OuttaCtrl
When life goes a lil' bit crazy! :-)

Mar
31

A friend sent me a song he had heard recently – ‘Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)’. After Spotify’ing it I very quickly realised that the original track is not quite as innocent as one might think. I guess I found this even more surprising given the middle-aged mum fanbase that this artist has historically attracted.

This follows a succession of similarly explicit songs that radio stations would have you believe were perfectly innocuous.  Cee Lo Green’s chart-topper ‘F*** You’ is another example of a song that was rerecorded for radio.

The first case I can remember of an explicit song title was Eamon’s ‘F*** It’ (amusingly countered shortly after by a “response” entitled ‘FURB’).  This song also won a Guiness World Record for having the most expletives for a #1 hit single.

Now all of these songs are explicitly explicit (see what I did there :cool:), but I think it would be unfair to single them out as there are far more “haram” songs that people quite happily sing along to without realising the true meaning or significance.

Here are a few songs I have often double-taked on in the past:

  1. Always on Time – Ashanti / Ja Rule

    People think this song is a sweet love song about Ashanti’s devotion to her part-time lover.  But it’s a lot darker than that – the full lyrics reveal it’s about being the mistress to a violent gangster.

    And I love to see that a** and b**bs shake
    Hold down on the bed while I’m yankin your braids
    Thug style, you never thought I’d make you smile
    While I’m smackin your a** and f***in you all wild

    😮 😮 😮

  2. All For You – Janet Jackson

    Another hit that demonstrates quite how often this happens in RnB.

    All my girls in the party – look at that body.  Shakin’ that thing like you never did see.  Got a nice package on it, ‘cause I’m gonna have to ride it tonight.

    😕 😕 😕

  3. 2 Become 1 – Spice Girls

    I was a little dumb-founded when I saw the most voted YouTube comment for this song was that the line “wanna make love to you baby” ruined it for them.  If that’s the case, I think they’re seriously missing the subject of the song. Just look at the bridges:

    Come a little bit closer baby, get it on, get it on
    ‘Cause tonight is the night when two become one

    Are you as good as I remember baby, get it on, get it on
    ‘Cause tonight is the night when two become one

    Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on
    ‘Cause tonight is the night when two become one

    😳 😳 😳

  4. Kiss (When The Sun Don’t Shine) – Vengaboys

    This song brazenly gets preteens jumping around singing about the pros of a one-night stand.

    Straight out of the blue
    You came and asked me to
    Be your date in the daytime babe
    But I am sorry, no can do

    I only kiss, kiss, kiss when the sun don’t shine
    Oh-woah, oh-woah
    You wanna kiss, kiss, kiss then tonight is fine
    Oh-woah, oh-woah

    😐 😐 😐

  5. Black or White – Michael Jackson

    And finally, this is the one that surprises me the most perhaps because of its popularity.  Still, I don’t think it’s a great idea to dish out threats even if it is in the name of racial equality…

    And I told about equality…  And it’s true you’re either wrong or you’re right…
    But if you’re thinkin’ bout my baby it don’t matter if you’re black or white.

    😯 😯 😯

Anyone know of any others? I suspect that there are a lot more than we’d originally expect.

Over and outtactrl! :mrgreen:

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Mar
22

I haven’t posted in a while because of the sheer amount of stuff I’ve had going on over the last few months. I’ve just started an iMovie import though and needed some way to pass one and a half hours of dead time.

I caught a train home a few days ago and thankfully arrived at the station half-an-hour early as there were massive queues on not only cashier desks but the self-service machines too. 😐

The important thing to note here is that I said queues – not queue. The CompSci inside of me was screaming about the unfairness introduced by having multiple queues. I fight what seems like a one-man crusade whenever I’m starting a cash-machine queue to make it clear I’m queuing for whichever machine becomes available first. I want my queues to be truly FCFS damn-it. 😛

For those who aren’t up to speed on queuing theory, consider what happens if Courtney joins a queue and a few minutes later Alan joins a different one. Despite Courtney arriving first, Alan might end-up being serviced first if Courtney’s queue is held up by someone who thinks their railcard is a valid payment method. There’s a nifty video explaining this and a few other queuing phenomena available here if interested: Why The Other Lines Always Seem To Move Faster Than Yours.

