Friday, September 14, 2007


So somehow I got put in charge of this whole Hatchetfest thing, and I have no idea what the hell I'm doing and I'm really freaked out and no one is helping me and I think it's going to be a disaster and all I want to do is stay home and watch Ugly Betty.

Ahem, so if you live in NC please come to Hell tonight (a bar in Chapel Hill) to support The Hatchet and watch some really good bands (Monologue Bombs, Jews and Catholics, Cantwell Gomez and Jordan) and simultaneously watch me have a nervous breakdown/ kill someone.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


love you!

My favorite local band

This is a review I wrote for the new issue. Visit Scott at and listen for yourself.

Monologue Bombs
Beverages and Ghosts
Superfan Records
The first sound on Beverages and Ghosts is that of a drum machine being programmed. Soon, synthesizer cymbals, the kind that sound like the those played by a performing monkey in the streets of Calcutta, perambulate before and behind a voice, that of Scott Phillips, a stirring dichotomy of buoyant texture and gravitas. Album opener "December ‘83" is the paramount example of a Monologue Bombs song. Deeply personal, but strangely not confessional or of the naval gazing variety; instead Phillips’ canvas is more akin to Polaroids, the ones we all have in baby books or crumbling photo albums locked in the closets of our parents’ old houses. A funeral where all we can hear is a pop song, the first lessons of empathy, of resilience. Phillips has the uncanny ability to make you feel better by making you feel normal. Like Springsteen, Mangum, or the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, Phillips is not only a great songwriter, he became one by being a great story teller, one whose characters remind us of our uncles or boyfriends or elementary school best friends. We see our lives and ourselves in his songs so connecting to his music comes naturally. The comparisons to the aforementioned artists are not on accident, with special consideration for the influence of Darnielle on Phillips’ delivery. When he performs as Monologue Bombs (as he is in several other notable local projects including the always excellent Goner and sound engineering antics of Heads on Sticks plus probably a dozen more) it is alone on a stage with a body full of instruments; a one-man accordion-keyboard virtuoso. Despite the heavy burden of his instruments his voice is surprisingly lithe, and reminiscent of vocalists whose charm resides in the ability to sound like no one else exactly but reminding us of singers already loved. Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Boss, The Boss’ dark brothers in arms- Richard Buckner and Randy Newman or any modern piano balladeer will find this first album infinitely satisfying. You will take your iPod off shuffle for this album. Often Phillips is able to pull off what would seem clumsy or inchoate in other hands; like writing songs from the perspective of already established and beloved characters, as in "Chino’s Song". In the same song, Chino calls to Maria, "It’s a dirty little island/Liquor signs and neon drones/ find us here, far from home, Corazòn". Most of the time when white boys try to impersonate brown ones they get it unequivocally wrong, but Phillips sings the Spanish words like they belong to him. You can picture her there, or more accurately, not there: the empty fire escape, the river running by, the sound of water falling off of bodies. While Phillips may not be Chino exactly, you believe him when he sings in his voice. Imagine R.E.M.’s "Nightswimming" gone Broadway and you’ll start to hear this song. While Sondheim and Berstein musicals may not be your fortè, remember the story is about star-crossed lovers and the things we do when we are desperate. Again, Phillips is able to make accessible and compelling something previously thought the territory of the other, of drama nerds and mothers.
Three songs in we meet Jason Weaver and hear his story in "Jason’s Song". A 25 year-old pizza delivery "boy" who dropped out of college but still hangs around campus, transporting pies to students both younger and more tenacious than he. He meets a seventeen-year-old "townie-girl" and heartbreaker who dances with him "at the Lazy Star to some watered-down covers band" but ultimately leaves him for school in Texas and a future that doesn’t include him. Jason Weaver isn’t just every man, he’s ever dumped man, but one that ultimately concludes that it is better to have gone through with it than never feel the love that blossoms while you "fall asleep in a tangle on the couch". A vibrant and lively accordion along with the catchiest hook on the record keep the song from being morose, and to the contrary, the sad story of Jason Weaver is another example of how the most acute and significant moments on the record are those that emerge from the contrast between the story and the sound of it being told. You may feel sorry for Jason Weaver, but in the end, you really just want to take him out for tequila shots and a chance to give him another all-nighter to remember.
Phillips is an Anthropologist of relationships, recovering shards of poetry that reveal our intentions like forensic diary entries. He knows that love, like hate, is a thing between two people, and the best way to understand love is to examine what remains after we have left. The next three songs are recovered pieces of relationships. "The Night You Were Conceived" is about the private language that exists between partners and the mundane images that still hold beauty over us. Every day matters (in both senses), the relief and wonder of finding home. Phillips croons over a softly tinkling keyboard here, very nearly a lullaby, and the shadow of Springsteen stands very near the darker edges of this song. "Floaters and Empties" is also about the private language between two people, but unlike the gentle affection in "The Night You Were Conceived" the conversation in this song is the torturous kind; a kind of savage intimacy. Mistakes made under street lamps after the rest of the party went to bed and you are left staring at a sink-full of beer bottles and cigarette butts. The jaunty accordion here seems fueled by the energy of regret and makes the last lines sung sting like smoke in your eye: "Sometimes I wish you’d never met me/ We’re so done for, darling Nikki". "Corner Lights" is about taking chances, ignoring sense, the risk of letting your self be watched, the possibility of love around the corner, the next person through the door. Characters who only know escape from the minutiae and monotony, through the same old drinks, the trysts in dark alleys, ultimately allow themselves to believe that something beautiful can exist after all that, can see "Corner lights, little stars that never fall". Though, it is a precarious kind of tightrope they walk upon, one that can be broken by a few minutes waiting, by self-doubt and anxiety.
"Shadow Tagger" is the most personal of all songs on Beverages and Ghosts, a letter to a friend lost unexpectedly. It is the only song where Phillips does not create a character or someone else’s voice to sing in. Phillips’ voice radiates over muted keyboards, though tender, as he sings a broken-hearted eulogy :"As long as you keep cooling my shoulders/Keep pushing me on/ Keep tagging my shadow/ Sweetheart so-long". Instantly recognizable as something sincere, honest and above all true, this song stands out on an album full of remarkable songs.
Fundamentally an album about relationships, Beverages and Ghosts stands above the deluge of records by other, less talented singer/songwriters simply by being better at what makes the genre great; the melodies are strong and the stories ring true and compel us to listen and remember. The songs are never weighted down by the seriousness with which Phillips takes the characters in his songs. Instead the music remains revealing without being maudlin, and snippets of dialogue sung naturally as part of the story being told propel the narratives and the subjects from mere pop songs to pieces of invented history.

