Maroon 5-ness: Overexposed

So I got my hands on a copy of Maroon 5’s newest album “Overexposed” the day it came out. This means I’ve had it for a good month now, and I have to say…it is quite different from anything they’ve ever done. It really is a departure from their established style. It’s more dance-y and leaves behind the pop-rock/funk/soul/blues sound they had in Songs About Jane.

With that being said…I found the album overall to be rather underwhelming. The songs seem to blend together in an indistinguishable synthesized heap. There are a few songs that I enjoy though, if only because they’re extremely catchy and makes me want to groove/dance. You can listen to clips of the songs on this soundcloud player.

My favorite song would have to be “Lucky Strike.” It’s got a really fun sound, it’s energetic, has that fight-on vibe. Also I think it has potential to be made into a sick remix, something more grounded as house or dubstep.

My next pick of the album would have to be “Tickets.” Like I said, it’s rather catchy. Also, it reminds me of Lady Gaga. Alot. Think “Pokerface.” Yeah. Still a fun song though.

And then, there’s “Ladykiller.” You only get a clip of the songs from these soundcloud bits, but from listening to this track, I’m trying to figure out if the song’s about a bisexual/lesbian who’s trying to seduce the girl in question. Or at least that’s the story I get from the song.  It’s interesting.

And actually, “Wasted Years” is the only track on this album that doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of them…because it sounds like their older stuff. It’s pretty neat.

Otherwise, I found most of the other songs to be a bit forgettable. Ah well.

 

I also decided to obtain a copy of their 10th anniversary release of “Songs About Jane.” Well, mainly I wanted to get my hands on the demo version of the album. It’s pretty great. You get to hear what they sounded like before they got really big. But what’s also included are a few unproduced tracks that didn’t make it onto “Songs About Jane” when it was released. And I gotta say, I love a couple of these unproduced tracks.

“Take What You Want” is one of them. It’s also got a blues-y feel to it. Ahhh, Maroon 5 actually wrote some blues songs? Cool. Coolcoolcool.

And finally, “Ragdoll” has got to be a new favorite Maroon 5 track overall, even if it was never produced.

It is such a blues song. And now I desperately want to dance blues to it with someone. Argh. So good.

Speaking of blues, I recently went to my first dance exchange ever! A blues dance exchange, more specifically, that was in Columbia, SC. It was so much fun. When I first started dancing blues, it was more of a “see what they’re doing? Now go.” And in all honesty, that’s probably not a bad way to dance it. Its structure is very flexible and open to individual interpretation, which, I love, of course. But attending the workshops this weekend, I realized there really is a certain structure to blues dancing, as well as different types of blues dancing. All are still very open to personal stylization and in fact, even encourage it. Such a great weekend, and now I want to attend more blues exchanges. There’s one coming up in November in Charleston, SC. I’ve always wanted to visit Charleston. Maybe this would be a fine opportunity.

 


Goodbyes

To be honest, I don’t think I felt very sad during my grandfather’s funeral and burial. Instead I felt emotionally detached  from the rest of my grieving family who held each other and cried. I watched them mourn and it made me feel weird and awkward. I just didn’t have time to be that sad at the moment; I was in the process of cleaning and packing up my apartment when I heard the news. So, in a heartless way, I guess I was thinking it seemed like an inconvenient time for him to kick it. Does this make me a cold and uncaring person? Maybe.

Or maybe I prefer to hide behind sarcasm and humor.

To be honest, I just wasn’t that close to my grandfather. But don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for everything he’s done for our family. His life story is stuff of legend. Avoiding the North Korean army draft and escaping south at the age of 17, scrapping by with barely nothing until he was given a break and studied medicine, only to immigrate with his family to America, where he was required to redo his residency as an anesthesiologist at his 40s? It’s unbelievable and is well-worthy of so much respect.

Or maybe in the recent months I’ve also come to view him as the symbol of the old, Asian-immigrant-typical ideals and pressures that I’ve been trying so hard to shrug off.

