Listen Up, Y'all.




I have made a startling discovery. The more I sleep, the less rested I am.


Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?

So here's the story. When my dad came to visit a couple of months ago, the expected happened. He and my mum had an argument, and for some reason, that made my dad want to visit this giant bookstore near our house, and since I was a wastrel around the house even back then, I went with him, hoping I'd get some supplies in the bargain. And I did. Bestowed upon me was a wonderful sketchbook with 160 creamy texturised pages, that were comfortably smooth to allow happy shading, but smooth enough not to screw up your drawing. (I even blogged about this book when I just got it in this post). And then I spent many a happy day, making exactly THREE pieces of art, that too, not even for myself. Then, like an idiot, I lost it.

It would have been alright had I known WHEN I lost it, thereby making it easier for me to FIND it, but I don't even know when exactly it was lost, so I don't even know where to begin. I miss my sketchbook very much, even more because the mother has chastised me for being irresponsible and I'm not going to be given a replacement. 

The sketchbook is largish (slightly larger than your average A4 sheet) with a white cover and cardboard back. It has a Mountain Lion on the cover. The first page is blank with a margin, the second page has the face-portrait of a man that I never finished, the third page has a sketch of two people coloured in 60s style, and the fourth page has a rather elaborate pencil-outlined-with-ink drawing. I have not written my name on it (yes, I am rather stupid in such matters). If you find it, will you PLEASE let me know?

I miss my sketchbook. I never did much, but at least there was that little glowing bubble of knowing that if I ever felt like drawing, there was a very nice sketchbook waiting patiently for when I am truly inspired. It's not fair. I didn't even complain when I lost my Macbeth text before the exam and had to improvise my answers, I didn't whine even once. Because it didn't really matter to me, that Macbeth book. But my sketchbook really, really matters, and I am very, very depressed. I miss my sketchbook very much.

Carmen Sandiego, won't you return?

Playlist - 
This River is Wild - The Killers
Crazy in Love - Snow Patrol
Sexy Boy - Franz Ferdinand (Listen to this one, it may just seriously beat "Michael" as my favourite song by them)

I know I keep posting my most recently-played songs all the time, and it's often kind of horrifyingly cute how Snow Patrol pops into all of it all the time, but this is truly, truly disturbing. All iPods have an auto-playlist where the Most-Played 25 get gathered together to fuel your obsession further, and THIS is what my list (in order, I think?) looks like - 

Woman Like A Man - Damien Rice (Bloody Fantastic.)
The Planets Bend Between Us - Snow Patrol (Best chorus, ever.)
The Golden Floor - Snow Patrol (Un-Snow Patrol Snow Patrol)
Michael - Franz Ferdinand (You saw this coming.)
Lifeboats - Snow Patrol (I didn't know I liked it that much.)
An Olive Grove Facing the Sea - Snow Patrol (Instruction Guide for all Elementary Stalking.)
Unplayed Piano - Damien Rice (It's a song for Peace, that means I give a damn.)
Set the Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol, Martha Wainwright (Again, not unexpected.)
Crack the Shutters - Snow Patrol (Shut up)
Accidental Babies - Damien Rice (Again, Shush.)
Butterflies and Hurricanes - Muse (It's all good until you hear me try to sing the piano bit.)
Grazed Knees - Snow Patrol (Whaaatt? Stop staring at me.)
Whipping - Pearl Jam (I'm as relieved as you are, believe you me.)
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane (Sure.)
Crushcrushcrush - Paramore (Why yes, I like Paramore. Bite me.)
Party for Two - Shania Twain, Mark McGrath (*squeals, runs away and hides*)
If There's A Rocket, Tie Me To It - Snow Patrol (Aw, Here it goes again)
In Command of Cars - Snow Patrol (This is a little scary, innit?)
Possum Kingdom - The Toadies (Yay!)
Lazy Sunday (SNL) - Chris Parnell, Andy Samberg (If you can call it a song...)
All You Need is Love - The Beatles ("She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!")
The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice (The first Rice song I ever heard. )
Rootless Tree - Damien Rice (If you knew the chorus, you'd get why it's often played. I dare you, Google it.)
I'll Make a Man Out of You - Mulan Soundtrack (Oh God. Oh No.)
Cold Water - Damien Rice (This list is over. Do not attach any value judgements, ok?)

