30 June 2009

Music and Attraction Go Hand in Hand

I don't have much time now to be honest. Actually if I'm going to be honest I fled my apartment and didn't slow down until I reached the computer lab to write a little bit. I am on campus right now which I haven't entirely been since the end of last semester. I didn't realize how much I missed it. I am in love with this ridiculous school. I like being around people, having the potential to meet new friends...

Oh, hell. It's obvious I just want to see my professor. That's how much of a loser I am. Recently, I went on the class website where in the bottom left hand corner they produce a list of all the users currently logged in. Paranoid, I was thinking I would be the only user present other than the teacher but I figured that was just a case of me being overly psychotic, why would the teacher even be on at the beginning of the summer? Of course, to my dismay, I was in fact the only other person besides the teacher on the list and I not only immediately got off the website, I closed the entire internet and shut off the computer. I could tell you that I never plan on going on the site again this summer but that would be a lie. If people actually read this blog I would open up the comments to the question : Have you ever had a juvenile infatuation with a professor, either back in the day or presently?

I am way too old to be such a lunatic - and even too old to still be in school - unless it was perhaps grad school.. which it's not.

I am also a person who really goes by the books. I think it is the ultimate taboo in modern American society to like a professor. There is something so slimy about it - last semester I would walk away from class feeling like I was the most disgusting creature alive - and I never even spoke a word to him! It was just my internal thoughts that were eating away at my conscience.

I tell this story a lot but since this is a music blog, I want to find some way to tie this all together: A few years ago I had the greatest professor in the history of teaching. He taught philosophy at my old college and changed my way of thinking so much that I ended up taking three classes with him and dropping everything else I was taking. I went through a minor breakdown because I realized how much more there was in the world that I wasn't taking advantage of and suddenly decided that everything I was doing in my life was completely worthless. During this time, my professor seemed like a beacon of light. Of course it's important to mention that I thought of him the way any good student should think of a teacher, like a well respected, crazy uncle who you enjoy seeing a couple times a week. He was such an awesome older man who always had a snapple bottle on hand and a large rimmed hat. He was the coolest and smartest teacher I've ever had to this day.

ANYWAY, one day I went to his office merely to ask him what kind of music he liked. He laughed and answered with something to the effect of, "Umm, it changes a lot but right now I listen to a lot of The Eagles, Johnny Cash, and America in the car."

It made my day! Granted, I was 19 years old then and a lot braver but it was the best response I could have asked for - exactly like something I would say.

At the end of my final semester with him, I wrote him a two page letter (because I'm crazy) explaining how much he had affected my life with his intelligence and compassion. And he really had. He wrote back with some of the kindest words I've ever been fortunate enough to read. He was truly one of a kind. Just like a kooky uncle. He was even the first person I told when I decided to move to West Virginia with an old boyfriend. It's such a rare joy to find someone whose opinion you hold in the highest regard. Maybe I would be making better choices to this day if I were still seeking his advice.

So, I think I got off track but I guess my point is that when you have innocent thoughts of family-type love for a person, it's easier to express than when you google 'teacher crushes' like you're literally 12 years old and can't even speak in the presence of someone. Of course, for any other intensely crazy person who may have found this on a whim, let me state that all the google information out there is worth exploring. Most claim that young girls, which I can still characterize myself as, feel this way because they are looking for something a bit more dynamic and sophisticated than they find in the folks their own age and crave the attention of someone incredibly passionate and intellectual. Si.

To add my own hypothesis, I would say that a large dose of boredom must come into play as well. I am bored right now and don't have any great ventures to speak of. Yes, the Paul McCartney concert is coming up next month but that doesn't evoke a feeling of excitement in my soul. I like my heart to race a little.

Recently, I even considered creating a separate website dedicated to relationships. Even if you love your significant other, it's tough to feel the right way all the time when you're going through the motions and the day to day stuff together. You need something on the outside to fantasize about and get your motor running, so to speak. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Just like a great song you want to be a part of, most fantasies are purely fun and innocent. No need to feel guilty about them (which I should tell myself more often).

