You mean big lightning bolts and a heart where you can’t eat and you can’t work and you just run off and get married and make babies?
The reason you haven’t felt it is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons
You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on you to make you forget this fact.
But I never forget. I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.
So I may or may not be a bit cynical about love…but, I really gotta start watching this show again.
“IN A SEA OF LOVE, ONE SINGER SONGWRITER TRACKS MEANING BEYOND ‘YOU’”
I’ve been meaning to write about Amy’s album Cinnamon Heart for a long time now, (which you can get for free at http://www.amywood.ca) but never found the time to do so. So I’d like to show off and talk about her latest work. Amy helped us out for Music Track Day and her song “Symphony” is finished and being mixed by Jesse Bell, so stay tuned for that!
Amy’s current project is called “Not-Love Songs,” where she creates and records covers of songs that aren’t focused on love. Surprisingly, there are fewer out there than one would expect.
Each week previous had been someone else’s material, but for her latest release, Amy showed off an original track, “Universe.” Teaming up with Julia Gummo of Gumo Productions, Amy set out to create her first music video.
Now with “Not-Love Songs,” there are three things that we need to take into consideration:
- The Video
- The Song
- The Project
I think it would be better to look at all these parts individually, as opposed to clumping it together into one whole.
Starting with the song, Amy provides us with her signature style – her lone voice accompanied by her piano. Having heard Amy’s album, I feel that “Universe” is a pristine example of how Amy composes, writes and sings.
With quick arpeggios and bouncing bass notes making up the verses, the dynamic range of the vocal is captivating. Some lines are sung at a half-whisper, while some are sung quickly, the variation appealing to the ear. Amy’s voice rises above the piano and draws the listener in, especially after the second chorus into the bridge. A held note falls and then climbs pulling you into the ending of the song.
Amy’s style can draw comparisons to many of the female artists who base their music around a piano. Sara Bareilles immediately comes to mind for me, as the vocal liking and the piano both sound similar.
Next, let’s take a closer look at the video. There are a few things that immediately catch my attention, and not necessarily in a positive way. In a music video, it is very obvious when a musician is lip syncing with a song as opposed to having the audio being included in the video recording during the shooting process. I understand this is usually not possible and that lip syncing is the only feasable manner in which to record videos, but that’s the focal part for the viewer and it needs to be done spotlessly. In “Universe” there are a few moments where the song and the video don’t line up, and it makes the video seem unnatural.
The message of the video is spelt out for us, quite literally in fact, as we see the words “Follow your path” and “and let them talk” written out on scraps of paper. I like the stop motion effect during these parts as the papers travel. It adds congruency to the other stop motion style parts – particularly the bench scene. The synchronization between the piano line and the cutting frames also works at this point.
My favourite scene occurs at 1:45 when Amy is silhouetted on the blue sky backdrop. I think this scene works because of Gummo’s composition as well as the natural elements that create the natural universe Amy is singing about. The birds that fly through could not have been timed any better, and the visual element matches well with the sonic, creating a lovely scene.
The video as a whole seems to be built of a few parts – that don’t necessarily relate to each other.
- Amy singing on a mountain
- The words on paper
- The bench scene
- Some slow motion parts
I think it would have been nice if there was a unifying tie to these visual elements. Perhaps the words could have found Amy on the mountain – and she would have followed them down to the bench, where they get caught in the tire and she rides off into the distance. The video is just missing the glue in which holds together all the composite parts.
Lastly, the project as a whole is a unique experience, inspiring us to look into the music we listen to every day, and examine how much of that involves love. Songs in which a lover’s heart was broken, or a ballad preaching one’s undying love to whomever fill a majority of our musical libraries.
Amy defines a “Not Love Song” to be:
“[A] Song that doesn’t deal with ‘before you’ ‘you’ and ‘after you’ in a romantic way. I don’t think I’m gonna write-off songs about human connection…. The point is to level the subject matter playing field out there in the [musical] world.”
I am kind of embarressed to admit – but I’ve just looked up the entire track listing of Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0, and there is not one “Not-Love Song” on the entire album. This album is certified double platinum in Canada. I think Amy’s onto something here with this idea.
Already, Amy has covered “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Steer,” and, “Life is a Bowl of Cheeries.” Accompanying each song is another music video. So far, all videos have been live – using the sound from the actual performance, with “Universe” being the first to use a pre-recorded track. Amy’s fallen off her once-a-week upload schedule (and understandably so) to finish her music performance degree, but that doesn’t mean she’s given up. Hopefully we will get to see at least 40+ Not-Love Songs over the course of this year.
You can head over to her Facebook page and offer up your own suggestions for Not-Love Songs for Amy to cover! My pick was City and Colour’s “Happiness by the Kilowatt”.
It’ll be interesting to look back once this project is done and see how the videos have evolved and if Amy ever runs out of Not-Love Songs to play! I’ve started to look into my iTunes at all the music I have based on love, and this is just one more thing to add when listening critically.
Amy Wood has set out on an ambitious journey to show the world you can sing about more than love, and her song “Universe” is a perfect example of that. If you’re looking for a fresh take on popular, check out what Amy is doing with her “Not-Love Songs” project. See the other Not-Love Songs here!
