Sometimes a song comes along with a shitty, repetitive chorus, and it all goes down like melba toast…like when John Mayer once encouraged us to “Say what (we) mean to say” in eight not-so-different ways. Other times, there’s the repetitive chorus that we’re meant to be able to remember—even while shit-faced on Patron…like when Taio Cruz tells that “Little Bad Girl” to just “Go” already, stamping along in time to some David Guetta beats.
But once in a while the simplest, most repetitive phrase in a song can mean everything. This is when you’re breathing that rare air of The Doors’ “Indian Summer.” Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger work their magic(k), and suddenly, “I love you the best. Better than all the rest” is like the most profound lyric you’ve ever heard. Sometimes a pop song comes along and hits in just the right way, at just the right time. Such is the case with Rihanna’s new song, “We Found Love.”
“We found love in a hopeless place.” There it is: the moment. You don’t need to say anything else. There’s no need to riff on an explanation of that; you’ve probably known what it means since the beginning of time. “We found love in a hopeless place.” That’s everything. You know exactly what it is.
Hearing this song while thrift store shopping for used clothes that the character in my new play might wear does things to me. Powerful things. It’s like a huge homage to a time in my life when I did have hope, and I don’t just mean a general kind of universal hope for the future, the suspension of doom that was the 1990’s, I mean on a personal level. It’s those opening synth sounds that remind you of Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman”…it’s like you already know this song, could recognize it anywhere, always knew it. When you listen to what Calvin Harris did, the reference to 90’s house music right from the very first moments of the track, already you’re transported to a time when people weren’t glued to their cell phones or email, when there was this new kind of strangely innocent thing, this dance music, this acid house, this scene that had its grisly dark side of OD’s on the dancefloor, but more than that just had a lot of love. This is the synthesized voice of love in analog.
And then there’s the video. This is no Lady Gaga over-priced hack-job imitation of the material girl’s ambitiously blond anthology, in which Gaga, the born-rich “artiste,” stares gauntly into the camera in an attempt to convince you that there’s something big and emotional and powerful in her when in fact it’s just another shade of neon in her vacancy sign.
The beauty from Barbados actually feels things in this video and we feel them too. The people who put this video together knew what the hell they were doing. They stole all the right stuff: the dilating pupils and bathtub moments from Requiem for a Dream, the grey-skied open fields and flop houses from Trainspotting…this is divine 90’s montage: this video is perfect. It’s perfect because it’s actually presenting images from an era that was hopeful, in the same way that Harris’ musical track calls on the sounds of some seemingly-ancient rave time, so you feel the hopelessness of now even more. Sure, they could have shown images of children playing joyfully by fracking wells, or couples embracing while on the unemployment line in, like, Gary, Indiana or something. That would have been love in a hopeless place too, but that would have been too explicit. All that is already implied. And it doesn’t matter that there are shades of Rihanna and Chris Brown’s relationship in the video. Nobody cares. Chris Brown is just fuel for the story. And the story is beautiful. This past weekend, a poet friend of mine asked me if I’ve ever really been in love. I think you know love when you see it and the real thing looks just like this music video and sounds just like this song. I might as well just say it: I wish I could afford to do something this good…and I can’t.
Instead, I spend time at Zuccotti Park and sometimes I sing down there with just the voice that I have, a voice that can almost sort of compete with the sound of jack-hammers and the general assembly. And it is beautiful. It is one of the only beautiful things I’ve experienced for myself as a performer in a long time. It is beautiful, but it is small. Too small for me. I always long to do something meaningful. I’m not always that hopeful about it. For now, I’m just one RSS feed in a giant trough of RSS feed. So I become a part of something, something that I’m already a part of: the 99 percent. I’m no Rihanna. I wish I could be Rihanna. I wish this were my song, but I’m faceless and nameless and the best my voice can hope for is to be a part of the roar of the great din, the crashing on the shore, which has its own cacophonous majesty. In a sea of stars, there’s no shine in particular, just sameness. But it’s an amazing kind of sameness. Invisibility is a kind of superhero power too. This coming moment might be the end of the era of having a name. In so many Guy Fawkes masks, we’re all Anonymous and who knows what kind of songs will come from the nameless, but maybe we will find a more hopeful place.
