Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

An Epic Year-End Post Of Epic Proportions

In typical fashion, I have left my epic year-end post for the very last possible moment. The truth is, as in most cases with me, I planned on writing this post all the way through December. If I remember right, my train of thought went something like this - "Yes, I will write an epic year-end post! It will be epic, with a capital 'eh', and it shall not only be epic but it shall ooh whats this, I have collapsed thanks to viral fever..."

What followed was several weeks filled with extremely negative thinking and semi-suicidal tendencies. As a result, the draft post which I typed in my mind (yes, I can actually do that) turned into a terribly serious, broody, morbid (and yet somehow epic) piece of negativity.

It has been a tough December, and that is an extremely apt way to end the year in my opinion. 2009 has been a disaster of - epic - proportions. I never intended my blog to be a diary but I find myself reading my posts from January to December this year. It started off with so much promise when I wrote "Restored" and I honestly believed that everything was going to look up from then on. Perhaps my rare venture into positive thinking jinxed it all.

I've never really talked about stuff that was personal to me on my blog, because quite frankly it's my business and no one else's. Still, such was the severity of the trials we went through that I suppose it was inevitable that it would affect my writing. That's why for me, "It's Too Late To Apologise", "Domestic Disturbance", "I Refuse", "A Time To Heal" and "I Could Use A Hand Right Now" are very important posts for me. It's not always obvious why, especially with the last post, but from a personal stand point the words reveal a lot more to me than they would to the casual reader.

Then there were more personal issues that I wrote about in "An Open Goodbye", "Disgust" and "Never Again". Reading those posts now can be somewhat embarrassing, as certain people continuously point out (yes, you know who you are!) but they still mean a lot to a person that is not used to expressing himself to others.

If I were to summarize 2009 in one word, it would be "bugger". If I were to summarize it in a phrase, it would be "bugger me sideways". I remember telling someone that I can't believe so much happened this year. I feel like some of the events were from 2008 and earlier, but no - all 2009. Yet I suppose it isn't new to look back at a year gone by and regret isn't it? In fact, I'm sure the blogosphere will be filled with angst-filled posts of how they misused 2009 and how horrible it was. Perhaps I'm just part of the crowd after all.

Haha. Right.

Halfway through the year I was convinced that this year would be remembered for friends lost, but then someone came into my life and brought an abundance of laughter, joy and just great companionship. Hardly what I'd call a small mercy, and now I end the year feeling a strange sense of gratitude instead of regret. The truth is, 2009 will always be a year which I will look back at and be proud of. Proud because despite everything that happened, here I am on the 31st of December, in good health, happy, at home, spending New Year's Eve with the family like I've done for 24 out of my 25 years on this earth, and alive in body and spirit.

So God bless everyone, and I wish all of you a fantastic New Year! I for one can't wait for it.



Friday, December 25, 2009

O Holy Night - Merry Christmas Everyone!

First of all, a very merry Christmas to all my readers! I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season (better than mine at least) and here's to rounding off the year 2009 on a positive note!

As promised, here is a headless video for the season. It's been exactly a year since I first put up a video, and that was "Away in a manger". This song is not as good as the others as I did it in a bit of a hurry, but I hope you all enjoy it either way.

Well I'm off for Christmas lunch! Once again, a wonderful Christmas to all!

To download the audio, just click here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December News, Flu's, And Birthday Blues

Greetings from the Darkside!

While most have been rejoicing over my recent leave of absence, there are a few (apparently) that are rather mystified by my sudden departure from blogging, as well as my recent tweets about hospitals and birthdays. For you handful, an explanation is due.

As most of you know, I have recently had the good fortune to find employment. It has been a rather hectic experience, filled with last minute participations in fund raisers, press conferences and factory tours. After about 3 weeks of this, we were finally transferred to Pannala to begin our 4 months of training.

While our mentors and superiors continuously stressed the importance of hard work at our positions, they never failed to mention the 'mad fun' we would have at Pannala, likening it to a revisit to our college days, filled with partying and no-holds-barred lifestyle. This was all a bit strange to me, since not only am I the lamest party animal on the face of the earth, but I didn't consider my college years to be a period of my life without responsibilities. So while most of my batch were salivating at the thought of continuous partying, I was not that enthused.

Perhaps I should have been though, because within 48 hours of landing in Pannala, I developed a 103C fever, collapsed in my lodging and was taken home at 3am the following day to be admitted in the hospital. The verdict was viral flu, along with dehydration and some other infection that the doctor couldn't quite diagnose. What followed was probably one of the worst experiences of my life: ten days of saline, constant fever, total weakness, vomiting plus being transferred between not two but three hospitals! Finally I was landed in the Kandy General Hospital, and let me just say that there were several nights I wished that I was connected to some form of life-support system, so that I could just unplug the blasted thing and end my misery. Dramatic? Perhaps. True? Completely. When I say that the toilet consisted of a rusted metal chair with a hole in it placed on top of a broken commode, well - go figure.

Yet, after ten days of an almost liquid-only diet and medication that seemed to be destroying my body in its attempt to fix it, finally my fever left me. The doctor, who made a rather poor show of pretending to know what he was doing with me, wasted no time in discharging me and washing his hands off me as soon as possible. Not that I was complaining; finally I was home! However, after two days of extreme exhaustion we realised all was not well and went to another doctor for some tests. Those tests came back showing that my kidneys had been affected by the virus, and that if I didn't get complete bed rest immediately I would have kidney failure. "Ah.", I said, and promptly found myself re-admitted in yet another hospital.

Luckily my 4th stint in hospital wasn't nearly as bad as my General Hospital experience, as my main complaint this time around was that of boredom. After several more blood and urine tests, it was decided that I would be discharged on the 23rd - my birthday. Now, I hardly attach much importance to such things as birthdays and other family traditions, but even I was rather depressed at the thought of spending my birthday in a hospital. Unfortunately, the doctor was adamant ("He has had 24 other birthdays at home no? Har har har...") and so my 25th birthday involved me being woken up by a nurse at 630am, and my first present was to be stabbed in the forearm for blood.

Still, it wasn't all bad. My parents and my ever-enthusiastic brother turned up with my presents which included some very funky ties and a Nikon digi-cam! It's not exactly a state of the art camera, in fact the internet reviews call it a "Facebook camera", but when compared to my medieval Sony Cybershot that has laboured to produce my headless videos, it was positively space-age!

In conclusion, I finally got home on the 23rd evening, and hopefully with another 3 days of total bed-rest my body should be at least 75% back to its former self. Still, the flu definitely has left its mark; I've lost 6kgs and all of the little muscle definition I had before the attack. Not that I had girls drooling over my physique, but it's quite a shame to have 9 months of work at the gym wiped out by 3 weeks of fever.

And so that has been my eventful December so far. Thanks to everyone that tried to get in touch with me and check up on me, and I apologise for not being able to reply to most of you. There shall be more posts before I head back to work, and perhaps even a headless video in the pipeline! Thanks for all the birthday wishes on Twitter as well, I was very touched.

Till next time, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and if I fail to blog before the 31st, I wish everyone a very happy new year as well!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Letter To My 16-Year Old Self

Dear 16-yr old Gehan

What goes on? Yes, that’s how we talk in the future. Greetings from your 24 year old self. I suppose at this time you’re sufficiently stressed out with A Levels to actually be unfazed by this letter-from-the-future, so perhaps that will make this conversation a little easier.

