INDIEchouette


I GIVE MYSELF VERY GOOD ADVICE BUT I VERY SELDOM FOLLOW IT

This day marks the beginning of sophomore year spring break.  What have I done so far?

This morning, Alex y yo went to Diversity Thrift on Sherwood.  I’d never been there before (sin); I’d only ever seen the truck and the rainbow building.  I did not know that it’s completely within biking distance from me.  Or that it’s awesome.  I lifted seven books for a buck each and a fucking saweeeeet Spectra System Polaroid camera for three fucking dollars (yes, three fucking dollars).  It was rather dusty (both the camera and everything in Diversity, really) when I bought it but I cleaned it off with a Clorox wipe and I have plans to make a new strap for it because the included hand strap was grody and just actually fucking gross, and maybe to jazz it up with stickers or awesome.  Really, though, it’s a Polaroid, so how much jazzing up could it need?  Here is a video to demonstrate awesome.

Oh, oops, that’s not a demonstration of awesome.  That’s Rachael.  Here.  HAVE FUN WITH MY STUPID OLD PHOTOBUCKET ACCOUNT, lawl.  All of the video/monologues are to Ali, not to me.

Okay, lame sibling rivalry aside, I’m excited about having my own Polaroid, except for the fact that film is ridiculously expensive.  I bought a 2-pack (20 photos) for 30 bucks on ebay.  Didn’t Polaroid film used to be kind of…cheaper?  Oh yeah, it did, but it’s not being produced anymore.  Who made that decision?!  So I guess now I have two amazing cameras that take awesome photos with the price of expensive fucking fillllmmmmmm.

Fortunately, collectives like The Impossible Project, Save Polaroid, and Polanoid exist.  The Impossible Project is a newsy site with a shop for Polaroid products.  It kind of prepares us all for the Polaroid Apocalypse, or maybe even for the wider-sweeping Apocalypse of Analog Photography As We Know It.  Save Polaroid is sort of a grassroots effort to bring it the fuck back, and Polanoid : Polaroid :: Urban Nomad : Lomography.  Right now, my greatest material desire is probably Lomography’s Diana Instant Back +, which turns out Polaroid-like instant pixxxx.  Someday I will have you, my pretty…

On to the music.

I been listening nonstop to White Hinterland’s Kairos.  It all started when Stereogum offered “Icarus” as a free download.  The rest of the album was neither immediately nor easily adored, but it’s been a definite grower, growin’ on me like ivy.  There’s something to be said for Casey Dienel’s silky smooth, slithery voice, but I can’t say I love Luniculaire or Phylactery Facotry even nearly as much as I’m digging Kairos (though Luniculaire comes close).  It’s difficult to decide just which tracks to present here because they’re all worthy, just in different manners.  I’m not going to give you “Icarus” because you can so easily download that for free at Stereogum or Pitchfork.  By the way, if you’re going to take my recommendation, I recommend Stereogum more highly because that page also includes White Hinterland’s cover of Arthur Russell’s “Lucky Cloud”, which you cannot afford to miss.

First, I have to include “Cataract” because it’s a stunning display of what Casey Dienel can do.  This is White Hinterland’s most soulful oeuvre.

Cataract | White Hinterland
[mf] [buy]

Second, “Huron” because it is a heartbeat, and it feels life-changing.  I am also fond of [what I can make out of] the lyrics.

Huron | White Hinterland
[mf] [buy]

Third, “Moon Jam” because of the title.  It also feels so futuristic to me, and Casey plows forward in a manner that almost reminds me of Alice “Kingsley” from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland which I saw yesterday in 3-D.  It unexpectedly captivated me.

Moon Jam | White Hinterland
[mf] [buy]

It’s kind of strange how my musical tastes have transformed from oldies to power pop to pop punk to suck to mellow-ass indie all day, all night, every day, every night.  But Surfer Blood sort of justifies this change, almost pulling at each of my former favourite genres.  I mean, I know their influences are way more legitimate than say, The Click 5 (or probably any of said band’s influences), but I’d venture to say that I could have enjoyed me some Surfer Blood at any age.  In a really fucked-up way, they remind me of Weezer, only better.

Floating Vibes | Surfer Blood
[mf] [buy]

I also downloaded Gigi’s Maintenant, just digging the French title and the Pitchfork review’s reference to Camera Obscura.  I was pleasantly surprised by the album’s listenability and 60s nostalgia.  The guests are obscure, even for someone who delves into bands with both hands, but I still managed to find favourite tracks.  I’m going to put my two favourite female vocals out here.

Mirah has an irresistible voice, and it’s put to good use in this girly pop song.

Won’t Someone Tell Me (with Mirah) | Gigi
[mf] [buy]

I love a good, strong, slightly scratchy voice, and Katie Eastburn satiates my desire.

The Marquee (with Katie Eastburn) | Gigi
[mf] [buy]

It’s difficult to cope with my newfound love for Joanna Newsom, especially since her songs are so lengthy and layered.  It is mandatory to sit down with the lyrics in front of you, reading along, the first two or three times you listen to one of her songs, which are often epic-length.  But it was interesting, or maybe intriguing, or maybe just inspiring, to see her perform on Jimmy Fallon.  The morning I watched this video, I had “lawlessness, law-less-ness” stuck in my head all day.  It gave my day a sense of mission.

