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catching up, part 1

I was on an overnight at AU on Thursday and Friday, and as a result, didn't get to post.

Wednesday was officially "Making Fun of VA Politicians Day"
Kos on Allen
Wonkette on Kaine's eyebrow

On the bright side...
...more americans call themselves Democrats
...considering the direction of the GOP right now
AND...Warner (IN 08'!) does well with focus groups

Personal update: colleges

I am now officially into every college I applied to!...I won't bore you with the whole list, but my top choice is Oberlin, and my back-up plans are William and Mary (not a safety, duh), Grinnell, and American University.

OBERLIN!!!! The only problem is that I need money to go to Oberlin, seeing as I got money from all the colleges that weren't dirt cheap to begin with, and my parents will make the argument.....
I don't feel the need to continue that sentence.

more immigration law protests

Protests continue in California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, and...Northern VA. Yet again, the remarkable thing is that the protests are among high schoolers and are truly grass-roots, as they have been organized locally for high school students by high school students.
I joined in when the protesters passed by my school. The rlington County Police misled many of the students into thinking we would be arrested if we went into DC. Some of the leaders of the protest (who I was talking t0) wanted to stay in Virginia - some wanted to go to DC, and as a result, the protest stayed in VA.
Initially I was one of the few non-hispanics with the group (my sister is Latino), but after someone pulled the fire alarm more students joined the group. At one point, a Wakefield bus pulled up beside us, and the police tried to convince students to pile in to go back to school. Many did. The second bus that pulled up was far less successful because one of my friends started a chant for people not to get on the bus. In general, the police tried to intimidate the students, albeit in a friendly way.
¡Si se puede!

Tracy Chapman - Talkin' About A Revolution...because I'm in that kind of mood

oppposition to the immigration bill = populism

Since the Iraq war in 2003, I haven't seen an issue that gets my fellow students as excited and involved as the new immigration bill.
While the mainstream press has been covering Bush's toting of the bill and student protests of the bill, there has been little mention of the reason for the intense opposition to the bill: it makes being an illegal immigrant a felony, and helping immigrants a misdemeanor.
Besides being entirely unenforceable, the bill will create a culture for immigrants where they can be exploited by their employers, who can turn them in at any time. Likewise, I find the bill's criminalization of helping immigrants, especially coming from a president who claims to be a compassionate conservative, hypocritical.
Love your neighbors, but only if they've got a green card? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but only if they're legal?

this past weekend's concerts...

Despite not having attended any of them, I'm posting links to the reviews of people who did.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Matt Pond PA: description of the show from their own tour diary

Magic Numbers: Pop Musicology complains about some attendees' behavior

sunday randomness

I'm not even bothering to categorize the parts of this post, because it's all over the place.

[beginagainmusic] has death cab for cutie rarities. NICE.

What I learned at the record shop. Link courtesy of largehearted boy

Putin's a plagiarist? I never would have guessed (laughs inside). When I started reading Kos' post I was wondering if Putin had done something Stalin-like...*sigh of relief for Russia*
I'm thinking Bush looked Putin straight in eye and saw...another version of himself.

On a oh-so-slightly-related note, a post opinion piece notes the comparisons in Congress to the opposition (whoever it may be at the time) to dictators. Interestingly enough, I find the comparisons to Stalin to be much more accurate than the ones to Hitler. hmm...

"Marriage is for White People" - I found it particularly interesting that this article noted that family conditions of african-americans tend to followed by whites later. Which means there are going to be a lot of unmarried white women in my generation - though a disproportionate number of white guys I know very explicitly have marriage in their plans for the future...and they're still in high school (seniors, but)!

upcoming shows and more...

The Arctic Monkeys concert tommorow will be livecast on NPR...

Destroyer on March 29 (aka the drummer of the New Pornographer's band)
Destroyer - Watercolors Into the Ocean

Former Q And Not U lead singer John Davis and Laura Burhenn = Georgie James who are playing at the Black Cat on April 15. I feel like "Long Week" really describes my week - especially since I had an out-of-character breakdown on Friday. IB Mock exams really get to you.

NPR also has samples from the new built to spill album and others

further randomness

  • Democracy Forum cites Feingold's qualifications for 08'...hmm...
  • The Saint Patrick's Day rap about the Potato famine makes me insanely happy
  • This I Believe essay about the power of of my favorites of the recent ones
  • Bush's LACK of manliness is the problem??? Harvey C. Mansfield has it SOOO wrong...and a post editorial sets the record straight.


For a guy who hasn't done a lot lately but raise money and generally be a senator, THE MAN is getting a lot of coverage...

