sábado, enero 14

Absinth makes the heart grow fonder.

Echo Park, Los Angeles, January 2006.

Julianna Hatfield 3's "Spin the Bottle"

(Wasn’t this song on some kind of 90s movie soundtrack?) I don’t have a lot of love for Juliana Hatfield, much less for 3 of her. But I have grown, against my will, to love this song. “He’s a movie star / Only drives rented cars / Met him in a bar / Said I know who you are...,” it’s laughable because my actor friend was the one playing this song as he was swaying his little toosh and making dinner. I’m sure in his head it was written just for him. He seems to think this way in his head lately, and unfortunately for him he reveals this little snippet of conceit to me. Julianna’s tinny little voice can be abrasive to the ears if you’re listening too often or too loud. You either think this song is really cute when you first hear it, or you hate it until your totally gorgeous friend has played it nine times and counting and you’re finally appreciating why people like it. [Though I’m suspicious of my threshold for annoying songs. Did my brain just give up? Is it a you-can’t-beat-em-so-join-em sort of thing?]
Anyway if you haven’t heard the song, its very much like a girl getting used to her new birth control pill, or “oral contraceptive” as they so kindly refer to it in nice clean doctor’s offices. It’s so innocent and hormonal and energetic... Strum strum strum – and then you get this break of two lines with Julianna singing with melody, “Five minutes in a closet with you,” but soon after that you’re back to the frenetic, hurried way of blah blah blah. It’s like she’s trying to get the song out super fast like it’s so important – or like she knows all this is going to come out so she’s trying to get it over with as quickly as possible. It even speeds up towards the end.
My friend rewound “He’s in a bunch of movies / Really stupid movies / It’s not entirely his fault / He can’t control it all,” over and over again in a kind of childlike, girly glee that made me wonder if the tabloids are correct. IS he into boys like I’m into boys? Is this his way of coming out to me? Do we need to have a talk?
Damn you Juliana! I forgot this song existed! What’s next on his play list, “He’s Kissing Christian” by That Dog. Or will he put “But I’m A Cheerleader” in for the dinner time movie? Oh, Jules – don’t worry. I wouldn’t be surprised if the tabloids are correct about his sexuality, I’d love him all the same. But it would be a damn shame because... Giiirl! He’s fly.

viernes, enero 13

Bjørk's "Unravel"

I’ve been in my hometown (town?) of LA for about 3 weeks now. I’m leaving tomorrow, early morning. I’ve grown attached to a certain someone. In our intermingling, we’ve connected over a few great songs and records – agreeing and disagreeing and arguing points. It’s possible, even safe, to say that we’ve grown closer this last trip, our fleeting moments and funny interactions have an expiration date, known as my return flight back into Chicagoland. This morning he left me a mix CD that he must have spent last night making, or perhaps the last few nights making... I am unaware of when he actually had the time to make it frankly – he’s been so busy lately. In any case, he put this song on the mix pillowed in-between a Neil Young song and a Guns N’ Roses one. He really knows how to hit home... I’ll undoubtedly miss my pal.

I think that, lyrically, “Human Behavior” was a great debut representative of Bjørk’s music. It’s almost like a synopsis of her following work, all being obsessed with feelings, both revealed and unsaid. All her songs are studies of human behavior. “Unravel” makes me realize that she’s so human, in the way that it exemplifies vulnerability. Many people can’t appreciate her “weirdness,” you know, the way she expresses herself through fashion. I don’t think those VH1 lists will ever forgive her for that swan dress she wore on the red carpet a few years back. But perhaps that’s what she’s trying to convey – that the way she looks has little to do with her talent, underneath it all – we all have felt this way (or close to it unless of course you’re a heartless slob) at least once in our lives. The way the vocal lines “He’ll never return it” and “When you come back/We'll have to make new love” overlap, it’s like an inner argument... I think she’s a really great example of the fact that through our many aesthetic differences, we are capable of relating through common feelings as a result of life’s experiences.

So far, for me at least, most of her songs have remained timeless and innovative. I revisit albums and experience new thoughts and assumptions about them.

jueves, enero 12

Led Zeppelin's "What Is And What Should Never Be"

And if I say to you tomorrow. Take my hand, child, come with me.
It's to a castle I will take you, where what's to be, they say will be.
Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky.
But the wind won't blow, you really shouldn't go, it only goes to show
That you will be mine, by takin' our time.

And if you say to me tomorrow, oh what fun it all would be.
Then what's to stop us, pretty baby. But What Is And What Should Never Be.
Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky.
But the wind won't blow, you really shouldn't go, it only goes to show
That you will be mine, by takin' our time.

So if you wake up with the sunrise, and all your dreams are still as new,
And happiness is what you need so bad, girl, the answer lies with you.
Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky.
But the wind won't blow, you really shouldn't go, it only goes to show
That you will be mine, by takin' our time.

