Me Myself

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Posts posted by Me Myself


  1. quote:
    Originally posted by tourniquet737:

    This might be a simple, literal interpretation of the song, but I think it has to do with autoerotic asphyxia. The asphyxia that occurs before drowning is said to cause an orgasm.

    So, the "enchanted" lake is only enchanted because of the euphoria produced from the hypocapnia (lack of oxygen to the brain that makes you feel "high")....just hold your breath 'til you come back up in full. The kids play that game to experience a euphoric feeling.

    The genius next door's secret is the fact that he's into autoerotic asphyxia, hence his stripping his clothes off by the dumpster while everyone was sleeping. He's ashamed so he does it at night (the embarrassment goes hand in hand with the "neighbors were trying to keep it quiet" line...it's something people don't like to talk about).

    By the final verse, one of the local kids eventually died via this "enchanted" lake, hence the arrival of the film crews.

    The genius next door is as "genius" because he thinks he has the antidote for life's problems...orgasm through the enchanted, though thick as butter (ew), lake.

    I never considered these possibilities, though I did assume that the genius next door drowns. Fantastic!

    I always wonder with some of her more difficult lyrics if there are obscure allusions that I'm just missing, since RS has such a diverse cultural background.


  2. quote:

    well, I've been around the forum like a ghost (eeh, a guest, my bad Razzer) and I decided finally to join... well, this place seems fun lol, and there are a lot of threads that are super-interesting (There may be some good people, hahaha)

    Hey Emiliano! I likewise haunted this forum often and just recently decided to join.

    You can call me whatever you want. "Me Myself" has been used so far, but if that is confusing my real name is Andrew.


  3. If the NPP is intended to reward actual efforts, then awarding it to Pres. Obama was probably premature. Do remember, though, that Al Gore also won a Nobel Peace Prize. It's not acknowledging anything rigorous like a discovery in particle physics or the writing of Ulysses, so I really don't think it's a huge issue that he won.


  4. Some said the local lake had been enchanted

    Others said it must have been the weather

    The neighbors were trying to keep it quiet

    But I swear that I could hear the laughter

    So they jokingly nicknamed it the porridge

    'Cause overnight that lake had turned as thick as butter

    But the local kids would still go swimming, drinking,

    Saying that to them it doesn’t matter

    If you just hold in your breath 'til you come back up in full

    Hold in your breath 'til you've thought it through, you fool

    The genius next door was bussing tables

    Wiping clean the ketchup bottle labels

    Getting high and mumbling German fables

    Didn’t care as long as he was able

    To strip his clothes off by the dumpsters

    At night while everyone was sleeping

    And to wade midway into that porridge

    just him and the secret he was keeping

    If you just hold in your breath 'til you come back up in full

    Hold in your breath 'til you've thought it through, you foolish child

    In the morning the film crews start arriving

    With donuts, coffee, and reporters

    The kids were waking up hungover

    The neighbors were starting up their cars

    The garbagemen were emptying the dumpsters

    Atheists were praying full of sarcasm

    And the genius next door was sleeping

    Dreaming that the antidote is orgasm

    If you just hold in your breath til you come back up in full

    Hold in your breath 'til you've thought it through, you foolish child

    I've had a lot of free time on my hands, so I have been posting pretty often in this thread--I hope this is not bothersome to anyone.

    So, "Genius Next Door." A rarely mentioned song that has been around for a while, which was deemed important enough to show up on the present album. Some people say it is pure nonsense, but others, though agnostic about the precise meaning of the lyrics, find the piece astoundingly beautiful. Many people listening to the performance at the last concert I attended were literally moved to tears by the piece. What has been accomplished by the music in this situation if the lyrics remain opaque?

    I think "Genius Next Door" represents the mastery of one of RS's particular styles. The lyrics evoke certain images in a sequence with powerfully moving effects, but present a dead end to literal interpretation.

    Spektor has mentioned in interviews that she writes songs as if writing short stories. This brought to mind the adage of Edgar Allen Poe that the short story serves the purpose of instilling a single emotion in the reader--e.g., terror*.

    Thoughts?

    *look into the short stories of Franz Kafka, specifically The Metamorphosis. That story literally made me feel an emotion I had never felt before.