Anyhoo the queues were already in place so I scanned them all looking for the one that was likely to progress quickest (read this as minimizing the number of people whilst maximizing the proportion of student-y people who had probably done this a million times before).

25 minutes later but being acutely aware that my train was leaving in 6 minutes time, I was the next in line. Looking over at the queue for the machine adjacent to mine, there was a rumble of discontent as the person at the head announced that the card reader had broken. Bam – instantly everyone who had been queuing for that machine had just wasted their last 30 minutes and would have to join the other queues. 😦 Queuing theory strikes back in a rather sadistic way that meant people would miss their trains. 👿

At this moment, the one-remaining lady in front of me scraped up her printed tickets from the collection area and scurried off. Immediately, a middle-aged lady from the adjacent queue steps up to me and asks whether she could possibly push-in as her train was due to leave in just 2 minutes time. She had a frantic and concerned-looking face that was mirrored not only by her similarly aged acquaintance but also by the toddler grasping her hand.

Naturally, I obliged and not a second later this complete BIATCH of a girl starts off behind me.

WHAT THE FUCK? WE’RE ON THE SAME TRAIN. WHO DOES THIS GUY THINK HE IS?

😯 Could not believe it. 😯

  1. In the girl’s original position, there was no way that she could have got her tickets in time as my transaction would have taken at least 2 minutes. Letting this lady in didn’t affect her chances at all.
  2. I had no idea that she was on the same train and if I did I of course would have considered differently. She had just as much right to ask as the lady in the other queue and if she did I no doubt would have let her in too.
  3. What makes this girl thinks she has priority above a struggling parent and her infant son?

Now it turns out the lady and her family that I let in were abnormally efficient at their ticket collecting and there was still one minute before the train arrived.

Ignoring the fact that train doors lock 30 seconds before departure, and with the last shred of compassion I had, I offered the BIATCH my place and she pushed rudely past without so much as a “thank-you”. Not only that but she summoned all of her friends from the other queues to push to the front with her. I was stunned by her sheer audacity and its apparent hypocrisy. 😯

Thankfully karma was restored when I passed her on my way onto the platform storming towards the exit. 🙄

Anyway… Moral of this story is that this would have all been avoided if everyone studied CompSci. 😎 And with fear of losing any possible street-cred I have remaining…

“Be a little bit wiser baby…
let tonight be the night when the queues become one”.

😳 …which sets up my next blog-post quite nicely.

 

Over and outtactrl! :mrgreen:

Dec
19

Over the last few weeks, I’ve started to make my way through the Curb Your Enthusiasm series. I’m not sure why, but I find them extremely addictive – I guess I love how well Larry David is able to identify situations of social awkwardness, and somehow craft several of them into episode upon episode of tear-laughingly cringeworthy moments. I think it also has the “observational-comedy” aspect to it that seems quite big at the moment, where people find everyday oddities even more comical because they know they do it themselves.

In a lot of episodes, I suspect the title is tongue-in-cheek. Larry seems to find himself in these situations as he has no enthusiasm or tolerance for any type of social annoyance. But arguably, there are a lot of times where he gets too enthusiastic about something – to the point where it comes back to bite him.

It’s the latter that I wanted to blog about today. I bet most people have had moments where they’ve got really excited about something and they’ve ended up regretting it for one reason or another. And I bet a few of them are quite comical in retrospect.

One time I remember vividly was one summer about a year or so ago. I was coming back from town in my apartment block’s lift, listening to my iPod. I rarely bump into anyone when I enter/exit the building and as I live on the top floor, I bump into even fewer people when going up. I was in a 90s reminiscent sorta-mood so my iPod was shuffling through several NOW albums I had from that era. Now the song that was playing when I entered the lift happened to be R Kelly’s “If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time”.

A little surprised as I hadn’t heard that song in ages, I was getting quite into it. I must have been hyped up on RedBull or something as I started mouthing the lyrics quite emphatically as I’d invisage R Kelly would. Also, I don’t know why but I have this habit with that lift journey were I position myself in the optimum position to leave the lift the moment the doors open. So my face is about an inch away from the centre partition in the doors, and the lift journey and, unfortunately coincidentally, the song is coming to an end.