It’s also important to note this girl’s perfect posture and unrelenting confidence.  It seems that seeing her live would so greatly trump all of her recordings.

Soft As Chalk | Joanna Newsom
[mf] [buy]

Beach House has also pleased my ears lately.  I’m intrigued by Victoria Legrand’s voice.  It’s such a rare find, such a richly textured and deep female voice.  I watched Pitchfork’s segment with four Beach House songs, and was thoroughly captivated.  Plus, here’s a woman who is so perfectly…graceful?  Graceful.  Elegant, even.  Here are two songs from Teen Dream that were included in that sesh.

Zebra | Beach House
[mf] [buy]

Walk In The Park | Beach House
[mf] [buy]

I don’t write about movies very often, and by that, I mean that I don’t do it nearly often enough.  Films are rich and satiate much of my hunger for life.

Mermaid deeply affected me.  Made in 2007, it’s been described as the Russian Amélie.  On some level, I could agree with that, thematically, maybe.  If you loved Amélie, you’ll probably at least enjoy Mermaid.  But Mermaid extends beyond Amélie into the real world.  It’s awkward, charming, even cringeworthy at times.  It doesn’t extend hope to the rest of us, and maybe that’s why I prefer it.  Mermaid is realistic, even with all of Alissa’s miracles and reveries.  Compared to Mermaid, Amélie is surely a fairy tale; a simple dream.  Maybe the two are best set apart.  So you’re best off ignoring Amélie while watching Mermaid.

As for Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, don’t go into the theatre expecting loyalty to the book.  Instead, Alice is nineteen years old and everyone seems to think she has returned to Wonderland, despite the fact that she has no recollection of ever having been there at all.  This particular take on Alice is a sort of clusterfuck mashup of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-glass, and that same seven-year-old heroine’s future.  A lot of moviegoers will complain about how that’s not the story of Alice and how Tim Burton has manipulated things and blah blah blah, but for what it is–that is, an artistic take on two classic novels–this version is magnificent, captivating, morbid…and then it has a weird spin on the end:  feminism.  Since when did Disney give a fuck about feminism?  Just look at all the Disney princesses, most of whom can’t do jack shit for themselves (exception: Mulan, but she gets married in the end so she did “need” a man after all…but is Mulan even a princess, technically speaking?).  Disney’s appeal for feminism appeased me, but I just wonder how far they’re going to take it, or if it’s going to carry into any of their future movies.  Probably not.  I also wanted to point out that while uplifting, the ending is entirely unrealistic.  Back in those days, Alice would have had to get married, would not have been taken seriously as a businesswoman…why pretend otherwise?

Instead of presenting you with the trailer, here’s a sweet music video made using fragments of the 1951 version if Alice in Wonderland.

You can download this track, “Alice” by Pogo, for free on Last.fm.



L’AMOUR PEUT NAÎTRE D’UNE SEULE METAPHOR

I tried on Deerhunter for size because I have tickets to see them with Spoon and Strange Boys in March, and they fit.  This trying-on also caused me to intensely long for the ability to take Bradford Cox into my arms and carry him everywhere.  Here’s why I fell in love with Deerhunter: Alex showed me this video on Pitchfork, which follows Bradford Cox around 2008’s Pitchfork Festival.  Guest stars include King Khan, High Places, Britt Daniel, and the late Jay Reatard.  It’s seriously the most hilarious and uplifting video I’ve seen since Will Ferrell’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  I know that you want me to be joking, but I’m seriously not.  If there is one useful fact to know about me, it is that I actually adore that film.

Anyway, here’s my favourite track by Deerhunter, “Agoraphobia”.  It’s actually one of the few songs penned by Lockett Pundt and not by Bradford Cox, and it therefore retains a far different, more mellow, more spaced-out feel, but it’s a great introduction to Deerhunter for those who have only heard stray tracks.  To give you a more typical Deerhunter sound, I’m also going to throw in the album’s title track, “Microcastle”, because it completely changes by the end and really, how can you not love the transition in the middle?

Agoraphobia | Deerhunter
[mf] [buy]

Microcastle | Deerhunter
[mf] [buy]

I just managed to cover my glasses with accidental glitter for two reasons.  One, I am wearing one sparkly-ass skirt and two, I just returned from a Valentine-making sesh.  Here is the front of one of the few sweet-ass valentines I made.  Um, plus my face?  You might have noticed, too, that over the past four or whatever years that I’ve been maintaining INDIEchouette, I’ve omitted my face.  You can click links to get to my Facebook, MySpace, whatever <<< that way somewhere, but I’ve kept my face out of it.  I recently realized, however, that this keeping-my-face-out-of-things has rendered certain years of my life more graceful but completely undocumented in photographs.  Upon sifting through my Photobucket for photos of my olde “emo” self (harhar), I realized that I couldn’t really find many.  This might be for the better, but I remembered that when I took the ones that I did find, I felt extremely ugly in one hundred percent of them.  Looking four, five, six years into the past, I realize that youth is fleeting.  I thought I looked ugly then, but I’ve got to give myself some credit.  I looked young, and even though I didn’t look the way I wanted to, I still wasn’t unattractive.  Just uncomfortable.  Now, however…

I suspect that the cycle will continue so that by the time I have gained a mere thirty years of age, I will simply begin to wear a bag over my head.  And maybe I’m wrong.

