Music!

Dec. 8th, 2015 09:05 pm
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
I have been going to some kickass shows lately. Like, on weekday nights and everything. Not that I can actually handle the lack of sleep, I had to take a half day yesterday to recover from being up too late the night before.

A couple of months ago I saw Idlewild at the Sinclair. They did a tiny tour of the US, just hitting 4 cities, it was the first time they'd been over here in 10 years. They were so good, played everything I hoped to hear, and played it all with so much energy.

Last week I saw Okkervil River at the Royale. They were doing a tour playing one of their seminal albums from like 10 years ago or so. I really like the album, and it was a good show, but I wasn't super invested in it and the crowd wasn't great, so it wasn't a transformative experience, not like the other shows I've been seeing lately.

Sunday night I saw The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die... the best band playing music right now. Period. OMG. That show was transcendent. They were so good, the crowd was electric (I could have lived without the mosh pit, crowdsurfing, and stage diving, what is this, 1994, and what are we, 14 years old?). Plus, it was an all ages show at the Sinclair, which meant they kept to schedule with brutal efficiency- there were 4 bands playing and the show ended promptly at 11.

Finally, this weekend in NYC I'm seeing Sleater-Kinney. Reading Carrie Brownstein's book and listening to all of their albums, I got so psyched by the possibility of seeing them, and then Carrie wrote in the book something about how amazing it is to be in the room when Corin Tucker is singing, and I was like "hells yeah, that's right, I have to go to that show!" I haven't missed an opportunity to see Sleater-Kinney since I first started going to shows back in 1997/1998. I've seen them tour for every album since Dig Me Out. I'm so excited I'm even willing to trudge across Brooklyn by myself for it!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
So my latest project has been diving deep into Irish indie rock (which, thus far, is proving way less interesting than Scottish indie rock). Whilst poking around YouTube tonight, I re-discovered a Scottish indie rock song from the 90s that I had completely forgotten about, but I now remember fondly playing it a lot on my radio show. I must have listened to it a ton because the words are still lodged in a nook in my brain. I'm so excited to have re-found lost music, and it turns out to be Scottish!

wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
You guys, this is the greatest internet time suck ever. The Nostalgia Machine.

Man, the mid-90s were weird years.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
What a fantastic weekend!

Friday night my brother took me to see NIN and Godspeed You Black Emperor at the Garden. It was a great show! Though I'm old and I wish I could just watch a show sitting down in my hundred dollar seat. Everyone stands up when the show starts, and sometimes I am still 16 years old at heart, so I stood because I didn't want to look like a poseur. Though given that I haven't really listened to any NIN albums after The Fragile, I am probably now the definition of a poseur anyway. Do people even say poseur any more? Is that a relic of the 90s? Anyway, we put rock music into our ears. I really wanted to catch a glimpse of Trent Reznor in town before the show, mostly because I just want to see him wrangling a toddler or holding a baby. Dude has two kids now!

Saturday West had swimming in the morning, there was a crazy street fair in Salem to check out, and there were bouncy houses on the Common in which he bounced delightedly. That night we went down the street to a neighbor's house for a pumpkin painting party for the kids. I need to get my act together and put more effort into making parent friends in the neighborhood, we have so many kids around West's age on our block.

Sunday I took West to the Franklin Park Zoo to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] incandes_flower's family. West had tons of fun (and I did, too, but damn that kid is exhausting!). He has been ENRICHED this weekend. That afternoon we made a second foray to the bouncy houses. This time West beelined to a giant bouncy slide that he totally went down several times on Saturday, but on Sunday he got to the top and just... sat there. For like 15 minutes. While we cajoled him and tried to convince him to come down, other children also tried to get him down, and eventually I had to go up and go down with him. Otherwise he'd probably still be there right now. Sunday night we had one of his daycare teachers come over to babysit, and we went into Boston for a live show of Comedy Bang Bang with [livejournal.com profile] starflow and [livejournal.com profile] cosmicserpent. It was super funny, Paul F. Tompkins is hilarious.

