Currently Listening To: My Top Five Favorite Tracks

Queens of the Stone Age,  Tyler, The Creator , The Horrors, Eric Heron, Cage The Elephant.

 

1. The Evil Has Landed by Queens of the Stone Age

 

 

2. Boredom by Tyler, The Creator (with Rex Orange County and Anna of the North)

 

3. Take It or Leave It by Cage The Elephant (Album: Unpeeled)

 

4. Obi-Wan by Eric Heron

 

5. Something To Remember Me By   by The Horrors

 


 

Thank You for listening to my favorite jams this week! Hope you found something new and something that you like!

-Alina

Lana Del Rey : Lust for Life REVIEW

(photo by Neil Krug )

Just a few weeks ago, sad-pop singer Lana Del Rey released her latest album Lust For Life which contains 16 mind-blowing tracks that span a range of relevant topics but stick true to her ‘Summertime Sadness’ trademark. Lana Del Rey’s songs possess a nostalgia for an Americana landscape full of classic heroes and anti-heroes such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison and God. Lana Del Rey a.k.a. Elizabeth Grant often blurs the lines between her persona and her self (Lizzy) or so the public thinks. Evidence of these blurry lines can be seen on stage when she performs, her presence is intense and mimic’s tones found in her music videos but there is something there within her that is honest and very very personal as she sings.

Lana Del Rey is a bad girl who lives in a past-present time shift full of drugs and abusive men, attributes that are linked to Lizzy’s personal life which she has used to evoke her inner muse since the beginning. Lana holds the reigns for a the millennial generation that can relate(?) to hard love, drugs and crime (possibly). Old American styles, and Hollywood icons that have been canonized by American culture are used creatively to highlight and paint her music, making her work uniquely American. Relate-able or not, Lana is doing something that no other musician is at this time, she is synthesizing her experiences and music with specific themes that evoke another life all together. Simply put, the world that Lizzy creates from her influences such as Americana and old Hollywoodland gives her a unique style that can only be found in her music and Lana Del Rey persona.

What does Lust For Life do that Lana’s other albums don’t?

Honeymoon, Lana’s previous albumwas released only two years ago but is a completely different animal from Lust for Life. It appears that Lana’s inward journey through reflecting on her romantic past is finally moving onto a social critique of a present day America. Can anyone blame her? In these troubling times it is more important than ever that cultural icons such as artists, musicians and actresses take a stand and speak out against ignorance and intolerance, they are the most viewed positions in our society for their relevance in our day-to-day lives (music/movies/performances) and they have the ability to speak to large audiences in monumental voices. It is evident that Lana is aware of this fact as she brings up socio-political issues in her songs while evoking past events such as ‘Coachella-Woodstock in My Mind’, the Beatles references (‘Tomorrow Never Came’) while at the same time nodding her head in recognition to one of her big influences Nirvana and Kurt Cobain (‘Heroin’). Her romances are still present and paint this album with darker blues in tracks such as ‘White Mustang’, ‘Cherry’, and ‘In My Feelings’. The handful of themes found within these tracks reflects moods that color the entire album as an intense vibrant experience full of love, life and worries. It’s as if the album is saying, I have my own issues with love and life but it’s worth it even when the world feels like it’s falling apart, this is evident in ‘When the World was at War we kept Dancing’.

Lust for Life also evokes more hip-hop tones that call back to Lana’s Born to Die album from 2012. There has been more discussion lately on cultural-appropriation in music and this topic is brought up in a recent interview with The Complex Cover.

Lana leaves us out of breath and bathing in a summer of blues and reflection as always but especially this year her album feels like a sucker punch to the gut chased with a hard drink leaving us dazed and close to knocked out for good.

MY PERSONAL RATING FOR LUST FOR LIFE :  4.5/5

I’ve been a Lana Del Rey fan since Born to Die, following Lana’s work closely for the past five years. I admire her skill to weave in multiple cultural references throughout her work while maintaining a strong theme and presence of self reflection. I love her blues and attitude towards the past which I find thought provoking. The only issue I have ever had with Lana is that she is not a feminist and the males in her songs are often volatile and abusive recalling a time (1950’s- ’60’s) when women were used up and treated as less than men (guess what….it’s still happening!!!). I respect Lana (Lizzy) as an individual and still admire her work regardless of her stance on feminist issues.

MY TOP TRACKS:

White Mustang

Summer Bummer

In My Feelings

Tomorrow Never Came

Heroin

 

SIDE NOTE:

The only question I have for Lana Del Rey,

Is Lust For Life a reference to Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life song???

If not, cool, if so…suddenly my three favorite things can be connected Iggy Pop, Lana Del Rey, and Trainspotting!


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope you will return in the future!

-Alina

Nine Inch Nails: ADD VIOLENCE EP

Nine Inch Nails Official Store

(image source: store.nin.com)

I am overwhelmed by the music being released this year already…so much I love and so much to look forward to.

One album soon to be released (July 21st, Friday) is Nine Inch Nails ADD VIOLENCE EP.

