Monday, June 30, 2008

Sure Thing Or A Possibility: Fast Car By Tracy Chapman

I remember reading a story with a moral lesson in it. Years later, I don't remember the story but I do remember it's moral lesson: Don't exchange A sure thing for a possibility. When I think about that lesson, I think a lot about the choices that I've made and how it has affected my life. Things that I did or didn't do and how I see myself today, weighs heavy in my thoughts. Although there are some decisions that I've regretted making, there's no turning back now because possibilities, let alone, good opportunities are now getting scarce and listening to Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" remimnds me of that.

The song speaks about wanting something better in life and hoping that this possibility will make something happen. I can relate with a lot of the lyrics especially when it comes to the part of wanting a ticket to anywhere, because sometimes I'd also like something better. When things get too desperate, we sometimes pin our hopes on one thing, but unfortunately it comes up short. It gets to that point where we rather believe fantasies rather try to make the most of reality.

Many times I think about choosing possibilities over sure things and I wind up becoming the chump. I guess that shows just how foolish I was I didn't open my eyes and know what's going on. Nowadays, I try to become very careful about the things I do in life. Sure, I shouldn't be afraid to make a mistake, but there's too much at stake now and I don't want to make the same mistakes twice. In the end, this song teaches me that it all right to want something better, just be careful on what you decide on.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The World's A Stage: Limelight By Rush

The first time I heard about the band Rush was on a feature show on the defunct television station BBC Channel 2 on the program the news that rocked '81. The show featured the developments that occured in the rock scene during that year. Rush was among the bands that were featured there and it made quite an impression on me because the three-piece band proved that synthesized music can still rock. One of my favorite songs of that group came from their Moving Pictures album called "Limeight".

For me this song speaks about what role we play in this world that we live in. There are times when I find myself asking who am I or what's my purpose. At this point where my life's at the crossroads, those can be very hard questions, especially when things are not what you wanted them to be. I guess the limelight that there talking about here is that state of bliss that we're all looking for and despite what role we are given in life, we can achieve it if we just break out of the limitations of the "roles" assigned to us.

Right now, I'm still trying to get things together after a very bad period of my life. I've made the mistake of limiting myself to my "role", but be that as it may, I hope I can still turn things around and this song helps remind me that such a thing is possible. One more thing about like about this band is power of their song and the stories that their lyrics tell the listener. Everytime I listen to them, I feel like I'm blasting off at the speed of sound and it doesn't matter if I'm plastered or sober. Loved this band then, I still love it now.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ideal Bar Scene Song: Caught Up In You By 38 Special

The first time I heard about the band 38 Special was through a bootleg betamax tape that was recorded by friends of ours who came from the states and MTV was just starting out.  When I saw this band, it blew me away. They played "Hold On Loosely" live at a bar where the stage was full of beer cans and bottles; the band was long-haired and bearded and so was the crowd.  After that we really got hooked on this band.  Their Greatest Hits album are among the few songs that I listen to from beginging to end and one of my favorites was the song "Caught Up In You".It was your typical type of love song whose theme was prevalent during the time: When love gets a hold on you and the effect that special someone has on you.  Apart from that, it's damn good drinking song.   The video covers both themes very well as it features what goes on a bar.  Guys trying to score while others sit back and listen to the band as they drink the night.  Either way, everyone in that video has one common goal:  To have good time. 

For me it's usually the latter because everytime I listen to this song, I'd be probably downed enoguh beer to open brewery.  It also reminds me of some of my favorite bars that I'd go like Mezzanine in Baguio where the drinks were cheap and there was always good MTV to watch and Club Dredd when it was still based in Katipunan where my brothers and friend would meet and we'd listen to the bands and enjoyed the night away with beer and other "good stuff". Everytime the group gathers and beers bottles open, this song was always being played and smiles were and laughter competed with the music and good atmosphere. I had a lot of good memories whenever I listen to this song. Drunk or sober, it's still one cool tune.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dream Girl/Rude Awakening: This Is My Paradise By The Outfield

I remember a dream I had when I was in high school I met a beautiful girl who I found myself marrying and had a child with. My mother was proud of me and I was never so happy in my life because I had this feeling that everything was coming together. Then the alarm clock rang and I found myself hurrying to get dressed and go to school. In between breaks, I found myself trying to remember or recreate everything that happened in that dream. Years later when I saw the band The Outfield's video "This Is My Paradise" being shown on T.V.and the memory of of those moments of bliss came back like for a few minutes.

Both the video of the song and my dream had a lot in common. Like the video I was gazing at the girl who I can't take my eyes off. Both girls were simple looking yet stunning. Most important of all, both me and the singer didn't want to wake up from that dream. The way I felt back then, it was the first time in my life that nothing else mattered. Unfortunately, like the song, I suddenly woke up to a very rude awakening because in the mornings there was only one rule: get up and get ready for school.

