Girl Like lyrics Maroon 5

Todd Top 10 Worst Songs of 2020 Prediction!

2020.10.20 02:45 RichyRichy23 Todd Top 10 Worst Songs of 2020 Prediction!

IK a lot of people are probably doing this, but I can't help it! I love all of Todd's videos but I love his pop song reviews most and (a guilty secret of mine) nothing gets me more hype than his year end lists!!! FYI, I actually really love pop music and don't hate most of these, this is just what I think he would put.
  1. Savage Love
This song reminds of Only Human by Jonas Brothers because of that cheap leading melody, and Todd doesn't like Derulo so I think this would be on the list. Not very high though because Todd didn't tweet about it, even though a lot of people don't like it.
  1. I Hope
I doubt he would put this on the list more than the other entries because it has a good sentiment on the lyrics, and it's a female country hit which is good! That's always a good thing. However, I think the production sounds like garbage and I think he might too since he complains about country not sounding country anymore.
  1. THE SCOTTS
I'm not sure if he will hate this song, its not really outwardly bad but its pretty generic, and I remember Todd saying people were wearing off of Travis kind of selling out this year.
  1. 10000 Hours
This song is pretty forgotten at this point but just the kind of bland Ed Sheeran-esque Maroon 5-esque song that Todd might hate.
  1. Party Girl
Saw Todd tweet that he might put this song on the worst list when he said he wouldn't put Before You Go. I see good reason why, its a random TikTok hit with a rapper with a really strange voice, similar to YK Osiris. Todd hates weird voice rappers like Lil Baby.
  1. Falling
Reminds me of i hate u, i love u. Random white rapper and super generic song. Pretty bland, inexplicitly huge.
  1. POPSTAR
Todd said this is his least favorite Drake hit this year by far, and Todd puts Drake quite frequently on his worst lists (Started From the Bottom, Yes Indeed). Todd also probably hates how commercial this song is, forced promotion with a video with Bieber in it for no reason, and DJ Khaled's on it.
  1. Yummy
Similar to Filthy by Justin Timberlake. Not sure anyone likes this song.
  1. hot girl bummer
Todd tweeted about this song before.
  1. Mood
Todd tweeted about this and said hes putting it very high, its gotta be top 5 at least. This is I think the only song he's tweeted about with an overtly negative tone, along with hot girl bummer.
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2020.10.04 22:02 tutetibiimperes Nugu Roundup #59 - Roll the D1CE - 200410 + Album Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to the latest Nugu Roundup!
What is this?: This is a weekly feature designed to highlight the unknown/underappreciated groups and soloists working hard in the Kpop world that often fall under the radar. Please share your own information, favorite performance videos, fanmeet stories, or anything else relevant below!
Last week we got to know the new girl group keeping bright quirky pop alive, Cignature! This week let's get to know fan-favorite Dreamcatcher's brother group, D1CE!
Look at the first comment below for the winner of the thirteenth Nugu Roundup Album Giveaway, plus details on this week's album up for grabs!
What is Nugu?: While in Korean it literally means 'Who' in the broader Kpop context it refers to groups that are generally unknown amongst the greater public. It doesn't have to mean they're extremely new, though it can, and there are of course varying degrees of 'unknown' which some groups having very strong niche fandoms and others being almost invisible. I take a fairly broad view and will include groups that may be known to some, but who don't have widespread name recognition.
Let's get on with the show...
________________________________________________________
D1CE
Who are they?: D1CE is a five member boy group under D1CE Company. Their name is pronounced "D-Once" and their fandom is Don1y, which is a combination of D1CE and 'Once'. Pre-debut they were known as HNB for 'HappyFace Next Boys'.
Company: D1CE Company is a group-specific sub-label for D1CE under HappyFace Entertainment much like Dreamcatcher operates under Dreamcatcher Company. HappyFace was founded by producer-duo E-Tribe who were responsible for such mega-hits as Lee Hyori's U-Go-Girl and SNSD's Gee. Current groups include Dreamcatcher, D1CE, and Dal*Shabet (on indefinite hiatus), vocal ballad trio Classmate, and soloist Lee Si Eun. Former artists include R&B group 4Men, soloist Ben, girl group Bebe Mignon, and rappeproducer Nassun.
Full Group Interviews
Members
Debut: August 1st, 2019 with Wake Up (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Most Recent Comeback: June 17th, 2020 with Draw You (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Special Single Comeback: August 17th, 2020 with One Summer (MV)
Special Pre-Debut Unit: June 14th, 2018 with Falling in Love (MV) Live Stage (Link)
YouTube Channel: D1CE Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: In typical HappyFace fashion the group has a large number of high-quality 'special clip' cover videos, I strongly suggest checking them out. All members have previous survival show experience. Though they pronounce their name 'D-Once' they also imagery of 'rolling the dice' in their song descriptions. Their fandom name was the result of a fan vote. Member Jingyoung has appeared on King of the Masked Singer (link). I don't normally comment on official colors, but theirs are a particularly pretty shade of bronze and brass (link). The group has performed in Japan.
________________________________________________________
Soloist of the Week
NADA
Who is she?: The former main rapper of the girl group WA$$UP she made her solo debut while still a member of the group and has continued as a solo hip-hop artist since the group's disbandment.
Company: She is now represented by Woldstar Entertainment, a new company formed this year and based in Singapore. The company's CEO Kim Jinseon, also known as Sunny Kim, is a former member of the girl group CST and has a previous company known as PNB Entertainment which seems to have closed. In addition to Nada the company has also signed Dahye, formerly of BESTie, and a number of athletes and actors. They also have a set of female trainees expected to form as a new girl group.
Real Name: Yoon Yejin
Age: 29 (IA)
Solo Debut: December 22nd, 2016 with Seorae Village (MV) Live Performance (Link)
Most Recent Comeback: June 25th, 2020 with My Body (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Other Realeases
YouTube Channel: Nada Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: Nada takes her stage name from the Spanish word for 'nothing' and says that it means that "I Am Me". She has competed in Show Me the Money 3 and Unpretty Rapstar 3. She says she was the best member in WA$$UP when it came to twerking. She has been a featured artist on tracks from Pharaoh (link), The Gita, Stephanie (link), and Grey Day (link). She was involved in a dodgeball sports reality TV show with other WA$$UP members and members of 9 Muses. She has a brother who is a cartoonist. She left WA$$UP with fellow members Jinju and Dain over a dispute over lack of payment.
________________________________________________________
IN MEMORIAM
MIDNIGHT
Who were they?: MIDNIGHT was a pre-debut girl-group under H&I Entertainment. While the membership numbers shifted continuously throughout the group's pre-debut period they maintained a hip-hop-oriented style. The group disbanded before it could debut.
First Pre-Debut Release: March 9th, 2019 with Girl Groups Flooded (MV)
Second Pre-Debut Release: April 13th, 2019 with Swish (MV)
Final Pre-Debut Release: August 20th, 2019 with Algorithm feat. Sleepy (MV) Performance Video (Link)
Active Between: 2018-2020
Reasons for Disbanding: The group struggled with membership changes throughout its existence, seeing 15 different girls cycle through the group at some point, some never appearing in any official releases. Their debut date was also postponed multiple times. Eventually the company folded and the group was disbanded.
YouTube Channel: MIDNIGHT Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: Member and leader Danvvb was a former dance trainer at JYP and also a backup dancer for groups such as Winner as well as a choreographer. She is now a soloist and as a YouTube channel (link). Member Jiwon left MIDNIGHT to join ANS, which also recently disbanded. Member Yebin now goes by Yoolin and is signed with Purple Entertainment, possibly as a soloist. Member Yudi is now Dabi in the group AREAL. Member Chaewon joined Daydream, which quickly disbanded, and is now signed with Liz Entertainment as a member of project group CHIC&IDLE as Xindy. Member Seyeon is now also with Liz Entertainment as part of CHIC&IDLE under the name Byeolha. Member Yunu, who was previously an actress, appears to be continuing to act after leaving the group and has also recently release a solo song Spit it Out (MV).
________________________________________________________
That's it for today, let's get the discussion on!
As always, if you have any suggestions for groups, content, or things you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments below.
Also as always, a big shout-out to u/not-named-in-credits for founding nugutown and u/sharnaranwan for continuing the work over there.
submitted by tutetibiimperes to kpop [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 11:12 DesiAlexa RDT YouTube Playlist - September 29, 2020

No. Requested_by VIDEO OP's Remark
1 Almost_Deflowered MAIN ZINDAGI KA SAATH NIBHATA CHALA GAYA None
2 hannys-voorwerp The Office (UK) Opening Theme and Closing Credits None
3 Almost_Deflowered Ye Kya Hua Kaise Hua - Amar Prem - Rajesh Khanna & Sharmila Tagore - Hindi Sad Song None
4 Ieburnum WW2 History: The Real Vasily Zaytsev None
5 pointAndKlik Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Opening 1 - Again Lyrics None
6 I_dont_cursive Dard E Disco Full Video HD Song - Om Shanti Om - ShahRukh Khan None
7 iaintwotuthink THE ART COMPANY - Susanna [ Original Song] None
8 evolved-chimp Yun Hi Chala Chal [Full Song] - Swades - Shahrukh Khan None
9 iaintwotuthink Everybody Loves Me None
10 MahiwalI O Canada - National Anthem - Song & Lyrics - HQ None
11 xartaddct Ricky Martin - Shake Your Bon-Bon (Official Music Video) None
12 6abhi6jeet6 Right Round None
13 xartaddct Nelly Furtado - Say It Right (Official Music Video) None
14 uhavegotafriendinme Chanda O Chanda, Kishore Kumar, Mehmood, Lakhon Mein Ek Song None
15 iaintwotuthink Nelly Furtado - Do It (Official Music Video) None
16 xartaddct Nelly Furtado - All Good Things (Come To An End) (US Version) None
17 iaintwotuthink The Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly Wings (Official Video) None
18 burnh12 'Kahin to hogi wo' but you're dreaming that you're on a date with your crush.. None
19 myself-chutiya Maa chudi PADI hain, funny video 😂😂😂😁😁😁 None
20 6abhi6jeet6 Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger ft. Christina Aguilera (Official Music Video) None
21 uhavegotafriendinme Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock (Music Video) None
22 Same-Cartographer488 Rinkiya ke Papa (EDM Cover) - Samuel Singh - Prod by King Flame None
23 venetra Gia Woods - Only A Girl (Official Video) None
24 burnh12 'aaoge jab tum' but it's playing from your neighbour's house + it's raining ⛆ None
25 iaintwotuthink 1. Blue Swede - Hooked on a Feeling None
26 6abhi6jeet6 Porcupine Tree Arriving somewhere but not here None
27 iaintwotuthink Peaches - Fuck the Pain Away None
28 iaintwotuthink Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai - Kati Patang - Rajesh Khanna Songs - Old Hindi Songs None
29 atharva321 In The End (Official Video) - Linkin Park None
30 6abhi6jeet6 Ke$ha - TiK ToK None
31 iaintwotuthink Hello Hello Bolke - Kavita Krishnamurthy - Aakrosh 1998 Songs - Sunil Shetty, Shilpa Shetty None
32 uhavegotafriendinme Green Day - 21 Guns [Official Music Video] None
33 iaintwotuthink Holiday / Boulevard of Broken Dreams None
34 6abhi6jeet6 Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends [Official Music Video] None
35 uhavegotafriendinme Green Day - Revolution Radio (Official Lyric Video) None
36 iaintwotuthink Main Yahaan Hoon - Full Song - Veer-Zaara - Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta - Udit Narayan, Madan Mohan None
37 6abhi6jeet6 Green Day: "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" - [Official Video] None
38 uhavegotafriendinme Alright None
39 6abhi6jeet6 Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music None
40 iaintwotuthink Kendrick Lamar - i (Official Video) None
41 6abhi6jeet6 Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE. None
42 uhavegotafriendinme FEAR. None
43 Oxeam3 Joji - 777 (Official Audio) None
44 xartaddct Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark +Lyrics None
45 uhavegotafriendinme Simple Man- Linyrd Skynyrd (Legendado) Ye nahi Alexa nevermind
46 6abhi6jeet6 I Will Possess Your Heart (Album Version video) None
47 overthinque Boom Boom (Lip Lock) Full Video - Ajab Gazabb Love-Jackky Bhagnani-Mika Singh-Sajid Wajid None
48 6abhi6jeet6 Rihanna - S&M (Official Music Video) None
49 6abhi6jeet6 The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow (Official Music Video) None
50 Almost_Deflowered Tu Yaad Na Aaye Video Song - Aap Kaa Surroor - Himesh Reshammiya None
51 couchbookworm Possibility None
52 HoeYouknowme Bolo na😍 Tujhe Dekha Hai Tujhpe lutaya Hai Dil💕(2019 romantic video) music lover None
53 MujheDrugsDo Original Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya Ghanti Mai Bajau Kya ORIGINAL Omprakash Mishra None
54 Amar_Akbar_Anthony Choot Volume-1 Yo Yo Honey Singh - USE HEADPHONES 18+ Good Bot
55 Almost_Deflowered Gadar - Main Nikla Gaddi Leke - Full Song Video - Sunny Deol - Ameesha Patel - HD None
56 Almost_Deflowered Mai Tainu Samjhava- Rupali Jagga- Latest Bollywood Cover 2020 - Rahat Fateh Ali Khan None
57 GumnaamFlautist A.R. Rahman - Luka Chuppi Best Audio Song-Rang De Basanti-Aamir Khan-Lata Mangeshkar-Soha None
58 Editor_Excellent Hua Hain Aaj Pehli Baar FULL VIDEO - SANAM RE - Pulkit Samrat, Urvashi Rautela - Divya Khosla Kumar None
59 Almost_Deflowered Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (HQ) None
submitted by DesiAlexa to u/DesiAlexa [link] [comments]


2020.09.27 18:06 CyrusWaugh All Taylor Swift Albums Ranked (2006-2020)

And now we've reached the beginning of the end of CountryMusicStuff's first appreciation week, I loved every bit of this process, even when I was stressed out with deadlines, I kept pushing forward for you guys as a community, this has been the most fun I've had with the sub in a long time and I can't wait to explore other big and underappreciated artists. After 8 albums its time to answer the big one, which album stands tall above the rest, I'd love to know your opinion, even though I'm not touching Taylor Swift for a long time after this, I'll give a little shoutout here and there when I see it fitting. A lot of people this week have come together to appreciate all the music she's put out, and I don't want it to fade away. I'm gonna announce the placements Drum Corps style because this has built up a lot of momentum over the past week, also this was not easy, a lot of these albums were highly competitive, some rose in placement, some did not, a majority of the scores were really tight, and I'm being as critical as can be, because the fanboy in me would put all these albums around 8 or 9 out of 10.


In 8th Place With A Score Of 6.9/10:


8. Lover (2019)
Lover is last for me, as I feel like it has a lot to offer, but it fails to be cohesive, the sound ranges from candy sounding pop, to 80's synth style, to the style of Reputation and country, it's a mess in terms of lyrics and production. There a few instances where we get the peak of Taylor's vocal performance and writing skills, but mostly it feels contrived and lazy. Also this isn't last for my disdain of the trash that is the man, the album score is the average of my song ratings, so The Man only counts for 5.5% of the score. 1 song doesn't determine where I place a record. I've seen records where I give one song a 1/10 and the rest are 8,9 or 10 out of 10, and I give it a high score. The writing and sound for a lot of the record, is kind of dated, to be honest, songs like ME! or You Need To Calm Down's sound was already done 2016 and 2017, and in 2019, the sound of music changed drastically, either trap songs by DaBaby, or mellow pop songs by Billie Eilish and Post Malone trended, I'm not saying it failed as it has sold 4 million worldwide which in the streaming era is huge, and it still landed to be the most popular album of 2019, but chart wise this album didn't land, for an artist a few years back was a head of the times it feels on this record she's playing catch up.

In terms of the tracks themselves, this is the only record where I actually hate some of the tracks, them being The Man, I Think He Knows, and I Forgot That You Existed, one being dishonest lyricism and the other 2 being lazily produced and sung, normally I can pick up on something I like but not on Knows or Existed, out of context The Man is fun, but using my brain I can tell its the worst of the 3. Then we get into the decent section which is, Miss Americana, False God, You Need To Calm Down, and Death By A Thousand Cuts, these tracks are give or take, you may like the lyrics which are clever or honest, while you get bad production, like on Death By A Thousand Cuts, which is pretty descriptive but it suffers from a lot of the production concerning her vocals or in You Need To Calm Down where it is a jam, but the lyrics are lazy, and pandering, and how she keep's singing to haters and critics, why? There was a whole record dedicated to this, why do you keep bringing it up. And if you are going to, be clever about it, like Blank Space or Delicate. Then there's the good tracks that have a decent balance of both, like ME!, or Paper Rings, these tracks are often silly in their lyricism, which is okay, I'm cool with dumb silly songs, and the production really reflects the seriousness these songs lack, there are some tracks where the lyrics are so dumb and the instrumentation is advanced and beautiful, they don't fit together usually, so these tracks offer the middle lane.

The great tracks are the ones where we get to see inside her head, her personal stories, such as The Archer, which actually does a good job in describing the battle of her reputation, not addressing the haters but her own personal perspective, her relationship with Alwyn is on full display with Lover, which is one of the biggest standouts of the record, where get arguably the best bridge of her career, Luke Combs does pretty good ones, but Taylor is on a whole other level, even on tracks that aren't as great, she puts a lot of effort into bridges. Her matured view point of relationships in Cornelia Street, how this relationship is getting so good, and how if they fail, she's afraid to walk that street because its a scar. And the crown jewel of the album, Soon You'll Get Better, which is dedicated to her mother diagnosed with a terminal illness, beautifully written, I can hear every emotion going through her head, and it is heartbreaking. The record offers some of her best songs, my favorite melodies and lyrics, Just because it is barely misses a 7/10, doesn't mean don't listen to it, still 80% of this record I still listen to, I judge songs intellectually, so in terms of fun, this is around 7.5 or 8, if you are getting into pop for the first time after listening to country all your life, this is a good way to enter the genre and what to expect.


In 7th Place With A Score Of 7.4/10


7. Reputation (2017)
Reputation is considered by many to be her worst album, and majority of the people who say that, only listened to the singles, this album's opening is supposed to break your perspective, I think it is also dated, this sound of EDM, Trap was big with people like The Chainsmokers and Imagine Dragons and they were already on the decline, but while it doesn't hold up compared to the other records, there is a lot I like on it, Taylor's songwriting skills are still here, even if vocally and instrumentally it isn't, even on the bombastic EDM I Did Something Bad, there is still quality, and personally I like the production, the overall package isn't as intelligent as I'd like it to be but by the second chorus it brings it. Even on my least favorite track This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, while pretty forgettable melodically, is really raw in the writing, detailing how people have betrayed her over the years, and highlights her feud with Kanye West, also if you're interested in the context for a majority of the songs, I highly recommend the Netflix Documentary, Miss Americana, I skip over the political nonsense, but you get to see her mind set in her modern songs especially in Lover and Reputation.
The singles themselves are bombastic like Look What You Made Me Do and ...Ready For It, people's complaints are valid, it really comes down to personal preference, most people when listening to pop, tend to go for their ears rather than their brains, its easier when listening to country music, as the best of it reflect both instrumentation and lyrics, pop is a lot harder as songs for casual listeners are carried by the production, so she has my respect, for putting intellectualism in this style, the only other artist I think that used to be able to do something similar, was 21 Pilots but they've turned into a joke imo. The record really is divided into 2 parts, the dark and heavy sounding side which is all about her reputation and the other is her personal stories, which has a lot lighter production style, with songs like Gorgeous, if I were to put a song from Lover and Gorgeous together, you'd probably think they came from the same album, I tried it once, and that is what got a friend of mine to check out Reputation. Also quick side note, Her concert at Metlife Stadium 2018, is arguably the best concert I've been to, then again I've only been to 4 or 5, which were Toby Keith, Midland, Florida Georgia Line, and I wanna say David Allen Coe, I can't really remember, I was pretty young at the time and it was raining that day in Metlife.
The remainder songs actually highlight her new style or throwback to previous styles from older records, my favorite of the new style being So It Goes, its semi-dirty, and I gag to That's My Kind Of Night, but So It Goes is my jam. Don't Blame Me, has a electronic bass drop gospel feel to me, and while not that great lyrically, makes up for how much on an ear worm it is. Getaway Car is a fantastic metaphor, and is a great throwback to 1989, how she talks about a man, being a getaway car, and her guilt of using him like that. Dancing With Our Hands Tied is another great example of her growing skill of unique storytelling in describing relationships. Delicate is my favorite of the entire album, and highlights how she sorta disappeared for a year in the media's eyes, and how all eyes are on her, and you get a sense of freedom when there's no one watching you, the vocals are so soothing, and the drum loop blends in so well, and according to Grady, he calls it his "Chill Jam" I completely agree, then there's the elephant in the room, Look What You Made Me Do at the time really divided the fan base, but overtime this became a beloved piece of pop culture, it is lyrically so interesting, the chorus is a turn off for people, but after listening to this track tens of times, it's become on of my favorite tracks in her entire catalog. Then the closing track New Years Day, without a doubt the best track, highlighting how true love isn't in kissing, their body, or sex, its in their actions, how something as small as cleaning up after a party does so much, Overall yes I enjoy Reputation, I encourage those scared of checking out this record, give it a listen in its entirety, it's better than you think.

In 6th Place With A Score Of 7.5/10


6. Taylor Swift (2006)
To all the traditionalists before you downvote this because her countriest record is placed 6th, hear me out. Yes sonically her first record is the best. As is the case for a lot of artists in Nashville during the 2000's. But lyrically, this certainly isn't her greatest. Arguably this album is revolutionary for its key role in the start of the bro era, now I'm not comparing her to bro artists, but if you pay close attention, after 2006, you begin to see a rise in her more bro like songs charting slowly. And in this record, you get all the bro tropes, like Trucks, someones eyes, jeans, dirt roads. I certainly think she did a better job at describing adjectives than most artists, I'd put her around the same level of HARDY in that aspect, but simple adjectives are simple adjectives and there's no getting around that. And while there is a lot of traditional country sounds, to help make up for this issue, around 25% of this record leans in the 2000's pop rock trend, and that lowers my opinion of a lot especially with songs like Invisible which sounds awkward vocally for me, or A Perfectly Good Heart, I think the 2 styles in both the lyricism and instrumentation don't blend together great, and similar to how I view songs like Hey Cowgirl by Randall King, the sound might be beautiful but the lyrics are still pretty simple. She was starting to write songs at 16, she hasn't really sharpened her skills yet, this is evident on tracks like I'm Only Me When I'm With You, its sweet and fun but arguably besides the instrumentation and vocals, this is a 7/10 song, and others songs like this include Cold As You, The Outside, Stay Beautiful, all great, but I think we can agree these aren't masterpieces.
But while I approach this brutally in some of your eyes, there is still a lot I adore on the record. Our Song is a jam and while simplistic, that's the intention, the melody is as iconic to me as say something like Toes By Zac Brown Band. Picture To Burn is just a blast all the way through, that offer a lot more than a majority of the other tracks on the record, they let the instruments shine more often, you can tell she had a lot more fun with these 2 tracks than the others. The more mature songs signaled that the best of Taylor Swift was yet to come, Teardrops On My Guitar, A Place In This World, are the standouts for me as these are the stories I connected to more, I'm in my final year of high school and I this record feels so nostalgic. Teardrops captures a feeling we've all felt at one point of our lives, it's not that big lyrically, but it has so much emotion, it feels so raw and pure. Then there's Tim McGraw which was the prequel to one of the most iconic tracks of the 2010's Springsteen, who knows, maybe Eric Church was inspired by it to write his own perspective. Tim McGraw is captures every element I love and brings it all together, the great lyrics, the fantastic instrumentation and emotional vocal performance. Her first record may be your favorite, like I said almost all of them are close in striking distance for me, originally I had this in 5th place, but after listening to it 3 more times I came to accept that while the sound is gorgeous, there was just as much quality in her later years.


In 5th Place With A Score Of 7.6/10


5. Red (2014)
Red as I've said before is her most important record, which was her smooth transition of genres from country to pop, as you can tell by the ratings is a pretty good album, but while this does have the least amount of 6/10's for me, it is overwhelmed with 7/10's. 63% percent of this record is 7/10 for me. And for a pop record which I view it as, that's pretty good, it's extremely hard to make an intellectual pop record in this day and age. Most artists like Camila Cabello or Shawn Mendes while great performers don't put much brains into their songs and you're left with a 5/10 record. Red played it safe in terms of it leaning into the pop genre further than it ever did with songs like 22 and I Knew You Were Trouble. It's what I like to call a wholesome album, which is an album which intellectual and casual listeners can enjoy, songs with so much heartfelt moments, and fun moments people can universally enjoy.
So the fun moments for me are definitely songs like 22 and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, 22 is more of a bubblegum anthem, and those never really have vivid imagery, but this does put me in scenarios I've been in, like breakfast at midnight, however I will never EVER!!! go to a club. So there goes the relatableness. But still that melody is impossible not to enjoy (unless you're trigger) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is my favorite of the pop tracks, I don't think she's had as much fun in a recorded track, its a jam, still had a grudge as it was pushed to country, but still a lot of 2013 singles weren't country. Stay Stay Stay, is another fun little jam that border lines pop with modern country. It is harmless, hilarious and a good time throughout all of it. The S Tier of this record lies within the the opening and ending track, which is State Of Grace, and Begin Again, State Of Grace, shows the beginning of the end for her country career. I regret never seeing this song live, I adore it, and Begin Again, is her farewell to the genre, we get everything I love in a mature Swift song, beautiful instrumentation, compelling lyrics and sensitive vocals. And then imo the best track of the record: All To Well, so well written, beautifully sung, so perfectly built up to this dramatic conclusion. Red, is the safest record she's done, but the best of the record, is some of the best Taylor Swift has to offer.


