INDIEchouette


BEFORE MARCH ENDS

I think this one is easier on the ears.

1.  Sea Legs | The Shins
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The beginning to this song, before any melody or lyrics, sort of reminds me of something Switchfoot would do, and I loved Switchfoot when I was maybe fourteen.  I have since moved on, but you could say that I am comforted by familiar things.  Everyone is.  In addition to reminding me of Switchfoot, the Shins will always remind me of some scene from Garden State, even if only two of their songs were in the movie.  “Sea Legs” is a darker Shins piece, but it’s not unpleasant.  In its boldness, it is pleasant.  It is assertive.  It is an evening piece.  The evening is my favourite time of day.  That’s why I put this on my March mix, because it’s starting to get warmer, it’s spring, and the evenings are beginning to grow more and more enjoyable.

2.  Unforgettable Season | Cut Copy
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Sometimes, when I have a clear head, blank slate, and I don’t already have a song in mind, I’ll allow my iPod to shuffle around songs that I don’t listen to very often.  That’s how I grew to like “Unforgettable Season.”  The reason I allowed myself to listen instead of switching the song is that it’s encouraging and atmospheric, like most summer songs.  It’s not summer, but it’s close enough.

3.  Can’t Stop Now | Keane
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As I said before, familiarity is comforting.  Keane is familiar.  Also, Keane and piano rock in general both give me this weird romantic-comedy feelings.  It’s probably because Keane always has this pained, broken-hearted sound that captures the feeling that someone is lonely and trying very hard to be happy in order to get over something dreadful.  I’m not going to lie (and really, why would I lie), I love that sound and I love that feeling.  Emotion keeps my heart running.

4.  Take Me Anywhere | Tegan & Sara
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I think Tegan & Sara’s short songs are the best ones because they pack the most feeling into the smallest packages.  For example, listen to “Soil, Soil.”  That’s one of my favourites.  Also, the short ones tend to be the catchier ones.

5.  Jedi | melpo mene
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I have a newfound love for Star Wars.  And I have a relatively newfound love for the style of elevator music that Melpo Mene produces.  But my love for gentle, delicate voices is not newfound.  It may be because of “I Adore You” or maybe because of the all-around sound that their albums produce, but I find that Melpo Mene is the epitome of a cloud-band.  Also, for some reason, maybe because his voice is just so delicate and his songs just so tender, Erik Mattiasson somehow reminds me of a Swedish version of Gael García Bernal’s character in The Science of Sleep, which is endearing.  It makes me want to tuck him in and make him breakfast.

6.  Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car | Iron & Wine
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Ali pointed out to me that Sam Beam looks like Jesus.  I already somehow realized this, but having her point it out so bluntly is only a little bit of a setback, because I generally love hairy people.  I really don’t care that he has taken up the typically unattractive Christ-look because of his delicate, smooth, and intimate voice, which is revealing but still manages to retain a great amount of dignity.  I love Sam Beam’s work.

7.  Let It Fall | Lykke Li
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I uploaded this song only a few days ago, but here!  I’m giving you another chance to introduce yourself to Lykke Li!  Every time I listen to this song, I want to hopskotch, jumprope, draw with chalk, and play outdoors kids’ games.  Do not ask why.  Probably because of the sing-songness, syncopation, and “so happy-ee-ee-ee!” Maybe I’ll make a mix of new childhood nostalgia songs for the summer.

8.  Soul Meets Body | Death Cab For Cutie
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I also uploaded this song recently, but I don’t think I ever explained just why.  I went on a bike-trip for dinner to Carytown with Virginia and Bryan, neither of whom have websites that I can link to.  We ate dinner at Nacho Mama’s and then left to gather up our bikes and as we drove past Nacho Mama’s again, we heard this song emanating from the outdoor speakers.  When I hear a song that I already love playing in a public place, I will be hooked on it for a while.  This one’s for the good biking weather!

9.  Coat Check Dream Song | Bright Eyes
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Cassadaga wasn’t as awesome as Conor Oberst’s older material.  We all know that.  The warbly voice was gone, the drugs were absent.  There were, however, some winners, such as this one, which features some woman as a guest–who is it?  Is there more than one woman?  Is one of those women Maria Taylor?  I think that the woman in this song really makes it.