Years have passed and I still try to remember that dream and more importantly that feeling of bliss where I felt a happiness that I've never felt before. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever feel that way again. At present, I'm just going about my daily routine in the daily grind of reality. Even if it doesn't come into my head again, atleast I still remember the feeling that dream gave me. To this day, it still comforts me in the late hours of the night.

The Outfield - My Paradise
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fun Tin Metal: We're Not Going To Take It By Twisted Sister

One of the common critiques that people often talk about the 80's is that we were shallow. It was like an updated version of Pleasantville during that time. What they didn't understand was that after two tumultous decades, people just wanted to chill and despite issues like terrorism, the cold war and dictartorships, everybody just wanted to have a good time. Though rock bands were still belting out heavy tunes, there bands out there who claimed to metal bands but whose music was so shallow they were more like tin than metal; it was like comparing a chinese motorcycle to a Harley Davidson. One such band was Twisted Sister and first song that I heard from them was "We're Not Going To Take It".

I think their videos helped sell their songs and I have to admit they had a lot of funny videos. MTV sure help a lot of bands, both old and new, promote their music and Twisted Sister was among those who benefitted from the institution. What made the video of this song hilarious was the fact that the actor who play Neidermeier in Animal played the tyranical dad whose abuse led his children to transform into members of the band. How they transformed is the funny part and the way they banged their had kept me laughing as I watched this. Those were the times back then.

It reminds me of light things were back then and despite certain issues that I have mentioned before, we just wanted to have fun. Though I prefered heavier and classic style metal, I have to admit I enjoyed listening to this song. It's strange how during it's time, this song and others tunes used to play nonstop everyday. Now I seldom here it in the classic programs or see the video on cable. I guess Steely Dan was right when they said that those days are gone forever over a long time ago.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Not Over Yet: Don't Dream It's Over By Crowded House

Before blogging on the internet was popular, I used to keep a journal where I would write about my thoughts and views. A lot of the things that I wrote were about things that I hoped for but sadly didn't come to pass. It's hard for me to mention this because as I wrote down my entries, I noticed that this happened several times during different periods in my life. A period ends without any closure which leaves me wondering if I'll ever achieve something meaningful. Times like these, the song "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House gives me some assurance.

I remember the first time I heard this song which was a week after my graduation and my brother's marriage. I admit that when high school was over, I felt a certain void deep inside me. Was it because there were things I wanted to do or people I wanted to be with, but never got the chance. What hurts is that I would have the same feeling during my last year in college as well. It's like I missed my chance at something but I don't know what it is.

When I hear this song, I get a glimmer of hope that it is not over. I take comfort in the thought that maybe it was not the time for it yet. I guess that's why I shy away from reunions because whenever I think about the past, that void feeling comes back to haunt me. Yet despite all the unaswered questions, this song assures me that maybe one I'll get the chance to fill the void and really move on, not just catching up with the times. I'll know that day will come and I'll for it as I live.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Get Up And Go Song: Quick Silver Lightning By Rodger Daltrey

One of the things that I liked about the rock songs of my time was that not all of them were pessimistic or self-pitying.  In fact a lot them were full of energy and very inspiring; literally food for the soul.  I would wake to their sound as I prepared myself for school and the tunes help keep me awake as we all jumped in the car and even sang along with the music.  You feed off the music's adrenaline as you begin a new day.  One such song which always helped me get energized for the day's chores was sung by The Who's lead singer Rodger Daltrey called "Quick Silver" and if you haven't heard it, I suggest you do.The video for the song itself is just as inspiring as the song. It showed the street bike race between Kevin Bacon and Lawrence Fishburne across the streets of New York and if you that scene, it really gets your blood pumping.  If that doesn't get you worked up, Rodger Daltrey's powerful vocal chords will make heads turn and ears glued to the radio as he belts the lyrics in classical Who fashion.  Top that with a terific saxophone and keyboard and you end feeling that you're jacked with energy.  If anything, it would make you want to take your bike out of the rack and just zoom into the highway. The song's positive energy is strong that it manages to pull me out of my deepest funk when things go bad.  Whenever I hear this song, it makes me feel like I can do anything no matter how hard it is.  I can imagine myself with my brothers and buds listening to this song and clanking and gulping a lot of beers as the volume goes full blast.  Today's songs don't have that energy and are all depressing and rip-offs from the last three decades.  If we had more songs like this, things wouldn't look so bleak and I stand by that always.

Monday, June 23, 2008

When No One Wants To Give In : Tender Is The Night By Jackson Browne

No matter how great a relationship is, there will be times when arguments will happen and they are unavoidable when things get nasty. The sad part about it is when happens nobody wants to give in. Both believe that they are right and the other is wrong. This is especially true when tempers are still high between those involved. Times like that reminds me of Jackson Browne's song "Tender".

