12.31.2009

The Music Decade in Review

The 2000s - what an amazing decade for music! This essay is for all of you who introduced me to new artists (then let me reciprocate) or attended shows and festivals with me, because music is the one common thread that weaves us together. To my friends and all these artists: thanks for the memories and melodies. Let another new decade of great music begin!

In the 2000s:

Yoshimi   battled pink   robots and Pink got the party started. 311 had Amber colored energy,  Alexi saw an Orange Sky, and Tori wore Orange   Knickers. Goldfrapp and Santigold were Golden   Delicious. Ryan made Gold and Kanye rapped about Gold Diggers. Jay-Z had   a Blueprint and a Black Album. There   were Black Eyed Peas, Black Keys and a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.   Ray said he'd love us Til The   Sun Turned Black. Amy went Back to Black.   Thom had a Black Swan,   Ladytron had a Black   Cat, Keane had a Black   Burning Heart, Beck played a Black Tambourine, and Arcade  Fire shined a Black   Mirror into Muse's Supermassive Black Hole.   U2 was White as Snow and David climbed a White   Ladder wearing White Stripes singing from a White Winter   Hymnal in Coldplay’s White Shadows and Green Eyes on a Green Day when the National wore Green Gloves. There   were Red Hot Chili Peppers and Red House Painters.   Richard's love was Poppy-Red but   Ben had Brown-Eyed Blues as Jason honored a hero wearing Dress Blues. Blue October saw a Sky Blue Sky that  was Sky Blue through Carbon Leaf’s Grey Sky Eyes.   Dave lived on a corner of Grey Street where Damien  sat in a Grey  Room amid The Grey  Estates while Danger Mouse mixed a Grey Album. We heard The Sound of  Silver and saw Silversun   Pickups. Even on days with No Sunlight, we tried to Soak Up the Sun for  nothing was Brighter than  Sunshine on Another  Sunny Day full of Rainy Day Music when it was Raining  Again, Raining on  Sunday through Sunday  Afternoon. Sun Kil Moon made us  want to Kill the  Moonlight because Last  Night, In the  Night, you said Tonight  I Have to Leave It, these Massive  Nights, for Dark Was the  Night that blew a Cold Wind. It was a Swell Season when the Decemberists attended a January Wedding under January Stars because You Only Cross My  Mind in Winter. Ah, there’s nothing like Winter in the Hamptons to make us feel The Dead Weather. I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning but I’ll be Gone in the Morning on a Pure Morning because Days Go   On and Days Go By and It’s  the Perfect Time of Day for Counting the Days on a New Day, It’s a New Day, a Beautiful Day for meeting The Real Tuesday Weld, The Blower’s Daughter, The Scientist and the Freaker by the Speaker. We  looked through the Eyes of   Sarahjane to see Moby's Alice and Stacy's Mom who is a Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom but she ain’t no Hollaback  Girl like Dani  California. Jenny Was a  Friend of Mine, one of 27 Jennifers, such Tremendous Brunettes, those Single   Ladies: Lady Gaga, Lady Marmalade, and Lady Antebellum. There was a Redneck Woman, a Sea Lion Woman, Independent Women, and Miss  Independent. St. Vincent, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Brightside made  friends with Gideon, Lazarus, Moses, and Jesus of   Suburbia, along with a Heavy  Metal Drummer, a Poor  Old Dirt Farmer, and a Travelin' Soldier.