(Update: Here’s Amy’s latest Not-Love Song, with West My Friend! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agsJlmTsBAg)
My grandfather recently passed last year, and seeing this video made me think of what he must of been like when we came to visit. I was too young to realize how much us grandkids mean to our grandparents – but it’s video’s like this that really make you all warm in fuzzy.
I saw this photo on the tumblr of a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and I’m just getting around to writing about it. It’s part of a bigger series of weird interesting facts about the body, but this one stuck me as the most prominent. (The rest are here if you’re curious - http://www.icanhasinternets.com/2011/10/mind-blown/) And I feel like this is not only true physically, in terms of all our cells and stuff, but also in terms of who we are as a person and emotionally. We all know we go through different stages in our lives and they happen at different times for different people. But would it be too far of a leap to assume that maybe these changes occur every seven years when all our cells from our “previous self” have finally disappeared?
Seven years ago, I was 14. I was in the 9th grade and was in the middle of maybe my second style cycle. I had ridiculously long hair, thought I was hot shit because I wore pink, played drums in a shitty junior high band and listened to Sum 41 and Blink 182 all day. I had had some random “girlfriends” but not a first kiss, and had played hockey almost all my life. I had dropped out of band class because I had hated it the year before. And I think this was about the time I got my first Facebook page. It was a few years later that my brother graduated and went to Australia, and my parents went to meet him shortly after, leaving me alone on my first week of high school. Getting to band practices in October in Calgary by bus at 6am was not fun.
If you know me know, I’m sure you’ll hardly believe that that’s what I used to look like. (Aside: Part of me wants to retake this picture when we get back together at Christmas time. Kind of like these ones – http://irinawerning.com/back-to-the-fut/back-to-the-future/)
Somewhere in my grade 12 year I went through another shift. I think it a big part of it was during my trip with the high school band. It was during this trip that I discovered the rewards and the hardships of the career path I was slowly beginning down. I got thrown into a huge leadership role and kind of reveled in it. In grade 12 I was also playing and coaching hockey, had a few more girlfriends, had a first kiss, made a Grad Film, played a solo for our entire graduation class + families, and got accepted to my first university of choice. My musical tastes branched out more, I now liked screamo and emo and acoustic and punk and rock. I had almost mostly given up the drums and picked up the guitar and a mixing board. I even made a CD (Granted it’s terrible and I never want to have to hear it again – but those of you with a copy! Hold onto that sucker, you can sell it for millions later). I fought with my parents a lot – mostly about my current (and as I found out later, crazy) girlfriend.
I also cut my hair short for the first time in a while. You can always tell when a guy is ready to move onto the next stage of his life when he cuts his hair short and gets rid of the mop top shaggy teen look. Some guys keep it going out of high school, but it usually gets cut eventually. So far, the 7 year trend isn’t coming true, it seems to be closer to 3 or 4 years for me at least.
And this is where I’ve kinda plateaued. I haven’t changed much since then. Still super tall and skinny, 6’5″ 150lb, a broomstick some have said. One or two more girlfriends, maybe a bit more experienced. My style hasn’t changed all that much, I’ve grown into my “professional hipster” mentality and have learnt to rock it. University kicked my ass in my first two years, calculus almost killed me. I met one of my best friends and girlfriend here and learned a lot from her. I’ve had the same recording job now for 3 and a half years. I’ve become “that recording guy” in the school of music. Music has become one of the biggest factors in my life. Not only is it becoming my job, but I am always discovering more things about it and more styles that I am enjoying. I breached the 10 000 song mark this summer. I don’t fight with my parents anymore, or my brother – I think the distance was good for us. And I’m almost done my degree. Hopefully two more semesters and that’ll be it.
So now, it’s been 4 years since that last “style shift” in grade 12. Hold on.
It’s been 4 years since high school.
That’s kind of gross. Most of my friends now are people I met when I was in high school. I still talk to all those people. I always wanted to be that guy who made all these great friends in University and went to all these parties. I always told myself I wasn’t going to be like my dad and never go out (at least he tells us he never went out – except for the one time he threw up over a bridge into a river – he does like to tell us that story). But I didn’t go out. Well, I didn’t go out A LOT. I mostly stayed in, I was content staying in. Partying was never my thing. I have met some great friends here though. I’ve got some Bro’s who I hope I’ll keep in contact later. And really, that’s what I’m thinking about now. What’s later? What’s next?
I’m almost done my degree.
What am I gonna do after? I’m feeling like that’ll induce another “style shift.”
Where am I going to be in four years? Who am I going to be in four years? Who are you going to be in four years?
(Also – a little more Nicole Byblow for your listening pleasure)
Well hello there, how are you doing today? Good? Then good.
Hopefully you have seen my video for Operation Unplugged and enjoyed my song. If you’re super duper interested – it can be bought off my bandcamp for $1 CDN. I’m not looking to make a lot of money but I think that’d be cool if SOMEONE out there bought it. Anyways, it’s that video that brings me to writing this blog. Maybe it was that video that brought you here – doubtful, but it’s a possibility. If you want to download the track and help me out – you can go here!
