Tag Archives: music

Brief thoughts on TSwift’s ‘Ours’

So, a new Taylor Swift music video came out for her song ‘Ours‘, a song so undeniably about her relationship with John Mayer that I don’t want to get into it.

The  music video itself seems to be a visual diatribe on how awful office life is, and Taylor Swift finds herself in the middle of it all, for some reason. The video starts with her shots of the exterior of an austre-looking building, then cuts to Taylor walking cheerfully through its lobby and entering an elevator full of office drones, where all the happy gets sucked out of her. Then she goes to sit down at a cubicle and we watch her being annoyed by the other cubicle people. I’m not sure what Taylor’s job is, because all she seems to do is walk past what seems to be a CRT monitor* with a sign that says ‘Out of Paper’ and being annoyed by an overweight man who stares uncomfortably at her while she stands by the water cooler. In fact, I’m not even sure what goes on in this office at all. Nobody seems to be doing any work. Sometimes I think Taylor enjoys dressing up and pretending to be living a life that is way more boring than her own: in ‘Ours’, she’s an office worker; in ‘The Story of Us‘, she’s a private schoolgirl with what appears to be the inability to read.**

When Taylor’s finally at her desk, she never does any visible work at all. She gazes longingly at a post-it note that says “I loved you first” then below that “no, I loved you first” or something to that effect, I can’t be bothered watching the video again. And then she starts watching home-videos of herself and her boyfriend doing nauseating couple things. At this point in the video, I get really panicky: why isn’t Taylor doing her job? She is surely going to get fired! Taylor, we don’t want you to get fired, oh my god oh my god oh my god.

Yep, a Taylor Swift music video made me anxious.

Anyway, her behaviour is sort of excused because it turns out her boyfriend or whatever is a soldier, and was coming back that day! Hooray! She meets him at the airport after work and whoopdeedoo, “this love is ours”. I guess it had some unexpected political/patriotic flavour to it? That’s…cool? But that’s not why I’m blogging about it. I bring up this music video solely to point out this one excellent bit near the end, where Taylor gets into the elevator at the end of the day:

SO CREEPY

creepy guy, seriously. WHY?

It’s kind of a choppy GIF because the video would buffer every time I made a screencap, but you get the gist. It’s just…Taylor enters the elevator and the guy appears to be sleeping, then when the doors open for her to get out, he is awake and totally creepy.

Uh, that’s all I have to say about the subject. I do actually enjoy the song a lot, and am glad it’s a single, but man. What is up with that music video?

—-

*really, what is that? Is it a terribly old printer? Because I’ve worked in a couple offices and have never seen anything like that. I’ve also worked at Harvey Norman, who use dot-matrix printers — the oldest printers known to mankind — and whatever the hell is in this video is definitely not that. If someone could tell me what that is, that would be great.

**this is a thing that has always bothered me in that music video. She is in a library, and supposed to be looking busy in an effort to ignore that the boy of her affections has just walked in. She even has a goddamn book in her hands, and the way she tries to look busy is by stroking her own hair repeatedly and not, like, pretending to read said book. Although I guess that doesn’t signify illiteracy as much as it does incompetency.

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I love the Broken Ones

You should watch/listen to this because:

  1. It is a lovely, lovely song.
  2. Dia Frampton, and for that matter, the rest of the Frampton sisters, who feature in this music video are gorgeous.
  3. According to the interwebs, this song is getting a little bit famous, and it’s about time Dia (and Meg, and the band) got some recognition. Maybe people will stop looking at me blankly when I say that Meg & Dia is one of my favourite bands? Maybe. Just listen.

Marina’s heart is Radioactive

I wish I only had good things to say about Marina & the Diamonds, but I’ve found the marketing scheme around her upcoming album tacky at best. Her twitter feed resembles that of an internet-hipster, and her tumblr makes me want to throw up on so many levels. The layout! the self-indulgent photos! the cryptic one-line posts! pictures of galaxies and pills! Maybe I’m just a snob. Maybe I expected more from Marina; I love her debut album and had certain expectations, damn it!

Marina’s obnoxious web-presence can most probably be attributed to her alter-ego, Electra Heart, who seems to still be an enigma. Maybe more will be revealed at the album’s release? Maybe not. *shrug* All I know is that the tweets and the tumbls have kept me away from listening to her new stuff; her marketing tactics alienating me from what I used to love about her.

But today Marina released this music video (part two to compliment last week’s part one: fear and loathing)

…and suddenly I don’t care that she’s been an annoying internet-hipster for the past couple of months. It’s good to know that despite the alter-ego, you can still make enjoyable music, Marina/Electra. I am eagerly awaiting your next album, don’t let me down!

just because you know my name doesn't mean you know my game

also, you look damn fine in a bleach-blonde wig

weekly link round-up

Link round-ups do not have to be regular in any sense, I have just decreed.