It's actually quite disturbing that in 2009 young people are still made to feel bad about attraction and desire. It is the most natural instinct you could possibly feel. I must be in some sort of prime right now because I have been feeling this more than ever in the past few months. It's important to me. No one is young forever and I don't want my youth wasted. It's the only precious thing I have.

Sorry this wasn't really about music but who hasn't pictured a devastatingly attractive person sitting in a room alone somewhere listening to Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" just waiting for you to enter?

Hopefully not just me.

26 June 2009

The Moving Life

As I've mentioned on this site before, I've been in the process of moving for the past few weeks. I thought things were over when all the "stuff" was moved in but unbeknownst to my naive mind, that is just when the headaches begin. I was suffering for weeks without cable or internet, relying solely on my new Playstation 2 to ease my nervous tension with Guitar Hero and SingStar. Unfortunately, SingStar ended up being the last straw in an already strained roommate relationship and forced one of our address-sharing friends to flee before the month was even complete. Whether said friend will live up to his summer promises of cash and companionship is still up in the air at this current juncture. I am disappointed and feeling quite lonely.

The biggest challenge I've had to face so far - at least in the cerebral context - is the lack of writing time this move has afforded me. Like any hobby or job, when the vacation is over, you appreciate it ten times more than before, which is happening to me now, but I'm still saddened that I don't get that space in each part of my day to scour the internet looking for interesting blog ideas or rattling my brain to create posts about some of my favorite forgotten artists. That is the biggest release for me. In the past couple weeks I've been dying to write posts about my newfound interest in hard rock bands courtesy of the peculiar music they play on Guitar Hero and how interesting it is that SingStar has created an "amped" package to bring about the Audioslave-loving, alternative-grunge crowd that secretly loves a good old fashioned round of karaoke. Gloria Gaynor, Aretha Franklin, and Nirvana - all on one game! Geez.

I wish I didn't find it so difficult to listen to music during trying times. I know for some music lovers that is the key time to listen to their favorite songs and I envy that. I imagine hearing your favorite comforting voices during bouts of loneliness is incredibly soothing but I still can't grasp it.

When news officially spread that Michael Jackson passed away yesterday, I was rendered speechless by the only gratifying, genuinely appropriate tribute I found on television - and it was on MTV. While everyone else was interested in finding the doctors that shot him up with morphine and talking to his family lawyer to gather up the latest juicy details before any other network, MTV immediately went into their lair of drama and poppiness and came out with a lovely music video tribute that sent chills down my spine. On CNN it seemed wrong to watch the Thriller video but with the MTV logo on the lower right hand side of the screen, it seemed lovingly nostalgic. This was maybe one of the first times I could listen to powerful music within a sad context and not wince. It was finally fitting.

Today I'm sort of left with this emptiness and strange eeriness. I work for AEG Live, the company that was responsible for Mr. Jackson's final 50 date concert schedule and although I'm at the way, way end of the pipeline in terms of actually contributing anything to the promotion of these shows, that is the company that pays me and who I've dedicated a lot of my time to. Seeing AEG mentioned on Perez Hilton and discussed on CNN is surreal in some strange way - even though they are the second largest concert promoter in the world so it shouldn't be. It just makes it seem all the more personal. I knew he had to be given an extensive physical before they could get an insurance contract and that he had in fact passed it with no problem. This was heresay but that made it seem even more likely that medicines of some kind were involved.

I'm not really sure what else to add but I hope anyone reading this can mourn in a way that makes them feel comforted and satisfied with the amazing gifts we received from such a treasured man. I find that even if you've heard the same song a hundred times before, there are always new ways to explore it and re-discover it through the eyes of others. All the beautiful, funky pins in a Michael Jackson song make me think of one of those weird contraptions they used to sell at places like Spencer Gifts - they were boxes full of pokey pins where you could put your hand or face and it would leave an imprint in the needles so when you turned it around you could see the outline.. they were always so weird, fun, and constantly entertaining - just like Jackson himself.

