Archive | December, 2020

My Music of 2020

31 Dec

Reflection: Best Moments of 2020 (good to very, very best)

31 Dec

*Covid-19 note: We haven’t been into public since March 14, when we were sent home to work. Other than contact-free vet appointments, walks around the neighborhood (crossing the street if there were other people), and one curb-side pick up of Bountiful Baskets in March. Other than that, we have not had contact with people or gone anywhere. So a few of these items (marked with *) happened before America took Covid-19 seriously, so don’t worry about us being covidiots. Pics on items w/o * are from prior years. About when the sports-world went dark, I realized it was an emergency. Then, after we no longer had to go to the work building we didn’t go anywhere.

-Instead of being in an old stadium very far from where it’s feasible to see games, Covid-19 allowed us to see way more televised WNBA games then ever before. And our favorite team, Seattle Storm, won! And our favorite player, Sue Bird did AWESOME!!!

-My awful/lazy/inept supervisor got transferred to a different department. What a relief.

-Labor Dave Weekend (drive in YouTube streaming). This sounds kinda sad, but it was actually better than having to miss it year after year when we moved away from WAshington. We always went when we lived in Seattle and Spokane, but it was too difficult and expensive from Utah and Arizona. But it would happen without us, and people would talk and post pics, so it was a hurt for missing out year after year. But not this year! We saw exactly what everyone else saw. For free! From the cleanliness and comfort of our own home. No expense. No long drive. No parking craziness. No $13 shitty nachos. No terrible and overpriced shasta beer. No wind or dust. It was an introvert’s dream!

-Christmas was spread out: online shopping before Halloween, decorating in November, cooking in December. I’m usually disgruntled about the holiday season b/c I’m completely overwhelmed and there are all these expectations and societal pressures. But spread over 3 months is more festive, and less stressful! I’m doing it this way from now on.

This isn’t it, but similar

*Mardi Gras: went out to eat, had the cake, watched YouTube videos, listened to podcasts, had a gold/green/purple outfit. Just got really into it!

-My former Supervisor only did one 1:1 with me in the year (the company mandates a monthly one on one for each employee) and that one didn’t include my numbers, so I always thought I was doing shitty.  Because I only ever heard when I was fucking up.  BUT my new Supervisor had a 1:1 with me and shared my production info (1st time I’d ever seen it).  

Feb 212.45% of goal

Mar 173.86% of goal

April 149.10% of goal

May 158.03% of goal

June-July I was in training

Aug 143.61% of goal

Sept 144.99% of goal

Oct 148.42% of goal

Nov 156.53% of goal

Dec 159.88% of goal

Avg 156.39% of goal

So I had been so nervous all of the times, having the perception I wasn’t doing well. And people kept telling me all these things I wasn’t doing right, but nobody ever told me what I had been doing right. So it was nice to see I was kicking ass on my production!

*Phoenix Lights of the World. We were smart and went in January. So we totally missed the crowds–which made it so much more fun! There were all kinds of giant animals and stuff related to each of the continents. So it was good pictures, and a non-crowded, non-stressful time. After we’re vaccinated and things are happening again, we’ll make sure to hit this in January after the holiday crowds have dispersed.

-lots of time saved with delivery groceries. This is a luxury that we usually don’t never have indulged.

-Good music. 2020 had a lot of albums that I liked, and special mention for Taylor Swift putting out not one but two surprise albums. And both inspired me to analyze, which I like, and stretches my brain.

-sitting outside in the yard w/the kitties. Because we were home all the time, we had a lot more time with each other and the kitties–which I loved. And because it’s AZ, the weather allowed us to work outside, and sit outside, and play games like ladders and jumbo jenga outside. And without all the showering, commuting/traffic, errands, and all that we gained lots of hours in our week. It was beautiful, and I want to keep it this way forever!

*Innings Festival. The last event in Feb before we knew Covid-19 was upon us. We love music. We love food. We love drinking in a park. And this year the headliner was Dave Matthews Band! Also, the venue is in very close proximity to our house, so it’s very convenient. It was a good, good time, as Dave would say.

-less guilt about ordering delivery restaurant food. We love restaurant food, but know it’s full of fat and salt, and really hurts the wallet. But with grocery stores getting striped, and delivery difficult sometimes, this became nearer to a necessity item. Which has been such a treat! I’ll be sad when we’re able to go back inside a grocery store and this is over. We’ve eaten really well this quarantine 🙂

*got a treadmill! My used Craigslist treadmill finally died before we moved to AZ. And we lived in a teeny, tiny 3rd floor apartment for nearly 2 years, so we didn’t replace it. But this year in Feb, I used my bonus money to get a really nice (new to us) used one. It is SO much easier to run my daily mile. And I don’t know what I would have done without it during this pandemic. We use it every. single. day. And I love it.

-(contact-free) getting a kitten–Bison. We had been discussing a kitten for some time now, and had even named a future kitten. When we found out we got to work from home, we thought it would be the perfect time to situate a new kitten. So we got Bison. He is very ginormous framed, so he doesn’t look like a kitten, but he’s only one, so he’s a true baby. And he is hyper. But also he’s a really good kitten.

-working from home. My favorite movie for the longest time was Copycat. I thought the premise was clever, and it was suspenseful and historical. And I thought the actors did a good job. But I was truly enamored with the agorophbic lifestyle. She had 3 computers, a mansion-apartment, an online chess game, delivery food–everything you’d want. Like, I’m not afraid to leave my house, but that movie made being a shut-in look really classy and cozy. And I’m not kidding when I say it’s been my dream to live that way ever since I saw it. What a relief it would be! But I thought I’d either have to win the lottery or retire in order to achieve it. But 2020 has been a lot like that.

Our CEO is old-school and said nobody, never, ever would work from home for any length of time ever. And when the pandemic began, all 200 of us worked at low cubes in that same room, sharing 2 bathrooms. Then, when the hospitals were getting overwhelmed, work said we would be split into an A group and a B group and every other week one or the other would work from home so the people remaining in the office could socially distance. They still didn’t really want to let us work from home. But pretty soon, Covid-19 was real bad, and we were all allowed to work from home all the time.

Other than Covid-19, it really has been a dream come true for me. I never realized how tired just going to the office had been making me. I felt rested during the day for the first time in like a decade! And my stress and anxiety went waaaaay down. And we never skipped another workout. Everything good is happening since we’ve been able to work from home. I love it so much, and hope we get to keep doing it forever.

Reflection: Worst Moments of 2020 (11th to 1st worst)

31 Dec

honorable mention-updated driver’s license.  In AZ, you don’t have to renew for like 25 years.  But my parents said soon, everybody had to transition to a special kind of license.  And if you didn’t you couldn’t fly.  So we went to do it one weekend, and online it made it sound so fast.  And all the info seemed like you just walk up and get it and leave.  But when we got there it was a DMV situation with lots of people and hours and hours of boring waiting.  And the germs!  I was freaking out (this was even before Covid-19 was known at all) b/c I HATE getting sick.  We got the license, and we managed not to get sick.  But what a let down.