I know how much you tend to dream about having the ability to time-travel, but before you get yourself all worked up, let me just say that it never comes true. I guess this letter becomes all the more important now; a one-time-only cheat sheet into the future, so to speak.

Are you ready? Brace yourself!

The next 8 years of your life will be very different from the life you’ve lived so far, and as tempted as I am to fill you in on the details to make sure you don’t make the mistakes I did, that would only serve a tiny and selfish purpose. Besides, giving you details about the events that are going to unfold will not only rob you of their joy but will be woefully inadequate to you at this point.

Everything that happens in the next 8 years will shape you, mould you, break you and strengthen you in ways that words alone could never do. It’s gonna be kick-ass! But right now, I know what you need.

You need to know that you are not alone. That you are not a failure. That you’re not average. You need to know that you are meant for something more, and that your purpose is not to merely exist in the shadow of your peers. You need to know that you will be recognised, and that you are not foolish for being so emotional. You need to know that there is strength in you, that you have not even begun to understand. You need to know that you are a fighter, born and bred to bleed.

Stand up tall, and be proud. What you’re feeling now is just an illusion, a shadow of doubt and insecurity that has blanketed your vision for so long. I promise you that you will break free from this rut you think you’re stuck in.

Just remember to never quit on yourself, because everyone else will. I promise a bright, exciting and eventful future, but you won’t make it unless you learn to keep punching, and to never, never surrender.

Stop wallowing in self-pity. Soon you will come to a point where you mock those that do, so the sooner you get over it the better.

No more clues, my younger self. Be grateful that I’ve left the rest of your life a pleasant and unexplored mystery. I hope that this letter serves to be only a little nudge to get you on your way a little easier than it did me.

Take care of yourself, and prepare for the worst. You will fail your A levels.

Okay I’m just kidding.


Gehan (24 years old)

PS: for the love of GOD and all things, burn those brown jeans and buy yourself a normal pair!
PPS: Thanks to Cadence for the tag. I'm doing pretty good over here, but the lack of internet is definitely taking it's toll. This post was relatively easy to write, so I managed to do it last night and bring it to work. Hope you are all doing well out there! And by the way, I hereby doth tag "That Girl"!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dolphin's Cry

Well, apparently they do.

As is often the case, I turn to the other keyboard when I struggle with writer's block. This time I've decided to experiment with one of my favourite 90's rock songs, and hopefully I've been able to do it justice. I had actually planned on doing this a long time ago, but never had the confidence to record it. As a result, this is probably one of my most worked-on covers, though you probably won't be able to tell from listening to it.

Once again I apologise for the poor video quality. If the dodgy quality and annoying auto-focus bothers you that much, feel free to donate a better quality camera to the Darkside. Christmas is just around the corner, so let's be generous people!

So without much further ado, here is "Dolphin's Cry" by Live. As always, you can find the original here, and to download the audio version of this cover just click here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The Black Angel by ~causelessdemon

Sometimes you can't find the right words to describe how you're feeling.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This Is Why Gehan Is A Snob

I have been called many things in my short stay on this earth. Thanks to my unconventionally spelt name, I've heard everything from Gyaan to Gay-haan to Gay-hen. Throw in my middle name and - oh wait, you don't know about that.

Moving swiftly along..

Like I was saying, I've been called many things. Stupid. Funny. Weird. Short. Fat. Skinny. Sexy (yes, that's right!). Pessimistic. Mean. Cold. The list is endless. But then, throughout all these, the most common label has always been - "snob".

Apparently, I am a snob.

In an effort to clarify this, I consulted wikipedia. I mean, I'm a 24 year old adult male addicted to the internet, where else would I go, right? Well, Wikipedia states that a snob is - well it's pretty complex, and sounds like something a snob person with a more serious disposition would write about. Instead, my dictionary puts it more succintly - "a person who has an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth and who looks down on those regarded as socially inferior".

Lovely. What the heck?

Over time I've had the opportunity (and a brazen lack of shame) to ask a few people why they felt that way about me. The answers I have received have been so varied and so bizarre that I still struggle to understand it. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Here are some of the reasons why I'm (apparently) a snob.

1. You don't talk much.

Ah, the classic answer. Apparently, because I don't socialise much or mix very well with people, I am a snob. No doubt, the only reason a person would not go around introducing himself to all and sundry is because he considers them inferior. Of course. What other reason could there be? It's not like perhaps he's self-conscious, shy, not a good conversationalist, or just quiet by nature.

No no, he's a snob. The bastard.

2. You're from Kandy.

I kid you not, I've even heard that! Yes, I am from the 'hill capital' and our people are full of the blood of kings, so naturally I am a snob. No, let's not judge my actions or my behaviour, or the fact that I'm half Indian and my father is a tamil. Lets just label me a derogatory term simply because I live here. I suppose this means people from the east coast are all fishermen and people from Nepal are all yetis.


3. You talk to them so much and you don't talk to me like that.

That's because I don't know you like I know 'them'. I take time to get to know people, and when I reach a level of comfort I am free and open just like anyone else. However, I don't open up to everyone. Why should I? Surely I know who I would get along with, and also who would get along with me. If you're not that person, it's not that big a deal! I didn't get along with my own brother till about 5 years ago, he didn't mind. Why should you?

4. You speak English all the time.

That's because my Sinhala sucks. No, seriously, that's all there is to it.


5. You have a massive ego.

I really have no idea where this comes from. I live at home with my parents, in a basement bedroom. I have no job, no friends and no money. How could I possibly have an ego? And this coming from someone that said I didn't talk much; I wonder how you managed to assess my massive ego without me saying anything.

6. You're a bully, you always say mean things to me.

You're right, I do. Especially with girls, I tend to be a bit over the top, but I have always thought I knew where to draw the line. I tend to show affection and camaraderie via slight verbal jabs and the like. It's just a way for me to show you that I'm having fun, and it isn't meant to be at your expense. If it does come across like that, perhaps I've crossed the line. This is the only point that I can somewhat understand.

7. You're always making fun of people.

Why is this such a bad thing? When I'm in a group I definitely make fun of someone or the other, if the opportunity arises. I like to think that people would do that to me too if they found something I said or did funny. Yet just because I point and laugh now and then, it doesn't mean it is done with malice. When a friend trips on his laces and falls over, I would laugh at him as long as he didn't fall in front of a moving vehicle and end up in hospital. Anything short of that is going to result in laughter. Wouldn't you? It's the universal short-cut to the funny bone - why else would we find this funny? It isn't done out of an air of superiority; if I tripped over my laces, I'd be surprised if no one laughed at me!

I have a sense of humour. If you don't get that, we shouldn't be talking anyway. And since when did having a sense of humour become a bad thing??

8. You use the word 'ciao'.

You have got to be kidding me.

I really should stop now, because my blood is boiling as I type this out (which reminds me - apparently getting angry is another sign of snobbishness!). I generally don't go around defending myself but the sheer ludicrousness of these assumptions were just begging for a post. At the end of it all, perhaps I am a snob, but if farcical deductions such as these are enough for people to form opinions on people, I shudder to think of the number of completely bogus stories that have been whispered behind people's back, accusing innocent (most likely) people for what is, in the end, no reason at all.

Watch your words, children.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ever The Same

It's 11pm as I sit down to write this post, and I'm struggling to find the right words to convey what this song reminds me of. Lyrically it's a beautiful song, and that really comes through in this live acoustic version that I found on YouTube recently.

