Behind the Hoots: April

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Marlaena Moore

“24 Hour Drugstore” – Marlaena Moore (Lyrics by Marlaena Moore)

24 hour drugstore 
You are always waiting for me 
Birth control and tinsel 
Rubbing alcohol 
And other cheap thrills 

“24 Hour Drugstore” is superficially an ode to the shop that seems to have everything and is always open. On a deeper level it is a commentary on all the things that human relationships are not. People are not reliable and they are not always there when you need them. When they are there they may not provide you with what you want or how you want it. The drugstore is, of course, a poor substitute – the “thrills” it provides are fleeting and shallow. Nevertheless, at the right time and in the right circumstances, it can be a comfort.

– Mark Anthony Brennan

“Canada” – Woodpigeon (Lyrics by Mark Andrew Hamilton)

Look close, it’s really not like they say
Heads down, bodies fall where they may

There is a gross misconception that Canada is a polite, peaceful place where everyone is treated equally. And compared to a lot of countries, it really is all of those things. But with one quick look at the news or a history book, you’ll see that Canada’s kindness is, for the most part, a facade. Mark Andrew Hamilton’s (Woodpigeon) “Canada” is a scathing critique of our nation that questions the idealization of the nation. Hamilton encourages listeners to lift their heads, “look close” and uncover the truth: “bodies fall where they may.” With so many bodies falling everywhere everyday, Hamilton’s words are downright chilling.

– Laura Stanley

“This is Real” – Animalia ft. Josh Korody (Lyrics by Jill Krasnicki)

Outside is dark grey, inside is dark grey, my voice is trailing

This impassioned delivery full of sadness and tribal anger was written in direct response to the Jian Ghomeshi trial. “I can’t believe this is real” is repeated throughout this marvellously layered track. I’m particularly attached to the line about everything being dark grey because it is a metaphor about the lack of hope the system has given the victims, where there is no real colourful (happy ending) with the outcome.

Tiana Feng

“Lilac, Lily” – Jenny Berkel (Lyrics by Jenny Berkel)

Lilac, Lily, the wind is falling.
With wishes the morning will spend
Someone’s calling you into the kitchen as day wraps its way around your chest.
Oh, oh, oh, yeah you keep it low.

Foremost in these lines is the mesmerizing build of Jenny Berkel as she moves into the cooing chorus—the irresistible “Ohs” in her sensual voice and the little kick that turns the final phrase into a compliment of endurance. But from the very first lines of the song, Barber also taps that universal sensation of being pulled into a day, the tightening sensations as you leave the dreamworld behind and get pulled back to a reality that demands lower expectations, and forgives us just a little for complying.

– Eleni Armenakis

“Fitting In” – Mark Lenover (Lyrics by Mark Lenover)

Our heads make a cemetery where bad ideas find rest
The mourners are all young and very fashionably dressed

This song from Mark Lenover’s Wandering Stars pairs lyrics about how conformity is killing our intelligence with upbeat, synth-poppy music, as though it’s a little indie-pop number to wave your arms to. That subversion already makes this song great, but it turns to gold with this quick little metaphor of the head as a graveyard. In just two lines, it manages to make a statement that hipsters are just as vulnerable to groupthink while also providing an amusing/morbid image of a funeral attended by those clad in American Apparel.

-Michael Thomas

Public Library – The Burning Hell (Lyrics by Mathias Kom)

When Michael Thomas (editor) of Grayowl Point asked me to pick my favourite lyric from The Burning Hell’s Public Library I had no idea how angry at him I was about to become. After listening to the album 27 times, I had a list of favourite lines as long as a Sperm Whale—approx. 12 m. During my 28th listen, I slipped into a fever dream in which I played the role of Captain Ahab in the novel Moby Dick.

I was trying to harpoon Michael Thomas.

The symbolism of this dream was not lost on me. I realized that trying to pick a single favourite line from a Burning Hell album is like trying to harpoon Moby Dick—an impossible task. There are too many good lines to pick just one. Heeding the advice of one of the songs from Public Library, I decided to give up on the mission I had been given. I sent Michael Thomas the following e-mail:

Dear Michael,

Last night I tried to harpoon your face in a dream. I believe this is because you have given me an impossible task in trying to pick one favourite line from Public Library. There are too many good lines to do that. Instead, I’ve decided to pick my 10 favourites, all of which are great for different reasons. If this means you need to fire me from Grayowl Point, I understand.

He fired me promptly.

But here’s my 10 favourite lines from Public Library…

Context in italics.

 

1. It’s life or death but it’s also just music
and it chooses you you don’t get to choose it
(Men Without Hats)
 
2. I wear this habit out of habit (said by an ex-priest.)

(The Stranger)

3. So the band drove north in Stevie’s wife’s fiat panda
Just a slice of the glamour of being a band, uh huh

(The Road)

4. Pass the wine, fuck the government, I love you
Three statements overheard at once in the crowded room
But I couldn’t be sure which one had come from you
So I passed you the wine and said yes, fuck the government, I love you too.

(Fuck The Government, I Love You)

5. A world where hey ho, let’s go is a legitimate chorus
And you can search the stacks and thumb the thesaurus
But there’s no synonym for rock and roll (In reference to discovering Rock Music as a teenager. Bonus points for following up the word’s “rock and roll” with a rippin’ guitar solo by Darrren Browne.)

(Men Without Hats)
 
6. Jail was not exactly like the movies
I befriended a shy con artist named Douglas the Duck
We played poker with paper we pretended was cash
And he always beat me at Balderdash
(this line really makes me want to go to jail!)

(Good Times)

7. Michael Jackson is alive and well and living in Canada. (a hook, in the truest sense of the word).

(Two Kings)

8. So Elvis armed the switch, and MJ followed the launching protocol (in reference to MJ + Elvis’ secret cabin in the woods launching into space after they are discovered by the press.)

(Two Kings)

9. No, you’ll never see us again
Oh, you never were our real friends
Ergo, you’ll never see us again

(bonus points for working the word ‘ergo’ smoothly into a chorus)

(Two Kings)

10. When we say “passing away” we mean death
When we say “rumpy pumpy” we mean sex
So I told the receptionist “goodbye” but what I meant was I loved her
and I walked out the door because I just said goodbye
(Nonfiction)
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