INDIEchouette


MY FRECKLES ARE SHOWING
30 April, 2008, 1137 am
Filed under: My Experience with Existence, School | Tags:

I always love freckles, on absolutely anyone.

I am in English class on a Macbook. Nothing interesting has happened today, not yet, but I think that I should go downtown today to distribute my project. After all, it is due tomorrow.

Here is a list of things I must do, in no particular order. I enjoy making lists. It calms me down.

Before Prom..
1. Buy Post Prom tickets
2. Buy The Things They Carried
3. Start my lit crit on above book
4. Go running today
5. Distribute my project
6. Order cap and gown (way, waaaay late)
7. Try hard not to shave or touch eyebrows
8. Wash face obsessively
9. Get shoes for Prom
10. Get jacket or SOMETHING for Prom
11. Try to figure out what to do with hair for Prom

Saturday…
1. Go running in the morning
2. Shave
3. Wash feet well
4. Do something with nails
5. Do hair
6. Pick up flowers
7. Charge camera batteries and such

Ahh. That list didn’t cover everything. I’m still going to be stressed.

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UNE ROBE
27 April, 2008, 1010 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I found a prom dress.  My mama bought it for me.  I luff it.



YOU SHOULD HAVE COME TO THE ARTS FESTIVAL

I have finally completed my senior project.  And I’m so proud.  So, so proud.  Now this week, I have to distribute it around.  Since our printer is a piece of shit, I wasted lots of paper trying to print the cover, which takes up a looot of ink.  So I used up the better part of a cartridge yesterday.

If you live near me and you want a copy, I’d advise visiting some places downtown next week–Cherry Alley, maybe Zelda’s, perhaps Page After Page.  That’s where I plan to put them.  They’re completely free, by the by.

If you don’t live near me and you want a copy, I’ll be putting them in a PDF file online sometime soon, so you can save paper by reading it online, print a copy for yourself, print copies for your friends, et cetera.  Distribute.  I don’t care, as long as you don’t plagiarize.  I would be very, very angry if you plagiarized.

By the by, I have named it “From My Window To Yours.”  I bet you can guess where it’s from.

The best part is that I plan on continuing this.  Creating more volumes.  Making it better.

Anyway.  Yesterday was also the Arts Festival.  Sara said that she was upset about missing it this year.  This got me excited about going, because it must be good if Sara says it is.

Understatement.

It was the best day of my life.

So for starters, Market Street was blocked off so that tents could be set up in the street.  I got there at one, which was my volunteer time, but I regret not getting there earlier.  It took me ten minutes to find the Art for Africa booth, but they didn’t need me to volunteer, anyway.

This allowed me to walk around.  I found Jess at the Campus and I found Kate coming out of Cherry Alley.  I found Phelan and Coleton later.

I felt bad for Phelan and Coleton because I had promised the day to Phelan first.  Or at least, I had offered to see him.  I guess that’s not offering the day to him, but he lives in Palmyra and I rarely see him.  And after that, I had offered the day to Katie, but I only ran into her a few times, which I feel awful about.  I also made sort-of plans with Ali, but they did not happen.  I spent most of the time with Kate and Jess, which often excluded Phelan and Coleton.  But we had a good time.

I met people I normally lurk; thus, I do not have to lurk anymore.  For example, Angela, whose MySpace I constantly encounter.  I noted that while she is pretty in her photographs, the images don’t do her justice.  By that, I mean that she is gorgeous in person, far more so than any photograph could portray.  And actually, somehow, she reminded me a lot of Erika.  It might have been her fairly long, painted nails or her style, but I think it was mainly her thin hands, wrapped securely around a phone, and her small feet, covered in flats.  Weird things to notice.  Truth be told, Erika’s facial expressions cannot be matched.  But I did find the girls similar.  Thus, I found a strange comfort and familiarity in Angela that probably made me seem very forward.