Speaking of thirty years, let’s talk about the thirty-some-year hiatus Vashti Bunyan took from the music industry!  I am late to catch on to things, but when I found out that Feist and Ben Gibbard’s “Train Song” was a Vashti cover from long, long ago, I was kind of impressed and excited, because I love to hear covers.  I immersed myself in Vashti Bunyan and in the work she did with Animal Collective, and from three of her most renowned works, I surfaced with three favourites.

First of all, you have to love “Train Song” from Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind.  Lyrically, there is this sense of anxiousness for the singer to finally see her lover (if this person would still accept the title of lover) after an incredibly long time, and you can’t help but grasp some of that anxiousness too.  But if you didn’t listen to the lyrics, it would be a chill and slightly melancholy piece.  Feist’s proud voice and Ben Gibbard’s lullaby croon make the cover a real keepsake.  Vashti’s got a voice like cotton candy clouds, which washes over the song with an air of effortlessness.

Train Song | Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

From her work with Animal Collective, I prefer “Prospect Hummer”, the title song from the Prospect Hummer EP.  According to ReynoldsRetro, Vashti says of her work on the EP, “My daughter says she can hear me smiling on the title track […] and I was. I loved having the freedom to sing as I wanted. I was still finding my voice after burying it for years.”  That’s why I love this song.

Prospect Hummer | Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

And of course, on 2005’s Lookaftering, the track that stands out most is “If I Were”, featuring the harp stylings of sweet, sweet Joanna Newsom.

If I Were | Vashti Bunyan
[mf] [buy]

But I haven’t even told you that I’ve developed a huge crush on Joanna Newsom’s Appalachian voice!  Agh.  Right now, my favourite is “Bridges and Balloons”.  It makes me feel cool and floaty, possibly because somewhere in all that seriousness is a bit of whimsical crazy.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, she has a new album due out on the twenty-third of this month, entitled Have One On Me, which sounds strangely drinky and down-to-earth for the country fairy tale girl who wrote Ys.

Bridges and Balloons | Joanna Newsom
[mf] [buy]

Some day, I will take music reviews more seriously, but for now, I will just write from the heart.  I like these songs.  They make me happy.  That’s all you need to know.

Also, if you get bored, you might as well hit me up with questions on formspring.me/almostness, where I am trying to figure out whether or not life has meaning.  I am kind of kidding, but I know that truth box-esque formats like this can tend to lead to many interesting escapades.  If you have a formspring ID, tell me so that I can pose you some questions.  Since I now have a Twitter, a Tumblr, and a Formspring.me, I’m starting to think that I’m almost too tech-savvy.  Something is bound to go wrong!

It will snow this weekend in Richmond after last weekend’s humongous catastrophe of a blizzard, and I will not be prepared.



JUICY GOSSIP
8 January, 2010, 1205 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

The other day at Video Fan, I heard a series of two songs by the same artist.  I had no idea what the artist was, so I asked the kindly female at the counter what she was playing.  Answer:  TV on the Radio.

EDIT:  Ummm Lindsay pointed out that I mislabeled “Wolf Like Me” earlier, so I’ve relabled it.

Wolf Like Me | TV on the Radio
[mf] [buy]

I Was a Lover | TV on the Radio
[mf] [buy]

Last night, I had a dream that I had really wide, hairy legs.  In my dream, it made me uncomfortable because my legs are, I think, the only redeeming part of my body.  But in reality, I have lost about five pounds just from being home over break.  I’m in Richmond now, and I don’t see myself keeping off this weight that I did not mean to lose.  This is simply because I lack self-control.

In other news, this is a series of things that do not matter:  One of my sisters got a detention, and the other one was sent to sit out in the hallway.  How these things happen, I don’t know.  For one thing, I never had a detention in all my however many years in grade school.  In fact, I never came close to getting a detention.  I’m too much of a perfectionist with my behavior.  For another thing, my sisters aren’t even nearly bad kids.  All three of us are too shy, or too obedient, or too wary of offensiveness to act out in public places like school.  Rachael got a detention because she was late to school too many times.  Fair enough, because it’s usually her fault that she’s late, but sometimes she’s late because she has to drive my mom to school.  The day they wanted her to serve her detention, she couldn’t because she had to pick my mom up from work (my mom works in the school system).  Funny how that works.

As for Alexa, the whole situation is out of line.  Some kid in her class said something funny, she smirked at it, and she was sent to sit in the hallway for thirty minutes with the girl who forgot her homework.  When the teacher came out to retrieve them, she asked them if they knew what they had done.  Alexa said, “Sorry, but no.”  She’s so sassy when she’s right.  The teacher never explained it to her, probably because she doesn’t even know what Alexa did.  My sister put on a happy front at school and then cried at home, which is better than I would have done.  Behaviorally, Alexa is like me–very prim–but she has an added advantage of charm, which I never had at her age.  Her charm allows her to impress people her own age in a relatable way.  And work-wise, she’s a perfectionist like me, but she’s more motivated than I am.  I think she’s escaped the family curse, and because of it, I think she may easily be the smartest one.