Thanks to Michael Geffner for the photo at OWS Poetry Assembly, above.
New live acoustic up on Youtube featuring Loss of Eden!
This time, instead of being naked, we’re trapped in a little TV!
Yup, we live adventurous lives.
ps -It’s a Chinese version of one of our songs
So, CJ at Flamethrower Magazine just posted this fantastic interview of us (you know, Loss of Eden) – with probably the most igniting and thoughtful interview questions ever. Find out things you never knew!…Like how we came up with the idea of doing naked Youtube cover songs and why we write more on our blog than just some upcoming tour dates or other self-aggrandizing stuff like that. Check it out at:
And be prepared for a pop quiz on the assigned material. 😉
Just singing a couple of songs in Union Square tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be doing a Chinese song and a Loss of Eden song. The event is called Passport 2 Taiwan and is a part of Taiwanese American Heritage Week in NYC, and Asian Pacific Heritage month. You can find out more at the event’s website or at the facebook event page:
Or just show up! I’m going to be doing one song at 2:25, and one at 3:20, according to the schedule, which appears to be very precise. Would love to see you there!
Look what a little internet searching turned up: This great review of our EP from Indie Rock Magazine!
LOSS OF EDEN Pure sadness lingers in New York City. Loss Of Eden, is an unsigned folk rock/pop band that is heavily influenced by The Carpenters and folk legend Joan Baez. This is true with the “gut wrenching” track “Worlds Away” released on January 1, 2009. A heartbreaking tale about a couple on the verge of a breakup. A woman wants her boyfriend to communicate with her. However, her boyfriend remains distant. This track features soulful vocals and light rock guitar riffs. These features add to the mellow nature of the song. Loss Of Eden’s style of folk rock and pop is light and refreshing! Leslie Snyder
Check out: http://indierockmagazine.com/press.html (we’re down in the reviews for April)
by Ayesha Adamo
They told me Berghain, Panorama Bar, and an online search admittedly made Watergate and Maria’s sound tempting. But what they didn’t understand was that I can go to a pretentious club with a line out the front – filled with models and yuppie-come-latelies who order bottle service and live to siphon their soulless bodies into fancy suits and stiletto heels (who can dance in that stuff anyway?), albeit to the tune of way shittier music – in my home base town of New York, where the losers wear Prada.
There was no way I was going to Berghain…even though they don’t play top 40 and other sweet sixteen/bar mitzvah soundtracks there like they do in the cipher-of-a-once-great-nightlife-town that is Manhattan. That’s not to say that I needed to help inflate the ego-balloon of the international DJs that I can also hear at the last two worthy dance clubs left in the city-that-used-to-have-a-reason-not-to-sleep either.
I wanted local Berlin, and I was willing to go rogue to get it.
It took some asking around, but eventually I was able to procure a map drawn on a napkin showing how to get to Golden Gate. A subsequent online search back at headquarters (the hotel) turned up a primitive and very basic website, also with a map. X marked a spot near Jannowitzbrücke Station, actually directly across the street from it, and I even managed to excavate a photo of the place – a few hundred square pixels under the train tracks and covered with graffiti: now that’s the kind of nightclub I want to be at.
Naturally, I set out with the hope finding a club that was just a few shades less underground than the place I DJ at in Brooklyn, and this looked like it might be it. I clicked on the links to the myspace pages of the DJs for that night, and was surprised to read “93s to infinity!” at the top of one of the DJ’s pages. A thelemite?!? A sign. This was all I really needed to be 156% sure that I had found the club for me. (You’re only getting that last joke if you’re playing with Magick.)
Showed up at 3 am, which was kind of early, but I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it if I tried for much later, jetlag and all. The door was at the side, but there’s no real way to know that besides luck…and now, by reading my blog. It was also surprisingly quiet, and I wondered if the music had even started yet – it’s hard to hear from the street because the main room is nestled far below at the bottom of a narrow stairwell.
