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29 April 2006 @ 03:01 pm
 
Damn, I feel all behind, not having posted or even checked my flist for a week. I haven't even really been on the wank communities, except to have a bit of a discussion with vanceone over grudgewank and to post this over at fandom_discuss. That's what happens when you choose the week you have final papers due to plunge into the bestest RPG ever and have a complete blast. Well, it's definitely been worth it, and now I am thoroughly addicted--to the RPG, not to the papers. I hate writing academic research papers. I'm damn good at it (although I think the 14-page-paper I wrote in like 6 hours on Thursday is quite teh suck), but I can't stand it. And it's not even that I dislike the topics I choose. But with just a few exceptions, I've completely despised writing academic research papers for as long as I can remember. Ugh, and I have a 20- to 25-pager due this coming week, plus two finals. Sorry, I'm feeling very emo right now. On top of it all, I think I have some sort of stomach flu...which is nothing I can't handle, considering I've been through far, far worse with the wretched intestinal disease I've had for over eleven years...but still. NOT fun. Especially when said stomach flu is likely to trigger the intestinal disease to get worse. At least the semester is nearly over. And the Tylenol I took a little bit earlier seems to have reduced the little bouts of chills I was having.

All right, enough whining. I've always managed to maintain a desperate sense of optimism, even during my worst times in the hospital (I've been hospitalized four times for the condition; it really sucks, although the upside is that you get to watch a lot of daytime TV--yay Maury and the paternity tests..."You are NOT the father!" YAY-UH!), so it's time to focus on happy things.

The first one is that I saw The Strokes in concert on Tuesday, and that was really great. I really love how so-called indie rock has made such a resurgence these days. It's completely refreshing to see groups that play their own instruments and write their own music, you know? I don't know what the world was thinking when it started licking Britney Spears's white-trash ass. Yeah, she was hot as hell in that diamond-y outfit she wore for the "Toxic" video, but she was not a musician. She was, at best, a performance artist and, at worst, a lip-synching, dancing pawn of the "music" industry. It's just so awesome to see a group that digs into its music, that plays the shit out the guitar, as Billie Joe Armstrong might say. I mean, those guys were almost attacking their guitars, and I loved it.

Music is something to throw yourself into. Having been quite self-conscious about performing for much of my life, I can say that there have been very few times I've thrown myself into my music. But those times it has happened for me, it was the most exhilarating feeling ever--yes, even better than sex, because it's transcendantally physical, emotional, and intellectual all at the same time, like flying on so many different planes. If that sounds stupid, I blame it on the Tylenol. It tends to make me slightly high. Anyway, when you get lost in the lyrics or the instrumentation or whatever it is that you're doing, you're not even aware of who or where you are. You're part of something bigger. You're connected to words and sound, to a story you're telling.

So, to my original point, I could tell that The Strokes are the kind of group that's not up there to perform, to get a response from the crowd, to try to win applause. They're there because they love their music, they feel it, and I think it kind of blows their minds that other people feel the same way. The lead singer, Julian Casablancas (yes, he's hot), seems like a really shy guy. He was actually pretty bad at interacting with the crowd; his comments consisted mainly of stuff like "Damn, you guys are fuckin' awesome. Thank you so much. I mean, this is really...you guys are great. Fuck. Thank you. Ummmm...our next song is 'Juicebox,' so...I hope you enjoy it. Yeah." But when he got up to sing, he was completely in control of his voice, of the lyrics, of the whole experience. And his voice is smokin' hot and sultry as hell (although I couldn't hear it that well; it seems that these indoor stadium venues have really shitty acoustics and tend to turn up the instruments so that they kind of drown out the vocals, which really sucks). To me, he's kind of a cross between Chris Isaak and the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand. He's got this sort of croony quality, and his lower range is completely divine. Every single note was spot on (at least, as far as I could hear; as I said, the acoustics were crap), and I think that's saying a lot, because many singers are great recording artists, but not consistent performers. The whole thing just made me so thankful that real rock is making a comeback. I was a huge rap and R&B fan, but now I've tired of it. Alternative and indie are the way to go.

Oh, and there was one shining moment where the lead singer from the opening band, Sean Na Na, came onstage to do one song with The Strokes, and he and Julian Casablancas kind of kneeled down on the floor together and pretended to make out. Yay, live slash! The Sean Na Na guy ain't much to look at, but still, yay live slash!