I RITE MOAR
2 January, 2010, 446 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

As a dedicated francophile and one who is in love with La Science des Rêves, I listened to Charlotte Gainsbourg’s whispery sophomore album, 5:55 a whole dang lot.  Naturally, I was ecstatic when I found out earlier this year that she was due out with another album, which turned out to become IRM.  When Alex showed me the video for “Heaven Can Wait,” I was not disappointed.  And when I obtained said album, I still remained undisappointed, which is a grand feat for me ever since Rilo Kiley’s Under The Blacklight killed me.  It took me a while to get used to Charlotte’s new, very Beck-influenced style (obviously), but I’d say that all in all, Ms. Gainsbourg’s musical career has taken a turn for the better with Beck on board.  The percussion is heavy, gritty, and groovy and her voice rises at times from a Jane Birkin whisper to new, messy volumes.  And just like in 5:55, she doesn’t shy away from using bells.  And it’s brilliantly beautiful.  Now I just wish she’d begin writing her own lyrics instead of collaborating for everything she does.

Highlights: “IRM”, “In The End”, “Heaven Can Wait”, “Me and Jane Doe”, and “Time Of The Assassins”, but I’m really in love with most of the tracks here.

Me And Jane Doe | Charlotte Gainsbourg
[mf] [buy]

In The End | Charlotte Gainsbourg
[mf] [buy]



NYC TUESDAY, LBG WEDNESDAY, RVA SUNDAY

I don’t entirely know why, but lately, I have been having some fucked up mood swings.  One moment, I am on the verge of crying at the jewelery counter at Boscovs with my dad because everyone there is totally insensitive to the blood diamond crisis.  The next moment, I am giddy with delight at the fact that I can eat a tangerine and play The Sims 3:  World Adventures.  One moment, I am curled up in fetal position because I miss you so much, wondering how I would get on without you if I never spoke with you again.  The next moment, I am elated at the fact that I get to go back to Richmond on Sunday.  I am deflated because I feel so spoiled at any gift-receiving opportunity, so self-righteous, I hate myself for being warm in my parents’ respective homes, for being able to cuddle with their cats who are held there against their will, or because many other people my age don’t get these comforts.  Everything wonderful has some problem, simply because I am able to enjoy luxuries.  And technology mostly distracts me and provides temporary relief and more cause for distress.  Reading absorbs and depresses me.  I want to read.  I just can’t bring myself to do it.

One thing I do love unconditionally is giving gifts, though.  Holiday gifts are okay, but I really prefer giving spur-of-the-moment gifts, like monthly mix CDs and crafts and love letters and vegan food.  No matter what, gift giving always makes me feel better.

The only real solution here is to cut back on playing The Sims 3, Country Story, Restaurant City, and Crazy Planets and to start living unvicariously.  I will still  write.

I want to take more photos with my Diana+ Dreamer, too.  I want to take more photos and get more developed and take photos of my crafts and read more and quote more and live more and cook more and eat more and give you recipes by which you should live.  I want to quit eating processed foods.  It all sounds like a New Year’s Resolution, but it’s not.  I’m just realizing that I’m unhappy.  And maybe it’s because I’m home for break, dependent once again.  I resent being dependent.  I do not resent my friends or my family, but I do resent being dependent on them for everything from rides to groceries to entertainment.

At my dad’s house today, Rachael, Alexa, and I tuned in to the middle part of Into The Wild, which is a movie that I would love to see.  It was extremely sunny and beautiful except for the part where he kills a moose, which I have mixed feelings about because it would be okay if maybe he won in hand-to-hand combat with the moose, but he used a gun.  And it would be okay, maybe, if he were truly desperate, but he is not.  I mean, I know that he plans to eat everything, but there is no compassion in the scene.  Even Avatar has some damn compassion for animals.

It was sunny outside of my father’s house, and the sun was making its descent behind the snowy mountains littered with hibernating trees.  At that moment, there was no way that I wanted to die.  I wanted to drag you out onto the Pennsylvania highway with me so we could look at houses from the roads and take photographs of the Lehigh Valley.  I was in one of those moods where I could listen to any song, so I listened to “tinsel and foil” by Paik even though I don’t like it very much even if it is Charlatantric’s favourite song of 2008 or something.  Do you ever get romantic like that on car rides?  Ridiculously idealistic?  Do you fall in love that way?  I fall in love on car rides and journeys of all types.

Here’s a song I listened to in the car today which I enjoyed.  I got this song from a mix CD that came with a book that I am going to give SOMEone for Christmas when I see her.  I wish someone would put this on a mix CD for me.  Instead, I will put this on a mix CD for someone else.

My Funny Valentine | Norfolk & Western
[mf] [buy]

Speaking of excellent songs from mix CDs, Kelsey made me a CD of her favourite songs about a month back, and while the whole entire thing strikes me as brilliant and thoroughly playable, this one song stuck out above the rest.  “Home is whenever I’m with you.”  Yeah, that’s true.  Plus, I can’t get over all of the old-fashioned sayings throughout the song.  It’s the most beautiful piece of elation I’ve ever heard.

Home | Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
[mf] [buy]

Tomorrow, I am journeying with my amigas to New York City, probably the Village, and I will probably fall in love on the car ride and I will miss you dearly.  This travel time will probably clutter my Twitter a little bit.  By the way, pleeeease don’t resent me for having a Twitter.  I don’t think that anything I tweet is important.



