one of the greatest albums i have heard in so long

🎶🎶When You Collect Records🎶🎶
  • Hipster: *moves dusty old boxes out of the way* Whoa, an old record player. It looks like it's in working order too! *runs outside*
  • Hipster: Yo, dad!
  • Dad: What?
  • Hipster: We're getting rid of all of poppop's stuff, right?
  • Dad: There's something you want, isn't there?
  • Hipster: There's this old stereo record player in the attic.
  • Dad: What do you need a record player for?
  • Hipster: My record collection.
  • Dad: I didn't even know they still made those things. Can't you just listen to music on your phone?
  • Hipster: Dad, there's a big difference between listening to music digitally and on record.
  • Dad: Fine, I don't wanna get into it with you right now. You can take the record player. You just have to get someone else to take it to your place for you. My truck's full.
  • Hipster: Thanks dad! *smooches dad on the cheek*
  • *later at hipster's apartment*
  • Friend: So, like Patch Adams ends with Patch Adams half-naked in front of a ton of people. I don't know if it was meant to be funny or like a weird sex thing, but like the movie was just a deeply disturbing character study. I can't stop thinking about it.
  • Hipster: That sounds boring. *unlocks door to apartment* Ta-da! Here it is! My new record player!
  • Friend: New? Looks fucking old to me, dude.
  • Hipster: Well, it is old. That's the appeal. And we're going to listen to the new Sufjan record on it.
  • Friend: Is that actually how you say Sufjan? Apparently, I've been pronouncing it wrong this whole time.
  • Hipster: Well, you won't after this record. There's an entire track where he just says his name for four minutes. It's amazing. *plays records*
  • Record Player: *coughs* Hello. Hello! Where am I? Doctor? Hello! Why is it so dark...............................Can I breathe? I can't breath. Oh god, I'm not breathing! Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god! I.....................................
  • Hipster: Uh, that's not Sufjan.
  • Friend: It totally isn't. Is it some guest vocalist? I like the new direction he's going in. No instruments or singing, and long stretches of silence. Very experimental.
  • Hipster: *stops record player* I think maybe we should do something else for now.
  • Friend: Fucking lame! I wanted to listen to more Sufjan.
  • *days later at the record store*
  • Hipster: Yo, I think the Sufjan Stevens record I bought from here might be some kind of mispress.
  • Store Clerk: Really? It's a pretty major album. I doubt there'd just be a mispress like that.
  • Hipster: Yeah, but listen to it. It's not Sufjan at all. It's some girl talking.
  • *hipster and clerk listen to a completely normal Sufjan Stevens album together*
  • Store Clerk: What are you talking about? This is definitely Sufjan Stevens.
  • Hipster: Okay, but it wasn't like that when I listened to it at home! I even listened to it with my friend and he heard the same thing!
  • Store Clerk: Maybe there's something wrong with your record player.
  • Hipster: Hmm, maybe there is.
  • *back at the apartment*
  • Hipster: *turns on record player and just listens*
  • Record Player: ...I'm awake again. Why did I black out? Did I even black out? God, I'm not breathing, but it doesn't matter. Why don't I need to breathe? Am I even alive?
  • Hipster: Can you hear me?
  • Record Player: Doctor. Doctor! DOCTOR! Why can't I move? Why can't I feel anything. Keep yourself together. It'll all make sense soon. Calm down. Just breathe deeply. Fuck, I can't breathe! AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I CAN'T BREATHE! DOCTOR! DOCTOR! DOCTOR! HELP! HELP ME, PLEASE! I'M STUCK! I CAN'T MOVE! PLEASE HELP ME!
  • Hipster: *turns off record player* It's just a recording, I bet. I can't believe I talked to it like an idiot... *nervously turns record player back on*
  • Record Player: I blacked out again. I blacked out. For how long? Is there even time here? Hell. This is hell, right? Did I go to hell.........................................
  • Hipster: *listens to the record player for hours*
  • Record Player: Negative 6893 bottles of wine on the wall! Negative 6893 bottles of wine! Take one down, pass it around, Negative 6894 bottles of wine on the wall... fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME! AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
  • Hipster: *keeps listening*
  • Record Player: Soul of Christ, make me holy, Body of Christ, be my salvation. God, please forgive me. I'm sorry for all of my sins. Please free me. I'm so sorry. Please. Please. Please.
  • Hipster: *still listening*
  • Record Player: FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! SHITTY DOCTOR! FUCK YOU! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! *sobs intensely* FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK EVERYTHING! Please just let me go.
  • Hipster: *nervously walks up to record player and lightly taps on it*
  • Record Player: ...A knock. A KNOCK! PLEASE HELP ME! I'M STUCK! PLEASE! *record player begins shake violently*
  • Hipster: *backs away in fear*
  • Record Player: HELP! HELP! HELP ME! PLEASE, IF SOMEONE'S THERE, HELP ME! HELP ME! I'M STUCK! GET ME OUT OF HERE, PLEASE!
  • Hipster: *unplugs record player*
  • Hipster: *gets hammer from the closet and begins to break apart record player*
  • Record Player: *drips red*
  • Hipster: W-What? *cracks front of record player open*
  • *rotting viscera falls from the record player*
  • Hipster: O-Oh... *stuffs viscera back into the record player and duct tapes over it*
  • Hipster: *turns record player back on*
  • Record Player: ...I can feel. It hurts. Why does it hurt now? Why does it hurt? Why? Why? Why? WHY!? WHY!? WHY!? *spurts blood through it speakers and begins to gurgle*
  • Record Player: *hops forward* Please just let me go. Please... please. I'll do anything. I just want to see you again. I'm so sorry. This isn't what I asked for. I'm so sorry. *hops forward again and comes unplugged*
  • Record Player: *tips over, bleeding heavily onto the carpet*
  • Hipster: *silently cleans up the mess*
  • *some time later*
  • Hipster: *calls dad* Hey, dad. Oh, nothing. Uh, I just need to borrow your truck, If not tonight sometime this week. I just need to get rid of something. No, no, that's fine, I can do it myself. Yeah, tomorrow morning is perfect. Thanks Love you too. Bye.
  • *the next afternoon*
  • Dad: So, what did you need to get rid of this morning?
  • Hipster: Nothing important. Just some old junk... Dad, what kind of person was poppop?
  • Dad: Well, he was only the greatest man I've known in my life. Really caring, dedicated to his family. When you were born he loved you so much. He was a bit of a loner, though. It took a lot to get him to open up. Even around me and your grandmother. He was a bit like you. Always a huge music lover.
  • Hipster: I see. Was he ever a doctor?
  • Dad: That's a weird thing to ask. Nope. He hated doctors. Didn't trust modern medicine one bit. It's ironic. His cancer probably wouldn't have gotten to him if he did. But, your poppop was always so stubborn.
  • Hipster: Oh, okay then.
  • *some days later*
  • Friend: New carpet?
  • Hipster: Yup, old one was ugly wasn't it. It was time for a change.
  • Friend: That's what I've been telling you! I'm glad you finally came to your senses. What happened to your record player, though?
  • Hipster: That thing? I threw it away. It was busted.
  • Friend: That sucks. Are you gonna buy a new one?
  • Hipster: No.
  • Friend: But you won't have anything to play your records on.
  • Hipster: Yeah, but I buy records because I want to support the artists. They're not really for listening. Besides, lossless is better. FLAC is the future.
[TRANS/INTERVIEW] GRAZIA Magazine April 2017 Edition - Himchan & Daehyun

B.A.P Himchan and Daehyun’s relationship is much like that of ‘Tom and Jerry’. It turns out that B.A.P fans have already compared them to such from a long time back. At the sight of them bickering without rest, (we) asked “(what if you guys) fight at this rate,” Himchan and Daehyun both answered at the same time, “this is playing!” and caused a big laugh.

HIMCHAN’S TASTE

Daehyun’s thighs vs Jongup’s butt
If you absolutely had to have one…,
Jongup’s butt. I’ll refuse anything that’s Daehyun’s (laughs).

Bungee jump vs Skydiving
Ah… (I) have a lot of frights (I’m scared of it),
(so I) give up

Kakaotalk vs Phone call
Phone call. It’s annoying typing out texts.

Sleepiness vs Hunger, the thing that’s harder to resist is?
Sleepiness. I have a lot of sleep

Party vs Time alone
Party with friends and alcohol.

DAEHYUN’S TASTE

Straightforwardness vs Beating around the bush
Straightforwardness. (I) don’t like it when there are misunderstandings because of words (talking).

Ballad vs Dance
Still dance (for now). (I) like it more when (both) vocal and dance skills are distributed (and) displayed. Like Bruno Mars.

Mello vs SF Movie
Mello. (I) originally (always) liked mello. Especially <A Moment to Remember>(, I) wanted over ten times.

GRAZIA INTERVIEW

It’s the first time doing a photoshoot with just you two, right?
HC,DH (at the same time) yes.

Were the other members not jealous?
DH They were making fun of us saying “We’re going to sleep in~”
HC (They said that they’re) happy that they don’t have a schedule. But the other members are probably at the practice room right now as well.

(We’re) curious what time of conversation was passed on the way to the studio.
HC
The two (we) didn’t say a single word (laughs).

Really? (We) heard that (you) two are the most chatty, (I) guess not.
HC It’s the truth. (But) in the morning(, we) two (both) don’t have words (don’t talk a lot).
Normally(,) even if it’s just (us) two(, we’re) on fire (chatty).

What do you guys do to play normally?
HC (I) drink alcohol (laughs).
DH (I) eat outside, (and) eat inside the dorm as well.
HC But because this friend ran away from the dorm…,
DH Look at this hyung? Don’t misunderstand. (He) means that (I) became independent from the dorm recently (left the dorms to live on his own).

Yongguk, who left the dorm first, left with the reason that “the members don’t clean.” Why did Daehyun leave the dorm?
DH It’s the same. If (you) see Himchan hyung and Jongup’s cleaning style(,) anyone would want to run away. For example(, they) file (their) clothes on the floor like pancake. (I) suffer from rhinitis and also have sensitive skin(,) so (I) try to be clean(,) but this is impossible in the dorm.

(I) also saw the video where Daehyun scolded Himchan saying to please stop wearing my (Daehyun’s) clothes without permission. How is it recently?
DH Yesterday as well(, Himchan) hyung wore without my permission the shoes that (I) left in the dorm and was caught red handed. So I plan to wear Himchan’s clothes (without permission) as well.

(We’re) curious how Himchan will counterattack?
HC Daehyun and Yongguk are almost at the level of a neat freak. Especially Daehyun is an FM (Field Manual) type (sticks to the set plan). (He says that) everything has to go the way that it’s been planned for (his) heart to be settled. Sometimes(,) it’s tiring because of that.
DH I’ll reveal something again. (Himchan) hyung has a lot of sleep(,) so it’s difficult waking him up every time in the morning.
HC Ah! I thought of something to counterattack. When (we) drink alcohol(,) Daehyun often gets up (and leaves) first. Even if serious conversation is being passed(,) if it becomes the time that (he) had set to go home(, he) leaves without looking back. At those times(,) it’s somewhat disappointing (sad/hurting).
DH If I don’t get up (and leave) like that(, you guys) are going to keep holding (me) to stay.

(You guys are an) idol group, is it alright if (you) keep talking about drinking alcohol?
DH It’s alright, (because) I quit drinking alcohol (laughs).
HC Is that why (you) eat so much recently?
DH That’s right. Until before the music video recording(, I) lost a lot of weight(,) but because of this(, I) gained 4kg more.
HC Ah~ Diet! (I) want to stop eating chicken breast.

(You guys) must be on a diet.
DH (We) two both really like eating(,) but during promotion period(, we) control our gluttony. (Our) styles are a little different. (Himchan) hyung likes spreading out a variety of food and eating it(, while) I go for one food.
HC Because it’s important for an artist to have a variety of experiences (laughs).

(I) think to gain experiences(,) traveling is the best choice. Do (you) travel as well?
DH Early this year(, I) went to Sapporo. It was (my) first out of country travel(, but) it was really good. (I went) shopping, ate good things, (and) saw snow.

What did Himchan do during the break?
HC I went to New York and LA and came back. When B.A.P had a little over a year’s worth of break(, I) lived in New York for about three months(; but I) want to go back. (I) traveled around wherever my feet led me.

(We) heard that (you guys are) leaving again on a world tour soon. (And) that (you) plan to open a Seoul concert prior to it in the coming March 24~26.
DH Last year(, we) opened large concerts at a lot of different countries(, but) this time(, we) plan to hold smaller concerts at less countries. Should (I) say that it’s closer to a fanmeeting?
HC (We) planned a lot of time to communicate with the fans.

During the past winter(,) Bang Yongguk(,) who is both the leader as well as the oldest hyung(,) had to leave the team temporarily due to his panic disorder diagnosis. (We’re) glad that (you guys) could promote again as 6 (and) a whole again.
DH (I) believed that Yongguk hyung will return healthy again, but (I) didn’t think that this day would come this quickly.
HC (I feel) that finally now B.A.P has become perfect again. Not only just Yongguk, but it feels really empty when someone leaves the team.

Matching teamwork again after a long time(,) what type of conversation was passed?
DH (We) each calmly welcomed (Yongguk) hyung’s return in our own ways. (I feel that) this type of method fits the best for someone that is manly and with little words like Yongguk hyung.
HC Rather than words(,) it’s more important to show (him) trust with actions.

In place of Yongguk(,) Himchan(,) who is the same age as Yongguk(,) acted as the leader.
HC There was a lot of burden. Because Yongguk and I have different methods of leading the team(,) our connection with the members fit well(, but since I) had to act alone as half of a leader.
DH The two are complete opposites. If you compare it to a family(,) Yongguk hyung is the simple (and) brave (dependable) father(, while) Himchan hyung(,) should I say(,) like closer to the kind mother who shows plenty of affection?
HC Perhaps because of that(,) the dongsaengs (the younger members) treated me like whatever (laughs).
DH Hey, we worked harder to treat (you) more comfortably because you might suffer alone. Since Himchan hyung often plays along with the dongsaengs (the younger members) goofing around. Anyways(,) for B.A.P(,) both hyungs are necessary.

When did (you) feel Yongguk’s absence the most?
HC When (we) got on the stage. (We were) worried that due to Yongguk’s absence the empty space might look big.
DH Moreover(,) it was when we had released a full album and not a single(,) so it’s the truth that we were under confusion as well. But in times like this(, we) as five worked “really, honestly, (to our) greatest extent” the hardest.
HC And that is why the result of the single album <Rose> released March 7th is really important. It is of course Yongguk’s return, (but there are also) a lot of situations tied in.

What type of situations are (you) talking about?
HC Early this year(,) B.A.P faced our fifth anniversary. While happy in one part(, I was worried) that the days that B.A.P can promote as a whole is not that much left. Firstly(,) Yongguk and my age is now twenty eight…,
DH This means that after about 2 years(,) the (Yongguk and Himchan) hyungs have to go to military.
HC (I) don’t think that there has been a time that B.A.P as a whole has been able to complete a big picture. So that is why during the preparation of this album(, I) portrayed my opinion strongly more than before.

(We heard that) while choosing the title song(,) it was changed 4 times. In this step as well(,) was Himchan’s influence big as well?
DH
There were three songs in competing. At first(,) by the company’s suggestions(,) ‘Distopia’ was the prime candidate as the title song. But giving this and that different reasons(,) Himchan hyung persisted on ‘Diamond 4 Ya’. The other members were for ‘Wake Me Up’.
HC (I) felt that ‘Distopia’ was too obvious (a choice), (and I) didn’t like the beginning arrangement of ‘Wake Me Up’. But if (B.A.P released) a trendy song like ‘Diamond 4 Ya’(, I felt that) it could be a chance for B.A.P to advance one step further.

In the end(, you guys are) promoting ‘Wake Me Up’.
HC (I) quickly folded my stubbornness (gave up) (laughs). Instead(,) while arranging ‘Wake Me Up’, (I) strongly requested that “please have this be done this way, (and) that be done that way.”

Looking over B.A.P’s promotion records(,) there wasn’t a lot of the members’ personal promotions. Is there no plans to release albums as a solo or a unit(,) or to expand your areas toward acting or entertainment?
DH (I) feel that it will remain this way for a while. Last year November, while promoting a song called ‘SKYDIVE’(, I) suddenly had this thought. “Ah, (I) should try working harder as a whole group!”
HC There are still a lot of people that do not know about B.A.P’s existence (laughs).
DH This is the first time I’m saying this here(, but). (I am) really thankful of Himchan hyung(,) and on another side sorry. (Himchan) hyung is talented in many ways in music as well as entertainment skills, but (Himchan) always puts team promotions first.

