Welcome To My Bed

Like a favorite sweater.

The sun is warmer here. Is that possible? As of Saturday, I've returned to the (main) city of my heart. The new apartment is coming together syrup slow, but that makes it all the more delicious. Tonight, we assemble our library. Just the thought of a wall of books makes my whole body smile.

I don't have much to say today. There is still so much sorting out to do--our study is all full of the un-emptied boxes, my room is one giant clothes pile--so sorting thoughts is the last thing I have time for. But I do have pictures of the past few adventures to share.

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Button and I got tattooed at Screamin Ink by the too-modest, truly amazing Jeremy Miller.

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The O'Neills, a la Gaga at her Newark tour stop. It was my brother's first concert.

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I have so much work left to do in order to make my room livable, but when I can see the floor, I will show you the new bed that makes me feel like a queen and sleep like a lion. I've been having such fantastic, strange dreams here.

Gazing down at all the young and beautiful, with their questioning eyes.

Last Saturday I made a pilgrimage to the Boston outpost of the House of Blues to see Grinderman. Now, I will admit to being poorly acquainted with him up to this point in my life--Button and I have surely listening to plenty of the Bad Seeds while galavanting in our high school days, but fuck if I know which albums or how long ago that was--so I had to do the pretend-you-know-all-the-things-the-cool-kids-do dance for most of the evening.

But mostly, I spent the night mesmerized. I'm sure I've mentioned in the past that the physical sensation of live music makes me happier than most things in the world. Rock music especially. The vibrations in the air move my blood faster or something. The bass in my chest sounds like "home" more than the word itself. And this particular instance of live music, I could not tear my eyes away. Some people are just built to carry off a magical kind of stage presence, a conviction I've come to from my years in poetry. But it was at shows that this idea first entered my mind. Performance, though a construct, is something that at its core must be instinctual. To be seen, to see yourself being seen, and to then feed off that energy and use it to create an experience that would not have been possible otherwise is astonishing when properly executed. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that Mr. Cave was made for the stage, and I am glad to have witnessed him.

Take a look for yourself:



In my internet travels this morning, I stumbled across this blog post, chock full of pictures of the man, mostly in his younger days. This photo in particular made me very happy:

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I have been cleaning my room for what feels like (and is probably close to) the past three weeks, and it looks like a more color-intensive version of the same. Books and papers everywhere, clothes falling into coffee cups, typewriters strung with paper and stories half-typed. I've cleared away the dishes, but the mess does not get much smaller for all my trying. I suppose this is the way some of us will always live. It's like the mess in my head's just overflowed in the real world. Generally, I've decided to avoid it, choosing instead to melt Rachmaninoff records all morning to make new wall art. If Nick can survive the clutter, so can I.

And then there's this, which just makes the day that much better.

Ain't no party like a NoHo party.

Saturday night after work I ran over to Pearl Street in lieu of joining the annual zombie pub crawl to catch Lynx and Beats Antique on the Blind Threshold tour with Zoe Jakes. Not only did I dance until my legs got rubbery and uncooperative, but I can honestly say that I've never had a show experience like that before. There are days I forget that one of my favorite feelings is live sound rattling in my chest. With two drum kits on stage at once that night, it was impossible to forget. And in addition to the amazing and invigorating experience of the room, there was stunning dancing besides. I had never seen anyone belly dance before, and I'm pretty sure I've been supremely spoiled in seeing one of the more famous belly dancers on the planet do her thing over some of the most fun, original dance music I've come across in a hot minute. My jaw was on the floor half the time for how simply the set-up was: two guys, two drum kits, a laptop and mixer, and the occasional electrified string instrument. Every few songs, Zoe came out in a different costume dripping of rhinestones and self-possession and wow-ed everybody. I know little to nothing about belly dance, but my roommate is an instructor, and I am willing to take her word that this woman knows her shit.