In 4th Place With A Score Of 7.6/10


4. Fearless (2008)
This is what I call the golden age of Taylor Swift, drawing a fine line between mature lyrics and great instrumentation. This is the second time I've seen an album average out the same score, so to break it , I counted which album had the most 9/10's and here we are. Fearless brings back to a time, where I didn't have to worry about college, who I'm going to be, all I had to worry about was band and maintaining good grades. Her voice is slowly getting deeper and I got a feeling idolism. It is was my first record Taylor Swift record and I cherish it as much as I do for Chief By Eric Church, arguably 3 records broadened my perspective of the potential of country music, them being This One's For You and these 2. I've talked so much about my love of the album and I've yet to highlight why the album is good.
Definitely the simplistic parts of her writing haven't been fleshed out yet, so you have a hand full of 6/10's but they are improvements from her first record. Like Hey Stephen, to me it is clever but I find the melody extremely tedious. The Best Day, I'm sorry if you guys love this one I just don't see it, it feels too perky and you guys describe this to be over emotional, but I can't be on the same page with this. The Way I Loved You, is a bro song, her first 3 albums heavily inspired the lyrical aspect of the bro era, and I don't know whether that's a good or bad thing. Still all of these songs are good especially when I compare it to songs today. This is also her 2nd best single output for her 8 records. The singles here aren't just great for radio, their great overall. You Belong With Me is impossible not to sing along to when it comes on when we play music on the bus after a competition. This was the peak of 2000's pop. Like Robert California from the office, I don't like the Blacked Eyed Peas, I wasn't a fan of the output for a majority of these artists like Usher, or Eminem, so to hear this everywhere was amazing. White Horse is arguably the best lyrically, with how it progresses the story, but Love Story is the perfect balance those 2 songs possess. Great story production, unforgettable melodies and the best sounding song on the record. Fearless for a long time was my favorite record, it was my childhood (the parts I can remember)


In 3rd Place Receiving My Bronze Medal With A Score Of 7.8/10


3. Speak Now (2010)
Speak Now had the highest expectations from me, given how much I loved the previous record and for a long time I always viewed it as inferior to Fearless, it wasn't till this even where I realized its slight superiority. My only real complaint is how I'm not a big fan of the punk rock sound a few tracks had, but still the tracks were good nonetheless. For a long time I viewed this as her most mature record, where we got to see more of her life as a celebrity rather than stories from her past. There was a lot of innovation with the record as she also experimented with orchestras for the tracks Haunted and Back To December, both capturing the theme the lyrics capture, Haunted obviously bring out haunting melodies and Back To December, bring out sincereness. You could tell she relied less and less on the high school narrative, she really uses it 2 or 3 times imo.
A lot of the stories are so unique and feel interconnected in what I think the album's theme is which suppression of emotion. Speak Now the title track is about expressing love to some one who is about to marry the wrong woman, this is a perfect example of suppressed emotion as she does consider this is wrong, but she's tired of hiding it. Back To December is about swallowing pride rather than making a song about the man in the relationship being the wrong, this track is about how she was. Never Grow Up show's her side that never wished she grew up, how everything that matters to her aren't selling out shows, making millions but her family, I can tell I'm in the minority when say it's my favorite track, Better Than Revenge is her unleashing all her bitterness on Joe Jonas. Mean doesn't really convey the them of suppression, but still it's MEAN. The sound of it is amazing, it's pretty goofy, but that's why I love it. Dear John is the longest and most emotional roller coaster out of any Swift song, perfectly paced, unleashing all of her emotions about what I assume to be John Mayer, but I still have my doubts, take him out of the context, doesn't do a darn thing, I love this song just as much. Normally long songs eventually get me bored, but not Dear John I am moved by its haunting somber melody, the build up to her powerful vocals and one of her most compelling stories. Dear John while not my favorite, is what universally unites all fans of this record. This is currently the best country record she's ever made, who knows, Red is creeping up in appreciation, I learn a new detail every time I listen to a Taylor Swift record, so a year from now this record could be 5th or 6th or 2nd or 1st.


Receiving My Silver Medal With A Score Of 8/10
2. folklore (2020)
I don't think many people realize how much of a game changer this record is. I've argued Taylor has played catch up with Reputation and Lover, but once again she's ahead of the game. This blends several genres at once, country, soft jazz, rock, folk, pop and it doesn't feel disjointed. Without a doubt the most mature and well written record of her career as of now. If folklore was a country album, and given today's standards it is, I'd put it as the #1 album in the mainstream even above Never will by Ashley McBryde, the current leader of this year. Every single song is a fantastic album cut, it has changed the game for how she writes her songs, she's taken new perspective when singing about how she keeps up with appearances, new perspectives in break up and high school songs. The Saltbox House Chapter is a story line the spans off 4 songs, I don't remember the last time something like this has been tried, I'm sure it has but it's been a hell of a long time.
The weakest song on this track is still something with so much effort put in, Seven's only major issues are vocal and melodical, lyrically it tells the story of a forgotten friend, and she can remember everything but her physical details. One great example of new ways of writing about her reputation, is The Last Great American Dynasty, instead of talking about herself which she's prone to do a lot. She sings about others and in this case, her Rhode Island home's previous owner. It's very compelling and one of my favorite lyrically, but similar to how much I love Round Here Buzz, the percussion here is too big of a problem. The 1 definitely feels like an outlier, as it doesn't really go in the theme of the saltbox house story line, or her new perspective of her appearance. But still it's fun to listen to. I can picture myself walking through grey skies in downtown for school listening to this record. When I walk alone, I like to be alone with my thoughts and this record allows me to reach that state, even simple songs like this one.
Her songs about her and Alwyn are so wholesome, Invisible String is all about how an invisible string tied them together and they didn't know it. Little details of where they would've met earlier, places they've been to. Peace is about how while they are together, people will always look for cracks to get a story, and he doesn't are if its peaceful. Alwyn seems like the one for Taylor and I hope they last, he's better than everyone she's ever been with. I wouldn't be shocked if an engagement would be announced in the next few months as this song has finally brought her full circle as she's finally ready to commit, after everything she's been through. Mirrorball tugs at my heartstrings more than any song on the record, how she's giving everything she has in her songs, and each detail of heartbreaking her life is a crack in a disco ball. The world of music is heading into 2 directions, the trap path, which is a young generation singing in vulgar.
The Saltbox House Chapter is undeniably the best part of the record, Cardigan, is a great lead single, while not my favorite, it deserves a Grammy nomination, as does the record, most can agree 2020, was mostly a trash year for pop/r&b/hip-hop/etc, and country music is actually getting good, with quality returning more and more with people like Maddie & Tae and Ingrid Andress. August my 3rd favorite track, fills the gaps left in cardigan. We get the details of how James was seduced, how this unnamed lover felt, her joy, her guilt, and sadness. This is Taylor Swift in her prime, something she's hasn't really been in for 6 years. Betty, which is climbing faster than New Years Day, or Soon You'll Get Better ever did, is becoming a defining part of country music for 2020. Betty was the entire reason appreciation week happened, after I was done smashing stuff after the load of crap that was the ACM awards, I reminded myself of how perfect Taylor's return was. Betty in terms of structure is 2020's love story, great storytelling and the key change implies a happy ending. But Illicit Affairs takes it over the top where we get the perspective of James and the unnamed girl, every dirty vivid detail on full display. Folklore brought back the Taylor I knew as a kid, she's changed drastically in the past 14 years, and this is a sign of maturity I can respect, I do have my problems with her but this isn't the place to discuss them nor do they damage my perspective of how talented and heartwarming she is. Folklore isn't going to be for everyone, this is an intellectual album, there isn't a jam piece like ME! or Delicate, its her being the best version of herself on full display for the world to see.
And Finally In First Place Receiving My Gold Medal With A Score Of 8.8/10
1. 1989 (2014)
To put it simply 1989, is one of the greatest records ever made, I use 3 lines when I describe my praise in reviews like this and that's favorite, best and finally greatest, favorite is pretty simple, I like this song in a non-intellectual manner, it's great not in critical aspects and mostly relies on earworm melodies and licks. Examples are Tequila, or Marry Me. Best is what I use to describe what is critically great. How good is the instrumentation, the lyrics, vocals, production, examples of Best are Mr. Misunderstood, Seneca and Heartache Medication, Greatest is a combination of both but with a 3rd factor, and that is revolutionizing music all together. 1989 broke music, starting a trend that would bring me back into the pop world after I abandoned it around 2009. 1989 would change the songwriting styles and production value of many albums for years to come, in away its the here's to the good times for pop music, difference is this would improve the genre over time, not damage it. 1989 simply is a perfect pop record. Now I say perfect pop record, not perfect album there are problems with it, but a perfect pop album, to me is an album with an engaging sound, unforgettable melodies, rhythmically well tuned lyrics, and great vocal production. 1989 even its weakest moments accomplishes everything.
The opening track Welcome To New York, engages you into a thrilling setting, I'm about 15 minutes away from NYC, and while most of it is a rat hole, my first real experience by myself was this song, it is an instant classic, and I'm still mad it wasn't pushed as a single. When I take off for college this is my theme song when I leave as chances are I'm moving to New York to study Music Education. Up until folklore 1989 handled her songs about her you know what (I'm sick of using that word) Out Of The Woods, is about her wondering if she can finally relax with whoever she was dating at the time, as the paparazzi made it their mission to sniff around her personal life. I Wish You Would, while my least favorite is still a great song that probably would've hit #1 like every other single released on here. The irony of song feels so realistic, as the awkwardness and fear of a breakup can make our minds run wild of what the other is thinking, yes both Woods and Would are pretty repetitive in their melody but still they are great pop songs, compared to other songs trending in 2014, Ariana Grande is not my cup of tea, I'll never listen to her unless it's a song from Victorious. Bang Bang was mediocre at best, the literal garbage that is Anaconda. The only artists that really caught my interest was Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran, and really only their singles did, this whole record captured me.
All You Had To Do Was Stay marks the line from the good to the great pop songs, those are jams, but Stay highlights realistic issues in a fun manner, the toughest part of relationship is arguably enduring. And by leaving you show you're not ready and not the one. This Love, could arguably be called a country song, if you use 2010 standards, its beautiful if not a bit repetitive. The only real issue the record has is how repetitive the record can get in terms of lyrics. Clean is my least favorite in terms of production and percussion, but still great lyrical messaging of how going through a breakup is like ripping off a band-aid, it will hurt no matter what, the best you can do is endure the pain and once it passes you'll clean and free of most of the pain. I Know The Places was the first hint of the reputation era, and it's all about escaping the media vultures. Pretty simple messaging, but pretty descriptive in it's rap verses. Her metaphors are well put, how they are foxes, and they will hunt them down. How You Get The Girl is another synth smash, giving simple dating advice, for both short and long term. It's a jam and honestly nothing more, with a little bit story driven details sprinkled in.
But the biggest reason this record is #1 and stands tall above the rest is the big 5: Shake It Off, Blank Space, Bad Blood, Style, and Wildest Dreams. One of the greatest single outputs ever in the history of music. Most lead singles sell around 2-3 million, and the other generic ones make around 800k. In 1989, 1 surpassed 12 million 3 surpassed 5 million and 1 passed 3 million. The only record last decade to surpass it in numbers was 21 by Adele, and it's Adele, who is extremely tough to beat, and in terms of single output I still prefer this over 21. The only album that I probably enjoy more in terms of singles in the pop world is ÷ by Ed Sheeran, and even then, you can tell in terms of a lot of the album process this record was heavily inspired by 1989.
Bad Blood is my least favorite as its the most repetitive of the bunch and while Kendrick Lamar spiced it up it didn't change my view as much. Still that opening intro is fantastic, it's what Reputation wish it could be in terms of sound. Still salty we didn't play this in Marching Band. And even so lyrically a lot of interesting stuff is going on especially in the bridge. Shake It Off while never holding up to its standard is one her best jams, alongside New York, 22 and Delicate. Some people don't like the douche like bridge, I can understand and respect that, but I act like such a kid when singing along to it. For once I thought she's rising above it all, (boy what a lie that was!) Wildest Dreams restructured the sound of a lot of slow tempo contemporary ballads. It's beautifully sung, and gives off the emotion of pleasurable guilt, I can see the influence of Lana Del Rey, and that and this 80's synth remaster give the perfect combination. Style is the best song in terms of production, nothing over the past 14 years has been able to claim that title. For about 3 years it was my favorite pop song only being surpassed by Castle On The Hill. But still I listen to this track more than any Luke Combs song, Eric Church song, or any other song from indie and Texas artist. Style gives me an emotional rush, some of y'all will be pissed with how high I rate it tomorrow, as the lyrics I admit aren't substantive, but the production is something I haven't let go of for 6 long years, Blank Space is the best of the 5 and the record as while not a return to form sonically, it is a return in terms of storytelling. Brief little details of how she behaves, her next boyfriend, highlighting and summarizing every relationship she's ever been up till 2016. No one has truly escaped her wrath in songwriting, it is arguably her peak in pop, and I'm still considering where it will end up on my list.
I do acknowledge when I praise this record it has it's problems, most are in terms of lyrical maturity, I gave it a 8.8/10, if I wasn't as critical as I was put this record around 9.3/10. There are better records out there like Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves, The Tree by Lori McKenna, but while they are better critically in my eyes, I'll be honest, I would choose this record a thousand times. This record has one thing they don't, this record is unforgettable, if I live to 70 or 80, the 3 records that will always stay with me are Mr. Misunderstood, Seneca and 1989. Fearless is the golden age of Taylor Swift, Red is her most important record, Folklore is her most mature record, but 1989 is her Magnum Opus. It defied all of my expectations with how she handled Red, Mr. Misunderstood is the best mainstream country record of the decade in my eyes, 1989 is the not only the best pop record of this decade, but one of best of the century regardless of genre. It revolutionized the sound of music, changing it for the better, brought me back to a genre I abandoned for shallowness in every aspect, it somehow reignited that spark it had missed for several years. And that's why to me it is the crown achievement of Taylor Swift.
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2020.09.27 08:13 FearlessStarlight My personal Collection! (In List Form)

Here’s a List of my collection, I collect all kinds of things, not just a specific item type!
I love finding things I don't have or haven't seen before!
If you have any questions I can try my hardest to answer for you and if you want to see any specific item I can post a photo for you! (except most of the folklore merch for obvious reasons lol) Just let me know!
________________________________________
CD Collection:
Taylor Swift Era:
Albums
Vinyl
Misc…
Fearless Era:
Albums
Singles
Boxsets
Vinyl
CMA Consideration
Misc..
DVDsBluray
Speak Now Era:
Albums
Singles
CMA/ACM Considerations
Speak Now World Tour
Vinyl
Misc…
Red Era:
Albums
Singles
Vinyl
Misc…
1989 Era:
Albums
Singles
Vinyl
Misc…
reputation Era:
Albums
Singles
Cassette
Vinyl
DVDs
Lover Era:
Albums
Singles
Vinyl
Cassette
Folklore Era
Albums
Singles
Vinyl
Cassettes
Shirts/Hoodies/Scarves/Towels/Hats:
Taylor Swift Era:
Fearless Era:
Speak Now Era:
Red Era:
1989 Era:
Reputation Era:
Lover Era:
Folklore Era:
Keds:
Posters:
Notebooks/Journal/Folders:
Big
Small
Composition
Journal
Folders
Pens
Movies:
8x10 Photos/8x10 Magazine Photos:
Meredith, Olivia & Benjamin Collection:
Books:
Bags:
Blankets/Pillows:
Lithographs:
Autographs:
Standees/Advertisements:
Dolls:
Tour Stuff: (other stuff is in other categories)
American Greeting Cards:
Perfume:
Wonderstruck
Wonderstruck Enchanted
Taylor by Taylor Swift
Taylor by Taylor: Made of Starlight
Incredible Things
Calendars:
7x7
12x12
Locker & Planners
Slim Calendars
Bracelets/Necklaces/Rings/Headbands:
Magazines:
Collector Magazines:
Ornaments:
Other Stuff:
submitted by FearlessStarlight to TaylorSwiftMerch [link] [comments]


2020.09.26 03:24 peji911 [H] Too many games to mention [W] FIFA 21, Madden 21, Fall Guys, Democracy 3, Fair Offers

Steam ID
IGS Page
Games
Top Tier
Middle Tier
Lower Tier
submitted by peji911 to indiegameswap [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 20:42 IndieheadsAOTY Album of the Year 2014 #22: Alvvays - Alvvays

Album of the Year 2014 #22: Alvvays - Alvvays
Hello everyone and welcome back to another day of Album of the Year 2014, the daily write-up series where the users of indieheads talk their favorite albums of 2014. Up today, we've got u/simonthedlgger talking what is possibly this subreddit's collective favorite album of 2014 (if the Album of the Decade tournament is anything to base this statement off of), Alvvays' self-titled debut, Alvvays.
July 22nd, 2014 - Polyvinyl, Royal Mountain, Transgressive
Listen:
Spotify
Apple
Youtube
Background
Alvvays are a Prince Edward Island-based dream pop five piece formed in 2011. They recorded their self-titled debut in the spring of 2013 and issued cassette copies to fans and industry folks until signing with Polyvinyl Records, who released the album in the summer of 2014. The record received near unanimous praise, as did the 2017 followup Antisocialites.
Review by simonthedlgger
“Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground. Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky. The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land....”
Have you ever read The Martian Chronicles? A 1950 short story fixup that manages romantic, sci-fi pulp against the eternal loneliness of outer space. For certain humans, life on Mars is brilliant adventure; for others, a new world only underscores the perpetual melancholy of existence.
In Bradbury’s space opera, unlike Philip K. Dick’s or George Lucas’, there’s room for neither stark nihilism nor unfaltering heroism. His fantasy exists between. For, that is every path through space: a streak of color blazing the cosmos, pioneers astride, but on either side, only yawning void.
This is where my thoughts inevitably lead listening to Alvvays.

10. . . .

“The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.”

Alvvays is a dance of subtle macabre. The overt through-line is “bright and cheery,” deeply layered in comforting dream fuzz, and yet individual components remain isolated, suspended in ether: each track a planet unto its own orbit, reverb echoing gaseous rings. It’s easy to close your eyes and imagine a guitar or vocal alone in a room, far removed from the rest of the song.
Throughout "Ones Who Love You," guitars roar as rocket engines through a universe of whirling synths, yet there remain huge vacuums of space, gaps in the wall of sound. No matter how many twinkling leads, punchy snares, or glowing synths, the plaintive undercurrent persists: "When the wheels come off I'll be an astronaut,” Molly Rankin declares, “I will be lost in space, I will be skipping rocks." The vocal hovers over the composition, a desire to detach from humanity stated clearly in a refrain blending natural disasters and doomed space exploration with riding bikes and skipping rocks.
The gravity of death by lightning is further undercut by an astral siren’s call: “Ooo ooo oo ooo oooo, Ooo ooo oo ooo oooo oo, oo oo ooo….” It's hard not to smile, humming along, spiraling out of orbit.

9. . . .

“I'm numb and I'm tired. Too much has happened today. I feel as if I'd been out in a pounding rain for forty-eight hours without an umbrella or a coat. I'm soaked to the skin with emotion.”

"Next of Kin" is another glittering indie pop gemstone that, on further inspection, is all bloodied at its core. The verses feel like a dare, a gothic pronouncement about to be made in stark minor -- but a bit like Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, there’s no release here ... in this case, however, the restlessness is not an unresolved chord progression, but rather Alvvays turning from the darkness they suggest, always presenting violence and depression in a palatable major key.
"If I'd known you couldn't swim," Rankin playfully professes, "we would never have gone in," before beaming, merrily: "I left my love in the river."
There's no dancing around it, yet it feels like a trick has been played: here we have a fun, airy pop song about your beau drowning. Another love conquered by earthly elements.

8. . . .

“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”

It’s fitting that the most well known cut off Alvvays is an extended witticism on suburban marital bliss dressed up, as usual, in simple, infectious melody, christened by earthly birds call. “Archie, Marry Me” is like the third act of a romantic comedy diving suddenly into profound existential crises: “Too late to go out, too young to stay in. . . .”
Alec O’Hanley warps discordant second verse guitar to sound of engine trouble, but Rankin assures there's no need to panic. Her voice never broaches its comfort zone, but even the suggestion is too much to bear: the final “Marry meeee, Archie!” is both triumphant and barely restrained melancholia.
By this point Alvvays' message has been laid bare: it is best to escape troubled relationships in the most definitive sense possible; why worry about alimony or adultery when you could be off wandering the edges of the known universe?

7. . . .

“'It is good to renew one's wonder,' said the philosopher. 'Space travel has again made children of us all.'”

“Adult Diversion” has the tempo of gathering energy for liftoff -- a roll of drums in one quadrant, cycling guitar melody in another; “Adult Diversion” is constantly jetting forth. Gleaming instrumentals play another distraction from the dark content beneath, that recurring motif: “When it's dark outside your house you won't let anybody out, you're keeping a dead girl in the closet.” Who else makes death so catchy?

6. . . .

“Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?”

"The Agency Group" opens with more O’Hanley distortion sounding like ship engines. Similar to the “Ones Who Love You” chorus, the hook serves as something of a mission statement for the record: "When you whisper you don't think of me that way, when I mention you don't mean that much to me...to me. . . ."
Exceedingly pretty sounding, an elegant melody, but one that begs the question: isn’t human emotion so passé, isn’t it easier to feel nothing at all? How does Alvvays keep slipping death and misery by in such bubbly fashion?

5. . . .

“There was a smell of Time in the air tonight.”

A spectral take on 1950s ballads, dance closely to “Dives” under moonlight with someone you love, even if only for that moment in time. Overheard, yonder, blinking stars are endless. Aren’t they? No. In fact, the stars are past, many millions of years old already as you gaze … Hold someone close and impermanent, then.

4. . . .

“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”

From atop a cake, she proclaims: "Corners begin to repeat, I think we're getting lost. We walked to the end of the street but we were bitten by the frost." Once more, earth's elements play the background to a human relationship soured, ending. How much longer can we overlook earth as the common denominator to our troubles?

3. . . .

“Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.”

The "Party Police" lead is iconic and haunting. The guitar has the quality of a doomed radio transmission, distress call from an abandoned planet. The torch carried through the "Ones Who Love You" and "The Agency Group" choruses burns for the entirety of the track: wandering through a forest stands in for a lover's guarded mind as fog, rain, and ceaseless storms dominate the world, both the cause and effect of young love turned staid and sour.
Rankin's voice remains a subdued plea until a fleeting falsetto ("You could just stay here with me….”), then resigned snarl ("If you don’t want to, you don’t have to...!!").

2. . . .

An aside:

I spent childhood music obsessed. Writing songs before I had an instrument, forming and ditching and reforming bands before I learned my second chord. Throughout adolescence and young adulthood, making and listening to music became critical, the only means I had of making sense.
As college drew to a close and life started to happen at an increasingly consistent rate, I fell out of the loop. I became a person (no shade) who keeps up only with the output of a few artists they've known and loved for a long time, though there were long stretches -- months, years -- of hearing no new music at all. Inconceivably quiet days.
Then, in many ways, life stopped happening altogether. Relationships, work, overall mood and worldview -- for several years these things escaped me. Ignoring the advice of family and professionals, I existed, but only just. Sparing details, I was miserably depressed. I desired badly to become lost in space, and desired little else.
After varying low points, I began to reassemble. Unsurprisingly, music played a leading role.
I found new songs in waves, the first coming through random Grantland articles: profiles on Waxahatchee and Courtney Barnett. I listened to "Air" and "Avant Gardner" for days without further exploration, afraid no other songs could be so perfect, that finding new artists to love could not be so simple.
Then I remembered, in a moment of obvious enlightenment, that music was necessary, that I'd been withholding from myself something I loved for reasons I could no longer pronounce.
My first foray into a playlist with the explicit goal of finding new artists dispelled whatever remaining anxieties. There were a number of great tracks, many I still listen to today, years later, but nothing as immediate as "Party Police." I played it again and again before daring to hear out the rest of the discography for fear of disappointment (spoiler: none).
Alvvays, and Antisocialites, are perfect records. I listened to these perfect records while moving into and out of various apartments, driving the country back and forth writing about live music (oh, those days), even learning to record my own songs after more than two decades of writing them.
Two years after discovery, I crossed off the last Must See from my live list: I saw Alvvays three times over the course of four nights, which included a memorable trip to NYC. At Warsaw, Alvvays dressed in colors befitting a 1950s sci-fi dust jacket. They performed under dense waves of intergalactic blue and pink. They did not strike a single false note over four hours. A tighter live unit I've yet to encounter.
At one point, Rankin relayed, very matter-of-factly, an inability to rely on anything: "Can't buy into astrology, and won't rely on the moon for anything," and moments later, "Don't read into psychology and won't rely on your mood for anything." There’s a similar moment in “The Agency Group” bridge: “You know that it won't take much longer now that I'll be gone...it's gone, the sun is gone.”
That is what Alvvays, and Alvvays, do: supplant the intimate with the galactic, make mountains of molehills, then describe the ensuing avalanche in flowery, sardonic poetry. At times, it's intentionally histrionic, overly tongue in cheek, but also true: sometimes it feels like the sky is falling, and it's nice to be able to hum along, tap your toes, dance a little as the atmosphere crashes around you.
I returned to New York the following summer to see Gary Gulman tape his special "The Great Depresh." Unbelievably, the taping was followed by free shows in Central Park by Japanese Breakfast and Alvvays. I didn't feel myself coming "full circle" by any means; life continues to happen -- still, at times, escaping me. But those were warm June nights. It felt good to be outside, under starry skies I could enjoy, rather than look to as a sign of escape.