It was  the decade of Kids and Young Folks: we met Kid-A, the Cold-War Kids and went drinking with the Seldom-Seen   Kid, a Badly Drawn Boy and Fall Out Boy. Jack’s friend Sexi Plexi brought  along a Middle  Man who hung out with Sam’s White-Tooth Man, the Boy With a Coin and the Woman King. It was a  decade for royalty: there was a Kaki   King, Dap Kings, Gipsy Kings,  the Kings of Convenience, the Boney King of Nowhere,   a King   without a Crown, a Visqueen, Queens of the Stone Age and Knights of Cydonia. There  were Smokers Outside the  Hospital Doors where Death &   All His Friends saw a Patriarch on a Vespa. A She-Wolf watched She & Him coo over the Accidental Babies borne by You, Me & the   Bourgeoisie who barked orders at us, like: Wake Up, Fire It Up, Lift Me Up, and Hang Me Up to Dry. They  said Lose Yourself, Be Yourself and Be Mine. We reminded  ourselves to Breathe, Breathe In, Breathe Out. We yelled Jerk It Out, Take Me Out, Shoot the Lights  Out, Shoot the  Runner, Shoot Your  Gun, Shut Your  Mouth and Send Your  Love. The time was right to Say Hey (I Love You), Say (what you need to  say), Say   Please, and Sing, Sing for Absolution or Send the Pain Below.  They said Smile and Smile Like You Mean It. We  begged Save Me  From Myself, Show  Me, Show Me How to  Live and Live  Like You Were Dying, dying to Escape the Nest. They said Ch-Check It Out, C'Mon, C'Mon, Come Back Home, Come Away With Me, Cry  Me a River, Fall Behind  Me and Break My  Fall. We cried Take Me As I Am and Touch  Me, I'm Going to Scream! We said Hold  Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me just Hold On, Hold On until I Turn My Camera On while  you Get  Ur Freak On, Get On  Your Boots, then Keep  Your Eyes Ahead and Keep the Car Running if  you want to Ride Wit Me and Just  Dance or you’ll have to Let It Roll, Let Go, and Go It Alone. We were  told to Work  It, Drop  It Like It’s Hot but Don't Panic, Don't Explain, Don't Make Me a Target,  and lastly, Don't  Make Me Come to Vegas because Your Vegas is a Dirty Vegas, a City of Blinding Lights with a Boulevard  of Broken Dreams. Your Car Wheels on a Gravel  Road followed The Road  I'm On to an Airport Disco where  you found us In Da  Club, In the Waiting  Line, Around  the Bend, So Far   Around the Bend, headed for Beverly Hills. We drove in Circles along Boogie  Street by way of Resistance  St. and saw Such Great  Heights from Bixby Canyon Bridge. On the  Banks of the Deep End, From the Corner to the  Block, we were in Rehab Looking  at the World from the Bottom of a Well. Then we drove across the country   from Brackett,  WI through Chicago and Michigan and Ohio. We cruised   through the Garden State going To The  Five Boroughs (destination: Manhattan) but in New York, New York you  said I Can't See New  York so we left the Empire State for The State of  Massachusetts. We were Shipping  Up to Boston en route to Montreal but you preferred Islands or an Island in the Sun or a  place with cool Neighborhoods like Haiti or Maybe California or Zacatecas. So we headed  south to see Ruby   Falls on Lookout  Mountain on our way to Sodom,  South Georgia listening to music on KEXP, KCRW, and NPR that covered the alphabet from A&E, A-Punk, A-3, DJ AM, KRS-One, M.I.A., MGMT, MSTRKRFT, O, R.E.M., The XX, and Z.

Bono  counted “uno-dos-tres-quatorce” but  you said One More Time,  it should be 1-2-3-4.   So we learned 10 New Songs and took a 13th Step then a 15 Step or maybe it was 16, Maybe   Less, maybe 18. We  decided 2+2=5 and counted Two Gallants, 24, 2080, 3 Libras, 30 Seconds to Mars, and 42. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere with 50 Cent, Sixpence None the   Richer, and Zero 7. A 7-Nation Army on the M79 counted 808s  and Heartbreak while M83 traced Figure 8s with their Nine Inch Nails and committed 9 Crimes with the Old 97’s who discussed 99 Problems at 10:03 for 100 Days, 100 Nights but   we just wanted 1000   Kisses to last 10,000   Days.


We should  have sought medical attention for some of the conditions we experienced. We were Burning   Up and Falling   Slowly, Brainy, Broken, Paralyzed, and Colorblind to the Look of Love but Our Love is Easy.   Were we Crazy in Love or just plain Crazy?   Taylor was Fearless but Kanye   was Heartless.   We wanted to Feel Good,   Inc. despite our Androgyny, Telekinesis, Myxomatosis, Hearing Damage, Hysteria, and Lisztomania. Sex on Fire makes it Harder to Breathe which   isn’t Grounds for   Divorce but Passive Fidelity can cause Lucid Dreams,   a Phantom Limb and Sea Legs or Cataracts and Imitosis. We felt Supernatural Superserious and Lost due to A Rush of Blood to the   Head from being Shot   in the Back of the Head. We had Magnolia Soul and got a New Soul When Soul Meets Body for My Body is a   Cage that is Bigger   Than My Body, Naked as   We Came with Grazed   Knees, Bubble   Toes, Broken Wings, Tenement Teeth and Evil Urges caused by us consuming Roses & Cigarettes, Cigarettes & Gasoline, Cigarettes & Chocolate  Milk, more Chocolate and Chocolate on My Tongue. We  needed Meds and Handshake Drugs after  eating a Burrito,   a Hot Chip, Hard Candy,   and Moldy Peaches. Then we drank a Milkshake, Champagne   from a Paper Cup, Absinthe, and more Alcohol then fetched Fresh Wine for the Horses and Beer for My   Horses – and there were horses everywhere!

All the Wild Horses included a Band of Horses, Pale Horses, High Horses, a Black Horse and a   Cherry Tree, a Fast   Horse, and a Sparklehorse but you said Save a Horse (Ride a  Cowboy) not a Bonepony or a Gov’t Mule. We saw an Elephant, a Deer Tick on Mountain Goats, a Modest Mouse, a Danger Mouse, Arctic Monkeys and a Snow Leopard. The decade’s Animal Collective included Gorillaz and a Grizzly Bear up a Porcupine Tree. There were Portions for  Foxes and Fleet   Foxes while Fox   Confessor Brings the Flood and some Weird Fishes. There was a Wolf at the Door for a Wolf   Like Me whose Wolfmother was in a Wolf Parade Trading   Snakeoil for Wolftickets and shooting Snakes & Arrows at Dogs. We had Cat Power, a Neon Tiger, and Pedro the Lion, a Lion Thief whose Liquid Bird was a Flightless   Bird not an Andrew Bird. We heard Rooks and Doves and Duhks while Them Crooked Vultures and Fruit   Bats chased The Racing   Rats and Red   Rabbits, a Frightened   Rabbit, Butterflies   & Hurricanes, a Butterfly   Boucher and a Zebra.

We asked O Brother,  Where Art Thou? Where  Is the Love? Where Hearts Go  Broke. What Happens   When the Heart Just Stops? What Else Is There? Why Does It Always Rain on   Me? Is It Any  Wonder? We asked Is  That All You've Got for Me? How Am I to Be When Your   Mind’s Made Up? It’s   All in My Mind. Who gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma? We pondered How It Ends and When the World Ends. We’re Waiting on the World to   Change, but we’re Not   Ready to Make Nice in The World We Live In even   though We Used to Be   Friends. The Way It   Used to Be made us feel like Busting Up a Starbucks but Breaking the Habit was the Final Straw.   We fumed over the Price of   Gas and living Life on   a Chain. Do   You Realize?? Love is Hell. We   mourned the First of the   Gang to Die because Love and Death are   always on our minds but Intuition dictates I Am Trying to   Break Your Heart and Logic Will   Break Your Heart. When U Love Somebody, Love Can Damage Your   Health In   Spite of All the Damage because The First Cut is the   Deepest. We learned How   We Operate, How to   Disappear Completely, How to   Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, How to Be Dead, and How to Save a Life because Life is   Beautiful, Life is   Short, and Life is for   Living, but Caring is   Creepy unless you have New Slang and an Umbrella then Might Makes Right because Hips   Don’t Lie. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank yet We All Float On Anyway and We Will Become Silhouettes because We've Got Everything and Everything is   Everything but Everything Will Never Be   OK even if it Feels   Just Like it Should. We learned that An End Has a Start and In the End,  when you  have Nothing   Left to Lose, It's Not   the Fall That Hurts; Sometimes You Can't Make It on  Your Own. Belief is   a beautiful honor and America is Not the World but Ain't   Nothin' Wrong with That. We related to Superman (It's Not Easy) and realized It Means  Nothing (if I haven't got you) because What You Need (I Got It) and All I Need is I and Love and You.

10.22.2009

oops...


1ne·glect
Pronunciation: \ni-ˈglekt\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Latin neglectus, past participle of neglegere, neclegere, from nec- not (akin to ne- not) + legere to gather — more at no, legend
Date: 1529

1 : to give little attention or respect to : disregard
2 : to leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness

synonyms neglect, disregard, ignore, overlook, slight, forget


The blog has spent much of 2009 relegated to a backburner position. According to Merriam-Webster, I'm guilty. Thus begins penance...



Status Update
(or, reasons for my abysmal online irregularity):

1. School
Writing Workshop = major time suck; Linguistics class rocks.

2. Job Hunting
There is such thing as a job that neither sucks nor insults my intelligence. Since quitting my last job, I daydream often about that elusive thing.

3. Married Men
Two in one week? Old college chums looking to "catch up" rarely seek such. Seriously. Hop back in your Mercedes and drive back to your yacht. Or go home to your wife. Or your daughters. Or your dogs. Whatever. Just keep your bad karma fleas off my doorstep, please. The Golden Rule of Job Seekers = Thou Shalt Not Vex the Karma Fairy. Seriously, enough already with your bad juju. Shoo!

(Yeah, OK: #3 is less problematic now but damn...for awhile this summer my life started to resemble that Weather Girls song. Things have returned to some semblance of normalcy, for the time being...
)

4. Leisure
Insomnia ain't so bad when the alarm clock never beckons.

5. Health
Flu is a mis-spelled 4-letter word. Being sick and uninsured blows. 'Nuff said.


7.20.2009

belated spring cleaning...



Three and one-half months.
Damn! 'Tis high time to rid this blog of its cobwebs and dust bunnies.

To what, pray tell, can this reticence be traced? (I prefer "blamed" - it's a less passive word.)

The answer? A "Top 5" List, if you will:

5. Guy (who took up ALL of my time)
4. Guy (who then took up NONE of my time but all of my stress)
3. Guy (who gives recovery therapy for the aforementioned guy)
2. Work/school (loathing in equal measure)
1. Apathy resulting from all of the above
I once read that all of life's wars and/or strife can be boiled down to two principles: love and power. I concur. Love is about sharing the wealth; breakups are about retaining the goods.

Shakespeare said, "They do not love who do not show their love." To this I wish to add an equally sage kernel of truth: "they get not
back their stuff who speak not with their ex."

Some argue that all's fair in love and war. Well, only a man would utter such nonsense. No woman would ever deem it fair to lose footwear in a breakup. But then again, I shoulda looked under the bed.
Damn, I'm gonna miss those boots...and that L.L.Bean raincoat...my sale-priced casualties of war.



4.07.2009

Star Mangled Banner

This is my 100th post (yeah, I know, I've been slacking), an occasion that calls for something special.

And since my last post was about hometown pride, I'd like to continue with something that truly captures my civic pride.

This is NOT that post.

In fact, the following clip makes me want to renounce my local status and claim I was born in Poughkeepsie.

Still, I'm amused Chattanooga made a Time magazine Top-10 list.

Oh, this is truly painful. You have been forwarned.



Time Top 10 Worst National Anthem Renditions

3.13.2009

Spring Break...for grownups


China's Terracotta Army exhibit at High Museum, Atlanta
This is the last weekend of my Spring Break. When asked by a fellow classmate if I was going to the beach or some exotic locale, I replied, "I'm an adult. Adults don't do fun stuff for spring break. We do really exciting things like staying home with a stack of books and a good bottle of wine...ya know, real adrenaline junkie stuff."

It's sad but true, for the most part. But thanks to Uncle Sam's perfectly timed tax refund direct deposited today, my Spring Break will include travel and culture. Tomorrow I'm spending the day in Atlanta at the High Museum where China's Terracotta Armies are on display along with a few select masterpieces on loan from The Louvre. Seeing Barye's lion will be a treat.

From there, it's on to IKEA for some much-needed retail therapy. Thank you, Uncle Sam, for your impeccable timing. Spring Break is not a wash. Maybe I'll even head over to Whole Foods for a good bottle of wine to finish off the day. :)

2.02.2009

geekdom...now in sans-serif fonts



I am a geek. More specifically, I am a lover of fonts and type faces. To put a finer point on it, I am a lover of sans-serif fonts.

I loathe serif fonts. Times New Roman should be banned. It's just nine kinds of wrong. But I digress...

I am a font geek. At one job, I remarked to a colleague while riding in an elevator that I liked the 36-point font she used. Then I called it by name. She just gave me a deer-in-headlights look. Ten minutes later, she called and asked me the name of the font. I told her, and she confirmed I was right. But I knew that. I know fonts. I like fonts. I also like films and brainiac things like documentary films.

What's worse? I am watching a documentary film about fonts. Seriously. It's fabulous. Find it. Put it in your Netflix queue (Blockbuster doesn't keep it in stock - trust me, you'll wait forever unless you go the Netflix route) or download it in iTunes.

Meet the guy behind Zapf Dingbats or Chancery fonts.
Meet the typographer brother of the famous New Yorker music critic. Meet the guy who created the signage for the New York City subway system. Find out how Helvetica font was named (it will surprise you!). This film will open your eyes to fonts. You will look at printed materials and signage in a new way. Watch it. You won't be disappointed. Trust me. :)







1.20.2009

01.20.09

HALLELUJAH!
The day has arrived!

Finally.

Here I sit blogging and watching history being made.
I never expected to see this day.
I have chills.
This is one moment I will always remember.