Make You Better (The Decemberists)

“Make You Better” by the Decemberists is a new song but sounds like a jangle-pop song from the early ’90s (think REM, They Might Be Giants, Gin Blossoms, etc.)    I can’t stop listening to it.  The harmonies are just beautiful.    I’m not posting the official video because, frankly, I think it’s stupid and the intro makes no sense.  But someone made this trippy “visualizer” and set it to the song so I’m using that. This song makes me cry.

 

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Monday Melody: Shine (Collective Soul)

“Shine” is one of those ’90s songs that sounds positively dated by today’s standards, but this is not a bad thing, not at all.    The feel of the song, technically classified as post-grunge (even though it came out in 1994 during the height of grunge),  owes a lot more to classic rock than it does to popular music today–or even other music of its time.

Unlike many post-grunge/grunge songs that tend toward dark, ironic, and nihilistic lyrics, “Shine” has a positive, inspiring, unironic message.    If you didn’t know better, you might even think it was a Christian song, even though the band insists that it was not intended as one.   But the overall mood of “Shine,” with its distorted guitar and heavy bass line, is as dark as anything else from that time, which creates an interesting juxtaposition with its upbeat lyrics.

“Shine” sounds so much like classic rock that it gets airplay on my local classic rock radio station, which plays very little music that came out after the early 1980s.   They also play a lot of Pearl Jam, another ’90s rock band that could easily be mistaken for classic rock.

Give me a word,
Give me a sign.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?

Lay me on the ground,
Or fly me in the sky.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?

(Yeah)
(Yeah)
(Yeah)
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down

Love is in the water,
Love is in the air.
Show me where to look,
Tell me will love be there?
Will love be there?

Teach me how to speak,
Teach me how to share.
Teach me where to go,
Tell me will love be there?
Love be there?

(Yeah)
(Yeah)
(Yeah)
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down

Give me a word,
Give me a sign.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?

Lay me on the ground,
Or fly me in the sky.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?

(Yeah)
(Yeah)
(Yeah)
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down

I’m gonna let it shine
I’m gonna let it shine
Heaven, let your light
Shine on me

Oh, yeah,
Yeah
Heaven, let your light
Shine on me

(Shine) Shine on me, yeah
(Shine) C’mon and shine

Monday Melody: Beautiful (Christina Aguilera)

I really should start calling these Sunday Songs, since I seem to post them so often on Sunday night instead of Monday–but Sunday Songs sounds like religious music, so I guess I won’t be changing the title.

My apologies for slacking on posting every week as I promised, but I did post The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” a few days ago, because I didn’t want to have to wait.   That song was my obsession that day.

“Beautiful” is one of those big diva-ballads of the late ’90s and early 2000’s I don’t normally get into that much.  Don’t get me wrong–these ladies (Christina, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and their ilk) are incredibly talented and their success is well-deserved, but their melismatic r&b style just isn’t usually my cup of tea.  I’m more into rock or indie and alternative type of music.

“Beautiful” is an exception.  On every level it’s amazing.    It’s not a shallow song about physical perfection as one might think; it’s an empowering song about self esteem and not fitting in because you’re “different,”  but learning to love yourself anyway in spite of those differences.  Christina belts the lyrics out with so much raw emotion I always feel like I’ve been hit in the gut.  Rumor has it she she cried while recording it.  I believe it too.

I heard it again today and it brought tears to my eyes, so I decided it deserved to be this week’s featured tune.

 

Lyrics:

[Spoken]
Don’t look at me
Every day is so wonderful
Then suddenly it’s hard to breathe.
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain, I’m so ashamed.I am beautiful no matter what they say.
Words can’t bring me down.
I am beautiful in every single way.
Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no.
So don’t you bring me down today.To all your friends you’re delirious,
So consumed in all your doom.
Trying hard to fill the emptiness.
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone.
is that the way it is?

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down….oh no
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring you down, oh, no
So don’t you bring me down today…

No matter what we do
(no matter what we do)
No matter what we say
(no matter what we say)
We’re the song inside the tune
Full of beautiful mistakes

And everywhere we go
(and everywhere we go)
The sun will always shine
(the sun will always, always shine)
And tomorrow we might wake on the other side

We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won’t bring us down, no, no
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring us down, oh, no
So don’t you bring me down today

Oh, yeah, don’t you bring me down today, yeah, ooh
Don’t you bring me down ooh… today

 

Boulevard of Broken Dreams (cover)–“BPD” cover.

