Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oh, Bluebeard.

So Natalie (my younger sister, for those of you who are unfamiliar) and I are all about exploring. Traveling. Seeing new places, trying new things. Yadda yadda. Most of the time, we enjoy ourselves. We consider ourselves relatively cultured. We appreciate art and music, good food, fine beers and whatnot. We aren't fancy people, but we like to do fancy every once in a while, ya know?

Until now, I can only recall one misjudgment on my part in our travels, and that was when I (an art history buff) dragged little sister to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and forced her to walk around with me as I stood in awe of these paintings I studied. She cried of boredom. (I said we appreciate art, but appreciating art and appreciating museums are two entirely different things.) It was quite hilarious, in retrospect.

This past Saturday, we took on the Symphony. And we hated it.

Symphony buffs can tell you that Nashville's symphony is outstanding. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center (pictured at right) was built a few years ago, and is just a gorgeous building. Sadly, it endured a beating and had quite a bit of water in it from Nashville's recent floods, but they are diligently working on it's repairs.

So Nat and I were handed tickets to the symphony, now being held at TPAC's concert hall, where it originally was played until the Schermerhorn Center was built. We went to see a Beethoven/ Bartók ensemble, with this description:

In his Symphony No. 1, Beethoven embarked on what would soon be a string of monumental works destined to change the course of classical music. Bartók’s early masterpiece Bluebeard’s Castle recounts the classic fairy tale about a bloodthirsty nobleman and his castle of horrors. As his young bride walks through the doors of the castle, Bartók’s music builds in dramatic intensity, leading to a chilling conclusion.

Right up our alley, we thought. Good and creepy. . We love all sorts of music; I find (yet another instance of) guilty pleasure in marching bands; and we both really enjoyed our Music Appreciation class at Auburn, in which we memorized conductors/symphonies by ear. Plus they were displaying some of Dave Chihuly's work as part of the set. I mean.Yay symphony! We got dressed up, ran downtown, were almost late, found our amazing seats, and...

We were bored to tears.

Well no one cried this time. Natalie did fall asleep. I was antsy and pretty bored. While we appreciated the music for what it was (beautiful, really), and the second part, Bluebeard's Castle, was intriguing and the singers had these wonderful voices... we were still bored. I feel guilty for being bored, but alas, It just wasn't our thing. NEXT!

Any of yall ever found yourselves to be not quite as cultured as you'd assumed?

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 14 - Aubergine Dreams

Day 14 - A Song that no one would expect you to love

Time To Dance (Album Version) by Panic! At The Disco

I realized later that THIS, my ridiculous love for Panic! at the Disco (with and without the !) is truly my guiltiest pleasure. I was obsessed with their first album, and had (have?) a mad crush on front man Brendon Urie (pictured below). Foxy. In a guyliner'd kinda way... (he's pretty).... used to be my thing. No apologies here. I could probably assert that gawking at boys like is my truest, dirtiest, guiltiest pleasure. My inner 14-year-old girl is out of control, people.

But the thing is... I do love this song. Loved both of their albums. Am sad that the foursome split in two and now are (in my opinion), as two different bands, making two terrible albums. I digress.

Anyway, I'm not sure that my adoration for them is surprising or unexpected, but I can't in good conscious put up the ONE song I truly adore but which shocks the everliving poo out of everyone when I admit I know every lyric. Let's just say it's by Tenacious D and has a choice four-letter word in its title.

The following is a blogged version of the inside of my inner 14-year-old's locker. I think I could probably make a blog post in itself of that, but then I think I would lose ALL credibility... if I have any left after this. 

 (Brendon, lead singer, is the one in front... this was circa 2005 or 2006.)

And now (on the right). Foxy.

And I've now lost any respectable male readers. My bad.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Like He's Been Loving Meeeeeeee

Day 13 - A Song that is a Guilty Pleasure

This is so good, I barely feel guilty about it. My sister and I do a killer rendition of it, although I'll admit I get confused and always try to sing the best wrong parts. I'm a show-stealer, what can I say.

