This weekend I had an interesting conversation with Josh (see his good! Sartorial! Choices! here) ...about women's fashion.
I don't remember exactly how we landed on the subject, but I'm fairly certain we spent a good amount of time hovering over the vast and mysterious landscape of the High Waisted Pant.
Image courtesies to Sophomore NYC.
Josh questioned its aesthetic and asked me my thoughts on the subject. I preempted my answer by exempting myself from the high waisted fray because, as I pointed out to Josh, not everyone can wear a style that completely re-proportions one's torso, and I wouldn't let myself within ten feet of a pair of high waisted trou. Some people (Jessica, Kathleen, I'm enviously talking to you) are able to make it work--and not only that, but make it work well. Dare I say, it's flattering?
I might. But I suspect more than a few guys would disagree with me. Fellas are generally a few steps behind on the fashion curve, and really, who can blame them? Even Roberto Cavalli agrees, recently saying, "Men today don’t have any personality because it’s not permitted. Men want to dress differently but they’re afraid." [FashionWeekDaily]
Men's fashion doesn't go through as many drastic changes as women's fashion does, and what's more, the overall silhouettes in men's fashion have remained nearly the same for decades (with notable exceptions for the fabulous Thom Browne and Hedi Slimane), so a man's opinion on the matter (I'm talking normal average Joe friends of mine, not ferocia Project Runway winners here) is decidedly different than a woman's. But it begs the question: Just who do you get dressed for? And why?
For many of us, the reasons aren't cut and dry: I don't always get dressed solely to please myself, nor do I only dress for other women, and likewise, I'm not constantly dressing for men. Many women fall into one of those three categories almost exclusively, but most of them don't. For most, it's a combination of all three.
But what's more, when it comes to fashion, why do we adhere to the style we've adopted over the years? Why do we buy what we buy? What attracts us to certain items over others? Josh's observation was that much of fashion today isn't about dressing necessarily to flatter the body or to attract men. It's about challenging proportion, silhouette, and trends. In that, there are many styles that I'm drawn to that aren't particularly flattering, sexy, or visually appealing. Yet I appreciate their aesthetics, and so, throwing caution to the wind, I'll wear something that many people deem 'ugly' or 'weird.'
In fact, some of my favorite garments from the past year aren't at all geared toward attracting attention from men OR women, but about the silhouette or avant garde proportion. What Balenciaga did for the jodhpur in Fall '07, Phillip Lim took one step further for a Spring '08 forecast that recalls all things Arabian Nights-inspired. Bunchy thighs, baggy crotches...neither pant instills confidence in me that they'll do any favors for my lower half, and yet, I'm drawn to both silhouettes because they're just so interesting to look at.
There are many designers who make clothing for women that appeal to men. Valentino and Versace both come to mind. But frankly (and with those two venerable fashion empires excepted), I tend to find those designs to be quite boring. One need only look around at a party or bar or restaurant or anywhere public and see that by and large, we all dress pretty much the same. A dress is a dress is a dress, right?
Neither silhouette is particularly 'flattering' or even 'appealing' in the more commonly held sense. And yet, both are exceedingly beautiful and fascinating examples of two designers' vision for what fashion could be. To me, fashion is nothing if not hopeful. I should also note that I'm purposely eschewing more avant garde designers from this post (like Junya Watanabe or Viktor & Rolf) because what I'm showing you are things I'd actually wear--not to demonstrate what fashion can necessarily inspire, but what I choose to aspire to. It's certainly not what I'd imagine most guys would want to see their date wearing, and yet, the question I always come back to in this case is: Do I care?
At the end of the day, I can only speak for myself, one girl who happens to love getting dressed in the morning. Sure, it may not be in the most conventional of terms, but my eye isn't drawn to something like this:
It's drawn to something more like this:
(all images courtesy of style.com)
Writing about high school is never easy. When it's good (Freaks and Geeks comes to mind), it's exceptional. When it's bad (anything that isn't Freaks and Geeks), it's not terrible. It's worse. It's derivative, and moreover, it's apathetic. When movies or books or scripts centering around High School (as a subject) fail to hit the target, it's much less about the movie or book or script being terrible and much more about it being simply mediocre.
And wasn't that what high school was about, anyway? You couldn't be the best. You weren't the worst, either. At most, on your very best day, you were mediocre. You slid by unnoticed by the upper or lower echelons of social status and that was considered the triumph. Sure, there is a lot more to it, but at the end of the day, I'm fairly certain that most of us were neither the best nor the worst, but somewhere in between, along with everybody else.