Of late I've been reading a lot of posts, tweets and emails about the 'economics' of love, marriage and relationships, their logical and practical applications and limitations. I read about how love is blind, how it fades, how things change, about compromise and sacrifice and self-development, plus a lot of jargon that I don't fully understand.

It breaks my heart; or, in the words of Collective Soul - "And I laugh to myself, as the tears roll down, 'cos it's the world I know..."

Bible teachers often speak of the greek term "agape", which is used for "love" in many of the New Testament scriptures. The greek language has many words for "love", varying in degree and meaning. "Agape" love, if I may condense Wikipedia, is an 'unconditional, self-sacrificing, volitional and thoughtful love'. Now that's a love I want to believe in.

While this song conveys feeling that is nowhere near as intense as what I just described, it still brings to my mind questions of whether I would be able to display such powerful emotion. I want to believe that I can; that I am capable of putting someone else first, of voluntarily making sacrifices and showing unconditional support for someone. I want to believe that I can still show love in a way that, sadly, has become a bit of a joke in this cold, logical and theoretical world.

But enough of my rambling. This is "Ever The Same" by Rob Thomas. As always, the original is here and you can click here to download the audio. Many thanks to Pseudorandom for lending her fantastic voice for the backing vocals on this one.

I hope you enjoy it!


"Ever The Same"

We were drawn from the weeds
We were brave like soldiers
Falling down under the pale moonlight
You were holding to me
Like a someone broken
And I couldn't tell you but I'm telling you now

Just let me hold you while you're falling apart
Just let me hold you and we'll both fall down

Fall on me
Tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you forever in me
Ever the same

We would stand in the wind
We were free like water
Flowing down
Under the warmth of the sun
Now it's cold and we're scared
And we've both been shaken
Hey, look at us
Man, this doesn't need to be the end

Just let me hold you while you're falling apart
Just let me hold you and we'll both fall down

Fall on me tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you
Forever in me
Ever the same
Call on me
I'll be there for you and you'll be there for me
Forever it's you
Forever in me
Ever the same

You may need me there
To carry all your weight
But you're no burden I assure
You tide me over
With a warmth I'll not forget
But I can only give you love

Fall on me tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you
Forever in me
Ever the same
Call on me
I'll be there for you and you'll be there for me
Forever it's you
Forever in me
Ever the same

Forever with you
Forever in me
Ever the same

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Not To Read The News, Courtesy GOLD FM

Back in the day when broadband internet was not freely available in every household, cyber-cafe's were all the rage. When I was studying in India, there were at least 4 within 50 metres of each other (it's an Asian thing I guess, opening up a store right next to another store that sells exactly the same products as you). These establishments are generally considered shady, especially since they are the perfect location for unscrupulous activities such as drug deals, assassinations, blackmail and extortion, but mostly because hormone-crazed couples gravitate to them like fat people to bran crackers.

So why did I brave the dark and dangerous world of cramped love-making alone? Simple - to catch up on the news.

Yes. I read the news.

No doubt you would think that reading the newspaper would suffice, but you would be wrong. Sure, the papers have it all well-documented, but I'm not really interested in Indian politics or what Pakistan has been up to lately, and I couldn't care less about the latest travesty of a movie Bollywood, Tollywood and Lollywood just churned out. My main interests lie in the latest NBA scores & updates, tv shows (English please), movies (likewise), music (you guessed it) and Formula 1; all of which were almost never mentioned in the newspapers.

One thing that 24 hour cable news and the internet have taught us is that the world is a very happening place. Switch to any channel and you'll hear of natural disasters, plague, murder, scandal, kidnapping, corruption, arrests, politics - the works! Even the business and sports sections are not without drama and excitement, thanks to the likes of Bernie Madoff, Caster Semenya and Max Mosley's bizarre sex life.

Which is why I am somewhat intrigued by some of our local news networks. My father plain loves the news. He wakes up to it, surfs the local news websites during work, listens to the lunch time news, listens to the hourly updates when he's driving, listens to the 830pm radio news, watches the news on TV at 9pm, and probably has dreams in the form of new bulletins ("This just in, a new law has been passed making it illegal to not own at least one two-door roadster if you're over the age of 50. Also, you can now sell your children legally...."). He buys almost all the English newspapers on Sundays, and is probably the most informed man in the district; a fact I pity him for, since according to certain news reports, there isn't much on the news these days.

My main concern it the 830pm news bulletin on Gold FM. Since this falls squarely on the sacred hour of dinner, the entire family is expected to devour our food with the least amount of auditory disturbance, be it in the form of normal conversation or even loud chewing, as my father listens intently to the happenings of this great nation - again. However, after listening to this news bulletin countless number of times, I've come to the conclusion that nothing really 'happens' here. Take for instance last night's bulletin.

[Cue drumroll and dramatic news-type music]


"President Mahindra Rajapakse said today that he would hand over a united nation to the people, but that only real men could properly serve the motherland. He said this while speaking at a random event somewhere in the island"

This would be the part where I looked at mom and mouthed "Real men?!", Mom shakes her head in disbelief and Bro bursts into a (silent) fit of laughter under the table.


"The opposition leader today said that the government is trying to trick the people, and that they would not stand idly by while the government abuses the integrity of the nation. He said this while attending a rally at another random location"

"In further news, another politician that wants to get his two cents in said that foreign powers seek to destroy our great nation by spreading lies and scandal, and that we will sue the European Union for their corrupt talk. He said this while opening a primary school in Colombo"

"Also, the minister of agriculture and trade said that we have the greatest army in the world, and that foreign superpowers will bow to our greatness, even as India, China and Russia send their top army officials to learn from our valiant troops how to win the war against terror. He said this while standing in a field of daisies, as the wind blew through his hair."

"And finally, some children in several areas died due to the Rubella vaccination, another person was found dead in his home, a woman was abducted and raped in a village, but this all pales in comparison to what I've already read, so let's move along".

Then they move onto the foreign news, mispronounce ever other world leader's name, stumble onto the business news which has obviously been written by some super-nerd with a Ph.D in economics who wants to flex his academic muscle, and I'm left wondering how I could get those 15minutes of my life back.

If the news in the country is restricted to what random politicians and ministers have to 'say' on matters of the country, why bother listening? Surely we all know by now that nothing gets done by talking, and this country definitely needs people who can do more than rant and rave about the 'integrity' and 'sovereignty' of our great nation. Yet if our news bulletins frequently give these people a platform to pontificate from their pedestals, then we are only encouraging them to continue doing so. Nothing beats the torture I used to go through when the war was still on, as every night's news update had something about "freeing our people from the clutches of terrorism" or "rescuing the motherland from the grip of tyranny" and other such prose. Who comes up with this stuff?! If I were a newsreader on that show I'd at least have some one cue "audience laughter" every now and then so that the listeners wouldn't be completely blown away by the bizarreness of the content.

God bless the journalists of this country who tirelessly seek out the truth, but please, someone find the guy who writes for this radio station, stuff a sock in his throat, light him on fire and tell us the news that really matters.

EDIT: After writing this post, I've realised that while everything in this post is true, it is definitely not the rule. Sometimes, they actually DO broadcast the news. Yet, over a long period of time, I feel it is safe to say my accusations are justified.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blog Action Day '09

Amid all the hustle and bustle of my enormously busy life, I was told that yesterday was Blog Action Day. After initially pretending I knew all about it, I found out that every October 15th the world's bloggers unite to post about one particular topic in an effort to create awareness. Now, I'm all for being aware, and though I'm not the spitting image of an 'activist' of any sorts, I decided to sign up as well. Perhaps there were a few bribes of cash and kind involved in the process, but let's move along swiftly shall we?

