Monday, February 28, 2005

This is so cool. I found this great radio station. Indie 103.1 is based in Los Angeles, California. Can totally just imagine tons of celebrities (namely, Adam Brody) listening to it in their cars. You can hear live radio streaming at . And today they're playing songs that people's bands send in.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bright Eyes

I'm Wide Awake, It's morning album cover (photo:

I don't know why, but I feel compelled to write a review for
Bright Eyes' album, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. I'm not really embarrassed to admit that I've been listening to ever since I bought it yesterday.

Connor Olberst (picture:

Bright Eyes basically consists of one guy, Conor Oberst, who's an amazing writer/songwriter, and has written songs about all things, especially politics and heartbreak and his ever-changing lineup. He released this album, simultaneously with another album, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, which is supposed to be, more dance/techno music because Oberst wanted to "make a record based around rhythms. It seemed like up until now most of Bright Eyes' music had been melody and atmosphere, more, 'in your head' music, with not a lot of bodily response." The one review, I've read about that record said that it wasn't the best of the two. (Credit: Spin Magazine for quote.)But I gotta say, creative title.

Digital Ash in a Digital Urn album cover (picture:

As I start listening, the first track, At the bottom of Everything, I hear Oberst's haunting, monotoned voice telling a story about a woman on a plane to see her fiance, with only the unknown man next to her for company. The only thing she knows about this man is that he ordered a Bloody Mary. And she's reading a "really arduous magazine article about this third world country, that she couldn't even pronounce the name of and she's feeling very bored... very dispondent... And then, uh... suddenly, there's this huge mechanical failure, one of the engines gave out, and they started just falling, like, 30,000 feet and the pilot's on the microphone and he's saying...'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Oh my god, I'm sorry' apologizing, and she looks at the man, and... and she says... and she says, 'Where are we going?'" His voice gets louder as the drums start. "And uh, he looks at her and he says, 'We're going to a party!'" The drums almost overpower but in a good way. "'It's a birthday party! It's your birthday party! Happy Birthday darling... We love you very very very very very very very much' and uh, he starts humming this little tune... and uh, it kinda goes like this, it's kinda, 1, 2, 1,2, 3, 4..."
and he the acoustic guitar hits in and plays a folk tune as he sings in his waily, hungry, mannish voice. He talks as he sings and you can tell his mood and tells his story well, as he tells it as a man, giving his ode to death and all the things they missed. And I may add that, when I was at a lot of people, not me, but a lot of people, said that his voice was 'really sexy' during that intro. As I am unbiased, I cannot share those emotions, however true they might be.
The songs in this album flow together as you listen. He partners with vocalists from My Morning Jacket, Jim James and Emmylou Harris. It adds nicely, and I find myself humming along harmonies. As I am writing this, I'm reading an article interviewing Conor Oberst, (I'm also listening to the CD and reading lyrics as well as keeping my book report in the back of my brain,) in which, Oberst relates the album to a long day. The song is We are Nowhere and it's now.
The Old Soul Song (For the New World Order), Oberst says is based off an Iraq Protest. On his birthday, February 15, 2003; it was the last big protest before the war started. "It was amazing because you feel very empowered and sort of hopeless at the same time." The song tells of the greyness of the day, the slight depression and the "wild" crowds of people fighting for what is right.
I must say, Lua, is one of the most depressing songs I've heard, but that's kind of the reason a person listens to Bright Eyes. To think about stuff, you don't really reflect on, unless you're that kind of person. This song is about his addict girlfriend. He tells of her heavy heart and his comforting her. You can hear the pain in his voice and I feel like I'm witnessing some kind of musical epiphany along with him. I can just imagine him in the studio with his guitar, all alone, softly strumming out his pain. It's an artform.

