Friday, July 31, 2009

Surviving 30 means you aren't a real rock star.

I believe that I hosted the best radio show of my DJing career yesterday. It was about the 27 Club, as in musicians who all died at the age of 27. For the sake of "spicing it up," though, I ended up including artists that also died tragic, untimely deaths (or bands that experienced significant deaths somehow, even if it wasn't the death of a permanent musician). The playlist was as follows (including explanations!):

"Summer's Almost Over"-The Doors (Jim Morrison died at 27, OD'd)

"Manic Depression"-Jimi Hendrix (died at 27, asphixiated on his own vomit)

"Me and Bobby McGee"-Janis Joplin (died at 27, OD'd)

"Triumph of a Heart"-Bjork (mention of the stalker she had in '96 who built an acid bomb on camera then filmed himself sending the package to Bjork and committing suicide, mention of what the album Medulla reminds me of...the day it came out, Brady and I were driving around Fort Wayne listening to it when he attempted to show me a big flesh wound he had on his arm from a recent bike accident...then I crashed into a tree. I said that this was my "brush with death," then introduced some artists who died in traffic incidents...because I'm classyclassyclassy!)

"Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing"-Minutemen (D. Boon died at 27, thrown from a van while lying down in the back-broke his neck)

"Killing Moon"-Echo & The Bunnymen (Pete de Freitas died at 27, motorcycle accident)

"20th Century Boy"-T. Rex (Marc Bolan died at 29, car wrecked into a tree)

"Walkin' After Midnight"-Patsy Cline (died at 30, plane crash)

"Kizza Me"-Big Star (Chris Bell died at 27, car accident)

"Kangaroo"-This Mortal Coil (this is a beautiful cover of the original, which is a Big Star song)

"Microcastle"-Deerhunter (an original member died at 24 from head injuries after a skateboarding accident/Deerhunter is playing here on Wednesday)

"Wet Wings"-Dan Deacon (Dan Deacon is playing with them)

"Everyday"-Buddy Holly (died at 22, plane crash)

"Plump"-Hole (Kristen Pfaff died at 27, heroine overdose)

"Paint It Black"-The Rolling Stones (Brian Jones died at 27, drowned/overdose/?)

"All Apologies"-Nirvana (Kurt Cobain died at 27, shotgun suicide)

"Faster"-The Manic Street Preachers (Richey James Edwards is presumed to have died at 27, when he disappeared off the face of the earth)

"Nightmares by the Sea"-Jeff Buckley (drowned in the Mississippi River while singing the chorus of "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin at the age of 30)

"Sign of the Crab"-The Gits (Mia Zapata was raped and murdered at the age of 27)

"Kiss My Ass Goodbye"-7 Year Bitch (close friends of The Gits, this song is off of the album dedicated to Mia, entitled Viva Zapata!)

"Kick My Ass"-Garbage (toured with the Smashing Pumpkins when...)

"For Martha"-The Smashing Pumpkins (in 1996, their touring keyboard player OD'd on heroin and Jimmy Chamberlin almost did as well. They then kicked Chamberlin out of the band. Then Billy's mom, Martha, died. Then they wrote the album Adore, which this song comes from.)

"1969"-The Stooges (Dave Alexander died at 27, pulmanary edema)

"Nightclubbing"-Iggy Pop (off of the album The Idiot, which was the last album Ian Curtis listened to before hanging himself)

"Digital"-Joy Division (suicide at 23)

"Ceremony"-New Order (remaining members of Joy Division formed New Order, and "Ceremony" was the last new song to be performed by Joy Division)

"Never Tear Us Apart"-INXS (Michael Hutchence died of autoerotic asphiziation at the age of 37)

"Quiche Lorraine"-The B-52's (Ricky Wilson died of AIDS in 1985)

Then I tried to play Tiny Tim, but the CD didn't work. It was requested and creepy, so it seemed fitting.

Also, "Quiche Lorraine" was dedicated to Ray.

Enjoy the Silence.

Nothing much, nothing much.

There's a new beginning in the air. I'm terrified, but it's thrilling. I never truly imagined myself beyond college. A new perception of myself and my future must form.