I wouldn't be surprise if the part about looking for somebody somewhere in the night is the person he/she argued with. The bad part just having an argument is when you see all those happy people enjoying the night while you're left with remorse and baffled rage. The only solace you have are the bright neon lights that illuminate the night. In the midst of it all, you hope that when things cool down, you'll be able to make up and forget the argument. It may come sooner or later, but if the bonds are strong, then it will happen.

I've had my own fair share of bad arguments and the thing I hate about it is the pride game. No one wants to make the first step to patch things up, but would rather demand the other to step down and vice-versa. In the end, when someone does make the first move to healing, accept it. When the bonds are restored, learn from the experience and so that it won't happen again. Arguments will happen in relationships, but overcoming the conflict will make the bonds stronger.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Searching For That Special Thing: Don't Stop Believing By Journey

I remember when I first heard Journey on 99.5 rt in 1981 and since then, it became one of my favorite rock bands during the 80's. They played songs that were straight from the heart and when the Steve Perry, for me was one of the best rock vocalists of that decade. Their album Escape had some of my favorite song which I still listen to this day. The first song from that album is one of my favorites which is "Don't Stop Believing".

Whenever I hear the piano and the guitar opening from this song it still makes me want to stop what I'm doing and listen to the song. This is one of the few power ballads that works in a bar and during my high school days, this song always got played in a lot of bars. It tells about the things we look for whenever we roam around the streets at night. Some look for hope while others, look for love. Either way, we all search for something whenever we stroll the urban jungle.

More than 20 yrs have passed and this band and this song still has that effect on me. I remember when I used to work in Manila, I used to have one or two beers to relax before I head home. Sometimes I linger a little before I call it a day. I guess amidst the hectic demands of the day, I sometimes want to look for something to take comfort in. We all look for something to ease ourselves after a hard day, just like this song.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Quiet Beetle Proves His Groove: Set On You By George Harrison

When You think of the Beatles, it's always a competition between John Lennon or Paul MaCarthey.  Both were talented artists and both often competed for leadership of the group.  If I was ask who my favorite member was today, people would probably shake or scratch their heads because my choice is George Harrison. He was known as the "Quiet Beetle" because he didn't attract much attention compared to the other two. nevertheless, he was just as talented as they were.  Proof was during the late eighties where he was part of the Traveling Wilburys and when he came out with a solo album called "Cloud 9".  The carrier single of this album proves that he can also party with the best of them titled "Set On You".For me the song is describes what happens when somebody catches one's attention.  We do all that we can to win that special sombody, no matter how great the odds are. There were two video versions of this song.  One where he was at the living room and all the decorations started moving and the second which I prefer was set in an arcade where a guy tries to grab a prize to give to a girl that he saw and instantly likes.  I prefer the second video because it gives a better discription of the song.Instead of my eyes, it was my ear that got caught by the catchy tune of this song.  It is surprising because majority of his songs were more sober and spiritual.  At a time when good songs were scarce, this was was music to my ear.  I was saddened when I heard the news of his death in 2001. He will live on through the songs he sang which have withstood the test of time.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Think Of Cherubins: We Belong By Pat Benatar

One of the great divas of the 80's was Pat Benatar. I remember her as the small girl with the big voice. She wrote and produced some of the best songs of that decade. What I like about her is that she made a variety of songs for every kind of mood that person would feel at a certain situation. Sometimes it was about rebellion, sex, dreams, being tought, etc. There was always a song made by her that a person would listen to. One song of hers that I liked was "We Belong" which me feel like I stumbled into paradise and music filled the air.

The video showed a valley a with a waterfall flowing down a beautiful river. Everytime I see it, I feel like I'm going through a journey out of the chaotic pressure of the City. As I go, I feel the weight of the world slowly lifted from my shoulders as I go deeper to where the song beckons. The part where children's choir is the best part of the song. It's like listening to heaven's cherubins assuring all is well.

To this day, whenever I hear this song, it takes me back to that video and the soothing feeling of comfort. I feel like I've reached the highest point in meditation when this song is being played. My Karate sensei's son listens to this song too. I remember watching him on tv doing a kata demo using this song. Just goes to show the power this song has promoting harmony and focus. That's why it's one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bad Times Warped Your Mind: Pretzel Logic

I don't if I'll be able to describe this song properly tonight. The daily grind has been giving me a bad case of the daily blues. If it's not one problem, it's definitely another. Either way, when it hits you, feel the tightening in you're chest and you slump to your sofa with a deep sigh. As you sigh, you think about all the things you wish to do and all the things that-could-have-been. Whenever I get into that state, I think those things are now gone. When that depressing, thought enters my mind, I play "Pretzel Logic" by Steely Dan.

When this song starts to play, I wish I had glass of Southern Comfort or Jack Daniels as I let the song take me back to times when those things were easy to attain. You hope that it's still there, but the sad truth is that it's gone and you get that feeling of being shut out or too late. The first three lines reminds me of things that will never come true and boy does that hurt. You're left with remnants and try to make the most of it.