  • Kurtz points out the sudden change in Democrat's comments about THE MAN since he emerged as the GOP Frontrunner for 08'
  • Wonkette comments on Fortune's interview with THE MAN where he reveals he's technologically ignorant.
  • apparently there's going to be a webcast of THE MAN's appearance at an event for McGavick's Senate Campaign
  • American Scream says people like me are idjits.


  • Dashboard Confessional goes producer and college heavy on their new album and upcoming tour, respectively.
  • Two takes on the Bring 'Em Home Now! concert from the mainstream media (one, two). And some blogger takes here and here. Pictures here and here. Tell me if you went and want me to link to you.
  • Santana takes his own shot at Bush

What I said about Stuart's dancing a few posts ago...see it for yourself.

news, old news, and such news as you have never heard of! the line from Taming of the Shrew, which we performed at the Folger Festival on Thursday. Yep.

In Music:
  • Shirley Manson (Garbage) is going solo...which I'm seriously looking forward to hearing
  • The White Stripes and Brendan Benson's solo careers may be over...instead, we get the Raconteurs...Did I mention "Steady As She Goes" is an awesome song?
  • NPR interview with Dan Bejar (Destroyer) enlightens why the drummer for the New Pornographers is always so drunk in live performances...among other things


  • The Patriot Act, Monopoly style
  • Lord of the Rings is a play???


  • A post columnist discusses the differing Republican and Democratic perspectives on what will determine the 2006 elections. One sentence summary: while the Republicans think voters will look at how their districts are being served, Democrats think voters will consider their happiness with the way the entire country is being run. I'm with the Republicans as far as the House in districts where the congress(wo)man has been in office for a longer period of time. In the Senate, national issues definitely matter much much more, and I think the Democrats will be able to get more done if they pick their candidates carefully.
  • Meanwhile, Huckabee embraces destroying the separation of church and state. And Kos complains about it. My dismissal requires one word: McCain?
  • So Nama stands for Nasty-Ass Military Area? Thanks Andrew.
  • So truthful...Bush worries about how he'll be remembered. Only the Onion could hit the nail on the head so hard.

additional post-Metric and Islands thoughts

  • DCist's review...which has the set list, but no comments about the opening bands
  • Seeking Irony's review, which has excellent pictures of Emily Haines
  • ...The Underrated Blog has 2 Islands SINGLES!!! for downloading

Meanwhile......Islands is playing at the Black Cat on April 25!

Otherwise, most of the bands I'd recommend seeing are already sold out. Some notable exceptions are:

  • Matt Pond PA w/ Youth Group (Mar 18) @ 9:30 Club
  • Stereolab (Mar 21) @ 9:30 Club
  • Animal Collective (Mar 21 too) @ the Black Cat
  • The Magic Numbers w/ the Elected (which I REALLY want to see, but I have a IB topics mock exam the next day...) March 23 @ 9:30 Club
  • Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins (March 23 as well) @ the Birchmere
  • Eisley (Mar 28) @ 9:30 Club
  • Dinosaur Jr. (Apr 5) @ 9:30 Club
  • Alkaline Trio (Apr 12) @ Nation
  • Anti-Flag w/ a bunch of good opening bands (Apr 14) @ 9:30 Club
  • The Strokes (Apr 26) @ Constitution Hall
  • Great Big Sea (Apr 28) @ GW Lisner Auditorium
  • Built to Spill (May 8 & 9) @ 9:30 Club - not announced on 9:30 club website yet
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves (May 15) @ Black Cat
  • Elefant (May 28) @ Black Cat

Feingold rock my socks...

...not that his censure move will work. If it does, I will be very pleasantly surprised. Frankly, Feingold is basically one of the few liberal democratic senators I would say has any backbone or FEINGOLD. Did I mention that Feingold is the main contender with Warner for my vote in the primaries for 08'???
Feingold's CNN interview proves my point. Thanks Kos.

So what's the point of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? A post blogger makes me wonder.

Some of the first clear evidence I've seen that the Pentagon authorized detainee abuse (interrogation tactics, if you call them that) at Abu Ghraib.

So we lost our water last night...and the water at my house is still an interesting color. No fun. See the picture on the left.

Review of the Pogues concert...McGowan was drunk and unintelligible....