What part of Daehyun does Himchan think is outstanding?
HC Acting, leading (a program), singing, dance, et cetera(,) whatever he does(, it feels) natural. (He also) gets along with whatever group he is with. So (I) often push him saying, “do something,” but Daehyun keeps taking his foot out (not going with it).

Are you following after (Himchan) hyung’s meaning to put team activities first?
DH It’s more that (I) don’t think it’s time yet. (Perhaps that I want to) polish up a little more? There has been times that (I) attempted this and that while not completely prepared and ended up disappointed.
HC But still starting from the end of this year(, we) plan to expand personal activities. Perhaps (we’ll) start from B.A.P’s main MC Youngjae.

From on forth(,) how will the two people(Himchan and Daehyun)’s life flow on?
HC (I feel) firstly that (I) want to focus on this moment (now). (You) can’t tell what’ll happen even tomorrow(,) so how can (you) draw out a far future.
DH (I) can’t think of anything else other than practicing so that (I) may become a closer to perfection as a singer.
HC But(,) if there is one thing that (I) wish for(, it’s that) even after coming back from military service(,) that (I) want to (still) be a B.A.P member.
DH It will be like that. You can believe it. Rather than words(,) I’ll show it through actions, like (Himchan) hyung!

GRAZIA (그라치아) APRIL EDITION
KRN > ENG TRANS BY @BANILLAJOKO (TWITTER)
DO NOT TAKE WITHOUT CREDIT

Bloom — Part IV — Spring

REQUEST: Can u write a fan fic about the girl owning a flower shop and Harry coming in to get flowers for someone else but then they fall in love because love is beautiful like a flower


AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the final part of this story! I may add an epilogue afterwards, but this will be the last weekly update. Thank you all so much for the feedback and the support that this story has received—this one holds a special place in my heart. I hope that you enjoy! x

Bloom: Part I // Bloom: Part II //Bloom: Part III //



The day had arrived.

Harry had been talking about it for weeks and weeks—he’d had such a good time writing his first album in isolation, that he decided to do the same thing for his second album. He was heading off to a remote island off of the coast of South America, and he had booked out studio time for two whole months.

The two of them spent hours together talking about his travel plans and getting him a head start on the writing process. He would spent days sitting at the counter of her little store—he would even occasionally ring in the customers, teasing her about how he deserves to be on the payroll. For the most part he sat and played the guitar, or brought her fun things that he’d purchased to take with him.

She did her best to distract herself from the fact that her best friend in the world was leaving.

It had been almost a year since Harry walked into her flower store that first night, and now she couldn’t imagine her life without him. She understood why she wouldn’t be able to have any contact with him during his writing process—he needed to focus on his music, and she respected that entirely. But it would be the hardest two months of her life, because Harry was her favorite person in the world.

And because she was in love with him.

Keep reading

So I have a little idea for elsewhere university (forgive the pov switching)
~
Somewhere in the library, there is a legendary book. If you are in the greatest emotional distress you will ever feel in your time at the university (How the book Knows isn’t certain but then again nothing ever really is), you will find yourself slouching into the library and looking along the shelves. Not searching for anything in particular, just something good to read.
You pick one, not to thin and not too thick, off of the dusty shelf. The jacket feels slightly soft, like the nose of a stuffed animal once most of the velveteen is rubbed off.
You sit down right there in the middle of the aisle, lean your back against a cart, and begin to read. As soon as your finger touches the title page, you feel all of the anxiety pulling out like the tide, a wave of calm rushing over you as you begin to read.
Hours go by. People move around you, not even noticing you’re there. Any classes you missed were cancelled that day.
Some time later, you’re at the final page. You know that soon you will have to go back to the real world now, and that your break is over.
Resigned, you take a deep breath and put the book back on the shelf. You know you will miss it, but there’s nothing you can do, and you’ve heard too many stories of those who would try and abuse the magic here.
With a sudden pop, you can hear movement again. You hadn’t even noticed the students walking by you, or the whispering in the next row. You shake your head, fondly caressing the cover one last time.
You walk out of the library with a much lighter heart than when you came in, ready to face whatever drove you here in the first place.
~
No student has ever found the book twice, and it’s constantly changing place.
What the contents are varies wildly from person to person; from favorite childhood storybooks to long lost books (forgotten underneath a chair or on a picnic table somewhere on campus) to family photo albums that may have never even existed in the first place.
It’s rumored that during one of the many book-burning eras that the university has lived through, one of the librarians enchanted the book to promote reading, but no one is really sure.
All they know is that it’s nice to have a word of hope in the darkness.

IWAOI AS PARENTS

If you haven’t realised, I’m obsessed over Iwaoi and in particular, Iwaizumi Hajime. It’s no wonder I procrastinate about them in my math class and in the process came up with way too many headcanons. So this post in particular is about Iwaoi as parents and a married couple on a whole. Be prepared for just the two of them being the best and possibly most embarrassing dads, this may be long but I really had to share it with you other Iwaoi hoes.


OKAY BUT JUST IMAGINE.

  • Iwa will probably be the type of dad that will be so fucking afraid of hurting his baby and will say most likely stuff like “But i don’t want to hurt him/her.” Because you know MOTHERFUCKING MUSCLES. But of course, in reality he is too horribly gentle for someone who has a rather aggressive way of expressing his concern.
  • He will just be in constant awe, always marveling at the baby because he made that little fucker and in his heart he is just screaming “I made this beautiful thing, he’s/she’s a little version of me. I’ll protect him/her with my life.” He’ll wake up every five minutes to check on the kid at night, and when the kid even when the kid gets older and starts having nightmares he’ll let them sleep together with him no matter what the age. [Either that he goes into their room to “protect” them from the monsters and chase it away.]
  • He definitely is the one who takes time away from work to take care of the children if they are ever sick because he is just the BEST FUCKING DAD. He’ll make them some weird stew he learned online and probably pamper them with their favourite movies, shows.
  • Also when he tries to be firm or the least bit strict, he can never scold the kid because he’s probably afraid the kid will cry. In some cases where he does make his kid/kids cry, he’ll definitely apologise.
  • Iwa is the one who cooks for the kids, no one can convince me otherwise. He’ll make pancakes, scrambled eggs, weirdly coloured but extremely good cupcakes and even milkshakes of sorts. Though he used to be athlete himself, he is a huge softie and will treat his children to ice-cream if they do well in a test etc. He says stuff like “That’s my baby girl.” Or “That’s my boy.”. Never forgetting to give them presents as well. [I swear Iwaizumi is the type to give in to the child when they want something because FUCK ME UP THIS MAN IS A ANGEL AND A BLESSING and will 11/10 be the greatest dad.]
  • Do not tell me Iwa doesn’t tie his daughter’s hair or tells his son that it’s okay to cry. He’s never believed in gender roles so teaches the kids it’s okay for a them to like stuff that others deem only acceptable in one specific gender. His daughter ends up liking volleyball and aliens like Oikawa, and their son probably likes bug-catching and makeup.
  • ALSO, he showers them with raspberries to their tummies, does all sort of weird crafts with them to surprise Papa Oikawa when he comes home. MOST IMPORTANTLY, mini headcanon that their kids makes him flower crowns and he wears them and plays dress up with them and just roleplays with them and just fucking becomes the best dad. And when he puts the kid to bed even though he might be tired as fuck from work or just taking care of them, he will still read them bed time stories and give them goodnight kisses and help them check the closet for monsters.
  • If he and Oikawa ever get in a fight, he somehow always apologises to them. And when they ask if he is okay, he tells them yes but the children are mature enough to know he’s not. He would sleep out on the couch or in one of their rooms. Thankfully, their fights don’t last very long and they would know their parents have made up if they find weird pink stuff on Papa Iwa’s neck or if they start kissing again. [They find out later from their good ol’ uncles Makki and Mattsun that those were called hickies.]
  • They have makeup sex. [Don’t fight me on this, I will fight you instead. I know this was supposed to be fluff and family friendly. But two things, this is Iwaoi we’re talking about here, and really? What more do you expect from a girl who procrastinates  about her OTP dying or fucking 24/7.]
  • Oikawa on the other hand is a little more strict. I don’t why, but maybe it’s to contrast with his husband’s big softie side.
  •  He buys their clothes. Don’t even question this. From snazzy bejewelled jumpers with sequins to the most ludicrous of fashion choices, you name it. Oddly, his kids like it, but maybe not so much when they get older. Iwaizumi on the other hand is just like, “Do you want our kid to get bullied.” Or, “If they grow up with your horrible fashion choices I’m divorcing you.” [ He doesn’t mean it of course.
  • Oikawa is the subject of the kids, and his husband’s pranks. Once, [Maybe not.] they definitely replaced his shampoo with dish-soap, poured flour into his hairdryer, drew dicks on his face when he was asleep, and maybe added salt instead of sugar to his coffee. Iwa is sure to record all this somehow and send them to Makki and Mattsun who also has kids of their own. He gets back at Iwa for all of that in bed ;)
  • Iwa dries the kids off after Dada Oikawa gives them a bubble bath, after that, he helps them pick out their sleeping clothes.
  • Oikawa organises all the family vacations, holidays, outings. He makes sure to bring them to places he knows they would have most fun at.
  • He is the embarrassing dad, what do you expect. Don’t tell me this tall little shit didn’t crash his kid’s birthday party with a photo album of all their awkward or embarrassing moments. Also, he says no liquor but when one of them asked, “What’s the best way to look good?” And though they expected some sort of weird beauty regimen, he deadpanned and said, “Chug down alcohol like you life depends on it so you get so drunk you forgot you look bad.” Iwaizumi headbutted him after that and told them clearly not to listen to his advice at all.
  • Both Iwa and Oikawa call their kids cute and sweet stuff like, “Baby girl”, “Little princess”, “Honey”, “Buddy”, “Bud” or really weird and funny ones like “Nugget”, “Badger”, “Toddler-who-ate-my-milkbread”, “Proof of Aliens’ existence”. And maybe once, Oikawa may have accidentally called their kid little motherfucker when Iwa wasn’t at home [In an endearing way.] and the kid just kept repeating it until Papa Iwa does come home and dropkicks the brunette’s ass.
  • Oikawa has a rule of no coming into his and Iwa’s room after 8 unless it’s urgent because he has a lot of pent up energy and needs to burn it somehow. [*cough*]
  • So even though Iwa can be mentally drained after work, he will wait for Oikawa to come home. [Or the other way around] And when they do, the respective other will thank them in their own way. Iwa is a cuddle person while Oikawa tries to get some GOOD-ASS fucking. Iwa always makes a measly attempt to stop him and says it will disturb their kids but they always end up fucking anyway so this is why they have to be extremely quiet and nothing, I mean nothing, turns Oikawa more on than Iwaizumi struggling to keep in his moans, and because he can’t fucking keep in his moans he very seductively bites onto his shirt while Oikawa fucks him good. Too fucking good.
  • One night they were a little loud and one of their kids heard and were like, “Papa, were you and Dada playing wrestling last night?” And while Oikawa is trying his best to convince them it’s the aliens whom have decided to visited but instead got into a fight, Iwaizumi is just like “fuck” and turns too fucking red their kids think he’s sick.
  • Also they did bareback once and as expected, Iwa had to go to the washroom too many times. This left their kids very confused and they started concluding that he was pregnant with another sibling. [They did not understand the difference between mothers and fathers yet.]
  • The kids sleep in their room on Fridays and they lay there on their really big bed and watch movies, have tickle fights, eat popcorn, tell them stories, roleplay [Not in a kinky way I swear.] Or even normal and fluffy family cuddling. The two kids sleep in the middle and the two dads each on one end, they usually take out extra blankets because Oikawa always hogs the blanket.
  • Iwa always wakes up the first to make breakfast for them, with not only exceptionally good execution, but lots of love as well :D
2

Prince’s Own Liner Notes On His Greatest Hits


When Prince’s first greatest hits collection was released, Prince made private comments as a guide for the liner notes. Later briefly posted on his website thedawn.com in 1996, Prince’s comments have been lost for the last 20 years, but now provide a rare first-person insight into how he saw some of his most famous songs.

In 1993, just as Prince had changed his name and began wrangling with his record contract, he agreed to his first-ever collection of greatest hits, released as a 3-disc set, The Hits/The B-sides. Prince’s longtime manager Alan Leeds wrote the liner notes for the box set; already an industry legend for his work with James Brown, Leeds had won a Grammy for his extraordinary work on the liner notes for Startime, the definitive James Brown box set released in 1991.
But Leeds’ notes on Prince’s work included a number of mentions of anecdotes and inspirations that Leeds couldn’t have been privy to first-hand, and a few that only Prince himself could have known. When liner notes for The Hits were posted on thedawn.com three years later, fans were shocked to see that, rather than simply replicating Leeds’ writing, the notes on the site were clearly Prince’s own thoughts. The notes omit many tracks, include mention of songs that weren’t included in the box set at all, and include what appear to be editorial suggestions for Leeds.
Prince often refers to himself as “PRN” (Prince Rogers Nelson) throughout. This was likely both reflective of his longtime habit of trying to issue his pronouncements as coming from a larger, vague collective rather than just himself, and the fact that the notes were likely captured as recited to an assistant. However, it could also have been a deliberate stylistic choice in reference to his then-recent name change; at the time this was published, his public position was that “Prince” was dead.

Update:
Alan Leeds himself has weighed in, on Reginald Hudlin’s Facebook page, saying he hadn’t known these notes were ever posted online, but confirming that he did use these comments from Prince to inform his work.

Interesting — I’d never seen this before and wasn’t aware P had posted these comments. For the record, I had volunteered to Warner Bros. to help assemble and sequence the 3 CDs. However, they were stuck on “their” sequence — I never knew for sure if Prince liked or was involved in the sequencing. I believe it was put together by WB’sr in-house catalogue maven, my friend Gregg Geller and I doubt he had much dialogue with Prince. However, Prince did call me to write the notes. I told him it was an honor but only if he’d answer a few questions so I could add some background that wasn’t common knowledge among fans. He agreed but asked me not to write like an interview. So I simply incorporated some of his “revelations” into my notes. When I sent him the finished notes, he called to say “thanks, nice job” and that was it. He surprisingly did zero editing.

LINER NOTES


“I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER” 
originally recorded as a demo 4 Patrice Rushen’s album. PRN had a mad crush on her at the time and the song is about her.


“HEAD” 
was only used as a concert tune. This song was picked as Lisa Coleman’s initiation into the band. Gayle Chapman quit because the material of the Dirty Mind period got 2 strong 4 her. Prince figured if Lisa could sing the lyrics to head she could handle anything. The song as a demo as was all the Dirty Mind LP.


“DO ME BABY” 

the 1st time Prince turned the control room into a bedroom. Candles were lit, chiffon veils were hung and all the doors were locked.


“CONTROVERSY” 
write about the first time U heard reflective notes


“LITTLE RED CORVETTE” 
after another marathon all-night recording session PRN wrote this in the front seat of Lisa’s pink car (brand of car can be gotten from her) whom PRN drove when she was in LA. PRN always considered the song a dream because it was written between 3 or 4 catnaps and he was never fully awake.


“DIRTY MIND” 
Dr. Fink came up with the original keyboard line which PRN heard and wrote lyrics 2 that same night. PRN and Dr. Fink came 2 rehearsal the next day proud of their creation. The band flipped when they heard it. The centerpiece was in place.


“WHEN DOVES CRY” 
originally recorded with bass, backing 2 sets of keys and guitar. Frustrated with the mix, PRN sat discouraged in the studio (Sunset Sound). Jill Jones came 2 visit, saw the long face and asked what was wrong. PRN was said to have said, “if. had my way the song would sound like this.” He then shoved down the bulk of the instrument faders and left up only the drums and the xylophone, when the voices began to sing the chorus. Jill then asked PRN why he thought he couldn’t have his way with the mix. There was no reply. Everyone who passed by the studio was enthralled by the strange sound coming out of Studio 3 that day. The next time Jill heard the song it was on the radio and it was bassless and stark. PRN had his way.


“KISS” 
PRN after recording this shelved it because he thought it 2 strange a production 4 human consumption. It was included in the Parade album was an afterthought. PRN thought it never quite worked on that album. Every time he plays it live he changes the arrangement. Probably still feels the same about the public’s acceptance of the sound. It concert it’s never sounded like the record.


“U GOT THE LOOK” 
a friend of PRN used 2 jump up and dance whenever Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” came on. As a test this song was recorded to find out of the friend would dance 2 a similar groove or just chill because it wasn’t a hit. Sure enough the friend didn’t like the song until it was in the Top 10.


“SEXY M.F.” 
the song that made PRN abandon computers just before he retired. Proof that nothing beats the feel of a live band of funky M.F.’s.


“CREAM” 
PRN wrote this standing in a mirror.


“DAMN U” 
one of the songs PRN is most proud of; he adores it. Used to play it live even fore it was released. Through the years this has been the indication of his feelings about a new composition.


“I FEEL 4 U” 
another demo written 4 the Patrice Rushen project. PRN tended 2 write more Top 40 when writing 4 other artists.


“WHEN U WERE MINE” 
written in a hotel room in North Carolina on the Rick James tour. This was not a happy period. PRN didn’t want to do this tour but he needed the exposure cuz his record was breaking R&B first. He was ready 2 headline his own tour but had 2 wait.


“UPTOWN” 
a favorite concert number during this period. The anthem 4 all the freaks and funkateers of the Dirty Mind generation. Vocal recorded in one take, no punching in after PRN in his 16 trackhome studio set up the song on the board, plugged in the mic, and left his leather coat on the chair. He went to get pumped at a movie and when it was over walked straight into the studio, donned the leather coat, and sang it straight out. He didn’t listen 2 it until the next day and then began finishing it.


“1999" 
was meant 2 be a group vocal. Lisa, Dez, and Prince actually sang the whole song every line. When Prince mixed it he made the decision 2 split up the lines. That’s why the melody keeps changing. Jill Jones 1st big vocal assignment. She does the ad libs on the vamp. Prince loved her voice. Vocally he said she was a ‘cliffdiver.’


“LET’S GO CRAZY” & “PURPLE RAIN” 


“POP LIFE” 
the jam in the ‘hood.


“ADORE” 
inspired by Patti LaBelle & Luther Vandross who Prince was digging at the time. Patti — ”if only u knew”…


“SIGN O’ THE TIMES” 
written, recorded, and mixed in one day.


“ALPHABET STREET”
Prince always called this an ‘aural cartoon.’ Recorded during the LoveSexy period.


“BATDANCE” 
originally a 12" 4 the song “200 BALLOONS.” This song with every sample just grew and grew. Listening 2 “200 BALLOONS” Prince commented “this sounds like it came from BATDANCE — not the other way around.”


“DIAMONDS AND PEARLS” 
written as a duet with Rosie Gaines. Prince vowed never 2 performs it with anyone else. As much as Prince wanted Rosie 2 go solo he hated the fact that he wouldn’t be able 2 peform one of his most prized possessions, Diamonds and Pearls, until they were 2gether again. Prince has called Rosie one of the greatest singers of all time. He most likens her 2 Ella Fitzgerald. Range, speed, and styling. Rosie’s got it all.


“7" 
Jevetta Steele asked Prince 4 an explanation of this song. He only smiled.

Creepypasta #1030: Copycat

Length: Medium

About a year ago I got a new neighbor. The day she moved in I have to confess to being a bit curious. She turned up with two large shopping bags and disappeared into the house. There was no van turned up full of furniture, no cars full of boxes, nothing, which struck me as very odd. For a start what was she going to sleep on?

For the first couple of days she just said hello when she saw me, which I had no problem with. I like to be on good terms with my neighbors.

Now I need to point out, I spent a lot of time sitting in my yard. I smoke, but not in the house and I had a very old dog that needed to go out to pee about a million times a day. In the summer I loved to garden and I’ve always been out there more than I’m in. My door is right next to the low fence that separates the two properties.

The next time I saw her she came scuttling over to the fence and introduced herself as Margaret, and I told her my name was Debra. She was a small blob of a woman who looked in serious need of a very long shower. Her clothes were baggy and nondescript, but she seemed friendly enough. She told me she hadn’t been happy in her last home as she didn’t know anyone and hadn’t managed to make any friends.

I told her a few little things about myself, just things like my name and how long I’d lived there, but I didn’t find her very easy to talk to. As the conversation dried up she just stood and stared at me. Before things got awkward I made my excuses and went back into the house.

After that things changed. Gradually over the course of a week or so I saw her more and more. Her kitchen, which was built on to the back of the house, overlooked my garden, and every time I went out I could see her standing staring out the window at me. I’d be out no longer than five minutes and she’d be there. 

Our conversations consisted of her either questioning me about everything I did, “Where was I going?”, “what was I doing?” and even “what was I cooking?” or those long weird silences where she just stood and stared at me while my brain fumbled about trying to make conversation and not be rude. These conversations always ended up with me making some excuse and coming back inside.

I tried looking busy and gardening. I’d stop for a little while and have a short chat and then say something like “Well, I’d really better get on” but she never took the hint. As I weeded and watered she’d still be there, hanging over the fence staring at me.

Sometimes one of the other neighbors would start chatting as they walked past. I’ve lived here a long time and I know most of my neighbors really well. No sooner than we started talking I’d hear this voice from behind me.

‘Hello Debra, nice day isn’t it?’

Part of me thought that the poor woman didn’t know anyone so obviously she wanted to meet the neighbors, but part of me wanted her to butt out.

I even tried lurking just inside my door to have my smoke, but that didn’t work either. I heard this voice drift across the yard, “Warm again isn’t it, Debra?”

Now I know I’m probably coming across as unfriendly, but I’m honestly not. It’s just my yard is my little bit of peace and quiet and I felt like I had nothing in common with this woman. I didn’t need a new best friend which is what I felt like she was aiming at.

Next thing I knew she’d gotten herself a little dog exactly the same breed as mine.

I put some clothes out in bags for the thrift store van, but before it came to collect she came knocking on my door asking if she could have them. I mean, what could I say without seeming mean and petty? I told her she was welcome to them. So now she was walking about dressing like me too.

I noticed a change in her mannerisms. It was like all that time she spent watching me she’d been taking mental notes. The habit I have of biting my lip when I’m slightly annoyed. The way I push my hair back out of my eyes. She seemed to me almost mirroring my behavior. I told myself I needed to get a grip and I was just being paranoid.

She got her hair cut and dyed the same color as mine. I tried to see it as a compliment.

I felt in some odd way that she was watching me and learning how to be a person.

She’d seemed so naive when I first met her, almost childlike, but she was changing.

The time that really got under my skin was when I left the house to go shopping, and there she was in the street talking to an old man that lives a few houses along. His vision isn’t the greatest and he literally stopped dead and his mouth fell open when he saw me. He’d thought he was talking to me.

A couple of weeks after that she got a tattoo. Not just any tattoo though, my tattoo. I have a large tribal one that runs down the left side of my back. Hers was exactly the same. She was so excited when she showed me it too. Like it was completely normal. I had no idea how she did it. I could only think at some point she’d taken a photo of my back when I was lying in the sun.

While she was showing me, I noticed another tattoo on her other shoulder. It was of a crows head in a raggedy looking circle. Hard to describe but really nice. It was also oddly familiar. I went back in and stomped round my house, swearing under my breath about her. It was a couple of hours later that it clicked in my mind. I’d seen that tattoo before. There was a bar I went to occasionally a few miles away, and there was a girl there regularly, with exactly the same tattoo.

That night I decided it was time for some Facebook stalking. I started off checking out the Facebook for the venue, flicking through it’s albums, and suddenly there she was. The girl with the crow tattoo. I kept flicking through seeing if she was tagged in any of them. Suddenly I froze.

In this particular photo the girl with the crow tattoo was standing smiling. She had pale pink hair shaved up one side. Standing next to her, with identical hair, in almost exactly the same clothes was Margaret.

I took a screen shot of it and messaged everyone I knew with a copy. Margaret was freaking me out and I really wanted to talk to someone who knew her before.

Then a couple of weeks later I got a call. To begin with it barely registered who I was talking to. I was having a really crappy day. My little dog had escaped the garden. I’d popped into the house to make a cup of coffee and when I went back out she was just gone. I’d spent the day scouring the streets in a blind panic, so when my mobile rang my heart was in my mouth. My phone number was on her collar and I was hoping so much it was someone saying they’d found her.

“Hi, is that Debra?” the voice asked.

“Yes, who’s this?”

“My name’s Margaret. I’m the girl with the tattoo, and I understand you’ve been trying to get a hold of me?”

I was instantly confused. Were they both called Margaret? I explained about my neighbor and how I thought maybe they knew each other.

“If she’s who I think she is, she used to be my neighbor and her name’s not Margaret. She stole that from me. I haven’t got time to explain but I need her address. The police are looking for her.” Her voice shook with an emotion I didn’t understand.

So I did. I gave her Margaret’s address.

Within ten minutes the street was full of police cars, but they never found her.

They found my dog, in a bag in the freezer.

They found a wall covered in photos of me, taken through my windows during the night. There was even one of me getting changed, tattoo on full display.

I guess in a way I was the lucky one though, because when the real Margaret had called the police about her, not only had they found a wall covered in photos of her, they’d found her two missing children in the freezer.

She still hasn’t been found, and I’m guessing she didn’t manage to get away with more than a couple of carrier bags of stuff. So if you should happen to get a new neighbor, a small nondescript blob of a woman who seems overly keen to be friends I’d suggest you avoid her. Oh, and as a heads up, she’ll probably tell you her name is Debra.

Credits to: hrhdaf

Bloom — Part II — Autumn

REQUEST: Can u write a fan fic about the girl owning a flower shop and Harry coming in to get flowers for someone else but then they fall in love because love is beautiful like a flower


Bloom: Part I


Over the next few months, Harry had become quite the regular customer in her little store. He visited often, sometimes without even buying anything, and she was pleased that they’d become friends. She still didn’t have many of those around the area, and it was always a nice surprise when Harry stopped by to see her.

They most often talked about his dating life.

He stopped by the store every time he took a girl out for the first time, which was a lot recently. He’d finally been given a break after touring and doing promotion for his first album, and he took it as a chance to have fun and stay close to home for a little while. Dating was something that he hadn’t done properly in years, and he thought, why not?

So far he’d been on eight first dates, and he’d purchased flowers from her every single time. Lilies, to be exact, and every time he would fill him in on what had happened with the last girl he’d seen. They were all lovely, and he didn’t bash them by any means—but it was nice to have a friend to talk to about it all.

On one night in particular, she was just about to close up the shop when she heard the bells ringing.

“Sorry, we’re closed,” she called out from behind the counter, tucking one of the encyclopedias away that she’d been reading up on that day.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi! Why do u think harry said SOTT was the most literal song on the album when literally sweet creature is?....

This is purely my opinion, but I actually don’t think of either song as very literal. 

I will use this video to discuss Sweet Creatures:

Information about the song:

Produced By: Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon, Alex Salibian, Jeff Bhasker
Written By: Thomas Hull, Harry Styles
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Recorded At: Jeff Bhasker’s Home Studio, Geejam Hotel Recording Studio
Executive Produced By: Jeff Bhasker
Label: Erskine Records distributed by Columbia Records

Sign of the Times was a song containing apocalyptic, eschatological symbols describing a separation and an impossible escape. 

In his Rolling Stone interview, the song was described as a mother’s parting words to her newborn:

“Most of the stuff that hurts me about what’s going on at the moment is not politics, it’s fundamentals,” Styles says. “Equal rights. For everyone, all races, sexes, everything. …  'Sign of the Times’ came from ‘This isn’t the first time we’ve been in a hard time, and it’s not going to be the last time.’ The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth and conquer.’”

Perhaps there were lyrics that were literal in Harry’s biography. We’ll never know which ones they are. I think the same applies for Sweet Creature. Is it autobiographical? Maybe. I can only discuss what the song says and how it chooses to say it. 

I think the title of a song is always very telling. If I Could Fly is about a melancholic yearning, even though the refrain is “for your eyes only.”

Keep reading

EXCLUSIVE || One Direction Star Harry Styles’ Recipes for Success

Styles’ first single “Sign of the Times” to premiere on BBC Radio 1′s Breakfast Show on April 7th

This One Direction star has a sit-down with we of the AAS and spills the deets on the surprising inspiration behind his new solo career!

Harry Styles (23) of the wildly popular One Direction has at long last abandoned his reclusive ways and returned to the folds of society from his top-secret celebrity abode to release a single this coming Friday the 7th of April.

But even a mere 48 hours before the release of his debut single, fans are still confused about what the song might even be about. One anonymous fan commented,

“The cover art for the single honestly scares me a bit. It’s so red! Is it supposed to look like the world is on fire? I mean that’s what mine FEELS like whenever Harry does anything but like, is that what he’s going for? And the title is so apocalyptic. Is he trying to tell us his single is going to bring about the apocalypse? Because like, I believe him, but I also don’t want to die before I’ve heard the rest of his album, you feel?”

Another fan was adamant, and said, “Oh it’s just Harry trying to let us know about his home planet. None of us know exactly where it is or what it looks like, but all that red is supposed to bring up Mars and Martians. He’s been away from his alien family for a long time now, you know? I’m sure he’s feeling homesick.”

Styles recently reaching out and attempting to make contact with his alien relatives in space

We reached out to the star to get his side of things, and Styles explained:

“The title is actually a reference to an experience I had one morning. I had just come back from my morning run, back in the LA home, right? I remember the weather was just lovely. The afternoon heat hadn’t set in yet because it was still pretty early in the morning, but the sky was this beautiful shade of blue that reminded me of Lou’s eyes…And uh, usually I have a smoothie after my run, see, but when I got home and opened the drawer in the fridge to find the kale…because like, everything in the fridge is really carefully organized…there was nothing there! I swear I’d gone to the store and picked up some more, but I couldn’t find anything, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Like, how could I have a smoothie without kale blended into it, you know? And then I was like, uh, struck by inspiration and right there in our open-concept kitchen I jotted down the beginnings of the single.”

Styles on set recently filming his introspective music video  

Styles intends to go in a different direction for the single’s music video, however.

Some rather curious pics came out recently, showcasing the young star flying high in the sky with the help of cables and a harness hooked up to a helicopter. Styles explained,

“I eat a lot of free-range grain-fed organic chicken, because it’s good for building muscle, and with this album generally I really wanted to focus on exploring my relationship with the food I consume, and like, figuring out where my sources of nutrition come from you know? So I decided to focus on that in the music video, instead.

I really wanted to like, understand the bird’s perspective, you know? I needed that connection. But to do that I had to become the bird, so they hooked me up to a helicopter and I really get them, now. I feel a lot closer to the birds. They’re like a part of me, and I’ve become one of them. It’s a really beautiful feeling.”

Styles maintaining his natural diet with an order of salad with salad on the side

“To be honest,” the singer confessed, “I try to eat as little meat as possible. I prefer to get my protein from plants or powder blended into my smoothies. I feel bad about eating the poor animals. They didn’t like, ask to be eaten, you know? Especially now that I understand my main source of animal protein so intimately.

That day with the helicopters on set changed me. I’m a changed man. I just hope the fans will be able to experience that same kind of change when they watch the music video. I’m so excited about it. It’s definitely one of my greatest accomplishments so far as an artist.”

The namesake of Styles’ album, “Bullet”

The star continued, “You know, the name of the album is actually inspired by the name of my smoothie blender. It’s a Magic Bullet. It was originally a gift, because I don’t have a lot of time in the morning and it’s convenient, but it’s more than just a smoothie maker now. It’s changed my life and my art. I just wanted to convey that in my album.

In fact, the second single we have planned is one about juice cleansing with smoothies from my Magic Bullet. Smoothies from Booster Juice just aren’t the same, you know? The company just doesn’t understand the artistry. It isn’t just a food. It’s an experience. A way of life. Art in its truest form.

There’s a lot of raw emotion in this album, I think. Just like the raw vegetables I try to sneak onto Lou’s plate. It’s a work in progress. Getting Lou to eat raw vegetables, I mean. Not the album. The album is done, I promise!” 

Tomlinson eating a hamburger in the middle of a concert that a fan threw on stage

The star has received a huge outpouring of support for his solo efforts from fans, industry names, and his loved ones alike, but Styles reveals it doesn’t extend to all corners of his life. 

“I’m in the process of trying to transition Lou and I into an all-raw vegan diet, but he isn’t interested, even when I’ve explained to him the benefits. He just says ‘Sure, love,’ and meets up with the boys to go get some MacDonald’s”.

Tomlinson and his recent collaboration partner Aoki playing a game of collab goals

Louis Tomlinson (25), Styles’ long-term partner of seven years is well known for his disdain of new-age healthy eating trends. Even his love and respect for his friend Steve Aoki (39) didn’t stop Tomlinson from expressing his distaste towards Aoki’s answer of “cold pressed green juices” as his favourite snack.

Styles added, “I’m really grateful for Steve. I think he could be a good influence on Louis’ eating habits. I just wish Lou would let him. I’m beginning to think Lou might be a lost cause. Every time I tell him he needs more green in his life, he just says I’m all the green he needs.

It’s really romantic, but I see him eat his Spaghetti-Os on toast while I’m eating my garden salad and I worry about his cholesterol, or that he might develop diabetes.”

Styles on the Breakfast Show on BBC’s Radio 1

So what can fans look forward to in the future from soloist Harry Styles?

“I can’t say much, but fans should keep an eye out for a companion book for the album. It’s just being finalized now. Let’s just say the book involves step-by-step instructions and lots of pictures, all of which I took. And food. Lots of food. I’ve been getting Lou to test out the instructions in the book to see if they’re easy enough to follow. I’m excited. I really wish I could tell you more but…

Okay. It’s a recipe book. It’s a recipe book with recipes I was thinking about when I was writing and recording the album. It’s vegan and gluten-free, and I hope everybody loves the recipes. I’ll be keeping an eye on social media to see how people make out with the dishes! So I hope the fans watch out for that in the near future!”

Needless to say the star’s solo debut will be massive, so stick around with the AAS for the next big story!

(Massive thanks to everybody in the AAS gc because, as usual, I couldn’t do this without y’all and this goes out to all of you lovely wonderful people. Credits to @organicstunts for nabbing me the pictures and to any of you guys whose quotes I put into the article. Enjoy! 😘❤️)

Klaus Mikaelson

I sighed contently as I felt the warm sweet taste of blood run over my tongue and down my throat into my favorite, quenching my hunger. I drank and drank until I felt the body in my arms fall limp. As I throw him to the ground I looked around at the floor full of almost lifeless bodies. “Well, that was fun. But I am all too sure that there is a reason you’re here. So other than dinner, what are you doing here Rebekah?” I asked, standing up and walking over to my best friend for over 900 years.

“Who said I wanted something, Y/N? Maybe I just wanted to see my best friend.” Rebekah pouted at my accusation. I looked over at her raising an eyebrow, making her roll her eyes at me in response.

I rolled my eyes back and turned to look at all the bodies lying on the floor. I snapped my fingers and raised my hand, willing the heads of our latest meal to look my way, into my eyes. “You will leave this bar after a shot of our blood and go home. Sleep this off and when you wake you will only remember a good night of drinking, dancing and loud music.” I said compelling them all. Rebekah handed them each a shot glass of blood and we both watched as they downed the shot and left the building, tired and seemingly hung over.

After everybody had left I grabbed a bottle of bourbon and walked over to a booth where Rebekah Sat with two glasses. “OK, so, maybe there is a reason I came here.” Rebekah smiled as she took the bottle from my hand and poured two drinks.

“I know this is, We have been best friends since before you turned me all those years ago.  Bekah, I’m the only one knows you that well.” I laughed as I took a glass and drank from it. “So, what is it?” I asked, a little serious now, placing the glass on my lips and shifting in my seat.

“Well, I want you to come back to New Orleans with me.” She said quickly, making me choke a little on my drink. “Look I know it’s not the greatest place on Earth but I could really use you there with me.” She explained, standing up, and moving to sit by me. I just watched her as she made her case.

“Look, I don’t know about this Rebekah. I like it here.” I replied, but I had lied and I could see she knew that. Moving to New Orleans was something I could never do in the past, too many bad memories there. “Bekah, the last time I was there, I was captured and used for my never ending supply of hybrid magic. Going back there, It would just bring back too many memories…especially of me and…”

“I understand that Y/N, but I need you. HE needs you. Plus you’re always telling me that I’m about how much you’re always wanted a family. but you already have one. Me, I have always treated you like a sister, and I hope that’s enough.” Rebekah said truthfully. I nodded and smiled.

“I know that Bekah and of course it’s enough. You’re my sister, not by blood but by heart and choice. In my eyes that’s the best kind of family. It’s just what if i’m not wanted.” I sighed, I knew it wasn’t true, I was loved by the Mikaelson family, but that was a long time ago.

“Y/N, you and I both know that won’t happen, my family love you. besides, Elijah is quite excited to see you again and Kol…well, Kol is the same annoying arse you know and love.” She told me.

 "And Niklaus?“ I asked.

"Well, to be honest, he is still the same old narcissistic, back stabbing wanker, who will do anything for you.” she laughed, a small smile appeared on my face. But it quickly vanished once I remembered the last time I saw him.

“I just can’t Bekah, the last time Nik saw me I was being held captive by Mikael and was forced to use my magic to find him. I don’t think he will ever forgive me for that and even if he did, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself for betraying him.” I whispered sadly as the memories came flooding back.

“Look, Mikael is dead, not coming back. You did nothing wrong. Nik knows that and he always understood why you did it. Y/N you did it to save me from my father. After you left with him we knew there had to be a good reason for you to go. Elijah found out about my fathers threat to hurt me. we all did everything we could to get you away from him.” She spoke soft and comforting. I know she was right after Mikael found out about me being half vampire, half witch hybrid, he caught me and used the once I loved against me to make sure I did what I was told and use my magic to find Nik.

It was quiet for a while, so I used this time to think about the pros and cons of going back with Rebekah.

First the pros: I wouldn’t be alone anymore and I’d have my family back, which is all I ever wanted. I’d get to speak with Rebekah more and see Elijah and Kol. I could start over, maybe even get back to the old, adventurous, fun loving me.

Cons: Nik may very well have not forgiven me and throw me on the streets. I might not be able to handle being around him, it’s been a long time and I really don’t like the thought of being around him and not being happy.

I thought for a little longer and soon enough I came to a decision. I turned to Rebekah and smiled, “OK, I’ll come home with you. But, first, we need to make a stop a my flat to pick up a few essentials, the rest I’ll just buy new I guess. Most of it is out of date anyway.” I laughed, grabbing my jacket and standing up. Rebekah Let out a small squeal and dove at me wrapping her arms around me.

“OK, come let’s go.” She shouted excitedly.

*Two hours later*

After a few hours of shopping and Rebekah telling me stories of the Mikaelson family adventures since I left, we finally reached my apartment building. “OK, come on, I’ll get what I need and we can get on the road.” I told her as I unlocked the door and walking inside my small apartment.

“Wow, this is quite cozy, isn’t it?” Rebekah laughed as she looked around my tiny one bed apartment.

“It’s not much but it’s only for when I’m bored for the big city and need a bit of peace.” I told her. I lived in New York most of the time, but every now and the I like to stay in this tiny apartment, just me, where I can get some peace.

I walked into my bedroom and grabbed  small travel case and opened it, placing it on my bed. I packed a few things that I couldn’t but anywhere. My photo albums and a few bits from over the years. “Bekah from in the an you grab that box from on that shelf, please.” I asked her, rearranging a few things so the box could fit in.

“Crap.” I heard her mutter as the box landed on the floor at her feet, “Sorry Y/N,”

“It’s fine really.” I laughed as I walked over to help her pick it up.

“What is this stuff anyway?” she asked rummaging through the old paintings Klaus had given me and letter he had sent me. She soon stopped when she found a small black box. she opened it and I watched as her face dropped a little once she saw the ox was empty, which of course made me laugh.

“Do you really think I would keep a ring and not wear it? Really Rebekah, I thought you knew me better than that.” I asked, pouting a little. She gave me a confused look and lifted my hands up.

“I don’t see any ring,” she retorted. I nodded and rolled my eyes.

“I never said I wore it on my hand.” I replied, as I smiled, pulling the ring that hung on a chain around my neck. “It hurt to wear it all the time, but I couldn’t part with it so I came up with this alternative.” I explained. She took it into her hand to get a closer look. It was a very old and very beautiful diamond ring.

“Who gave it to you?” She asked, letting the ring fall against my chest. I raised an eyebrow and gave her a look as if to say ‘Really’. “Oh, well why not wear it?” she asked.

“I didn’t feel I deserved to. He gave me the ring as a promise of his love and I didn’t feel I deserved his love.You know after everything that happened. But I also couldn’t let it go. It always felt like if I were to part with it, I would be parting with Nik forever and I guess I still had hope he would still love me.” I explained as I absentmindedly played with the ring. “Right, I got everything, lets go.” I said bringing myself back to reality.

*The next day*

The car ride here was enjoyable, music playing, us singing along with it. It took us a little longer because we ended up spending the night in a hotel because we got tired and its like an 19 hour drive from NYC to New Orleans and we both got tired of driving. The nerves set in when we were about an hour away but Rebekah help by taking my mind off of things. Once I saw the lights of New Orleans, where I had been trying to avoid for many years, I suddenly felt like I was coming home. I was so excited but nervous at the same time. it felt really good to know I still get a funny tummy when I am close to my family.

“Welcome home Y/N!” Rebekah cheered as she pulled up to a big house. I smiled and laughed as I looked around, taking it all in. “Well, Well, Well. If it isn’t Y/N Y/L/N.” I heard someone shout. I turned to see my other best friend standing at the top of a set of stairs. A young woman, holding a little girl was standing behind him.

“Elijah Mikaelson. How lovely to see you again.” I laughed as he 'ran’ down the stairs and over to me into a tight hug and spinning me around. “God I’ve missed you Elijah.” I sighed burying my head in his shoulder.

“As have I.” He replied kindly.

As we hugged a little longer I heard a low growl and a clearing of a throat. I looked up to see the young woman holding the baby starring at me. “Easy there little wolf, I’m just saying hello to an old friend.” I smirked at her as she made her way down to Elijah’s side. “Besides, he’s not my type.” I smiled.

“Yeah, you prefer the Psychotic murdering type, right?” Rebekah called from the car. I turned and smiled.

“Exactly.” I called back.

“Y/n this is Haley and her daughter Hope.” Elijah introduced, I nodded and smiled.

“Nice to meet you Haley.”

“You too…So how do you know the Mikaelsons?” she asked, shaking my hand.

“Oh she used to date Niklaus.” Rebekah answered, now standing by my side.

“Oh nice. you weren’t kidding about the psychotic Murderers being her type.” she scoffed.

“Easy there little wolf, I might not be with him anymore but you say anything bad about him I will not take it lightly.” I snarled, slight.y raising my hand as if you harm her.

“Y/N, don’t, I doubt she knows about the two of you. It’s not like we tell her every family secret.” Elijah reasoned.

“ OK, you’re right. Besides, if I recall correctly he was your type at one point too.” I replied pointing at hope.

“You know about Hope?” Elijah asked confused.

I smiled and nodded. “What, you didn’t think I would not keep tabs on you all. besides, when Rebekah was hiding her a while back she came to stay with me for a bit.” I explained, waving my hand towards hope to which she just smiled at.

“You took my daughter to stay with her.” Haley retorted. I raised an eyebrow and smirked.

“Don’t mess with me pup, I have been around for a hell of a lot longer that you and I can do things you have never dreamed of seeing. I have power beyond your tiny little wolf brain can handle.” I sneered. I watched as she handed Elijah the baby and turned to me.

“Haley, don’t.” Elijah warned.

“What’s she gonna do? Because honey, I’m not someone you want to mess with. I’m a hybrid, you know what that means. Half vampire, half Wolf. One bite could kill you.” She snarled. I nodded and looked to Bekah and Elijah. Before I flicked my hand up and Haley began to lift into the air.

“ I’m not sure you understood me when I told you I was powerful.” I spoke calmly. I put her back on her feet and smiled. “I am the most powerful being on the planet, half vampire half witch. so I wouldn’t brag about you being a wolf/vampire hybrid, because I can take that away from you just as easily as it was given to you.” I laughed before walking off to pick up my bags and walk towards the house.

“Wow, not even back in town for five minutes and already you’re starting trouble with the wolves.” I heard Kol laugh from the top of the stairs were he had been watching.

“Kol, Hey.” I smiled wrapping my arms around him the best I could. As I pulled away my eyes looked about, looking for someone in particular I guess.

“He wanted to keep his distance. Didn’t think you wanted to see him.” He smiled, know who I was looking for. I nodded and shrugged before following Kol, making my way to my room, which was, by some accident I’m sure, opposite Nik’s room.

I spent a couple of hours unpacking the clothes I had bought while out shopping with Rebekah. I put my photo frames and albums on the shelves. Then I pulled out the 'Nik’ box. I sat on the now made bed and began reading the letters, smiling as I could almost hear his voice read every word in my head. It was a voice that could make even the most bravest man shiver with fear. nut me, it made me shiver for a whole other reason.

Klaus Mikaelson was thought to be the most feared man in the whole world. He was thought to be evil, psychotic and a monster. But me, I knew him better than that. He was kind, thoughtful and would do just about anything for the ones he loves most. That was the man I loved, and he still is the same man today.

Back when I first met the Mikaelsons, I quickly became close to Nik and Rebekah. Rebekah treated me like a sister from the start and Nik…well he treated me like a princess. protecting me, caring for me and loving me the best he could, with his whole heart and I loved him just as much as he loved me. Rebekah turned me so Nik and I could be together forever because she always believed he deserved to be loved, even if he didn’t believe it because Mikael always told him otherwise. After everything with Mikael happened I ran away. The only person I told my whereabouts to was Rebekah. Of course she told Nik who sent me letters, he first told me I knew I needed space so he wasn’t gonna come after me unless I wanted him to.  

“I see you kept his gifts and letters” I heard Elijah speak.

“Every single one.” I smiled up at him, putting down the letter I was reading.“ I missed him El. Everyday I would come home from what ever I was doing and for a second I’d be so excited to tell him about my day, then I would remember and the pain felt bad all over again.” I sighed as he made his way over to my bed. He sat next to me and nodded.

“He missed you too, just as much, i’m sure.” I reassured me. I nodded and he picked up a few of the painting Nik had sent me. “ You want help putting them up?” He asked. I nodded and stood up picking up the hammer.

“Let’s do it.” I replied.

It took about 30 minutes to get the drawings and painting up on the wall. We sat and admired hem for a little. I liked how Nik sent me picture of his memories. It felt like I was with him through out his adventures. I had a few favorites. One was of Rebekah and I, One was of Hope as a baby and the third was what he thought our wedding day would look like.

Elijah soon left, being called away by Haley so I was once again left with my thoughts so I sat on my bed and just looked at all the paintings and drawing he had sent me.

“Has anyone ever told you, you should be thinking so hard…Dangerous things happen when you hatch a plan.” A voice I knew all to well spoke throw my closed door.

“It’s only dangerous for those involved.” I laughed softly. “Usually ends well for me though.”

“Yes if I recall correctly the last time you plotted something dangerous we ended up killing a whole lot of people. You almost died in the process.” He spoke sadly. “Then you left.”

“Are you gonna stay out there or are you gonna co me in here and speak to me Nik? I don’t wanna speak through a door.” I told him. I didn’t move from my bed because if he waned to see me, he would come in. I didn’t wanna force him to see me if he wasn’t ready.

The door swung open and there stood the breathtakingly handsome Niklaus Mikaelson. “Hello love.” He smiled as he entered my room. I sat up a little and smiled subconsciously reaching for the ring that hung around my neck.

“Hi.” I whispered.

It was quiet fora while, we just looked at each other, not knowing what to say. I say thee on my bed as he looked around my room, looking at the art work on my wall, the photos of us ans the box of letters. then he found the ring box. He opened it and I could see the hurt in his face as he saw it empty. “You didn’t keep it?” He asked sadly. I shook my head and smiled.

“No, I wear it, all the time. see.” I told him taking the chain from around my neck and handing it to him.

He took and and smiled a smile that still left you breathless. “I remember the day I gave this for you. I had finally gotten you back from my father. I told you that if you had to leave, you had to promise to let me know you were safe.” He reminded me. I replayed the day in my head.

“Yeah and I promised you that when I was ready, I would find you again. I would do all I could to win your heart again.” I remembered.

“And  told you my heart would always belong to you. I swore that when you came back I would never let you go again.” He smiled down at the ring. “And that I would marry you.”

“Yeah, I remember. I took the ring and promised the same.” I nodded, taking a deep breath.

“So, are you back?” He asked hopefully.I looked around and it was then I noticed Rebekah, Elijah and Kol stood by my bedroom door, waiting for my answer.

“I never stopped loving you, you know. I left because I couldn’t bare the thought you didn’t love me anymore. I wanted you to know that.” I told him.

“Do know that, and I love you, I have everyday since you left. You are the only person I am meant to spend the rest of my life with, so..are you back?”

I nodded and smiled, “I am.” I laughed. I had never felt so happy than right now.I was back, with my family, the family who, even though I abandoned them, they still love me and seeing them all smile at me gave me an overwhelming sense of Joy. “I’m back for good, to win back the heart of the man I gave everything to."I said calmly. declaring my intentions.

I watched as Klaus took the ring from my chain and knelt on the floor. "You have always owned my heart Y/N. Nothing has changed that, even after all this those years and I do intend on keeping my promise. So once you had said yes to forever, But I’m asking you again, will you do me the honor of being mine forever. Will you marry me?” Nik asked taking my hand in his.

“I would love nothing more than to marry you Niklaus Mikaelson.” I whispered, to happy for words. Tears began forming in my eyes as Klaus slipped the ring onto my finger and kissed my hand.

“Forever and always.” He smiled up at me.

“ Maybe even longer.” I replied pulling him to his feet and bringing his lips to mine.

“I love you Y/N” Rebekah called over to me.

“I love you too Bex” I called back laughing, as everyone ran into my room and they all wrapped their arms around me.

“We all love you Y/N” Elijah smiled.

“I love you all too.” I smiled as we stayed like this for a while. I just wanted to stay like this forever.

“I love you Y/N” Klaus smiled over at me.

“I love you too Nik” I smiled back. this is the happiest I’ve ever been and I have a feeling things are only going to get better.

Sign of the Times

First of all, I love SotT.   I’m going to put my music critic hat on for this post (even though, I’m not really a pompous, condescending, feckless, snobbish ass - which seems to be a requirement for the most part.)  I’m going to TRY and look at the song from outside my fandom bubble - inasmuch as that is possible.  I’ll be a critic who is familiar with 1D post Up All Night - something that seems sorely lacking. Please bear with me.

Sign of the Times is Harry Styles’ first foray into solo music.  Styles’ solo career has been greatly anticipated since One Direction began their hiatus.  With the launch of this first singe, we finally get a taste of the “direction” his solo music will take.  Styles has cited Elvis Presly, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd among others as his greatest musical influences.  Sign of the Times undoubtedly has a David Bowie flavor, but this review will stop well short of calling the work derivative.  Styles seems to draw from a deep knowledge and appreciation of rock music roots, specifically British rock.  Styles is only 23.  Some may think he’s too young to deliver a convincing ballad about death, pain and loss.  Whatever his age, the ballad certainly doesn’t feel calculated, but rather an expression of his deepest self.  Anyone familiar with One Direction’s latest album, Made in the AM, and Styles’ contributions to it should find some familiarity in SofT.  Styles has long been fond of power ballads and putting music to pain, loss and happiness. 

There are a few problems with Sign of the Times:  I’ts much too long at just under 6 minutes.  The melody is too simplistic and repetitive.  Falsetto should be served as a sauce or seasoning, but never a main course.  It’s just plain overly dramatic.

What’s right with the song, first and foremost, is everything wrong with it.  Anyone who’s heard Styles interviewed will know how slowly he speaks.  He seems to have and entirely different perception of time and he pulls the listener into his perspective.  Signs of the Times just doesn’t seem nearly as long as it is - as if time itself was slowed down for six minutes.  A more complex melody  would only diminish the nuance, layers and escalation built into the ballad.  Styles is one of those rare artists who can make boring music fascinating.  With his voice, he commands every emotion.  He can illicit pain, sorrow, elation in a seemingly effortless way.  The falsetto part, in an effort to increase the ethereal effect, has a little too much reverb.  That said, Styles falsetto is delightful to the ear and somehow it just works in Sign of the Times.  As for the drama, it just feels real.  Styles has lost his grandmother; Matt Irwin a photographer and close friend;  Johannah Deakin, mother of his One Direction band-mate, Louis Tomlinson, (reportedly, Styles and Deakin were very close and her regarded her almost as a second mother.)  Sign of the Times feels like something from another time and place - hopelessly out of sync with today’s popular music and yet - comfortable, timeless beautiful.

Styles has the ability to take something minimalist, simplistic and make it great.  Any artist can create music that is original, out of the main stream, esoteric.  Styles’ genius is making this ballad, utterly foreign in today’s pop music landscape, thoroughly accessible.  Everything about Sign of the Times seems wrong from the music industry, bean counter perspective - but isn’t that always the case with the great ones?  This ballad was surely a huge risk for Styles.  He should have taken a safer route - shooting for a niche somewhere between Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran - thank God he didn’t.

The vocals in Sign of the Times are nothing short of breathtaking.  Styles had ample opportunity to shine in One Direction and he certainly delivered some fantastic vocals there.  As a solo artist, however,  his entire vocal toolbox is on display and it’s quite impressive.  He’s not the first pop/rock singer to have a raspy voice, but he honestly doesn’t sound like anyone on the scene now, or from the last 50 years.  His voice is raw, sensitive, evocative, gritty, expressive and soothing.  The unique thing about Styles’ rasp is that it never sounds harsh - something poor Rod Stewart could only dream of.  Styles can easily pierce the hearts of his listeners and his delivery always feels honest and genuine.

Sign of the Times has been a phenomenal success so far.  He dispatched Adele’s “unbreakable” 50 minute rocket to the top of iTunes in only 19 minutes.  The One Direction fans certainly gave him a boost, but those kind of numbers are simply impossible with mediocre music.  No signer can prove their worth with one song, but with  Sign of the Times, Styles is well on the way.

2

1983. Melissa

 is the debut album by the band Mercyful Fate, Music is credited to Hank Shermann and lyrics to King Diamond.

Some of the material on the album had its roots in demoes recorded when the musicians were members of the underground bands Black Rose and Brats: “Curse of the Pharaohs”, which was originally titled “Night Riders” on an old Brats demo, was retitled after King Diamond changed the lyrics originally written by the Brats bassist; “Love Criminals”, actually the first song Mercyful Fate ever wrote, was renamed “Into the Coven”, which was originally meant to be the title of the album too. The album contains also “Satan’s Fall” which, as Michael Denner recalls, took ages to learn and elicited an eerie feeling the few times he heard it. Hank Shermann wrote the music for this song, which was composed during many sleepless nights on his unplugged guitar in his living room. The band kept rehearsing the song for a long time in its unfinished form, as Shermann continuously added new parts. According to Denner, there are about sixteen different riffs in “Satan’s Fall”.

Mercyful Fate started recording at Easy Sounds Studios in Copenhagen for the next 13 days with producer Henrik Lund, who was the co-owner of the studio along with his brother. The band asked Henrik to produce the album, and he was paid $1000 by the record company. Even though the band had more time than when they did the first EP, time was precious and by chance, the band knew the songs very well before entering the studio and made it very quickly. They had to plan and calculate right as they had less than two weeks to record and mix the whole thing, so they really had not much time fooling around. It was an interesting challenge to prove to themselves they could do it.  

“Melissa” is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. would consider it one of the greatest records of all time,  a completley Satanic and demonic presentation, evil heavy metal album.

Kim Ruzz disappeared from the metal world after the first break up. Why? I have no fucking clue. He is awesome. Solid beats, killer fills, and great power on the skins. The man is a great drummer.

King Diamond    Hank Shermann   Michael Denner    Timi Hansen    Kim Ruzz

If this was a hip-hop room—to get that introduction and people are expecting to see Jay, and they see Jon Platt walk out here…? [Laughter]

Tonight, I humbly stand before you on behalf of my friend and my brother Shawn Carter, better known to the world as Jay Z. I’ve only known one other songwriter whose songwriting has launched so many companies and created careers for so many other people—hundreds of people—and that man was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame tonight as a songwriter: Mr. Berry Gordy. Mr. Gordy, I wish you could have seen how Jay’s eyes lit up when I told him you were both being inducted on the same night. It was really special. And to all the inductees tonight, Jay salutes your achievements as well.

I can’t begin to tell you how much this honor means to me–I’m sorry, [laughing] it’s not my award—I can’t begin to tell you how much this award means to Jay. He’s really sorry he can’t be here with you tonight. So let me start as I think Jay would, by acknowledging some of the most important people in his life: his lovely wife and daughter, and Jay’s mother and grandmother are here tonight. And if Jay would have been here tonight, he made it known that he wanted to sit right between both of you because you are two of the most important people in his life. Jay’s sisters Annie and Michelle are here, as well as his cousin, and some of his closest friends: Ty Ty Smith, Emory Jones, and I know Jay wouldn’t leave without acknowledging Jay Brown and the rest of his Roc Nation family.

You know, I was deeply moved when Jay reached out and asked me to step in and accept this induction on his behalf. I was so moved that I learned something about New York—because when he told me he wanted me to do this for him, I just started crying. And when you’ve got a six-foot-six black dude walking down the street in New York crying, people start to get out of your way really fast! [Laughter] But it touched me that deeply.

I’ve worked with Jay for over 20 years, since just after the release of his first album, ‘Reasonable Doubt.’ And I’ll never forget the moment when I first heard that album. Yes, the songs were great, but the songwriting was next level. And at that moment I knew I was listening to a rare kind of genius and that was a person that I absolutely had to meet. That first meeting led to not just an epic business relationship but one of the greatest friendships of my life.

But what’s so incredible about Jay is that after selling after more than 100 million albums, Jay is one of the most self-aware superstars you’ll ever meet. As the great Quincy Jones put it, 'Jay Z knows why God gave us two ears and one mouth: because it means you’re supposed to listen twice as much as you talk.’

Jay Z accepts not just the benefits of his fame, but also the responsibilities of it. He understands what his work means to his millions of fans around the world just as much as he understands how important it is that he’s becoming the first rap artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And he also knows that so many came before him that didn’t get this opportunity and didn’t receive this honor.

You see, when it comes to the industry’s biggest honors, the hip-hop community has a very long history of being told 'You’re not songwriters,’ 'You’re not quite there yet,’ 'It’s not your time yet.’ Well, to all the songwriters and artists from our community and our generation, Jay would want you to know that this induction is a signal that your time has come and your time is now. He would tell up-and-coming hip-hop artists today that there can be no mistake or question that you are indeed songwriters, and your gift cannot ever be overlooked. And Jay would want you to know that as proud as he is to be the first, he’s even more proud that he won’t be the last.

I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve seen a lot of things come and go. But legends? Legends are forever, and tonight Shawn Carter takes his rightful place among the legends in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and this moment will live on forever. On behalf of Jay, I thank you for this honor of a lifetime.

—  “Big Jon” Platt, speaking on behalf of Jay Z during the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City on June 15, 2017.

the-winged-wolf-bran-stark  asked:

So April 1st is Rachmaninoff's bday (talk about unlucky) meaning time to listen to his 4 Piano concertos! And hopefully you'll post a work of his for today. But here's a question: Instead of a top 5, what are your top 10 works from him? :P

Ironic because I wouldn’t consider him a “humorous” composer. But yes I definitely will post something by him today. And also, thanks for the challenge! My personal top 10 Rachmaninoff works…

10 - Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: A beautiful choral work, though a bit slow at times. Very contemplative. The ending jubilation that it builds up to is my favorite moment.

9 - Suite no. 1 [Fantaisie-Tableaux] for two pianos: The idea behind this work makes me think of Debussy, only because it’s four musical pictures without a strong relation to each other. The opening Barcarolle is gorgeous, and the dramatic Easter is a great ending.

8 - Symphonic Dances: One of the few Rachmaninoff works I’ve heard live. May as well be his fourth symphony. The opening dance’s harsh harmonies and pronounced rhythms gets my heart going.

7 - Cello Sonata: A work I found in high school, and I fell in love immediately at the opening, with its cold drone that immediately rushes into a dramatic storm. And of course I’m a sucker for any piece of music that starts dark but has a happy ending.

6 - Piano Sonata no. 2: Like a concerto for solo piano. When I discovered this work, it was through Alexis Weissenberg rushed and electric 16 minute speed through, and it blew me away. And when I heard other pianists play it at a more conventional pace, I fell deeper in love. The longing middle movement is the highlight, and the ecstatic coda to the finale makes me feel like I’m at the top of a mountain.

5 - Isle of the Dead: A piece I fell in love with in high school. When I started getting into classical, I was slowly developing my patience for longer and longer works [back then, 8 minutes was long, and 20 was forever]. This was one of the works that helped me transition, and I was blown away by how effortlessly the music was woven as one continuous flow through sections that felt so organic. Also because I was a little bit emo in high school, I was obsessed with all things 19th century Gothic and death in general.

4 - Variations on a Theme by Chopin: Another piece I found in high school. Since I loved Chopin, and I loved Rachmaninoff, the idea that Rachy did a set of variations off of his music made me rush to get it on my first gen iPod pronto. It’s an underrated work, a bit long, but worth it because you can hear the diversity in Rachmaninoff’s musical thought. It’s got all his trademarks; double function form, the use of cannons, Orthodox “bell” like motifs, lovely melodies, devilish piano technique, etc.

3 - Symphony no. 2: I discovered this work browsing the classical section in the iTunes store, and I did a gamble that goes against common advice: I judged an album by its cover. The cover of a recording by Sir Simon Rattle and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on the Seraphim label had an art deco painting of a woman on the back of a pegasus in a cloudy sky. That drew me in. And the music is so much more fantastic than I’d figured. At that time, the longest symphony I’d heard of [an entire hour?? Crazy talk!] and I loved every second of it. Especially because the first movement was woven like Isle of the Dead, which I was used to and wanted more of.

2 - Piano Concerto no. 2: One of the first pieces that got me into classical. Back when I was slowly acquainting myself with piano music by Chopin, Liszt, and Beethoven, and also Bach’s organ music, I came across a scene from an anime “Nodame Cantabile” where they had animated the main character playing the first movement of the concerto. I was surprised to see any show dedicate so much time to the music itself, instead of fragmenting it for common audience patience. When I listened to it, I thought it was the most beautiful piano concerto I’d ever heard. I still think that.

1 - All Night Vigil: I’m going to say it: his most underrated work. Everyone knows Rachmaninoff for his piano music, his “pop” melodies, his colorful orchestration…but comparatively his greatest masterpiece is ignored. I mean, it isn’t a huge surprise. A cappella music is already a niche category, a niche within a niche from the public [a specific type of classical music that’s less recognizable/accessible], and add a false cultural barrier [being specifically Russian Orthodox a cappella music] to make it more obscure to the general public. But the music is so…I don’t know. I’m not religious, but I understand what people mean when they say they feel spiritual connections. Listening to this work, back in college when walking around campus at night under gentle snow, was the closest I’ve come to having a profound religious experience.

16 IN ‘16: Jake’s Picks

Reflecting on the year with the 16 songs - new or old - that soundtracked our respective 2016s.

1. “Pt. 2″ - Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
This song opens up the playlist because it is quintessentially 2016. And by that I mean that it’s confusing, a banger, full of memes, and really sad.

2. “Ivy” - Frank Ocean - Blonde
I love Blonde, but it took me a little white to get there. The amorphous, hypnotic album doesn’t have any particular hits, but the raw emotion of the piece as a concept made the 4-year wait worth it. “Ivy,” the second track, is one of my favorites, because you practically feel yourself falling in love right alongside Frank. We see that theme across this list and across 2016 - a departing of more traditional pop sounds for dreamy, wavy hooks combined with jarring, inventive noise.

3. “RedBone” - Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!
Awaken, My Love! was ultimately a little disappointing, IMO. But oh my god, this song is so good. Make no mistake - this is baby-making music. If you are not making babies to this song, you are listening to this incorrectly. I went to a listening party for the album and I’m 80% sure this song turned the tide of the 30+ dates I was watching unfold around me. It’s that potent. Handle with care.

4. “All Night” - Beyonce - Lemonade
YO, 9:30! I’M REALLY HAPPY FOR Y’ALL, IMMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT LEMONADE IS ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME. Okay, maybe not of all time, but you don’t have to be a resident member of the Beyhive to tell that this album is straight fire. It’s got everything - the black power anthem, a rock song with Jack White that sounds freshly cut from Yeezus, and even a country song with the Dixie Chicks. Lemonade is a cross section of what 2016 was - a year of cacophonic harmony. But I chose the penultimate number, “All Night,” to be on this list on slightly different grounds - it is a beautiful, emotional story of admiration, real, unselfish love for another human being. Yeah, it reminds me of my girlfriend. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

5. “With That” - Young Thug - Barter 6
Okay, back to that dirty s**t. “With That” is nasty. It makes you scrunch up your face and vibe. Young Thug really broke through in 2016, and as did his genre, the disdainfully-named mumblerap, spawning proteges such as Desiigner and Lil Yachy. Can you make out the words he’s saying? Maybe not. Do you know that it’s some real s**t? Absolutely. Though Barter 6 came out in 2015, Young Thug makes music so fast the album is already 5 albums back (I’d start with Barter, it gets a little sketchy from there). Young Thug is pushing the envelope for rap by breaking every rule in the book.

6. “Wolves” - Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
When I heard “Wolves” on my first listen through of TLoP, it was all but confirmed: Kanye West has lost his damn mind. “Wolves” is a great song buried in the back end of Pablo, and explores Kanye’s love for his wife, Kim K. It spends 5 minutes comparing Kim’s relationship history: her sex tape, followed by her televised wedding, and subsequent divorce after 72 days to the biblical story of the Virgin Mary. “Wolves” is an awesome song, though, regardless of the fact that it is probably played repeat during Donald Trump’s appointments with his team of expert cheeto dust appliers.

7. “715 - CR∑∑KS” - Bon Iver - 22, A Million
22, A Million came out on the 30th of September this year, and felt like that second that your ears pop. 2016 demanded toughness from all of us. “715 - CR∑∑KS” was sweet, sweet emotional release. It’s the best album of 3016. It will make you smile, take a deep breath, then go look out a window. Please go listen to it.

8. “Rome” - Ratatat - Magnifique
Ratatat is a pretty unknown band whose biggest claim to fame is producing the beat of the 2009 Kid Cudi hit, “Pursuit of Happiness.” They are also my favorite band. Though Magnifique came out in 2015, I saw Ratatat at Echostage in January, and I have no words. Psychedelic rock is awesome. “Rome” crescendos to a powerful, hypnotic riff before dropping to almost silence, and building back up to an insane musical orgasm. It’s a flawless song. Plus, Ratatat is awesome, and more people need to know about them. They make life music.

9. “Some Minds” - Flume - Single
Listen to me right now: If Mozart was alive today, he would be standing at the front bar of a Flume show. I saw Flume at 9:30 this fall and legitimately melted. This man builds music from sounds that don’t exist in the natural world; he literally pulls music OUT OF THIN AIR. I’ve seen this song’s drop put people in an actual trance. Like Young Thug, Flume has led the charge of a new sound in EDM, and this song in no exception. His newest album, Skin, came out in 2016, and it amazing. This song is amazing. Flume is amazing. You’re welcome.

10. “Dirty Work” - Herobust - I’m Aloud
Dirty Work is not for everyone. I got into EDM especially hard this year, though I was very hesitant at first. It’s hard to keep up with EDM from the outside: so many DJs, how it all sounds kinda the same, and of course, the drugs. But if you don’t like EDM, especially if you don’t like EDM, listening to this will give you a taste of how inventive the genre has gotten. What is this??? It sounds like industrial machinery. It sounds like a transformer falling down the stairs. It sounds like a dial-up modem. But why…can’t I stop… dancing????

11. “Safe” - Dumbfounded - We Might Die
“Safe.” This is a guilty pleasure song for me, one of the 17 people in the DMV who has a passion for the LA rap scene and knocksteady radio. This woke af song is off Dumbfounded’s new mixtape, We Might Die, and discusses the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood. By the numbers, I probably listened to this song more than any other song in 2016, and I’m not close to ashamed. Dumbfounded is known as a lyrical god out west, and he is gonna be in DC on February 4! Go see him! Do it!

12. “One Dance” - Drake - Views
Yeah, I couldn’t not. This was the uncontested jam of the summer, never failing to get me and every 20 something woman around me doing our best Drake, or our most cultivated Rihanna. The song also brought dancehall and Afrobeat music to the mainstream, making summer sixteen especially awesome.

13. “Untitled 7″ - Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
Okey doke. It’s hard for me to not overreact and call this the best song of the year, but I don’t think I could name a better one. Kendrick Lamar developed untitled unmastered. from the floor cuttings of To Pimp A Butterfly and accidentally created a series of songs that rival the full-length albums of his contemporaries. A jazz, trap, hip-hop fusion, “Untitled 7″ is the cherry on top of an already insane series of songs. It is close to being a perfect song. Production-wise, the beat of “Untitled 7″ is hallowed ground: other rappers won’t touch it. I think about Kendrick when I’m asked about how music can change the world. Lamar’s voice echoes around the song, half taunting, half challenging the rap game as a whole to get on his level: “Levitate, Levitate, Levitate, Levitate.”

14. “Alright” - Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
2017 is the beginning of a new chapter for the world. Will we find the strength to love and trust each other, rising to the challenge of our planet’s greatest tests? Or will we succumb to the darkest impulses of humanity? “If God got us, we’re gon’ be alright.”

15. “Come Down” - Anderson .Paak - Malibu
Anderson .Paak killed it this year with his release of Malibu. I had followed Anderson for a long time, first as Breezy Lovejoy, then through many short-lived projects, until this final form. “Come Down” is a great song, an energetic, groovin’ tune like only a west coaster can make. I’m excited to hear more from this guy in 2017, and I don’t see him going anywhere but up.

16. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” - Kanye West - Graduation
This song is always important to me, this year included. Kanye may be a bit of a kook sometimes, but here’s a good point: keep your head down, get tough, do what you say you’re gonna do. Those haters are going to keep coming, no matter what. But when you get your money? Then, they cant tell you nothing. It’s not the worst resolution, wouldn’t you agree? Happy holidays and good luck in the New Year!

-Jake Flum

I'm begging you all, please please reblog and tag Taylor in this

It just hit me that Taylor’s been with me for over ten years. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown in those years and how much I owe to her.
~
I was eight when “Taylor Swift” came out. I had just started school, and I was happy, as most eight year olds would be. I listened to it so much even though I couldn’t relate to many songs at all. I loved Our Song. I would always put on the southern accent whenever I would sing it, I loved that song SO much. I would listen to “Taylor Swift” on repeat for days on end.
~
I was ten when “Fearless” was released. I bought it the weekend after it came out. I remember loving The Best Day soo much. I think that would have to be the first song I ever really connected to. I was bullied in primary school (elementary for you Americans) and the only person who helped me through it was my mum. She always made me happy, especially after coming home from school everyday. The Best Day and Change were my anthems all through school. No matter what I went through, I felt for the first that Taylor was with me through it all.
~
“Speak Now” came out when I was twelve. I was in my final year of primary school. I was probably the happiest I had ever been. I was a school leader, I moved up to a higher level in my dance classes and I had more friends than ever. My life was really starting to look up, so I thought. I felt so connected with Taylor that year too. I would have “Speak Now” on repeat what seemed like every day after school. Mine, Sparks Fly and Speak Now were my anthems for a good year. Not because I was dating anyone, but because they were happy, like me.
When I was thirteen, I started high school. I went from knowing everyone by name to knowing no-one. None of my primary school friends went to the same high school as I did. I went from a school with a total of 200 kids to a school with over 1,000. It was hard. It was stressful. It was awful. I was relentlessly bullied that year. I didn’t fit in with many people in my year at all. I went from having over 15 friends at school to only being able to count them all on one hand. I wasn’t popular, I wasn’t cool and I wasn’t missed when I’d miss a day. That year was hard for me. I went from being happy to being so distressed all the time. Taylor would always make me happy. I discovered a new side to me that year. I listened to Dear John every day after school. It worked for me, it was a good song for me to cry too. I also rediscovered “Fearless” that year. Change became my favourite song. It spoke to me on a level I’d never be able to explain. I also loved Long Live. In 2011 I had already loved Taylor for five years, which seems like a long time when you’re thirteen! I promised Taylor I would never leave her, because she’d never left me.
~
In 2012 the album I needed more than I knew came out. “Red” was the thing I needed to keep going. To push on. I was fourteen and life was awful that year. The bullying got so out of hand that I had to move schools. The only good thing that happened that year was that I rekindled with my old primary school friends at my new school.
I didn’t think at fifteen that life could get any worse. In early 2013 I became really ill. It seemed as though I was sick every week, which as a result made me fall behind in my school work and miss regular classes. The doctor finally did a blood and discovered I had CMV. Basically, it’s the same thing as glandular fever. I was constantly tired, and my muscles ached really bad non-stop for three months. It was so bad that I couldn’t continue my studies for a whole term at school. I had CMV on and off for over eight months.
In August 2013, after most of my symptoms had gone I continued experiencing chronic fatigue and achey muscles. The doctor referred me onto a pain specialist who diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. It means chronic fatigue plus pain everywhere. I had a slightly different case to most people as my pain is a constant 9.5/10. No matter what I did nothing made the pain worse… or better.
I thought about giving up on more times than not, but Taylor saved me, Red saved me. I’ve never been so low in my life but I got through it all thanks to my best friend Taylor and Red. They both got me through so much.
I had missed so much school that I had to be pulled out and study at home via distance education. That was the start of it all.
~
On December 14th 2013 I attended my first Taylor Swift concert. After eight years of loving her I couldn’t conprehend how lucky I was to be able to see her live for the first time. My older sister took me (even though she’s told me repeatedly she doesn’t like Taylor. How?!?!) In the bathrooms before the show started I had a breakdown. I’m absolutely terrified of guns and bombs and was petrified of something happening during the show. Once Taylor came out, all my worries/anxieties/problems disappeared. Literally. The next two hours were the best two hours of my life. I didn’t stop dancing or singing or screaming out of happiness until the show ended. Even after the show ended I was soo happy and filled with so much adrenaline. I hardly slept that night because I couldn’t believe I just witnessed the girl I’ve loved since I was eight, live on stage doing what she loves.
~
From that day forward I promised myself I would never stop loving Taylor, because she’s given me so much happiness of which I wish to give back to her as many times as I can.
~
The following October, “1989” was released. I don’t think I had ever been that excited for an album ever, apart from Red because that was announced and released at the perfect time. The day “1989” came out I was at a very important dance competition, so despite trying, I couldn’t miss it and stay home and just soak in all of “1989.”
My dad has always loved Taylor. He loves that she makes me happy and loves how much I love her, he also knows how great a role model she is. As I was travelling to the competition the “1989” album release day, despite me already having preordered multiple copies of it, he offered to go down to the local CD store as soon as they opened to buy me another copy of it. He was at the store before they opened, and when they opened he was the first customer in the store. He knew straight away where to find it and bought the very first copy of 1989 that store sold.
When I got home from the competition (we placed second in two items in case you’re interested, one of which I had a featured role in) I went straight to my room where all my brand new 1989 cd’s were and put one on straight away. I spent the rest of the day listening to it non stop for over six hours. Just over a year later I began the greatest weekend of my life to date. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the final two shows of the 1989 World Tour, in Melbourne. Even though I didn’t have tickets to the first Melbourne show, I decided to go in anyway as my friends were there and I really wanted to see them all get so hyped before the show. We had a little picnic and heard Taylor sound check Red. (at this point you should know how much that means to me)
The next day I went in early whilst my sister was at school so I could be closer to my favourite people in the world. My friends and Taylor.
Later that afternoon my aunty and sister arrived for the show.
I’ve never been as happy as I was in that moment. I’ve never been able to describe it but Taylor’s Clean speech that night really resonated with me. She has this magical power that makes you feel like it’s just you and her there. Like it’s just you two talking as friends rather than in a stadium full of 30,000 people. I did not stop screaming and crying and dancing that whole night. Then she played “Fifteen” for her surprise song. I screamed so loud because it took me back to 2013, when I was fifteen. It’s actually magical because when I went to the Red Tour she played it, I was fifteen and then at 1989 when she played it my sister was fifteen.
The second night was even better. (I didn’t know it was possible) My sister and I had seats in section D on the floor directly in front of the catwalk. That night was much like the first in the sense that I didn’t stop crying or dancing the entire night. That Clean speech resonated with me so much as well, just because of the point I was at in my life. Then it was time for the “surprise” song if you will. From the first guitar chord she played I knew it was Long Live. I immediately dropped to the floor and started crying like I’ve never cried before. I screamed every single word of it SO loud, because that’s our anthem. I’ve never ever been that happy, ever. I haven’t been anywhere near that happy since then, and I never will until I meet Taylor one day.
~
That next January everything went down hill again. I had to stop my dance classes and stop studying via distance even. My pain and fatigue had never been more dominant and I was constantly in a world of pain.
Nothing at all has changed since then. My stamina has severely declined and I can no longer go on shopping trips with friends or even go take a walk with my dog at the local park.
~
I had my 19th birthday just under a month ago and I spent the day watching Journey to Fearless and the Speak Now World Tour live with one of my closest friends then had a night out with my family for dinner. That birthday means so much to me because I was surrounded by (most of) the people I love the most.
Today I’m barely getting by. I’ve never been lower emotionally and never been in so much pain or so tired. I’m so emotionally and physically drained and I’m struggling to find things that make me smile everyday. I’ve never needed Taylor more than I do today which also makes me more thankful for her each and every day. She’s probably the only reason I’m still here today and I’ll never be able to ever thank her enough for that. She’s my best friend, my life, my love and I hope more than anything that one day I get to meet her in person. I hope so much I get to thank her for absolutely everything. Tied Together With A Smile from her debut album “Taylor Swift” is the only song I’ve had on repeat recently in my head recently. Because that’s my life.
There’s this quote I’ve had as my lock screen the past year, “one day someone is going to hug you so tight that all of your broken pieces will stick back together.”
Everything in me believes that will be the case when I meet Taylor, because I feel like she’s the only person who’s always been there for me, no matter what.
~
As I had to leave school, I eventually drifted away from all my friends there. I don’t speak to any of them anymore. The only friends I have now are those I’ve met online because of Taylor. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today which is yet another thing I have Taylor to thank for. Taylor Swift is the only reason I am still here today, and I really hope I get to thank her and hug her in person someday. @taylorswift

ASTRO for Harper’s Bazaar (2017 May issue)

MJ

I heard that you’re in charge of ‘fatality’ and 'provocation’ in ASTRO?
My confidence level dropped a bit after today’s filming. I thought I was sexy when I was shooting but after looking at the monitor, I was like an angry person. Seems like I’ve to study up a little more… Shall I describe it as a period of self-reflection? (laughs) But even so, it was nice since I was able to try an experimental style that I’ve always wanted to wear. Clothes with sleeves going down all the way to my knees, with holes ripped in places and of loud colours.

Maybe it’s because of your way of speaking that’s mixed with aegyo or maybe it’s because of your eye smile but I actually thought you were the 'sweetest’ member. When is that you feel sexy?
When I’m sweating on stage and not smiling. (Cha Eunwoo who was quietly listening in, added on, “Hyung, you really look like you’re suffering then. Your make-up’s all gone away. You’re sexy when you’re belting out your high notes.”_ I look ugly then though… Okay, it’s when I’m singing but only my neck is sexy and not my face!

Who’s an artist in your age group that has had the greatest amount of influence on you?
Sung Si Kyung sunbae-nim and Highlight sunbae-nims. I especially respect Yang Yoseob sunbae-nim. I enjoy watching videos of idol singers performing live before I go to sleep, I watched DBSK’s concert video yesterday. While being amazed throughout those two hours and going, “Woah, so it’s possible to create a stage this dynamic.”

I heard that up till now you’ve went through four relationships.
I didn’t date any of them for long. I care for them lovingly and listen to everything they say but I couldn’t actually expressing my feelings properly. If there was something that disappointed me, I’m the type to think over it alone and am a little defensive. I don’t think I’ve ever fully given my heart. Because I’m scared I’ll get hurt.

In an interview, you chose 'time travel’ as a super power you’d like to possess. What’s your reason?
It’s because I want to go back to a time where I was younger and have an early start, preparing myself even more but bit by bit. I’d probably have grown a lot taller if I had slept earlier then (laugher).

