Sunday, January 25, 2009

a few things i am liking right now

1. i'm reading a book called this is your brain on music . i saw someone on the bus with it, and thought it looked interesting, so i checked it out of the library. i like it a lot - even though i'm not smart enough to completely understand it. the author is a neuroscientist, who tries to understand and explain what it is about music that affects many people on such a fundamental and emotional level. i can't always follow all the scientific and musical jargon (man, when you think about all that is involved in making the brain work, it is absolutely amazing), but the whole book is basically an argument that music is an integral part of human nature. in fact, the chapter i found most interesting is the one i'm on right now when he talks about the evolution of music. he writes, "music may be the activity that prepared our pre-human ancestors for speech communication and for the cognitive, representational flexibility necessary to become humans." wow. does anyone else think that's pretty incredible?

plus, the author reminds me of the lead character in high fidelity. he strikes me as the kind of guy who would make lists of music to correspond with certain periods of his life.

2. ocean by john butler.

i probably watched this video 4 times in a row. i am completely fascinated by his guitar playing. from the 6:00 point to the end - especially when the audience starts clapping along- is just GORGEOUS. the john butler trio is from australia; i first saw them live at bumbershoot five years ago, fell in love with them, and bought their live CD. i have seen them a few times since then, and cannot wait until the next time they come to seattle.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

this is supposed to be the new world

well, darn it. the father of a boy in my class (who knows i like pearl jam. one day i was wearing my eddie vedder tour t-shirt and he asked me about it and then we got into a big conversation about how we both love PJ and it turns out that he plays basketball with jeff ament. anyway) asked me this morning if i had seen eddie vedder at the tractor tavern on inauguration night. sadly, no, but a google search turned this up on

The country’s best inauguration party Tuesday night turned out to be in the other Washington: At Seattle’s tiny Tractor Tavern club, the Knitters (the rootsy side band led by X’s John Doe and Exene Cervenka) played a Americana-soaked barnstormer of a show — complete with a guest appearance by Eddie Vedder. Doe invited Vedder onstage to duet with Cervenka on a gleefully frenzied version of X’s 1983 tune “The New World,” with its sardonic lyrics about another election: “It was better before they voted for what’s his name.”

Vedder, who had managed to blend in to the crowd (which also included his Pearl Jam bandmates Jeff Ament and Mike McCready) with his hair tucked into a big black knit cap, was in a mood to celebrate: He pounded out the beat on Doe’s back with his fists, slow-danced with Cervenka, and played air guitar while the Knitters’ Dave Alvin (formerly of the Blasters) finished the song with a lengthy solo that incorporated both Chuck Berry licks and what sounded like part of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “Thank you, man in the black hat,” Doe said.

oh to see ed play air guitar. haha.

Monday, January 19, 2009

the waiting drove me mad

yesterday afternoon, i decided to clean my apartment (which, as the state of my kitchen floor can attest to, i do not do nearly enough. sorry, mom) and i thought that while i was doing it i would listen to a CD i haven't heard in awhile. so i stuck my hand into my dark hole of messiness and came out with the molo sessions, the album that eddie vedder recorded a few years ago with a south african choir. i had completely forgotten how much i like that album - and how hard i heart the versions of love boat captain (normally one of my least favorite songs on my least favorite PJ album) and betterman.

so, anyway, the point is that the little act of listening to that CD got me excited about pearl jam again. maybe they'll tour the west coast this summer? ooh.. but maybe they'll play in europe! and maybe i can somehow manage to go to ireland! and maybe the frames will be playing at the same time! and maybe glen and ed will sing together! and... tonight, i took a look around pearl jam's website, which i haven't done in a long time (i made the mistake of logging in to my tenclub account and adding up the purchases i've made since 03. i stopped when it was over 1200 dollars. and that's only since 2003. there's a whole other 11 years of purchasing power to add in to that. and oh yeah it's also not counting plane tickets and hotel rooms. ok, i'm depressing myself), and i noticed that they have a new video section up. one of my favorites is shadow:

on the pearl jam message board i read, there's a thread about favorite moments at pearl jam concerts. since i don't like posting there, i'll do it here because that got me to thinking..

1. the line for tenclub tickets. then getting the envelope with my name on it and wondering where my seats will be...

2. ed doing a set before the opening band. sadly, i have only seen that once but it still qualifies as a favorite moment.

3. the moment when the houselights go off and PJ comes on stage. what will the opening song be? will it be release or corduroy or something else? PJ's opening song can set the mood for the whole show like no other band i have ever seen.