Now during the lift journey, I loosened up a little and decided that I knew the lyrics well enough to sing them out loud. So that’s exactly what I started to do. Meanwhile, a guy on my floor had decided to go out for something pretty urgently and was waiting for the lift on the other side of the door. Like me, he was also squared up about an inch from the central partition; ready to jump on as soon as the doors started to move. I guess you peeps can see where this is going.

Bing! The lift doors open and I’m suddenly serenading this guy with a high-pitched “Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…”, fist-clenched, eyes shut – the works. 😯 I open them just as I’m about to step out, and jumped about a foot when I saw this guy’s face just 2 inches from mine. 😳 His expression was priceless. I can’t remember exactly what happened next, but I have a vague recollection of an awkward smile, and then hurrying off in the space of a second. I have no idea what that guy was thinking, but I suspected the last thing he’d have expected to happen to him that afternoon was to be serenaded with R Kelly by some random stranger, as he went out to get a local paper or something.

Life’s full of little lessons. My one for that day was simple. Never mix RedBull and R Kelly. :mrgreen:

Over and outtactrl!

Dec
08

For a friend.

A few months ago I was getting pretty stressed about a particular situation to the point where it was driving me crazy.

Usually when I get stressed, I go find someone who’s willing to sit there and listen while I rant for half an hour in exchange for a cup of tea. And I don’t mind too much whether that person agrees or disagrees, providing they are happy to sit there and nod every so often. :mrgreen: Seriously, I would highly recommend this if ever the need arises.

I rarely find myself getting angry about things. Annoyed – definitely. I get annoyed pretty easily (note to self for blogging about annoying hair cuts 😛 ) and if I’m annoyed at a particular person, they’ll know it. But anger only comes after an immense amount of annoyance and thinking back I can only count one or two people that have ever made me truly angry and it takes months to build up.

So how do I deal with anger? Surprising to some, I pretty much go very quiet and I just don’t want to be around that person and if I am – I get extremely defensive and assertive of my position. This is quite an introverted response and is quite different to how other more extroverted peeps seem to deal with anger: letting it all out.

In a lot of ways, I’m in awe at how effective Malcolm is at getting it all out in the open (specifically 2 mins, 32 secs). However, people don’t really like being on the receiving end of an extroverted type when it happens and it can be very hard to recover from. I suppose there are pros and cons for either reaction. Go figure!

Something which I constantly remind myself of is that people react in different ways to the same situation. In the majority of cases, no single reaction is better than any other. But however they react, the important thing to do is to not hold it against them. Ultimately, we’re all quite similar in one way or another so if someone’s reaction really does leave you clueless or lost for words, I’d guess you might be missing one or two facts.

Anyhoo… Promise to write a lighter blog post next week. :mrgreen:

 

Over and outtactrl!

 

Bonus Chatter: So what happens when an introvert and an extrovert get angry at each other? Let’s just say the extrovert’s got the upper hand – a lot to say to a person who just doesn’t want to be there at all. And what makes matters worse, is the angrier (and more silent) the introvert gets, the angrier (and more expressive) the extrovert gets. Not a good situation to find yourself in. So make sure you take the time to think things through before they get to this point, so that you know what you want to say when you need to say it.

Dec
02

Ok, so I’m sat here trying to work out what my first post should be about. As usual, I have some music on in the background and me and my shockingly bad singing voice decide to chip in.

This particular song reminded me of a discussion with a friend a few weeks ago about whether dance songs are better with or without lyrics. To my surprise, I found that most people who have a preference tend to prefer the lyricless (if that’s not a word, I’m making it one) tracks. Now it’s fair to say that most people know of a song with shockingly-bad lyrics – Pass Out (Tinie Tempah) comes to mind – but I think people secretly love those songs even more because of it. And if you had the instrumental version, I doubt they would be anywhere near as popular. So why does this not apply to Dance music?