It's wishful thinking, but I wish that there way to make those dreams come true. Sadly, when you miss your chance, that's it game over. Not everything will always be there and what they say about no-or-never is definitely true. I learned that the hard way and I'm trying to come to terms with it. You just have to move because life always moves on so make the best of it while you can.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

24k's Still The One: Still The One By Orleans

There's no nostalgic radio program that can top 99.5rt's 24k program. I'll say it again, they played not only the hits of the past, also the rarest of the rare. Even during my time and that of my brother's, they manage to air hit songs that became so rare that they practically owned those tunes. The best part is that those old always made my day. Other so-called "Memory Lane" crap programs only play the obvious hits, not those songs that always made the party's and adventures that we went through memorable. Some of these songs make me go into motormouth mode when I hear it as I drive along the highway. One such song "Still The One" by Orleans which is a true classic.

The song speaks about being true to the one that you are with. So strong is the bond that you share with that special someone that it has withstood the bad times and made stronger by the good times. Even if there were times of conflict, it won't be enough to split you up with your special someone. Through thick and thin is what this song is all about and it has done just that. I recommend this song to people who want to make it last cause this song sure lasted through the years.

For me, this song is all about are 24k. Like I said in the first paragragh, no other program can compare it. That's why when I heard that Rt signed off, it broke my heart. There'll never be another like it in my opinion. That's why I write about these songs in my blog. This program and it's songs will always be the one for me because of the great tunes and the great memories that I enjoyed through the years.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bringing Issues Out In The Open: Taking It To The Streets

With the growing political and economic crisis plaquing peoplel both here and abroad, we wonder if our elected leaders know let alone, understand what's going on. With the cost of living going up the roof, people wonder if they still have our best interest at heart. What'making people mand is that when they make speeches about things getting better when they are actually getting worse. That's really adding insult to injury to an already burdened masses. Times like these, I'd listen to The Doobie Brothers' song "Taking It To The Streets" full blast for them to understand the situation.

I like the part when he tells him that he is his brother which means that no matter who we are, we are all brothers regardles of who we are. He also lectures his brother, telling him all the things that he'll for him is not working and it's to everyone except his "brother" who is probably too detached from the rest of society to know what's really going on. Unless he does something concrete, well the answer is screw the process and let's take it to the streets, meaning mass action were their true voices are heard. It is the last resort to let the higher-ups know what the real score is before things get nasty.

When I think about this song, I get reminded of the so-called technocrats who led this country to ruin. They thought that they were so smart with their recommendations to boost the economy, instead they made things worse. The legacy of their failures are still felt today and are being perpetuated by their equally greedy successors. As much as I'm not a fan of mass protest, I can understand how people feel because of the bad situation we're in. If they don't want to hear us, then they should remember the lessons of the past where decadent and insensitive rulers were driven out of power because we took to the streets.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Songs That Stick To You: More Than This By Roxy Music

Like I said before, I mostly listen to pop, rock, folk and metal songs during my youth in the 80’s; but there were times when my classmates’ persistent playing of song that were trendy back then sometimes got to me. I guess since I was part of that generation, it was not surprising that some of these songs caught my ear. A lot of these songs often were the type that had a very haunting melody and as well which always had that surreal effect of a woman’s perfume on a guy. I guess I can talk about it now because I’m at that age where you’re not shy about anything anymore. One such song was “More Than This” by Roxy Music from their album Avalon.

You can say that this is another new wave song above love that suddenly hits you out of nowhere. No matter what decade, past or present, there will always be songs like this. One thing that sets this song apart is that floating feeling that you get from listening to it. You can also say that it is one of those “spiritual massage” songs that sooths the weary soul after a stressful day. I’ll admit for some reason this is one of those songs that stop me in my tracks and again makes me drop everything I do and listen to it.

It’s been 26 years now and this song still has retained it’s magic. The fact that it still catches my ear, is proof of it’s effects on me. The most important thing about this song is that it gave me is a common factor with my peers at the time. Most of the time, I didn’t the music that they were playing, but this provided something that we can all appreciate during certain occasions. At least now I can listen to it without the ridicule.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

You Don't Have To Isolate Yourself: Refugee By Tom Petty And The HeartBreakers

In my prievious entry of the Beatles' song "Nowhere Man", I discussed what it feels like to be the odd-man-out. The hard part about that label is that you get the feeling that you don't belong anywhere or with anyone. You get the feeling to be part of the majority,you have to do as they do, sacrificing everything that you are in the process. I guess that's the reason why I was pretty much a loner when I was young. Looking back, I realize it doesn't have to be that way and people can accept you for who you are. Tom Petty's song "Refugee" reminds me of that lesson.