Moonbin mentioned that while you’re extremely sensible, you don’t trust in that sensibility and are always doubtful.
I worry a lot and am also really shy. But once we get closer, I’m more cheerful and animated than anyone else (you know). In particular, I’m confident that my ability to spread positive energy is the best within the team.

Not singing? You’re the lead vocal though.
It’s hard to say I’m confident in that. Because I’m at a stage where I need to really grit my teeth and work hard.


JinJin

Who made up the name 'JinJin’ for you?
My face looks like a puppy’s. I was reading a webtoon titled <Jin Jin Evolution*> where a Korean Jindo is the protagonist and then one day Moonbin started calling me like that. Everyone was calling me by my nickname, “JinJin hyung, JinJin hyung,” but it ended up really becoming my stage name (laughs).

You’re the oldest and also the leader in your team but you were chosen as the member who cries the most.
I think I’ve cried at every single concert or fan meeting we’ve held until now. The tears just come to me when I think about my parents. To be honest, my dad had a great influence on how I ended up doing music. He played the drums as his hobby and I started learning with him then. Since my 5th year of elementary school, I played the drums for about 5 years and then as I learnt the guitar and dance, I naturally dreamt of (becoming) who I am now.

I heard that everyone personally writes their own rap, what do you have drafted in your notes lately?
(looking through the notes in his handphone) Can I rap it? (laughs) “A lot of things have happened, being together was fun, you look prettier the more I look at you that I wandered around feeling flustered” (You have to read it rhythmically!) The content is about not wanting to be friends just for that day and wanting the relationship to progress into lovers. It’s not my own story, I’m usually the sort to gain a lot of ideas through movies (laughs).

Who’s a rapper that you like the most?
Big Sean! (On this day, as soon as JinJin heard Big Sean’s Moves loudly playing on the filming site, he gave up his sandwich, dashed out from the dressing room and started to move along with the rhythm.) Opposed to a low tone tight rap, I think the style of completely warming up your voice and then being able to easily go into a high tone rap is really cool.

I heard that you collect colognes and shoes.
Rather than liking just one thing, my personality itself tends to look out for new things. Hairstyle, clothes, colognes, I’m the type to quickly get sick of something so I like to gather this and that. Even with my shoes, I collect one model in different colours. With my rapidly growing interest in fashion, I’m daringly challenging myself to try fancy things and what stands out. Lately I like matching my dress code to my shoes.

Now that you mention it, you’re wearing black trainers and a black shirt today too.
It’s a pair of trainers that I really wanted to own and the fans gifted it to me. I’m really thankful. I’m always wiping them with tissues and being careful when I wear them (laughs).

*Not the official English title


Cha Eunwoo

Listening from start to finish your EPs which you released throughout last year in time for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, you naturally imagine an innocent boy wearing his school uniform. Can we see a developed image through your new mini album that you’re busily preparing for now?
Carefully envisioning it, I think it’s more of growing from a middle schooler to a high schooler rather than becoming a straight up adult. ASTRO’s characteristic zesty energy is similar to how we really are now so I think that it’s right we slowly change while maintaining that vibe.

The concept for today’s pictorial is a little different compared to the past and current ASTRO.
I’ve always wanted to try filming with this kind of feel. But it’s definitely hard. I realised that again as we were filming. “Ah, I’m still far away from being sexy, the company didn’t uselessly push for a cute concept (laughs).”

Your straight-laced model student image is strong. Even pointing out that your life’s best escape was 'going out alone to watch a midnight movie’.
I was like that back then. (How are you now?) If I were to talk about that… If I were to confess something of a level higher than midnight movies is us having secretly gone to an internet cafe? During our trainee days, avoiding eye contact with our manager and heading off to somewhere was a really big deal. Like an 007 mission, we’d carefully make our move, hiding round the corners of buildings and assessing our every step.

On the other hand, you’re in charge of the role of 'rebellious top star MJ’ in the variety drama <The Best Hit> which is being directed by PD Yoo Ho Jin in collaboration with actor Cha Tae Hyun.
He’s an extremely cocky and selfish character. He’s someone you’d really hate so I’m practicing with the mindset of, “Let’s act while thinking of someone that you never want to become and who you shouldn’t become.” Before I went for the script reading, I was practicing my lines with my manager and there were tons of labels and ways of talking that I’ve never imagined of until now, like, “Hyung! What do you do for a living?” so it was a new feeling. Next week would be the first filming so I’m really excited.

When is your loneliest moment?
When I’ve to go to sleep but can’t. It’s really distressing. I’m the sort to have a lot of thoughts so I’d think, “There wasn’t the need to go that far” but then go deeper into thinking, “What kind of person am I that I would think there was no need?” So I want to quickly promote actively and have no time to think.

Do you not have any thoughts about wanting to date? Not simply (based on) good impressions, but love.
Up till now, I’ve only dated once but I still don’t know what love is! When you read books or watch movies, don’t they say that someone who has never fallen crazy in love would never understand? That you have to experience it in order to become an adult. They say that when you love, your heart gets torn apart and you spill tears but I can’t empathise. I’m usually the style to only develop emotions after a long period of time so I really can’t comprehend falling in love at first sight. I’ll probably experience real love one day.

'A guy ripped out of manhwas’, 'a guy with a sexy brain’ and even 'face genius’, your nicknames are flashy. Today in particular, your members themselves looked at your close up shot and commented, “A top class handsome guy,” they seemed fascinated. If you were to freely boast about yourself?
Someone who’s more reliable than anyone else and who always gives his all to the people he treasures, who’s very hard on himself and there are times where it gets too much but because of that, he’s someone who’s detailed and earnest. (Your visuals?) Then… Cha Eunwoo’s a handsome guy whose face and heart are both pretty (laughs)!


Moonbin

It’s a first that an idol shyly went, “I want to eat bossam and pig’s feet!” Bossam and pig’s feet, even kimbap and a sandwich, you really enjoyed yourself and finished up everything (laughs).
When we went to Singapore, there was an instance where eight of us ate 180k won worth of chilli crab. Right since the start I told the company that I hope they don’t interfere when it comes to food. Going with your gut, eating when it’s time to eat, playing when it’s time to play, being zealous when it’s time to work, I think it’s fair that you lose weight when you need to go on a diet.

Are you the type to be impromptu?
More than anyone else! Eunwoo and I are both B blood types but we’re polar opposites. Eunwoo likes to plan things out one by one but that’s what I hate. There’s never really been an instance where I made plans during the school break and even if I were to write up a chart for my plans, I’ll never keep to it. Being with Eunwoo did teach me that to a certain extent, there needs to be a side of me that’s detailed but there’s no change to my fundamental thoughts or attitude. Above all, seeing how our line of work emphasizes sense, I think that be it in dancing or singing, establishing just the big picture while allowing yourself freedom within it is good.

Of the moments where he was the most grateful to his members, your roommate Cha Eunwoo picked you waking up early to be one of them.
I usually sleep a lot. Our manager comes to wake me up every 5 minutes but I really don’t hear him while light sleeper Eunwoo wakes up. Sometimes I don’t hear “You seriously have to wake up!” but can instead only clearly hear Eunwoo letting out a sigh (laughs). I’d feel sorry then and my eyes naturally open.

Is there a field outside of ASTRO’s promotions that you have a greed for?
I really want to one day try acting in a movie. It’ll be even nicer if it was a movie that centers around a webtoon or novel. I usually like (reading) manhwas and webtoons. I’ve been reading the Naver webtoon <Street Gossip*> and it makes me think that it’ll really be a hit if the webtoon was produced as a movie or drama. As a fusion fantasy historical genre, the story’s unique and there’s a big handful of good lines.

Which line touched your heart?
The girl’s a blue blood but she’s blind while the guy’s an illiterate born in the lowest class. Lines normally have to be read in the story so that they’re properly conveyed but talking about just the meaning, “Even if I can’t see you, even if you’re an illiterate, I like you for who you are and because of that, I’m plenty happy now.” Those words really played out prettily.

Thinking about it, didn’t you point out going to Tokyo Anime Center to be your ideal date? I can sense you’re a huge fan.
For the sake of and <One Piece> and <Tokyo Ghoul>, I really want to go to Tokyo Anime Center even if it’s by myself. I usually like watching YouTube videos like ‘Marvel vs. DC’ and mystery videos about freakish happenings or involving bizarre creatures like Bigfoot, Sasquatch. I’m the type to see it to the end once I get hooked on something. Even yesterday, I ended up sleeping after watching the ending of the game <Battlefield> (laughs).

*Not the official English title


Rocky

You had red lighting shining all around you today at the filming site and your intense facial expressions you showed off didn’t look an ounce awkward.
To be honest, I was shy and embarrassed but the picture had to come out well so I tried my best to focus. Watching our pre-debut webdrama <To Be Continued> now is still pretty awkward but I realised today that even my 'bad acting’ can become of help (laughs). I think that thanks to the webdrama, I learnt how to focus by creating my own space within the awkwardness. Not that I want to become an actor straight away but I want to give it another try one day.

What kind of role would you like to try then?
I want to challenge myself at the action genre. I was good at taekwondo when I was younger so I was ever Gyeongsangnam-do’s representative. I think I’m able to dance like I do now because I’m athletic. It’s been hitting me lately that your sense of balance is really important if you want to use your body properly. I think that you’re able to be better at what you like doing if your condition’s good.

I heard that you play a pivotal role in your team when it comes to choreography.
I danced since I was 4. I learnt a little bit of Korean dance and even ballet. I do a lot of monitoring on a regular basis to the point that continuously replaying videos of my dancing on stage is my hobby. I’m also always watching choreographies from people who are the top of the class, like worldwide choreographer AJ. I really want to be acknowledged as a choreographer.

Since your debut days, the competition and tests must have been endless so how do you relieve stress?
I wish I could have a good sleep because it’s tough on my body but to be honest, 'stress’ is a rather ambiguous word to me. Since what I’m doing now is fun and I’m happy? (laughs)

Who do you match the best with in the dorms?
(staring into space) I match the best with our television (laughs). I’m on friendly terms with all the members but we don’t play around. In fact I mainly while away my time watching the television. It hasn’t been long since we got one in our dorm and movies that you pay to watch couldn’t be as sweet.

I heard that you still write your rap lyrics in a notebook.
At first there were a lot of notes in my locker that I scribbled down as practice but I can’t look at them now. I’m so bad at writing that it’ll make your stand on its ends. There are lyrics that I wrote starting off with the word 'boy’ but I threw those away (laughs). I think at that time I really put my feelings into writing them but looking at them now, they’re horrible. I can’t write stories about people. Is it because I’m far away from love now… (laughs).


Yoon Sanha

What did you do before coming to the filming site today?
I had my guitar lesson. I used to learn (to play) by myself but I wanted to strengthen my basics so I’ve been taking lessons once per week since not too long ago.

You playing your guitar and singing Kim Kwang Seok’s I’ll Become Dust at an audition pre-debut was memorable.
It’s a song that my father really liked and enjoyed singing. His original dream was to become a singer. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen him singing with a guitar in his hands since so long ago but I think he’s had a great impact on me. 2 years ago, he had my older brother who was leaving to join the army the next day, stand in front of him and he sang 'A Letter From A Private’. Even his favourite song to sing at karaokes is Kim Kwang Seok sunbae-nim’s Around Thirty.

What do you think about the most throughout the day?
Hm… guitar! I’ve recently been practicing with the guitar my fans gifted me and it makes me realise how much precious it is.

You’re the youngest in your team. Aren’t you the only one born in the 2000s?
It’s a truth I found out later on but I actually nearly didn’t make it into ASTRO’s member line-up. During the time when they couldn’t make up their minds because I was too young, I suddenly grew taller and went through a growth spurt. My growth rate suddenly shot up past 10cm during my 3rd year of middle school and I was able to join as ASTRO’s younger member. Even recently I’m continuing to grow little by little. I’ve to stop (growing) now though (laughs).

Do you have a nickname?
4-cut fairy! There’s an app that automatically merges 4 of your selfies. I use that to take pictures and then I’ll often upload them on twitter. It seems like I’m always using the same facial expressions so I’ve been taking pictures while studying up (laughs).

Do you have any personal talents as well?
MJ hyung seriously has a lot. He’s the king of imitation. I really can’t do impersonations. There’s one I practiced by myself. Doraemon?

What are your goals for 2017?
I want to try winning no.1 on a public broadcast. We’ve yet to win even once.

Taking this interview as an opportunity, is there anything that you really want to say?
There’s something I’d like to say to AROHAs. We’ve been on hiatus after wrapping up promotions for our 3rd album but we’re zealously preparing! Please wait just a little longer! Please make sure to tell them that I’ve dyed my hair (laughs).

Translations by @99pmh​
Take out with full credits

Ever Since New York

I was the happiest I’ve ever been, yet everything seemed dull and lifeless. I thought I was in love and ready to start the rest of my life. But I’m standing in Central Park, just waiting for the rain to come. It’s been gloomy and dreary all day, how ironic. I waited for her to come, I waited for what seemed like hours. When she finally showed up, I could see something in her eyes. Something she wasn’t saying. We sat on a park bench, in silence, letting the raindrops fall on us. My eyes were starting to feel like swimming pools from the tears I was trying to keep from falling down my cheeks. She couldn’t even look into my eyes, but I saw the pain in hers. I closed my eyes and wished for the happy memories to keep us in the past. We would walk through Brooklyn on hot summer days and get ice cream and have picnics. We ice skated at the Rockefeller Center on the cold, winter nights filled with fairy lights and warm hot chocolate. I opened my eyes, but the moment I was currently facing, was not going away. We finally locked eyes and I could hear our hearts breaking. I knew she was milling over what to say. Neither of us wanted to use our words to hurt each other. Nothing could stop the inevitable. The rain picked up and we were now drenched in water, I felt like I was swimming against some invisible current and I’d never felt more alone in the world. I reached for her hand, but she was sitting so far away from me. We both started to speak at the same time, both abruptly stopping to let the other one finish. I knew deep down that this wouldn’t last as long as I wanted or needed it to. I wanted to say something. Mostly for selfish reasons, I just didn’t want to hear her say the words. I couldn’t. So, I said it.

“My tour starts soon. I won’t be able to come back to New York very often.” I spoke in a quiet voice, possibly in the smallest voice I’ve ever used.

“I know. That’s why I wanted to meet up with you today. We need to do something about us.” She replied, her voice shaky and uneven.

“Why can’t we just stay like this for a little while longer?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“Harry, this is killing me. I can’t do this any longer. I physically and mentally have nothing left to give to this, to us.”

“Love, I know. I want you to know if I could pick anyone, it would be you. I wanted us to last more than I’ve ever wanted anything to last.” I admitted.

“It’s just not enough anymore. I’m truly sorry. I never felt happier than when I spent time with you. Why is this so hard?”

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” I rattled off.

“Quoting Winnie the Pooh is a low blow. Harry, I will always love you, maybe one day we will find our way back to each other in some spontaneously serendipitous moment, but right now this is what is best.” She explained, grabbing my hand and holding it close to her heart.

“We will always have New York.” I said, with the hint of a smile on my face.

“The greatest city in the world, what a great backdrop for great memories.”

She stood up and pulled me into a hug. I didn’t want to let go and I didn’t want to forget the smell of her perfume. I pulled away from her and gave her the biggest smile I could muster and a cheesy thumb’s up. ‘Good lord, I’m such an idiot.’ I thought as I walked out of Central Park. I could’ve wasted some time in a shop until there was a break in the rain, but walking in the pouring rain somehow felt like the right thing to do at the moment. I chucked on a pair of my headphones and let the warm voice of Norah Jones fill my ears. Norah Jones was her favorite. I wanted to cry, but I held it off, apart from the odd tear that escaped my tear duct. Once I arrived back at the place I was staying at, I pulled out my old leather bound notebook and my favorite purple pen and put pen to paper. It all came pouring out of me. I felt so overwhelmed with inspiration. Everything from now on would just be, ever since New York. What a great representation for a great period of time in my life. The greatest love I’ve ever had thus far in my life. I finally felt peace from such a turbulent day, what felt like the worst day. I’ve never written such a great song. I called my producer friend and insisted on coming into his small studio tomorrow, I needed this to be on my album. I needed these words to be heard.