Looking back on that video – I wish I had made two versions, one with the intro and end bits, and one without. The one without would have just been my rap and that was that. I could show this video to my family and coworkers and stuff that I don’t really want involved in my online presence. Now that I’ve sent out that video to my parents, they’ve sent it to all my family, who are undoubtedly going to stumble upon this. I try quite hard to keep myself anonymous on the internet. I try not to connect my name to any of my accounts – twitter, this blog, etc. I have quite high privacy settings on my Facebook, I am unsearchable to anyone who isn’t a friend. All in all, I just don’t like having my name out there.
But now with this video, I can’t do that anymore. My parents know now I have this blog and a Twitter amongst other things, and not that that’s a bad thing, but these are places I go to write about without having to censor myself or what have you. I try to censor myself on Facebook and Twitter as is – just for professional reasons – you never know who might stumble across that. But this blog in particular is something I like to leave for ranting and raving about my life and what’s going on and what not. Where am I going to go to complain about stuff if I know the people I’m complaining about can read it? Isn’t that defeating the purpose? Do I have to set up another blog or something where I can go to post stuff and neglect this one (more so than I already do)?
In short, no. I am not going to set up anything else to have to censor myself here. Parents, if you’re reading this and don’t like what you read? Tough – don’t come to me about it, if I didn’t bring it up with you to deal with it, then I don’t want to deal with it. That’s that. So I’m going to try and keep this as a safe-haven for me. Seeing as not that many people come here anyways – it shouldn’t be a big deal.
I’m actually really starting to come around to using Twitter a lot more. Since I’ve upped my usage lately, I’ve been in contact with people all over that you wouldn’t normally come in contact with. I asked Matt Good a question one morning, I got a shout out from the host of Operation Unplugged about my video, I’ve contacted two studios in Vancouver, one would give me an internship once I’m done my degree, and the other would give me a tour of their space if I was ever in town. So that’s been really cool.
Anywho, in other news, Girlfriend got home from Europe on Saturday. It’s been quite nice having her around again. Living alone is definitely not something I enjoy too much. Her schedule is still really wonky – this is the first day she hasn’t slept for about 14 hours – so we’re still kind of adjusting. She went to bed at 8 tonight and I’ve been up playing video games and watching YouTube videos and writing this blog. We did have a long day out and about today just hanging out – so that was really nice. I’m gonna be cracking the whip on her a little harder too now that she’s home. Things need to be cleaned and put away in a more timely fashion and I’m just not going to let as much stuff slide as I usually do when she’s got school and stress and what have you. No more Mr.NiceGuy.
I suppose I need to take a photo of myself with my new glasses for here – since I still haven’t done that. I’m actually getting a new new pair sometime this week since the guy who cut my lenses did a terrible job, and the technician at the glasses store said they’d just re-do them entirely for me. So that’s really great, it just takes a while because I have such shitty eyes. I’d like to try my old ones on for a day and actually see if the new ones make a huge difference. Sometimes I wonder if they actually did anything or not. Except my new ones are cut in such a way that switching really gives me a bad headache.
allas has put out. I’ve kind of drifted away from C&C since I met him at the AOF meet and greet, but this new album is quite good. I’ve actually pre-ordered it twice – once in a hard-copy and once digitally (with 4 extra tracks) - I would have preferred just to do the digital, but I ordered the hard copy first. Oh well. I also just started listening to the new Matthew Good album – the few tracks I’ve heard so far are really good! The new Moby has yet to grow on me though…
So with June 1st starting as of right now – the day literally just turned over as I write this – I am going to be starting a 30 day challenge. I got this idea from Phillip Defranco – one of the most famous YouTubers, who I’m subscribed to. The idea is that you set a goal and focus on it for one month. At the end of that month you assess and move on from there. My Project30 is going to be packing a lunch for work. And I know it’s not a big goal or whatever, but I’m really starting to notice a dip in my spending money from buying stuff from the food court every time I go in to work. It’s at least $10 maybe $15 a day. I usually justify it by saying “it’s only one more hour of work” – but really, that’s $50 a week (at least) that I could be saving. I’m going to be trying some new recipe ideas and keep it more interesting than just ham and cheese sandwiches all day. I somehow managed to survive on that everyday in junior/high school, so I think I can do it again. At the beginning of each week – or whenever I have a day off, I’m going to make a whole bunch of sandwiches and have them in the freezer so I can just pull one or two out and bring them to work. I think I might do pasta’s and salads that I can microwave or keep cold too. I’m going to try and keep my progress updated here and do my best to stick to it!
I think that’s enough for one night, if you stuck through til the end of this, here’s that photo I promised! Hurray.
- Iran Plans to Unplug Internet, Create Its Own (newser.com)
- Matt Good’s bittersweet symphony (canada.com)
- Social media case study: How ” nobodies ” become famous on the Internet by standing out using their outgoing personalities and their communicational skills: the Philip DeFranco case (ajmstudents.wordpress.com)