Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Canadian SuperGroup

Hello! I've taken a long....very long...hiatus from the blog and I feel somewhat guilty, but here I am again. So, happy belated Christmas, Hanukah, New Years, Valentines, etc. Very over due. In the last couple of months I have listened to A LOT of new music, which is good! Usually I don't really listen to a whole lot of new bands at once, because I get overwhelmed. However, it's been wonderfully distracting, and in many ways, therapeutic. I've come up with a new term to describe what seems to be a common trend among many of the bands I've been listening to: not only are the good ones mostly from Canada, but they seems to have 6,7,8, 154 people. Maybe the 154 was a slight exaggeration, but you see where I'm getting at. I would like to label this type of band as the "Canadian SuperGroup." They don't necessarily need to have a lot of people, but it has to be a band that is so raw and talented, it's as if it sounds like 100 people are playing...I would even put Wolf Parade in this category. The two bands that I want to focus on now are Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire. I LOVE..love love love...these groups. I barely just started listening to Broken Social Scene, and though I've had heard of them several times, I never really got into them. I've always loved Feist (was once a member of the group) but never got around to giving BSS the chance that it deserves. Anyways, the first song I want to share is called "Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)" from their self titled album in 2005. "7/4 (Shoreline)" is really their most popular song off this album, but I have it saved for another future post. Anyways here's "Ibi Dreams of Pavement." Watch the vid, read the lyrics, and let it move you:



Lyrics to Ibi Dreams Of Pavement :

(A-Section)
I got shot right in the back
And you were there
I said I was never coming back
And you were there you were there
I know the eyelids are under attack
'Cause you were there you were there
All this pressure wants to retract
And you were there you were there

(B-Section)
And if God is what they made
Cut the hands off believers
Don't get high on what you create

(a-section)
I saw Gaza turn into light
And you were there you were there
All the subtractions made it on time
You were there, you were there
All the nice boys wait for a sign
You were there , you were there
And all the time, the time, the time, the time you were there, you were there

(b-section)
And if love is what they gave
Turn wives into healers
Don't get high on what you create
Oh it might just steal ya

(Coda-instrumental)

One of the greatest things about this song is that it immediately starts off powerful. Really, there's not much "build" throughout the song except for maybe the coda...there's simply no place to go. The intro is interesting because it starts with outdoor chimes. This ambient noise is soon disturbed by a single note in the guitar which lingers for a second or two, and then slowly slides its way down to what seems to be the tonic (the first note of the key that the a piece is in). The tonic is thus established with the entrance of the rest of the instruments, providing harmonic basis for the tune (a G-Majorish key, might even be modal). When the tonic is finally reached and the rest of the instruments join in, it's a truly an amazing moment. Harmonic motion occurs in "some" of the guitars and basses (remember, it's a large group), along with this driving force in the drums. This is all enhanced by a couple of guitars playing alternating major 2nds in unison above the texture. Though there are a lot of instruments playing at once (this coming from a girl who spends most of her time in symphony orchestra), the group seems to be very well balanced.

When the vocals finally enter, the texture changes, but not completely...it actually gets more intense. I love how the word "shot" (from opening line "I got shot") is such a STRONG downbeat...it's at this moment where the texture changes from intense, to actually exciting. "Shot" is also a very strong word...it's almost as if the listener feels a pang of noise that can actually affect them physically at that moment. The vocals are SO powerful in this. You just want to scream a long with him. He creates this vocal line that's somewhat melodious, but at the same time, it's speech-like...I guess you could call this a watered down rock version of a sprechtstimme (a singing-speech-like vocal technique). I know it's a pretentious term, but hey, this kinda music is pretentious in its own way. However, in both B/b sections, he goes back to a more melodious line (unlike the screaming A-Sections). I love this tone def sense of the vocals, it's so passionate and powerful. The first time I really listened to this song in an analytical sense, it was almost overwhelming to me. That's when I know a song or a piece of music is good...when it's too overwhelming for me to describe/or process what emotions and feelings are going through me while I'm listen to it. It's religious. It's spiritual. It's impossible to describe.

