Msichana Mdogo

Short view on life and such…

La Mort – What Went Unsaid

We first met officially in ’99. November. I met your distant cousin first hand when I found Dad in bed with his huge study bible on his chest. He wouldn’t wake up. I swear I was sure it was you, until I was told way after you came and took him away. I was too young to understand. I cried, because I’d never see Dad again, or hear his voice. I cried because I saw Mum cry. I heard her cry for many years after and I cursed you each time. Futile.

Our next close meet. 2010. November. You took Matt. This time, I knew exactly what was going on. I knew. I know. I will never forget the look on mom’s face when we landed in Gongoni. She was crying out to us…with a hand outstretched. She looked tired. Tired from the fight she’d put up with you.  Glad and grateful that we didn’t meet you on our way to pay our respects to Matt. Sad, angry and ashamed that she didn’t protect him long enough. I hate what you have done to mom. You stole her joy.

In between you met Doris. Convinced her it was a good idea for her to meet you halfway. Ceiling. Belt. Doris. Chair. You. Dude! Do you consider yourself some kind of sham poet? Do you know the things that some of us had to resolve with her before you met? Things we should have said, wrongs we should have righted? Honestly, I don’t think you care. Just doing your job.

Right now, your stench fills the air. It is dense with a heavy presence of you. You’re tearing families apart, mercilessly. You’re taking young souls that have not even yet learned what life could mean. Everyday, news of you makes the headlines.

I am worried that my fear of you is taking over what has been an ability to look anything in the eye and challenge it. I have felt you creep in and knock on my being, more than once. It’s not my time yet. When that time comes, perhaps i will have learnt how to make peace with you. Till then, we fight. Even with my worry- laden heart, my clumsy fists. Futile. Once again.

What worries me even more is that humanity is getting accustomed to you. So accustomed that jokes about you are rife. As though jokes are an escape mechanism. There’s no escaping you however. You’re the only thing laughter can’t cure.

I must however resolve myself to the truth that there’s no life without death, and without death, there’s no life, for life is a dance in duality.

“Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to    pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.” ~ RAY BRADBURY, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Ghost Stories – Coldplay

“Ghost Stories is the 6th studio album by the British rock band Coldplay. Ghost Stories, partly inspired by lead singer Chris Martin‘s troubled relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow at the time of the album’s recording, is a concept album that tells the story of a man going through a dramatic and sudden breakup, with the narrative following the man’s various emotional states leading up to his eventual acceptance of the situation. The album revolves around a central theme of “opening yourself up to love”, and accepting that love does not last forever.

The album was recorded by the band throughout 2012 and 2014 at the band’s purpose-built home studios in London, England, and features guest producers Avicii, Timbaland and Madeon, in addition to the band’s frequent collaborator,Jon Hopkins. The album is packaged with original etchings by Mila Fürstová, created specifically for the album.”

(source: Wikipedia)

ghost-stories-1400095149Here’s what I think, Ghost Stories has to be one of the most honest and soul baring albums i have ever listened to by Coldplay. In my opinion, it is comparable only to their earlier work X&Y. That was one helluva an album. I can sing it back to back, and this is quickly happening to me and this one too…well not exactly each and every song like the aforementioned one, but most. The songs I skip now, I  believe will grow on me should I give them another listen over..

I looked forward to this album’s release as much as I look forward to ..well i have no real comparison. I originally thought to say Christmas then i thought of how “Hallmark Movie” like that would sound. That aside, I looked forward to this album mostly because I had a feeling it would be really sad. Conscious uncoupling and all…I could relate. I looked forward to bawling to this album. I followed each and every release (Magic and Midnight came out first), all and every update on Coldplay’s Facebook and YouTube… this is one of the big ones this year. I read up on it on Wikipedia..I  looked up Mila Fürstová,  the artist behind the album art. I prepared myself for my soul’s touchdown. I have never done this.

So I finally got it and I was overcome by emotion at the first play…then something weird happened..no tears. The emotion was/is real, I related more than I thought i would to the various emotional states that Mr. Chris Martin must’ve gone through…shall we go song for song now? Thank you.