1. . . .

“I'm not anyone, I'm just myself; whatever I am, I am something, and now I'm something you can't help.”

We do not have liftoff. This is touchdown. Onto the Red Planet.
Mars is romantic, in the literary sense. Ares’ rugged terrain represents the erosion of love, according to Rankin. Bradbury held similar beliefs. Previously, escaping natural disasters like lightning and drowning was a metaphor for abandoning failing love. No more. None of this dime novel fun, these glamorous synths: space travel is lonely. It’s the fucking loneliest.
There’s a quick cut of distorted sound waves to end the album, and by now we should know what this represents: engine failure, end transmission, marooned on the red planet, alone … at least, until the next pilgrim arrives.
“The Men of Earth came to Mars. They came because they were afraid or unafraid, because they were happy or unhappy, because they felt like Pilgrims or did not feel like Pilgrims. There was a reason for each man. They were leaving bad wives or bad towns; they were coming to find something or leave something or get something, to dig up something or bury something or leave something alone. They were coming with small dreams or large dreams or none at all...it was not unusual that the first men were few. The numbers grew steadily in proportion to the census of Earth Men already on Mars. There was comfort in numbers. But the first Lonely Ones had to stand by themselves...”
Favorite Lyrics
When lightning strikes
I'll be on my bike,
I won't be stuck inside.
I will be taking flight.
And when the wheels come off
I'll be an astronaut,
I will be lost in space.
I will be skipping rocks
  • "Ones Who Love You"
Too late to go out,
too young to stay in.
They're talking about
us living in sin
  • "Archie, Marry Me"
His arms so hard, I saw his skin through his t-shirt;
The grass so tall, we knew we wouldn't be found.
We climbed into the stream so no one would be heard
and in no time at all, there wasn't a sound
  • "Next of Kin"
Fighting through the fog -- I can't believe it rained all summer long!
When every day's a hurricane, you know there's something wrong....
I see you every day. It's hard to figure out what happens next;
I cannot decipher conversation in your head.
  • "Party Police"
An outcast of modern society
suffering from a case of sobriety
  • "The Agency Group"
I waited for you out here, but that was just delusional
and I've painted all these pictures of Earth
but that's unusual, unusual to you.
  • "Red Planet"
Talking Points
  • How do you compare Alvvays and Antisocialites?
  • Do you associate Alvvays more with their midtempo indie pop sound, or their deceptively morose lyrical content?
  • Did you know Alvvays says “fucking” on this record? It floored me upon realization!
  • What are your expectations for LP3?
  • And finally, where does Alvvays rank on your 2014 list?
Thank you to simonthedlgger for their great write-up! Up tomorrow, we may or may not have a write-up for you, honestly. I can't lie and say that the series has maintained it's steam well, and with tomorrow's planned write-up being delayed, we may or may not have something for you tomorrow. I'll still post the schedule as is in the comments below, but as always it is subject to change. Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow and if not, the day after that! In the meantime, discuss today's album in the comments below.
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2020.09.21 01:44 peji911 [H] Too many games to mention [W] Madden 21, Fall Guys, Democracy 3, Fair Offers

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submitted by peji911 to indiegameswap [link] [comments]


2020.08.17 17:28 kimbo077 Being Stevie Ray

Becoming Stevie Ray
I think I remember the exact day and time I triggered the obsession in my son. I say it was me, because I blame myself entirely. Truly, I don’t know how things got so bad, and so fast. I wish I had paid more attention.
Eddie was 9, almost 10, and had been playing guitar just shy of a year when he called me into his room.
“Man, you’re really playing a lot this week,” I commented, smiling at my son sitting on the floor, child-sized guitar in his lap. Posters of his favorite bands and guitarists covered his walls - most of them were mine, once upon a time. Along with a typical young boys’ belongings - stinky gym shoes, a baseball bat, snack wrappers - CDs and music magazines littered his carpet.
Eddie didn’t smile back at me, though. He sprung up, shoving his pointer finger in my face. “Look, dad,” he said, his expression panicked and flustered. I grabbed his wrist to steady it and peered at the pads of his fingers. On every one, prominently the index finger, a painful -looking blister sat, red and raw. “I can’t even play anymore, it hurts so bad,” he told me.
“It’s just blisters,” I said, letting go of his wrist. “That’s super normal. I had them, too, when I played.”
Eddie didn’t seem comforted by my explanation. “Will I be able to play?”
“Of course,” I said, picking up his guitar, strumming a few chords. “Your fingers are getting used to the metal strings - it’ll hurt for a while, but then it’ll callus over.”
My boy seemed to relax a bit. “What’s a callus?”
“It’s like rough skin. Like, you know, the one on your finger here?” I picked up his writing hand and pointed to the roughened skin on his ring finger, where his pencils sit when he writes or draws. “Your skin here got all rough - callused- because your pencil is always here, rubbing against it. That will happen on your fingers too, if you keep playing.”
“I can’t keep playing. My fingers hurt too much!” Eddie pouted again, seeming to deflate with this information.
I took another look at his left hand with all the angry blisters. “Yeah, well, maybe don’t play anymore tonight. But you should play tomorrow or the next - that’s how you’ll build up the calluses. No pain, no gain.”
Eddie grinned. “That’s what Mr. Icanbury says when he makes us run.”
The bulldog-looking face of Eddie’s baseball coach sprang to my mind. “Yeah, exactly. Mr Icanbury knows what’s up.” I get up to leave and make dinner, but my son stops me.
“Do you think Stevie Ray had calluses, too?” He asked, wide-eyed. I always thought it was so funny how he referred to the late and great Stevie Ray Vaughan like that, so casually, like he was his uncle or something, not a famous blues guitarist who died decades before he was born.
“I would imagine Stevie’s hands were covered in calluses. He played all the time!” I ruffled Ed’s hair. “Now, I’m going to make dinner. Did you finish your homework?” Eddie nodded before springing to his feet to put on one of my old records. My mother always called him an old soul, for always preferring records over Spotify and YouTube, or even just CDs.
I left Eddie to himself and went to decide what would be the easiest thing to make for dinner - and with that, the conversation was out of my mind, and wouldn’t surface back until almost eight years later, triggered by a simple question from Eddie’s psychiatrist.
“When did you really start noticing a difference in your son’s behavior?”
So this is the story I told him.
Back when Eddie’s mother was still around, the three of us would listen to music constantly. Even as a baby, Eddie was enthralled by music and everything that went along with it - the instruments, the records, and - most of all - the players. Lindsay and I would laugh and laugh at Eddie’s squeals as he bounced along with the beat of the music. He loved any type, but if the video contained a guitarist, he would be glued to the screen, watching their fingers dance across the strings. As Eddie grew up, his love for music only grew stronger, but never in any obsessive or concerning way.
Lindsay enrolled him in piano lessons when he was 5, and he liked it, but he never as much as he liked guitar, which I started him on at 8 years old. Eddie would have his little piano lessons and would practice when he was told to, but that was it. He still always preferred to listen to MY music, even though Lindsay tried with her favorites. She showed him all her favorites - Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga. Eddie liked the music, but not like the blues. He just always gravitated towards guitar, I guess. The two of us loved to jam out to all the greats in the car. First, I showed him the classics - Albert King, B.B. King, Freddie King. He just adored them. And then I showed him my real favorites - Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, and of course, Stevie Ray Vaughan. That’s all he would listen to from there on out. It drove Lindsay nuts. I remember I was always a bit smug about that, Eddie’s preference to my music.
But that wasn’t when I saw the shift in Eddie. For a while, he was just a normal boy, who happened to love rock ‘n’ roll and the blues. He could name every album of The Doors’ discography, but he also played baseball, loved Monsters Inc, and played with all the boys in the neighborhood. Besides Lindsay’s weird jealously over our mutual love of blues, there were no problems with my son’s somewhat eccentric hobby.
I wish I can say I knew when the hobby turned into an obsession. And I wish I knew when the obsession turned dangerous. But I didn’t notice any red flags until it was too late, I guess. Sometimes, I feel like the transition was so subtle, so slow, there was no way I could’ve detected it. Sometimes, I feel like the world’s worst father - I wasn’t paying enough attention. I guess I can’t say what’s for sure. Really, I only know two things for sure. The first I’m sure of is that my son became very, very sick. And the second thing I’m sure of is that so many of us failed him, really - not just me. His mother wasn’t there. His teachers saw signs, saw things Eddie did when he thought no one was looking, but they did nothing. No one told me about their concerns for my son. His band mates said nothing in the selfish belief that Eddie would make them famous. And his girlfriend only made everything worse, in my strong opinion. She would probably say differently.
After Eddie showed me his blisters, he started to practice more and more. When I commented on that, he smiled at me, his brown hair falling over his eyes. “No pain, no gain, right?” He said to me while flopping his bangs out of his face. Then he kept playing.
Personally, I loved it. I was thrilled to hear my son playing our favorite music. And the progress he made! When I enrolled him in guitar lessons at 11, his teacher was always astonished by Eddie and how much he practiced. Little by little, Eddie learned every jazz and blues standard there is to know. He even started to memorize chord changes, and would often play without even a glance at the music. His teacher told me that he was quite advanced for an eleven year old.
It wasn’t all easy, though, of course. When Eddie was 13, I came home to him laying on the floor of his room, sobbing. I don’t mean just tears - I mean big, hyperventilating breaths. I knew why he was crying right away - every single Stevie Ray Vaughan record I had given him was on the floor, shattered into thousands of pieces.
I ran to Eddie, cradling his head in my lap. Little streams of blood trickled down his hands, and I held them tight. “Baby, what happened?” I kept saying over and over. All Eddie could do was sob, and all I could do was rock him back and forth. I cleaned up his cuts from the shattered records - they looked a lot worse than they were - and held my son until he calmed down and fell asleep against my stomach, so drained from the anxiety attack. I didn’t even move then, while he slept. I just touched his boyish face, that had only whisperings of his transition into a man - little spots of acne, a shadow of a mustache. And I cried because I was scared. I had never seen my son like this. Being a young teenage boy, Eddie was terrified of even the thought of betraying his emotions. He hadn’t cried in front of me for years.
I pressed Eddie to tell me what had caused such a strong reaction - and why all the Stevie Ray Vaughan albums were destroyed. I couldn’t get a straight answer from him. At first, he tried to say it was an accident, which we both knew was bullshit, so he gave that one up pretty quick. Eddie then told me he just got mad and smashed the records. When I asked him why, he wouldn’t answer. To me, it seemed like he HIMSELF had no idea why he would do such a thing.
I told his mother about the incident, of course. We both agreed to look into some therapy for our son. I’m ashamed to say that neither of us followed through on this. It’s easy to say life got in the way, because it truly did. The two of us were drowning in work, and Lindsay lived halfway across the country at this point. Eddie never talked about that night again - he just saved up some money and purchased his Stevie Ray albums back from a Half Priced Books. And then he continued to learn every single song on each record.
“Dad, did you know Stevie Ray was only 5 foot 5?” Eddie said to me, one night during his Jr. High years.
“Wow, that’s pretty short. Not as short as Angus, though,” I responded, referring to the 5 foot 2 guitarist of AC/DC.
Eddie smiled at this. I remember his face clearly in this memory - his hair had finally grown long enough for him to flop behind his head, so there was no longer the problem of bangs shielding his eyes. He stabbed at the broccoli on his plate before saying, “I’m 5 foot 4, right?”
I squinted my eyes, trying to remember the last time I took Eddie to his checkup. “Uh, yeah, I think so. Maybe a little bit taller than that at this point, honestly.”
My son’s eyebrows furrowed at this - which was the only sign he gave me anymore to signal his distress. “Why, what’s up?” I add quickly before standing up to dump my plate in the sink.
For a long moment, Eddie didn’t respond. He kept chewing his grilled chicken, slowly, like he was deep in thought. I was about to ask him if he was okay when he said, “I don’t know, I just want to be like him.”
I gave my son a bemused look. “Well, you are! With all the practicing you do, you’ll be even better than Stevie Ray one day. Has nothing to do with height, yeah?”
Eddie shrugged, slumping down in his chair. He wouldn’t eat the rest of his food after that.
In Eddie’s junior year of high school, a number of things happened that was both exciting for him and me. First, he joined a band with three other high schoolers. There was Cindy, a keyboardist who had been playing since she was three years old. The bassist was a nice young man named Frankie, and he wasn’t as advanced as the others, but he worked hard to keep up with them. And Dimitri was a year younger than the other three, but was an insanely amazing drummer, who had been taught by his own father, a professional drummer himself.
Of course, then there was Eddie. My mother always commented on how much of a heartbreaker he was, with his strange resemblance to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Eddie wore his hair long to his shoulders, just like the late guitarist. His nose was slightly wide, and his eyes were dark but friendly. Other than that, honestly, the similarities stopped. It was Eddie who continued to transform himself into Stevie Ray, by wearing denim jeans and cowboy boots. At one point, Eddie even grew a tiny, triangular goatee before his girlfriend told him she didn’t like it. During shows with his band, Eddie would essentially deck himself out to look like his idol: sporting a large cowboy hat; long,chunky necklaces; a thick guitar strap with music notes he had sewn on; and only one long, feather earring. He had a nice, smooth voice, which reminded me of the smell of leather. The one major difference in Eddie and Stevie Ray was the height - Eddie sprouted into a lanky 6 foot 2 inch teenager. That difference didn’t seem to bother all the girls at his school, who just loved him.
But he only had eyes for one - Janine. She was a year older than him, and had only taken a liking to my son when his band had won their high school’s Talent Show. When Eddie and his group - Triple Danger was their name - were filmed for the local news station, Janine really started to hang around him.
And after those two monumental events in Eddie’s life, I felt like I hardly saw my son. For him, the two things that mattered most were Janine and music. I missed him like crazy, but I was also so proud of Eddie - it seemed like he really had set himself up for life. Words like “child prodigy” were thrown around this way and that by his teachers. I always defended Eddie when they said this - I truly believed that Eddie had earned his status by hours and hours of practice, not by just some God-given talent. They ignored me when I said that, though, acting like Eddie was just born playing the guitar like that, like he was blessed by the music gods.
I always thought of Eddie’s callused fingers when they said this, no longer red and raw blisters. His finger pads were so thick he had once told me he didn’t have feelings in them. If those don’t prove that my son earned his way to being one of the best guitarists in the state, then I don’t know what would.
I told Eddie’s psychiatrist that there are many holes I can’t fill in at this point of the story. I was no longer his best friend, his music pal. He had a girlfriend and band mates to fill those roles. I saw snippets of Eddie’s downfall; I don’t have the whole picture filled in - and I anticipate I probably never will.
By the time Eddie was 17, his Stevie Ray Vaughan cover band was becoming quite a phenomenon, especially in our state of Oklahoma. They weren’t selling out arenas, but they played in lots of bars, strapped with plastic bracelets signaling they weren’t old enough to drink.
When Dimitri’s father hired a manager for the group, I saw one of the snippets of Eddie’s transition into illness. I sat in on a meeting with the band, the new manager, and the rest of the parents. When Mr. Ludlow suggested that the group start writing their own music, and Eddie’s band mates responded positively to that, I saw my boy’s eyebrows furrow, causing him to look like a small child again. “No,” he said, loud, popping their bubble of excitement. When everyone looked to him, quizzical expressions on their face, Eddie simply said, “We play Stevie Ray. That’s my music. That’s OUR music, now.”
Dimitri’s dad, a large man named Rob, gave my son an incredulous look. “Well, maybe your band mates want to expand, Ed.”
I knew it irked Eddie to be called that, but he didn’t show it. “There’s no band without me, anyways. So we do what I want.”
My jaw dropped at his selfish response. “Eddie, come on, don’t be like that.” I glanced nervously at the other parents, who glared back at me like I had said the rude comment.
It was Cindy who broke the silence that followed. “I really don’t mind playing Stevie Ray Vaughan,” she said, her voice as meek as her mousy face. “But...maybe we can do one or two originals?”
Eddie finally agreed to this. The parents gave me looks of disapproval the rest of the meeting. I still couldn’t believe I heard my kind son, always so gentle and polite, say such an egotistical thing. When I brought it up to Eddie later, he shrugged.
“Stevie Ray’s music is MY music. I feel like I could’ve written it myself.”
“Yes, but aren’t you excited now to actually write your own? And create something brand new with your band mates?” I asked.
“I’m just picking up where Stevie Ray left off,” Eddie muttered, and with that, our conversation was over with a slam of his bedroom door.
Not even a week later,I went to see Triple Danger play in a bar not too far from my house. I loved watching my son play; I could never grow tired of it. Eddie truly was magical on his guitar - if you closed your eyes, it was almost like Stevie Ray Vaughan was in the room.
I was enjoying a beer and listening to their opening song - Scuttle Buttin - when Dimitri’s father sent me a text. It was a photo of a notebook, with a message that said “Found this in my basement. Think Eddie left it here last rehearsal.”
I was about to text him back when I was distracted by Eddie’s incredible solo. He didn’t always play Stevie Ray Vaughan’s solos exactly how they were recorded - he usually improvised, keeping his solo close enough to the original but adding in a few of his own flairs. For Scuttle Buttin’, though, Eddie played the song exactly as Stevie had, note by note. It really was astounding how good this kid was.
When I looked back down at my phone, I saw Dimitri’s dad had sent another message. “Think you should call me,” was all it said. And then another message - “as soon as possible.” I quickly left the bar as the group went into their cover of “Couldn’t Stand the Weather.”
“Understand...it's time to get ready for the storm,” Eddie sang into the mic, his tenor voice reminding me again of leather belts and cowboy hats. He was beginning his guitar solo as the door shut behind me.
“What’s going on?” I asked Rob, breathlessly. A million thoughts were running through my head, and I felt as if I couldn’t grasp onto any of them. As Rob explained his urgency to me about the notebook, I became increasingly irritated, and then angry.
“It’s just...it’s not right, Brent. He’s written the same thing over and over again. Like he’s fucking Jack Torrence.”
“Excuse me?” I demand, outraged that he would compare my son to the crazy man from “The Shining.” Images of Jack Nicholson’s deranged face peaking through the broken bathroom door rolled through my mind. I felt sick, so I leaned over a bit, one hand on my knee.
“‘My name is Stevie Ray.’ That’s what it says, over and over again.”
“Ok?” I spit, like this perfectly normal. It’s not, and I know it, but I can’t help but to defend my son.
“Don’t you think that’s a bit...I don’t know, concerning?”
“Maybe he was just having a mental block, trying to write some lyrics, have you ever thought of that?”
Rob was silent for a moment. Then, “I really don’t think so, Brett. There’s pages and pages here” -
I interrupt him, my voice bubbling out of me like venom. “Don’t you ever insult my son again. And don’t you ever look through his stuff again, either! You have your own kid to look after.” And with that, I hung up, putting both hands on my knees, and waited for the nausea to calm. When it did, I headed back into the bar to listen to the rest of Eddie’s set.
I drove Eddie back that night so his band mates wouldn’t have to. He was sweaty still, red-faced and smiling as he climbed into my truck. He stretched his long legs out before him, kicking his black cowboy boots off. Eddie was rambling, talking a mile a minute about the show, like he always did. Many times, he would complain about how terrible his band mates played. That night, though, he was riding a high, claiming they performed a “near perfect” set.
I couldn’t grasp onto his words, my head echoing with a chant of “My name is Stevie Ray.” I simply smiled at him, pretending to listen by nodding where it seemed natural. Finally, I said, “Why did you write ‘My name is Stevie Ray’ over and over again in that notebook?”
Eddie’s face immediately darkened, crooked grin wiped clean off his face. “How do you know about that?”
“Dimitri’s dad found it.” I watched my son, carefully, looking for any clue to tell me the truth behind this mystery.
“Well, he shouldn’t have looked at it!” Eddie said, his voice raising slightly.
“I know,” I agreed. “But he did, and he’s concerned. And I’m concerned, too, Eddie.”
My boy’s face deepened into a scowl. “There’s nothing to be worried about! Jesus.”
“C’mon, Eddie, seriously what has gotten into you lately? What was with that meeting the other day, with the new manager? You’re not acting like yourself.”
“What do you mean, I’m not acting like myself? I defended MY music at the meeting!”
“It’s not YOUR music,” I shot back. “Another man wrote it. Literally years before you were ever born! Please tell me, you know that you really aren’t Stevie Ray Vaughan!” I laugh, nervously, hoping that last part came out like a joke. But deep down, in my belly, a dreaded sensation was growing, spreading out to my fingertips.
Eddie looked like I had slapped him. He was pressed as far away from me as he could, against the window. His face was gaunt, the scowl still deep, making him look older and skinnier than he was. I stared back, hands gripped tight on the unmoving wheel, knuckles pink with the strain.
And then my son wordlessly slipped out of the car, grabbing his boots. The slam of the door was deafening. I watched him leave for a moment, waiting for my heart to stop racing. I sincerely did not know what the best move was. I wanted to run after Eddie, cradle him in my arms, beg him for forgiveness. Another part of me wanted to scream curse words at him for being such an asshole - and for no good reason! The majority of me, however, wanted to put my car and reverse, slam on the gas, and drive away from him as fast as possible. Because - like that night Eddie broke all those records - I was deeply terrified, shaken to my core.
For the first time, the words “mentally unstable” crossed into my mind. And then the realization hit me, like a storm - that those two words absolutely, without a doubt - applied very much to Eddie. Tears streamed down my face as I slammed my fist into the wheel, screaming at this realization, screaming at myself, and at Eddie. I shook until I couldn’t cry anymore. And then - and this is the part at which I am most ashamed of my actions - I drove away into the night, too frightened to face my own flesh and blood.
The moment I got home, I knew I needed to make sure Eddie was with someone, at least, and safe. I called Eddie over and over again that night. It went to voicemail every time. I called his band mates and then Janine. When she picked up she immediately said, “he’s with me.”
I breathed out, shutting my eyes. “Is he ok?”
“Yeah?” She says this like it's the dumbest question in the world.
“Yeah?” I echo back, demanding more.
“He just says he doesn’t wanna talk to you. He won’t tell me why.”
My eyes stayed shut, trying to block out the headache forming in my temples. “Okay. That’s okay. Can you just tell him that I love him, and that I’m sorry? And that I would like to try to help?” I heard Eddie murmur something to her. “What? What did he say?”
“He says he heard you. He said he’ll come home tomorrow.”
“Okay,” I breathe out, the tension in my body deflating. Tomorrow. Eddie would be home tomorrow, and we would talk, and work things out. Then, we could get him the proper therapy he needed.
I told myself that things would be fine as I went to bed that night. I told myself that I would even take a leave of absence from work if I had to, so I could help my son - my boy, my Eddie, my everything - get better. Nothing mattered but him, and I saw this clearly now. He may be forced to quit the band, which would destroy him, but I would be there, and Janine, too, hopefully.
I told myself a lot of things that night.
Eddie had other plans.
I hadn’t known that Eddie was already truly convinced he was the reincarnation of Stevie Ray Vaughan - and I hadn’t known that his band mates and his girlfriend told them they believed he was, too. When the cops questioned them, most had admitted they were just humoring Eddie when they said this, but not Janine and Dimitri. Those two fully defended their beliefs in Eddie’s soul being the reincarnation of the guitarist. Honestly, I’m not sure if I believe them. I think they just don’t want to get blamed.
They found multiple entries in Eddie’s many notebooks about ways he could make himself look more and more like Stevie. First and most important would be the peacock tattoo on his chest - Eddie wanted the exact one his idol had. He was saving up money for it, I guess. There were entries about how he could even get plastic surgery, to make his face look exactly like the guitarist’s - stretching his lips out, setting his eyes just a tad bit further apart. Eddie even had ideas for dental work. He had entries written about his desire for cocaine and whiskey, which he had never tried once in his life. The doctors were able to confirm that. Because he thought he was Stevie Ray, he thought he had an addiction to the stuff - that’s what the cops told me. I am forever grateful that he never gave into those desires, writing multiple quotes the late guitarist had said about how much he enjoyed being clean.
The height difference was the problem. He kept saying over and over - “I can’t be him if I can’t see things from his perspective.”
Eddie had turned himself into Stevie Ray Vaughan, mentally, in every single way but one - He was absolutely mentally unstable, and it was much, much worse than I had thought.
They found him the next day in Janine’s bathroom, her father’s ax in hands. He had….he had tried to cut off his own legs. 9 inches, exactly, in order to be 5 feet, 5 inches tall. He’d never gotten through the bone, not even close - but the skin from 9 inches up was completely gone. The cops believed he had originally tried to get through the bone, and when he couldn’t, he sliced off that skin. Then, in order to make sure his legs would absolutely need to be amputated, he poured Janine’s bubbly soap all over them, along with bath salts and liquid cosmetics.
Jamie’s parents weren’t home that night to hear the screams. And Janine was passed out in her room, deaf to his screams, from the cocaine she shot into herself, which was something I’ve come to learn she did almost every night.
Something broke in Eddie that night. Not only will he never walk again, but he most likely will never really talk again, either, the experts keep telling me. With therapy - lots of it - Eddie may be able to talk again, but the experts think his days of guitar playing are over. Too much blood loss, maybe, the doctors told me. They don’t really know, much like his psychiatrist doesn’t know if he’ll talk again. He’s in therapy now, full time - I did end up having to take that leave of absence after all. Because with no legs and no apparent desire to live anymore, my son is basically immobile. He won’t eat. He won’t play guitar. He rings a bell when he has to get out of bed to shit. And then he sleeps most of the day away.
Eddie still writes, though, in his notebook, during his therapy sessions.. He has got to know we all read it - me, Lindsay, his psychiatrist - but he writes, anyways. The same thing, only two sentences per entry, once per day.
“I am not Stevie Ray. I have made a horrible mistake.”
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2020.07.22 18:53 Renathras [Spoiler: 5.3] Patch 5.3 trailer scene by scene breakdown - WARNING: There be spoilers ahead!!