10.  Dance Dance Dance | Lykke Li
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I searched Lykke Li on Youtube.  I found this video.  A dancer all alone.  This song could make you feel so alone in a crowd.  The percussion.  Her lonely voice.  The lonely lyrics.  I became ecstatic and fell in love with the song.  What I love is that there is not really any buildup and it never becomes a huge fanfare, though it gradually becomes a little more lively, a little more happy until there is a chorus of women and maybe one man.  Also, it’s probably the only song in the world written and performed by a self-proclaimed shy person.  I love that.

11.  Wedding March | Erin Tobey
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I don’t like the idea of marriage, but I love the idea of a female acoustic artist.  In fact, I love the idea of acoustic artists in general.  Or acoustic artists that are purely instrumental.  Or purely instrumental artists.  Lyrics sometimes get in the way.  That doesn’t happen with Erin Tobey.  Erin Tobey’s voice is so gentle, anyway, that it just combines with the guitar and absolutely floats as it ascends to meet Melpo Mene in the clouds.  Listen to the lyrics, though.  They are how I feel.

12.  Avignon | Pinback
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This was my first taste of Pinback years ago.  So when I was asked by Ke at the beginning of last semester if I had ever heard of Pinback, yes, I had, but I didn’t know it until I checked out my Last.fm charts from forever ago.  My first taste of Pinback was via Last.fm and I was probably sixteen.  I must add here that it was a faster verion and that I officially love songs with pet names.  In this case, they’re sad pet names.  In other cases, you get pet names like Baby Girl, which is basically my cat’s name.  Babygirl.  Babyqirl.

Avignon (Full Band Version) | Pinback
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This is the faster version.

13.  Hanging High | Lykke Li
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Supposing I have children, I want them to grow up listening to this serene tune.  That’s the first thing I thought when I first heard these bittersweet sounds.  She has a delicate but distinct voice, so sweet and dignified, so bold, and so young.  She’s so young.  It all shows here.

14.  Effigy | Andrew Bird
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You can tell that Andrew Bird definitely loops the beginning, which is a magical procedure to witness live.  He has to be so precise!  Anyway, I heard this one at Cherry Alley, which was another case of falling in love with a song I know and then hear in a public place.  I recognized Andrew Bird’s distinct voice immediately and felt calm.  As far as I’ve noticed, he rarely uses guests, but when he does, they’re incredible females.  Ali put it so simply:  It’s such a beautiful song.  Even if it’s about death.  Well really, those can be the most beautiful because they’re loneliest.

15.  House By The Sea | Iron & Wine
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I feel that I need to show you a picture of Sam Beam’s Jesus-ness in order for you to understand.

Not Sam Beam.  Actually Jesus.

Not Sam Beam. Actually Jesus.

The reason I love this song so much is that it talks about two jealous sisters waiting in a house, basically just prepping, doing nothing, waiting for something terrible.  I picture an abandoned house where my sister is making angels in the dust on the wooden floors and I am walking around, loving her, trying to take care of her, trying to change the locks on the door, trying to keep her safe even though we can’t be safe anywhere and we will have to leave soon.  There is a lot of imagery, and it reminds me of myself and my sister, Rachael.  Or what we could be if we were terrible people who had to get along because we had nobody else.  Also, I love raspberries.  And I love the way Sam Beam sings about raspberry leaves.  And I love the guitar riffs.  This is currently my favourite Iron & Wine song.

16.  Underground | Sentinel
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Even if the guitar parts make little sense to me, it’s my favourite part.  I like this song because it has potential.  It succeeds in being atmospheric and a definite travelling song, which is all I really ask of it.  My favourite part is either the beginning or the last ~30 seconds.  If you like it, then I advise that you check out “Avalanche” by Sentinel.

17.  2 O’Clock | Kaki King
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Kaki King is playing a childish game with us.  Her voice is like Erin Tobey’s in that it floats up in the clouds.  I’m guessing that this song is about someone who is taking care of a very injured person who doesn’t love her. the pain is the reason I love this song.  And the sing-songness she uses when she gets to the built-up part.  I generally love Kaki King’s ability to capture any melancholy emotion, though.  In a sense, it’s a shame she doesn’t sing more, since her voice is tinged with pleasantness, but then, I’d be afraid that her voice or lyrics would get in the way of her music, which would be unfortunate.  Also,  you need to listen to Kaki King’s retaliation at the end of the track.  Don’t stop when she stops singing.  Keep going.