I feel like I'm just now coming into the perception of youth that my peers felt in high school. College has been what high school is typically portrayed as for me. Inevitable firsts and thwarts.

I'm the last unicorn amongst my friends in some respects. I will turn 22 having never been sincerely kissed or having really dated.

I've found myself wishing that I had more slutty friends. Not so much because I want to seduce and be seduced, but because I want to hear their stories. So many of my friends are boring in the ways that I am boring. All the interesting ones are older by at least three years, typically.

One of my best friends is now 30 years old. It recently occurred to me that the generation I've idealized is now within the bracket of 30-45 years old. I don't know what to think of that.

I've been gradually eating less meat, just as I was told to do in order to ease into vegetarianism. I don't feel as sincere about it as I should, so I ultimately feel very hypocritical about it.

I've been surrounded by animals rather suddenly, and I've been enjoying it thoroughly. I've needed that comfort.

I feel that am a wolf running through fields and forests in the dark of the night. I have always felt this way. Dangerous and vulnerable. Predatory, but made for the pack. The potential for going at it alone.

Don't be frightened. You're my friend, remember?

Last night, I dreamed that we were all together again. At one party. I spoke to no one. I just moved through the rooms as usual, exchanging smiles and then ultimately hiding myself away from the people that love me most. Friends called out my name and I concealed myself all the more carefully. I always did enjoy hide and seek. The dream ended after I had had one on one encounters with all my friends. Small talk and whatnot. I said goodbye just as I awoke, remembering distances and time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Accepting the temporary.

As a college student, I've become accustomed to accepting that all goods are actually quite temporary. We're forced to move at least once a year. We live with furniture that we've either found in dumpsters or been given by veterans of the experience. We live with cutting edge technology that needs constant replacement or tweaking, despite our limited finances. And we make do with this way of life. It's a temporary lifestyle, and it calls for all things temporary.

But they tell us that people make life-long friends in college. Some people meet the people they will marry and live the rest of their lives with in college.

It is rare for me to keep close friends longer than three years. Either a fight or a move. All my close friendships die as quickly as they begin, it seems. This worries me quite a bit considering that I feel like I've made a lot of the first "real friends" of my life in college. This month alone, I'm losing about five of these individuals. One of them being AG, who I spent a significant part of this past year going on various sorts of adventures with.

And I've cried more in the past week than I have in months combined. But this has to happen. The cycle will continue. Sure, I can try to "keep in touch," but I suck at keeping in touch...and, inevitably, my friendships will deteriorate into those awkward conversations one has with people whom one was once dating a long time ago or whom one moved away from. "So, um...what have you been up to for the past five or ten years?" How is someone supposed to answer that question, anyway? Better yet, does the other person actually care about the answer given? Can they honestly care about it?

Tonight, sitting on a porch and snuggling, AG and I both confessed that we're not very good at "staying in touch." After a pause, and a chuckle, I said "well, this is ill-fated." And we laughed at the truth of it.

I feel like I did that to my dog, Louis, which is why I have such mixed feelings about having him put to sleep. "Louis! I know I haven't seen you in four months but DAMN have I missed you!,'re not feeling well these days? Oh...that's a shame..." My own dog and I are becoming estranged friends. When it comes time to put him to sleep, despite the overwhelming sadness induced by nostalgia, part of me is going to say "well, we were falling apart, anyway."

No matter how I feel about anything though is the important decision to accept things for how they are and push myself to carry on. That's all any of us can do.

This is all giving me a greater appreciation of stories that outline characters which have fallen into ruin since last they parted with characters who have not.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rubbed down at Sunset.

We saw them. At Jake's. AG had to get over the fact that we were inside Jake's, and what a strange place Jake's is, as AG had never been to Jake's before.

At one point, we were sure that we saw Jake himself, an older man wearing a shirt that only said "Jake's" across one of his breasts. A grizzled look upon his face surrounded by a mop of greasy hair suggested that this had to be the fellow.

I could only think of Wolf Parade songs. They're catchier than Sunset Rubdown songs. This seems to be a reasonable substitution for my mind to have made. After all, Spencer Krug is the same fellow who sang "I'll Believe Anything" and "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son." I love those songs. Sunset Rubdown doesn't succeed in grasping my pop sensibilities like those songs did.

