Absolut’s 2009 advertisement
On Milo’s (Rory Ferreira) Facebook page, he put some interesting tidbits of information up. The tagline where it says biography, he wrote “opportunity’s knock was really just the pizza man.” I chuckled to myself as I read it in his sad voice. It’s about the irony in life. I found it interesting he thought to write that, however, since he seems to be blessed with a talent. He obviously has people who love his work and what he’s doing. For his influences he wrote “asceticism, d-i-y, loneliness, boredom.” I found it surprising he didn’t include sadness since that is a constant feeling that arises when listening to his music. I’m assuming that the sadness falls under loneliness though.” Do/design it yourself,” was a very good one to list since he created this album in his room with friends. When talking about DIY, Milo said, “it gives me an opportunity to be more honest. When I’ve been in studios with other people, I feel myself conforming and that’s not at all what I want for Milo projects.” I searched for the meaning of ascetic and found, “a person who leads an austerely simple life, especially one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life or denies himself or herself material satisfaction.” I like that despite his unique approach to life, people are still able to relate to his music. This just further proves that emotions connect really connect people. Also, since his fan base is still small, he is able to respond to all the comments and questions people leave him.
Milo originally categorized his music under Nerd-Hop. When asked about it in an interview he responded that Nerd-Hop is a musical portrayal of nerdiness, awkwardness, and intelligence. He also said that his first album, “I wish my brother Rob was here,” falls under this catergory, but his newest mixtape is “more like self help hop/computerized soul folk.” Also, Milo prefers going to school and doing music because of the politics in the music business. Having two different passions to strive for allows him to distance himself from the music business and allows him to create the music for his own pleasure, rather than a company’s pockets. Milo is ahead of his time and it’s very unfortunate he isn’t more well-known. It gives me hope, however, that when I introduce him to friends they fall in love with his witty stanzas just as quickly as I did. And I will end this personal music album blog with the very same words Milo said parting his interview, “support weirdo creations. Keep it funky at all times.”
I thought it would be interesting for one of my posts to pick a song on this mixtape that I don’t usually listen to very much. Everyone has a few certain songs from an album they adore more than the others and unfortunately there are also the songs that are forgotten. The ignored song I chose to pay special attention to for this post is, The Theif Of Always. I give this song 3 ½ stars.
In the beginning of this song he mentions the mind/body problem, which I’m actually learning in philosophy. The problem is no one knows for sure if the mind and body are two separate entities or if they work together. I forget sometimes that Milo’s major is philosophy. He also goes on to talk about fair trade policies and how he buys organic food. He touches on a bit over everything in these lyrics. I liked the lines “We act like we’re better than those who have less/Then cry foul when the rich act arrogant.” It’s very true how a majority of the middle class complain about the very poor people, yet they also are bitter towards the rich. It was brave of Milo to admit that he honestly doesn’t know if he would sell out or not. Money does make the world go round and people need to make a living. Though Milo admits this, he also is ashamed of it. The background this song paints a picture in my head of grainy film from the past. I also couldn’t decide whether I heard the pitter patter of rain or static near the ending.
Right before I begun this project I stumbled across the artist Baths (Will Wiesenfeld) and the song, Lovely Bloodflow. I was pleased to find out that Milo’s second mixtape, “Milo Takes A Bath,” that was released February 19th of this year, used tracks from Baths. The album contains instrumentals with water sounds like dripping and pipes. This actually connects back to his first mixtape because his friend Robert died in water. I’ve listened to this new album once the entire way through and I like it, but I’m not as impressed as I was with “I wish my brother Rob was here.” I felt that because Milo had so much emotion from his friend’s death, he was able to create such moving songs. This new album to me is more of the debris of Milo’s emotions. It seems like he’s trying to stretch them out into this album, but it isn’t translating very well.
The entire first mixtape of Milo is very poignant. The entire album is based on Milo’s good friend, Rob Espinosa, who drowned in the summer. The actual title of the album is also “a cross reference to Del the Funky Homosapien’s classic debut, ‘I wish my brother George was here.’” Milo had already been making a tape, but when he found out about his friend’s death he started fresh and came up with “I wish my brother Rob was here.” In his songs he talks about how Robert and him had been very close in the past. They began talking less and less, like most good friends do when they are on different paths in life. Milo doesn’t produce the actual mixtape, which few people realize. He finds different beats and instrumentals online and mixes and masters then by himself and then credits the producers. Joel Frieders seemed to hit the nail on the head when he said that “everything Milo says regarding missing his friend Rob is uncomfortably honest, but so fucking genuine it literally took the breath out of me.”
