INDIEchouette


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
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]

“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
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Rilo Kiley’s Website
Rilo Kiley’s MySpace

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SO MANY THINGS

Brent and I broke up a week ago. Two days ago was Derek’s seventeenth birthday. Today is my half birthday. Tomorrow is why it is Leap Year. In April, I’ll get word back about VCU. In August, I’ll head to college. A week or so later, I’ll turn eighteen. Crazy.

I have news for you.

A few posts ago, I mentioned good old Final Fantasy and his remix of Stars’ “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.” Como se dice, “COMPLETELY UNDERRATED?!”

Owen Pallett

The song starts out with, “When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.” But it’s said by several different people. My favourite is the last one, when this little kid yells, “Nothing left to burn! Set yourself on fire!”  It’s hilarious. Then the mood breaks into total ballroom waltzing. If that’s possible? Ballroom dancing. You’ve got this gorgeous, extremely formal piano. I want to say it’s cordial. Like, Victorian era, a couple dancing, but there was no PDA in that era, so they kind of have to keep things on the DL while they’re in a public ballroom. That’s exactly what it feels like. There’s a disruptive violin, and it’s resolved a few measures later. Instead of a chorus, you get the familiar piano, washing memories over you like waves at the Victorian beach where I guess all the water got to touch was your feet. And then when you have someone singing, the violin makes a little commentary on the side. And then the piano’s like a hug from an old friend. It’s comforting. The song finishes so tenderly. It’s so Howl’s Moving Castle. Listen to it after you’ve seen the movie and try to tell me it doesn’t belong.

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Final Fantasy Remix) | Stars

Andrew Bird

Recently, I stumbled across an Andrew Bird song from Armchair Apocrapha; since I don’t have that album, I had to stumble across it. “Plasticities.” There are all the whistles and violins that are Andrew Bird staples, but then it’s a cheerful, incredibly enjoyable song, even (I think) for the masses. As always, the vocabulary is just pretentious and intelligent, but I love the lyrics. Andrew Bird satisfies my needs.

Plasticities | Andrew Bird

The Album Leaf

This time, think no lyrics.  I mean, do it for a few minutes.  Just instruments.  Layers, movement, development.  I’d certainly call this a sunny song, just because it’s most meaningful when the sun is out, as it sounds like it should be the sound the sun makes when it shines on things.  Or it is for me.  Sweet progress.

Drawing Mountains | The Album Leaf

Kaki King

Also, talk about an underappreciated instrumental song, Kaki King’s “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers.”  Pretty intense title if you think about it.  Anyway, I love the bass, the movement and the progression of this song, and for me, Kaki King’s skillz express lots of built-up angst.  I guess it’s the angst that comes from oppression.

Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers | Kaki King

+/- Plus/Minus

I found this next song a long, long time ago, and I’m not sure where I found it exactly, but it stuck with me.  It’s not because I’ve ever had an abusive boyfriend or that anyone in my family is abusive.  I enjoy the alternating piano and guitar sort of pulling for power and the lyrics that don’t tell all but tell you enough to get the story.

Summer Dress 2 [Iodine] | +/-

Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley is arguably my favourite band.  Really, try me.  Most of their gems originated in the mid-2000s, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing good to be said of their oldest material.  In fact, some of their most meaningful songs are from The Initial Friend EP, released (I guess) in 2000.  You’ve got gems like “Papillon,” “Gravity,” “Glendora,” and then, of course, the slower jam, “85.”  It’s a confessional that almost seems like the predecessor to one of my little old favourites, “A Man/Me/Then Jim,” in the storytelling style.  It’s also incredibly reminiscent of Jenny Lewis’ act with the Watson Twins.

85 | Rilo Kiley

Joe Anderson needs more Glamour Shots

This is another one from Across the Universe.  Yes, I’m still stuck on that movie.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you go out to the movie store right now and rent it.  In fact, you might as well buy it.  You’ll want to.  It’ll trip you out a little, but it’s such a feat!  Such a feat.  A life-changing feat, at that.  Anyway, this is tied for my favourite song and I have to listen to it at least once daily.  I need my fix.

Happiness Is a Warm Gun | Joe Anderson feat. Salma Hayek

Cherry Alley

Oh, also, if you are ever in town, Lewisburg, whatever, go to Cherry Alley Café.  I know, I know, blatant advertising, but I like the hot chocolate there, plus, they’re constantly playing excellent music.  I mean, Neutral Milk Hotel is on quite a lot, but you’ve also got a good dose of Sufjan Stevens (they played “The Henney Buggy Band” and I almost died because Derek made me adore that song), a dash of Bright Eyes, some Death Cab over thurr, and Mates of State.  Absolute props.



I’M BACK

I’m not even going to give you an explanation.  I’m just going to jump right into things.