So I clicked on the link on Pseudorandom's blog post, and registered my blog. Lo and behold, this year's topic is none other than one I am extremely enthusiastic about - climate change. I am so enthusiastic about this, that I actually have a tag on this blog for global warming, though I would strongly suggest you don't read it if you are in fact passionate about the subject and have a poor sense of humour.

Sure I might be a bit late, but since it's still October 15th somewhere on the planet, I thought I'd write up a small post about it. I doubt I was ever very environmentally conscious while I was growing up, but in a way that is our Sri Lankan culture isn't it? However when I went to India, I started dating an extremely passionate environmentalist (sorta) and pretty soon I couldn't throw a candy wrapper away in the privacy of my room without hearing her voice in my subconscious berating me for hurting mother earth.

Yet I am grateful for that, because while I have been quite un-enthusiastic about the environment, I have always believed in doing my bit. The country we live in has so many concerns, and one of the biggest ones is protecting our environment. Recycling and re-using literally get swept under the carpet for larger more political issues, and yet no developing nation can be accused of being negligent in this department. Climate change is happening, and just looking at the smog that settles over Colombo every morning when entering the city should be enough to make you ask yourself "Surely that can't be a good thing".

In Asia, I believe that most countries have a extremely low opinion on the environment, and this is reflected in their almost blatant ignorance of the basics behind recycling and conservation. My home is probably one of the few homes in the hill capital that uses solar panels instead of a geyser for hot water, and when we tell people of it they think we're just trying to be 'posh'.

I could go on and on (well not really, I'm kinda done) but instead I'll link to an interesting post I read recently which pretty much sums up what I'm talking about!

And last but not least, before you go out and change the world, I encourage you to listen to this first.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The End Is Where I Begin

The End Is Where I Begin

Sometimes tears say all there is to say
Sometime your first scars wont ever fade, away
Tried to break my heart
Well it's broke
Tried to hang me high
Well I'm choked
Wanted rain on me
Well I'm soaked
Soaked to the skin

It's the end where I begin
It's the end where I begin

Sometimes we don't learn from our mistakes
Sometimes we've no choice but to walk away, away
Tried to break my heart
Well it's broke
Tried to hang me high
Well I'm choked
Wanted rain on me
Well I'm soaked
Soaked to the skin

It's the end where I begin
It's the end where I begin

Now I'm alive
and my ghosts are gone
I've shed all the pain
I've been holding on
The cure for a heart
Is to move along, is to move along
So move along
What don't kill a heart
Only makes it strong

Sometimes tears say all there is to say
Sometime your first scars dont ever fade, away
Tried to break my heart
Well it's broke
Tried to hang me high
Well I'm choked
Wanted rain on me
Well I'm soaked
Soaked to the skin

It's the end
End where I begin
It's the end
End where I begin

Sometimes we don't learn from our mistakes
Sometimes we've no choice but to walk away, away

I don't have anything else to add, really.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Diary - Secrets Part 2

continued from here....

Diary - Alicia Keys

Lay your head on my pillow
Here you can be yourself
No one has to know what you are feeling
No one but me and you

I won't tell
Your secrets
Your secrets are safe with me
I will keep
Your secrets
Just think of me as the pages in your diary

I feel such a connection
Even when you're far away
If there's anything that you fear
Call 489 4608 and I'll be here

Only we know what is talked about baby
I don't know how you could be driving me so crazy
So when you're in town
Why don't you come around?
I'll be the loyalty you need
You can trust me

I won't tell
Your secrets
Your secrets are safe with me
I will keep
Your secrets
Just think of me as the pages in your diary

My earlier post was sort of inspired by that single from Alicia Keys' second album "The Diary of Alicia Keys". It's a lovely album and that song is one of my favourites. There's something very beautiful and even sensual about the tone, the words and the song in general. I am a rather private person, and I don't open up much. In today's world, having a guard and a safe zone is always a good thing, because we've just grown accustomed to not trusting a living breathing soul. We read of heartache and betrayal on every corner, and every person we meet tells us about how they were stabbed in the back and taken by surprise about it, summarizing it all with the eventual ".. but I should have seen it coming".

Wouldn't it be nice to share our secrets, freely, without fear of blackmail or condemnation?

Hope you enjoy the cover, though covering Alicia Keys is always going to be difficult so I had to try and change it up a little bit. As always, the original is here and you can download the audio over here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cricket, Sex And Humour

It's not often that Cricket gets injected with humour, unlike many sports such as football and basketball. The NBA especially has some of the funniest in-game commentary, post-game analysis and is almost as fun as the game itself. Click here, here and here for some proof of what I mean.

However, I stumbled across this article on the Cricinfo Page 2 Section, and I just HAD to share it. Click here to read the original article. Enjoy!

Some years ago I remember reading that FIFA World Cup footballers were told by their coaches not to have sex before an important match. Apparently lack of action in bed focused their attention on the field, or sent the energy flowing to their feet, or some such sundried-tomato theory. Now cricketers, it appears, work in opposite ways. Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton (apparently his real name) made headline news last week with their injunction to the Indian team to get some before a game, allegedly in order to raise their levels of testosterone.

The news that sex improves cricket, if true, may have come too late for some. Sadly we will never know whether Sir Donald Bradman, had he been a bad man, would have been rewarded with those elusive few fractions of a percentage point.

The theory is in its infancy, of course, but one surmises that if this works for the Indians, other teams will follow suit, though hopefully they will also heed the wise advice of Professor Tim Noakes, who pointed out that while a good bout of rumpy-pumpy might be beneficial if followed by a long, sound sleep, hanging around in bars till all hours trying to find a willing subject is likely to have an adverse effect on performance.

Watching my home team get eliminated from the ICC at the hands of England last night made me wonder whether this latest piece of cricket lore might be in any way to blame. Did the English take Upton and Kirsten's instructions to heart, and did following it give them an advantage? Someone with the pre-Raphaelite good looks of Stuart Broad or the tousled cuddliness of Jimmy Anderson wouldn't have had much of a problem finding a participant. Could this have enhanced their already not inconsiderable bowling skills? Collingwood and Onions might have had more difficulty, unless they told the girls their names were Smith and Jones, but even they put up a sound show.

Which brings me to my next question: does a team's collective performance rest on the cumulative level of satisfaction experienced by the individuals in a side? Does some sort of critical-mass theory come into play, where the amount of good sex had by one team is weighed against that had by the other?

If so, the South Africans may need to brush up on their chatting skills. Although they put up a good fight, particularly our gutsy captain with cramp, the early dismissal of some of our finest hitters makes me wonder, since we're pursuing this line of inquiry, whether these players neglected to get their greens, or whether their state of play is perhaps related to their prowess elsewhere. Is it the quality rather than the quantity of sex that makes a difference at the crease? Is a premature exit from the field indicative of anything other than bad light or good bowling by the other side? I hope not, because if this is in any way proved, it opens the door to a dirty-tricks campaign not seen since the incident of the laxative-laced lemon meringue pie.

Just imagine it: a flotilla of beautiful women sent by unscrupulous nations to lure their rivals to their doom - letting them down at a crucial moment, or worse, making them feel inadequate - a fate made all the more excruciating by the fact that these players had been encouraged by their superiors to commit such acts. It's an awful thought.

