INDIEchouette


SAD ROBOT
Why I use the internet.

Why I use the internet.

I’ll say, stretching is underrated.  Stretch your arms way above your head, arch your back, twist around a bit.  You’ll see what I mean.  You might also yawn after, and then you will have to thank me.

Do you realize how profound a mother’s influence can be?  I was just reminded of a couple of girls (three, actually) I knew back in early high school whose moms got on their backs about their need to lose weight, to look a certain way, to wear certain clothes, to never forget makeup, and to retain certain ladylike hobbies.  All three of these girls are still pretty young, still in high school, but they’ve turned out to be Christian conservative girls with good posture.  They are beauty pageant daughters.  They don’t really enter beauty pageants, but I would not be surprised if they all attended Cotillion in middle school.  White, upper-middle class Southern belle dancing.  But in my humble opinion, these girls look fine the way they are.

Ma mère influenced me a good deal, too, and still attempts to reform my no-makeup, bad-posture ways.  And she can make me feel so self-conscious when she comments on my clothes or my hair or my skin or my eyebrows.  Sometimes it makes me not want to leave the house.  And she says that I absolutely cannot get piercings, except my ears if I want them, which I don’t.  But she allowed me certain liberties while growing up, maybe because I wasn’t an only child or even an only daughter, but one of three.  I was allowed to do whatever I wanted within reason, no sports, no girly activities like Cotillion, probably because it was too expensive and we were from the north.  My childhood consisted of making art, reading religiously, biking, playing outside, and writing.

The summer before I turned twelve, I spent all day reading every day for several weeks, and my mother grew concerned after a while.  She prohibited me from reading so much, but that’s the only time I can really recall that she stepped in.  I don’t remember how successful she was at that one.  Also, she hates the Shins because they remind her too much of the Beach Boys and doesn’t let me listen to them when she’s in earshot.  And she always used to say that she hoped that I did not listen to music about kids killing their parents.  Like I would.

Oh, “Jack Killed Mom” um…shit.  That doesn’t count!

Looking back, I’m glad she allowed me those liberties because even if I would look so much better if she were so strict about my appearance, she allowed me to develop into my own person, if somewhat reluctantly.  My mom let go of me at a certain point and allowed me to take control of everything from my hair to my eyebrows to my clothing to my music to my hobbies.  The only thing she will not let me control is body hair that is normally shaved.  The thing is that she doesn’t ever see my nether region, so she doesn’t know what’s going on.

Speaking of, here is one of the greatest scenes from one of the greatest chapters in all of the books I have read.   It is Everything Is Illuminated.  I guess I will only put some of it.

My grandfather and the Gypsy girl knew none of this as they made love for the last time, as he touched her face and fingered the soft underside of her chin, as he paid her the attention received by a sculptor’s wife.  Like this? he asked.  She brushed her eyelashes against his chest.  She moved her butterfly kiss across his torso and up his neck to where his left earlobe connected to his jaw.  Like this? she asked.  He pulled her blue blouse over her head, he undid her bead necklaces, he licked her smooth and sweaty armpits and ran his finger from her neck to her navel.  He drew circles around her caramel areolas with his tongue.  Like this? he asked.  She nodded and craned her head back.  He flicked her nipples with his tongue, and knew that it was all so completely wrong, everything, from the moment of his birth to this, everything was coming out the wrong way–not the opposite, but worse: close.

I can’t tell you how much of a funk I was in when I finished that book.  Right now, I feel out-typed, like I have been silkscreening my thoughts onto the internet for too long.  I can’t quite think straight.  I think that I just need vast amounts of sleep.

Between now and when I go to sleep, you should listen to some Stars.  I only obtained Sad Robots EP a few months ago, but ever since then, I am constantly listening to those six songs, minus “Going, Going, Gone [Live]” because it generally gives me a headache and reminds me of an alarm clock.

Undertow | Stars
[mediafire] [buy]
“Undertow” is a warm blanket on a cold night, an umbrella on a rainy day, and a bicycle on a sunny afternoon.  It is my crutch.  My favourite aspect of this song is that everything that is in the background is quiet.  So it’s really a tranquil song.  The breakdown near the end comes in at a close second place.

14 Forever | Stars
[mediafire] [buy]
Not like I’d like to be fourteen forever for real because I seriously hated being fourteen, but the feeling is so good.  You have to understand.  You know the tenderness that comes along with a first relationship, a first love.  I guess I don’t want to be left alone.

While we’re talking about being a teenager (“14 Forever”), I would like to mention the Hardee’s commercial which uses blatant meat pornography.  This is pretty much a double blow to me because while I could maybe handle some gorgeous woman sucking off a cucumber, it’s just disgusting to see her eating out a huge burger.  It’s not even the meat that really gets me, though.  It’s the pornography.

I’m a reasonable girl.  I can handle sex.  But I don’t think it’s appropriate.  I can’t quite wrap my mind around backup information as to why I can’t watch this commercial without thinking about a high-definition, high-budget porno.  You watch it, and it’s self-evident and shocking.  But it’s also advertising something that is despicable.  And the most interesting thing about this whole deal is that Padma Lakshmi, the model, used to be a vegetarian.  This is flipping a huge bird to the cause.

I don’t know.  You watch it and tell me what you think.

Just, I guess my probelm his that it’s sexual, sure, but it’s not sexy.  And it’s not doing anything to help the feminist front or the animal rights front.  It’s attacking both in one go.

Also, I just realized just how much I miss my mom, and how even if I was seventeen and had a nightmare and woke up screaming and sweaty because of a thunderstorm, she would let me sleep in her bed.  Even though I was just home recently, in March, I feel like I’m going nowhere.  I’m also so frustrated that I’m letting my grades suffer because of some inner crisis.  I also miss Lewisburg as a whole.  I miss Babygirl so much it hurts sometimes.  I miss Ali and Carol kidnapping me.  I miss Shannon coming into our house and eating our food and making up characters and gossipping.  I miss Aunt Peggy coming in and getting ice from the icemaker.  I miss making friendship bracelets without shoes on.  I miss biking around the neighborhood at eleven at night and crying so hard because I was so frustrated and I felt so helpless and alone, and then sitting in the back yard feeling dead, empty, and far from hungry and looking up at the stars.



I FORGOT A TITLE

I just zoned out and pictured Ali and Becca with Ed Zych moustaches.  Hahah.  Wow.

Speaking of Ali, she created a new blog.  I am going to advocate her blog for a minute.  You might like my blog because I am long-winded and really immature and I mope a lot.  You get to watch me grow up.  Go back to my first post, and you want to punch me in the face.  I like to explain things thoroughly so you completely understand whatever I’m talking about.  And I try so hard not to offend.  You will like Ali’s blog because she uses colourful pictures to illustrate her points.  She writes with an intensity that is unheard of.  Somehow, she is able to get her point across with few words.  If we both wrote about the same thing, I’m pretty sure that I would take a five-paragraph essay to convey what she can in five sentences.  The way she writes conjures up thoughts of vignettes.  They are little snippets of her life that require no backstory.  Ali’s writing is unique in this way.  The way I write is basically a very unpoetic epic poem or a journal.  I give you some backstory.  You can track my progress.  I change.

