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.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, T...!

This post is largely redundant (in more ways than one), especially since T's birthday was a good two days ago. However, I am going to ignore that minor technicality and cling to the hope that it really is better late than never.

I have known T for quite a long time, in fact it was on her birthday last year that I first spoke to her. Well, that's not entirely true; I called her, and she put me on voicemail. Needless to say, my planned smooth dialogue promptly fell to pieces when faced with the silence of a voicemail.

Despite this, we had been in contact for a long time via email, which all started due to her rather shady comment she posted here.(You'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom; on a side note, wow I used to get a lot of comments!) As it turned out (and much to my disappointment, I must add), it was a song request. I was very touched, and most of our correspondence from then on was always centered around the music I did, and suggestions for new covers. I remember smiling to myself when she suggested some extremely difficult songs, as she seemed convinced I could sing anything. The most famous ones though will always be the 'mystery songs' she heard while smoking up in Jamaica, the ones she would have told me about if only she could remember!

While she has been one of my biggest fans, she has also been one of my harshest critics, and I think perhaps that made me respect her opinion even more. I would later find out that she was head groupie/music critic for the band LBW, a very talented local band over in the States, and so she was no rookie at this.

Over the last year, she has gone from an anonymous blogger to someone who will forever be rooted in a special corner of my heart. We meet people every day that we sometimes laugh at, sometimes forget. Rarely do we find those unique people that challenge us in the way T has done to me. Rarely do we find people with a face (the horror!) like hers either, but that's another story entirely...

So, when she first stumbled across this song and told me how much she loved it, I think it was only natural I should attempt to cover it for her, seeing as I lost the keys to my private jet and wouldn't be able to be there for her big non-birthday. While I am always wary of my own music, forever analysing and over-analysing each minute note and bar, her reaction when she first heard it, and her subsequent reactions to every other listen, easily erase any technical faults I may find in it.

So, happy birthday T. Thank you for the wonderful, wicked, whirlwind year we had together so far, the scandalous adventures, the heart-warming moments, the lows and the dizzying highs. Here's to many more years of face-jokes, failed attempts at dieting and generous dissing of the world in general.

Much love (and a slice of cheesecake, 'cos we both know you prefer that!)


If you want to download the audio, just click here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Respect Your Elders, Children Of Rock

I remember growing up how into R&B and Hip Hop I was, feasting on all manner of soul, blues, and occasional jazz. I was lucky in that I didn't fall too deep into the pop music 'revolution' (I was the 'uncool' guy that didn't know all the Spice Girls' names) but lets face it, we all listened to the Backstreet Boys at some stage.

Before the dawn of CD's, us 80's babies used to make do with recording an endless array of tapes off the radio. I had a small library, which I diligently updated every 2 weeks or so, filled with Will Smith, Boyz II Men, Babyface, 98 Degrees, Coolio and if I remember correctly, even some (radio friendly) 2Pac.

One day however, while listening to YES FM with my finger hovering over the record button, I suddenly heard "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses, and my life was never the same again.

Well not really.

While GNR never revolutionised my music taste, it did mark the opening of rock music to me, and it wasn't long before I fell in love with Incubus, Nickelback and Third Eye Blind. After that, there was no turning back.

Modern rock and alternative rock have really changed over the last decade or so, and it was just recently I was speaking with a friend about the 'golden age' of alternative music that was made up of the above mentioned artists as well as the Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie and the Blowfish and Matchbox 20. Nowadays, I find most of the 'good stuff' is churned out by one-hit-wonders, who make one or two good tracks that I will enjoy but not enough to go out and download buy their album.

So when I heard Slash was back with a new solo album, I was definitely interested enough to go look for the torrent album as soon as possible. I am still in the process of listening to it, though so far it has been only average. Still, it ignited some memories of the 'old days' where rockers were bad for you but rock 'n roll was good for you.

So no matter what your musical taste, or even if you don't like GNR, I highly recommend you give a listen to these amazing live covers played at the MTV Classic Launch in Australia earlier this year. On vocals is Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge, who probably does as good a job as can be expected when you're covering Axl Rose. Fantastic music, believe me. While I have heard these tracks countless number of times, it was great to watch my younger brother listen to them and be blown away. That is probably the definition of classic.


Sweet Child O' Mine

Civil War

Night Train

Paradise City

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Subtle Art Of Humour

So three guys walk into a bar...

One of the most coveted adjectives that most men strive to attain is that of being 'funny' - and no, I don't mean in the I-think-he's-a-pedo way.

I never was the funniest guy in the world, and in many of my earlier blog posts I often mentioned how my attempts at humourous writing were often derived from hours of careful pondering and several failed experiments. Unlike Jerry, I was hesitant to simply string together random and unrelated every-day objects to produce an analogy. It was much too hit-and-miss for me, and perhaps only Jerry's formidable comedic genius allows him this luxury (the buttered cat is still a personal favourite).

