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2014/06/29

I ♥ Netflix

by Jav Rivera

Let me start off by stating that I am in no way receiving money for this article. I merely want to express the reasons why I love Netflix. For those of you who don't know, Netflix is a movie rental service with no late fees or due dates. It has a monthly subscription rate of $7.99 (which will be slightly raised in the near future), and allows subscribers to rent DVDs through the mail or stream movies using internet-ready devices.


Technically, Netflix was founded in 1997 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, but I hadn't become aware of it until the early oughties. A service that ships DVDs to your mailbox for a monthly fee? And you can rent as many movies as you like during that month? I was leery. So much so that I let Netflix service other customers and just watched movies the old way: going to the theatre, buying the DVD, borrowing from a friend. I rarely rented movies, even through Blockbuster, mostly because I hated the people who worked at video rental houses. They were either snobby film buffs, or, even worse, people with absolutely no film knowledge. On paper, Netflix was the perfect solution for someone like me. But I didn't buy into it and just kept collecting DVDs. At one point I had over 650 movies in my collection, and that wasn't including the Blu-rays that had begun to replace my DVDs.

Eventually, around 2008, before they expanded their online streaming services, I tried it out using their offer for a free first month. At this time, they offered separate services, discs by mail or online streaming. I wasn't set up for online services so I just used the standard disc by mail option. As it turned out, I loved it. Being a film lover, I like to watch as many movies per month. But since you could only rent one DVD at a time (unless you paid for the multi-disc option), I wasn't taking advantage of my month. At that point in my life I just couldn't find the time to watch that many DVDs, so I was only really watching two or three per month. It felt expensive, and worst of all, I felt like I was pressured into renting a movie to get my money's worth.

I stuck with it for a few months and then decided to cancel my subscription. Years later, I heard that their online streaming, which was available on gaming devices (like Nintendo Wii), was growing. More and more movies were being made available online and that got me interested again. I like the idea of not having to wait for the mailman to ship my rental back and then wait for the next DVD on my account queue to makes its way to my mailbox. I could watch any movie at any given time. But I didn't have a device that could take advantage of this option.

By 2010, more devices were able to play Netflix. It now had expanded to Blu-ray players, Apple TV, and eventually Roku devices. These were all devices that you would hook up to your internet services, (typically via ethernet cable), and of course to your TV set. These devices had Netflix software that allowed you to sign into your account and play their online selections. I decided to look for a Blu-ray player specifically with Netflix capabilities (nowadays it's a standard feature; there are even Netflix buttons on remote controls).


Netflix is now available on just about any device; everything from iPads, mobile phones, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and all gaming systems. I suspect that it will probably be accessible on microwaves in the next few years, if it isn't already. But so far in this article I've only focused on the ease of accessibility of the content. Let's talk about the actual content.

As a movie buff, I like to watch all genres, like drama, sci-fi, comedy, action, and indie films. Netflix has incredible variety, not just blockbuster movies with famous celebrities. It has an amazing selection of indie films. Most of these independent films would usually be exclusive to film festivals and art house theatres, and not available to large audiences. Netflix picked up on this and has several of these gems in their catalog. Thanks to them, I'm now able to discover films I either missed at the theatre or just never heard of. And that goes for television series too. In fact, I've realized in the past few months that I watch more television programs on Netflix than I do on actual live TV. Of course I love that I don't have to watch commercials, but more specifically I like that I'm watching shows that don't get promoted well enough on TV; shows that have proved to be much more superior to popular series.

I'm also able to catch up on shows from my youth (and some from my parents' youth). I get to re-watch old shows like "The X-Files" that I had never been able to watch in its entirety. And I can watch shows from networks that I don't subscribe to, like HBO, USA, or Showtime. Keep in mind that I haven't had cable service since early 2010. I've missed out on some of my favorite shows like "Burn Notice." Well, thanks to Netflix, I'm all caught up. I also get to watch BBC programs that aren't offered in America. I'm talking quality programs like "Sherlock," "Call the Midwife," and "The Fall." I have access to Netflix Original programming, including several upcoming live-action series by Marvel. In the next couple years Marvel and Netflix will be airing "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage," "Iron Fist," and a miniseries for "The Defenders." Netflix seems like it's on the side of fans. That's just Marvel. Netflix is working alongside other companies to release other original content.

