Arms (2011) – Christina Perri

All aboard the Christina Perri train! Choo Choo! I spent yesterday updating songs to my music library project and trying to get back into blogger-mode. I realised as I was adding the new additions that about half of all the new songs were by Christina Perri. One of those is today’s featured song, the magnificent Arms. I’m yet to hear a bad song by Perri, in fact almost all songs by her that have arrived in my You Tube feed end up in my music collection. After hearing so much of her music yesterday, I came to the conclusion last night that Christina Perri IS my favourite female contemporary music artist. She knocked Eva Cassidy, Kasey Chambers and Marcela Gandara off that esteemed pedestal.

I’ll say it straight up that Perri’s facial expressions and accompanying voice in the first 25 seconds of the official video release below just leaves me breathless. That’s the aspect of her art which bewilders me is that this type of music isn’t what normally impresses me, but in the case of Perri’s music, by the end of each Perri song I hear, I just want to f&%king cry. I can’t remember the last time, if at all, I had this emotional connection with someone’s music. I must be getting sentimental in my old age.
Arms was the second single released from her 2011 debut album Lovestrong. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 94. Arms briefly made a comeback in 2017, reaching #36 on the iTunes chart.

[Verse 3]
The world is coming down on me and I can’t find a reason to be loved
I never wanna leave you but I can’t make you bleed if I’m alone

[Bridge]
You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go…

[Hook]
I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

Arms is Perri’s first song to be recorded with a full band, as Perri’s one previous single, Jar of Hearts, contained no drums. Like Jar of Hearts, Arms is built around a piano melody.  Although the song “packs a little less venom” than Perri’s lead single, it still lyrically contains the “crazy” lovesick emotions typically referred to Perri’s style of music. Lyrically, Perri begins the song in a happy tune, singing “I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart / You came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start.” More into the song, Perri begins to question the relationship, ultimately finding comfort as she ends the song repeating the hook. Arms progresses from a folky ballad to a melodic love song, incorporating timpani drums.

Perri stated:

‘Arms’ is about the fight between your heart and your mind. Your heart wants to be loved but your head is always telling you reasons not to be with him or her, or how you are not worth the love. It’s about the struggle and finally giving in when you’re wrapped in their arms. Then you get it. Then you feel loved and love wins.”

The music video for the single was filmed in what Perri described as “a two-day shoot that kicked my ass so hard.” Perri had co-written the video treatment herself. Perri stated that she took a physical pummeling as she played a super-hero during the shoot, jokingly adding, “I don’t know why I think I’m an action hero” For the flying scenes, she was involved in weeks of training. It still escapes me why she needed that, but she is better than almost all birds I have seen flying in the sky. So, I suppose it kinda paid off.

References:
1. Arms – Christina Perri

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Music

Parque Tayrona & Palomino – The Carribean Coast, Colombia

The Mendihuaca River as it meets the Sea

‘Papa, these mountains seem like something straight out of Jurassic Park’ – Jesus Mateo (my son seen on the right above)

I have been absent from my blog because I was with my family the last 10 days on the Carribean Coast, Colombia. I say this with trepidation, but I believe I had the best time of all in this region, after nearly 14 years spent in Colombia. I live in Colombia’s capital, Bogota which is besieged by rain, traffic congestion, air pollution and general population stress. None of those negative aspects could be found in the regions we visited in the Magdalena and Guajira Department (‘Department’ otherwise known as ‘state’ in English). Infact the region we visited receives half of the yearly rainfall of Bogota.

Our time was mainly spent in this area presented above. I had read in backpacker sites that the surf on the Carribean coast in these parts we frequented were virtually ‘Un swimmable’ due to rips and the force of currents etc. I laughed it off and so did Connie. Below is the result of literally the first wave I caught at Palomino beach. I’m not sure what is worse, the blood or my gigantic nose. I need a nose job.

This small wave close to the shore drove me forehead into the pebble laden shore. I think you can still find an imprint of my nose on this beach. Just after this occurrence, my daughter Katherine looked at me and screamed (which is never a good sign) and flew towards Mama. That scared me more since I thought my head was cut wide open. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and my son and I ventured minutes later to tackle the fury of this wave – power. We learnt over days how we could adapt to the currents and wave ferocity and had a wonderful time like I remember body surfing with my younger brother in my youth in North Haven, the mid north coast, New South Wales, Australia.