I thought it would be interesting to choose which of his songs was the most heartbreaking for me. It was originally a tie between “Just Us” and the beginning of “One Lonely Owl.” I decided to save “Just Us” for another entry. There are two distinct parts to “One Lonely Owl.” The first part is Milo opening up his thoughts and his heart to us. The second part is more of the front he seems to be putting on. The last few lines of the first part are “When Robert died I was in a bookstore that wasn’t born yet/And all around me spun the narratives of other fallen heroes/Dust! Dust! Dust!/Dust on the tomes of the stories of yesterday;/Dust on the tombs of the heroes of today.” It made me think about how everyone will eventually leave this earth and our existence will just fade away. Our souls and memories will eventually collect dust and be forgotten, not matter how great an impact we left. I felt that in these few lines Milo is talking about how everyone often forgets to appreciate the important people in their lives. This song leaves the listener with such an eerie feeling, but I love it. I love the way Milo is able to manipulate my tear ducts and make my heart swell. Milo makes me sad that I’ll never get to know what a great person Robert was. I would give this song 4 stars.
The first song of Milo’s I listened to was “Just Us,” and it still remains my favorite. I would rate this song five stars. It really makes me feel lonely listening to it, though the words he says in the beginning aren’t at first. At the start of the song he talks about himself a little and how he is different from other people. In the ending it is obvious he is lonely and it brings tears to my eyes. He cares so much about friends, but it seems like it’s hard for him to connect with people because he is so different. I can relate to this sometimes. Everyone has felt like an outside at some point and the friends we do have that are able to accept our flaws and differences mean so much. The listener is able to feel the loss Milo feels. We try to connect the loss we’ve felt with his and it’s so powerful.
The last line of this song are “When your facebook becomes your memorial page/And I swear I cry when I look through the pictorial display.” Every time I hear him say those words I feel as if my heart is ripping into two. It’s awful looking back on pictures with someone that passed away. I look through their old pictures and see them smiling and happy. They don’t even know that their life will be taken away way so soon. Those moments that are captured and physical are helpful to keep the memory of lost ones alive.
On the topics of Milo’s DIY productive, Joel Frieders said, “once you take a step to the side and not only see something for what it is, you can start looking at who created it and see them for what they could be.” I didn’t really see a problem with Milo’s DIY process, but for listeners that do have an issue with this; Joel’s statement should be read. Milo wants his music to be 100% controlled by him. Many artists start this way, but eventually give in to letting big corporations take over and control the creative process.
I’ve been learning a lot more about Milo and his personality and it helps me understand his music a lot better. He doesn’t partake in drugs and alcohol like the majority of college kids. He doesn’t seem to be materialistic. He is very focused on his goals. He balances his music as well as a good gpa. I really respect that he doesn’t do the average college kid activities.
One of the most clever songs in this album would probably be “Mr. Doubt(w)riter.” He begins the song by talking about how his ancestors were slaves and then talks about unimportant things like how people post pictures on Facebook of all the parties they go to. He talks about how he finds grammar important and says “cause everything ain’t all good like these gnarly bros.” He mocks the laid back surfer stereotype and how his peers often focus on silly insignificant things, while there is a big world out there. I feel like the message of this song is very important in understand who Milo is and what his album signifies. Young people take life for granted and fill their time with being inebriated or drugged up and they are just wasting this precious time. His friend Robert have done even more amazing things, but his life was taken away way too young. Milo abstains from drinking and drugs because when he’s sober he is productive and he believes that is what living is really about. I would rate this song 4 ½ stars out of 5. I love that Milo is able to show his beliefs and why they are affective rather than force feeding his views to listeners.