At the end of the night, a hippie chick had given me a glow stick, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside from the music, and both my ears and eyes thanked me for feeding them such delicious things. The following is an episode from the tour's video blog regarding a song collaboration between the two music acts on Lynx's forthcoming alubm, featuring footage from the show I attended. And there we are, in the front row. Bow-throwing back from my Jersey hardcore days still comes in handy every now and again.



Oh, and Lynx played a banjo beatbox cover of "No Diggity". Jus' sayin'.

Magic morsels #16 & 17, and also Craig Finn is adorable.

Now that it's sunny, let's do the mashed potato with every language we dabbled in during middle school! Printemps musica! Sit in the sun and smile today, please.



Last night, Cass and I went to see the Hold Steady at Pearl Street and left the concert in a state of serious euphoria, not only because of the bss still buzzing in our chests, but because it is always a joy to watch performers who contagiously love what they do. I don't care what I'm watching--if a performer is happy to be on stage, regardless of whether they are doing something happy or not, I am enamored of them.

Also, these guys opened, and they sang a song about looking into a shark's mouth and I swooned a bit too much. I guess it makes sense that I was tempted to buy all of the Pop Rocks at the register.

Girl-crush, times two; PVD-area whiskey girls and dancing queens.

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Continuing my obsession as of late with lady-rockers, pop divas, and all the wonderful gems in between, today I am spending my time with Brody Dalle and Alison Mosshart, or the respective bad-ass front-ladies ofSpinnerette and The Dead Weather. I figure, if I am going to have dance parties while I do laundry and clean the stove, I might as well make it count.

Speaking of dance parties, as part of a many-faceted night out with Lily yesterday (that included a show in a UU church complete with Gansetts, falafel, seeing a living SHARK in a bar, etc.), we hit up Tazza, got some Maker's on the rocks and proceeded to dance for about three hours straight. I have not had a night of dancing like that...probably ever. Nicky and DC were just sitting in the corner laughing at us because of how much fun we were having. Boys who are too cool to dance make me giggle - Lily and I kept trying to get them to come join us, and DC did for a bit, but he did not seem to have the stamina to take it as seriously as we were taking it. When I got home I felt so good it was a chore to try to get to sleep. People talk about loving the single life, but at this point I'm not even thinking about whether I am single or not. And if I keep having such good times where the silly will-he-or-won't-he-look-my-way-tonight isn't anywhere near a factor, I will continue to be a more than happy camper. I am happily in love with the slow builds in dance songs when they bring the beat back layer by layer until you get almost dizzy with it, and that is enough for me.

Tonight Chris's band Paper Eagles is playing at Tazza (Lily and I were remarking that we feel like we live there lately) and we're going to have the second installment of our dance party + destruction. There have been rumblings about a ladies-only brunch tomorrow morning/afternoon, so clearly things are only going to continue on in this highly enjoyable vein for as long as we will them to do so.

Reading Plath doesn't have to mean you're depressed.

I have woken up twice today. The first time was because the cats were jumping on me and the living room window was letting in way too much cold air for me to keep sleeping with only summer-weight blankets on. I ended up staying awake reading and writing for about three hours, then attempting sleep for a second time. The second time I woke up with a hangover I didn't have upon initial waking. I am not happy about this. The culprit:

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My bar tab was $6.50, but this wonderous Rhode Island native is about as cheap as PBR and far better tasting. I ordered four and shared about the equivalent of one full beer with a friend over the course of the night, so I basically drank a 40 at Tazza last night. Forties used to be a cake-walk for me. I feel old.

In spite of the resultant headache etc. it caused, yesterday was probably the best day I've had in recent memory. I woke up around noon, listened to Florence almost a dozen times on repeat while trying to find appropriate going-out clothes that wouldn't make me seem ludicrous during the daytime excursions that were to lead into the nighttime ones. Then I took the bus downtown to White Electric, a spare and clean coffee shop on the West side that is my new love for wasting away afternoons, getting caught in the rain for the second time in so many days. On Tuesday night, I was so drenched that the man who runs the convenience store near my city line bus stop ran out with a plastic bag he had cut a hole in so that I would have some semblance of a raincoat, but I was already past helping. Yesterday I was better off, as the brunt of the flash flood took place while I was safely on the bus and I only had to walk two blocks in a drizzle to get to my caffeine. I camped out with a heavenly soup bowl-sized dark roast and The Bell Jar, reading for an hour and half at least. I haven't had that kind of uninterrupted quiet to myself in too long with all the craziness of running back and forth to South County for work and my sister's turbulent love life.

Afterwards Erick and I met up and went to Coffee Exchange on the East side, which was open much later and is one of his favorite spots. We talked for a solid two hours at least and had a wonderful time doing so. Just when I get concerned that maybe I'm not as well settled here as I want to be, I have a day like yesterday and everything makes me grin uncontrollably again.

The show at Tazza was wonderful, as I knew it would be. The place was more packed than I've seen it on a Wednesday before, which was exciting. It was so satisfying to have all of my friends in one place, doing what they do best and loving every minute of it. I keep saying that I need to get a guitar so that I'm not the only non-musician, and I say that because they all inspire me with how diverse their sounds are and how much joy they seem to get from what they do.

So here I am, many Gansetts later and under the weather but still basking in the afterglow.

Holding my breath for a breather.

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Hello again! I keep expecting to have time to write something coherent, but there never seems to be a completely free moment, so here we are. It is raining in Providence after a small stretch of promising sunshine and I am doing too many loads of laundry before going down to work. Waiting tables full time is lucrative at the expense of being exhausting, but I refuse to complain about working five days a week when there are so many people (including many near and dear to me) who don't have the opportunity. My dad still hasn't found a new job. He's been looking since November when he got laid off. Talking to him on the phone this morning about the job search, I could hear how desperate things are getting for him, not even monetarily, but socially. He needs to get out of the house. I have my fingers crossed that something will come through for him very soon.

Meg and I got together for some Indian food the other night and had a much needed rap session about all that's happened since the last time we saw each other, which was maybe three weeks ago. I really wish it wasn't so easy for people to slip through the cracks like that. After dinner we sat in Roger Williams Park for almost two hours just talking. I haven't had the opportunity to do that with anyone recently and it felt good to just let everything that's been trapped in my head out into the open.

After tonight, I am off from work until the dinner shift on Saturday, a much-needed break that will be full to the brim, even if it is supposed to be a break. Wednesday night is the special Sound Session edition of Writers in the Round at Tazza, which I am so psyched about. DC, Ana, Chris, Nicky, Kayla, and company are all wildly talented and having them all share a stage is going be so fantastic. The ladies are a special Sound Session guest appearance addition to what is usually a straight up boys club and it's going to make for a really great show. If you're in the area, come down at 9 PM tomorrow night, have a drink, and fall in love with all of them.

Alright, time to check on that laundry.

The Narrows, the Ron, the universe crammed in between my ears.

Point B, which is our weekly artist shindig at AS 220, was fabulous. I am still inspired by the afterglow days later. It was like being in a multi-medium cipher, and we all had so much fun. Afterwards, Meg and Eric came over and we went for walk down by Roger Williams Park in the dark and told stories for what felt like hours. The friends I am making here are all because of the arts, and they re all exactly the kinds of people I need to be spending time with to keep the wheels in my head turning at the frenetic pace I want them moving at.

Yesterday work was canceled because of the rain, something I found out when I had already driven halfway down to Narragansett, but thankfully I had brought clothes with me this time, so I pulled over on the side of Route 4 near South Kingstown and changed, then hung a U-turn and drove to East Greenwich to chill with DC at work. We had many good talks and I wrote endlessly in the back room until we ventured next door to get delicious Mexican food. I am becoming convinced that a burrito is all I really need when I'm thinking complicated thoughts. After finishing our extended lunch, I said goodbye and headed back to the city for some quality time at Blue State Coffee with Meg and a bunch of her friends. We spent a few hours doodling and talking about old TV shows.