INSPIRATION ALWAYS COMES TO ME IN THE SHOWER…WHEN I’M NAKED

If you want to take the title line analytically for a second, you can gather that being nude allows me to take a moment or two to assess my body.  If you don’t want to take the title analytically, then I am just trying to put images into your head.  Much like Ali does every time she writes me a letter.

THINGS I AM SICK OF:

1.  Inadvertent accusations of fatness.

Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV VMAsThis rarely comes from people in my life (except sometimes from my roommate when she accuses herself of being so fat).  No.  More often, it comes straight from the media.  Today, Virginia (my roomie) and I were channel-surfing during CSI commercial breaks when we came across some documentary on Britney Spears and how she was so fucking fat during her performance at the 2007 VMAs.  Sadly, not only did the celebrity gurus assert that she looked terribly un-sexy in her underwear getup, but Spears herself added that she looked like a “fat pig.”  I have a few problems with this.  One, I have a “fatter” belly than she does–in fact, those photos of her puffed-out tummy and less-than-toned arms are reminiscent of my own.  But I could never rock that underwear getup like she did.  I’m too pale (and in love with paleness).  Two, I think she looks perfectly healthy and sexy, so what’s wrong?  I don’t even want to mention that Spears isn’t acting like a super-good role model (though really, Paige, when does she?) by putting down her own perfectly healthy body, or that the media’s expectations of celebrity women are really just fucked up.

If I got this from you, shoot me words and I will link to your site.

Why am I talking about Britney Spears, though?  Don’t you expect me to be talking about some indie goddess?  Thing is, indie goddesses don’t give me these sorts of problems.  Sure, I’ve been confronted with photos of Jenny Lewis in near-undies and Chan Marshall unveiling her pubes.  But the media simply doesn’t comment on their figures, however nice they are.  This is probably because they’re not pop-icon formulas.  Jenny Lewis does not make me feel bad about my body.  The media pressure on female celebrities does.  And it puts women in competition, too.  I am sick of sizing up other women to determine how much better their bodies are than mine.  I am sick of feeling in competition with my own female camarades on occasion.  That’s something that I feel should never, ever have to happen.  But it does, because instead of accepting many different body types as beautiful, the media accepts one:  thin.  I’m not arguing, by the way, that thin bodies are not beautiful, or that we should apply pressure on thin women to gain some weight.  Thin bodies are beautiful.  But voluptuous (I am not talking Beyoncé; I am talking Gabby Sidibe) bodies are beautiful, too.

I choose to fall in love with women such as Jenny Lewis because I can relate to them.  She is perfect in her imperfections.  We saw her evolve imperfectly in the limelight.  She makes mistakes, she writes about them, she is relateable because her goal does not seem to be being sexual or stunning or unrealistically beautiful.  Her goal seems to be being.  I can do that, too.  That’s where the problem comes in for people like Britney Spears.  Their goals are unattainable, even for them.  Or if they are attainable, they are fleeting.  You can’t hold onto a perfect body forever.  Eventually, even George Clooney will sag a bit.

Another thing is that maybe it’s just a morbid curiosity, but because everyone is telling me I’m fat all across the board, I have gained this terrible, insatiable interest in the way my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends look[ed].  It’s not to make myself feel good.  It’s to make myself feel like shit.

2.  Hating on body hair.

If this is yours, hit me up and I will linkety link link link.

I have not shaved since early September [EDIT:  My mom has compelled me to shave twice since then]!  My legs are hairy.  My armpits are hairy.  And my mom will flip if/when she learns this information, which is why I have to shave on November 24th or November 25th before I return home for Thanksgiving break.  Refraining from shaving has made me a little more comfortable with myself.  Body hair is natural, even on women.  Why do we shave it?  We do it for men because we think men like it.  Why do we think men like it?  The media projects expectations on us to look like prepubescent girls.  Sometimes when I leave my apartment in shorts, I have to prep myself as to all the reasons why I don’t need to shave, but it’s not like I get to explain the political context to people.  They just believe I’m hairy or dirty or a crazy feminist without even really thinking about any other possible reasons.  I am a crazy feminist, but I’m resigned to the fact that a woman does not need to be hairless to be beautiful, especially if the hairiness comes so naturally.  I’m done with fighting my body on that one.  Unfortunately, I’m even more resigned to the fact that my mom will not take any explanation for this, and that on the sight of unsightly body hair, she will yell and hand me a razor tout de suite.  The only comfort she would probably take in this is the assumption that I’m not getting laid, because what man wants a hairy gnome?

Added afterthought:  Who determined that head hair and eyelashes on women are sexy and that every other bit of hair (besides some very specific eyebrow hair) must go?  If a woman is completely devoid of any hair whatsoever, she is not sexy.  If a woman has lots of hair, she is not sexy.  It all seems like a game.  You can’t have it both ways!

PS Frida Kahlo is beautiful.

3.  Sexist notions in existential novels.

Want.

