INDIEchouette


LE CULTURE DE FRANCE ET LE CULTURE D’INDIE

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

This segment reminded me a ton of Garden State.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boy With A Coin | Iron & Wine
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Iron & Wine’s Website
Iron & Wine’s MySpace

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

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C’EST DIMANCHE ET J’AIME LA MUSIQUE

Here’s what’s going on. Senior fuckin’ project. My mother has said that if I don’t come up with an idea by midnight, then she won’t take me to Richmond next weekend. For a while, I thought that all I wanted to do was either: A) Go vegan or B) Settle for making a vegan meal for friends and family so they understand why I want to go vegan and that it’s not so weird and that it is compassionate living and that I won’t starve. Because my family seems to have some misconceptions about going vegan. Getting wool from animals doesn’t hurt them, for example, and cows don’t need to be artificially impregnated all the time to get milk, and who said anything about steroids? Over Christmas, when the regular vegetarian questioning came up, I was sweating like a mother because if I argued, it would be a lost cause. My family’s so dumb sometimes. I know my mom wouldn’t go for these projects AND I am not so sure that the committee that has to approve of my project will go for either one. They’re applicable! I will go vegan later this year! But how about a settling in first? A trial period or something? Let these middle-aged snores know about it.

Then I was thinking of career-oriented things. What do I want to do when I grow up? Write. That’s what I’ve decided. English or French. Whatever. It’s not hard. It’s so easy. I’d be making money off of writing down what I’m thinking. Isn’t that almost like cheating at life? That’s all I’m doing now, only minus the making money part. Anyway, this magazine article I’d read in ElleGirl came to mind–this intern, Molly Hurford, wrote an article about zine writing called “Zine Queens.” Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not a teen-girl-magazine reader. I used to be, maybe, and perhaps I’m positive that this article came from the one with Avril Lavigne on the cover. But I’m not a teen-girl-magazine reader anymore, because the articles are always the fuckin’ same. Blender and Spin and Under the Radar and Magnet are more my speed. Molly Hurford, though, wrote something that caught my eye when I was still reading ElleGirl, and it made me tear out the article and save it. And it came to mind this morning when I was lying in bed, sniffling, thinking about my senior project. I could write a zine.

What makes me think the committee would approve of this and not of vegan-oriented things? One word: Career. Shruggity shrug shrug shrug. I’ll try it out, and if not, then I’ll just go vegan. Frick. If neither of those works, then I could just teach myself to play clarinet on my great-grandfather’s old-school nice, nice clarinet. Be boring. It’s okay.

Juno

OHHHH. I may have seen Juno last night, but until next weekend when I am reunited with Derek, I haven’t seen it. Ever wonder what I’m like? I’m like Juno except I’m not pregnant. But I do take things for granted just like she does, I’m sarcastic, and I get sucked into shit when I just want to be friends with people. Everyone. And we iz both in love. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to be watching a great film about someone like me.

J’ai trois chansons pour toi.

Anyone Else But You (cover) | Michael Cera and Ellen Page
Anyone Else But You | The Moldy Peaches
All I Want Is You | Barry Louis Polisar

Also, just for shits and giggles, just to tell you how Juno made me feel, how life makes me feel, how love makes me feel, here are some of my favourite songs lately. The first is just romantic; the second is one that Derek gave me and it’s just fabulous. And the thiiird just makes me intensely happy every time I hear it. It’s the orchestra-rock vibe, it’s his voice and accent, it’s the lyrics. It makes me want to run away from home and drive six hours just to climb into someone’s bedroom window and lay around for a few hours with said person’s nose and eyelashes on my neck. Just like Bleeker and Juno did in the hospital room. That’s all I want and I think it would be the best.

Passenger Seat | Death Cab for Cutie
Zak and Sara (live in Perth) | Ben Folds
Walcott | Vampire Weekend

The Budos Band

One more thing. I was cruising through iTunes’ free jank a few weeks ago and I downloaded seriously everything I could get my sticky germy paws on. It’s a song called “Chicago Falcon” by the Budos Band. And it’s friggin’ groovy. In fact, the song is perfect for many things.

1. Crusin’
2. Walking to class
3. An action movie like Kill Bill
4. Pimpin’
5. Prepping to pwn a n00b or kill someone
6. Making the most kickass sandwich anyone has ever eaten

That list only barely skims the surface. I love the song and I can’t believe iTunes was giving out such a masterpiece for free. But I’m grateful. You should seek it out, since it’s an iTunes download, which means I can’t give it to you. Which blows big-time.