  • Tom Felton’s first single, ‘Hawaii’, hit the web this week, and as much as I wanted to enjoy it, I couldn’t help but cringe when I heard it. It sounds awkwardly like a song from a British children’s television show. Tom, you are a really good actor, and I’m sure you can sing too, but this song? No.
  • Also earlier this week: Michelle Branch makes her return to pop/rock music with her latest music video, Loud Music. I have some things to say about it, so maybe there will be a post about it! If I ever get around to finishing it!
  • Saw this Game of Thrones RPG parody earlier this month, but someone linked it to me again, and now I am linking it here, because even if you have seen it, it is always worth another watch.
  • Now here’s a baby mimicking Freddie Mercury… adorably!
Yeah so there’s surprisingly little I want to comment on this week. Eh. Really just that Tom Felton thing.

WATSKY…is a pretty fun name to say out loud.

Okay, well thanks to Printz-award-winning YA author John Green, I now know the pure excellence that is George Watsky. I don’t think I can overstate how much rappers, or slam poets impress me.  Good ones can mesh beats with lyrics in a way that fills me with envy, because I am still trying to master talking without tripping over my words.

I haven’t had the chance to listen to all of his stuff, but from what I gather, Watsky writes like a white kid from the suburbs (wait, is that being racist?) who occasionally enjoys clubs and fucking. And yeah, he may be sitting in the back of a limo, women draped on either side of him and playing with a real-life, actual snake in his videos, but he’s still rapping about his sub-par car and comparing himself to One Tree Hill. Which is refreshing and endearing and a whole lot more relatable than the rap I listen to, although I guess that’s because the only rap and R&B I tend to listen to is on the Top 40, or whatever blasts out of my brother’s room and catches my ear as I walk by.

He’s gwatsky on youtube, and his videos swing from serious to hilarious to cats. He also has a bandcamp, go check out his stuff.

On Kate Voegele and resigning oneself to emotional abuse

(edit: oh well apparently I haven’t been “given permission” to embed the video, so I guess linking it will have to do.)

I discovered Kate Voegele in 2004 or 2005, when someone on a forum suggested her on a thread about musicians similar to Michelle Branch. I guess the comparison was drawn because they were both guitar-wielding brunettes singing pop songs, but after listening to a few live clips of Voegele singing, I decided that they while they may have looked the same, Voegele’s voice was much richer, and did not quite fit in with the rest of the Pop scene at the time. Indeed, their careers took very different turns; by that point Branch had already reached her pinnacle of fame for her single Everywhere, released her sophomore album Hotel Paper, was still being confused with Vanessa Carlton, and then went Country. Voegele, on the other hand, released her debut label-album Don’t Look Away, and shortly after joined the cast of One Tree Hill as Mia Catalano, and thus she was inducted into the Hall of One Tree Hill Musicians. She’s fairly popular amongst OTH viewers, but the rest of the world are pretty oblivious to her existence.

Which is a shame, because I think she is one of the most underrated artists out there. She recently released her third album, Gravity Happens, which sees Voegele a more content, wise and world-worn person than in her last two albums, but still retaining a youthful hope for future happinesses in life and love.

Although you probably wouldn’t be able to tell from the album’s first single, ‘Heart in Chains’. The chorus has a light, catchy beat, but is essentially about being resigned to staying in an emotionally abusive relationship. Maybe what surprised me the most was the imagery and metaphor used in the music video; it’s not what I expected of Kate Voegele, given that her past music videos have been more typical pop songs, and were treated as such. I’m supposing the video treatment was written up by Grandson & Son, who directed and edited the video, and they did a fantastic job. There’s so much vulnerability and a sense of being fragile conveyed through shots of scraped knees hidden by white lace; forts and shadow puppets, crowns and stars are reminiscent of childhood, and the simple need that a child has for attention and love.

There’s a lot more I could talk about that I find interesting in the music video, like the use of white, the covered heads, ghost imagery and the butterfly in a jar, but this blog entry is in danger of becoming an English essay. So I won’t. Suffice it to say that the music video certainly reflects the song’s troubling themes of hurt and internal struggle that comes with being with/loving someone who’s constantly wrecking you in every sense. At least the way I read into it — though I do tend to read into things a lot.

But basically, you should listen to Kate Voegele’ music. It’s fantastic, she’s fantastic.

***

‘Heart in Chains’
Artist: Kate Voegele
Released: 2011
Director: Grandson & Son

We only said goodbye with words

It was around 4AM in Sydney when I found out that Amy Winehouse had passed away. What kind of fuckery was this? Amy Winehouse couldn’t be dead, not when she still had music to write. As I tried to formulate some words to describe how I feel about it all, I found that I couldn’t, decidedly because it was far too early in the morning, and I should probably sleep on it.

So I slept on it, and woke up to people who share my sentiments about Ms Winehouse, so there is nothing I can really say that someone else hasn’t said more eloquently, so I’m just going to leave this here, and listen to Back to Black again.