses the platform to share his original and covered songs with others. Under his description for his music video for “Idle Town”, he writes, “a tribute to my senior year of highschool; for my friends, my town, my homes, and my memories.” The melody is a calming and soothing one set to nostalgic lyrics and a calming voice. To begin, Conan stars the second part of the first verse with, “I never learned anybody’s name. We all vowed that we wouldn’t stay. Kissing signs on the interstate. All we do for now is sit and wait.” In this, Conan is saying that he and his classmates all want to leave the idle town. To them, it is boring and nothing new, so they decide to leave a start a new once they finish their education. But while they wait, they try and have as much fun as they can. Conan talks a bit about teenage rebellion in “kissing signs on the interstate” as he may be alluding to vandalism. When the chorus kicks in, Conan sings, “Yeah, we invent our own little games (in our idle town). When the lights out at the stadium, hey (in our idle town) Making life a spinning arcade (in our idle town). And curfew’s at midnight, we watch the sunrise.” Conan continues to describe the various activities he and his friends do while they await for their time to leave home. They play games, live dangerously, and try to make high school a fun experience (lights out at the stadium may mean the lights at a high school stadium). He again touches on teen rebellion as he stays up until midnight instead of following curfews. In the second verse, however, Conan reverts to a more calm stage. He states, “Springtime when the air is thin, we’re getting antsy and they’re noticing. While everybody’s off partying, we’re watching stars over ice-cream.” Spring arrives just before summer when Conan will graduate. As the seasons shift, the kids in the town stir and become more impatient to leave. “They”, the adults, begin to notice that the young ones are getting excited and let them have fun. The teens are partying and getting drunk while Conan and his friends are watching the stars, thinking about the many years spent in the idle town. This calm state reveals how Conan’s emotions are starting to change. In the outro, Conan says, “Yeah I think that we’ll all be okay (in our idle town). The idle town will stay as it stays (in our idle town). And everyone I love’s in this place (in our idle town). So curfew’s at midnight, we watch the sunrise.” And with that, Conan concludes that he is fine with living in the quiet town as long as the ones he loves stay with him. And that concludes this weeks song, “Idle Town.” Enjoy this beautiful tune along with the retro themed music video.

Week #31: Bellyache

Welcome back to this weeks blog! Our song this week is “Bellyache”, a single by singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. It’s a song with strange lyrics set to a bouncy, dance beat. A few seconds into the song, Billie sings, “Sittin’ all alone, mouth full of gum, in the driveway.” This paints an image of innocence and loneliness, but the next few lines say otherwise as she bellows, “My friends aren’t far, in the back of my car, lay their bodies.” Yes, this song is about murder. Upon first listen, I was so involved in the synth and beat that I didn’t notice that it was about violence, but on my second listen I was pulled in by the dark lyrics. During the whole of the record, Billie sings about her crimes, the Police finding her, and her suicide. Of course, this is all a work of fiction conjured from Billie’s imagination. Anyway, to continue, the song works it’s way to the pre-chorus where Billie enchantingly sings, “Where’s my mind?” four times. This question is directly answered in the chorus where Billie says, “Maybe it’s in the gutter, where I left my lover, what an expensive fate. My V is for Vendetta, thought that I’d feel better, but now I got a bellyache.” Because the song is written from the point of view of a psychopath, it is unveiled that she is crazy. The woman depicted has killed her lover, her friends, and stolen money (mentioned in the second verse). But, now that she has a “bellyache” or a lingering feeling of regret. To continue the tale, Billie sings in the third verse, “Everything I do, the way I wear my noose, like a necklace. I wanna make ’em scared, like I could be anywhere. Like I’m wreck-less.” This displays how psychotic this character is. She decides to commit suicide instead of rotting away in jail to end her reign of terror. But, this is so that she will live on in stories and go down in history as a threat. She wants the people to be scared and fearful even when she’s dead. Billie went to comment on her song, saying that she wrote it when “her mind was in the gutter”, comparing herself to the psychopath in the record. She wrote the song when her mind wandered to terrible thoughts. But, Billie mainly wrote it just for kicks. That is all for this week’s song, “Bellyache.”  I hope you enjoy this song (and the little plot twist at the end of the music video).

Week #30: Crossing the River Again

Writer’s will know this feeling well. You’ll be writing a story, typing our page after page of ideas and inspiration. You’ll be proud of your work, proud of your diction, proud of your creativity, proud of your character development. Suddenly, when the next day arrives, you find yourself sitting in front of your laptop with your mind completely Image result for writer's blockblank. It is deprived of any ideas and creativity, so you sit at your desk for hours trying to find a way to write another chapter. But, as hours pass, you still have nothing. This can continue on for weeks or months until finally you’re train of thought chugs again. This phenomenon is called writer’s block.

