Tag Archives: arcade fire

Which Seat Can I Take? The Tao of Rebecca Black

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’

Rebecca Black is 13 years old. She’s got her whole life ahead of her. There’s no need for her to rush.  But she senses it, dimly, the way time crashes in, leaving loss and regret in its wake. We see her family rushing by, senselessly, while Rebecca clings to a moment. We’ve all clung to childish things like a favourite bowl. I had a favourite yellow mug for years that I used to drink from every morning. It smashed. There was talk of it being replaced, but that never came to anything.

Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends
Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

As childhood ends and we enter the adult world, we face complexities we couldn’t have imagined before. Rebecca is rapidly becoming a young woman. The front seat or the back seat? Here she is referencing Arcade Fire’s In The Backseat and its use of locations in a car as metaphors for passivity and growth; it’s peaceful in the back seat, but sometimes we realise we’ve actually been learning to drive while watching the world go by. And which seat can Rebecca take? Will her life be driven by others, or will she learn to make her own choices?

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun

Fun, fun, think about fun’ – it’s a mantra, and a desperate one. Rebecca wants time to fly so the weekend can arrive, but we see the tightness in her eyes, and we feel she knows that every golden weekend of youth is just a stepping stone to future sadness. Does she discern that these carefree Fridays can’t last? At 13 does she picture herself, at 26, spending her Fridays desperately downing drink after drink in a bar, hoping someone will notice her before it’s too late? Can she imagine being 39, grateful just to get to the end of the working week without sobbing in the toilets, and dragging herself home, red-eyed and exhausted?

Yesterday was Thursday (Thursday)
Today is Friday (Friday)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today
Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes afterwaaaaaards
I don’t want this weekend to end

We never want it to end. But it must. All things must. It’s happened subtly, but at some point Friday has shifted from being a lament for the death of childhood, and become a statement about the pointlessness of all existence itself. All we have left are the days of the week, as the pages of the calendar turn and detach like brown leaves from a wet branch. And then, as the heat death of the universe approaches, even those certainties must pass.

Passin’ by is a school bus in front of me
Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream

The anonymous rapper senses it too, time’s arrow embodied in a yellow bus. All those potential futures in one vehicle, ticking away to nothing.

Is it any wonder that the Friday video surfaced now, in the last week of winter? In many cultural traditions we are about to celebrate the dawn of a new year as the vernal equinox approaches. It is a good time to reflect on the cruel, impersonal patterns of the universe. The cycle of life and death, of destruction and rebirth, continues, for now. Rebecca Black is 13 years old. It is Friday.

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Favourite albums of 2010

20. Massive Attack – Heligoland

19. Lil Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being

18. Shakira – Sale El Sol

17. Nas & Damian Marley – Distant Relatives

16. Gabriella Cilmi – Ten

15. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

14. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday

13. The Roots – How I Got Over

12. Diddy – Dirty Money – Last Train To Paris

11. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

10. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty – WEIRDO WITH BASSLINES

9. The-Dream – Love King – PERV WITH SYNTHS

8. Jazmine Sullivan – Love Me Back – SHE GOT A BIIIIIG VOICE

7. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs – YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN YOU KNOW

6. Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea – WEARY AND BROKEN AND TERRIFIED BUT LOVE IS BIGGER THAN THE PAIN YOU GET FOR IT AND OH GOD I AM WEEPING AGAIN

5. The National – High Violet – The National have got TWO pairs of brothers in their line up, but despite this they keep refusing to do a “Double Jedward” by covering Ghostbusters. They insist on filling their music with fear, regret, spiders and despair (it’s very beautiful).

4. Plan B – The Defamation Of Strickland Banks – Angry rapper in “amazing soft-hearted songwriter” shock. Also: tight suits, prison fantasies.

3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

We're going to need a bigger pad

Do we really have to call it that? Anyway here is an extract from Kanye’s shopping list:

THE PLINKY PLINK PIANO OF SELF LOATHING.

THE HUMUNGOUS HANDCLAPS OF HUBRIS

THE BLARING HORNS OF PROBABLE IMPORTANCE

THE APHEX TWIN SAMPLE OF WISTFUL REGRET

THE PROG ROCK SAMPLE OF IMPLIED PERSONAL COMPLEXITY

THE MASSED CHOIRS OF ASSUMED SIGNIFICANCE

EGGS

BROCCOLI

PAINTINGS

2. Robyn – Body Talk

Instructions for assembly available separately

CARLSSON. Album. Package measurement: 5-15 tracks ( spares provided ). Start with a ready-made combination or create your own combination from scratch. Drag and drop songs using our online planner, or see our CARLSSON experts in store for helpful advice in assembling your album. Key features: Resilience, Defiance, Inclusivity, Heartbreak, Love, Compassion, Dancing (on your own), Dancing (running tings), Dancing (to the beat), 1 x robot, 1 x time machine. Will complement existing CARLSSON items. Care instructions: Wipe off tears with a soft clean cloth. Keep going.