Dear Ali,
I will always find you whenever you start a new blog.  You can’t hide.
Love, Paige

When I put it this way, I wonder why you read my blog at all.  It’s probably for the free candy.  Free music.  Yeah.

Honestly, I don’t know why I’ve let the blog go for this long without some new music.  Because I’ve been listening avidly all this time, finding new lovely artists.  I’ve been tuning my iTunes to spring.

I feel that I should start slowly though.  First, I said back in February or March that I would write about She & Him, and I didn’t lie but I just haven’t done it yet.

Erika is the one who introduced me to She & Him.  She told me that she falls asleep to their album, Volume One, every night.  It is her teddy bear.  I was excited but a little skeptical.  It seemed like sacrelige to me to bed down with an album like that, to worship something other than Rilo Kiley.  And while they are no Rilo Kiley for me, while Zooey Deschanel is no Jenny Lewis and M. Ward no Conor Oberst/Blake Sennett, they put up a damn good fight.

shehimsheandhim

If you like Jenny Lewis’ solo albums and if you love 50s/60s pop music with a slight bubblegum flavour, then She & Him is for you.  I really don’t know how they manage it.  It’s a mind-blowing mixture, slightly dangerous, but for what it is, it is perfection.  I would even venture to wholeheartedly recommend She & Him to older listeners, people who grew up with that 50s or 60s bubblegum pop.  I don’t think anyone out of their mid-twenties even reads this, but next time you and your Aunt Elaine are bonding over music, pop this one in.

As for the album itself, most of the thirteen tracks check in at under three minutes.  She & Him don’t go for the epic “Tereza and Thomas”-type shit.  That means that every song is bite-sized, kind of like a Sour Patch Watermelon.

I should never write reviews for CDs again.  My analogies are cringeworthy.

You Really Got A Hold On Me | She & Him
[mediafire] [buy]
Did I mention that they do covers that make me want to melt?  Also, maybe you can help me.  In iTunes and on Last.fm, it’s named “You Really Gotta Hold On Me” but elsewhere, it is named “You Really Got A Hold On Me”.  Which is correct?

I Thought I Saw Your Face Today | She & Him
[mediafire] [buy]
Did I mention that I love sick beats?

While I’m on a roll, talking about amazing women, it is mandaroty that I mention Sarah Maple.  She is an incredibly accomplished and clever feminist painter and photographer.  I don’t want to just paraphrase the Bitch article that introduced her to me on a formal basis (because I had run into her a few times before, but the websites never cited her).  She’s just an incredible cultural commentator.

This ones my favourite.

This one's my favourite.

As for real-life occurrences, I go home in three weeks (less than a month) and I am stoked.  I will be able to sit outside and read all day while my sisters suffer at school.  And for those of you still in high school, yes, that is a pretty mean thing to say, but when you think about it, I suffered too.  I went to school for fourteen years before arriving at this position.  This is my fifteenth year, and it’s almost done.  If you’re in high school, you probably haven’t gone through that much school.



BON ANNIVERSAIRE, JLEW!

Sometimes, I am frustratingly blind.  And it hurts.

Happy birthday, Jenny Lewis!  And happy Jenny Lewis’ birthday!  I celebrate that shit like it’s a religious holiday!

jlew

I give you some old favourites.

My Slumbering Heart | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

With Arms Outstretched | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

Spectacular Views | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

It’s A Hit | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

More Adventurous | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

Pictures of Success | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

Always | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

We Will Become Silhouettes | The Postal Service
[mediafire] [buy]

Oh man, Rilo Kiley marathon, fuck yes.  PS, Mediafire links coming soon.  Firefox and Mediafire just keep wigging out every time I try to find files, just for now.  Within the week, I promise, ilu.

I would like to shout out to my grrrl, Erika, for also celebrating Jenny Lewis’ birthday.

I got my hair cut today at Holiday Hair at the mall.  The haircut isn’t that bad, except that the “choppy layers” I was going for totally aren’t there, so needless to say, I’m kind of extremely pissed.  I even told the girl, “I WANT VOLUME.”  Like, what does that mean to you?  It means that it’s absolutely my priority and that I will sacrifice a rational haircut for some lift!  Swear to God, next time I want my hair cut, I am not going to [ask my mom to] pay $20 for it.  Oh, nuh-uh.  Don’t hate on me.  My mom’s the one who urged that I needed a haircut so badly, so she offered to pay up.

Instead of complaining, I’m going to go lurk all over /b/.  THAR R SRSLY GRLZ ON B?  RLY?  CUMDUMPSTERS EXIST?  NOWAI!  I rarely admit that I am a she.  You’ve been warned.  Be back later, bye.



I’M GOING TO PRETEND I WAS NEVER ON TEMPORARY HIATUS

Here is a story for you.  I thought I had four As and one B this semester at college.  When I checked my grades online, I found that I had four As and one C.  The C was in my one-credit Intro to University class, where we did jack shit and my teacher was a certified phony.  I’d nabbed As in Psyc, English, Math, and Gov.  This was not an easy feat.  And that one-credit piece of shit class dragged down my GPA.  Needless to say, I was at least a little frustrated, and supposing my cousin, Liz, chances upon this entry, she will probably correct me and tell me that I cried and she wanted to punch me in the face.  College is something you have to pay for, so my mentality was to achieve all As (unlike my high school mentality, which was “Fuck It”).

However, I still made Dean’s List.  This is extremely satisfying.

My message to you is:  If you go to VCU, do not take Univ 101 no matter how your advisor urges that you do so.  It’s just not worth the time.

I will give you two more things today.

The first is a book recommendation.  If you’re like me, then you have multitudes of books lying around your room and your suitcase that you cannot wait to read, yet there are still so many more that you have not yet acquired of which you yearn to get ahold.  And you’re ever so open to recommendations, as you love to read and you love books, but at the same time, you barely have room for another book in your life right now.  I am like this now, and I was also like this when I purchased the book that I am currently reading, but I urge you to do whatever you can to make room for this book.  And I’ll tell you what this book is.

But first, I have to admit that I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet.  I feel so overwhelmed now because I must have about a million undiscovered gems to read, especially considering the grandeur that is this novel.

everything-is-illuminated

The book is called Everything Is Illuminated and it was written by Jonathan Safran Foer.  And I’ll have to leave it at that, because it’s impossible to describe in all its intricacies.  I can tell you that if you doubt me at all, then just read the first “chapter” piece, narrated by Alex in hilariously fucked-up English.  If you’re a language person like I am, then you’ll appreciate these segments.  And if you still doubt me, then turn to the next “chapter” piece, narrated by Jonathan.  If you’re a detail-oriented person like I am, then you’ll appreciate these segments.  And if you still doubt me, well, you might as well read the entire novel.  It’s thick but the pages fly by.  And it’s probably worth it.

I might as well add that yes, a movie version does exist, and it may or may not be loyal to the book and it may or may not be fulfilling, but I only recommend the book.  It is worthwhile to read the book.  Elijah Wood is in the movie, but I don’t know whether or not it is worthwhile to watch.  Just read the book already.

Also, okay, since I had to find a photo of the book cover, I also ran into shots from the movie and it is tempting to watch it now.  But please, be a good person and read the book.