This is scary, it really is. Although it is somewhat funny to find one of SNL's Digital Short raps on the list, and yes, it is a little mortifying to find that song from Mulan (but hey, atleast it's classic Disney), there is just too much of DR and SP.

I thought I was diverse and all. But I'm just a obsessed maniac. 

Eh well.

Care for a Smoke?

Adt got mint cigarettes to school today. Remember when we were little, there were minty ciggies that came in a disgustingly green box with a cheap picture of Charlie Chaplin? And they were red-tipped? She found those. I ate two of them, and I still want more.

And they cost about Rs.4 for ten. 

Playlist - 
Shout - The Temptations (!!)
Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
The Lightning Strike - SP (!)


A Mother begs. She wants her son's corpse to just open its eyes one more time, so she can whisper to him the goodbye she never got to say.

The sister is dead and the brother cries, she has gone away.
An infant is orphaned, another is carried to safety and his father is tired yet triumphant.

Shrapnel. Bullets, debris. Attack, defend, attack. Men in uniform, bathed in sweat, blood, tears.

And all we can do is hope for the best, and that is the only weapon we have? The other side has Kalashnikovs and hand-grenades. 

The only thing under siege is the fate of humanity.

Ok, first, a bit of background. In school, I'm part of this class called Pit Ensemble. In essence, it's an opportunity for me to slack off and play piano, xylophones, vibraphones, assorted percussion instruments (bongos are serious fun), or, in some cases, steel drums. A rival Catholic high school called Santa Margarita started a steel drum band a few years back, so we had to have one also. Because of this, I have played the steel drums a little bit since the school year started. Now, fast forward to present day. It's currently Thanksgiving Break (an excuse for us Americans to be gluttonous and pretend we're thankful for everything), during which I have an entire week off of school. During this time, I convinced my teacher to lend me a pair of steel drums. So, I've been practicing on-and-off during the week on my fantastic, amazing, incredible, jealousy-from-Sahana-inducing steel drums! Well, it's late at night and I got bored, so I decided to teach myself the wretched melody from Soulja Boy. Let this be clear first: I loathe that song. When I hear the cursed tune, I instinctively reach for my ears, not to cover them from the torrential onslaught of noise, but to gouge my eardrums out so they may never again have to endure the Aushwitz level suffering that is induced by the...*sigh*...Soulja Boy. Anyway, here is the video. And in case you are wondering which piano video I am referencing in the Soulja Boy video, look at my other videos, there is a nice clip of me playing the piano solo from "In My Life" by The Beatles. Anyway, without further ado, here is me playing (with terrible light and poor audio quality) Soulja Boy on steel drums. Enjoy!

Artsy Eskimo Lover.

It's not that great, but it kind of fit in with the lyrics from "What if this Storm Ends?", Part One of Lightning Strike, from A Hundred Million Suns. (Yes, I'm that obsessed. I wanted to draw Golden Floor, but I need time for that. And I have LOTS of artwork to finish first.)

Under the girl, the lyrics are - "The perfect halo of cold hair and lightning sets you off against the Planet's last dance."
And for the dude, the lyrics are - "Just for a minute, the silver forked sky lit you up like a star that I would follow."

Also, if you're up for some pretty lyrics, please see the chorus of "The Planets Bend Between Us". The lyrics are - 
"I will race you to the waterside, 
And from the edge of Ireland shout out loud
So they can hear it in America,
It's all for you."
Man, that Gary can write.


Seriously, I think I may have a problem. I have tons of homework to do, yet here I am, writing up a post on blogger. Maybe it's because I feel bad because Sahana's been spamming the site lately, I don't know. What I DO know is that I do not feel like doing homework. Hell, I actually have no clue what I even intend to write about, I just knew I needed to write something, and here I am. This is very stream-of-consiousness-ey. I feel like Virginia Woolf.