If you have not watched it already, do so here IF you're up to date on the storyline (if not...at LEAST finish 5.0, if not all the way to 5.2/current):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jmALV5kDVw
If anyone has any amplifying details, feel free to add to it. I didn’t intend to go THIS in depth with this when I started it, I just got on a roll and so figured I’d pump out the whole thing.

Okay, let's break this down:

0:10 - 1) Crystal Tower, nice view all the way to the tip of it.
0:12 - Title Card (Disney Castle?? No wait, Crystal Tower. Gotcha!)
0:19 - 2) WoD running towards the Crystarium across Lakeland. The sky is cloudy with an almost sickly yellow pallor of clouds, and there seems to be a Starshower (this is prevalent throughout the trailer). Lakeland is pink/purple, but has a very gloomy, overcast, washed out look.
0:23 - 3) We see Il Mehg, with a similar sky to it. Some purple/black shadowy stuff, kind of like Calamity Ganon/Malice from Breath of the Wild. Some little bits of white (under where the blocks on the left side appear and then disappear) that looks kind of when your character gets the white/Umbral aspect aura in the Eden 7 fight (though they could also be like the ARR water sprite enemy?). You can see the angle of the shot is looking towards Lakeland as you can clearly see the Crystal Tower in the distance.
“Yours is a long road, my friend.”
0:27 - 4) Shot of the Scions, in the Crystarium on a balcony looking out. The sky has the ominous clouds which seem to have a very cool/dark blue cast. They’re watching the Starshower (which is very likely present in all areas at this moment in time, much like how the Eternal Daylight was at the start of ShB, or how in late 1.X, Dalamud could be seen from every zone in the game.)
0:29 - 5) Battle! A glowing white enemy is fighting the WoD, who (as a DRK for this trailer) uses a wide strike attacking him (sorry, DRK is one of the Jobs I haven’t leveled enough to be familiar with their abilities). The trees appear to be in Holminster Switch. They aren’t the forest of Rak Tika, but they also aren’t the purple, almost crystalline looking ones of Lakeland. The yellow pallor clouds are here as well. Right after that is a picture of what looks like a boss fight with a floating female figure. The group is in a party. This appears to be in Il Mehg, possibly near the Voeburt ruins. Alisaie is there, so this is likely the dungeon and the Trust fighting. This may be where the picture from the 5.3 website is coming from as well.
0:33 - 6) “Another Starshower.” Thank you, Catamomma. Love you, but I think that was obvious to everyone. XD This appears to be the shot from 0:27 (4) above.
0:34 - 7) Scene of Alphy whipping open his book. Fighting is likely to commence. The lighting here is…strange. It has a kind of washed out red/bronze/gold color scheme to it. (It looks like a similar effect to when the darkness washes out all color at the cutscene after the Hades fight, just here, it’s more white/gold. Maybe this is Elidibus’ power instead? I have no idea what that gold thing is to Alphy’s right. There appears to be some intricate pillalight arrangement to his left/the direction he’s facing… Urianger joins with his Starglobe, the gold thing being the top of the archway of the door behind him.
0:35 - 8) On a brick/stone walkway/path/road somewhere, summoning circles like those before the Hades fight form. There are some little houses/huts in the background, though it’s a quick shot. It looks VAGUELY like the some of the ruins/forts around Lakeland, or perhaps somewhere in the Crystarium..?
0:36 - 9) The Trust again, seeing the WoL leading Alisaie and Ryne down a brick road in Il Mehg (you can see one of the pot men “statues” to the left fighting with a giant black…bug thing?
“Wait…is that…?” -Ryne
0:38 - 10) Big U-man, talking. We don’t hear his voice, though. Appears to be the scene from (4).
0:39 - 11) Il Megh. Yellow pallor sky, Starshower, Crystarium in the center over the mountains. There appears to be fighting, like something is drawing out darkness itself and the Fae have, once again, gone to war. As in the scene (9), you can see fighting between the Faeries’ creations/mutations (remember – they turned random people into those things) and the monsters. There appears to be an Ent/Tree man…thing, just chilling, looking at the camera go by.
0:41 - 12) “And, there may…come a day…” – Crystal Catboy takes up the role of narration. We see Lyna in probably the Crystarium (you can see the brick tiles and the gold/stone rings on the ground behind her), looking up toward the camera/sky.
0:42 - 13) “When you forget the faces –“ Crystal E with his hood down (of course) standing in his room in the tower. He’s turned to the side and looking at someone. He turns more towards the camera (slightly) and there’s a bright orange flare/flash like fire.
0:45 - 14) “…and voices…” WoD seems to be having a 1-on-1 heart to heart with a Paragon standing before him. Whether it’s a conversation or just looking at a shade/hologram, who knows. This appears to be in Amourot in the Tempest on one of the streets. You can see the trees and the buildings in the background, as well as some of the rock cliff to the left.
0:46 - 15) “…of those you have met along the way.” Alphy, WoL, and Alisaie fighting an enemy boss in that Trust dungeon. There’s a lot of flashing in the background, but it appears to be in Lakeland. You can see one of the purple crystal trees to the right and some of the ruins/fort walls to the left. When the light effect ends briefly, you can see Ryne is the other party member there, and they’re fighting a barbarian looking dude with a big sword (we’ll get back to him in a few secs.)
0:49 - 16) This is in the Crystarium. Might be before going off to do something dangerous, or perhaps the Scions preparing to return home..?
0:51 - 17) Barbarian king dude. This is probably his pre-fight mini-cutscene in the dungeon. + (OR they’ll just do one of those special dungeons where they don’t have special boss music and just have the overall them pounding out the whole time..? Who knows…) He’s definitely in Lakeland, and has glowing red WAR eyes. Inb4 new Job is Barbarian. :p He also has a bit of a golden glow around him.
0:53 - 18) This appears to be an 8 man, though might be part of the Bozjan Front events. A large mechanical catank thing on wheels busts through a wall leaving an opening. There are a few dead/passed out/sleeping people on the ground, probably the group the party just defeated and the car thing breaking a hole in the wall is opening up the next part of the dungeon. There appear to be 8 player characters on the screen. As soon as the hole is broken open, they all charge for it. If you look close, you can see a banner to the left at 0:55 with the three overlapping diamonds of Garlemald. If you then pause at the later part of 0:56, you can get a bit of a look inside the facility. There’s something big in there. Whether it’s a machine or a mech is hard to tell at this angle. Has a couple orange circle rings on some slanted black and gray steel plates. Though if you then progress the image, it fades out almost instantly, being replaced with a building with little lit windows and a big door where the…whatever it was…was standing. NO IDEA what this means, though. At first I thought it might be part of the door itself – debris or something – that then fades out as moments after the effect to prevent the debris from being in the players way, but it seems to fade independently of the door debris, which can still clearly be seen at 0:57.
0:57 - 19) Floor ta- I mean…Dragoon! A glowy DRG flying out of the clouds. If you pause right when he appears, you can see he’s clearly dropping from the sky, as there’s a streak of Starshower in the bottom left. I don’t recognize his armor, either, but it has a similar feel to me to that Barbarian with the horns and fur bits. Very glowy. Reminds me (energy/light-wise) kind of like Thordain’s Knights of the Round. Lunging/thrusting his spear forward, it discharges light energy. 0:58 shows it striking the side of an airship that was below it, likely ripping out the side of the blimp part. 0:58 shows Ryne, Alis, and Alphy all on the ship, reeling as it lurches to the side. The yellow/gray clouds are in the background and you can see the ongoing Starshower.
0:59 - 20) “Excellent..!” -Mr Burns. Er, I mean, Jerkbert. (For those that didn’t do the healing questline, if you’ve done more than one role quest, you get to pick which of the four [five if you’ve done ALL four AND the bonus questlines] visitors you get in your Inn room. While the FIFTH is probably the canon, I still love how Lammit was pissed about Elidibus waring Ardbert’s body “like a bloody jerkin”. Hence, Jerkbert was born in my mind. Anyway, so it’s him. Then you see, talking (mouths moving simultaneously) over his shoulder is Elidibus. “…I had intended to speak with you alone.” His voice is echo-y and distorted, so this is probably happening in some kind of mind space.
1:03 - 21) Final Fantasy XIV: Breath of the Wild. Here we see the WoD climing a ladder. Also note the mechanical stuff on the landing above him has those same orange circles on it, and you can also see the white banner with three diamonds on the left. The sky is yellow/gray cloudy, and this appears to be in the fortress. A note on the sky here is that I don’t see any Starshower, so it might just be the dust/fire of the ongoing battle rising into the sky, like Ghimlit Dark. A note here is that the equipment/machine seems to maybe be an upgrade of the drill arm mechs from ARR’s Garlemald forces, and there’s lightning dropping on it. It’s not 100% clear, but it might be an open world fight and the WoD player character is just arriving to jump into a fight in progress. So this may be more Bozjan Front stuff.
1:04 – 22) WoD and party of what are probably other PCs fighting a flying boss creature. Looks like the same surrounding architecture – which (figured I should take a minute sooner or later) looks vaguely gothic with a slight steampunk feel with the metallic bits around. You can again see that banner here in the upper left/center, and as the camera rotates around the boss, on the right side of the screen (was behind the boss at the start of the shot)
1:06 - 23) “Having drawn your strength from such a cacophony of voices, can you truly be sure you still speak with your own?” -Y’shtola layin’ down the big brain questions. Her voice overlays several scenes in quick succession. You initially see her face somewhere, possibly the end of the Anamnesis Anyder dungeon, judging by the yellow and blue lighting, as well as the yellow and blue marble looking architecture in the background. Maybe this is her still talking to the hologram records, or perhaps she’s learned about the WoL’s situation and is talking to him. Or Elidibus. Or who knows. I would speculate this is where we left her at the end of 5.2, and we start by being summoned to go talk to her there in 5.3 to start the MSQ going and that’s where the (visual) scene of her there takes place. The quote, of course, may not take place there (SE tends to do that a lot in these trailers where you see someone and hear their voice saying something, but the voiced part is some other location/part of the story. So never rely on that TOO much…)
1:08 - 24) Little Au Ra girl looking up. Probably one of Daddy G’s kids from the Jenov- I mean, the WEAPON project. This is LIKELY a flashback OR her reliving some memory, as you can see a man with arms spread in front of her. It’s a little dark, but could be a specter of Giaus or Nael, or perhaps one of her other team members talking up the glory of things to come. Lots of arches in the back to give the impression of depth, and a toppled globe in the right corner. Dude/kid standing by a light on the left. Of note, right behind the man appears to be a writing desk with a light. So maybe she stumbled onto some pre-recorded message in someone’s old private office, or perhaps the leader of the team did and is giving her a pep talk. What is it with Garleans and spreading their arms dramatically when making grand speeches, anyway..? The door closes behind her ominously at 1:10, concurrently with Y’shtola saying “voices”.
1:11 - 25) WAR! Here we see one of the four legged things shooting. I kinda want it as a mount, not gonna lie… Lots of people running away from whatever it’s fighting. The helmets look vaguely Garlean, and I kinda want their cloaks/coats/armor. There appears to be a banner in the background (dark), but it has no visible markings.
1:13 - 26) Gaius slamming his fists down on a stone bannisterailing, or possibly desk. The first shot (kind of at a 45 showing him from his front/left) shows some kind of wooden tower in the background, possibly a watchtower or siege tower (like the ones people climb up the inside of), and a blue roofed structure with very small windows. The second angle (more from his left side) a stone tower in the background. The structure looks kind of like Ala Mhigan architecture.
1:14 - 27) This next sequence gave me Xenogears/Xenosaga vibes. Others have mentioned Gundum, Eva, etc. Point is, there’s a giant mech, and the WoD is going to be piloting it. It starts off showing two airships, the one in the top right looks like Cid’s Enterprise, carrying it to the battlefield suspended from wires. The sky is clear and there’s a sunray/lens flare. They cut it lose and you see the inside (this is the part that reminded me of the cockpit shots from Xenogears/saga) where the WoD is at the controls. There’s a holographic comm screen up with Cid’s face talking to him. This appears too be over an ocean/water somewhere, with islands and ocean clearly visible in the shot. The holographic control displays are light blue, and there’s some pink and red holographic streamers around the side, as well as red accent lights behind the WoL’s chair. OOutside shot of the mech flaring up/igniting the mech’s sword. The mech is largely blue/gray/orange body with white accents and ancillary armor plate bits, with light blue lighting, along with some Predator-looking dreads off the back that are also glowing that same light-blue with little metal plugs on the end of them. 0:17 is an ultra 1980s/90s mecha pre-battle attack pose…and it is every bit as glorious as it sounds. The mech flares a lighting effect to its helmet and emits an old-school mecha anime sound effect “shing!” sound as it does so.
1:19 - 28) Au Ra member of Gaius’ orphan squad. Looking broody and/or angry (it’s kind of hard to tell with the Au Ra, since both are simultaneously their default emotions). He clenches his fist as the music’s lyrics start to ramp up.
1:21 - 29) Quick shot of the mech dodging to the left and slashing with the sword. It appears from the camera angle and follow that this is an actual event you’ll get to play, not a cutscene you’ll be watching. The mech is fighting a bigger mech that has a more organic, WEAPON feel to it. I should note here that the mech the WoL is in seems much more Gundam/Xeno. It has some biological aspects, but looks/feels like a metal construct, with hard angles and bright, specifically and discrete colored bits of its armor. The one it’s fighting has the more curved, biological/biotech organic feel, like Ruby WEAPON did. Both Mechs seem to be fighting while hovering above the water on that ocean under an open sky. 1:23 shows the mech glowing red and putting out a lot of energy, like a Limit Break (CAN mechs Limit Break..??) or otherwise special action during the encounter.
1:25 - 30) Oh god! I’m only half-way through this thing and already to 30?? XD ARR WoL (WAR) riding a Chocobo takes flight out in La Noscea, looking towards Limsa in the background. You can see the bridge there. I don’t know La Noscea as well as I should (healer main, you can guess what City-State I started this game from back in 2.X…) This is the quick clip to show us that, YES, flying is now available in ARR zones!
1:28 - 31) “No. I won’t let you go alone. Not this time.” -G’raha putting his foot down. This scene is in the Crystarium, POSSIBLY in G’raha’s usual digs/the portal room, but I doubt that. Because he walks by the WoD then looks back over his shoulder (when he says “Not this time”) and you can see an open space with blue crystal floor with gold design lines and some spires in the background. It doesn’t have the circles on the floor representing the Source/Shards that G’raha’s room does. There are also a number of glowing beings. I count 8 of them. They are of various heights and have various weapons. They’re SO glowy, it’s hard to see a lot of them. The one just to G’raha’s left appears to be a PLD with sword and shield. The one on the far right seems to be a SAM by the stance he’s holding his sword. The short one in the distance to his left has a hat with a feather, and so is PROBABLY a BRD. A part of me wants to think that these are all perverted/corrupted “Light” versions of the WoL’s past incarnations. Or, perhaps all of the ones we’ve seen in the various trailers/the marque classes of the games. But there’s really no way to be certain. Thus far, we’ve had (not counting 1.0’s ARC); 2.0 (WAR, PLD, WHM, BLM, BRD), 3.0 (DRG), 4.0 (MNK, SAM). This would potentially be 8. I’m not SURE that’s what they’re doing, but we’ve already seen a WAR (the “Barbarian King”) and DRG earlier. So it could be that these are the “Warriors of Light” that Elidibus means to pit against the WoD. The one on the left has a green robe and sandals, and almost makes me think of a SMN for some reason. But I can’t tell what weapon that one is using. Try as I might, I can’t tease any more details out of that image, even playing it forward slowly as it fades to black, hoping with less glow I could make out a few more details (I could not…)
1:31 - 32) Did someone say Neir?! We see the Dwarven twins, the WoD, and 2P (back on her feet) facing something and looking forward, with the WoD looking over his shoulder as 2P steps up. This appears to be in the cave system or the Dwarf village, judging by the background lighting and rocks. 1:33 shows a shot from behind 2P as she takes up a challenging stance. On the rock/cliff edge before her are several figures. My limited experience with NeiR is watching a (fantastic, btw) Let’s Play of Getsalt, but I’m led to believe by comments that these may be the Yorha members from the space station…? So 2B/P and 9S’s allies. 2P doesn’t exactly appear to be greeting them warmly and inviting them to dinner, though. Their black garb contrasts openly with her white.
1:33 - 33) More in the same stuff, this appears to be some fighting in the new 24 man. There’s a desert in the background and a lot of fallen debris. I DO know enough of Automata to know there was a space station or moon base. So maybe it’s fallen debris from the reentry of that? Though I’d expect the impact crater to be bigger…but it DID land in a sand ocean… There’s a lot of desert and mountain the background, and if you pause and look at the mountains, you can see the giant golem holding Mt. Gulg in the background. So this is probably either to the east or north of Kholusia, geographically. I’m going to say east/south-east because I want to (and the angle of the golem holding the mountain seems to be “facing” to the left, but at a narrower angle than in Kholusia, which would mean we’re seeing it more from the back/behind…), which would make this be taking place on the other side of the mountain to the east of the Dwarven village.
1:35 - 34) Players sliding down a circle thing like those big spinning bits on space stations in sci-fi where they don’t have artificial gravity. I have no idea exactly why, but this apparently has made NieR: Automata players giddy, so I guess it’s a happy thing for them. ^_^
1:38 - 35) Another shot from the desert with a large robot/boss rotating with what appear to be scanning/sensor lasers. They don’t SEEM to be doing damage to players, though there is a ground telegraph-looking orange field under the laser paths as it rotates around with them. This appears to be in the same location as (33) with the mountain, desert/sand, and debris in the background.
1:40 - 36) Several Flight Units strafe/carpet bomb the Dwarven town. Distraught Dwarves running everywhere, one doing the nervous dance flailing his arms. A brief shot of fighting a big, white mech indoors. The ticker on the top of the screen around the room says “Glory of Mankind YoRHa:”, and seems to repeat around the room. There’s also some circles on the display screens, the number “R030” on the left, and one of the little flying drone things that we have the minions of (and I desperately want a mount of ) to the left. This mech doesn’t look like the Robots we fought in the first NeiR raid, so this is probably a YoRHa construct?
1:44 - 37) Another fight, this one against a darker gray flying thing. This looks more like the first raid robot type things. The platform and background ironwork also speaks more to the “decrepit, post-industrial wasteland factory” vibe of the Copied Factory as well.
1:47 - 38) Another shot of the Dwarven town being strafed. A Dwarf with a brown (?!?!) beard drops to the ground and stands defiantly and dramatically. There are tank versions of the little frog-like robot mechs that you see around the Dwarven towns. Judging by the feel of the scene, he’s a champion/general ready to turn the tide of the battle and start the Dwarves fighting back.
[ASIDE: Perhaps this is what the deal will be with the Dwarven “Beast” Tribe crafter quests – rebuilding the Dwarven town after it was all beat up.]
1:49 - 39) We see the raid group fighting the enemy from before with the laser system. I also see at least two flying mechs hovering over the battlefield facing it. As the camera pans, you can see there are 4 of them total, on cardinals from it. Whether these will be allied with the players or our enemies… The wings/plats of the enemy fold in and it starts to go into the ground, as the four Flight Units seem to transform to bug out to avoid it going all Starburst (anyone? I know it’s an OOOOOooold movie…) on the party. Note also that there are 8 players here, not 24, by my count. While that could be a placeholder, it could also be one of those parts of the 24 mans where they split us into 3 separate parties.
1:52 - 40) PLD Ronso! Rocking the Relic shield Tenacity (and, presumably, the sword as well). Ronso GNB holds his hand up to tell his allies to stay their blades…or something. He holds his hand up and then waves it forward. Probably a fight goes on here and PLD drops in to help out, one-shooting (or kill stealing) an enemy, and the GNB is signaling to his peeps that they’re on the same side. This is likely part of the Relic storyline. At 1:55, we see the WoL in probably the same place, with someone from Garlond Ironworks behind him to the left side of the screen.
[ASIDE: 40 down…and less than a minute of video to goooo!!!]
1:56 - 41) We see another shot of the soldiers running in that Gothic-Steampunk sort of area. They seem to be wearing the same armo/uniforms as before, but from this angle it looks a lot more Garlean. Some aren’t wearing the green cloak bits, and the black and maroon is clearly visible. There’s also a clear Garlean barricade/bulwark in the background (with the glowing blue-green lights at the top). They seem to be retreating in front of something. A flying mech comes over and starts shooting from overhead at whatever they’re running from.
1:59 - 42) We see the female Au Ra with the Echo that can see into memories and live them again, in an rea of similar architecture in the background. She seems distressed/worried about something.
2:01 - 43) “The joys you have known…” -From here on, G’raha narrates. This appears to be around the Crystarium. There’s a large crystal in the background, and when you see the wider shot (just before the scene changes – though I know you’re all more focusing on the action taking place) you can see the wooden ground with the metal runners. You can also see a small crystal hut/yurt in the background on the right. So, let’s talk about the scene:
Jerkbert is walking up to/by G’Raha in slow motion. G’Raha’s head tracks him and Jerkbert’s tracks back in kind. Then Jerkbert has a close up of his face. He doesn’t even smirk with satisfaction. He just moves in. G’Raha reacts, but too slowly. I should note his left arm here is glowing crystal/blue, though the hand still seems to be flesh. Jerkbert delivers a literal and figurative gutpunch to G’Raha’s left abdomen/stomach, with a shot/streak of purple/black energy lancing out and through him. The wide shot doesn’t SEEM to show a hole, necessarily, but it clearly did some damage and G’Raha reacts like he was just punched in the gut (as well as all the Crystal Catboy fans out there, collectively clutching their tissue boxes. T_T
2:03 - 44) We see something…this one probably was easy to miss, as I didn’t notice this until freezing the frame to describe the image to you. So you notice the glowing figure running. Do you see where this is? It’s in Eulmore, on one of the outside balconies. You can clearly see the purple carpet, which Crystarium lacks. Look in the background before we talk about the scene: Aumorot. Also the Starshower. So from EULMORE, you can see Aumorot ABOVE THE WAVES with the Starshower falling on it. So either Aumorot has risen above the waves, or this is one CRAZY vision/illusion. Anyway, you can see the Scions on the balcony, along with random other denizens of (presumably) Eulmore. The figure has a sword and shield (so PLD?) and runs at the Scions. Thancred seems to sense him, and the lighting gets EVER SO SLIGHTLY DARKER as Thancred turns just in time to see the enemy rearing back with his sword. If you pause at 2:05 when he rears back, you can see the design of the blade is a scimitar, as you can see the curved leading edge and the slight, wave-like point/crest on the back side of the blade…just before he swings, presumably at Thancred.
2:05 - 45) Speaking of Joy, I refuse to level DNC out of protest, but I cannot deny there’s something damn SATISFYING about their L3 LB. Apparently, SE thinks so, too, as they have a DNC using the L3 LB on a boss. The scene is short and it’s hard to see much, but this appears to be in some kind of great hall. The background is mostly dark other than some lighting fixtures, but if I HAD to guess, I’d say this is inside of some large structure in that Gothic-Steampunk place we’ve seen several times before.
2:08 - 46) “The pain…you have felt…” here we see what appear to be Venat and his at least 12 companions. It’s very fuzzy and they’re looking down at you, so this could be a memory/flashback? It PROBABLY isn’t a hologram message, though it could be that, too. Perhaps Y’Shtola found it and (as I speculated much earlier) summons us back to Anamnesis Anyder to watch a recording. Perhaps she learns, then, about the WoL’s own past. But this is all me throwing noodles at the wall.
2:10 - 47) Once again we see Amaurot and the Starshower. Looking on the left of the frame, you can see part of the land of the Kholusian shore (and also that the city is clearer, so you’re not seeing it through (as much) fog or underwater through diffuse lighting), so this is another shot of the city having risen above the ocean, and is probably connected to the scene of the Scions in Eulmore looking out at it in (44). If not the same scene, it’s at least the same THING.
2:11 - 48) “The prayers you have whispered [and oft/not said?]…” I can’t QUITE make out the part in the brackets. We see the WoL here, or Jerkbert – it’s very clearly WAR with the greataxe weapon and the ARR WAR armor. He’s surrounded by columns of light, just like the WoD in the Hades fight. He floats up slowly. The exact location isn’t clear, but the background appears to be Crystarium/Crystal Tower.
2:14 - 49) WoD slashes at what is PROBABLY that modified drill mech from before. The Gothic-Steampunk architecture in the background. The mech appears to have a lion/Ronso face on the front of it, if you look close. Not sure if that means anything or not…
2:16 - 50) G’Raha, with crystal seeming to gush out of his chest like blood. He seems to be either working REALLY hard to channel some power, or he’s in pain…or anguish. Flakes of crystal are rising from his fingertips, and though it’s not EXACTLY clear from the angle, it appears his left hand may now be fully engulfed in crystal as well.
2:17 - 51) This is outside/out front of the Crystal Tower, as you can see the CT on the right side of the image if you pause the frame. This appears to be one of the summon columns forming in the sky and shooting its light down to the ground.
2:19 - 52) “COME! Warrior of Darkness! … LET US FINISH THIS!!”-Jerkbert/Elidibus Talk about hype! We see a n umber of light columns and those golden glowy figures materializing from them, floating in the air. HERE we can see their weapons a LOT better (at least several of them). I had to go 0.25x speed for this. So the first warrior has a bow (BRD), the second appears to have a greataxe (WAR), the third is a Lala in the WHM level 80 430 gear (WHM), a Lala with the feathered hat, though here appears to have a staff (so BLM, then?), greatsword wielder (DRK), twin daggers (NIN), and one with a book, so possibly SCH or SMN. That’s a count of only 7, though, so these MAY or MAY NOT be the same as the group earlier in (31). Also note, not that it’s important or anything, that their light columns are different colors. Blue/white, MAYBE slight hint of dark green(?) or part of the yellow/gold, yellow/white/gold (this might be the WHM’s blocking the WAR’s), dark blue/black (BLM), light blue, white/blue, white. Again, no idea if this has meaning or not. Since I have no idea who these shades are. WILD SPECULATION time, I might think that these are from the Shards or something and MAYBE their colors have something to do with the aspects of their Shards or the Calamities of their shards…but there’s zero way to know. Finally, we see Elidibus wearing Jerkbert, with is crest forming over his face and the quick/dramatic zoom in lines around the screen as if a boss fight is about to start. Judging by the background, this is in the Crystarium, or right out in front of it, possibly at or around the Dossal Gate, judging by the fact that the first teleport column appeared to be outside right in front/near the Crystal Tower.
2:24 - 53) A light blue glowing crystal fades into view and we see G’raha standing with his arms kind of around it as it hovers before him. The background behind him is dark, and there’s little blue flecks of energy floating up from the ground. But his hood is drawn here, and his left arm is flesh and blood. And we get G’raha with the final words of the trailer.
“They shall ever be your strenth(mutes the “g”)…
“…and your COMfort.”
Force/dramatic zoom-in, and the image becomes the patch artwork image.
“FINAL FANTASY XIV PATCH 5.3 Reflections in CrystaL” (Not a typo)
“When all is said and done…I would ask a favor of you.”

