She swirled the soda in her cup and listened to the clink-clink-clinking the ice made against the glass. The music was blaring, but she was deaf to everything. This wasn’t her scene and she shouldn’t have gone before she stepped into the door. Right now, it’s like she had forgotten what it is to have fun. She convinced herself this was better than being locked up in her room – like she has been for weeks now. She looks up from her drink and starts to count the number of unsmiling faces in the room. Her eyes stop at a mirror one, she counts.
She stands and pushes through the crowd of strangers to get somewhere more tolerable. The yard was just as nauseating as the living room; she bolts back inside. She tries to remember whose party this was or who invited her out in the first place – she thinks she’s forgotten, or maybe she had no clue at all. Upstairs, she let her ears enjoy the muffled version of the noise blasting from downstairs. She takes her time through the hall of picture-perfect, framed families and moaning doors, until she comes across one slightly ajar. The cold night air greeted her as she pushed it open; the flapping curtains let the moonlight dance around in the dark room. She watched the moon peek in and out from behind the folds of the drapes. Before she knew it, she was at the sill looking meeting the moon’s call. You lost?
Word count: 250
There’s a probable sequel, maybe.
A month back I was so psyched to hear that Paramore was writing music again; not so much now that it’s out.
Hard Times, posted late last week on Fueled by Ramen’s official YouTube account, is the first single for Paramore’s After Laughter, which comes out May 12th.
The first time I listened to the song, I had to check twice to see if I was listening to the right track. The seven second jungle boogie percussion is so out of place even with that stylized transition. The dance vibe of the single takes a bit of getting used to but gets stale after a few times on repeat. The bridge takes it down to a very off-putting mood, and I don’t even know what the hell that pseudo daft punk breakdown is doing there. I do appreciate the glum lyrics contrasted with the jumpy music. Though nothing new, it’s a nice touch and is one of the few things I like about the release.
The MV is a mess and I don’t know which audience they had in mind for this. Have I been so lost in touch with what’s “It” that the minimalistic hipster visual has been replaced with retro-psychedelic-neon-clutter without me noticing. Don’t even argue that this is vaporwave aesthetics because the visuals on this is not even on the same continent as that.
Aside from Hayley’s iconic vocals, there isn’t a trace of Paramore in this track. There are, understandably, some changes that will occur along with the not-so-tragic (sorry, not sorry) breakup, but blaming this mess on that alone is lazy and sad. I’m not going to discredit all the well-deserved support this comeback has because Paramore did influence the scene greatly, but I’m certainly hoping that this will not be the theme of the forthcoming album. Till After Laughter comes out, I’m just praying this won’t be the summer anthem of 2017.
This isn’t what you need,
And how couldn’t you know?
Because it’s not me you’re mad at,
Look in the mirror, you’ll see;
You don’t know what you want,
And that frustrates you.
I’m not here to see you out,
Just listen to me talk;
Because I’ve tried this before,
Now isn’t any different.
It should come naturally, you think,
But know now it never does.
Everything will never be enough,
Not for the likes of you.
Word count: 77
He taps his fork fifteen times before picking it up – thrice on each prong, and thrice again on the handle. He stared at his napkin on the table. He was anxious; more than usual, he could feel. He looked at his watch, tapped it thrice and looked at it again. They were late by seven minutes and forty-seven, forty eight, forty nine, fifty, fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three seconds. He turns to look at the entrance, the host looks back at him and he looks away.
“I don’t think it’d be a great idea,” the mother of his child had said earlier that week, “Jenny’s never been to a fancy restaurant before and she might be a handful.”
“But not a lot of fast food places really get it when I have to tap the thing I want three times before ordering, and it certainly doesn’t help when the menu’s way up on the wall.”
He’d only seen his daughter a few times and it wasn’t until tonight that he’d been allowed to meet her. Giving her up wasn’t really his idea, but everyone thought it would be best. She’d been told stories of him, he was sure and almost too certain that they were all of his condition.
He turned to look at his watch again and tapped it three times before looking up at the door. Right at that moment, he saw his daughter come in, her mom in tow. He stood up, then sat back down, then stood up, then sat back down, then stood back up to greet them.
