Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This deserves a B+

Assignment: Write a short essay (3-4 paragraphs) that compares and contrasts a rock song released in the early 1980's to a rock song from the current decade ('00-). Use brief, but specific examples, citing text from the lyrics as necessary.

Let it be known that my favorite song by New Order, and perhaps any band, is "Temptation," found on the Substance compilation. From the second the vocal "oohs" fade in, to the last guitar strum, the song brilliantly encompasses feelings of heartache, optimism, falling in love, and being in love. As a side note, I am completely convinced that this song will be playing over loudspeakers the moment I meet the woman I will marry. Whether I'm outside, or whatever. Loudspeakers, man.

Over twenty years later, Canadian band The Arcade Fire would release a song on their debut album that covers all the same ideas as New Order's early single. "Wake Up" soars with the beauty and energy befitting of closing credits to a motion picture (though it have yet to hold this position). Once again, we are blessed with a song that refracts a spectrum of emotion.

Both singers are scarred, it seems: New Order's Bernard Sumner sings "It hurts me to treat you this way/ Betrayed by words I'd never heard too hard to say." Win Butler is also frank as he croons "Now that I'm older/ my heart's colder/ And I can see that it's a lie." Rather than fall under the weight of the opening verses, both songs rise to the occasion with a burst of optimism. "Tonight I think I'll walk alone/ I'll find myself as I go home" promises Sumner, while Butler encourages the children to "...wake up/ Hold your mistake up/ Before they turn the summer into dust." The tunes come to their explosive climax at Sumner's infamous "Oh, you've got green eyes/ Oh, you've got blue eyes/ Oh, you've got grey eyes" refrain, and with Butler's revelation "I guess we'll just have to adjust."

The striking similarity in these two works is their codas. Take a look:

Temptation -
"Bolts from above hit the people down below/
People in this world, we've got no place to go."

Wake Up -
"With my lightning bolts a-glowin'/
I can see where I am goin'."

Truthfully, I liked both of these songs individually very much before I recognized any sort of connection between them. Whether or not anyone else hears it, this invisible bond will only strengthen each song's importance to me.

And if you haven't heard one or the other, for God's sake, download them already!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Two thoughts

1) My time would almost assuredly be better served actually talking to a girl I like instead of spending hours perfecting a mix tape I want to give her.

2) I really need to hear some more classic shoegaze, besides Loveless.