Two songs have been released already to the public LESS THAN and THIS ISN’T THE PLACE. The latter song was put up just yesterday on NIN’s official youtube channel. The song is melodic, slow and infectious. The video features a machine (audio equipment?) with knobs/buttons/lights labeled phrases such as ‘Amplify Chaos’ and ‘Add Violence’, as the song goes on the camera slowly pulls back revealing more of the machine.

The video is simple and after I viewed it for around the 50th time (not kidding) a few ideas came to me. I have long loved NIN and have worshiped creations by Trent Reznor. His lyrics and technique in song writing is extraordinary. Reznor often critiques society/politics and inner turmoil among other things in his song lyrics (think album YEAR ZERO).

A connection between Year Zero and ADD VIOLENCE is definitely there and NIN has given information about this. Info in article here.

My impression from the video might be a bit of a stretch but this is what I got, old machine (audio equipment of some sort, I’m guessing) appears aged and beaten up a bit but everything appears to ‘work’ as the machine turns on and comes to life. The machine could be a metaphor for a society that still runs on ‘old technology’ or ideals (phrases on buttons/knobs). A reference that comes to my mind is the machine in the underground facility in the early 2000’s TV show LOST. I’m not sure if this is audio equipment but if it is then my idea of a society that runs on ‘old technology or ideals’ could be the spoken word/thought process that is ‘old/archaic’ and still being used today. A bit of a stretch yes but that’s what I think of.

A few thoughts on the video for LESS THAN. Video begins with a woman staring at a TV screen with game controller in her hands (TV looks like an old chunky TV from the 90’s or early 2000’s) a neon bright animation is shown on the TV screen similar to a retro video game from the ’80’s . Lyrics are digitized and zoom up into the viewers face. This reminds me of virtual reality and societies trends today that revolve around the style and technology of past generations. It is as if the woman, in the video, is being consumed by this ‘new/old’ technology until her identity becomes nothing. The repeating line at the beginning of the chorus, “So what are you waiting for? You got what you asked for.” brings to my mind the idea that millennials (myself included) demand more of everything and for a generation that is overloaded with technology in their life, most of us get sucked into a ‘virtual reality’ of what ‘life is like’ (how people look, what people do, who they are etc. think social media/fashion trends and airbrushing photos for flawless skin). The end of the video has quick shots cut in of what I think is a hand reaching out of the TV…reference to VIDEODROME? Not sure but that’s what comes to mind.

(VIDEODROME (1983) photo source: imdb.com)

 

To sum it all up, I am excited for this new release from NIN and will be purchasing a digital copy and most likely a vinyl copy as well for my collection!!!

Please feel free to leave any comments below!

Thank you for reading my writing and I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

 

p.s. I haven’t started watching the new season of Twin Peaks yet but damn NIN on the show is wicked, see video here.

 

Currently Listening to…(July 2017)

Here’s a small sample of what I’ve been listening to:

Wolf Alice, The Horrors, Emily Haines and The Soft Skeletons, Chromatics, MUSE.

 


 

Wolf Alice -Yuk Foo

 

The Horrors-Machine

 

Emily Haines and The Soft Skeletons- Fatal Gift

 

Chromatics- Shadow

 

MUSE-Dig Down

 

 


 

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my posts!

I hope you will return in the future!

 

-Alina

My Summer Soundtrack Sample : Girlpool, Slutever, Death from Above 1979, Hasley, IAN SWEET, Dilly Dally, Colleen Green

Here are a few songs I’ve been listening to since Summer started for me (about a month ago).

Featuring artists/bands: Girlpool, Slutever, Death from Above 1979, Hasley, IAN SWEET, Dilly Dally, Colleen Green

information/video sources:

wikipedia.org and youtube.com

 


Death from Above 1979 (song: White is Red)

 

Girlpool (song: It gets more blue)

 

IAN SWEET (song: Knife Knowing You)

 

Dilly Dally (song: purple rage)

 

Hasley (song: Now or Never)

 

Colleen Green (song: I want to grow up)

 

SLUTEVER

Free Hand #23 (Desert Death)

Good morning! or Good Afternoon!

It’s only getting hotter in SLC right now. I am trying not to melt and keep my wits about me.

Listening to: Night Beats- Who Sold My Generation (Full Album)


 

Desert Death

 

My body, my bones. Dried up and sour. Cracked to the core

I begin to crumble. The sun beats down on me and I crawl

across the desert floor. Mr. Rattlesnake go home, leave me

alone. Coyote and vultures, cacti and dire measures

just to find a road to burn on. Just to find an end to the pain

I’m living on.

 


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

Free Hand #22 (Words like Honey)

Listening to: Double Vanity (Full Album) by BRONCHO


 

Words Like Honey

 

Your words sunk into me like honey. Crisp and clear,

but still sticky. I couldn’t breathe and felt my lungs swell

with pain. The words that fall from your lips keep me

alive in an amber chrysalis, I try to struggle to break free

but something inside me tells me to, Be Still.

 


 

If you are reading this Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing!

I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

Books I Love: Beautiful City of the Dead

‘Books I love’ is a sub part of my ‘Book Lists’ posts. It is a post that contains a review/reflection of one specific book that I have read.


