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

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



SEE INSIDE OF THE EYE

I am unable to get in touch with Derek. This must be some higher being SMITING me.

Anyway, today has mostly consisted of music. Music, and eating, and driving my mother to Quizno’s. My madre is going to a concert tonight in New York. I know that’s funny. Now here’s the real kicker: I asked her who it was and she said that the guy she was going with described it as indie. Indie?! My mother doesn’t like indie! So I flipped and made further inquiries, excited that maybe she was going to see someone I liked. Matt Nathanson, though, sounds like a prissy name, and I was disappointed.

Because someone had described him as “indie,” I was interested. I hopped onto the Hype Machine and looked him up, uber eager to hear this newness. I was disappointed.

While he’s not bad, there’s nothing about his songs that I am particularly fond of. He has a voice made for the radio, the industry (which could be negative), but none of his songs are catchy enough. Lyrics are above average–though they rhyme, and he makes fun of James Blunt for bad rhyming–but eh. I’m not smitten. It’s probably because of substandard instrumentation, too much cymbal, and lack of creativity in writing the parts for the substandard instruments. The only thing I found notable in my search was a kind of teaser that hints at the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” But You have to get to about 3:26-ish for the part, and it’s far from the best cover I have heard. When I listen to “Such Great Heights,” it is supposed to be modest and unassuming in…appearance, I guess…but heavy on the heart. Instruments are fine. But Matt tries to go fancy-ass on the vocals and most likely makes a constipated face while singing, and it’s too pretentious because he has no backing instruments. After the line from “Such Great Heights,” by the by, is the segment mocking James Blunt. No lie, it does guarantee at least an internal chuckle.

Bent (live with “Such Great Heights” Postal Service teaser) | Matt Nathanson
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Matt Nathanson’s MySpace

Matt Nathanson’s Website

Additionally, I have been listening to loads of Animal Collective aujourd’hui, and “Derek” remains my favourite. I bet some of you think that when I talk about person-Derek, I am actually talking about an imaginary friend who I have named Derek after that tasty song. You probably think that I made his MySpace, too. Stole photographs and shit. Yeah, but I didn’t. He’s real.

Lurking a while ago on YouTube, I stumbled across a Blonde Redhead video featuring my love, Miranda July. She poses in a green turtleneck, blue pants, and red-looking high heels. And she has a flower in her hair. It’s an intriguing video, and Miranda July looks stunning (might I add that you can almost always tell a beautiful person, a beautiful soul, by his or her hands?), and I love Kazu Makino’s voice. It is smooth and quirky, as well as versatile. In this particular song, she sounds like she is from a different era. In other songs, she can sound funky and modern. But it’s always the same voice.

Top Ranking | Blonde Redhead
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Blonde Redhead’s MySpace

Blonde Redhead’s Website

Notice, if you will, that I have a new link below the mp3s, “file named properly.” This is because while the original song link from the name is a direct link (I finally figured out how to do it), that gives you a messy title for the song with all these +es. Even though you can fix it, that’s a pain in the ass. So if you just take maybe an extra click to go to MediaFire and save that there file, it will give you the file with a proper name (if you do it like I do, Artist – Title). I just cleaned up my music library this weekend, retitling files and such, so I figured that maybe some of you other people with beautiful music libraries would appreciate it.



TRISTE

Almost every art class, I listen to the music of my peers.  Sometimes, I feel like forcing my music on them, “Here, listen to this enlightenment,” but I am scared.  When I do work up the courage to plug in my iPod, I become very defensive and shaky.  Once in a while, I will get a complaint to switch the song, but for the most part, everyone is quiet and I’m on edge.  Although I love to listen to “The Henney Buggy Band” by Sufjan Stevens while I am painting my projects, I do not enjoy wasting energy defending my favourite artists.  People do not understand me or my music.  Sharing my iPod is not a particularly pleasant experience.

