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You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

11 Jul

I sit home alone tonight. The hubby is off doing his film reporting duty at the annual orgy of pop culture geekdom, Comic-Con. Ever since Mr. Seibold became a full-fledged film critic a few years ago, we’ve slowly sacrificed more of our Paul-and-Linda level of desired togetherness to the altar of cinema. If he’s not attending a critics’ screening, he’s likely watching DVD screeners, or writing or podcasting about the movies he’s watched, or working his second job…at a movie theater. Some women are football widows or video game widows. I’m a movie widow. But hey, he’s doing what really constitutes his dream job. It’d be like if I woke up one morning and had somehow inherited Cameron Crowe powers.

What does this have to do with my usual ravings about music? Possibly not much, until you realize my husband could just as easily claim to be a live music widow, were he free on more evenings. For instance, I saw the same band in concert three days in a row last week – hooray for Minibar gigs. At practically every show I attend, I explain away Witney’s absence and insist that my wedding band isn’t a decoy meant to drive away creepy drunk guys. Continue reading

Killing Me Softly With His Song

15 Apr

Will Knox, the current object of my musical affection.

You know that feeling you get when you’ve just met someone special, when you’re trying to be cool on the outside but on the inside, you’re doing cartwheels? That pervasive hope that, whatever this is, please oh please let it work out? I’ve realized over the past week that I get that way when I “discover” a new musician that I enjoy. They take over my ears, my brain, and the chunk of my heart reserved for such matters. Speaking with a new friend last night, I repeatedly used the word “obsessed” to describe my fandom over the years for four different artists. Yeah, that’s about right.

The musician-fan relationship can be very much like your typical romantic one. And I’m not even saying you have to have designs ON the musician to feel this way. (Though, Lord knows that’s happened; for example, I cultivated the hugest crush on Dave Gahan for roughly a month after seeing Depeche Mode live for the first time a few years back. The hubby probably was not a fan of our computer desktop’s wallpaper during that time.) This week’s obsession is a charming Brit-transplanted-to-NYC troubadour by the name of Will Knox. I saw Mr. Knox at Hotel Cafe last Saturday with a friend of mine from out of town, who’d seen and met him before and recommended him highly. Since then, that first flush of fandom has followed the beats of a rom-com. All that’s missing is Kate Hudson. Continue reading

I Don’t Wanna Rock, DJ, But You’re Making Me Feel So Nice

17 Mar

Music fans like to pretend like we’re way fuckin’ cool. Each of us believes our tastes are unassailable, our collections immaculate. To quote LCD Soundsystem, “I’ve never been wrong – I used to work in a record store”. And really, I’ve never been WRONG. Even when I was way into Dave Matthews Band in the 90s. Even when I tried to make Antony and the Johnsons happen with my Shreveport friends and was promptly shut down. Even when someone gave me a free Milli Vanilli CD a few years ago, and I accepted it. Though I do worry about its adjacency to Rhett Miller, Minibar and the Minus 5 on my shelf. As if somehow, the scandal will ooze onto the more talented musicians’ records. I’d like to think that the Ministry CD will kick Rob and Fab’s asses if they get out of line. (I have a vivid imagination.)
I’ve never been wrong because, as I’ve stated many a time here in the pages of The Essential Noise, Music Is Subjective. I might hate AC/DC, but maybe AC/DC saved your life. You may rather poke your eardrums out with a grapefruit spoon than hear one note of R.E.M., which means we may not have much to talk about, but that’s your prerogative. And because I believe that Music Is Subjective, I have a rather hard time wrapping my brain around the concept of the musical “guilty pleasure”. Isn’t listening to any music that you enjoy a pleasure? Whether it made you laugh, cry, or pogo in your living room, you still most likely felt something good. It’s possible that the only true guilty pleasures in life come from cheating on your lover or your diet. Continue reading

It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay

16 Feb

I find this post hard to write, and I’m not entirely sure why. I mean, what else could I possibly write about this week but the untimely passing of Whitney Houston? Perhaps it feels too much like everyone else has already had their turn. Surely, you’re tired of seeing her name in your Facebook feed. Perhaps it’s because I was never really a massive fan of hers, though I can certainly appreciate the sheer talent she possessed.

No. Really, I’m having a hard time reporting on the death of Witney Houston because of the way her death has been reported, and mutated, and exploited.

Continue reading

You’re No Good For Me, But Baby, I Want You

1 Feb

Yesterday saw the release of arguably the most argued-about album in eons: Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die. I can’t remember the last time music fans worked themselves into such a froth over an unproven artist. The official reviews are decidedly “meh”. Entertainment Weekly gives Born To Die a C+, while Spin gives the album an almost apologetic 6 out of 10. “This record is not godawful. Nor is it great. But it’s better than we deserve. We broke her; we bought her,” Spin critic Rob Harvilla declares. I wish somebody would bother to explain to me why there is so much vitriol directed towards Lana Del Rey. So, I’m going to try to figure it out myself. Continue reading

It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp

25 Jan

The nominations for the 2012 Academy Awards were announced yesterday. Most film buffs are rejoicing/cursing about who and what is in (Gary Oldman!) and out (Albert Brooks??), but what I thought most startling is the fact that there are only two nominees this year for Best Original Song. According to news outlets, 39 songs were eligible for the Best Original Song nod – but we ended up with two. Since I haven’t seen The Muppets or Rio, I can’t pass judgment on these two songs. Though I like Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, so I’m rooting for him to win for his Muppets song, “Man Or Muppet”. Continue reading

You Probably Think This Song Is About You

20 Jan

As the whole world likely knows by now, Jay-Z and Beyonce welcomed their first child, a little girl named Blue Ivy Carter, into the world about two weeks ago. And while most proud parents send around ebuilient Facebook updates or share cigars, Jay-Z was moved to song. Very soon thereafter, he dropped “Glory”, an ecstatic paean to his baby. Thanks to a sample of little girl Blue crying, “Glory” carries a “featuring B.I.C.” credit – and as a result, Miss Carter now holds the Billboard record for the youngest Hot 100-charting artist in history. Continue reading