I was curious what Milo’s inspiration was for making music and fortunately he answered this in an interview I was able to find online. His lyrical inspiration is great writing. He loves philosophy so he reads a lot on the subject. In the interview he said “Schopenhauer is a tremendous lyrical inspiration. He’s prone to really wicked and wild analogies.” I did a little research on Schopenhauer and he was well-known for his pessimism as well as his philosophy. I was a little surprised at first since Milo seems to be such an optimistic person. I then realized the answer was for lyrical inspiration, which is different than inspiration in life. Milo’s lyrics in this album are mainly focused on how unfair the world is for taking away his friend, who was such a good guy. His lyrics in this album are a bit pessimistic about the world, but Milo as an artist seems to be more hopeful. Another person Milo looks up to is David Foster Wallace because of his ability to bring life to “seemingly mundane detail.” Milo says that his top lyrical inspiration is Nas’ album, Illmatic. He goes on to say that “Nas is not my favorite rapper by any means, nor has he ever been. But Illmatic is a perfect album, flawless, his style on that album is beyond me still.”
In an interview, Rory explains how he came up with his music alias, Milo. It is derived from the book, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. In the book there is a character named Milo. “Milo is this sort of every-person character who finds all the things boring. He’s taken on this adventure of wicked tasty wordplay and comes back all the better for it.” Milo’s explanation just makes my impression of him stronger. He is a very original and intelligent young adult who is sorting out his life and his feelings through clever rhymes. This mixtape not only contains great music, but also Milo’s journey after his friend, Robert, passed away.
This album would most likely not be on the radio. This is not because people wouldn’t like it, but because most songs on the radio aren’t very intellectual. People want songs they can easily relate to and where the meaning is obvious. Milo’s songs are sad and each line has a deeper meaning than what it first appears to be. Maybe a few songs from this album could appear on the radio like the melancholy song “Just Us.” Even that, unfortunately, would be on an underground radio that’s run by college kids who scour for new music.
Though I really like this mixtape as a whole, there were certainly a few specific songs that stuck with me. The first song on this tape is “Omar Don’t Scare.” This song was a nice way to ease into the playlist. There wasn’t very much emotion evoked, but the listener really gets to see who the rapper is. He explains his personality and the stereotypes he is not. The second song that stuck out to me and that was second in the list was “Just Us.” This was the first song that really got me into Milo. The beginning starts off sad because of its simplicity, but then ending will have your eyes brimmed with tears. The third song is “One Lonely Owl,” which are a lot of reviewers favorite. The beginning sounds like poetry being read out loud. This song really makes me fond of his voice. He is poetic and dreamy for the first two minutes and then does a 180 and spits clever but less sentimental rhymes. The fourth and last song I’ll mention in this post is “Bill Murray’s Prayer.” This song is very different from the other ones I’ve mentioned. This song is a tad more upbeat because it sounds like Milo is embracing the loss and seeing the growth from it. I would rate this song 4 stars. I like the overall mood of the song and the eerie feeling is gives me, but I wasn’t really moved by it. I couldn’t see an especially important message in this one, just a kind of generic one about accepting yourself and seeing what else is out there.
I liked that right in the beginning of this excerpt Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was quoted. He said “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now that people dying in Africa.” I believe that to be extremely true. Last semester I took a sociology class called People, Power, Politics. The professor asked the students if they would give up their Ipods forever if it meant saving a polar bear’s life for every electronic thrown out. Everyone in the class seemed to be leaning towards ‘yes.’ The professor asked the students to really believe in this situation and think about it. What would you choose? The majority of the students chose keeping their Ipods even if it meant the death of a polar bear. I was unable to say yes or no. I love my music and it would be so awful to live without. I couldn’t bear (puns!) killing another animal because of a material good. Or, I couldn’t bring myself to say aloud that I would choose electronics over a being’s life. Perhaps if this polar bear was brought closer to us and seemed to directly affect us, more people would be eager to help. Like Zuckerberg said, what’s happening in front of your house might be more important that what’s going on in another nation.
A quote that really stuck out to me was “Democracy requires citizens to see things from one another’s point of view, but instead we’re more and more enclosed in our own bubbles.” People that are searching for similar topics will receive completely different results because of their different personality types. The internet should be opening everyone’s eyes and spreading knowledge. With Google and other search engines, people are only seeing results that they would like to see. They won’t see the complete facts of what they are searching for unless they dig deep, which no one will do. The point of search engines is to make life easier and information easily accessible, neither of which can happen if big corporations try to cater to everyone’s individualistic personality type. I understand the general theory behind this makes sense and isn’t to do harm. Google wanted their users to have the best experience possible and make everyone feel like an individual instead of massing everyone together. The thing is, people don’t really care. For individual attention people have blogs and facebook and their own social media. Google is supposed to be the fair and unbiased source on the internet.