Friday, October 31, 2008

A Study in Contrasts

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with a listening assignment, if you're so inclined.

This is a combination that my iPod kicked up for me over the summer.

First, listen to Devo's It's a Beautiful World.

Then, listen to Amy Correia sing Life is Beautiful.

You have to pay attention to the lyrics on both songs, and I strongly recommend that you minimize the window when listening to the Devo song. The video is brilliant, but I couldn't find video on the Amy Correia song, and I think it's unfair to do a comparison between audiovisual art and purely audio art. Most of us are such visual creatures that the video will always make a stronger impression. If you really want to do things right, open both links in different windows, play the Devo song, and then click over and start the Amy Correia song the instant Devo finishes up.

It's up to you whether you want to complete the assignment now, or read on for my own opinion on the two songs, but of course I'd like you to formulate your impression without contamination from mine (... again, if you're so inclined).

My reaction to hearing these two songs back-to-back was this (taken from a journal entry I wrote at the time):

Earlier this evening, my iPod thoughtfully followed Devo's It's a Beautiful World with Amy Correia's Life is Beautiful. The contrast literally made me cry, even more than Life is Beautiful usually does. I love Devo's wry cynicism, but it was fabulous to have Amy Correia immediately demonstrate how wrong that cynicism is.

I have so many frustrations, so much angst over things of trivial importance and greater significance alike. In some ways, I feel I have been stretched and twisted to my breaking point in recent months.

Yet I have also grown more and more ready to weep at pure beauty, and I would not give up that intensity of feeling for any reduction in stress.

Thank you, goddess of love, for exquisite juxtapositions.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee


15 comments:

Strumpet said...

Okay, I will have to come back and complete the assignment as you have deemed it best to be completed.

So, I stopped before reading your take.

But, I wanted to come by and say Happy Happy Halloween and much spooky goodness to you.

And since this is an assignment, and I feel like a student, I will be bringing you another apple and zucchini upon completion.

I could bring you more fun things you know.

Like...

Bananas.

And chocolate.

And vodka.

A smooth and silky cabernet.

xoxo, Devo-ness

You so rock.

Devotee said...

Be careful what you bring me! I'm pretty sure I could mix the bananas and chocolate and vodka together and still be okay, but I suspect if I threw in the cabernet, it would be another disaster. (Probably not as bad as the herring-walnut oatmeal, though.)

Also, I'm a total lightweight when it comes to alcohol.

But maybe that's part of your plan ...

You rock too, dear Strumpet!

Strumpet said...

Oh, I do believe getting YOU tipsy would be amazingly fun.

Of course, I'd be getting tipsy with you...

The plunsess of my ginga signifies that it would be an astoundingly good time.

Devotee said...

I have been informed that I'm pretty entertaining when tipsy. Of course, the people who've told me that may have just been being kind to save me from getting too mortified at my embarrassing behavior.

For some reason, I'm getting an image of myself one drink into things trying to say "the plunsess of my ginga" and getting it wrong about 50 times in a row.

That sounds like it would get progressively more hilarious with each attempt...

Strumpet said...

Okay, I'm up to completing the assignment.

I'm listening to the Devo song.

I'm going to type as I listen since I have to keep myself occupied so as to not be tempted to watch the video.

Oh, wow, this sounds like A Flock of Seagulls. 'I Ran.'

Oh, now the keyboards are reminding me of that scene in Revenge of the Nerds.

There's a Devo song in the movie Heavy Metal.

'We're through bein' cool...'

Oh, I LOVE these lyrics.

It's so happy and fun.

I love this.

This is great.

Yum.

Hey!

Oh there's the Flock of Seagulls riff again.

'You can shake it to me all night long.'

Fun.

Oh, and then there's a little cowboy bass riff.

Oh, I want to post these lyrics.

These are great lyrics.

I am smiling, Devo.

I have the Devo album with 'Whip It' on vinyl from when I was a kid.

I was pretty blessed with parents with excellent taste in music.

Oh, this was really fun.

Okay, I need to go and start the other one now.

Be right back!

I favourited the Devo.

I don't know who Amy Correria is. But, I am pretty sure that Life is Beautiful is the name of this Italian film I want to see from a few years back.

Wait, it's not starting. Let me see what is going on.

.....

Duh. Had to hit play.

Oh, this is pretty.

I like her voice.

Oh, I have to really pay attention to this one.

It's very hopeful.

Oh, Mongoloid. That's a good Devo song.

I like the La-la-la's.

I want to fly over a bridge.

Yes, this is a very positive song.

This is like something they would play on 93.9 Lite FM.

I listen to that station sometimes.

Okay. Both great songs. I'm partial to Devo though.

Time to go and read what you wrote.

OH, my Goodness! I forgot about how this all came about from an iPod shuffle. Yeah, hearing these two magically put together would have made my freaking week, yo.

Okay, back to your post.

And, yes, with the proper emotional mindset in play, I'd've cried too.

I could just imagine me sitting on a bus, coming home, and staring out the window, as I often do. I like to people watch and I do love to see all the beauty one can see from the window of a bus-ride home. This song combo DEFINITELY would have made me cry.

By the way, I am having WAY too much fun with this assignment.

And, by the way, I'm a little high. A congrats to myself on an interview well-done.