10-Sneakers were banned from work except on Friday.  I wrote a well-thought, sincere letter trying to persuade leadership to reconsider and allow fashion sneaks.  This was the first time I had EVER spoken out at this job.  I barely talked for the first year I worked there, due to McKesson PTSD.  And I finally found an issue important to me, and carefully, and thoughtfully tried to address it.  They just reiterated policy and acted very corporate, not human, about it.  What a waste.  The whole thing just made me feel like a number or something.  Then, I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get an ADA pass to wear sneakers to work.  It is very heavy-handed.

9-Pride month got hijacked by BLM.  And I had been really looking forward to it, but there was no to-do at all for it.  Obviously, nothing physical was going on, but I didn’t even get to post, like 1 rainbow anywhere.  And “hijacking #BLM” was pretty much shamed and stigmatized on social media.  I wasn’t allowed to even talk about it. P.S. Pride is necessary. Trans people suicide and violence by others is sky-high. Bisexuals are erased. Gender nonconforming need logistical concerns met by society. Conversion therapy is still practiced. Closeted teens still self-harm, and out-teens go homeless. It isn’t frivolous to celebrate Pride!

8-Arguing with Covidiots on Twitter.  At first, I assumed people didn’t know.  And I watch news twice a day and listen to podcasts daily, so I was getting information quickly.  I tried to educate, and that was a losing battle.  I would refute their nonsense and write facts, but people would argue, tweet by tweet for like, days, at a time.  I soon realized it wasn’t legitimate lack of knowledge on their part but selfishness, political-brainwashing, and willful ignorance.  Now, I do not engage with any individual, b/c it would make me rageful and insane.  I’ll just put a fact-based tweet in general, or navigate away entirely.

7-I had the high of knowing my dink-Supervisor transferred departments.  I had been keeping a log of all his infractions, and had been talking to his boss about it, who (mostly seemed annoyed I was saying anything, and making her work) assured me he was on a mediation plan.  So it was really a happy moment to find he wasn’t going to be in my life any more.  And I wondered what new blood would be in charge of my team.  I hoped I could start out on the right foot with them.  And I hoped they would care a lot more, and be a go-getter, and really make a positive change!  Oh the possibilities!  But my supervisor was replaced with this other guy I had previously worked with, who can be arrogant/condescending/sexist/dinky.  I had been hoping for just someone new and better–so it was a big disappointment that one dink, was replaced with the ONLY other person at the job I didn’t like.

6-My (now) former supervisor wanted me to go to advanced training.  When I asked if it was in the work building and was concerned about going back physically because of Covid-19, he yanked me out of training.  I had to go to H.R. about it because the training was never even planned to be in the building, it was over Zoom, and you can’t yank someone’s promotional opportunity because you’re a Covidiot that doesn’t believe in science.  But it felt bad to have to fight for public health, fight to keep my promotional opportunity. So after a year, I had finally spoken. I asked about the shoes. But then, my supervisor kept doing shitty things, and after I had documented like 30 terrible things, I felt like I had to say something. But now this very important thing came up– and now I’m considered a squeaky wheel. Which is not accurate.

5-Difficulty, time, and struggle to get things delivered from about March to late August?  Toilet paper, Clorox-Wipes, Lysol, and a lot of the food we usually keep on hand were out.  And I was having to repeatedly check Costco, Walmart, Amazon, the Dollar Store, etc… just to get basics.  When the pandemic first started, NONE of those companies were prepared, and everything was a hassle to impossible.  I had a toilet paper A (ration), B(napkins), (Magazine pages), D (leaves) emergency plan.  It’s funny, byt also not an exaggeration, and that made me anxious!

4-Password issue the first couple days of work from home.  I was locked out of my work account for 2 full work days.  And had to call IT and hold with them forever, be on the line with them for long times, and be so frustrated when their interventions were unsuccessful.  I felt stressed and guilty b/c it was literally the first week we were allowed to work from home, and I didn’t want my job to think I was taking advantage and fucking around.  But I also didn’t want to go into the building and get Covid-19, or get fired about it.  

3-My Prop 208 homework. Arizona has been gyped of education by many crooked CEOs, lobbyists, Koch Brothers, corrupts politicians, and as a result the schools are abysmal. I am big on education, because that really is a thing that pulls people up, and helps poverty, and helps people vote better. These things matter by the time a pandemic strikes. Also, my mom is a teacher, and I just think AZ can do better. So this proposition was supposed to tax wealthy individuals to help schools. But of course all the greedy grifters had a big disinformation campaign to trick Arizonans into voting against their best interests. So for 6 weeks leading up to the election, I took it upon myself to refute the scores of people bending facts, lying, and tricking voters about what the prop is, and who it impacts. And people here hate teachers. They have zero respect for the teaching profession and think the educators are over paid. And they regard school as free daycare, really. And a lot of Arizonans hate paying any taxes at all–even to educate kids. It was exhausting! I probably did 2 hours per day every single day of those 2 weeks, with a surge that last week. It was tiring arguing with liars, and trying to convince argumentative ignorants. The prop did pass-yay! But by the slimmest of margins (sad and maddening). And now those dirty money-hungry people are trying to overturn it in courts. gerr.

2-My mid-level manager routinely doesn’t read or pay attention.  And it’s totally annoying, b/c she’ll ask questions she should know, or could easily look up.  Or she’ll get after me, b/c she didn’t read properly.  We follow workflows, and my end point directed me to send the claim to her.  I sent a bunch of info including many numbers and 2 screenshots to this manager.  She didn’t understand it somehow–which is really stupid.  My (new) supervisor wrote to me telling me to make sure to include more info with my “questions” (but this was not a question, it was an endpoint on my workflow).  I asked what else I needed to send (b/c it was more than enough!) and he replied, “more.”  We went back and forth b/c there WAS NOTHING ELSE TO INCLUDE, it was ridiculous.  Honestly, I suspected he hadn’t read my initial e-mail either, he had glanced, seen the manager’s question, and lectured me without looking.  And I felt like instead of admitting I HAD sent more than enough–everything he listed, he doubled-down and gave a generic “more.”  I kept asking, “what else do you need?” Same answers.  Then he said to call him and he would explain it.  But I was like, “I keep a record, can’t you just type out a list of items I need to include in all emails?”  But he was still all, “I can only explain it on the phone.”  Which I also thought was a croc, but I didn’t want to get in trouble for insubordination, so I reluctantly called.  And he literally said exactly what he said before!  He had my email up on a shared screen, and I heatedly asked what other info they needed.  I even told him I suspected the manager wasn’t opening claims, reading notes/remarks, or paying attention to workflows. And he defended that! He said management is very busy, couldn’t I just send more? He said, “more” again when I asked what, specifically–and I LOST MY TEMPER.  The whole exchange was a fucking ridiculous charade.  I sent enough info, but the manager either didn’t look at stuff or was being dumb, and this Supervisor didn’t read the fucking initial e-mail and just assumed I hadn’t sent everything.  And his tone on this unnecessary phone call was jovial, and he was like, “Is that cool?”  And I said something to the effect of, “No it is NOT cool, but you are my supervisor, so yes, sir, whatever you want.”  It was a completely inappropriate way to speak to an authority.  Not what I’m going for at work.  But he was being such a (misogynistic) douche!  An attitude of like, ‘this dumb bitch is so stupid, I’m going to put her in her place because she’s just a silly woman who doesn’t understand things.’ After the call, I sent him 3 egregious examples of the manager not reading or looking or paying attention. I had saved them, b/c this was becoming a chronic issue. And he defended her! Which is crazy. So whatever the fuck…

1-Goose got very sick with the herp.  He’s already under-weight, and we’re always trying to get him to eat more.  We give him appetite stimulant, but he still doesn’t get enough.  When he got herpes in that already weakened state, it hit him so hard.  And he was completely stuffed up to the point he had to open mouth gasp like a blowfish.  So it was extremely concerning.  He didn’t move, didn’t eat, and felt terrible.  Even though we’re home for work, ordering all groceries delivery, and not going anywhere–I took Goose to the vet.  They didn’t offer that much.  Their big plan was to send a can of food.  But I remembered how the feline exclusive treated cats and requested those items.  He did recover, but I was terrified this was the end.

Taylor Swift’s Evermore as Amalgamation: Willow Analysis

30 Dec

I am immediately relieved to hear the instruments.  It’s automatically more alive and warm than folklore.  I also like when she sings at a higher octave, and the faster cadence of the chorus.

I didn’t really want to write an analysis of this song, because after seeing the video it seemed like Taylor really doubled-down on the boyfriend narrative.  And I honestly don’t think that’s her truth, so the whole thing didn’t interest me.  But I was listening to the song for a different reason today (I’m trying to rank every song in her catalogue) and noticed something about the scars line.  And when I looked at the written lyrics I noticed something…

[Verse 1]

I’m like the water when your ship rolled in that night

Rough on the surface, but you cut through like a knife

Taylor Songs with “knife” in the lyrics:

You, with your words like knives/And swords and weapons that you use against me (Mean)

My castle crumbled overnight/I brought a knife to a gunfight/They took the crown but it’s alright/All the liars are calling me one (Call it What You Want)

So cut the headlights, summer’s a knife/I’m always waiting for you just to cut to the bone (Cruel Summer)

Like the war of words I shouted in my sleep/And you passed right by/I was in the alley, surrounded on all sides/The knife cuts both ways (Long Story Short)

My only one/My smoking gun/My eclipsed sun/This has broken me down/My twisted knife/My sleepless night/My win-less fight (Hoax)

Taylor/the water in this metaphor is rough on the surface.  She’s emotional, and has all this inner turmoil about being who she is vs. keeping up the brand.  But the person she’s talking to in the song cuts through all that and gets to the inner Taylor.  

And I think the Long Story Short lyrics describe how this person passes her by but Taylor’s in this figurative alley surrounded on all sides (by her team, audience, demands, PR–all the people Taylor tries to appease all the time according to “Mirrorball” (folklore)).  The knife cuts both ways tells us listeners that yeah, Taylor’s feelings are hurt (alla Hoax) but also, Taylor is doing her own share of hurting the other person by constantly trying to please all these outside forces that surround her.  

Hoax shares that this person is Taylor’s true love.  But also Taylor’s true love is simultaneously her smoking gun, bc being with HER makes evident Taylor’s sexuality.  Being with “the only one” outs Taylor.  The following line says eclipsed sun.  So Karlie (all things gold and sunshiny) is (temporarily) hidden and gone, bc Taylor chose to appease those surrounding her by continuing to hide who she really is.  But this fight has made Taylor sleepless and ultimately unhappy.  It’s a win-less fight.  Both bc Taylor lost the sun (Karlie) to Jo$h, and because nobody is winning when they’re closeted–even if people believe the straight-boyfriend-narrative.

And if it was an open-shut case

Open-and-shut:  Easily decided or solved because the facts are very clear. 

I never would’ve known from that look on your face

The face Taylor is talking to in the song is full of ambiguity.  If the facts are clear, the look on this person’s face obscures that.  The situation is complicated and confusing.

Lost in your current like a priceless wine

[Chorus]

The more that you say, the less I know

This person is a fancy-talker, using double-speak, or obfuscating what they say.

Wherever you stray, I follow

Definition of stray intransitive verb

: WANDER: such as

A : to wander from company, restraint, or proper limits

B : to roam about without fixed direction or purpose

C : to move in a winding course : MEANDER

D : to move without conscious or intentional effort

E : to become distracted from an argument or train of thought

F : to wander accidentally from a fixed or chosen route

G : ERR, SIN

Stray is deviating from norms.  So Taylor uses a negative word to mean either this person is being intentionally evil (cheating on a husband?) or this person is flaky and wandering away from the target.  But whichever is the case, Taylor wants to go with this person off the beaten path (norms of straight marriage?), away from the target (she’s also rejecting heteronormativity).

I’m begging for you to take my hand

In marriage?

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

When I heard this line before seeing it, I took it as, there’s my man, he’s my man, I love my man kind of stuff.  When I saw how it was written I noticed it’s on the same line.  She doesn’t say, “wreck my plans/that’s my man” as separate thoughts.  She says, “wreck my plans, that’s my man” as in further describing the plans.  I feel the distinction is wreck my plans, [which are] ‘that’s my man’.  Another way of saying it is: Code name “That’s my man” are the plans being described, and the person Taylor is talking to in the song is wrecking the “that’s my man” plan. 

Like the plan is:  Here’s my long term straight relationship, I’m in love with a man.  That narrative is what’s wrecked by this person Taylor is addressing in the song.  She’s not talking to her man or about her man in the song.  [It’s really confusing to write out, I hope you get what I’m trying to put out there, dear reader]

The amalgamation of this song is the “that’s my man” line, which is easily misrepresented as an I love my boyfriend!

[Verse 2]

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind

Head on the pillow, I could feel you sneakin’ in

Sneaking [ snee-king ]adjective

acting in a furtive or underhand way.

deceitfully underhand, as actions; contemptible.

secret; not generally avowed, as a feeling, notion, suspicion, etc.