Side thought: Is it better for your housemates if you play cheesey music really loud to drown out singing, or better to listen on your headphones with just your voice audible? I’d be interested to know what people think. After performing a little experiment (by recording what can be heard in both situations), I can safely say I’m never singing along to music with my headphones in again. :mrgreen: Anyhooo…

Personally, I think lyrics perfectly complement Dance music. Firstly, they help people remember a song – as embarrassing as some might find singing along to their favourite tune is, it takes a pretty confident individual to attempt to reproduce the synth riffs of their latest rave track (from my own experience, people think you’re a little “special” :mrgreen:). Lyrics also provide some sort of participation or variation to the tracks when you’re on the dance floor which can be quite important if you find the evening is starting to drag. I doubt people would disagree with me so far, as this applies to most music. So why is Dance any different? I believe it’s because there is a something about lyrics that I suspect most people don’t consider for Dance tracks. Just like in other genres, the lyrics are often designed to reach out to people and give them something to relate to1.

In this case, the line I found myself murdering was…

“I wanna know your name… You just kill me, could you at least do that?”

No marks for naming that track. Grammatically it doesn’t really work, but syntactical criticism aside – eh? So I try and make out the next line which is only just decipherable…

“I wanna know your name… Or better yet, stand there – just do that!”

Now you could easily argue that these lyrics were quite obviously an after-thought and considering the lyricless version came out first, I’d be inclined to agree.

But let’s try and give the lyricist the benefit of the doubt and hope he wasn’t just given a syllable quota and and some vague requirement of a rhyming attempt. We have three phrases (four if you include the monosyllabic title).

Now the jury’s out on this One (pun intended) but I would probably interpret this as some guy (male voice) who is put in a situation where he’s in awe of a newly found one-true-love and doesn’t know what the hell to do. He wants to know more, but feels the situation is so hopeless he’d rather end his life than endure the torment. However, he realises the stupidity of his last thought and is happy to just be in her presence regardless of the state of their relationship. Although quite specific, I think a lot of peeps would have been there to some extent, albeit hopefully a little less bipolar. 8)

I’d suspect most people mock Dance lyrics at face value because of their simplicity and repetition, but given only a few lines some songs are able to describe or narrate quite complex or deep emotions. This is particularly true with early Dance songs that have a lot more lyrics. Heck, they may even have verses!!! 😯 90s classics such as Show Me Love (Robin S) and Rhythm of the Night (Corona) are prime examples. Maybe that’s why DJs mix Robin S into almost all other club hits.

As we move into the early 2000s, lyricists seem more able to say what they want to in fewer words, e.g. Better Off Alone (Alice DeeJay). Maybe the industry changed to a pay-per-word invoicing scheme – who knows? 😕 Probably the most extreme example is Get Get Down (Paul Johnson). Excluding the onomatopoeic “Whoo!”s and “Ooo!”s, a lot of peeps believe it only has one monosyllabic lyric: “Down”. In fact, he says “Get” quite a few times but this is usually masked by a few jabs of a relatively high piano chord. Now I’m not really saying this particular song has any deep or significant meaning (although I suppose if one spent long enough choosing the monosyllabic word, a committed poet might stand a chance). But the Alice DeeJay track certainly describes a particular feeling.

Lyrics seem to have lost their appeal in a lot of the club scene recently (particularly with relatively new genres such as DnB and Dub-Step) but despite Dance having diverged into many different genres since the 90s (House, Trance, Euphoria, Electro-House), artists thankfully still realise the importance of lyrics. I think there was a line in The History Boys where Hector describes poetry as someone reaching out of the page and taking your hand. So next time you hear one your favourite Dance tracks, give the lyricist the benefit of the doubt and you might be pleasantly surprised that you feel that hand reaching out from your sub!!! :mrgreen:

Over and outtactrl!


1Oasis are a prime counter-example to this. The lyrics to a lot of their songs are infamously scattered and random, yet their music is incredibly popular.

Nov
30

I’ve been meaning to set-up a blog for a while and I’ve finally got round to choosing a platform and setting up an account. Not completely sure what the main emphasis of this blog is gonna be, but I have a few ideas in mind. Most likely, I suspect it’s going to be an amalgamation of thoughts, reviews, musings and anything that I feel worthy of ranting about it.

Be warned that I’m a Computer Science student with a music library full of anything ravable but stay-tuned and we’ll see what happens. 😀