We have to hope that no self-respecting female cricket fan would stoop so low. There are limits to what one will do for one's national team, or there should be. That said, whoever the skilled damsels were who helped South Africa to their historic 438-for-9 win over Australia in 2006, please would they come back?

Sue de Groot is a Johannesburg-based journalist, columnist and television scriptwriter

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Hey you

Come here, stay a while

It's okay, that can wait

Of course I have time

Tell me about your day

No, let's talk about you first

I'm listening

No one else needs to know

I won't tell anyone

I promise

Give me your hand, open your heart

Show me your soul

Tell me everything

Tell me your hopes

Tell me your dreams

Tell me your


... to be continued....?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shed Some Light

This is one of those songs that just stuck in my head the minute I heard it. To this day, it's still one of the first songs that comes to my mind if I'm asked to sing a song on the spot (which is what I ended up doing for the TNL Onstage interview). You may or may not notice the slight change in scenery in this video, and that's because due to the renovation that's going on at home, the room where I usually play is filled with sand, dust, and the odd passing mason. Not the perfect conditions for recording, you could say.

Hence, I dusted off the old Yamaha keyboard which hasn't been in use for more than a year now, and set it up in my room. It was interesting, experimenting with it, because while it did provide more functions for recording, it was still a bit of a hassle.

Either way, enough rambling. Here is "Shed Some Light" by Shinedown, off their second album "Us & Them". Great band, great album, so try and get your hands on it if you can. As always, the original is here and if you want to download the audio, just click here.

Also, for those who dislike blogger's video player as much as I do, you can check out some of my videos on my Youtube Channel. Click here to check it out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

... bugger...

... I just put up my last post about Onstage, and now I have to write one saying that I didn't make it.

Yes, I just got the call, and sadly I couldn't make it into the top 6. Disappointment galore, I must admit, but after it had sunk in I realised that I'm okay with it. I had a total blast, and perhaps last weekend was just that - a fantastic weekend. And God knows I needed it!

Once again, much love to everyone that supported me and were rooting for me! I suppose now, you guys will be the only ones that get to listen to my musical adventures.

.... for now!



PS: Just uploaded the videos on Youtube. Click here for Cry Me A River, and here for My Sacrifice. The audio quality comes and goes, but it's pretty decent. Thanks to T for recording it!

The Darkside (Finally) Gets 'Onstage' - A Recap

Finally, I am safe and sound back in Kandy after hours upon hours of travelling spread over the last two and a half days. Yes, it was a very long weekend, but what a weekend it was!

Just to quickly summarize, I had my final rehearsal for the TNL Onstage Soloist competition on Friday, somewhere in the bowels of Thalawathugoda. I had decided to do my version of "Cry me a river" and Creed's "My Sacrifice" for the show, in an attempt to mix up some of my creativity with a 'safe' crowd favourite. The rehearsal didn't go well, but it was too late to work things out and I was much too tired from the travelling anyway. A few bus rides, auto rides and phone-calls-to-get-directions later, I was at my aunt's place, blogging from my phone.

Saturday saw me once again bussing it into Colombo for the sound check which was supposed to start at 2pm but, as I should have expected, was very very delayed. The venue was rather small, much like it was for last week's performances. So, while the sound people and the band set up, I chatted with a few of the participants to find out what I was up against. Turned out, this weeks performance was going to be just as ambitious as last week's, with the likes of Theory Of A Deadman, Daughtry, Fuel, Judas Priest making their 'appearances', alongside music from The Calling, Boyce Avenue, Eva Cassidy, Jason Mraz and - well, you get the general idea.

Finally, when everything was set up, we managed to run through the songs a little bit, which was really important for me especially after the previous day's rehearsal, but also because I was playing the piano and singing as well for one song, so I wanted to get the 'logistics' sorted out with regards to the mic arrangements and the keyboard settings. The stage was really, really tiny; so tiny that if anyone got a little too excited while performing, they'd probably end up off it, and I doubt they'd score much for stage presence if they couldn't even manage to stay on the stage in the first place.

So, I heard all the performers during their sound check, and it didn't do much for the nerves. They were all very talented, but one thing I knew from experience was that performing live in front of an audience is always a challenge, so I was hoping that my limited experience would still be enough of an advantage over the competition. After my sound check was over, I was taken aside by the 'musical mentor' so to speak, that TNL had gotten down to provide little tips and insight. Surprisingly, despite the lack-luster performance I had just put up, he was very favourable in his opinion of me, and apparently he was really excited about the cover of "Like a stone" that I had sent in for my demo. Yet, his parting words of "the judges are going to expect a lot from you" didn't really do much for the nerves (or whatever nerves I had left at the time).

Finally, the hour had arrived and bang on time (meaning an hour late) the show got under way! The ReBels opened events for the evening, performing a fantastic cover of "Time After Time", one of my favourite songs! As luck would have it, my performance was slated for the last of the evening, meaning I had to sit through all seven performers and 14 songs before I would get up on stage. However, I had some company in the form of my parents, my ever-enthusiastic brother (who kept finding me during the night and telling me I was better than whoever was singing at the time, as well as asking if he could shout "Go Kandy!" during mine), and some of the blogger crowd in the form of Papare Boy, Hisham, Sabby, and even the elusive, reclusive and mysterious T.

Again, as luck would have it, I followed a contestant who in my opinion was the best of the night! Yes, so when they called my name, I was slightly more nervous than I usually am when I step on stage. A few mic adjustments, and I began the piano part of "Cry me a river". I think I made a few mistakes in the beginning, but I can't really remember. All I know is, when the band came in during the bridge, the adrenalin kicked in and the rest was a blur. We moved onto "My Sacrifice" and by that time I had resigned myself to the fact that it was too late to worry about anything, and so I threw my heart soul and voicebox into it, so much so that I hardly noticed the audience or the judges. It was just me, bright lights, tired vocals and a very good band behind me.

At the end of it all, I remember there was some applause at least, and that was a relief! My brother was pretty damn ecstatic, and since he is usually very critical when it comes to music, I took that as a good thing. To be honest, most of what happened next was a blur because I was on such a high after the performance. The ReBels then took the stage and played some very 'dancey music' in the form of "Sex Bomb" and "You Can Call Me Al", which honestly almost had me pulling the nearest girl to the dance floor!

To round it all off, it was by far one of the best nights I've had in a long long time. The final six will be receiving a phone call some time during the day today, so let's just say I'll be staring at my usually silent phone with earnest. Either way, like I said before, my main goal was to 'leave it all on the stage' so to speak; I didn't mind not making it to the finals as long as I had really given it my best shot. As of now, my adrenalin-adjusted memory tells me that I did, so until actual video footage comes out to prove me wrong, I'll just assume it went pretty well!

Last, and definitely not least, I want to thank everyone who wished me for the performance, via Facebook, email, twitter and text message. I was truly surprised and touched by all the comments on my last rushed post, and reading them out on my phone actually helped a lot! After all, if it hadn't been for the headless videos, I'm quite sure I would never have even considered sending in a demo for Onstage, and if it weren't for the gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) encouragement from my 'adoring fan base', I'd have missed out on what has turned out to be a pretty cool experience.

Enough mush. Stay tuned for whether or not I make it through to the next round! Also, I'm trying to get my hands on the video, and that will be up soon hopefully.



Friday, September 18, 2009

T Minus 24 Hours!

