White Noise | Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/weexinsitu

After a long hiatus, White Noise returns with dedications to BERSIH and kotor. And no, it’s not “Yellow Submarine”.

Dedicated to the Najib Administration – “Fell on Black Days” by Soundgarden

"Superunknown" by Soundgarden

One of the best bands to come out during the grunge era in the Nineties, Soundgarden was Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin mixed and updated for Generation X. Their frontman and lead singer, Chris Cornell, has a voice capable of reaching three octaves (listen to his background vocals juxtaposed against Eddie Vedder’s in Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” and you’ll know what I mean) that is custom made for rock and metal. Couple that with guitarist Kim Thayil’s incendiary off-key-but-perfect-for-the song solos and you have a band destined for greatness. “Fell On Black Days” is a track taken from “Superunknown”, their breakthrough album widely regarded as one of the best rock / metal albums of all time. This song is dedicated to the Najib administration for their exemplary mishandling of the Bersih 2.0 rally for the past two months, which surely deserves a place in every text of Political Studies under the chapter “Things You Should Not Do”. Each culpable member of that administration should sing along to this passage from the song:

Whatsoever I’ve feared has come to life

Whatsoever I’ve fought off became my life

Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile

Sunspots have faded and now I’m doing time

And now I’m doing time

Cause I fell on

Black days

I fell on

Black days

Check out the video here.


Dedicated to Ibrahim Ali – “Mean” by Taylor Swift

"Speak Now" by Taylor Swift

All that I have to say about the talented Ms Swift can be found here. “Mean” is a song from her latest CD, “Speak Now”, that is so irrepressibly upbeat that you’ll find your feet starting to tap involuntarily.  Thirty seconds later you will be singing along to the chorus which goes “Someday, I’ll be living in a big old city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean. Someday, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean. Why you gotta be so mean?”. Dedicated to the PERKASA front man. You know why. Click here for the video.


Dedicated to the unregistered voters – “It’s The End of the World as We Know It” by R.E.M.

"Document" by R.E.M.

Formed in 1980, R.E.M. spent 7 years toiling on college radio before hitting it big with their single “The One I Love” from their album “Document”.  Superstar success and induction into mainstream pop were to ensue thereafter with “Out of Time” and “Automatic For The People”.  Thirty years later, they are still around and have pulled off a Second Coming of sorts in 2008 with “Accelerate”. Going back to “Document”, track no. six “It’s The End of the World as We Know It” is a happy hillbilly drunken ditty, with a playful mood that sets it apart from the serious tone prevalent in the rest of the album. The chorus “It’s the end of the world as we know it … and I feel fine” should be the anthem of all adults who think that ignorance is bliss, who shun any interest in politics and who still have not registered themselves as voters despite the tumultuous events in this country over the past three years. The music video of the song is here.


Dedicated to those who participated in and supported the BERSIH 2.0 rally, and those who want change – “Take The Power Back” by Rage Against The Machine

"Rage Against The Machine" by Rage Against The Machine

Taking the musical blueprint of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and adding a raw aggressive edge to it, this four man band led by Zack de la Rocha launched their first assault on public consciousness in 1992 with their eponymous debut album. Mixing rap, funk, and metal with unashamedly political lyrics, they have concocted an explosive cocktail of protest songs designed to combat socio-political apathy. Although RATM disbanded in the late Nineties with most of the band teaming up with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell to form Audioslave, RATM have recently reunited after Audioslave called it a day. “Take The Power Back” from the debut album has all of RATM’s trademark sounds – irresistible funky as hell basslines, addictive rhythm guitar riffs, and spitfire machine gun rap. This song, especially the following verse, is dedicated to all those who participated in and supported the BERSIH 2.0 rally, and all those yearning for much needed change in Malaysia:

Step back, I know who I am

Raise up your ear, I’ll drop the style and clear

It’s the beats and the lyrics they fear

The rage is relentless

We need a movement with a quickness

You are the witness of change

And to counteract

We gotta take the power back

You can listen to the song here.

Mian‘s favourite musician is Lord Bobo. His Supreme Eminenceness is well known for his ability to play a total of 25 instruments, and to compose, perform, and produce albums all by himself. A veritable...

2 replies on “White Noise: Take The Power Back”

  1. Amen, bro. Soundgarden reunited recently. As one music reviewer put it, this is news that can make grown men cry. Sniff.

  2. Superunknown is a remarkable album. One of my all time favourite albums from the 90's. "Let Me Drown" and "Spoonman" are huge slabs hard rock!

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