“Jenny, this is your dad,” Jenny’s mom said when they came up to him.
Jenny stared at him; fourteen seconds, he counted.
“Hello,” he said with a smile and a wave. “Hello, hello.” He said straight after.
Jenny smiled. Her hair band was on crooked, he noticed. A curl of hair had fallen to her forehead. Her frilly, white dress had a stain at the side and her right sock was pulled up higher than the other one.
She went up to him, in four, swift steps, he counted, and gave him a hug. Three seconds, he counted and wondered if he should let go. Three more seconds he counted and she wasn’t letting go. Three more seconds, he counted, but he didn’t mind.
Word count: 385
The sound was fading
More tired with each strum
Tired sighs frequent
Singing with the strings
An appropriate augment
The six-stringed instrument
Was heavy on her lap
Weighed down by an unfinished lament
The guitar’s sharp claws
Dug into her fingers
Which from hours of practice were raw
Her voice now sore
It screamed for rest
Enough of this, no more
Her arms had dropped
But not by her will
From exhaustion, her body stopped
Only one remained
With the beat of the unfinished song
Pray dear heart
She finally said
Be at peace lest we’re torn apart
By this lost sonnet
Which his ears will never hear
We’ll heal I know
We’ll heal I swear it
Word count: 125
Jose Villanueva III, better known as Quest, released a music video for his single, Walang Hanggan, on his official YouTube channel late last month.
Walang Hanggan is a fresh step away from Quest’s signature RnB vibe. Musically, the track couldn’t be any more perfect. The heavy piano backed by the despondent heartbeats and eerie strings create a perfect stage for Quest’s soulful vocals.
Noong ika’y nilalamig, ako’y iyong init
Kapag takot sa bukas, ako’mg unang sisilip
Ginawa ko na ang lahat
Di pa din sapat kasi ika’y mawawala na
Nawalan ng gana ang tadhana
Nanlamig ‘yong dating nagbabaga
The lyrics, as with most of Quest’s music, are very inspired. The helplessness of holding onto an ending relationship couldnt be any more clearer in his metaphors.
Iindahin ko ang sakit na gumuguhit
Ngingiti sa likod ng luhang pumupunit
Baka masulyapan mo yung dulo
Kasi sabi mo walang hanggan, ba’t merong dulo?
Ibibigay ko ang lahat paulit-ulit
Bawat pagkakataon ay aking isususlit
Basta matalikuran mo yung dulo
The video is just as amazing although I think it should be watched only after hearing the song at least once. It’s an amazing concept and has a stunning twist at the end which deserves as much attention as the song. I very much appreciated the level of detail put into that MV. That one heavy sigh after he says ‘I’ll be fine’ right before the heartbeats start was too painfully familiar.
‘Wag ka munang tumalikod. Bumalik ka muna dito
Padampi kahit anino. Ayokong mag-isa dito
Wala na bang bisa aking dalangin?
Tinataboy na ba ng langit? Nakikiusap na lang sa hangin
For updates on this and future releases follow Quest on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel. I am especially looking forward to a set of future MVs he’s teased on a twitter post.
It’s probably too much,
I shouldn’t even ask.
And you’re probably tired,
So I’ll just ask later.
But it’s getting pretty late,
Maybe I’ll ask tomorrow.
Work’s probably hell right now,
On the weekend, for sure.
You’ll probably be resting then.
Next week will be good, yeah, next week.
But I miss you now,
And it’s been months.
I’m not waiting.
Because you aren’t taking any hints.
I’m not asking because I shouldn’t even have to.
Yeah, I’m tired
But I can rest later.
But I can’t wait till tomorrow.
And work’s hell right now;
Nothing I can’t make up for on the weekend.
I should be resting right now,
But I can’t take another week of this.
My bag’s packed since this morning.
Finally. So, maybe soon,
You’d come and see me for once.
Word count: 137
I wrote this piece after PartyNextDoor’s Come And See Me. I don’t really know why I wrote this. I think it’s for me, or maybe for a friend; but it’s the internet’s now.
The Strange Library is a short story by best-selling author, Haruki Murakami. The illustrated novel is about a boy who gets himself trapped inside a labyrinthine library. There, he meets a sheep-man and a girl who talks with her hands and they plan to escape the wicked librarian.
