Monday, April 14, 2003

word diarrhea and old songs

Vin, Carl, Nikki and I finally managed to coordinate time to actually go over and sing at Music21, one of favorite videoke places in Quezon City (the other one is right next door to my office). After a longish wait made bearable by Carl's copy of the new Questor Extreme Mangamania magazine (whose manga contents ranged from the interesting [the new Voltes V team] to florid masturbatory prose [the 'turtle continent' story with 'falling leaf moon'])

Sidenote: Yes, I've always had a problem with too much prose in comic book form. One of the few people I've read who can do this well is Alan Moore, during his run in Swamp Thing. And even then, there were times when you just wanted to roll your eyes and say "yes, yes, how wonderful" or "yes, yes, how well you write" or "wow, how erudite!". But come on, in a comic book (especially in a manga-style one), such blabber is out of place. But I do understand the tendency with us writers. You love your words and you want them in. Period. Too bad we need to consider what is good for the story.

Anyway, so we sing aloud and strong. All sorts of songs from today and yesterday.

Then suddenly, Vin's selection begins. Mad World by Tears For Fears.

Once upon a time, TFF was my second fave group (Duran Duran was top dog). I remember, during the pre-CD days, getting a US copy of the vinyl album of The Hurting, taking it to school and impressing my friends (at least those who knew the song). We would play Mad World, Suffer The Children, Pale Shelter and later, Shout and stuff from the Songs From The Big Chair album - our hands crossing and uncrossing in the period's dance style, eyes closed, feeling the weight of the world and the music. Every motion came naturally, and we lost and found overselves in the lyrics and voices of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith.

But as I sat in the small room of Music21, holding the mike and singing "All around me are familiar faces", the glittery mirror ball caught my eye as it spun quietly in a corner and lazily reflected bits of light. I thought about how much the song I was singing used to mean to me and how, that night, it meant nothing at all. Not anymore.

I had to read the lyrics on the screen because I didn't remember the words.


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