“Sneaking isn’t a positive word either.  Taylor is already in bed and this person enters after her.  Why would Joe come in after Taylor has gone to bed?  Is he up to something?  Cheating on her?  I think this part is similar to the story of “Illicit Affairs” (folklore) where the person Taylor wants to be with (Karlie?) is cheating on her husband.  It could mean Karlie is surreptitiously seeing Taylor even though she’s supposed to be in a committed relationship with Jo$h.

As if you were a mythical thing

And it seems like this sneaking person is mythical because they are here, then they disappear.  Also, it’s like a dream (in the sense it’s what Taylor wishes for, and also in a ‘wake up and this person is gone’ way) whenever this person comes around.

Like you were a trophy or a champion ring

This line talks about competition.  Taylor is competing with Jo$h to “win” Karlie.  She talks about trophy, ring, then prize to compare the outcome of beating someone to get something shiny.

And there was one prize I’d cheat to win

And again “cheat” references Illicit Affairs.  Taylor will play dirty and be ‘the other woman’ to beat the competition (Jo$h) and win this prize (Karlie).

[Chorus]

The more that you say, the less I know

Wherever you stray, I follow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

You know that my train could take you home

I wonder if Taylor is talking to the same person she was talking to in the “Champagne Problems” song?  The one who “booked the night train for a reason” (I think Karlie, but could be Joe).  

One for the money, two for the show/I never was ready so I watch you go/Sometimes you just don’t know the answer/’Til someone’s on their knees and asks you/“She would’ve made such a lovely bride/What a shame she’s fucked in the head,” they said/But you’ll find the real thing instead

Those lyrics talk about Karlie’s two weddings.  And say Taylor was never ready to come out of the closet, so she watched Karlie go back to Jo$h.  Karlie didn’t know who to pick between Jo$h and Taylor, so she was ambivalent about future marriage plans with him.  The person proposing on their knees is jo$h proposing to Karlie!  “But she WOULD have made such a lovely bride” shows neither wedding was legitimate.  And she’s fucked in the head says why–Karlie isn’t into it  bc she loves Taylor.  And now this song confirms, you’ll find the REAL thing instead.  Taylor says MY train could take you HOME.  We know how important home has been to Taylor.  She wants Karlie to come with her.

Anywhere else is hollow

Karlie’s existence with Jo$h is shallow and for all the wrong reasons.  Taylor is offering Karlie substance.

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

Taylor sings to Karlie, I’m begging you to be with ME, wreck my plans [OF] that’s my man [bearding charade].  

[Bridge]

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind

They count me out time and time again

All the haters hate, no matter what Taylor Swift does.

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind

A theory is that the word “willow” is derived from a Celtic language, sal meaning ‘near’ and lis meaning ‘water’.  They are used for streambank stabilisation (bioengineering), slope stabilisation, soil erosion control, shelterbelt and windbreak, and wildlife habitat. And Willows are often planted on the borders of streams so their interlacing roots may protect the bank against the action of the water. Frequently, the roots are much larger than the stem which grows from them (Wikipedia).

But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend

Taylor is persistent and proves the haters wrong with her successes every time. And also she will be persistent in trying to win Karlie back from Jo$h.

[Verse 3]

Wait for the signal, and I’ll meet you after dark

Show me the places where the others gave you scars

Who has the scars?  You drew stars around my scars says Taylor in “Cardigan” (folklore).  And in “Hoax” (folklore) she sings, “You knew it still hurts underneath my scars/From when they pulled me apart.”  Taylor is the one with the scars.  This other person in the song tells Taylor to wait for the signal and they can meet at night.  And asks Taylor to see where OTHERS gave her scars.

Now this is an open-shut case

I guess I should’ve known from the look on your face

This person (Karlie) looks at Taylor’s face and sees something definitive, there’s no mystery. Taylor is now resolute about being with Karlie despite it being the smoking gun of her sexuality.

Every bait-and-switch was a work of art

“Bait and switch” isn’t a matter of making a mistake or having a change of heart.  It’s intentional manipulation.  Someone makes a promise to do something in order get what s/he wants at that point in time–knowing all the while that s/he will never honor that promise (http://psychotherapist-nyc.blogspot.com/2018/03/bait-and-switch-as-form-of-manipulation.html).  

Sounds to me like Karlie “marrying” Jo$h.  But she really didn’t, or she didn’t do it intending to stay and be faithful to him, bc “she’s fucked in the head” and in love with Taylor.  The work of art will be when Karlie leaves Jo$h and Kaylor is happily together.

[Chorus]

The more that you say, the less I know

Wherever you stray, I follow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

You know that my train could take you home

Anywhere else is hollow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

The more that you say, the less I know

Wherever you stray, I follow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

You know that my train could take you home

Anywhere else is hollow

I’m begging for you to take my hand

Wreck my plans, that’s my man

It’s a happy Kaylor ending.  Karlie left Jo$h on the Taylor train, because it was a marriage for shallow reasons.  And Taylor asks Karlie to be with her, wreck her plan of bearding.  Kaylor shaves the beards and ends up together-yay!

Taylor Swift’s Evermore as Amalgamation: Dorthea Analysis

26 Dec

Who is Dorothea?  Firstly, remember each song on the album is an amalgamation.  Taylor has blended several people in each song.  So I’m pretty sure Dorothea is representative of a person Taylor knows in real life.  And from the sound of this song, it seems like during high school, in TN.  But I know some historical figure or story is probably also mixed in so I found some possible candidates online:

Lesbian of the Day, Dorthea from fire emblem 3 houses.  I saw this line in a search, and as far as I can deduce, Fire Emblem is a video game?  I didn’t get into it that much b/c I am disinterested in gaming.  But of interest,  I noticed that the female version of Byleth can romance other female characters like Edelgard and Dorothea.

Of even more interest to me was a slang term on Wikipedia.  In gay slang, a “friend of Dorothy” (FOD) is a gay man and more broadly, any LGBTQ person.  Which is kind of exactly what this song is talking about!

Thirdly I found a piece of media, that had connections to lyrics in Evermore:

Rebecca Shoptaw is at the helm of Middlemarch, but she creates LGBTQ+ short films on YouTube.  Many of her films have been featured at film festivals such as the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the MiFo LGBT Festival.  Shoptaw is known for putting queer narratives on screen [and this] has translated to “Middlemarch: The Series,” where several of the characters are LGBTQ+ and gender-bent (http://fourteeneastmag.com/index.php/2017/08/06/middlemarch-the-series/).

One character in Middlemarch is, Dorothea stubborn and strong-willed, going against common advice to wed Casaubon, a much older man. Her marriage to him is driven by her desire to be taught by him, and she devotes herself to him entirely. Unfortunately, Casaubon doesn’t trust her unmitigated devotion.  She feels betrayed by his insinuation that she was unfaithful. In response, Dorothea refuses to finish Casaubon’s work, an indication that she is returning to her independent, pre-marriage self (https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/middlemarch/character/dorothea-brooke/). 