I have to thank my brother's friend for introducing me to Tom's music when he borrowed his Greatest Hits album. For me, this song talks about accepting yourself and not being afraid of what others think about you. The trick is all about respect begets respect which leads to live and let live. If they don't reciprocate, then to hell with it, I'll live my life the way I want to so long as I don't hurt or offend anyone else. There's a difference between living in the shadows and hiding in the shadows and I won't do the latter.

Apart from what I mentioned in the above paragragh, there are a lot of other reasons why I like this song. The keyboards, combined with the other instruments and Petty's strong vocals gives this song a powerful punch. And again, it was always played when me and my brothers as well as the gang, gathered together for a night of good drinks, "good stuff" and great company. This song always reminds me that you should not only accept yourself, but also be proud of who you are. Most of all, it's a really cool song that remains one of my favorites to this day.

Never Stop Believing Things Will Get Better: Don't Stop By Fleetwood Mac

One of the things that I liked learning in College Philosophy was Henry Bergson's "Shipwreck Philosophy" which means periods in one's life where things go bad for a long period of time. I really understood that lesson very well because many times in my life, I fell victim to such unfortunate situations. During those times, I found myself alone and at the mercy of everyone's preachings. Be that as it may. what I liked about Bergson's teaching is that there is an upside in the end which is the eventual rescue from such a shipwreck. When I hear Fleetwood Mac's song, "Don't Stop", it reminds me of that lesson.

This is one of those really uplifting song that it makes weeping man jump for joy and sing along. It tells us not to give up hope and look forward to the future. It has so much positive vibes that when things get bleak, this song reminds me not to worry too much. As for "shipwreck" periods", it sure kept me going, when I could've just called it quits during those morbid days. Compared with today's, this song makes your day rather than ruins it.

Best memories of this song were on Friday nights when me and my brothers and sometimes our friends would sing alon with this song while having a few drinks. We'd all laugh pass the "joy" around till the wee hours of the evening. Even we eventually passed out drunk, atleast it was with a smile on our faces. Best of all for this songs reminds me that there'll always be another day. More importantly, a better day that the one before.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Very Nice Cover Song: On A Carousel By Glass Moon

I said it once, I'll say it again; when the veteran DJs of RT's 24k program take charge of the program, it next best thing to a time machine or a youth potion. They play anything from the well-known hits to the one-hit-wonders of the era. Whenever they play a one-hit-wonder, it makes you stop what you are doing and want to just listen to the song. One such song that had such an effect on me, I suddenly found just a while ago and I finally know the band that played it. The song's title was "On A Carousel" by the band Glass Moon.

Originally done by the Hollies which was Graham Nash's original band, I can say their version was updated to fit the 80's which they accomplished very well. Like a carousel, this song takes the listener to a ride and once the ride starts, he doesn't want to get off. Every time I listen to this song, I remember the old gyms during summer vacation when the airconditioner was on full blast and we'd listen to the radio all day and just trip out. Just like the carnival ride, it takes all your worries away and you find yourself singing along to the end of the song. That's the reason why it's one of my favorite 24k songs.

I can't say which version is better. To appreciate it, you have to put yourself in the decade where it became popular. Quiet frankly, I like both versions. I guess I listen to Glass Moon's version more because it was from my generation. Either way, you won't loose with the two versions of this song. I am grateful to the Hollies for writing it and for Glass Moon for doing a cover of it during my time cause it's a good song which 24k kept alive.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Young Make It Easy: She's So Young By The Pursuit Of Happiness

One thing I hate about getting older is that things get more and more complicated everyday. Trying to catch up gets harder as you realize that you're not as strong or as sharp as you use to be. When I see young people nowadays, I think of the verse that opened up the movie "Platoon" which is "Rejoice Young Man, In Thy Youth", which means live while you can cause one day you won't be able to. Speaking of the youth, I remember a female classmate of mine who I had a crush on. She was always smiling and everything she did, she did effortlessly. The way she carried herself made think that she can do anything and worry about anything. When I think of her, I alway requested the song "She's So Young" by The Pursuit Of Happiness.

It describes her perfectly as carefree soul who was so full of life. Shewas never snobbish and always greeted you with a wide grin which was infectious. She need not question herself because she was so full of confidence and yet she can never be called arrogant. It was like everything in the world was all right with her and there was nothing else that she needed. Even remembering her smile, cheers me up to this day.

Compared to her, I was a nervous wreck with a lot of question racing around my head. I guess this is the reason why people often comment that I had a melancholic expression. Many times I wondered how she does it because even if she did have something on her mind, she never let it show. Whenever I listen to this song, I think of her and I wonder how she is right now. I hope that if we meet each other, she still has that wide smile cause if she does, then I know she's still the same young girl who need not question the world like I do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why Is It Always Like This?: That's Just The Way It Is By Bruce Hornsby And The Range

You know it gets really frustrating when the same old problems plaque you everyday. The bad part about it is that these problems are the same problems that have been around for many generations and will continue to persist in the years to come. With all the progress that society has achieved, the same old problems still trouble us which is indeed very strange when you think about it. When it gets too much, you wind asking the question "Why is it always like this?" The answer can be found in Bruce Hornsby And The Range's song "That's Just The Way It Is".

