Thursday, 17 July 2008
Stars: The Best of the Cranberries, 1992-2002
By The Cranberries
My right arm has been hurting lately, and I know exactly why. I have a laptop computer and I’m too lazy to get a mouse for it. For the few hours each day that I am on the computer, my right hand hovers over my computer’s touchpad. The constant clicking with the index finger and the motions of the middle finger have worn out my entire right arm. I’ve tried using my left hand, and I’ve failed miserably. No matter how hard I try, the fingers on my left hand will never master the skill of using the touchpad mouse. Left-handed people amaze me. Furthermore, I cannot comprehend people who can simultaneously use all four limbs. I’m baffled by people who can drive manual transmission; I’m entranced by people who can peel bananas with their feet. I suppose that is why drummers fascinate me. As I’m typing this, I’m watching Paramore’s video for “Misery Business” and I can’t help but marvel as the drummer pounds away at his drums like a crazed lunatic. As an exclusively right-handed individual, I am completely mesmerized by the fact that drummers use all four of their limbs simultaneously, with each limb doing something completely independent of the others. I equate this talent with the ability to write with both hands simultaneously, which is probably exaggerated (and/or erroneous). In any case, such talent probably requires full use of both hemispheres of the brain, which ultimately depresses me. Apparently, my motor skills are confined to the neurological capacity of my left frontal lobe.
The name of Paramore’s wacky drummer is Zac Farro. I know this because I read the liner notes to their album “All We Know is Falling”. In this age of digital music, iTunes, and file sharing, I’ll admit that I’m part of the dying breed of people who still buys music CDs. (I don’t have anything at all against downloading music or file sharing because I don’t believe it’s a crime to listen to music. I don’t think anyone should have to pay to listen to music. However, I do believe that one should pay to own a CD, and considering that I like to collect CDs as a hobby, I have no problem with paying money to expand my collection.) I like to collect CDs because I like reading the booklets that come with them. I like reading the lyrics to Michelle Branch’s “Everywhere” because I like trying to figure out if she is singing about her boyfriend or God. I like reading the song credits to Colbie Caillat’s album “Coco” because I like being assured that she is a legitimate singer/songwriter. I like flipping through the booklet for My Chemical Romance’s “The Black Parade” because I like marveling at Gerard Way’s awesome artwork. I like wondering why the hell a ram is pictured all over the place in The Killers’ “Sam’s Town”. I'm certain that I could find all this stuff in magazines and Wikipedia, but there’s something intangible about a CD package that makes the artist seem genuinely artistic. It’s part of who they are.
But in any case, I like reading the acknowledgments of the artist the most. I like reading Dr. Dre shout out to his friends. I like reading KRS-One teach us about how we’re all wrong. I like reading Lauryn Hill make a cheap shot to Wyclef, and I like reading 2Pac threaten to kill people. I like reading Christina Aguilera acknowledge all her writers and producers, and I like reading Avril Lavigne not do the same. I like reading KT Tunstall’s chicken scratch on the booklet to “Eye on the Telescope”, and although I cannot decipher her writing, I’m sure she is acknowledging wonderful people. I like reading the hundreds of artists who thank the same God, and I like reading the few artists who thank hundreds of gods. I like reading what these singers have to say. I like reading what inspires them.
I wish I had my own liner notes.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a bone of talent in my body. I am not musically inclined, and I will never release a CD on any given Tuesday. I will never have my own liner notes. But if I did, I suppose I would acknowledge what inspires me, and I suppose I have been doing as such for quite a while now. I guess I could continue to write about that right now, but honestly I’ve been a little uninspired lately. Sadly, the only thing I could write about right now is ambidexterity. I used to be able to write about anything and everything at a lightning-fast pace, but I’m not able to anymore. My inspiration has always been depression, anger, frustration, and dissatisfaction. The fact that I have writer’s block has forced me to reassess what inspires me and confront a possibly new reality…
I think I like someone.