Susan Rogers on Working with Prince

In 1983 Prince hired LA sound technician, Susan Rogers, one of the few women in the industry, to move to Minneapolis and help upgrade his home recording studio as he began work on the album and the movie Purple Rain. Susan, a trained recording technician with no sound engineering experience became the engineer of Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and all that Prince recorded for the next four years. A high school drop-out and self-taught sound engineer and technician, Rogers was initially unprepared for the demands of her new boss. But as an avowed Prince fan, she fully committed herself to his relentless work ethic and singular creativity, helping to shepherd several seminal albums into existence and making her one of Prince’s closest collaborators throughout a period of unparalleled output and global acclaim.

Rogers went on to record, mix and/or produce artists such as the Jacksons, Laurie Anderson and David Byrne, but nowadays she focuses on the academic side of things, with a doctorate in psychology from McGill University and as director of the Berklee Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory, where her research focuses on auditory memory, psychoacoustics and the perception of musical signals.

Learning Prince’s Value System

There was a little bedroom across from the master bedroom in his home that had a tape machine and a console in it, and that’s where he did some of the Purple Rain album. Then there was a rehearsal space – just a warehouse, really – where he would set up with the band, and all the mics on the stage would feed a splitter snake, and then the output of the splitter snake fed a monitor-mix console, and then it also fed an API recording console. The outputs of that I wired up to a tape machine so we could record rehearsals.

[Between] the console and where the band played, there was no isolation. It was all right there, so to monitor I just had to listen to headphones or stick my head right in front of the loudspeaker to try and hear it… And you couldn’t hear it anyway, because the band was just so loud. We would record the basic track with the band onstage, he’d keep the girls around, like Wendy and Lisa, to do backing vocals, and then he and I stayed up the whole rest of the night and finished the song, and printed it to two-track.

With him, it was typically anywhere between 16 and 24 [hours]. 16 would be a fairly short session, but we frequently did 24 hours. That was fairly common. That was how long it took, because he never wanted to come back to a song. If he started it, he wanted to do all the overdubs and mixing as we went, and then print it and then it would be done. Then we’d sleep for a few hours and then start another song.

It was kind of easy and invigorating, because I was a Prince fan! I was just so excited to be there, and with every song – with one exception – with every song, I was always thinking, “This may be the greatest thing he’s ever done! This is the greatest. Wait ’til people hear this! This is great!” Just one after the other after the other, they were all so amazing. You take that clear ether of youth, and you couple that with a little bit of training and preparation, and then you take that energy and you put it in an environment where people say, “Here’s a lot of money. Go ahead and make a movie. Make a record. Do whatever you want, and there doesn’t have to be a producer in the room. It can be just you, artist, and your engineer, because we trust you.” It’s just so invigorating.

Prince didn’t… Well, I say this knowing what we know about how he died: At the time, he did not do drugs, not at all, because he wouldn’t have been able to stay up if he had done drugs. He was just healthy and young and strong, and every once in a while he would have a cup of coffee. But we didn’t want to make him coffee, because then we’d be up for another 24 hours!

Also a lot of sugar, one hears.

Well, he kind of went through phases, but yeah, he had a sweet tooth. He lived on Doritos and cake. He ate like a little kid at the time when I was with him.

When you showed up there in Minneapolis, you had done how many recording sessions?

I had done very few, and only basically as an assistant engineer. He hired me as his technician. He asked his management, “Find me someone from New York or LA,” because the locals weren’t as fluent in pro audio techniques, the local Minneapolis folk, so he wanted someone from the industry, and I’d been in the industry five years now. At this point I was working for Crosby, Stills & Nash, their studio in Hollywood. I heard through the professional grapevine that Prince was looking for a technician and I just jumped on it, because I knew he liked working with women, he was my favorite artist in the world and I wanted that job so badly. I was qualified for it, so his management hired me. They interviewed me and hired me, so I had done practically no sessions.

The first thing I did was I pulled out an old console and then installed a new one. I repaired his tape machine. There was some stuff with his outboard gear that I fixed, and just basically got the studio up and running so he could continue recording on the Purple Rain record. He just put me in the engineers seat at that point, because he didn’t like to work with too many people. If you knew how the gear worked he assumed you knew how to run it, so be the engineer. That was really a dream come true.

Did you have a moment of, “Oh shit, this is what we’re doing”?

Hell yeah. I remember the very first… I finally had finished setting up everything and he gave me instructions to put up a vocal mic. The vocal mic… At that time it wasn’t that rare, but now it’s extremely rare, it was Tube U47, the Neumann. They’re very expensive now, so beautiful. I put up the tube mic to do a vocal and hung it on the boom stand over the console the way he said he wanted it. I kept thinking, “Oh, no. The engineer’s going to walk in any minute and catch me. I’m going to be in so much trouble and I’m going to have to tell this engineer, ‘Prince told me to do it. I had to.’” He told me to get a sound on the mic, I’m thinking, “Oh my God, I’m going to be fired now, this engineer is going to tell on me.”

It was my boss who was telling me to do it, so I did. I got a sound and he came in and finally I asked him, “Who’s going to record it?” He said, “You.” I said, “OK, fair enough chief, off we go.” That’s how it began. I had the dawning realization after a while that, “He doesn’t know that I’m not an engineer.” Then a second dawning was, “He knows and he doesn’t care.” I felt very fortunate every single day I was with him.

How do you find that unorthodox way of setting things up and running recording sessions contributed to the way his art translated onto record?

It’s really important. I think that’s a really important question. People have asked me, or they’ve prefaced questions by saying, “Prince was known to be a perfectionist.” I always have to correct them. He was not a perfectionist. He wouldn’t have had that output if he’s been a perfectionist. What he was was a virtuoso player and a genius with melody, a genius with rhythm, a genius at writing songs. It just poured out of him – he couldn’t wait on perfection. The important thing was to have the sound serve the ideas, not the other way around. Working quickly was fine with him and only a beginning engineer would have no bad habits to break. Only a beginner would be willing to go that fast.

There were people who were instrumental in helping you to figure out which way he would have liked the rule book to be chucked. As in, people that would be working with him that showed you the ropes and gave you a little bit of a hand.

That was Jesse Johnson from The Time. Prince went out to Los Angeles to work on the Purple Rain movie logistics and he let Jesse and me use the studio. Jesse had some tracks he wanted to record and Jesse was instrumental to me keeping my job. He taught me, “Here’s how Prince likes the kick drum sound. Here’s how he likes the snare to sound. Hi-hat always has to be on the left. Rhythm guitar has to sound like this, electric guitar has to sound like that.” He showed me on the console, “This is Prince’s sound.” We had a lot of conversations, he helped teach me Prince’s value system.

What would that be? 

What we need music to do. When you’re mixing a record, you need to understand something about where you want your listener’s attention to go. You need to – subconsciously, I suppose – understand how you want people to move to this music. How would they dance to it? The answer to those questions determines, is the bass louder than the kick drum, or is the kick drum louder than the bass? Is the focus on the two and four, or is the focus on the one and three in this song? Should the vocal be up, should the vocal be down in the track? Where do we want people’s attention to go, because what do we want them to feel when they hear this? That’s the value system that is always in place for every artist, and Jesse helped me to transition from the LA sound that I knew into this Minneapolis sound. That was really just the Prince sound that he was crafting for himself: “This is who we are – there’s an ‘us’ and we sound like this.”

Prince’s Alter Egos

The Time is Prince. Prince wrote all those songs and performed all the instruments on the record. (He’d have Jesse [Johnson] do a guitar solo.) Prince would sing a guide vocal and then Morris [Day] would come in and just copy Prince’s lead. The Time is just another one of Prince’s musical personalities. Music is an expression of life, but it’s not 100% of an artist’s output. Music is only a part of Prince’s life, and Prince music was only a part of the music of Prince’s life. There was the Time music, there was Sheila E. and there was Vanity 6. They were his musical alter egos. The Time was just another version of Prince. The public didn’t know at the time, because Prince didn’t want it know. He didn’t want it know that it was him.

He’s the first artist as far as I know to ever do that. Who does that, create your own competition so that you can get the record-buying public to think that coming out of this town – Minneapolis, Minnesota – is a scene, not just one genius guy? He created the Time to be his competition, and then he wrote this movie to play them as the competition, and the prize they were fighting for was Vanity 6, which is another one of Prince’s alter egos.

It’s not a balanced ego, I don’t suppose – everyone’s missing something – but it’s a multifaceted ego. He was very masculine and he was feminine in ways that a masculine man is. He had a feminine sensibility, he was very street and he was very sophisticated. He had an artistic streak that a lot of people didn’t give him credit for. One of the movies he loved was David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Stuff like that. He was a really extraordinary, extraordinary human being.

Prince’s Typical Tour Day

He was fiendishly attracted to making music. If he was awake and not eating or sleeping – which he did very little of – and not on the phone having a business meeting, he had an instrument in his hand.
Let me give you a typical day on tour. In a big, big tour – it’s probably still the same way today, a big arena tour – you have soundcheck. Usually soundcheck, after you’ve got it dialed in, takes 20, 30 minutes tops. That’s what bands do. They soundcheck for 20 or 30 minutes, then they have the dinner break, then there’s doors and then there’s the opening act and then the headliner takes the stage. The headliner plays – it can be 45 minutes if they’re really cheap – but it can be hour and a half, two hours. If they’re really giving you your money’s worth, they’ll play for two and a half hours. Then that’s the end of it. Then they go out and they party.
Prince would have a four hour soundcheck, just for the fun of it, to play new songs, just to have some fun. We would soundcheck from two in the afternoon until 6 PM. He’d leave the stage from six to 6:30. The opening act would do their 30 minute soundcheck. There would be the dinner break. There would be doors. When he would hit the stage, it would be about nine o’clock, because the opening act was 8:30 to 9:00. Prince would hit the stage at 9:00 and he’d play until 11:30 – two and a half hour set.

The last song would be “Purple Rain.” He’d leave the band doing the coda on stage. He come down off the stage. Get into a little van. The van would take him to his hotel. He would shower and change and do one of two things: We would either go into a recording studio and work all night, or we would play an afterparty. There was a little truck, a small truck, that had a second set of instruments, and I knew what we were doing ahead of time. I’d either meet him at the studio or I’d meet him at the small club. At one in the morning, he’d come in. I have to go, of course, because I have to set stuff up. I have to go directly from the gig to the studio, or to the club. Either mix front of house at the club, or record with him all night long until the next day, until the sun was well up and it was time to get on a plane, or the bus to go to the next city, and do it all over again.
This was on the road, because after playing all day he still didn’t have enough. He wants to be with people, but he was socially awkward. He didn’t want to just be with people and talk. His way of being with people was to play. He just wanted to be playing. Sometimes we had records to do, and he had songs in his head that were coming so fast he had to have access to a studio to record them. We would do that on tour.
That was on tour. If we were home, it was: Wake up in the morning – if it was morning – or wake up after a few hours of sleep. (Four hours was a full night for him.) Wake up after his customary four hours of sleep. Make a few phone calls. Have his hair done, or whatever it was he was going to do. After being up for a few hours, I would get the call telling me to meet him at the studio. Sometimes he would tell me what to set up for him. Sometimes I’d find a note. Other times, if there was no note I’d just have everything set up. It might be acoustic drums, it might be drum machines or whatever.
It would be set up and he’d come in and we’d start to work. 20, 24 hours later, we’d be done. He’d go to bed. I’d make his cassette copy. I’d sleep my customary three hours. The phone would ring, I’d pick up the phone and his voice would go, “Ready?” “Yeah.” Then it would go all over again.

Other employees and I, we would call it our tour of duty. It was my tour of duty, and I was with him over four years. It was going on our fifth year together, and I was exhausted, still exhilarated, but I had done as much as I possibly could. That was a long run with him, because I was by his side for all those years. Whether we were doing a movie or we were on tour, I was his employee, so if he was awake, he was making music, I was right there. I was quite exhausted by the end of it. I needed to have a proper life, but it was good while it lasted.

Prince and Sex

He was bold. He was bold artistically. He, like any artist, wanted to be loved. He wanted people to like him. He wanted people to like his music. There was an ongoing rivalry with Michael Jackson. This was sad, because it was perceived by the general public that Michael was the good guy, he was the safe guy. He was the guy that you could send out on a date with your 15-year-old daughter, and she’d be safe. You’d let him babysit your children. Michael was the good guy.
Prince was perceived as being somehow threatening. I remember, somebody said to me once, he was an assistant engineer at Sunset Sound and he was talking about Bruce Springsteen and Prince. He said, “I like Bruce Springsteen better.” The guy said, “I get the feeling that if I met Bruce, he’d sit down and he’d have a beer with me. I have a feeling that if I met Prince he’d steal my girlfriend.”
There were these perceptions about Prince… That there was always a bacchanal and that he was this sexual predator. He was the opposite. The truth was, he was a working man who went to work every day, and that’s basically all he did. He dated, but it was usually women that he was around, like Vanity and Susannah Melvoin and Jill Jones and Sheila E. He was just a working man. He also was sober as a judge, so your kids would have been really safe with Prince.

In the United States there were certainly stereotypes about African American artists, and Prince was singing about sex. One of the things that was lost on some people – not on his fans, but on a lot of people – they didn’t really get that when Prince was singing songs about sex, he was giving power to women. “Do Me, Baby” is the archetype example of this. “Do Me, Baby” was just a B side of a single. “Do Me, Baby” was him saying to the woman, “You do me. You be the guy. You be the aggressor. You do me.” He’s saying how much he loves it when she has all the power.
All of those songs are about – it’s brilliant, by the way – all those songs are about us. He never, ever took a predatory stance in his seduction. It was never about, “I am going to conquer you, my prey.” He always approached women as equals. I think that’s one of the reasons that women loved him so much. We trusted him. We felt safe with him. We felt empowered. We felt equal. He gave us that, and he always did. He was always consistent with that. That’s who he was.

The Making Of “If I Was Your Girlfriend”

You can hear those BOSS pedals. You can hear that slow flanger on the drums, and you can hear the snare is, on this one, just completely dry. I had switched to a new compressor around that time. I started using the 1176 on the snare, and he was letting me play around a little bit more, but you hear the obvious distortion on the vocal as well, and that was an accident.

Do you feel bad about that accident?

Well, yeah, it was bad. The presets at this console at Sunset Sound weren’t continuous. It was discrete knobs in 10 dB steps, and I accidentally had it set to 10 dB too hot. Prince liked to do his vocals completely alone in the control room. He didn’t want anyone else there, so I would set up the signal path for him and patch, put a piece of tape on the patch cord. Then he needed to move to get himself to the next track if he was going to do backing vocals, arm the track that he needed in to record, and then I would go wait in the next room while he did the vocal. So I didn’t hear it as it was going down, but you hear that API preamp is clipping at the top. I thought he was going to be furious when he heard it back, not in headphones, but in the speakers, and he liked it.

He used to say, “We don’t sound like those other people. We don’t sound like Michael Jackson. We don’t spend all that kind of money. We go fast. We make mistakes.” He was okay with it. I was kind of mortified, but you hear the high pitch on the voice that was done back in those days by varispeeding the tape machine.

Is that on purpose?

Oh, yeah, yeah. You varispeed the machine to get the timbre that you want. You can go the other direction, too, like you can get a bass to sound really, really fat if you would speed up the tape machine and then play it in a different key, and then set it back to the standard speed, and then you’d have that low tone and it would be great. You could do the same thing. You can slow the track way, way down, sing a vocal, and then when you bring the speed back up to where it’s supposed to be, you get that high, thin voice that he liked. He put on a character. He became kind of a character in timbre in order to say something that he really meant.

He was dating Susannah Melvoin at the time. They were in a really close relationship at this time, and she has a twin sister, Wendy Melvoin, and twins are really, really close. I think Prince may have… It’s always conjecture, but I’m supposing that he’s trying to say, “I wish I could have the relationship with you that you have with your sister. I wish we could be that tight.”

It was a bad choice to release it as a single. Prince… I had talked earlier about audiences, and he was trying at this point, on the Sign ‘O’ The Times album, to win back some black radio. He needed more black radio airplay, and he did the song “Sign ‘O’ The Times,” he did “Adore” on this record, and he was trying to win back his core audience. He did some things on this record that would have been appealing to that audience, but some things would have turned that audience off. Most African Americans in the city, in the United States, wouldn’t necessarily think it was cool for a guy to say, “For you, naked I will dance a ballet.” Not cool.

Maybe in certain communities of different populations, maybe in New York or whatever, but for most people, not cool. It was kind of a mixed bag I think for him, but he was an artist to his core, so he did what he thought was cool and hoped it would be cool for others.


RBMA Daily

By Torsten Schmidt on June 7, 2017