They understand viewers ability to binge on TV series and our desire to re-watch movies and shows. Unlike renting a disc for one-time viewing, we can watch these programs over and over again. That's something I've done for many shows including "The IT Crowd," "Arrested Development," and "Trailer Park Boys." The latter two, by the way, also have Netflix exclusive programming. "Arrested Development" released a fourth season last year (and possibly another season in development) and "Trailer Park Boys" will be releasing a season 8 and 9 in the near future, as well as a feature film that takes place before season 8.

Netflix has certainly upped its game in the past few years and I personally look forward to seeing what else they plan to do. I think by now it's obvious why I'm such a huge fan, for its quality and quantity of content, how easily I can access content at any time of the day on just about any device, and of course that low price. I swear this isn't an ad for them, but if I was ever asked to promote a product I would easily choose Netflix. That...and Icy-Hot. 


One of the nicest things I've noticed about Netflix is that it's bringing families back together. The ability to watch any show or movie at any time of the day allows families to gather in front of the TV and accommodate to their schedule. There are no inappropriate (and loud) commercials and there's no distracting lower third advertising on the screen. A family can actually watch a program together, and all for a low monthly fee. There are no ridiculous prices for popcorn and sodas and absolutely no lines.


Granted, Netflix will never be the same experience as going the theatre, but times are a-changin'. In fact, times have already a-changed, and so it's hard to understand why movie theatres haven't done much in the way of competing with Netflix. Personally I no longer visit the theatre unless it's a film that is so visually stunning that I'd prefer to see it on a big screen. But with so many distractions from other movie-goers (cell phones, talking, etc.), outrageous ticket prices, and uncomfortable seats, it's no wonder that I promote Netflix as much as I do.

old logo (left) and new logo (right)
If you're not already signed up with Netflix, I highly recommend you get on the bandwagon. It's a low fee per month (currently $8) and offers literally thousands of movie selections, from popular to obscure, and from new to old. And there are absolutely NO ads or commercials (take that, Hulu)!

For more information, visit: www.Netflix.com

TRIVIA: The idea for Netflix came to co-founder Reed Hastings when he was forced to pay $40 in overdue fines after returning Apollo 13 well past its due date.

2014/06/22

Steve Roach

by John Bloner, Jr.

photo: Vortex Immersion Media, Inc.
Something weird happens each time I listen to Steve Roach's 1988 recording, Dreamtime Return, or any of his 70-plus recordings.

It's like someone has slipped a new disc into my CD player. The music changes, or should I say, it fundamentally changes me upon each encounter.

Roach is a master of ambient sound, creating mysterious worlds where we travel not only by ear, but by breath and pulse. His palette includes many electronic instruments (see image below), but their output is as organic as the air and earth.


Roach has taught me through his soundworlds how to listen, how to breathe, and respect our planet.  In The Dream Circle (listen to track below), I hear a soft cry of awe for our pale blue dot, as Carl Sagan referred to Earth. I explore the terrain of the innerzone, a landscape of the subconscious, picking my way slowly over its crags and hollows. This is headphone music. Don't dream and drive.

Random Collisions by Amalthea Films     Music: The Dream Circle by Steve Roach

In an interview with Michael Foster, editor of AmbientVisions.com, Roach says, "The willful intention in all my music is to create an opening which allows me to step out of everyday time and space into a place where I feel we are born to experience directly."  Since he taught himself to play the synthesizer at age 20, Roach has been opening portals into subterranean and ethereal landscapes ever since. 

From his studio in the Sonoran desert, he shapes sound-sculptures with both high-tech and low tech instruments, including stones and the low-pitch resonant sound of the didgeridoo, perhaps the world's oldest musical instrument (see photo below).

I listened again to his 2003 recording, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces, on a Spring day with my living room windows wide open. It was a gorgeous day, alive with birdsong. While the first track of Disc 2 played, it was difficult to discern where the music left off and the sounds of the outside world began. When I heard the call of the wren, it fit so perfectly, it had to be on the recording.  Didn't it? 


Over a decade earlier, I was playing this same disc for the first time when my wife returned home to our living space awash in Roach's music. She remarked that she could hear a cricket in the house. I showed her my new acquisition and corrected her. The cricket, I explained, was a part of Roach's soundworld.  In fact, I could anticipate the places in the music where the insect would knit its moonlight melody, and used my finger like a conductor's baton to show where it would enter.

To end our mild debate, I paused the disc, fully expecting the house to fall silent. Instead, we heard this.