First, you must listen to Eugene Francis Jnr.  When I hear of new bands via MySpace, I’m always wary because a lot of times, they are teenagers who think they have talent.  And quite frankly, they don’t have any talent at their disposal, at least not musically or creatively, even though they cite Bright Eyes as their main influence.  They are not worthy of being compared to Bright Eyes.  Eugene Francis Jnr is different.  I mean, he toured with Tegan and Sara last year by their demands.  And Bright Eyes is at the bottom of his list of influences, so you know you’ve got quite the journey in store for you.

 Eugene Francis Jnr

There’s a bunch of folklore associated with Eugene Francis Jnr, and he hasn’t even released his first album yet.  For example, legend dictates that he was born in Wales to an Apache Indian father and an Eskimo mother and that he travelled the globe with them.  His parents educated him in music and hippie-dom before he eventually settled in London, playing in various bands before skittling off to America.  Yeah, I don’t know how much of that’s true, but at the same time, I don’t really want to know.  If it’s a tale, then it just shows his creative prowess, and if it’s the truth, then it just shows how cultured an artist he is.  It shows in his music.

I want to say that his music is comparable to the wind, but it has layers and flavour that make it more substantial than that.  I notice something new every time I listen.  Perhaps you could just extract the exoticness or the travelled-ness from the wind and say that’s what I’d like to compare it to, because it would be the truth.  There’s also some self-love/world-love, rather inspirational vibe about some of his songs, most especially “Poor Me.”  Lucky for you, I’ve got that there mp3 for you to enjoy.  My favourite line says, “Don’t want a world where religion is power.”  Word.

Poor Me | Eugene Francis Jnr [buy]

This should tide you over until the album, The Golden Beatle, is released on April 28th, 2008.  Unfortunately for us, it’s only being released digitally outside of Europe, but that’s better than nothing, right?  Here’s the video.  Pretty interesting, reminiscent of some nursery rhyme or fairy tale.  I forget which one, though.

In other news, I went to Richmond last weekend.  I even got to miss school on Friday!  The first thing I did when I got there was visit Derek.  Even when we haven’t seen one another in a long time, we don’t know what to do.  This time, though, we watched Across the Universe and let me tell you…it changed my life.  I love the soundtrack, the character development, the art.  I love how relateable the story is.  It makes me want to fall in love and then be separated from a long time to be reunited again forever.  The soundtrack’s constantly playing in my head, and if I don’t have “All My Loving” stuck in my head, then you can be guaranteed that “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” has taken its place.

All My Loving | Jim Sturgess

After movie-ing and Chipotle-ing and Erika visit-ing with my best frieeeend, I waddled over to Paige’s house in my car.  I miss my car.  So many memories.  It’s a black ’92 Plymouth Acclaim with a maroon interior and a new CD player that was added a few years ago.  A hand-me-down from my parents.  When I drove it around this summer, I always planned to fix it up and put pillows in the back (partially because I have to sit on a pillow to drive it) but I never did.  I didn’t know how to sew yet.  I remember once Derek took me to the car wash and we cleaned it out, vacuum and all.  That was a great day.

Anyway, once I arrived at Paige’s house, there was lots of giggling and the biffs and I watched Across the Universe before bed.  The next morning was Paige’s birthday.  She likes to sleep in, so Erika and I watched Interview with the Vampire before she woke up. I’ll take any opportunity to mock Tom Cruise or Kirsten Dunst as a child.  I’d never really planned on watching it, but it was actually quite enjoyable, especially since we can’t take movies seriously.

I met up with Divya at the mall later that day.  I realized that I don’t get enough time with my best friend.  Isn’t everyone my best friend?  But I have loyalties to Divya because we’ve known one another for ten years.  A whole decade.  I generally hate going to the mall, but Divya and I have many of the same tastes, especially when it comes to clothing, so there were no problems in store choices.  For once, I felt like I fit in at Urban Outfitters, what with my unkempt hair and my weird clothing choice.  I’ve changed so much, not only in mentality, but also in looks.  Long hair, whatever clothes, jeans, no makeup.  Low maintenance is key for me.  Just a smile, come as you are.  I bought a shirt for ten bucks and when Divya and I had to part, it was difficult.

Then I went to Derek’s, lost the keys to my car at dinner, and went home after calling my dad to tell him that I’d lost them.  I always have car troubles.  Like the time I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the headlights.

Valentine’s Day was misleading.  I flip-flop back and forth about it.  For example, I love love and I love making other people feel good.  But Valentine’s Day is sort of exclusive to couples, which sucks, and anyway, as Divya says, you should express your love for people every day, not just on one shitty day in February.  Commas.  And commercialism blows.  This year was different.  I didn’t make valentines by hand with love like I normally do.  Instead, my mom bought me Pixie Stix and I handed them out rather generously but I still didn’t get rid of all sixty.  So when Brent and I went to Cherry Alley as a casual regular after-school gathering, we chugged them.  And I still didn’t get rid of them all.

