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 makes 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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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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Music Questions, and other stories

Do you have any fan merchandise that is unusual?

I don’t think so, no. I was a broke-ass kid so I was never the type to spend money on fan merch.

I used to be surrounded by artists though, and they used to give me the coolest hand-made gifts. A teacher once gave me a wooden kunai (the ninja weapon from Naruto) which he carved out of mahogany. A schoolmate also gifted me a guitar pick with the Natin99 pattern that he painted himself. The paint (acrylic?) easily chipped off when I started using the pick, and so this guy reminded me that the gift wasn’t made for actual use: “pang-collector’s item kasi ‘yan!” Shet sorry naman! Haha.

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Searching 3.0: OPM and Figures of Speech

I found an interesting query under last week’s Search Terms:

My OPM favorites post has a few examples but it doesn’t explicitly state which lines count as personification. Hopefully the kids who were searching still found it helpful — I bet you they were actual kids cramming for an assignment. 🙂

Anyhow, I decided to do some further digging and write about the different ways figurative language has featured in OPM lyrics. I initially wanted to explore at least 10 figures of speech but because I tend to get way too chatty about these things, I eventually narrowed them down to three: simile, metaphor, and personification.

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