The iPod Shuffle game RETURNS! BRUHAHAHAHA

Another "Ear Out of the Vaccuum" that I forgot to post.

Every so often, a complete waste of time comes along and captures your attention, sweeps you off your feet and promises to spend countless hours with you: at work, in the car, while your supposed to be finishing columns for a deadline…you know what I’m saying. My first love was Solitaire, with many afternoons spent in my grandparent’s TV room, with rows of alternating black and red cards neatly aligned on a TV tray in front of me, my grandfather raptly watching Vannah White’s ass in her cocktail dress of the evening. I then got my first Game Boy, a two pound monster compared to today’s sleek and lightweight models, but one that brought Tetris and all it’s geometric glory to my life. As I started to use computers more I discovered automated Solitaire and thought I would never tire of it. Alas, I soon graduated to the more sophisticated and satisfying Free Cell where I have been stuck for the last 12 years. Until now, that is. Behold, for I now bring you The iPod shuffle game, the greatest tool of the procrastinator and the most endlessly distracting waste of time thus encountered. And it’s music related so really I get to waste time and write this column at the same time, thus not really wasting time. The idea is that you set you iPod on shuffle mode and ask a set of questions, with the song titles and artists and albums making up a kind of answer The best thing about this game is that it can be infinitely modified, personalized and adapted. Credit goes to the one and only Marco Soto, progenitor of many wastes of time and master of all of them. I first read about the shuffle game on his old blog (How Not To Blog) though I am not sure if he invented it. He writes a great new blog called the Midpoint ( where you can learn stuff and laugh and connect with other similarly minded folks and not feel guilty for wasting time because your IQ actually increases by ten points whenever you read one of his posts.
1. How am I feeling today?
"Cowgirl in the Sand"/Neil Young/ Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Holy shit. There is a line in this song that goes "You know it’s the woman in you/ that makes you play this game". That seems apropos. Also, I have felt stuck in quick sand all day and I’m frustrated with where I’m at in my pursuit of my degree so I definitely feel like this is nowhere.
2. Will I get far in Life?
"Exit Only"/ Fugazi/ Steady Diet of Nothing
I am officially depressed. The lyric "Will we leave the last place burning? /Or do we just get leaving?" is particularly awful as well as the album title. Is it possible to plateau at age ten? Stupid shuffle game.
3. What is my best friend’s theme song?
I have a couple so bear with me
a. "Sorry Entertainer"/ Daniel Johnston/ Welcome to My World
Robyn is one of The Hatchet’s writers. Her pieces are my favorite b/c they always make me laugh. She’s the one who begged the Fiery Furnaces not to get arrested before their show in a show preview a few months back. This is funny on so many levels.
b. "Fool for You"/ Ray Charles/ The Birth of Soul
Paul is one of my oldest friends. He’s also the whitest guy I know. But he’s very cool and sweet anyway.
c. "Sentimental Journey"/ Ray Charles/ Genius Hits the Road
Sasha and I have been friends since we met at a birthday party for our mutual best friend Heather when we were in seventh grade. We ditched the other stupid girls who were cruising for Cary middle school guys and got Blue Razz Icees. We haven’t seen each other much lately, though I don’t know why. When I think of her I think of the past, as we had some very fun times. Weird the iPod chose two Ray Charles songs in a row. Freaky-deaky, even.
d. "Jumping Fences"/Olivia Tremor Control/Music from the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle
Mike. Wow. All I can do is quote the first two lines. "Lazy man who can't find his words/All caught up inside his head" Mike and I have done more talking about music than all my other friends combined. We also get in fights constantly. I love him, and we broke into a golf course one summer many years ago, though I don’t remember jumping fences. He was also a film student and worked in L.A. for a bit so this seems right.
4. What was high school like?
."The Youth are Getting Restless"/ Bad Brains/The Youth are Getting Restless
Mother Scratcher! Awesome shuffle game!
5. What is the best thing about me?
"Beautiful Morning"/ Little Brother/ The Minstrel Show
I am an awful person in the morning. But this lyric is totally my MO: "Speechless is all you'd be if we ever met up/ I survived far too much now to ever let up, motherfucker"
6. How is today going to be?
"1001 Pleasant Dreams"/ Mission of Burma/ The Obliterati
Today was a shit-tastic day. Maybe when I go to sleep my day will finally get better. The iPod says so, so it must be true.
7. What is in store for this weekend?
"Jakov’s Suite"/ Tapes ‘n Tapes/The Loon
Better than a Magic Eight Ball. The iPod sees this for my future; "come to me, for silence songs/ it's love the cold sugar-coated shit songs" AKA I will be working on Hatchet stuff all weekend. Just kidding. Whatever.
8. What song describes my parents?
"Ice Age"/ Junk Science/ Feeding Einstein
My mom prefers rubies. But my dad does drive a Jag so maybe there is some obsession with status symbols... It’s especially ironic that it’s hip-hop, as they absolutely abhor rap of any kind.
9. How is my life going?
"Blind"/ Talking Heads/ Naked
The iPod is not very cheery about who I am or where I’m going. Officially mad at the iPOd. Especially considering this lyric "Now tell me what the Hell have we become? /Some dirty little bastards/ What the Hell is going on?" Fuck that, man, though it’s true that occasionally I am a girl in a window and I do not want to die. Like John Irving said, "Keep passing the open windows".
10. What song will they play at my funeral?
"Don’t Have to Be So Sad"/ Yo La Tengo/ Summer Sun
A couple of years ago I got my boyfriend hooked on Six Feet Under and we had a lot of conversations about what we wanted to happen to our bodies after we died. Eventually he made me stop because he was so uncomfortable discussing this inevitable future. When my aunt died a few weeks ago he found out about the history of cancer and heart diseases in my family was really sad and scared for me. It made me love him that much more. This song is such a beautiful song about the relief that love brings, the companionship and the small moments. It’s definitely going on my next mix CD for him. This is a perfect choice for a funeral because it’s about being happy that you know someone and that’s the best we can hope for. I love this part of the song "Because I love you so, and I pray you know/ But I'm not much for praying/ I knew I couldn't say that without making a joke". Love you Bagel, I’m definitely not sad with you around.
11. How does the world see me?
"Long Time Jerk"/ The Clash/ Super Black Market Clash
Ha! Oh my God, this is getting so good.
12. What do my friends really think of me?
"Life Will Pass You By"/ Kaleidoscope/ Egyptian Candy
OK, this is starting to creep me out.
13. Do people secretly lust after me?
"Where is My Mind"/ Pixies/ Surfer Rosa
I have no illusions. I may have designs, but not illusions. Besides, who needs ‘em? Though this is my favorite driving song of all time. How can you not feel like a badass when you are listening to this song at top volume, speeding down the road? Then, they lust for me, I know they do. OK, maybe I harbor a few illusions.
14. How can I make myself happy?
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"/ The Beatles/ White Album