Last night, I had this strange dream that my family travelled to Edinburgh with me, and we stayed at a (non-existent in RL) hotel that was sort of right beneath the gigantic mountain thing that Edinburgh Castle is built on (which reminds me that I still need to write up my journal from my trip to London and Edinburgh and post my pics--something I'll probably get to next week, when my finals are all over). But my family was all lazy and slow, so all we got to do was get out and look up at the castle, but not anything else. (This is no doubt related to the fact that my travel companions on the UK trip were highly nocturnal, and so we didn't actually do a whole lot during the day, but rather saw much of London and Edinburgh by night!) But it was just as majestic in my dream as it was in real life; pictures, even some of the really good ones I took (and will post), cannot do it justice. I also had this sort of transcendent experience there, but I'll save its writeup for when I post the journal from my trip. Let's just say it involved a much-needed chilling out and Rufus Wainwright (who is always much needed ;) ).

Aside from that...I'm just sitting at Starbucks right now, thinking how nice it'll be when I'm done with school and don't ever have to feel guilty about all the work I'm supposed to be doing that I'm not. It'll be so completely fantastic to go to work (well...), come home, and do whatever the hell I want, which will likely be combinations of LJ, the RPG, reading, writing (fan fic and original fic, most likely), listening to music, teaching myself guitar, playing piano, singing with my little group (which has been temporarily abandoned, since I live in Boston and the other two members live in DC), and watching good TV shows and movies. I've always been good at feeling guilty, and I'm feeling it in spades these days, having shunted my schoolwork off for Harry Potter- and writing-related activities. It's all worth it, absolutely, but...I just hate the guilt.

Anyway, enough babbling. I'm gonna try to get a bit caught up on what's been up with y'alls over the past week, and then I'm going to get cracking on doing something for a new LJ comm I co-started. I'll pimp it in a separate post, although some of you already know about it.

I'll get to schoolwork at some point, I suppose (GUILTGUILTGUILT!). My current excuse is that I'm too loopy from the Tylenol and too generally out of it because of the stomach flu or whatever it is to do anything requiring deep thinking. If there's one thing I'm really good at, it's justification. *shrug*

Oh, PS - My husband was just snarking about the bad hairstyle of this chick who walked into Starbucks a little while ago. She's got very thick bangs (that's "fringe" for you UK Commonwealthers and Frenchies), and he said, "They look pasted on." Is it wrong that all I could think was, "They're pastede on yay!"?!
 
 
Current Location: Starbucks
Current Mood: emo, loopy, chilly, & guilty
 
 
 
The Cee Monster: Jayne cheerssagacious_c on April 29th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
I have some expertise in feeling guilty, too. I wish I didn't, but it's a hard thing to get rid of. I blame it on being Catholic, but I think it's actually a personality thing.

The concert sounds killer. Lucky you. :P Do you think the "real rock" comeback is actually a comeback, or just that these more talented groups (aka, not puppets of the music industry executives) are going more mainstream? I figure the REAL musicians were always out there but I just didn't know about them, and now for some reason I do...

Good luck with your upcoming papers and finals. And I hope you feel better soon. Hang in there!
Miss Sophia: Draco - Teh Apathymiss_sophia on April 30th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
I'm part Jewish, so maybe it's that...although I'm more inclined to think that it's more of a personality thing for me as well. My mom always tells me I was born guilty and that they swear they had nothing to do with it!

You make a good point about the rock. It might be that good rock groups are able to survive financially now because they're getting more support from the industry, whereas before, when pop/boybands/rap/R&B were really popular, rock groups were sort of a dying breed because they weren't getting picked up by the mainstream. Actually, I don't think that's what you were saying; I just totally made all of that up. Honestly? I don't have any idea. These groups might have been there all along, and they're somehow becoming more mainstream now, whether it's because the recording industry is more amenable to them or people are sick of rap or whatever. But I would imagine that, because rock groups are getting more airplay on so-called alternative stations (which have good enough listenership to no longer deserve the designation of "alternative," LOL), budding groups are being encouraged, and the result might really be a surge in rock/indie groups. I dunno, man. All I can say is, I likes, I likes!!!

Or, we can just give Dan Radcliffe all the credit. :P

Thanks for the good wishes. In about a week, life will be soooo good (assuming my intestines chill the hell out).