When you listen to the song, it tackles problems like unemployment, poverty, predujice and inability of our governments to provide concrete and lasting solutions. You see it everyday as people struggle to make ends meet or unemployed applicants and new graduates line up at job fairs and agencies for a chance to get a job. Poor people or different people not allowed to mingle with others because of their race or their social status, leaving them looking on the inside, feeling shut in the process. Programs and projects that don't provide lasting solutions to these problems or worse yet, exacerbates them because they don't apply to the situation. Hornsby was able to portray these images very eloquently in his song and video.

Despite it's pessimistic tone, the song serves to enlighten us of the endless cycle we find ourselves in. It tells us that these things have been going on for a long time and that it will continue to be that way unless there's genuine change. Hopefully, there'll come a day when these things will change. Until then, we have to toughen it out during the hard times. It's best thing and the only thing to do at the moment. Sadly, if anybody complains why that's just the way it is.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Tribute To The Tillers Of The Soil: Rain On The Scarecrow By John Cougar Mellencamp

With the many problems troubling the our country, one that looms deeply in our minds in the dwindling food supply, particularly rice. Food shortage is not just a problem here but in every corner of the planet. Several parts of Africa, North Korea, the list gets longer. When food is plentiful, we often take for granted the people who worked the land to make sure that there's food for people to eat: Farmers.
In today's world of growing obsession for material satisfaction, we often forget these guys are probably the one's work hard for our consumption and sometimes some them wind up losing their lands when harvests can't for the land which is tragic. Nobody describes the farmer's hardships in hanging on to the land his forefather's worked than John Couger Mellencamp in his song "Rain On The Scarecrow".

I was in Third Year High School when this song came out and it was hit despite the prevalent trend of hip-hop, pop and new wave music. It describes the plight of farmers who are on the verge of losing their land and in the process their way of life. During that time FARMAID was launch to raise funds and awareness for the hardships that farmers face and it did a lot to help ease their predicament. What's scary of about it is that many don't know how much we owe this hardworking yeoman for their efforts in producing the most important basic need in society and their efforts are not even appreciated. To add insult to injury, many look at them as backward and clumsy which is not true at all.

Now as the problem of hunger is growing all over the world, I hope we realize how important these people really are. Many of them work hard and are often exploited which is really unfair. Due to the growing food shortage (which I hope will be remedied, I think about farmers here my country as well as others around the world and the sacrifice they give just to ensure that there will be a harvest would be sufficient for everyone. We should never take their efforts for granted and instead see to it that they are properly compensated for their efforts. They don't just lead simple lives; the food they produce feed lives and more importantly, saves lives.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Karma Song : In The Air Tonight By Phil Collins

They say that no evil deeds go unpunished. What we do or don't to others will always come back to haunt us which is why we better be very careful of how we treat people because what goes around, comes around is a fact and not superstitious mumbo-jumbo. Some call it karma or righteous vengeance; either way I firmly believe what goes around comes around. Either way, when you do something terrible to others, you can run or hide but it catches up to you to the end. When it does, you better be ready to face the music. This is what I learned the first time I listen to Phil Collin's song "In The Air Tonight".

Although, some say that he wrote the song after coming off a bad divorce, some say it deals with committing a crime and covering it up. The worse part about it is when the perpetrators act all high and mighty even though they're hands are all diry. This makes me sick is to see these people move about so arrogantly that they think that just because they got away with it, they're better than other people. That's when they get caught, I feel no pity for them because not only did they commit terrible crimes, they thought that they were above punishment which them believe that they can do anything they want.

Some call me a neo-conservative or "neo-con" because I adhere to this belief. If that is true, what turned me into a neo-con were events that happened in the past where I witness people getting away with bad behavior just because they were pissed off; still that doesn't give them an excuse to do terrible things to other people, especially those who are innocent. Other reasons are due to partial treatment to a specific group and the so-called "underdog" mentality where people hide behind their weakness to commit cruel acts. Nowadays, the punishment don't fit the crime and people are seldom held accountable for their actions which started to irritate me. That's why when I listen to this song, it reminds me that people like the ones in this song should really take a real good look at themselves.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Another Break Up Song: Never Be The Same By Christopher Cross

I remember the first time when I first heard Christopher Cross play was when my brother picked me up from school and he played one of his song on the car radio. The moment I heard it, I was hooked. His first album was so good that I never got tired of listening to it through the years. The fact that his songs are still beingplayed in various stations is a testament to the quality of his music which has endured through the years. I had a lot of favorites songs that I still like listening to from his first album. This is one of them called "Never Be The Same".