benefits-of-headphones.jpg

Although I normally prefer my own music (and by that, I mean my favourite music), sometimes, another student will play some music that I can enjoy without shaking.  For example, one compadre (I like that word but I don’t know what it means but it seems appropriate) played the Arcade Fire once, and I was almost dancing in my pants all day.  My leg was twitching, kind of.  Another time, I swear someone was playing Johnny Cash.  I am not a huge Cash fan, but I can appreciate.  I smiled all class.  And then today, something interesting happened.  One of my fellow estudiantes played some intriguing music that I had never heard until that moment.  And it sounded very indie.  The voice sounded familiar, even if the songs did not.  In fact, upon thinking about it, the voice made me think of the Flaming Lips.  I bet it was the Flaming Lips, since I am not an all-too avid listener.  Anyway, I wanted to stand up and shout, “WHOSE IPOD IS PLAYING?!”  It would have scared the owner quite badly, since the two-dimensional tasteless boys at the table next to mine were yelling for a song change every five minutes.  And this art class is Design in 3-D.  Step it up, boys.  Anyhow, if the owner of the iPod had revealed himself (most likely a boy, since that class is swarming with them), I would have most definitely commended him on his superior music taste and then inquired as to the artist of the songs playing through the speakers over our heads.

But I didn’t.

Here is one thing I have learned from listening to other people’s iPods during art.  I listen to many, many female artists and I am not ashamed.  My peers may be incredibly open-minded enough to listen to many different races (including and probably limited to: Whites, Blacks, Latinos or whatever is politically correct), but they are the most narrow-minded when it comes to gender diversity in music.  At least as far as singers go.  Thus, whenever I make a new playlist that I could potentially play in art, I include many female voices to make up for those that other people exclude.

By the way, I hate it when people say “close-minded” to describe someone who is not open-minded.  The antonym of open-minded.  It sounds like you are saying “clothes-minded.”  You sound like a fool.  It’s “narrow-minded.”   Picture the mind as a stream.  It can’t really be closed.  It can just be constricted to let fewer ideas through.

The reason I am typing without contractions for the most part, in this voice with all my thoughts instead of in some funny voice to amuse you is because I am sad.  I tend to do that when I am sad.  And I am going to tell you why I’m sad because today, I was re-reading “The Shared Patio” by Miranda July today, from No one belongs here more than you, and this one tidbit really stood out.  It says:

If you are sad, ask yourself why you are sad.  Then pick up the phone and call someone and tell him or her the answer to the question.  If you don’t know anyone, call the operator and tell him or her.  Most people don’t know that the operator has to listen, it’s a law.

I have been the most monotonous person today, but I felt completely normal.  Other people, though, picked up on my deficiency of happiness and asked me what was wrong, and it wasn’t until I stopped to think if there was something wrong that I realized that I was sad.   I am almost always happy, no matter how silent I am.  But it made me even more sad that other people noticed, and not even me.

Well, I would call someone, but it is his sister’s birthday, so it would be a really short phone call and it would probably make him upset to know that I am sad.  So instead, I will say everything here.

The greatest reason for my sadness is that I miss Derek.  And I think that is quite natural.  He visited me this weekend, and I can’t think about it.  I never felt safer than when I fell asleep with my head on his chest while trying to watch SpongeBob.  And Travis was sitting there, too.  It makes me want to watch SpongeBob again, but I know that if I do watch it again, it will just disappoint me there because I won’t feel that comfort of Derek right there and Travis there, also.  I also felt safe in the car ride taking Derek back to the halfway point, when I fell asleep with my head on his leg and he was playing with my hair.  I wished I could have taken care of him as well as he took care of me.  And I kind of wish I always had someone to take care of me, to have my back all the time and play with my hair.

I feel like this numb, asexual being for the most part, about as attractive, unique, or interesting as a plain white wall.  Even the boys I date do not seem to be particularly attached or attracted to me, no matter how adamant I am about them.  It’s just those two or three days out of the occasional month that I regain the capacity to be loved, that I am loveable and adorable and beautiful, that anyone could see me as anything but wry and dry and plain.  It’s like I lose my ovaries for the better part of each month.  Even when I talk to Derek on the phone, I wonder why he would want to talk to me.  I have so little to say, but I guess we tend to express things less in words.  I had the hardest time this weekend telling him that I didn’t want him to leave, just because it felt so selfish when I ran it through my mind.

