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wordy word-kisses

4 Nov

i absolutely hate scrabble.

everyone i know, or mostly everyone i know, because mostly everyone i know is a writer of some kind, loves scrabble. i want it to die. i want scrabble to suffer.

i love words, though. sentences, clauses, paragraphs, lyrics, dialogue, pages, books… love.

i spend much of my vacations/roadtrips with my friends writing down the funny things they say. with every book i read, i find a way to highlight (not with a pen) phrases or words or paragraphs i love.

anyway, i noticed over the weekend i have several drafts saved of phrases/quotes in my phone that i like, and i guess i should do something with them rather than just letting them sit there. so, here goes. words and phrases i like. try to contain your excitement, yeesh.

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the sun shines, but i don’t

24 Oct

let me begin by saying: this album deserves a better post than this.
anyway.

“mellon collie and the infinite sadness” by the smashing pumpkins turns 15 today. so does my cousin. i’ve been thinking a lot about these two lately, and about turning 15.

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an open letter to record labels

29 Aug

dear record labels, big and small:

i’ve been an entertainment writer for four years, and i can’t put a label on farewell flight. i have no idea if these boys are playing rock ‘n’ roll or pop or country or ambient indie rock or whatever ridiculous label you want to throw on them. the only label i can put on farewell flight is “essential listening.”

since seeing the band live a few years ago here in tupelo, farewell flight has been a constant companion. its debut, “sound.color.motion.” stays in my car, and it’s one of my most-played albums on my work itunes. i’ve put various farewell flight songs on a billion different mixes, for friends, boyfriends, crushes, family.

i don’t know where my music taste will take my over the years, but i know “sound.color.motion.” is THE album of my 20s. i relate to it more than anything else i’ve heard. it comforts me and excites me. it’s my security blanket. i’ve joked that i know it better than i know myself, but that’s actually a pretty true statement.

i’ve spent the last four years interviewing and getting to know unknown bands, and, hands down, farewell flight is the hardest-working band i’ve ever met. there are no vapid girlfriend “managers,” no buddy who doubles as a booking agent, no exaggerations about big shows or opportunities. farewell flight is just these four guys, doing all their own booking, managing, promoting, driving. need proof? listen to “phones.”

i’ve only met this band a handful of times; i interviewed lead singer luke foley once, and have chatted up various band members occasionally after gigs. still, i have more respect for them than i do almost anyone else in the business right now. success should come after hard work, and these guys have put in their share. it’s time they get a hand in getting their music out.

also, just an fyi: “essential listening” is the same label i have for artists like john lennon and jeff buckley. i’m just sayin’.

love&unicorns,

sheena

forever and ever, amen

15 Jul

or, only the good die young.

in an attempt to Be Friends, the ex-boyfriend (of the “she doesn’t love you” post) came over recently for a chat.

i suppose it went well, since no yelling was involved, although there was an overabundance of eye-rolling (he’s bought into some sort of self-help/scientology-sounding system, full of stars and collisions or something. i stopped listening after he said we were all stars…or maybe he said planets. anyway.).

ex tells me he’s getting all these new tattoos, or getting some filled in, soon. his tattoos usually make an appearance at least once per conversation.

and, as always, he tells me: “you need to get a tattoo.” (this is usually followed by, “it would be so hot,” which is usually followed by me rolling my eyes some more)

and i give him my same response: there is little in this world i love enough to get it tattooed on me permanently.

looking around the room, full of pictures or references to music, tv, books and movies that i love, he tells me, “you can’t tell me that out of everything in this room, there’s nothing you’d want a tattoo of.”

i told him no, there wasn’t. outside my family, there are only two things on god’s green earth that i’m certain i will love FOREVER: my very, very closest bffs (only like 2 people), and bette davis.

i thought more about it later and decided i could amend this to include jeff buckley and the beatles.

therefore: give me my best friends, my bette, my beatles and my jeff, or give me death.

death.

then it hit me. so many of my artists i love – and the ones who especially mean a lot to me, who are like idols – are dead.

this really hit home a few weeks later, on the anniversary of michael jackson’s death. mj meant a lot to me – he, my cousin shawna and my barbies were my constant companions growing up. i remembered him on june 25 by watching “this is it” with my mom…while wearing my john lennon shirt.

john lennon, michael jackson, bette davis, jeff buckley, michael hutchence, ian curtis, hank williams.

all artists. all artists i love, almost worship. all dead.

i’m sure someone smarter than me has written blogs or books or something about why people are so enamored with celebrities, especially dead ones.

i think some of it is the entire romantic/tragic aspect, as so many celebrities seem to pass away way, way, way before their time, if in fact they ever had a “time” at all.

and it’s interesting to see how so many of these people are turned into near-saints after their death. i’m not saying mj was guilty of anything in particular, but come on, we’re all guilty of things, big and small. jackson was only ever perfect on the dance floor, but since june 25, 2009, his reputation glows as a child’s might.