Oh the wind wont blow and we really shouldn't go and it only goes to show.
Catch the wind, we're gonna see it spin, we're gonna...sail, little girl
do do do, bop bop a do-oh, my my my my my my yeah.
Everybody I know seems to know me well
but they're never gonna know that I move like hell.

How could you possibly say that these lyrics bum you out?

I was reading this song meaning page for this song and I couldn't believe that people feel a "lolita" type vibe simply because of the use of the word baby... I'm not your typical pet-name kind of chick, but c'mon get with it!

miércoles, enero 11

The Boy Least Likely To's 'Be Gentle With Me" & "Paper Cuts" & "Hugging My Grudge"

capricious \kuh-PRISH-us; -PREE-shus\, adjective:
Apt to change suddenly; whimsical; changeable.

I was introduced to this band by my little summer guest, (the infamous)Michally K. As the story has been relayed, she was in a car with Colleen and our now-friend Laura who was playing “Be Gentle With Me.” That song is the perfect kind of cute, optimistic, happy, summer-esque song that Michally loves.
(In direct contrast to the other type of sad bastard music she loves, Mark Kozelek is her favorite. I, on the other hand, become intensely suicidal when I hear any two or three notes by Red House Painters).
Anyhow, she got me super into the song that was playing in the car that night. We would often start the summer day out with “Be Gentle With Me”... Or if we needed a pick me up, we’d head straight for that song. It led me to look for other Boy Least Likely To Songs... I am unsure as to whether the album is available Stateside yet. For all I know, it isn’t. But my itunes informs me that it was out in 2004. *Shrug*.
“Be Gentle With Me” is exactly about what you’d assume it is. (We’re talking straight-forward Rentals-like pop music here, folks.) A little someone asking you to be gentle with them because they are fragile. I think it’s about losing your virginity to someone more experiened because of the lyrics but specifically about this is line: “I wanna pick peaches off the cherry trees...” But that could also just be my perverse mind. (Although Michally agrees with me.)
“Paper Cuts” is one of my favorites off the album called “The Best Party Ever” but it’s got kind of the same wussy lyrical content that kind of translates into “Waa waa waa/I’ve always been in love with you/They’re just paper cuts...” We’re talking total mangina* here.
“Hugging My Grudge” however is one I can side with. It’s a little bit more bitter, ”I don’t think I’ll ever be happy/Unless I’m unhappy and hugging my grudge”. It’s like the person who wrote the two aforementioned songs grew a spine and stopped taking shit for their total cunt of a girlfriend and is now pissed but they’ve been so nice for so long they can only write a song that resembles happy-happy-joy-joy.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m super into this record, for what it is. It’s catchy and up. If you are stoked on Belle & Sebastian’s happier tunes, this is your jam.

*Mangina: N. Man w a vagina; One who is overly sensitive, specifically a male.
Synonym – wussy, pussy, etc... You get the jist of it.
Symptoms – listens to bright eyes willingly, calls you to have a “talk”, sends you song lyrics over myspace


martes, enero 10

Lemonhead's "Being Around"

Once upon a time I was fifteen. It was January or something, because the Winter Formal for Savanna High School was coming up. A skater with intensely pretty green eyes and long dark hair - that was curly or wavy or something - so he wore it back in a ponytail constantly named Jon Piñeda (or was it Piñedo?) was my boyfriend, who was my friend Selena’s cousin or something like that. I think he made me a mix tape with “Being Around” on it. (Also known as the B-side song to Mrs. Robinson, a cover the Lemonheads did of a Simon & Garfunkel song.) It’s the type of cute boy-likes-girl dedication I could accept because of Evan Dando’s silly and tongue-in-cheek lyrics atop its country twang (the kind I also enjoyed within Ween’s “White Pepper”).

”If I was your body/Would you still wear clothes?
If I was a booger/Would you blow your nose?
Where would you keep it/Would you eat it?
I’m just tryin’ to give myself a reason/For bein’ around.”

Jon kinda did the same thing with The Beatles’ “I Will” but I’ve already loved that song for ages, so this is the one I associate with him. In any case, the Winter Formal rolled around. And I think it stemmed from some kind of conversation we had about his hair always tied back... But he cut it shortly before the dance. And then he had this short, like, total Newport Beach jock dude from a boy band like 98 degrees type hair that he gelled. Gone were his pretty locks, and I think it was at my suggestion. There I was at this gross Jaguar dealership (which is where the dance was held, don’t ask me why... I have no idea) in Newport Beach with this curly mop. It was so awkward and unlike Jon, aesthetically, it was like it was wearing him. I couldn’t forgive myself, so we split up. My brother has since told me that he sees and sometimes skates with Jon now... (which is completely weird because my brother and I are 6 years apart, him being younger). Anyway Jon, if you ever read this, I’m really sorry about your hair.


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