Still, I wrote my fair share of funny posts back in the day, and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view) those have all but disappeared on this blog over the last year or so, though more a reflection of my circumstance than my writing abilities. I chose not to force anything out for, as the saying goes, either you got it or you don't.

There is a subtle shift in what we find 'funny' of late, and I feel this is reflected in our conversations and even in the media. The last decade or so has brought us such atrocities as "American Pie", "Euro Trip", "Sex Drive" and (insert teen related sex movie here). I admit I find some of them humourous and perhaps even witty, but there is only so many times I can watch some naked guy fall into a bush, hump a pie or get caught wanking off by his parents. It gets old.

The same goes for real life; it's rare to find a person who is genuinely funny and can actually make a good joke that doesn't involve comparing something to genitalia. However, I've noticed that this only applies to my english speaking friends. When it comes to Sinhala, it's a totally new ball game.

Telling a funny Sinhala joke will probably be an art that will forever escape me, but I can at least appreciate those that can. After spending the last 3-4 months with largely Sinhala speaking guys, I've found that it doesn't really take much to make a good Sinhala joke. It's not so much about the content, it's the delivery; the right inflection here, the right pause there, and everyone is in fits of laughter. Perhaps it's just me, but I feel it's a lot easier to make something, anything funnier in Sinhala.

And THAT is what I feel is missing these days. People are always looking to tell us a funny story, never really bothering about how they tell it. Sarcasm is a lost art these days, and I am forced to get my fix from re-runs of House. The last time I met someone who knew how to be sarcastic was T. The first time we met was at a coffee shop, and I had picked the table. Sweetly, she commended me on choosing a table with such an excellent view, and I immediately thanked her without giving it much thought. She then looked at me dead-pan, looked out the window at the walled off parking lot, and said "I was being sarcastic."

I'd have applauded if I wasn't so utterly embarrassed.

Good times.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Not Cheating If...

... it's for practice.

Probably one of the funnier responses to a trending hashtag on twitter recently, followed by "it's your mother" and "we're on a 'break'... ".

Of late I have had several discussions and conversations about infidelity. It seems that it is the latest trend that is doing the rounds in all circles, both the friends and the famous. I am hardly the person to come to for juicy gossip; everyone knows I have little or no interest in other people's dramas, at least not enough to spread the word. However, this tight-lipped-ness is also a magnet for all those people that have stumbled onto a secret and are not allowed to tell another living soul. Apparently, I am either not living, or without a soul.

While filtering through all the 'goss' that comes to me (which I dutifully keep to myself, of course) I notice that I don't have to look to Hollywood or the tabloids for scandal. I hear of bizarre hook-ups, between best friends and ex's of siblings; I hear of cheating on spouses and lovers; I hear of drunken one-night stands and year long secret relationships. In short, life has become the set of "The Bold and The Beautiful".

I have often been called judgemental, so I try to be as open-minded to these things as possible. Having never been in such a situation, perhaps I do not get the thinking and the reasoning behind it. 'Angel' wrote a few interesting posts on the topic, but I'm not really trying to 'define' what cheating is, but rather the thinking behind it.

Take for example, dating an ex of your best friend or sibling. While men stick to the unwritten rule of "bro's before ho's" whenever possible, clearly someone forgot to create a witty saying regarding the bro's leftovers. I think there are some lines that just shouldn't be crossed, and if they are then you're either in the most understanding of relationships or in an episode of One Tree Hill. Same goes for best friends; I mean, how do you go out with someone knowing that your best friend has already - err - gone out with her? That's just not something you can male-bond over. As for women, well, you're going to have the "who's the ugly sister?" looping in your head throughout the relationship.

Infidelity in marriage is nothing new these days, infact it's almost yawn-inducing. It's come to the point where I am sure people get married just so that they can get involved in some steamy scandal ala the silver screen. "Marriage? You want me to get married Ammi? YES! FINALLY! No more conservative living, time to get my freak on...!"

In this strange world of infidelity, the one-night stand is probably one of the more forgivable, especially if there is alcohol involved.

"I wasn't in my senses baby", he says, tears streaming down his face, "I just had too much to drink at the strip club, and I thought I was in a Snoop video."

Why anyone would want to let that slide is beyond me; in my opinion you're just encouraging it in the future then. However, I'm not quite sure about that one though, so please, don't go experimenting based on anythin I say here!

Bottom line: I'm just a bit saddened that it's so hard to find completely faithful couples these days. There was a time when perhaps holding another girl a bit too closely would be equivalent to 'cheating', but nowadays people don't just cross the line, they run all the way to the end zone.

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