Now, the fact that we went out on Valentine’s Day is misleading in itself because not a word about it passed between us during those two hours.  No mention of Valentine’s Day.  I figure that’s partially my fault because I assumed that he hated the commercialism of the holiday, and anyway, Brent isn’t a hippie.  He doesn’t love everyone.  I would have been categorized as “naive” to bring it up.  And I am naive, I’m so naive, but you can’t go wrong appreciating people.

It’s so misleading, too, because you’d figure that we’d at least be extremely genuine or kind to each other on that day, but I was being a bitch and then we had a conversation about suicide.  Naturally, that didn’t end well because we have disagreeing views on it.  I find it selfish, though in some contexts it can be beautiful.  You kill yourself, and then you find that people loved you and needed you and you let them down because you were full of self-pity.  There’s always something that could convince you not to do it.  Namely love, I think, or the right expression of appreciation.  That’s not to say I hate people who commit suicide.  It just makes me upset hearing about it.  I could have stopped them.  I could have loved them.  In reality, though, I couldn’t have because I didn’t know them.

Recently, someone said that all you need isn’t love.  You need food, shelter, water.  I read an article about Zimbabwe recently and their 26 000 percent inflation, and how people have to walk epic lengths to get to work because riding the bus costs too much, and how making ends meet is difficult.  And just applying that knowledge to my life, I know I’ve got it great.  It’s cut down on my wants, my so-called “needs.”  I want to walk to school every day just to feel a fraction of what these people are feeling.  I want to pursue my education with greater vigor because not everyone has the opportunity I do.  But when I share this information with other people, this inflation and inspiration and great sadness that just sits inside me that other people have to suffer and they don’t even have it the worst because they have jobs, well, nobody cares.  I get snide remarks like, “Sounds like what’s happening in America.”  It’s not, though, and it frustrates me.  Everyone wants to think he has it the worst.  Even though all these conspiracy theories are circling about American government, even though nothing’s perfect here, we have life so easy, so privileged.  Life is peachy.  There’s hope for everyone here.  There’s love in the form of food, shelter, water.  It’s pretty accessible here, even if it’s not abundant for all.  And you don’t see that in Africa.  I hate how often my acquaintances take things for granted.



ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

This past weekend, when I had time to listen to music (which was rare), it was one of three things.

Elliott Smith. The soundtrack to Across the Universe. Tegan and Sara. I know what you’re thinking. “Awesome.”

Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith is dead. He has also been underappreciated on my blog. I haven’t given him enough lovin’. The truth of the matter is that I idolize him, but I don’t know how to go about presenting that. His voice is so soft and tender, it’s like…why’d he have to die? I have this cover he did of “Jealous Guy,” and at the beginning, he’s talking, he says, “How ’bout a cover? Any whistlers in the crowd? This is your big chance…there’s a whistle solo.” He says it, but it feels like he’s singin’ it, it’s that gentle. I like Elliott Smith. I just don’t know how to appreciate him. I know it would kind of seem like dancing on his grave to post some songs, like, “Fuck yes! No one makes money off these anymore!” but trust me when I say that I don’t mean for it to appear that way.

It’s pretty common knowledge that “Waltz #2” is my favourite Elliott Smith song, so I shall try and do something different here.

Little One | Elliott Smith
Shooting Star | Elliott Smith

Mainly, the “Shooting Star” guitar. Yeeeah.

Across the Universe

Across the Universe was a “good” movie. Problem? I haven’t seen it yet! Balls. HOWEVER, the soundtrack kicks ass. Major ass.

I’ve Just Seen A Face | Jim Sturgess

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara are twins. Identical twins, actually. Thanks to my sistahhh, I’ve been listening to their one song over and over and over and over and over again, but I found a pretty sweet-ass remix that I’ll put hyahh fer yous guys.

Back In Your Head | Tegan and Sara
Back In Your Head (Tyler Fedchuk 1/2Alive Disco Remix) | Tegan and Sara

Invisible Monsters

While I’m writing about amazing things, tonight, I finished a book that Ali lent me. It’s called Invisible Monsters and it’s by Chuck Palahniuk, who is probably best-known for Fight Club. I can’t describe this novel to you, but I can tell you that if people actually read Chuck Palahniuk’s books (or just read in general, fuck) instead of just watching the movies based on his books, then wow. Maybe people would remember this one instead of Fight Club. Then again, I dunno. I’ve only read one of his books. I know I have to read more now, though. I suppose that once you go Palahniuk you never go back. Maybe.