4. going to the bathroom during evenflow. i used to never ever leave during a concert but once i had seen this song 15 times, i decided to break my rule. and it's actually kind of fun - at least in boston last june, there were probably about 50 other people who sprinted out of the front sections during this song. so i'm not the only one. plus, i when i left and came back, matt was still doing his drum solo.

5. i've said it before, but i'll say it again, there is something amazing about looking around a big ampitheatre (or, ahem, a small club) and seeing pretty much everyone doing the same thing at the same time: clapping during corduroy or hail hail, counting down at the beginning of animal, singing hallelujah during do the evolution, singing the first verse of betterman.

6. will there be a save it for later tag on betterman? what will the daughter tag be?

7. baba o riley. or rockin in the free world. either is good. but now i have to stop myself from listing every other song that i love.

8. the signs (mostly). even when i don't get them ("play leash." for the love of god, why that song??) i used to have a tape of the madison square garden concert on 9.11.98, and every time i heard breath, the cheer of the crowd made me feel like i was there. (if you don't know the story of that, basically it was a song that the band hadn't played in a long time but some fans organized to bring signs for it to multiple concerts and then PJ finally played it on that night. i listened to the bootleg so much that i remember that after the first verse ed said something like, "is that okay?" i always loved that)

i'm sure i'll think of more things to add to this list. man, i love pearl jam. i rarely get this excited about anything. tour already!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

to the universe i don't mean a thing

i went to the drugstore today and felt really bad for a girl in the checkout line. she was trying to pay with her debit card, and apparently the cashier's computer screen said "declined due to insufficient funds," a fact which she repeated loudly to pretty much the entire front half of the store. the poor girl looked like she was about to start crying, and ran out of the store while the cashier shook her head and said in a really annoyed voice, "now i'm going to have to void all of this stuff out. idiot." nice. people rock.

since i don't have much to say (except that woo-hoo i'm going to see mark lanegan and greg dulli feb. 15 at the showbox!), here are a FEW pictures from christmas:

my parent's dog, annamae
my mom cooking lobster for christmas eve dinner

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

death cab for cutie

last november, death cab for cutie's first album, something about airplanes, was reissued in honor of its tenth anniversary. i am not a big fan of death cab's last two albums, i do, however, consider something about airplanes, the photo album, and transatlanticism to be some of my favorite cds. there's just a rawness and passion to the band that i don't think is as evident now that they've made it big. and it really pains me to say that, because don't you always want a band that you love to become successful (maybe to even somewhat validate your obssession with them)?

but anyway, back to something about airplanes . i first heard this record when i was in college and going out of my way to find obscure little bands from seattle to listen to. my favorite song on the album is bend to squares, about which sean nelson writes in the liner notes to the reissue, "this song, with its desire, its demand for gravitas, contains the germ of everything Death Cab would become capable of, and everything people would come to love and probably hate about them." um, okay, i won't pretend that i'm smart enough to follow that, but it sounds about right. plus don't they look cute in this video? and that is really all that matters.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the cave singers

i always feel like i'm late to the party. the first album by the cave singers has been out for over a year and i have now only just heard it. they were one of the bands playing with minus the bear at the showbox last night, and i liked them so much that i bought invitation songs today.
here's dancing on our graves, live from the BBC:

there's just something about this group that i find really charming. one of the band members, derek fudesco, used to be in pretty girls make graves and the murder city devils (hey, i've heard of them:) one of my favorite parts of finding a new band is playing six degrees of separation. i just wish the day were longer so that i could listen to everything..

this is what their biography says:
Here is the mystery of Seattle’s Cave Singers: They never listened to much folk music, they never intended to play folk music, and more importantly, their guitarist never picked up the instrument until recently. Yet, this strange trio is writing and performing some of the most hypnotizing folk music we have today.

here are their upcoming tour dates:
Jan 23 2009 8:00P
Troubadour West Hollywood, California
Jan 24 2009 8:00P
The Partisan Merced, California
Jan 25 2009 6:30P
Cafe Du Nord San Francisco, California
Jan 25 2009 8:00P
Cafe Du Nord San Francisco, California
Jan 27 2009 8:00P
Doug Fir Portland, Oregon
Jan 28 2009 8:00P
Neumos Seattle, Washington
May 8 2009 8:00P
ATP Festival Minehead

i think i might go see them at neumos, even though it will break my not staying out too late on weeknights rule.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

my boyfriend

i came across this interview and had to put it here so i would be able to find it forever because it made me laugh and cringe at the same time. it's very strange and funny in its randomness (is that a word?). and i love robert pattinson. his facial expression at the end is hilarious. yes, it's twilight-related. sue me.

Robert Pattinson Part 2 from Radio Planet on Vimeo.