 

Beautiful City of the Dead by [Watts, Leander]

(picture source: amazon.com)

Beautiful City of the Dead by Leander Watts (a.k.a. Th. Metzger) is a young adult novel about a girl named Zee in a band who battles supernatural forces (not entirely sure how to define it, supernatural or sci-fi?). Yes, sounds cheesy I know. But actually this story is written in a style that I recognize now to be closer to prose and poetry. Initially I remember being captivated by the very first chapter which discusses Zee’s obsession with fire (almost a pyromaniac frenzy but not quite) which always led me into binge reading half the book in one sitting (the entire book is only 254 pages). The sentences are often jagged but so clear cut that I can recall certain lines even today.

I think about this book often because of its ability to sear certain images and events (that take place in the story) in my mind. It is a strange synthesis of music appreciation and teen problems meets the unknown (other dimensions? fame? or a bunch of old geezer’s with super powers?). I can never quite put my finger on exactly how to categorize this book and because of this I also love it dearly. I have always wanted a sequel but I know that the book stands alone as a unique piece that needs no continuation, it is only out of my adoration that I’d love to read more about these characters and their extremely weird heavy metal life.

I’d recommend this book to anyone, teen or adult, and especially persons that read poetry on a regular basis. It also has wonderful references to the first ‘Heavy Metal’ bands in RocknRoll. Since I love both poetry, heavy metal music and bands, this book is one in a million for me.


 

If you are reading this, Thank You, for taking time out of your day to read my writing! I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

Announcement: Films, Music, Art Topics

Hello Readers!

I plan on posting a few things this week, here is what to expect,

Poetry: Post that includes 1-3 poems that I am currently working on.

Short Story: Post that includes a short story that I am currently working on.

 

Films, Music, Art: Here are the topics I am considering writing on, would love your input or vote in the comments below as well as suggestions!

 

Movies: Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Evil Dead (1981) or (2013)

Fight Club (1999)

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) ANY EPISODE

American Psycho (2000)

American Mary (2012)

 

Music:    Iggy Pop (selected album)

Black Sabbath (selected album)

MARILYN MANSON (selected album)* could expand heavily on

 

Art: Egon Schiele

Robert Mapplethorpe

Frida Kahlo

 


Thank you for any suggestions! I hope you return in the future!

-Alina

Nine Inch Nails: Soundtrack to a Life I’ve Never Lived

Among the countless bands that I listen to there is not a single one that can compare to Nine Inch Nails. Founded by Trent Reznor in the late 1980’s (wiki) who has outlasted so many of his contemporaries. NIN (latter ‘N’ should be reversed) and other bands/projects by/with Reznor have a heart of their own, beating with the electric pulse of the modern world. Reznor has gone beyond as a musician, artist and composer. His unique style and technique in the production of music is like no other. From the raw hell of Pretty Hate Machine to the echoing screams of Not the Actual Events (nin.com) the works of NIN/Reznor are unmatched.

I can’t remember the first moment I heard NIN  but I feel like they must’ve been playing in the background for a good part of my childhood. My parents and relatives were always listening to music and between my Aunt, Uncle, and my Father I was exposed to a variety of music from the 1980’s on.

In High School I became deeply obsessed with bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Tool. I would spend hours looking through my Father’s CD collection, picking out random ones and popping them into my portable disk player. There was a huge range of music that I was exposed to thanks to my Father’s open mindedness and I credit my ability to explore and reference music to these days.

Every month I revisit multiple NIN albums and find myself re-exploring familiar territory but discovering something new every time.  I love it all to death and back but always pick up Pretty Hate Machine (spinning it on vinyl, nothing can compare), Ghosts I-IV, Hesitation Marks, and The Downward Spiral (nin.com). Usually I climb back and forth between these albums and others but always return to the brutal hearts of these four albums.

I immerse myself into the music, usually taking time out of my day to just sit down and listen to a record or a handful of songs at a time, trying to pick out parts and pieces. The words within the exploding lyrics that still echo in my mind after all these years haunt me and now I realize that these words inspired me early on to write. The time I take to do this is priceless and I feel that it is ultimately therapeutic. Next to Art and Writing, Music is as crucial part of my life that has contributed to a large collage soundtrack of memorable, horrible, dark, and wonderful moments of my life; not only echoing or playing in the background but expressing my life on a deeper level; emotionally audible.

The magnetic pull back to NIN and Reznor’s music keeps me going. Maybe I am responding to the rawness of it all, the anguish, pain and isolation that is expressed within the music. Maybe it is the tone and technique that feels like a synthetic world and an old world are colliding. Maybe it is the exploration of the digital and technological paired with the struggle of a self reflective mind and animal instincts that still possess humankind. Maybe it is the fresh wound made from living in this world that will never heal. Maybe NIN is the soundtrack to a life I’ve never lived.

 

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Inch_Nails, http://www.nin.com/


 

If you’re reading this, Thank You for taking time out of your day to read my writing! I hope you return in the future!

-Alina