Give me a fucking break, iPod. I know that I have intimacy issues and that I Hate sweeping floors but I pride myself on being a good repressed puritan, so I was most certainly not "perverted". Maybe I need to be perverted and inverted and alerted to be happy. Maybe I need to sweep the kitty litter off the floor. Or maybe I just need to stop being such a pussy and let myself trust someone. Whatever iPod, I know your game now.
15. What should I do with my life?
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"/ Neutral Milk Hotel/ In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
This is one of those desert island albums, those perfect, impeccable pieces of music that changes your life. Maybe I’m supposed to be writing about music like this more often. I love this part of the song: "And one day we will die/ And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea/ But for now we are young/ Let us lay in the sun/ And count every beautiful thing we can see". Maybe I’m supposed to find Jeff Mangum and finagle him out of hiding. And then I’ll have his babies.
16. Will I ever have children?
"Double Rocker"/ Stereolab/ Sound-Dust
Twins! That love rock music! Possibly francophiles!
17.What is some good advice?
"Everything is Fair"/ A Tribe Called Quest/ The Low End Theory
Here is some better advice. Listen to this album as it is still the coolest and just as stellar as it was in ’91. Except for the Arsenio and pager references.
18. What do I think my current theme song is?
"Who Loves the Sun"/ The Velvet Underground/ Loaded
I just got sunburned really badly at the beach last weekend. And I am so over this fucking heat wave.
19. What does everyone else think about my current life?
"Hotel California"/ Gypsy Kings/ The Big Lebowski Soundtrack
Holy shit. I hate the fucking Eagles, man. But this cover is super awesome. So I’m awesome. Clearly the iPod loves me. Plus, "It don’t matter to Jesus".
20. What type of men do I like?
"Rise Up in Dirt"/ Voxtrot/ Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
Obviously, I need a man who is multifaceted. A good man, a hard-worker, one that sees me for who I am and still loves me. "Cause I can be a father/ I can be a brother/ I can be a flower/ rise up in the dirt" The album title is funny for this question, though.
21. Will I get married?
"Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing"/ Marvin Gaye/ The Very Best of Marvin Gaye
I’m taking this as a yes.
22. What should I do with my love life?
"We Dance"/ Pavement/ Wowee Zowee
This seems pretty straight-forward. I love the first line of this song. "There is no castration fear/ in a chair you’ll be with me"
23. Where will I live?
"Sick Friend"/ Aesop Rock/ Appleseed
This does NOT bode well. I feel like I just played M.A.S.H (boys, ask the girls) and got the shack.
24. What will my dying words be?
"Jack the Ripper"/ The One Way Streets/ Back from the Grave
I’m not sure what Jack the Ripper has to do with it but clearly I’m not gonna be gone for long! You can’t get rid of me that easily! Motherfuckers! Bruhahahahaha
25. When I’m having sex I say:
"Busted Afternoon"/ Old 97’s/ Fight Songs
My boyfriend is not happy about this.
26. When I meet a boy for the first time I say:
"Heretics"/ Andrew Bird/ Armchair Apocrypha
27. When my parents are angry I say:
"A Good Man is Hard to Kill"/ Beulah/ The Coast is Never Clear
Seriously, the man is not gonna bring me down.
28. Will I ever get the career I want?
"Be My Queen"/ The Chentelles/ Back from the Grave
That is totally my dream job. Yeah! Good iPOd!
29. What do my colleagues think of me?
"Long Story"/ Rudy Mills/ Let’s Do Rocksteady
Ha! Appropriate. But at least it’s reggae so maybe I’m laid back…though I doubt it.
30. Do I believe in God?
"I Burn"/ Toadies/ Rubberneck
Hmmmm, maybe I should rethink the whole Atheist position. I’m not completely set on that, right?