1. Drake – Thank Me Later

Choose your own Drake

Choose your own adventure in time, memory and identity! Will you find your way to happiness in the here and now or be LOST IN TIME?

TRACK 1

You are Drake! Money just changed everything and your fifteen minutes started an hour ago!  But you’re haunted by the sense that “you never see it coming, you just get to watch it go”.

If you look for the answer in your lover’s eyes, go to Track 11.

If you look for the answer in your own past, go to Track 10.

TRACK 2

“I was only trying to get ahead – but the spotlight made you nervous”.

You don’t get to take everyone with you when your life changes; sometimes it’s your choice, sometimes theirs. It’s rare that it doesn’t hurt, but there’s a fine line between being strong and divorcing yourself from all feeling.

If you put your hand on a hot kettle in an attempt to feel connected to the world again, go to Track 14

If you’d rather have a good time, go to Track 5

TRACK 3

“They say: you promised me you would never change” But identity is fluid. They’ve brought you down just when you’d started to live in the moment, accept the pain of memory and kiss the past goodbye, too. You can’t do much about how others see you, in the end, but you can try and be true to yourself.

If you try to be all things to all people, go to Track 4

If you think you have to leave people behind sometimes, go to Track 2

TRACK 4

“That’s right, I’m doing me” in the crescendo of a victory anthem ought to come across as triumphant. But it’s full of uncertainty, a resigned suspicion that your identity’s a commodity, that being completely “yourself” gets harder and harder the more people you know and more you try to please. “It’s far from over” should sound like a rallying cry, but you make it seem so weary.

If you imagine that things could have been different, go to Track 12

If you think that one day you’ll realise what a great time you were having, go to Track 9

If you want to try disassociating yourself from others’ opinions, go to Track 2

TRACK 5

It’s hard, living in the moment. Once in a while, you get the opportunity for a bit of right-now happiness with someone. But the weight of memory presses hard, you torture yourself, wondering how your past even led you there in the first place, while trying too hard to forget and going on about saving worries for tomorrow just reminds you of the problems. So you live for “the nights you can’t remember with the people you won’t forget”.

If you think you can still make the best of it, go to Track 7

If you think simpler would be better, go to Track 12

TRACK 6

You have been up all night.

If you look like yes, go to Track 8

If you look like no, go to Track 9

TRACK 7

If you got your nails done and hair done and everything did, go to Track 6

If you’re worried people will think you’re too fancy, go to Track 3

TRACK 8

This is the dream, isn’t it. (This is The-Dream, isn’t it.) That moment where time slows down and stops and you can finally focus on something, finally be fully present in the moment with someone. And a song that makes you feel it, like the air in a heat haze warping around you. I THINK YOU REALLY MADE IT.

TRACK 9

“Looking forward to the memories of right now”? But it’s a beautiful night to live your beautiful life. Why can’t you be there, living it? Losing yourself in thoughts of potential futures is bad enough, but losing yourself in thoughts of a potential future in which you’re stuck looking back at the present past? You are so lost.

TRACK 10

“I keep thinking, how young can you die from old age?” Memories weigh heavy, when you’ve already had a too-full life. But how has your past changed you?

If you think it’ll all make more sense when you look back at it in years to come, go to Track 9

If you’re thinking about who you’ve had to leave behind, go to Track 2

If you’re trying to work out who the hell you are, go to Track 4

TRACK 11

“Miss me a little when I’m gone” But how can you know who you are, if all your identity comes from how others see you?

If you think people have got you all wrong, go to Track 3

If you think it’s down to you, go to Track 4

If you think it’s better to try and move on, go to Track 2

TRACK 12

If there’s one thing more dangerous than living in the past or the future, it’s imagining how different things could be right now. You can’t undo the changes you’ve gone through. For better or worse, they’ve made you who you are. But still, you imagine yourself in an alternate present, with the old familiar things around you, as if you’d never moved on. YOU ARE LOST.

TRACK 13

“Every single summer, I’ll be the one that you remember.”  I listened to this album on lazy summer afternoons in the park, on too-hot mornings as I walked to work, and late at night in the middle of our June heatwave when the world seemed to press in through the window… It’s hard to avoid getting mentally bogged down in the past, in all your mistakes and wasted opportunities, when you get to a certain age. It’s hard to imagine the future being much better. It’s a great thing if you can appreciate everything that’s good in the here and now. It’s amazing when music comes along that speaks to you personally and moves you, when the music is as sweet as a cool breeze on a hot summer’s night. Hey how did you get to this paragraph anyway?

TRACK 14

“Thank me later, yeah, I know what I said, but later doesn’t always come, so instead, it’s okay – you could thank me now” And the moment rushes in. When an album sets up a theme of deferment and displacement, right from its title, it’s a good thing to get it all resolved in the final track. I THINK YOU MADE IT. But other endings may be available