The last well…maybe the last thing I wanted to tell you is that of course I enjoy Melpo Mene, and that I have another Melpo Mene track to share with you.  Not unlike the band’s other tracks, this one is a sweet, soft lullaby-like crooner tune but it strikes me probably because it is both incredibly joyous and terribly melancholy at the same time.  It is not unlike a sunny afternoon on a day where you’ve slept too much, because while it’s dandy that everything is gorgeous and that you are well-rested, the sunlight will go away soon and the day will end and then you’ll have nothing to do.

I should get away | Melpo Mene
[zshare] [mediafire]
[website] [myspace]

And I was just thinking that maybe this should be the end of my post, but I have decided to take it upon myself to introduce to you a phenomenon.  If you have already seen this phenomenon, then I am proud of you.  But I can only go a few days or weeks without seeing this video before having to refresh my memory.

It’s not that I think this girl is stupid or that I want to hate on her.  I just find her videos humorous in content.  This is probably the most popular one, but her others are gems as well.  She can be good-natured and excited, which in turn brings a smile to my face maybe because her good moods are fairly contagious, or maybe because she’s just so unbearably silly.  It kind of reminds me of an exaggerated version of me reacting to anything to do with Rilo Kiley.  I’m not praising her views on Twilight, though.  I find it fairly silly to defend something like a popular (and allegedly poorly-written) piece of literature so relentlessly and without restraint.  This sort of video by a self-proclaimed “twituber” makes me want to test Twilight for myself so I can be a better judge, since my taste in literature is relatively acute.  Then again, most girls who read Twilight, their taste is acute too.  They mostly refuse to branch out from the Young Adult section, which means they’ll just imbibe novels like A-List, The Clique, and other such teen romance/girl-fiction shit.



MIX: SEPTEMBRE 2008

Derek has a CD player in his car.  He kept spinning the same CD every time he drove me places.  He told me that these were the songs that were constantly stuck in his head.

Since it was the same CD over and over again, I volunteered to make him a new CD with the songs that are constantly stuck in my head.  He thought that was a good idea because his sister allegedly makes him listen to very bad music sometimes.

This CD was only semi-hard work because I had to hunt down the MP3s online via the Hype Machine and then cut two at the end because a CD only holds 80 minutes.  The rest of the work was easy peasy, just picking out songs that I can’t get enough of lately.

The songs are in no particular order because it’s just a bunch of songs that blitzkrieg my brain in no particular order with no warning.  Because of this random order, I am an advocate of putting this mix on shuffle whenever you want.

And here’s my reasoning for each track in no particular order (main reasoning = catchy).  There are also download links over yonder.

Virgin Suicides [ysi] | Van She
Okay, I’ve already written about how awesome this song is, but I honestly don’t see how anyone could dislike it.  It’s upbeat and happy.  Think “Look Up” by Stars, except without all the encouraging parts.

Two Silver Trees [ysi] | Calexico
“Two Silver Trees” is what “Young Bride” by Midlake was to me about a year ago.  I take this song seriously.

Kids [ysi] | MGMT
The first time I heard “Kids,” I wasn’t paying attention.  And then I ended up downloading it, and for the first two weeks of school, it was my silly anthem for walking around campus.  I felt so MGMT.

Little Monsters [ysi] | Charlotte Gainsbourg
I love bells and I love her whispery Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg-inherited voice.  This song is small furry mystical creatures on the beach on a fall night night during a meteor shower.  Charlotte Gainsbourg could make death by bubonic plague sound good.

Af607105 [ysi] | Charlotte Gainsbourg
What I also love about Charlotte Gainsbourg is that most of her songs are night songs with an accent, for when you’re warm and comfortable and relaxed and in some kind of indescribable state of bliss.  Maybe naked.

Irene [ysi] | Caribou
I think I picked this one up from AllThingsGo once, but disregarded it for the most part.  However, upon moving into college, I discovered that I had a snoring roommate.  My methods of coping during the wee hours of the morning included turning the AC on high, turning on the TV, making banging noises and pretending I couldn’t help it, using earplugs, and listening to my iPod.  During one of the iPod nights, I was able to sleep, but was roused not by loud, unsettling music like the Fall of Troy, but in fact by some of the most peaceful and beautiful music I had ever heard.  In my heavy-lidded, half-conscious state, I noted that the song was “Irene” by Caribou.  It’s been constantly replaying since.

St. Petersburg [ysi] | Brazilian Girls
I lurk the Hype Machine frequently and actually found this track in the “Popular” section.  I downloaded “L’Interprete” because it looked like a French name.  “St. Petersburg” was a tagalong, but I actually like it more because while it’s very chill and catchy, it also soars at some parts and comes down from those orgasms appropriately.

Evening Life [ysi] | The XYZ Affair
While this is a summer song, um, hello?  Most of September is still summer.  We just don’t consider it summer because it’s a transitional month, and we have school and work again.  Well, work for teachers.  It’s the same as June being spring, December being fall, and March being Winter.  I know they’re out of order.  Anyway, I just like the melody, I think, and the singer’s fairly high voice.

Id Engager [ysi] | of Montreal
We all know that of Montreal is crazy fun.  I just think this a subtle improvement on their old stuff.  Less senselessness, but still enough.  Still high-quality, same genre, same Kevin Barnes, same play on words.  Of Montreal is still creepy sex.

Parisian Skies [ysi] | Maximo Park
This one’s an Ali.  You can always tell Alis because they’re British.  Much like “I Adore You” by Melpo Mene “Parisian Skies” floats like clouds.  But they’re more aggressive, passionate clouds.  I have enjoyed this track all summer at the beach, in the car, in bed, walking.  It sounds like I’m a sex addict.  Oh, also, I’m a francophile, so of course I love an amazing indie rock song called Parisian Skies.  Come on, guys.

Gold Mine Gutted [ysi] | Bright Eyes
I used to listen to the Metronomy remix nonstop, but I’ve begun to reappreciate the glory of the original now.  It’s a lot sadder.  In many ways, I think that’s a plus.  It more accurately represents Bright Eyes.  There’s something so chill and spacelike about the original.  It feels like floating.

Two Doors Down [ysi]| Mystery Jets
Yet another fabulous contribution from Ali.  While I initially disliked the eighties touches, now I know I’m in love.  I guess it depends on how you listen.

Gobbledigook [ysi] | Sigur Rós
While a lot of Sigur Rós’ other material is often floaty and dragged out, Gobbledigook is a definite rock piece, all business, no nonsense.  But the percussion makes me want to skip around gleefully.

I’ll Kill Her [ysi] | Soko
She said, “Please can you make some beautiful baybeeez?!”
Little angry Frenchwoman who has her entire life planned out.  I definitely don’t mean any harm to blondes, ever, by putting this song up here.  “All she’s got is blondeness, not even tenderness!”  If I had the space or the patience, I’d put all the lyrics here.

I Blame Coco [ysi] | I Blame Coco
I am a fan of delicate, pretty voices, which is one of my problems with a lot of French music.  A lot of them have deep, raspy voices.  Not a fan.  Coco’s not French, but she is Sting’s daughter and she is my age, and she does have a deep voice.  But her song’s fun, and her voice is a classy addition to this very low-key chanson.