“Always in my head” going without saying, this song is hypnotising from the second it begins. It’s lyrics carry quite some truth for me that i cannot divulge here. It really does set the classic Coldplay melancholic mood. I must say this now, that every song in this album sounded to me like his confessions to her and that made it all the easier for me to admit certain feelings I harbour, as I accepted through these songs that men are in fact capable of such deep emotion and vulnerability. His soul is left here. Hanging on the last note. Bare. “Magic” which is naturally the most popular track from the album, also “got me” at first note. The lyrics so much more than the instrumentation and arrangement, which was pure genius! Classic Coldplay. This one is a song you can find yourself singing at the oddest of times, I  know I have. Mostly, the reprise. Yet again, it’s lyrics hit home in a way inexplicable. It’s the perfect love story, between a man and love.

“..and if you were to ask me,after all that we've been through, still believe in magic?  Yes i do...well yes i do, of course I do”

“..and if you were to ask me,after all that we’ve been through, still believe in magic? Yes i do…well yes i do, of course I do”

I love, love this song Ink! It was my quick and not so obvious favorite. It’s up beat- ish, yet still carries a sadness with it. This is one that true soft rock lovers will appreciate. All the trimmings.. complete with perfect vocalisations and that classic Coldplay Organ sound. Only die hards can relate. I love this song, so much that it hurts.. listen and see what I did there.. :)

The song that is responsible for taking me back to X&Y was this one: True Love. It’s one of those songs you put on, turn the lights off and close your eyes. Get lost in it. Soak it  up. It tells a story of a man yearning for professions of love..have we not all been here? I feel, i take away from it in trying to explain it.. so i will stop here. The seamless meld into the next track Midnight is great..and always finds me pre- empting it. On my first listen of this song, i did not know what to think. I felt betrayed. Too much synth. I thought this new Coldplay sound from Mylo Xyloto lingered still into this album…to be honest,I like the song but some bits of it get all to “dubsteppy” for me. I’m not a huge fan of the heavy synth.

Midnight

Midnight

This song Another’s Arms, is an angry  type of sad. Not much has been said of this song. I don’t know why, it’s a beautiful song,but I reckon it’s because it touches topics we as humans are not at ease to speak of.  I reckon.Oceans yet another “Coldplay of old” feel to this one. So “A rush of blood to the head”  Awesome vocals. Vocalisation- there’s a difference right? The most beautiful thing about this band is that their songs sound the same in performance and on the album. The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge performance of this song was just sublime.

“You’ve got to find yourself alone in this world…you’ve got to find yourself alone”

Coz, you’re A sky full of Stars I’m gonna give you my heart… very up tempo. Very EDM – their first dance track apparently.  I had a feeling this was the song Avicii worked on. Sounds so much like a track he’d do, and I was right, upon research i did find that he played additional keyboards!!  Coldplay pulled a Beyonce on this one and did a live recording of this song in Australia, with fans and it looked like a street fair. How envious was I? When will you shoot a fan video in Nairobi? I’d sell a kidney! I easily skip this song though, even though it’s lyrics are quite lovely.

Coldplay_-_A_Sky_Full_of_Stars_(Single)O is a song that really would meld in with their old track “ Violet Hill” in fact, i find myself singing the last line in the chorus every time! This is by far the saddest song in this album. It’s like his release. The song in which he “gives up the ghost”. It has a very heavy grand piano instrumental. I love it!

In a sense, I feel that this has to be the most honest album I have heard all year and i am glad it was my al time faves – Coldplay!!

“The idea of Ghost Stories, for me, was “how do you let the things that happen to you in the past – your ghosts – how do you let them affect your present and your future?” Because there was a time when I was feeling like they were going to drag me down and ruin my life, and the lives of those around me. I was very lucky to meet a very good sufi teacher who started to introduce the idea of “if you sit with your experiences and the things you’ve been through, they alchemize.” At the time he said that, I didn’t really know what that meant, but I trusted that it would work, and the more that I was learning about that, the more music just started flowing through.”  ~ Chris Martin

 

 

Doing happiness right…

Learning how to do happiness and sorrow right.

