Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Bieber Catastrophe

To be able to completely enjoy the post, Click here to watch the video, and listen to the lyrics while you watch. Sorry, I know this is asking for a lot.

Also, I have, for once, used a proof reader other than TGWTT. Thanks, Ranjitha Shivaram! (read her blog, she writes damn well herself)

Note – I am not a masochist.

It has been a year since I’ve been hearing people scream at the top of their voices that an entity named Justin Bieber sucks so hard, I had reasons to believe that a human being has finally been able to create absolute vacuum. I came across spoofs, webcomics, and works in almost every medium possible suggesting as much. Here was one guy on whose sexuality, more questions were raised than on that of Karan Johar’s, and that’s something! All because of one song??? That seemed a little strange.

But I was hell bent to spare the little traces of well-being I had left, so much so that I had decided at the very beginning that I was not going to subject myself to the torture of actually watching a Bieber Video. So much so, that at as much as a hint of a bieber song being played somewhere, I used to run away faster than a Rakhi Sawant confronted with a Burqa.

However, as soon as I left IIT, I started meeting people of the other kind. I have met guys (???) who claim to play his music (???) in loop. I have known girls who call each other whenever they find out that one of his songs is playing on TV. Finally, after my 14 year old cousin had to break up with his girlfriend after a three-year long relationship (yeah, that’s right), only because she would get real surly and difficult whenever she used to hear about a rumoured girlfriend (or boyfriend) of Justin Bieber (which is like every other day); I could take it no more. I thought, “Meh! It’s just a music video, how foul can it be?” I have this tendency of checking shit out for myself when I know it can’t damage me permanently. I was soon to find out that I was wrong on MORE THAN ONE counts.

I had to find out why people hated his songs so much.

So I buffered one of his videos on Youtube.

I was not even sure of his real name till that point of time. I just thought that he is some guy surnamed Weaver, who was unfortunate enough to have a Bong manager. However, with the starting credits, that was out of the way. The song was “Baby (ft. Ludacris)”.

Those were 3 minutes and 45 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

The song started with the trashy “igg dish dish thoomp” beat structure, which my good friend Hridya can beatbox in her sleep, and it’s not really saying much about her beatboxing skills. The song is about a guy (apparently), who professes his undying love for a girl at... wait for it... a bowling alley!!! (Its Canada. What did you expect?).

However, this guy seems to have a plan. He has made a list of things he can tell girls belonging to that part of the globe, to get her to say yes. And he tries them all, one by one, with increasing levels of desperation through the course of the song. Those things, in that precise order, along with the exact words that he uses, are as follows:-

1. Confusing her into believe something that’s not true (“You know you love me, I know you care”)

2. Refusing to listen to her unless she says what you want to hear (“Are we an item? Girl, Quit Playin’! We’re just friends? What are you sayin’???”)

3. Emotional Blackmail (“My first love broke my heart for the first time”)

4. Monetary enticement and the lure of shopping (“I’ll buy you anything / I’ll buy you any ring”)

But deep within, he knows that nothing that he says is going to work unless it’s not complemented with that horrible tone and tune. And finally, the realization dawns (“I’m going down, down, down”).

But as soon as the chorus begins, the girl starts to show interest in Mr Bieber. I did not have to try too hard to understand why. He finally started using a language that was intelligible to the teenage chicks of North America. This is how it’s done:-

1. Choose a word (in this case, the word is BABY) which you’d say again and again AND again, so as to make sure that the chick knows that she’s being addressed. Notice that you need to say it many times because an average North American girl has an attention span of around 7 seconds, as opposed to my attention span which is OOO SHINY CLOTH SO SHINY huhbuhgwuhgwuh

2. Decide upon the message which you want to convey. Phrase it into a sentence consisting STRICTLY of monosyllabic words (here – “thought you’ll always be mine).

3. Choose a lame rhyming scheme (here done using “oh” and “no”), so that she manages to remember it even with her small attention scheme. Make sure that the words you choose for rhyming end as if with a vowel, so that you can carry them as long as required to fill the gaps (for example, Oh can become Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, and so on)

4. Punctuate the lines with a liberal spatter of the magic word “Like”

The end result of this exercise is a chorus refrain that goes:-

Baby, baby, baby, ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Like, Baby, baby, baby, nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Like, Baby, baby, baby, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Thought you’ll always be mine...

Finally, at a point when I could not imagine the song (???) getting any worse, in walked a rapping Brotha’! Although I have to give him credit for being the only seemingly intelligent person involved with the song (He had very aptly picked his stage name “Ludacris”. Either that, or the person who named him in his childhood was a seer), the rapping was terrible (sorry for the double negative). The “Rap” which included classic lines like “She woke me everyday, don’t need no starbucks”, worked as the final nail in the coffin.