The Coda section near the end is very interesting because it leaves the listener in suspense. I actually keep expecting a re entrance of the vocals, every time I listen to it but thus my expectations are thwarted. What it DOES instead, that's very cool, is that it adds trumpets to the texture. Not only and makes it that much more powerful but it just enhances the experience. A re entrance of the vocals are not needed!

The lyrics are interesting, and actually I think the video does a pretty good job of conveying the tone of the song. I believe that this song is mostly about organized religion and how something that is supposed to be so healing has caused so much violence. Whether you agree or not, it's hard to refute the fact that many, many wars and conflicts have been attributed to radical religious ideals. Just look at the first B-Sections ("And if God is what they made, cut the hands off believers, don't get high on what you create"). It's basically saying that if God (or can be interpreted as organized religion) is a product of man that has caused violence everywhere, then why believe in a God of healing and shame on those who follow these radical ideas. Then it warns you not to "get high on what you create" because you will become part of the problem. Just so all of you know, I'm in no way trying to offend people and I try to leave my personal views out of the lyric interpretation...I'm merely dissecting the views of others through song. If nothing else, I hope this song left you awestruck.

The next song I want to discuss is by Arcade Fire, which is quickly making it's way up my favorite bands list. Not only are they original in their instrumentation (includes everything from violin, to bass clarinet, to accordian) but there is something so whimsical about their music. It's complex, breathtaking, dark, simple, and beautiful...all at the same time. It's almost like listening to a modern day fairy tale soundtrack. Anyways, this song is entitled "Rebellion (Lies)" from their first album "Funeral." Sit back, watch the vid, read the lyrics, and ENJOY all that it is:



Lyrics to Rebellion (Lies) :
Sleeping is giving in,
no matter what the time is.
Sleeping is giving in,
so lift those heavy eyelids.

People say that you'll die
faster than without water.
But we know it's just a lie,
Scare your son, scare your daughter.
(bridge)

People say that your dreams
are the only things that save ya.
Come on baby in our dreams,
we can live on misbehavior.

Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!

(Chorus)
Every time you close your eyes
Every time you close your eyes
Every time you close your eyes
Every time you close your eyes

People try and hide the night
underneath the covers.
People try and hide the light
underneath the covers.

(Repeat)
Come on hide your lovers underneath the covers
Come on hide your lovers underneath the covers

Hidin' from your brothers
underneath the covers,
Come on hide your lovers
underneath the covers.
(bridge)

People say that you'll die
faster than without water,
But we know it's just a lie,
Scare your son, scare your daughter,

(Repeat)
Scare your son, scare your daughter.
Scare your son, scare your daughter.

Now here's the sun, it's alright!
(Lies, lies!)
Now here's the moon, it's alright!
(Lies, lies!)
Now here's the sun, it's alright!
(Lies, lies!)
Now here's the moon it's alright
(Lies, lies!)

(Chorus enhanced)
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!

Every time you close your eyes

Ahhhh! Sooo goood! Okay, moment over. From the get-go it has this groovy, driving beat in the bass drum along with this ambient noise. Then, a bass line enters with a sixteenth note pattern along with a "scratchy" ( but subdued) guitar line. It seems very repetitive, but it helps to establish some sort of key area. Then entering on top of that is a piano, only playing one chord in sixteenth notes. The guitar continues to play a few offbeat patterns until the vocals enter. The vocals are very serene when it enters and the music underlying it continues to stay the same with the addition of the one note in the piano chord. After the first verse, it gets to this heavy bridge in which the motion and the texture are intact, but the guitar is given more presence. Also, a violin enters with this new melodic passage. It almost imitates and harmonizes with the underlying guitar riff. The following stanzas are pretty much the same until the entrance of the chorus.

