To That Special Someone (You Know Who You Are): Dropkick Murphys – Rose Tattoo

 

I’d wake up every morning and before I’d start each day, I’d take a drag from last night’s cigarette that’s smoldered in its tray, down a little something and then be on my way. This song’s all about loving that certain special someone throughout life. Life is painful, and rough, no matter who you are. Specifically so if you’re constantly looking for meaning. Because there’s only addiction, traveling, and love to cling onto. Really, what else can Time do for you?

How else to survive reality, that is what it all boils down too. One thing is for sure, some people stay with you forever, even if not part of your life anymore, and their name’s written all over you until you ain’t alive no more. Their name’s the one you’ll never forget. Their name’s the one that’s unwillingly pierced into your brain. Cause it’s not the name that does the trick, obviously, it’s the individual who wears it.

I’ll wear it just for you, I’ve got your name written here in a rose tattoo. In a rose tattoo. Such a cliché thing. But probably that’s just it. Good songs play with symbols, in order to convey a message. And if you need a cliché for that, then that is what’ll have to do.

With pride I’ll wear it to the grave for you. Cause we’re all alone in this life. I’m over here living mine. You’re over there living yours. No one can feel your life for you. But there’s some people who make it all a little bit too bearable. Those are the few ones who understand your mind’s process, and how it inherently functions. Not a lot of people are able to understand the precise mechanics of another’s particular brain and how another perceives this world. But this person does.

This person sees you for all your values. This person knows that your behaviour says wee little ‘bout you. This person sees all your faults and messed up acts and outrageous acts of selfishness and still looks at you normally, and with curiosity and with compassion and kindness, fundamentally simply, well, I’ll just say it, loving you.

Director of Music Video: Chris Friend

 

 

I Write Truths and Never Fiction: The Score – Stronger

‘Kim’, Nadya is surprised to see me, she looks up at me from the red café couch. After I approached it, she had suddenly stopped talking to her friends. Friends that used to be mine. 6 months ago. Too long ago. Ages ago. ‘You’re here’, she’s trying to sound normal. ‘I didn’t think to see you again’. I nod kindly and give her a little smile as to say ‘all good’. Bet you didn’t think I’d come back to life.

It’s not fun to suddenly get sick for too long. Life goes on, others go on, the sun goes up, She goes down, you watch it all from the hospital bed. But it sure would be nice to have something fun to go back to. Other than these words I put on paper, what is there? There are friends you’ve realised aren’t the best friends. There are girlfriends you’ve realised aren’t the best girlfriends. There are habits you’ve realised are total shit.

But of course I would be back. I have to laugh about it. ‘What’s so funny?’, she asks, awkwardly looking around the circle of so-called friends. I didn’t realise my laughter was out loud. ‘Ah nothing. Just thinking to myself’. She raises an eyebrow, then, trying to fix her response, a Botox smile. There are many things people don’t do enough; like smiling for real. When have you last smiled for real? ‘How’s your book going?’, she asks. A good, simple, genuine question. She means it. Though, her eyes seem a bit off.

Stronger, stronger, everlaster, now you are faster, never crasher. I have to think of The Score’s song, ‘Stronger’. A song I listened to for 6 months in a row.

I look around the room. All fake blondes, gym people, guys with a diet, so-called friends with a fake smile. Why did I come here after all this time? I can’t remember now. When she asks me if I stay for coffee, my mind draws a complete blank. Hm. Do I want to stay for coffee …

I don’t.

Instead I politely decline, move away from the couch, on to another table and order a black coffee. No sugar. Then I take the nearest napkin and start scribbling on the paper. Good thing I’ve brought a pen.

These words are my obsession.

Director of this Music Video: Jason Lester

On Being Determined: Sia – Chandelier

“Chandelier”. Probably the most deeply sad yet powerfully motivational song in the modern pop landscape. Somehow it manages to combine sadness and anger and use those two emotions to cook up the Ultimate Determination Song.

In the case of this music video, the director has chosen to further empower the message of the audio by letting a somewhat ‘different’ girl, dressed in neutral clothes, dance in an empty, almost abandoned, apartment filled with lots of neutral furniture, too.
This set-up turns out to be a very wise choice, since all of that neutrality directs the viewer’s attention to the only thing that actually stands out: the movements of a small girl with a wig. Dancing alone in the comfort of her home. This action just by itself, regardless of the neutral decoration, is already a smart move since it almost immediately reminds many a viewer to their own private dancing moments in their own house, usually a bedroom, often accompanied by a mirror of some kind.
Furthermore, at crucial moments in the song’s lyrics, like when Sia sings she’s “just holding on for tonight” and “holding on for dear life”, the kid makes rhythmic movements at the kitchen table, or towards the front door, or up from the bed, that might imply she’s leaving for work. The lyrics also mention ‘party girls’ being perceived by others as having little profound emotion.