This post is coming to you via my phone's web browser, not in an attempt at tech-savvyness, but because I just wanted to type this out right now.

So as some of you know, I'll be singing for Onstage tomorrow at the Holiday Inn. Today was my final rehearsal and boy, it was NOT good!

After travelling 4 hours from Kandy and taking 3 buses, I reached the rehearsal place a good 45mins late. Hence I had the misfortune of listening to some of my competitors singing and they were VERY good! I was instantly reminded of the words from my earlier post - SONG CHOICE! SONG CHOICE!

Anyway, when it was my turn to practice, not only was my self confidence shaken up but my voice decided to take a paid vacation, thus giving rise to more flats than those that exist in CharmBracelet's shoe cupboard. Weak joke, but give me a break, i'm depressed.

However, a few panicked phone calls later, I was reassured and at ease. I was reminded about how much I actually love to sing, and that should be my focus tomorrow night. These opportunities don't come often, and I should make the most of it and have some fun! Also, a nice hot cup of tea seems to have revived my vocals temporarily, but I've decided to not utter a word till I step up on stage tomorrow evening!

Watch this space for the details! Whether I make it or not, I'm going to have some fun tomorrow!



Tuesday, September 15, 2009


One of the many things we have grown accustomed to is this supposed need to express ourselves. I blame the ridiculous number of movies that make up our diet these days, filled with witty one-liners, poetic last words, snappy dialogue and stirring verbose speeches. Oh how we long for those moments where we get to use just the right analogy, just the right dip in tone to convey some deep emotion.

If it's not using the right words at the right time, then we have other forms of expression. There's dance, song, music, art, prose - really, almost anything can be used to 'express' ourselves. Even blogging, for what is blogging if not another way for us to get those murky 'feelings' out in the open for everyone to see and share and comment on? Sure, many of us don't write for the feedback but rather for the 'therapeutic' effect it has on the writer, but either way it is a form of expression.

I am not really a man of words. Honestly, there are many times when I wish I were, but for some reason the words never really come out right for me. I guess that's partially why I resort to sitting behind my piano and playing other people's songs, as my good friend St.Fallen so eloquently put it. I'm just not that great with the emotion. However, I can't be called an unemotional man either.

But perhaps there's more to it. I have been through so much in my life; nothing of the life-shattering nature, yet so much has been squeezed into my 24 years on this Earth that sometimes I feel like I've been here much longer. The highs and lows, the joys and pains, the scars, the sorrows, the victories and the failures - it all culminates to make me the person that I am today.

And as I stand outside my home in Kandy, listening to the silence that often pervades our surroundings in the evening, I think of all the people in my life. I have let so few of them inside, so few of them have had even a glimpse of the actual person I am, and yet even with these few special individuals, I have never fully been able to explain the intricate workings of my life. How I wish I could write a song to explain things to you, or a poem to show you the overpowering helplessness and loneliness I feel. How I wish I could paint you a picture of what it feels like to be left behind. Even this post is hopelessly inadequate, despite the almost physical effort I am putting into it to express what I mean.

So what DO I mean? Well, perhaps we have all gotten too used to expressing ourselves. Maybe freedom of expression is over-rated. Maybe we've forgotten what it is to be silent. Maybe there are some things in life that cannot be explained in words, that cannot be illustrated on canvas or labelled and categorised. Maybe we should learn to accept those situations, feelings and emotions as such - undefinable. Perhaps you will never understand, perhaps I should stop expecting you to. Perhaps, somewhere in there, I will make my peace with that and move on.

This is the part where I'd add some wise and astute saying, phrase or poem but sadly I know none. So let me just end by saying - you don't understand. But I'm okay with that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Darkside Scouts TNL Onstage Round 4

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I had got selected to sing for the preliminaries of the TNL Onstage Solo competition this year. Much has happened since then, and as I publish this post I will have 5 days before it's my turn to get up on stage! Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I had to make a few trips down to Colombo where I met the girl-with-the-nice-voice that I had mentioned, who promptly informed me that she had read my blog! Yes, apparently a friend of hers had read my earlier post about being selected for the Onstage gig, and had been kind enough to forward the link to her, thus leaving me with no choice but to be terribly biased in all my TNL-related posts from now on (whoever you are, many thanks).

Soon after that embarrassing revelation, the fabulous people of TNL radio (too obvious?) interviewed me not just once but twice (the sound quality in the first interview wasn't too good apparently), as well as made me fill out a questionnaire and pose for photos! Now, those of you that know me personally know that I'm as photogenic as Gollum's left butt cheek, so I'm just grateful that it turned out the way it did. Click here if you want to check out my profile page on the TNL Onstage site (the audio hasn't been uploaded yet, but I've been told it will be done during this week).

There are 16 singers in the preliminaries, and 8 of them sang last Saturday at the Zouk Galadari. Now, while I am blessed with a lack of stage fright (traumatic school performances may have deadened my sense of shame) I was still rather uncertain about the talent level I would be faced off with. So, after making a few travel arrangements (nothing new when you live in Kandy, unfortunately) I turned up all alert and attentive with my pen and notebook ready to scout out the competition. As soon as I got there, it became evident that I wasn't the only competitor to come up with this novel idea, as right outside the entrance I spotted two singers from my group buying tickets as well. I tried to hover around them for a few minutes, in case they suddenly decided to burst into song, but when they didn't I gave up and entered the venue.

The venue turned out to be pretty tiny, but when the competition (finally) got started, the small area made the crowd look much larger than it probably was. Either way, the atmosphere was pretty charged up and it started off on the right foot with a solid performance. One thing I noticed throughout the evening, and that was the broad choice in song selection. There was Billy Joel ("Piano man"), Oasis ("Don't look back in anger"), Amy Winehouse ("Valerie"), Sarah McLachlan ("Angel"), Faith Hill ("Breathe"), Ne-Yo ("Miss Independant"), Jeremiah ("Birthday Sex"), System Of A Down ("Toxicity"), Pixie Lott ("Mama Do") and even my beloved Shinedown ("45"). While they are all fantastic songs, perhaps some were a bit of a stretch, and if American Idol has taught us anything in the last 10 years, we should know that it's "all about song choice".

All in all, an interesting night. While I was there purely on research purposes, I must say I had a good time, and not because I ran into some fabulously mysterious girl in a dark corner of the club. The vocalists were good but they were really outdone by The ReBels, the band that was backing them up. They handled the wide musical demands extremely well, the highlight being "Toxicity" which came out pretty near perfect! While I won't be attempting anything that brave, after seeing them perform I'm pretty eager to get my practice under way this week.

So yes, it's all about song choice - and crowd support! Each singer seemed to have brought their only little contingent for support, almost like a small army of personal Paula Abdul's, and I suppose that goes a long way with the judges too, who I am sure give out marks on crowd reaction as well. So, if anyone happens to be in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn this Saturday around 730pm, please do drop by! While I can't arrange free passes, or promise a stellar performance, or promise to perform with a paper bag on my head (har har) - actually come to think of it, I can't promise anything at all! But do drop by anyway, perhaps we can all go for a "blogger meet-up" and be featured in one of those A-Day-In-The-Life-Of-Jerry posts.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Life According To Incubus

Surprisingly, I stumbled upon an interesting note-tag-thing on Facebook. It's rather simple; you're supposed to "cleverly answer" a set of questions using the song names of only one artist, without repeating song titles. While I cannot confirm the "cleverness" of my answers, I can at least demonstrate that this tagging business can actually be interesting rather than mundane and pointless.