On Saturday night, Adam and I watched Rocket Science, a whip-smart movie about high school and insecurities and first loves, and all the things that a movie about high school is always about. But unlike so many of its clique-hawking peers, this one manages to transcend the typical clichés associated with a Movie About High School by being simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious.
One scene in particular rises to the surface as one of the best uses music and film since Luke Wilson attempted to end it all with Elliott Smith warbling about needles and hays in The Royal Tenenbaums.
I'll pause right now and warn you that what follows may or may not contain mild spoilers. So if you're the type who so much as hears the title of a movie and immediately knows too much to enjoy the film (Jess), then don't continue reading. But, if you're the type who immediately asks "So what happened?" about any movie you haven't seen (Ashley, I'm talking to YOU), then onward, Christian soldier.
In this particular scene, Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson) has just discovered that the love of his life, or at least the love of this month, Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick), is capable not only of making him love her, but of subsequently stomping his poor heart to smithereens as well. (Didn't give too much away yet, right? No nuanced plot points, anyway. Well, read on.) It's a desperate, terrible moment when you realize, just as Hal does, that even his briefest and most furtive ideas about their future together are nothing but just that--ideas. The type of thing you think about while drifting off in math class. The type of thing that you want so badly to believe will be reality but know that, in fact, it won't be. It can't be.
So Hal responds in the only way a heartbroken kid with a debilitating stutter who just found out that the love of his life was manipulating him to win a debate trophy would: He finds a bottle of booze (the brown type. Lethal, man), sputtering liquid everywhere as he nevertheless plunders on, alternately gulping and gagging, growing more and more drunk until he wobbles on his bicycle to Ginny's house.
Hal's dawning realization and subsequent climactic cinematic freak-out unravels nervously in tandem with the Violent Femmes' "Kiss Off." It's the type of song we all remember from high school, a perennially nostalgic artifact that jolts us into a kind of reverie. Yeah, I remember those times. Those were the times, man, and they were good and man, they were terrible.
So Hal and His Freak-Out pulsate dangerously in response to Brian Ritchie's rambling bassline as the scene unfolds with a kind of frantic, jittery caffeinated high. The fraying climax arrives slowly; Hal's anger churns as he watches Ginny's bedroom window from a house across the street. When her bedroom light--which is shuttered by lace curtains--goes out, he sputters, "She can't be going to bed yet!"
The boiling point gradually bubbles toward the surface ("I take one, one, one 'cos you left me,") as Hal, in an act of drunken desperation, seizes a cello from his friend's living room and proceeds to smash it through the front window of Ginny's house. The entire thing froths and foams and seethes with angst as Gordon Gano finally reaches ten and gasps, "For everything, everything, everything, everything...they'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time!"
At the scene's end, the only response Hal Hefner can pant in his detached agony is, "Um, there's a cello in your house now."
Here's a scene from the movie. I couldn't find any clips of the scene in question, but this should wet your appetite enough to get thee to thine Blockbuster and rent Rocket Science today. Also, type in "Violent Femmes Kiss Off" into your Hypem.com search window and download away, my cherubs.
You can all just kiss off into the air / behind my back I can see them stare / they'll hurt me bad but I won't mind / they'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time.
This article in the New York Times is a bit gag-worthy, but I thought I would share it anyway. It discusses 20-somethings in New York on starting-salary budgets and their ways of scraping by while still living the lifestyle they want to live.
I definitely see aspects of myself in the article (sharing tiny apartments, sneaking flasks rather than paying premium for alcohol, not dying ones' hair/getting cheaper haircuts/not getting mani's or pedi's), yet the stimulus behind the cost-cutting made me question exactly what the motivation is; is it to live a certain type of lifestyle? Or simply that those are things I don't particularly care about and therefore scrimping and saving comes naturally?
Other 20-somethings resorted to more extreme ways of scraping by: grapefruit diets, returning designer swag for store credit, or selling eggs for profit (yeah, not chicken eggs).
One of the guys quoted in the article stated, “I’ll be rich and famous and this is going to be hilarious.”
Living in L.A., there is a certain quality of life that one grows accustomed to, and the cost of living is significantly higher here than, say, where I grew up in Oregon. Sky-high rent and gas prices well ahead of the national average are a small (or actually rather large) price to pay to live in a city which affords more opportunities for success than other smaller, cheaper ones. But at what point do the annual review strategizing and the scrimping and the medical studies for profit and the extra hours of freelance pay off? Do they ever?