This song also talks about lost love which was very prevalent during the 70's and 80's. I admit the difference about this song is that although it talks about a painful break-up, you can help but feel good for some reason. Even though it's a sad topic, it make you feel good as you listen to it. I like the part when he's tells her that no one will touch me the way that she did that very first day.
It's very ironic that for a sad song, it has a lot of groove and makes you want to do dance to it.

Although Cross was able to come up with other great songs, he was never able to match the same intensity of the songs in his first album. Be that as it may, I still like listening to his old songs which are mainstays of 24k as well as other stations. Not too loud and soothing to the soul is how I describe his songs. You could never go wrong with any of the songs in his first album. It was great to listen to then, it's still great to listen to now.

Nostalgia/Hala!! Song: 65 Love Affair By Paul Davis

This is one of my 10 ten favorite 24k songs. When I say top ten 24k songs, these are probably the rarest of the rare. Almost no video was made and was seldom played after it's time came to pass. These are one of the songs that had a deep impression on me because it perked me up when it was played and we usually hear when there was a drinking spree and everyone's spirits were in full party mode (with a little help from a few beers, etc.). Beer or no beer, this song was always fun to listen and remains one of my favorites to this day. The song was "65 Love Affair" By Paul Davis.

This song really brings back memories of the good times that I shared with my friends and my brothers where weekends really rocked. On the other hand, for some people, it could be about remembering a sweet romance with a special someone who they share their life with in the past. Then again, it brings back a period in my life when we were almost caught red-handed by our mother during one of those "good times". I remember those blaring eyes as well as those spasms in her cheeks but fortunately we got away with it. That moment sends shivers down my spine when I remember it.

It was two years ago that I was able to hear this song again and boy it was the first 24k song I loaded in my MP3 player. I never get tired of this song because it takes the years of my shoulders and makes me feel good the way a 24k song should.
Just like Eddie Money's "I Wanna Go Back", it makes me want to travel back to those cool days and given the choice, I'd go back in a heartbeat. Sadly, I heard that Paul Davis recently passed away due to a heart attack. God bless you Paul and thanks for the cool song.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Finding An Ear That Will Listen: Talk To Me By Stevie Nicks

One of the bands that made a good transition from the 70's to the 80's was Fleetwood Mac. Although I agree that their best songs were probably in the 70's, nevertheless, they also produced a lot of good tunes in the 80's as well. Apart from that, some of the members came out with solo albums of their own. One member that stands out of course is the lead singer Stevie Nick who is one of rocks most attractive women. Remember one song that came out that decade which she sang that best described the need that I had at the time. I still have to find the name of the album but I do know that the song was called "Talk To Me".

This was like an early version of 10,000 Maniac's song "Trouble Me" which was a hit in the early 90's. The reason why I'm writing this is because both songs have the same massage of extending a helping hand or in my case, an ear that will listen. It speaks of times when we are lowest and that there is always that special someone we can run to when we are on the edge. You can say it's much like a Larry King where you get pour out what you have inside of you to that willing someone just to get the hurt out of your system. People who are willing to that for others are a rare breed and with all the teen shootings and suicides out there, we need more people like these to help others loosen up and make them realize that there is another way to deal with the problems locked up in people.

This song is special for me because it came at a time when everything fell apart and I didn't know who turn to. You can say it was the first many low cycles that occured in my life which really left me groaning on the floor. Everything was a blur and I didn't know who to turn to at that time. The sad part is that I had no one to turn and the response to my plight was a stone cold truth: Get yourself out of your own predicament cause no else will. Fortunately, this song was one of the things that help get me back to my feet at that time which is why this is one of my favorites to this day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another Chillout Song: Cross My Heart By Everything But The Girl

As the years go buy, life gets stressful everyday. The worst part about it is that in my case, chill out time or that time where you can relax is fast becoming a rare opportunity. What I mean by chill out time is when you get a few hours or better yet, a few days to yourself where hang loose either by yourself or with your friends and brothers. If I'm by myself, my ideal chill out time would simply be listening to the radio where all my 24k songs are being played with a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other with no one bothering me. I can feel all the pressures vanish away as my favorite tunes put me in relaxation mode and all the good memories start to come alive like poping one dvd disc of your favorite movie after another. One particular song that makes me relax is a song by the group Everything But The Girl called "Cross My Heart".

Also this song is more about girl who worried about what her man's been doing while she's not with him. Curiousity and worry gets bottled up inside her and although she wants to know the truth, she restraints herself for fear of getting into an argument. So even though she's in pain, she takes it in for the sake of not wanting to rock the boat. Despite the theme of the song, it has one of the most relaxing and refreshing tunes that I've heard on radio. When you listen to the lyrics, it's like the singer is pouring her heart out on this song.