Why Seeing Slint Doesn't Matter

This is one of my articles for The Hatchet that I forgot to post.
A lot of people love Slint, and Spiderland, the breakout album from 1991 that spurned the hollow hair metal that dominated MTV and most teenagers’ bedroom posters. I was in sixth grade in 1991, had just fallen in love with Jane’s Addiction and was a few years away from spurning metal of any kind and discovering Spiderland or the term post-rock for myself. Flash forward to 1997, my freshman year in college and a doomed relationship with a fellow rock nerd who preferred to listen to records rather than get it on. On many of those sexually frustrated nights we listened to Spiderland, strange bedfellows to be sure. The strangely off kilter drumming, the guitars all stretched out weirdness that hinted at darkness repressed, the vocals, barely intelligible, at times whispered and others straining over the night storms of sound. It was too pretty to be punk, to angled and strange to be straight up rock, it was a different animal, quietly stalking the fringes of indie and college radio friendly pop. Spiderland is the album for music dorks of all stripes, the one that Rush fans and Superchunk die-hards both have on their list of most influential albums, an album that shows those two music fans aren’t necessarily at loggerheads. This is an important album, one that reaches back to hardcore punk and out to avant-garde music fans, one that confounded many listeners who wanted to know what the hell the big deal is, anyway. One that became accredited to shaping the landscape of current indie rock and post rock and math rock today. Some of this credit is, at the least, overly simplified and at the worst, kind of insulting. But ask anyone who loves nineties indie rock why they can’t get past this particular era in music and they will tell you to look to Kentucky, in the late eighties and early nineties and find five guys who put out a great record that accidentally changed rock music.
When the people who throw the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals announced the line up for the cheekily named Don’t Look Back concert series, I and many of my rock nerd brethren and sistren creamed our pants. Nevermind the $20 ticket price, we didn’t get to see Slint play live b/c many of us were in grade school. Holy shit! It was our chance!
Three members of the original Slint: Brian McMahan, David Pajo and Britt Walford, were rounded out by two other players to perform Spiderland as a five piece at the Cradle on July 19th. The tension was palpable. There were a lot of serious Slint fans there, along with many younger kids who may have been turned on to Slint by older siblings or cool uncles or the wacky indie rock neighbor with so many eighties TV show lunchboxes. As long time Slint fan and man about town Jay Winfrey said "I don’t want to be that guy, but there are a lot of kids here who were probably born the year Slint broke up. Shit. I am that guy." Honestly, it was hard not to notice the demographics. It was also hard not to notice the gargantuan, shiny, silver tour bus out front. Also, hard not to notice the $18 price tags on tee shirts.
Raleigh’s very own and very awesome Strange were excellent as always though maybe a weird (notice I did not say strange) choice to open for Slint. Strange is really dynamic and the sound is huge and guitar-y in a good way layered with off beat instrumentation like trumpet. I’m glad they’re back, and looking forward to weirder and wilder outings from them. The pairing with Slint’s quiet quiet quiet LOUD quiet quiet syncopation was like watching Flava Flav get it on with that old blonde lady. Something. Seemed. Off.
What’s stranger than Strange? Watching hundreds of rock nerds queue up to watch a band perform an album that they listened to obsessively fifteen years ago and be disappointed by it. I’ll admit that I was underwhelmed. I’ve written before about music that is intensely private, the kind that you listen to alone, feel deeply connected to because it feels it is being performed for just you. Spiderland is one of those records. It’s hard to listen to with other people, as they inevitably talk over your favorite guitar tremors or whispered lyrics. In my case it was an album I have always connected with deep and needless loneliness, not for any small reason because I too often listened with someone I desperately wanted