And in a city like Los Angeles, where you're more likely to pay something than nothing, how does one negotiate a thing like salary without the financial mores of our age completely taking over?
Chew on that for awhile. I have a rent check to write.
There will be two (count 'em, ah-one, ah-two) anecdotes today about the weekend, as it was a super-sized Morgan Spurlock kind of weekend, spanning its mighty albatross wings from friday till monday. That's four days of unmitigated freedom, folks, and a boot stompin' hoo-ha like that deserves not one, but two anecdotes to pay homage to the magnificence of four straight days of sleeping in. I should note, then, that this post will also be super-sized, with fries, thank you very much.
Alrighty, let's get this party started, shall we?
On Saturday night Adam and I wandered up to Hermosa Beach in search of food--but not just any food, mind you, we had a very specific type of place in mind. It couldn't be a chain restaurant (blech, wretch, the horror!), but it also couldn't be too touristy or gimmicky, as most surfside restaurants are wont to be, it had to be uncrowded (or, if it had to be packed to the gills, the ratio of normal folk to bros had to be at least 3:1), and the final qualification: It had to have a booth, as it was CHILLY on saturday night, y'all. I'm talking sweater, scarf and jacket weather. And I just can't sit with my backside exposed to the elements like that, you know what I mean? It had to have a booth.
So we wandered past the Memorial Weekend revelers in their graphic tees and their bootcut jeans, and found that most places fit none of our criteria, except that a few of them had booths. But the booths were overflowing with bros, and while I do own cowboy boots, I was not in town for the brodeo.
Adam suggested we walk out to the end of restaurant row (where bro meats the brocean) and see if there was anything, I don't know, out on the sand? Under a rock? I suspiciously followed him, certain that there would be nothing except maybe a Bro's Crab Shack at the end of the rainbro.
But lo and behold, off in the distance, a dark and brooding restaurant, shuttered and nearly black against the twilight sky with the words "The Mermaid Restaurant and Cocktails" shimmering in pink neon along the side. We decided then and there that this was the perfect place for us. Inside it was dark and divey, and we were the youngest people in the room.
Our waitress saddled up to the table in snap-on pants and a fanny pack. After a polite bit of small talk, we ordered our food (lobster tail for me, lobster and filet for Adam).
"Schoop or schalad?" She purred.
We both ordered the soup, French Onion.
"I'll bring ya a salad. What kind of dressing do ya want?"
A few minutes later, our she plunked our salads down in front of us, a mound of iceberg lettuce floating lazily in a tepid pool of...ranch dressing. Yum. But, Oh! What's this? Ah yes, our waitress heard our requests: There was also a shimmering layer of Italian on top of the lettuce. Now that's service!
Intermittently throughout the meal, our waitress returned to our table and leaned heavily on the back of the booth, regaling us with stories, one of which is simply too priceless not to share:
"Scho thish one time, I went to dinner with my roommate, my best friend--who's an alcoholic--and thish guy. It was a business thing, and we sat at the bar, all of us, and my roommate and I shared a liter of wine, and the guy got schomething and I looked down at the bar and my best friend, well, she was sitting there with TWO bottles of WINE turned up on their necks in the ice bucket--she drank 'em both! Drank them both up! Scho later she insisted that she was ok to drive--[cackle, cackle, cackle]--
Yeah, she got out to Redondo and was involved in a hit and run. She went to jail that night. Can I get you two a bottle of white Zin? I've never met a girl who doesn't like white Zin!"
"Uh, no...I'll just stick to what I ordered, thanks."
The Black Abe Lincoln*
Sunday night, Adam, Josh and I decided to celebrate Josh's long-awaited graduation from the nursing program at Biola (5 years is one long time, man) with a few drinks at the Pike.
However Adam suggested that we share a cocktail beforehand to make the merriment, well, merrier. I'm not one to resist merriment, so I went along with it. The night was, in fact, overflowing with mirth and merriment, so below I've transcribed the recipe for the Adam Sjoberg Original Cocktail: The Black Abe Lincoln (with commentary, so you know how best to recreate the experience for yourself)
100 ML bottle of Absinthe
187 ML bottle of gas station market Chardonnay, preferably something classy like Sutter Home.
1 sugar cube
1/2 cup water
To recreate this cocktail, it's important to add the ingredients exactly as Adam did. Begin by dumping the entire bottle of Chardonnay (slightly colder than room temp, preferably) into a glass.
