Music is dumb

I just finished reading an essay called “The Music Itself: Glenn Gould’s Contrapuntal Vision,” and one part that stood out to me was writer Edward Said’s assertion that “music is fundamentally dumb.”

The statement reads like a hot take perfect for Twitter, but Said does make a good point: “despite its fertile syntactic and expressive possibilities, music does not encode reference, or ideas, or hypotheses discursively, the way language does.” Interesting, isn’t it?

Said’s explanation reminds me of a similar observation made by another critic A.O. Scott, who posits that “a piece of music makes no obvious argument, tells no literal story, soars above politics and history in an ether where logic and feeling coexist interchangeably.”

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Music is the answer

“Without music life would be a mistake,” philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote. I have yet to decide if I agree with him or not, but in the meantime, I am going to answer so-called philosophical questions using song titles.

(I need an excuse to procrastinate, is why.)


1. What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?

Love is a Losing Game – Amy Winehouse

2. Is free will real or just an illusion?

Ewan – APO Hiking Society

3. Is there a meaning to life? If so, what is it?

Happy Not Knowing – Carly Rae Jepsen

4. Where is the line between art and not art?

Glory and Gore – Lorde

5. What should be the goal of humanity?

Eat the Rich – Aerosmith

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Songs on Repeat

Spotify’s On Repeat playlist is pretty nifty, isn’t it?

On Repeat has become my go-to playlist recently and it’s been dope. It has all the songs that I love listening to over and over again, and it saves me time from having to decide which albums to play. I press On Repeat and voila — the songs are surefire bops.

But because I’ve been listening to On Repeat a lot, the track list has been pretty much the same for months now. As much as I enjoy guaranteed hits, the sawá factor can also get to me and I need to cleanse my palate with new songs every now and then. We all do, don’t we?

Anyway, this quick post is just to share with you the top songs that have been shuffling around my On Repeat playlist in the past months. Who knows, maybe some of you may discover new songs from this list. And oh — if you have song recommendations based on my favorite tracks, please let me know! “Sharing is caring,” sabi nga ni Carmina Mones. 😀

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Sunday Songs


1. Do you listen to music everyday?

Yes, ma’am.

2. One band you always come back to?

Eraserheads

3.  What is/are your favorite song(s) at the moment?

“2020” by Great Good Fine Ok

4. What’s your Spotify?

Hanapin n’yo na lang.

5. Top 3 played songs?

“Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers
“Hanggang sa Muli” by Kenyo
“Makahiya” by Ang Bandang Shirley

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24 Songs

Some nights I wish I lived right at the heart of a warm city with a 24/7 coffee shop in which I could easily meet someone who’d be willing to keep me company at 3 in the morning while both of us struggle to sleep — too bad my life isn’t a mumblecore movie, ‘no?

I’ve tried melatonin pills, chamomile tea, mindful meditation — wala talaga e. I just can’t sleep, or at least not during the normal hours when most people go to sleep. Nakakabaliw!

Anyway, it’s currently past 3 in the morning and I don’t think I will be sleeping anytime soon so I might as well do this tag that I found on tumblr. Not as exciting as meeting the love of my life and walking along the streets of a city in slumber but, yeah, this will do.

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A Playlist For No One

夢 中 人 – Faye Wong

You liked Chungking Express, didn’t you?

Have I told you that Chungking is among my favorite films of all time? Why, you ask? Maybe it’s the actors, the fact that I find them both very attractive. Maybe it’s the little details too, the fact I now associate canned pineapples and broken plumbing pipes with longing and loneliness.

Or, hmm, maybe it’s just because of that “Dreams” song, that Cranberries cover which I dearly love, and which I’m guessing you love too — do you? Or are my clairvoyant powers failing me again, huh?

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