Later in Palomino we stayed in this small rustic and artesian beach place. I cannot begin to describe how ‘cool‘ this place is. I’ll try it by sending this video below of a restaurant / disco cafe bar we ventured just meters from where we stayed. You can tell we were dying of hunger at this point awaiting the Pizzas and almost salivating.

Really, everything we did on the Carribean Coast seems now just like a dream. I was walking along the Mendihuaca beach and saw the seawater meeting the shore and for the first time in many years since I lived on the coast in Australia, I felt the feminine Mother of nature connecting with me. I was so grateful for that and it’s trippy for sure, but I’ll never forget this time we had together at these places.

Thank you for allowing me to share just a smidgeon of what we experienced with you.

Posted in Reflections, Sport and Adventure

Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears) – Miguel Matamoros

Trío Matamoros, around 1930. They recorded the first known version.

I delved into watching street music called ‘Son Cubanos‘ (They are Cubans) in Havana, Cuba and this song as presented below in the documentary film ‘Feliz Cuba‘ (Happy Cuba). It was ‘Chevere‘ to watch the musicians being jocular and enticing the Señora (Lady) to sing this song and when she finally did at her door – what a commensurate piecemeal! This is music unpolished but at its finest.

A loose English translation of the initial verses follows:

Although you have left me abandoned
Although all my illusions have already died,
Instead of cursing you with righteous anger
In my dreams I fill you with blessings.

I suffer the immense pain of your loss
I feel the deep pain of your departure
And I cry without you knowing that my crying
has black tears
It has black tears like my life.

And I cry without you knowing that my crying
has black tears
It has black tears like my life.

Lágrimas Negras (Spanish for Black Tears) is by Miguel Matamoros, first recorded by the Trío Matamoros in 1931. The song was written in the Dominican Republic, in 1930, when Matamoros was on his way back to Cuba from the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.

The lady in the video below is naturally beautiful and the gentlemen who accompany her are gentlemen of music, so simple, but obviously talented that this interpretation becomes a jewel.

Reference:
1. Lagrimas Negas (song) – Wikipedia

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Music

The AnkiDroid Collection (Part 31) – Orbits, Generations & Lysenkoism

Ankidroid additions related to Science, History and Philosophy. More information about Anki can be found in this article.

Orbits

To celebrate New Year’s Day, I wrote a post about the earth’s revolution around the sun amongst other things.

Why do planets / moons orbit but not crash into each because of the mass differential and gravity?

The trick to staying up is sideways momentum and speed. You see orbits like when you throw a ball, but of course it will eventually hit the ground. The reason the moon continues in orbit is because of speed. If the ball is thrown fast enough and had no air slowing it down, then it would orbit forever.
The moon orbits every 27 days at 3600 kilometres an hour. The only way it would crash into earth is to slow down.

Generations

What is Sovietizing the Science called?

Lysenkoism was named after the Soviet bioligist Trofim Lysenko’s influence upon science and agriculture in the first half of the 20th Century and his rejection of natural selection. It illustrated the disastrous intrusion of politics and ideology into the affairs of science. Lysenkoism led to repression and persecution of scientists who dared oppose Lysenko’s pseudo-scientific doctrines. COVID 19 ring any bells? His idea if given the proper conditions, is that all organisms have the capacity to do anything which had attractive parallels to social philosophies of Karl Marx – ‘that man was largely a product of his own will’.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Reading, Science

La Venia Bendita (1997) – Marco Antonio Solis

I was awestruck by ‘this song ‘La Venia Bendita‘ the first time I heard it and it continues to captivate me. Marco Antonio Solís sings this with such vigour, but the delicateness and passion are manifest. It also makes me both happy and sad. The juxtaposition between the Mariachis wailing and Solis’ aching delivery really sets this song apart.

This is the second song to be presented in recent days heralding from Mexico in the ‘Ranchera‘ genre. The title ‘La Venia Bendita‘ (the Reverential Blessing) can be interpreted when a couple is going to get married in the Catholic church and the father (priest) blesses that union with the ceremony; this means that the couple already has the reverential blessing of God to live together.

