for the crowd


Slippin’s got me Trippin’, yo
May 28, 2008, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

watch out, trent! it's marilyn manson!!1

It’s been three weeks since Reznor released The Slip, so maybe I should talk about it? Hell yeah! I feel like all I’m talking about is music, lately. I apologise for this, only not really because this is my blog. So there.

Anyway. This isn’t going to be a review, because, well, seriously, wander somewhere else if you want a review. Why don’t you listen to the album and form your own opinion? But keep it to yourself because I probably won’t care what you think (hey, I’m just being honest. Sorry). Yeah, all you gotta do is download the thing (oh, if you haven’t found out by now, Trent is giving it away because he’s pretty much the bee’s knees) and then spend forty minutes of your time listening to some of the best music ever. I mean. I’m not biased.

I’ve peeked at a few reviews (ok, so I only linked to two… but whatever) that have been linked to on The NIN Hotline and I have to say, I’m not getting where all these people are coming from. I mean, some of them listened to the album for once, which is cool. You can tell because they actually have tried dissecting the songs, suggesting they heard the songs in the first place (a = b = c). What I don’t get is how people are describing the album in terms of Trent Reznor’s mental state and his current actions towards record companies, figuring he’s just whining about himself again. While people have listened to the music, they obviously haven’t taken a look at the graphics that came with the album. Presentation is everything, y’all.

Observe:

 letting you

Yes, that is a piece of artwork from the album, for the “Letting You” mp3. You know, when I saw that… call me crazy, but I thought it looked a bit familiar. Wait – hold on a tic, I’ve got this INSANE idea. I’m going to rotate the image. Be prepared.

 letting you version 2.0

Wow! You may remember something similar. Maybe you saw it all over the internet. Or maybe if you lived around some weird NIN fans, this might have been spray-painted somewhere or posted up by people who forgot that this was an alternate reality game and, as a result, not real. The design I am thinking of, of course, is this:

 the bane of janitors everywhere

What a resemblance! Actually, those two images are so similar I daresay they might be connected in some way, especially since they are coming from the same people (Trent Reznor, his art and design slave, NIN in general, etc). The second image, if you were unaware, is actually the flag symbol for ‘Art is Resistance’, a lovely fictional movement running rampant through Year Zero, a very sweeping, fan-friendly Alternate Reality Game started up by Trent and 42 Entertainment to explain the story and concept behind his album. Actually, I recall Trent saying how his album Year Zero was part one of a two-part story, and that we could expect a second album in future.

Hmm! Something to think about. You know, I actually think The Slip might be connected to Year Zero in some way! I know, I know, it seems crazy, like deciphering code from the back of a concert t-shirt or finding a song in a toilet. But something tells me Trent isn’t above that kind of stuff, like taking the AIR flag and rotating it 90 degrees and then replacing the star with a blood spatter (symbolism!?!?11).

This makes me more than excited for the tour because I’m wondering if Trent is going to start up another ARG again for The Slip. Or maybe The Slip isn’t supposed to be a final chapter for Year Zero, but like… a middle chapter. ‘Cause I am telling you, listening to the album doesn’t tell me what happens after all the hands come down from the sky, or maybe I’m just not listening close enough. So maybe the story hasn’t ended yet, or something. Or maybe while on tour he’s going to release the rest of the music that tells us the end.

Or maybe Trent is like one of those people that write for Lost and is just screwing with our heads and planting clues that aren’t there and making us think crazy things, and there isn’t really going to be an end, and Kate’s going to keep being a fickle, unlikeable person and will never choose and we’ll never find out what’s up with Jack’s dead father chillin’ in Jacob’s cabin and Aaron is never gonna get Charlie’s family ring and Walt is going to stay shadowy and unknown because of the actor’s growth-spurt. Oh, well, them’s the breaks. Man, I used a lot of ‘maybes’ in this post.

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The Bird (Or, Alfred Hitchcock Was Right)
May 24, 2008, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Anecdotes | Tags: , , ,

When I was a wee child, Alfred Hitchcock convinced me never to buy canaries, or a pair of lovebirds I had always wanted. Now that I am older, I can see now that there’s only so much Alfie could do to keep me safe.