It could be any of those, or it could be none.

[Verse 1]

Hey, Dorothea, do you ever stop and think about me?

When we were younger down in the park

Another time Taylor spoke of a park in song was “You Belong with Me” {Fearless):

Walk in the streets with you in your worn-out jeans/I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be/Laughing on a park bench thinking to myself/Hey, isn’t this easy?

This song gets mentioned again later too.

Honey, making a lark of the misery

Often unplanned, a lark can happen when you are feeling adventurous. The act of trying something new like this can also be called larking. A lark is also a kind of songbird. Using lark to describe carefree fun might come from 1800s sailors’ slang, skylark, to describe playing in the rigging of the ship, up high like a lark.

You got shiny friends since you left town

These “shiny” friends could be new, rich, important, famous…  Whatever shiny means, it distinguishes these friends from the small town people.

A tiny screen’s the only place I see you now

And I got nothing but well wishes for ya

Taylor indicates there has been a split between them, they don’t see each other on park benches anymore, but Taylor doesn’t harbor any ill-will about it.  It’s another song that tells a detailed story, without being straightforward about who the subjects of the song are..  Someone in Tupelo?  An old friend?  It doesn’t seem to be about Karlie, but there are some similarities in the way Taylor describes Dorthea, and in how she regards her.. 

[Pre-Chorus]

Ooh, this place is the same as it ever was

Ooh, but you won’t like it that way

The subject of the song is restless, she longs for more than a small town life.

[Chorus]

It’s never too late to come back to my side

The stars in your eyes shined brighter in Tupelo

“Stars in your eyes.”  I think Taylor uses this line several times on this album to convey someone thirsty for fame or money or status.  And I think that’s why a song about an old relationship pops up here.  This girl’s hunger to get out of town and be famous, makes Taylor think of Karlie, who is always chasing a bigger, greater life–more fame, more money.

And if you’re ever tired of bеing known for who you know

You know that you’ll always know me, Dorothea (Uh-uh)

Dorothea (Ah-ah)

Again, Taylor emphasizes that if Dorothea wants to resume a more down to Earth existence again, Taylor is open to being there for her.  Taylor is not mad at Dorthea chasing something bigger (and maybe Taylor is conveying she’s not mad at Karlie for doing that same thing?).

[Post-Chorus]

Ooh, you’rе a queen sellin’ dreams, sellin’ makeup and magazines

Ooh, from you, I’d buy anything

Perhaps like a model?  A real life supermodel?  Who else has makeup campaigns and owns and poses in magazines?  Karlie has been called a Capitalist Queen.

[Verse 2]

Hey, Dorothea, do you ever stop and think about me?

When it was calmer, skipping the prom just to piss off your mom and her pageant schemes

This line is about rebelling against norms.  Dorothea, skipped a very traditional high school milestone.  She also didn’t want to conform to a feminine standard by participating in pageants.

And damn, Dorothea, they all wanna be ya

Taylor is still jealous of everyone wanting her subject.  Just like in “Gorgeous,” and similar to the sentiment of “Gold Rush.”  Both songs seem to be about how Taylor thinks Karlie is beautiful and doesn’t like to think about all the other people that want Karlie.  It’s a (gay) pattern that started in her home town with Dorothea.

But are you still the same soul I met under the bleachers? Well

This question bleeds over to the pre-chorus:

[Pre-Chorus]

Ooh, I guess I’ll never know

Here’s where “You Belong with Me” comes back into play:

She’s Cheer Captain, and I’m on the bleachers/Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find/That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time

Ooh, and you’ll go on with the show

Taylor can’t decide if Dorothea is still the same person she knew before she was known for the wealthy/famous people she hangs around.  This “You’ll go on with the show” line insinuates Dorothea is putting on a front, living a lie, acting fake to keep up appearances, and hold on to this new, more recognized life.  Remind you of anyone?!

[Chorus]

But it’s never too late to come back to my side

The stars in your eyes shined brighter in Tupelo

Honestly, I think Taylor used a random MS town just to rhyme nicely to “who you know.”

And if you’re ever tired of being known for who you know

You know, you’ll always know me, Dorothea (Uh-uh)

Dorothea (Ah-ah)

This isn’t an angry verse.  Taylor hopes this person might get tired to living off her associations with wealthy/famous friends and offers to be there after Dorothea (or whoever is represented by Dorothea–Karlie?) gets tired of fronting.

[Outro]

Ooh, ooh

Ooh-woo-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh, ooh

Ooh-woo-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh

Dorothea (Ah-ah-ah)

Ah-ah

Ooh

Taylor Swift’s Evermore as Amalgamation: Gold Rush Analysis

19 Dec

Faster singing conveys fast-living, being in over your head, frantic, anxiety, trying to keep up.

[Intro]

Gleaming, twinkling

Eyes like sinking ships on waters

So inviting, I almost jump in

Sinking ships are ominous.  This line is foreshadowing trouble.  More than that, Taylor is tying this song to “This Love” [1989].  Now that we’ve seen the new timeline of Karlie and Jo$h, and how Karlie was essentially always technically with him, “This Love” becomes more clear to us outsiders:

Clear blue water, high tide came and brought you in, Skies grew darker, currents swept you out again, This love is good, this love is bad, This love is alive back from the dead, These hands had to let it go free, And this love came back to me, Been losing grip, On sinking ships, our kiss, my cheek, I watched you leave, Your smile, my ghost, I fell to my knees, When you’re young you just run, But you come back to what you need

All of these (cherry picked) lines convey how Karlie would be with Taylor, but only briefly.  My underlines show how Karlie would go to Taylor than leave over and over.  And Taylor longed for more time and more stability.  This song is telling the listener that Taylor almost settled for such an arrangement, but she didn’t quite jump in.

[Chorus]

Think of the 2014 VS Fashion Show, where Taylor was in the pink.  Section 1 of that show (a section that Karlie Kloss walked) was called Gilded Angels.

gild·ed /ˈɡildəd/ adjective

  1. covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint.
    “an elegant gilded birdcage”
    • wealthy and privileged.

Wow, does the title of this VS Fashion Show section feel relevant to me.  I think the song was named after it.  And I think Taylor is showing us through her lyrics, that like the section title, the gold of Karlie, of their relationship was actually gilded.  A thin veneer.  And it’s creepy that a birdcage was right on the first definition in Google, bc it’s so Taylor.  And the wealthy and privileged example in the definition also comes into play in this song (we’ll get to that later).

But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush

I don’t like anticipatin’ my face in a red flush

Taylor probably felt self-conscious about wearing lingerie–which we really hadn’t seen her bare so much skin up to that point.  In Miss Americana, Taylor disclosed she suffered from disordered eating during that time so the body dysmorphia would weigh on her.  And anyone in their right mind would feel out of place next to a bunch of Victoria’s Secret Angels.

