Unbelievable.

August 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Big things have been happening, kids. Big things. Yesterday was the best day of my life thus far. And I actually mean that. Not in a justm. found 20 bucks on the ground best day of my life. Like literally the best day of my life. Here’s where I went:

and this is why

That, if you were unaware, is the love of my life: Benjamin Gibbard. And yes, I was that close.

I contemplated not even writing this post because I honestly can’t even put into words how incredible this entire experience was. First, I’m in love with Brooklyn. Officially moving there. Total hipster city but I’m in love with every minute of it. Second, I hailed a cab (check!) which is pretty exciting for someone who’s never done it. Third, this show was unbelievable.

Frightened Rabbits opened for Death Cab. A Scottish band that I was familiar with prior to this show. Look them up. And then buy tickets to see them live because they’re so much better live. And then Ben came out. “What’s going on Brooklyn?” Those four words had my heart melting into a puddle of love soup. And then they continued to play the best show I’ve ever seen. They jammed a lot – like a bunch of kids who just like to play music. Killer. Please note, Gibbard plays the guitar, piano and drums. And kicks ass at all three. The set list coudn’t have been more perfect. Excellent combination of new tunes and old tunes. I’m in love.

I’d really love to talk more about how much this rocked my world, but words don’t do it justice. That’s all for #22. By far the best thing I’ve checked off.

Vocabulary Lesson!

July 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Let’s have a vocab lesson, shall we?

Indie (n.)
1. Music released on an independent label
2. Any music slightly left of mainstream
3. Not always about lost love, sometimes about Christmas in Zoos

Found that on urbandictionary.com and it was probably my favorite definition. A little serious, a little fun. Just right. Music taste is often a popular topic of discussion. Meet someone for the first time – “What kind of music do you listen to?” I hate answering this question. I don’t listen to the radio. Really. I don’t actually have a radio in my car. Just my ipod. Which is pretty perfect if I do say so myself. I don’t listen to musicians that most people have heard of – Sea Wolf, Acetate Zero, Foster the People, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Beach House, Miracle Fortress, The Big Pink,  – so it’s kinda hard to explain what I’m interested in. usually I just say “I listen to more indie stuff” assuming they’d understand what that meant. The usual response? “Oh, you mean like Slumdog Millionaire music?” Really? No, “Jai Ho” is not at the top of my most played songs.

So to keep all you ridiculous people from thinking I’m a huge Bollywood fan I give you this lesson. Indie is short for independent. Independent record labels. Not Slumdog Millionaire. Educate yourself.

I am tired.

May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I say this with the heaviest of sighs. I am exhausted on so many levels for so many reasons. None of which we will be discussing, well, because I’m tired. I will, however, give you a little nugget of information that I think you’ll appreciate. On my fantastic 80G ipod – one of my prized possessions – I have a running playlists of my favorite songs that instantly cause every fiber in my being to relax. Ranges anywhere from slow and melancholy to just simply happy songs that make life a little more enjoyable. Here we go kids:

“Satellite Heart” – Anya Marina
“Poison & Wine” – The Civil Wars
“Summer Skin” – Death Cab for Cutie
“A Lack of Color” – Death Cab for Cutie
“Feels Like Home” – Edwina Hayes
“Rachel’s New Apartment” – Lixian Hantover
“Possibility” – Lykke Li
“Hold Your Secrets to Your Heart” – Miracle Fortress
“Young Folks” – Peter Bjorn and John
“Holly, Ontario” – Said the Whale
“Are You Devo” – Shelby Sifers & Tyler Tadlock
“Come Thou Fount” – Sufjan Stevens
“Julia” – Taken by Trees
“Little Lovin'” – Lissie
“Generator^1st Floor” – Freelance Whales
“Mouthful of Diamonds” – Phantogram
“Slow with horns/run for your life” – Dan Deacon
“Brothers on a Hotel Bed” – Death Cab for Cutie
“Clementine” – Sarah Jaffe

Quite a list I know but I couldn’t just stop with a few. Like I said, it’s a running playlist. This is in no particular order, so don’t feel obligated to keep it the list as written.  Actually, there was absolutely no thought whatsoever placed into this order. I’ll do my best to keep this updated so you have plenty of music to listen to when you are tired. 

The only thing I wish I was great at

April 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

 

P.S. I hate playing with shoes on..

Seduction at its finest.

February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Quentin Tarantino makes some of the most iconic movies in our culture. Recently he won the first ever Music + Film award for his brilliant combinations of music and picture. And not just in a music video way but in a cinematic way. There are certain songs that, if you’ve seen the movie, you think specifically of Quentin Tarantino. One song in particular, at least for me, is “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. Take a look at how Tarantino uses it in Pulp Fiction.