Roach's music is expansiveness. There is a sense of rising and falling and rising again. In his own words, it arrives from "that sigh--that expansive place where you breathe out and then you breathe back in."

Almathea Films has created a visual partner to Roach's sounds. Earlier in this essay, I had shared their interpretation of the piece, The Dream Circle.  For the following video, their cameras were turned on The Grampians, a national park in southeastern Australia and the meeting point of four of the country's Great Ranges. It's a fitting setting for the music, Eternal Expanse, from his 2002 record, Day Out of Time and a reminder of the importance of the Australian continent to Steve Roach and those like me who have taken many trips to the innerzone via his creations, Dreamtime Return, Soma, The Magnificent Void, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces, Structures In Silence, and many more.

Primal Murmurs by Amalthea Films

Learn more about Steve Roach by visiting his website. If I had to pick one record to introduce someone to Steve Roach, that record would be Soma, his 1992 collaboration with Robert Rich. In this recording, tribal sounds meet ambient bliss. Over eight tracks, these music masters deliver soul-stirring work. Jim Brentholts of AllMusic.com writes, "It is deep stuff. The soundscape offer listeners the opportunity to pursue and achieve states of ecstasy."

Drink it in.

2014/06/15

Regular Show

by Lisa Adamowicz Kless


Before I get too far, let me just admit up front that the first time my son introduced me to the animated TV series Regular Show, it was much like my first experience seeing The Teletubbies: there were a few moments where I took it all in, probably exclaimed “What the…?” out loud, which was then followed by flashes of confusion as I tried to sort things out. But when the latter involves talking animals, a character whose body is a gumball machine, hot dog eating contests with Death, and a giant coffee bean who sounds like he just stepped out of a kung fu movie (see above, with the white headband on), I think it’s only natural to take a minute to get your bearings.

As it turns out, it was hard not to watch the show along with my son and get sucked in. I tend to like wacky, quirky things, and Regular Show has them in spades. Currently airing on Cartoon Network in the US, the series began in 2010, and revolves around best friends: Mordecai, a blue jay, and Rigby, a raccoon. Like many of the other animal (or part animal) characters, Mordecai and Rigby talk, and act mostly human. (Series creator J.G. Quintel is the voice talent behind Mordecai, and William Salyers is Rigby.) In their 20s, they work as groundskeepers for a park overseen by Benson, the gumball machine-bodied character that I mentioned above (brought to life by the voice talent of Sam Marin). While Mordecai and Rigby slack off and avoid their work as much as possible, Benson is stern and tries to keep them in line; an episode rarely goes by where he doesn’t threaten to fire them. They aren’t alone as they toil away in the park though.

(L to R) Benson, Rigby, and Mordecai
Muscle Man (also voiced by Sam Marin) and High Five Ghost (J.G. Quintel again) are best friends and a rival groundskeeping team. Muscle Man is loud, obnoxious, kind of a jerk, and slightly resembles the Frankenstein monster.  Remember the "Yo mama" jokes/insults that used to be popular? Muscle Man seems to misunderstand how those work, so when he throws out his catch phrase ending in “My mom!” he doesn't realize that he's actually part of the joke. As annoying as it is for the characters on the show, it can be fun when you (sparingly) quote him in real life. Not long ago, a family friend--and fellow Regular Show fan--had a birthday. So my son and I made her a sign that read: “Happy birthday! ‘Know who else wishes you a happy birthday? My mom!’” High Five Ghost, or Fives, is exactly what his name describes; a small ghost (shaped a lot like the ghosts from the Pac-Man games) with a hand extending from his head, used to high-five people. Fives is much more reserved than Muscle Man, but with a best friend like him, who could get a word in edgewise?



Adding a sense of serenity and wisdom to the whole scene is Skips, an immortal Yeti whose eternal life status comes in handy when he often knows the way to handle almost any crazy jam that the group gets themselves into. Whether it’s a scenario where not respecting the rules of owing someone a "solid" (favor) causes chaos, or dealing with jerky punk rock unicorns, Skips will often casually say, “I‘ve seen this before“. Oh, and I might mention that none other than Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, lends his voice talent for Skips. This was one of those facts that made me pause and say, “What? Wait. That can’t be right…” the first time that I heard it, but it is indeed true. I never would’ve guessed it on my own, but it’s just another layer that adds to the fun.