I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch

Everybody wants you

VS Angels are sexulized. And during the fashion show the models flirt and blow kisses to seem more sexy and available to consumers

Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you

These last 3 lines might speak to Karlie having her own fan base.  She is popular and successful even without the Taylor-brand’s influence. Karlie has her own career, money, fans, and suitors. I think this might be Taylor’s first relationship where she wasn’t the obvious more publically desired partner.  And Taylor might be just a teeny bit jealous of all the attention Karlie gets as a supermodel.  

Walk past, quick brush

This line makes me think of modeling.  Walking down a runway, brushing past the model going the opposite direction.  Maybe brushing the shoulder of another model, brushing hand quickly through hair on the end of the runway, brushing an item of clothing as a flair.  Could be all the Victoria’s secret shows where Taylor was a featured singer and the Angels walked the runway around her.  Notable flirtiness between Taylor and Karlie.

I don’t like slow motion, double vision in rose blush

Double-vision?

Here are a couple examples of advertisements Karlie participated in:

Good Girl Fantastic Pink fragrance campaign. Karlie Kloss 

Watch Karlie Kloss Play a ‘Beauty Boss’ in New Estée Lauder Campaign: … Rebellious Rose, a universally-flattering pink hue, 

Discover the new ensemble campaign from L’Oreal Paris… in shades of pink for ‘Color Riche’ – the new lip-colour line…  The team of L’Oreal Paris ambassadors stun in a romantic campaign with (more than) a touch of pink…Karlie Kloss…look rosy in pink gowns… The pink-posse posed… with a pink background, around a grand piano. The campaign celebrates the new ‘Color Riche’ line of lipsticks, which the band of beauties wear to finish their blush looks.

I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush

This line is thick with meanings.  Taylor is referencing the beginning of the song (which references “This Love”) but also actually jumping off something high.  Falling could be falling in love, or falling off something.  At first the falling was exciting and like flying, a positive thing.  But then the falling was more like losing control and about to smash into the ground/consequences.  

Everybody wants you

But I don’t like a gold rush

[Verse 1]

What must it be like to grow up that beautiful?

With your hair falling into place like dominoes

Karlie grows up beautiful–and the hair falling into place shows Taylor’s opinion that Karlie is pretty without even trying. It’s kind of an envious thought, I think.  Hair fallin’ into place like dominoes is a very cleaver line, packed with meaning.  Dominos fall by one knocking into the next, influencing it to fall, then that one pushing the third over, until a whole line has taken the action of the first domino. Karlie’s beauty acts in the same manner.  People see her and emulate her look.  Fans are influenced to buy products when they see how good Karlie looks in them. Karlie’s looks start trends and generate sales.

I see me padding across your wooden floors

With my Eagles t-shirt hanging from the door

This verse contrasts Karlie and her easy beauty with Taylors more down-to-Earth look.  Taylor observes Karlie’s obvious beauty and charisma, but she herself is a musical gal that has to try very hard.  

[Refrain]

At dinner parties, I call you out on your contrarian shit

The “at dinner parties” line makes me think of this viral moment from Project Runway:

As the judges critiqued the completed looks, designer Brandon Maxwell told Neasloney that he couldn’t see Kloss wearing the 29-year-old’s outfit “anywhere.” [The designer responded] “Not even to dinner with the Kushners?” 

Kloss is married to venture capitalist Josh Kushner, whose brother Jared is married to Ivanka Trump. Jared currently works as a senior adviser to Donald Trump in the White House. 

Jan 17, 2020 — Last year, while speaking to British Vogue, Kloss said being part of the Kushner family was sometimes “hard.” “But I choose to focus on the values that I share with my husband, and those are the same liberal values that I was raised with and that have guided me throughout my life,” she said.

con·trar·i·an /kənˈtre(ə)rēən/ noun

  1. a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing.

Taylor is showing us that she thinks Karlie is two-faced.  Karlie will attend dinners with Trump-adjacent people, yet she says she has liberal politics.  The fact these lines are here at all shows Taylor disapproves of Karlie being with a Kushner, and also looks down on Karlie playing both sides, kinda like, “A friend to all is a friend to none.” [“Cardigan”, folklore]

And the coastal town we wandered ’round had nеver seen a love as pure as it

Mar 5, 2014 — Taylor Swift and her model pal Karlie Kloss took a dreamy vacation to Big Sur, CA, this week.

And thеn it fades into the gray of my day-old tea

This line accomplishes 2 things: Tells us this song is Taylor daydreaming about a time in her past that she thought she liked at the time, but now realizes made her feel out of control.  Secondly, it’s a very British reference (American’s like coffee)–and red herring, in my opinion, trying to tell us Taylor is currently living a more British lifestyle with her UK “boyfriend.”

‘Cause it could never be

For many reasons this time in the past that Taylor is thinking about was just a moment in time, and not sustainable.

[Chorus repeats]

[Verse 2]

What must it be like to grow up that beautiful?

With your hair falling into place like dominoes

My mind turns your life into folklore

I can’t dare to dream about you anymore

Taylor reminds the listener this is a daydream.  The line might also reference “Wildest Dreams” [1989] you know the one with the video that featured gold and a giraffe?  Both Karlie symbols.

Say you’ll remember me, Standing in a nice dress, Staring at the sunset, babe, Red lips and rosy cheeks, Say you’ll see me again, Even if it’s just in your (just pretend, just pretend), Wildest dreams

In Gold Rush Taylor says she can’t dare to dream anymore, and in “Wildest Dreams” Taylor acknowledges that the dreamy relationship was “just pretend” to the subject of the song.

[Refrain repeats]

The Outro is the same as the intro.  But the “Cause it can never be” line of the refrain immediately precedes the “gleaming, “twinkling” of the outro.  Taylor ends her daydream by thinking that past time and relationship were not real gold, it was gilded.  Then, musically, the sudden ending of the song may symbolize the sudden ending of that relationship/daydream about it.

Taylor Swift’s Evermore as Amalgamation: Marjorie Analysis

17 Dec

There’s a sadness to Taylor’s voice.  Her Grandmother Marjorie is not dead to Taylor, because her advice can still be heard.  She sings, “I still feel you all around.”  This song means a lot to me personally, because I had/have a very close relationship with my grandma.  And I believe the sentiment that someone can live in your heart, and mind.  “What died didn’t stay dead, you’re alive in my mind” is the primary purpose of the song. 

But it’s still an amalgamation like the rest of the songs on Evermore.  The same sentiment of keeping a person within yourself, after they’ve passed away, applies to career endings (and break ups too).  I think a teeny work sentiment is in the lyrics, a little bit of Taylor needing to remember her grandmothers advice, b/c she’s taking advantage of Joe too much, and the secondary subject of the song is Karlie.

