In the past three weeks, many have asked me: “Are you sure you want to close this blog?” My answer is, well, yes, I am – I wouldn’t have announced it otherwise. But it doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Shalla – we weren’t together yet when I started this thing seven years and three weeks ago – said it’ll probably take me two months to deal with the empty space turning this blog off will leave. But I’m sure it’ll be filled up by all of the other things I’ve had to juggle these past couple of years. There’s also this thing about quitting when you’re still doing well – well, I doubt that in the grand scheme of things we were, but it’s better than being really disappointed with not being able to do what you want to do when you can still do it. And so, it’s time. Seven years is a good run, they say, and I agree. Seven years will mean nothing in the long run, and I don’t mind that. It still has been a pleasure going through all of these tangents, musical or otherwise, and meeting all of you along the way. That’s gotta last longer, even just for a bit.
“Helena” by My Chemical Romance | I haven’t been here in a while. And, to be honest, I’ve only come back to say goodbye – I’m a part of this blog, after all. The stuff I listen to are, arguably, polarizing. There are days when I can only tolerate Mozart sonatas, days when I listen to GFriend on repeat, and days when my tweet playlist reigns supreme. I like them all, and I wrote about them. I haven’t written anything in a long time, and although I feel a tinge of regret (or perhaps even guilt), I still don’t feel like doing it. But who knows, right? After all, I find myself going back to the things I got bored with after liking it for so long, like this final song here. I lived for My Chemical Romance, but five years later I dropped them. Five more years later I found myself adding them to my Spotify playlist. Same happened with my K-pop playlist. Things happen in cycles, after all. Maybe in seven years Niko will start blogging about music again. And I might be writing again by then, too. Who knows, right? For now, so long. [SY]
“Portland” by Andrea von Kampen | Consider this a remnant of what could have been. I was planning at least two essays in the blog’s final weeks, but none of them will be published now, at least not here; I got really busy the past couple of weeks, and today what’s left of my strength is gone because I’m sick. But soldier on we must. I’m writing about Nebraskan folkie Andrea von Kampen because she appears on that Spotify playlist Shalla made that was going to be the subject of one of those essays. It’s her song “Desdemona”, which we’ve somehow transformed into a reaction to anything. Inside jokes aside, there’s something about her voice that pulls you in: it’s clear but it’s broken, if you could call it that; and not at all boring. “Portland” is part of her new album Old Country, which dropped a couple of months back. I hope to have time to listen to that, but this song is a beaut, simply said. No punchlines about that. [NB]
“Last Days on Earth” by Tears for Fears | So, here we go – this blog’s final ever week. Nobody cares, I know, but I do, but then, I have been quite busy that I haven’t had any time to put into place the plans I actually have for these past few weeks. So, a song I’ve long loved, shorn of the agenda this blog found itself having to be part of these past few years. I don’t think anybody remembers a time when Jam 88.3 played stuff like this rather than the too-cool-for-school alternative it specializes in now. It’s an album track, from the arguably obscure Tears for Fears reunion record, and it sounds good even if the song is maybe about euthanasia. (So it applies here more?) Death. Definitely death. Our last four days are here, and I have so much left to do I’m feeling extra stressed out. But that’s why we’re closing this thing down… [NB]
“Hypersonic Missiles” by Sam Fender | All right, so I have heard of Sam Fender before. When you win the Critics’ Award at the Brits – the one award they announce early on – you get my curiosity, because likely you’re coming from slightly out of nowhere, and also, you really do tend to be prominent. I’ve listened to “That Sound” and “Play God”, both songs with an intense sound behind it. And then you listen to his third single, which leans more heavily on the sociopolitical commentary. That’s never a bad thing. We always will need someone who’s more willing to speak (or sing, in this case) about bigger things than lost love. And then the saxophone kicks in and everything clicks together, about how he’s clearly taking his cues from Bruce Springsteen. Man, the saxophone. Well, I am a fan of the instrument deployed well, and that last bit was a rush, alongside everything building up to what clearly is the end of hope, or the end of hopelessness. [NB]