“Little Yellow Clock or Why is Alissa Still Away?”

Today, instead of another installment of the thrilling adventures of Zeldissa, I have something else for you. This is mostly because there WAS no adventuring today. Because Ginger Assistant was elsewhere in the office all day. I was pretty lonely without her… so I wrote her this song.

***

It’s midway

Through a Monday

And I have nothing left to do

Just callbacks

And some feedback

For our ever-dwindling crew

 

I’m so bored

Here at this keyboard

That I’ve started timing calls

Here in this Hell

Answering emails

And staring blankly at the walls

 

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhh, Alissa

You don’t know how much I’ve missed ya

 

Locked here in this tiny cube

You really haven’t got a clue

How dull my life is without you

 

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhh, Alissa

You don’t know how much I’ve missed ya

 

I miss ya…….

 

The clock ticks away

The last hours of the day

But my god, this afternoon won’t die

I ask the 8 ball

But it says fuck all

And I think that I might finally cryyyyyy

 

The saddest thing, and this I know

Is how quick I was to let you go

And now I’m here, all alone

And you’ll just clock out and go hooooooooome

 

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhh, Alissa

You don’t know how much I’ve missed ya

 

Locked here in this tiny cube

You really haven’t got a clue

How dull my life is without you

 

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhh, Alissa

You don’t know how much I’ve missed ya

 

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhh, Alissa

 

*dramatic, sad whisper*

 

Alissa…

A Sound as of Sighs

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
…All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
…All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free 
~”Blackbird” The Beatles

The year is 1990. You are Lars Widenfalk, a Swedish artist working on some decorative features of an Oslo building. These decorative features are made from diabase, a black plutonic rock composed of a fine (but dense) crystalline structure. And as you assemble these fine sculptural pieces in Oslo, you notice something striking. Quite literally striking, in fact. When the stone is struck by hammer and chisel, is creates a rich, bell-like sound.

You are Lars Widenfalk, and you are about to ask yourself a question that will shape your life for the next two years:

If the earth could sing, what would it sound like?

Widenfalk set out to answer this question, armed with a crazy idea and a chunk of diabase from his grandfather’s headstone. Widenfalk began sculpting a violin from the stone, piece by piece. When grandpapa’s headstone proved too small a chunk of diabase for the entire piece, Widenfalk went out to the Swedish province of Härjedalen to cut him some more. Finishing the interior with real gold, and fitting the exterior with black ebony (finger board, pegs, tailpiece, and chin-rest) and mammoth ivory (the bridge, acquired from a Russian artist with the taiga contacts to get the goods), in just two years, Widenfalk had created the Blackbird:

The Blackbird’s belly is a mere 2.5 mm thick at its thinnest point. Its ribs were made in one piece. A 30 mm plate was sawed out of the diabase block, with a water-drill and hand tools being used to remove the inside carefully, leaving the stone only a few millimeters thick. In the end, the completed Blackbird weighed just 2 kg.

And it’s made entirely of stone (and mammoth). Amazing.

Of course, the question remains. If the earth could sing, what would it sound like? Turns out, she might sound a little bit like this:

An Excerpt From “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” by Salman Rushdie

Why do we care about singers? Wherein lies the power of songs? Maybe it derives from the sheer strangeness of there being singing in the world. The note, the scale, the chord; melodies, harmonies, arrangements; symphonies, ragas, Chinese operas, jazz, the blues; that such things should exist, that we should have discovered the magical intervals and distances that yield the poor cluster of notes, all within the span of a human hand, from which we can build our cathedrals of sound, is as alchemical a mystery as mathematics, or wine, or love. Maybe the birds taught us. Maybe not. Maybe we are just creatures in search of exaltation. We don’t have much of it. Our lives are not what we deserve; they are, let us agree, in many painful ways deficient. Song turns them into something else. Song shows us a world that is worthy of our yearning, it shows us our selves as they might be, if we were worthy of the world.

Hey There, Ardat Yakshi

At work last night, I got too close to a coworker while both of our music was playing from our little hip speakers and they became this haunting fucking mash-up. And so, my galleons, I ask that you give this a try.