Well, I have been succeeding in school as of late. In the same week, I got an A on my APUSH exam, a 9/9 on the Free Response Question that we took the day after that exam, an A on my AP Chemistry Exam--the list goes on. I feel like such a good student, yet I know that it will have to come to an end eventually. But, in the meantime, I'm flying. Perhaps I should go do work in order to maintain this ecstatic feeling. When I'm done with this post. Let's see...I need something substantive to talk about. If I just ramble the whole time I'll end up deleting the post, and wasting more time.

Oh, I know. Here is my official (updates will come when I think of additions) list of things I must do before I die.

-Play Butterflies and Hurricanes with a full band in front of an audience.
-Travel the world. And I mean all over the world. At least 75% of all countries.
-Visit Sahana. Maybe we'll go to a bar.
-Be in some sort of touring rock band.
-Deliver a speech to over 1,000 people.
-Make some sort of positive influence on the world.
-Invent and subsequently patent something.

There, was that such a bad blog post? Shakey start, but I would say I saved it. And it does have a cool Emily Brontë-esque feel to it. But less feminist. And more cheuvenistic. And much, much more awesome.

Oh, and Sahana--

You're welcome. :)

And you listening to Queens of the Stone Age, Steely Dan, Franz Ferdinand, and Snow Patrol is amazing. Seriously. Fantastic tastes.

The Hundredth Millionth Sun

Two successive Gary posts in a day. Somewhere in the world, something wonderful must be happening. Maybe  HotBody Lightbody is googling his own name and he finally found this blog. Hallelujah, 'tis been a long time coming.

I reviewed the album. You saw that coming, didn't you? I spent an hour on it, and listened to it twice. And even wrote half an essay on Chekhov, so I feel quite empowered right now. I tried not to sound like a know-it-all, but I can't help the comparisons and the references, its not my fault I've heard all their songs. Being a GL stalker is hard work.

One thing is for certain. Snow Patrol has certainly cheered up. 
While Eyes Open was a heart-wrenching word description of the trajectory of a failed relationship, filled with sensitivity (Chasing Cars), frustration (It's Beginning to Get to Me), penitence (Make This Go On Forever), separation (Set the Fire to the Third Bar), desolation, and acceptance (The Finish Line). Eyes Open brought with itself a set of fourteen masterpieces that merged into one to give the world Snow Patrol's best album. It was an album that defined poignancy, and each track stood out as favourite, and the album as a whole made one surrender, made one float, and made one soar. 

A Hundred Million Suns comes two years after Eyes Open, conceived in Germany, and partly in Ireland, in a house that was located on a cliff that overlooked the sea. The band firmly maintains that this is their best album yet, while most fans tend to believe that with AHMS, they've succumbed to the pressures of chartbuster-music, brought on because of Chasing Cars. Their opinion is that SP's best album is still a toss between Final Straw and Eyes Open. That's what the general mass of them thinks. 