Although I did cheer up towards the end for a little while, when they show Bieber and Ludacris goofing around on the sets, and the Brotha holds him in a choke-grip. How I wish he could’ve held on longer and stifled him... Ludacris was my hero and my favourite person in the whole wide world for those 2 seconds.

Finally, the songs died away, along with something inside me.

Final Verdict – Curiosity does not kill only cats. I was the latest casualty. I tried to give him a fair chance, but at the end of the day, he could not make a belieber out of me.

The final blow, however, was yet to come. I was recovering from this shock (with a generous help from Pink Floyd and Queen), when someone forwarded me a link. “Scarlett Johansson all praise for Justin Bieber”

I am a poor man. All I had was hope.

Now I have nothing.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Date a girl who loves music

Note - Someone forwarded me this link titled "Date a girl who reads". While it was beautifully written, it did not appeal to me that much because I don't read myself :P I did not have any emotional connect with the article. Now if only we were talking about a girl who loved music...

So I decided to write one myself. The structure is EXACTLY the same as that of the original article's. I have just changed the viewpoint, and added a couple of things here and there.

As always, Thanks to TGWTT for valuable inputs.

Date a girl who loves music. Date a girl who spends her money at Planet M instead of Gucci and Ralph Lauren. She has problems with her storage space because she has too many MP3s. Date a girl who has a list of discographies she wants to listen to, who has had a Napster account since she was 12.

Find a girl who loves music. You’ll know that she does because you will find her head swaying, feet tapping and lips moving, irrespective of her surroundings. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the music store, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the collector’s edition of the music score of the first non-silent movie ever made in India. You see the weird chick stealthily altering the bass settings on the store’s stereo system? That’s a music lover. They can never resist the bass, especially when it’s an RHCP song playing.

She’s the girl listening to music while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. When you take a peek at her table, you will find four mugs in which she has divided her coffee to varying levels, just so that she can use the whole setup as a percussion instrument. Lost in a world of melodies, harmonies, and time signatures. Sit down. She might not notice you, as most girls who really like their music own a good set of noise-cancellation earphones. Do not disturb her until the song she’s listening to get over. Ask her which song she was listening to.

Buy her another cup of coffee, and bring her 6 more mugs and a couple of spoons.

Let her know what you really think of Hans Zimmer. See if she managed to bear any song by Hoobastank apart from “The reason”. Understand that if she says she understood Sigur Ros’ lyrics, she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she likes Frida Lyngstad or she would like to be Frida Lyngstad.

It’s easy to date a girl who loves her music. Gift her music for Birthdays and festivals, for occasions and for the lack of them. Give her the gift of songs, in MP3s, in FLAC; and she will burst with joy when you tell her what the FLAC it is. Give her Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin. Let her know that you understand that musical notes are love. Understand that she knows life ain’t a song but by god, she’s going to make her life a little like her favorite musical. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Make mistakes. If she understands music, she will understand that even the Beatles have made trashy music. Be repetitive – She understands that a lingering refrain only adds to the beauty of the solo. Be irregular – She knows that a change from your usual stuff is good once in a while, and unpredictability keeps things interesting.

Fail her. Because a girl who loves music understands that tragic failures often follow masterpieces. Because she understands that no Jam continues forever. That you can always do an encore or a reprise. That staccato is as much a part of life as anything else.

Why be frightened of never being the kind of person that you thought girls conventionally fall for? A girl who loves music knows that a good jazz can steal her heart as easily as the most handsome classical piece.

If you find a girl who loves music, keep her close. When you find her at 2 AM in the night, gently crying while playing and replaying the same section over and over again, make a cup of tea for her and hold her. You may lose her for a little while, but she will always come back to you, and you can expedite the process by humming the song that makes her happy, and then pretending as if you have forgotten the lyrics so that she has to sing along with you. She’ll tell you that she started crying because the music reminded her of her childhood, or of when her favorite dog died; and you’ll understand, knowing that music can touch as gently and yet as strongly as people or experiences can.

You will propose before an Opera. Or after a concert. Or simply while sitting at home, with a hint of her favorite piece playing in the background.

Your existence with light up with the symphony of a thousand violins playing in the background, and your heart will beat as if closely following the rhythm pattern on a Tool record. You will compose the song of your life, talk to each other in singsong, and spend your idle time thinking of names for your kids which might include the names of your favorite musicians, without embarrassing your children. The only arguments you will ever have would be the ones discussing whether a given time signature is 5/4 or 11/8.

She will introduce your kids to Chopin and Pink Floyd, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together, criticizing the young musicians and having prolonged discussions, finally culminating in the conclusion that the music that you grew up listening to was the absolute best of all times.

Date a girl who loves music because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most tuneful and harmonious life imaginable. If all you can give her is cacophony, then you are better off alone. If you want the world and the world beyond it, date a girl who loves music.

Or better yet, date a girl who composes music.