 

[Verse 1]

Never be so kind

You forget to be clever

Never be so clever

You forget to be kind

These lyrics could address Taylor’s music career.  She needs to balance being nice with being business savvy.

 

What does Marjorie mean?  Greek, Persian, Hebrew, Irish, Latin: [one of the meanings is] Child of light.

Light = sun = Karlie.  What a konvenient and apt koincidence!

[Verse 3]

The autumn chill that wakes me up

You loved the amber skies so much

Amber is a yellow, even golden color.  And you know who that represents.  Karlie.

Long limbs and frozen swims

Long, tall limbs like Karlie might have?  Frozen like the ground in Hoax.

You’d always go past where our feet could touch 

Symbolic for risk-taking?

“I’d hold you as the water rushes in” [Dancing with our Hands Tied, aka the Kissgate song]

And I complained the whole way there 

Taylor is always afraid and hanging back.  Maybe she’s refusing to come out of the closet.

The car ride back and up the stairs

I should’ve asked you questions

I should’ve asked you how to be

Asked you to write it down for me

Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt

‘Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me

I get that this is a little story of a memory Taylor has with her grandmother.  But the verse does double-duty here, invoking some Kaylor symbolism.  

Tall, sunshiny Karlie and Taylor were in love.  Karlie had dated women more publicly before Taylor.  And Taylor was reluctant to come out or seem gay.  Car rides are a feature of many songs about Karlie, and going up to their secret place with boarded up windows for privacy.  And now that it’s over, Taylor wishes she had been a bit more skeptical, and cynically kept some receipts of their relationship transgressions.  But this is in the song, because she can hold the good Kaylor times in her heart too.

 

The song quickly addresses her boyfriend/beard as well.

[Verse 2]

Never be so politе

You forget your power

Nevеr wield such power

You forget to be polite

Well He is English and they’re known for their manners.  She may be walking over him and stepping on his feelings by using him for publicity when she needs to, but neglecting to mention him in any real way otherwise.  So both Joe and Taylor need to balance their power dynamic with agreeability.  Nobody should be a tyrant, nobody should be a doormat.

[Outro]

And if I didn’t know better

I’d think you were singing to me now

If I didn’t know better

I’d think you were still around

I know better

But I still feel you all around

I know better

But you’re still around

The outro applies to everyone in the song.  Taylor’s grandmother is the primary subject of the song, whos voice is literally in the song.  Taylor still remembers her advice, and holds her in her heart.  But she also holds her memories of BMR good-times, and Kaylor-love in her heart.  Those good memories will always be with her.  Even though she knows better.

Awesome Albums of 2020 Top 13-1

17 Dec

#13

Black Eyed Peas (8 awesome; 3 good; 1 ok; 2 meh; 1 dislike of 15 = 

53.3% awesome; 

20% good; 

Awesome good avg = 36.65%

80% OK & up; 

6.7% dislike

Awesome – dislike =

46.6% awesome

Awesome good avg – dislike =

29.95%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/16/black-eyed-peas-translation-album-review/

Every song could just blend together on this album.  The theme is perfectly executed, where the individual songs can hold up on their own, but the album could be played and the listener might never know when one song ended and the next began.

At one point, I thought Translation would be my winning album of the year.  I decided to weight dislikes heavily though–b/c it takes a LOT for me to not like a song at all.  And I just can’t get behind using the word “bitch” to convey someone you don’t like or respect.  And it pains me to mark down Will I Am because I think he does have a good heart (he is my VERY favorite episome of Songland because he was so nice and fair and awesome), but I can’t get behind that one song…

#12

Taylor Swift (6 Awesome; 7 good; 2 ok; 1 meh; 1 dislike of 17 = 

35.3% Awesome; 

43.8% good; 

avg awesome/good is 39.6%; 

88.2% ok & up. 

Dislike = 5.9%

Awesome – dislike = 29.4%

Awesome good avg – dislike = 33.7%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/25/taylor-swift-folklore-album-review/

What a good album–it’s an understatement.  Taylor Swift again shows her dexterity as a writer and performer.  She really can do anything!  Do I like Dream-Pop?  Absolutely not.  But I like Taylor, she’s a sentimental favorite of mine, and I can appreciate what she’s done here.  This album’s strongest feature was the layered writing, which embedded so much information, that it drove multiple listens–genius.  Folklore is most definitely the most lyrically-robust album of the year.  Like Apple’s work, Taylor shows she has a keen knack for saying, showing, and musically burying meanings everywhere.  Just don’t call folklore “Alternative” IT IS NOT IN THE ALTERNATIVE GENRE.  This is most definitely an attempt at dream pop like Lorde and an inspiration to Taylor, Lana del Ray.  But more hooks and catchiness.  Taylor can’t help but to write earworms.  It’s a good departure and makes me excited for whatever is going to follow.

This album was also heavily penalized for a poorly written (in my opinion) hastily added song.  I expect more from a writer of Taylor’s caliber.  She could easily write a hundred better Covid songs, and she should have.  There’s really no excuse for just throwing a song on an album.

#11

Lauren Alaina 

Getting Good (2 awesome; 2 good; 2 ok; meh; dislike of 6 = 

33% awesome

33% good

Awesome good avg = 33.3%

100% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/lauren-alaina-getting-good-ep-review/

I never knew given the choice between some drinking break-up album and a more traditional country good-girl album, that I would prefer the latter.  But in this case I did.  I felt like the Getting Over Him wasn’t very authentic for Alaina.  I suggest she #1, just combine into an album in the future.  #2, stay true to herself, because without even knowing there was a choice I gravitated to her more true story.

#10

Kenny Chesney  (4 awesome;6 good;2 ok; meh; dislike of  12= 

33.3% awesome;

50% good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.65%

100% OK and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/13/kenny-chesney-here-and-now-album-review/

It feels to me like Chesney knows the exact combination of elements to make a winning record.  And he’s combined them (as he always has) to make a good record.  What I’m not getting, is a lot of genuineness, authenticity, or enthusiasm for making music.  It all seems very detached and formulaic.  Also, this party guy is wearing thin, and feels a bit disingenuous to me.  I’d like to see an album with more introspective, that I can tell Chesney feels.

#9

Brothers Osborne (4 aweseome 2 good 1 ok 3 meh OF 11 = 

36.4% awesome; 

18% good) =

Avg of awesome and good = 

27.2%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/brothers-osborne-skeleton-album-review/

The album takes a sharp turn on song 5.  It goes from trite, bro-party country to something better.  I wish they would cut out the first 4 songs, actually–it’s that much of a change.  

#8

Green Day (4 awesome; 4 ok  of 10 = 

40% awesome; 

Awesome & OK avg =

60% good

80% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/green-day-father-of-all-album-review/

I think this album utilized the piano better than some of their past works.  And that fast pounding on it, does a lot to increase excitement.  There is also a James Dean sort of 1950s enthusiastic rebel sound that’s still punk-pop, but a little retro.

