July 03, 2020, 16:03:05


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Happy Birthday to...! / Re: Happy Birthday Ulrich
Last post by Ulrich - June 12, 2020, 19:00:05
Oh thank you so much, good to see this. Somehow I don't have a very busy day, but still I don't manage to do everything I wanted... never mind, I'll celebrate with relatives on Sunday (always good to have celebrations across a few days).  :cool
Happy Birthday to...! / Re: Happy Birthday Ulrich
Last post by SueC - June 12, 2020, 12:11:28
Happy birthday Ulrich - on the right day this time!  :)

Many happy returns.

A couple of years ago we actually put the correct number of candles on Brett's cake - but we did have five members of the volunteer bushfire brigade present!  :lol:

He managed to blow them out with the one breath, so that's something.  :)

Wishing you a wonderful day!

And remember, age is only important in a cheese.  ;)
Something else / Re: How are you staying sane(i...
Last post by SueC - June 12, 2020, 09:38:12
I enjoy independent journalism, and therefore contribute to alternative magazines and read Crikey, the Guardian etc.

Crikey has taken down its paywall for a fortnight to give people a chance to sample it:


...and their subscriptions are very reasonable. :cool
Other Artists / Re: Currently Listening to
Last post by SueC - June 12, 2020, 05:34:13
Quote from: Ulrich on June 05, 2020, 13:36:57New Waterboys (just got the latest album one year ago, which still seems "new" to me; they're almost too fast these days):

He writes excellent lyrics.  Just the music is a bit lacking there. Kind of like a fair bit of 4.13 Dream musically doesn't go "click" with me in the same way as my favourite stuff from The Cure.  For those tracks off that album and for the new track from Mike Scott here, I have to get into a "performance poetry" mindset to listen to it and appreciate.  Not into the "here's some amazing music" mindset.

And as I'm ironing (doesn't happen very often)...

Quote from: Ulrich on April 07, 2020, 11:55:38

...just listening to some old stuff again, doesn't he just nail it?  Exactly what the current big protests are about...
Other Artists / Re: Currently Listening to
Last post by piggymirror - June 11, 2020, 04:20:54
Music and Lyrics / Re: Exploring the Back Catalog...
Last post by SueC - June 10, 2020, 04:14:50
Well, I finally finished the post on This. Here and Now. With You.  So, I can start looking at the rest of the album today, and then hopefully get to the other two sitting on the desk waiting, soon.  I confess I have cheated and listened to the songs on KM I was already familiar with from live material, just to see what the studio versions were like, and I'm getting very impatient to finish writing about 4.13 Dream so I can finally listen properly to the next album in line...  (If I don't do it like this, I won't catch the initial responses to new material, or I'll lose the order...  it's a good thing I don't do this for all the music I listen to, or I'd sadly constrain my listening... :angel)

So, I have three songs to go.  I've got to admit that Sleep When I'm Dead really didn't do much for me either musically of lyrically.  The best thing about it to me is the decent bass line.  It would honestly help to have some ball park idea of what this song is about - sometimes it's difficult to see if something is overly cryptic, or just entirely slapdash, and sometimes you feel like you've got far better things to do than try to work that out.  I just don't want to spend time on it, much as I like puzzles - it doesn't appeal to me.  ...I wonder how it would go live; often songs I dislike on the studio version, I really warm to when this band plays them live.

In general, I will say that musically, this album isn't very representative of why I personally like The Cure.  Even the musical highlights here don't actually lift me off the ground as some of their other tracks through the years really do.   I enjoy 4:13 Dream better when I listen to it in "performance poetry" mode, rather than "amazing music" mode.  For that, it's worth revisiting, though I don't like every song on it.  But then, I don't like every song on a lot of Cure albums, and on a lot of albums from anyone - and that's OK, as long as things are generally interesting, and the majority of tracks appeal to me in some way (not everything speaks to everyone; but things that don't speak to me may well speak to others :cool).  I probably wouldn't have been particularly amenable to this album if I'd not already liked a lot of this band's prior work - it's like with authors, you'll give them more leeway after you've already enjoyed a couple of their books, and you're more likely to be interested in anything they subsequently do that's unlike what you liked before.  It becomes more of a cerebral exercise then, rather than huge enjoyment and/or being really moved by something.  All those things have their place though.

The Scream is a very good example of what I'd class as really effective performance poetry.  And while I'm at it, and just because it's the first thing I think when confronted with that title:

...I think the song, on my first impressionistic listens, creates a very similar atmosphere as that painting.  I'm not sure if that was intentional, or if it's a musical example of "parallel evolution" because of the shared human experience of stuff like this.  Of course, most of us in the West will have seen Edvard Munch's painting in some form, and because it's so arresting, and so eloquent, it would probably be hard not to be influenced by that piece subconsciously at least, when writing a song of the same name.