And quite obviously, I disagree.
Yes, AHMS is not Eyes Open. It's cheerful, it's happy, and it's reflective, but in an optimistic way. Both albums make you feel nostalgic, but while Eyes Open will make you think of the days when you felt your worst, and of the days that you wanted to curl up and die just at the thought of another day in your dreary existence, AHMS will bring to your mind the colours of an amusement park flashing past your eyes, the smell of buttered popcorn, the feel of your favourite blanket on a cold night, the taste of your favourite food on the day that you feel the sickest. I wouldn't exactly call it upbeat, but it's definitely one of those albums that will make you smile. Eyes Open reopened wounds and made you cry inside, and AHMS is a phantom kiss on your forehead, it is a reassuring hug, it is a wonderful band-aid.
Snow Patrol goes all out in this album, reverting back to their more gutsy songs, reminiscent of Final Straw's Spitting Games and Tiny Little Fractures. Although their lead guitar has definitely mellowed down, and yes, their bass guitar is not that discernable anymore, Snow Patrol has definitely mastered the art of combining all the standard band instruments, mellowing them down to their style, and throwing in a few piano chords in the mix to make it unique. The chorus of each of their songs is more crowd-friendly, with simple background vocal effects that exude the aura of a large stadium without compromising on the homeliness of the band. Snow Patrol has always maintained that they are not one of the bands that will be remembered for on-stage theatrics - their music and their entire persona is based upon their approachability and their easy going attitude. AHMS amplifies this very maxim. 
Eyes Open was an album which when played in the order of listing, started off with the atmosphere-creating "You Are All I Have", became softer with Chasing Cars, reached a crescendo with Make This Go On Forever, employing martial drum beats, church-choruses and the persistent piano, then quietened again with Set the Fire.., and died down with The Finish Line. 
AHMS is not an album that requires you to play in order, but if you do, then each song will make you wish you had heard it before, because the chorus is so infectious, you wish you knew how to sing along. There is the notable introduction of an acoustic guitar which lends a somewhat pleasantly jangly note, making you feel like you were at a live bar listening to them jam. Take Back the City, the first single from the album, is one of those very songs, bordering on an anthem-like sound, an acoustic bass-line and a tune that grows on you. I know someone who hated it at first listen, then went around humming it the rest of the week. It'll catch your attention, and it'll stay there. My favourite track as of now is Crack the Shutters, with a soundscape reminiscent of You Could Be Happy (high, isolating piano tinklings!), but this song is just so uplifting, it's amazing. A first listen will get you hooked, but by the time you read the lyrics, you wish this song had been written for you. Lifeboats is another one that is racing up my most-played list; I think it's because of the pitch - it just sounds a little different, like half-an-octave off the regular. Of course, I might be wrong, but I think that's why. The Golden Floor is slightly off the beaten track for Snow Patrol, with a very interesting beat that piqued my interest. However, the song that got me all curious was Snow Patrol's first 16-minute long song, called The Lightning Strike. The Lightning Strike has three parts, What if this Storm Ends?, The Sunlight Through the Glass, and Daybreak. All three parts are isolated songs on their own, bound by a common thread. While I would think it ambitious of Snow Patrol to infringe upon long songs that are normally the territory for more "hardcore" progressive rock bands, it's a brave try, and while I wouldn't say that the experiment entirely succeeded, it's nice to see that they're constantly try to reinvent and challenge themselves musically. It's not that I don't like it, but I just really don't see the point of having one long song, when clearly, it's just three songs. I'm assuming they know something I don't?

Conclusively, I'd say that AHMS certainly does not deserve the criticism that it has been the receiving end of. Most people who listen to Snow Patrol are those lovers who've only heard Eyes Open, and a few famous old ones, like Run, Spitting Games, and Chocolate. Yes, Eyes Open got them attention, and yes, it made them very, VERY famous, but it's presumptious to claim that the generally radio-friendly nature of AHMS is a desperate, Billboard-hungry claim to fame. No, Snow Patrol is not trying to knock anyone off the charts with this album, but it's rather clear why they say it's their best album ever. It's subtly diverse, with different beats, different styles. 
But before I finish, I do have to lech over Gary Lightbody.
This guy is just unbelievable. I have ABSOLUTELY no words for him. He is just hot. The dishevelled wild look of Chasing Cars, the clean, light-stubbly Chocolate, and then neurotically love-struck in Crack the Shutters, this man makes me melt. And as if his visual appeal wasn't enough, he has an Irish accent, an amazingly English sense of sarcastic, wordplay humour. And he has pretty eyes.
And on top of that, he is about the most sensitive lyricist that I have heard of. He is one of those people who manages to write flattering and wonderful things about a girl, without being even a tiny bit corny, or cheesy or cliched. In When It's All Over, We Still Have to Clear Up, he makes being a stalker sexy with An Olive Grove Facing the Sea. He makes bonfires adventurous with Firelight.
In Songs for Polarbears, he sang Velocity Girl, and we all know what that did to me. In Final Straw, he brought on the apocalypse with Chocolate, became a high-school stalker in Spitting Games, and showed the magic of plain and simple piano with Same and also, the violin in Grazed Knees. And then in Eyes Open, we all forgave him for his mistakes, and we all fell in love, even though the album was penned by Lightbody in the avatar of a repenting philanderer. 
And then in A Hundred Million Suns, he finally pushed me over the edge with Crack the Shutters. 

Thanks a lot, Gary. Because of you, my expectations is the opposite sex are soaring high. They need to be tall, they need to be songwriters, and they need to be friendly.
Bonus points if their name is Gary.
Bnous browniepoints if their surname is Lightbody.

Oh God, I need to get a life.