Male existential novelists are guilty.  Do I even need to put the “male” there?  It seems like every existential novelist, philosopher, and filmmaker is male.  I am an existentialist.  I love existentialism.  But I am sick and tired of the sexist notions littered throughout the books I’m reading.  Kundera says women are sex objects.  Kierkegaard says women are not to be trusted.  Kaufman writes women as obstacles in life.  You can forgive Kierkegaard a little bit because he probably never expected women to gain access to his novels.  You can’t forgive Kundera of Kaufman, though.  I love them both–Kundera for his animal rights reasoning and Kaufman for his ability to write a kickass film–but I am so sick of this unfair portrayal of people like myself.  Not to mention that besides being predominantly male, existentialists are white, middle class, and Christian or atheist.  I guess it can go one way or the other with religion.  If you’ve found any female existential novelists, let me know!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the reason I’m pointing this out is that I’ve been reading loads of existentialism this semester because of a fifteen-page essay I wrote and aced on the influence of early existentialists on modern-day existentialists.  All of my sources were penned by white, middle-class males.

4.  Jon & Kate/Tiger Woods media coverage.

They are simply people living their lives.  I don’t care.

5.  Not being able to level up in Restaurant City because okay, I forgot to feed my staff, but does that mean that my approval rating should drop?

That's mah homeboi.

I like to give my customers a little bit of credit.  Like, if they see that all of the employees in my restaurant are passed out on the floor from sleep/food deprivation (and/or hardcore partying at Erika’s El Paso the night before), don’t you think they’d leave instead of sitting down, waiting for these unconscious waiters and chefs to serve them?  Low approval rating means fewer customers, which means fewer experience points, which means it is going to take me forever to get to level 22.

6.  Songbird freezing.

Meh.  After the latest iTunes update, I’m thinking about converting back to iTunes anyway.  I guess Songbird and Vista just aren’t meant to be.

7.  Ouija Board.

I can’t sleep too well ever since I found out about my apparently long-present secret roommates, Rubi and Zach.

8.  That Kelly Clarkson song.

It is soooo repetitive, SO annoying.

9.  Explaining to people that I am vegan.

Since I’m a mild-mannered, gentle, shy person, I generally don’t want to offend.  In fact, you could say that part of why I don’t want to eat animal products is that I find them offensive.  So it’s a difficult thing for me to explain to people that I am vegan because it is so often offensive.  I won’t eat their food, I can’t share their love for cheese, and I don’t find their jokes about my eating habits funny.  But I’m stuck on the fence because it’s obvious to me that non-veganism is really the offensive route and deviant and just wrong (morally, ethically, environmentally, and taste-wise), but so many people seem to believe that I am the one in the wrong.  Even some of my friends who occasionally declare my journey as noble seem to believe that my dedication is offensive.  Or when they choose a restaurant where I absolutely cannot and will not eat anything, it is I who chose to be vegan, and not they who chose an offensive restaurant.  Fortunately, my mother has finally accepted my veganism and my nose ring.

10.  Jewelery.

Yesterday I had to go with my dad to a jewelery counter at Boscovs so he could exchange some stuff.  The people who shop here are ridiculous, and they don’t know or particularly care that the blood of children was shed for their shitty-ass diamonds.  Another thing is that I am a fan of handmade jewelery that is askew and imperfect (but I guess it wouldn’t be considered jewelery, per se, because I hate jewels).  Jewelery counters sell shit to people who have sticks up their asses.

THINGS I AM NOT SICK OF:

1.  Camera Obscura.

T & The Fonz in Philly

Since August, my life has been set to the tune of this Scottish group.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I am behind the curve on this one.  Camera Obscura is a sixties-reminiscent indie pop band, and they make me feel legitimately amazing.  When I listen to Camera Obscura, I’m ready for whatever Monday chooses to throw in my path.  When I feel ugly, I listen to Camera Obscura and feel prettier.  When I need to brush my teeth, I tune Songbird to Camera Obscura.  When I am behind schedule in the morning and running late to class because I can’t find my keys (and little do I know that they are in my jacket pocket), Camera Obscura is the band for me.  I am a Camera Obscura kind of girl.

Also, I got the amazing opportunity to see Camera Obscura with Alex in Norfolk the weekend before Thanksgiving and they were awesome, as was expected.

Swans | Camera Obscura
[mf] [buy]

2.  Florence.

Florence Henderson.

Just kidding.

<3

Florence Welch.  Ali and I have been raving about her for many months now, with that stadium-filling voice, but when I passed Ali the Flo-torch, she took it and ran with it.  So now we’ve both got serious lesbian fixations on red-haired women!

Postcards From Italy (Beirut Cover) | Florence & The Machine
[mf] [buy]

3.  Fleet Foxes.

There is nothing to say, except that I never talked about them this summer even though they formed most of it with their sweet crooning ever since I heard them in Paige H.’s car while sitting next to Kelsey in the back seat on the way to Knoebel’s.

Ragged Wood | Fleet Foxes
[mf] [buy]

4.  Bitchfest!

I read it on the toilet, which says a lot because the books I read on the toilet must be captivating and absolutely cannot be nauseating.  Not only does Bitchfest educate me on oft-overlooked feminist issues, but it also teaches me how to write a well-structured essay!  I highly recommend this one to men and women, boys and girls alike.  And if you’ve already read it, I recommend Cunt by Inga Muscio.  BITCHfest made me a better woman, and it will make you a better man, woman, girl, boy, or what have you after you’ve read it.

5.  CSI reruns.

I am not much of a television junkie.  In fact, this (CSI: Las Vegas, of course) and [adult.swim] are the only reasons I will usually turn on the television.  It’s a puzzle.

