Collaborations happen these days as how exuberance is to pop music. It occurs everywhere and mostly in the name of fame and notoriety. In a world where Arcade Fire get tumblr pages like “Who the hell is Arcadia Fires?Who?,” it was only a matter of time before the group finally work with music’s highly-respected multi-player David Byrne.
As the main man of the new wave 70’s band The Talking Heads, his career spans from music to various forms of the art receiving accolades from the Grammys, the Golden Globes and an Oscar for his work in The Last Emperor. So much can be written about his expansive musical career but what points to his eminence is how Byrne able to transcend his influence in the current music scene. Not many of music fans now who download music from iTunes or get their musical leanings from Pitchfork know much about the man. In spite of this, his name resound around the walls of pop music through key collaborations with the now of the industry. His latest work involves Grammy’s Album of the Year recipient Arcade Fire in the band’s “Culture War” + “Speaking in Tongues” release- a companion of the cerebral The Suburbs. List of artists that shared the studio with Byrne includes Dirty Projectors, Brian Eno, Fat Boy Slim, Tori Amos, St. Vincent, Florence Welch and many others.
He maintains a very intimate and clocklike journal that details his thoughts on various passions of his on design, photography and most importantly cycling. His love for cycling is chronicled in the book Bicycle Diaries that follows his explorations of different cultures abode his bike in different cities all over the world including Manila, Philippines. Probably part of this journey in the country was for his Here Lies Love project with Fat Boy Slim that subjects the Former First Lady of the Philippine’s Imelda Marcos as the main character of the narrative sung by different vocalists.
Byrne’s scopiousness lies on his own restlessness to create music in its ever changing form. “I love music. I always will. It saved my life, and I bet I’m not the only one who can say that,” he writes in Wired and we are glad he does.
“Speaking in Tongues” by Arcade Fire with David Byrne
“American Troglodyte” by David Byrne from Here Lies Love, the concept album about the life of the Former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos.
Mid-way 2011 and James Blake’s debut album still remains one of the most compelling releases of the year. Known for his ample use of space and mood in his songs, Blake thwarts directness to emotions by these elements that otherwise would be mundane if said in words. “Lindisfarne” is a two-part song in the record, combined in this video, that heavily uses voice manipulation to distort the lyrics of the song. At 00:50, heavy drumming signals the start of “Lindisfarne II” that in the video shows the characters in the living room toying with the piano and looking as normal as how teenagers are.
Part of the appeal of the song is how he repeats the specific line “beacons don’t fly to high” on both parts, serving as the tunnel between I to II until the “keep haunting the buswith fees of favors gone,” part renders its near end. Best listened on headphones, the lush beat and Blake’s dry vocals invoke the feeling of reclusion, defeatism and sheer simplicity of loss.
The music video in itself establishes the power of transformation as the cult perform a Wiccan ritual before sending off the girl to a new life as the rest look aged and wrinkled. “Lindesfarne” has a rather strange video for a song named after a place known as the Holy Island.
Nine years since its launch, the Friendster that we know of will close down after May 31, 2011 which beforehand provided Filipinos the first taste of social networking online. Not as complicated as Multiply but not as unexciting as hi5, it remained the source for most Filipinos when connecting with families and friends. The obsession about testimonials and photo comments is rooted here, as well as the ambiguous “it’s complicated” relationship status.
The gearing down of Friendster from becoming a social networking site to a game and music platform in complementary with Facebook arouses some sentiments. Sending email to their members, they suggest users to utilize the Friendster Exporter. This tool functions as the data collector of your profile; one by one putting your photos, inbox messages, comments and other features that once made Friendster the best stalking binoculars to a downloadable form.
Years compressed in a zip file, some of its content are too eerie to be just extracted and viewed all at once. A folder stores the pictures of the friends you have and will lose (or have lost after Tuesday), one for uploaded images, for membered groups and for treasures (which for others is empty?). The rest is HTML links to your account’s components. Like time capsule of a person’s memories, it is now taking up space in our computer’s hard drive- etched and saved.
Marissa Nadler’s 2007 third outing Songs III: Bird on the Water houses songs fit for a day where grey clouds hover over the sky and the coffee cannot just make it through the day- wallowing day, in short. Stand out tracks like “Thinking of You” and “Diamond Heart” are sure winners of the day via lines like “I had a man in every town/ and I thought of you each time/ I tore off my gown/ changes have come/ and I cannot recall/ the shape of your face/ through the winters and fall.” Sighs.
Nadler’s dream folk signature took a swerve in her last Little Hells via the upbeat “River of Dirt.” This year she seems to be heading to a more accessible, almost country sounding path as shown in the single “The Sun Always Reminds Me of You,” off her self-titled out later in June.
As a Nadler fan, it is a first to hear her voice glide at the same range with the guitars and that crooning licks of melody at the background. The addition of pedal guitars and drums added more frame for the song to establish its grounds in, enveloping the whole country vibe in it. Her voice is at the epicenter of this track, guiding the direction of the song. A signature Nadler letting the last words of a line in half-breath resonates the woo, as in its brooding cry “always reminding me of you/ yes it does,” then she picks up the melody back to its feet adding more dimension halfway. At the end it asks for the second listen, this time just to grasp what has become of such a short dream she is singing about.