It is all of these subtle cues in the video that make the message – whatever that message may be – appealing to a wide variety of people and, undoubtedly, the kind of song one wants to listen to when one feels emotionally suppressed or overlooked, yet who would like to see that sorrow turned into some form of empowered, maybe even angered, deliberate determination. The determination to never back down, to not let other people’s opinions influence one’s own inner self-belief, and to simply give oneself permission to let oneself shine. It’s like that quote from the movie The Family Stone: “We all have a freak flag, yet few know how to fly it.”

Director of MV: David Askill, Sia

Come Dance With Me: Oscar and the Wolf – “Moonshine” live @Pias Nites

 

The moon lits up the whole terrace. There’s something magical about waking up at night, stepping out into the winter cold, listening to the city silence, growing a tobacco cigarette and thinking of that same old same old piece of writing wrapped up in your wollen jacket pocket. You look at the ink on the paper, and the sharp-edged words it shows. By the moonshine you glow in the dark. It’s amazing how much light the moon gives off. Seven simple words light up by it and pierce deep into your brain. Suddenly you’re reminded of distant memories, the kind that never really fade. It’s frosting. Your hands tremble around the wrapper. Your fingers clench it strongly, try to hold on tight. Kinda like your brain holds onto this one memory, thought not quite. Whereas the rugged paper tries to flee from your dry touch, encouraged by the night wind, the memory voluntarily gravitates towards your brain, like it doesn’t want to leave. However much you try to get rid of it, to not think of it, it simply refuses to dim. Come dance with me. That’s what that memory says; begging you to recall it, to relive it, to dance with it in your brain. You look at the words again. You read them. Reread them in your head. You hear your own voice silently talking, uttering those words, inside. Words that were once yours. At the time out loud. Now a memory of something you once said, when you thought you were too wise for anyone to, really, understand.

It’s strange how people just fade out of your life. And not just any kind of people. Important people. The kind you think of in the nightlife sky, there on that wooden armchair with only one arm left, there in that grayish kind of light that only the moonshine can bring you.

This short story was inspired by one of my favourite live performances: “Moonshine” by Oscar and the Wolf Live @Pias Nites (Belgium) in 2012.

Director of the video: A Jerry’s Joint

 

 

Acts of Human Wisdom II

Monday

nutmeg-cafe-source

 

Human being with white-collar job: “Let’s start the day with 4 hours of cognitively stressful work, followed by some issues of responsibility, and then go share some personal stories in all tranquillity over there by the coffee machine.”

Society: “Skill should rewarded. Let’s pay them a lot.”

vs.

Human being with blue-collar job: “Let’s start the day by physically exhausting ourselves for at least 8 hours in a row, all the while receiving humiliating treatment from people with a white-collar job, and then go share some personal stories in our free time.”

Society: “Anyone can lift stuff and be nice. Let’s pay them barely.”

 

 

Go for The One Who Doesn’t Like You: Martin Solveig – Rejection

 

So I read an article the other day. About romance. Don’t go for the one who obviously doesn’t like you. That’s what I learnt. Cause you deserve better – … Wait. … Wait. … I’m sorry. I had to restrain myself from laughing my ass off there.

Aaaaahaa … Rejection. Yes. Rejection. It hurts, doesn’t it. But then again, there’s also a little kick to it. Like, … he doesn’t like me?? I’ll teach him, I’ll teach him alright! And then you teach him. … But no. That’s not how it works, apparently.

I keep falling to my knees, but she keeps rejecting me. – I feel your pain, man, I really do. Me too, I should stop dating men who don’t like me and start dating those who do. … Though, of course, that does seem a little bit boring. Like, where’s the challenge?

 

Director of this Music Video: ?

 

 

Mind Tricks in Relationships: Warhaus – Love’s a Stranger

 

In love, we all want to possess that one loving perfectionistic mask, the ultimate partner for life, the soulmate of my own mask, behind which lies the ultimate mess. The things one can do with artistic vulnerability and a 300€-camera.

They say it’s naive (how we’re passing by) trying to look the entire world right in the eye. It’s funny how one can be vulnerable without showing oneself. It takes practice; it’s a real skill. Which is to be perfected, time after time. How else to survive my own beautiful imperfect mess?

Love’s a stranger, until I see you again. Cause really anyone can be the love of your life if you let them in. That’s why they call Love a decision. A decision you make, day in, day out. But finding yourself in another person’s mask, willingly knowing it is the mask you want to possess, not really the mess it covers up, now that is quite the challenge. To know that, indeed, you wish to possess a mask. But life is full of challenges, isn’t it? Be provocative and thou shalt be rewarded!

We want to know how far that it can bend. … This love of ours. Let’s bend it forwards and backwards, upwards and downwards. Let’s try polyamory. Let’s twist each other’s minds with words, gestures and provocative lies. Let’s, yes, see how far our love can bend, and whether or not it is strong enough and whether this beautiful mess of ours can even be possessed.

Director of this Music Video: Wouter Bovijn

 

 

To Exist is Simply to Survive: GUTS – And the Living is Easy

 

Revival of the comic book-like 2D animation video: director Sébastien Bellaval does it marginally eloquently. Best part of a music video? When visual movement fits the audio. Like in this video, when Tarzan and his monkey are jumping from cord to cord. Or a bit later in the vid, when that spider is playing its piano chord to chord. It’s really quite amazing how a beat can come to life when accompanied by the right rhythmic picture. And the living is easy, and the living is easy, and the living is easy. These audio lyrics indeed match the visuals perfectly. Because what does the audience see? An uncivilised human being, a.k.a. an animal, is being chased, captured, caged, and ready to be eaten. And other animals of all sorts entering a similar fate. Ah yes, survival of the fittest animal. That’s what the jungle is all about. And it is really quite a jungle out there, whether “civilised” or not. Because you don’t fool me. Human language may have fooled you. It may have fooled an entire human race into so-called “civilisation”, and all its subsequent “human complexity”, think bureaucracy, but in the end life is really just what it always was: a jungle, with one very simple rule. Survival of the fittest. Conquer the most good-looking young female. Spread the bestest of seeds. Get the best-trained legs. Cause being able to pinpoint the exact right time to run from a situation is a most precious skill. And so basically life is indeed totally easy. That is, if you also have the right mindset. So take your depression elsewhere, my friend. And let me get back to what really matters: survival.

Director of this Music Video: Sébastien Bellaval

 

 

Fight Club But With Words: Charles Pasi – Farewell My Love

 

You treat me bad, you make me weep and more, … you drive me mad. That’s what my girlfriend says. And apparently she knows this place couples go to. It’s a place somewhere underground called a “fight club”. And couples go there for couple therapy. They punch each other with words in the comfort of a supporting crowd. It’s supposedly a way to release any tension built up over your relationship. The ultimate test to really, actually, test the strength of any true, loving relationship. You treat me baaaaad. Is what she’s implying, looking at me, screaming. I’m completely overwhelmed. Looking around at the crowd, this very, very, intensely in-sane crowd. What are we doing here? Why did we come to this place? What started with a punch in the soul, finished with a punch in the head. We shouldn’t have come here. Her words keep hitting me from all sides, though. Apparently I’m a dirty rat who can’t keep any promises. I’ve always been a loser, and I’ll stay that way until I step up my game. She looks immensely beautiful and sad. I’ll be gone by tomorrow – no more pain, no more sorrow. That’s what she says. And the final straw. I drag her out of the place. That stupid couple’s therapy place, where no one ever learned that the Other isn’t an extension of your own identity, but rather just someone you felt mentally attracted to – someone of which you decided in an instant they might be worth passing this whole difficult life experience thing with. Maybe that is why my famous best friend is always single. Not knowing how to lovingly treat himself, let alone another. On our way out through the exit door, we pass another couple, coming in. This time it’s the guy who persuaded the girl. Fools.

Director of music video: Stéphane Marchetti (and produced by Playprod)

 

 

 

Why Being Beautiful Sucks: Degiheugi – Betty

Short story inspired by the music video of the song “Betty” by Degiheugi.

 

There’s something really fulfilling about acting as a day job. It can temporarily fool you that you too are worth something, worth some loving. Cause I too need someone to hold me, kiss me, on and on, just because of the package that I am. Cause it’s interesting how many guys stay stuck on your face. I long to be loved because of my quirks, my silliness and my inner, most delightful flaws. Not because of my looks. I long to be treated like a normal human being. But when you’re beautiful that is, sadly, not how it goes. They fall in love with your beauty, and you’re indeed left feeling bored and, well, simply ignored. Because being beautiful (or rich or famous) is actually very much a cause for an almost hidden depression. It is an obstacle in any true human connection. You can see it in their eyes. Some actors’s eyes drift away from your eyes to that which is below. And suddenly they’ve lost the ability to behave naturally. And you’re standing there. Looking at them. Thinking “not this shit again”. They don’t really see you when you’re beautiful. They see a collection of values attached to beauty. Innocence, honesty, loyalty, kindness. But guess what. I’m none of these. And really anyone can fall for a beautiful face. The secret though is to fall for a beautiful mind. But maybe this is just how my cards were dealt. Lovable on the outside, unlovable on the In. And that discovery is e-xactly why I went into acting.

 

Director of this music video: Dano Cerny