I do love "Idiot Heart" off of their new album Dragonslayer, though. He tells his listeners that he hopes that they die in comfortable pairs of shoes because they'll have an awful lot of walking to do where they're going. Sometimes I like that. Sometimes I feel like I've walked in on the last line of an argument in which Spencer has just unsuccessfully and awkwardly attempted to insult someone.

As we stood in the afterglow of having heard Elfin Saddle's set (she played a saw and sang in Japanese) and watched the toy drums and homemade cymbal sets get moved to the side of the stage, I, in a tipsy haze, again made fun of Spencer Krug's style of singing. The distinctive warble and strained feel of every note is almost as comical as it is distinguishing. We mimiced it into each other's ears and laughed. I suggested that it was possible that Spencer would overhear us and throw us out of the show, then sang the scenario in Krug. It was fun.

And then the show began. The first two songs off of Dragonslayer, including "Idiot Heart." In general, the show was primarily Dragonslayer, but that is to be expected. My mind was wandering quite a bit, as it does when I'm listening to music that doesn't necessarily interest me but it defines the moment. It used to happen when I would watch black metal and crust punk bands all the time. The droning, the vibrations, the pushes me to a higher state of mind. It only happens during these kinds of shows, and I don't usually listen to that kind of music outside of them.

I like Sunset Rubdown, but I don't love them. It was a good show, but I was left with one overwhelming impression of them, and that was because of the aura of pretention they eminated throughout the show. Spencer at times said things that were uncomfortable at best, and keyboard player seemed to showcase an attitude that said "I'm in Sunset Rubdown, and you're no one." When the audience forced them back on stage for an encore with a round of clapping, she said something that we didn't quite catch, but because of the audience's silence when she said it, we were all fairly aware that she had just said something that made us feel as though she was being condesending. I was sure that I heard "ticket" and "door" in her statement.

I realize that Pitchfork knows who you are and likes you, but that doesn't mean you have to treat people who paid $10 a piece to see you like they're "merely followers."

I will never pay to see them again.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I love them. Secretly, though. Outwardly, and for all practical purposes, I'm afraid of them, as I've been taught to be. We're a careful people and I don't want to end up like Adam Walsh, now do I?

Hold mommy's hand. We're in a busy place.

I got lost in a shopping mall in Fort Wayne once when I was very young. I hallucinated skeletons because I equated being separated from my mother to death. Maybe sometimes I still do. Maybe. Sometimes. The skeletons, I mean. Mom bought me a large cookie with thick yellow icing on the top to aid me in forgetting the endeavor. I don't think it worked.

My terror probably stemmed from two things: the made-for-TV movie called Adam and a Berenstain Bears book called The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers, which is essentially in the style of 50's anti-Red propaganda. Both are scary in their own ways, but Adam was definitely the clincher in ingraining a fear of strangers in me. After all, the kid was decapitated.

The concept of decapitation was really weird and thought-provoking to me for a long time. Cartoons used to tell me about such things, and, honestly, I don't know how kids today learn about them. To my knowledge, Spongebob has never been decapitated. Unless it's like it is on Weeds, when the small child plays "infidel scum" with his young friend.

Also, I think that "Berenstain" is probably spelled the way it is (rather than "Berenstein") because they want to give the bears a distinctly Christian edge...

Also, there was a man in here just now that smelled like my father. Strange.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The post in which I rant about Michael Haneke and Funny Games.

I had joked that Michael Haneke seems to be making the same film over and over again. Always gratuitous violence, always a statement about the young, always a statement about voyeurism, always a statement about film's ability to override our rationality with the comfort of its distance. People who knew who/what I was talking about agreed, to some extent.

And, last night, I watched his English remake of Funny Games. A film he originally directed in German 10 years ago. The film is a shot by shot, word for word remake of the original, but it's in English, and it stars Naomi Watts.

