Monthly Archives: December 2006

I believe in miracles!

Around a month back I was playing with a few RAM modules for my Powerbook – I have been meaning to write about my experiences with that as well, but I guess that’s for another time. Long story short, I happened to lose one of the four tiny screws that holds the lid of the RAM compartment in place. I tried looking for it (a lot) as one would expect, but ultimately had to give up without success. The lid has been living with only three screws ever since.

Back home from work tonight, I took the Powerbook out of the backpack and placed it on the bed as part of my daily ritual. As I went around to the other side of the bed and looked to open the laptop lid (could I be any more elaborate/ dramatic?!!!), this shiny little thing caught my eye. It looked suspiciously like the missing screw but I didn’t believe it until it fit in nicely into the empty slot.

Of course, the question arises where did it come from? Was it in my backpack all along and “sneaked out” with the laptop this time round? Or did the cleaning guy find it today and decided (in his infinite wisdom) to keep it on the bed – it’s possible, the screw is very tiny and the guy doesn’t exactly do a thorough job cleaning each and every time. I guess we’ll never know – actually, maybe we will, because I’ll cross check with the cleaning guy the next time I see him.

What I do know is that I had given up all hope of my Powerbook being “complete” again, so this, to me, is an extremely pleasant surprise. It’s a Christmas miracle! HO HO HO…

This wish I get?!!!

I was hoping we would draw Madrid or Barca in the 2nd round of Champions League and behold – Barcelona it is. Don’t ask me why I was hoping for the toughest draw possible, but it sets up a cracking tie between Champions of Europe 2005 and Champions of Europe 2006.

Just looked at the entire draw, and as usual Arsenal, Chelsea and the Mancs get easy draws. It’s all random, yeah right. Roma v Lyon, Madrid v Munich and Inter v Valencia are the other picks of the draw by the way. The fixers (Milan) get the easiest tie – after having slept their way through the easiest group. You know, the one they just “happened” to be in.

Putting the conspiracy theories aside, Barcelona might have been the best team in Europe for the past couple of years, but I have no doubt that we’ll have them for dinner. Bring them on – I’m going to Athens in May baby! Did I tell you (actually no one knows this) I had two tickets (the good ones) for this year’s final (Barca vs Arsenal), but I obviously didn’t take up that option. Who wants to see the two most exciting teams in Europe play against each other? Not me.

SOTW – Why Go

Every once in a while, a song decides to home in your mind – you “just can’t get it out of your head”. Sometimes, it represents what you are feeling at that point in time – your general “mood” or stuff you can relate (perhaps) with specific incidents that may have happened recently or something along those lines – I’m sure you get the drift. On other occasions, there’s no specific reason – not one you are conciously aware of or can find, in any case.

Some songs attain that “status” the first time you hear them. Others, like the one I am about to talk about (surprise surprise – in case you hadn’t guessed this is what this post is about!), are songs you already “know”, songs you happen to “see in a new dimension” all of a sudden. Which brings us to the “Song Of The Week” (that’s SOTW for you slow folks).

Pearl Jam – Why Go
She scratches a letter into a wall made of stone
Maybe someday another child wont feel as alone as she does
Its been two years, and counting, since they put her in this place
She’s been diagnosed by some stupid fuck, and mommy agrees, yeah…
Why go home…

She seems to be stronger, but what they want her to be is weak
She could play pretend, she could join the game, boy
She could be another clone…

Why go home?
What you taught me…put me here…dont come visit…mother…

(Note: Copyrights of the lyrics reserved with Pearl Jam or their record company or whoever else owns them. Further, I have edited the lyrics to make them more readable.)

The song has been doing my head in for the past 3-4 days. I have no idea why.

It’s a typical Pearl Jam song whichever way you look at it. Powerful lyrics that Eddie belts out with little regard for the “beat” in the way only he can – I mean that in a good way, of course. Let me explain.

Typically, writing a song (and by that I mean lyrics) and coming up with the music for the same are closely related activities. You may first write the song and then try to put it to music. Or you may already have the instrumentals etc. all figured out and you try to “fit” (in a “creatively inspirational” sort of way, of course) a song onto that. Whichever way that pans out, as I guess one would expect, there’s a conscious effort by the band/ artist to have close correlation between the two activities. I’m not quite sure Pearl Jam work that way.

The way I see it, song-writing and everything else that goes into making a song are two distinct activities for these guys. You have Eddie, who’s involved in song writing, doing his stuff in one part of the world (maybe not literally) while the other guys are coming up with the music in another. They meet occasionally to exchange notes and get a “feel” for each other’s works – and “get a feel” is all they do. There’s no real attempt to “fit” the music to the songs or vice versa. Sure during the “exchanging notes” sessions, work done by one may inspire the others towards something, but I don’t think they consciously set out to do that. So at the end of all these creative sessions, they have a bunch of lyrics and a set of great instrumentals, which they then set out to match with one another. And by that I mean, they gang up and see what instrumental fits the mood of which song and once that is done, it’s over to Eddie to weave his magic with the vocals.

With the music playing in the background, he pours his heart and soul into the song with (seemingly) little regard for the music itself and, indeed, he seems to “lose the beat” many times, only to “catch up” later. I’m sure the rest of the band found him a nightmare to play with initially. While this can be off putting for the casual listener, Eddie more than makes up for it, because you know every word is coming from deep within – so much so that he (apparently) doesn’t even care about the music! You begin to appreciate that kind of honesty over time. That also makes the songs very unpredictable – I don’t think Eddie and the gang, could reproduce the studio version node for node, even if they tried their damnedest hard. I, personally, like that in a band – shows they are real people who play with passion and bring in something unique each and every time, not a bunch of robots going through the motions.

A couple of interviews I read of Vedder sometime back, loosely confirmed all this – or atleast that is what I remember/ my takeaway was. Of course, I could be completely wrong about all this (KB – look, I can’t even write as much as a blog entry these days without putting such a disclaimer, I hope you are happy, you bastard). Though I have “played music” and been part of a band so as to speak, I have never really “created” any music (not as part of a group anyways), so I can’t say I am speaking from experience. And since I am not on Eddie’s Christmas card list, I can’t really claim to have any inside knowledge either. End of disclaimer.