A loose English translation of the initial verses follows:

Sing it with feeling, as you know, Marco

He lacks hours a day, to continue loving us
it was barely noon
And today we are dawning
Only our souls know what is happening


We lack blood in our veins, to endure what we feel
And more holes in the ground
For the time to die
Where to bury so much death from this that we live so much today?

Kiss me like this, slowly and let’s lengthen the destiny
Well, this beautiful love
What happened to us along the way?
It has the reverential blessing of the powerful divine

Marco Antonio Solís Sosa (born 29 December 1959) is a Mexican musician, singer, composer, and record producer. Solís has been awarded five Latin Grammy Awards, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has been inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame. Solís also became known in the industry for outside writing and producing for popular singers such as Rocío Dúrcal who has featured here.

Reference:
1. Marco Antonio Solís – Wikipedia

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Music

2/1 – 8/1/23 – Alex and Jo Music & A Life of Service

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Back in Time – Christina Perri ft. Ben Rector (cover)
Video presentation at alexandjomusic

I recently wrote about this song Back in Time by Christina Perri. A few days ago, I received the above music cover from alexandjomusic in my YT feed. I was enchanted by their version and in awe of their harmony. They were kind enough to communicate with me. Alex and Jo are twins from Serbia and have presented a lot of great versions of mostly modern music. (View their song here)

A Life of Service to Others Part 2 – Mark
Video interview at Soft White Underbelly

Part 2 of a Soft White Underbelly interview and portrait of Mark, a recovered drug addict in Southern California. This is one of the most inspiring videos I have seen recently. (View video interview here)

news on the march the end
Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Music, News, Reflections

La Bohème / Act 1 – “O Soave Fanciulla”- Giacomo Puccini

This is the second musical piece to feature here from Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. I first heard this in the movie Moonstruck which I reviewed here. O soave fanciulla (O gentle maiden) is a romantic duet from the first act of Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 opera La Bohème It is sung as the closing number in act 1 by Rodolfo (tenor) and Mimì (soprano) where they realise, they have fallen for each other. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of Opera I have heard.

(English translation) At the window, Mimì is illuminated by the moon’s rays. Turning, Rodolfo sees Mimì wrapped in a halo of moonlight. He contemplates her, in ecstasy.
Rodolfo:
Oh lovely girl, oh sweet face
bathed in the soft moonlight,
I see you in a dream
I’d dream forever!

Both
M: Ah! Love, you rule alone!
R: Already the soul trembles
extreme kindness

La Bohème is an opera in four acts composed between 1893 and 1895 to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème (1851) by Henri Murger. The story is set in Paris around 1830 and shows the Bohemian lifestyle (known in French as “la bohème“) of a poor seamstress and her artist friends.

The world premiere of La Bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La Bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide.

Reference:
1. La Bohéme – Wikipedia
2. O soave fanciulla – wikipedia

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Music

La Basurita (1976) – Flor Silvestre

Silvestre in Ánimas Trujano (1962)

La Basurita (Little Garbage) was recommended to me here in Colombia and I was always fond of it. It is a type of ‘Ranchera‘ music which is traditional Mexican music that often features a Mariachi band. It originated in northern Mexico and southwestern United States and is typically sung in a plaintive style, and features lyrics that revolve around rural life and love. The style of Ranchera music has been heavily influenced by traditional Mexican folk music and is often used to express the feelings of love and loss.

A loose English translation follows of the initial verses La Basurita (Little Garbage):

I am from the sea, foam, I am sad, I regret
I am little garbage I am little garbage that the wind drags
when I came into the world I was born crying
and oh since then I keep crying I keep crying

I am like the bird that is flying
that is flying through a desert through a desert looking for the east
I found the sunset I found the sunset
Looking for bliss, looking for bliss, I found pain

I have never had anyone take pity on me
I am a little feather I am little trash that the air carries
oh, how much bitterness I feel when I remember
When I was a child, I even missed the water to be baptized

Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla (16 August 1930 – 25 November 2020) known professionally as Flor Silvestre, was a Mexican singer and actress. She was one of the most prominent and successful performers of Mexican and Latin American music and was a star of classic Mexican films during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Flor has more than a 70-year career included stage productions, radio programs, records, films, television programs, comics, and rodeo shows.