Every summer there’d be some idiotic bird rapping at my bedroom window – you know, like in Edgar Allan Poe, only not as cool and definitely more annoying (nowadays, I’m pretty sure a writer getting interrupted by a bothersome raven would probably throw a book at it, whether or not it could talk). A few times over the years I’d wake up to hear a hammering sound, preventing me from sleeping in. A woodpecker would be known, every now and then, to attack the chimney. Usually, though, they lose patience, and they’re off, never to bother me again.

But there is this robin, and it won’t go away. It’s gone after the front door. It goes at the side of the house. I’d be aware, while sleeping, of this strange scraping, tapping sound, and now I just ignore it, because I know it’s the robin again. Sometime last week, though, my mother informed me that she’d seen that the bird was now going after my car.

I don’t know how often the bird is there, but I’m sure now that there is some vendetta going on. Perhaps it knows how much of its feathery cousins, the chicken and pheasant, I have consumed in my lifetime. Maybe I’m just the one unfortunate enough to be singled out. Maybe the bird just thinks the car is an environmental disaster and needs to be destroyed. All I know is that my side windows (first on the driver’s side, and now on the passenger seat) are marred by tiny little scratches, placed there by a tiny little beak. My windshield is slowly getting beaten up as well. And not only does the bird leave its mark in that way, either. Oh, no. I’ve also got splotches of bird crap on my side windows, door, and the hood as well. Whenever I wash it off, the splotches are mysteriously replaced.

The side mirrors also appear to act as a handy perch for the feathery little devil. I can imagine it sitting there, enjoying the sunlight, not even bothering to move as it takes a crap all over my car and all over the ground, resulting in a steady build up. Every now and then, when it’s feeling feisty, it decides to fling itself at its own, flimsy reflection in my car windows. Awesome.

Yesterday, as I was heading for my car, I saw the bird flutter away before I got there, abandoning its post. It’s only a matter of time – yes, only a matter of time! – before the robin becomes braver. Before it decides to lurk about my car, waiting for me to head for it, keys in hand, unsuspecting. It will be sure that I am not wearing protective sunglasses to shield my eyes from its beak, or a jacket to keep my arms safe. If all else fails, it will go for my throat. I like to think of myself as a wondrous person capable of loving even the smarmiest and vicious of animals, but. Something needs to be done.

Maybe I should right past wrongs, and become a vegetarian. Or maybe I should lay a scarecrow dummy on the hood of my car, tricking the robin into thinking someone had fallen asleep there, or had fallen from the sky and is now keeping watch. Or maybe I should just get a cat.



A Not-So-Comprehensive Concert Review: Nightwish
May 18, 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Anecdotes, Music | Tags: , , , ,

nightwish 2.0 

Friday night, I had the considerable treat of attending a concert put on by the band I used to listen to in high school: Nightwish. You know, the crazy goth band from Finland where the members all have long hair and they’ll sometimes sing songs about elves. My friend is still a huge fan of them, but while my musical tastes have moved on, I still like to sometimes sit and listen to the ole goth music.

My friend was so die-hard, she wanted to be right up at the stage so she could get covered in Nightwish’s sweat. Which is kind of gross, but in concerts everyone gets crazy anyway and the crowd thinks nothing of ripping each other apart to get the guitarist’s water bottle or whatever. Eventually she made it and was delightedly crushed against the stage. Later on, I was as well. And boy did that band sweat!

The concert was at the Starlite Room, which is a pretty popular venue. Last time I was there was to see Raine Maida. Unfortunately, the floor is slanted, effectively killing your back, whether you’re wearing heels or not. And of course, I was. But the show was pretty damn good regardless.

They’re great performers. I’m not the biggest fan of that kind of rock, like all the spread-leg power stances when playing guitar and so on, but my god did they have energy. So did their openers (Sonic Syndicate). I listened to Nightwish back when they had Tarja Turunen, and I hadn’t really bothered to listen to their stuff with the new vocalist Anette Olzon, so I was interested to see what she was like. In the end, though, it didn’t matter too much, because I was right near the stage, between the speakers, meaning I wasn’t able to hear her voice at all. Damn! At least she was super cute. You know, I’ve been to a couple metal and metal-ish concerts in my time, but I’ve never seen anyone have fun like Anette did. She’d have this great big smile on her face half the time as she rocked around the stage, and there was a lot of chemistry between her and the other band members, too. They obviously worked really well together and had fun doing what they did. See! You can still like vampires and fallen angels and goblets and tombstones ‘n’stuff and still enjoy yourself. About three songs in they were sweating so much they looked like they would pass out any second, but they still kept at it.