to pay attention to me. At the show my case was not helped by a girl who was literally resting her can of PBR on my neck as she gyrated to "Breadcrumb trail". Don’t ask me how you dance to that song. I don’t know. I also don’t know how the most obnoxious/ drunkest/ loudest/ dumbest person at a show zeros I on where I will be standing and decides to be right next to me or behind me or in front of me. Said girl finally asked me if she could just stand in front of me as "I was supposed to be on the guest list. I know Dave. Dave Pajo. I was supposed to be on the guest list." She then proceeded to yell out his name and dance through the remainder of the show when she wasn’t going to the bar to refill two cans at a time. Seriously? Stay home. No one cares that you had sex with Dave Pajo or whatever.
After moving out of the vicinity of the ass and hips of the Dave Pajo groupie I was able to notice how much empty space there was. This was not a sold out show, and I was surprised. For an album that matters so much to so many people I was really shocked by how few came. The real surprise hit me as I tried to assimilate what I was hearing with what I had hoped to experience. I wanted to hear Slint play Spiderland, right? Didn’t I? It turn out the answer was, not really. They played beautifully, flawlessly even, That’s when it started to bug me. I was talking to Dave Cantwell of the venerable Cantwell, Gomez and Jordan and he told me he was amazed by their precision, by the fact that "…all those things on the record, the smallest things you thought were mistakes, were recreated there." Exactly. As Art Sieg;eman said, "And that’s when my troubles began." Why do you go to see live music? When I go to see bands I already like I want to see them fuck around, surprise me. I want it to feel spontaneous and special. I was starting to realize that this was going to be the same show that they played in Brussles, in Chicago at Pitchfork, in Las Vegas. This was the album note for note. (They also played two songs from the untitled EP and a ten minute monster called "King’s Approach" which was my favorite moment in the show and the only time they got loud enough.) The show was disappointing because Spiderland hasn’t changed at all, while the rest of us have. I want to make perfectly clear that these guys are excellent and the album is still important. But like a person who is forced into assuming a title he never asked for, I think these guys became something in the minds of fans they never asked to become. They wanted to play the album because they got to go back and learn old material, see how it felt, not deliver the missed opportunity of a lifetime to hundreds of die-hard fans. They never wanted to be the emperor and they sure as hell were not prepared to bring clothes. That being said, the emperor was not only naked he was splayed spread eagle on a stage before a quiet and confused crowd. As my friend Taylor said, "I forgot my policy of not seeing reunion shows, not ever, because they never fail to disappoint." It was good, it was not great. I let my expectations get the better of me, and that always brings out the worst in me. I think the Don’t Look Back series is not a bad idea, per se, I just don’t think it’s what we expected it to be. I’m glad I saw them, but seeing them didn’t matter. None of this matters, not really, not like when it did when you fell in love with the album the first time. And like all love affairs that are maligned by comparisons to that first, sweet and perfect love, this relationship started to feel hollow, empty, a mockery. I couldn’t help but notice that there was some Very Serious Nodding going on. Especially on break out track "Good Morning, Captain", the track that is the quintessential Slint song, the deadpan "Dude, I am loving this band so much, I’m gonna nod my head real slow and hard" track. It made me laugh. That’s when I started to enjoy myself. I had nothing to prove and most of all I realized that seeing Slint didn’t matter, I already had the best experience I was ever going to have falling in love with Spiderland while my then boyfriend resisted falling in love with me. Now what would have been awesome is if they could have performed just for me, at my house, while I sat on my couch with no drunken bitches and no other people around. Because, when it come down to it, you don’t want to share, not really, not with those people.