And the music! It was like the 1990’s all over again. (I got a little misty eyed). There were dirty sneakers and jeans and cheap beer and bombed out bathroom stalls…heaven. I guess that’s where they got the name Golden Gate.
And the DJs were spinning…could it be? Vinyl?!? Then it really felt like the 90’s all over again. Can’t say I miss dragging around a record box that was double my weight, but compared to New York, it’s nice to see a club that even has turntables. I could see that this place was also equipped with nice CDJs, and what more can a DJ want, really? I mean, besides having the crowd completely entranced and loving it…which they were, myself included.
The only problem was that every person in there was a chain smoker, packed body to rockin’ body in a little black box that was buried underground (literally), and that is how I almost lost a lung in the name of techno.
Sometimes, it’s dangerous goin’ rogue.
When I got back to headquarters, I had to wash my hair 3 times, air out my leather jacket in the window for 2 days, and wrap my dirty clothes in plastic to prevent them from permeating the rest of my luggage with stank. Ah the things we do for love…
It’s been a pretty big week for uneasiness here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. What with Earth Day reminding us how screwed up we are – perhaps beyond repair, and twenty some people with rifles attempting to defend the Constitution, and Mercury in retrograde (how about all those missed connections with the volcanic ash across the pond?)…
It all kind of leaves us asking ourselves what Portishead asked in the 1990’s:
“How can it feel this wrong?”
Well, I ask myself that all the time.
But in honor of the occasion, we give you Loss of Eden Uncovered 003, where we perform what is really a pretty serious song…but still naked.
Please enjoy Loss of Eden’s cover of Portishead’s “Roads” with a bottle of responsibly organic wine to drown your sorrows, and be sure to recycle the bottle afterward. Stay mellow…ish. No rifle required.
To quote the always apropos Britney Spears, “They want more? Well I’ll give them more!”
Yes, yes: it’s episode 002 of Loss of Eden’s new series, “Uncovered” – where we bring you more music, less clothing.
This time we’ve got more music, more outtakes, more of me doing goofy things like trying to pull off David’s pants while keeping my hair extensions in place so as not to cause a wardrobe malfunction…
And as always, less clothing!
At Loss of Eden, we’re fans of anyone who’s ready to take on the big subjects: the Evil Federal Reserve, how to manifest your way out of a nasty 2012 situation, and probably the trickiest thing of all: knowing yourSelf. You know, the usual daily quandaries…at least they are to us, but then I guess we’re sort of Beyond the Ordinary, huh?
In any case, Loss of Eden has much love for the folks at beyondtheordinary.net and is really pleased to be among the featured independent music artists on their website, which has information and broadcasts on a wide range of subjects including science, ancient wisdom, sustainability, art, music, and much more. Here’s a link:
Just wanted to take a moment and post a link to this must read article by John Mellencamp for Huffington Post. Loss of Eden loves Mellencamp, especially when he writes sensible stuff that everybody needs to hear like this one. A little on the long side, but totally worth the read:
Watching the new Lady Gaga/Beyoncé video for Telephone is like Where’s Waldo for the new millennium. How many product placements can you find?
I found: Virgin Mobile, LG, Diet Coke, PlentyofFish.com, Polaroid, Wonderbread, and was that Mayo by Kraft?
Pretty good, huh?
On youtube, someone left a comment that asked, “What happened to artists taking pride in their work?” No, he wasn’t berating the new video! Silly. This viewer was very concerned about artists “making cheap crap” for music videos, and was overcome with praise for the Telephone video and all of its creativity.
Because creativity looks real good ‘n’ stuff. And like so many things that look real good ‘n’ stuff…
Creativity takes money.
Music artists no longer make record companies money – or enough money – and we’re looking at the most “successful” ones here. To be sure, the record companies aren’t seeing 1990’s Madonna dollars from all this, and if they’re not seeing the big dollars, creativity doesn’t really fit into the budget.
But Gaga and Beyoncé? These rich girls wanna be pretty and hot and have videos that are pretty and hot too – you know, with great lighting and makeup and of course…
The Pussy Wagon.