#7

Indigo girls (4 awesome;  4 good;  3 ok;  meh; dislike of 11 = 

36.3% awesome; 

36.3% good; 

Avg of awesome & good  =

36.3%

100% OK and up.)

#6

Selena Gomez  (7 awesome; 6 good; 4 ok; meh; dislike of 17  = 

41.2% awesome; 

35.3% good;  

Awesome good avg = 38.25%

100% Ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/selena-gomez-rare-album-review/

Does it feel personal to anyone else that Bieber got 4 Grammy nominations for an unpopular album, full of derivative lyrics, and Selena was snubbed?  Like, she calls him out in this album, this solid, good album.  But he gets the noms and she doesn’t?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Unless politics and or money were involved…

#5

The [Dixie] Chicks (5 awesome; 5 good; 1 OK; 1 meh; dislike of 12

41.7% Awesome; 

41.7% Good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.7%;

91.7% OK & up)

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.

#4

Dua Lipa 5 awesome; 3 good; 1 OK; 2 meh of 11 =

45.5% awesome; 

17.3% good

Awesome good avg = 31.4%

81.1% OK & up)

The album reminds me a little of the ‘Bring It On’ Soundtrack.  Nothing ground-breaking here, but a fun listen all the same.  There are glimmers of potential on this album.  And when Dua Lipa embraces her own voice, that’s where things go right.  This artist reminds me of a hybrid between Katy Perry’s California-girl lite pop and 1980’s vanilla, Debbie Gibson. And too often she veers into the easy, superficial sound rather that challenging the status quo of pop. 

#3

Aloe Blacc (8 awesome; 1 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 10 = 

80% awesome; 

10% good; 

Awesome good avg = 45% 

100% Ok and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/17/aloe-blacc-all-love-everything-album-review/

Overall, a very strong album.. Each song builds on the last, and it fits a cohesive theme.  I’ve heard Blacc use his voice more and would have liked to see more low and super-high notes, but it still left me with a lot of feeling.

#2

Fiona Apple (all good–heavy intellectual = 100%)

(8 awesome; 4 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 13 = 

61.5% awesome; 

30.8% good 

Awesome good avg = 46.15%

100% OK and up

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/fiona-apple-fetch-the-bolt-cutters-album-review/

I initially was happy to see Fiona Apple releasing music again, because it’s been a long drought, and she’s historically an artist I like.  And on first listen to the album, I could see there was a lot going on and it should be good.  Do I like to listen to it the most?  No. Do I think Apple had the most technically sound and spectacular album of 2020?  Yes.  I think she deserves album of the year Grammy.  But Apple doesn’t just hand it to you.  You have to work to understand and appreciate Fetch the Bolt Cutters.  And it’s also intentionally not that sweet and pretty and pleasing to the ear.  Apple has made known she can sing beautifully, and play piano with virtuosity, but here she chooses not to.  So it’s a little work to listen.  But also a cerebral masterpiece.  Smartest work of 2020–and that’s saying a lot with folklore on the scene.

TOP ALBUM OF 2020:

Kesha (14 awesome, 2 OK of 16 = 

87.5% awesome; 

Awesome + ok avg = 

93.75% good

100% OK and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/23/kesha-high-road-album-review/

The [Dixie] Chicks: Gaslighter Album Review

16 Dec

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.

Sure, the Chicks have taken MORE then their fair share of heat for getting political.  Still, I wanted this album to be more outspoken politically.

Instead we got a divorce album.  Which is normally one of my favorites, because I like a bitter song.  But it’s just a bit of a disappointment.  I wish  they would comment on this current political situation.  That said, I’m glad they are back at all.

I ALSO WISH THAT WOMEN WOULDN’T BLAME THE OTHER WOMAN.  If your loser-husband cheats on you, don’t be mad at other women, be angry at that piece of shit.

I would have like at least one cheeky song on the album.  It’s one of their specialties, and I enjoy the fun-loving stuff.  I also wanted to hear more strings on the album.  They were really only strong on one song.  And I would have liked some faster-paced songs.  Sin Wagon, for example is kind of a breakup song, but it’s very fast and fun to listen to despite the lyrics.

Evermore Analysis:  Amalgamation 

16 Dec

Amalgamation- is the process of combining or uniting multiple entities into one form.

Similar to folklore, I think Taylor continues obscuring who her songs are about in Evermore.  To keep her writing as an outlet for very private relationships, feelings, and emotions, but protect her privacy (and secret).  It is my assertion that Taylor has weaved several real-life people together in each song.  Like the braid on the cover? 3 stands combine to make a hairstyle-symbols!

So when you say is “Willow” about her boyfriend/beard?  Yes.  Is it about Taylor, herself?  Yes.  Is it about a romantic relationship, perhaps Karlie?  Yes.  Her work situation?  Yes, that too.  It has pieces and characters and symbolism for each of those people/scenarios.  And also media like books and movies and historic figures mixed in.  I think Taylor sews chaos in her songs which makes analysis simultaneously universally relatable and also too complex to untangle.  

When Taylor released Evermore, she said she was going deeper into the forest.  And in the first batch of images was a wedding-looking dress? To me, Taylor saying she is going further into the woods (as opposed to Lover’s coming out into daylight) means she is going to double-down on the bearding, and stay in the closet.  I have a bad feeling the few remaining Kaylors are about to be disappointed.

When I heard folklore, I thought a lot of it was ambiguous.  And I think that was intentionally conveyed, because that’s exactly how Taylor felt.  She knew her Kaylor affair was having problems (and toxic and she was getting codependent), but she ended the album conveying their love was bigger than problems so she was sticking it out. She said, “No other shade of blue would do…She’s going to the lakes, but not without her muse.”

And Karlie did tease a completely secret album 13 days prior to its release.  I see that as them being together, or else Taylor would have sued Karlie’s a$$.  But then maybe after the album dropped Kaylor imploded, so now Tay wants to clarify?  I mean pregnancy and Miami nextdoor to Jarvanka aren’t very good signs…  And instead of a pre-planned tease, this time Karlie did a desperation-pap the day of release to prove she was in NY, not FL.  It tells me she didn’t know about Evermore…


I suspect folklore was confusion, grasping at straws, and ultimately the break-up in progress.  The sister album Evermore is the Kaylor is over for sure, album, but P.S. doesn’t Taylor have a lot of gay and lesbian-adjacent stories and interests?  And I do think there will be a 3rd album in the trilogy.  The merch doesn’t lie–but Taylor has been known to, “Nothing much going on here.”  It will be a brother album (one album for each cat, for each star on the cardigan, for each scrunchy-color)  that will take place at Woodville property at The Lakes, called (my guess) Sycamore!  And I’m afraid it’ll be all about the “boyfriend”…  But I hope I’m wrong.