The park where all of these characters (in every sense of the word) work is owned by Mr. Maellard, and while he appears in some episodes, it’s his son, Pops, who’s hands down my favorite in the series. Pops’ head is a giant lollipop, hence the name, and as a friend of Mordecai and Rigby, he often gets caught up in their misadventures. For me, one of Pops’ most endearing qualities is his naiveté. It can’t be a mistake that where he’s from, “Lolliland”, rhymes with La-La Land. With his old-timey gentleman personality, he’s not always considered “cool”, and realizes that he doesn't exactly fit in with the rest of the group. In more than one episode though, the other guys let him know that they regard him as a true friend, and they should, since sometimes it's Pops and his actions that have saved the day.

Pops: "I'm waiting to talk to Joe Mama."
And the day has to be saved time and time again. An episode might start out simply enough, say with Mordecai and Rigby finding baby ducks while they clean out the park fountain, but by the time the credits roll, the ducklings might have learned to karate chop, there may have been a car chase, and there could have been a magical transformation into a giant, fighting superhero of sorts. But this kind of thing is “normal” in the world of Regular Show.

There’s a whole cast of other oddball characters in these out-there escapades, but I have to at least give a mention to leading ladies Margaret and Eileen. Another best friend duo, they work at a coffee shop that Mordecai and Rigby hang out at--for good reason. Margaret is a robin who Mordecai has a huge crush on, and Eileen is a mole who pines after Rigby, even though he doesn’t really pick up on it. Just like everyone else around them, Margaret and Eileen often get sucked into all of the hijinks and insanity surrounding Mordecai and Rigby.

Eileen and Margaret
The animation in Regular Show isn’t overly complicated, and I see that as another strength of the series. Instead of being bogged down by too many details or too much going on visually, it allows the other elements that make it so good to shine through.

Regular Show is weird, it’s unpredictable, and it’s anything but highbrow entertainment. Those are some of the things that make it so fun though. In 2010, the series won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. A distinction like that doesn’t come just from animated slapstick comedy, although there’s plenty of that. It’s the show’s witty writing that make it versatile enough for a kid to laugh along with, while adults get in on the more subtle jokes and the nods to 80s and 90s-era pop culture. From Prince, to The Neverending Story, “hair metal” bands, Transformers, Rocky, and so many more that it would be impossible to name them all, the references are not only funny, but add a sweet hint of nostalgia for any viewer that grew up in or lived during those decades.

It would be easy to keep going on about why Regular Show is a series worth watching, but I’d rather you just check it out for yourself. In the words of Pops, "Good show! Jolly good show!" To get more information about the characters, watch video clips, play games, and more, visit the show’s page over at the Cartoon Network website: www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/regularshow.

2014/06/08

Hope and Glory

by Dave Gourdoux


The emergence in the 1950s and blossoming in the early sixties of Stanley Kubrick as one of the world's greatest directors paved the way for a new generation of talented British directors, including Tony Richardson, Bryan Forbes, Richard Lester, Jack Clayton and Ken Russell.  The most talented and longest enduring of this "British new wave," and a giant rivaling Kubrick in stature, is the great John Boorman.

Boorman made his first splash with his second film, 1967's stylistic film noir, Point Blank.  Critics and audiences responded to Boorman's use of both experimental avant garde and traditional film noir elements to create a dream-like atmosphere.  After a couple of unexceptional follow ups, he co-produced and directed what remains his most famous film, 1972's Deliverance.  After the huge commercial and critical success of Deliverance, Boorman created a widening range of films, including the 1973 science fiction epic Zardoz, 1981's Excalibura bloody retelling of the King Arthur legend, and 1985's The Emerald Forest, which revisited many of the themes he explored in Deliverance regarding modern man's relationship to nature and wilderness.  All of these films were intensely personal projects, and besides directing, saw Boorman take larger roles in the films' production and screen writing.

But the most personal, and in my opinion the best, of Boorman's films is his 1987 reflection on growing up during the bombing of London in World War II, Hope and Glory. A true masterpiece, I'd put Hope and Glory near the top of all films made in the '80s, and it deserves serious study by anyone interested in creating art out of personal experience.

