27 May

Lyrics in bio

An unnoticeable personal project
Note: My actual bio is here. Below is a side project.

Music is a big part of my life. There is always a song playing in my head. Sometimes it is unconsciously reflecting my mood… and it isn’t until I read the lyrics that I make a connection. Sometimes it’s the snippet of a song that expresses where I am mentally. Sometimes… it’s just a rad line.

So, I decided to start adding lyrics into my Twitter bio… for me… I know no one is going to notice, but as I do this I want to keep track of what I’ve posted.

Here’s the list:
I jam econo [05.27.11] My first lyric is from The Minutemen. It’s actually “we jam econo” … but “we” would seem weird. The specific song in my head is in this 1985 public access video [WMV], about 20 minutes in.

I got a list of demands written on the palm of my hands. [06.03.11] From poet and musician Saul Williams … I can’t recommend his music enough. Expect more lines from his work in this project. See the music video.

I must look like a dork. [06.07.11] A blunt line from my favorite punk band, The Minutemen. Now, I know I just quoted them, but doing that line today has meaning. I’m guest hosting a chat and as part of their promotion, they put my mug on the side of the Reuters building in Time Square. I think it is as awesome as it is awkward. You can hear the song, Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing, in this bootleg clip.

We’re living in a den of thieves, Rummaging for answers in the pages [06.09.11] I first heard Us from Regina Spektor off the soundtrack of (500) Days of Summer, a beautiful movie you need to see. Spektor’s song is full of incredible images that resonates on different levels. This song is in my head now as I begin a trip that will encompass about four or five journalism summits, conferences, trainings and drinks. We’re all doing what we can to find answers. Another great lyric in the song is “They’ll name a city after us… And later say it’s all our fault… Then they’ll give us a talking to… Then they’ll give us a talking to… Because they’ve got years of experience.” See the music video.

No me comprendes, me dices loco; solo te inspiro curiosidad [06.15.11] If there is a personal theme song, this may be it … so many lines in this beautiful cover of No Me Comprendes by Café Tacvba. Read the lyrics and enjoy the tune here.

We’re just a minor threat [06.28.11] An anthem, a battle cry really, from the straight-edge, hardcore punk band Minor Threat. Chances are you’ll see more lyrics from this band as this little project continues. Seemed fitting after I wrote a piece about being an immigrant in journalism. A son of immigrants and in journalism, rather. Truthfully, though, this is one of my go-to rallying songs in my career because I’m part of a younger, Web generation trying to make it in journalism… hell, we’re trying to change it and save it. Hear the song or see them play it live … either way, remember, “We’re not the first, I hope we’re not the last…”

Two years Dwayne Wayne became Dwyane Wade [07.04.11] A few days late, this line is in honor of my two year anniversary at USC Annenberg. Kayne West‘s The Glory is one of my favorite tracks by him. Full of great lines, this one seems to capture how may career has blossomed since my move to USC. I’ve been very fortunate. Let me tell you, these two years have been an interesting ride. Hear the song. (For the record, I didn’t do it for the glory.)

Love, love will tear us apart again [07.15.11] It’s perhaps the most mainstream lyric (and song) from one of the best bands ever, Joy Division… While the band has countless amazing and beautiful songs, I had no choice but to select it in honor of Ian Curtis‘ 55th birthday. He was born today and committed suicide at the age of 23. See the music video here, but I also really recommend you see the film 2007 Control, about Curtis’ life. P.S. I dance like he does, when I dance alone.

I feel like funkin’ it up [07.21.11] A line and song title from the legendary Rebirth Brass Band. I got into brass bands music with some help from Tremé and Pandora. I’m in New Orleans for the AAN convention. Great town, great food and great music. Funk it up and listen to the song.

You are the big rocket launcher and I’m just the shotgun [07.25.11] Hmmm… I randomly selected to play the Arctic MonkeysWhatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not album and it feels appropriate for whatever mood I am in at this very moment. Like I have some new to prove (I feel this often) … like I’m in an uphill battle fighting to prove my worth… truthfully, I hope I never lose that feeling. Keeps me going. Keeps me fighting. Keeps me giving a shit regardless of the haters, real or not. I had a few lines I wanted to use, but I felt the selected line from the song Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But… matches my current mindset. Sadly, I had to Tweet-speak it to make it fit, but the message is still there. Hear the song and help me fight the vampires.

Translate Español: No way José [07.28.11] He’s back, only few beats later. What can I say, Kayne West is a source of so many great lines — some heavy, some flip/light. This line is from the song Big Brother, about his story coming up as a rapper. I love this line and try to use it in my vocabulary. Another “español” line I try to use in my vocabulary (this one is from This American Life): Quesadilla, as “what’s the deal?”

I got soul and I’m super bad. [08.06.11] First, yes, he says ‘I’ve got soul’ many times, which is grammatically correct, but I am quoting the moment he tosses grammar for a bit more soul. Like others on this list, there are countless lines I could quote from James Brown. On this day, I was driving, stuck in traffic, mind racing… trying to figure out life’s current problems/challenges. While listening to the beats and lyrics by Brown, it occurred to me that there are no problems his music can’t solve. Make it funky now and listen to this empowering song, Super Bad!

I’m a ‘crooked road’ [08.29.11] This one is pushing the limits of my little project… it’s not really the complete lyric in my Twitter bio, nor is it actually a lyric. It’s a quote from William Blake, “Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads, without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” It was read by Johnny Depp as part of the Dead Man soundtrack by Neil Young. I’m being presumptuous to indirectly call myself a genius, but I love the imagery from this line… I’m just a punk kid trying to make it. The track, titled Nobody’s Story, has a few powerful lines from Blake’s poetry. Thanks to Spotify, you can hear the song I’m talking about: http://bit.ly/NobodysStory

Next time I’ll listen to my heart [09.13.11] Coming Soon.

My headphones… They saved my life. [10.11.11] Coming Soon.

  1. Stephanie DeCamp
    June 24th, 2011 at 04:15 | #1

    Great taste in music! I will likely borrow this idea of lyrics for bio myself at some point… and I can’t wait to hear more from Café Tacvba, they’re the only group here I didn’t recognize. If you have more Spanish bands to recommend, I am always looking to expand my repertoire!

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