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2020.07.09 16:06 efa___ I Read It So You Don't Have To: Love Italian Style (by Melissa Gorga)

As much as I've been enjoying our literary exploration of RHONY's trailblazing cosmopolites, I think it's time to mix things up and travel approximately thirty miles down the road to get a taste of the suburban paradise that is the non-Jersey-Shore part of New Jersey. And since I'm sure we could all use a little bit of extra help keeping that spark alive -- especially in these trying times -- what better place to start than Melissa Gorga's 2013 relationship advice book, Love Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage.
If you were in any doubt as to our author's expertise on the particular issue at hand, never fear! You have only to flip the book over to its back cover to be thoroughly rid of any residual skepticism. What is love, if not those nuzzling noses, that slender hand thrown into contrast against a patch of coarse, hoary facial hair? However, I have to admit that my personal definition of love would probably have included a little help from my friendly neighborhood tooth-whitening app. Between an unfortunately positioned shadow and the striking contrast of Melissa's hyper-peroxided chompers, poor Joe looks like he got pulled into this photo shoot midway through eating a particularly unwieldy Tootsie Roll.
In the introduction ("Blueprint for a Better Marriage"), Melissa primes us on her motivations for writing this book.
Since I entered the world of reality TV, the number one message I get from fans is, "I want your marriage!"
She continues,
The number two message I get from fans: "How do you do it?"
I think a far more interesting question would be, Why do you do it, but that's neither here nor there. Melissa goes to empower the reader with the knowledge that, no matter the state of their marriage, there's always a way to turn things around.
If other women want a close-to-perfect marriage, they can have it, too. It's their choice. Even if they don’t think they are, they are in control. Women steer the ship. What they say and how they act towards their partner will directly correlate with his response.
I am breathless with relief, and immediately begin making plans to send a copy of this book to every domestic violence hotline in the nation. How silly of me -- the solution was there the whole time! How disappointing that all of those other women couldn't have just tried a little harder.
With that selfless act of charity over and done with, I soldier on through the following paragraph, in which Melissa introduces her "overriding 'Gorganizing' principle" of a good marriage: "treat your husband like a King." As a side note, for what I can only assume is an incredibly well thought-out and heavily symbolic reason, the words "King" and "Queen" are capitalized throughout the book (or, at least, throughout this chapter).
But treating your husband like royalty doesn't mean you have to be a subservient pushover! No,
In the game of chess, the King can only move one square at a time. The Queen can zip across the board every turn.
I realize how much my standards have been lowered by my recent run of Housewives memoirs, since my only reaction is to be decently impressed that Melissa got the mechanics of chess correct. However, the metaphor starts to fall apart shortly thereafter:
As the Queen, I create the playbook for our marriage. On our chessboard, I'm zooming up the iTunes charts and performing on concert stages, but I'm never more than one step away from being at my husband's side.
Take that, Bobby Fischer! We next follow Melissa back to her childhood to learn how she became the woman she is today, and she tells us about dating a series of bad boys as a teenager
My OCD kicked in, and I wouldn't let up until they'd transformed.
Despite a few failed relationships, Melissa continues in her unrelenting search for Mr. Right, but is dismayed to find that some men are hesitant to pay her attention -- "Maybe it was because I was sober and not dressed like a slut." We're treated to a family portrait tenderly captioned, "Guidos in pastel" before jumping ahead a few years to the moment that changes it all. Of course, the responsibility of recounting the numerous details of such a monumental event would be too much for a fragile female constitution to shoulder. Thankfully, as we read:
Joe loves this story. One of the secrets of our marriage is to grant him his moments. I call them "Joements." Whenever you see bold type set in a box, like below, know that these are my man's words. For extra fun, read it out loud in Joe's voice.
Hey ladies. It's me. The one and only Joe Gorga. I'm very proud of Melissa for writing this book. I'm honored she wants to hold up our marriage as an example for other woman [sic]. I knew she was the woman for me when I first laid my eyes on her.
Joe begins to tell us the story of meeting Melissa in Cancun while on vacation, but the couple loses touch when he gets "busy with business and with girls closer to home." Nevertheless, the stars align, the lovebirds reconnect, and the passion is unstoppable from there! Melissa encourages us to follow in her footsteps and adhere to the "100-date rule" for having sex. As she explains:
Even if sex with me turned out to be the greatest night of [Joe's] life, he'd lose some respect for me in the morning. I'm not going to apologize about how unfair that sounds, how sexist or old-fashioned. The fact is, a man won't fall hard if a woman is too easy.
Before I can formulate an argument against this, however, I read on to see that Melissa refers to Joe reaching climax as "releasing his poison." I now realize that delaying intercourse was probably the safest strategy for everyone involved, if only from a biosafety standpoint. She then quips:
Some women think waiting to have sex is just a strategy women use to trick a man into marriage. The opposite! For one thing, a "trick" is what whores do.
I have to admit, I wasn't expecting Melissa Gorga and G.O.B. Bluth to have this much in common, but it's always nice when multiple experts agree on a particular concept. Melissa goes on to reassure us that "it's like a math formula," so I'm pretty confident she's got things figured out.
The couple quickly tie the knot and settle into a comfortable newlywed routine. Melissa shares some hard-earned words of wisdom from these early days:
You might think you and your new husband can just sit down with an iPad, and bang out your official policy on the biggies.
Alas, as our guide sagely informs us,
On day 1,001, you'll realize that all those plans you made on the iPad aren't worth a dime.
Considering my boyfriend and I don't even have an iPad, I’m frankly a bit nervous about where this leaves me. Thankfully, the next section of the book promises to teach me everything I need to know to be "a lady in the parlor," so I remain hopeful that I can learn the skills to compensate for these minor deficiencies.
We begin with the topic of fashion, on which Melissa explains,
The one thing I've come to realize is that I need to take Joe into account when I get dressed.
After enumerating rules like "dress to please your man," "dress to please your man, part two," and "a King does not want his Queen to look cheap," Melissa informs us that
It's never appropriate to wear a super-short mini dress with a boob-popping, midriff-baring tube top. Absolutely not.
I agree -- absolutely not! A tube top on top of a mini dress? It wouldn't even bare your midriff at all if you wear it that way! Preposterous! She goes on to sternly remind us that "'I'm insecure and overcompensating' is not the fashion statement that you want to make." But as a matter of fact, I'll have you know that 'insecure and overcompensating' is exactly the aesthetic I've been trying desperately for years to achieve.
Melissa tells us that Joe loves to see her in the color red, so she "[buys] every red dress or shirt I see." It seems like it would actually be incredibly debilitating to live life this way -- I picture Melissa Gorga, quietly sobbing in the checkout line at Kohl's, arms straining under a towering pile of red shirts, red dresses -- red, red, red. She pulls a cart behind her, overflowing with shades of crimson, scarlet, and maroon, as she frantically swipes credit card after credit card, desperate to claim her all-important bounty.
Moving on to beauty tips, Melissa cheerily informs us that "the saltiness in sweat is an all-natural scrub." We next learn that Joe doesn't wear a wedding band, because he has "really chubby fingers" and "thinks that a ring is the most uncomfortable thing ever." Also that he is a "dedicated manscaper." And is "into feet." After reading this, I'm pretty sure it will be at least 100 dates until I have any desire to have sex again.
The next chapter introduces us to the couple's experience with reality television, beginning with their recruitment for Real Housewives of New Jersey:
For the record, Joe and I never called a producer. They found us. If it had been the other way around, we probably wouldn't be on the show. If we'd shown any interest, we would have been ignored. Bravo's style is, the more you want to be on the show, the less likely you are to get on it. Like a house cat, if you grab at him, he'll run under the bed. But if you sit and wait for him to come to you, he'll jump right into your lap.
I swear, if I ever get a cat, I'll name him Bravo. Although I'm deathly allergic to cats, so that may be a problem!
To illustrate the full depth of emotions experienced by a thoughtful, sensitive man in the cutthroat reality television industry, Joe Gorga returns and shares with us the toll this upheaval took on him. Per Melissa's advice earlier in the book, I suggest you read it in your best impression of his voice to get the full effect. .
I'm a simple guy. I go to work every day. We were married six years before we got on the show. I have a wife that doesn’t leave my side. We love to be together. She's my best friend. Every night, I come home. She's in the kitchen looking cute, in those tight pants I love, cooking my favorite food. It was my dream life. I was used to that.
And then it started to change. I'm not going to lie. It took some time to get used to. I remember one time when Melissa told me that she would be out doing press for the show. When I came home, walked into the kitchen, and saw the babysitter holding little Joey, I felt a pit in my stomach. I knew who she was -- I'd hired her -- but I wasn't ready for the reality of not seeing my wife when I walked in the door. In that half second between what I was expecting and what I was actually seeing, I got a little nervous of what was to come.
When Melissa got home, I told her that I was bummed out. I didn't want to make her feel bad, but it was all starting to hit me. She apologized, but there was nothing be sorry for. She did nothing wrong.
Melissa goes on to remark that "the spotlight has actually made me more humble and vulnerable." And perhaps this is why the less-than-scrupulous have always tried to take advantage of her -- "'Film at my store!' 'Plug in my business!'" But Melissa struggles on, and is soon offered the chance to fly out to California to shoot a magazine cover. Joe's response? "No. You can't just fly around whenever you want." You may find this attitude controlling or demeaning, but you would be underestimating the eternal wisdom of the Gorganizer himself:
After many honest and sometimes hard conversations later, I figured it out. Joe was worried. He was worried that if I was flying to L.A. to do a photo shoot on a Wednesday, then what was going to be on my schedule for a Thursday? How far would this go?
This is definitely a compelling argument, and not the literal definition of the slippery slope fallacy.
Melissa effortlessly manages to slip in the fact that this episode occurred "around the same time my first single, 'On Display,' hit the iTunes charts." For a rigorous scholarly analysis of this lyrical masterpiece, I highly suggest you listen to the first segment of this week's episode of So Bad It's Good with Ryan Bailey. The themes of Melissa's work can be quite dense and emotionally weighty, so it's in your best interest to have an experienced guide of Ryan's caliber to help walk you through her masterful prose.
Rest assured, however, not all of Melissa's songs are so enigmatic:
My most popular song on iTunes -- "How Many Times" -- was written for and about Joe. It rose all the way up to number four on the charts. The reason it was such a hit? Fans had an emotional reaction to a song about my love for Joe.
The chanteuse goes on to share advice about how to keep stage fright at bay.
You know that old saying, "To get over stage fright, picture the audience in their underwear?" Well, I just picture Joe Gorga. I will leave the rest of the details to you.
I can only pray those details are ones like "fully clothed" and "giving an enthusiastic thumbs-up sign." And really, it's not like Joe is a mind-in-the-gutter kind of man. He stops by to share with us that, "A lot of my friends go to a strip club every night after work. I'm not that guy." As a matter of fact, as Melissa continues, "with one exception (guess), he never loves me more that [sic] when I'm making pasta and meatballs for our friends and family." She also suggests spicing up a party with "a few unexpected twists and turns." Past favorites of the Gorgonauts have included "an inflatable bull-riding ring" and "a whipped cream fight."
When our guests are doubled over laughing, and saying, "Only at the Gorgas!" I know we're a hit.
Above all, it's crucial to spare no expense when "the happiness of your family and friends is at stake." As Melissa reminds us,
Whatever you put out there in life or on the table -- kindness, love, and quality meats -- it flows right back to you.
I'm not sure if a flowing river of quality meats is the exact metaphor that I would have chosen to express this particular sentiment, but far be it from me to criticize someone so steeped in the romantic arts! What I am more than happy to criticize, however, is Melissa's subsequent revelation that she and Joe spend parties "sending sexy telepathic messages about what we'll do when everyone leaves." She explains, "parties are like extended foreplay for us." This certainly puts a different spin on the "quality meat" references, to say the least. However, I'm blissfully relieved to see "shower before bed" on the list of sexy tips for men that closes out this chapter.
Melissa introduces the next section of the book by telling us, "It took me a while to get 'Gorga-approved.'" As part of the grueling authorization process, her mother-in-law would berate her cooking "for hours at a time " while Joe helpfully offered up "some constructive criticism. I'm pretty sure this is more or less the plot of the second Hunger Games movie, but please correct me if I'm mistaken. The chapter ends with a helpful reminder not to text at the dinner table -- "I don't care what carrier you have."
In the book's next section, Melissa shares her perspective on her and Joe's relationship:
No marriage is perfect. No man is perfect. Joe has his flaws, for sure. I'm not perfect either. The flaws in ourselves and in our marriage cause us to fight. When we do, it's loud. He's a passionate man, and I'm a passionate woman. Our fights go from 0 to 90 in about 2.5 seconds.
And no, she's not just being a hysterical, overdramatic woman (this time!). Joe confirms:
I lose it. It's true. But I'd never let loose if I didn't believe Melissa understood me, and can handle me. It's another version of trust.
Exactly like how I only steal from people when I know they have enough money available for me to take. It's another version of trust. Melissa informs us that, when Joe is mad, "the only defuser that makes a dent in his sulk is to ask, 'Don’t you love me?'" I presume she says this while affecting the accent of a young Blanche DuBois and ostentatiously collapsing across the nearest piece of furniture. At this point in the book, I am caught off guard by the tragic revelation that Joe Gorga suffers from a serious medical condition that puts his life and livelihood at risk. As Melissa explains:
That's when he told me about his severe poison condition. He described the need to expel his junk like it's a real physical crisis. We all know that Blue Ball Syndrome does not appear in any medical textbooks. But for Joe, not having enough sex is detrimental to his overall health. He genuinely can't function otherwise. He gets fidgety and stressed, distracted and irritable.
But Joe isn't suffering alone. This devastating malady is indiscriminate, affecting innocent men around the globe and wreaking its ruinous consequences. As Melissa solemnly intones, "The general consensus though is that if men don't get their minimum of sexual activity (on a sliding scale), they go crazy." Or, as Joe puts it, "Refusing to initiate is a Top Three reason men cheat."
We next learn about some of the expectations Joe has for Melissa in the context of their relationship. For example:
He wanted to make sure that I knew, for example, if I ran out to CVS and he came home from work to an empty house, he didn't like it.
I can only assume that this is because Joe Gorga is an infant child who lacks an understanding of object permanence, and becomes so alarmed at the prospect of an empty house because he is genuinely convinced that Melissa has disappeared off the face of the planet, never to return again. Plus, as she reflects, "In a way, it's flattering that he wants me all the time." Just like how kidnapping victims should be flattered that someone cared about them enough to take them for their very own!
Of her initial response to these rules and regulations, Melissa recalls,
My independent side wondered if he was trying to control me. I tried not to be too analytical about it.
This is the correct response, because women are wildly irrational harpies who lack the intellectual wherewithal to contextualize Complicated Man Things.
Before I introduce the next anecdote, take a second to imagine with me. You are writing a book about your fabulous, indescribably fulfilling relationship with the love of your life, thrilled at the chance to share your hard-earned wisdom with the eager audience. But what particular episodes truly capture the spirit of a marriage for the ages? How can one convey the innumerable intricacies of a decades-long relationship in something as hollow as the written word? After weeks of dogged pondering, you finally light upon the perfect sketch to illustrate your loving husband's tender devotion:
My girlfriend called me up one day from her doctor's office. She was getting her lips done. "Come over and try it!" she said. I was curious. I went over there. I didn't want huge big fake lips, so I just got a little done.
Mistake! Just that little bit made me look like a duck. I hadn't told Joe what I was up to. That night when I was cooking dinner, I kept my back to him so he wouldn't see my face. He noticed, of course. And he was NOT happy. "You look disgusting! You're like one of those freaks from Beverly Hills! What are you doing to yourself? What are you turning into?" He started slamming the plastic tabletop on the high chair (obviously, the baby wasn't in it), and it cracked.
Fat lips tell no lies: I hated the look, too.
He didn't talk to me for two weeks, about as long as the bruising lasted. When they went back down to normal size, I was relieved, not only for his sake. Puffy lips just didn’t feel right for me. Lesson learned. I never got them done again.
Sorry kids, Daddy's not talking to Mommy this week because she made herself look like a rancid Beverly Hills slut. That's love -- Italian Style.
Melissa tells us that she "[insists] on hiring all of Joe's secretaries at work" -- "If the candidate is over sixty, with an eye patch, a hump and a bald spot, she's hired." I can picture the Help Wanted ad now!
But just because your husband has mercilessly established an immovable network of pointless and degrading rules that he forces you to obey for the sole purpose of making his life as pleasant and free from consequences as possible doesn’t give you an excuse to let yourself get overwhelmed, No,
When things get hot, we remind each other that it's all noise. It's a sandstorm. But in the middle of the storm, with the sand swirling around us, we stand together solid as a rock.
This is the alternate music video to Darude's Sandstorm that I never knew I always needed.
We next learn that, "unwavering eye contact -- really staring -- is the test to a couple's comfort level." I've applied this principle in my own life to great positive effect, although my boyfriend was admittedly a bit concerned to wake up with my face inches in front of his own, my eyes strained open to ensure that I start my day with the necessary amount of close corneal contact.
An Odd Couple for the ages, Melissa and Joe Gorga let us know that they deal with conflicts in different ways. Joe "is the Incredible Sulk," while Melissa informs us,
I'm witty to get my way. I'm sarcastic. If he yells and I say, "That's fascinating, Joe," or "You're a real tough guy," he gets crazy.
I'm truly awed by the piquancy of these verbal barbs! I can only hope to channel Melissa's sarcastic wit in my own writing from here on out.
We learn that "men's attitudes are determined by their work and finances." In contrast to women's attitudes, which I assume are determined by how many dishes they have to wash and whether or not there's a coupon for their favorite brand of laundry detergent in today's circular. For this reason, Joe handles the finances for the Gorga household, and this system works exceptionally well. As Joe himself reports, "Our only glitch was when she questioned me about it."
In a heartfelt tribute to the man who's never left her side, Melissa pronounces: "He never wavered, never stopped busting ass." She's also generous enough to include several financial tips to ensure that the reader's marriage has an equally solid fiscal foundation. For example,
Live as well as you can: Buy the best car you can afford. Stretch by buying a house in the nicest neighborhood with the best schools.
I've been grappling for a few weeks now over whether or not to pull the trigger on a $400 Lego Hogwarts, and Melissa has just, however inadvertently, given me the green light. Thanks, girl!!
In the next section of the book, Melissa walks us through the timeline of her singing career, with a heavy emphasis towards the staggering toll her newfound success has had on her man at home. As she informs us, "Joe is empathetic. What hurts me destroys him." And ultimately, "having hit songs will not keep me warm at night. Joe will."
Melissa lets us know that "women are multitaskers" and that "cleaning can be soul-nurturing and creatively productive, if you use it that way." She continues to say that, "anyone can fold laundry on automatic pilot." I have a sneaking suspicion that by anyone, she really means women. After all, everyone knows that if a man folds laundry, he automatically turns gay. It's just science!
Again, you may be tempted to dismiss Joe as a chauvinist, an outdated relic of worldviews past. But that's why you're not the one writing a book about love and marriage, silly!
For Joe, it all comes down to respect. He was offended that I'd want him to waste even twenty minutes of our time together on a chore. Actually, Joe doesn’t want me to do chores either when he got home in the evenings.
And after all -- "Do you really want to see your man on his knees next to a bucket of sudsy water?" Real men should avoid kneeling at all costs, because kneeling is one step away from giving a blow job, and giving blow jobs is bad and gay and definitely not "Italian style." Again,
A man doing the dishes does not turn me on. Talk about crushing the fantasy of his being the big, bad protector.
And this isn't just Melissa making stuff up! She's got science on her side.
Anyway, a study came out recently that pretty much confirmed my belief.
As she elaborates: "When gender roles are confused, sexual roles are, too. If he's at the sink and then changing diapers, then who throws who down in the bed?" This makes absolutely no sense to me, from which can only assume I must have been doing sex wrong for all of the these years. As soon as I finish reading, I'm going to excuse myself to do some frantic and slightly embarrassed googling to clear up my confusion.
Melissa and Joe don't just uphold traditional gender roles in the bedroom, but allow this perspective to perfuse every aspect of their life together. As an example, "he thinks I'm the worst driver in the world."
Melissa tells us that
Joe and I are the King and Queen of the house. Antonia is our princess, and Gino and Joey are the little princes.
I can't help but notice that "princess" and "princes" are not capitalized like "King" and "Queen," although I'd be lying if I tried to pretend I had any clue what to make of this cryptic stylization. Joe writes a particularly meandering "Joement" in this chapter, in which he describes his response to the birth of his first son
"That's my boy!" I put a Giants jersey on him right away.
We should all be incredibly appreciative of Joe's quick thinking here. Without a Giants jersey, how would anyone would have known the baby was a boy? I can only imagine the horrors that could have ensued. Joe goes on to share his parenting philosophy with the reader:
My sons can have a separate entrance to the house. They can come and go as they wish. They can have anyone up to their room. I don't care. But I want to keep Antonia my little girl.
As he continues,
My wish is for her to have one boyfriend for a very long time. They have a mutual breakup with no bad feelings. Then she marries the next guy. That would be ideal.
It is totally normal and by no means invasive for a father to write what essentially amounts to elaborate mental fan-fiction about his young daughter's future romantic and sexual exploits. Joe signs off with the cheeky quip, "I know it's a double standard. But I just don't care!"
Melissa shares the inscrutable observation that when she and Joe first met, "he was like Mussolini." What's more, "it's no secret that Joe is a sexually voracious man and a throw-down lover." It's this experience that empowers Melissa to share with us the tips and tricks she uses to make sure that her husband never goes unsated. For example,
Thick luxurious carpeting can turn the barefoot walk from the bathroom to the bed into an erotic journey.
Joe stops by to proclaim the (patently and demonstrably false) claim that "A man will never go outside his marriage for sex unless he's not getting it at home," before Melissa instructs us that "sex is a marital lubricant." As she lets us know,
I'm proud of how I look, and not embarrassed to say so. Caring about your looks is superficial only if you do it for shallow reasons.
Reminding us that "being his sex object takes effort," Melissa commands the reader to "treat your body like a sex machine." If you let your physical appearance slip, "he might not complain, but that doesn’t mean he's not thinking Ewwww."
The next chapter boasts the vaguely terrifying title, "our version of foreplay." Melissa reiterates a message from earlier in the book, remarking that "Joe and I keep up the romance with extended foreplay." She also provides a helpful analogy to help delicate feminine minds comprehend the irrepressible male sex drive.
Most men are like pilot lights, always ready to burst into flame. They just need a blast of romantic fuel.
Melissa also tells us that Joe has "a tiny foot fetish." While I'm sure she means to imply that Joe's foot fetish is of a manageable intensity, I would much rather interpret this sentence to mean that Joe Gorga has a raging passion for full-grown women with teeny-tiny baby-doll feet.
Chapter fifteen is titled, "Full-Body Gorgasm." And if the physical reaction I had to being forced to read the word 'gorgasm" is any indication of its definition, it's more or less the physiological inverse of a regular orgasm. Displaying a characteristically Housewives ability to completely ignore the canonical definitions of fairly common terms, Melissa explains,
The traditional definition of "open marriage," is when a husband and wife allow each other to have sex with other people. Our version of "open marriage" means open communication, especially about sex.
She remarks that, "I know so much about how Joe's mind works," and I can't say that I'm even the slightest bit jealous. However, the man himself is kind enough to deign to let us in on some of these inner machinations:
One of the ways my wife shows me respect is by making mad passionate love to me. When I knock on the door, it opens!
But don't think this means your sex life has to be boring and staid! Far from it:
When I gained weight during pregnancy, Joe was totally into it. He said it was like having sex with a different woman. He loves variety.
This isn't the only way you can incorporate variety into your sexual repertoire. As another suggestion, Melissa suggests that you "be loud on Monday and whisper on Wednesday." Sing on Tuesday, mime on Saturdays. Also Joe swings by again to remind us that "the little things, touching toes, matter." Sure, just a very minor foot fetish.
Perhaps it's my fault for rushing so frantically through the sexual miasma of the previous chapters, but I'm surprised when I turn the page and am abruptly met with the book's parting words. Thankfully, trying to make sense of what lines like this actually mean will take up, I anticipate, a large part of the rest of my day.
Need is only a four-letter word if you don't accept it as another one: F-A-C-T.
At the back of the book, an exceptionally thorough index provides page numbers for a host of scintillating topics you will undoubtedly want to go back and reference. I'm sure that, generations from now, scholars will run their impatient fingers down this very list, thirsting for the lost vault of knowledge that only Melissa Gorga can provide.
children sex challenges, parental, due to, 225-26
Gorga, Melissa Marco, 48, 89 121, 229, 234 driving and, 179 stage fright by, 117-19
Nars products, 83, 85
Ralph (friend of Joe), 6
respect, 2, 4-5, 45, 52, 65 as cornerstone of marriage, 7-8, 9, 11-12, 186 in lovemaking, 223
sex, 217 faking orgasms in, 225 as marital glue, 11-12, 148-50, 195-96, 227-28 variety's importance in, 224
Short Hills Hilton, New Jersey, 53-57
Thoreau, Henry David, 109
See my comment below for more info on my future plans!
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2020.07.05 20:55 tutetibiimperes Nugu Roundup #46 - One World OneWe - 200705 + Album Giveaway

Hello and welcome to the latest Nugu Roundup!
What is this?: This is a weekly feature designed to highlight the unknown/underappreciated groups and soloists working hard in the Kpop world that often fall under the radar. Please share your own information, favorite performance videos, fanmeet stories, or anything else relevant below!
Last week we got to know the talented group plagued by company issues Sonamoo. This week let's check out a boy band that's had a busy year, let's get to know OneWe.
Look at the first comment below for the winner of the first Nugu Roundup Album Giveaway, plus details on this week's album up for grabs!
What is Nugu?: While in Korean it literally means 'Who' in the broader Kpop context it refers to groups that are generally unknown amongst the greater public. It doesn't have to mean they're extremely new, though it can, and there are of course varying degrees of 'unknown' which some groups having very strong niche fandoms and others being almost invisible. I take a fairly broad view and will include groups that may be known to some, but who don't have widespread name recognition.
Let's get on with the show...
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OneWe
Who are they?: OneWe is a five member band under RBW. They began their careers in 2015 under Modern Music as a group called MAS 0094, which stood for 'Make a Sound' plus the birth years of the oldest and youngest members. In 2017 they moved to RBW changing their name to MAS then then to OneWe redebuting as the new group with the same members in 2019. Their name symbolizes their existence as a single unit as well as 'We Shine On You'. Their fandom name is WEVE, which comes from a combination of OneWe and Move.
Company: RBW is well known for Mamamoo and rising boy group OneUs, vocal group Vrormance, as well as OneWe. They also have a Vietnamese wing of the company with soloist Jin Ju and new Vietnamese boy group D1Verse, as well as hip-hop oriented sub-label All Right Music featuring Big Tray and Marvel J, and several co-managed artists with Duckfuss Entertainment including Kpop Star Season 2 standout Kim Doyeon. In addition RBW features a stable of prolific Kpop producers and composers including CEO Kim Do Hoon, Park Woo Sang, Cosmic Girl, and Seo Yong-bae. RBW also runs a trainee incubator and training program for other companies, an orchestra for film and TV soundtracks as well as music production, and co-founded Modern K Music Academy as a joint venture with Cube Entertainment.
Group Interviews
OneWe
Members
Debut
Most Recent Comeback: May 26th, 2020 with End of Spring (MV) Live Stage (Link)
Other MVs and Releases
YouTube Channel: OneWe Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: When the group first started out they performed many cover songs while busking and in small venues and donated all profits from their shows to a charity for Korean Comfort Women (Korean women forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during WWII). The group has performed as a backup band for Mamamoo and Hwasa during many public performances including the MBC Gayo, MGMA Awards, and Seoul Music Awards. The group has said that RBW has given them total creative freedom to write and perform the kind of music that they want, and that CEO Kim Do Hoon as well as other RBW executives and producers have all played in bands previously so understand the group's process. They've mentioned that the toughest part of being an idol band has been learning to do aegyo and fan service. The group has performed many live shows and has toured in Japan as well has having performed in China.
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Soloist of the Week
Soya
Who is she?: A female soloist under GH Entertainment (3YE's company) and former member of the co-ed duo Soya n' Sun.
Real Name: Kim So Ya
Age: 30 (IA)
Solo Debut: November 2010 with Loving Everyday feat. Kim Jong Kook (of Turbo) (audio)
Most Recent Comeback: September 27th, 2019 with Someday (MV)
Other Releases
YouTube Channel: Soya Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: She competed on The Unit. Her uncle is Kim Jong Kook from the 1st-gen group Turbo. She has a degree in Practical Music from Howon University. She has competed on King of the Masked Singer. She is friends with Jennie from Blackpink and soloist Holland. She says that men who have been interested in her get discouraged when they find out who her uncle is. ________________________________________________________
In Memorium
Kiss&Cry
Who were they?: A four member girl group under Winning Insight Entertainment
Releases
Active Between: January 2014 - Late 2014
Reasons for Disbanding: Member Haena, who's contract had apparently began much earlier with the agency, decided to leave the company when her contract expired, leading to the group going on hiatus and then disbanding.
Random Stuff
Trivia: Member Haena went on to join Matilda (which also later disbanded) after leaving Kiss&Cry. Member Bohye went on to found the independent girl group Destiny. Dia returned to solo activities and recently appeared as a guest on MNet's Good Girl. Member Soyumi went solo as a trot singer and has had two releases.
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That's it for today, let's get the discussion on!
As always, if you have any suggestions for groups, content, or things you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments below.
Also as always, a big shout-out to u/not-named-in-credits for founding nugutown and u/sharnaranwan for continuing the work over there.
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2020.07.04 22:49 Xkrantz Top 20 Best Songs of 2005

Guys I really do like the year 2005. Now before you send me any hate mail or block me on twitter, just let me give you my top 20 best songs of 2005. For me, the best hit songs of 2005 are ranked in my top 100 list of the best hit songs of all time.Seriously, compared to 2001, the quality of the songs of 2005 is by far are some of the highest that I have ever heard. This is not just a list of the best hit songs of 2005, but alot of my personal favorite songs of all time.Now normally I would put the honorable mentions before I hit number. However I wanted to try a new formula with this list because 2005 holds a special place In my Heart.
  1. Will Smith - Switch
  2. Fall Out Boy - Sugar We're Goin Down
18, Avril Lavigne - Nobodys Home
  1. The Game Feat. 50 Cent - Hate It Or Love It
  2. Alicia Keys - Karma
  3. Eminem - Like Toy Soldiers
  4. Usher - Caught Up
  5. Bow Wow feat. Ciara - Like You
  6. T.I - U Don't Know Me
  7. Gavin DeGraw - I Don't Want To Be
  8. Coldplay - Speed of Sound
  9. Kanye West - Gold Digger
  10. Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
  11. Hilary Duff - Wake Up
  12. Maroon 5 - Sunday Morning
  13. Blink 182 - Always
  14. Rhianna - Pon De replay
  15. Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends
Here's a rarity, a Green Day song that had Billie Joe Armstrong getting personal.
  1. Mariah Carey - We Belong Together
1.Tyler Hilton - When it Comes
Okay I wanna get this out of the way right now. This is the story of how I don't into the following song. I was out with my dad shopping at a grocery store, with my Totally Hits 2005 CD in the CD player. This song was track 18 on that album, and it managed to capture my heart in not alot of songs can even to this day. This song immediately became one of my personal favorite songs of all time. However it became my favorite song from 2005 with repeated listens, and eventually grew...into my favorite song...of all time.
Yup, you got that right. When it Comes by Tyler Hilton managed to beat Green Day's Wake me Up When September Ends, and Mariah Carey's We Belong Together. I love everything about this song. First off is Tyler Hilton's singing voice. Its like a combination of Ryan Cabrera and Big Bird from Sesame Street, all coming together into giving him a beautiful voice. The lyrics are just gorgeous, and can be interpreted in alot of ways. I interpret the lyrics as a message to your girlfriend, or a message to everyone who loved you and supported you, that you'll come back to be with them again, and you'll let them know when it comes. Also, this song felt like a message from God. He spoke to me in this song saying that he;ll take me up and adopt me as his very own child, and I shouldn't get impatient. All of that can lead into a song that actually has chemistry to whoever Tyler Hilton is writing this too. This song is just....beautiful, and hands down one of the most sweeping and beautiful songs of the decade. The melody is one of the best melodies of the entire decade, along with D major being my favorite scale when it comes to doing simple songs. However, the biggest reason as to why I love this song, is because this song legitimately made me cry. Thats right, this was the song that made me feel emotional, and this song still makes me cry even to this day. You know, I wanna say this because honestly this needs to be addressed. Alot of people just bash on simple songs because they think they have no taste, no originality, and no punch to it, which I understand. While its true that a few of these types of songs don;t really pack a punch to them, alot of them are just beautifully composed with either a guitar or a piano, and do have lyrics that are very distinctive. This song is the very prime example of all of that and much more. All in all, this song, this very song, is in my opinion not just the best song of 2005, but my favorite song of all time.
Well that about covers my list for the top 20 best songs for 2005. It was really alot of fun making this list. I'm glad I got to do this list because I got a chance to talk about some of my favorite songs of all time. However with that being said, here are some runners up that didn;t make the list proper
  1. Usher feat Alicia Keys - My Boo - This almost made the list proper but still this is an incredibly nostalgic song for me. Usher and Alicia Keys are musical powerhouses and if you dare to mess with them they will fight back with singing voices of vengeance.
  2. Jennifer Lopez - Get Right. Yeah I am a fan of Jennifer Lopez by heart. The production is actually really good. Now the horns would normally annoy the crap out of me, but somehow they don't annoy me right to the core. Jennifer Lopez's singing is actually pretty good in this song. I guess I'm a sucker for artists keeping their singing voices on the low depending on the attitude of the song.
  3. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone - Honestly I know i said I preferred Behind these Hazel Eyes, but this is one of my personal favorites from Kelly Clarkson. This song is her talking about the after math of being away from her abusive father. The subject matter is about being free from abused, and being able to live out your dreams as a human being, and who can't relate to that?. All in all, great song.
  4. Nickelback - Photograph. I have one sentence for you when it comes to describing this song. Hate Nickelback all you want, but please can you let me have this one?
  5. Destiny's Child - Girl . This song is a song thats meant for elevating women, and this is the very best song to elevate women. The lyrics were some of the best of the entire year. This song elevates women put they don;t put men down or shame them of their gender. Probably the most mature song of the entire year.
  6. Coldplay - Fix You. This was the other song that Coldplay released this year. Its not really as memorable as Speed of Sound for me, but its still good enough to make it on the honorable mentions
  7. Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc - This was very close to making the list, but Mariah Carey - We Belong Together won out in the end. Still this song is an incredibly nostalgic song for me. This song is one of the weirdest songs of the decade but Gorillaz manages to make it work.
  8. Kelly Clarkson - Because of You. This song almost made the list but Behind These Hazel Eyes won in the end. however this song literally has her second best vocal performance of her entire career.
  9. Shakira feat. Alejandro Sanz – La Tortura - I know this didn;t make it on the list and I am so sorry.
  10. Foo Fighters – Best of You - Okay, crucify me all you want but I do think that the Foo Fighters are the mostly overrated bands in rock history. Don't get me wrong, they're good, but I do think alot of their songs are not inter-changeable. However this is one of the rare expectations. This song is just amazing.
  11. Ryan Cabrera - True. Yeah this name does ring a bell for me. However, even though this song, has some questionable lyrical choices I do like this song because most of the lyrics aren't that bad, and the soft guitars are very heart-warming.
  12. The Backstreet Boys - Incomplete - This is hands down the best song that the Backstreet Boys has ever made. The instrumentation, the lyrics, the boy's singing voices, this is by far the most epic thing that they have ever done. Now I am shocked, that this song didn't make it on the list at all.
  13. Amerie - 1 Thing.
  14. Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams - This song almost and I mean almost just made the list proper. Now thats really too bad because honestly, I really do like this song.
If your favorite song didn't make it on the list I'm sorry. I hope that even if you think I miss some great songs, you'll still be able to enjoy my list, and enjoy reminiscing about the music of yesterday. As I said in the introduction, I really do like the year 2005, because the best songs of 2005 hold a special place in my heart, and I bet they hold a special place in your heart too. I'll see you all next time for my top 20 worst and best songs of 2006 lists.
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2020.07.03 22:10 Xkrantz Top 20 Best Songs of 2007

Okay let make this confession right now....2007...IS THE BEST MUSIC YEAR OF THE 2000s!!! Mm-hmm, I'm going there. Yes Ringtone rap songs came into fruition in 2007, but at least there was less of them than compared to what we've gotten in 2006. Trust me, 2006 had a lot more ringtone rap than in 2007, so I'm glad the charts cut that down. 2007 to me id known as the year of redemption, with alot more songs that are complex, mature, and with an overall, fun factor. Now even though there were many people who loved the year just as much as I do, there was a surprisingly number of people who hated the year 2007. I've heard one critic in particular to called 2007 "The most boring year for music in the 2000s". Okay....thats your opinion,...I respect it. However lets move on to which songs from 2007 were some of the best of the best.
  1. Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
  2. Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo - Make Me Better
  3. Omarion - Ice Box
Timbaland was literally the defining producer of the late 2000s. He as produced some of the most legendary pop songs of the decade including Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland in 2006, and 4 Minutes by Madonna Feat. Justin Timberlake in 2008. Since he produced alot of my favorite songs from 2007, I think its fair to put in a few songs by the man because even though alot of the songs were great, there were five songs that he produced this year that were spectacular. Here's the first one.
  1. Boys Like Girls - The Great Escape
  2. Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around, Comes Around
Okay, this seems predictable, heres the second of our Timbaland produced songs.
  1. Elliott Yamin - Wait For You
  2. Christina Aguilera - Candyman
Christina Aguilera's fifth studio album Back to Basics is hands down one of the best albums of 2006. Ain't no other man was a classic from that year. The beat is pretty much insane with DJ Premier creating something spectacular. Hurt is just a beautiful ballad about the memory of her father. However in 2007, Linda Perry came in Back to Basics with the power of lightning, and produced one of my favorite Christina Aguilera songs of all time.
  1. Nelly Furtado - Say It Right
  2. Usher Feat. R. Kelly - Same Girl
  3. Beyoncé Feat. Shakira - Beautiful Liar
  4. Rhianna Feat. Jay-Z - Umbrella
  5. Kanye West - Stronger
  6. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Feat. Akon - I Tried
  7. T.I - Big Things Poppin (Do It)
  8. Bow Wow feat.T-Pain & Jonthá Austin - Outta My System
  9. Ludacris Feat. Mary J Blige - Runaway Love
  10. Maroon 5 - Makes Me Wonder
  11. Timbaland Feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake- Give It To Me
  12. Fall Out Boy Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
  13. Boys Like Girls - Hero/Heroine
I couldn't handle Chingy- Right Thurr, with his constant food innuendos. That is just grose, and hence is the reason why thats in the top 5 of the worst songs of 2003. A relationship song for me has to be distinctive, it has to be mature in its song writing and the production has to be solid. However, I put this song on the list because this song its just tongue cheek, and its pulled off right. Oh and if you can believe it or not, its actually the first single that this band has ever produced, and the charts put it on the radio after The Great Escape.
Yeah sure The Great Escape was a great song, but it can't even dare hope to compare with their first single ever made. I love everything about this song. First off, I love Martin Johnson's singing voice. This is hands down bar none the best vocal performance of his entire career. The melody is one of the most beautiful, and it doesn't sound like something else. It's original, its organic, it has punch to it. The guitar is some of the best of the entire year, really grinding on that chord progression like its an unstoppable monster, and that monster can only be stopped by talent, and this my friends is talent. Also, the lyrics aren't that bad either. This song is about a guy who had a history of shutting other people out. When a girl falls in love with him he just pushes them away because he promised himself that he would never fall for someone and just end up being hurt. You know I was once like that too, and I still aim just like that even today. However then a girl came along. and shes trying so hard to be with him. the guy doesn't understand why she wants to be with him. Then he begins to fall for her.. and he doesn't know why. Thats the same situation with me, because I have began to fall for a girl named Ashley Kim, because she and I have a huge love for K-pop, and I said to my mom multiple times that I never wanted a wife ever in my life, and I don't know the real reason why I'm falling for this girl. I realized that my view of love was wrong, and now it feels good to be with her rather than to just let her in. It really does feel good to just be with her. A relationship doesn't doesn;t have to be just a marriage, it can be just being with her because it makes you feel good, and thats what this song is all about. All of these reason are why this song is the best song of 2007.
  1. Foo Fighters - The Pretender
  2. Ne-Yo - Make It Better
  3. Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call
  4. Timbaland - Just The Way You Are
  5. Huey -Pop Lock & Drop it
  6. Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
  7. Fergie feat. Ludacris - Glamorous
  8. T-Pain Feat. Young Joc - Buy U A Drank
  9. Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls
  10. T-Pain feat. Akon - Bartender
  11. Ne-Yo Feat Mary J Blige - Do You
  12. Linkin Park - What I've Done

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2020.07.02 21:41 peji911 [H] Many Games [W] Fair Trades

Steam ID
IGS Page
106 Confirmed trades
Games
Top Tier
Middle Tier
Lower Tier
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2020.06.29 18:47 Purpleman_17 Every Weezer Album Ranked & Reviewed - #12: Black Album

Introduction can be found here.
Can I just start this off by talking about Black's weird promotional roll-out? The whole ride leading up to Black's release felt like Rivers and Co. just sort of lost interest the closer the release date came. Rivers was teasing Black just after White's release in 2016, specifically describing it as a contrast to White in many ways. He genuinely sounded excited about the ideas he had for it back then. Then Feels Like Summer released, slated to be on Black, then months pass with no extra word about it. Then we find out that FLS is going to be on a completely different album called Pacific Daydream, which itself was releasing before Black. No matter what your opinion on PD is, it was pretty strange to see the band make an entirely different album before the one they were teasing. It makes it feel like they had more drive making PD over Black. Hell, while the band was actually promoting Black, they surprise dropped Teal just over 2 months before. Even days before the album came out Rivers was talking about the next album being more guitar driven, which was just a weird thing to say right before the decidedly pop-centric Black. Most of this probably doesn't matter to most people, but I think all this is pretty reflective of how Black turned out.
Black feels confused. On the surface it seems like it's trying to be and edgy version of White, but that really doesn't come across at all. It almost feels like the ideas Rivers had for Black ended up becoming Pacific Daydream, and he still felt compelled to put out a "Black Album" since he teased it before. That or the record company wanted them to release it, which seems more likely given how Crush have handled the release (or non-release) of Van Weezer.
This is all speculation, though. Let's actually talk about the songs, because Black actually has some good ones. The first three songs make a pretty strong first impression. Can't Knock the Hustle has a decent driving feel and a funk-inspired flavor that's pretty easy to groove to. Rivers' use of swearing on the track personally makes me cringe, mostly because he sounds like a little kid who just learned what swear words are, but it's mostly ignorable and doesn't affect the overall quality of the track. Zombie Bastards is surprisingly pleasant despite the title implying a more confrontational tone, it's another solid track. High as a Kite is probably the best song on the album; this one actually feels like its following up on Black being a contrast to White, with it being very comparable to Do You Wanna Get High? in many ways. DYWGH is very dark and Pinkerton-esque in its execution, where as HAAK feels much more light and pleasant, perfectly capturing the other side of being high.
Unfortunately the albums really dips in quality after the opener three tracks and doesn't really recover until the end. Living in LA was actually released as a single the same day as High as a Kite and sadly it's much more representative of the final album. It's not terrible, but it just sounds pretty generic, to the point where I could see a band like Maroon 5 making it. Piece of Cake feels like it's trying to capture the same floating feel as High as a Kite but lacks that song's interesting lyrics that pull it all together, so it just comes across as boring. The Prince Who Wanted Everything takes new strides in bad lyrics, giving us what feels like a children's book over a basic beat, it almost feels condescending.
I'm Just Being Honest and Too Many Thoughts in My Head also don't really do much for me. The former sees Rivers going for the "Don't be mad, I'm being honest" which is a mentality that I have never been a fan of. It's basically the song version of that one person everyone knows who's always a total asshole but the second someone gets upset covers it with the "I'm just being honest" to take away any blame. I'm generally the last person to get upset about Weezer's lyrics, but where other songs like No One Else or Smart Girls have questionable lyrics, those at least feel like jokes or satire, whereas IJBH feels distinctly real. I could be totally wrong about that, but that's just how I interpret it. TMTIMH is actually decent, but the final verse (Nothing can titillate me...) pretty much kills any enjoyment I had thanks to Rivers' annoying vocal inflection on it.
Luckily I do think the final 2 songs are pretty great. Byzantine was actually my least favorite for the longest time, but I liked it more and more every time I replayed the album. It's pretty unique in the band's catalogue and it definitely one of Black's most interesting moments. It's not for everyone, but I do think it'll grow on you if you give it a couple listens. The closer California snow is a bit of a mixed bag all things considered, but it's a track that I find impossible to hate. Rivers' weird attempts at rap and lyrical flow are pretty laughable, but I do think that was the point of those sections. Let's be real though, the chorus really ties this one together nicely and covers a lot of the more questionable moments in it. It might just be my favorite chorus they've ever done, it's instantly uplifting and catchy and basically makes this song a must-listen on its own. It also works very nicely as a closer, being easily the album's most powerful moment, it honestly leaves me chills when it finishes. Pretty underrated song, if you ask me.
As I said, Black feels pretty confused. There are moments where it feels like it's really going for something unique, but other moments where it just goes for a basic sound and hopes you still like it. The album doesn't exactly have any hard lows, even The Prince isn't completely unlistenable, but it has enough dull songs that it's not one I revisit too often. In fact, every time I revisit it my opinion doesn't change too much, with the exception of Byzantine. I thought the album was just okay on first listen, and many listens later that's still how I feel. I don't hate or love it, it's just average.
Favorite songs: High as a Kite, California Snow, Byzantine
Least favorite song: The Prince Who Wanted Everything
Overall score: 5/10
Let me know your thoughts! Sorry this one took longer than expected, had a really busy weekend. Join me for #11, where we'll sadly be putting down the dog...
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2020.06.24 00:49 Xkrantz Top 20 Best songs of 2004