Metric, Islands, and Men, Women, and Children @ 9:30 club

As suggested by the title, I saw Metric, Islands, and Men, Women, and Children @ the 9:30 club last night. My Review:

The night began with Men, Women, and Children, which I was guessing was a lo-fi band based on the name, having done no research whatsoever into the opening bands. In reality, they're something of a 70's disco/80's hair-metal revival band, and what they play can only be described as meaningless dance music along the lines of Electric 6. One of the guitarists wore a pink jacket and played a baby-blue guitar, the pianist had his hair down past his shoulders wore a very disco-era overly v-necked pink and purple sleeveless silk shirt, and the other guitarist had a green shirt with a long vertical slit in the neck, a ruffled collar, and a velvet vest. The other band members were somewhat less flamboyant, but the choice of clothing, the strobe light, bubbles, and orchestrated fall to the floor by the entire band at the end of one song drove home for me that this band was about flash rather than substance. They did, however, seem to have a devoted following of teenage girls (and guys) at the show, who screamed out "I love you" to the lead singer (whose name I'm not bothering to look up), though thankfully not all at the same time. Despite my desire to get enthusiastic about the band, I couldn't, and stood there during Men, Women, and Children's portion of the concert barely bobbing my head.
Note that I linked to their website, where you can download two of their songs.

The second band up was Islands, which, like a certain favorite band of mine, has 6 members...and a lot more in common than that. The band, which I found out afterwards consists of some of The Unicorns' former members, has two electric violin players (one of whom also plays the piano and sings) and a guitar player who also played the banjo, along with the usual line-up of a base player, lead singer/pianist/guitarist, lead guitarist, and drummer. Really, I have no words. The Islands were VERY good, and there's virtually no information on them on the web, and according to amazon they have an album coming out in April... After the show, my friend and I sighted the electric violinist/pianist and she got his autograph and we both got hugs. Very exciting.

Then came....METRIC. They played a good mix of new and old songs, and there was definitely some crazy dancing going on. There was a large group of people on the left side of the stage with their hands up in the air. I, on the other hand, was on the right side about 3 feet from the stage. Yep.

Some good pictures of the Belle and Sebastian concert and some not-so good ones of the Metric Concert...I'll be looking for more.
One blogger's Metric review...same deal as with the pictures, if I find more posts from people who went to the concert I'll link to them.

  • Music Reviews as Haiku from Yuppiepunk
  • Recording of the Clay Your Hands Say Yeah concert from NPR

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back to politics...not entirely

  • Polled against McCain...Hilary doesn't look so hot
  • Presidential Nicknames...hilarious
  • the National Journal ranks Presidential Candidates
What I said in the title...
DCist bemoans the New Pornographers' poor 9:30 club appearance...and catches the the final filming of the West Wing...JOSH!!!!

more post-concert ramblings

As I write this I'm listening to last night's Belle and Sebastian and New Pornographers concert from NPR. Join me in my listening. Can't wait till I can download it to my mp3 player (not an Ipod, mind you).
I think I've been doing a great job ignoring the Oscars. Contrary to the Post, Capote did not take it all. Also contrary to the Post...according to most people I've talked to Jon Stewart didn't suck.

Some other blogger responses to the Belle and Sebastian / New Pornographers concert(s)...

Don't Worry about the Government has photos...and promises a review
The Ghost of Gordon Sumner

Blog Vivant (who notes that Kathryn Calder is Carl Newman's niece, something I did not know)

Apparently last night (Monday) they played both the songs me and my friend wanted to hear most...URG. They were: Piazza, New York Catcher for me and She Wants Me (NPR doesn't have that on their set list, but apparently they played it?) for him. Too bad.
In the interview with NPR, Stuart mentioned the Moody Blues as a inspiration for Belle and Sebastian, which cracks me up, because my dad always swears Belle and Sebastian sound like the Moody Blues. Also, he (Stuart) called our night "hip." What? Is that an insult?
Meanwhile, DC Blogs linked to me (and not just on the sidebar), which is very nice of them. Though they quoted what was clearly the most ditzy part of my post. Thanks anyhow.

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Belle and Sebastian @ the 9:30 club last night...the verdict is:

I was about 5 ft from the stage, which was pretty awesome as well.

Before I get to Belle and Sebastian, I must discuss the New Pornographers. At about 9:30, they began the evening with Twin Cinema and got through about 5 songs before the lead singer, A.C. Newman, got out his cell to check the time. Around this time he admitted that the band didn't have a set list and Kathryn Calder, filling in for Neko Case, mentioned her inability to sing due to laryngitis. The rest of the songs were by request, and by the end of the show the songs the band made it through included the aforementioned Twin Cinema, July Jones, The Body Says No, Execution Day, and the Laws Have Changed here, along with many others I'm not remembering. Tell me if you were there and do remember, please. Kurt Dahle spent the entire show taking swabs from his liquor bottle - at one point he spent a part of a song when he wasn't playing faking out the audience with his bottle, to much laughter. The balance for the band was pretty bad to begin with, made worse by Kathryn's voice problems, but in general I fully enjoyed the New Pornographers.

During the break between the two bands, I was among the people in the front sitting on the floor. It lasted about 20 minutes...