So let's have a look at the lyrics:


Yeah I've been this way before
But something down here changed
The spring sun hanging slower
Colder in the sky
And your voice sounds strange
Your voice sounds strange

Yeah I've been down here before
But this time
Something really isn't right
Summer sun hangs smaller
Paler in the sky
And your eyes are too bright
Your eyes are too bright

It's like everything I know
Is twisted out and wrong
The fall sun hanging flatter
Lower in the sky
And your smile is gone
Your smile is gone

It's like twisted out I know
Now I can't wake to
Break apart this dream
Winter sun hangs weaker
Older in the sky
And you start to scream
And you start to scream

Scream and you scream
This is not a dream
This is how it really is
There isn't any other this
Is not a dream
Scream and you scream
Why you have this need
Why you can't be satisfied
Always want another why
You have this need

Scream and you scream
Dare me to believe
Dare me now to show I care
One last chance to make the dare
Me to believe

Scream and you scream
How we ended here
How we got from then to now
Never really followed how
We ended here

NME might have described the The Scream as "an electro-metal descent into madness" and "a reminder of the primal horror of consciousness" (https://genius.com/The-cure-the-scream-lyrics#about) - and they're welcome to read it that way - but I don't.  I think that's a bit simplistic, plus I don't think there is such a thing as a "primal horror of consciousness" unless you're in horrific circumstances (or have been there and are going through the early phases of your PTSD coming out, and I've been both places myself so I do think I deserve a seat at the table with this topic).

Warning:  About to rant.  I'm fed up with this fashion that paints the experience of life as primarily negative, and congratulates itself for doing so, and looks down its nose at other people who don't share that point of view, and somehow imagines itself as intellectually or morally superior because of it, or somehow more sophisticated.  :evil:  I think that's the equivalent of walking around in funeral clothes all your life specifically for the purposes of setting yourself above other people, and it's very close in very uncomfortable ways to the public martyrdom face of a malignant narcissist - "Woe is me, and my pain is bigger than anyone's, and therefore I am so superior."

To me, The Scream (the song, but also the painting) isn't necessarily about a descent into madness at all.  You can feel these things and have your feet very firmly on the ground.  To me the song seems to be about grief, and grappling with really difficult things.  Just because you feel pain doesn't mean you're insane.  I'd argue that people who actually feel their emotions are far more sane than people who are cut off from them.  I think to confront reality and to become emotionally integrated is really important.

You can go insane with pain, true, but I don't think that there's any indications in the song that that's the case.  I think there's mental clarity in those words.  I like the way these lyrics are written, the structure imposed by repeating references to the sun, going through the seasons, in the first four verses, and observations on the apparent disintegration of that (but I think that's just fitting imagery for the purpose and probably metaphor as well), followed each time by observations on what could be the self, but could also be a familiar person.

The lyrics read differently depending on whether you look at the "I/you" as being the same (because sometimes people do use you when they mean one, including I), as opposed to when you look at the "you" being a different person.  In that case, it could be an interaction between a couple - one getting depressed or becoming emotionally unavailable or whatever, and the other reacting to it in pain and frustration because you can't have a mutual relationship with someone who's gone away emotionally.

Those first four verses could fit so many things:  A sense of life becoming meaner - and even from a political perspective, that works for the past four decades or so, at least where I live - if not for everything (some things have improved, like people's attitudes to LGBTIQ), then for the general trend, which is that power and resources are becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, and physical and mental health are going down in much of the West, while the planet's biodiversity is being trashed.

Those verses could also sum up what it's like to live with a terminal illness - and in a wider sense, the recognition that all of us are terminal and need to actually come to terms with that.  I've heard it said, "Life is a sexually transmitted terminal illness" - and while that gives me a giggle, and aspects of that are true, it's vastly oversimplified...  It's funny actually, the difference between speaking to people with a sort of "death cult" mindset, and speaking to people with an actual terminal illness.  The former will sing you dirges, while the latter are so often really positive and life-affirming and celebrate every day they have, and see it as a gift.

The death (or near-death) of a relationship or friendship would also fit this song.  The words give enough leeway for all sorts of interpretations related to grief and pain.  It's a common experience for all of us - and of course it's also not all there is to life - but it's very important to deal with this dark stuff, to acknowledge it, to feel your feelings, cry your tears, be outraged, be angry, be sad, because that's as much a part of being alive as all that is wonderful and beautiful.

Here's a poem which explores the relationship between joy and sorrow - from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet:

 On Joy and Sorrow

    Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
    And how else can it be?
    The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
    Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
    And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

    Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
    But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
    Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
In this band's music, joy and sorrow are both explored - as they are in all my favourite books, music, poetry, drama etc.