6.  Gray hairs.

I have a lot of them.  Maybe I don’t have enough to consider myself a gray-haired individual, but I imagine I will get there before long.  I’m excited about them because they constitute a natural change in my body.  Plus, how many under-twenties besides Holden Caulfield get to rave about having gray hairs?

7.  Black pitted olives.

I think it’s the vinegar in the holding solution.

8.  jj.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier.  jj is a mysterious Swedish band that makes incredible dream-pop dreamy dream music.  And hey, don’t take my word for it.  Chris recommended them in the comments section of my last post, too!

It was ecstasy when I heard this song.

Things Will Never Be The Same Again | jj
[mf] [buy]

9.  My roommate, Va.

She just asked me, “Oh man, do you write about me in your blog?!”  Now I do.

10.  Eisley.

Note the velcro shoes.

They are dreamy and melodic and beautiful and even my sister, Rachael, likes them.  I wish that Chauntelle still sang.  Her name, when stretched to French, practically dedicates her to the singing tradition (chanter).  I like to quote them and sing along to them badly.

I Could Be There For You | Eisley
[mf] [buy]

11.  Yeasayer.

With such a sicknasty sound and a great Blogothèque presentation, how could one get sick of them?  Alex introduced me to them, and now they are a staple in my collection.

Wait For The Wintertime | Yeasayer
[mf] [buy]

12.  Vegan cooking.

It always seems like it’s going wrong, but it always turns out so, so right.  I can guarantee that I never would have learned to cook this well on my own, even if I were vegetarian.  It takes the vegan push.

13.  My RayBans.

Myow.

I was going to get wire-framed cheapo glasses, but the woman at For Eyes told me that my prescription is so high that even with a thinning procedure, the lenses would be too heavy for the frames.  So I “had” to get RayBans Wayfarers.  While I used to wear contact lenses every day (and night), I now wear glasses all the time.  I’m materialistic in this sense, but only because I can see…clearly…in all directions…without my eyes drying up and shriveling within my eye sockets.  It’s also been established that I have worse eyesight than any one of my friends.  It’s also also been established that I am happy to do a five-second trade with any glasses- or non-glasses-wearer who wants to try on my funny-looking, humongous glasses to try out my horrible vision.  I have been told that it’s like wearing drunk goggles.

14.  Tamagotchi.

His name is Fart.  I got him for 5 bucks at Five Below.  I’m sure some of my readers know that I’ve been an on-and-0ff Tama user for years now, especially since my junior year of high school.  Well, now it’s on and I am not ashamed.

15.  Skirts.

I will wear them for the rest of my life.

16.  This.

Presented to me by Nim, who left me a beautiful comment.

I also wanted to tell you all that I love you.  Yes, you.  I will not leave you.  This particular absence was a vacation to stupidity.  I will write you more petty things very soon.  The whole being-professional thing just doesn’t work for me.



SAD ROBOT
Why I use the internet.

Why I use the internet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



I FORGOT A TITLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

shehimsheandhim

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

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

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

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

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

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

This ones my favourite.

This one's my favourite.

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



BEFORE MARCH ENDS

I think this one is easier on the ears.

1.  Sea Legs | The Shins
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
This is the faster version.

13.  Hanging High | Lykke Li
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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.



PAPILLON
15 March, 2009, 1142 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

I have considered beginning a new blog, because I feel this one dying.

It is upsetting to see an old friend go.

I feel this blog dying probably because I am concerned with immersing myself in life instead of just writing about wishing that I could live a certain way.

But I probably will not begin a new blog or go on hiatus.  What I will do instead is pump this full of life.  I should document everything.  Music, photographs, cool things I find on the internet or wherever, really.  Then maybe loyal readers will be proud of themselves.  My friends will be proud of themselves, too.  They will no longer have a half-dead friend.  I will be alive.  And you will be able to live with me.

This will be the first post in the revival of my blog.

&&&

The best way to reach out to me is to add me on Facebook.  I am not a whore of a friend collector; I am genuinely interested in people.  Unfortunately, I am also horribly, terribly shy, even on the internet.  But if you add me, you can be sure that the feeling you get late on Thursday night, that weird sense of being watched over in a good way–that is me lurking.

I am the first person to admit that I am a creep.

Also, I am trying to refrain from using the word “creeper”, even though I love it.

And while we are on the subject, I should point out one other thing.  I bet my simple voice frustrates some of you.  The way I talk in reality is probably even more frustrating.  It is like this, really simple, only I talk slowly because I am thinking and I am trying not to say “like”.

&&&

Several months ago, Jaimie lent me a CD.  She told me that it would be a real treat.  That is her word.  Treat.

I imported it onto my computer and gave it back and kind of ignored her comments on the album.  I must admit that I did not exactly get a boner over the ordeal.  For clarification and in retrospect, I believe that I obtained a massive boner when I purchased Under the Blacklight by Rilo Kiley, as well as both of Jenny Lewis’ outside effort.  And I achieved a large boner when I first listened to Gulag Orkestar by Beirut.  You think that I should move on as new music comes, but I am a pretty loyal listener when an album gives me a supermassive boner.

I realize that being a girl and mentioning my own boners is not exactly professional, as I do not have a penis, which renders my own boners nonexistent, but how would you feel if I said that the albums made me all wet?  Well, it would be believable and you would be in an excruciatingly uncomfortable position, wondering whether or not I am completely lying.

Anyway.

It was only this past week that I began to listen to the album that Jaimie lent me.