And to tie it all in, I really hope I have internet at home soon and don't go bankrupt from my lousy move. How do you meet new people with similar interests? I'm completely at a loss and my boredom is moving up the Richter scale.

10 June 2009

Wanna See My Picture on the Cover, Wanna Buy Five Copies for My Mother..

For better or worse, I have always had an intense love affair with Rolling Stone and as frequently mentioned, my mother and I are absolutely enamored with Mr. Adam Lambert. Mix the two together and you have my favorite Rolling Stone interview since Obama was asked about his iPod playlist. The guy can do no wrong in my book.

And in response to Rob Zombie's recent quote stating: "I'm sure Adam can fucking sing 10 times better than Mick Jagger, but who gives a shit? He ain't fucking Mick Jagger. You know what I mean?"

I know what you're saying, Mr. Zombie, but please leave the character judging to teenage girls on The Hills and the musical equivalency tests to the fans. But as Adam would say, way to get your name in the papers and ride his coattails - and give the compliment of the century at the same time! I love it.

Here's some behind the scenes footage where Adam manages to wear more makeup than I wear in a month and not get any in his eye - which I find amazing because that's always my biggest problem.

Pick up the issue, subscribe to Rolling Stone, or read the full article at www.mjsbigblog.com ... either way.

(Post title courtesy of the great Dr. Hook tune, "Cover of The Rolling Stone")

05 June 2009

Blog to Love: Keiko Lynn

I haven't had this kind of crush on a girl since my post about Naomi's Rockstar Diaries. Now comes Keiko Lynn, a stunningly gorgeous 24 year old from Brooklyn that looks like a model. I'm in love with her style and since the culture of music is a culmination of sights and sounds, I think it's okay to post about her here.

Her look is equal parts shabby chic and downtown glamour with a ton of color and a great selection of hats. I'm obsessed.

And I own those burgundy shoes too.


I know it's too late now and luckily all the same sex marriages that have already happened in California can in fact remain legal, but the images in this video made me cry so hard I had to share it.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Extracting the Fur

It has been so gloomy outside and I attribute this decline in weather to my strand of overly morbid thoughts. This is a very tiny example but I took a cab to work today and considered bringing my laptop. The only thing that stopped me was my weird premonition that I would be walking in the road, drop the laptop, and watch on the side as a car's right front tire drove directly over it. Why would I have such a graphic image of something that is highly unlikely?

I specifically wanted to bring it with me to condense my iTunes that has gotten extra furry with all these extraneous songs that I will never listen to - and most importantly - will never fit on my iPod. I haven't synced that monster in a really long time. I have one of those last generation, tiny video iPods that claim to hold 2,000 songs but really hold about 1,900 on a good day. I have no music videos, thanks to my deletion of Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and John Mayer Trio's "Who Did You Think I Was", due to my assumption that this was what could've been holding my iPod back from carrying the traditional 2,000 songs. Wrong. It just lies to my face and forces me to delete songs I planned on listening to one day, most recently from Scissors for Lefty and Stereophonics (is that even their name?). I'll live I suppose but it makes me angry, especially because I'm coming really close to deleting songs I'd rather not... it's getting down to a decision between downloading that Sade song or leaving that second version of "House of the Rising Sun" - and that's not a decision I want to make. I love all my adult contemporary songs. Sometimes I think my iPod would make a 45 year old man who loves lite FM and good guitar jams really happy.

LIVE COMMENTARY: I'm at work right now and just sold 6 tickets to Killswitch Engage to a couple young bucks that I could clearly see smirking in the direction of my stereo which was blasting John Mayer's "My Stupid Mouth" which lead me to say, "I guess this is a little different than Killswitch, huh?" and they nervously laughed as if I had read their mind. I work at a hard rock venue in the middle of Central Jersey, by the way.