"Does He Love You?" - Reba McIntyre featuring Linda Davis

Your Voice is Swallowing my Soul Soul Soul

The National with Sufjan Stevens performing "Afraid of Everyone" on Letterman. May 13, 2010. This could easily be my favorite track from their new (not disappointing in the least because it's awesome) album, High Violet. I just love his voice.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

[30-Day Challenge} Day 12 - Hey Britney

Day 12 - A song from a band you hate

Took me a second to think of this one, since really all the traditional bands people love to hate (Nickelback, Creed, etc.), I am really just indifferent to. But do you know who I loathe? Whose voice just makes me cringe? Especially since I truly used to respect her and acknowledge she did some really crazy but interesting (and catchy) things in the music world... but now am so disgusted by her I can barely stand it?


And this isn't a personal attack about her life or her kids or her K-Fed. Her music has just gone to crap. It used to be pretty damn good. And that "If You Seek Amy" song put me over the edge. This is the one thing my sister and I will never see eye-to-eye about.

This gem comes from "...Baby One More Time" (1999). It was actually one of my favorites of hers, although no one else ever seemed to talk about it. wikipedia put on its game face and gave me this bit of info without laughing at its irony:
Despite the song's innocence and purity, the song was originally sexual. The song was so sexual it made the then 16 year-old Britney Spears uncomfortable to record it saying "'This may be a little old for me.' Because of the image thing, I don't want to go over the top." The song was later rewritten into the innocent ballad it is now.
Anyway, here ya go, folks.  Enjoy. Try not to vomit.

I must say I got a good kick out of the dance moves and outfits. And floating six pack.

A Review

I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated by Julie Klausner

I just finished this hilarious book, and I feel compelled to recommend it to anyone who has had their fair share of crazy men in their life. Whether you dated them, were friends with them, or just had the privilege to know them. (Who hasn't, right?)  Julie Klauser, a New York comedian, writes about her romantic experiences thus far (she's now in her early 30s), from the first time she saw a Penthouse magazine at a very early age to her days as a punky/goth high schooler to the absurd versions of "men" she came across in college and after. This is not your typical relationship book. In fact, she states this in the beginning. I've always hated when books were described as "romps," but I gotta say - if I've ever read a true "romp," this is it.

She's funny as hell and pretty crass, but honest and firm in her assessments of the dating world. Plus she's obviously very smart and knows how to write. I actually accessed my dictionary a few times. No lie.

With the diverse company I've kept throughout my life, I could pinpoint someone who reminded me at least a little bit of the guys she described, and I found myself everso thankful (even more so) that I had had the good fortune not to get involved with any of them. She writes about the "musician stage" every girl seems to go through, and I certainly can relate (thought embarrassingly enough, she asserts that it's usually an 'early 20s' thing, while I'm just now nearing the end of my phase at the age of 27). Regardless, I enjoyed this:

My advice to women who are habitually gravitated towards musicians is that they learn how to play an instrument and start making music themselves. Not only will they see that it’s not that hard, but sometimes I think women just want to be what it is they think they want to sleep with.

In the end, Julie has slept with and waded her way through far too many losers to seem acceptable at all (only in NYC, I guess... and she warns her parents at the beginning that this is NOT a book for them), but she finally finds peace. An assured feminist, she makes no apologies for anything she's done, and I was encouraged that time after time, she found herself saying "I'm better than this" in her search for true love. You won't find her crying herself to sleep over some idiot for years to come. She simply said "Next!" and moved on. (I wish I were more like that.)

My favorite chapter of the book is in fact the last chapter, titled "The House of No," in which she talks about the day she realized she had truly grown, matured, and generally gotten her crap together. When she learned to say "no." Those of you who know me well will understand why this excerpt is especially poignant:
I thought about how lucky I was to be different from how I was before. How I used to mistake "yes" for "yay!" and the pursuit of knowledge for the possession of it. I thought about how trivial people used to be better company to me than solitude, and how I'd finally earned the ability to shut out clutter - at least occasionally - and to leave self-sabotage to the kids who can't enjoy being alone now and then. The ones who do not believe deep down, even through the gauze of thick doubt, that they have what it takes to rise to the top, like cream. And I took relief that night in knowing that someone, somewhere else knew that too, and that he'd get me, once he finally got the chance to make my acquaintance.

The book can also be credited with being the first thing to make me not absolutely DREAD turning 30, a landmark that while still 2.5 years away, hangs over my head most days and makes me cringe. This amused me:
Your twenties are the worst part of your life that you don't actually know at the time is terrible. Being a teenager sucks too, but you're aware of every last second of it. I decided to write this book right before I turned thirty, as a way to say good-bye to saying yes to things that don't make sense.
Well said, Julie. Well said.