Yesterday we kept things low-key. [livejournal.com profile] tenillypo came up for lunch. I discovered I am seriously lacking in crafting skills and slapped together some Labels for Education collection boxes for daycare that look like a five year old could have done a better job. Whatever, I am not a crafty person. I am a get-it-done person, and that's gonna have to be good enough.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
I don't have any eloquent words for current events right now, I leave that others. Instead, I have some trivial LJ fluff.

First- OMG, I am just discovering Spotify (like, I knew it existed, but I assumed it wouldn't have much indie rock or it would be a PITA, so I ignored it). Holy crap, it solves the two problems of my music-abandoned life- time and money. I stopped following music when I ran out of both of those resources. But I do have $10 a month I can painlessly pay, and with the Kindle Spotify app I can listen to music on my commute and have it be almost anything I can think of to listen to, not just what I have loaded on my ancient, one-side-of-sound-working-headphone-jack iPod. The ability to be like "oh, I just want to listen to all of the Yo La Tengo/Sonic Youth/Tullycraft/Trembling Blue Stars, etc. albums I've missed for the past DECADE" and just click buttons and do so? This is changing my life.

Second- the other day I was explaining to West what my glasses do, and I ended with "I hope you have good eyesight genes from your dad." He looked at his legs and said "I'm not wearing jeans!" Hee. The kid is pretty cute. We had some nice family time yesterday on a trip to the Stone Zoo, though he was kind of scared of most of the animals. But he was pretty psyched to say hi to the bears and the wolves.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
I stayed up too late last night re-reading a book I've read twice already. D'oh. It's Divergent, this book seriously makes me want to write. I am just enamored with the tightness of the plot. I actually had a nerd conversation on the train today- the guy next to me wanted to know about the Kindle I was using, then he showed me he was reading the 3rd Game of Thrones book and we nerded out about GoT, then he was saying that he was going to read Wheel of Time next. I love cultural touchstone books.

West is now tall enough to actually open doorknobs. The other morning I heard him over the baby monitor say "oh, they're gone," I went up to check and he had opened the door between his room and ours and he was standing there clutching his snuggle doggie.

Also, I really need to stop making Youtube playlists. Here is my ridiculous 80s playlist.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
I have a newfound addition to making YouTube playlists. I think I used to have good taste in music, but that is clearly no longer true. To compensate, I made a better nod to nostalgia.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
Thanks to Pandora on the iPad I am rediscovering the joys of listening to music while mindlessly surfing the interwebs. Nice! Also I apparently really like Tegan and Sara.

Got some new shoes for work to stop looking like a frump with falling apart shoes. They are heels ($20 on amazon!) and people, I have forgotten how to walk in heels! It has been a few years of flat shoes due to baby and I have lost my lady skills.
wildflowersoul: (Bunny!)
Daycare has made up for its crazy price increase- yesterday they brought in an animal guy, West got to touch an alligator and a boa constrictor! So cool! I'm really happy that they do all kinds of neat things with the kids.

Tuesday I fulfilled an emo dream and saw My Chemical Romance and Blink-182 play at Great Woods (I just can't be bothered to keep up with the corporate renaming). It was a great show, even though I felt like a super old lady there amongst all the teens. Seriously, I was expecting a better showing of 20/30-somethings. It was a total corporate rock ad fest, there were so many companies shilling their skater boy lifestlye products, and the tour is sponsored by Honda Civic, so we were treated to intermissions full of Honda ads. One of the guys in Blink wore a t-shirt for a shoe company that was shilling products in a booth on the tour (ok, after a quick Wikipedia-ing I now know the shoe company was actually started by two Blink guys and is currently solely owned by one of them.... and the shoes are kinda cute). I guess I can't be that surprised that Blink-182 are corporate sellouts. Anyway, they both played almost every song I wanted to hear, so it was worth the ridiculously long drive to Mansfield.
wildflowersoul: (Oglethorpe)
There was a Metafilter thread a couple of days ago commemorating the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. 17 years. Wow. I realized I had no Nirvana on my iPod, because I got lazy about transferring files onto my iPod when it was new. I rectified that this morning and spent my commute listening to songs that are so burned into my consciousness it seems like they've always been there. How many of us still hear the words "This is off our first record. Most people don't own it." before the first chords of About A Girl?