When the caffeine party adjourned, Meg and I headed to my apartment in Cranston to grab directions to Dan's feature at the Narrows in Fall River. I made her what she claims is the best grilled cheese she's ever had. We sang to the cats. And then we sang some classic Alanis Morissette on I-195 East.

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Fall River is a very interesting place, as you can see by the graffiti. And I am pretty much in love with the Narrows. DC's feature was fabulous, and there were some really great acts on the open mic. Meg and I were melting into puddles over it for most of the night. At the end of the list, there was a block of four female performers, which was so exciting. I love seeing women perform. I got kind of upset earlier in the night that all the slots had been filled by men, but the quartet of women made it worth it, especially because the night was rounded out by my new friend Kayla, the only performer who played piano. She has the sweetest voice, and it was a pleasure to hear her a second night in a row after the intimate performance at Point B on Tuesday.

To finish off the evening, DC, Meg, and I stopped at Nice Slice on Thayer Street for final sustenance and talked with one of the staff there for awhile. He suggested this delicious creation he had concocted - margherita pizza with broccoli and chicken. We urged him to get it put on the menu and to name it after himself because we had been calling it "the Ron" all night anyway. After considerable ruthless people watching, poetry reading, and group hugs, we put a cap on everything and all headed home. I have been having some of the best nights of my life here, and I do not hesitate to say it.

Today has not been planned yet, but Saturday is the Providence Arts Festival and a whole bunch of the Point B kids are going to get together for a picnic and chill session. And then Saturday night, DC is playing a radio show, which will be destination number two. I could not have picked a better Neverland to steer my course towards. No matter what, I am sure that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Also, "Jolene" by Ray LaMontagne has been popping up everywhere, and I thought I should share it with you because it is one of my new favorite songs. Follow the link to see him performing it live at Abbey Road.

Evaporate and condense again somewhere cooler.

I know I have disappeared off the face of the planet, and while I'm not going to apologize because I'm really not sorry for having the capacity to enjoy real life more than virtual life right now, I will give you a little bit of an update on the goings-on in my life currently. But a short one, because there are serious things to accomplish today.

First off, work has been incredibly hit or miss, and I still don't have as many shifts as I'd like to. One day, I'll make over $100, and then others I'll make less than thirty. And my last paycheck was somehow screwed up. I'm trying not to stress about it. I really like all of the people that I work with thus far, which is a first for me - usually there's someone I cannot deal with, but I have yet to meet that person at this job. Also, because I'm standing on a deck next to the ocean every shift from ten AM until whatever ridiculous hour of the night they send me home (usually around eight or so) my face is incredibly tan and I'm not really sure what to think of it. All I know on that front is that I am happy to not have any kind of bizarre tan lines from my polo shirt. Yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that that never happens, but we can only hope about these things.

Changing directions quickly...

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DC and I went to see UP the other night with his friend John who is visiting from Tennessee for the week (hear the band he plays guitar for here). I am not ashamed to say that I cried three times. It was a really fun, sweet movie, not Pixar's best, but definitely one of my favorite movies I've seen lately. Not that I've really been going to the movies much in the past few moths. Things have been too hectic to make such concrete time commitments. The following night a bunch of us went out for happy hour and then Kait invited us to meet up with her at Forbidden City on Federal Hill. None of us had ever been there, but I was excited by the prospect of walking up to a bouncer and saying "Emily + three" and getting to jump the line. Which we did, landing us in wall to wall Gotti blowouts, too-loud Lady Gaga, and some really skanky-looking go-go dancers. Kait bought me a drink and apologized for the intensity of the place (this was a Monday night, but apparently everyone there was quite alright with going to work smelling like someone else's hangover on a Tuesday), and we left soon after to head back to AS 220. I still do not know what to make of that place. An establishment with "Tea Room" in the title should not have wall-sized projection screens or even a bouncer. There should be tea. And that's it.