Luckily, products like Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, and Polaroid all want to be in pretty advertisements too!
(Not sure if they require the Pussy Wagon on their rider for TV appearances).
Boy, nothing says creative big budget music video like big budget corporate dollars. It’s really the only way to be pretty these days.
Loss of Eden’s “Here’s Your Revolution” was chosen for emerging artist bumper music on Coast to Coast AM! Our song was played on the February 7th show, which was about texts that were Banned from the Bible…pretty cool topic to match us with, when you consider that our band name is Loss of Eden. Check it out here:
by Ayesha Adamo
As if commercialism hadn’t killed music already…suddenly it’s as though deadness were a matter of degree.
Sure, this new model had its ancestor in making your ass the billboard for some designer’s name, but now there’s JLo’s new song “Louboutins” (aka Louis Vuittons, to the somewhat more articulate? No, in fact, Christian Louboutins: a brand you would only know if you’re power-bourgie enough to shop at Bergdorf Goodman), and for the very first time, the designer’s name will be fed into your fragile eardrums from your very own iPod. Not once or twice, as is usual with hip-hop product name dropping, but…
34 times per song play.
(that’s 8 times in a chorus for you ringtone kidz)
Pretty soon, you might even be singing along – spreading the gospel of Christianity a la Louboutins!
A pastor once told me that singing is as good as praying three times…
But let’s look at this analytically: Here we have a song in which the entire chorus states that JLo is “Putting on her Louboutins” again, and again, and again…
Wait – was she putting them on or strapping them on?
No wait..she’s throwing them on – of course!
“Putting” would have been too…ummm…pedestrian, while “strapping” them on wouldn’t fit the no-nonsense late modern lifestyle, and it sounds a little too kinky for the conservative folks.
The verbs of life are no longer consequential. Only the nouns count these days, and only so much as their exchangeability allows for, what with our necrophilic desire to know ourselves through desirous union with the other…in this case, the sparkling stiletto.
OK, but now, I’m trying to understand the business model:
The mp3 has no (or nearly no) value because it has an unlimited shelf-life, and the iTunes shelf is always stocked. The supply is unlimited and an unlimited number of people may download the same file. Also, when you’re a famous artist like JLo, and often even when you’re not, the mp3 commodity that you’re selling will most assuredly be available somewhere on the internet for free.
Not-so-antiquated solution: you give the music away and expect people to buy the T-shirt.
Music is now the advertisement, not the product.
Now, for the recording artist, there’s still some money to be made in licensing, if you’re JLo, anyway (if you’re not JLo, you’re probably paying to submit your song to be licensed in return for a modest fee and the privilege of having your music in a show or commercial that will reach a wider audience – this thing they came up with called “exposure”). Naturally, licensing alone – even if you’re JLo – doesn’t fill a record label/publishing company’s purse like in the good old days of multi-platinum album sales and performance broadcasts that weren’t on youtube, again, for free.
And so, enter the new model: the song IS the advertisement!
No, not the advertisement for the recording artist, so you’ll find them cool enough to buy the T-shirt. The song is the advertisement for a 3rd party: a company who buys ad space on an artist’s album in the form of a song.
Hmmm…perhaps the word artist should be in quotes here.
In any case, I’m sure Jenny from the Block will “walk it out” all the way to the bank in her…”Louboutins.” And probably her Louis Vuittons as well.
I hear the album’s called “Love?” Love spelled with an “L” and a “V” and definitely a “?”
I also heard that Karl Marx wrote this romance novel called Das Kapital.
by Ayesha Adamo
Last Friday, I had the chance to perform a couple of Loss of Eden songs – including one in a Chinese version that I’ve written – for a wonderful event to help raise money for victims of the recent typhoon in Taiwan. This was a particularly meaningful show for me because I spent several years living in Taiwan, and I have many good memories and friends there. Thanks to all the great people who packed the room last Friday and made it such a wonderful crowd to perform for, and of course for your contributions to this important cause. Also, thanks to AsianInNY.com for putting together such a great event. Here’s some coverage (in Mandarin):