My favourite part of the day was not the pierogies.  It was not socializing.  It was not making eyes at my favourite Cherry Alley employee (more like looking at, haha).  It was the weather.  Fucking gorgeous!  Shorts-outside material.  No jacket.  Sunny, hot, and amazing.  No cloud cover.  It was the kind of day that just made me happy.  Thus, all that additional art made me overjoyed.  It was too good.  And I wasn’t wasting it, either.  I felt like hugging everyone.  I felt like I was at the top of my game.  And for the few hours that I was there, I felt like hugging absolutely everyone.

Afterwards, I went running with my iPod and my handy dandy Running Mix.  And I felt glorious.

The rest of the night was wasted on printing my senior project, but at 1 am, I got a text from Brent to get online.  I was half-asleep, so I got on and we had a good conversation.  After that, I had a hard time going to sleep again.

And then this morning, I went running farther than I went yesterday.  I also lifted weights.  So I feel awesome.

But this is all in preparation for the tedious journey of searching for a prom dress.

Take It Easy (Love Nothing) | Bright Eyes
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Bright Eyes’ Website
Bright Eyes’ MySpace
Saddle Creek Website

On the plus side (still), I am able to listen to Bright Eyes avidly again.  “Lua” is climbing its way back into my heart.



COME TO THE LEWISBURG ARTS FESTIVAL, PLEASE

So.  I’m completely grounded.

This is exceptionally rare for me.  Even when I am semi-grounded, I normally have some freedom to roam about the neighbourhood, but this time, I am confined to home, which basically means that I need to take up Colonial girl hobbies.

One of my semi-Colonial hobbies is writing pieces for my senior project, that zine I mentioned a while ago.  It’s coming along.  Actually, that’s the reason I am grounded–my senior project is not finished yet.  But I’m about halfway there, if you exclude distribution and the final paper.  I’m trying to go out of my way to make it nice and different from your typical zine.  I’m veering away from words and photos that look clipped out of magazines, though I did find this HILARIOUS photograph of a bunch of baby hawks in a 1974 issue of National Geographic that I must use.  They’re Coopers hawks.

I guess the cover is giving me the most trouble.  I want to draw something, but I need a title first.  I don’t want to rely too heavily on music, either, because then people will get it right away.  That’s one problem with a lot of my artwork, actually–I make art inspired by the music I listen to, so when other people look at it, it lacks the sentimental value that it has for me.  I want a title that will test my potential readers and draw them in.  Then again, I guess if I dig deep enough in my music library, I can find some obscure line that will lure in the lovers and the uninformed.  I kind of want to go French on them.

Speaking of art, if you live anywhere near Lewisburg, even remotely, you ought to come to the Lewisburg Arts Festival.  I recommend coming on Friday or Saturday, I think, because that’s when the high school is selling artwork, I think, and I’ll be selling a bag or two that I am making in hyperspeed this week.  In keeping with my Colonial hobbies, I’ve also been making friendship bracelets for the festival; in fact, kids all over Lewisburg have been working hard at bracelet making.  The bracelets will be fifty cents each and profits will go to help people in Darfur.  It may seem like very little money, but even fifty cents can buy food for a few days.  Allegedly.  I mean, it’ll help, it’ll help.  Also, after finishing two bracelets, let me tell you, they’re no easy feat.  It takes hours of concentration–even a medium-sized (widthwise) bracelet takes about 500 knots, give or take a few.  Not that I counted, but there are ways to figure it out using a calculator.

Oh, but as for the bag sales, you’re probably wondering why I’m selling those.  After all, they’re one-of-a-kind, handmade, they take forever to design and create, and they hold tons of sentimental value.  Well, here’s the thing.  I only really need one bag for myself.  Selling these bags will help the situation in Darfur.  Currently, I am debating donating 10% or 100% of the profits, because I want to help, but seriously, girl needs to save for college.  That’s selfish, I know, but I hate asking my parents for money constantly, just like I hate asking them for rides so I walk where I can.  10% would be decent, but 100% would kick some ass.  I guess it depends on how much I sell the bags for.  Another part of my internal debate is that if I donate the full profits of these ones, it would be like…you know, some limited edition thing available to the public that you can pay for.  And that would be AWESOME.  But what if I start selling them more frequently if and when I buy a sewing machine of my own?