Being me, I have to start talking about clothes now. Anette’s outfit was very, very flattering, and I wanted her boots, which looked like a pair of Converse but went up and covered her shins, I believe (my memory es muy terrible). Anyway, her dress was very simple and filmy and just Goth enough with a huge silver clasp between her boobs. Very classy.

On my own outfit: Usually I don’t mind showing up at places and standing out, but I wasn’t about to a) get beaten up or b) get shown up by the goths, whose outfits can get a little insane. I was up for the challenge. What I wanted to do was blend in, and sort of dip back into my old goth-y roots, but I ended up wearing a black corset over a bright pink and orange outfit, and I was showing off my legs, too, because I knew if I showed up in long pants I’d regret it. The result was that I stuck out like a glow stick in a cemetery. 

 A note on their openers: It’s rare when you get a band onstage, and all the band members are cute. With Sonic Syndicate, that was how they rolled. They also played with a lot of energy, rushing about the stage and just rocking out. They’re probably building a great fanbase through pure performance grit alone.

Storytime with Mars:

Of course, the biggest downside at any concert is the (drunk) asshole in the crowd, or, worse, like at Friday’s concert, when there is a lot of them concentrated in one place right next to you. There were three of them right by me that I would end up pressed against. No one wanted to be near them, and they were right by the stage, too. They were soaked in their own sweat and it was beading off of them, and being that sweaty is only attractive if, well, you’re attractive, like in that one Britney Spears video. Call me shallow, but if you were in the same situation as me, you’d feel the exact same way. Admiiiiit it.

Unfortunately, not only am I a girl on the small side, but I’m pretty decent-looking, a really bad combination when you’re crammed in a mosh pit. For reals, dude. I was repeatedly hit on by, and forced to be smooshed up against, this fat bald drunk white guy who was a good fifteen years my senior. When a bunch of people tried to fight their way through and I was bowled over, fat bald drunk white guy tried to help me up (I didn’t need it; strange as it sounds, girls can take care of themselves sometimes) and put his arm around my waist. I did not ask for it to be there. I didn’t want to come off as a complete asshole, but after shouting “I’m fine!” for the third time I had to spend twenty seconds wriggling away from this guy’s hold. Seriously. I’m not retarded, I know the whole pretend-to-be-helpful-but-really-just-cop-a-feel move. Halfway through the concert he said “So, what’s your name?” “I’m too young for you!” I snapped back. About a song later when I was getting propelled into him again, he said something along the lines of “It doesn’t matter how old you are, I can still show you a good time!”

Luckily, there was a gap in the crowd ahead as two of the drunk idiots were kicked out by a pissy staff member. I made my exit fast, managing to get around the guy that was a good four heads taller than me and previously had kept clipping me in the face with his elbow, and slipping in front of the nice boy from Calgary, so I could get behind my friend at the stage. “Smooth move!” said nice boy from Calgary. I know, right. See, I get pretty tired of not only being pressed against people who are soaked with sweat, but when those people are unattractive, drunk, and creepy. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t really rev my engine. I know, how strange of me.

And that was the Nightwish concert. Thrilling! I know you all felt as if you’d been there. My work here is done. For Nine Inch Nails I think I’m going to wear a flower-patterned dress and bring a muscly guy along to protect me.



happy birthday, you awesome bastard
May 17, 2008, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Music, People | Tags: , ,

birthday boy

Today is Trent Reznor’s birthday. He turns a lovely, dignified 43.

I’m one of his fans, and yeah, I adore the man’s guts. He’s one of the coolest musicians out there right now, and he’s a veritable whirlwind of talent. I happen to think he’s a great role model, among other things. He kicked drugs and alcohol when he finally stopped being stupid and realized they were destroying everything; he does his best to be honest, and doesn’t compromise himself or his music to fit anyone else; he’s ridiculously patient and thoughtful towards his fans, even though most of them have got to be the most unstable maniacs that I’ve ever had the misfortune of being in contact with. Also he’s super-muscly. Yum.