Each come in pockets – deep or shallow. Engulfing. You can’t see the outside from the inside of either. Not until they’re turned inside out. But you wouldn’t be in them now would you?

I like pockets. Every kind. They’re warm and cosy..often harboring a surprise from last you dipped in them.

Learning how to do happiness and sorrow right.

Dips and rises – life is full of them.. rollercoaster theorem anyone? When you rise, you’re in the clouds and flying with the birds..this feeling is incomparable..but brace yourself..the dip approaches and it can be rapid and even make you shit your pants..or smooth and gliding..just be braced. The dips go way low.. and you’re closest to the ground here.. it’s easy to get stuck here mentally..you think you’re grinding to a slow halt..then…the gradual climb back on high.

I’ve never been on a rollercoaster before.

Learning how to do happiness and sorrow right.

Waves ebb and flow. Emotions flow in with might or lazily, they ebb out easy and mix in with the new flow in and the cycle replicates over and over…ebbing and flowing..smooth and calm at first then intense and even fierce. Best you can do is learn to swim

I love the beach. I miss it. Bitter saltiness.

Tops- turv

Stuck in the memories of forever

Wondering if I can reverse to today

Yesterday feels like my future

Tomorrow came and went.

I see my present rolling past

As my  past clings closer

Sail out – Jhené Aiko

I cannot for the life of me stop listening to this EP. I exaggerate of course, but you know what  mean..This EP has been on constant replay and once you give it a listen, you will understand why. She sings things that have been stuck in my brain for some time. Her voice drips emotion and I have a feeling I will obsessively  listen to this EP for longer.

First of all, Jhené is this awesome artist. Quite flex if you ask me. She can sing, she can rap. She has a way with words. She just chains them together so well. And that raspy voice just hits you the minute she starts…her voice makes the lyrics memorable. Her genre is clearly lyrical hip hop…if that’s something even. It’s how I classify it even though music journos have classified her along with Frank Ocean, The Weekend and Miguel as PBR&B (just follow the link)

Jhene+Aiko+k

Thing I have seen in most reviews (read YouTube comments) is most listeners calling her a rising star, she has been called the Sade of this generation’s time (note how I distance myself…Sade is incomparable)…The universal reaction is that she is really good and I mean, all round. Her voice, her flow, the smoothness in her runs, her lyrics- even though they’re mostly on love, sex and drugs- you know everyday things.

In this EP she features a number of cats including Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino. Staples is featured on the first track “The Vapors”. It being the first the first time i have heard of him. Gambino makes a good collab even with the fact that the were romantically connected. Their track together, “Bed Peace” was my quick favorite and it took me a while to stop abusing the replay button on this one. The Lamar collab swiftly merges in and this track is just perfection! She kills the vocals and he murders the bars – 24 by the way- because he can. The lyrical prowess in “Stay Ready” is just on a beautiful level. The transitions..I could keep describing this one. “WTH” is a track I can almost skip, but i don’t for some reason. Not much to say about it.To be honest “The Worst” is the song that lead me to this EP and I must say that it is the one song that I sing along to loudest. The lyrics and the melody just gel in a way that it’s meant to. I like the little rap she does too..I like more though, how she seamlessly goes back into the singing. This song is jam packed with beautiful runs and notes.has a good steady beat. And she takes on this monoton-ish singing style, with surprises in lifts in voice here and there..the lyrics..so poetic, metaphorical. Jhené is a poet for sure. “Comfort Inn Ending”  is a freestyle she did at the end, with a strong electric guitar bed – i may be wrong but it is the dominant instrument I hear..that and piano. This freestyle is so raw..she covers a bunch of things and first i though it was everywhere and nowhere, but with a good listen you just hear her let go really. The one thing I love the most about the EP is that each track fluidly flows into the next and apparently she performs that way too!

Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo,is a name to keep a look out for..she is definitely talented. I like her a lot. She writes when high. Just like Bob.

 

Listen to Sail out here

 

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