[Me: What--WHAT are you doing? Are you going to mix the absinthe with the CHARDONNAY? Adam, that's gross.
Adam: Well you had absinthe and champagne at your birthday, it's the same thing.
Me: That's so gross.]
Now begin to pour the absinthe into the glass as well, with the intention of, I don't know, maybe stirring the whole thing with a spoon and slurping it up right then and there.
[Me: WHAT? You have to louche it. What is this? You're just pouring it straight in? I feel panicky.
Adam: What are you talking about?
Me: Go find the sugar cubes Ashley left over here from the last absinthe party. Ok, do you have a slotted spoon?
Me: Get a spoon. Ok, put the sugar cube on the spoon--ADAM! QUIT POURING THE ABSINTHE STRAIGHT ONTO THE SUGAR! YOU HAVE TO USE WATER! IT HAS TO LOUCHE!]
Place a sugar cube on an unslotted spoon and pour half of the 100 ML bottle of absinthe over the cube quickly. Then fill another glass half full with lukewarm tap water and continue to pour over the sugar cube. When the cube inevitably doesn't dissolve, mash it with a spoon and stir it into your cocktail.
[Me: This is so gross. This is so gross. I don't know if I can drink this...
Adam, eyes wide: We should drink this with LICORICE STRAWS!
Bite the ends off of a standard piece of red licorice. Use as straw to delicately sip the Black Abe Lincoln cocktail.
So there you have it. An original Memorial Day cocktail recipe from everyone's favorite bartender, Adam Sj.
Welcome to yet another episode of Dining Out Dailey, the one where Laurel eats her words, yet again, this time with a side of organic ketchup.
A few weeks ago, Target debuted the press shots of the looks from its collaboration with Rogan, the eleventh Go International designer to design a diffusion line with everyone's favorite cheap chic non-Walmart. The previous collaborations (Luella, Jovovich-Hawk, Proenza Schouler, et al) were mostly enjoyable, with a few standout styles and nothing too glaring or terrible. And then came Rogan Gregory.
Upon viewing the images of his line, I promptly went on an e-tirade to the long-suffering Jen, who endured my manic proclamations of mid-90's hackery with aplomb. By the sounds of things, you'd have thought perhaps I was the Cobrasnake and that I'd just been informed that not only is Polaroid quitting production, but yeah. That Cory girl? She's totally still in high school, man.
Yeah, it was a freakout of epic proportions. Not ONLY is the clothing ugly, I posited, but the styling reeks of washed up Wet Seal rejects and--AND! AND? And the photography is shoddy as well. EXCLAMATION POINT!
To illustrate my point, here are the two worst offenders--the $154 barrel of oil that fuels my holy fire:
The latest look from Talbots: Gaye in Gingham!
Are those bells sleeves in 2008? Don't MAKE me get all Quasimodo on your arm.
Yeah. And the Candy's-style heels and slicked back 'do don't really make me want to drop my hard earned bucks at Target, you know what I mean? On top of everything else, I went ahead and made it personal; not only was the clothing offensive, but designer Rogan Gregory was on my personal List Of Things That I Dislike (to be fair, he was in good company nestled between melon and pleated dress pants).
So imagine my total and utter shock when I stopped by my local Target this afternoon and saw the line in person. It was...not offensive. Glancing over my shoulder, to make sure nobody was watching (nobody at ALL), I took a closer look. Wait a second...not only was it inoffensive, it was...sort of cute. Well, I'm sure the fit would be all wrong, I reasoned, as I loaded my arms with 9 different styles and made off to the fitting room.
But the fit wasn't all wrong. In fact, it was perfect, and with my foot firmly planted in mah mouf, I schlumped off to the register with two dresses, and two shirts. Rogan Gregory, you evil rascal. You not only made me eat my words, but you made me spend all my hard earned cash as well.
What'd I ever do to you, huh?
Last night Josh welcomed about 20 of his nearest and dearest to Babylon for fajitas and family time, as the McBrides of Minnesota were all in town for his upcoming graduation. Hilarity ensued. Etc.
Here are some pics.
They tasted as good as they look
It's complicated with Adam Sjoberg even though
I think he deleted his Facebook status as such
and DIDN'T TELL ME. F you, Adam Sjoberg.
I hate you so much. OR...