So I did not tell him.

Then when we were on the phone after he arrived back at his humble abode, he sounded so happy.  I get like that, too, though, when I get home.  It’s relief from homesickness and a return to normality–never at the fact that I was apart from him.  But it always seemed like he took my departure harder than I did, like a burden on the soul, but now I realize it must be the sensation of being left behind.  I tried to explain this to him, but I guess I couldn’t do it in words, so I gave up.  And I do not think I could convey how upset I was because I didn’t cry or anything.

This sadness leads to another one.  I feel like I am destroying the lives of young boys all over America.  Normally, when I date someone, I take time to get to know them and then I find that they are as distant and unattached as I am.  And that’s that.  They have a special place in my brain, depending, I guess, on how I treated them.  And Phelan has a special place in my heart as a friend, as does Brent.  But I feel like when I end it with a boy, it’s more of me being reckless, but I have never dated and dumped anyone who really needed me.  I have just dated and lost many people who I need.  And the one I was most reckless about was the one I needed the most.

But I suppose I feel guilty.  Because while most males fail to see how I treat them like shit, or do not reflect the ugly face I make at them, I am fairly certain that Brent had the clarity to realize that I was not acting as I should have, even when I did not realize it myself.  And if it wasn’t for him, I probably would have continued my serial dating spree with truly pathetic souls.  But Brent is not pathetic.  And I think that he instinctively played the game I was playing all along, and it sort of slapped me in the face and it made me realize, toward the end, what I was doing.  I was being a bitch.  And just because I had not gotten my period in two months did not grant me any extra-special right to be a bitch to everyone around me.  This last part of the realization came right after I got my period for the first time in two months.  All I can really do is beg for forgiveness, but now that I have been reunited with the capacity to shed the lining of my uterus, I cannot help but cringe at myself for being such a dumbass and want to make it up to him.  I am well aware that another shot at dating would not be fair, advisable, or nice.  Fair, because of the advantage Derek already holds over me.  Advisable, because I am a recovering serial dater.  Nice, because I have found that I take advantage of those who leave their hearts vulnerable for my scrutiny.  But perhaps a batch of cookies will patch things up.  At least I have found a true voice of reason through all of this.  We may have different opinions on authority, and I may have been saddened by the discouragement and negativity I faced while under his care, but I am certain that if I ever find myself in need, I can go to Brent for a good old consolation party.  Or just a hearty conversation in general.

And I guess that only leaves me one thing to be sad about.  This last thing is the simple fact that I will not be around to see my boys grow up.  And I mean Travis, Charles, Coleton, Torey, and Phelan.  They are freshmen.  I have almost known them for a year.  But I have to leave them soon, and I do not want them to forget me.  Because I will never stop waving at them in the hallways.

The Darjeeling Limited

Well, there is only one song I can give you today, but I can give you a bit of a story on it.  This Saturday, Derek and I watched The Darjeeling Limited around lunchtime.  The movie is about three estranged brothers who make a cross-country train trip in India in an attempt to reconnect.  It is a Wes Anderson film.  I love Wes Anderson films because they are timeless.

Hotel Chevalier

The movie is prefaced by Hotel Chevalier.  It is a short film labelled as “Part I” of The Darjeeling Limited.  And Jason Schwartzman from Phantom Planet plays our protagonist, Jack.  You do not learn his name until you watch The Darjeeling Limited.  Well, he is waiting for a woman in a Parisian hotel.  The woman is his ex-girlfriend, played by a bruised Natalie Portman.  And when she arrives at his hotel room door, he plays this ridiculous French-sounding song.  They act formal.  She snoops around.  Food arrives.  And then they have sex.