  5. Some said the local lake had been enchanted

    Others said it must have been the weather

    The neighbors were trying to keep it quiet

    But I swear that I could hear the laughter

    So they jokingly nicknamed it the porridge

    'Cause overnight that lake had turned as thick as butter

    But the local kids would still go swimming, drinking,

    Saying that to them it doesn’t matter

    If you just hold in your breath 'til you come back up in full

    Hold in your breath 'til you've thought it through, you fool

    The genius next door was bussing tables

    Wiping clean the ketchup bottle labels

    Getting high and mumbling German fables

    Didn’t care as long as he was able

    To strip his clothes off by the dumpsters

    At night while everyone was sleeping

    And to wade midway into that porridge

    just him and the secret he was keeping

    If you just hold in your breath 'til you come back up in full

    Hold in your breath 'til you've thought it through, you foolish child

    In the morning the film crews start arriving

    With donuts, coffee, and reporters

    The kids were waking up hungover

    The neighbors were starting up their cars

    The garbagemen were emptying the dumpsters

    Atheists were praying full of sarcasm

    And the genius next door was sleeping

    Dreaming that the antidote is orgasm

    If you just hold in your breath til you come back up in full

    Hold in your breath 'til you've thought it through, you foolish child

    I've had a lot of free time on my hands, so I have been posting pretty often in this thread--I hope this is not bothersome to anyone.

    So, "Genius Next Door." A rarely mentioned song that has been around for a while, which was deemed important enough to show up on the present album. Some people say it is pure nonsense, but others, though agnostic about the precise meaning of the lyrics, find the piece astoundingly beautiful. Many people listening to the performance at the last concert I attended were literally moved to tears by the piece. What has been accomplished by the music in this situation if the lyrics remain opaque?

    I think "Genius Next Door" represents the mastery of one of RS's particular styles. The lyrics evoke certain images in a sequence with powerfully moving effects, but present a dead end to literal interpretation.

    Spektor has mentioned in interviews that she writes songs as if writing short stories. This brought to mind the adage of Edgar Allen Poe that the short story serves the purpose of instilling a single emotion in the reader--e.g., terror*.

    Thoughts?

    *look into the short stories of Franz Kafka, specifically The Metamorphosis. That story literally made me feel an emotion I had never felt before.


  6. I agree, Briana--I also like quieter concerts--at least with regard to the actual music. I don't mind how loud people get between songs, I just can't stand it when people scream during songs at any time--that applies to any type of performance (you certainly would not hear someone shout at a classical recital). However, since there are lyrics and everyone (probably) knows them all, I wouldn't say singing along is disruptive unless it's off-key :P. People usually don't sing along to entire songs, anyway.


  7. quote:
    Originally posted by Be like the water, people.:

    ^^i wish for an oldies revival as well, Rosa. i have to say, if i got the chance of actually being heard, and regina asked for requests, i'd shout something mildly insane as well. worst case scenario, she ignores me, or hears, but says, "oh i forget that one. but it's cool of you to know it!" best-case? she goes, "Virgin Queen? Sure!" and then i go down in Stix history as a friggin' legend lol

    I've considered the viability of making a posterboard with a favorite song since fans are so notoriously loud between songs.


  8. quote:
    Originally posted by sweetness in my lungs:

    I love it when you discover possible "pairs" of songs.

    I agree; when you have a body of lyrics as diverse as Spektor's, understanding the uniting themes that the artist returns to (assuming they exist) can be difficult.

    quote:

    I think "the kiss" is the way the narrators life is for the moment. It's good. all is going well. But yet she is worried something will happen and destroy the peace and happiness "she" is experiencing now. "don't let me say what I say" implies that she is a bit pessimistic and worries and can't live in the present as much as she would like to.

    but do you think the "I don't wanna live without 'you'"-you is God? or life? or faith?

    I always thought it was a real person. That was supposed to shelter her. But now I'm thinking it's Hope.

    ...?

    That's a very good question. I was taking the cue from "Dulce Et Decorum" which specifically deals with God, and also from the new album's heavy focus on God and religious faith. However, the song could deal with something as general as hope--indeed, it makes sense in context. And hope would be included in the notion of continual reliance on God--the question, then, is whether or not you think there is enough evidence for taking it in the more narrow sense of hope in God.