What I love about this record, is its tone. It is soft, but the most hardcore of music fans, will like it. Because it's atmospheric.
This is the First Day of my Life/ I swear I was born right in the doorway. These lyrics tell of a meeting between to people in love. They feel they hadn't lived until they met each other. It's a slightly unorthodox love song, but the emotion is there. (It's all in that sexy voice.) This is the first day of my life/ Glad I didn't die before I met you. It's amazingly sweet. Destined to go on some future mix CD of my favorite love songs.
Another Travelin' Song has a surprisingly upbeat tone, at least, for this record. On some country tune record, it may be the most depressing song, I wouldn't know. It is a duet with Emmylou Harris, once more, she has a good performance, in this folky song, heavily helped by drums, bass, guitar, steel and organ.
Landlocked Blues is another duet, that is (who woulda thought?) bluesy. It's sweet and lovingly done, with great attention to the emotional rants. He mentions a girl, Laura, who's been mentioned before, which kind of saddens me.
There's kids playing guns in the street/ And one's pointing his tree branch at me/ So I put my hands up/ Say Enough is enough/ If you walk away/ I'll walk away/ And he shot me dead There's pain and emotion in this music and holds your attention, because you feel it too. It touches your core, the part where everyone's the same and has a vulnerability in it that makes me realize how difficult it must be to release your emotions in a song. Like, when the words don't come and only music can speak.

The last song on the record, Road to Joy, which is my favorite song. The opening lines have a poppy rendition of Beethoven's 9th. It says: the sun came up with no conclusions/ Flowers sleeping in their beds/ The city cemetery's humming/I'm wide awake, it's morning. This illustrates the whole record's tone of living through a long day. It has a political ring. So when you're asked to fight a war that's over nothing/ it's best to join the side that's gonna win/ And no one's sure how all of this got started/ but we're gonna make them goddamn certain/how it's gonna end Which rings in a sarcasm, which many crave. The last line gives some perspective on Oberst's career and also on life and how certain people think and live; I could have been a famous singer/ if I had someone else's voice/ But failure's always sounded better/ Let's fuck it up boys/ Make some noise. Then there's a musical explosion and you can feel the heat of it radiating from your ears, even if you're not even there.
I really love this album. It's $9.99 well-spent. And what's great is that over the period of time I've been listening, (I don't even want to know how much time I spent away from my book report,) I feel like I've gone through a change. A musical, kind of spiritual enlightenment. Which is kind of the reason I listen to music.

Friday, February 25, 2005

So I had this dream last night. I was selling things. Cereal products. With Catherine Zeta-Jones! And we have all of our stuff in these brown paper grocery bags.You know Chewy bars, Rice Krispy treats, Kashi GoLean cereal... and we're on this street in Britain, even though it looks like France, except I haven't been to France since I was a wee babe, so it was actually like 1950s movie France, (you know the same thing minus the dog crap?)and that witchy lady from The Way We Were who ended up with Robert Redford, even though it shoulda been Barbra Streisand, came over and was talking in a phony British accent. I mean she's an actress right? People have heard her talk dozens of times, so how can she fake an accent now? So I matched her accent and showed her Catherine's locket, which by the way, had a picture of herself, only blonde, in it. So witchy lady buys some Kashi GoLean cereal, thanks to my salesperson skills and the fact that I'm hanging out with Catherine Zeta-Jones.
And then suddenly I'm in India, on a similar looking street even though streets in Britain that look like France, don't really exist in India. So I see my Nani (mom's mom) there and she says "Hi," but doesn't even care about Catherine. SHe wants a Chewy bar, but Catherine finished most of the box on the off-screen plane flight and I had just eaten the last one, so I compensated by giving her a Rice Krispy Treat. Then Chet woke me up.
Clearly, I am going to have go into a TV-free meditation before I go to sleep.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I don't like it... I don't like it at all. I suppose we knew it was coming... We'd been warned. We'd been preparing ourselves for it. But somehow I still had hope. I don't know why, it's just, why give up?
I didn't want this to happen. I didn't want it to have to be stopped. I wanted something to happen. Maybe a miracle. But miracles aren't that easy to come by.
When I heard it, I wasn't really surprised. I'd expected it, but I couldn't have been.
Because I realized. All of the hope in preparing, all of the joy that had been banished the moment we found out. There was a chance. A chance. For something amazing to happen. A bummer. A huge bummer.
You keep wishing and praying for something to happen and then it will, but then it doesn't.
Is it fair? I don't know. I just don't know.
We'll go on, life will go on. But we'll be more careful with our hope. Always cautious that it might be pulled away.
There's no answers that I can come up with, just that this is how life is. Unfortunately, their's hadn't started yet.