The Scream is a really excellent depiction of the painful side of life - the scenarios that you wish were nightmares but aren't, the things you've got to go through that you would prefer not to, the painful confrontation with your own dark side - the horror of those things (but not of everything).  When people write about raw things like this, it gives the community springboards for examining their own lived experience.  That's a big part of why we love our favourite wordsmiths, poets, musicians, essayists, novelists etc.  ♥

The last song on the album next time.
Something else / Re: The Ranting Thread
Last post by SueC - June 10, 2020, 01:51:02
I just wanted to officially post that after thinking about it for a bit, I came to a position halfway between my prior position and @word_on_a_wing's position, and I thank her for voicing her thoughts on the matter.  And that's why networking with other brains is so much better than just playing with your own.  :cool
Something else / Re: What made you annoyed toda...
Last post by SueC - June 10, 2020, 01:46:56
Quote from: Ulrich on May 28, 2020, 17:30:49Bleedin' headache! Must be the weather, as I heard about other people suffering too.  :1f630:

Hate those things.  :evil:  Various things that have at times been helpful:  Putting my feet in a bucket of really hot water (if it's a vascular type headache), cold pack on the head and/or neck, hot pack on the head and/or neck, putting VapoRub up my nose or one of those nose unclogging aroma-sticks with menthol etc, applying red Tiger Balm to my forehead or just sniffing it (warning - do not put up your nose - burns like anything), taking paracetamol at the first hint, lots of fluids, with electrolytes if necessary, something salty, or salty/high-protein like beef biltong; chicken soup, lying down not moving in a dark room - and avoiding sugar...
Other Artists / Re: Currently Listening to
Last post by SueC - June 10, 2020, 01:23:49
Quote from: piggymirror on June 08, 2020, 22:57:07
Quote from: SueC on June 08, 2020, 17:16:47It was a bit of a thing to ping "like" here for me.  I really liked this song when I was 13.  And would subsequently, from the age of 14 after discovering alternative music, have rather eaten live wriggly worms than admit this was ever the case.

[...] It's just that I outgrew this style of music and discovered things I liked better.  But, I think the reticence to ever admit I liked this song was tied up in this idea of having developed "better taste" and that's something I interrogate now.

This is quite a good song.
But I hadn't realised the bits of dub in it until now, which makes it even better.

Just watching the video on this, which I actually don't recall ever seeing before, random thoughts - and I don't know the story behind this clip - but in the mid-80s, where I lived, they were only just beginning to decriminalise homosexuality (and there were police lynchings in Sydney etc of gay people, probably in part because the judiciary were considering dropping those laws), and watching that clip just brought that back to me.  It seems to me to sort of pantomime all that stuff about the public reaction to a non-hetero, non-gender-binary, different sort of person - and the law court setting did make me think about the criminalisation laws of the time.

It was in my home too.  I got bashed in the face by my father for having a Boy George poster up on my wall when I was 13 - because BG was a "poof" and a "pervert" - according to my elder and better...

Quote from: piggymirror on June 08, 2020, 22:57:07
Quote from: SueC on June 08, 2020, 17:16:47Anyone else here got anything weird like that going down?

But in my case it was more like, er...

This is actually a very fine song (back then I didn't know it was a cover), Jimmy has an outstanding voice, just that in hindsight, the production doesn't do it for me, I prefer more synthy things.
Bronski Breat itself, for instance, or Erasure.

I looked up the lyrics.  Interesting that it was initially written by a presumably straight woman and then sung by a gay guy, but of course, sex is sex and love is love - my recurring niggle is when people say love and actually mean sex, because I'm pedantic and these are technically two different things, although it's great when they dance hand-in-hand, and the sum is greater than the parts etc.  (And I always go on about that, because if young people especially confuse that, they can get very hurt; and to make the distinction helps inoculate people a bit against relationship dysfunction; although in those lyrics there are bigger fish to fry like co-dependency - making someone else responsible for your happiness when actually you are; and it's in so many pop songs.../end rant and the soapbox is now available for the next speaker ;))

I remember Why and thought that had fabulous lyrics. :cool 35 years later looking back it's like, "WTF was society thinking?" but of course it's not all roses yet either.

And now I'm gonna put on a song that can make you blush, bwahahaha.  :lol:  Here's Paul Kelly euphemising with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

Something else / Re: How are you staying sane(i...
Last post by Ulrich - June 09, 2020, 18:52:12

QuoteChris Sedden found himself out of work during the shutdown as government restrictions put an end to weddings and other large gatherings. But the break in his normal routine afforded Sedden the opportunity to put on his amateur archaeology hat and spend hours pouring over images of the terrain surrounding his home in southern Derbyshire.

As he scanned along the River Trent, near the village of Swarkestone, he noticed something strange. "I thought, 'what's that? It looks a bit odd, and a bit round,'" Sedden told the Guardian.

For armchair archaeologist Sedden, the more he examined images of the area, the more he began to suspect that the faint circular formation was in fact the remains of an ancient structure, a "losthenge" similar to Stonehenge. There are other known Neolithic sites nearby, which helps support Sedden's theory. And the historic boundaries of the surrounding fields conform to the formation, suggesting that farmers may have been organizing plantings around an existing structure.
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