Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Five Best...Songs from Marquee Moon

#5. "Elevation"

I sleep light on these shores tonight
I live light on these shores.

#4. "Little Johnny Jewel"

Oh, Little Johnny Jewel,
He's so cool.
But if you see him looking lost,
You ain't gotta come on so boss

#3. "See No Evil"

Don't say unconscious
No, don't say doom.
If you got to say it,
Let me leave this room
'Cause what I want
I want now,
And it's a whole lot more
Than anyhow.

#2. "Venus"

Suddenly my eyes went so soft and shaky.
I knew there was pain but pain is not aching.
Then Richie, Richie said,
"Hey man let's dress up like cops, think of what we could do!"
But something, something said, "You better not."
And I fell.

#1. "Marquee Moon"

I remember the light of darkness doubled,
I recall lightning struck itself,
I was listenin', listenin' to the rain,
I was hearin', hearin' someone else.
I'm in the high point of my night, I feel so impressive, life,
All this time with the Marquee Moon, but just waitin'.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Misunderstood" by Wilco

I returned home to Selkirk, New York a few days ago, and this song has been in my head ever since.

"You still love rock 'n' roll."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Twenty Best...Wilco Concert Songs

If I could plan the songs that I'd hear when I see Wilco in August, this is what the setlist would look like (although they're sorted by album, not the order I'd want to hear them in):

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

"I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"
"War on War"
"Jesus, Etc."


"Casino Queen"
"It’s Just That Simple"

A Ghost is Born

"At Least That’s What You Said"
"Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
"The Late Greats"

Being There

"Say You Miss Me"
"Outta Mind (Outta Sight)"
"Sunken Treasure"


"Can’t Stand It"

Sky Blue Sky

"You are My Face"
"On and On and On"

Mermaid Avenue, Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2

"Remember the Mountain Bed"
"California Stars"
"Airline to Heaven"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good Ship Storm Queen

Two days ago was the last day of school (as I type this, many of my friends are at graduation, being held at a church near Lang College), and as a nice end-of-the-year activity, so to speak, I helped move a boat yesterday.

For the last two semesters, Lang on the Hudson, a New School class, has been building a whitehall gig, which would eventually be named The Storm Queen (terrible name, I know), at the Boat Shop, located on 14th Street, near Union Square. The whole shebang is being looked over by Rob Buchanan, who also serves as the faculty adviser for the New School Free Press, and is just generally an awesome man.

I'm not actually a part of the class, but I did help them move the boat from the Shop down to the Hudson River and eventually to its final resting place at Pier 40. Luckily, the weather was beautiful, and the looks of people seeing us roll a boat down fifth avenue was worth it alone.

At one point, a man rolled down his window and said to me, "I came over in a boat like this. Very few of us made it." To which I responded, "I'm sorry?" Not quite sure how you respond to something like that.

Nadia also happened to notice that we passed Waris Ahluwalia, who was in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic, going down 11th Street. I make note of this because Rob bought everyone who helped launch the boat a Team Zissou-esque hat, referring to Billy Murray and his gang in Life Aquatic.

When we finally got it down to the pier, The Storm Queen and last year's boat, the Quixotic, had a race. I was in the Quixotic, and luckily, we won.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday, taken by Mr. Buchanan:

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Thoughts of an All-Night College Student

Last night, instead of finishing my final papers by midnight and going to sleep, I instead finished them around 2 a.m. and didn't sleep at all. To pass the time, I watched The Marx Brothers' fantastic Duck Soup (one of the funniest films of all-time), and watched YouTube videos, including:

"Round Here" by Counting Crows

Round here, we're carving out our names
Round here, we all look the same
Round here, we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs
Round here, she's slipping through my hands

"Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens

Oh the glory when he took our place
But he took my shoulders and he shook my face
And he takes and he takes and he takes

"Idiot Wind" by Bob Dylan (alternate version)

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I'm finally free,
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
You'll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And I'll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.

"Pig" by Dave Matthews Band

This love will open our world
From the dark side we can see a glow of something bright
Oh, there's much more than we see here
Don't burn the day away

"The One" by Backstreet Boys

There you were, wild and free
Reachin' out like you needed me
A helping hand to make it right
I am holding you all through the night

My friend Kayley and I had a long discussion about "The One" and the album it's from, Millennium, last night. Not in its artistic merits (of which it, of course, has none because, come on, it's boy band music), but rather what it means to us. For me, it brings me back to middle school going into high school, not having developed a strong sense of musical quality quite yet, and listening to what was popular on WFLY 92.3, a top-40 station for Albany, NY. During that time, when boy band music was at its peak, the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were everywhere, and you couldn't help but hear their songs no matter where you went.