Hope and Glory shows the bombings through the eyes of a child.  It's perhaps the best depiction of childhood ever put on screen.  It's more honest and less sentimentalized than the wide-eyed innocence of children in Steven Spielberg films, and unlike other films, the kids are kids and not miniature adults. The story is told through the point of view of the main character, Billy Rowan (played perfectly by Sebastian Rice-Owens), ten years old and obviously a depiction of Boorman as a child. We meet the Rowans before the bombing begins, and they are a typical dull, middle class English family.  The news is filled with story after story about the impending war, and there are countless air raid drills and the construction of bomb shelters; but for a long time, nothing happens, and the Rowans and their neighbors get tired of the drills and the rumors and grow impatient for the war to begin.  Billy's father, Clive (David Hayman), who fought in World War I, enlists in the army, leaving his wife--and Billy's mother--Grace (in a great performance by Sarah Miles) to look after the family alone.

Then the bombing begins and it's terrifying.  But to Billy, it's also exhilarating. He goes on daily scavenger hunts through the rubble, collecting shrapnel.  The blown apart neighborhood is a source of great exploration and adventure, and soon Billy joins up with a "gang" of boys who explore and play games in the ruins.

Meanwhile, his fifteen year old sister Dawn (played by Sammi Davis) is blossoming, and in the shadows of the bombing is growing up much faster than either her or her mother are ready for.  They have terrible fights as Dawn sneaks out of the house to go to dances with soldiers, eventually falling for and becoming pregnant by a Canadian infantryman.  Privacy becomes the first casualty of the war, as the constant interruptions of air raids and the cramped quarters of bomb shelters leaves little opportunity or space for secrets.

One of the reasons the film works so well is the characters are all so well developed.  Boorman skillfully weaves enough background information about each character into the story without impacting the narrative that we feel like we've known these people forever.  We see how living through such a traumatic time changes each of them.

Sarah Miles as Grace Rowan
We learn that Grace and Clive's best friend, Mac, were romantically linked before Grace married Clive, and still have feelings for each other, but in the best keep-a-stiff-upper-lip British tradition, they don't act on these feelings. Grace keeps the family together, and while she is undeniably heroic, Boorman and Miles never lose sight of the fact that she is human and vulnerable.  Grace compares favorably to that other "mother during the blitz" cinematic icon, Greer Garson as Mrs. Miniver.

About three quarters of the way through the film, after their home has burned down, the setting changes, to the idyllic country home on the Thames river of Grace's parents.  Here Billy completes his summer vacation, and spends a great deal of time with his cantankerous grandfather (Ian Bannen). He adapts quickly to his new environment, fishing, boating and playing cricket with his grandfather. A bond forms between them, and the grandfather cannot conceal his disappointment when he is forced to drive Billy back to school at the end of the summer.  Without revealing what happens, the film then ends on a perfect note, one of my favorite endings ever.

The Rowan family
By the time the film ends, the family has grown closer together.  Boorman shows how the trauma of war shakes the family out of its complacency and stretches it to its breaking point, and how in the face of death and uncertainty they turn to each other and strengthen the bonds that tie them to one another.  It's the best film I can think of about life during wartime, and it's the most triumphant film I can think of about the strength and unity of family, warts and all.

Take a glance at Boorman's filmography, and one thing you don't see is comedy.   There aren't many laughs in Deliverance or Excalibur, and the bombing of London would seem an unlikely setting for humor.  Yet there are many instances in Hope and Glory that you can't help but smile, if not laugh out loud at.  There is a charm that runs through the entire film, even as Boorman explores darker elements.  The affection Boorman feels for his characters and the fondness he has for the time and setting are contagious.  Hope and Glory is a work of love, and Boorman's gift is his ability to make us feel and understand his love.

A couple of weeks ago, Boorman's long awaited sequel to Hope and Glory, the film Queen and Country, made its premiere at the Cannes film festival. In Queen and Country, Billy is now twenty years old, and the film takes place during the Korean war.  I'm eager to see it, recognizing that Boorman has a tough act to follow - his own.

2014/06/01

Wake Up (Coheed & Cambria)

By Jess Fitzi

I should start by explaining a small fact here, before the creative side of my brain takes over. I firmly believe that the most important part about music is simply that; the music. The sound of each instrument coming together just right, combined with the tone and pace, and last but not least, the voice belonging to the singer. These things make music what it is; they make us like or dislike a song, and that is absolutely the most important aspect. However, I must also add that words are everything. Adding the perfect story to a piece of beautifully performed music is truly a bit of magic. The lyrics are what make us laugh or cry, or simply feel a connection to what we are hearing.


There seems to be a point in every song where you stop everything you were previously doing and just listen. This amazes me about music; how it can fully and irretrievably captivate us, to the point where nothing matters except this song. Coheed and Cambria has countless songs that create such a moment of pure awe. The singer’s undoubtedly incredible voice, coupled with the ingenious lyrics, have had an effect on thousands, including myself.