I could relate best to Jack.  The music, the height, the French.  Travelling.  Never settling down.  But I am terrified of commitment, and it seems that Jack is, too.  He has his one mainstay woman, the one he keeps going back to, the one with the most rickety relationship.  And he has all these other women he wants and eventually gets.  But the only one he loves is that mainstay woman, that Natalie Portman.  And those other women do not love him, either, so they leave him.  He just has them as a temporary drink of freedom, I suppose, and then he misses her and it shows.

Well, here is the song.

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) | Peter Sarstedt

After I obtained this song, I added it to my iPod and I wedged my new earphones into my ears and I laid on my bed and I pulled the covers over my head and listened to this song loudly and I just cried.  But I love this song.

I’m sorry for being sad today.  Later this week, I will bring you happiness.  I promise, also, that I feel better after writing this down.



BEAUCOUP DE CHOSES!

Travis has a blog, my biceps are ever-growing, Headlights has a new album out, I’m a better liar than you (or I) thought, my music taste is so white, and books are calling your name.

So I believe that Travis is my most unlikely friend.  When I moved here, I met him almost immediately, but it seemed I would be closer friends with the other kids in his social circle.  Well, je me suis trompé.  We’re family now.  Anyway, he has a blog called Aluminum Pancake (because Metal Waffle was taken–I kid you not), and I think that if you click and check it out often, he might get an ego boost and start to write rather frequently.

Biceps, I started lifting, blah blah blah, muscles, blah blah blah.  I know it’s not interesting or anything, but I swearz to Gawd that I started seeing results after…I want to say not even a full week of casual lifting.  You don’t even have to do anything heavy duty; most of the time, I lift five pounds, no lie.  Then again, this is coming from a girl who has no muscle on her body.  I’m so untoned.

 Headlights like Rilo Kiley

Derek gave me Headlights’ first album, Kill Them With Kindness, for my birthday.  This was shortly before I turned into a bitch.  Anyway, I fuckin’ loved the album even if it was a little pop for my peculiar tastes.  No worries, though, since I asked for it and I truly enjoyed it, even if I could see my FOB-fan little sister listening to them.  Well, that album was what, 2006?  Yeah, 2006.  I’m not a big checker-upper on even my favourite bands; par exemple, I haven’t heard shit about Jenny Lewis since August when Rilo Kiley released Under the Blacklight.  Yesterday, I was surfing the interwebs (particularly the Hype Machine) and lo and behold!  A holy blog article about Headlights was perched there like a sign from JESUS.  And it gave me two mp3s, which I ungraciously stole like the little bastard I am.  However much I cursed Headlights’ white, white, whiiite teenish almost atmospheric pop-rock approach to Kill Them With Kindness (while I sang along), I completely embrace their new sound, which almost seems to grab influences from some sick indie bands.  Belle and Sebastian a bit, perhaps, or maybe Camera Obscura or SOMETHING I CAN’T PUT MY FINGER ON.  Reminiscent of a band that pulls from another decade, 1960s-ish.  I can see Erin Fein in a red polka-dotted dress.  You know what I’m sayin’?  Or maybe Rilo Kiley’s “With Arms Outstretched.”  Of course, I’m buying the album, but before you do, I can give you an mp3 to tide you over.  Oh, and no need to worry–they still have beloved bells on at least one track.

Cherry Tulips | Headlights

Lies, I lie to myself all the time.  I don’t lie to other people, but the one biggest thing I’ve ever lied about, I don’t feel guilty about it.  Or not in the way I’m supposed to.  I feel guilty to the wrong person, maybe.  And I definitely should feel some correct regret by now.  Just wait, though; karma will come around and I’ll gain a port wine stain or go blind or get pregnant (herpes at the very least).  Miraculously.

Speaking of whiteness and lies, I have realized as of late that I’m a fair bit of a hypocrite because while I claim appreciation of hip-hop, I have found that my collection of this genre has strangely depleted over the past few months.  If you can point me in the right direction towards any music that is cultural or different, I’d appreciate it.  I’ll write about it if I like it enough, and I’ll probably have to mention your name because I’ll be so full of gratitude.  I don’t mind foreign languages.