First, hit play on this:

Leave that at full volume. Then proceed to play this at half volume:

It’s not perfect, but the Mass Effect score adds this unsettling, disturbing air to the indie pop nonsense.

For the record, this is my second favorite way to listen to “Hey There, Delilah”. The first, of course, is to not listen to this fucking song at all. But sometimes shit happens. And just this once, it was kind of beautiful.

Triple Special Awesome Zombie Holiday Time Attack!

And now, dear galleons, because it is Halloween (and I’m a lazy fucker and don’t want to write a real post), here are my three favorite songs about those perennial favorites: ZOMBIES.

Number Three: “Who Do You Voodoo Bitch?” Sam B

Number Two: “Re: Your Brains” Jonathan Coulton

Now in French!

Number One: “Zombie Apocalypse Blues” Peter Chiykowski

La La La

In one of those strange bits of coincidence, I seem to have developed slight addictions to two songs this week with very similar choruses.

Namely, their choruses are composed primarily of “la la la”-ing (Is there a technical term for that? If so, I don’t know it).

The first is by a band I recently rediscovered in the depths of my iTunes library, much to my glee. Die Toten Hosen, a fantastic German punk rock band. I haven’t listened to them in well over a year, and I have spent most of this week rectifying that grievous error. As a result, I have become hooked on their cover of The Passenger:

In my opinion, it far outstrips the original (Blasphemy? Maybe- doesn’t make me wrong).

The second song is by Jay Brannan and titled, aptly enough, La La La. I was going to put a vid up here for it, but while his live version is lovely, the album version is the one I’ve fallen in love with (and really think you should hear). Particularly once it gets to the second verse.

Also, gotta love him continuing his habit of including cheeky sexual lyrics (though most of the song is, like 99% of his songs, heartbreaking).

To be fair, beyond the “la la la”-ing, these songs don’t have anything in common. Still, I found the timing amusing.

In Which I Give the IRS the Biggest Mental Hug They’ve Ever Seen

*rumble*

Did you feel that? I’m certain you did. A thunderous quaking, a bone-shaking vibration that doesn’t-quite-register as sound. Perhaps it roused you from a your deep, late-Saturday-morning slumber. You sat upright in your bed, nerves still twitching in sympathy with the fading rumbles.

“What was that?” you asked to the suddenly still room. It flickers through your mind that it was all a dream, some shudder-and-shake nightmare your malicious subconscious tossed at you just to watch you pop awake, clawing at your sheets, fear and confusion warring in your sleep-riddled mind.

But it wasn’t a nightmare. Oh no, it happened. And if you feel an inexplicable bubble of contentment, of joy, sitting somewhere behind your breastbone now, that’s simply the result of the tremor.

Because this morning, an explosive shout, a joyful Thu’um, erupted from me and rocked the very fabric of space-time.

Karla1 and I have been reunited, my galleons. My heart is currently frolicking about my chest like the happiest animated deer in the magical forest.

Yes, the universe finally saw fit to gift me with the first (and heftiest) of my tax returns, which allowed me to correct the grievous wrong of the last five months and once again become the happy owner of an iPod.

This may mean little to you, but to me, this is the best thing that has happened all month. Things have been a bit rocky lately, but by all the science gods, I have my music again. No longer am I at the whims of the radio station witches, the top 40 lists, or that asshole Dan who turns the work radio to country when I’m not paying attention. No, it is my turn to subject them all to a terrible onslaught of my bizarre music tastes.

No longer shall my headphones sit sadly unused on my desk. No longer shall my walks between classes be full of the sounds of traffic and birds and inane prattling from the idiots I pass. No longer will I have to forgo reading during my lunch breaks because I can’t drown out the sounds of my coworkers.

My friend John once told me that he’d never met a person who listened to music as much as I did. He used to comment that my headphones must be stuck in my ears at least 12 hours of every day. To have that so unceremoniously ripped from me has left a void over the last few months that I have never stopped noticing.

No longer.

Give me your music, world. I am once again your conduit, your prophet, your devoted servant.

*squee*

1 In the same way that all my laptops have been called Ghiert, all of my iPods have been named Karla. It’s tradition.