If you’re going to the festival (which I advise), I’m making one bag inspired by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins and one bag inspired by some other artist–I’m considering Stars, Andrew Bird, or Final Fantasy.  I don’t know yet, though.  I almost feel like people won’t buy if I make bags themed around the music, but at the same time, that’s sort of my “thing.”  Whatever.

In other reports, today, I was writing notes in English, hunched over my desk, and I realized that my hair was resting on my arm.  This is not a huge deal for most people, but I’ve gone for the past two years with chin-length hair.  And now, when I am sitting straight, it skims the clip part of my bra, on my back.  It serves several purposes.  One, I am more able to emulate Jenny Lewis than ever before, because I am certain that this is the longest my hair has ever been.  Two, it is heavy, dark, and appreciated.  Whenever I had my hair long before, I hated it.  I couldn’t do anything with it.  But I think having bangs helps.  Three, I’m well on my way to donating it to Locks of Love.

My paternal grandmother always brags about how she has two granddaughters (out of many) and one daughter (out of four) who have donated their hair.  She sneaks up behind teenage girls at church who have their hair hanging down to their waists and taunts them–“That would make a beautiful wig for some child who needs it.”  She’s hardcore, but her campaigning has made me strongly consider it.  I just need to wait and keep it healthy in the meantime.

In honour of spending this past weekend with people I have missed and having a comfortable time, I have some mp3s.  For the record, I have never been able to bring myself to sing comfortably in front of anyone else–too much pressure, too much criticism.  But I was so at ease.

This one was my favourite one to sing, and apparently the only song Phelan enjoyed from Across the Universe.  And it reminds me of that TV show, The Wonder Years.

With A Little Help From My Friends | Joe Anderson and Jim Sturgess
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“Silver Lining” summons memories of moving here, wanting to play Ragnarok all day, feeling sexy without the aid of makeup or a hair straightener for the first time in my life, getting along with Rachael again, missing Richmond perpetually, and spending all day outside but retaining my pale skin because of the religious application of sunscreen.  SPF 50 or so.  I felt so helpless sometimes, but I was free.  Gold.  New.

Silver Lining | Rilo Kiley
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Rilo Kiley’s Website
Rilo Kiley’s MySpace



LE CULTURE DE FRANCE ET LE CULTURE D’INDIE

Got sick yesterday, recovered by laying around after school and watching Paris, Je t’aime.  Incroyable.  Indescribable.  I went into French class this morning all ready to use my nasal “r” sound, and then I remembered that it is just high school French and even my teacher does not have it in him.  And we are American.  Pennsylvanian at that.  We are allowed to use these German accents to speak German, but we cannot risk the embarrassment of sounding really, truly French.  How patriotic would that be, in conservative central Pennsylvania, where the French are pansy fags?  Mais j’aime le culture de France.  Even if no one else does.  Just like I love Rilo Kiley in all of its indie rock, folk-tinged glory, even if no one else does because it is too “country.”

This segment reminded me a ton of Garden State.

The overall feeling of the film was nostalgia.  Little stories about love.  I laughed, I cried, I thought about my own love, my own life.  Each part was delicate.  Just five minutes long.  But each had something in it for me.  It was like peeking into all of these different lives and just seeing that they’re all somehow alike, despite socioeconomic status, despite gender or marital status or exact situation.  Precise location.  And it’s because of love.  It made me sad that I mostly had to read subtitles because my savvy for listening comprehension does not extend far beyond the tapes in French class or my teacher and peers, aided with textual references and G-rated vocabulary.  But it makes me that much more motivated to start listening to RFI every day and to download more good French artists.  Maybe not more squeaky clean Lorie.  I know that there must be French indie.  I just don’t know where to find something cent pour cent French.  Because a lot of it (like the Arcade Fire or Charlotte Gainsbourg) is interspersed with English.

