Music Minute: December 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, the staff at Minute Magazine would like to introduce a new blog installment called “Music Minute,” where editors share their favorite music picks of the month. Below are the tracks for December 2017 – take a listen as you enjoy this holiday season.

Listen on Spotify

Some highlights from the playlist…

  1. “Champion” by Fall Out Boy // reviewed by Prose Editor Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
    Notable lyrics: “I’m just young enough to still believe / but young enough not to know what to believe in”
    Since their pre-hiatus emo days, bassist and songwriter Pete Wentz has always made sure that their songs would be poems for the troubled, and I love that most about this band. This song from their forthcoming album “Mania” just hits so close to home. With strong lyrics that scream “If I can live through this, I can do anything”, this anthem aims to inspire – and it surely does.
  2. “Mrs. Potato Head” by Melanie Martinez // reviewed by Prose Editor Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
    Notable lyrics: “Mrs. Potato Head, tell me / is it true that pain is beauty? / Does a new face come with a guarantee? / Will a pretty face make it better?”
    This song is a powerful piece that talks about the pressure to change what you look like to fit in the societal standards of beauty. As a feminist and a firm believer of body positivity, I feel strongly about Melanie Martinez’s obvious criticism of plastic surgery, the risks it entail, and the repercussions that ensue. This song is dark, raw, and bold – perfectly complemented by Melanie’s unique style and brilliant voice.
  3. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen // reviewed by Prose Editor Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
    Notable lyrics: “Is this the real life? / Is this just fantasy? / Caught in a landslide, / no escape from reality”
    Honestly, who even doesn’t know Bohemian Rhapsody? This song is literal classic: unique in its form as it doesn’t fall under a single genre, but rather weaves together different sounds into six beautiful minutes. Fans speculate on what the song truly conveys, relating it to other literary texts such as the tale of Faust and Albert Camus’ The Stranger because of the many similarities in themes and tone.
  4. “The Trio Project – Warrior” by Hiromi // reviewed by Poetry Editor Tanya Singh
    This piece is a battle cry, the roar of a thousands lions collective, the dance of penguins, the bustle of magpies living in the anticipation of a rain shower some light years away. It is a sort of transformation. Hiromi, Anthony and Simon, have blessed this piece  with the joy escaping their hands in music, reaching to us, you and me, their heart-beats synchronizing with all the notes you didn’t even know existed before. This is the kind of music that makes me feel that this is all beautiful, that the world is a possibility in the making. It transforms itself, it transforms me, we are both different people when the piece hits its last note. A part of me feels, this, now, is a healing, kind of like nan’s stories, full of magic, and all the more possible.
  5.  “Blue Drag” by Django Reinhardt // reviewed by Poetry Editor Tanya Singh
    The first time I heard this, the guitar dancing a sort of hopscotch, I thought to myself, Reinhardt must really know what he wants from his life, to make others feel that the tinge, fading light is a want, still burning, asking — you want this, don’t you?  How many lives would you be willing to live through again simply to feel, to know, that you want what you want? Want is endless, never ending, and sometimes almost bigness, self driven madness, that is both selfless and selfish. But this want feels like a soft prayer to yourself, an antidote for your fears, the guitar is reciting your name like a poem — doesn’t that feel warm? This piece is a want, a child-full desire to dream again. I listen to it often, often enough to remind myself that my dreams are colours,  these pastels rising to a birth of another possibility.

Music Minute: Coalesce, a playlist featuring mellow songs by POC

Curated by Stephanie Chang, Blog Contributor

Coalesce, a playlist featuring soft and mellow songs by POC. This selection is best listened to during a rainy evening, chamomile tea in your favorite mug. Old honey sitting on your tongue while you reminisce all the sweet things you smiled upon today. An overcast sky battered with pinpricks of light; just about cold enough. Your heart in funny places and silence seeps in from the floorboards. It’s the best kind of quiet, the least haunting nothingness can be. Listen to the playlist on Spotify here.

  1. Fireworks – Mitski
    I will be married to silence
    The gentleman won’t say a word
    But you know, oh you know in the quiet he holds
    Runs a river that will never find home
  2. Boyish – Japanese Breakfast
    Watched her lips reserving tables
    As my ugly mouth kept running
    Love me
    Love me!
  3. Mermaid – Yvette Young
    The last time I felt love,
    The sun was a halo around your head.
    I saw clouds, I heard waves
  4. Oak Tree – Mirel Wagner
    So if you walk in the woods and you see
    A big old oak tree
    Thread carefully, please
    Cause I’m dreaming underneath
  5. Free – Body Language
    Tell me what you really wanna be
    Tell me, are you really free?
    Do you trust, do you care?
  6. Heartbeats – Dabin
    We had divine sense
    To know what to say
    Mind is a razor blade
  7. Cold Apartment – Vagabon
    And we said it’s not the end
    But she wore that white dress
    And I changed
  8. Two Hearts – Valerie June
    Then they fell
    Two hearts they fell
    What they felt
  9. Blank Maps – Cold Specks
    Head for the heart; does it break?
    Words may fall, the body remains
    And every map is blank
  10. Chasing Shadows – Santigold
    You find us where we fall
    We’re chasing shadows
    Here is the glow

 

Musicality: What Makes Us Human

by Cindy Song, Editor-in-Chief

The steady flow of uneven beats courses through the cords of my headphones and into my ears. It carries me like a soaring wave, letting me drift away; washes me onshore. Just blue sky, the ground beneath me, and my music. Let us explore what lies awaiting on that fateful island.

Classical music is a night in a fairy tale that speaks of legends: princesses in ballrooms and princes sailing under a million stars. The sound of strings yearning with the deepest pulls from heartstrings combined with brassy crashes that incite apprehension for incidents to come. Every note tells a tale, one piece of a seemingly never-ending story. Crescendos into love, decrescendos into pain, accelerandos into horror, ritardandos into loneliness. The nuanced bits of classical music run the gamut of human emotion.

Classic’s night turns into day with the sunrise. Pop rock sends me bursting toward the sky. Society is united by a single sun. Warm rays shine on my skin, sending thrills of electrifying beat through my veins. Dance is not an option, albeit not physically; the movement of my imagination is enough. Underlying funky, repeated beats thread the foundation for a network of sparking optimism–it is fireworks in the sky. And it’s not even the Fourth of July.

Climb the mountain and you will find rap – makes you feel like you’re standing on top of the world. Ceaseless and timeless, the words wrap round and round your brain but instead of suffocating, they are freeing. Angst and power and experience thrive within the rhymes like a ruler watching over a kingdom. A cascading waterfall down that mountain leads to denouement, the ultimate mic drop.

On this island of musicality, there are many species. Not only is it an island of musicality – it is an island of humanity. Words and thoughts and ideas we cannot express we put into music. Not only the lyrics, but the collective effort of rhythm, meter, tune, dynamics, style, tempo, instrumentation, contrast, texture, and so many other nuanced bits that make music what it is. Music is one of the only outlets that is grand and complex enough for human expression. It makes us human, these divine sounds. And the best thing is it’s vast diversity. Angsty rap for a damaged image, a soulful ballad for losing a friend, free-flowing tune for a heartbreak, and loud funk for a night out. There is a song, a tune lying somewhere in the musical realm for every feeling. Like other places for expression such as writing and art, music is a space of freedom where all boundaries are broken down, and any seed of creativity or imagination can be planted. There is no limit to what humans can do and express with music, and that’s what makes it so powerfully humane.

A song may get old, but music will never get tiring.