The Chorus ("Every time you close your eyes (lies)") is interesting because it imitates the previous stanzas. It's also more free and intense. It then moves to this interesting change, in which the "Lies, lies" vocal line is absent...the vocals just repeat "every time you close your eyes." I love how the "lies" vocal line is continuously repeated by the rest of the group. It's like a dialogue (question and answer) between the lead vocals and the band.

In terms of the form of this piece, it's extremely ambiguous. The stanzas remain pretty much intact for a lot of the song, but now and then certain vocal lines are repeated, and varied (for example, "hidin' from your brothers underneath the covers"). The second entrance of the chorus actually adds the "lies, lies" part, but harmonizes a different key! This is very unlike the first entrance of the chorus.

In terms of the lyrics, they're very obscure. At the heart of it, I believe that this song is basically about people telling you things that you know aren't true, and in this case, it's "sleeping is giving in." It then goes on to say that you live out your dreams while you sleep, and the only way to survive is through your dreams (metaphorically, and realistically). Ultimately, if you don't sleep, you will die (faster than without water, get it?). I'm not sure if any of this makes sense, but despite the obscurity, it's such a beautiful song and so whimsical. The lyrics are very dreamy. It's like I'm watching a Michele Gondry movie through song. The song references the sun, the moon, lovers, and dreams. It's all so romantic. And all so badass. Though whimsical and ambient, the music behind it is still driving, dark, mysterious, and beautiful. *Sigh* I love this song.


Anyways, feel free to share you thoughts as always. I hope that you fall in love with these songs (and these groups) as much as I have.

39 comments:

裕瑤 said...

不能記住往事的,人注定要重蹈覆轍。 ..................................................

太可怕 said...

舊書不厭百回讀,熟讀深思子自知。........................................

承合 said...

If you can not be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.............................................

佩璇佩璇 said...

喜樂的心是健康良藥,憂傷的靈使骨枯乾。........................................

水憲妤慧 said...

水是聰明者的唯一飲料. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NicolaSigel0508 said...

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NeldaDotson0788 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份......................................................

維青 said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好! .........................................

70713ang_eloknuth said...

你的部落帶給我愉快的心情,感謝~~ ....................................................

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Custom makes all things easy~~加油哦.............................................

嘉承翰剛 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。..................................................

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怡谷ShanikaMaxey怡谷 said...

Well begun is half done.......................................................

IrwinE_若愛Buchholz0723若愛 said...

you two make a lovely couple............................................................

walsha said...

未來屬於那些相信他們美好夢想的人。 ..................................................

育淑 said...

婚姻對男人來說是賭他的自由,對女人而言卻是賭她的幸福。..................................................................

建月 said...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你心情愉快.............................................................

江婷 said...

nice to know you, and glad to find such a good artical!......................................................................

江婷 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!......................................................................

銘木 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

怡潔怡潔 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

王雅筑 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

原秋原秋 said...

時間可證明一切~你的BLOG是我覺得不賴的..................................................................

原秋原秋 said...

faith will move mountains. ..................................................

冠宇 said...

我在戀愛著?--------是的,因為我在等待著.................................................................

吳婷婷 said...

要保持更新呦,加油!!!期待你的新文章!!!..................................................................

琬安琬安 said...

這不過是滑一跤,並不是死掉而爬不起來了。..................................................

張家弘翁書豪 said...

It is easier to get than to keep it.......................................................................

黃書豪黃書豪黃書豪 said...

Learning makes a good man better and ill man worse.............................................................

莉璇藍 said...

Practice makes perfect...................................................

王陳虹霞文均 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼....................................................

建邱勳 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

黃子黃麗旺軒 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份............................................................

靜詹怡詹詹 said...

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易強青易強青易強青 said...

回應是最大的支持^^y~~~甘吧嗲............................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

It is never too late to learn.......................................................................

8468 said...

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洪勳劉耀德劉耀德華 said...

感謝分享 功德無量............................................................

司冯欣 said...

很不賴的分享!! 多謝啦!!◑0◐......................................................