Anyway, tomorrow, I am going to New York City for the first time to see Young Frankenstein.  Although I am excited, I am also extremely nervous and intimidated and I really can’t see myself going there.  It’s a cruel city, but I imagine it is also beautiful.  But how do you not look like a tourist when you are enchanted?  I guess it’s not such a bad thing being a tourist; loads of people are tourists in New York City.  But I see it as bad.  I mean, I get so acquainted with the bands I listen to so that I am not a n00b.  So wouldn’t it make sense to do the same with cities I want to visit?

I am less nervous for going to DC on Friday with art.  I have been to DC a million times.  We talk about DC every day in AP Gov.  It’s just going to be another trip there.  I am comfortable with DC.  I mean, it’s halfway home.

I went downtown with Brent to Cherry Alley Café today.  Got a hot chocolate.  And while we were sitting around talking, the oh-so-cute “Anyone Else But You” came on the stereo system.  By now, you should know it by heart.  By the Moldy Peaches.  I mentioned that it is a shame: Everyone is now calling dibbs on all these grand indie bands like they own them, “I heard them first,” hoarding them, sticking them in their Facebook profiles.  Because they have one popular song that the masses like.  And it’s so fucking cute.  And it’s about ugly people loving each other.  How cute is that?

But before their exposure from Juno, no one had heard of the Moldy Peaches.  Nothing wrong with Juno.  I, for one, loved the film.  I could relate to the protagonist.  A sarcastic high schooler who keeps getting caught in romantic waters way over her head, kind of quirky or “off,” in love with her best male friend and unwilling to admit it for a long time.  Very into music.  Quite the fan of hoodies.  Guys at school are not interested, for the most part.  Then you could go into superficial things.  Drives mom’s minivan.  Lives in a small town.  Then you could get more superficial.  Short compared to everyone else.  Brown hair.  Whatever.

But the masses fell in love with Juno because she is not your typical teen protagonist.  That’s just it–she is different.  She fits into the indie subculture.  That stereotype.  And so all of these uneducated, normal teenagers go to the movies and they see Juno, and they see a part of themselves in her.  Just like whenever I go to the movies and walk out thinking that maybe a small part of me looks just like Keira Knightley because she is gorgeous and spunky.  But I look nothing like Keira Knightley.  Many of these kids are nothing like Juno.

So they jump on the bandwagon late, try to become weird by trying to fit in with people like you and me.  The really, truly, incurably weird ones.  The ones who are in love with music and don’t give a shit about looking like a character.  And am I looking for street cred?  No.  No, because I have always been like this.  Introverted, introspective, and “off.”  And no movie is ever going to make me look like a character.  I will always, always be like this.  It is a natural progression from who I was as a sophomore/junior.  Music took over my life.  My priority is not to look as credible as I can.  I have other things to worry about.  I love French, I love several bands wholeheartedly, and I love to write.

But here’s where it gets weird.  Here’s where my story disappoints.  The kids who will change in light of Juno and other movies promoting the indie stereotype, they do not see my peers and I as any cooler for being this way naturally.  They will not try to befriend us and talk to us about how awesome our hobbies and plain clothes are.  How they always secretly wished they were like this, wasting life, and how free it feels to look natural.  Normal.  Because I am pretty average-looking.  They will just try to change their friends to be like them.  So that our little underground thing goes public and then we just look like everyone else again.  And the only way to tell us apart?  Talk to us.  Their personalities won’t change.  They probably still won’t have interesting things to say.  Oh, and they still won’t be able to spell.

I think that hanging out with Brent brings out the cynic in me.  He is, after all, the one who pointed this out, that Juno really stereotyped the indie subculture and that kids just find it intriguing.

Well, music.  I guess we can give them those popular songs.  Make them feel like they can get something genuine out of life because that’s the only genuine thing they’ll ever get out of life.  And for those of you who will continue to stick with the subculture when the hype’s all over?  Good for you.  Because Juno really is a great movie, and if you stuck it out after you fell in love with it, then more power to you.

For some time, I’ve been lovin’ on Sam Beam.  You know, Iron & Wine.  I downloaded this song as per my cousin’s request and shoved it aside for a while, but I recently unearthed it and fell in love.  It’s like a long evening of driving towards the sunset.  I love the handclaps.  While Sam Beam’s eyebrows may only get one star (he has some, does he not?!), the song gets all five.

Boy With A Coin | Iron & Wine
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Iron & Wine’s Website
Iron & Wine’s MySpace

P.S.  I love that my blog has the 26th most popular song on the Hype Machine today, but I also hate it because it was such a fuck-up.  Give me a spot for something I actually deserve, goddamnit.  Whatever, though.  Again, Charlatantric deserves your hits.  Go to his blog and discover truly underrated music.



NEWS!

Every time I have gotten on the damn computer this weekend, I have gained an immense, head-swirling headache. What the hell?

Most exciting news of the today: Jenny Lewis is working on a new solo album. So we get more greatness! We get something that is hopefully better than Under the Blacklight to make up for the disappointment that was Rilo Kiley’s latest album! Yay!

Next most exciting news: Death Cab’s new album, Narrow Stairs, has leaked. My verdict? I don’t like it. I sort of hope that it’s going to be a grower, but here’s my main problem: Ben Gibbard’s voice has changed. It feels weaker, less enthusiastic, shallower, deeper, and vaguely Beatles-inspired. You know, almost nasal. Maybe Death Cab is becoming canned and processed. Or maybe they are being given the opportunity to become uncanned and deprocessed. I don’t know. The only song that really interests me is “Cath…” because it reminds me of the book Miss Misery by Andy Greenwald. One of the main characters is named Cath, Cath Kennedy. She is an internet tempress, a blogger. Yeah. I could enjoy these songs if I wasn’t tripping on a headache and if Ben Gibbard’s voice was the same. I’m a cunt for not enjoying something I stole, I know, I know.*

*A handy reader just tipped me off that it was a hoax. And it is, indeed, a hoax! Actually, it was Charlatantric‘s April Fools prank. Crazy shit. I knew something was fishy. Anyway, the real band that performs these songs is a German band called Velveteen. They have a striking vocal resemblance to Death Cab. The track that was inaccurately named “Cath…” is actually called “The Getaway.” Regardless, I will leave the track up because it’s still a good song. Charlatantric is a sneaky bastard, haha. The one time I go onto his website to check how things are going, he’s got a prank posted…and I fall for it. However miffed I am at being hoodwinked, I am impressed.  His motive was exposure (not to dupe music thieves), and it ended up being a widespread scandal.  April Fool’s prank.

The Getaway | Velveteen
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Velveteen’s MySpace

In light of Death Cab’s change (see above*), I find myself becoming more and more attached to the Postal Service. At this point, they just seem more pure and unchangeable. Always delightful. So here’s one of my favourite Postal Service works…actually, it’s a popular Flaming Lips song remixed by the Postal Service. Still fucking amazing. They just put a happy twist on the song.

Do You Realize? (Postal Service Remix) | The Flaming Lips
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The Flaming Lips’ Website
The Flaming Lips’ MySpace
The Postal Service’s Website
The Postal Service’s MySpace

Oh. Ah, I don’t know if I have mentioned this yet, but I got tickets to see Rilo Kiley on June 8th at Toad’s Place Richmond. I probably did mention this, actually, because I almost pissed my pants when a sly reader tipped me off that they were going there. I bought the tickets that day. Now, it would be grand to see my favourite band live, you know, by myself even with a bunch of strangers. But most of my indie-listening biffs are going with me. I am stunned and stoked. Just having the knowledge that I will see Rilo Kiley motivates me. It keeps me moving. It helped me run my 10:34 mile (you’re absolutely welcome to laugh–I would prefer laughing over scolding). It helped me do other…phenomenal things…I can’t really think of anything else it helped me do, except maybe wake up on time.