As of now, I am experiencing a little bit of writer’s block. About three months ago, my friend and I had started writing and planning out a story we wanted to write. For two months everything went swimmingly as we wrote a prologue and three chapters in just about nine weeks. But, just when I went to write a fourth chapter, I was drained of all inspiration. My muse was gone. Many famed authors have also experienced this writer’s block ranging from Maya Angelou to Ray Bradbury. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, went to Twitter to say:

Image result for jk rowling all i've done this week was

But, how does writer’s block occur? It may be caused by a variety of things such as stress or little sleep. Having so much on a person’s plate may cause them to focus all their Image result for writer's block artattention on their current task, making them lose all creativity in their other works. In addition, an author may be a perfectionist and overthink their writing. This would lead to a stalled writing period as they would be over analyzing and critiquing themselves for their work. Another reason for writer’s block may just be emotions. When someone is feeling emotional, it may not be the best time for them to write. If they try, the piece may come out being not cohesive or sloppily written. In my case, I believe my writer’s block may be attributed to my preoccupation with school work.

During the last month, my writing started to feel “messy.” In other words, when I read my own work, it didn’t seem very well-written. For a few weeks, I continued to try writing only to see that my writing wasn’t coming out like I wanted. Instead, I decided to take a break from writing, not even touching my story for a week. I came back, deleted all of my previous writing, and continued the chapter anew.  But even after this attempt, my work still seemed like it lacked something. Looking up ways to overcome writer’s block, I found plenty of ways to make my writing sound authentic again. A few of the ways to conquer writer’s block were to change writing environments, get rid of distractions, free write, or listen to music. I also found things to not due during writer’s block which included stop writing for a prolonged period of time, making excuses for not writing, and striving for perfection.

Looking back at what I was doing to overcomeImage result for mark twain booksImage result for mark twain writer’s block, I saw that I was not doing the right thing. Instead of waiting around for my muse to find me again, I have to find her. Researching these tips have helped me realized what I needed to do to start writing again. Although only a short amount of time has passed since I had researched these  solutions, I am ready to put some of them to work. I believe that any writer, no matter how great and how famous, will need to use these tactics at least once in their lifetime. As an author struggling with writer’s block, Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Image result for writer's blockAlthough I haven’t practiced any of these “remedies” yet, I have high hopes they’ll come in handy. I know that I will most likely get writer’s block again in the future, but if I do, then I’m prepared. Hopefully, these tips will come to aid some of you writer’s out there as well.

Week #30: Mother Earth

Greetings again readers, this week’s song is “Mother Earth” by the artist Banks from her sophomore album The Altar. This song is about healing and helping others heal. I believe this to be one of Banks’ best works as it is powerful and can really aid the listener in a time of need. It is a very nurturing and beautiful song set with a charming guitar strumming in the background. Written in the perspective of “Mother Earth”, Banks sings, “Underwater, consuming all my kind. Destined for alterations and my mind ain’t aligned for her daughter. I know I’m Mother Earth, I see the weather.” These lyrics are saying that Banks isn’t in sync with the world and feels as she doesn’t belong. She is “consumed” with her thoughts and constantly thinks about how her life doesn’t make sense. Then, Banks goes to say that she is Mother Earth who sees all weather. The “weather” is all the negative moods and emotions that are yet to come. As Mother Earth, she is destined to take care of humanity, and with these hardships to come, she knows that it won’t be easy to do so. These lines lead to the pre-chorus which reads, “So I’m not gonna cover up the freckles on my faces, I covered all the bases.” I find this line hard hitting as Banks is talking about self love. She won’t “cover her freckles” because that’s who she is. In this, she is also teaching others to not hate themselves for their bodies because they are born like that. The “bases” she is covering are the people she’s trying to help with their self image. The chorus then goes to say, “Follow me to my bed, ‘cause every time you fall, I’ll be holdin’ your head up. And when will you get tired of feeling bad? And every time you fall, follow me.” Banks says to her “children” to follow her lead and to keep their heads up. Even with their downfalls, she knows they will arise again. With her as a support, Banks is confident that she will help her friends feel like they’re on top of the world. That concludes this week’s song, “Mother Earth.” Enjoy this gorgeous piece or art!

Week #29: Nosebleed

Warning: This song is explicit.