Dishwasher [ysi] | Fujiya & Miyagi
My main obsession with this song is the low-key nature.  Then there’s the percussion.  Then there’s the “raspberry rrrrripple ice cream” part.

Complicated (Avril Lavigne Cover) [ysi] | Ben Gibbard
Shut up!  This is serious!
Wanna know my secret?  I listen to Avril Lavigne to fall asleep some nights.  IT’S OUT.  And while Ben points out that her life isn’t very complicated, man…this is a good cover, especially with the talking at the beginning and at the end.  Those parts make the song.

Hello Benjamin [ysi] | Melpo Mene
I’ve already declared that I’m in love with this band.  But there’s something about the melancholy tone of this one that just gets to me.  That, and it’s always moving.

Broadripple Is Burning [ysi] | Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
I will haunt you like a ghost
I keep running into this song.  It’s more delicate than a Bright Eyes song.



BIRTHDAY EVE

It doesn’t feel like tomorrow (Thursday) is my birthday.  I’m really reluctant to let go of being seventeen.  I feel like I’ve built up so much to be this age, kind of like when I was twelve and fourteen.  Those were ages which, for one reason or another, I aspired to be.  I figured I would savour them and in truth, I did.  I went through a lot of major changes at those ages.  Now, though, I don’t know what age I aspire to be.  Seventeen was kind of it for me.  I love being a teenager, save for all the misconceptions.  Fortunately, I still have two years left, even if I’ll legally be an adult.

I guess part of this whole it-doesn’t-feel-like-tomorrow-is-my-birthday business is that I’m away from most of my family, so it’s not like we can really celebrate.  And I need to make my own cake if I want one.  I’ll probably forego that because…

Okay, first, my sleeping habits are all fucked up.  I’m always tired on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and I take long naps in the afternoon.  Naps are very French, so I’m okay with that.

My eating habits are pretty fucked, too.  I don’t really want to go into that because it will scare those of you considering veganism or even vegetarianism.  NO, it is not hard to be vegan or vegetarian.  YES, VCU does offer a plethora of vegetarian options, as well as a few for vegans (which is really nice, considering that some restaurants aren’t even that considerate).  The problem with my eating habits has more to do with time management and being busy and slightly lazy.  If I have lost weight over the past two weeks, it is only because I do not feel like boarding the bus to go over to Shafer Dining Court or walking there.  I do eat in my room, though.  I’ve had fruits and nachos and occasional granola bars and cereal.  Also, I guess I do get a lot of exercise, especially on days when I am motivated enough to make the 1.5-mile “trek” between the MCV campus (where I live) and the Monroe Park campus (where all of my classes are and everything happens).  Okay, so in just two weeks, I have gone from being a health-conscious “leafy green” vegetarian to being a lazy-ass junkfood transitioning vegan.  That definitely needs to change as soon as I’m more settled.  Fortunately, I’ve been researching good grocery stores in the area.

Muzak, though!  I haven’t written about music in so long.

Okay, the first tune, I have been spinning (lolzers, more like “telling my iPod to repeat”) constantly for the past few days.  It’s not only the catchiness and the depth of the lyrics, but it’s that little background noise.  Some MGMT, I didn’t like at first because it’s pretentious and it sometimes reminds me of of Montreal (nothing wrong with a little of Montreal, but I can only handle so much), but you have to love “Kids.”  It just feels right.

Kids | MGMT
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
MGMT’s Site
MGMT’s MySpace

So now I’m giving MGMT a second chance, because I always used to get pissed reading that people thought Animal Collective was “artsy for art’s sake.”  Come on, now!  What’s wrong with being artsy for art’s sake?!

The next track I must present to you is one of the most desperately catchy songs I’ve ever heard, again.  Except I’d venture to say that Van She is far more pop-friendly than MGMT is, and I predict that you’ll hear more from them in the mainstream soon.

Virgin Suicide | Van She
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
Van She’s Site
Van She’s MySpace

In the meantime between now and when I’m legal/now and my next post probably, I’ve got to write an Argumentative Diagnostic Essay.  Fun stuff.  Um, Explosions in the Sky soon, as well as maybe some French sheittt for all those fellow francophiles (I know, there are so many…).



FREAK

Recently, time has been crawling closer and closer to when I planned to go vegan.  I had decided that I either had to be eighteen or in college.  Since college comes first, my initial effort is about a week away.  I’m anxious, though.  I can’t wait to have the freedom to eat whatever I want, and yet I feel completely unprepared.  I know what I can’t eat.  I think the issue is more what I can eat when I’m vegan.

Well, I recently remembered about this gift certificate to the independent bookstore downtown which I’d received as a graduation present from neighbours.  Today, I hit up the shop and browsed titles before I made my decision.  I initially planned on investing in some hardcore Vonnegut or maybe Palahniuk or something, but I normally gravitate to the pop culture section of the store, and you can find Palahniuk and Vonnegut at the library.  This time, I wanted to check out everything to make a wise investment, and I came across a whole section on vegan literature that I had somehow overlooked before!

I went back and forth from book to book–I wanted this one, and then I thought that this one might be a better investment, and then I considered that I don’t generally use cookbooks, even ones for lazy people, so I wanted some hard literature.  I eventually came across one titled Vegan Freak.  The testimony on the back claims that I will find:

-how to easily go vegan in three weeks or less
-the arguments for ethical veganism
-how to get along with family, friends, and others, including other vegetarians
-tons of practical tips for traveling, shopping, and living as a vegan
-tips for surviving the grocery store, restaurants, and dinners with omnivores
-how to respond when people ask you if you “like, live on apples and twigs”

And as if that’s not enough, the authors aren’t afraid to drop the f-bomb AND they listened to fantastic music while writing (see:  Death Cab and the Arcade Fire).

Just thought I’d share.



PLEASE DON’T LET ME ESCAPE

My headache has subsided temporarily and I can think for a moment.  By the way, I got a killer headache earlier from playing Solitaire on the computer obsessively.

You could say that Long Beach Island was enjoyable only during the day, when I could lounge on the blanket on the sand with my iPod cranking out “Parisian Skies” by Maximo Park (which Ali supplied me with) as I stared out at the ocean and considered that the Atlantic is all that separates me from France, pretty much.  I hate the people on Long Beach Island.  Everyone’s living for the wrong reasons.  Why can’t you just kick back and enjoy how beautiful life is for a moment?  Salty air coursing through your hair.  Sand exfoliating your feet.  Being feels so healthy at the beach, yet when you look around, you just see that everyone only aims to be aesthetically pleasing, and few succeed.  I always feel overprivileged and greedy when I’m at the beach, which makes me feel extremely guilty and slightly nauseous.

I wore a bikini for the first time in ever this year.  I never wore one in years past because I was afraid of offending people with my body.  Pale, hairy, full of baby fat.  It’s a strange train of thought, I know.  I disagree with it.  But really, being bikini-ready is the least of my concerns.  I am more concerned about contentment and knowledge than I am about whether or not superficially-oriented boys will want to fuck me because of the display I put on while half-naked at the beach.  And hey.  If I was really that terribly self-conscious, I never would have bought the thing.  This is a small step towards confidence.

