27 July 2011

Emmy the Great - 'We Almost Had a Baby'

I first heard this song, Emmy the Great's 'We Almost Had a Baby', on Radcliffe and Maconie (back in their Radio2 days), it didn't mean anything to me personally. I loved the fact that Emma-Lee Moss is Chinese (well, half-Chinese: close enough) and making her dream of being a singer come true. more so, I was struck dumb by the beauty of her voice (in particular, the last couple notes that swirl in the air and tug at the heartstrings), as well as the strength of the songwriting. if the story is taken from her real life / is true (and from what I've seen on the Web, it sounds like it is?), it's amazing.

somehow she's managed to compartmentalise a fling with a Ricky Nelson-type 'Travelin' Man' that included a night of heated passion with someone who meant so much to her and still means so much to her, yet he could care less now. she recalls how she thought that after a night of unprotected sex, she was so worried she was pregnant. yet, the wistfulness is painful - she knows that if there had been a baby, it would have been their baby. so many times in film we see women thinking they can use having a baby as a trump card in keeping a man, and instead of this idea being a cheap ploy in this song, it's heartbreaking. she's despondent. perhaps there's even a part of her that wishes she had been pregnant, because maybe he would have stayed.

the next time I saw you
out on the road
I'd have something to say
other than "pay me all of the money you owe"

I would have liked to
to have something above you
to have something to hold
and know I could choose to grow

I would've called you
and I'd have said "hey
you know I'm in control
I'll let you know if you have to come and choose a name"

she also paints, in one brief verse, the very picture of lost innocence. pretty sure she lost her virginity to this man (cue the waterworks):

well, I am a woman
and you know I'm a woman
but before I met you
I was only a kid
you know
when you thought you would break me
but you wanted to take me
so you did

and later:

I'm not the girl you remember from the start
I was only a baby
now I'm what you made me

she admits to wanting to give up everything to prove to him she was worthy of his love:

and once you left me in the spring
and twice you left in fall
and once I tried to make a life
to keep myself in yours

also, it's painfully obvious that this man is a musician, who flitted into her life when it was possible and flitted right back out (fits the profile of a touring musician):

do you think of me when you are playing
the one and five in four?
is country music
what your life is for?

I don't think men fully realise that that when it comes to love / sex / having babies, it's us women who carry the majority of the brunt of the consequences. there's a reason why there are more male "playas" and male serial flirters than women: the stakes are higher for women. if we sleep around, don't use protection and birth control, we're the ones that get pregnant and have to live with the potential unsettling, life-changing outcomes of unsafe liaisons.

hmm. it just really hit home today. when you're in love with someone, that someone is your whole world. for women, often times we're the ones having to give sex, because the men in our lives expect it, and we think that is enough to prove our love for them. but if there is ever a point when that someone stops loving you, especially after you've given them the most precious gift in the world, it's impossible to comprehend. it's not a question of forgiveness. it's not simple at all. it's like you're a drifting boat, left to drift forever, staring out into the horizon and wondering where the hell you're going.

so I've spent the entire afternoon listening to the song, bawling. like a baby. predictably.

26 July 2011

Delphic - Acolyte, live in Arras (July 2010)

I've discovered that the sound quality on my video feature of my new Panasonic camera sucks. I guess I should have tested it some but oh well :( it's not like you can really test gig quality in an electronics store. the photos are a lot better than my current Sony, so I guess I have that going for me...

anyway, I have been trying to find a video that does Delphic's live performance of 'Acolyte' justice. the problem: I cannot find one that has the sound AND visual aspects equally as good. this one is the best visual wise (except no exciting light show - the colouring was better at Roskilde :( ) and pretty good sound, from a festival in Arras, France last year. I'm working on mastering the bass line for this song, I love how the song's melody is essentially played on bass, with everything else secondary. please please let them keep this in the live set, even with album #2. (still terrified about album #2....)

it's exactly what I imagine heaven would sound like.

24 July 2011

radio mockery #1

I often think the radio stations, here in DC and in England, are somehow tuned into my brain, b/c they often will play songs that fit my mood at that one given time.

one example, when I was feeling especially low last week on the way home from work and crying, this first came on (INXS - 'Never Tear Us Apart'):

it was then followed by this (OMD - 'If You Leave'):

seriously, how many cars do they want crashed on the side of the road as the result of playing those songs back to back?

22 July 2011

Brother visiting on Tuesday

not my own brother. that almost never happens. (my brother lives on the other side of the country.)

no, I mean, Brother, aka Viva Brother, aka Brother UK.

I have considered taking joke-suggestive photos with these boys. that is all.

I will say this: I wish my birthday was in May and not in November :(...

10 July 2011

Delphic - Red Bull Academy Radio takeover

when I was trying to find the source of a photo I'd saved eons ago from Delphic's first performance in Los Angeles in June 2010 (approximately a month before I saw them live), I found this very interesting Red Bull Academy Radio takeover show via the China Shop Mag.

the tracks

Matt's picks:
Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work - Kitsune (BROS!)
Thom Yorke - The Eraser - XL Recordings (not a surprise, as it's Matt. read more here from my chat with him in Boston last year.)
Sebastien Tellier - La Ritournelle - Record Makers
Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come - RCA (yes! Motown! and I looooove Sam Cooke.)

Rick's picks:
David Bowie - Rock'n'Roll Suicide - EMI (not a surprise, as it's Rick. read more here from my chat with him at Roskilde last year.)
My Bloody Valentine - Sometimes - Creation Records (the fact that another one of my band friends adores makes this...weird. as in Twilight Zone weird.)
Outkast - Take Off Your Cool - Arista (this selection blew my mind. I'd never have guessed the Boardman liked Outkast. excellent choice.)
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill - EMI

James's picks:
Studio - Life's A Beach - Information
Jeff Buckley - Morning Theft - Sony
Deerhunter - Microcastle - 4AD
Bjork - Wanderlust - Wellheart Ltd (not a surprise at all for Delphic)

09 July 2011

this week's Roundtable (07/07)

I haven't forsaken you, kiddos. I've been listening to these shows and just not feeling entirely inspired. but I'm forcing myself to review today's show. PS Andrew Collins is deputising for Lammo tonight...

Andrew is joined by comic Isy Suttie, writer Mark Sutherland (isn't he with Billboard?) and presenter Bethan Elfyn.

1. Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Shuffle' - I actually don't like this, TBH. it's kind of disappointing. when I heard BBC was coming back, I hoped for a sound back like their first album, away from their second acoustic (and IMO misstep) 'Flaws'. not pleased!

2. Jukebox Collective - 'The Rise and Fall of Billy the Kid' - not liking this?

3. Rufus Wainwright - 'Down Where the Drunkards Roll' - is where the drunkards should stay. zzzzzz

4. Crystal Fighters - 'Plage' - I like this. I like them. kind of biased!

5. Bjork - 'Crystalline' - I don't like Bjork, much. this is another weird chapter to her already very weird encyclopedia. the best part? the instrumentation. why can't she sing like a normal person?

6. Dennis Hopper Choppers - 'All Could Come True' - another zzzz. not batting too well this week, Roundtable. the name of the band is amazing though.

7. Benjamin Francis Leftwich's new album - as Isy said, it's kind of oversweet. though I suppose if you're in need of getting de-cynicised (that's not a word but I'm making it one), it's a good place to start.

I've listened to the end of this show a couple times and did not discern Collins announcing a winner, maybe I missed it...but assume the winner was not announced.