Tag Archives: art

the radio’s about to do it again

lady gaga: her jazz hands can beat up yours.

since i’m basically a gay man, i’m really loving on lady gaga lately. (add to this to my undying love for both madonna and cyndi lauper–oh, and the golden girls. mark my words: in our next house, i will have an office with an authentic autographed cast photo on the wall. not that i’ve looked them up on ebay or anything.)

remember how i waxed poetic about gaga back in the fall? this was just after “the fame monster” came out (if you’re unfamiliar, that’s her new album with “bad romance” and “telephone” on it). oh G-d bless her and that album, it got me thru some rough times. i really really needed the pick me up. i don’t think i needed music so badly since i was a closeted high-schooler.

well i’m sorry to report that i’ve now started changing the radio station every time either one of those songs come on. and a new one’s just starting to circulate: an awesome little madonna-esque (circa ’90/’91) ditty called “alejandro.” and it’s occurred to me: the radio’s kind of ruining gaga for me! [*gasp* the horror i know; i am sitting on my jazz hands right now out of the sheer shame of it all. well i did for a moment, otherwise i wouldn’t be typing right now, ha)]

so in light of all this, i have a new theory: if you love love love an artist and loved a song before it even debuted on the radio, change the station when you hear it. i know. i know. it’s going to be hard in the beginning but it’s going to help you in the long run! really.

i am not one of those ppl that gets all tied up into knots when an artist–whether it’s a singer/musician, actor, visual artist, writer, etc.–hits the mainstream. not at all. more power to em. it’s just that when it comes to music, the radio can play the hell out of songs you love and then you wind up never wanting to hear them ever again.

so i’m curious. share with me: what songs (or artists, even) has the radio ruined for you??

oh and if you love gaga, share that, too.

our ship is coming

war tapes

the war tapes rockin it last night in baltimore

i’m going to ignore my negligent blogging ways of as late and just launch right into things:

last night we saw an awesome new band (war tapes, photo above; check them out, srsly, they’re fantastic) for a free in-storeperformance here in bmore. they did a really great acoustic set (and were very cute, i may add, what w/the lopsided haircuts, skinny black jeans and brother/sister duo–i just *love* family band stuff, esp when it’s punky). personally, i think they’re going to go far, so i considser myself really lucky to have been a part of the small crowd there to see them. but it was talking to them after the performance, esp. their drummer, william, that got my mind ticking.

from the looks of their video (i’ll embed it here in my post) and their sound–also the fact that i heard them on a local, well-known radio station–i thought they were already the bigtime. turns out, they’re really just starting out. when i told them that, a couple weeks ago, i waited in my car until their song was over (i had just parked for the evening near our house) so i could hear what band did it, they were floored.

“did you hear that??” william said loudly to his bandmates. “she waited in her parked car until the song was over!”

“really?” they all said in unison.

i proceeded to tell them that their music really helps me write and gives me that much-needed inspirational boost to do things like my BFBP (Big Fat Book Proposal) b/c, you know, coffee doesn’t work on its own, no matter how much i drink (and i can drink a lot of it). this, too, made them incredibly happy.

william proceeded to tell me a little about their history, and how this was their first in-store performance. he was just so excited. and it got me excited for them. when i woke up this morning and got on the road to work, i was still excited, but the excitement had morphed into this general, huge excitement for the people i know, all my wonderful friends, who are working so hard, just wanting it so bad, chipping away, tirelessly, at all their creative endeavors. and then i got excited for myself, b/c i feel, truly, that i am riiiiight there. things are finally starting to fall into place for me–things i have worked years and years and years for. the same goes for my lovely holly.

things have been tough for us lately, and that’s the main reason for my recent absence(s) (and yes, i will tell you all about it, but you’ll have to be patient and wait for the book, winkwink). it’s just amazing how the human spirit can persevere, even when the lifeforce is being sucked out of you (dramatic-sounding, i know, but sometimes, unfortunately, quite true). even when you’re finally up and you get slapped down. i mean, gosh, i think about my lean years, so to speak, in the years after college, first as a reporter, then a temp in dc (omG as a temp, for a year and a half. now there’s some stories for ya. again: the book), then a reporter again in dc. i wanted it (journalism, opportunity) so badly. i could taste it. and while i’m much further along (i don’t have that early 20s desperation thing going on anymore) i can still taste it. the difference is now that i’m actually tasting it. as in: i know what it (success, reaching your goals) tastes like and, in those fleeting moments, i can say with full certainly that it’s damn good

back in those lean years, oh and they were very lean. so lean, in fact, that dear sweet nicolina would take me regularly to the diner and treat me to whatever it was i was eating. we would sit across those wooden booths and tables from each other, swirling spoons in our coffee, and talk about all the things we wanted to do. i was having a helluva time back then.

“your ship’s going to come in,” she’d tell me with full certainty. “and when it does it will be laden with jewels.”

we say that to each other still, more than ever, as we’re both having a helluva time lately.

OMG THE SHIP!  WHERE IS IT???? she emailed me on a particularly painful day earlier this summer.

the ship? i emailed back. ahh, the ship. let’s see…last time i saw it, it was stuck in some sludge in the inner harbor, like near the cheesecake factory and urban outfitters? i heard on the news that its rudders were jammed up with like, soda cans and bra straps and other junk. the mayor’s not  returning my phone calls either but i’ll let you know once i hear something…

oh but the ship. it is there. and it is coming, so you’d better watch out. it will be laden with jewels for sure, also whiskey/rye (tho i am not a drinker this sounds hardcore and pirate-y), dark dark chocolate, gold coins and many many freshly roasted coffee beans.

so here’s to just a few of my peeps wanting it bad and working to make it happen: nicolina and temim and j. green and john, jaime and andrew and violet and carrie(and lots more that may not have websites, like, hello! j.miller who’s working on her dissertation and is going to be a one of those kickass famous infectious disease researchers who bravely goes into faraway lands in scary white suits). 

all of us have–me, holly, my friends, maybe some of you that i don’t know out there reading this–have walked up this mountain and we’re almost at the tippy top. when we get there, which will be soon, we’ll part the trees and stand at the edge and look out the sprawling, majestic green green land and hills and sparkling blue sea before us–can you see it??–and breathe deeply and take it all in b/c it will be ours for the taking. and we will look back at all the struggling, all the hustling, the sheer want of it all, and it will feel all that much more spectacular.

i want to mention one more thing: i was looking thru this huuuuge andy warhol book in the library the other day and they printed copies of these two letters he received back in his lean years. one was from the museum of modern art rejecting a piece of art he had given them, saying they just didn’t have enough room for it, please pick it up. the other was from, i think it was the village voice, an art critic who basically wrote to the young andy saying: i don’t know what you think it is, but what you’re making is not art and you’re never going to be successful. now, say if you have a friggin napkin signed by andy warhol it’s worth thousands of dollars. how you like them apples??!

and with that, my inspiration for this blog post, the war tapes, who will be at the mountaintop (along with the shondes, ‘natch) with us, skinny jeans and all, providing the soundtrack for that spectacular view: