Friday, 30 December 2011

The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 3)

Click here for Part 2

Top Albums Of 2011 - 30. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

16 April
Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Cutting his feet on jagged floors, Jimmy stumbled around the abandoned concrete building. A few hours earlier, this place had hosted an over-populated drug-fueled party, now the only evidence of which were the piles of broken glass, rancid puke, and a few other tired individuals sitting around with no where else to go. Jimmy had been trying to find the origins of some dramatic sound, which was like a wounded moan distracting him from finishing whatever it was he was trying to finish. Turning corner after corner, his hazy vision eventually lead him into a room not so far away, where a pretty yet dirty pale-girl sat on the floor uncomfortably. She was beyond gorgeous, but obviously very destroyed; a mess who no longer gave a fuck about anything. And Jimmy found this as shocking as it was adorable.

“Are you ok?” he asked, at loss for a better question to get her attention. She didn’t bother to look up at him, but her shaky voice growled nonsense in response, distorted with genuine attitude, and this action provoked all sorts of lo-fi thoughts in Jimmy’s basic mind. He couldn’t help but feel something deep and loving towards this raw character, and even though he had no idea why, he knew that he had to help the girl. He had to take her home. He had to take care of her.

Jimmy rubbed his forehead, not sure why he was thinking these illogical thoughts. Surely this would be impossible. Surely a girl like this would never let a guy like him close to her. But he felt he had to try, and approached her cautiously, as she slowly looked up at him with her big blue eyes.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 29. REKS - Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

REKS - Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

8 March
East Coast Hip Hop

And not long after that, Jimmy found himself looking at his wristwatch and then quickly slipping it back under his sleeve. It was getting late, and the East Coast ghetto was no place to bling. He was a little bit lost in these parts, he may have made a wrong turn somewhere, as foreign crack eyes from the world’s lost gangsters now trailed his every move. But Jimmy was smart in the most streetwise of ways, and his ambition alone carried him where he needed to go. He kept eye contact with each one of the dark expressions staring at him, producing his own darkest expression right back, bouncing his head with a straight face ... otherwise he knew he wouldn’t survive this path. Occasionally someone called out to him, and he spoke back fast without walking too fast, confident with a fluid sharpness, aware that this was no joke and he couldn’t afford any hiccups. This place was old school. It kept itself so underground that wikipedia couldn't even find it, and he knew the mission ahead would be long and the struggle would be hard. But he had to remember why he was doing this. He was doing this for Erika. They needed the money.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 28. Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

17 Jan
Gothic Rock/Art Pop

Santa isn’t coming to town this year, sorry to be the first to tell you. A reliable source informed me that he was captured during the first full moon after The Portal had opened, and he was being held captive deep within a dark church, surrounded by slick religious architecture and Gothic hallways.

Word has it that he is being treated well enough, kept secure on smooth marble surfaces and warm within sinister layers of comfort. But his cold aching center was all he needed to remind himself that the love he was receiving was just another disguise for evil motives, despite all the swirling erotic vibes he was presented with. I’ve heard of this happening before. Rumours that lullabies echo through the walls are a common tale, consisting of superb operatic compositions and soft whispers, designed to trick you into falling asleep. But when you do, your slumber would be laced in reverb and eternally tortured in epic nightmare territory. Poor Santa. And even more disturbing is the organized chaos of the demons said to be living right there with him. Creatures of sin rolling towards him on stone floors, or soaring above his head with menacing mannerisms—yet never striking. They taunt him. They just leave him hanging in fear.

This is all in theory, of course, as none of this has been widely reported. But there is something stunning about this image, do you not agree? A part of me almost hopes it to be true. The part I enjoy the most. The part I am deeply ashamed of.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 27. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

16 Feb
Contemporary R&B

The door creaked open and Erika awoke to the sound. A shadow formed at the doorway and entered, keys rustled and then the door shut behind him. He walked to the foot of the bed, turned around and then fell backwards into it, sighing as the rusty springs squeaked their age.

“Hey you,” she whispered in perfect English (a skill she had only recently acquired), and she rubbed her sleepy eyes.
“Hey you, yourself,” Jimmy smiled, and leaned across to kiss her forehead.
“Where were you?” she asked as he clicked his cassette player on, The Eagles quietly filling the atmosphere.
He sighed again. “I was with the gang. You know that, baby. I was with The Family.”
She rolled over and lifted her head. “I don’t like your family.”
He paused. “Me neither, Erika. Me neither.”

They lay there for a few moments not speaking, allowing the mixtape to fill the silence. Then she put her arm around his chest and kissed his ear.
“Tell me the story again.”
He laughed. “Again? Baby, I’m tired...”
“Please?!” she begged. “Tell it to me again, I wanna hear it”
He turned onto his side and looked into her eyes. “Well... if this next deal goes through as planned, we will have some good money for our savings. And if we do this carefully, we could get outta this town in the next month or so. We could go live with my parents by their forest...”
“And then?” she urged the story on faster, causing him to laugh again.
“And then ... you could start selling your pottery, and get into dancing. And I could try get back into the music business. We would kick the junk for good over there, no more gangs. Just you and me, getting clean and forgetting all of this shit.”

As he spoke, his fingers tickled her leg and she smiled, allowing them to crawl further and further up her nightgown until reaching her panties, and promptly moving them aside. She groaned as he continued to whisper in her ear.
“And then we will be millionaires, baby. You and me. Anything you want, you can have it. Everybody in the world will treat me like a king, and you, my queen.”
She groaned louder, and then stopped. Worriedly, she turned and looked at him, changing the subject.
“Jimmy, did you get the stuff?”
“Yeah I got it,” he replied, and she relaxed with this information, allowing his fingers to dig deeper into her until she came. She could only cum when it was time for her next fix.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 26. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without

12 July

Unbelievably so, the “next deal” went through without a hitch. And after shooting his boss in the head and claiming all the money for himself, Jimmy took Erika and they skipped town, escaping to live with his parents in a relatively unknown yet extremely scenic place in the countryside. He felt he had out-smarted the system, as if all the world’s clich├ęs didn’t apply to him—and to a degree, he was right. His life of crime had been an empty existence, reverberating only what authority figures had told him to do, over-saturating his opinions with second-hand diluted visions of others. Now they lived the healthy lifestyle, no longer hooked on heroin, giving Jimmy a great excuse to stay in doors and play on his laptop all day. And Erika was finally able to live a life closer to her wilderness origins, often begging Jimmy to explore the surrounding forests with her.

And that’s how Jimmy found himself now, standing on top of a high rock cliff, looking down. Erika floated effortlessly in the water below him, quietly encouraging him to jump in after her. Heights freaked him out, and he was visibly nervous. His shakes looked like he was dancing in slow motion in front of the heavens, which made Erika laugh as she did backstroke, never breaking eye-contact. Jimmy took a deep breath and looked up to the dusk sky in all its perfection, and felt his mood shifting one way to the next. How he had come so far: from days as a care-free teen; to a mastermind of criminal activity; to this blissful existence out in nature without a single problem in the world ... was all because of Erika. He loved her so much, and was convinced that if he did whatever she wanted him to do, to the very best of his ability, their relationship would guide them the right way. And in this moment, she wanted him to jump into the water from this nauseating height. She wanted him to follow her. And he wanted to follow her anywhere.

A nostalgic type of bliss ran through him, followed by a calming serenity deep within. And without a further thought, he felt his feet leave the rocks and he sailed into the air, the space and wind rushing through him as time seemed to hold onto this moment forever. Silence was everywhere and he almost felt like he was falling asleep, until the rush of water smothered him, and for a second he assumed he must be drowning. He sank further into this state until arms that weren’t his wrapped around his waist and pulled him to the surface again, water in his ears muffling the sound of Erika’s joy. “You did it!” she exclaimed and they embraced, suspended in the still water around them and the safety of each other.

“No, Erika. We did it,” he responded, and they hugged even tighter in the deep cradle of love and sense of achievement, not letting go for as long as they needed. Which wasn’t long, as something shiny caught Erika’s eye on the river bank not so far away, interrupting the passion.
“Hey, what’s that?” she asked out loud, and began to swim towards it, followed once again by Jimmy, blown away by her profound maturity laced with an adorable childlike personality.

God, he loved her. And at this point of the story, he could never have imagined the dark fate that lay ahead of them.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 25. Astronautalis - This Is Our Science

Astronautalis - This Is Our Science

13 Sep
Abstract Hip-Hop

King Jay grabbed his candle and joined the various other people who sat in a circle on the dusty floor. Their faces spanned all races and ages, and he could tell by their weary expressions that had taken them a few days to climb up this mountain too. Who knew why they made up their minds to come to this cave, but for Jay it was because he had no choice. He had lost his kingdom and had heard of many others who’d carried out this journey in deep distraught, never to come back. To a degree this worried the King, but he hoped this was a sign that those before him had found what they were looking for here. And now more than ever, he needed advice from the man who was said to live in these elevated peaks. The man who knew everything.

Murmurs faded in and out as everyone waited in patience, candles flickering in unison, interesting sounds echoing from the depths of the cave, until finally a dark shrouded figure appeared from the furthest corner of the shelter. One by one, each person was silenced as the man approached the circle, eventually taking a seat in the middle of them, all eyes on him. Jay couldn’t see his face, but as soon as the speech began, he knew that this individual was what everyone said he would be.

At first Jay wasn’t sure what to make of all of this—the wise gruff voice preaching many things and not allowing for any interruptions or questions. But it didn’t take long before the King realised that there were some very unique and deliberate ideas coming from this elder’s mouth, the wise words delivered quickly with the freshest of parable-like structures to back them up, each one different from the one before. There were topics of love, topics of everyday troubles, and topics Jay had never even heard of but would definitely never forget. He spoke of The Prophecy, the fall of the kingdom at the hand of The Devil, and the cycle of time. He spoke of how there will always be a partnership of love destined to die unfulfilled, and how nothing could interfere with this eternal pattern. And in a short time, the King understood that this wise man was answering his questions without having to be asked, the philosopher’s mind working on a deeper level of intelligence than anyone else he had ever come into contact with.

Slowly, all the seated members were getting hypnotised by these tales, sometimes presented as tender and understanding, sometimes presented as aggressive and blunt, but all of which felt like the nature of life itself: unpredictable and always special. And yet even within all his quirkiness and wisdom, the old man's poetic teachings never escaped a hint of sadness beneath it all, as if he wasn’t pleased with the job he had to fulfil. Jay guessed this is why he was so easy to relate to. This is how he got such a loyal fan base to hang onto his every word like some cult leader. He had taken his superiority and superhuman traits, and adapted them into a more human form. And Jay (like everyone else) appreciated the warmth and honesty of these thoughts, deciding that while he was here, he may as well stay a little while.

And like so many before, the longer he stayed there, the faster he started to forget where he had been only days before. His men had been slaughtered. His kingdom had been reduced to rubble. And Kylie. He had even started to forget Kylie.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 24. When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

06 June
Indie Electronic

In the castle garden, Kylie spun around, dancing in the unseasonal snow, taking in all the feelings from the green plants temporarily turning white, stunned with cold. She shuddered as the freeze sunk deep inside of her, reminding her of her mortality. She had never journeyed this distance into the garden before, as her father—The King—didn’t like her to adventure too far away from her home. Which wasn’t hard to enforce, as the castle walls were high and Kylie had never even seen the outside world. Which didn’t bother her much, as she didn’t know any better.