Or perhaps not. Either way, enjoy, and have a pleasant Monday!

Pick Your Artist:

Are you a male or female?

Describe yourself:

How do you feel:
Punch Drunk

Describe where you currently live:
Under My Umbrella

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

Your favourite form of transportation:
Paper Shoes

Your best friend(s) is/are:

Your favourite colour is:
Blood On The Ground

What's the weather like?
The Warmth

Favourite time of day:

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Talk Shows On Mute

What is life to you:
Just A Phase

Your current relationship:
Nowhere Fast

Breaking up:
Love Hurts

Looking for:
Southern Girl

Wouldn’t mind:
A Kiss To Send Us Off

Your fear:

What is the best advice you have to give:
You Will Be A Hot Dancer

If you could change your name, you would change it to:
Zee Deveel!

Thought for the Day:
Beware! Criminal

How I would like to die:
Here In My Room

My motto:
A Crow Left Of The Murder

Friday, September 4, 2009

Let Her Cry

Yes, we're going way back in time to the mid-90's with this song. Remember the time when music wasn't complicated? We didn't have a bazillion different music genres or sub-genres, where no one listened to 'indie' music because all music was either just 'good' or 'bad', when sepia toned music videos were 'in', when Aerosmith was still young(ish) and Bon Jovi was 'cool'? Yeah, hardcore 90's! Well, this is one of my all time favourites and I'm surprised I didn't cover it earlier. Unfortunately Hootie and The Blowfish didn't go on to achieve much success after "Cracked Rear View", but that album still makes it onto my g-pod now and then.

Here's "Let Her Cry" by Hootie and The Blowfish. As always, the original is here and if you want to download the audio, just click here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

How NOT To Make A Girlfriend

The intricate workings of the female mind have been discussed in great detail, not just on this blog but in every forum since the dawn of time. There have been many conclusions drawn, ranging from the blatantly obvious ("men just don't understand") to the extremely plausible ("men are from Mars and women are from Venus"). Usually these arguments have been triggered when discussing the trials and tribulations of getting into bondage a relationship, but there are other instances when these problems come up.

You see, believe it or not, sometimes men and women just want to be friends. Yes, "The horror!", you would think, but there are apparently great benefits from just being 'friends' with the opposite sex, and no I don't mean that! Once in a while, we meet a member of the opposite sex that is so opposite to us, they've gone full circle and ended up being more like us. Confused? Perfect, you're in the right frame of mind for what follows then.

The process of intentionally falling into the friend zone is probably just as convoluted as the process of avoiding it; so, for the benefit of humanity and posterity and what-not, here are a few general pointers from the Darkside.

1. Do Not Flirt!

Well yes, that may seem rather obvious, but you'd be surprised at how difficult it is for a man to not flirt with a girl that he likes! For example, a line such as, oh I don't know, let's think of something totally random like "I work better at night, after all I AM from the 'darkside'....." would be just asking for trouble. Not that anyone would actually say that. I mean, WHO talks like that anyway......??

2. No Late Night Phone Calls!

None whatsoever. Late night phone calls may seem harmless to some, but in reality they are just disasters waiting to happen. Both parties are tired, the conversation invariably switches to "how was your day?" and soon work stories go to family stories and then you end up in no-man's land - the ex-boyfriend stories. Besides, with the fatigue and the need to sleep, anything you say will come of as sounding 'dreamy', even if you're talking about something as mundane as healthcare. Just try it. Ask someone to record you on the phone after 12am, and try saying something completely innocent like "KFC, finger-lickin' gooooood..."

Exactly. Stick to day time calls.

3. Always Find Someone Else Hot!

Since you can't really avoid talking to the girl if you're trying to be friends with her in the first place, always make sure there's 'someone else' to talk about should the conversation hit a lull. See, it's those moments of silence when girls start 'thinking', a phenomenon that should be avoided at all costs!

Enter the 'someone else'. This would be easier if you were actually in a relationship with someone else, but if you're not it doesn't matter - make someone up. Discussing your interest in another person is a sure fire way to kill off any wrong ideas that may or may not have cropped up during the conversations. If she mentions someone she might have had a crush on, pursue it at all costs! The more advice you give her on how to make plays at her work-place crush, the safer you will be.

4. Do Not Let Her Feed You!

I'm not sure I understand this one completely, but I speak from experience. There is something about a girl feeding a guy a spoonful of her meal that causes stars to align, sets planets in motion and violins to play, especially if the setting is right. It's all very "couple-y", much like holding hands while crossing the road or having late night phone calls till dawn (refer no.2). I once went for dinner with a friend who, right in the middle of a fun discussion, leaned over and offered me a spoonful of her dinner. First I said no thanks, but then she insisted and literally pulled me by the chin towards the outstretched spoon. I suddenly felt like I was a toddler and half expected her to coo "AIRPLANE! HERE COMES THE AIRPLAAANE". Needless to say, after dinner we went for a 'romantic' walk and discussed intense topics like 'love' and 'soul mates'.

5. Insult Her!

Yeah I said it. While I don't mean to literally abuse her, women tend to relax around a guy that isn't dripping with gooey niceness and liberally passing out text hugs at the drop of a "aww". This doesn't mean you go running around throwing sand at her; a few well placed gems like "have you thought about dieting?" will suffice, as well as go a long way in ensuring a wonderful 'friendship'.

Of course, considering the subject matter, one would do well to remember that there is a high likelihood that every one of these theories will simply fail in the face of the contradictory nature of women....

Still, consider yourself warned!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Set The Fire To The Third Bar

It's been a while since I posted a song, so imagine my surprise when I suddenly get an email from a very 'random' person returning the completed version of a duet we had planned MONTHS ago! I had assumed it had gotten lost somewhere between her extremely complicated chemistry experiments or buried under an avalanche of bbc.co.uk links in her inbox. However, the full version has been received and much credit should go to Pseudorandom, who did a fantastic job of adding the harmony to my sad attempt at a Northern accent.

I can't remember how we got around to doing this, but I believe it was suggested in the comments of a post some time ago. I admit I was a bit hesitant at first, since I was convinced she was more into the classics than anything contemporary, but many months and loads of posts later I have come to realise her musical taste is pretty much all-encompassing, from Shinedown to Lady Gaga.

However, due to my aversion to all things 'Gaga', we settled on Snow Patrol instead.

This is "Set The Fire To The Third Bar" by Snow Patrol, featuring the vocals of Martha Wainwright. You can find the audio link on her blog as well over here, and as always, to download the song just click here.

Hope you enjoy it!

G (& PR)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Darkside Is Coming To TNL Onstage

As you can see, I am back. Yes, my brief hiatus from blogging has come to an end, amid much cheering and celebration from our beloved resident trolls I am sure. Sadly, my absence has not been due to bodily harm, manic-depression or some other juicy post-worthy story; I just got rather, well, bored. Yet, despite being off the Kottu-radar for more than 3 weeks, I am flattered to find the odd Gehan-related humour peppered across the higher echelon blogs (whose names I am not worthy to link to), and that too humour of the highest degree. I would tip my hat off to you, but I don't wear them because I am 'headless'. Get it? Haha.

