It’s the holiday season again, meaning that the same “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman” have been blaring in department stores since November 1st. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas music is great and definitely puts people in the holiday spirit, but even the best things can grow tiresome if played enough times. So, as my Christmas gift to you, here are my top five Christmas songs by artists who aren’t quite so traditional but still classic nonetheless. Continue reading
The world is filled with walls. Walls that divide different social classes, walls that keep humans and nature separate, walls that keep different nations, races, religions, alliances, and opinions apart. We build the walls to boost our self esteems, because somehow exclusivity equals superiority. We hurt each other because of the walls. We wage war and kill to prove that it is our side of the wall that is right. It is the walls that encourage prejudice, hatred, and contempt for our fellow man. If it is the walls that cause so much pain, so much anguish, and so much suffering, then why are they even there? Through the timeless “Wish You Were Here”, it is arguable that the walls are not there at all, not in reality anyways. The walls exist only in our minds.
Ignorance and arrogance; the two most devastating characteristics of humanity. These two simple traits are the roots to nearly all conflicts, whether a domestic spat between loved ones or in raging wars, the persecution of an entire people, or mass genocide. The astounding and innovative Simon and Garfunkel hit, “The Sound of Silence” has crossed borders of both nations and ideals in its haunting harmonies, resonating lyrics, and its looming sense of doom when describing the fatal flaws that all humanity possesses. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, childhood friends growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in Queens in the 50’s, first formed their musical duo as teenagers. “The Sound of Silence” was released on the duo’s debut album “Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.” in 1964, which for about two years was unrecognized, until its rerelease in 1966. From then on, “The Sound of Silence” has continued to touch new people each generation thanks to its profound lyrics that are still relevant today. Continue reading
Rain. It is both beautiful and melancholy, life-giving and destructive. Even its sound is full of juxtapositions: it can be a soft pitter-patter or a violent, thunderous roar. It is the perfect muse for poets, painters, and musicians alike. Rain is used as a metaphor for many things: humanity, society, balance, and even life itself. I have been inspired by the rain that is currently falling here in southern California (which hardly ever happens) to write about my top five rain-inspired songs, what they mean, and how the nature of rain allows it to be interpreted in so many different ways.