Looking back at that time, everything seemed so simple and there was no worrying about finishing up finals, getting an apartment and the financial woes that come along with it, and it was a time that had a certain amount of innocence attached to it that'll never be reached again.

I'd never want to return to those days, but while listening to the simplistic "The One," I can't help but look back on them with fondness.

(As for the picture, I didn't take it but rather grabbed it from a Facebook group. I feel I have the right to do so because that's my graduating class and I know everyone in the picture, and it also reminds me how little I want to go back to high school.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Waiting for the Train

After spending a few hours with my friends at the Slaughtered Lamb, a bar in Greenwich Village, and feeling very young because they were carding (I’m only 20), I left the place walked down to the 1 train at the Christopher St. station.

While waiting for the train to arrive, and without my iPod, I began listening to the saxophone player on the other side of the tracks. I couldn’t actually see the musician, but recognized the song he/she was playing: “And I Love Her” by the Beatles.

Normally, I don’t listen to the subway players because I’ve either got my headphones on for my iPod or I’m talking with a friend, and also because most of the time, they’re just not very good.

But there was something about the saxophonist that captured me.

The station was very quiet with no train near, allowing the sound of the sax to echo off the walls, making for a very solemn sound—and one that was oddly mature for someone playing in the subway. It didn’t sound like he/she was playing to make money (although I’m sure that had something to do it), but they were also playing because they loved playing the saxophone.

As the song progressed, I find myself singing along quietly under my breath, and soon enough, again from a person I couldn’t see, someone started singing out-loud:

Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
Will never die
And I love her

It was the closest to a Disney “everyone-knows-the-words-and-sings-a-long” moment I’ll ever be a witness to.

Soon, my train came and although I only listened to that unseen saxophonist for a few minutes, I can still hear those notes bouncing around my head, and if I had been on the other platform, I’d have gladly given the guy a few bucks—something I haven’t done yet in New York City.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Those Awkward High School Years

A look at the greats before they were great. Try to guess who they are (answers below):

From top: Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Steve Holt (!)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Five Best...Tom Waits Movie Roles

#5. Dr. A Heller in Mystery Men

#4. R.M. Renfield in Dracula

#3. Buck Merrill in The Outsiders

#2. Tom Waits in Coffee and Cigarettes

#1. Zack in Down by Law

Honorable Mention: Radio D.J. in Mystery Train playing Elvis' "Blue Moon."

At 9 a.m., Waits will be doing an online press conference, supposedly to announce a tour called Glitter and Doom. Can't wait! Waits is one of the very few artists that I'd pay a lot of money to see, along the lines of paying $110 the first time I saw Bob Dylan.


Here are the tour dates:

June 17- Phoenix, Orpheum
June 18 - Phoenix, Orpheum
June 20 - El Paso, Plaza Theatre
June 22 - Houston, Jones Hall
June 23 - Dallas, Palladium
June 25 - Tulsa, Brady Theatre
June 26 - Saint Louis, Fox Theatre
June 28 - Columbus, Ohio Theatre
June 29 - Knoxville, Civic Theatre
July 1 - Jacksonville, Moran Theatre
July 2 - Mobile, Saenger Theatre
July 3 - Birmingham, Alabama Theatre
July 5 - Atlanta, Fox Theatre

No New York. Lame. Here's the press conference video.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Five Best...Songs from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

#5. "Two-Headed Boy, Pt. Two"

Two headed boy she is all you could need
She will feed you tomatoes and radio wires
And retire to sheets safe and clean
But don't hate her when she gets up to leave

#4. "Holland 1945"

The only girl I've ever loved
Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive
One evening 1945
With just her sister at her side
And only weeks before the guns
All came and rained on everyone
Now she's a little boy in Spain
Playing pianos filled with flames
On empty rings around the sun
All sing to say my dream has come

#3. "The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. One"

When you were young
You were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet

#2. "Oh, Comely"

Goldaline my dear
We will fold and freeze together
Far away from here
There is sun and spring and green forever
But now we move to feel
For ourselves inside some stranger's stomach
Place your body here
Let your skin begin to blend itself with mine

#1. "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"

Now how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
And now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter clothes
With one you loved so long ago
Now he don't even know his name