Yesterday I drove down to East Greenwich to have lunch with DC next store to his job and ended up hanging out with him for about three hours even though we were going to see each other at night back in Providence. We've been getting wrapped up in very serious conversations lately. Whenever I ask him what he's thinking about, he always says, "the universe", and I always tell him that it's impossible to fit the entire universe into your brain. Tonight we're going to Writer's in the Round at Tazza, a little show that DC plays with a few friends every first Wednesday of the month. He's been a little under the weather lately, so he might not end up doing it this time, but I gave him echinacea and vitamin C pills to try to fix the mystery sickness, and hopefully that will help. I'm missing the NorthBEAST regional slam to hang around downtown tonight, and it doesn't even really phase me. In another life, say about a month ago, I would have been devastated by my temporary lack of gas money, but lately I am loving Providence (and Rhode Island in general) far too much to leave.

Wrapping up, today's activity will be to assemble the chapbook/zine that I'm making especially for my feature at Blue State Coffee in a few weeks and begin the search for a copy shop of some sort to make such an endeavor possible. I'm going to make it have mostly Providence-specific poetry, which will hopefully make it sell well with the people who go to that reading. We shall see.

And I leave you with this - last night, someone sincerely called me sexy, and I actually believe him. I am a seriously changed person. I'm worried no one will recognize me when we're back at school in the fall, with how rapidly I feel myself changing.

For less than a fiver.



Apparently I spend a lot of time on YouTube when at home. My friend Chris sent this to me in response to my Facebook status, and while I don't see how the two are at all related, I thoroughly enjoyed the video.

Super secret show.

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The most clandestine of concerts occur in the back of a cab. Ryan Adams and Neal Casal perform " Sink Ships" from Cardinology while taking a drive over at Black Cab Sessions, fighting car sickness and degenerative hearing loss. Probably one of my favorite songs from the new album, just for the "coming up the rickety stairs" line. Although currently, I am listening to "Fuck the Universe" from Exile on Franklin Street, which will probably only make me more angry at the thick sheet of ice that's on top of everything on campus right now. Good thing my classes today are literally two doors down from my house.

More American than apple pie.

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I did my civic duty yesterday, and my shark is very proud of me. This is the first election I've ever voted in, and my family seemed surprised I had even registered. My dad woke me up this morning with a phone call, explaining himself for going away for Thanksgiving because my sister told him I was upset about it, when in reality I didn't even know. I asked him if he voted, and he got very dejected and complained that none of the candidates he voted for won. But he did provide information I had been wondering about for the entirety of yesterday: my mom actually went to the polls. She has never been a political person, but every four years when the election came up, she would just vote how my dad told her to. Now that they're not really together anymore, I have been thinking long and hard if the woman who runs from polictical discussion would throw herself into the line of fire. And she did. I'm more proud of her, regardless of who she voted for, than I am of myself for changing my mind at the last second about voting as an institution.

Anyway, the point of this is that my family was sure that I just didn't care enough. I wish they could have been here to see the campus last night, and then ask themselves again if it is even possible for me not to have an opinion of some kind. As soon as it was clear by a serious margin that Obama had taken the election (in the company of the shocking new blue states of Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio), everyone on campus started screaming and there was this palpable sense of relief. We all ran out of our house to hug and congratulate each other on the end of the era of mis-step that we grew up with. And the everyone spontaneously ended up on the library lawn, where people had assembled with every musical instrument I could think of and were playing celebratory music, dancing, and chanting things like "yes we can" and "Obama". The overwhelming sense of joy was almost too much to take. I didn't know if I could believe that it was true. I kept feeling like we'd go back to James' place and the pundits wold be pointing and laughing at us, one big "gotcha". But then again, that's what the past eight years have been in a way.

All of us ended up crying at one point or another, and with good reason. This is a generation-defining moment. We got the vote out. Turn-out is projected to be the highest it's been in decade, especially for my age bracket. I really feel like I mattered here, that this election was one for the people who have grown up having to do with less and less. When we were little, we were living in the budget surplus of the Clinton administration, and though foreign policy wasn't the greatest, we weren't losing thousands of lives in a war with wishy-washy intentions. Bush II saw the decline of our middle class, our way of life. Our parents taking on more than they could handle in terms of hours at the office and debt in order to give us what we wanted, and there was no end in sight. I am coming of age in the wake of the era of the latch-key kid. We are used to being thought of as harmless. But we were not harmless yesterday. And now that our voices have been heard, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.