i wonder, too, how safe/lazy it is to idolize someone who’s passed away. they have no way of ever letting you down. they can’t make a bad album or movie, they can’t attack a car with an umbrella, they can’t go on rants (and those rants can’t be made into awesome remixes), they can’t jump on couches. death can turn a b-movie into a classic and a forgettable song into the kind you cry to.

maybe i’m overthinking all this, but it’s just funny how i give such love and devotion to late stars, while the ones who are still here, well, i love them, but not to that scary degree. i don’t know. i guess it feels like, if i ever met joss whedon, or jack white, or jay-z (what is with all these j’s?) or gerard way or cyndi lauper, i’d feel love and fascination and want to ask them a billion questions. for my dearly departed idols…it’s just a stronger feeling.

kinda funny how that is, i guess.

who knows. maybe ex was right. maybe we are all stars. or planets. or something. and maybe we’re all colliding…just in different ways, in different times.

ok. somebody stop me.

you’re right on the ‘anthem’ part

8 Jul

nothing’s more aggravating than being in a love-hate relationship with a band.

i’ve written previously about my love-hate with kings of leon – which is, 99 percent of the time, a lovey-dovey relationship, unless i’m in one of those Rare Moods – but right now my love-hate is with the gaslight anthem.

my first intro to the band was its song “the ’59 sound,” which blew my mind. that song can either make me cry or almost make me cry nearly every single time i hear it.

recently, on the way back from an assignment, i put on my rock mix and “great expectations” came on. just like i did with “the ’59 sound,”  i felt an immediate connection to the lyrics and the feel of the music, and i almost wanted to cry again. i also felt a little, like, back off there, gaslight anthem – stop saying everything i worry and think about!

i felt like – and this is a pretty big thing for me to say – i’d found my new, or my generation’s, new “the pretender” by jackson browne.

“the pretender” is one of my all-time favorites. i loved the music first, and as i got older i loved and identified with the lyrics. “great expectations” follows in that same vein. i love the feel of the music, but once i really listened to the lyrics, i heard myself in there, wondering the same things brian fallon’s wondering.

the rest of the band’s debut album, “the ’59 sound,” isn’t quite as magical to me. i like it, though. but the whole is weaker than some of its parts.

gaslight anthem’s always been accused of ripping off bruce springsteen, who, i’m sorry, i’ve never really liked.

and i can totally hear how people could say they’re ripping him off, cause yeah, it’s all kinda springsteeny. and yet i like it. UGH. frustrating.

another double-edge sword: the whole anthem sound that gaslight anthem can make so effortlessly. part of me loves it and wants to scream along at a show, and pump my fist in the air and maybe (ok, probably) cry. another part of me hates that the band’s created these anthems that hit just too close to home and are too much like my life and my childhood and MAKE IT STOP I DON’T WANT TO GO THERE.

but am i buying the new gaslight anthem record, “american slang”? tonight, probably.

despite all this debate, this song makes me cry:

and this is just pure genius:

301

6 Jul

what’s your favorite beatles song?

that’s a question i posed to some friends, musicians and music lovers about a week ago.

i had the inspiration to ask after a conversation with todd, a photographer at our paper. we were on our way to an assignment and, being such big music fans, we started talking music, and the beatles. much of the conversation was just about how amazing the beatles were.

then todd asked, “what’s your favorite beatles song?”

two things popped up in my mind the minute he asked: one, almost no one has ever asked me that, and two, “dear prudence.” of course.

he seemed surprised by my answer. “dear prudence” is sort of a new-ish choice for me; previously i probably would’ve said “in my life.” but as i’ve gotten older, i’ve come to love “dear prudence.” the music, the feeling behind it – i just think it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

another reason why i love it is because i see things when i hear it. colors, images, shapes. i don’t do that very often with music and i think only the most special songs really have that affect on me.

todd’s favorite is “strawberry fields forever.” he said he thinks the music is beautiful, and that it sounds dangerous. i’d never heard the song described that way.

i’d ripped my vinyl copy of “revolver” to mp3 and burned him a copy, so we gave it a spin. he wondered why the beatles started the record with such a punk rock song as “taxman” instead of something like “she said she said.”

i really enjoyed talking with a true beatles fan about the music and what made them excited about it. so i decided to ask my friends, out of the 301 beatles songs (according to wikipedia), which is your favorite? why?

here are the responses i received.

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rathers

16 May

most of the time, i feel like my tomtom, who my friends and i have nicknamed “svetlana.”

anytime i get lost (which is often, despite the owning of the svetlana), she can almost always rework her directions to acommodate whatever stupid turn i’ve just taken or not taken. no matter where i go or how i mess up, svetlana can always find another way around to get where i’m going. you can almost see her thinking, “no, no, that’s cool – hold up – i’ve got another way to get there.”

and that is generally how i live life. if something happens that i don’t want to happen, or something i’d rather not happen, whatever, i just keep barreling through. i find another way around it to get where i need to be. i try not to get too flustered and just focus on the desired destination.

but, lately, i can’t help but think, i just want to drop these directions and be somewhere else. i suddenly want to – in almost every single situation in my life – drop what i’m doing and go do something else entirely. i don’t think i’ve ever been so restless.

here are some things i’d rather be doing right about now.

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