Cheers to Babylon

We’ll meet again one day

in Babylon, it’s not far away

I’ll lay out my armour

you’ll leave your armchair

We’ll sing tales of old

We’ll find out in time

Mozart’s unfinished requiem

You’ll play Lacrimosa

and I’ll call you Barbarossa

We’ll look for St. Clementine

is he still on his tea and croissants?

We’ll sing of Galileo

and reminisce Ronnie Dio

Do you think he feels hollow

Despite them chanting

Eppur Si Muove

And when you’ve found love

And I’ve found life

we’ll send each other postcards

written in the dark

in the shadows of a theater

while Lubitsch paints a story

and we find we’re turning thirty

We’ll raise our pens in silence

Cheers to Babylon.

 

Why Post Rock is Underrated

I don’t know too many people that feel this way but I know quite a few who do; I’m speaking of the feeling of watching a movie based on a novel. The movie can never compare to the novel, at least in my opinion. When you read the novel, you set the landscape, the characters, no matter how detailed a description has been given in the book, it’s going to be you who decides what the story looks like. You decide what colour the light is, what exact shade of green the author is talking about, how the wrinkles on the older characters remind you of your grandparents. Hermione didn’t look like Emma Watson in my head, Robert Langdon never resembled Tom Hanks. When I watched the movies, I felt kind of cut off from them, as though I was seeing fleeting parts of the novels the way they look in someone else’s head. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t something I could feel for; they were a passive form of entertainment, something that I wouldn’t go back to, the way I’d devour the novels over and over again.

Post rock is the novel. Rock and roll is the well-directed movie, the one you’d like to watch when you’re curled up on the couch after a long day. EDM is the genre I’d just avoid altogether, like those over-hyped, over-advertised movies that leave you disappointed because the trailer turned out to be better than the full-length thing. I love how almost all post rock is instrumental, how they just don’t bother with the human voice, how it makes you realize the insignificance of our species. Classical has too much structure, it is beautiful but in the way you’d call a well-groomed, well-to-do woman, beautiful. Post rock is beautiful the way your girl-next-door with no makeup is when she’s fully absorbed in her craft, eyes wide and focused, hands poised, hair astray and mind working overtime with a pencil in her mouth. She’s more relatable, has more depth. You can empathize with her difficulties, her struggles and see how strong and beautiful she is through her character. Lady Classical however, leaves you admiring her from a distance, a beauty that’s practiced to perfection, out of your league, carefully manicured and maintained, few struggles in life, always in the care of some man with a sharp mind. With no craft to speak of and no dramatic story to her life, she’s someone you’d get bored of after a few hours of listening to her. The man says vivace, she runs fast, but always in dainty little steps; the man says lento, she slows down to a waltz, timed to the tick of the metronome. Classical is the mandatory reading on your high school literature class reading list, Julius Caesar’s arms conducting the symphony.

I love how post rock has weaved its own space in the music world, albeit with lesser fans. Where’s the music video? Where’s the twerking or the lead singer that’s stoned out of his mind? Where are all the supermodels and rich kid parties, clubhouses and big titties? There is something so classy about post rock that parallels the likes of Bach and Chopin. Something crazy and rebellious about it like Prokofiev, playful like Debussy and genius like Mozart. There’s something dark about it like Dream Theater; something violent about it like Avenged Sevenfold; something meaningful like Guns and Roses. It’s not about love stories and heartbreak, it’s about everything. Everything that the world encompasses and you can fill the music with your own lyrics, your own thoughts, shaping them like a forest, towering above the oceans. It’s your landscape to paint, the music gives you the mood, sets a background score. It’s a beautifully underrated genre. I wish I could say more but I do not want to bore you. Here’s a list of albums to start off with, I think YouTube shall do a better job than me at providing recommendations after you listen to these (these are in no particular order; I’d recommend the band ‘Break my Fucking Sky’ to start off with) :

  1. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – Explosions in the Sky
  2. Eviscerate Soul – Break My Fucking Sky
  3. All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone – Explosions in the Sky
  4. The Bones of a Dying World – If These Trees Could Talk
  5. All Is Violent, All Is Bright – God is an Astronaut
  6. The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place – Explosions in the Sky
  7. Not All Who Wander Are Lost – Paint The Sky Red
  8. In Silence We Yearn – Oh Hiroshima
  9. Circles – Degree of Arc

(I have a soft spot for ‘Paint The Sky Red’; they’re from Singapore)