Gala Darling (also a very lovely person) figures that one should live a celebratory life. She celebrates Salvador Dali; I celebrate Trent Reznor. Both are artists in their own rights. So today, I’m going to be a bit more happy and joyful than I usually am, because today is a day for celebrating.

Today, Trent, I celebrate you and the fact you’re around. I celebrate that you didn’t die alone in your house three years ago after all the drugs caught up with you. I celebrate your very manly, imposing figure, and your freckles. I celebrate your giving away of music. I celebrate you being a complete nerd, with your video games and the fact I have no idea what you’re saying when you start talking about the technical aspects of your music. I celebrate how you always sound like you just woke up. I celebrate your hazel eyes, because along with Ben Linus you’ve got one of the most intense stares I’ve ever seen. But finally I celebrate you because you taught me by example to create art the way I wanted, to experiment and learn and to do things to please myself, not others. So thanks, bro.

yo
(flickr)

Happy Birthday. I hope you have a good one. But watch out for flying cakes.



It’s Whitney, bitch!
May 15, 2008, 11:49 am
Filed under: Fashion, Movies and Shows, People | Tags: , ,

Don’t you love my new header? It’s Bai Ling. She’s been vectored. Ooooh. The very lovely person who made it for me (after I badgered her, of course) is guilting me to take back my previous comment. So. Do not screw Prince Caspian. You may see that instead of Speed Racer and you will not be judged. Because while one has Matthew Fox, the other has Ben Barnes, and of course you go to family-oriented movies just to sit in the dark and think dirty thoughts about the hot actors, and then immediately feel ashamed. That’s what all my friends and I do, anyway… or maybe that’s just me. So don’t screw Prince Caspian, I take that remark back (but it’s entirely up to you whether to want to screw Prince Caspian… you know, sans italics).

So anyway, onto more important(?) things.

It’s finally happened. America’s Next Top Model has an ass.

 mmm, hips!
(full picture: here)

For a moment, near the end of the episode, I thought the judges were going to pick Anya. Not that I have anything against Anya – I loved her, she was adorable. But I wanted Whitney. Maybe it was infuriating because Tyra, definitely not a size zero, was still heading a competition where only bony, skinny girls were picked. Maybe, even though everyone talked about changing the standards of beauty, no one was actually doing anything.

I didn’t really expect them to pick Whitney. Hell, I thought they’d boot her once she reached the top three so that the judges wouldn’t be forced to pick the skinny over the booty. Unlike all the other plus-sized models the show has had, Whitney didn’t fall apart and talk about going on a diet or feel bad about herself. Instead she was a complete bitch (heeheehee) and kept a thick skin. She just did her own thing, and look – she made it.

Let’s face it, America’s Next Top Model isn’t award-winning television, and I pretty much watch it and am very aware I’m not being intellectually stimulated, but it’s nice to just watch trash tv and not have to think. It’s especially nice to see the trash tv actually doing something constructive, too.

I guess the real test will be to see whether Whitney stays the way she is, physically and mentally. Don’t go all skinny on us, Whitney. And stop letting them put corsets and cinchers on you, christ.

this photo makes kurt cobain cry, wherever he is
(full picture: here)



go speed go!!!1one
May 10, 2008, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Movies and Shows | Tags: ,

the crucible, yo

When I first saw the preview for the Speed Racer movie, my eyes practically popped out of my head and I started to count down the days to May. This was partly due to the fact that Matthew Fox happened to be in it, clad head to toe in black leather, but also it was the colour that took my breath away, and how different everything looked, how realistic and anime and just fantastical. Also, I’m a big fan of the cartoon, and it’s on my list of Favourite Things (screw the kitten whiskers, man – I like cartoons, yo). So of course last night I was in line at the IMAX, hopping up and down.

I don’t really like reviews, or to review things, ’cause personally I think they’re a waste of time, both mine and the readers’. I read reviews to get the technical gist of something I want to buy, usually. Often you have to dig through someone’s misguided opinion; and personally, I really couldn’t care less about someone else’s opinion when it comes to the things I like. Album reviews, I don’t trust, since listening to albums before reviewing them is so totally not cool these days. Book reviews have got to be the worst thing on the planet for me, because I’ve made the mistake of buying books completely based on their glowing reviews, only to find that the critics must’ve been talking about some other book but there was a miscommunication with the editors. But there is something I really, really need to say about Speed Racer, and you can believe me or not as you please.

