Monday, March 24, 2014

And Now, the Weather

Episode 2 of Welcome to Night Vale, "Glow Cloud," features a rap for the Weather.
"The Bus is Late (Waiting For The Bus In the Rain)"is performed by Satellite High.  This is a minimalist rap, starting with permutations of "Waiting for the bus in the rain" over (bus and rain sound effects?) as an introduction.  I'm linking to this hypertext-annotated transcription of the lyrics, because the annotations are fu-u-u-u-ny.  

This is followed by the chorus, a sung-style rap over synthesized scratches and dopey calliope-like keyboard sounds.  The voice is electronically altered to be super low, menacing but in a comical way.
The following verses are in a normal voice that is doubled at a transposed interval.  The verses don't add much narrative, still about waiting for the bus, taking pictures, noticing the wrong buses that come by.  Is the right opportunity delayed in arriving?  Or is this song about everyday life for the poorer classes of society, stuck with bad bus schedules, bad rain shelters, bad options?  The narrator needs to catch a bus to watch the news, make a plan, keep to a regiment.  Is the bus keeping him back, or is the bus an excuse?  The verses and choruses share the same beat, though slowly building layers of additional sounds. 

The bridge has a brief reprieve from the beat, but it comes back fairly quickly, morphing back into the chorus. 

There are little jokes, one poking at Twitter:  "I'm waiting for the bus, like I do everyday on my way home; waiting for the bus in the rain (at least on the days, when it's raining and I'm waiting for the bus, 'cause the other days ain't the same). Tweet"  Convoluted, exceptions to broad statements, and trivial experiences being broadcast.  Yay, Twitter!  Another joke is at the end, making fun of bad jokes and inane small talk.  "Should be waiting for the bus with a mop. (That's a joke, do you get it? Hey, where are you going?)"  This light-hearted tone, accompanied by the goofy beat, is reminiscent of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop."  Both songs are making social commentary, but try to make it more palatable with catchy rhymes and jokes.  That such tricks are needed is itself a social commentary.  (Meta!)

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