Her feet left tiny footprints behind her as she ventured further into the darker regions of her father's land. Here her gaze fell upon a small apple tree and she felt drawn to it. In her limited perception, she couldn’t understand why this particular tree seemed so special and bright, but for the rest of us it would have been fairly obvious that this was the only plant on all the grounds that no snow seemed to fall upon. She danced towards it, and felt its warmth as she approached the twisted branches. The apples shone ripe red, and as she touched one, her pale skin instantly turned from cold to hot as if hovering above the kitchen fire. This fascinated her, and she picked it off of the tree, surprised to find it retained the heat as she cradled it in her thin fingers. She placed it against her rosy cheeks and her whole face felt love from this fruit. Without any more hesitation, she bit into the apple and chewed vigorously as the hot juices swirled around in her mouth. It was delicious. She savoured the taste and then swallowed it, ready for the next bite, which never came.

As the blood rushed out of her head at the same time as the apple rushed down her throat, she felt her wind-pipe closing up like it had been cut out with scissors, and her tongue swelled up like a sponge. The world went dizzy and she fell back into the snow, slowly freezing in a position that she would stay in forever, unless this curse could be broken.

An eerie cackle rang from the tree as the witch who had been watching Kylie her whole life finally spoke.
“My master, it has been done. Only the true chosen one could break a spell this strong. The kingdom is now weak and ready for you, King West. Attack now and claim the throne which is rightfully yours.”

And with a sneaky pact with Satan, he did just that.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 23. Modeselektor - Monkeytown

Modeselektor - Monkeytown

30 Sep

The tails of the whip flew through the air and cracked on her pale skin. She yelped in pain which caused the monkeys to scream with laughter, the sound of their cheers building up in unison. And even though this was the hundredth time they had done this, the joke never seemed to get old.

It had been four days since the mission of these animals had invaded and taken over the village, creeping in while the tribe had been sleeping then slitting all of their throats one by one. Well, all of them except for this pale-skin girl of course, who for some reason fascinated the monkeys. It wasn’t just her white complexion either, even though admittedly, it did shine a delicious red from their hand-prints when faced with the abuse. No, it was something else. She just seemed ... on a different level of sorts, as if a child born from a different time. This encouraged them to dance around her in an almost admiration, howling in what appeared to be a musical way, but subtly manipulated to reflect their madness. “Again! Again!” they seemed to chant, and the leading monkey raised his whip to strike again.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” an electronic voice pierced the monkey’s ears, and they all turned in surprise to see who had joined the party. There stood a robot in all its cubic goodness, unnecessary lights beeping in complete control and assurance of itself. The being was nothing like this jungle had ever seen before, and the monkeys stopped in complete intrigue. Even the pale-skin teenager forgot about her nudity and current painful position, now captivated by this strange character. They held their breath, their eyes almost begging for the synthetic voice to speak again. But it didn’t.

Instead, a mass load of light shone out of its eyes, blinding with so many various colours, filling the entire village in seconds. The sight was so peculiar and different that the monkeys were beyond confusion, unsure whether or not they enjoyed the spectacle. But within just a few short moments, it didn’t matter any more. The light began to die down, contracting back into the robot’s face, until only the disrupted noise of the forest remained. The pale-skin girl opened her eyes, and they refused to comprehend what they was seeing, blinking furiously just to make sure. All the monkeys had disappeared. Where they had gone, she had no idea, but the relief of the situation was too unbelievable to believe, her good fortune refusing to kick in.

“BRAVO! BRAVO!” a crazy voice came from behind her.
“Yes, good show, Robot,” another very different voice responded. "You are definitely one of us."
The pale-skin girl felt the ropes ease off her skin and then drop to the floor, her tired legs so weak that she tumbled onto the ground after them.
“You will come with us to New York, Robot. Together we will make decisions that change history,” the girl heard the second voice speak again, as arms wrapped around her and lifted her to her feet.
“And you too, my darling, will be coming with us.”