Speed Racer is a perfect movie.

Bear in mind this is based completely on a single viewing, but know that there was a lot of lead up for me. I obsessively watched trailers and interviews with the cast, I memorized the weird hip hop song they had paired with the movie, I rewatched all of the old cartoons. I walked in there fully expecting to be let down, but I wasn’t. I was blown away. The classic elements of the anime were there, but the movie looked so different from any other movie out there.

It’s being called a children’s movie, but when I think of children’s movies I think of kids outwitting bad guys or Christmas specials (or a marriage of the two). Nothing in that movie annoyed me in the way a normal kids’ movie would. There was a real moral in the story, there was actual love and character and sadness. And also, the script was hilarious. Anybody could watch that movie and appreciate it.

Actually, it’s kind of like when you’re little and you watch Disney movies, and then you rewatch them when you’re older and see how dirty those movies could be at times (Hunchback of Notre Dame comes to mind). There were bits in Speed Racer that adults would definitely appreciate. The politics of the world the actors were in were definitely well-developed, too, making it real, instead of just some silly, candy-coloured movie for kids ten and under.

So go see it. It was mind-blowing. Screw Prince Caspian, go see Speed Racer. In Speed Racer there are cars, candy, and Matthew Fox’s leather-clad ass. Go on. You know you want to see that.



So About Bai Ling
May 8, 2008, 9:43 pm
Filed under: People, Rambling | Tags: ,

So I’ve got this huge crush on Bai Ling, and you should too.

kiss kiss!
Dude, she’s wearing, like, a garbage bag, and a fake butterfly.
I want to party with this woman.

If you’re unaware, Bai Ling is the super gorgeous Chinese actress that you’ve no doubt seen around in films but never recalled her. I had no idea that the cute tattoo artist in Phuket on that one Lost episode was played by the same woman who was the creepy sister/lover of that bad guy on The Crow. But there you have it! Now, I like me my manly menfolk, but the more I read about her (and from her), the more smitten I am.

Her blog (oh, yeah, she has a blog, which I’ve got linked on my page for easy access… you can stop reading this now and follow that link, I won’t mind) will often be trolled by angry people with their own issues who like to call Bai Ling a slut/whore/some other sexually demeaning word, or slam her for her choices in life and the industry. It’s pretty much like junior high all over again. Bai Ling, though, obviously doesn’t care. She just posts more pictures of herself in her dressing room or hanging out with Pink, and liberally uses the word ‘sexy’ no matter what she’s talking about.

She’s one of the few celebrities (and heck, it’s a rarity among the rest of us) that just does what she wants, when she wants, and just lives her life. She puts on wacky clothes and doesn’t care what people think – as she should! Clothing is for the wearer, not anyone else, after all. She updates her blog with her strange, poetic rambles, takes photos of herself, and claims to come from the moon. Do you see what I’m getting at? She’s completely charming. Not only has she figured out that others will judge you no matter what – because lots of people know that – she totally went with it, and really believed it. People will mock Bai Ling, but hey, everybody gets mocked in one way or another. The world (and especially the internets) is petty. So why bother getting worked up about it?

More great things about Bai Ling:

She comes from a highly conservative country, but has no qualms about taking her clothes off in front of a camera. She talks about how the human body is absolutely beautiful, and she loves hers. Look – it’s a woman that loves her body! And she’s not afraid to show it! She’s also completely unbothered when it comes to accidentally flashing her nipples (or, as she put it in one blog post, they just make a bid for freedom). Whenever asked a question, she responds openly and honestly, not really caring about her public appearance. Bai Ling is really just here for the ride, I think – whatever people write about her is really no concern.

Now, I can’t say what she is like for certain, because it’s not like I’ve ever hung out with her before. All I can do is remark upon her public persona. But you know what? I like her public persona. So there.

And seriously? If I could speak my second language with as much charm, strangeness, and eccentricity despite grammatical incorrectness as Bai speaks hers, well. I’d make a killing in the bars next time I’m in Mexico. So yeah… I heart Bai Ling, and you ought to as well. Or at least heart somebody famous, but I guess that’s becoming really, really difficult considering the selection these days.

Hm, I appear to be posting a grand total of once a week. Lucky you, chicos.