Another thing that tastes as good as it looks: Adam and Laurel
put some food in MAH MOUF
g'head, millar. vamp it up.
...and on the right, you'll see an honest-to-goodness Minnesota McBride
J and I
Howen in the background, Jon in the midground, Josh in the foreground.
Wait, is this Heaven? God? Are you there? Did you orchestrate this? You DID, didn't you?! YOU RASCAL!
Last night, I (and about 20 other people) had the pleasure of finally (FINALLY!) meeting Josh's family, The McBrides of Minnesota. It was McAwesome. I'll post more about it later (along with pictures), but after dinner a few of us retired to the
lounge living room and flipped on the tele only to be visually assaulted with the most incredible investment of studio dollars this side of Project Runway:
Ladies and Gents, I present to you,
Wait, God? How did you KNOW? It's because you're omniscient, isn't it? And you sent a Heavenly message to the Internets, who then made a deal with the studios and if this isn't the Holy Trifecta of Incredible, I don't know what is.
Ok, ok, I'll admit; the Kitty Halftime show was a bit contrived (and it might make me a terrible person that I was secretly hoping some of the kitties would choke on the confetti and streamers), but then! Then the puppies took the field and I emitted terrible noises, squeals and sighs and Ooooh's and Ahhh's that prompted Mike at one point to ask, "Are your reactions real? I can't tell."
Oh yes. They're real. But then! THEN there was the Puppy Cam, the camera whose vantage point was from the bottom of the water dish. PUPPY TONGUES! WEE PUPPY NOSES!
I think I just hyperventilated, Internet.
Here are a few of my MVP's (Most Valuable Puppies), courtesy of the official Puppy Bowl IV website.
I can haz fuutbawl? Iz dat awright wif u?
Last night (as mentioned below in my official review) I saw Clinic at the Troub with Doug and Jeff (and supposedly Byron, who never showed up because he got tossed and forgot. Oh, B.). I showed up a few songs into the opening act, Shearwater. They seemed like a pleasant enough band, with a whole stage full of instruments (the ratio of instrument to band member was something like 3:1). Doug commented that it seemed like they raided the Music Room at their elementary school. But the real treat, I have to say, was the very rock n' roll bassoon player, whose name I discovered later, is Thor. Honestly.
Thor was really going for it, too. Really rocking that bassoon, amongst the many other instruments he also dabbled with. But he wasn't messing around, I tell you. No, no. He was all long rock n' roll hair and sleeveless rock n' roll shirt and bright orange rock n' roll pants. But the hair is what got me, and I leaned over to Jeff and said, "I don't know if this is awesome or terrible, but I think Rock 'n' Roll Bassoon and I have the same haircut."
Jeff appraised my doppelgänger for a moment and said, "I think you and Rock 'n' Roll Bassoon have the same OUTFIT as well."
And he was right.
Here's a little story about misconceptions.
While traveling in Hawaii with my family last year, my dad announced one evening that we would be eating dinner at a cafe in Maui. Sure, sure, sounds good. He paused for effect before adding that it was the cafe at the Tommy Bahama store.
For those of you unfamiliar with the pastel wares hawked at the 'Hama, imagine cool breezes, fluttering silk...and pleated khaki trousers. It's not just Dadwear, it's luau Dadwear. It's Dad with a couple of mai tais and 9-holes at the club. And It has a cafe. I whined and protested the grand injustice of eating dinner at an establishment that honestly and enthusiastically sells THIS shirt for $150, to no avail. We were going, and we would likely be waited on by men in linen.
But here's the thing. And by posting this in a public forum, I am officially going on record as saying: The Tommy Bahama outdoor cafe in Maui, Hawaii, is fantastic. I mean it. Sincerely and honestly fantastic. The whiskey sour was the best whiskey sour I've ever had, and if lobster bisque has ever nearly brought you to tears with its creamy goodness, then you know. You KNOW what I'm talking about.
Which brings me to Clinic, the Liverpool band who played at the Troubadour last night.
I suppose it's my own naivete and my own fault, but I've never really seen any pictures of the band Clinic, so I had no idea what to expect visually. I can tell you that what I imagined (tall skinny lads in skinnier jeans and messy hair) is not at all what came walking out on stage last night. What came out on stage was, in fact, Tommy Bahama and the Sunshine Gang, as all four band members ambled out in fully patterned Hawaiian shirts, crew cuts, and...whaaa? Medical masks. Ok. I guess it's part of their schtick, but seriously...Hawaiian shirts?
