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Thursday, 11 December 2014

VOICE


That one time I mentioned I don't have a real clothing style.
Well, guess what, I don't have a specific taste in music, too.

I like nearly everything from classical music (especially romantic or contemporary pieces), good pop, good rock, K-pop, C-pop, J-trance, folk music (Indian, Chinese, South American, Celtic, etc), house, (Korean) hip hop, I don't know,...


Recently (not soo recent actually) I came to like Japanese band One Ok Rock very much (thanks to FT Island).
The pictures are from a concert of them I went to with my friend. That's very surprising, because I haven't ventured too much into the fields of rock and this band does everything from Alternative rock, to emo, pop punk, post-grunge, etc etc.
I like nearly every song of the recent album, even the one with screams in their more hardcore-ish songs!!!

Their singer Taka has a very interesting high pitched voice. I like high pitched voices when they are very controlled with precise technique.
Taka is a very good singer in that aspect (he used to be with Johnny & Associates, Inc.). But instead of talking about their music today, I want to write about another thing that really won me over: their lyrics

...THE SAME AS

さり気なくもらうその愛情はとてもふかかいで
素直には受け入れられす
何かをまだ閉ざしたまま


Gone to far
for so long
Got to find
You've been right here all along

The shape of love is the same as your heart is
It doesn't matter who you are
So tell me my heart is the same as yours is
たとえ儚くとも
悲しい時寂しい時
いつもそばにあるから
and we hold every moment cause that's what family is for

この世界中で何があると
仆を愛してくれて
いつでもそっと優しくそっと
見守り続けてる
強く弱く時に厳しく
暖かな温もり
and we hold every moment cause that's what family is for

The shape of love is the same as your heart is
Tell me my heart is the same as yours is
The shape of love is the same as your heart is
Tell me my heart is the same as yours is
That love that I casually received
was very incomprehensible
and I couldn’t honestly accept it
while I still shut something up

Gone to far
for so long
Got to find
You've been right here all along

The shape of love is the same as your heart is
It doesn’t matter who you are
So tell me my heart is the same as yours is
Even if it’s short-lived
when you’re sad, when you’re lonely
I’ll always be by your side
And we hold every moment ‘cause that’s what family is for

Whatever happens in this world
I will always love you
I will always be gently watching over you
Strongly, weakly and sometimes sternly with warmth
And we hold every moment ‘cause that’s what family is for



The shape of love is the same as your heart is
Tell me my heart is the same as yours is
The shape of love is the same as your heart is
Tell me my heart is the same as yours is
I think there exist some (Indian or Japanese saying) that goes something like A child will never understand the parents' heart.

I don't really know what Taka or the band (I believe the lyrics are self-written) is trying to say, my Japanese (and their English) is limited and for all I know, he could speaks about his bandmates or a group of friends, but for me I am interpreting the lyrics as directed to one's family.

I feel like it's about a rebellious child who is unable to accept its parents' love, because the love seems so wrong and maybe dumb in the child's eyes.
Because of that the family broke apart and the child ventured to seek love and a family elsewhere, maybe by following its dreams.
But it later came to realize that love is not always something we have defined for ourselves or imagine to be like and then seek for it.
Love is also something that exists as it is and is just given to us, or in better words love is the same as your heart is, so whatever the love of parents may look like, feel like it is always love. I like the idea of realizing that whatever the heart of parents is like - hard, soft, unable - it is the one thing that defines love and not the children, who tend to ask for this or that kind of love.
We could hate it, we could deny it, we could think it is wrong, but it is them who give this love and not the children who pull love out of the parents and received the 'wrong one'.
Eventually the speaker wishes to understand his parents more. By saying 'tell me my heart is the same as yours is' he voices the desire of having the same opinions about love as his parents, i.e. he is placing the parents views and wishes over his own.
And that is true enlightenment (in Asia).



VOICE

Through all of this noise
Chasing a shadow
Why looking for answers, just leaves a question?
Behind the notes
And outside the lines
What you left behind
What I feel inside
I hear your voice...

We are your voice
We are still with you
When you can't speak, with so much to say
More than a word
More than a melody
What you left behind
What I feel inside
I hear your voice...

We're not alone
Those of you who have dealt with suicide before might have the same feelings as I have.
Taka wrote these lyrics in memoriam of the singer of Pay Money To My Pain who had been fighting with drug abuse and mental illness for some time and was found dead one day.
Though I don't think there exist an official statement that his death was not natural (be it suicide or an overdose) I find the lyrics seem to be directed to a person who has ended his life very abruptly and tragically.

And I find it very very admirable from Taka to have the strength to look at such a thing with so much love and positive feelings.
Because suicide or death due to an overdose are things which leave family and friends not only in great pain, but also with a feeling of being betrayed and punked.
Just take a look at the background story, in the case of a suicide, the people around the suicide might know or not know about an existing depression.
Let's say they didn't know at all and just overnight a person out of their circle commits suicide. Of course there is a great sadness, but also the questions, 'Why didn't he tell us that he was so sad?' And the answer that we give ourselves would most likely be 'he didn't trust us'. And no trust is betraying the love and good feelings that everyone around you gave you so happily and unknowingly.
What if everyone knew about the depression? The suicide then told someone about his problems, they talked things through, he could have gone to a psychiatrist and everything would have seemed 'clarified'. Then all of a sudden... I don't know what kind of scenario would mean a greater betrayal.
You can do the same thing with drug abuse. Only that you have more anger in there, because the person might not have even wanted to die, but just was dumb enough to take to much.

