Monday, August 01, 2005

I think I should explain the little pieces of paper...

One of the things I have done recently at Punk shows is pass out pieces of paper that had lyrics of songs on them, along with a link to this page. I passed out ~550 at the Warped Tour (7/17) and ~150 at Alkaline Trio/Rise Against/Death By Stereo concert(7/29), along with the one the following night.
The one from the Warped Tour read:
Come together and fight together, unite together as one. -– Pennywise
All so different yeah, I say we're all the same. All caught, you know, in the division game. - Operation Ivy
Make some new friends today. Talk to people who are different. It could change your life. -– Me

The one from the other shows read:
Tell me what is worth dying for? Would you give up everything to make one lasting point? -– Strung Out
Is this human freedom hedonistic excess? Junky consumerism, mass-production, toxic sickness - Rancid
I wonder how many people really listen to the lyrics when they hear a song?

But what I haven't really explained very well is why I did it. I did it for a few reasons. First, those lyrics mean something to me, and probably did to some of the people received them. I simply put them with a positive thought, and hoped people actually read them and thought about them, whether they recognized the lyrics at all. Furthermore, people who did recognize the lyrics would immediately recognize we have something in common, and something that is a big part of who I am. I believe Punk is something very positive, but at the same time very abstract, and lyrics are used as a way of expressing it. I want to meet people who want to discuss Punk, both lyrically and ideologically, regardless of whether it was a major part of their lives as well as those who had never thought about it.

I know that it is accomplishing these goals to some extent just from talking to people. I ran into a few people each night at the shows who received flyers at the Warped Tour. One guy(sorry, I forgot your name) had put it on his bulletin board. I know that at least some band members and roadies got them each time. I have met countless people through them, and hopefully will continue talking to all of you who wind up here.

So now I came up with an idea to get people to start posting some comments and get some discussions started. Post a favorite song lyrics quote. Feel free to comment on why. I have my blog set to allow anonymous posting, so you don't have to register. I would also like to encourage people to post comments on older posts if they feel so inclined. I would like to discuss any of my ideas. I will make the post, since it's only fair that I do it first.
Try to describe to the limit of my ability:
Its there for a second
Then it's given up what it used to be
Contained in my music somehow more than just sound
This inspiration coming and twisting things around
Because you always know that its gonna have to go
You always know that you'll be back in the cold.
Point of depatrure sublimated in a song
Its always coming to give me that hope for just a second
Then its gone but
Sound system gonna bring me back up
One thing that I can depend on

I think that's one of the best ways to describe what the music means to me.

I won't post a song of the day, just because I've already blown an hour doing this blog post, and really should go to bed.



christine said...

So what I think is that sure, lyrics are important and sometimes if you're just one of those people who just listens to music b/c it 'sounds good' and don't pay attention to the lyrics, you are missing a really good part of the song. obviously the artist wanted to communicate something b/c he or she wrote about it. but when people get too absorbed in the lyrics and constantly try to find some kind deeper meaning with the artist or the words it gets a little old. i'll admit that some of my favorite quotes are from songs, and i definitely listen to lyrics. but when people impose a lyric on me that i don't recognize, it kind of means nothing to me. like when people put a lyric on their instant msg profile or away msg, leaving me to try and figure out how they are feeling or why they chose to put up that line. no offense against handing out lyrics that mean something to you, but you shouldn't take it personal if no one posts on your blog. i like to read blogs just to see what other people are thinking or if they just write about random stuff like i do. i think that if you want to have a good discussion about something that's important to you then you shouldn't rely on your blog--you probly won't reach many people. if you don't already then you could create a group or something-or join someone elses to talk and see what other people think about punk. or simplify and talk about specific bands on their personal sites or group pages. getting feedback from people on what you write is refreshing and it's interesting to see their viewpoints, but you can't always expect people to comment--sometimes they just want to read.

Sancho said...

Song lyrics are:

Song. Lyrics.

And clearly, they are not the most powerful part of the picture -- groups will make moving songs with no lyrics, but it isn't often you see them produce lyrics with no song.

The lyrics may provide the language and the clarity to what the song is trying to convey, but it is the music that drives the raw emotion and significance.

But here's the thing -- the human mind is amazing at hanging on to that feeling, that personal connection to a song. It will even linger long after the listener has forgotten that they ever heard it.

All it takes is one otherwise unrecognizable stanza of words to suddenly dredge up that sunken significance, and give someone something to ponder all over again.

I think the fliers are a fucking sweet idea... It's the sort of thing I would think about, but never execute on. If you hook me up with one, I will totally put it on my wall -- provided the lyrics hold some significance to me, of course.

I don't know what you've been drinkin', but pour another one for me!