Famed for her melodious voice and unique singing style, hence the nicknames “La Sentimental” (“The Sentimental One”) and “La Voz Que Acaricia” (“The Voice That Caresses”), Flor Silvestre was a notable interpreter of the ranchera, bolero, bolero ranchero, and huapango genres.

Reference:
1. Flor Silvestre – Wikipedia

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Music

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) – Harold Ramis (Friday’s Finest)

I have such fond memories watching Vacation growing up, whereby I had to add it here to Friday’s Finest. It remains one of my favourite comedies although it has been a long time since I have seen it. But I don’t really need to since I remember every scene by heart. My kids are big fans of the rebooted Vacation 2015 movie which I also enjoyed but call it nostalgia or what-have-you, nothing can supersede the original National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Many of the antics of Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) reminded me a lot from my own Dad. Like how he tries his darndest to be the ‘bestest’ of Dads: flex the pecs which he doesn’t have and sit down and have a ‘kumbaya’ big – man pep talk with his son. And he may look clumsy and awkward, but his intentions are well meaning, and you can’t help but warm to him.

IMDB Storyline:

Having it all planned down to the last detail, well-meaning American paterfamilias Clark Griswold and his supportive wife Ellen take their two teenagers, Rusty and Audrey, on a cross-country trip from the suburbs of Chicago all the way to sunny California’s Walley World amusement park. However, anything that could go wrong does, and before long Ellen’s cousin Catherine and her husband Eddie enter the picture and Clark is on the verge of blowing a gasket. Roy Walley’s wonderful park seems farther and farther away, and although the prospect of a clandestine meeting with the alluring blonde in the fast 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi sounds tempting, Clark must do the right thing and find the promised land. How hard can it be to have the perfect vacation?

The film was a box-office hit, earning more than $60 million in the U.S. with an estimated budget of $15 million, and received positive reviews from critics. As a result of its success, five sequels have been produced. What is so impressive is filming only lasted 55 days despite the mass of places they visited. To avoid legal troubles, all of the names associated with Disneyland were altered to sound-alikes. Marty Moose is reminiscent of Mickey Mouse and similarly Roy Walley’s appearance bears similarities to that of Walt Disney.
It has a great soundtrack. One song Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones I took an immediate liking to.

References:
1. National Lampoon’s Vacation – Wikipedia
2. National Lampoon’s Vacation – IMDB

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Movies and TV

Knowing Me, Knowing You (1977) – ABBA

Knowing Me, Knowing You is the third song to appear here from one of the greatest pop groups of the 1970’s – ABBA. This is my favourite song from this super group. Despite having heard it hundreds of times I never grow tired of it. I think it’s one of the finest crafted Pop songs I have heard. The composition is outstanding and how the female and male voices in a polyphonic sense interact during the chorus, is one for the ages – at least to my ears. It’s one of those rare times in Pop music where I am left to ponder, ‘I do not know how they did that‘.

No more carefree laughter
Silence ever after
Walking through an empty house, tears in my eyes
Here is where the story ends, this is goodby
e

Knowing me, knowing you, aha
There is nothing we can do
Knowing me, knowing you, aha
We just have to face it, this time we’re through
(This time we’re through, this time we’re really through)
(This time we’re through, we’re really through)
Breaking up is never easy, I know, but I have to go
(I have to go, this time I have to go, this time I know)
Knowing me, knowing you, it’s the best I can do

Knowing Me, Knowing You was the third single released from the magnificent 1977 record – Arrival. I wrote in the Fernando article: ‘I remember as a boy sitting in front of the fireplace and holding the 1976 Arrival album in my hands and I was besotted by it. The helicopter looked just like the one used in the Skippy: The Bush Kangaroo episode called ‘Many Happy Returns‘ where Sonny has to fly Jerry’s helo on his own. Those were the days!’

Knowing Me, Knowing You ended up being one of the group’s more successful hits. It was a chart – topper or top 10 hit in too many countries to mention here. It was also one of the earliest ABBA songs to deal with the break-up of a relationship. It predates the divorces of the ABBA members as well as further break-up songs to come like The Winner Takes It All. The video below was directed by future Academy Award nominee Lasse Hallström and is a landmark in his career alongside most other videos of the band which were directed by him.

Reference:
1. Knowing Me, Knowing You – Wikipedia

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Music