Tag Archives: bicycle

BC Girl in a Québécois World Pt. II: What to Expect in Quebec

As you may remember from last week, I’m currently attending a full immersion language school in Quebec. A little over a week ago I gathered in a sweltering auditorium with approximately 250 other students while a professor spoke to us in English, for the last time.

“The people of this village have a name for you anglophones;” he explained, “they call you the ones with the blank stares.”

I’ve been here for about two weeks now, and more often than not that’s how it goes. I limp out something French. The Francophone responds so fast that to my untrained ears a sentence sounds instead like one very long word. It feels a little bit like being two years old again, only with memories of a time when you were actually a competent human being.

Just imagine that first image is someone trying to explain something in French.

Growing up in British Columbia I heard complaints against French language laws, which work to protect French culture. English speakers argued that it was an unfair double standard, and that the French were just being snobby. That has not been my experience here in Quebec.  Continue reading

Blood, Honey, and Bicycles

It’s about two in the afternoon on a Friday, and I’ve clearly surpassed my self-imposed noon deadline. This is kind of an awkward place to be, because I’m clearly lacking the motivation to write, and all of the topics that I’ve been planning on tackling require a lot of research, so . . .

I’m going to talk about a topic that I know little to nothing about: music.

Holly Brook on the left, Skylar Grey on the right.

Last summer I wrote a post called “Holly Brook is Skylar Grey,” about singer/songwriter Holly Brook Hafferman, who took the stage name Holly Brook, released an album, and years after rebooted her persona as the current Skylar Grey.

If you really don’t have time to read the six short paragraphs that make up my first post, I hypothesized that her song “Dance Without You” was a clear indicator of her wanting to start anew without the baggage of her past self. With that being said, I was legitimately surprised when I discovered recently exactly where her new path has taken her.

I subscribed to Skylar Grey’s email newsletter a while ago for curiosity’s sake, and found a link in my inbox one day exclaiming that the lyric video for the song “C’mon Let Me Ride” had hit YouTube. Here it is:

It’s definitely catchy. It’s also a song that begins with the lyrics “If you got a sweet tooth / You can taste my watermelons.”

Skylar Grey began her career singing the bridges to rap songs such as Dr. Dre and Eminem’s “I Need A Doctor,” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said.” While not the best use of her songwriting abilities, at the very least they tackled common topics such as loneliness and regret. “C’mon Let Me Ride” is a song about sex.

The following is an acoustic session of Holly Brook performing the titular song from her album “Like Blood Like Honey”:

I don’t want to hammer this point, because I feel it’s obviously overstated after watching both videos. At the very least let me point out that both songs have their foundations in comparison, riding a bicycle, and blood and honey, and leave it at that.

Promo art for the single "C'mon Let Me Ride."

According to Wikipedia, what Holly Brook was to indie-pop-rock, Skylar Grey is now to pop and hip hop. I definitely get that artists of every medium are going to grow and evolve in their craft, but have difficulty getting behind her choices. According to Rolling Stone the song is supposed to be satirical, and “a jab at ‘overly sexified music, media and the girls who try and imitate it.'” I guess I’ll leave it up to you whether or not that’s communicated well.

That same article also reveals that her original project under the Skylar Grey moniker, “Invinsible” is being reworked as “Don’t Look Down,” on which the aforementioned single about bikes will be featured. It just seems like a lot of image refinement in a very short period of time, and if she’s accurate in saying that the song is “about as far as [she takes the playfulness of her album]” I’m not sure what fans are supposed to expect, or how it will ultimately turn out.