But unlike my experience at the Tommy Bahama restaurant, I wasn't judging Clinic based on appearances alone, because I am familiar with their music and fully expected them to deliver. And they did. But I never fully got over the visual incongruence.
Opener "Memories" chugged right out of the station, laying a framework of thudding rhythms only to evaporate around Ade Blackburn's indifferent murmur and Beach Boys-esque organ. Blackburn announced the titles of each song a-matter-of-factly before plugging away with the familiar tempo (without his methodical harbingers, it would have likely been difficult to tell when the rest of the band transitioned from one song to the next).
The production was unfussy and the gents' stage presence (or spooky lack thereof) was kookily indifferent; you could swap one salt-and-pepper crew cut, floral silk shirt, or candy-colored guitar for the other and be none the wiser. It's exactly this groove-minded self-consciousness that makes Clinic such an enigmatic outfit. Pick a song in Clinic's oeuvre. Any song. Do you like that song? Well, there's a pret-ty good chance you'll like the rest of the songs as well. The truth is, there isn't much in their musical catalogue that hints at the bands' expected trajectory, as most of what they do (and they do it so well) sounds exactly like what they've done, and, one would assume, like what they will do in the future, but it hardly matters because what they do is beautifully austere garage rock, detached and, yes, clinical. It's a galloping, self-aware, controlled freak-out, and it's just as good in a live venue as it is constrained to an album recording.
Despite their lazy luau-cum-SARS prevention attire, Clinic radiated the kind of reigned-in energy that vibrated just below the surface, cutting the tension in Blackburn's reptilian whine--but just barely. The crowd, at times, would respond spastically with their limbs attached to invisible strings, as though the cool insouciance of the Liverpool lads was simply too much to handle.
The band played plenty of songs from their latest release, Do It!, as well as a handful of older tunes, including a few from my personal favorite album, Walking With Thee. Even their entrances and exits from the stage hummed right along, with two encores to keep the crowd engaged, but never fully committed to connecting with anyone in the room.
There was something so unusually jarring about a handful of aging hibiscus-printed rockers crooning behind medical masks, and it reminded me of my linen-clad waiter at Tommy Bahama and the delicious lobster bisque: it wasn't what I'd expected, but I loved it, nonetheless.
So, I've started a new little somethin'-somethin' you might be interested in. I'm contributing for a lifestyle-art-music website called Neublack, and my latest post (a concert review, which I posted here today as well) is up. Check it out.
And be sure to check back, as there will be many more posts in the future.
Dan Bejar of Destroyer at the Troubadour
You know, every time I think I have this concert thing down to a finely tuned art, something or someone goes and throws a wrench in my perfectly laid plans. Sometimes it's the venue; other times it's the parking, or accidentally getting tossed (as James brilliantly pointed out yesterday), or, I guess, actually getting tossed out of the show (which has never happened to me, but heck, I can imagine. Sucks to be THAT guy).
Last night, Jess and I roused ourselves from our 8 p.m. naps and declared that we are STILL. YOUNG. DAGNABBIT. And headed to the Troubadour to check out Destroyer (Dan Bejar of The New Pornographers' side project). Bejar's elliptical yelps and swooning guitar drive his latest album, Trouble in Dreams, and it was precisely the hope of some comparatively driving live performance that caused us to plunk down our pennies as well as our first born to Ticketmaster and drive all the way out to the Westside (more or less) at 10 p.m. on a Monday night. A snagged spot on Robertson and a whiskey sour later, we wedged ourselves in the back, near the bar (a mistake I vow not to make again, if only for the annoyance of having to shuffle to the side every time a sweaty hipster nursing a hef needs to use the loo). While pushing through the crowds, I was halted by a traffic jam (and since no one really makes eye contact at these gigs, you sort of just wait until someone shoves through and proceed on your merry way). Caught between a post and a paunch, the owner of said 45-year-old gut grinned and slurred, "You can schtand neshxt to me all you want."
Gee, really? Thanks. Good to know there's still at least one decent human being out there. Might want to adjust your bifocals, Uncle Bob, you're skulking around the wrong playground.
I wiggled past, grimacing, and made a beeline to the opposite side of the venue. Right before Bejar et al took the stage, Jess went in search of the restroom while I smugly congratulated myself for my perfect plans, as we'd beat traffic, found parking, and gotten a drink, all in the nick of time. But all work and no play certainly makes Jack a dull boy, and while I watched the roadies bumble about on stage, I felt someone saddle up behind me, all hot breath and bad intentions.