One particular song has truly amazed and inspired me, though. "Wake Up" was one of those songs that changed my interpretation of music, as well as my understanding of love. The lyrics portray a sad and desperate story, with a level of passion that I had not previously experienced in a single song. The first line alone:

“I’m going to ride this plane out of your life again
 I wish that I could stay, but you argue.”

It implies an intense and passionate feeling being dragged from the story teller. He feels as though he is so desperately and hopelessly in love that he can no longer allow himself to be in this relationship. He has reached a level of understanding and seems to finally realize that it is not enough to simply want to stay, and no matter how much devotion he may feel, he must separate himself. This rings true in many relationships, which I feel can bring the artist and the singer closer, forming a deeper and more real understanding of what the lyric is attempting to convey. The true moment for me, when concentrating on these lyrics, was when I heard this:

“In a phrase to cut these lips, I love you.”

This sentence alone is as powerful as an entire book. He puts so much emotion into the “I love you” it makes you wonder why he is still planning to leave her behind. Furthermore, this means that it is physically painful for him to love her. The pure act of saying those three words pains him, yet they ring true. This level of adoration is something we all crave, as well as something most of us will only feel once in our lives, if at all. There is an understanding here, between the artist and the listener, where he wants to make no mistake that all he wants is this girl. The only possible thing that can make him happy is the one to whom he is singing, though he also makes it clear that disregarding the desire, to continue they way they were, would be detrimental to both.
 
Claudio Sanchez (Lead singer and lyricist)
Moving forward, after stating the unfortunate realization that he must leave despite his immense love for this person, the man says:

“So leave yourself intact, because I will be coming back.”

When I first heard this song, I was told to listen to it by someone who claimed it reminded them of me. At first, after hearing these lyrics, I was a bit offended and confused. In all honesty, it is not a particularly cheerful song. By that first line, it implies that he is leaving and essentially, giving up. As I listened more closely and paid more attention to those oh-so-important lyrics, I came to the conclusion that someone thinking of you while listening to this song was of the highest compliments. This previous lyric is him telling this person that he loves so much, that he will not be gone forever. He is telling her that she needs to be okay, because even though he won’t be around in the same way anymore, he would not be gone forever. He wants her to be aware that he loves her; as he says, “I’ll do anything for you, kill anyone for you.” But it remains true that one cannot simply be with another because of only love. It’s as if he knows that he could not be away from her forever, but for the time being, he knows that it is best and has no other option.
The song continues with the words:

“The morning will come
In the press of every kiss
With your head upon my chest
Where I will annoy you
With every waking breath
Until you decide to wake up.”

This particular line seems to bring out a great deal of emotion in many. We all go about life day to day, thinking that what we have is what we get. We are under the impression that we need to do what is comfortable and safe. At this particular moment in the song, he is expressing that need to be safe and go on each day, knowing they should not be together at that moment in time, but being in such deep denial that there is no way out.


Now, the title of the song plays a huge role in this jumble of lyrics. It is being stated here that he has made peace with his decision to leave, and he is reassuring her that she will understand, once she opens her eyes and can see them destroying each other, despite being helplessly in love. He wants her to know that one day, she will wake up and agree that they could not have continued on as they were. 

In a general sense, this song is about pure love. It is about the unbelievable things we will do in order to first prove our love to someone, as well as do what is best for them, no matter how much emotional and physical pain it may bring us. This song is about recognizing how much you love and need someone and knowing that it is enough to leave for any amount of time and being able to come back at will. It is about the emotional connection between two people being so strong that even though they will spend what may seem like an eternity apart, they know that in the end, they will be brought back together. The fact that a simple two minute song can create such emotion amazes me.

This is, of course, my own personal interpretation of the song and the artist could have had an entirely different meaning. That is really the beauty of art, though. We have the freedom to see and hear whatever we like and that is why music drags so much emotion out of us, whether it be negative or positive. 
Honestly, I could analyze this song, as well as the majority of Coheed and Cambria’s songs, for days on end, but I will leave you with this:



Music is powerful. Music is beautiful and absolutely necessary. Combined with the right poetry, music can move people. It changes ideas, views, perspectives, and ultimately, lives. This particular song has surely changed my life. Music gives us a connection, making us feel as though we are not alone. It gives us the strength to push through and make difficult decisions. This art form is truly more magical that it is given credit for.