The Strange Library is a relatively short story. I finished reading the book in little over an hour but it took me a while to really digest the story. It is filled with more than a handful of confusing parallelism. It’s a great story, in that it leaves readers with a lot to think about.
Though short, the book is incredibly descriptive for its length. The mood during my first read-through was really heavy. Murakami made sure the reader would share in the boy’s anxiety and confusion. The mood during succeeding reads however, becomes tamer as I was reading to find answers instead of delving into the story.
The book itself is strange. The novel is bound by flaps that open vertically and there was more than one type size and color throughout the book. In a way it is very refreshing, and it’s reminded me how I’ve forgotten how to read books with pictures. The version I have is the one designed by Chip Kidd. There is an edition with illustrations from Ted Gossen which I would very much like to read soon.
If you are familiar with Haruki Murakami’s quirky narrative style, then I would definitely recommend picking up this book. If you, however, can’t tough it through Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, or haven’t read any of his books yet, The Strange Library may not be the best novel to start with.
New Found Glory released the official music video for their new single, Happy Being Miserable, earlier this week.
Carried your burdens in my heart
Sidelined your shallow ways
It just tore me apart
I used to think I was your savior
I see through you now
You indulge in this behavior
New Found Glory has already built for themselves a permanent spot in the pop-punk scene and this track is nothing more than the band doing what they do. Pop-punk has taken a backseat to post-hardcore and OPM (among too-obscure-to-mention) tracks in my current playlists, and this track is an amazing reintroduction to the genre. It has this carefree vibe that just sends nostalgia through me.
I don’t want to know you
I don’t think we should talk anymore
I want the best for you
But you’re happy being miserable
I don’t want to know you
Or someone who’s so focused on themselves
I’ll save my best for someone else
The hard hitting riffs of this track just take me back. Happy Being Miserable is a gateway to the angsty world of pop-punk, if you haven’t already been introduced to it; but if you have, it’s a scary reminder that pop-punk probably isn’t a phase and you’ll never ever grow out of it (ugh). Some would say this is just another NFG track but you can’t really go wrong with power beats and power chords. And if that vocal breakdown on the final chorus doesn’t hit the last nail on your nostalgia coffin, nothing ever will.
The video is hilarious. It has a softcore fourth wall break with the intro and cutaway narration which gets me every time. The shock factor of pie vomit definitely ups the rewatchability.
Happy Being Miserable will be on New Found Glory’s upcoming album Makes Me Sick, dated to be released on the 28th of April. Check out the song on Spotify for free.
She had him by the collar several hundred feet off the air. Her blue and gold cape flapping – a triumphant flag. His broken body hung limp by her grasp, he had one hand tightly wrapped around her wrist. The sworn enemies hovered like the anxious silence over the vast, dilapidated city.
She poised to pull off his mask. “So” he starts, “is this how we go, Shining Star?”
“Seems like it,” she couldn’t have hid the smirk behind her mask if she tried. She tugs at the Black Skull’s mask. Her jaw drops. “Clarence?”
The bloodied and bruised man came to his senses. His eyes grew wide as he watched the Shining Star reach for her own mask. He didn’t have to wait. “Farra,” he whispered to the face of the woman he loved.
Tears of frustration and confusion wells up in her eyes. The fear of him falling was now hers; she moves to embrace his limp body. The sworn lovers hovered like the anxious silence over the vast, dilapidated city.
He scoffs. “This explains a lot,” his voice tired. “Is this how we go,” he asks again “Farra?”
“Don’t get sassy with me, Black Skull,” she says sternly “or I’ll drop you.”
He looks down over her shoulder, “You wouldn’t,” he says confidently. And she doesn’t. “I knew you were truth,” Clarence whispers to Farra, “truth I’d rather lose than to have never lain beside at all.” He pushes himself off her.
The Shining Star watched the Black Skull fall; and she watched him stop falling. If anyone would ask a hundred times if she thought she did the right thing, she would’ve given a hundred different answers. The sworn hero hovered as the anxious silence over the vast, dilapidated city that was as broken as she was.
Word count: 300
Happy Valentine’s Day!