I read a whole lot while I was on the beach.  In fact, I covered three books.  Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk, and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.  I was already a Palahniuk fan, already a Vonnegut reader, so my thirst was quenched by those two.  Survivor is up there with Invisible Monsters.  I love Palahniuk because he doesn’t give you some bullshit happy ending.  The important questions are answered by the end of the book.  That doesn’t mean all of your questions are answered, though.  I would like to call his novels “mind-fuck” and leave it at that.  Through his characters, he also takes our culture apart from the inside–not as someone judging or evaluating, but as someone who has experienced it.  And best of all, he doesn’t do sequels.  Vonnegut was stunning.  Something about his writing style made Slaughterhouse-Five a quick read.  I never wanted to set it down.  I love his commentary on religion, especially in Cat’s Cradle, but there is certainly plenty of it in Slaughterhouse-Five.  There are actually many similarities between those particular novels.  As for Rice, well, she’s wordy, but I did crave more when I’d finished reading the novel.

Now I’m reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  I find it a bit more difficult and lengthy to read, possibly because of descriptions, but it’s surprisingly hilarious.  Chuck Palahniuk sometimes solicits a small chuckle from me, but this one often gets a hearty laugh.  I’m only a few chapters in, too.

Somehow, despite the fact that I have a fairly firm grasp of who I am, my cousin constantly makes me feel like the inferior laughing stock of the family, and though I usually laugh it off, I flipped out about it this time.  Just not to her face.  With the help of the people who take me seriously, I was able to cool off fairly rapidly.

Example:  She wanted to swim in the ocean.  I was wary.  When I was twelve, I was sucked off the knee-deep sandbar over an 8-foot-deep hole and had to tread water while screaming for help and trying to live.  I just remember trying to keep my head up, and wondering when the lifeguard was going to come, thinking I was going to drown and die.  Whenever I used to think about my death scene, I would think about last words and telling everyone how much I loved them, but in that death scene, there was no time for last words.  Afterward, I completely forgot how to swim and stopped enjoying the ocean.  I find nothing about that story funny, but for some reason, my family thinks it’s hilarious that I had to get a lifeguard to save me.  So flash back to this year, and everyone still thinks it’s a great one and I still find nothing funny.  I reluctantly consent to go in the ocean, and it’s fine except my cousin’s already ditched me for Rachael and as I try to catch up to them, I’m suddenly in an area where I can’t touch bottom and I start panicking, breathing hard, and flailing, but this time I can turn around and ride the waves to shore, and I’m shaking and when my cousin gets out of the water twenty minutes later (because they abandoned me), she tells me that I missed the six “hot guys” who got in after me.  Too fucking bad, right?

There’s always some criticism of my style.  Your sandals don’t match your outfit.  Or your sunglasses are atrocious.  You wear that shirt every day.  This song is stupid and I don’t know why you’d listen to it.  You sit on your ass all day at the beach.  That guy is so comically ugly; I don’t know why you like him.  You should get your eyebrows done thinner.  You look young today.  You’re the eight and I’m the nine.  You are the eight.  And I am the nine.

I am not the favoured one by my grandmother, no matter how much I resemble her.  It’s because I’m not sassy or outrageous.  Only once:  We were thirteen or fourteen.  My cousin said she liked hot guys, and I asked if intelligence mattered to her one bit.  My grandmother laughed and noted that I was the smart one.  And that’s just it.  My cousin is the conventionally hot one, and I have to be the conventionally intelligent one, no matter how hard she tries to make it seem like I’m not only less attractive, but I’m also less intelligent.  I’m just good for a ho-hum laugh and it’s all good.  But not anymore, because I’m sick of everyone laughing at me for being the weird one.  I’m sick of having to laugh at myself for being the weird one.

Today, I’m going to give you a Bright Eyes tune.  I some of my Bright Eyes on my computer, and I feel compelled to share some of it.  I enjoy listening to this one before I do something important.  And freshman orientation is tomorrow.  I hate it when people confuse the words “freshman” and “freshmen.”  I know, but it happens.  It really does.

Gold Mine Gutted | Bright Eyes
[buy] [mediafire]
[zshare] [direct link]
Bright Eyes’ Official Website
Saddle Creek Official Website

What the hell?  I’ll give you this one, too.  As far as I know, it’s Erika’s favourite Bright Eyes tune.  I personally love Maria Taylor’s heavenly voice floating over the heavy lyrics.

Nothing Gets Crossed Out | Bright Eyes
[buy] [mediafire]
[zshare] [direct link]

I have so much music I want to share with you soon.  Why do I keep seeing American Apparel ads everywhere I look?



NOTHIN’ MUCH

I am at the beach, and I just keep thinking about the tales that everyone brought from Europe, and how much I dislike America.  How much I dislike being American.  Everyone here at the beach, on Long Beach Island, embodies the typical American tourist.  And we haven’t even left the country.  I keep wondering how much the people who work here hate us.  We’re feeding them lots and lots of money with our stupid yearly rituals.  Mini golf.  Dinner here and there.  Buying this and that.  But we’re so stupid.

I finished Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk last night, and this got me thinking, too.  I guess they really aren’t targeting the smartest people as their customers, because the smartest people see the traps and the fakeness and how even though the Atlantic Ocean is beautiful and it’s all that separates me from France, it’s a tourist trap.  The shore is a tourist trap.  LBI is a tourist trap.  But there’s almost no other way to really enjoy the ocean, not here in America where they have to package and sell everything.

Why, also, do you think I love being pale?  Why do you think I crave pearly white skin?  Anyone can become tan.  Even the most milky white people like Rachael can go to the tanning bed and gradually gain immunity in the form of beautiful bronze skin.  But it takes a certain kind of person to be able to be pale.  And I’m not racist.  If I wasn’t able to have very pale skin, then I would next want to have cinnamon skin or dark chocolate skin.  Those are my next choices, because I like the extremes.  Very dark or very light, those sorts of skin colours take a special kind of person.  But it’s not possible for me to have very dark skin, so I have to aim for the lightest end of the spectrum.

I just thought of something, though.  About culture.  I am sort of glad I grew up American because I have control over what I become.  I have control over my cultural education.  It may be difficult at times, but I have such a selection.  And I know exactly what I dislike about being American.



QUICKIE
5 July, 2008, 204 am
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, My Experience with Existence | Tags:

We are going to the beach tomorrow.

Many girls see the beach as a place to show off their hard-earned bikini bodies.  To work on their tans.  To check out hot guys all day.  To be in an exotic place for a week.

To me, the beach is the only constant in my life.  Every year for one week in July since 1991 (since I was resting in my mother’s stomach in 1990).  Except for 2004.  The same house.  I get the same bed every year and I stare at the same creepy fisherman lamp every night and hear the same ocean roaring faintly outside as I contemplate my life late at night.  That ocean, I always think, separates me from France.  Even when I was so pitted against anything French, when I took Spanish, I used to think that, and I used to think of some French kid like me on the other side, and how there is probably someone in the world exactly like me.  My family sits at the same spot on the beach and the same ice cream man comes at the same time daily.  We go to the same restaurants every year and it’s a real damn shame Wida’s closed, because that was a definite tradition.  We buy the same fudge at Bay Village every year, because it’s rich and amazing.  I have the same feelings about my body and skin every year.  And I take showers in the same shower every year, too, because I love showering outside when I get the chance.

And this year will be the same.  I’ll get to escape as an enlightened teenager, though, and not some awkward high schooler.  Because I graduated, you know, that’s the only reason.

But I need my music and my books if I’m going to escape.

And I’ve decided that all it takes is playing with my hair, stoking my hair, massaging my scalp, and I am attached.



JE LIS

Read. That is what I am going to do with my summer.

You probably think I’m taking the valedictorian speech too seriously, but after picking up the habit of reading the news, I feel empowered or maybe just knowledgeable.

When I was twelve or thirteen, maybe fourteen and just filled with angst, I had my mother take me to the library at the beginning of the summer. I borrowed loads of books, maybe seven or ten. And when I got home, I just started reading. I read for hours. I lounged on the couch and absorbed these books. When I finished the first one the next morning, I immediately began the next. I kept going, and my mother thought that it was unnatural and unhealthy. Maybe it was. I don’t care. Perhaps it helped seal the fate of my eyes. The reason I wear contacts and glasses, after all, is that when I began reading in elementary school, I didn’t want to stop. I remember in second grade, when we moved to Richmond, that’s all I wanted to do. I would lay on the couch and read. Sit at my desk in school and read. Go to recess and read sometimes (or play kickball, hopscotch, hang-glider, or swing). And goddamn, at that point, I hated writing. It wasn’t until fourth grade, when I wrote an essay about how I got this scar on my forehead, that I began to enjoy writing.

I forget most days about that scar. My bangs cover it, on the left side of my forehead. When I think about it, too, it seems so insignificant. A fact of life that has been present since I was four, and I can’t remember life before it. But it’s a story I’ve never shared with you. And you will not hear it today, either.

Anyway. Yesterday, I went to the library and chose seven books, but they weren’t enough. I want to gobble them up. I know, though, that it will take me at least two weeks to read them all. July 3rd. That’s when they are due. I finished the first last night. Montana 1948 by Larry Watson. Which is an incredible emotional journey that you won’t be able to stop reading until you’re completely finished. Maybe I will make a list of the books I read and want to read this summer. I have missed reading for pleasure, and now that I have the opportunity to do it again, I will take full advantage.

I think that it should be noted that while I am a fast typer even by my peers’ standards (but certainly not by my own), I am an incredibly slow reader. I don’t know this in words per minute or anything, but I know that it takes me maybe a minute or two to read a page. While some people would probably pin this on my stupidity, I like to think that I am absorbing the book better than anyone else is. And it’s probably at least partially true. I tend to remember details better because I am spending a longer time with the words than other people are. When I did Book Bowl in fifth grade, they nicknamed me “Buzzy” because I always got the Bonus Round questions so rapidly, and they were correct. Thus, I would never want to change my habit of reading slowly. I do not want to become a skimmer. I enjoy letting everything season in my brain for a bit.

I haven’t written about music in a good long time, though. I wonder who visits my blog every day, and I just assume that it’s probably random viewers from search engines, mixed in with perhaps five solid readers. Merci, though.

Here’s the thing. Today, I will write about the Wombats, finally.

I borrowed the Wombats from some other music blog, most likely All Things Go. I mean, if they ever did an article on the Wombats. Thing is, while I normally don’t like cymbal-heavy Brit-pop, I love the Wombats. And it’s not like they only have one catchy song that will resonate with a few people. Their music is entirely contagious, universally catchy. It’s everything about it that makes it so great, and it’s one of those bands where every time you listen to the songs, something new will catch your ear. I love that.

Anyway, the Wombats have followed me on many important journeys. On my first trip to New York City, I kept listening to “Moving to New York.” I hated New York but continued to love the song. On my first trip to Bounce Funplex with Ali and Carol, Ali included this on a mix CD and added that I should check out “Backfire at the Disco.” So I did, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Thus, today I present you with the track that Ali so strongly recommended. What’s funny is that such an incredibly successful, serious band spawned out of a grand joke.

The Wombats | Backfire at the Disco
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
The Wombats’ Website

Also, guys, I’ve been inspired by Sara and my sister. I’m going to compile a list of songs that I greatly enjoyed when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen and was heavy into pop-punk and I worshiped it. I’ll upload it soon, after I finish Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Et je veux lire des livres en français, mais je ne sais pas où je pourrais les chercher.



A PROJECT FOR THE SUMMER
16 June, 2008, 1100 am
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, My Experience with Existence

Here’s my one plan.  And if I get in trouble with tha authorities, I’ll blame Mr. Jennings.  He gave me this idea when he said during Diversity Club that there’s not enough graffiti in Lewisburg.  Not muh fault.

I’m making stencils and spraypainting all over the place.  Well, okay.  I’ll try to avoid doing it on houses.  But the streets are game.  Um, almost anything downtown is game.  Except houses.

Here’s one thing I have noticed.  If you walk from the school to Zelda’s via St. Louis (Lewis?  I don’t care) Street, you’ll see little black cell phones on the curbs.  Here’s another thing I’ve noticed.  Despite its close vicinity to the police department, Kidsburg would be a good place to vandalize.  For one thing, teenagers hang out there on a regular basis.  For another, there are so many opportunities.

The thing about Lewisburg is that you can’t just do it in an open place like Banksy does.  The authorities probably won’t understand that you are attempting to beautify the city.  They do not appreciate art.

Here’s where I got the idea.  Mr. Jennings.  Banksy.  Ali.  Mr. Towslee.  This kid from my Geometry class in ninth grade who asked me if I made the stencil that Mr. Towslee lent us to make tee shirts.  Is it bad that half of my inspiration comes from fucking…teachers?  Or adults, rather.  I think not.

Well, I’m off.  I need to finish making stencils.



LE FABULEUX DESTIN D’AMELIE POULAIN
12 June, 2008, 1243 pm
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, Film, My Experience with Existence | Tags: , ,

Upon the opening of my eyes, Divya decided to pop in Amélie.  We watched it with English subtitles, and from the first lines, some things were lost in translation.

However, upon the ending of the movie, I was changed.  I must make art.  I must continue with my plans to give strangers anonymous love and encouragement.  Thus, I shall make my postcard(s) this weekend.  I shall go to Barnes & Noble today.  The thing that saddens me slightly is that perhaps someone will get my message and believe that I am a sappy creep (which is exactly what I am).  Or maybe no one will get my message.  It’s the anonymity that makes me happy, knowing that there’s a chance that I helped someone because many people do, in fact, believe in signs (even the skeptical, sometimes).  But in order to increase that chance, I need to spread out my hits and make each note of encouragement different and meaningful.

On the way home from Divya’s, I sang to myself in French, conversed with other drivers in French, and pretended that I was all-around French.  It felt good.



TOMATOES ARE NOT GREEN

I would risk salmonella for a juicy, ripe tomato right now.  Tomatoes remind me of Brent and what he lied to me about.  Actually, he didn’t lie.  He joked.

And guys, let’s talk about being green.  I’m not talking about the colour.  I’m talking eco-friendly.

First, I need to introduce you to The Body Shop.  I experienced this lovely store for the first time yesterday while I was at Short Pump Town Center with Divya.  It was BEAUTIFUL not only because of the causes they support (animal rights, human rights, protecting the planet), but because they also filled my crazy francophile need for French.  Their products have French names under the English name and there’s even a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL canvas bag with their missions in French on one side and in English on the other.  While I am normally against buying bags because I can make my own in a jiffy for a fraction of the price (or sometimes free), I would have bought that bag if I’d had money because I believe a certain amount was to be donated to a good cause.  I cannot find it on the interwebs, though.

Oh, and look at this.

Moving elsewhere through the mall, which is the most fucking ridiculously pretentious mall I’ve ever been to (and it’s five minutes away from my old home and I would like to call it a ridiculous waste of land because ten years ago, there was a forest there), we came across Delia’s.  Half of the t-shirts in Delia’s are green-inspired and honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that.

For example, I think this shirt is kind of cute.

You know, at first glance.  But then when you think about it, this dinosaur shirt is an exclusive club.  You have to be vegetarian to wear it or else you’re a hypocrite.  And I’ve been against those sorts of shirts since my elementary school days, when Limited Too had sports shirts and shorts and I fit into none of the categories they provided because I was a bookworm, not an athlete goddamnit.  Also, you’re taking credit for being vegetarian.  You are advertising, “I am a better person than you are because I do not eat animals.  Street cred.”  But you don’t see “vegan” shirts at Delia’s, probably because veganism is a bit too radical.

Then you get into their other green shirts.  You’ve got Snoopy, arguably my favourite comic character, lounging on top of his dog house, and underneath, it says, “Save our planet.”  Horton sticks in his head to remind us that “every voice counts.”  A shirt proclaims, “Make art not war.”  There’s this Omni Peace 2025 tee shirt with Africa posing as a hand, and there are fingers forming a peace sign above it.

I have grown to dislike the exploitation of cartoon characters.  Well, good cartoon characters like Snoopy, where the creators are dead and can’t prevent the exploitation.  Snoopy probably doesn’t give much of a shit about saving the planet, and Horton doesn’t care whether or not we vote.

As for “make art not war,” AGREED AGREED AGREED, but fuck, if you’re so artistic and creative, make your own fucking shirt.  Don’t buy it from a store that may use sweatshops (“Made in USA” does not necessarily mean what you think it does–look at all the islands our country “owns” out yonder in the Pacific).

Omni Peace 2025 is a cool shirt, too, but again, child labour and…how many people who shop at Delia’s are educated enough to know about the child labour thing and the situation in Africa?  I’d be willing to bet NOT MANY because they can buy their clothes elsewhere.

My sister, for example, who owns this shirt, is all about “peace and love and no dramaramamama” around her friends, but at home she is a belligerent person and she knows nothing at all about Africa.  She would probably have a fairly difficult time locating it on a globe.  She doesn’t give a shit about Omni Peace 2025.  She bought the shirt probably because one of her friends said they thought it was “cute.” In fact, she probably doesn’t even know that it’s promoting Omni Peace 2025.  She probably doesn’t even realize it’s Africa.

I’m not saying I’m more intelligent than she is, but when I say I support a cause, I do.  And I research it thoroughly until I’m fairly well-informed, and then I attempt to inform other people.  It’s just hard to inform people about animal rights or child labour or anything without it being against their will, because they are so unwilling to admit that they are at fault, even if I’m just trying to help them change their ways.  And when it is voluntary, when they do ask, I can’t make a lasting impression on them.

And Rachael, mysisterRachael, bought a peace-sign necklace from American Eagle recently, thinking she was so awesome and hip, but what she didn’t know is that the necklace part is made of leather and she probably paid close to ten dollars for it, which is so not awesome and not hip.

As much as I love Urban Outfitters, too, “Made in India” is not for me, and I’m surprised how many supposedly hip people go in there to buy aesthetically pleasing clothes and don’t realize that.

I mean, I’m fucking guilty, guilty as the next person, maybe more so depending on who you are, but at least I’m willing to change.  And here’s the thing:  This “green” movement has got to inform people better.  I like where it’s started, but it needs to expand.  It shouldn’t just encourage them to buy hypocritically green shirts.  It’s got to make them think about the welfare of others.  I’m not just talking about future generations, because even that is a fairly selfish motivation.  I mean that we have to reach out to the people around us who are still alive today.  People and animals.  You would like to think we’re all so different, but we have more in common than you’d know, and we could have more in common if you’d just stop and think and listen and go a bit out of your way right now to find out some new tidbits of information.

Since I got here on Saturday, I’ve been having regrets about consenting to go to college in Richmond, where drivers are assholes and everyone hates you automatically until you do something nice for them.  I love Lewisburg because it’s quaint and people are kind and you make friends fairly rapidly (I say that because moving to Richmond in second grade made me a depressed lump of lard because I had no friends, as opposed to moving to Lewisburg, which made me a happy lump of lard because I have friends).  But now, I’m thinking that Richmond might need someone with the insight of a small-town person, so maybe I shouldn’t be as scared as I am.  No, I didn’t fit in with the fashionable beautiful people at Rilo Kiley.  But I guess I hope I never do, because then I’d lose my mission and I would be blissfully ignorant.  Can you backtrack from enlightenment?  I don’t think you can.

But guys, if you come across places you like that don’t use sweatshops, hit me up in the comments and I will check them out and write about them.  Expect a post on the Wombats soon.



RILO KILEY FOR REAL THIS TIME

You’re probably wondering why it’s Tuesday and I haven’t written anything about Rilo Kiley yet.  After all, they are my favourite band.  You should expect something by now.

Well, I’m just so sad it’s over.

The opening acts took forever.  Benji Hughes was first up.  Although I was aware that he was an opening act, I opted not to check him out before the show because I was too interested in Thao.  However, I’m kind of glad I didn’t waste my time.  While I fell in love with the greasy-ass guitar player (not Benji, some other guy), I did not enjoy the music generally.  Additionally, jokes were made in our social group about the way Benji looked.  We referred to this one kid at our school as Miss Piggy, and Benji looked quite a lot like this kid.  Hair and all.  As much as I appreciated Benji’s style, completely carefree and hippie-like (I wore my dreamcatcher necklace and this hippie-like headband that I made), only one or two songs clicked with me.  But I don’t remember them.  The crowd did not enjoy the act very much.  I think I will give Benji Hughes a second chance soon, but I can’t right now on account of the fact that I don’t have my music library avec moi.

Thao was next, and ahh!  She was amazing.  My pals didn’t really enjoy her.  They thought that her dancing was weird, but I found it endearing.  She danced like a lion, by the way.  There’s really no other way to describe it.  I craved “Bag of Hammers,” and I was surprised when she didn’t deliver right away.  When she did decide to deliver, though, she started off beat-boxing, so I didn’t really recognize it, but I was impressed.  Oh, and people did not dance as much as I wanted to when she started going, “SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE THE FRAME OF THIS HOUSE DISTRESS THE WOOD MAKE IT SHOUT!!”  I was ready to flail the way I did to Miley Cyrus’ “See You Again” at Prom.

