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Up close with the punk/pop sounds of NoBunny


Elbows bent onto the stage, the soft cushion of my belly against the hard edge, I’m moving to the music, along with everyone else who has been quick enough to have secured a space this close. Occasionally, someone slides up, past me and onto the stage to dive into the mass of people to crowd surf. There’s also the random wave that rushes into me from the mosh pit next to us. I’m too close to the speakers to hear the lyrics of the song but it doesn’t matter. The sound and the energy is riveting.

My mind and body are lit up. I’m young again.

I consider crowd surfing or joining the mosh pit. Either inertia or fear of injury keep me from both activities. Or, maybe it’s just that I’m content where I am.

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in crowd surfing, mosh pit, punk, sound

 

The Smiths, The Cure, Talking Heads… 80’s poets


In the 80s, my head was jammed into the alternative music scene, a place where many of the musicians inhaled and exhaled poetic melancholy. Some of the songs and lyrics that I remember:

The poetic metaphor of “I can feel the soil falling over my head…” from the song “I know it’s over” by The Smiths etched into my memory after the first time I heard it.

The haunting lyrics and melody of “Three Imaginary Boys” by The Cure can still give me shivers.

Talking Heads “Once in a lifetime” is a timeless pondering on the nature of time and it’s passage…

It was the poetic edge of the lyrics, the deep explorations of the human condition, in 80s alternative music which saved me from getting lost in the banality of top-40 music-as-commodity. The 80s alternative music scene resonated with my love for words and provided a music foundation that I will always cherish and I dedicate this song to that gift:

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2011 in 80s Alternative, art, poetry, punk, sound

 

It’s just the wasted years so close behind…


The melancholy in Lou Reed’s Sunday Morning is accentuated by the melody and the mellow sounds of the instruments, which include ringing of bells.

Reed’s lyrical style was informed by the French poet Charles Baudelaire, the Beat Generation writers, and many other poets. As I see it, this poem is transformed into a song simply by the repetition of a few lines, the tone of voice, and the inclusion of a few musical sounds. The lyrics retain the emotional textures that the poem lays out for examination.

Sunday morning, praise the dawning
It’s just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It’s just the wasted years so close behind
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all
Sunday morning and I’m falling
I’ve got a feeling I don’t want to know
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It’s all the streets you crossed, not so long ago
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all
Sunday morning
Sunday morning
Sunday morning

When I first came across Reed’s band Velvet Underground, in the 80s, I thought of them as an art-punk sound. I’ve heard various classifications since then, ranging from rock to punk to avant-garde (the band’s manager was Andy Warhol). Regardless of how he might be categorized, one thing is certain. Lou Reed’s songs are an artful combination of poetry and experimental sound that influenced many future generation of poets. “The nature of [Reed’s] lyric writing had been hitherto unknown in rock…he supplied us with the street and the landscape, and we peopled it,” David Bowie.

 

The NoBunny Effect


Before NoBunny sprang onto the stage, a  mellow, almost sleepy, energy floated through the club. It was just another Friday night at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco’s Protrero neighborhood. And then it wasn’t. NoBunny transformed us into a jumping slamming body-surfing field of bodies with their high-energy punk-n-pop sounds and the semi-nude bouncy charisma of the lead singer Justin Champlin.

[iPhone video by Josh Buchanan]

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in mosh pit, punk, sound