Archive for January, 2008

so let’s cause a scene

clap our hands and stomp our feet

I just gotta get myself over me

The First Single, The Format

It was one of the closest things to true bliss I’ve ever experienced: hearing my favorite song, a song so perfect, I feel as if the words poured out of my own heart, played live.

Click here to listen to The First Single.

I can thank freshman year for this. A girl named Joanna lived down the hall. She was (and still is!) artsy and friendly and hilarious. One afternoon, I came back to my dorm room to find a lovely little burgundy and lime green paisley scarf and a burned CD tied to the door knob. I rejoiced. On it was a song called “Janet” by a band I had never heard of called The Format. It was Destiny, with a capital D.

At first I was hesitant about it. It reminded me of…nothing. It felt more foreign than the Swedish pop music I paid top dollar to import. My musical tastes were quite limited then; showtunes, Hanson, the aforementioned Swedish pop groups and boys with guitars were my only true sonic loves. But I kept listening. It was like learning new partnered dance. I had to be lead through slowly, note by note, lyric by lyric. Finally, several weeks later, the verdict was in: I had never been so enchanted by a band since I was 11 years old.

It’s a pity I can’t remember the exact moment I heard it. But I know from that moment, it must have pushed “A Song to Sing” by Hanson out of the top spot of my All Time Favorite Songs and it has yet to budge. In a world where musicians hit the top of the charts and then slowly fizzle away, I believe that to be quite an accomplishment, at least for a girl who has been baptized into the indie music subculture and hasn’t looked back. It must have been through one of the mp3 blogs I still visit every day on my internet rounds, Fuel Friends. I bet it was magic, though. During my freshman year, I slogged through my first identity crisis that most college students must go through. I doffed all of my past sins, habits and friends and became an entirely new person upon move-in day. The lyrics must have been salve for the necessary still-open wounds of this identity surgery.

you know me,
or you think you do you
you just dont seem to see
I’ve been waiting all this time to be
something I can’t define
I still don’t know what I’m waiting to be. I thought I knew back then. I thought I knew this spring. Had another identity exploratory surgery over the summer. Conveniently, that aforementioned moment of bliss came at the end of the summer. The guitar pumped through the speakers, pulsed through my stomach. The staccato snare drum reverberated through my ears. Nate (the lead singer) counted off…1…2…1, 2, 3, 4.
I can’t stand to think about
a heart so big it hurts like hell
oh my god
I gave my best before
three whole years
to end like this
do you wanna fall apart?
I can’t stop if you can’t start
do you wanna fall apart?
well, I could, if you can
try to fix what I’ve undone
because I hate what I’ve become
I screamed. I screamed, my eyes closed, my fists wrapped tightly around the metal barrier in front of me. And I prayed.
I know prayer isn’t something one does at a rock concert, let alone a “secular” rock concert. But this song, I swear, it had become my secret anthem. God, I prayed, please mold me into what you REALLY want me to be, not what I think you want me to be. Jumping up and down, the song became more like worship than any other hymn or praise song I had ever sung. It was undignified. It was intense. It was the most genuine praise I had ever given to Him.
Yes, I wanted a change when I came to college, three whole years ago. And I got it. I got a change that squished my square beliefs in a round hole. I trimmed the corners of my square. I sanded down the edges of my hard to swallow opinions. And it worked. I found people who accepted me, who believed (in the beginning) that I was so perfectly round.
It’s been five months since the concert and I know things have changed. I subscribed to a feminist magazine. I placed my GLBTQ ally pins on my front door instead of hidden away in my desk. I’m seriously contemplating starting a Bible study that is open to and addresses contemporary liberal questions about faith and the Bible.

me, flushed after the most amazing concert ever.


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this isn’t me really saying “SOMEONE PLEASE LOVE ME!”
what I am saying is…
if my true love is out there,
I’d really like it
if perhaps, maybe, they
please don’t come right now.
because I have a feeling I’d resent them
for being so lovely.
my lips are chapped
and not primed for makeoutage.
I think valentines day is kind of a joke.
I try to express my love to my friends and family
through my actions
(I know I fall short a lot)
why have only one day where
we buy meaningless (although tasty) things
that are supposed to
REPRESENT our love?
why can’t we ACTUALLY love?
it’s distressing to me
that on valentine’s day,
the “most romantic” day of the year,
we treat love like
it is our representative government.
we send in other people to be our voice.
we send flowers and chocolates and
pre-written cards
instead of our real love,
however that is manifested.
I suppose it’s better than nothing.
I’ll be honest;
I really like receiving valentine’s
day surprises.
some people don’t love through actions
and that’s okay.
valentine’s day provides them a space
so they can be
a romantic, if they want to be.
I’m trying to learn
that I’m emotionally exceptional
that most everyone isn’t like me
and that’s okay.
that I’m just a little
too sensitive.
and that I’m
kind of a flake
and I’m kind of
that being said,
I still hope that my
true love stays away
for awhile
because I want to be
the best
I can for them.
and if I become
and more
like Jesus
then whenever I meet them,
I will be that much
to being better.
I will wait for you.
that wasn’t a poem, I just like the way
the text is centered under the picture
and playing with line breaks in prose
is really kinda fun when you can’t sleep

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I love music a little too much sometimes. More specifically, I’m extremely picky about what I listen to, which is mostly indie pop and rock. I cringe at the sound of Keith Urban. I lash out irrationally when Kayne West starts raping. I bemoan the fact that Rob Thomas used to be so cool in 1997, but you can’t tell that from the horrible songs he’s writing now. My sister says my motto it “If it’s not indie, it’s crap.” And I hate to admit it, but she’s almost right. There are so many great bands out there on indie labels or are self publishing their records.  Here, I submit to you, some of my favorites of this month.

The jarringly named band, The New Pornographers, is my favorite pick of this month. I’ve steered clear of them for ages because of their name. I recently gave them a good listen and I discovered they weren’t one bit as dirty as their moniker suggests. My favorite song is from their 2007 release, Challengers. Here’s Go Places, a heartfelt and well written song with soulful guitar and clear, cool vocals. This live recording of the band sounds wonderful! They certainly aren’t they sort of band who can’t play live.

I have been watching Voxtrot since the beginning of my freshman year. They finally produced a full length, self titled album last fall and have been touring all summer (no where near Ohio, unfortunately) to support it. I don’t know what they’re up to in the new year, but heres to hoping they are recording a new album. This is Firecracker, the song I always jump around to in my room while I’m getting read in the morning.

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Last is Paramore. They’re last because they seriously don’t need my help in promoting them. Their song, Misery Business, is being played all over MTV and top 40 stations. I can’t blame them. Paramore’s lead singer has a catchy and energetic voice and stage presence. AND Paramore is on the now famous FueledByRamen label, made popular by Fall Out Boy. GOSH I wish I could pull off hair like hers. I’m muy jealous.<object width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/aCyGvGEtOwc&rel=1″></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/aCyGvGEtOwc&rel=1&#8243; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object>

Other bands I’m loving on: Station 2, One Life Lost and Florence Valentin with a lack of youtube videos (get on that, guys!)

Hopefully if I have time this week, I’d like to blog about a wedding I was in recently and also my 21st birthday.

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Two wonderful and completely different movies in two days! What a lucky girl I am!

For today’s movie, Atonement, Bridget, Maria, Robby and I made the hike out to Bexley and the Capital area (you mean CRAPital, Otterbein’s rival). The Drexel there is not sleek and modern like the one in the OSU area. The Bexley Drexel is still only plays two movies at a time in small, non-stadium style seats. The marquee out front isn’t digital like the flashy Rave 18 screen multiplex Bridget and I frequent. Seeing Atonement there was a perfect choice; a the old fashioned setting really added to the period feel of the film.

Here, I present to you one of the most beautiful sequences in the movie. Don’t worry; there’s no spoilers, just pretty music and pictures.

Atonement is one of the best romance movies I’ve seen in ages. Also, this was one movie where the soundtrack DEFINITELY used to heighten moments of intensity. Like the two low bass notes of Jaws, a moment was cracked open with a sharp, staccato sounds of an old fashioned typewriter.

This clip, picturing the war-torn beaches of England, just shows you the scope and breadth the filmmakers went with this movie. In this shorter section of an emotional tour through Dunkirk, the little moments count. Each time the camera catches a face, the emotion is just kicked up another notch. Seeing it on the big screen…It moved me to tears. It is definitely one of the beat scenes in the entire movie, displaying the craft and care the director and cinematographer took to engage the audience.

I’d be very, VERY surprised if this movie doesn’t get nominated for best picture. I actually have my fingers crossed for it to win. If you can find a theater playing it, make sure you see Atonement. It’s worth the price of admission and MORE!

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“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” before Britney got to it. Mick really was a showman! He also looks like he’s having fun. Even in that goofy haircut, he could rock out.

“Get Off My Cloud”. I wish I was alive back then, when rock was really taking off into a mighty golden age of awesome.

“Changes” by David Bowie. Fast forwarding to when rock really started getting controversial. Make up, bright red hair, spandex costumes, open bisexuality…Bowie was a powerhouse of The Other. He was everything good little boys and girls shouldn’t be listening. Parents back then probably looked at him similarly as parents look at Marilyn Manson today.

This is a clip from a Bing Crosby Christmas special! I find this so amusing and fun.

Enjoy the blast from the musical past!

Oh yes, and happy 2008.

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