The Gleaming Sword
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The Gleaming Sword

Cheek By Jowl: Garbage (1995) & Devour You (2019)

Too lazy to care

Spotify: Garbage & Devour You

When was the last time you listened to the radio? With all the streaming apps and YouTube, idly playing a favorite station is lost all of a sudden.

For some reason, I had to stay with my old folks for three weeks and everything was nostalgic. I had no choice but to wake up at 6 AM because the old stereo was already blasting Filipino novelty songs like Masculados’ “Jumbo Hotdog,” and Sexbomb Girls’ “The Spageti Song.” It’s not that fun to wake up to a song about spaghetti going up and down.

Within the three weeks of staying with them, I managed to: (1) cut my arm with broken glass, (2) dented my phone’s edges when it slipped through my fingers, (3) toasted my charger’s adaptor when it suddenly sparked while plugged, (4) broke my Nanay’s washing machine, and worst of all, (5) cracked the lower bout of my brother’s guitar when the strap snapped while I was wearing it. It slammed so hard on the floor and I can still hear the echoing sound of the guitar breaking.

The thing is, I wasn’t even bothered.

Besides the novelty songs, my Tatay’s constant scrutiny of every single thing I did was nostalgic. He’d remark that I was slicing my cheese too thickly. Or I’m eating too much. Or I’m not eating enough. It used to get to me when I was a kid but maybe I’ve matured enough to see that it’s quite endearing. It was obvious that he was enjoying annoying me.

While all of these went on, I was okay with them but I can’t help and be moody. I rolled my eyes so many times and I took a lot of deep breaths. Leave me alone, please. Thanks to the good old radio, I found solace.

I took over the equipment while the folks were taking their afternoon nap and I changed the station. I found one that throws back to 90s rock. I don’t know why but hearing songs like “Semi-Charmed Life,” and “Two Princes” is better on the radio. They are easily accessible online but the static and low-defined sound was more exciting. And I was very much anticipating the next tracks.

Then, Garbage’s “Stupid Girl” played. The lazy sound suited my mood. It was effortless and unimpressive. Sometimes, a certain sound speaks a lot of how we’re feeling.

Things kept on breaking and my Tatay kept on scolding but I was having none of it. I was feeling too spent and lazy to care. There’s bliss in being indifferent.

That night, after Tatay complained that I changed the station and he could not find what he was listening to, I looked up the Garbage album on Spotify. I sulked in the glory of “I’m Only Happy When It Rains.” It’s a wallow-in-melancholia sort of album.

For the twelfth cheek-by-jowl pairing, we’re listening to Garbage’s self-titled album and Starcrawlers’ sophomore called Devour You. If you’re already listening to Starcrawler, it’s not difficult to hear the similarity in Arrow De Wilde and Shirley Manson’s vocals. Starcrawler’s “No More Pennies” could even be mistaken as a Garbage track.

The two albums sound so similar that it’s a challenge to identify whether the track is Garbage or Starcrawler. This, by far, is the most homogenous pairing in our series. This is officially my I-don’t-care playlist.

I don’t mean to bum you out but my point is it’s okay to be moody sometimes. We don’t have to force ourselves to be up and hyped. I think it’s healthy to lie low and accept that shit happens. Like the albums, we can be chill and lazy. I’d even argue that indifference is a byproduct of mindfulness. It shows that we could be okay even when things fall apart. It proves that we could shake some of them off.

It’s nice to care but sometimes it’s easier and better not to.

Dumb and bored, I tried to stop it
And stuck a knife inside a socket

Starcrawler, “No More Pennies”

What a mood.

For a more optimistic story, here’s the last pairing featuring Avicii:

Thanks for your time! I hope you were more productive than I.

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