"I'm baaaaaaack," Uncle Bob leered into my hair.
Before I could properly vom the contents of my stomach on his company-issue polo, Jess swooped in from out of nowhere and cockblocked his advances. He sulked for a moment before finally slithering off to some other corner of the room and Dan Bejar took that cue to start the show. Good call, Dan. Suriously, homeboy.
Now let me point out two things right now: I didn't take notes, I can't remember the setlist, and I forgot my camera. I know. Rolling Stone called, they apologized for being so inferior and wondered if I might freelance some of the Awesome for them sometime. Sure, I said. But. But! I did remember every single detail nevertheless and used my formidable Illustrator skills to render the evening exactly as I remembered it (see pic above), minus sweaty Uncle Bob. The set was more keys driven than the album, a little surprise I found quite pleasant in the midst of Bejar's utterly unique vocal deliverance. A note on that as well; Yep, he really does sound just like that. Even when he talks, albeit a bit more scattered and out of breath.
"Foam Hands" lulled the audience into a trancelike state before he nudged us into a complacent sway with "My Favorite Year," a driving guitar crooner with a JAMC-meets-The Doors tempo. Destroyer played for an hour or so, followed by a three-song encore, and before I knew it, I was strolling back to my car thinking that perhaps my plans weren't thwarted after all.
Jody: yay for computer class with internet. I have my mid term today, we have to draw a military jacket yahoo.
Laurel: you know that all sorts of drama goes on in computer class. is stephanie pratt there? tell her to get RID of those bangs, already.
Jody: I'll leave her a note on my computer screen.
Laurel: "Honey bee, ditch the bang-o-rangs, mmkay? You look like a Baby Sitter's Club cast member drop out: Stephy, She of the Formidably Swooping Bang. Claudia Kishi would SO not approve. And neither do I. --xoxo, Jodes"
Do you like reading about music? Do you like hearing new tunes? Do you like humor so exasperatingly drawn out and perfectly articulated that it takes no less than 10 run-on sentences to completely hit the nail on the head? Because if you do (and you SHOULD), then read this. James says it perfectly every. Single. Time.
His first paragraph in particular is so familiar and so ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON it's as though he's gone all Being John Malkovich and crawled inside my brain.
Adam sent me an email chock full of hilarious pictures from his time culling the Internets for hilarity (you should try it sometime, really.), and one of them was accompanied by this comment:
Laurel maybe "overdoing" it
To which I have to sort of shrug and say, Yes. Yes, I think you may be right. But it prompted me to respond with a little sartorial anecdote from the weekend:
Actually, you would have laughed at me this weekend. I was up in thousand oaks at Tyler’s parents house with some people and it was TOO EFFING HOT to think, or shower, or be even remotely presentable, but on Sunday we went to ventura to thrift shop, so this was my process from the moment I woke up, till I walked out the door:10am. Woke up. Marrrmmmmph it’s too hot. Too hot. I’m wearing an AA deep v, but it’s a couple sizes too big because I sleep in it, and it hasn’t been washed in like a week or something or many many sleeps. So I roll out of bed and put on cut off shorts. Sorta ratty. But whatever. My legs need to BREATHE, and who cares that I haven’t shaved them in a couple of days?I eat a hot dog at 10:30am. Yum. No time to make breakfast, a hot dog will have to do. Too lazy to put it in a bun. Chew on frank (with ketchup) for a bit. Read “Everyday with Rachel Ray.” Think to myself, Rachel Ray is one annoying perky biatch. I smell something unsavory and I think it might be me so I shuffle to my bag and spray some perfume on every square inch of skin and clothing. Feel much better. But something’s missing...hmm. Oh yes, accessories. Throw on a couple of necklaces. One is a snake (ooo the devil) one is a rosary (good vs. evil, sort of like clean vs. dirty, sort of like me vs. myself)11:30am we are ready to walk out the door for Ventura. Shoes...shoes...hmmm. I’m wearing an oversized sleep shirt, a rosary, and denim cut offs. My hair is not only unwashed, it’s hot tubbed, and air dried out the window of a car going 80 mph. Also, my sunglasses sit crooked on my face. Whatev. The shoes for the day, I decide, are my 4 1/2 inch Pierre Hardy platforms. BECAUSE WHY THE HECK NOT.
Why the heck not, indeed.