Hello readers, this weeks song will be “Nosebleed” by Phoebe Green off of her album 02:00 AM. This artist is pretty unknown, I couldn’t even find this song or album on Youtube. So, instead of having a link to Youtube in this post, it will be a link to a website with the song. But anyway, this song is about a relationship that sparks after another has ended. It is relatively short and only has two verses and one chorus at the end. The song starts, “You’re gone, and I pretend to care. But I’m already on to another and he’s sweet and kind and nothing like you.” Phoebe is talking to her past lover, telling him that she didn’t care about him and their relationship meant nothing. Continuing the first verse, Phoebe goes on to sing, “I’ll make myself into whoever he wants, whoever he wants me to be. He looks at me like I’m lovely and I’m petrified.” Phoebe has already moved on with another man and they are both in love. Whenever he looks at her, she is afraid to talk to him due to the butterflies in her stomach. But, this love seems more like infatuation. This is demonstrated in the next verse in, “I’m not lost, I’m not found, I am floating. I’d rather be able to be yours than be obsessed. I pretend like this is nothing, like he is never on my mind. But I can’t stop thinking of him before I sleep at night.” When a person is infatuated, they usually always have the person they are infatuated with on their mind. Phoebe shows these signs as she says she is obsessed and she think of the man in bed. She even ends the verse with, “Does he feel the same?” implying that the two are not in a relationship. All in all, when Phoebe is telling her past love about this “new relationship,” she is lying. This may be a sign that she is still in love with the other man. Finally, in the chorus, Phoebe sings, “I’ve never had a nosebleed so I’ve never tasted rubies.” The nosebleed may be symbolizing heartbreak and rubies represent love. Rubies are gems that are shiny and elegant, but they are also rough and hard. This shows the listeners that love is hard, and heartbreak is even harder. She is in the denial stage of heartbreak, which is what the song appears to be mainly about. Now that is all I have for this song, so I hope you enjoy the listen to “Nosebleed.”

Week #28: Celluloid Heroes

Salutations fellow readers and welcome to this weeks song suggestion. Our song today is “Celluloid Heroes” by The Kinks from their double album Everybody’s in Show-Biz. This song portrays how there are many differences between real life and television. The Kinks compare how many famous actors and singers known all across the world can live different lives from their on-screen appearances. The fellow celebrities mentioned include Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Bela Lugosi, Bette Davis, and more. The refrain of the song, one of the best parts of the song as I believe, goes, “Everybody’s a dreamer, and everybody’s a star. And everybody’s in movies, doesn’t matter who you are. There are stars in every city, in every house and on every street. And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, their names are written in concrete.” In this, The Kinks are referencing how many people dream of a life lived in stardom and fame. Young people often dream of appearing in movies and on talk shows even though they have ordinary lives. Ray and Dave (band creators) go on to talk about the various celebrities in the entertainment business. They describe people such as Marilyn Monroe who died tragic deaths and more successful people such as George Sanders and Mickey Rooney. These were, “people who worked and suffered and struggled for fame. Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.” The two have now commented on how fickle Hollywood is. People who have worked all their might for fame could have it gone in an instant if they make a bad move because of the media. Others will live on forever in the hearts of people all across the world. In this, Ray and Dave are saying that not everyone is destined to be a star. In the pre-chorus, the two sing, “I wish my life was non-stop Hollywood movie show. A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes. Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain. And celluloid heroes never really die.” In this statement, The Kinks are claiming that they too want to be Hollywood stars because they believe in the rich and fulfilling life celebrities seem to live. They want to go down in history as stars, not knowing of the cruel nature of Hollywood. In addition, they use celluloid as celluloid film was used in the movie making industry before it was abandoned because of the inconvenience it caused. Because of it’s high flammability and how costly it was, many movie makers stopped using it. This is ironic as The Kinks state that celluloid heroes will never die, but celluloid is easily destroyed. This can symbolize how sooner or later, dreams will die out. And with that, our song suggestion is done. I hope you enjoy this listen“Celluloid Heroes.”

Week #27: Tomppabeats (Artist)

Welcome to Week #26 of songs. This week is a bit different as the songs I’m introducing to you guys don’t have any lyrics. They are all instrumental. The artist, Tomppabeats, is also pretty unknown and under the radar much like TRACE. They use a limited amount of vocals in songs they have such as “Oooo” and they sometimes even incorporate speaking into their songs like in “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Most of their songs contain noises from every day life such as glasses clinking, doors opening, and birds tweeting. They also contain hip hop beats produced from some instruments. Their extended plays Oldies and ThrowawaysSummer Love EP, and their album Harbor have a more hip hop influence with more dance songs. Their second album, Discography 2016, has a more dreamy, slow feel. Discography 2016 is one of Tomppabeats finest works in my opinion, but my taste may be different than yours. I’ll leave several of my favorite song links below, and if you want more of a taste, then go ahead and listen to the rest of their works. Enjoy the music!

“I Sat with You with Cigarettes and Beer Looking at the Stars”

“I Stand Alone in This Empty Hall”

“Lonely Boy with a Toy Ukelele” (my personal favorite)

“Memories of Ourselves with Each Other”

“Rain Jacket over a Puddle”

“Smile”

“Won’t Leave You”

“Whenever It Rains, I Feel So Free”