Firstly, I would like to say that he tricked me into watching the same film again, quite literally. I even knew that going in, but I still watched it anyway. Secondly, I find it fascinating that he found this particular film so important that he decided to remake it for the distinctly American audience. Thirdly, I'm confused and perturbed by how easily I identified with the characters once the film was showcasing Americans rather than Germans.

Strangely, though, the most bizarre aspect of the original, being that the main harasser of the family speaks directly to the audience and essentially turns them to accomplices as a result, is lacking in this version. I feel that this is mainly because of the contrast between the acting styles of Arno Frisch and Michael Pitt. Frisch was deliberate with his acting-playing on the tension and silence above all and presenting the coldness of the character throughout. Pitt, on the other hand, acts like the boy next door the entire time, even in the most brutal scenes. Maybe it's because I'm desensitized to it all (because I'd already seen it), but I feel like he only made the character slightly likable, if anything, as all of his characters seem to be. Furthermore, when Frisch addressed the camera, it was difficult to miss it. Pitt's words to and acknowledgement of the audience was rushed in comparison, as if he was constantly engaged in a casual conversation in a room full of people (the audience representing one of those people).

But, of course, Pitt does present us with a different character, even if it's the same dialogue and same set of actions. The softened character almost seems to present the viewer with the sense that Haneke is commenting on America's history of atrocities yet consistently charming demeanor. The Germans had their Holocaust, and we see them as hard people. I don't feel the need to explain America's nasty history of world relations here, but it's interesting to equate the character's charm with the evil nature of rhetoric (yeah, that's right, it's evil-Plato said so).

...meh, I've lost interest in this rant.

Momentary snapshot of a living room that isn't mine.

Minima was, of course, the best choice.

It was only a matter of time before I started making such day to day thoughts so public, wasn't it? It was. Stop denying it.

I said stop it. Please.

Funerals are outnumbering births in Russia. Most men have been dying in the prime of their lives due to work-related injuries. Cancer is also very common. Drinking has apparently caused more than half of all Russian deaths since the fall of the Soviet Union. Is it just me, or are these statements slightly contradictory? I feel like the news is giving me some kind of logic math problem and I don't like it.

The American unemployment rate surpasses 20, perhaps even 25 or 30 percent. We just don't have "proof" of it yet. I'm currently apart of that statistic and I'm slightly pissed off about it. However, I did always love stories about people who'd been stranded on islands by themselves and left to survive for long periods of time. I'm already starting to apply that love to the way I operate in my urban surroundings. Last night, a friend left two pieces of her small pizza in my refridgerator with no desire to retrive them, nor the crusts of the pieces she ate. That was my dinner. Also, I may soon implement a severe diet of only cheap, non-real foods. Perhaps I would like to become a plasticate...naturally. Secretly, I feel that this is a fun opportunity to watch myself deteriorate in some new and disturbing way previously unnoticed by the medical profession. As long as I do not become a posterchild for the organic movement, I feel that this is bound to work.

I found myself thinking, as I drove down 3rd St. in the early morning sun, that saying that something is "bound to be" something is kind of disturbing. It's as if the concept is bound and tethered to some kind of reality or inevitability. I don't know that I actually want to enslave anything, even if it's only a concept. Even if it's only linguistically. Unless that enslavement is going to be highly lucrative. I could use the money right now.

Perhaps I should devise a lucrative torture business akin to the work of the sect in Martyrs. They were privately funded by old people who wanted to catch a glimpse of the next world before going there via the tortured eyes of their victims. That seems like a poor investment to me. Seriously, ladies and gents, you're, what, 10 years at most from seeing it for yourselves? And you just know that they wouldn't end up sharing their gained knowledge with people who hadn't paid quite a bit of money. I suppose this means that I liked that film, because I'm still contemplating it 24 hours later.

I just looked up at the television screen in the living room of the home I'm caring for until the 15th that's currently displaying PBS only to see a cheetah with a bloody mouth roaring as The B-52's "Roam" played. Now an acoustic cover of "She Blinded Me With Science" is playing as a montage of "scientific things" is displayed. Oh no, they're talking about the economy again.

Ugh. A&E is still broadcasting Battle of the Buldge. I know that was a real battle, but now it only makes me think of the bad puns that were made about the "obesity epidemic" in the late 90s.