So I was pleasantly surprised when my dull and mundane existence was interrupted by a call from TNL yesterday, telling me that I had been selected for the first round of the TNL Onstage 2009 Soloist competition. I was quite surprised to be honest; I had sent in my demo CD at the very last moment after some persistent urging-bordering-on-nagging from bloggers. Eventually I thought, what the heck, and I hastily downloaded the registration form, filled it out as soon as possible ("History of the band/artist"?), went through the long list of terms and conditions ("TNL will not be liable for any claims arising due to the participation in the competition"? Could you be more vague?) and burnt a CD with two songs. This was the hardest part; which songs to send? After a careful process of elimination based on pros and cons, I tossed a coin and decided on "Ghost Of You" and "Like A Stone". This was followed by a short and concise explanation to the parents and a frantic search of the premises to find a envelope large enough to send in a CD. Finally found one, stuffed in the forms and CD, sent it off and proceeded to pace around my room nervously for a full 7 minutes, after which I concluded that I wouldn't hear from them in the near future and forgot all about it. Till now.

The girl on the phone was very polite and had a lovely voice (do you have to have a good voice just to work at a radio station?). She first told me that I had been selected and congratulated me. She then told me that there was some meeting at the head office on Thursday where they would spell out the do's and don'ts of the competition, as well as meet the 'backing band'. However, she was very understanding about the logistical difficulties I would have about this.

"Oh but you're in Kandy no? Aney sin for you."

(Or something along those lines.)

So instead, I am supposed to come in on Saturday for the interview and photo-shoot, and once I am done with that she could run through what I will miss during the Thursday meeting.

And that, dear readers, is how much I know at the moment! I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I guess I'll ride my luck as far as it will take me. I am under no illusions about my vocal abilities, so I'm not going to plan too far ahead, but I DO love to sing so it should be fun! According to the radio, the preliminary rounds are supposed to be held on the 22nd of this month, but I'm not sure about that either. Hopefully it'll all work out with as much drama as possible, so that I will have something to blog about in the next few weeks.

In closing, I am going to do something now that I was very much against despite many people suggesting it before for my headless videos. Yes, you guessed it; I'm asking for song suggestions. If there is a song that you feel I might be able to do justice to, do leave it in the comments section of this post. Nothing too fancy, nothing too boring; the main thing is that it should have a nice vocal spread, something melodic and pleasing to the general populace, so please no indie or folk songs, thank you very much.

And also, song suggestions only from adults above the age of 18 will be considered, so sorry Jerry and Fallen, maybe next year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wayward One

Another song post, since I have been struggling with a severe case of writers block. However, I have wanted to post this song for a long time, but never did since I'm pretty sure no one has heard this before. It's a got an 'interesting' melody, but there is something about the urgency in Myles Kennedy's vocals that really got me listening to this song. Almost all of Alter Bridge's songs have a positive hopeful feel to them, which is a refreshing break from the doom and gloom of most other bands out there.

This is "Wayward One" by Alter Bridge, and the original is here. I hope you enjoy it.

As usual, if you want to download it instead, just click here.

"Wayward One"

And they cry
And they call
As the wayward walk alone

City lights
Urban sprawl
In a place no one should know

Shown no grace
Shown no love
These mean streets are meant for none

Take them back to the start
Let the purest of heart
Know their worth is still spoken

As they fight to exist
We neglect and resist
Let this circle be broken

Broken homes
Broken lives
They repeat themselves in time

It's passed on
Down the line
Till we heal the wounds inside

It's not too late
To make things right
Dress the wounds with loves pure light


They're still waiting
They still cry
They still want to know they'll be all right

All I'm saying
Can we try?
To bring the wayward ones back home tonight
Bring the wayward one back home tonight

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Man Who Can't Be Moved

Going back to the corner where I first saw you
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag I'm not gonna move
Got some words on cardboard, got your picture in my hand
saying, "if you see this girl can you tell her where I am"

Some people try to hand me money, they don't understand
I'm not broke I'm just a broken hearted man
I know it makes no sense but what else can I do
How can I move on when I'm still in love with you

Cause if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me
and your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinkin maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet
And you'll see me waiting for you on our corner of the street
So I'm not moving, I'm not moving

Policeman says, "son you can't stay here"
I said, "there's someone I'm waiting for If it's a day, a month, a year"
Gotta stand my ground even if it rains or snows
If she changes her mind this is the first place she will go

Cause if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me
and your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinkin maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet
And you'll see me waiting for you on our corner of the street
So I'm not moving, I'm not moving,
I'm not moving, I'm not moving

People talk about the guy that's waiting on a girl
There are no holes in his shoes but a big hole in his world

Maybe I'll get famous as the man who can't be moved
Maybe you wont mean to but you'll see me on the news
And you'll come running to the corner
cause you'll know it's just for you
I'm the man who can't be moved

Going back to the corner where I first saw you
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag I'm not gonna move

~ The Script

Was reading some old posts, and this song I just heard seemed rather apt.

Emo? Perhaps. I have my moments. I hope you enjoy the song.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Falling In (Arranged) Love

Marriage. The very word conjures up images of drunk relatives, annoying in-laws, wailing babies and (subconsciously) divorce lawyers, at least among people of my age group. To us, bringing up marriage in a conversation inevitable ends with the unanimous conclusion that marriage is for 'later', and that anyone getting married 'now' is just foolish and throwing their life away.

This was all well and good, until something strange started happening to all my anti-marriage friends. They all started dying, one by one, under mysterious circumstances, and at every death there was a small bouquet of dead flowers left over their bodies.

Fine, they didn't. But they were definitely falling prey to the very demon they so adamantly denounced. One by one, they were either getting married or trying to get married!

Now this puts a whole different spin on the discussion. You see, our greatest fears had come true: 'later' had become 'now'! Suddenly all the staunch protests against the 'institute of marriage' and its so-called use as an 'instrument introduced by society to suppress the something or the other' vanish behind a cloud of 'I wonder what kind of colour scheme I want for the reception'. Or, in the guy's case, the boasting about freedom is replaced with talk about settling down and picking out a 'safe neighbourhood'.

Needless to say, it's all very confusing. I suddenly find myself hesitating before I make a 'wedding joke'; after all, you never quite know if the person you're joking with is secretly browsing potential brides/grooms profiles on the internet at night. And that is exactly my point.

You see, without our knowledge, we suddenly arrived at the stage in life where people DO get married, if not the guys then definitely for the girls in my group of friends. But no one told us that the rules had changed from our carefree years in college. Arranged marriages have become oh-so-fashionable these days, with both girls and guys having no qualms about posting their details on the internet and literally inviting all callers. I always assumed that the biggest challenge in getting married would be deciding whether or not the person you're with at the time really IS the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Instead, it's more about wording your 'requirements' in a way that will get you the best possible 'candidates'. Does anyone else get the reality TV vibe?

I have nothing against arranged marriages. Some of the happiest couples I know were the result of an arranged marriage. I guess it's just surprising to see exactly how many people are willingly settling for an arranged marriage, especially the so-called independent women that not too long ago simply laughed at the thought of letting their parents decide who they marry. For some it's merely a way to avoid the drama of dating and actually meeting someone and then going through all the trouble of making your parents like him/her. For others they blame the pressures of society and other vague 'powers' and simply shrug their shoulders in resignation.

It's all rather depressing, really.

Delilah wrote an interesting post here about love and logic, and I sort of agree with her in certain areas. However, I feel we've all become just too damn lazy and too damn impatient, and so we celebrate our 24th birthday by uploading a profile on a marriage website or sending out our "marriage CV's" into the aunty-network. Sure, it's socially and even culturally accepted here, but really, why settle for the easy way out?

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