Love Songs for When You Are 80

Hello loves
I have been absent these many weeks, ah....well...months, mostly b/c I was suffering a severe and awful case of writers block. Then school started and I lost my mind. (note to self: NEVER take two lab sciences ONLINE at the same time) I apologize and I hope to post more often.
Ahem, anyway, I had a dream last night that the man who was my Grandma Becom's closest neighbor, and one of my choldhood hereoes, Mr Scott, was alive and in Raleigh and somehow famous. (When I was little he told me he wrote a novel when he was younger and still had it and had never tried to get it published. This made me unbeleivably sad.) Andrew Wilson, brother to Luke and Owen, had visited him the night before and given him a '45 (a record single for those who don't know, the kind they used to have in jukeboxes) , by Marvin Gaye called "Love Songs for When You are Eighty" (no such song really exists as far as I know). He then gave it to me. I was thrilled. It was Christmas Eve. I took it to work, where I was having trouble getting the lights to come on, and as I stuggled with the strings of Christmas lights, another of the managers took the record from me and peeled it apart and revealed it was never a record at all but plastic utensils, like for picnics. I was vey dissappointed.
We saw Andrew Bird last night at the Carolina Theater in Durham and it was amazing. Getting there was a bit of a problem as the street signs in Durham are of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" variety. (There was even one that had nothing but a question mark and an arrow which made us laugh really hard.) There was an opening band called Auggie March that sounded like Ryan Adams witout any of the stuff that makes Ryan Adams good. They were an unusual choice for an opening band.

Regrettably, Jeff forgot to bring the camera so there are no pics but the stage setting was really unsusual, with victrolas with two horn thingys that spinned and a stuffed monkey, of the sock family, that Andrew Bird brought on the stage himself. He played in his socks, and for how cerebral his lyrics are it makes you realize how playful his music is. Very whimsical. Like an erudite Dr. Seuss with electric violin. He played alomst exclusively old material and admitted that previously he never played material from Eggs because it was really hard to play by humself so for this tour he solicited the help of this Norweigan dude from Minneapolis to play guitar. Outside of this he had no other accompanyment and it was amazing to watch him create the various layers of his songs right in front of you. He used effects pedals and looping and sampling pedals in order to create backgrounds and it was truly thrilling as his violin plucking/ bowing is so unusual and dynamic it makes you feel like he is playing another instrument.
Wow, that song from the Charlie Brown Christmas special, "Christmas Time is Here" just popped up on the iPod and it's kind of creepy considering my dream earlier. Oh well, I love this song. You know the part in the Christmas special where Linus reads the story of Mary and Joesph at the inn and Christ's birth? I was thinking not too long ago that his reading is the only reading that ever really made me believe in God, fall in love with the story. Leave it to Charlie Brown to make a believer out of me.