Ted Giffin, a musician, said he read my earlier post from today that compared the lyrics of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” to the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and this arrangement of the song was inspired by that post.

My comments about his version:

I like this arrangement-the melody sounds slightly “off” but in a way I think you intended. It does seem as if there is more than one voice all kind of at war with each other, and there seems to be a scattered kind of feeling and some kind of extraneous “noise” like the noise that goes on in the head of a triggered Borderline (or person with CPTSD/PTSD). I think this is what you intended…anyway, I think this is a really interesting version and the vocals are good.

You can listen to Ted’s arrangement on his blog post.  Enjoy!

6/6/16:  Ted just posted the music video:

https://tedgiffin.com/2016/06/06/boulevard-of-broken-dreams-video/

Artist- Ted Giffin - Musician

I was surfing the internet today checking out blog posts.
I came across one that made me think of the Green Day Song called
‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, in an entirely new light.
The thought was that the lyrics were an accurate expression of
the internal experiences of someone who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder.
I have had friends who struggle with the affliction.
So I tried to sing the song from that vantage point.
To see the post, that inspired my version. Visit:
https://luckyottershaven.com/2016/06/05/monday-melody-boulevard-of-broken-dreams-green-day/

Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
I…

View original post 198 more words

Monday Melody: Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day)

monday_melody

I’m posting this on a Sunday because I feel like it and it’s close enough to Monday anyway.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was a huge 2005 comeback hit by the alternative/pop-punk band Green Day after several years of being out of the public eye. It’s one of the last great rock & roll songs in the wilderness of dreary post-grunge and r&b/hip hop that dominated the airwaves prior to the changeover to EDM and pop around 2009. “Boulevard” has special meaning for me because of the connection it has with Borderline Personality Disorder. I think it captures the horror and emptiness of what it feels like to have BPD, especially these lines:

I’m walking down the line that divides me somewhere in my mind
One the borderline of the edge and where I walk alone
Read between the lines what’s fucked up and everything’s alright
Check my vital signs to know that I’m still alive and I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there would find me
Til then I walk alone

Monday Melody: Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

monday_melody

I was going to post a different (more recent) song for this week, but my DS, who will be 25 this year, just reminded me that this iconic song is as old as he is. It still sounds as great as it did in 1991. Sorry about this being a day late.

Monday Melody: Betterman (Pearl Jam)

monday_melody

Looking over my list of Monday Melodies so far, I noticed I only included two songs from the ’90s so far, which surprises me since the ’90’s may be my favorite decade for music (It was a lot more versatile than other decades) before it all went to hell.

Although Pearl Jam was classified as “grunge” and came out of Seattle at the same time as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains in the early ’90s, some grunge purists argue that Pearl Jam isn’t really grunge at all and really owes more to classic rock than to punk or grunge.   I probably agree with that, but for me it’s not a problem, because I grew up listening to classic rock.  On my local classic rock station, you can hear Pearl Jam played along with Led Zeppelin and the Stones.   There was no one who could look crazier than Eddie Vedder on stage, but he sure could sing his butt off and there really aren’t any Pearl Jam songs I don’t like.

Betterman was released in 1994 (has it really been 22 years?!) and is one of their more well known songs.  It’s not everyone’s favorite, but I love it. I actually like its pop-rock sound.

 

Monday Melody: Won’t Get Fooled again (The Who)

monday_melody

In my opinion, the best rock and roll song of all time. That’s all.

The power of music.

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“Take Her Home”: song about homelessness and PTSD by NarCissistic Mary

I’ve posted a number of songs written and recorded by my friend Mary Pranzatelli and her band NarCissistic Mary for this blog before, but I think this one’s my favorite. It’s called “Take Her Home” and is about a homeless veteran woman suffering from PTSD who gets raped and beaten on the streets of LA. Sad lyrics but with an important message and the music sounds great!

In Mary’s own words,

[“Take Her Home” tells the story of] a female Vietnam veteran who served in the Medics in the Navy. She told me she lived on the streets in LA, and that she was raped and violently beaten.
She told me the statistics for homeless in Tent City.

African American women are homeless at a higher rate and I learned at my National Organization for Women PAC meeting that South Jersey social services neglects African American women and most often picks up white homeless women when they have shelter available. I also was told that at Tent City in LA the police sweep away the few personal belongings of these women and the often brutally take them off and incarcerate them often late at night.

Here is the song.

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