Also, you may be wondering why I have not been extracting emotions from everyday life and dissecting them in my blog. It’s because of my senior project. I’m reserving all of my emotions for that.



YOU MAY THINK THAT I AM CRAZY FOR THIS
12 April, 2008, 531 pm
Filed under: Music, Nouvelle Musique, School | Tags: , ,

I don’t know how many of you readers are francophiles, but if you are, then I have something très super to show you.

A few months ago in French, my teacher announced that we would be doing a musical project in light of Valentine’s Day. He handed out a webquest and a packet of lyrics and assigned us each a song to translate.

I did the webquest on the day it was due. It was on this French singer named Laure Pester, and I thought it was funny that he was asking us to learn her life story. Allegedly a former figure skater. Née le 2 mai, 1982. Dating some pop singer. So when we got to class, some kids translated some of her songs aloud and we watched maybe two music videos. And I thought it was extremely lame that we were learning about a pop singer and then listening to her songs. Plus, she was squeaky clean. I would rather learn about Yelle or Julia Shammas Holter.

Well, that was all before I heard “Sur Un Air Latino.” It’s such a catchy song, holy shit. The lyrics rhyme and would probably be very cliché to any French person who is not a ten-year-old girl, but I am not française, so it makes me want to sing along. And I would want to dance, but I cannot dance like Lorie.

Another highlight of our Lorie learning experience was “Ensorcelée.” That was actually the song I had to translate. “Bewitched.” I thought the lyrics were so stupid, and then I looked at the video and it was so cheesy–I mean, you had native creeps with bulging eyes who all had to be notably less attractive than the blonde, graceful Lorie. But the song was just as catchy as “Sur Un Air Latino” was, if not a bit more serious. Instrumentation’s not even bad for pop music.

And then my teacher let us watch some of Lorie’s songs in concert. So he showed us this cute Medley and then he let us watch this song called “Parti Pour Zouker,” warning us that it was designed like “Sur Un Air Latino.” I hated her hair in the clip, but this song was arguably the most catchy. It stuck in my head all day every time I heard it (which was often).

So in honour of Lorie’s catchiness, here’s a rather low-quality version of “Parti Pour Zouker.” You’ll get the idea, though. It’s a good song. I would never put it on a mixtape, never give it to a boy, but I get a kick out of it for myself.

Parti Pour Zouker | Lorie
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Lorie’s MySpace

Lorie, though, has changed her image a bit since the tracks on her Greatest Hits album. She’s a little more sexual, a little less American (in several of her early videos, you see subtle allusions to America, such as red, white, and blue outfits, flags on her tee shirts, and American English sayings on her clothes). She has tapped into her inner Frenchwoman, which should not have been hard, considering that she is French.

I enjoy “PLAY” because it sounds less pop than some of her other songs. I have not attempted to translate it, but it makes up for what “Je Vais Vite” lacks (uniform instrumentation–the lack thereof makes it feel very late-70s/early-80s). It’s sexy and modern, and you could certainly dance to it. The video demonstrates this quite well. Lorie is like a blonde Posh Spice now–she’s all grown up. She still manages to look young, though, which is something Posh Spice could never pull off–maybe because of her dark features.

PLAY | Lorie
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Anyway, why am I writing about Lorie? I am fairly anti-industry, pro-indie. But I enjoy her music regardless of the fact that it is pop because it is in French. Additionally, I think that people could do wonders remixing the better ones–such as the ones I’ve written about. But I can’t remix shit. There are some remixes on her MySpace, by the by, but I think other people could do better. You know, get more creative.