Waking Ear

Yesterday while walking into college, people on the streets were looking suspiciously at me. Perhaps it’s because I was wearing bright red on a cold, grim rainy day. But I have a feeling it was more probably the fact that I was humming Tom’s Diner (the lyrics aren’t the thing, though. It’s that melody line that loops through basically the whole song and NEVER LEAVES YOUR HEAD, EVEN HOURS LATER, DAMMIT…), which was in my waking ear that morning and unfortunately had to be inflicted on everyone else.

Hot In Herre Head

Not since Erotica has an idiotic ditzy oversexed refrain so persistently tormented me. Nelly’s latest work of artistry features the eloquent chorus of:

Nelly: It’s getting hot in herre
So take off all your clothes
Random scantily clad ho’: I am…gettin’ so hot
I wanna take my clothes off

And it refuses to leave my head.

Jumbled Headmusic

From a piano session with Tay last night, Carrot Rope (Pavement), Jed The Humanoid (Grandaddy) and Evaporated (Ben Folds Five) are sitting cross-legged on the floor and swaying dreamily.

From The Royal Tenenbaums on Sunday, Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard (Paul Simon) is throwing sand and thumbing its nose at the above three.

From Alec putting on The Cure last night, Lullaby (ohhhh, when that bass comes in) is slinking and gasping its way round clawing at the walls while simultaneously reapplying layers upon layers of black eyeliner.

From the radio this morning, Witness (Roots Manuva) is bursting the bionic zit splittah, downing ten pints of bittah, right now seeing clearer than most and sitting here contented wit’ dis cheese on toast.

Cease To Resist, Giving My Goodbye

When walking down the street feeling grand because it’s a beautiful day and feeling an irresistable urge to burst into song, do not give into said urge if the last song you’ve been listening to was Wave Of Mutilation. Even if it is a perfect sunny day song which should be blasted from the rooftops, in your humble opinion.

Actually, strange looks and their perpetrators be damned. It’s still in my head. Gower Street, prepare thyself!


Music moments that won’t leave my head this week:

  • The rhythmic riffing that opens Fugazi’s Red Medicine (my first ever Fugazi album, but it definitely won’t be my last). Catchiest thing I’ve heard since Bye Bye Bye. :P
  • The eight note sequence in Ana (Bossanova, Pixies). You hear it for the first time about 30 seconds into the song, and it starts with four ascending notes. I have no idea how to write about it other than referring to the notes that make it up, and just listing the notes doesn’t come close to explaining the grip that little sequence has on me. The best I can do is to say that those last three notes seem to almost chime.
  • The trumpets in Wagner’s Tannhauser March. Simple, sunny, jubilant.
  • “Plaaaaacing fingers through the notches in your spine” (Two Headed Boy, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel). This album is a universe of wonderful moments, but this one stands out this week, simply because I like the line, and it reminds me of a line from one of my favourite poems.

          And I am learning him, learning
    the journey of him, the journey of the
    cobbled spine and the contours of muscle,
    of tongue and lips and teeth, of the old scars and
    the steel-toed heart. His warmth winds around me
    and his voice binds me with a whispered word.
    I trace his veins to their fire source and
    dissolve into them, and find the shape of him
    in the heart of a flame.
          He is the poem I travel.
    One Winged Angels, Koh Tsin Yen

I might see Yen later today if she goes to the poetry reading I’ll be at this afternoon – it’s to promote onewinged, an anthology of young Singaporean writing named after her poem. I’ll ask her if I can put the whole poem up here.

My Manta Ray’s All Right

You know that exquisite pain you get when a fantastic song is in your head, but circumstances prevent you from getting to actually hear it? I don’t know why there’s such a huge difference between hearing it in your head and hearing it from your speakers, but there undoubtedly is. You’re walking around for hours with it in there, and if it’s a song you love, chances are you know it intimately and your memory’s playing every note, but when you manage to get to your room and actually hear it in stereo, it’s like that moment’s a screaming orgasm and everything before was just indifferent foreplay.

At some point during lunch with Tamara at Belgo’s yesterday, Pixies’ Manta Ray started playing in my head.

I tried lots of ways to get it out. I went to Borders and listened to Sigur Ros, Black Box Recorder, Kid Loco, DJ Krush, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Sibelius. (Increasingly strange looks from the guy manning the listening station.) My find of the day: Pinchas Zukerman playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, and Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No.5, conducted by Zubin Mehta, for 5.99! That’s the great thing about buying classical music that isn’t usually possible with indie rock – you can get so much good stuff for cheap. Supporting an indie rock habit, where every CD you want has an IMPORT sticker on it and costs twice as much as an ordinary CD, generally requires a willingness for turning tricks, drug dealing, organ farming or investment banking.

So anyway, nothing worked. I still kept having to remind myself not to burst out into “Hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo, YEAH!” in front of other people, and it was torture not being able to. Then I got home, scrambled to my computer, put it on and turned up the volume, and…