Song of the Day: Learn To Fly

Looking to the sky to save me.

When I saw the awesome video of Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters Rockin1000, I was reminded just how much I love this song. I’d always heard of how great the Foo Fighters are but never took the time to properly listen to them (a trend for me, it seems). When I heard this song, the lyrics and melody instantly got me hooked. The lyrics in particular resonated with me, similar to the feelings that emerge when I hear U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Clearly, my life has a theme but overlooking that point, Learn To Fly is an overall beautiful song that touches me each time I hear it.

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Song of the day: Gravity by Sara Bareilles

To be perfectly accurate, this has been my song of the day for the past three or so days. It’s also become a muse of sorts for me, making me want to write (or keep on writing) when I listen to it.

I came across this last weekend. I’d heard it previously, but last Saturday was the first time I properly listened to it, and I haven’t stopped loving it since. I’ve been on a Sara Bareilles kick recently. Between The Lines has been a favorite of mine for a few years now, and I’ve always found Winter Song (Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson) so hauntingly beautiful. Listening to these two songs last week finally made me check out the rest of her albums. Sara Bareilles is an incredibly underrated singer and song writer. Her lyrics are deceptively simple in the sense that they seem conversational, but when you dissect them, you realize how utterly poetic and deep and painful they actually are.

Now I can’t stop listening to her, and I wish more people would.

I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.

Old soul?

See, I have this dilemma.

Sometimes I’m convinced that I was born 50, 60, maybe even 70 years too late. I’m always drawn to vintage styles (photos, accessories, turn tables, what-have-yous). I genuinely enjoy listening to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and even extending a bit later (thanks to my parents) to The Temptations, Bee Gees, Smokey Robinson, Three Degrees, etc. I dream of having a custom-built (or restored) ’67 Chevy Impala someday. I know, that’s mostly because of Supernatural, but had I seen it in any other film, or even in the flesh (not that cars have flesh??), I’d still feel the same way about it. Which is probably why I also have a thing for Mini Coopers, because they have that vintage look, too. Or a classic Cadillac. I’ve always, always wanted a Cadillac since I first read about it in Archie comics, if I remember correctly. Anyway, the point is, I’ve always been intrigued with how life was during those times and I’m very keen on reading and seeing more about it, and have thought, more than once, of wanting to have lived during those decades.

Then again, I am sometimes appalled at how archaic some people still think these days. How stubbornly they view religion (or spirituality), how utterly backwards they think of the wonderful LGBT community, women, politics and life in general. I imagine it would have been even more restrictive back then, so you see the dilemma I’m in??? I don’t know how to reconcile these two parts of me, because really, there are times when I see or hear something and simply want to jump out of my skin and into another timezone altogether, but I’m not entirely sure if I would like living in the past. Back when we didn’t know better and our ignorance was more pronounced (slavery, racism, etc.), which is still around today albeit at a lesser degree, I hope. Perhaps if I had the same thinking as the others in those times, I would be fine, but given the way I think now (I consider myself more open-minded on certain things – maybe even more liberal – than most, at least in our country), I’m not sure if I’d survive back then. I suppose those decades speak to my senses more than these modern times, but intellectually, we may not be as compatible.

I don’t know why I think about these things. HAHA. But there you go, my weird, random thought of the day.

Death is bad ass

Can we just talk about Death in the context of Supernatural for a moment?

This has got to be one of the most bad ass entrances of any character in television or film EVER. The majestic car. The haunting and utterly perfect theme song. And my god, Julian Richings. He is faultless as Death — I don’t think anyone else could have played it as impeccably as he did. His demeanor was terrifyingly calm and absolute. Everything here just worked and I still get goosebumps every time I watch this (never mind if it has been the 100th time).

I think Supernatural did a stellar job in personifying death — of showing that there is nothing inherently right or wrong about it, merely that it is natural, inevitable. You even feel some semblance of sympathy for Death, and you also realize how incredibly self-absorbed humans are in this gargantuan universe.

If you don’t watch the show, then at least watch Death’s scenes in the episode “Two Minutes To Midnight” (Season 5, Episode 21), if only for the brilliance that is Julian Richings and the perspective to be gained on life from Death.

Nowhere else to place my feelings

Last night, I had the opportunity to see The Script live in Manila for the second time. I’d first seen them back in 2011, and that was when I officially became a fan. At that time I’d only known their more famous songs like Breakeven and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. A week before their show, I scrambled to learn the rest of the songs from the Science and Faith Album. When I heard You Won’t Feel A Thing live, it instantly became one of my favorite songs of all time. It is beautiful lyrically and musically. Nothing was bittersweet in delivery and the story behind it was something many of us could relate to at some point (at least in feeling, if we never got around to picking up the phone).

I swore I would watch them again if they came back. And they did, last night. While it was evident that touring was taking its toll on the boys – they are only human, after all – their spirits still defied physical constraints and their emotions bled through every song. The crowd was so much better and much bigger this time around – the energy was electric and constant. Not a single moment when no applause or scream or declaration of love could be heard. Goosebumps were ever present and the coliseum simply flowed with appreciation for the band’s talent and hard work.

Watching and hearing them also, if I may borrow a line from Love Actually, put my life into a rather harsh perspective. As Glen beat the shit out of the drums, and Mark danced with his guitar across the stage and Danny sang his heart out for the audience, I felt so small. There they were, touching and saving the lives of people through one of the most potent platforms humanity has ever created, and here I was, still unsure of my purpose on earth.