Sometimes I wish a had a bottle of Southern Comfort when I listen to this song. It's unfortunate that they don't have it anymore because every time I see a liquour store and ask, they say it's no longer in stock. Another way that I would enjoy this song is by probably gaze at the lights that illuminate the city at night. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of a view. Either way, this is one of the few songs that soothe my weary being after a hard days work just like a warm blanket on freezing night which why it is one of my favorite songs of the 80's.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Piece Of 80's teen romance: Pretty In Pink By The Psychedelic Furs

I won't be surprised if my brothers would be shocked to find that I posted this, but it is part of the 80's pop culture and it was played on Rt's 24k. As I've stated in my past entries, I was the type who went against the flow which means that everything that about me was the opposite of what everybody else was doing. While my classmates listened to new wave, pop mixes and dance tunes, it was old blues, metal and 60's and 70's rock music for me. Nevertheless, during my time there certain songs that once you hear them, they stick to your head. It's sort of like falling for someone whose extraordinary boring. I know I'll never hear the end of this, but I have to admit it's one of the big songs of my time as well as one of the most popular movies of my generation which is "Pretty In Pink" by the Psychedelic Furs.

You know for the life of me, I'll never undestand what was so special about Molly Ringwald because she had a face fulll of freckles and had large teeth, not to menttion that she was pale as a ghost. Nevertheless she was the underdog girl of the 80's and a lot of her movies were big hits (I never watched them). The film was the usual poor girl-meets-rich-boy and live happily ever after. I'll admit when I finally did see this 15 years after, the only scene that I like from the movie was when Andrew MaCarthey said to her that he believed in her but she didn't believe in him. I guess the reason is because she kept insisting on her own terms and I hate people who are so one-sided.

I don't know why this song just keeps sticking in my head. Is it because it was part of my teen years or is it because of the saxophone, I still haven't figured it out. When this song gets played my batchmates' faces light up and they feel 25 yrs. younger. I guess I'm getting old to that point where you don't have to be embarass to listen to this stuff. Like I said it was played on Rt's 24k program and it's also apart of my generation who had a blast and carried without a care in the world which is why it has place in my blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Moving On Due To A Mistake: Tempted By Squeeze

Like I've written in my previous entries, it hurts when good things fall apart, especially when you're the one who caused it. You keep asking yourself how did this happen and why didn't I prevent it when it's the damage is done. As insentisitive as this may sound, the only thing that you can do is move on. It may be very difficult, but it is the only thing that you can do apart from try to make amends to the injured party. You can't blame the ones who got hurt if they won't have anything to with you since it was your fault and they need time to heal from the experience. Same goes for you because before you can fix this, you have to fix yourself just like the song "Tempted" by Squeeze.

It's hard to stay to after a terrible fallout due to the fact that there's still too much tension in the air and too many things that remind you about what happened. There's a need for you to get away after such a terrible experience where you can compose yourself and reflect upon what happened and what to do next. Even though you're still reeling from what happened, it's the first thing you should do to clear your head. Hopefully, you would be able to get yourself together and resolve the issue that caused all that ruckus. If not, what's done is done; learn from it and move on.

In some cases, this can happen in work, competition and other situations of everyday life. The common factor is the fact that the hurt sure hits straight to the heart, causing us to fall like a ton of bricks. Life goes on they say and sometimes it's good, other times bad depending on what we choose to do. You just have to be careful to prevent these things from happening. If it does happen, learn from it and pick yourself up.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't Buckle Under Pressure: Under Pressure By Queen And David Bowie

There's not a day let alone a moment when I'm not reminded of hard life is nowadays. Working in government service, balancing what you earned with the many demands of life is a real bummer. It hurts everytime when we fall short of things which leads to a lot shouting as well sacrifing everything bill and coin in your pay envelope. What's worse is hearing all the moans and groans regarding the never-ending bad news that just ruin your day and leaves you emotionally drained. Be that as it may, life goes on and we just have to meet every problem with a stiff upper lip no matter how bad things are which reminds me of the song "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie.

At first I couldn't understand why they made such a whacky video for this song. Japanese subway commuters, horror movies, the depression, riots, demolished buildings, rock concerts and kissing couples were images that made up this song's video and back then, I couldn't understand why. Lately my interpretation of the images, represent the following ideas in this order: People going about the daily grind yet worried about what might happened; dreading an economic breakdown which leads to society's downfall and a period of chaos; people angry at the establishment for letting things fall and finding hope and chance in the future.
This is my analysis of what this song is all about. I don't claim to be correct about my interpretation though that's what I think this song's message is trying to tell us.

When I hear songs like these, it reminds that no matter how hard life is, you must never give up and keep fighting till you achieve your goals. Be also aware that there are others like you or in worse situations like you and they are still out there hanging tough with the times. It reminds me of that old tried and true lesson "Tough times don't last, but tough people do" which reminds us not to give in no matter hard life gets. Though I have to admit a hated a sanitary napkin company who used this song for a jingle in their commercial because it didn't do justice to the song, infact, they almost killed it.