So it's been about 17 years since I desperately wanted to be Angela Chase, was instead totally Brian Krakow, and now am much closer to being Angela's mom than anything else. When pondering early April, 1994, I think some of us mourn a bit not just for Kurt, but for a time when music mattered with such a fierce intensity in our lives, when it made us feel part of Something Big, when the riptide of the just the right chords could shatter you or make you fly. Now, I have too much in my life that takes time, energy and emotion to sustain, I don't have space for music to matter the way it used to. And I'm ok with that. Just my once a year time to reflect.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
Wow. I kind of wish I was at this Hole show in DC. Oh, the 90s, you have truly gone and are never coming back.
wildflowersoul: (I'm a Monster- Ar. Dev.)
Huh. Joanna Newsom sums up my feelings regarding Lady Gaga pretty superbly:

"I'm mystified by the laziness of people looking at how she presents herself, and somehow assuming that implies there's a high level of intelligence in the songwriting. Her approach to image is really interesting, but you listen to the music, and you just hear glow sticks. Smart outlets for musical journalism give her all this credit, like she's the new Madonna …" She breaks off and laughs. "Although I'm coming from a perspective of also thinking Madonna is not great at all. I'm like, fair enough: she is the new Madonna, but Madonna's a dumb-ass!"

Later, she emails to clarify what she describes as her "late-afternoon dopiness" on this subject: "I may have contradicted myself. My problem isn't actually with Lady Gaga. But there's not much in her music to distinguish it from other glossy, formulaic pop. She just happens to wear slightly weirder outfits than Britney Spears. But they're not that weird – they're mostly just skimpy. She's fully marketing her body/sexuality; she's just doing it while wearing, like, a 'fierce' telephone hair-hat. Her sexuality has no scuzziness, no frank raunchiness, in the way that, say, Peaches, or even Grace Jones, have – she's Arty Spice! And, meanwhile, she seems to take herself so oddly seriously, the way she talks about her music in the third person, like she's Brecht or something. She just makes me miss Cyndi Lauper." And on the subject of Madonna: "I shouldn't have called Madonna a dumb-ass. Her music and she have just gotten so boring to me, this last decade. I think maybe she doesn't hold her money very gracefully, the way some people can't hold their drink. But one thing she is surely not is dumb."
Longer article.

I'll admit I've only listened to Gaga's singles, but given how bananas people are for Poker Face and Bad Romance, I'm going out on a limb to assume they are fair representations of the rest of her work. Which just... bores me. These songs don't have magical hooks or moments of awesome pop sensibility. And my standards aren't that high, I think Nelly Furtado's I'm Like a Bird is a remarkable pop song, and I love Britney's Womanizer and even Miley Cyrus' autotuned abomination Party in the USA. None of them have the craft or interesting-ness of, say, Tullycraft, Mates of State, or New Pornographers, but for mainstream pop they at least have something that catches my ear. Anyway, that is my two cents.
wildflowersoul: (Bunny Cookie!)
Huh. I went out for lunch and saw a mob scene on the Greenway near my work- there is a free They Might Be Giants concert today from noon-3. So if anyone is looking for something to do this afternoon, well, there's that. The opening act went on a couple of minutes ago, so I imagine TMBG won't be on until 1:30-ish. Splendid! Of course, I'm back in my window-less office, but if I go out to the stacks I can hear the show.
wildflowersoul: (I'm a Monster- Ar. Dev.)
WHAT. Billy Corgan is, among so many other things, a chem trail conspiracy theorist? These nuggets come from his twitter: US Media run reports on the negative health effects of volcanic ash, but completely ignore EXISTENCE of chem-trails.yep.Barium=good health! and I love being chem-trailed to death. Love it! Nothing like a bunch of barium for breakfast.

I first learned about chem trail conspiracies thanks to Drew discovering this site, if you are looking for an entertaining afternoon's read. You'll thank me when you get to the orgone generators and chembusters!