Speaking of John Mayer, this morning I watched his performance on The Tonight Show of "California Dreamin'" and it brought me right back to the feeling I normally have around this time when I've just purchased three sets of tickets for his summer concerts, begged friends or strangers alike to come with me, and already started planning what to wear. I know how that sounds and I'm okay with it. I'm smart enough to know how stupid I am - and how much of a cliche that is. I've lost friendships, relationships, and acquaintances due to my undying love for John Mayer. Funny how mature adults appreciate him for what he is but people under the age of 25 seem to think they must uphold some secret music code that forbids them from liking something as "uncool" as John Mayer. He dated Jessica Simpson! He's not worthy of the guitar praise! He's on the cover of US Weekly!! The horror! The shame! But really, who cares? Listen to "Covered in Rain" and "In Your Atmosphere" and tell me he's not all heart in the same vein as '70's style singer/songwriters like James Taylor or Todd Rundgren - with better guitar playing.

Many elements of John Mayer make me cringe, which I'm sorry to say, but that has never taken away from his massive talent and extreme dedication to his craft. As he famously said, he could be having sex with a grapefruit and still make the same music. His current sparse style, contrary to his debut album, transcends much of what his contemporaries are doing and shows his growing musical sophistication. I love when there's space to breathe within a song.


04 June 2009

A Concert Reminder (for me)

Shows I want to see:

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - 6/22 - Maxwell's (mon)
Paolo Nutini - 7/21 - Terminal 5 (tues)
Pete Yorn - 7/29 - Webster Hall (wed)
M. Ward - 8/1 - Central Park
Jason Mraz - 8/8 - PNC Bank Arts Center
John Legend - 8/12 - Count Basie

Definitely Seeing:

Fleetwood Mac - 6/11 - Madison Square Garden (thurs)
The Meat Puppets - 6/12 - Mercury Lounge (fri)

03 June 2009

There's a Quiet Storm

First off, NEVER eat a Dunkin' Donuts egg white and cheese sandwich, especially if it's been sitting in a warm place for 45 minutes prior. I'll leave it at that..

Because this is moving week for me, I once again haven't been able to listen to much new music. As I've mentioned before, I get scared that if I listen to music during a difficult or stressful situation, the connotation of the music will somehow be altered. My roommate mentioned something the other day about making the living room look like Prince. Now I can't get it out of my head - I picture a genie bottle look complete with pink and purple velvet curtains, curvaceous couches, and Prince himself standing on top of the coffee table with the strangely shaped guitar, closing his eyes while passionately singing "Raspberry Beret".

Thankfully, that's all in my head. The living room will actually be beige and brown and the only Prince-esque addition as of yet is a creamy shag carpet I dream of doing LSD on while wearing my silkiest caftan and ruby slippers. My cat could join in as we danced on the ceiling ala Fred Astaire and repeat the lines to "Hard Knock Life" as if it were a chant. I can see it all now... a gypsy wonderland. Maybe I haven't let that Prince thing go just yet.

I wish I could describe the little box office I'm sitting in right now. The rain is pouring from a dark gray sky outside, the cherry wood in this walk-in closet sized space seems even warmer than usual, and I'm listening to Jamie Lidell blast out of the only working computer speaker. A silver calculator sits beside me along with its brother, the stapler, and their distant cousin, the tape dispenser. We all jive a little to the music and wonder what to do with ourselves in this cramped area. Now The Shins come on and we consider James Mercer's beard in greater depth... it is a thing of beauty. We turn it up a little louder.


But I do have to share one more story:

I was in Home Depot, of all places, yesterday and a song came on while I was in the Garden department in the outside area. It sounded so good I wanted to slow dance with the old man looking at the catcus plants next to me. At first I couldn't place it (because I'm losing my mind) and then I realized - Sade! Sweetest Taboo! I have probably heard this song 500 times and out of nowhere it just stung me. I had never heard it like that before. Suddenly I understood it, not even the lyrics, but the sound - it got into me. It might be one of those obsession songs now. It is HOT. And coincidentally, she's finally coming out with a new album, after something like almost a decade of absence.