18.  Out On The Weekend | Neil Young
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Listening to the original really stresses just how well Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes can cover Neil Young.  Or how much Neil Young influenced Bright Eyes.  I wish I had good taste when I was younger.  Don’t fret that it’s a really quiet track, either; my dad converted all of his records into mp3 format and that’s why.  “She’s so fine/She’s in my mind/I hear her callin'”  Yeah.  Favourite part in any version.

19.  Resurrection Fern | Iron & Wine
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My attention was called to this piece because it was on a mix that someone close to Jaimie had made for her.  It shows how close.  Whenever I hear, “Like stubborn boys across the road we’ll keep everything,” I think of Charles, Coleton, Phelan, Travis, and Torey and how close we were the summer of 2007 on North 11th Street under Charles’ tree.  Every day!  Every night!  Circle Meetings!  We were a family, along with my real family, Rachael, Alexa, and Shannon.  I loved them all.  I still love them all.  I miss being lonely, underage, and terribly sad.  I think that it’s harder to be lonely and of age.  I really do.

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I SEE REAL SNOWFLAKES OUT THERE AND I HOPE THEY DO EVENTUALLY MELT
2 March, 2009, 1005 pm
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joe-knapp1

Paper Snowflakes | Son, Ambulance
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Snow makes me briefly happy, but coldness generally makes me want to hibernate or die.

Oh yeah, it snowed today as well as last night.

I like Son, Ambulance because they’re one of the more subtly sexual but beautiful bands I started listening to in my mid-teens. By this, I mean that there is some sex in most every song, but that instead of being raunchy, it’s more like a distant but fond memory, kind of nostalgic and never dirty. Listening to Saddle Creek bands often make me wish I could go back and be in high school, specifically sophomore or junior year where I was attempting to find myself but couldn’t do it in a sea of people who really didn’t give a shit. But I was glad to have a few misfits along with me who cared enough to invite me when they wanted to run around suburbia completely confused and confined, trying to trample some form of oppression but not completely knowing what it was. We were melancholy but happy together.

And now we have cars, we live different lives, and I don’t think any of us have found ourselves or anything better than what we once had, but I guess we probably all think we have.

Days like these remind me of the first time I saw Garden State, Kill Bill, and when I started watching Scrubs.  They remind me of when I started listening to good music, started giving a shit about current events.  The day I decided to give up meat permanently.  The moment I sold my soul to Bright Eyes.  Playing Emogame and feeling glad that someone else cared.  Renouncing religion and feeling fine with it.  And now, it seems like I’ve stopped revolting against the “system” so much, but those were just the futile beginnings.  I mean that it seemed so essential to conform to something, even a strict brand of nonconformity, in order to live the life I wanted and get the reaction I needed.

conorI know you’re probably thinking that kids who lived in the suburbs of Richmond, aka Short Pump–the haven of the young upper-middle class, capitalists and consumerists to the core–were hardly oppressed.  And as a bunch of white (or white-looking) youths who lived in big houses and went to the largest and “greatest” school in the county, I would probably have to agree with you for the most part.  There was pressure to conform to the status quo, but that could be satiated by conforming to a different status quo.  But I would say that capitalism and consumerism are forms of oppression, despite the fact that they’re generally directly connected to affluence and having means of buying things.  Like money.  Like the transportation to get there.  They’re oppression in that they expect something of you and demand so much from you and the people around you.  They’re illusions and they often get in the way, making it so difficult to find anyone who gives a shit about the things in life that actually matter.  Books, love, fucking, real knowledge, honest music.  Other people.

I’m listening to Bright Eyes, too, so I feel the need to present you to one of the older pieces that meant so much to me at one point.

On My Way To Work | Bright Eyes
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Bright Eyes still takes up a good percentage of my iPod.  Even if Cassadaga was a disappointment and even if Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band isn’t nearly the same.  Man, Bright Eyes sounds so good to me right now.  Refreshing and comforting.



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.



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
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[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
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[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?



MUZAK AND SUCH

The weather was perfect.

We rode squished in the back seat of Carol’s car to the park.  Not that the park is not within walking distance.  Just, it would be convenient to bring Carol’s car and have a ride.  You know.  We played frisbee.  By the time we were all panting from trying to catch and throw with a perfect wrist snap, every last one of us was thirsty.  And there were seven of us.