Title: I Don’t Care about Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated
 Author: Julie Klausner
ISBN: 978-1592405619
Pages: 272
Publisher: Gotham (February 2, 2010) - Paperback

Pack the old love letters up

I can't get enough of the Avett Brothers lately. Check out these lyrics. Just lovely.

"If It's the Beaches"

Don't say it's over
Cause that's the worst news I
could hear I swear that I will
Do my best to be here
just the way you like it
Even though its hard to hide
Push my feelings all aside
I will rearrange my plans and
change for you

If I could go back
That's the first thing I would do
I swear that I would
Do my best to follow through
Come up with a master plan
A homerun hit, a winning stand
A gaurantee and not a promise
That I'll never let your love
slip from my hands

(Here comes my favorite part ...)

If it's the beaches
If it's the beaches' sands you want
Then you will have them
If it's the mountains' bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it's the wish to run away
Then I will grant it
Take whatever you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when
we forget why we left here

Monday, May 10, 2010

[30-Day Challenge} Day 11 - Without a reason, what is this fire?

Day 11 - A Song from your favorite band

I take this to mean my favorite song from my favorite band. Surely you realize by now that I am hopelessly obsessed with Ryan Adams, with or without The Cardinals. Even though my all-time favorite song, discovered long before I knew of Ryan and the MFC, continues to be one by Fleetwood Mac. While my favorite Ryan songs vary day by day, I always come back to "Desire" as my favorite. I love how he says the word "reason" in the original recording. Man, it gets me. Anyway, here's a version played with The Cardinals, so it will count for this post.

Other runners up from other favorite bands (who don't have distinctive frontmans confusing the meaning of "band" vs. "artist").:

The Killers - "All These Things That I've Done"

Modest Mouse - "Missed the Boat"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

[30-Day Challenge} Day 10 -And that's just the way it goes...

Day 10 - A Song that makes you fall asleep

Ironically, the first thing to pop in my head is called "Falling Awake." By Gary Jules. I'm not all that familiar with the artist, but I'm pretty sure this ended up on a playlist after it made me cry on an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Also anything by Joshua Radin. Like his music, but dude puts me to sleep.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And the rain, it fell... and the story went on.

This post from my friend Laurel sums up what's going on right now in Nashville.

Water supplies are limited. The Opryland Hotel is under water, as is most of downtown south of 4th Avenue. My friend Blount works for a tour supply company, and they've lost thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment (including the guitars from some pretty prominent musicians' collections). They had to take a jet ski out to even begin to assess the damage.

The news depresses me, and I'm reminded (on a MUCH smaller scale) of post-Katrina coverage. Images of flooded neighborhoods; bodies found downstream; stories of loss. My friend Michael (one of the most ridiculous and hilarious people I know) cracked me up the other day pointing out how the news anchors start to lose it and misspeak at about hour 14... and how in all the crazy hooplah surrounding hurricanes and whatnot, at least we can look forward to that for comic relief. (Another sidenote of comic relief from Michael: he works at O'Charley's in Brentwood, and they INSISTED he go to work on Sunday, even though there was a tree down blocking his street, and all of the interstates were flooded. Obviously it was unsafe. The news anchors were begging people to stay home and off the streets. And yet they sent someone to pick him up. In a Miata. Michael is probably close to 7 feet tall. This is an exaggeration, but to someone - me - who is only 5 feet tall, he's a giant. And this image makes me laugh, especially because I know he was huffing and puffing his whole way there, with his head hitting the ceiling and knees at his chest.) 

Anyway, I was lucky to only have about 3 inches of water in my bedroom. It's not pretty, nor does it smell nice at the moment, but it was only rain water, and I was home and able to get anything important out of the way. Most of my furniture sits on legs, with the exception of bookshelves (only three books were lost...) and my new record player... but it sits a little higher, so no water touched it. I'm thankful for having uneven foundation at the moment!

I'm thankful for a lot of things at the moment. My house could have been floating down the Interstate! Did anyone else see that on the news? It's just crazy, yall, because this was a RAIN STORM. Just rain. It's crazy.

Thank you all for the well wishes. I'll update more as I can and post pictures, but for now it's BACK TO WORK! 

PS: The title of this blog is from "Salina" - one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs.