Sunday, July 30, 2006

bang bang pitchfork and roll


i saw a lot of bands this weekend. i had the opportunity to see more bands than i actually saw, but this weekend was hot. surface-of-the-sun hot. only topped by last year's lollapalooza, which was interior-of-the-sun hot. but rock shows are supposed to be hot. you're supposed to sweat and guzzle beer and look like shit by the time you go home. mission accomplished.

saw art brut at the empty bottle on friday night. the venue is small and it was packed and i didn't give a shit about watching the ponys, as they were just a bunch of feedback and ironic sweaters when they opened for the yeah yeah yeahs. before art brut went on, ab and i went closer to the stage and some kid - literally, he looked 17 - struck up a conversation with us. he was just so earnest and sweet, i really wanted to root for him, but definately not make out with him. he has years of disappointment and rejection ahead of him - the only guys my own age who easily walk up to girls are usually super creepy. he asked us if we were best friends (um, awkward, i'm almost 30) and we were like "uhhh, we work together." so he gave us the Best Friend Test, in which he had us think of a number between 1 and 10, and if we thought of the same number then we were indeed best friends. wait, maybe this kid was retarded and i just didn't know. we did not come up with the same number. sorry, ab. it is a proven fact that we are not best friends, but i like hanging out with you anyway.

anyway, art brut was super funny, as always. they never did get to go on top of the pops - eddie lamented that its last broadcast was nine hours from when they were playing. he also cheered the polish barber down the street from the empty bottle that had cut his hair - he said that it was the most britpop hair cut he had ever received. the band is awesome and the lyrics are both simple and really clever, and i like them. good show.

pitchfork music fest was also this weekend. it was at union park, where intonation fest was, and was basically the exact same festival, with different bands and different banners. we even staked out the same spot in between the two stages. i got there in time to see the mountain goats (sorry, but that was annoying - at one point i really thought that they sounded exactly like deep blue something's "breakfast at tiffany's"). i didn't pay much attention to destroyer's set. art brut were good but it was hard to hear what eddie was saying and it was pretty much the same set as the night before. ted leo was good (although i was mostly standing in line and eating curry fries during his set). i was happy to hear the walkmen play "the rat" - that song fucking rocks. the futureheads was just like their album - good at first, and then monotonous. we needed to wake up, as we were all sundrunk and sleepy, so we went to a tent to see a-trak spin, which was actually really fun, but i was sopping wet by the time we got out of there. i cannot overstate how horrible it was outside.

when not watching bands, the people watching was unparralleled. when i got there, jmk and ag had been counting green skirts (glad i wore my black one). i started counting weather-inapproriate outfits, which included long-sleeved shirts, velour or corduroy pants, workboots, and lots of adorable little indierock girls in polyester 70s dresses (with heels) that looked like absolute misery. there were also some Very Pregnant women and quite a few toddlers. i understand the need to have kool children, but they shouldn't die of heatstroke in the process.

i dreaded going down today - the lineup didn't look all that amazing to me, but i really wanted to see spoon, so i went just to see them at 8:00 and promptly left. i'm really glad i went, even though it took me longer to get home than i spent watching them play. a few new songs, a bunch off of gimme fiction, and "stay don't go" followed immediately by "jonathan fisk," which is the EXACT ORDER THAT THEY MUST BE PLAYED. really, i feel that way. really, i have feelings about things like that. i was ecstatic to hear "they never got you," as it is my favorite spoon song and is indeed, according to my itunes, the song that i listen to the most. i blogged about this a few days ago, after i heard my second-and-third-most-played songs when i saw the cloud room ("hey now now") open for muse ("stockholm syndrome"). the top three live in four days. that makes me really happy. i kinda doubt that the chances of me seeing the jesus and mary chain play "head on" (#4) any time soon are stacked in my favor.

so, this was just a warm up to lollapalooza next weekend. that's three full days of bands that i really do want to see. i'm really hoping for a nice lake breeze and maybe some clouds. i'd even happily take a monsoon over last year's 110-degree humidity.

i'm off to florida for work. florida the first week of august - perfect.

Friday, July 28, 2006

ironic song title alert


i downloaded this yesterday and i have been obsessively listening to it in my cubicle. it's the best bee gees abba star wars blondie elton john wham gaytastic neodisco song i have heard in a long time. even better than "take your mama" (which i actually put on a mix cd i made for my mom a while back, and she really likes it).

go here for the scissor sister's "don't feel like dancing."

also, unrelated:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

muse, aragon ballroom, 7/27/06


show review! i love show reviews. i get to prove to people i don't know that i am a lady of taste, and i get to remind my friends that i am kool.

i am kidding, of course. remember when i reviewed hanson?

if you are reading this, jmk, i'm sorry i abandoned you. i was sick of getting stepped on by overzealous 12-year-olds (dad standing in the back of the venue). which reminds me of the last song i stayed for - they broke for an encore and i left - "stockholm syndrome." i'm glad they played it because it is my favorite muse song - in fact, my itunes tells me that it is the #3 song in the list of those that i play most often. number one being spoon's "they never got you" and second being the cloud room's "hey now now." as "stockholm syndrome" goes, "this is the last time i'll abandon you."

that's probably a lie.

you'll have to forgive me, as i drank a jager bomb and like five miller lights at the show. that sentence officially deems me a sorority girl. or a beer wolf.

so i think that i could easily get back into my Year of Something Different, retroactively. this was Weird Week. you can't plan Weird Week - it has to just naturally happen - weird shit has to just arrive. monday saw a very strange email that i don't want to get into as well as a brit walking up to me at 10:30 in the morning to tell me that he just crossed the street to tell me that i am hot. this would have been flattering - and it probably would have worked - had he not immediately got all weirdo, singing shakira's "hips don't lie" and telling me, after i said that i had to go back upstairs, as i was just stepping out for a cigarette, "i wanna see you walk." i said "that's creepy" and he said "i'm a man." point taken. asshole. tuesday was yet another weird email arriving to my inbox that i don't want to get into. on wednesday, my boss basically started having a heart attack at work and had to go to the ER - they kept her overnight and she was all hypertension-y and her blood pressure was 170/100 - i don't know anything about healthy blood pressure but i hear that's bad. today wasn't DRAMATIC, but when we walked into the aragon ballroom to see muse, we walked to the t-shirt table and i saw a bunch of t-shirts for the cloud room hanging next to the $40 muse t-shirts (uh, no thanks). i thought that was weird - like i said, i listen to "hey now now" allthefuckingtime, and i missed the cloud room when they were touring, and i immediately got really fucking excited. it hadn't even occured to me that there would be an opening band that i would want to see, and this was probably the one band on my list of favorite-song bands that i have never seen. weird. well, not heart-attack weird, but weird enough.

so the cloud room played and i was disappointed. i mean, i think "hey now now" is like a totally perfect single, and when they played it (last in a semi-boring set), the mic was turned down way too low and all of the feedback was annoying and overpowered what a great song that is. plus the lead singer was wearing a vest.

i like muse a lot, but i understand what their critics say (thom yorke has purportedly dissed the lead singer for ripping off his style, and recent reviews of their new album are all like "what is this freddie mercury bullshit?"). the crowd was way too nerdfanboy for my taste. i stopped counting muse t-shirts before the cloud room came on because there were so many of them (did they not get the memo? don't BE that guy). every time a stage hand would come on stage they would all cream themselves and start screaming - i guess because that meant that muse would be on in a half hour or so. the mad surge for the front was surprisingly hostile when they came on. i'm somewhere between six feet and six-one, and i felt a little bit unsteady as i was swarmed by the acne mob. i stayed around for the first three songs, and let them win by wandering over to the beer line after "supermassiveblackhole," which i do think is a hotasshitsong, and staying to the side for the duration of the show.

kids, listen to me: i don't know why a mere 10 - err, maybe 15, to be honest - years makes you so different from myself, but it is NOT COOL to be such a spaz. if you like a band, keep your feet firmly planted. you can stomp a foot if it is particularly awesome, but this pogo shit is TIRED. it was tired when the kids would pogo to the offspring way back when you were in diapers (or not even born - shudder). to demonstrate appreciation, nod your head in time to the music. your arms should be folded across your chest or perhaps clutching a beer (contraband in your case - which might actually be super kool to you, especially if your dad, who is standing in the back next to me, bought for you). clap and yell BETWEEN songs. when the band demonstrates that they want audience participation, be wary, and do it half-assed, even if the band onstage is like your own fucking personal symbol for all that is good in this world. do not flail your arms. DO NOT FUCKING PUSH OTHER PEOPLE. do not wear the tshirt of the band that you are there to see - if you just bought said tshirt, you may drape it nonchalantly over your shoulder. do not try to snake you and your friends up to the front by stepping squarely onto my foot and then standing a mere quarter-inch away from my body. a good formula is that if you stick out your elbow and can touch someone that you don't know, you're too fucking close. don't sing along too loudly, and if you are going to jump up and down, arms flailing, at least do it with some rhythm. these are really simple rules, and you will be the koolest (or least-annoying, at least) 15-year-old in the venue if you can manage to follow at least half of them.

i digress. muse is like pablo honey radiohead fronted by a gay jeff buckley with strained vocal cords. the fan pointed directly at the lead singer (muse is one of those bands i really like but know nothing about the members, and i prefer it that way) looked both necessary, as it was sweltering in there, and also very low-budget special FX. the set was the second-cheesiest i have ever seen for an expensive stage set - the first was at the coldplay show at the beacon in new york, which was filmed for AOL and chris martin totally dissed in spin as being an embarrassing low point (i did happen to like that show, but the top-of-the-pops-reject stage design was super lame, and you could tell that the cameras circling them were distracting and uncomfortable). even when muse fucking rocks, which they can and do, it seems pretty much like they're saying "don't we fucking rock?" i mean, at the drive-in fucking rocked, and they knew it. they didn't have to try to prove it.

so i liked the band but wished they didn't try so hard. the cloud room was not what i had hoped it would be. and the crowd . . . i swear, one of these days i'm going to say that i am done with all-ages shows and actually mean it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"it's summertime and i can understand/if you still/feel sad"


it's summertime and summertime is happytime. i have intramural happy hour about once a week, lots of music festivals, i ride my bike and sit in the sun and can eat fudgesicles for dinner without feeling like a lazy loser. went to wicker park (not this one) fest this weekend and saw moxie motive play, and pitchfork festival is this weekend. lollapalooza the weekend after that. then i'm going to nantucket for almost a week. better place my order for my modestwear now before they sell out (thanks for letting me know that i can finally go to the beach and remain chaste, ab).

so jms is coming to visit chicago for lollapalooza - the rest of the boys are all busy with grad school and the like, so it's just the two of us, plus work friends and tb and his crew. we have been debating which bands we want to see in conflicting timeslots and he mentioned that we could go see matisyahu but added "although we can't dance together . . . jewish law!" - which i thought was fucking funny. and jms is totally my hero because he was quoted in the new york times this weekend about book sales. that might sound super nerdy, but he has carved out an envy-inspiring career for himself by hitting book sales and then selling them (for good profit) on amazon. plus he brought me a huge stack of vinyl last summer when he came to visit for lollapalooza 05, which he had scored at a library sale. rem's murmur on vinyl, yo.

quickly now: random news roundup:

very poetically written and heartbreaking: here

eels are easily the ugliest creatures on the planet and SCARY but so, so delicious: here

i cannot believe that a company that appears to be at least somewhat reputable bought this as their web address: here

i just really like this headline: here

new "sundial" billboard two blocks away from my apartment: here

i only run if i am being chased (with a chainsaw and it's not a joke) but this article is really cool and makes me recall dc's scary streets with fondness: here

cd went to comic-con for work and told me that there were A LOT of jedi master nerds running around (as well as pretty much every other variety of nerd) and said that sasha baron cohen was there as borat and showed a really disgusting/offensive/awesome clip from his upcoming movie that featured a fully-naked borat wrestling a fully-naked 400-pound man in a hotel, and then they ran into some company's awards banquet and continued their wrestling on the stage. he has photos from his visit to dorkland here.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

ten things you already knew


1. paris hilton is fug.

2. the japanese are crazy.

3. the polish are pretty weird, too.

4. the bush family is full of assholes.

5. ebay is full of theiving douchebags.***

6. my hometown is full of class acts (please click here and here).

7. retarded people just cannot catch a fucking break, for reals.

8. mocking dustin diamond will never get old.

9. borat is crazy sexy, plus nice, yes?

10. when there is a warning that "disturbing images" can be found if you click a link, they mean it.

special thanks to jk, ecf, ab, and tb for links.

*** fuck you, "elena humphries", for the three months i spent trying to get my $364 back for the frank kozik nirvana print that you never sent.

Monday, July 17, 2006

nerd.


chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiist it's hot. i went to bed barf and beyond after work and bought a box fan (after leaving a "please help me and fix my window, i'm dying in here" message for my landlord). the box fan isn't really satisfying. it's just blowing a lot of air. i crave arctic air conditioning chills. i couldn't wait to go to work this morning just so i could sit in a room that was less than 85 degrees.

i found an ipod shuffle drinking game on the best week ever blog. yay!

if i were to play right now, this is how it would go . . .

1) "angel carver blues/mellow jazz docent (live)" - pavement. i don't have to drink at all. i am surprised that i don't have to drink because of the first rule ("Any song you have never actually listened to prior this moment"), since i have zero recollection that this song exists, much less what it sounds like. itunes claims that i last listened to it on 7/18/05 . . . hey wait, that's a year ago tomorrow! happy anniversary, angel carver blues/mellow jazz docent (live)!!!

2) "i am a man of constant sorrow" - the soggy bottom boys. okay, let's see . . . one drink because my parents have heard it (i burned them the o brother where art thou soundtrack), and another drink because they like it. one drink because the band starts with "the" and ends in a plural word. i would like to now declare that if my "man of constant sorrow" mashup (with gwen stefani's "hollaback girl" - it is called "constant sorrow hollaback girl" and works quite well) had popped up, i would probably make myself do a waterfall, since it is pretty much the paradigm of snobby-ironic-mp3-blog-downloading.

3) "this is it forever" - hood. what? who dat? okay, one for having never listened to this before. one because i think i got the hood album from em's ex-boyfriend - and i therefore didn't pay for it, which is a rule - as he brought over all of his cds once and he probably told me that i would like this album. and maybe i would. and maybe someday i will actually listen to it and find out.

4) "don't make me come to vegas" - tori amos. i'm gonna drink two for this one, due to the rule "Any song by a band you used to like, but now think is lame (drink twice if you just tell people you think the band is lame, but secretly still like them)." yes, i listened to boys for pele on my way to work this morning - and kept the ipod screen hidden when i was on the el, lest someone see and JUDGE me. tori's great . . . if you're 17 and depressed. also, this just so happens to be the best song off of her album scarlet's walk, and i know that it was on a playlist i made on my work computer in 2002, so i'll drink one for having this song on a mixtape.

5) "kick out the jams" - mc5. one drink cuz it's my only mc5 song.

so that would be nine drinks, plus a self-imposed waterfall. which i suppose is hard to accomplish if you are alone.

that was fun. and when i say "fun," i mean for being alone in my apartment on a smoldering hot monday night when there is absolutely nothing else going on. is this what "virtual reality" was supposed to lead to? rules for drinking pretend alcohol (that i read on my computer, written by a stranger that i will never meet but could easily communicate with in realtime if we instant-messaged) as i randomly shuffle through digital files of music on a small portable harddrive that plays the music files? where's my jetpack? why aren't i wearing a silver insulated jumpsuit?

speaking of virtual reality/virtually not embarrassing, the NERDIEST HOBBY EVER was unveiled to me accidentally yesterday (i went clicking around in my site meter to see who's been reading). apparently someone set up a fantasy blog stock market - as in, how much blogs would be worth if they were traded in the open market. this is supposedly measured by "the industries" that the blog serves, how many times other blogs link to it, how many links they post . . . scissors happy's "industries" were listed as female, chicago, english, USA, americas. my blog was valued at about $3500. in comparison, postsecret was valued at about $5.4 million, and dlisted is worth over $340k. i don't care what you say, blogshares - i'm worth more than $3k. I VALUE MYSELF. i do. anyway, check it out - whoever came up with this game or hobby or yet-another-way-to-ignore-reality . . . well, dude, that's pretty clever of you. now go outside and get some sun.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

cheerio!


so hot. melting. no airconditioning because my bedroom window doesn't lock into its track and keeps pulling out. awesome. been watching little britain on dvd all day - love it. i want to just pack up and move to a council house in london, maybe date a chav. i love brits.

i know i'm like a year behind on this, but i love the postal service's jared-hess-directed video for "we will become silhouettes." jenny lewis is awesome but for whatever reason i only like ben gibbard when he's doing postal service stuff - i'm not a huge death cab fan. anyway, the video has some excellent 80s kitschy sensibilities about it that are also beautiful. i love the end picnic - they look like they're in tatooine (food, clothes and terrain). yeah, that's right, i just made a non-ironic reference to star wars. watch here.

i like reading reviews of bands and movies and books and restaurants, but i only really pay attention if the review isn't glowing. in fact, i am a huge fan of the fine art of the diss. even bands and movies and books and restaurants that i truly love, and even if i don't agree. this page of new album reviews from something awful is a true pleasure to read - they poke fun of the sacred thom yorke, say that muse is "too pussy to be metal and too metal to be cool" and declare at the top of the page that "This summer is an exciting time for White People Music, seeing new releases by lame-rock juggernauts such as Keane, Muse, Thom Yorke, Sufjan Stevens, and Sonic Youth. Before spending your hard-earned nerd dollars, please consider these fair and impartial reviews of some of the hottest musical issuances of the season." brilliant!

i am now going to tread into the syracusan's territory and post something from espn.com. don't despair, it's not totally boring - it's a compilation list of the best videos available on youtube (non-sports-related including). speaking of sports, i will now direct you to a new book that you should check out if you do things like actually read espn.com - why fantasy football matters (and our lives do not), which i hear is very funny. according to author max handelman's sister-in-law, my friend rm.

and i'll wrap this up by giving a shout-out to the streets - this show review sounds like pretty much the exact same set he did at intonation fest, which i was too busy to post about, apparently. the highlights of the fest for me were the streets and lady sovereign, both awesome. see? - i'm turning into a total anglophile. and since british accent = 4 attractiveness points, most british men have no struggle making me think that they are the hotness. mike skinner is . . . errr, well, not totally fit. his automatic 4 points help.



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

quit stalking me, joseph cross


i'm super excited for the running with scissors adaptation and can't wait to see how they turn a horrifying young adulthood into a filmable and artistic endeavor. will joseph finnes' neil really be the pedophile that lives in the backyard shed and is augusten's first "boyfriend," like he is in the book? and they expect this movie to make money? the book was so amazing because while it's hard to believe as a memoir, it's also hysterical. augusten is played by a kid named joseph cross.

he was also in strangers with candy (as jeri's half-brother), which i saw with eb this weekend and liked. i adored the show - my roommates and i stuck our upper teeth out and rolled our eyes to the side for a solid summer straight - and the movie felt like one really long episode. it sort of lost steam about halfway through, but the first half-hour totally justifies the price of admission. even though $9.50 for a 4:30 show is a fucking scam. whatever happened to before-7-pm matinees?

so i had law and order on in the background while i was ironing earlier (it's superbusy week at work, and i have to wear suits) and there was little joseph cross, testifying against his mother. leave me alone, joe. let me watch something - anything - without you showing up. i somehow managed to miss his performance in jack frost, however. the birth of his career and the death of michael keaton's, apparently.

so speaking of strangers with candy, here is a clip of amy sedaris on the colbert report, which pos sent me. she's actually kind of pretty when she isn't wearing fat pants and pretending to be a 35-year-old former crackhead hooker fresh out of prison.

lightbox


i have really amazing friends. they put my lazy ass to shame. am - okay, fine, allyson murphy, you'd have found out soon enough once you click the link - is a fantastic graphic designer and has been working with the founders of Binti Pamoja (Daughters United in Swahili) Center to create LIGHTBOX, a book of photos and essays created by the young women that the organization works with. Binti Pamoja is a reproductive health and women’s rights program for teenage girls in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.

as the website (which allyson also designed) says, "Themed photography and reflective writing assignments were the initial activities . . . used to engage the young women of the Binti Pamoja Center. Photography was an important tool for fostering discussion because, while describing their images, the young women were able to talk about otherwise taboo subjects. Today, Binti Pamoja uses drama, writing, peer-led small group discussions and photography to explore the critical issues that 13-18 year old young women face in Kibera. Challenges addressed include: HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, lack of reproductive health care and information, unintended early pregnancy, violence against women, prostitution, female circumcision, sexual abuse, unequal access to education and stifling domestic responsibilities."

the photos are amazing and the opportunity to support such a noble and important cause is really awesome. proceeds from the book go to Binti Pamoja - allyson says that all $45 of the purchase price goes to a scholarship fund that helps the girls attend high school.

buy affordable art AND offer hope to girls who face unimaginable barriers. can't think of anything better than that.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

strangers running with pickles


today is movie day on scissors happy, which was coincidental.

cd sent me the trailer for running with scissors, which i am totally excited for, as i loved the book and the cast looks awesome. watch here.

eb and i are going to go see strangers with candy later today. i cannot believe that a major hollywood studio would be willing to produce this (with david letterman as executive producer), and it restores my faith in the industy. we'll see how it turns out, however.

and while this is not a movie, it is a clip that you can watch, and is a story that is begging to be told: a girl went on maury to discuss and (barely) confront her fear of pickles. i have never seen anything quite so bizarre that claims to be factual in a very long time. if daytime tv was always this good, i would get a night job. the clip is from dlisted. what happened to this girl as a child? did she watch a pickle murder her parents?

"is this love/that i'm feelin?" yes, indeed, it is.

lots of my (mostly male) friends are excited for snakes on a plane. i have not yet determined whether this is something that i will ever really want to see. if it were whitesnake on a plane, though, i would skip work just to stand in line for tickets.

more spoof sequel posters here.

i have opinions


i love roger ebert. he has perfected the fine art of the diss. since he's recovering from a burst blood vessle in surgery (barf), in his honor i will review what i have watched lately:

the devil wears prada (went with my mom): formulaic, unrealistic and uncomplex, but fun to watch.

the lake house (my mom's choice): wow. that was super retarded! i can "suspend reality" but it needs to at least make some sense. magic mailbox and quasi-time-travel so that two boring people can fall in love. only redeeming quality was that the movie was in love with chicago architecture and filmed all over the city, and the lake house itself was supposed to be in kenosha, where i went to school.

a prairie home companion (mom and sister): zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. didn't care. didn't like.

grey gardens (netflix): two people have been telling me for a while that i NEED to see this movie. had to break up watching it over two days. i don't understand the appeal, other than the fact that they're jackie o's relatives who had glamourous lives in the 40s and 50s. it's a documentary about two mentally ill shut-ins arguing and reminiscing. depressing.

american beauty
(i still own vhs tapes): i saw this like three times in the theater (i was in new hampshire that year. there was nothing to do) and i just ADORED it. watching it again, it seems less perfect than i used to think, but still really great. you can see the shades of what alan ball would end up bringing to six feet under, the best show ever aired.

that photo is of russ meyer and roger ebert, the creative masterminds behind my favorite movie of all time, beyond the valley of the dolls.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

sweatsuit-wearing, white-zin-swilling, ben-and-jerry's-pint-eating, cathy-comics-loving middle-aged-attention-starved book club reading list


a woman at work . . . okay, fine, MY BOSS, you got it out of me . . . brought in a stack of books to give away, since she and her husband are moving. these are the titles:

Second Honeymoon: A Pioneering Guide to Reviving the Mid-Life Marriage

The 10-Second Kiss: How to Turn Your Relationship Into a Lifelong Romance -- A Magical Formula for Passion, Pleasure, and Playfulness

Light Her Fire: How to Ignite Passion, Joy, and Excitement in the Woman You Love

Hot Monogamy: Essential Steps to More Passionate, Intimate Lovemaking

Male Menopause

bloggy turns one


it's my blog's first birthday!

here is a resolution, like it's new years: i promise to try to post more often.

maybe shorter entries, more of them.

that would be nice.

it is also my mummy's birthday, which is a mere coincidence. she doesn't even know about the blog. i think i would have a hard time explaining it to her. i don't even like talking about the blog. it just exists, and is there for you to read if you want to. don't talk to me about it.