Okay, back to reading.

Okay.

Ahem.

Now, I could go back and CHANGE everything I wrote so you don't think I'm an idiot. But, as I JUST typed out I AM a little high and also I am in VERY good spirits, so it is only too PERFECT that even Devo's WRY CYNICISM flew right over my head. Which only GOES TO SHOW, that YES, such cynicism IS wrong.

Cos it feels way too good to be so excited about the beauty in the world to me on this day that I feel free from recent hardships and good about my interview. Simply stated.

And, also YES it is very very true how when we are at that particular point emotionally, it makes our feelings that much more intense when you see small, yet hugely, beautiful things that will bring us to tears just knowing how much one can appreciate them.

If that sentence even makes any sense. Again, I'm leaving it.

Okay, this was a GREAT assignment.

Here is an apple.

And here is a zucchini.

And here is an ice cream cone.

Directions: Do not mix the above ingredients together.

Much love, Devo

xoxo

Strumpet said...

Correction:

The Devo album that I have does not have 'Whip It.'

It has 'Satisfaction.'

That is why my parents bought it.

It's the yellow one, 'Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!'

Devotee said...

Ah, a happy Strumpet is a joy to behold.

I'm glad I told you not to watch the Devo video. You have to listen pretty closely to the song to catch how deeply cynical it is, but the video is brutally straightforward. It might have been a bit of a buzzkill for you, and I'd much rather see you all peaceful and floating-like.

I have "Freedom of Choice" on vinyl. That's the one with "Whip It!" (which happens to be my all-time favorite Devo song). I keep telling myself I ought to get some of their other albums, but I nabbed "Beautiful World," "Workin' in a Coal Mine" and a couple of my other favorites off of iTunes, and my "really ought to get more of" list probably has a couple dozen groups on it.

Thanks for the apple/zucchini/ice cream cone basket. What flavor is the ice cream, by the way?

I'm not picky ... just curious!

Strumpet said...

Yeah, I was thinking I'd go back and actually watch the vid another day. 'tis why I saved it.

I have a button on my backpack that says, 'Whip it good!'

I love that button.


The ice cream is.....

....New York Cherry.

Devotee said...

Mmmm. Tasty.

Is the cone one of those chocolate-dipped ones?

That would be perfect.

Devo brings me back to a certain time in my youth. I have a very clear memory of my family sitting around the coffee table playing "Boggle" with the radio on, and "Whip It!" coming on in the middle of one game.

I always kicked everyone's *ahem*s at Boggle.

Crack that whip!

Strumpet said...

Ohhhhhhhh....

Now I want to play Boggle with you!

Though, I'm sure you will kick my 'ahem.'

But, I'll put up a good fight.

Yes, chocolate is involved in the cone action.

And you can feel free to whip my ahem anytime you'd like.

Me and my ahem would like it.

Or, would that be....

'My ahem and I?'

Strumpet said...

Yeah, had I watched the video, my comment would have been much different.

I just watched it.

I like my interpretation better.

=P

Devotee said...

The first time I saw that video, I was actually outraged that anyone would create such a depressing, nihilistic montage over such a relatively innocent-sounding song. It literally made me feel ill.

But later, when I realized that Devo was all about using a bizarre persona to express a particular artistic view of the world, I changed my opinion again and decided it's really an amazing video. Not in any way uplifting, but still amazing.

Of course, it's helped a lot that Mark Mothersbaugh has composed a bunch of music for kids' movies and video games, which suggests he's not nearly as much of a curmudgeon as that video implies.

Boggle.

Whips.

Chocolate.

New York Cherry ice cream.

Cone action.

Strumpet.

Life is beautiful!

Strumpet said...

Devo,

I cannot get this Devo song out of my head now.

I keep singing (AND it keeps repeating itself in my mind)

It's a beautiful world
It's a beautiful world


Prior to this song, the song that was in my head, (and still is in there too,) is

I believe it's time for me to fly-yyyy
Time for me to fly!


By REO Speedwagon.

It's not that I heard it, or anything, though I may have on the radio or something in the background and not realized it.

But, I just started SINGING it like three or four days ago and it hasn't left and I found it to be a VERY profound and inspirational lyric in my life right now.

It kind of gave me some cajones.

You know, I grew a pair.

Thank you, REO Speedwagon.


Oh, and I like your list.

It sounds like a perfect night.

I may have to remember that one the next time I am planning a romantic evening.

That probably won't be for awhile.

But, I am going to keep that list on file.


And I e-mailed you back, you goofball.

I hope I explained myself well enough.

I tend to go off on tangents.

(Really, Strumpet? I hadn't noticed.)

That's my imaginary friend.

He talks to me sometimes and pops his head up in comments even.

I can't control him sometimes.


xoxo, Devo-licious

Be well to yourself.

Much love and peace.

Try not to worry so much about weird things.

Maybe I could give you a Heavy Metal Foot Massage and ease your mind.

...That would be a food massage to Heavy Metal music.

I think it would be very soothing and extremely relaxing.


Rock on.

\m/

Strumpet said...

Yeah, I meant *foot*

Uh-huh.

Yep.

Devotee said...

I don't know ... a Heavy Metal Food Massage sounds like it might in some ways be even better.

: )

Anyway, all is cool and I will try not to be such a worry-wart.