- Good Read
- Fun Read
- Interesting Read
- Exciting Read
- A revelation
I make the worst first impressions.
When I first met a new coworker a couple of years ago, one of the first things I said to her was, “You smell so good! I hope we work together all of the time because you smell delicious!”
Yes, she thought I was a lesbian.That’s beside the point.
When I meet someone for the first time, I usually know whether or not I like them! I just want all the people I like to immediately have crushes on me back.
If I don’t like someone, it’s a very different situation. I’ll become very good at and very interested in small talk and dissembling. So watch out for that if you think things are going well between us, the first time we meet.
Thank you! I have been listening to him endlessly. I am choosing to interpret this as a question about what my music taste in general is because I’ll be honest, I just love that question. And technically you put it in my ask box so you know, close enough. This got really long so I categorized it, just to be even more pretentious/organized!
So I can be just such a jerk about music & I’m sure some of my friends will agree with me on this because sometimes they make me mixes & then I don’t really appreciate them, so I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry, Alex.
THINGS I LIKE IN SONGS:
There are a few things that are essentially guaranteed to get my attention in a song when used in conjunction: an acoustic guitar and a gravelly voice, horns & joy, and generous, lustrous piano.
I had really terrible taste in music in eighth grade because I think that’s a prerequisite for being in eighth grade but that might not be true because my classmate Quinn asked for Sigur Ros’ () in eighth grade for a Secret Santa gift which is fucking impressive. I didn’t know how to read that shit. Anyway, I liked Evanescence.
WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED:
My friend once played “London Calling” for me in the bathroom off of her CD player (!) & that was kind of a turning point, but the real point at which I found myself obsessing over a band was when I discovered The Killers. I promised myself that I would listen to Hot Fuss once a day FOREVER and I think I’ve said this in a post before that I’m tremendously behind. I still know every song on that album really well, just try me.
From The Killers it was a jump to Bloc Party, to Spoon, to The Libertines, to some other only okay music (which is not to say that Bloc Party and Spoon are only okay, just that I was not good at music for a while and so I listened to some bands that were only okay). My friend Laura (who at the time was “cool, older Laura” and is now just my friend Laura because now I’m old & cool?) introduced me to Stars & Jens Lekman and for that I will always be appreciative. Also she could & did drive me places.
I’ve decided that my favorite band is Seabear, who are Icelandic & magnificent live. Please listen to “I Sing I Swim” & “Arms” & “Libraries” off of The Ghost that Carried Us Away, a completely perfect album.
FAVORITE ARTISTS IN GENERAL:
My current favorite artists are Star Slinger, M. Ward, Madeleine Peyroux, The Mountain Goats, Jens Lekman & Andrew Bird. And Seabear, of course.
TEN FAVORITE SONGS:
- “Longtime”, Star Slinger
- “Our Way To Fall”, Yo La Tengo
- “On Peak Hill”, Stars
- “My Leather My Fur My Nails”, Stepdad
- “Avril 14”, Aphex Twin
- “Sadie”, Joanna Newsom
- “Don’t Stop Now”, Guided by Voices
- “Black Cab”, Jens Lekman
- “Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is In Another Castle”, The Mountain Goats & Kaki King
- “Paris 1919”, John Cale
THIS IS A HARD LIST TO MAKE.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: “I’ll Believe In Anything”, Wolf Parade; “Some Constellation”, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin; “A Day In The Graveyard”, Sunset Rubdown.
I’m really good at singing “Midnight Train to Georgia” & “I Would Walk 500 Miles”.
A few months ago, I made a list of some albums that are good to listen to when you are driving around at night. There are loud & soft things, orchestral & not.
Some very impressive music videos include Eatliz’s “Lose This Child” (recently posted), Oren Lavie’s “Her Morning Elegance” (those are done by the same husband/wife team) & the video for Ramona Falls’ “I Say Fever” which will forever be imprinted in my brain, saving the fact that I may get Alzheimer’s, knock on wood.
REALLY GOOD LIVE SHOWS:
Andrew Bird puts on the best live show I’ve ever seen & constantly makes me think and dream and cry, so he’s my favorite person to see live. I’ve only ever seen him perform at the Largo, so now I am spoiled for other venues.
Whenever Stars or Los Campesinos! are in town, I am sure to catch them as well. Incredibly fun & danceable. Stars is just fucking lovely & surprisingly energetic and last time I saw them (on my birthday!) when Amy Millan did an acoustic version of a song (I forget which one, maybe it was Calendar Girl?) it was entrancing; while Los Campesinos! are upbeat for a band that has such despairing lyrics.