Well, these are the feelings that I would have and then I read Taka's lyrics 'what you left behind/ what I feel inside/ I hear your voice' and I just can't believe that if someone had done that - betray all my love, think that I am not (trust)worthy of knowing one's worries when they are so severe - I would still be able to believe that I really knew this person.
Knowing this person enough that I can feel his voice inside me. I would feel empty, like every idea, dialogue, plan that person has shared with me and left inside me had never existed in the first place, because he was never true to me to begin with.

But Taka goes even further, while it's already too much for me to 'interpret' this betrayal differently, he even speaks about 'fighting on' for that deceased person who couldn't do it anymore.
I find that incredibly strong. Most of us know that suicide victims have problems with something related to the 'system', but are too weak or the system is too strong to be broken. They have opinions about what is wrong and could be fixed. In 'we are your voice/ when you can't speak, with so much to say' Taka chooses to be the medium of his dead friend giving him a voice so that he would not be gone for good.
I think that is true love, that he sees the path of his friend and continues it for him, instead of others who would just give up. Unlike Taka, I think the natural reaction of most people would be a feeling of being left alone (cf last verse) so I respect him so so much for staying so positive and most of all loving, although of course his lyrics also mention the big perplexity which hits you first.



As you see their lyrics are kind of deep, but I like how they hide the heavy meaning behind such abstract and simple metaphors like in ...the same as.
If you want to know more about their music (especially Taka's singing) check out these: The Beginning (accoustic!), VOICE or Wherever you are (live accoustic), Decision.

But now, on to something funny! Okay, not really, but since One Ok Rock are friends my all time favourite band FT Island I will tell you a recent dream of mine involving FT Island (and a perverted foot fetishist molester!)

A, Cy and a 3rd friend and I were going to a FT Island concert. We arrived at the venue relatively early and went onto the stage to talk with the band member and organizer (like it's no big deal, you know...)
There were other women/ girls there, too. One was trying to diss my 3rd friend (who was my friend Mika at a certain point of time) and said, 'You are so young, did you start to smoke weed with 10?' (what she intend to say was kinda following the logic that everyone who goes to concerts smokes weed, but since my friend looked/ is so young, she must have even started at the age of 10) I retorted 'at least she doesn't need botox with 30' (playing on the fact the other girl was already so old, but looking even older in reality, because she already uses botox).

Anyway the concert started and we went off the stage, but there's was no place at the front row anymore, cuz all the other audience already arrived. Now the setting of the stage was very weird. It was like a ball pool for toddlers, the audience was at a high lever than the actual stage, and we were all lying flat on our bellies on those balls. The band was the same level as us. When Hongki (the singer) entered the stage he came jumping down from several meters at the back of the stage onto some sort of trampoline and bounced up again to land next to the band.
After all while I noticed that all audience was only 'queuing' in the centre of the stage, but there was plenty of space at both sides, I and the 3rd friend then moved next to the crowd and where also at the first row. I looked back at my other friends, but they somehow didn't dare to do it.

And now comes the disgusting part. We all lay on our bellies right? Suddenly I felt how someone was fondling my feet and sucking my toes!!! I looked back and it was a black guy grinning at me!!!
Somehow I didn't really react, but looked to my right to see if anyone would help me. Only another black guy turned towards me and grinned. FML I don't know if I let that guy continue with his perverted behaviour or he suddenly stop.

Some time later I looked up and suddenly people were leaving the concert en masse, because they found the band bad. Hongki was completely absorbed in performing one moment and realizing what happened broke up the concert the next. He just stopped looking very very angry and disgruntled, and went to walk of the stage. I was in rage, but couldn't force everyone to stay nor tell the band that the four of us were good enough as an audience.
During the concert Jonghoon handed me over a present from FT Island to their fans and he randomly picked me as the fan representative. He is my no 1 prince charming so of course I was mad happy. But then the staff and other band members gave him more parcels to give to me, which Japanese fans had sent them to give to me. Because I was always travelling it was hard for my friends to mail me presents, but because they knew I was attending the FT Island concert they resorted to such a way.
I received present after present from Jonghoon and we both were smiling and saying 'here you are' and 'thank you', but both knew that it was uber embarrassing for the other.

We went to another FT Island concert shortly after that, which went better. Yeah, apart from the fact that I we also talked to them and the organizer (whom I asked if he had also organized the previous concert, which he didn't, but all Caucasians look the same to me ), I can't remember anything.


Yeah, the dreams was pretty random, except for the black foot fetishist. Don't think it is my own preferences projected into my dream like that please.
I just had bad (direct and indirect) experience with a black guy and a foot fetishist and my brain thought it was funny to mix that all up into one dream!


Chu, Ailing

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