To be honest, I find my patience with my family wearing thin. I love my cousins, but the elders leave something to be desired. Everyone is so high-frequency, high-strung, high-energy, that within 5 minutes of being around them, I’m stressed out of my mind. So it’s a little difficult to take the grieving/funeral/burial process seriously when my aunts start panicking about multiple services and different things they want to see happen. I can understand that it’s a Korean culture thing (I guess?) but come on, I’m only half Korean. And not even that; I consider myself American before anything else. I’ve already accepted my grandfather’s passing the last time I saw him in the hospital, so I felt that all this excess grieving and ceremony to be unnecessary. I guess I sound selfish and rather disrespectful. But I don’t really feel the need to have to justify my feelings to anyone, since they’re my feelings and mine alone.

Or maybe it’s because a series of frustrations have been piling up in my conscious, filling it to the brim, and I don’t have the room to dedicate to grieving without letting my entire mental state dissolve into pieces.

Goodbyes are one of those things of mine, things I know I should learn to do and accept but I just can’t.

(See also: close physical/non-sexual intimate contact [hugging, etc])

It could be denial, that I don’t want to have to accept that I have to move on. It could be cowardice, that I don’t want to have to face whatever it is I’m leaving. It could be fear, that I will lose the person/people/place forever. So as a result, I take preemptive measures to ensure I don’t get hurt.

Which is another thing I tend to do when it comes to social interaction. But maybe more on that some other time.

I was chosen to be one of the pallbearers. Well, more like drafted, as my father simply pointed out me and two of my other cousins to assist with it, but it felt like an honor regardless.

The whole ceremony does make me wonder about how I might have to bury my father someday and how I’ll hold myself then. Or who knows, maybe I’ll die in a freak accident and he’ll have to be the one who buries me. Except I don’t like the idea of a burial. The embalming process is kinda weird, and besides, I don’t want my body to rise up during the zombie apocalypse. So yeah, just cremate me.

It’s definitely been an odd week, and this is only one dimension of some type of mental struggle I’ve been going through. Though, I have been thinking of this song, with my grandfather’s passing and all.


Run Right Back

“Run Right Back.” My current favorite  song by “The Black Keys.”


Advice is a form of nostalgia

“People want different things at different points in their lives. When you’re a teenager, romance is a novel and exciting idea and a ‘relationship’ just sounds so ‘adult,’ doesn’t it. But come early 20s, you’re in the process of getting your life and shit together, so a relationship isn’t anywhere on your list of priorities, but that doesn’t mean you’re against the occasional sexy-fling-casual-fun-time. And later on when you feel secure about your occupation and life situation and who you are as a person, then yeah, maybe you’re more open to some kind of relationship. Different people want different things at different points in their different lives…”

 

Something I told someone. She liked the explanation a lot. But I suppose I was really speaking from a present situation at the time. And now, it’s time to accept my own advice, swallow my own medicine, for lack of a better cliche.


“The Siren”

An original song I wrote. Went to the beach recently, and I was standing on the condo balcony one morning, fiddling with my ukulele. I played this chord sequence and realized I liked it, and the song came shortly after. Man. I wish all songs took an hour or less to write.

So yeah, this song was inspired by the beach and the ocean (but technically I was at the gulf). And other things.

Fun fact: I think that, ladies, if you ever dated a guy who’s into playing music/writing music, you’ve probably had a song written for you/about you at some point. Cheers!

 

Siren’s call 
I am sinking 
beneath the ocean waves 
 
Music so sweet 
I must breathe 
but still I remain 
 
In the night
I thought I heard you 
whisper my name 
 
Send me sleep 
Keep all fears and 
worries away 
 
Open my eyes 
Show me reasons 
why I misbehave 
 
And still I stay 
And still I stay 
And still I stay 
Beneath the/(your) ocean waves ((x3))