Can someone please work on a time machine that will take me back to 1994 and forcefully grab Siamese Dream out of my hands? You may substitute it with Slanted & Enchanted, because I discovered Pavement when I needed to check out the band that had a song dissin' on my Pumpkins.
wildflowersoul: (Grennie)
Alright, it's 9:30 am on Yom Kippur, I have the day off, and have already been somewhat productive.

Cleaned up a bit after the very fun Bates Ladies, Etc. get together at our place yesterday. I am still craving apple cider donuts, those things are tasty.

Did some MTV pilates, made up a pot of smoked sausage & beans for lunches for the rest of the week, and have a load of laundry in the washer and the dryer. That's pretty decently productive.

On the list for the rest of the day: do some writing, learn some quantum mechanics, take a nap (this is serious business given the next item on the list), go see Sunny Day Real Estate with my brother tonight at HoB. Boo to there being a Sox game at Fenway tonight, though, I think we'll have to park around Gov't Center.

Also this weekend, enjoyed some amazing drinks at Eastern Standard and had a great time hanging out with folks. Yay, drinks! I do wish I had more money to be able to enjoy that place more often, but I like that for $20, plus tax & tip, it's possible to drag out 2 delicious drinks for quite a while.
wildflowersoul: (Jump!)
Holy shit! Pavement! Touring! Pardon me while I flail around in glee for a moment.

I am totally going to attempt to buy some tickets for their first reunion show, in NYC, about a year from now.

You have no idea how very, very happy this news makes me. They're the one band of my all-time favorite bands that I never got a chance to see live.
wildflowersoul: (buffy- buffy & faith)
So I finally started watching True Blood (verrrrrry slowly, since I'm Netflixing it and only get 2 episodes on a disc. I really wish Netflix made everything available for stream-instantly).

My thoughts so far: Um, wow, Anna Paquin is seriously not a good actress. Unless maybe the books are so poorly written that she's actually doing an amazing character study or something? Hot mysterious vampire guy is hot and mysterious. It would be awesome to get some plot going (other than OMG-everyone-loves-Sookie and OMG-vampires-exist-here-is-a-pound-of-exposition). I am having major Twilight flashbacks, what with the mind reading and the potential for stalking... too bad there are no sparkles in this. The music in the show is terrible. Like, are they making it that bad on purpose? Not to mention the opening credits; I'm used to much more effort from HBO in its opening credits, these are so bad I thought I was watching Showtime. Nitpicking aside, I am enjoying it and will keep watching. It just makes me long for the days of HBO of yore, when we had Rome and The Wire and Oz.... there is a reason why we no longer bother to pay for HBO with our cable.

Also, this report from a teenager in England really disturbs me, if for no other reason than the line on page 3 that states most teenagers today have never bought a cd. Never?! *shakes fist at kids these days*

That just kind of blows my mind. And here I was listening to NPR this morning (via podcast) interviewing Mac and Laura from Merge on the 20th anniversary of Merge records, getting all nostalgic for the days when I would order vinyl albums straight from record labels. And when I got the latest news on music from listervs. I got my illicit copy of Belle & Sebastian's "Tigermilk" from someone on the indie-pop listserv way back in the day after If You're Feeling Sinister came out...
wildflowersoul: (hello kitty)
Because my brother totally rocks, we are going to see Sunny Day Real Estate (!!) at the House of Blues in Sept. Real emo!!!
wildflowersoul: (Default)
Oh my god, this is so me.

Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] incandes_flower for burning onto a cd a mixtape I made for her in 2001. It is quite possibly the best mix I ever made. And now I remember how good Magnapop was.

Oh, and also, there may be hope yet for some of us with soul-crushing student loan burdens. I'm sketchy on the details, but it looks fairly promising.
wildflowersoul: (conchords- bret jemaine mel)
Went to see Glasvegas last night, and they were totally rockin'. I love a good show. And it was fairly prompt! I love getting out of a show at a reasonable hour on a work night. The drummer didn't have a kick drum and stood the entire time.

So thanks to Netflix we've been discovering comedy that we otherwise might not check out. Our latest discovery is The Whitest Kids U'Know. It is killing me with hilarity. I think about this sketch randomly through the day and get the giggles, though I caution that even though the naughty words in it are bleeped for tv, I don't think it's all that safe for work, depending on your work situation:

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