  9. Don't let me out of this kiss

    Don't let me say what I say

    The things that scare us today

    what if they happen someday

    Don't let me out of your arms

    For now

    What if the sword kills the pen

    What if the god kills the man

    And if he does it with love

    Well then it's death from above

    And death from above is still a death

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live

    I don't want to live

    Without you

    For those who still can recall

    The desperate colors of fall

    The sweet caresses of May

    Only in poems remain

    No one recites them these days

    For the shame

    So what if nothing is safe

    So what if no one is saved

    No matter how sweet

    No matter how brave

    What if each to his own lonely grave

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live

    I don't want to live

    Without you

    I only recently listened to "Sword & Pen" for the first time, and I was caught off guard. "Far" has rounded out to be Spektor's most critical (and ambitious) album to date, especially with the non-album tracks taken into consideration.

    I believe that "Sword & Pen" must be related to "Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori." Both songs use the symbolism of the kiss to represent contact with God and deal with the problems of religious faith.

    In "Dulce Et Decorum": "You can't spend your whole life waiting for God to kiss you back"

    In "Sword & Pen": "Don't let me out of this kiss...I don't want to live without you."

    Both songs are about religious faith. "Dulce Et Decorum" is rugged and pragmatic, suggesting that one should not wait for a mighty hand to come out of the clouds and make life bearable--life will always be difficult. This centers around the homage to Wilfred Owen ("Dulce Et Decorum Est"), a poet who criticized the martial-patriotic spirit in the face of the carnage of WWI.

    "Sword & Pen," on the other hand, poses the question what if the sword finally defeats the pen?

    "The things that scare us today,

    what if they happen some day?"

    What if the divine interruption is death? And then, the most poignant lines of the song:

    "and if He does it with love

    well then it's death from above

    and death from above is still a death"

    That is, though we reconcile the death of people with some background of spiritual order or justice, it is still death--by nature the worst thing in the world.

    However, life and all the possibilities we can imagine are terrifying:

    "What if nothing is safe,

    What if no one is saved,

    no matter how sweet,

    no matter how brave?"

    So humanity is always compelled to religious faith--how else to make light of these things and avoid despair and loneliness? The chorus "I don't want to live without you" alternates with the increasingly bleak "what if?" scenarios. Is "Dulce Et Decorum" an answer to "Sword & Pen," or are there more complications than are apparent to the insipid conclusion that "it's hard to live"?


  10. Don't let me out of this kiss

    Don't let me say what I say

    The things that scare us today

    what if they happen someday

    Don't let me out of your arms

    For now

    What if the sword kills the pen

    What if the god kills the man

    And if he does it with love

    Well then it's death from above

    And death from above is still a death

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live

    I don't want to live

    Without you

    For those who still can recall

    The desperate colors of fall

    The sweet caresses of May

    Only in poems remain

    No one recites them these days

    For the shame

    So what if nothing is safe

    So what if no one is saved

    No matter how sweet

    No matter how brave

    What if each to his own lonely grave

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live without you

    I don't want to live

    I don't want to live

    Without you

    I only recently listened to "Sword & Pen" for the first time, and I was caught off guard. "Far" has rounded out to be Spektor's most critical (and ambitious) album to date, especially with the non-album tracks taken into consideration.

    I believe that "Sword & Pen" must be related to "Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori." Both songs use the symbolism of the kiss to represent contact with God and deal with the problems of religious faith.

    In "Dulce Et Decorum": "You can't spend your whole life waiting for God to kiss you back"

    In "Sword & Pen": "Don't let me out of this kiss...I don't want to live without you."

    Both songs are about religious faith. "Dulce Et Decorum" is rugged and pragmatic, suggesting that one should not wait for a mighty hand to come out of the clouds and make life bearable--life will always be difficult. This centers around the homage to Wilfred Owen ("Dulce Et Decorum Est"), a poet who criticized the martial-patriotic spirit in the face of the carnage of WWI.

    "Sword & Pen," on the other hand, poses the question what if the sword finally defeats the pen?

    "The things that scare us today,

    what if they happen some day?"

    What if the divine interruption is death? And then, the most poignant lines of the song:

    "and if He does it with love

    well then it's death from above

    and death from above is still a death"

    That is, though we reconcile the death of people with some background of spiritual order or justice, it is still death--by nature the worst thing in the world.

    However, life and all the possibilities we can imagine are terrifying:

    "What if nothing is safe,

    What if no one is saved,

    no matter how sweet,

    no matter how brave?"

    So humanity is always compelled to religious faith--how else to make light of these things and avoid despair and loneliness? The chorus "I don't want to live without you" alternates with the increasingly bleak "what if?" scenarios. Is "Dulce Et Decorum" an answer to "Sword & Pen," or are there more complications than are apparent to the insipid conclusion that "it's hard to live"?


  11. I'm going to include the official lyrics from this site with my post because I will reference them often:

    You are my sweetest downfall

    I loved you first

    I loved you first

    Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth

    I have to go

    I have to go

    Your hair was long

    When we first met

    Samson went back to bed

    Not much hair left on his head

    He ate a slice of wonderbread

    And went right back to bed

    And history books forgot about us

    And the Bible didn't mention us

    And the Bible didn't mention us

    Not even once

    You are my sweetest downfall

    I loved you first

    I loved you first

    Beneath the stars came fallin' on our heads

    But they're just old light

    They're just old light

    Your hair was long

    When we first met

    Samson came to my bed

    Told me that my hair was red

    He told me I was beautiful

    And came into my bed

    Oh, I cut his hair myself one night

    A pair of dull scissors in the yellow light

    And he told me that I'd done alright

    And kissed me till the morning light, the morning light

    And he kissed me till the morning light...

    Samson went back to bed

    Not much hair left on his head

    He ate a slice of wonderbread

    And went right back to bed

    “Samson” qualifies as one of Spektor’s greatest songs, no less for its beauty than for its literary merits. Consequently, I have always wanted to write about it. It has a veneer of simplicity, as does many of her songs, but--though the meaning is easier to get at than with some others--it is still a difficult piece.

    However, I must disagree with BLTW where she posted that the song is not to be "taken literally." "Samson" is perfectly valid for literal (non-allegorical) interpretation, and you should consider your interpretation, if it is well-formed, to be perfectly valid. The words of "Samson" should be taken just as literally as the Biblical story --who was Samson, anyway? Did he really even exist? Take the song "literally" with the entirety of its meaning--just because it is not realistic but imagistic does not mean it should not be given as serious a hearing as a book of history. In the end, even histories are vague, because our language does not convey everything we mean. The difference is that histories intend to relate facts while poetry intends to make you feel something. The latter is accomplished here, so analysis should strive to explain how it is done so well.

    There has been significant discussion on this site, and in this thread particularly, of the way RS's lyrics attempt to resist being fixed into one particular angle. There is a good term for this--polyvalence. For example, the narrator could be Delilah, the prostitute Samson meets in Gaza* before he falls in love with Delilah, or it could be RS herself; cf. the lines "Samson…told me that my hair was red**." Samson could be the Biblical Samson, a symbolic character, or the speculated "actual," living, breathing Judge of Israel, an ordinary man who inspired a rather fantastical story. This latter Samson we will never know much about. The story survived.

    The narrator begins the first chorus with "you are my sweetest downfall." The first time I heard this song all the way through, I was confused. It would seem that Samson, not Delilah, would say this because, in the story, Delilah turns out to be Samson's downfall. The line "I loved you first," which is repeated several times, was similarly puzzling. In Judges 16:4, Samson "fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah." It is never indicated in the story that Delilah loves Samson. The Philistines use her to find out what can weaken the superhuman Samson; after three trials she finds out. Samson falls asleep on her lap, she calls a man and has him shave off Samson's seven locks, and the Philistines take him away, gouge out his eyes, and bind him in bronze.

    After the first verse comes "and the Bible didn't mention us, not even once." There are two possibilities for the narrator: either she is Delilah, albeit one whose actual individual experience is quite different from the fantastical one which makes her the antagonist and Samson a virile hero who can kill a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey, or the narrator is a different lover entirely, one who exists outside the Biblical narrative. In part, the narrator is actually the singer herself, as complicated as that notion may seem. She is using the character Samson, one so frequently entangled with female characters, to sing about the way she views personal experience. Simultaneously, however, she blends in suggestions of Delilah (i.e., the cutting of the hair). Her method of retelling involves the insertion of herself in subtle ways into the old story, and making it entirely her own.