One of the reasons it took me this long is because I had listened to a few songs by the artiste before and thought, “Eh.  Big deal.”  I was not impressed.  But for this artist, it takes more than the two most popular songs for her to make a real impression.  The blogs do not do her justice!  The blogs could not do her justice unless every last blog somehow legally distributed her entire album for free, which is actually not possible as far as I know.

So I guess instead of giving you the whole album, I will give you my favourite few songs from the album.  But please don’t get me wrong.  In order to fully taste Lykke Li, you will just have to listen to Youth Novels in its entirety.


Hanging High | Lykke Li
[mediafire] [buy]
The song I plan to raise my children on, supposing I have any.
Dance Dance Dance | Lykke Li
[mediafire] [buy]
The song I plan to use as my theme song for the entire spring of 2009.
I’m Good I’m Gone | Lykke Li
[mediafire] [buy]
The song that you need to know if you are going to go by Most People’s Evaluations of Lykke Li.
Let It Fall | Lykke Li
[mediafire] [buy]
The song that is about crying that I could not possibly cry to.

I don’t care if she is so “last year” or if I am “so behind.”  By the way, Lykke Li is pronounced, “likely,” am I right?

&&&

Finally, I am not certain how many of you will be amused by this, and I am not certain how many of you will find this relevant in any way.

I am filled with a certain sense of despair whenever I look at this and this.

The first shows for certain how much we have dominated without anyone else’s consent.  And the places we have not gone yet?  Well, they are just not desirable for supporting human life.

The second shows for certain how many of us there are and how much damage we are doing, especially Americans.

If there are so many people, though, 6.7 billion and climbing, if there are so many lights, then how is it even possible for me to feel so alone so often?



BON ANNIVERSAIRE, JLEW!

Sometimes, I am frustratingly blind.  And it hurts.

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

jlew

I give you some old favourites.

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

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

Spectacular Views | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

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

More Adventurous | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

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

Always | Rilo Kiley
[mediafire] [buy]

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

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

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

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

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



SUPER AMAZING ANDREW BIRD LUVSONG
6 January, 2009, 734 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

If you think that I listened to Melpo Mene for the entire month of décembre, then you’ve been fooled by my stealthy lying skills.  Though lyke I ttlly wish I did.  It simply did not occur to me because I was downing shot after shot of Andrew Bird all day every day.

20070227_andrew_bird_taggedNow, before, all I had listened to was The Mysterious Production of Eggs (and a few songs from Armchair Apocrypha).  I received this album from the mystical Santy Claus in 2006-almost-2007 (or was it 2005-almost-2006?), fell in love, and never got bored with it for two fucking years (not just regular years, mind you).  But upon visiting Ali’s place of residence in novembre, I was hit by “Dark Matter,” which she (Ali) assured me was her favourite song ever.  I felt beyond dumb because Andrew Bird was up there as one of my four favourite artists, and he was especially high on my Last.fm charts, but I owned just one album.

I reached out and obtained several more albums to add to my beautiful collection and soon took the time to listen to them.  When I started listening, I was unable to stop, especially after I purchased these premium Skullcandy earbuds, which cost so much less than iPod earbuds and are so much higher quality.

Anyway, I figured I ought to give you the best of the best (of what I have, save for Soldier On, since I do have that but have not listened to it enough yet), and the best way to accomplish this is to give you this .rar file I have ready-made, and then I guess to give you the individual mp3s, too.

Andrew Bird Tidbits.rar
[website] [myspace]

Fiery Crash | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

I | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Sovay | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Lull | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Dark Matter | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Masterfade | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Swedish Folk Tune | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Don’t Be Scared | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

The Supine | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Scythian Empire | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

The Naming Of Things | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

Tables and Chairs | Andrew Bird
[mediafire] [buy]

And if you like Andrew Bird, then I would also go out ona  limb to recommend Beirut, Rufus Wainwright, Final Fantasy, and Sufjan Stevens for similar vibes.

One last thing.  While I think that Demi Lovato is one of the prettier Disney Channel stars (not just cuz of her hair, guys), one with a premium Disney-created voice and a first-rate Disney-created image, man, her mouth is like…what the fuck.  You really have to see it in action to get the gist of what I’m saying.  And I think she’s positively gorgeous, but when I watch her mouth, sometimes I am grossed out.  It’s kind of like Miley Cyrus’ mouth, only not as exaggeratedly fucked.  Also, you think about this generation of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon stars, and they’re not actually attractive at all.  A few that I can point out who are include Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Miranda Cosgrove.  You could also include Brenda Song, I guess, but she’s far older than this 90s-born generation.  When I was a kid, I just don’t remember this plague of fucked-up faces.



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

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

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

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

I will give you two more things today.

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

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

everything-is-illuminated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



MIX: SEPTEMBRE 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



HERE’S WHEN I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG
2 September, 2008, 1254 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: ,

Now.

She’s SO CHILL.  I love her music.  Je veux regarder Le Science Des Rêves maintenant!  I want other people to experience the wonder of the film!  I’m so excited for no reason!  Today holds nothing exciting!  I’m not even dressed yet!

Af607105 | Charlotte Gainsbourg
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Website
Charlotte Gainsbourg’s MySpace

I need to get dressed and check the mail and then maybe make some art or write more.  I dunno.