A scene of complete seduction – Uma Thurman’s voice over the intercom, the slowly articulated “disco!” that she utters when John Travolta approaches the intercom – it’s unusual that Tarantino would choose this song. But how perfect is it? Completely adds to the entire feel of the scene in a way that no other song could.

Quentin Tarantino has paved a way for music’s place in cinema and has inspired many other directors’ song choices. I was watching the French film Heartbreakers yesterday (a great light hearted comedy, a few cheesy moments, but fun to watch a romantic comedy in another language). One of the opening scenes – a young, handsome man sitting in the pool lusting over the well tanned slim babe in a black bikini exit the pool in slow-mo. What song is in the background? That’s right – “Son of a Preacher Man” (in English of course). Fantastic to see Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration all over cinematic scene.

I’m terrible with synonyms.

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

So I’ve talked movies, television, and some of my life. It’s time we discuss some music. What do ya say?

I’m really into music. It’s such an interesting aspect of life – having the ability to take us immediately back to a single moment or time. Everyone has a song or two or eight that makes us think of a time in our life. Also, at least for me, it has the ability to make us feel things that pictures, movies, or books can’t. Whether it’s instrumental or not, music can alter my mood at any point in the day. You play the first movement of  Bach’s Cello Suite in G, I guarantee you I’ll cry.

There are many many musicians that I admire like Jack White from the White Stripes (and the Raconteurs – and the Dead Weather.) and Dallas Green from City and Colour. My favorite band since I was in high school is Death Cab for Cutie. Their songs are catchy and emotional. But Benjamin Gibbard – the lead singer of the band – is one of the most incredible lyricists I’ve come across. Ben Gibbard also writes and sings for the bands All Time Quarterback and The Postal Service. I’m not too familiar with All Time Quarterback so we’re gonna skip them today.

“Summer Skin”, on Death Cab for Cutie’s album Plans, is one of my favorites. He picks the perfect words to describe the summer season and the carefree love that ends as soon as autumn begins. You can picture every scene that he describes with words that feel like more than simple adjectives:

Squeaky swings and tall grass
The longest shadows ever cast
The water’s warm and children swim
And we frolicked about in our summer skin

I don’t recall a single care
Just greenery and humid air
Then Labor day came and went
And we shed what was left of our summer skin

On the night you left I came over
And we peeled the freckles from our shoulders
Our brand new coats so flushed and pink
And I knew your heart I couldn’t win
Cause the season’s change was a conduit
And we’d left our love in our summer skin

The Postal Service has a song entitled “Nothing Better”. It’s a conversation between a man and woman where the man tries to convince the woman that there could be “nothing better” than spending the rest of their lives together while the woman wants the complete opposite. Again, Ben Gibbard describes every moment so poetically using metaphores and analogies that express his precise feeling. The first stanza is beautifully laid out – the man grieving the loss of his love and begging for her to stay.

“Will someone please call a surgeon
Who can crack my ribs and repair this broken heart
That you’re deserting for better company?
I can’t accept that it’s over…
I will block the door like a goalie tending the net
In the third quarter of a tied-game rivalry”

The last two lines depict perfectly the feeling of absolute desperation for her to stay. Beautiful.

My all time favorite line, is in the song “Brothers on a Hotel Bed”.

“And I have learned, that even landlocked lovers yearn for the sea like navy men.”

The concept of that sentence and words used are just stunning and evoking. Listen to the song – the melody placed with this set of words is delightfully pretty. I highly encourage you to listen to either of these bands. Death Cab for Cutie’s Plans is probably my favorite. I’d be happy to burn it for you :)

The Forgotten Melody

January 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Let’s just first say that I have zero ability to come up with a decent title for any of my posts. C’est la vie, here’s some thoughts:

My favorite time of year: award season. Second up on the menu (first being the People’s Choice) is the Critics Choice Movie Awards which are on Friday, Jan. 14th on VH1 – be there. I was checking out the nominees for each award. Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Song, etc. I think that my favorite award would have to be Best Score. Everyone watches a movie and forgets about the musicality of it. They hear the song playing during scenery of a pretty sunset with no dialogue. But what about the music playing during the fight between a couple or when the antagonist has an epiphany about who she really loves. It’s that exact music that heightens the experience at the apex of the movie.

Black Swan is up for this award and Darren Aronovsky does something beautiful with the score. As I’m sure you know, this movie is pretty dark; it’s a psychological thriller depicting the mental deterioration of the principle ballerina, Nina (Natalie Portman). The movie is comprised mostly of orchestral music in a major key (it’s happy sounding music). There are scenes in the movie where Nina’s eyes are blood red, breathing heavily and looking absolutely menacing, but when you listen to the music it’s a cheerful symphonic tune. The combination of the two contrasting themes could give anyone chills.

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