Belle and Sebastian were, as stated before, AMAZING. They began the show with Stars of Track and Field, which made me happy, since it WASN'T from their new album. They proceeded to get into a lineup that included more of the songs from their new album, which I'm starting to like very much against my will. I think I only started to see the cynicism in some of the songs after seeing them in concert. But back on topic.
After Electronic Renaissance (if I remember the exact song correctly), Stuart Murdoch called back for a small green women's v-neck T-shirt with the album cover, and took off his white shirt (telling us to turn our backs) to put on the B&S shirt, which was obviously too small for him. After stretching awkwardly and fiddling with the shirt for a minute, he proceeded on with the show, frequently jumping up and down and dancing in the most disarmingly aborable way. Stevie danced as well, though it was his stiffness and seriousness that was cute. Admittedly, he was pretty awesome on To Be Myself Completely.
In general, Belle and Sebastian was pretty AMAZING live, being true to the recorded versions of their songs while adding something extra that made the night go from good to AMAZING.
Side note: Though none of Belle and Sebastian's members are particularly attractive, I found myself watching Bob, who also has a very cute Scottish accent. See the picture on the left.

Some pictures of the show from Oh fine, I do like blogging.
The NPR Webcast of Tonight's show
The Upstate Life's take on the show (he must have been pretty close to me based on his blog entry) - he also has the set list from last night posted.

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the Internet - lowering the life expectancy of subcultures?

To get to my point, I will begin with a story which you really should read out loud, seeing as it IS Read Across America Day:
I lied. Please don't do it.
Back to the story:
I got a Sufjan T-shirt (for Illinoise) from in the mail yesterday, wore it to school today, and had one of my junior friends tell me, "I was going to get that T-shirt!" which resulted in a long discussion about how she should get the Michigan T-shirt so we don't both have the same T-shirt (I am well aware of the materialism and the girliness of this conversation and feel appropriately embarrased). While we were having our discussion, another girl came up to talk to us and, hearing the name Sufjan Stevens, proceeded to tell us how she'd heard him on the OC and "he's really good!" which disgusted my friend more than me, as she reacted by giving an aggravated sigh, which sent the girl off doing other things. Afterwards, my friend told me how when bands are on the OC (and other outlets of annoying teenage-girl pop culture, implied) she likes them less, though she admitted that it was really snobby of her in the same breath.

Frankly, this scenario is not uncommon. I've heard people bemoan everything from the Garden State soundtrack to iTunes in terms of diffusing Indie music culture. Frankly, because of the existence of the internet, I predict that the life of a subculture will decrease dramatically in the next few decades. Folk, punk, hip-hop (and their predecessors) lasted as underground movements for as long as they did in part because, frankly, it was harder to get the information, clothes, and music neccessary to hook on to a subculture. Nowadays, if you want to look like a punk, you go to Hot Topic. If you want to know the names of every Misfits' album, in order, you google it.
Even then, there is still a barrier between the knows and know-nots in the indie subculture, and that is knowledge. The girl I mentioned earlier who had heard of Sufjan on the OC probably couldn't hold a sing-a-long of his songs with guitar accompaniment as my friend and I could. Which means that subcultures, to some extent, may survive because of the pure obsession of members of the subculture. And no, though nowadays just about everyone has heard of the Ramones and can sing along with "I want to be sedated", can I, a non-punk, list off their albums? Without google at my fingertips, no.

My google ranking right now is pretty amazing, to the extent where people searching for tabs for the Life Pursuit get my site poping up at #1. If you're one of those people, I'm very very sorry.
On to blogging...

HI-larious categorizations of various types of music nerds here and here from somethingawful. I'm somewhere between being a twee twit and an indie fan. Really, I was laughing SOOO amazingly hard when I read these descriptions. Of course, the guy who wrote them listens to R&B...

Favorite Quotes:
  • on Twee Twits: "Drawbacks of Friendship: Two words: Belle & Sebastian"
  • on Emo Kids: "To refer to emo as an entire subculture centered on being vain, melodramatic, pathetic, self-absorbed, and emotionally histrionic would be unfair. There’s more to it than that. There’s also all the terrible music, stupid haircuts, and fantastically complex MySpace profiles."
  • on Kids These Days: "The Hot Topic era is over. Now you can get co-opted, repackaged rebellion at J.C. goddamn Penney."

Other Stuff

  • How IMix's are changing people's tastes in music
  • eMusic is beating out ITunes for Indie? Whoopy!
  • Jack White critiques the critics. hmm
  • Belle and Sebastian and the New Pornographers concert will be on NPR, along with what sounds like an interview. I will be AT the concert. yay....

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