Winner of the coveted Most Adorable Concert award goes to Jens Lekman who has a magical & deep voice for someone so skinny & slightly balding. I love him. Also he has a good sense of humor & Tig Notaro opened for him once and she’s great.
Yann Tiersen, recently & fabulously.
NOT AS GOOD LIVE AS I HAD HOPED:
The Magnetic Fields, though AUTEURS OF THE FIELD, are not very fun to see live. I caught them at the Wilshire Ebell last March & Stephen Merritt just seemed so sad, and the melancholia spread over the audience and we were sitting down anyway so that was depressing and I get kind of sleepy. I’m glad I saw them though!
Voxtrot did their “Farewell Tour” and though I caught them with one of my favorite people, they were kind of disappointing. To be fair we weren’t in the pit because we both wanted to sit down, but even so. Even so.
BANDS I WANT TO SEE:
The Mountain Goats, Star Slinger (still super bummed about this one falling through), Girl Talk (this one is happening in March!), jj, M. Ward (just him, I have seen She & Him and Monsters of Folk but not just you, Matthew Ward), Discovery, The Dirty Diamonds, Joanna Newsom, Spoon, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, The Arcade Fire (I’m not super into them but I’ve heard they put on a really good show but seriously who the fuck are they), Destroyer, Chiddy Bang, Little Jackie, The Go! Team, The Blow, Shugo Tokumaru, & Cat Power.
IF THEY WERE STILL AROUND I’D BREAK SOME NECKS FOR A TICKET:
Harlem Shakes, The Velvet Underground, Nick Drake.
I think that pretty much answers every question I can think of right now regarding my musical taste!
And I kind of think it fucking rocks.
HEAR ME OUT. HOLD YOUR DISGUST, YOUR HORSES, YOUR SPOILING TOMATOES.
Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I did log on to my friend’s profile to look at pictures of a guy she has a crush on. But I would have done that even if I were still on The FB because I wouldn’t have been able to see pictures of him from my profile. I apologize.
When I was logged into her profile, I saw that two friends of mine (who have been doing the whole WILL THEY WON’T THEY thing for years, probably) started dating! Aah! It was disconcerting to realize that they had gotten together. If I’d been on Facebook, I would have noticed, immediately commented on it, Liked it, blah blah blah. When I’m not on Facebook, I have to reach out to people and communicate with them in a real way and it makes me feel connected to um, “human experience” (you can just straight up tranq me for that phrase) and the fucking plethora of genuine feeling that is available and bypasses
you me when you’re I’m just consistently refreshing your my news feed.
My friend Theresa challenged me to go six months without Facebook and I’m kind of glad it’s happening. I didn’t expect this to happen. I DIDN’T KNOW I WOULD LIKE IT.
The people I want to talk to, I can & do talk to.
I am not constantly reminded of people I care very little about. The friend request I made too soon, before I knew your character, guy from my improv class who I am pretty sure thinks I’m into him but I’m very much not and it’s pretty awkward. The people I was in middle school with whom (maybe I am using that properly for once) I shared the transient experience of puberty. A third upsetting thing.
I like making an effort. I like writing letters & notes to the people I care about and not having to take pictures all the time to document only mildly pleasant experiences.
Maybe I won’t go on Facebook for a year.
There’s a handful of books that have worn their way into my brain & are my absolute favorite things to read before I go to bed.
More than any other books, these probably tell you the most about me.
- Anything by P.G. Wodehouse. (Just completely delightful. He was also extremely prolific, which is another plus. Probably because all of his books have essentially the same plot, but I don’t care & neither should you.)
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. (Favorite book ever. Deeply satisfying, magical, sweet and enticing. I will normally follow this up with Castle in the Air, the kind-of sequel.)
- Forever Princess by Meg Cabot. (I get a lot of flak for my love of Meg Cabot, but hey, piss off.)
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. (So 101 Dalmatians is my favorite Disney movie ever, & the book by Dodie Smith is also very good—or at least that is what I remember from when I was younger. I was trying to find a copy of 101 Dalmatians when I discovered that Smith had written another book, a dreamy, timeless tea cake of a novel.)
There are more but these are the ones I thought of first.
“Due to logistical issues beyond my control I won’t be able to do this forthcoming U.S. tour.
I am gutted at this totally unforeseen turn of events but can only promise to come back to the U.S. as soon as I possibly can.
Sincere apologies to anyone who had planned to come and see me at these shows.”
HAVE A PLAN TO COME BACK TO THE STATES THOUGH. JUST WORKING OUT WHEN IT WILL HAPPEN. AND WILL KEEP YOU POSTED! KEEP SHOWING LOVE <3
Terrible news. We need you here!! Can’t wait for you to come back.