I can’t tell you enough times to just pick up No one belongs here more than you and read it.  Read it all the way through and savour it.  Read it with a yellow highlighter on hand and mark the parts that touch you.  Read it on the couch on a lazy weekend.  Read it when your heart hurts.  Read it before bed.  Read it like a Christian would read the Bible.  Read it, and it’s okay to cry when Pip leaves the narrator for Kate Berryman.  And when she picks the narrator up from work that one time.  And when Lyon still loves Deb.  Read it over again and just appreciate it and you can cry when you’re done.  The book is that phenomenal.  “Everyone knows that if you paint a human being entirely with house paint he will live, as long as you don’t paint the bottom of his feet.  It takes only a little thing like this to kill a person.”

Oh, yeah, there’s a lunar eclipse tonight.



READ THIS.
10 January, 2008, 1151 pm
Filed under: Books | Tags:

Please.

No one belongs here more than you.



PAIGE IS SICK AND LIZ IS 18

Before I start with this post, I have to warn you that I’m dizzy, so if something doesn’t make sense…that’s why.  And also, I need to throw out a Happy Birthday to Lizzypoo, who is my bcf.  As in, best cousin forevahh.

Last night, after a nice fulfilling conversation on AIM, which is my only means of communication with the real world, I went to bed at 1 o’clock with a sore throat.  And then I half-woke up at some random time and I had the chillsz for a couple of hours, which was actually loads of fun because I had three warm blankets on and was totally trippin’.  It reminded me of how sometimes when I was little and either really sick or really tired, my mom would let me sleep in her bed, and my depth perception would get all fucked up, and the television seemed miles away even though it was probably seven feet from my head, and everything seemed so surreal.  Last night, I was certain that I was going to puke on my teddybear, Mu, but I didn’t move him or anything.  He could take it like a man, I guess.  And then I woke up at 6 in the mawning and asked my mom if I could stay home.  And she let me.  SHE ACTUALLY LET ME.  NO QUESTIONS ASKED.  I was purty glad.  I slept on and off until 3:30, and now I feel like the most productive person ever.  I’m cleaning my room and I’m starting on Calc homework and I’m going to do Physics.  After laying around helplessly for an entire day, I guess you sort of have to feel like that.

I have a few songs for you today, and you may have heard them all before.

A while back, I posted “Float On” by Modest Mouse.  I always loved hearing it on the radio when I was into that sort of thing (radio listening), and I guess that’s why it calms me down when I hear it now.  Spencer told me to check out a different song by Modest Mouse, saying that it was atmospheric.  I heeded his advice and listened, and indeed, he was right.  So in honour of that well-directed advice, I present you with the song Spencer pointed out.

The Ocean Breathes Salty | Modest Mouse

I’ve been talking to Phelan quite a bit lately.  Well, not really over the past few days, but you know, recently.  He’s always eager to recommend new music, which I appreciate since his taste isn’t offensive.  Let me correct myself.  He points out music that’s been around for a while that I’ve overlooked.  Somehow, in my obsession with 90s alternative music, I skipped over Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Phelan, however, brought them up, and I was reminded of third grade, when I used to listen to B103.7 (80s, 90s, and today) from my Barbie alarm clock radio right before I went to bed.  Good times.

Scar Tissue | Red Hot Chili Peppers

He also reminded me of Oasis, which was a noble thing to do, since I’m sure they were another one of those B103 bands.   He pointed out just two songs, and I’ve since become addicted.

Champagne Supernova | Oasis
Wonderwall | Oasis

Today, two books arrived in the mail from my father as a part of my Christmas presents.  I’m glad, since I have lots of books lined up in my queue right now.  Well, the two books that arrived today were both Miranda July masterpieces.  One is No one belongs here more than you.  The other is Learning To Love You More, which is a compilation of assignments created by Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July and completed by all sorts of different people all over the world.  Learning To Love You More reminds me of Post Secret.  I want to do the assignments, maybe with friends.  I’ll start soon.