Top Albums Of 2011 - 22. Cults - Cults

Cults - Cults

07 June
Indie Pop

On their boat surrounded by late 60’s decor, Erika sat on her cheap couch, clutching her phone watching cute children’s anime on the television. It wasn’t helping. She needed to get hold of Jimmy to tell him the news, but the natural love-endorphins shooting through her heartbeats conflicted with a soft scent of nostalgia, confusing her shallow feelings even more. She longed for his kisses and slow dances more than ever, but she knew he was busy fighting evil in the Ocean War under his superhero disguise once again. The idea of this swamped her with as much adoration as it did with despise, the neglect of being a superhero’s girlfriend weighing heavy on her day to day existence. She couldn’t help but dial his number again.

It rang to voicemail, as it did before, and she decided to leave another message. “Hey. It’s me again. Just ... just wanting to let you know that I love you and ... and, well, I have something to tell you. It’s just, please get back to me as soon as you can, okay? And be careful out there, sweetheart.” The phone beeped its pretty chime as she hung up, and then she cursed her lack of courage. It would have been so much better to treat this like a band-aid, to get it out as quickly as possible, but she couldn’t bring her tiny voice to do so. How her life had got to this point she had no idea, but when the little baby punches vibrated against her ribcage, she filled with a nervous adrenaline and wasn’t sure just how Jimmy would react when he found out she was pregnant with his baby. And, of course, it didn’t take long for Erika to find out that this baby had superpowers of its own...

Top Albums Of 2011 - 21. Black Keys - El Camino

Black Keys - El Camino

06 Dec
Garage Rock

Fast forward a few years later, and things couldn’t be happier for the family. Erika watched from the kitchen window, casually sipping at a mojito, while Jimmy played in the yard with Gillian, their daughter. He was so good with her, Erika thought. A great father—as if the child was scratching an itch he never knew he had. And due to Jimmy’s recent success in the Ocean War, money was never going to be an issue for them ever again, allowing them to live out in the countryside, away from the press and nosey fans. But best of all (as far as Erika was concerned) was Jimmy’s ample focus on the family. He seemed to urgently spend as much time with them as he could, his days of super-heroism waning, this frictionless lifestyle of purity his only priority. Well, that and fixing up old cars, which was something Gillian helped him with greatly. For their daughter, like her father, had been blessed with a special ability, being that of superhuman smell. To some this may seem like a bland power—nothing in comparison to her dad’s reputation at least. But for Jimmy it was exceptionally useful, as she sniffed out any car-parts he needed, or discovered the leaking of fumes before they even happened. And while they worked, they spoke of grand road-trips into the sunset. And when they took breaks, they would play their signature games of hopscotch or frequently jump on the trampoline for hours. Which is what Gillian was doing right now, as her father watched her go higher and higher, the both of them occasionally waving to their mommy who would calmly wave back with a warm smile.

Just then the phone rang, and Erika walked away from this gorgeous sight to answer it, completely unaware that the conversation waiting on the other side would change her life forever.
“Hello, Erika speaking?” she offered her canned line, effortlessly and automatic.
“Erika," a sultry female voice on the other end responded. "You don’t know who I am, but in a few moments, you will never forget the words I am about to say to you.”
“Who is this?” Erika inquired.
“My name is Lucy. And a few years ago, I fucked your lover Jimmy in the bathroom of a frat party.”
Erika felt her grip tighten on the phone, her knuckles fading whiter than her usual pale skin tone, eventually settling on a shade of blue.
“You’re going to have to prove a claim as extraordinary as that, bitch,” Erika hissed, which was met with a calm and sexy laugh.
“Oh, I will prove this to you in the next 30 seconds,” and she proceeded to do just that. All the raw details of her seduction with specific words used in such a natural order that the authenticity of her story was impossible to doubt. And as it began to sink in, Erika dropped the phone and walked into the master bedroom, locking the door behind her.

And neither Jimmy nor Gillian knew that they would never see her alive again.

Click Here For Part 4

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