Music is one of my greatest loves and my frustration in life (among many) is to be a musician – be it a singer or a guitarist or a bassist or a producer – I don’t care, anything to do with music! To see other people be able to do that with so passion and ecstasy (their smiles on stage could be seen miles away) breaks and mends my heart. It breaks my heart because how I wish I, too, were doing what they were doing, yet it is mended because I am extremely grateful that people like them exist. People who can create such wonderful words and rhythms and thoughts that we barely have the ability or courage to muster. People who take away the burden of keeping everything inside us and allowing us to feel things organically through their music.

I’ve been seeing postsĀ  somewhere of The Script not being just a band, and I think I understand that now. I would like to believe that it is never too late for anything – and who knows, I might find myself involved with music at some point, producing at the very leastĀ  – but for now I will live vicariously through them for their songs are those I wish I had written to help people heal, feel and keep on loving.

A few of my favorite songs

They say what you do on New Year will be like a prevailing theme of sorts for the rest of your year. It’s nearly 22 hours into the 1st of January, and so far I’ve spent it eating, napping and sharing stories with my family. Not a bad start, I’d say. I was tempted to work, but I’ve never been one to put work above family (or holidays). I would rather cram than give up family time to check my emails, so I decided to blog instead.

I’ve been thinking of posting something like this a few days ago when I heard the line “but with you, I feel again” from Feel Again by OneRepublic. I was suddenly overcome with warmth and fuzzies (is that even a word?), which is not unusual when I hear one of my favorite songs come up. This got me thinking about the songs that give me the same or similar feeling, hence the list below. More often than not, the songs have certain lines that really left a mark on me. Some I’ve associated with a significant time in my life, and never fail to induce nostalgia when I hear them. At one point, I could listen to nothing but one of these songs.

So, I now bring you 12 of my favorite songs as of 2012 (because let’s face it, the list is bound to change).

1. Only One by Yellowcard – I first heard this nearly 8 years ago and it still gives me the same feeling when I hear it now. That mixture of longing and frustration tugs at my heart when I hear this song, and I love to belt this out when I feel the same way.

2. Tadhana by Up Dharma DownTadhana is Tagalog for destiny or fate. Attempting to translate the lyrics will lose its impact, so you will have to take my word for it when I say this is one of those hits-you-hard-in-the-gut type of songs. All the unsaid feelings, the uncertainties and (again) frustrations are captured so aptly in this song. I’m listening to it right now, and it took me a while to type this out because I had to stop and sing along.

3. Burnout by Sugarfree – While the title is English, the song is Tagalog. My favorite line here is “O, kay tagal din kitang minahal” which roughly translates to “Oh, I’ve loved you for so long now”, and my heart just jumps a little when I hear it. It’s the giddy/heartbreaking type of feels, and if there’s that one person who you’ve loved for so long but you’re kinda feeling the I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself-anymore thing for him/her, you’d want them to hear this song. On full blast. On repeat.

4. Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band – One of the sexiest songs around, in my opinion, not just in terms of lyrics, but also in the way it was sung. It just keeps getting sexier and sexier the more I listen to it.

5. White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons – “Tell me now where was my fault in loving you with my whole heart?” and “Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life”. Do I even need to explain myself further? (Though I feel the need to point out the way the instruments swell towards the chorus, and the way Marcus Mumford sings “A white blank page, and swelling rage” really makes you feel the rage, you know?)

6. Torete by Moonstar88 – “Akala ko nung una may bukas ang ganito. Mabuti pang umiwas, pero salamat na rin ta nagtagpo“. Again, quite a lot has been lost in translation, but it somehow means: I thought what we had was going somewhere. It’s better to to stay away, but I’m still thankful we met. I don’t know how many times I’ve felt this (HAHA), but there’s also something with the way she sang it, like an innocent girl who’s had her heart broken for the first time, that makes me cry a little bit inside.

7. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers – Just pure good vibes, this song. I first found out about it on a forum, and it took me a while to warm up to it. The lyrics are sweet bordering on silly, and repetitive for the most part, but it never fails to put a smile on my face when I’ve had a bad day.

8. Fix You by Coldplay – One of their best songs hands down. It just gets to me on all levels – from the mundane losses to the life-altering ones, every word and every note of every instrument just came together to create something so moving. Indeed, it makes tears stream down my face.

9. Read My Mind by The Killers – “I don’t mind if you don’t mind, ’cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine.” It’s quirky and bittersweet, and it’s the song that started my love affair with the band. My other favorite is All These Things That I’ve Done (“I got soul but I’m not a soldier!”).

10. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes – I like to write fiction from time to time, and I draw some of my inspiration from music. There has never been any other song that has compelled me to write a character based on it than this song. Not that I’ve done it. There have been attempts, yes, but none have been successful. Every time I hear this, though, she resurfaces, and I itch to open a blank document to finally write her out. I don’t know if I’ll ever see her through, but I’ll keep on trying.

11. Feel Again by OneRepublic – Like I said up there, “but with you, I feel again” is the line that really struck me. It’s not necessarily because I can relate (God, I feel so many things all the time!), it’s because I find the line beautiful – imagine having someone make you feel something again after a long time of being so guarded. I think it’s romantic. Also, I heard Terry McDermott from The Voice season 3 sing this and fell in love with it even more.

12. All This And Heaven Too by Florence and the Machine – This basically sums up how I feel about my heart (or my emotions, on a less sentimental note). In all its ups and downs, you wish for nothing more than a moment of clarity to stop the onslaught of feelings and breathe for even just a second.

Well, that turned out longer than expected. There are more songs, of course, but then the list will be unreasonably long. In retrospect, it seems like the running theme is frustration. While it’s a bit embarrassing, is not entirely unexpected because I turn to music when there are things I cannot express. I’m not the type to unload on or vent to just anyone, so when those close to me are busy, or I don’t feel like bothering them, I listen to music instead. Thank God or I would have exploded.