And we have this man to lead us out of the multi-faceted crisis we have been sinking in since it all began eight years ago.

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Music to clean to.

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Normally, as soon as I get home at the end of the night, I pass out. However, I was able to spic-n-span my room up with very little effort at all, just by listening to this album. Maybe I don't need caffeine to keep me awake after all. Just ridiculous mash-up albums. It was nice to bring back a summer jam. All I could think of listening to it was Nicki waking up in the car on the way home from Seaside just to sing "throw some D's on that bitch". And the part with "Jesse's Girl" will never ever ever get old.

Halloweennn!

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Halloween is just around the corner, so I thought I'd whip out a picture from a World Inferno Friendship Society show about two years ago, maybe more. Because they seem Halloween appropriate. Also, Matt texted me last night just to check in, and I was looking through pictures of us and getting nostalgic just now.

I am on track with all my work, but I feel mildly ridiculous, because I lost my ticket voucher for Halloween. I've been cleaning my room mercilessly the past few days, but it still hasn't turned up. This upsets me.

Oh well. Shower, and then back to business.

Developments in the world of music, and also, my life.

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Ryan Adams and I have a date on the 7th.

Not literally (of course), because I am hopelessly devoted to another. However, the two men in my life will both be present on this joyous occasion. James and I are going to the concert together in Boston (our first musical event), and Ryan will be there to serenade us with the Cardinals. It really is fitting, because our song is Ryan Adams' "Hotel Chelsea Nights". I haven't been to a concert in quite some time, probably since I saw X back in June. I am very excited. Even though I have class at 8:30 the next morning. The things I do for love.

Also concerning Ryan Adams, his blog that had been defunct for some time, is suddenly back in action. I hadn't realized. But now that I know, it's back in my links section.

He is publishing a book soon. I don't know how soon, just that it has a tentative title, or something like that.

I am obsessed, but I am not ashamed.

And even if you don't like the guy, you have to give him credit. I mean, his cover of "Wonerwall" off of Love is Hell got those cocksuckers from Oasis to admit that somebody is capable of doing things better than they can.

Weekend warriors.

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I have always had a lot of friends who are musicians, and it seems silly to stop acquiring them now, especially when I am so close to being able to get into 21+ shows. Anyway, this weekend was basically designed around seeing my friend Alec (the one in the vest) play a show at the Cake Shop in New York. His soon-to-be-ex-house is home to Tamur Records, and there are constantly bands there either recording or doing the things bands do when they aren't recording, like watching cartoons or movies like eXistenZ. It's the kind of house you get lost in for days without realizing that time is passing.

New York smells worse than I remember it smelling, and Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen is exactly as I remember it. I didn't think it was possible to live off of Quik Check, but it is, and I like doing it. If you will direct your attention to the list of links on the right hand side of the page, there is a link to Tamur Records' blog, and Alec's latest EP is available for free download, along with a whole bunch of other music.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have quite a bit of sleep to catch up on. Debauchery is hard work.

Playing with Charades.

A friend of a friend's band, Charades, brought me a to sort of defunct hookah bar in Morristown yesterday afternoon/evening to a concert that should have been free (and remained free because I skipped out on paying). I am amazed that people I know play this music. It is constantly stuck in my head. At any rate, the night progressed in vagabond fashion, first to Taco Bell, and then the Bisdale's, Jordan's (the drummer) back yard, and then finally Maggie's backyard.

Now, my friends have known these three guys for a good amount of time, and I felt very much out of place. Instead of ignoring my awkwardness, every time I got very nervous I would spit out a random fact. (i.e. "Bats eat 10,000 mosquitos an hour", "There's a lull in the conversation every seven minutes", etc.) This was a way to contribute to conversations I felt very much on the fringes of. My anxiety has really been getting the better of me lately.