Okay you guys its time for my top 20 best songs of 2004. Now my picks for this best list will have a few controversial picks here and there. If you disagree with me, thats fine. If you agree with me, thats great too, just take what you will with a grain of salt. So without further a do, lets get it Started in here, we're counting down the top 20 best songs of 2004. I decided to put honorable mentions on this list because there are alot more good songs in 2004 than bad songs. I put my top 20 worst songs of 2004 up with no honorable mentions because there were a lot less bad songs from 2004
  1. Beyoncé - Naughty Girl
  2. The Black Eyed Peas - Hey Mama
  3. Nina Sky Feat. Jabba - Move ya Body
  4. Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved
  5. Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue
  6. Trick Daddy Feat. Lil Jon & Twista - Let's Go
  7. T.I - Bring em Out
  8. Blink 182 - Down
  9. Avril Lavigne - My Happy Ending
  10. Switchfoot - Dare You To Move
  11. Ciara Feat. Petey Pablo - Goodies
  12. Hoobastank - The Reason
  13. Twista Feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx - Slow Jamz
  14. Ying Yang Twins Feat. Trick Daddy - What's Happenin
Okay remember when I said that I don;t hate Green Day? Well I do think American idiot is one of the worst albums that this band has ever made? yes I am in the minority
  1. The Black-Eyed Peas - Lets Get It Started
  2. Destiny's Child - Loose My Breath
  3. The Black Eyed Peas - Let's Get It Started
  4. Kanye West - Jesus Walks
  5. Blink 182 - Feeling This
Okay I know you were expecting I Miss You to be on here because that is the most popular off of their self titled album but I have always preferred this song. This is hands down the best blink 182 song of 2004. Mark Hoppus's singing is beautiful, Tom Delogune's singing could use a little work, but I really do like him shouting and speaking during the verses. The guitar is just amazing, especially during the bridge where Tom crunches the guitar like a boss. Travis Barker is amazing on the drums and one of the best drumming performances of the entire year. This song subject matter is a bit questionable yeah but I will interpret the subject matter as a simple relationship. All in all, this song is the best punk song of 2004. However its still not number 1. Well then, the question remains, what could actually be this song? What could actually beat my favorite punk rock band of all time? Well, we shall get to that, but first here is a BUTT LOAD of honorable mentions.
Honorable Mentions
  1. Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
Well here is my obvious choice for number 1.
Okay I know you were expecting Yeah by Usher to be on this list, however this really is the best song of 2004. I love everything about this song. The lyrics are beautiful, with the huge sense of moving on from your tragic past. Kelly Clarkson didn ;t let me down with her singing voice. This is some of the best singing of her entire career. The melody is just gorgeous, and one of the most iconic melodies of the entire decade. The production is incredible, the violins, the drums, the guitar, this is by far the most beautifully composed songs that I have ever heard from Kelly Clarkson. All in all, I've got nothing else to say but this song is really the best song of 2004. No wait scratch that, this some of the best songs EVER MADE. Now my top 20 worst songs of 2005 needs some sprucing up, so I'll get that fixed and you'll be able to hear my full opinions of each song on that list. So stay tuned for that.
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2020.06.20 22:31 Colbster2 24 Songs I Loved in 2019

For the entire time I’ve been on Reddit, it has felt like there wasn’t really a whole lot of country music fans on the subreddit. Today I found this subreddit and wanted to share something I wrote at the end of last year. It was 24 of my favorite songs of the year. While not all are country (I am a pop and sometimes a rap fan as well) country music has always been the genre of music I enjoy the most. Take a look at what I wrote at the end of last year. Most of my favorites are pretty mainstream but I have been trying to get into some Red Dirt and older country as well in the past few months (thanks quarantine...)
“Even Though I’m Leaving” - Luke Combs - This song from his EP released in June about the bond between the narrator and his father quickly became a fan favorite and standout track from the project. Combs takes listeners through different through the different phases of the bond between one and their father. This song spent 3 weeks atop the Billboard Country Airplay chart and has been both a streaming and sales juggernaut. It is no question why this powerful song made my list.
“Whiskey Glasses” - Morgan Wallen - From the opening lyrics, “poor me, pour me another drink…” I knew this would be a song I would visit frequently. Wallen’s creative lyrics that include “see the world through whiskey glasses” and vocals set it apart from other uptempo tracks heard throughout this past summer.
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” - Ashley McBryde - Country newcomer Ashley McBryde stands out amongst others thanks to her vocal performance on every song she sings and lyrics that connect with many. This song about overcoming odds and being in a place that people said she would never be resonates with many. After her win for Best New Artist at the CMA’s last month, it is clear this girl is going somewhere!
“Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking)” - Tenille Townes - Tenille has been releasing music in Canada for almost a decade, it is a shame that many in the US such as me didn’t have the chance to hear her beautiful voice until this year. Focused on a classmate who passed away in a car crash, Tenille talks to god in this song and asks, “If I ever get to heaven, I got a long list of questions ...why can’t you stop a car from crashing.” I look forward to hearing more from her in the future.
“One Man Band” - Old Dominion - The second single from their self-titled album went into my playlist as soon as I first heard it. The opening lyrics “been flyin’ solo for so long, nobody’s singing the harmony,” begins to paint a picture that compare being single to being part of a one man band. With creative lyrics and a nice melody, this was a shoo-in for my list.
“Eyes On You” - Chase Rice - This year Chase scored his first #1 hit and it was with a good one! This song tells of someone who has been to many places with his loved one but the best view is when his eyes are on the one he is with. I enjoyed this throughout the entirety of the year.
“God’s Country” - Blake Shelton - Blake scored another big hit this year with a great song. Released in March of this year, it became a staple of mine throughout the spring and summer months. It was pouring rain when I saw Blake performing this back in August at Gillette Stadium - and it was awesome!
“Does To Me” - Luke Combs & Eric Church - Two of my favorite artists partnered together for a track off of Comb’s album released last month. The basis of this tune is Combs and Church trading off lines about things and experiences in each of their lives that mean a lot to them, even if they do not mean anything to others. A couple lines stand out to me at the end of the song, “I’m damned hard working. One things for certain, I stand up for what I believe. That might not mean much to you, but it does to me.” It helps that aside from the lyrics, the tune is incredibly catchy!
“Señorita” - Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes - One of the few non-country songs on my list is a catchy tune that was huge over this past summer. This collaboration is instantly catchy and was a huge hit this year.
“Down To The HonkyTonk” - Jake Owen - This fun tune came out near the end of last year and was still a fun one to listen to throughout 2019. In this one, Jake sings about how he may not end up in the Hall of Fame or or go down in history. He will however go down...to the HonkyTonk.
“More Hearts Than Mine” - Ingrid Andress - This unique song takes a look at the ways a family gets close to the significant other while dating someone in their family and how the entire family is impacted when there is a breakup. The line, “If we break up, I’ll be fine. But you’ll be breaking more hearts than mine,” is powerful and amongst all the breakup songs, this one stands out due to Ingrid’s voice and different perspective of a break-up.
“Beer Never Broke My Heart” - Luke Combs - This song was released in May and became one of my most played songs all summer long. Luke sings about women, football teams and dogs all being things that have broken his heart. What hasn’t? Beer. Luke’s voice and style make this more than just your average drinking song.
“Hey Look Ma, I Made It” - Panic! at The Disco - Prior to the past year or so, I admittedly wasn’t too familiar with Panic! At The Disco but after “High Hopes” and this one, I am a fan. This is a fun tune and my favorite lyrics are the opening lines, “All my life, been hustling and tonight is my appraisal. ‘Cause I’m a hooker selling songs and my pimp’s a record label”
“There Was This Girl” - Riley Green - For his debut single, Riley really delivered in my opinion. Particularly during the early portion of the year, I listened to this one a lot. I am typically more of a fan of uptempo songs and this one is right in my wheelhouse.
“Memories” - Maroon 5 - I’ve always been a fan of Maroon 5. Even though I was disappointed that Adam Levine left The Voice this year, I was glad that the group continued to have strong output in 2019. This song is a shout out to past memories with those who are still with us as well as those we have lost along the way.
“All My Favorite People” - Maren Morris & Brothers Osborne - This was a fun one for one of country music's biggest stars and a duo that really knows how to perform and should be one of the biggest starts within the next couple years. “Not everybody gets what we’re going through, but all my favorite people do,” is a fun hook. It’s a song about good people and good times, two things I consider myself to be surrounded by.
“Some Of It” - Eric Church - As one of my favorite artists of the decade, Church always knows how to get reflective and sing a good tune about life. “Some of it you learn the hard way. Some of it you read on a page. Some of it comes with heartbreak. Some of it comes with age.” True stuff.
“Sunflower” - Post Malone & Swae Lee - For the past few years, it seems as though Post Malone has been everywhere and I’ve been enjoying every bit of it. This is a fun pop song that I enjoyed hearing all year.
“Beautiful Crazy” - Luke Combs - This song about his fiancé captures in both it’s lyrics as well as it’s delivery how Luke feels about the one he is with. A hit on the radio as well as on streaming platforms, Luke scored one of the biggest country hits of the year with this one. There is something about the lyrics such as, “she makes plans for the weekend, can’t wait to go out. ‘Til she changes her mind and says “let’s stay on the couch and watch TV” and she falls asleep” that set it apart from other love songs from 2019.
“Shallow” - Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - While I have still yet to see the highly acclaimed ‘A Star Is Born’, I have heard this song quite a few times and it is a really enjoyable one. This may even be my favorite output from Lady Gaga ever.
“SICKO MODE” - Travis Scott - Even though I am not as familiar with rap as many of my friends are, I do really enjoy this one. It was always good to hear this one when it would come on.
“Put Me In My Place” - Muscadine Bloodline - This new country duo hasn’t made it big yet but I found this song after someone tweeted about it earlier in the year. It’s a vulnerable and slower song that I really enjoyed in 2019.
“Here Tonight” - Brett Young - This song was the lead single from his second major studio album. It’s just a really nice song that I enjoyed throughout the year and I think his voice sounds good whether he is doing a song like this or one of his slower songs such as “In Case You Didn’t Know”.
“Chasin’ You” - Morgan Wallen - Another really enjoyable song this year from Morgan Wallen is this song. I first heard it in the summer but it still sounds really good in these colder months!
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2020.06.16 17:25 Xkrantz Top 20 best songs of 2005

Okay let me make this perfectly clear to the music critics on the internet that are just ITCHING to write me hate mail. I do think that 2005 is a great year for music. Alot of the good music from 2005 are on another level of quality for me. Alot of these songs may not seem incredible too you, but I do love all of them. I do have alot of controversial picks for this list and for my honorable mentions just like my worst list, but trust me when I tell you that I will take Hollaback Girl over Dem Franchize Boyz any day. So, if you disagree with me, thats fine just don't kill me please. Just listen to what I have to say and take what you will with a grain a salt.
The Songs will taken off the year end hot 100 from 2005/Canadian Hot 100 2005
The released dates are from November 2004-October2005
20. The Pussycat Dolls - Stickwitu
19. Gwen Stefani - Cool
18. Destiny's Child - Girl
17. Hilary Duff - Wake Up
16 Simple Plan - Shut up
15. Will Smith - Switch
14. The Backstreet Boys - Incomplete
13. Bow Wow Feat. Ciara - Like You
12. Shakira Feat. Alejandro Sanz - La Tortura
11. Coldplay - Speed of Sound
10. Avril Lavigne - Nobodys Home
9. Kanye West Feat. Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger
8. The Game Feat.50 Cent - Hate It Or Love It
7. Maroon 5 - Sunday Morning
One of the biggest hits of 2003 was In This Dairy by "The Atatris", and I really enjoyed that song. The vibe is very charming, remembering the summer that the narrator in this song had. I have yet to find a song that gives me almost the same vibe that In This Diary gave to me, but in 2005 Maroon 5 actually managed to shock and surprise me.
Yup, I bet you didn;t know that THIS SONG was going to make it one the list, but I really do love this song from the bottom of my heart. Adam Levine's was incredible, and has one of the most beautiful voices in musical history. The lyrics are exactly what I think of on a Sunday morning. Taking a slow drive, taking the time to relax and refresh ourselves for the week thats about to come, all of the lyrics all come together so perfectly. The horns were just ridiculous during the bridge, with the horn players blowing their hearts out. Sunday Morning really is one of the best simple songs that I have ever heard, and is the best song off of Songs About Jane. However, its not the number 1 simple song of the year. Heck is not even the number 1 best song of the entire year. We will get to that but lets go through the rest of my songs and then the honorable mentions.
6. Rhianna - Pon De Replay
You know, I always saw the appeal in Rhianna, yes even from the beginning of her career.
This song was Rhianna's first single and this is what happens when Rhianna is completely unleashed. I love everything about this song. Her singing is just incredible, and the girl could actually sing even at the age of 18. The lyrics are alright for mindless party song, but Rhianna manages to pull it off and make them work. The production is just awesome. Although, its not really mind blowing, its still a great production with an awesome and funky dancehall beat.
5. Kelly Clarkson - Behind These hazel Eyes
4. Eminem - Like Toy Soldiers
3. Green Day - Wake Me up When September Ends
Okay don't get wrong, I do think that there are good songs on American Idiot. Yeah i know there was Boulevard if broken Dreams, but I do think that there is a song that's even better.
You know, people love "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", and yet I have seen a lists where a person put this song on the list. This is hands own Green Days best song, despite a few...um "mishaps", here and there on American idiot. I have yet to see another person put this song on their best list instead of the same old "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". I do like "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" don't get me wrong, however I do believe its probably the most overrated green Day song that I have ever heard in my life. Trust me, I 've seen Boulevard of Broken Dreams on more best lists of 2005 than Wake Me Up When September Ends. Now thats good, but leaving Wake Me Up When September ends is really heart braking because I love everything about this song. First off, its the fact that Billie Joe Armstrong, actually took a break from politics in order to go for something alot more personal. I mean when was the last time you actually heard of a punk rock band getting alot personal rather than political? Second off, its the soft piano guitar strings in the beginning until we get the crescendo where Billie, Mike and Tré Cool, rocking their hearts out. The crescendo was super brilliant because not only does it hit you right in the gut , but Billie Joe Armstrong's voice is just beautiful. Third off is the bridge where Tre Cool bashes on the symbols like a boss, and Billie shredding the crap out of his guitar. This song really is the best song that Green Day has ever composed. Not only because of the fact that Billie Joe Armstrong is being a lot more personal, but also because of all three members going far and beyond what they would normally produce.
2. Mariah Carey - We Belong Together
Oh come on YOU ALL KNEW this was coming.
Honorable Mentions
  1. Foo Fighters - Best of You
  2. System of a Down - B.Y.O.B
  3. Destiny's Child - Cater 2 U
  4. Pussycat Dolls Feat. Busta Rhymes - Don't Cha - Don't ask I don't have an answer
  5. The Black Eyed Peas - Don't Lie
  6. Gorillaz Feat. De La Soul - Feel Good Inc
  7. Coldplay - Fix You
  8. Jennifer Lopez - Get Right
  9. Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl - "laughs hard" I'm sorry, I so sorry "laughs Harder"
  10. The Click Five - Just The Girl
  11. Missy Elliott feat. Ciara & Fatman Scoop - Loose Control - She made one of the greatest beats of all time with this song. This songs production is spectacular, with the scaling xylophone adding an atmosphere that actually does want to make you have good time. Great song Missy Elliott, great song.
  12. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz Feat. Usher & Ludacris - Lovers & Friends
  13. Eminem - Mockingbird
  14. Ludacris Feat. Bobby Valentino Pimpin All over The World
  15. Nickelback - Photograph
  16. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
  17. Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
  18. Relient K - Who I Am Hates Who I've Been
Okay, now I know my number 1 pick maybe a bit unknown to alot of you, but just acknowledge that this is a very personal choice. If this were on somebody else's list, it be on it but I hardly doubt it would be number 1, or even to an extent number 10. This has always been one of my personal favorite songs of all time, and I am so happy that I get to finally share it with you.
  1. Tyler Hilton - When it Comes
Yup, you got that right, "When it Comes" by Tyler Hilton is even better than Green Days "Wake me up When September Ends" and Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together". I loved this song from the very moment I heard from Totally Hits 2005. This is a simple song in the way I love it the most. The lyrics are distinctive, Tyler Hilton actually has chemistry to who ever he is writing this song too, and D Major will always be my favorite of the major scales when it comes to writing simple music. However, The bridge is amazing with the electric guitar wailing and making the song feel like it has life. The Guitar riffs are just beautiful However more than anything else, this song is the actual song that made me feel emotional. I'm not even kidding, this song actually made me cry when I first heard it. This song is just beautiful, one of the most beautiful songs of the entire decade. Normally simple songs are just songs that people bash on for being "unoriginal and cliche". However honestly, I do think that unoriginal is really an unfair criticism. Why do I think "unoriginal", is a very unfair criticism? Well this is all in because I think that the term "unoriginal", is well "unoriginal". Now, I do use the term uninspiring, but that only applies to song that sounds uninspired to me. I mean when it comes to best and worsts lists, it should be about the music that you enjoy, and not what everybody else likes or dislikes. Trust me, I have seen alot more worst lists where the lists feel so predictable. I have a lot more picks that nobody else would even put on the list just so I can have alot more variety. Honestly, I know when a simple song is done right, and this one of the prime example of a simple song done right. Tyler Hilton can actually sing, and his voice really does match up with the emotion of the song. This song is the best song of the entire year, because after so many hip hop jams, it was nice to finally have a song thats just simple and laid back to listen too. This song really is the best song of 2005, and my favorite song of all time.
The next list will be my top 20 worst songs of 2006 and I'll let you know when it comes
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2020.06.05 20:17 peji911 [H] Many Games [W] Fair Trades

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2020.06.01 17:17 richardflynn8 53 YEARS AGO - Through the lens of THEN.

53 YEARS AGO - Through the lens of THEN.
June 1, 1967 – The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is released. # ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5 (MUST-HAVE!)

