Calm. - Treat Me Like A Villain
Calm. are a Denver duo consisting of Time and AwareNess. Their only collaboration album Anti-Smiles was released in 2006 and the opening track, Treat Me Like A Villain was not an easily forgettable cut.
Sampling Thomas Newman's Any Other Name from the American Beauty soundtrack, Time wastes no time introducing you to his pessimistic and witty commentary on the world. Due to the sporadic and unconventional flow, much of his wordplay and cunning metaphors can be lost on the casual listener.
You can follow along to the lyrics below. Enjoy.
"Calm, stay calm, just stay calm
People play every show like it’s their first
I play it like it’s my last
Cobain told me to stick with music, he said it was a blast
Don’t come up to talking without your mouth moving, I’ll know it’s merely a mask
Cause everyone’s fake, I feel like I’m walking through a wax museum
It’s funny how everyone has idols but they’ll never be them (be your own)
Every day’s a circular step closer to the climax of your dreams
Goals are affirmations and people are discouraging (so discouraging)
Fear is doing something you’re not suppose to
Success is letting yourself float with the current
Staying with the people you’re close to
Friends are time bombs, green with envy and red on the inside like a watermelon
Everyone I grew up with patronizes me like a superhero then treats me like a villain
But only vampires wear capes, only pharaohs are fed grapes
And only liars believe the truth
All the Lois Lanes I tried to save died so now god locked all the phone booths
I tried to run from my problems but my head was with me the whole time
So I’m looking for a guillotine that doesn’t have a 2 hour line
When I punch in I’m a part-time monkey washing floors and taking orders like a robot
When I punch out I’m a parking ticket collector who brags about all the doe he’s got
All the nothing I got
I’m not a super hero by any means
I’m an average Samaritan with doubts who likes to sing
I’m just another American caught in between
Inspiration and depression in front of a canvas
With no brush trying to paint his dream
But all I do is b**ch about how I can’t find my niche
While standing in a treeless forest holding a battle axe
Hate is a virus and it destroys habitats
Gossip is contagious, here’s some shut the f**k up pills, have a pack
I’m just trying to do what makes me happy, hoping to unravel some paths
Giving opinions the 32 degree shoulder, mutilating manikins murdering certainty
And stabbing the facts, with AwareNess’ knife
Keep running, the last guy that turned around found a javelin in his mask
I found anti-smiles on my mask
Now they say
Beauty’s on the inside but most humans are hollow
Tears on my blue face
Fear in my suit case
Give me a kiss, Chris I’ll be gone by tomorrow
I’m disgraced from face to shoelace, my shadow won’t even follow
And I know, that things will get better someway somehow and I smile
Cause I can see you clearly now
If love is blind then hate has 20/20 vision
So let’s give all the homeless glasses and all the teachers contacts
(AwareNess: Sometimes I’m scared so I ditch all my classes watching time fade)
So they can see their paychecks and every student in their overfilled classes
There’s a smile under these lips and mind behind these bloody nostrils
Every day’s a waking dream making the past a nightmare of fossils
No man is an island but I’m a peninsula surrounded by grief
Cry me an ocean or cry me a creek, drown me in your river
Cry me a planet then cry for relief
I’ve seen people smile so much their cheeks ache
Sometimes I stare long enough to watch until it decays
People are crops and humans are locust so…
Love is hopeless
Nothing is hopeless except smiles blood and…
Goals are the blueprints towards your dreams
But I ran out of bricks now passion is my cement
Every architect is my role model
I was happy being the captain ‘til I found out we were trapped inside this bottle
(smile and choke on yourself)
Ludovico Einaudi - Fly
Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi is a contemporary classical king. And if that sentence wasn’t contradictory enough for you, just wait until you hear how much this soothing piano playing pumps you up big time!
Okay, so it has a slow build up, but it certainly isn’t misdirected. It is aimed straight up, and straight up - this dude is a champion. Have a listen to Fly and you will realise why this guy made a living as one of the world’s most recognisable modern pianists, even with a surname that trips up English-speaking monolinguists everywhere.
Bob Evans - Don’t You Think It’s Time
I’ve had this song for a few years and never really gave it a proper listen until recently. Bob Evans is apart of the iconic Australian group Jebediah, but he has also released three solo albums.
This particular acoustic number was from 2006’s Suburban Songbook. I’m still no expert on his back catalogue but the Fremantle artist seems prolific having been an influential part of the Australian music scene since 1994.
Recommended for fans of Paul Dempsey and Ben Kweller.
La nuit mene une existence obscure
Nicolas Repac - La Nuit Méne Une Existence Obscure
This track is sizzling with French sensuality. I first came across La Nuit Méne Une Existence Obscurefrom the So Frenchy, So Chic albums seven years ago. I hold this compilation series responsible for introducing me to a plethora of French talents including Emilié Simon, Spleen, Camille and We Were Evergreen to name a few.
Wrapped in Piano Strings
Radical Face - Wrapped In Piano Strings
One song I know I will never tire of hearing is this one. Ben Cooper uses accordion, strings, guitar and yes, piano strings to pull at your heartstrings. Gothic subject matter is in its abundance on Radical Face's debut concept album where narratives are told from the perspective of a ghost.
The 2006 album Ghost is not short of its fair share of classic songs. Welcome Home and Glory are just two other highlights worthy of a listen if this type of chill is up your alley.
Aceyalone - Grand Imperial
Freestyle Fellowship broke new ground in 90s west coast hip hop and since then, I truly can’t name another group that have blended the fludity of scat jazz in hip hop as successfully as them. Perhaps one of the more famous rappers in the crew would be Aceyalone.
He is not your average lyricist and listening to a few verses from Aceyalone will allow you to catch a glimpse of his unconventional style.
But style and wordplay aside, the beat on the title track of Aceyalone’s eighth solo album Grand Imperial is the true standout in this instance. I could easily listen to the laid back sample on repeat for hours.
Download - Grand Imperial
A Beautiful Mine (With RJD2)
Aceyalone with RJD2 - A Beautiful Mine
Picture this - the crisp silhouette of a gentleman in his 30’s, dressed in a sharp business suit, falling gracefully into oblivion between the towering high-rises of Madison Avenue.
Fans of AMC’s Mad Men should have little trouble conjuring up such imagery, which goes hand-in-hand with this string-sampling composition by Eddie Hayes and Ramble John Krohn (Aceyalone and RJD2 to you and I).
Hailing from opposite sides of the States (California and Ohio, respectively), the artists collaborated and released Magnificent City in 2006, of which this is the closing track.
The piece is built on a bed of drums and crashing cymbals, but who can forget that hook? For those of you who enjoy following a tune down the rabbit-hole, Enoch Light’s rendition of Autumn Leaves is responsible for those delightful strings. Light himself was also born in Ohio, which nicely brings A Beautiful Mine's tale full-circle.
This is a wonderful track to wrap yourself in. Do as Don Draper would, and fix yourself a Manhattan while you’re at it.
Greg Laswell - Sing, Theresa Says
Sing, Theresa Says won Song of the Year at the San Diego Music Awards back in 2007. Laswell definitely deserved that win as he wrote the song and most of the Through Toledo LP while he was going through a divorce. Nevertheless the song is not burdened with sorrow, nor is it too upbeat.The chords are warm and inviting while the lyrics and singing style evoke a sense of surrealism - "go to sleep while I gather all my things, and I will call you in a couple of days, I can hear the June bugs approaching, a God damn army of them in my brain."
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