While waiting to get going to Morristown, I was sitting outside in my driveway with my cousin who happens to be autistic and therefore has a very different view of the world. He constantly asks questions, and I usually find the repetition of concrete facts very comforting. But yesterday it was like he was narrating my anxiety. "Where's your friend?" "When are you going to leave?" "Where is she?" "Are you worried?" "What are you doing tomorrow?" "Did you go to church today?" "What is your friend doing tomorrow?" "Are you mad at her?" "Where is she?" "Where is she?" "Where is she?" Eventually I just couldn't handle it anymore. I had to start tuning him out, and I felt incredibly guilty. Self-preservation is often times of paramount importance.

I wrote a bit yesterday as well, in the midst of everything. I'm grateful that something good is coming of me worrying and needing to be constantly focusing on something productive to keep from driving myself crazy. My handwriting got more and more illegible as the night wore on, as a result of a very blue energy drink slurpee, as well as more beers than anyone else managed to drink. It's a miracle I didn't want to die this morning when we woke up and all decided we needed a diner breakfast to keep our stomachs from mutiny. I don't remember much about sleep, just wonderful wisps of dreams where James was in New Jersey with me and hanging out with all of us, jamming with Rob and Josh and putting me at ease just like always. I miss him so much. I can't wait for him to get the package I mailed him this weekend. Who knows how long that will take. I wonder.

I'm thinking we'll all go bowling tonight, and that will be a welcome departure from lying in bed thinking about the rare occasions when I leave the house for reasons outside of going to work. This week I need that more than anything. Saturday I leave for the vacation from hell. I still have no idea what to bring, other than bathing suits. And I can't help wanting someone to look at me like I see everyone else getting looked at recently. This is all rough stuff.

Back Downtown, among other things.

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A baptism by fire into the things I have always loved and forgotten about a little too readily. I haven't seen true live music since I saw Brand New a year and a half ago, and that doesn't even count cos it was at Madison Square Garden and there was too much space between me and the stage. I missed sweaty little rock clubs. I missed things being real. I missed Lower Manhattan so much, but it doesn't seem the same to me anymore. At any rate, X was utterly fantastic. Thirty-one years as a band, and they sound exactly like they do on their albums from the 70's.

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Additionally, I have been watching movies like it's my job lately. To kill the boredom I guess. Last Tuesday was a John Malkovich Movie Night, and I watched The Man in The Iron Mask and of course, Being John Malkovich. Yesterday I watched The Pianist and The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford. Casey Affleck has only proved himself to be more of a god in my eyes. Everything I have ever seen him in, even that awful excuse for a movie The Last Kiss, he steals out from under whoever he is acting alongside. Brad Pitt may have won best actor at the Venice Film Festival for this gem, but Casey Affleck is the one who everybody else nominated and congratulated all over the world, and with good reason. He is so ridiculously talented. Assassination is definitely in my top ten movies of the year, without a doubt. The cinematography alone is absolutely breathtaking. Apparently the same director of photography worked on No Country For Old Men, a movie I feel asleep during. But I guess I'll have to give it another chance, because this guy's work is absolutely amazing. I don't care about the Coen Brothers at all, but we shall see.

This week, I'm Not There, Scorcese's The Age of Innocence with Daniel Day Lewis, and a guilty pleasure, The Rules of Attraction will all be arriving. And I reopened my Netflix account, so there will be plenty of movie watching happening this summer. I love escaping into my television set.

James will be in LA by the end of the week, setting up his temporary West Coast life. Maggie will be going to school at Pratt in the fall, and she wants me to spend a semester at Gallatin in a year or so. I am heavily considering it. We would tear up the town if we lived in such close proximity. There are so many things to think about.

Refute.

So I am up to #67 in the archive of Stuff White People Like. And I hate to be a pain in the butt, but I too am white, and though I have also observed that white people are less than prone to dancing at concerts, this is really only the case at many of the indie shows that white people are prone to attending. A list, to follow.