Zelda’s was right there, but Katie pointed out that Zelda’s also has new employees “every day.”  This is actually true.  Plus, Zelda’s is inferior to Cherry Alley.  It’s simple.  We walked the extra blocks to the clearly superior café, and those of us without money ordered cups of water.  For some reason, don’t ask me why, I always feel guilty when I order water from a café or restaurant, especially if I’m not ordering anything else.  I should just wear a sign around my neck whenever I plan on eating somewhere.  “Hi, I’m a cheap bastard.”  But I really do love Cherry Alley.  I really do spend most of my time and money there.  And they really do play superior music.  They are superior.

We sweated it out at a table meant for four, and trekked back to the park for more frisbee.  Aulden went home and we continued to play frisbee.  Paige and Tim left, and we played more frisbee.  And then Carol drove the remaining three of us home.

The rest of the evening was humble.  I worked out for a fairly long time.  I watched television, made pasta, and here I am.  Simple.

Here is one thing that bothers me.

I constantly tell you that I listened to Bright Eyes because Erika urged me.  I will remember that day for the rest of my life.  The first album I listened to.  The first song, even.  The sun in my room.  That red plastic swivel chair from Ikea.  It was a profound experience that allowed me to branch out my musical tastes.  It started with other artists on Saddle Creek.  Then I used Amazon as my tool to new artists.  I found the Arcade Fire there and fell in love from the first time I listened to “Neighborhood #1.”  And when I say love, I mean love.  Erika gave me the hint about Rilo Kiley with the Saddle Creek 50 album, and I remember becoming addicted.  I added the two Rilo Kiley songs, “With Arms Outstretched” and “Jenny You’re Barely Alive,” to my poserpod.  And I was in the car with my mother on a sunny afternoon.  We were on our way back home from the Food Lion in Goochland.  I listened to those two songs in succession, and it made the afternoon seem infinite.  There is no better way to describe something epic.  Infinite.

Jared and Jordan noticed that I have a story about every song or artist or album I have ever been intimately connected with.  I even have stories about Motion City Soundtrack and Relient K and Switchfoot.  Avril Lavigne.  Yes, I loved them.  I don’t anymore, but whenever I find people who like them, I just think…there’s hope in this world.  They might branch out like I did.  Maybe they will have a friend with the decency to introduce them to Bright Eyes.  That friend will give them the right album, and they will listen to the right song first.  Maybe.

So you get it now.  I’m in love with music.

I’ve offered a million times to make Rachael a mix CD.  She hears my music loud and clear in the house every day.  My experiments.  New songs.  I told her years ago to borrow my Sufjan Stevens albums and become acquainted.  She would like them.  “Chicago” is pretty mainstream, especially because of Little Miss Sunshine.  Of course, she doesn’t listen.  But then she gets a whole slew of new friends who are casual listeners.  And she gets an iPod.  And she wants to fit in.  So she abuses the privilege.  And now what do I hear pouring out of her iPod?  Two Sufjan Stevens songs.  One M.I.A. song.  Three Shins songs.  ONE Arcade Fire song.  Two Eisley songs.  Maybe five Beatles songs tops.  Oh, and you can’t forget Tegan and Sara because she has three of their songs.

It’s okay that she listens to good music now.  In fact, it’s great.  But if it’s so casual that she won’t explore any songs that aren’t “popular,” ones that her friends won’t listen to by chance–so casual that she won’t be compelled to look into the artists and similar artists and other songs and new genres–what’s the point?!  It defeats the entire purpose of enjoying music and thinking for your goddamn self.  In fact, her friends get their music from boys.  Boys who get their music from probably skate videos and good movies.  So even her friends who encourage her to branch out a little aren’t original.  It’s all passed down.  But don’t you think it would be fun to be the trendsetter for a change?

And granted, I find my music with the help of lovely blogs and lovely friends and movies and such.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t branch out on my own sometimes using the resources I’m given like Amazon and Last.fm.  I guess we all have to piggyback a little, but when someone doesn’t appreciate what they’re given or takes it for granted or turns her nose up at it until it is popular, I get extremely pissed.



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



THE HOPEFUL MIX

Broken Heart by Hotel Lyric on Flickr

Pretty dramatic. Haha, I hate being dramatic.