    The following points separate the narrator from the biblical Delilah, while simultaneously obscuring the narrative center between the two worlds:

    “You are my sweetest downfall”

    “I loved you first”

    “The Bible didn't mention us”

    The narrator speaks [sings] in first person

    By depicting Samson eating wonderbread and having his hair cut by scissors, the poem brings Samson into the writer’s modern world.

    The writer brings Samson into her own love story. She found Samson "beneath the paper"--he does not exist on the paper of books any more materially than he does in Regina's mind, or yours—in fact, less so. The narrator is a docile compliant to love no less than Samson. To say that the femme-fatale scheme is reversed is an oversimplication.

    I like the mention above by The Monster in the Closet of the line “But they’re just old light.” The “old light” here is the storyline, which may or may not accurately reflect the real events millions of light-years away. We look upon the past through a glass darkly. RS’s “Samson” is a new refraction that incorporates the clarity of the present into the dim view of a love long past.

    *Judges 16:1-3

    **However, Delilah has been depicted with red hair in several paintings. cf. Samson and Delilah, by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Samson and Delilah by Tintoretto (1518-1594), and Samson and Delilah by Gioacchino Assereto (fl. 1630s)


  12. This critic's problem is that (s)he makes judgments only by comparison--comparison to other artists and comparison to what (s)he apparently sees in RS's prior music as being of better quality by virtue of being more eccentric. "Better" is called droll by being likened to Coldplay--it has a delay effect which "Coldplay would cream for." "Edit" and "That Time" are bafflingly compared to the angsty-teen music of Avril Lavigne. "That Time" is humorous because it caricatures--this reviewer misses the intent entirely.

    Second problem: in the vast majority of reviews, you will find a high frequency of the words "eccentric" and/or "quirky." The only explication the present reviewer makes of what (s)he calls "lyrical quality" is a function of "eccentricity"--(s)he cites "I dream of orca whales" and "a little bag of cocaine" as such. The alleged "quirkiness" that so oft wins RS comparison with other singer-songwriters is really just a crutch in lieu of actual interpretation. Consequently, very superficial readers/listeners to her fail to perceive any value whatsoever in her less imagistic or evocative lyrics--i.e., those of "Fidelity," and "Better." This review fails to comment upon "Summer in the City," without doubt the best track on the album, making the assessment incomplete.

    This review suffers from a common problem within pop-music criticism: a lack of center in judging artistic quality.

    As a corollary to what I said above, no pop musician should feel pressured to "stay unique" to appease purist fans, lest (s)he be lumped into the category of "just like Coldplay, " "just like Avril," or some other such generalization.


  13. "Hero of the Story" is supremely ironic. It pitches the contrast between the planned structure of life with the Hero narrative representing the individual, experiential journey. The individual subject--dubbed the "hero" by himself--paradoxically bolsters his self-confidence on one hand with "no one's got it all" in the face of the flaws he undoubtedly shares with the rest of the people (mentioned in the main verse quoted above by BLTW) and on the other hand "I'm the hero of the story, don't need to be saved" in response to others' recognition of those flaws. The "story" is the personal narrative one puts together for oneself to make the events of life comprehensible--the coherence and predictability of the forms of this narrative clash with the realities of life and even the aims of the people themselves, who do silly, contrary things like "goin to these meetin's but...not doin' any meetin'" and renouncing freedom--the great "power to the people"--in favor of languishing in front of the tube (which the avg. American does for 6 hours per 24). How much do the great political values America claims--such as "power to the people"--mean on an individual level, anyway? How free is freedom?


  14. quote:
    Originally posted by Jasimo:

    I'd ask her about what selections she'd recommend from Russian Literature, considering that's my favourite genre.Then I'd ask for her opinion on Bulgakov, pasternak, chukovskaya,tolstoy, nabokov and Akhmatova.

    I've heard that she really likes Pushkin. She has, of course, referenced a few Russian writers in her music. The first that comes to mind is "Wasteside," which is about the town described in Ilf and Petrov's The Twelve Chairs, and of course there's that Pasternak poem in "Apres Moi."