Then again…there wasn’t really room to pull that shit.  It’s a good thing none of us were claustrophobic.  There was this couple standing in front of me, actually.  I think it’s worthwhile to note that no one was really very much taller than me.  Even the guys were mostly reasonably short.  except Jay, Jeremiah, and Derek.  They don’t count, though.  Back to the couple, though.  When I go to shows, I don’t want to be groped.  I want to DANCE.  I want to make a fool out of myself.  I do not want someone constantly kissing me and holding me.  So the couple in front of me, of course, had this pussywhipped guy holding onto his girlfriend and I felt terrible for her.  She must have been suffocating.  Not only did he piss me off immensely, but she did piss me off a little too because her HAIR was this frizzfest and it kept getting in my fucking mouth.  And one time, she reached back to put it over her shoulder and she whipped me in the face with it.  I mean, her hair was beautiful, don’t get me wrong.  It was just getting in my way.

By the way, it was hotter inside than it was outside, and during the day it was 100 degrees outside.  We were sweaty and gross and thirsty, but if we stepped out of the crowd to buy a drink, we would never return to the good spot we had.  By the way, we were to the right of the stage about fifteen feet back.  It was awesome.  We would have gotten better spots if I hadn’t gotten lost on the way to the parking lot and walking to Toad’s Place (which was only about two blocks away tops but I thought I was walking South when I was, in fact, walking North).

Well, Thao was beautiful.

Okay.  So at the end of her act, Thao tells us that Rilo Kiley has planned a super duper surprise, and she hopes we brought adult diapers for this one.  We’re all speculating that…it’s Conor Oberst!  Jenny Lewis will throw candy at us!  Everyone will come out naked!  Jake Gyllenhaal is here!  Blah blah!  Well, we look up and we NOTICED that Jenny Lewis is on a ledge above us watching the opening act.  I shat my pants at that point because THERE SHE IS.  My idol.  Just looking down.  And I couldn’t make myself smile because I was mortified.  Nervous, I guess.  She’s so beautiful and intimidating.  She is the one person I aspire to be like, but I can’t be like her because I’m not sexy.  And she is.

After Thao, Blake Sennett came out and told us that he had a super surprise.  By this point, we’d guessed that it had to be a person.  Well, he brings out these two strangers that a bunch of people cheer for who are from Tennessee (Erika’s comment was, “GOOD!  YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED THERE!”).  I still don’t know what their names were.  But ah, they played alright, if a bit too hillbilly for me.  The crowd lapped it up.  I was ready for Rilo Kiley.  In fact, I thought I would die before I got the opportunity to see Rilo Kiley.  I was so fucking thirsty.  I felt that a heat stroke would be appropriate, and then maybe Rilo Kiley would visit me on my deathbed and tell me how much they appreciated me rockin’ out to their not-so-fabulous opening acts.

Rilo Kiley FINALLY came out after what seemed like eons, and I felt that I could not stand for much longer.  I screamed like a schoolgirl (which is what I am) when they came out and I almost died when I saw Jenny Lewis up closer.  She was wearing a headband much like mine, the way I wear mine, and she wore her bangs on the same side as I always do.  Not a huge deal, but you know I’m going to wear my headband for the rest of the summer.  And you know that I’m going to grow my hair out longer like hers.

She opened with “Close Call,” followed by several other Under the Blacklight songs.  Rilo Kiley’s delivery was not disappointing, but the song choices sort of were.  No “A Man/Me/Then Jim.”  We got a rockin’ version of “Ripchord,” which was excellent.  Everyone sang “’cause nobody loves you” together.  Blake held side conversations with the audience, and Jenny smiled at people.  “I Never” was incredible, as were “Silver Lining,” “It’s A Hit,” and “A Better Son/Daughter” (which I was surprised the audience wanted to hear).  The concert secured my belief in Rilo Kiley and my admiration for the members.  I can’t help but think I’m sad it’s over, though.  It wasn’t like the Arcade Fire, where I had real stories to take back.  Jenny Lewis did make some incredible faces while singing, though, and–oh yeah, she wore these black Maryjanes like I have.  I guess I just don’t want to talk about it all, except for the fact that I love Rilo Kiley so much.

Also, how the FUCK could people forget the lyrics to “The Frug” when they were DYING to hear it?  I know I would crack under pressure, too, but DAMN.  Get past the “And I can do the Frug.  I can do the Robocop.  I can do the Freddie.  I cannot do the Smurf.”  It’s sad, and everyone in the band was so disappointed.  I guess it’s Jenny’s fault for not wanting to sing.  But still, if you’re going to get up onstage, you should know the lyrics.  You’re a lucky fuck and you just ruined your shot at impressing my idols.

Yiih.  I’m going to Tropical Smoothie later today.  I just realized this weekend how much I hate Richmond and why, and how much I love Lewisburg and why.  For one thing, people in Richmond are asshole drivers.  I got stuck at a toll booth, and the guys behind me were laughing and hollering like obnoxious dicks.  And then I had to switch lanes on Cary Street because a car was geting towed, and about ten cars went by before someone was kind enough to let me in.  One car even passed me, and the passenger laughed loudly at me out the window.  I was all, “What the fuck’s your problem?”  And there is no air conditioning in my car, so I was all sweaty and intimidating.  I actually didn’t say that “What the fuck’s your problem?” shit.

It’s just so hard to connect with people in Richmond, too.  They’re selfish, they don’t want to help you out, and they already have friends so they don’t need to worry about being nice to you, even though for me it’s just a common rule to be nice to everyone unless they’re an asshole to you first.  Every sarcastic thing I said to my kind-of friends at dinner before Rilo Kiley was either disregarded or taken completely seriously.  Jokes flew over people’s heads, whereas I know that Carol and Ali would have laughed and not ignored me if they’d been there.  I only found one of my not-quite friends very nice and not at all annoying.

Also, everyone at the concert was so superficial, dressed up in their best scenexcore clothes to go see Rilo Kiley and I was like, “Whoa there, pardner.  It’s just a concert.  Jenny Lewis probably won’t look at you and your perfectly straight hair and awesome eyeliner job.”  That’s why I chose to take the plain “dirty hippie” approach to everything.  Wear what I want, dance how I feel.  And I felt comfortable.  I mean, except when Jenny Lewis looked my way, in which case I had to stop lipsynching and start trembling and try to form a big dopey smile.  I guess that’s just what happens.

The “indie” kids there, by the by, reminded me of the scene girl Ali and I encountered downtown in front of the community center, and I still haven’t gotten over how fake and snippety she was even though it was no big deal at all.  I mean, Ali said, “Ooh!  I love your hair colour!” and instead of thanking her, the ungrateful bitch responded, “Uhh, well, it’s the same colour as yours…”  Fuck that shit.  I didn’t say that to Allison when she complimented my hair colour and our hair is pretty much the same.  I thanked her wholeheartedly and I really did appreciate it.  See, that attitude comes when you get too many insincere compliments from snobs.  You get ungrateful and you forget how to differentiate between insincere scene kids and real people.  Oh, and even though I’m short and Ali is thin, I think that scene bitch thought that Ali and I were Amazon women come from South America to kidnap her and eat her for dinner.  Because she was less than 5 feet tall and she was a full grown poodle.