Since my love life has been screwed over as of last night, my insides have been pretty cold all day. TOTAL FUCKING KARMA. I deserve it. Thus, today deserves a not-love song. However, I feel that posting a not-love song would be jinxing it. So instead of posting a not-love song, I’m going to post some of my favourite songs for “rough times.” We’ll call it the “Hopeful Mix.” Or something. Kinda corny.

Hopeful Mix | zip file

1. A Better Son/Daughter | Rilo Kiley [buy]
And sometimes when you’re on/You’re really fuckin’ on/And your friends they sing along and they love you/But the lows are so extreme/That the good seems fuckin’ cheap/And it teases you for weeks in its absence
Basically, this is why I love Rilo Kiley so much. I mean, they’re kickin’ and screamin’ and marchin’ for happiness. That’s what this song almost feels like–a march. And it reminds you of everyone who loves you, and it put Jenny Lewis in the ranks of people who’ve got your back. She knows what you’re going through, and you’ll survive. Look how awesome she turned out.

2. Crown of Love | The Arcade Fire [buy]
If you still want me/Please forgive me/Because the spark/Is not within me
“Crown of Love” is definitely a winter song by The Arcade Fire, which is definitely a winter band. The violin says it all. My favourite part is the end, which you could almost dance to.

3. All The Young Dudes | Mott the Hoople [buy]
And my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones/We never got it off on that Revolution stuff/What a drag too many snags
This track’s in the trailer for Juno. The lyrics aren’t particularly hopeful or anything. Just, the use in the trailer makes it out to be a hopeful song, so that’s how I’ll always see it.

4. Hold Me Now (Radio Edit) | The Polyphonic Spree [buy]
You’re still miles away
What a fanfare. But seriously, the Polyphonic Spree can grant hope any day. It’s just the whole orchestra vibe they’ve got goin’ on.

5. Hey Jude | The Beatles [buy]
Take a sad song and make it better/Remember to let her under your skin/Before you begin to make it better
My reasoning? The transition from softer to louder. Also, fuckin’ revolution. I want to see Across the Universe.

6. Your Heart Is An Empty Room | Death Cab for Cutie [buy]
All you see/Is where else you could be when you’re at home
This is one of my favourite songs of all time, and I just wish I could convey the extent to which I love it, but I just can’t. I wish I had a pal like Ben Gibbard.

7. Cleanse Song | Bright Eyes [buy]
And if life seems absurd/What you need is some laughter/And a season to sleep/And a place to get clean/Maybe Los Angeles/Somewhere no one’s expecting
Erika brought me to Bright Eyes with Lifted. “Coat Check Dream Song sounds nothing like my first tastes of indie, but it’s so irresistibly beachy clean. Although I’ve not yet completely accepted Cassadaga, maybe just because Conor Oberst was clean in making it, I do like this song. It’s really light.

8. Hey, You In The Pants | The Underquotes
The Underquotes broke up earlier in 2007 after releasing a few pretty tight songs. None of their songs have lyrics, and this one especially may be a bit raw, but just listen. It’s not a sad song, that’s for sure. To me, it just speaks for itself.

9. The Henney Buggy Band | Sufjan Stevens [buy]
Oh Father John, you cannot tell me/What’s right and wrong/You cannot tell me
This song was introduced to me as the favourite Sufjan Stevens song of someone very close to me. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I actually picked it up and started listening avidly. “The Henney Buggy Band” seems happy. But it seems that way because it’s nostalgic. And I dunno about you, but nostalgia makes me feel good sometimes.

10. Look Up | Stars [buy]
So far keeping it together’s been enough/But look up rain is falling/Looks like love
The reason I started listening to this song in the first place is that it was mentioned in the book Miss Misery. David wants to give Cat a mix tape, and he puts this on it. He notes that it’s hopeful, and there’s hope for them to be together. Of course, in the end, he doesn’t give her the CD after seeing her immense collection of them and learning of her immense dislike for them. Well, I’m not saying there’s hope for me to be with someone, but I am saying that it’s possible to be as happy again.

11. Kissing the Lipless | The Shins [buy]
But you’ve/Got too much to wear on your sleeves/It has too much to do with me/And secretly/I want bury in the yard/The grey remains/Of a friendship scarred
The Shins make me happy.

12. Teenage Love Song | Rilo Kiley
I still love you/And always will/All those motel rooms/Ya footed the bill
LAWLZ. So much angerrrr! I’m not mad myself, but ah, her situation makes mine seem fairly minuscule.