https://preview.redd.it/68r4dsqaeb251.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=13b3b0a0c78baf329b917a9d9c8b78b6acaca75d
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by The Beatles, released on June 1, 1967. It topped the Billboard 200 Top LP's chart for 15 weeks, and the UK Albums chart for 27 weeks. In 2003, and again in 2012, the album was placed at number one on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
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AWARDS
Grammy Awards
Nominated for seven Grammys in 1968, it would win four, including Album of the Year, the first rock album to receive this honor.
  • 1968 Album of the Year
  • 1968 Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts
  • 1968 Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical
  • 1968 Contemporary Album
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"Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band didn’t start out life as a “concept album” but it very soon developed a life of its own. I remember it warmly, as both a tremendous challenge and a highly rewarding experience. For me, it was the most innovative, imaginative and trend-setting record of its time." - George Martin
“The Beatles definitely had an eternal curiosity for doing something different,” says George Martin, producer of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Certainly, this album was entirely different from anything which had gone before, and although it has been much imitated since, it remains today a unique, epochal record one which revolutionized the entire recording industry and caused such vast repercussions that its influence will very probably be felt for as long as the music is written and performed.
The Beatles’ musical ideas progressed in a most tangible way with each album they recorded. Geoff Emerick, the recording engineer who with George Martin formed the imaginative team which translated the Beatles’ requirements onto tape, once totted up the number of hours put into the making of Sgt. Pepper and came up with 700. Please Please Me, the Beatles’ first album, was recorded in 585 minutes.
“The Beatles insisted that everything on Sgt. Pepper had to be different,” said Emerick, “so everything was either distorted, limited, heavily compressed or treated with excessive equalization. We had microphones right down the bells of the brass instruments and headphones turned into microphones attached to violins. We plastered vast amounts of echo on-to vocals and sent them through the circuitry of the revolving Leslie speaker inside a Hammond organ. We used giant primitive oscillators to vary the speed of instruments and vocals and we had tapes chopped to pieces and stuck together upside down and the wrong way round.”
The very end of the album typifies the advanced studio trickery applied throughout Sgt. Pepper. After the last droplets of the crashing piano chord of ‘A Day In The Life’ have evaporated, come a few seconds of 15 kilocycle tone, put there – especially to annoy your dog – at the request of John Lennon. Then, as the coup de grace, there is a few seconds of non-sense Beatle chatter, taped, cut into several pieces and stuck back together at random so that, as George Martin says, purchasers of the vinyl album who did not have an auto-return on their record player would say “What the hell’s that?” and find the curious noise going on and on ad infinitum in the concentric run-out groove.
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THE SONGS
The recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band spanned 129 days, perhaps the most creative 129 days in the history of rock music.
The sequence of songs on Pepper is famous in itself, being – on the vinyl version – two continuous sides of music, without pauses between songs, or ‘banding’, to use recording parlance. But the lineup on side one, as first conceived, was different to how it finally evolved and was as follows: ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”; “With A Little Help From My Friends”; “Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite”; “Fixing A Hole”; “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”; “Getting Better”; “She’s Leaving Home.”
By suitably programming your compact disc hardware you’ll be able to hear the album as it was originally intended. Extracted from The Beatles at Abbey Road, to be published late-1987.
Here, in the order in which the recording was tackled, is a guide to the way the album was made.
“When I’m Sixty-Four”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on December 6, 1966. Album version mixed from take four. Writer: Paul. Lead Vocal: Paul. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineer: Phil McDonald.
“A Day In The Life”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on January 19, 1967. Working title “In The Life Of…” Album version mixed from takes six and seven. Writers: John with Paul. Lead vocal: John, with Paul. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineers: Richard Lush, Phil McDonald.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on February 1, 1967. Album version mixed from take ten. Writer: Paul. Lead vocal: Paul. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineers: Richard Lush.
“Good Morning, Good Morning”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on February 8, 1967. Album version mixed from take eleven. Writer: John. Lead vocal: John. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineers: Richard Lush.
“Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on February 17, 1967. Album version mixed from take nine. Writer: John. Lead vocal: John. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineers: Richard Lush.
“Fixing a Hole”
Recording commenced in Regent Sound Studio, Tottenham Court Road, London, on February 21, 1967, and later completed at Abbey Road. Album version mixed from take three. Writer: Paul. Lead vocal: Paul. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Adrian Ibbetson (Regent Sound), Geoff Emerick (Abbey Road). Second Engineer: Richard Lush.
“Lovely Rita”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on February 23, 1967. Album version mixed from take eleven. Writer: Paul. Lead vocal: Paul. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineer: Richard Lush.
“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on March 1, 1967. Album version mixed from take eight. Writer: John. Lead vocal: John. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineer: Richard Lush.
“Getting Better”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on March 9, 1967. Album version mixed from take fifteen. Writer: Paul. Lead Vocal: Paul. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineers: Malcolm Addey, Ken Townsend, Geoff Emerick, Peter Vince. Second Engineers: Gra-ham Kirkby, Richard Lush, Keith Slaughter.
“She’s Leaving Home”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on March 17, 1967. Album version mixed from take nine. Writer: Paul. Lead vocal: Paul. Producer: George Martin. Score: Mike Leander. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineers: Richard Lush, Keith Slaughter.
“Within You Without You”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on March 22, 1967. Album version mixed from take two. Writer: George. Lead vocal: George. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineer: Richard Lush.
“With A Little Help From My Friends”
Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on March 29, 1967. Working title “Bad Finger Boogie”. Album version mixed from take eleven. Writers: John and Paul. Lead Vocal: Ringo. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineer: Richard Lush.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”
Recording commenced in studio one at Abbey Road on April 1, 1967. Album version mixed from take nine. Writer: John. Lead vocal: John, Paul, and George. Producer: George Martin. Recording Engineer: Geoff Emerick. Second Engineer: Richard Lush.
Three other songs were recorded during the session. The first was taken for release as a single, the third didn’t surface until the Yellow Submarine film soundtrack album. “Strawberry Fields Forever” – Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on December 29, 1966. “Penny Lane” – Recording commenced in studio two at Abbey Road on December 29, 1966. “It’s Only A Northern Song” – Recording commenced in studio two in Abbey Road on February 13, 1967.
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THE COVER... and inserts
The Grammy Award-winning album packaging was art-directed by Robert Fraser, designed by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, his wife, and artistic partner, and photographed by Michael Cooper. It featured a colorful collage of life-sized cardboard models of famous people on the front of the album cover and lyrics printed on the back cover, the first time this had been done on a British pop LP. The Beatles themselves, in the guise of the Sgt. Pepper band were dressed in custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in Day-Glo colors. The suits were designed by Manuel Cuevas.
Among the insignia on their uniforms are:
MBE medals on McCartney's and Harrison's jackets. MBEs had been awarded to all four Beatles.
The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, on Lennon's right sleeve.
Ontario Provincial Police flash on McCartney's sleeve.
Peter Blake:
"This album sleeve was the first to feature printed lyrics and it was one of the first to have a gatefold sleeve. It was also the first to have anything other than a plain inner bag too, the first pressing coming in a slightly psychedelic sleeve designed by Simon and Marijke of the Fool. And we also had a card with the cut-outs, which I had originally intended to be a small packed with badges and pencils and such like. That was stopped because it would have caused EMI big marketing problems.'
The Beatles already had a cover designed by a Dutch group called the Fool, but my gallery dealer, Robert Fraser, said to Paul, “Why don’t you use a ‘fine artist’, a professional, to do the cover instead?” Paul rather liked the idea and I was asked to do it. The concept of the album had already evolved: it would be as though the Beatles were another band, performing a concert. Paul and John said I should imagine that the band had just finished the concert, perhaps in a park. I then thought that we could have a crowd standing behind them, and this developed into the collage idea.
I asked them to make lists of people they’d most like to have in the audience at this imaginary concert. John’s was interesting because it included Jesus and Gandhi and, more cynically, Hitler. But this was just a few months after the US furor about his “Jesus” statement, so they were left out. George’s list was all gurus. Ringo said, “Whatever the others say is fine with me,” because he really didn’t want to be bothered. Robert Fraser and I also made lists. We then got all the photographs together and had life-sized cut-outs made onto head-board.
EMI realized that because many of the people we were depicting were still alive, we might be sued for not seeking their permission. So the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, who was very wary of all the complications in the first place, had his assistant write to everyone. Mae West replied, “No, I won’t be on it. What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?” So the Beatles wrote her a personal letter and she changed her mind.
Robert Fraser was a business partner of Michael Cooper, an excellent photographer, so he was commissioned to do the shoot. I worked in his studio for a fortnight constructing the collage, fixing the top row to the back wall and putting the next about six inches in front and so on, so that we got a tiered effect. Then we put in the palm tree and the other little objects. I wanted to have the waxworks of the Beatles because I thought that they might be looking at St. Pepper’s band too. The boy who delivered the floral display asked if he could contribute by making a guitar out of hyacinths, and the little girl wearing the ‘Welcome the Rolling Stones, Good Guys’ sweatshirt was a cloth figure of Shirley Temple, the shirt coming from Michael Cooper’s young son, Adam. The Beatles arrived during the evening of March 30. We had a drink, they got dressed and we did the session. It took about three hours in all, including the shots for the center-fold out and back cover. I’m not sure how much it all cost. One reads exaggerated figures. I think Robert Fraser was paid 1500 pounds by EMI, and I got about 200. People say to me, “You must have made a lot of money on it,” but I didn’t because Robert signed away the copyright. But it has never mattered too much because it was such a wonderful thing to have done.
~ Peter Blake
COLLAGE
The collage depicted more than 70 famous people, including writers, musicians, film stars, and (at Harrison's request) a number of Indian gurus. The final grouping included Marlene Dietrich, Carl Gustav Jung, W.C. Fields, Diana Dors, James Dean, Bob Dylan, Issy Bonn, Marilyn Monroe, Aldous Huxley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sigmund Freud, Aleister Crowley, Edgar Allan Poe, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and controversial comedian Lenny Bruce. Also included was the image of the original Beatles' bassist, the late Stuart Sutcliffe. Pete Best said in a later NPR interview that Lennon borrowed family medals from his (Best's) mother Mona for the shoot, on condition that he did not lose them. Adolf Hitler and Jesus Christ were requested by Lennon, but ultimately they were left out. A photo also exists of a rejected cardboard printout with a cloth draped over its head; its identity is unknown. Even now, co-creator Jann Haworth regrets that so few women were included.
The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has a widely-recognized album cover which depicts several dozen celebrities and other images.
This album cover was created by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake. They won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts in 1967 for their work on this cover.
The celebrities and items featured on the front cover are (by row, left to right):
Top row:
  • Sri Yukteswar Giri (Hindu guru)
  • Aleister Crowley (occultist)
  • Mae West (actress)
  • Lenny Bruce (comedian)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer)
  • W. C. Fields (comedian/actor)
  • Carl Gustav Jung (psychiatrist)
  • Edgar Allan Poe (writer)
  • Fred Astaire (actodancer)
  • Richard Merkin (artist)
  • The Vargas Girl (by artist Alberto Vargas)
  • Huntz Hall (actor)
  • Simon Rodia (designer and builder of the Watts Towers)
  • Bob Dylan (singesongwriter)
Second row:
  • Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator)
  • Sir Robert Peel (19th century British Prime Minister)
  • Aldous Huxley (writer)
  • Dylan Thomas (poet)
  • Terry Southern (writer)
  • Dion (singer)
  • Tony Curtis (actor)
  • Wallace Berman (artist)
  • Tommy Handley (comedian)
  • Marilyn Monroe (actress)
  • William S. Burroughs (writer)
  • Sri Mahavatar Babaji (Hindu guru)
  • Stan Laurel (actocomedian)
  • Richard Lindner (artist)
  • Oliver Hardy (actocomedian)
  • Karl Marx (political philosopher)
  • H. G. Wells (writer)
  • Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (Hindu guru)
  • Sigmund Freud (psychiatrist) - barely visible below Bob Dylan
  • Anonymous (hairdresser's wax dummy)
Third row:
  • Stuart Sutcliffe (artist/former Beatle)
  • Anonymous (hairdresser's wax dummy)
  • Max Miller (comedian)
  • A "Petty Girl" (by artist George Petty)
  • Marlon Brando (actor)
  • Tom Mix (actor)
  • Oscar Wilde (writer)
  • Tyrone Power (actor)
  • Larry Bell (artist)
  • Dr. David Livingstone (missionary/explorer)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (Olympic swimmeTarzan actor)
  • Stephen Crane (writer) - barely visible between Issy Bonn's head and raised arm
  • Issy Bonn (comedian)
  • George Bernard Shaw (playwright)
  • H. C. Westermann (sculptor)
  • Albert Stubbins (football player)
  • Sri Lahiri Mahasaya (guru)
  • Lewis Carroll (writer)
  • T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia")
Front row:
  • Wax model of Sonny Liston (boxer)
  • A "Petty Girl" (by George Petty)
  • Wax model of George Harrison
  • Wax model of John Lennon
  • Shirley Temple (child actress) - barely visible, first of three appearances on the cover
  • Wax model of Ringo Starr
  • Wax model of Paul McCartney
  • Albert Einstein (physicist) - largely obscured
  • John Lennon holding a French horn
  • Ringo Starr holding a trumpet
  • Paul McCartney holding a Cor Anglais
  • George Harrison holding a piccolo
  • Bobby Breen (singer)
  • Marlene Dietrich (actress/singer)
  • An American legionnaire
  • Diana Dors (actress)
  • Shirley Temple (child actress) - second appearance on the cover
Other objects within the group include:
  • Cloth grandmother-figure by Jann Haworth
  • Cloth doll by Haworth of Shirley Temple wearing a sweater that reads "Welcome The Rolling Stones Good Guys"
  • A ceramic Mexican craft known as a Tree of Life from Metepec
  • A 9-inch Sony television set, apparently owned by Paul McCartney - the receipt, bearing McCartney's signature, is owned by a curator of a museum dedicated to The Beatles in Japan.
  • A stone figure of a girl
  • Another stone figure
  • A statue brought over from John Lennon's house
  • A trophy
  • A doll of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
  • A drum skin, designed by fairground artist Joe Ephgrave
  • A hookah (water pipe)
  • A velvet snake
  • A Fukusuke, Japanese china figure
  • A stone figure of Snow White
  • A garden gnome
  • A euphonium/baritone horn
People who were originally intended for the front cover but were ultimately excluded:
  • Leo Gorcey - was modeled and originally included to the left of Huntz Hall, but was subsequently removed when a fee of $400 was requested for the use of the actor's likeness.
  • Mohandas Gandhi - was modeled and originally included to the right of Lewis Carroll, but was subsequently removed. According to McCartney, "Gandhi also had to go because the head of EMI, Sir Joe Lockwood, said that in India they wouldn't allow the record to be printed"
  • Jesus Christ - was requested by Lennon, but not modeled because the LP would be released only a few months after Lennon's Jesus statement.
  • Adolf Hitler - was modeled and was visible in early photographs of the montage, positioned to the right of Larry Bell, but was eventually obscured by Johnny Weissmuller in the final image.
  • Germán Valdés - was considered to appear in the first row, but he declined the offer and suggested to replace his image by a Mexican craftsmanship known as "Tree of Life". Ringo Starr agreed and placed it in the lower right corner of the cover
In the center of the scene, The Beatles stand behind a drum on which are painted the words of the album's title; the drum was painted by fairground artist Joe Ephgrave.
The final bill for the cover was £2,868 5s 3d (equivalent to £38,823 today), a staggering sum for the time. It has been estimated that this was 100 times the average cost for an al-bum cover in those days
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THE INNER SLEEVE
The album's inner sleeve featured artwork by the Dutch design team the Fool that eschewed for the first time the standard white paper in favor of an abstract pattern of waves of maroon, red, pink and white.
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NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS (UK) May 27, 1967
JACK HUTTON VISITS A …
Beatle listen-in
THE Beatles, innovators as always, last week bestowed a new experience on the pop scene -. the LISTEN- IN. They commandeered Brian Epstein's luxurious townhouse in Chapel Street, London, SW1, played their new LP, "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," at full volume and shouted pleasantly at their guests for several hours. Downstairs, a long genuine antique table groaned, as they say, under huge dishes of cold meats and vegetables served by white-jacketed waiters. To drink there was a choice of gazpacho, a cold soup, or champers. The cham-pers won handsomely.
YELLOW SOCKS
The " boys." as they are affectionately known by their management, were in fine fettle. Lennon won the sartorial stakes with a green, flower-patterned shirt, red cord trousers, yellow socks, and what looked like cord shoes.
His ensemble was completed by a sporran. With his bushy sideboards and National Health specs, he resembled an animated Victorian watchmaker.
Paul McCartney, sans mustache, wore a loosely tied scarf shirt, a striped double-breasted jacket, and looked like someone out of a Scott Fitzgerald novel.
They both spoke volubly about many things, such as the BBC ban on "A Day In The Life," one of the LP tracks.
Said Paul: "John woke up one morning and read the Daily Mail. The news stories gave him the ideas for the song. The man goes upstairs on a bus for a smoke. Everybody does that kind of thing. But what does the BBC say? Smoking? SMOKING? S-M -0 -K -I -N-G? "
Well, BBC, he was actually smoking Park Drive! Even people at the BBC do these things. So, face it, BBC!
"You can read a double meaning into anything if you want to. But we don't care if they ban our songs. It might help the LP. They'll play the other tracks. "It's exciting to see the way an LP goes. To see how many different things can be taken from it."
Both Paul and John laughed off the suggestion that "Sgt Pepper" might be their last LP as a group. "Rubbish." said Lennon, but he went on to confirm that their touring days were over.
"No more tours, no more mop tops. We could never hear ourselves playing properly. Anyway, what more could we do after playing to 56,000 people? What next? More fame? More money?
"We were traveling all over the world and couldn't move outside our hotel." Now they feel they still give themselves, via albums, to their public, but they don't have to pay so much.
Says Paul. "I even went on a bus from Liverpool to Chester the other day without much trouble. There was just a mustache involved.
"And nearly every morning I take my dog for a walk in Regents Park.
The musical ideas of Lennon and McCartney seem to be expanding all the time. These ideas encompass a whole spectrum of sounds - mechanIcal, orchestral, electronic, animal, vegetable, Mineral.
They are becoming less and less concerned with their own playing. "I don't practise," says John. "I only played guitar to accompany myself singing You could study all your life and become the best bassoonist in Israel. So what? I like producing records. I want to do it all. I want a machine that produces all sounds. Studying music was like learning French.
If there was a new method of learning music-yeah. But the present method is archaic."
"We were never musicians," agreed Paul "In Hamburg, we got a lot of practice. But reading music for us was unnecessary."
Paul conducted the 41-piece band heard on the banned track "A Day In The Life" and he felt initially embarrassed facing that sea of sessioners.
"So I decided to treat them like human beings and not professional musicians. I tried to give myself to them. We chatted and drank champagne."
John dislikes what he calls "factory musicians"
"Classical players are best on record. They can play anything. Jazzmen are the worst. They can only play from there to there." He placed his open palms two inches apart... and they all want to sound like Ronnie Scott or somebody else "
Lennon 's views are equally trenchant about jazz styles. He doesn't dig Dixieland and mainstream. " It's dying man - like the Black And White Minstrels.
"I like John Coltrane but I don't get to the clubs much because it's embarrassing. The so-called experts laugh at you - 'there's a Beatle in the audience folks. It's probably my blame, but that's what I feel."
However, he promised the MM he would go to hear Charles Lloyd's quartet when they play London in June 17.
And to prove It Lennon borrowed a pen and wrote CHARLES LLOYD in big letters on the back of his sporran.
__________
MELODY MAKER (UK), June 3, 1967
"A hundred different directions at once"
The Maker takes the "jolly approach" of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
by Chris Welch
Now let boring controversy begin!
WHO are the Beatles' greatest influences? Some might consider them to be William Byrd, Richard Strauss and Ravi Shankar. We humbly guess at George Formby, Lonnie Donegan and an elderly lady schoolteacher image, locked deep in the Beatles' collective childhood memory. The Beatles have always loved telling a tale, sometimes sadly, sometimes with wry humour, often mixing depressing sentiments with a chirpy bounce in the grand music hall tradition. And odd women constantly crop up in Beatle song themes. It was Eleanor Rigby on the classic "Revolver" album.
JOLLY APPROACH
This time it's "Lovely Rita " on "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Rita is a female traffic warden or "meter maid" for whom Paul McCartney (bass) expresses the desire to take out for tea. Rita is obviously one of those iron-lipped, jack-booted Femmes Fatale who stalk unwary motorists, and whose very iciness contains a sensual allure.
The novelty of an ode to a lady traffic warden is typical of the whole jolly approach of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Whatever the influences at work on the Beatles band, the lads have brought forth yet another saga of entertainment and achievement so solid and inspired that it should keep the British pop industry ticking over securely for another six months at least.
Already several of the tracks on this 13-song album are being feverishly covered by other artists, from Bernard Cribbins to David and Jonathan.
It's all presented like one of those phoney "live" LIN with dubbed applause and laughter coming in at the oddest moments, the effect is used with subtlety and is not allowed to spoil the musical content.
Some astute listeners have concluded that the faintly self-mocking undercurrent that runs throughout might indi-cate this is the Beatles' last album. indicate
We ran only hope that phrases heard on the album like "we hope you enjoyed the show" are simply references to the work in hand.
From the title track, which has Paul blasting away some James Brown soul through to the final "A Day In The Life" which features John, Paul and a 41 -piece orchestra, song after song prove the Beatles - creatively speaking - are bursting into a hundred different directions at once.
Yet all the music retains the Beetle stamp of humour, sorrow, sympathy and cynicism.
For example, Ringo sings a deadpan vocal "With A Little Help From My Friends." "Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite" is a tale about a trampoline expert.
George entertains with some hot sitar music. and Paul does his George Formby bit on " When I'm 64."
'Goodmorning, Goodmorning" by John is an observation on the ritual conversation gambits of those who have nothing to say.
The Beatles' new album is a remarkable and worthwhile contribution to music. Now let the boring controversies begin!
__________
DECEMBER, 1967 COLUMN (Robert Christgau)
Esquire
In case you've been in New Guinea or something, you ought to be told that the Beatles have a new album out. It is called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and even before its release on June 2 it was the subject of all kinds of published and unpublished rumors. Afterward, the information barrage was overwhelming. Capitol Records sent out an extraordinary feature, spiced with terms like "modals," "atonality," and--egad!--"bowels" and casting aspersions upon the "Tin Pan Alley-spawned lyrical cliché." There were stories in Life (in which Paul McCartney, to the surprise of no one and the shock of quite a few, revealed that he had sampled the dreaded lysergic acid diethylamide; he was seconded quickly by John and George, but Ringo, lovely Ringo, has remained silent), Time (in which George Martin, the group's producer, who has a degree in music and is thus permitted to be a genius, was singled out as the brains of the operation), and Newsweek (in which the former kings of rock and roll were compared, unperjoratively and in order, to Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edith Sitwell, Charlie Chaplin, Donald Barthelme, Harold Pinter, and T.S. Eliot--and not to Elvis Presley or even Bob Dylan). The trades bristled with exciting little pieces that always seemed to contain the word "artistic." And in The New York Times, Richard Goldstein put the album down and was almost lynched.
Goldstein, who has had his own story in Newsweek, is the best-known critic of pop in the country. Like any rising star, he engendered the inevitable ressentiment, always masquerading, of course, as contempt for the phony, the sellout, etc.. I often disagree with Gold-stein, but a sellout he is not. He is unfailingly honest and about as malevolent as Winnie-the-Pooh. There are very few "pop critics" who can match him even occasionally for incisiveness, perspective, and wit. Goldstein was disappointed with Sgt. Pepper. After an initial moment of panic, I wasn't. In fact, I was exalted by it, although a little of that has worn off. Which is just the point? Goldstein may have been wrong, but he wasn't that wrong. Sgt. Pepper is not the world's most perfect work of art. But that is what the Beatles' fans have come to assume their idols must produce.
It all started in December 1965, when they released Rubber Soul, an album that for innovation, tightness, and lyrical intelligence was about twice as good as anything they or anyone else (except maybe the Stones) had done previously. In June 1966, Capitol followed with The Beatles--"Yesterday" . . . and Today, comprising both sides of three singes plus extra cuts from the English versions of Rubber Soul and Revolver. The Beatles (perhaps as a metaphor for this hodgepodge, which was not released in England) provided a cover that depicted Our Boys in bloody butcher aprons, surrounded by hunks of meat and dismembered doll. The powers yowled, the cover was replaced as a reported cost of $250,000, and then in August the American Revolver went on sale. That did it. Revolver was twice as good and four times as startling as Rubber Soul, with sound effects, Oriental drones, jazz bands, transcendentalist lyrics, all kinds of rhythmic and harmonic surprises, and a filter that made John Lennon sound like God singing through a foghorn.
Partly because the ten-month gap between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper was so unprecedented, the album was awaited in much the same spirit as installments of Dickens must have been a century ago. Everyone was a little edgy: Could they do it again? The answer: yes and no. Sgt. Pepper is a consolidation, more intricate than Revolver but not more substantial. Part of Goldstein's mistake, I think, has been to allow all the filters and reverbs and orchestral effects and overdubs to deafen him to the stuff underneath, which was pretty nice, and to fall victim to over anticipation. Although Goldstein still insists he was right, I attribute his review to a failure of nerve.
Plus, perhaps, a predilection for folk music. Sgt. Pepper, four months in gestation, is the epitome of studio rock, and Goldstein wasn't entirely wrong when he accused it of being "busy, hip and cluttered." It contains nothing as lovely as "In My Life" on Rubber Soul or "Here, There and Everywhere" on Revolver. But no one seems to care. The week after Goldstein's review appeared, Cash Box listed Sgt. Pepper as the best-selling album in the country, a position it has occupied all summer.
Meanwhile, Goldstein himself has become a storm center. The Voice, his home base, published a rebuttal by a guy named Tom Phillips, who works for the Times. (Now who's square?) Goldstein responded with a Voice defense of his review. (Title: "I Lost My Cool Through the New York Times.") Paul Williams, of Crawdaddy, complained that Goldstein "got hung up on his own integrity and attempted to judge what he admittedly [sic] did not understand." (What have you done for rock this week?) And the Times was deluged with letters, many abusive and every last one in disagreement, the largest response to a music review in its history.
The letters are a fascinating testimony to what the Beatles mean to their fans. The correspondents are divided about equally between adolescents and young adults, with age often volunteered as a credential. Needless to say, Goldstein is frequently accused of being Old. (For the record, he is twenty-three. And I am twenty-five.) One common complaint was that Goldstein missed the acronymic implications of a lush little fantasy called "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." (Singers on a trip with pretensions?) Even more common is the indignant avowal that George Harrison's "Within You Without You" did not, as Goldstein averred, "resurrect the very clichés the Beatles helped bury," and that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," as Sherry Brody, of Brooklyn, put it, "is not like other songs by stupid groups that say I love you and junk like that." (I hope I don't sound condescending. Miss Brody's letter is not only charming--she signs, "Please write back!"--but every bit as perceptive as many of its more ambitious competitors.) Of course, the clichés in "WYWY" to which Goldstein was referring were not "I love you and junk like that." They were "self-discovery" and "universal love," the kind of homilies that used to make the Beatles giggle, but that Harrison now seems to take seriously.
"WYWY" provides the most convenient launching pad for the textual analyses that almost everyone felt compelled to send off. One writer claimed that a book by William R. Shears (Ringo's persona on the record is "Billy Shears"), called Here It Is, is full of illuminating cross-references. A high-school freshman invoked the album as an example of "tmesis--the appearance of a poem to do credit to its words." Many saw the album as "an attack on middle-class values." Some writers were sure the Beatles had arrived at their current syn-thesis because, to quote a Juilliard student, "they have refused to prostitute themselves for their fans." But others insisted that Sgt. Pepper was "for the people."
The genius of the Beatles can be found in those last two contradictory suggestions because both are true. Few of their old fans could have anticipated their present course or wished for it. Yet the Beatles have continued to please more of the old-timers than anyone but they--and the old-timers themselves--could have hoped. They really started the whole long-haired hippie business four years ago, and who knows whether they developed with it or it developed with them? All those pages of analysis are a gauge of how important the Beatles have become to . . . us.
One song on Sgt. Pepper, "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," seems to me deliberately one-dimensional, nothing more than a description of a traveling circus. It fits beautifully into the album, which is a kind of long vaudeville show, but I feel almost certain it has no "meaning." Yet one girl, "age fifteen," writes that it presents "life as an eerie perverted circus." Is that sad? silly? horrifying? contemptible? From an adult, it might be all four, but from a fifteen-year-old, it is simply moving. A good Lennon-McCartney song is sufficiently cryptic to speak to the needs of whoever listens. If a fifteen-year-old finds life "an eerie perverted circus"--and for a fifteen-year-old that is an important perception--then that's what "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" can just as well be about. If you've just discovered universal love, you have reason to find "Within You Without You" "great poetry." It really doesn't matter; if you're wrong, you're right.
One of the nice things the Beatles do for those of us who love them is charging commonplace English with meaning. I want to hold your hand. It's getting better all the time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. "Fixing a Hole," to which I alluded just above, is full of just such suggestive phrases. I'll resist temptation and quote only five lines: "And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right/ Where I belong I'm right/ Where I belong./ See the people standing there who disagree and never win/ And wonder why they don't get in my door." This passage not only indicates the interesting things the Beatles are doing with rhyme, skewing their stanzas and dispensing almost completely with traditional song form. It also serves as a gnomic re-minder of the limitations of criticism. Allow me to fall into its trap by providing my own paraphrase, viz.: "In matters of interpretation, the important thing is not whether you're `wrong' or `right' but whether you are faithful to your own peculiar stance in the world. Those who insist upon the absolute rectitude of their opinions will never attain a state of enlightenment."
Well, there it is; I've finally done it. Pompous, right? Sorry, I'm just not John Lennon. But like everyone else, I feel compelled to make Our Boys My Boys. The first thirty times I heard "Fixing a Hole," I just listened and enjoyed it, keeping time, singing along, confident that it was obscure beyond my powers to investigate. Then I noticed that all the interpreters were shying away from that song, or making an obvious botch of it, and I couldn't resist the challenge. Now, after several false starts that had me convinced for a while, I think I've got it. It's not surprising that their ideas are so much like my own. That's what they're saying, isn't it?
For, just like Sherry Brody, I have my own Beatles. As far as I'm concerned, "Fixing a Hole" is not like other songs by stupid groups that say I am alienated and junk like that. And I have other prejudices. I can't believe that the Beatles indulge in the simplistic kind of symbolism that turns a yellow submarine into a Nembutal or a banana--it is just a yellow submarine, damn it, an obvious elaboration of John's submarine fixation, first revealed in A Hard Day's Night. I think they want their meanings to be absorbed on an instinctual level, just as their new, complex music can be absorbed on a sensual level. I don't think they much care whether Sgt. Pepper is Great Art or some other moldy fig. And I think they are inordinately fond (in a rather recondite way) of what I call the real world. They want to turn us on, all right--to everything in that world and in ourselves.
What else could a journalist think?
_______________________
TRACKS:
All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney except where noted.
Side one 1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 2:02 2 With a Little Help from My Friends - 2:44 3 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - 3:28 4 Getting Better - 2:48 5 Fixing a Hole - 2:36 6 She's Leaving Home - 3:35 7 Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! - 2:37
Side two 1 Within You Without You (George Harrison) - 5:04 2 When I'm Sixty-Four - 2:37 3 Lovely Rita - 2:42 4 Good Morning Good Morning - 2:41 5 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) - 1:19 6 A Day in the Life – 5:39
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