1 - Being "Unique"

I have been to many concerts of many different kinds of music. And many of them have been attended by predominantly white people. However, there is a strange strain of hipster that is so obsessed with going against the grain that for them, dancing at a concert is a must, just so they can claim to break the stereotypes associated with their whiteness and love of indie music. For example, on July 4th of 2006, I attended a free Belle and Sebastian concert in Battery Park before watching the Macy's fireworks from the FDR drive. At said concert, there were more white people dancing than at the prom I had just attended in June, on the prom I would attend the following June, or at any of the 3 proms and 2 semi-formals that I have attended in my life combined. Now, granted they were not dancing well, nor did they seem to realize that their claim to hipster individuality was going on all around them, therefore nullifying their efforts. Maybe they were just legitimately dancing. Maybe it had something to do with post #33 on marijuana. Maybe it was the fault of this album, the least depressing B&S produced grouping of songs to date.

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Or maybe they simply enjoy dancing. Gasp!

2 - Being "Old" (or Just Lame Sauce)

This September I was called home from college to attend a Genesis reunion concert with my entire nuclear family. My parents were very excited about this. I was excited too, but I was less excited than I would've been had Peter Gabriel been on the tour. I mean, I love Phil Collins as much as any white person could, but Peter Gabriel is just so strange and wonderful. Anyway, at this concert, there were many people in their 40s and beyond, the original fans of Genesis, who knew all the words. They, just like my parents, were dancing like fools in ways I thought I would never witness, as I wasn't born for most of the embarrassment of the 80s. Maybe it was because they were old and are not well-versed in the current accepted norms of white people. I think that is a combination of that, and the fact that once you reach a certain age you are lame sauce no matter what. That being said, Genesis can turn it on again anytime they want, and I will keep hoping for Peter Gabriel to join them.

3 - Being Part of a Suburban White Sub-Culture

I grew up in Bergen County New Jersey, which, if you ask anyone from my hometown is really just "basically part of Manhattan". Many of the people I was friends with listened to hardcore music or ska, or they were members of such a band. The very elite of this group listened to a band called World Inferno Friendship Society.

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Now, hardcore and ska shows require their special band of dancing. But World Inferno is a different experience entirely. My friend Matt has always said that the most accurate way of classifying them, as they are unclassifiable, is as a "skorchestra", which is a word he made up. It has something to do with having elements of ska, but being closer to something like a small orchestra like band that likes cabaret and has punk ideals blah blah blah. They have a song called "Heartattack '64" that appears in several different forms throughout their discography that incites a dance known as the "Heartattack Waltz" whenever it is played live. This waltz is something like a cross between the traditional ballroom type thing we all know of, and a mosh pit. Not the safest or most comfortable dance in the world, but it is appropriate when you have just drunk two forties out of paper bags while waiting in line outside the Bowery Ballroom. This is teenage life in Northern New Jersey. We dance at concerts.

4 - Being at an 80s Night

As has been mentioned on Stuff White People Like, we white people sure do love a good dose of nostalgia, AKA an 80s night (see post #29). However, hat they fail to cite, is that, if you are lucky enough to have an 80s cover band in your area, you get to rock out like the Brat Pack to authentic 80s tunes being played live. Obviously, this is not preferable to the originals being played on vinyl. But it has been known to happen. So ha!

5 - Being on Hallucinogens

Umphrey's McGee. Moe. Jam bands. I worked in a coffee shop for a good portion of my high school years, and there were many regulars who were obsessed with jam bands. In a bad, bad way. Maybe it was their high school, I mean I wouldn't really know, because it was my rival school, and therefore all I know is that while our mascot was the Knight, theirs was the Norseman. But they seemed to have a sizable group of kids who enjoyed shrooming or dropping acid and attending jam band concerts. There were many stories of dancing. From what they could remember anyway. I am happy I was never invited to such an event. I never wanted to see these people dance. The ones I knew best were the whitest of the white.

And that rounds out the top five reasons white people would go against their better judgement and dance at a concert. Or you could just be like me and love to dance. All my hipster friends frown on it. It's becoming a problem. I'm beginning to question my ethnicity.