Thursday, December 27, 2012

...and you will know my blog titles by their unnecessary word length

There is a school of thought that it is a virtue to be concise. Why say in fifty pages what you can say in one? However, some artists just want to rebel against the system and make miserably long song titles that trick you into thinking they’re complex. Here are some of my favorites:

Brand New- “Okay, I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t”

This song title is taken from a line in the movie that Macaulay Culkin is watching in Home Alone 2...which, by the way, seems like an awesome movie. In addition to loving the name of this song, I also love the song itself. It’s self-assured, it’s scathing...just, love.

Primitive Radio Gods- “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand”
Although I come from a generation where Primitive Radio Gods and phone booths are both obsolete, I’d imagine that the singer is trying to describe some kind of generally sucky feeling of needing something to work that just doesn’t work. Like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife? Unfortunately, in my lunchroom, the exact opposite is usually true. I’ve gotten many a plastic-knife burn on my tongue when attempting to knife my yogurt.

The Ataris- “The Last Song I Will Ever Write About a Girl”
Spoiler alert--it wasn’t.

Andrew Bird- “Nervous Tic Of Motion of the Head To The Left”
I get what he’s saying, but does it really have to be to the left? I just tried to tic my head to the right. I guess it does have to be to the left to get the intended effect. To the left, to the left...

Brand New- "Good To Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have To Do Is Die"
That’s also what Amir Vehabovic thought. He was wrong.

Sufjan Stevens- entire discography
When you’re assigning a 3-5 page term paper, Sufjan is the kid in your class who raises their hand and asks coyly, “But...can it be more than 5 pages?” Everyone in your class would love to kick this kid’s ass, and rightfully so. But you just have to nod your head and say encouragingly, “That’d be great, Sujfan.” What he turns in is actually a 300-page report on fucking Michigan, of all things, with an asterisk at the bottom indicating that he intends to do this kind of think for all 50 states. You’d really like to write that he’s an asshole and he’s never going to make it, but instead you write “Wow! You are really gifted, Sufjan!” without reading any of his paper. Next year, you recommend him for Honors English just so you never have to deal with him again.

Fall Out Boy- “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”
This song was not written about me, but I do know the feeling. God, Pete Wentz. Ever heard of buying a girl a diamond necklace? A bouquet of roses? Ever heard of CALLING A GIRL BACK??? No, I guess not.

Fall Out Boy- "Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued"
That time it was about me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

in the face of a tragedy, US music puts some cover-up on its face

I recently exercised tact and did not make a comment that I really wanted to make on Facebook.

The post was from my boyfriend, discussing how he had never heard anything more disgusting than Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” intercut with news coverage of the recent school shooting. And I really wanted to make a joke saying, yeah, they really should have put it to Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” instead.

But then again, I knew that that would cause some people to write me off as a horrendous person for the rest of my life, because I’m not allowed to have a humorous thought in aftermath of a tragedy.

In fact, in the aftermath of a tragedy, the song “Pumped Up Kicks” is not even allowed to exist on many major radio stations.

And then I got to thinking...America really likes to change who it is in the face of a tragedy. They pretend that they thought songs that make school shootings sound somewhat sexy were not okay all along. It’s kind of like deleting everything embarrassing from your diary and then allowing a close friend to read it cover to cover. It’s deceptive.

And it goes beyond the radio deleting things that are embarrassing. It extends to deleting things that in any way make the listener feel icky or think any thought that is anywhere related to the Big Bad Thing that has just happened.

After 9/11, music went through an utter pussification. Sorry to be profane, but I just can’t think of a better word to describe it.

Jimmy Eat World renamed their recent album, previously titled Bleed American, to be eponymous. It would be one thing if their album was titled Bleed, American. But it wasn’t. They just had to change it for all of those idiotic Americans who’ve never read a book in their lives, let alone Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

The Strokes re-released their album Is This It?, removing the track “New York City Cops” and replacing it with the most phoned-in, phoney piece of shit song I’ve ever heard. The original song was an upbeat account of misbehavior that happened to make the tongue-in-cheek assessment, “New York City cops/ They ain’t too smart.” Which is an idea that was not allowed to be thought in a post-9/11 world. Any reference that portrayed cops as anything other than noble heroes was prohibited.

Other little edits were temporarily made to the radio waves for a little while. A disgusting Toby Keith song about putting a “boot in your ass” if you messed with the red white and blue gained undeserved popularity. The song “Proud To Be An American” was played every few hours on mainstream radio stations as well, which, much like Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” I’ve never heard in the context of anything other than a joke.

Worse yet were the songs that were taken off. Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad” met a brief hiatus, which I suppose is forgivable due to proximity. A little further removed from the situation was U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” which had absolutely nothing to do with violence in the US or in the Middle East, but rather in Northern Ireland. Worst of all, for all of those sub-80 IQ Middle Americans out there, the Dave Matthews Band song “Crash Into Me” was temporarily taken from the airwaves. Yikes.

I guess what I’m trying to say is...we try to act like we value free speech, but in the face of tragedy, we have to practice overly careful, walking-on-eggshells speech. We have to retract anything that could make it look like problems exist. I don’t want to be emotionally manipulated into thinking it’s cool to put a boot in someone’s ass or that cops are generally intelligent. Do you?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The DSM-IV is the new It-list, says faux folk acts on 99.5

Hot or not: the femme fatale?

I’ll answer delicately to avoid being called a hypocrite. I’ve always enjoyed this archetype. I never minded sharing a name with The OC’s sometimes anorexic, somewhat bipolar, occasionally overdosing Marissa Cooper. And I’d be lying if I said no student has ever caught me perusing the wikiHow for how to be more like John Green’s Alaska Young.

So I guess I’d have to say that, yes. I do enjoy the kind of girl that has some issues but is also stupid-hot. Though overdone, it can still be an interesting character with depth. I can dig it.

The femme fatale is hot.

But the femme flacide, as I would like to dub a recurring type of character in recent twangy pop music, is NOT.

The femme fatale is the girl you’re with when you drink a 40 and a 5-hour Energy on your way to go do something awesome that will probably get you arrested.

The feme flacide is the wholly unattractive girl crying on the floor of your dorm room because she’s just professed her love to you and you told her you’d rather just be friends (at least until she does something about that moustache). You think to yourself: I really should go to Spanish class, but does 90 minutes give this bitch enough time to consume my athlete roommate’s entire supply of painkillers and Joose? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I don’t have time for it, anyway. But the crappy folk-pop currently littering the Top 40 radio waves does.

We first see the feme flacide in One Direction’s second single about a girl with low self-esteem (not to be confused with their first single about a girl with low self-esteem). The music is toned down, the boy-band sound is subdued; this is their serious song, guys!

And since the average One Direction fan lacks the higher-order thinking skills to make an inference, they are easy on the subtlety when crooning about this down-on-herself female:

“You never want to know how much you weigh/ You have to squeeze into your jeans/ But you’re perfect to me.”

The song is aptly named “Little Things,” and I’m just going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that the perfectly perfect little Brit tweens of 1D are not actually chubby chasers. Nope. Instead, they are fetishizing the already way too common complaining of size 0 preteens: “I’m fat.” Sorry Liam, Niall, and whatever other terribly named little shits are in that group. There is only one song worth listening to about low self-esteem.

Phillip Phillips, the American Idol winner whose music is as redundant as his name, recently created that song on the radio that you probably think is just Mumford and Sons’ weakest single. It’s called “Home.” Hm. I’ve never heard a song by that title before.

Phillip X 2 would like to tranquilize his love interest: “Settle down, it’ll all be clear/ Don’t pay no mind to the demons/ They fill you with fear.”

More often than not “demons” are a euphemism for “deal-breaker.” Like when your girlfriend is a perfect 10, except for the whole “dissociative identity disorder” thing. And the whole “sociopathic” thing. These are just words. Words are just demons.

The girl from Ed Sheeran’s (by the way, what the fuck kind of stage name is that? That sounds like the name of my mom’s friend’s husband, not a pop star) latest single has got some real problems. I mean, she’s got girl-from-Bright-Eyes-lyrics level of issues.

She’s apparently a prostitute. Has been since age 18. “But lately,” Ed sighs, “her face seems/ Slowly sinking, wasting/ Crumbling like pastries/ And they scream/ The worst things in life come free to us/ Cause we’re just under the upper hand/ And go mad for a couple grams.”

Is this really the girl you are pining after, Mr. Sheeran? That’s okay and all, but I would advise you to look for track marks while holding her hand...and maybe request an HIV screening before taking things to the next level.

I think what I hate the most about this song is the way he says the word “pastries.” From the Toaster Strudel to anything and everything Entenmann's--the pastry is a sacred thing to me. Don’t taint it with your overdone accent and put-on quaver! Just don’t!

Ed Sheeran goes on to sulk through cliche metaphors: “It’s too cold outside/ For angels to fly.” I’m not quite sure what exactly happens when it’s too cold outside for angels to fly. I’m much more acquainted with what happens when angels deserve to die...and it’s awesome.

So all in all, I’m just tired and bored of hearing about this kind of passive, hopeless headcase of a girl. I’d like pop music, especially this bizarre subset of folk pop to dig a little deeper, please. Throw in a new archetype. What about a down-ass bitch? Maybe a folk cover of “Bonnie and Clyde 03”? It is about time for the femme flacide find an extremely pathetic and cowardly way to do what she was always destined to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

the six emoest things, feat. chris carrabba of dashboard confessional

6. Proudly hanging on to terrible homemade gifts from your girlfriend

“There's pillows in their cases/ and one of those is mine/ And you wrote the words ‘I love you’/ and sprayed it with perfume.”
-"A Plain Morning”

Beyond emo, this just sounds ghetto. Imagine having a friend come over and inquire if this item was created by your 5-year-old niece, and then having to explain that no, this was made by the girl you desire most. I mean, she could have at least embroidered it, is all I’m sayin.

Ever the cheeseball, Carrabba goes on to state: “It's better than the fire is/ to heat this lonely room.” I’d make a crack about the only way he could use it to heat the room was by setting it on fire, but Carrabba seems to have anticipated my desire to do so and effectively blocked it with the phrasing of his lyrics.

5. Panicking about whether to wear sneakers or flip flops on a first date

So sneakers or flip flops?/ I’m starting to panic”
-”Remember to Breathe”

Dude, you are going on a date with a human girl, not Perez Hilton. Do you think she is gonna give a fuck about your footwear? Do you think she’s going to say, “He was such a gentleman, but did you see those Rainbow sandals?” You’re Chris Carrabba, man. Break out the fucking guitar and she’ll be holding your tattoo-sleeved arm in no time.

4. Leaving someone a love note in a book that they may or may not finish reading

I've hidden a note,/ it's pressed between pages that you've marked to find your way back/ It says, ‘Does he ever get the girl?’”
-”This Ruined Puzzle”

Carrabba simplifies the plot of every book ever written in this gem, and then creepily leaves it inside the book his love interest is reading. But then again, considering the kinds of girls that Carrabba is likely to date, maybe that is indeed a fair assessment of every single book they read. Fun fact: in high school, I wrote this very same note and stuck it inside a friend’s copy of Atlas Shrugged. Spoiler alert: said friend never found the note. I guess that “the pages stay pressed, the chapters unfinished, the story’s too dull to unfold” after all, Ayn Rand.

3. Being so incredibly upset that you just HAVE to use perfect grammar to express yourself

“So clear/ Like the diamond in your ring/ Cut to mirror your intentions/ Oversized and overwhelmed/ The shine of which has caught my eye”

Chris, I know you’re hurting, man. Here’s a woman WITH WHOM you’ve previously had sexual encounters. And then who the hell is this guy? This new guy TO WHOM she’s become engaged? “Ender Will Save Us All,” but let’s not allow that ender to be a preposition, for the love of god.

2. Constantly making reference to the fact that things are so “cold” despite being in Southern California

“Pacific Sun, you should have warned us/ it gets so cold here.”
-”Several Ways to Die Trying”

“It’s colder than it ought to be in March”
-”A Plain Morning”

“‘Cause you will be somebody's girl/ And you will keep each other warm/ But tonight I am feeling cold”
-”The Secret’s in the Telling”

Oh, I get it now. It’s like...ironic...right? Because there are all of these beautiful girls in your sunny day, Laguna Beach-soundtracks, but their hearts are all cold inside, right? Right on, dude.

1. Creating a 4-track EP that eloquently recounts how a girl did not notice you at first, then asked you to go to a party with her, then asked you on a date, and then you GOT SOME.

“But for now I'll look so longingly/ Waiting/ For you to want me, for you to need me, for you to notice me”
-”For You To Notice”

“So she says, ‘Everyone's going to the party/ Won't you come if I come with a friend for your friend?’”
-”So Impossible”

“I try on my blue shirt/ She told me she liked it, once/ She wonders what I'll wear/ She knows just what she'll wear/ She always wears blue”
-”Remember to Breathe”

“The words are hushed lets not get busted/ Just lay entwined here, undiscovered/ Safe in here from all the stupid questions/ ‘Hey did you get some?’/ Man, that is so dumb/ Stay quiet, stay near, stay close, they can't hear/ So we can get some”
-”Hands Down”

CHIVALRY IS NOT DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

wasted words on lower cases and bigger ones

Due to being inside for the last three days, I’ve had more than enough time to mull over the fact that one of my keyboard keys is broken.

Kind of like teeth, not every keyboard key is equally crucial. I'd say I lost the second to last molar of my keyboard. I lost a letter that is used frequently enough that it isn’t a Z or an X by any means, but it’s even less of an E or a T. I miss it, just as I’m sure I’d sorely miss that second to last molar, but I’m no Danny Brown. I’m learning to deal.

Yes, there are things I could do. I could Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, or I could reassign the letter to some virgin key just waiting to become a sudden necessity. You’d like that, [, wouldn’t you? I’d like to do it for you. Like Naughty By Nature, I’m down with Other Individual’s Genitalia. Maybe I will one day. But for now, I’m kind of enjoying the weird challenge of refraining from using the letter in question.

In my emails, on my wall, and everywhere else I make my incessantly lame internet existence known, I’ve been trying to do without. I like to think that it’s causing my brain to remain on the ball in the face of a totally trivial adversity. And the result is somewhere between me sounding overly scholarly and like English is my second language. Like a mysterious individual. One that I might even like were I to meet them!

So I guess my thesis is this: there are things that we think are necessary in life. Like deodorant. Or chairs. But are they really? If they were to vanish suddenly, would we find better things to stick under our arms? Would we find better devices on which to sit? Could writing without using a letter become my thing? Like not cursing on his tracks was Will Smith’s thing? Or like celibacy was Morrisey and then also Rivers Cuomo’s thing? (Sadly, music always gets weird when there’s celibacy involved.)

Would anyone even notice?

Monday, October 8, 2012

brief feminist rant about a macy's commercial

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a feminist.

The problem isn’t that I “don’t like women.” That is wrong. I absolutely love women. It’s bitches that I hate.

Women include: Neko Case, Anne Frank, Amy Poehler.

Bitches include: nearly everyone else. Girls that stop hanging out with their friends when they get a boyfriend. Girls that go to college just so that they can meet a husband. Girls that don’t care what they are when they grow up, so long as they’re a mom.

Bitches let themselves become someone’s bitch, and that is why I have no sympathy for them. And that is why the latest Macy’s commercial is particularly disturbing to me.

“Because you’re more than just a mom,” declares the dumb announcer as the Stepford-wives looking woman steps out of her Stepford-wives looking house. The mom confidently strides down the perfect path that paves her front lawn, waving and smiling, until--SQUEAK-- she steps on a kid’s toy.

This brings her back to reality and reminds her that no, she’s not more than just a mom.

But then, something magical happens. Then someone reminds her that, indeed, there is a reason that she was put on this earth other than to pump out offspring. Her bubbly blonde neighbor, presumably another full-time mom, emerges from her home. “Cute boots!” she calls at her neighbor.

Our “more than just a mom” character smiles up triumphantly. Poorly animated fireworks and the word “VICTORY” flash across the screen.

Really? Is this what you live for, women? The approval of the woman next door who has as few of her own interests and personality as you do? Be careful, woman next door...thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Better run to Macy’s and grab yourself a pair.

And who do we have to thank for these wonderful, life-changing boots? Carlos Santana, says the announcer. A man. Carlos Santana, what are you doing making women’s boots, anyway? I liked you better when you were collaborating with Rob Thomas. These ladies’ boots? Not so “smooth.”

So ultimately, my point is this: it’s the 21st century. Women, you have all the resources in place to be more than just a mom. And that can even extend past impressing your lame neighbor with your new Carlos Santana boots.

Okay, rant over. You go back to your normal life, and I’ll go back to sowing my moongarden.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

four indie rock road trip ideas

4. Bon Iver: Plan to go to Lisbon, OH, Hinnom, TX, Calgary, and Perth. In actuality, just find a remote cabin in northwestern Wisconsin and cry.

3. Arcade Fire: Drive around the suburbs. Reflect on how difficult it was to grow up in them.

2. Neutral Milk Hotel: Construct a time machine/teleportation device and go back to Holland in 1945. Find Anne Frank and ask her if she wants to join your Mile High Club in the aeroplane over the sea.

1. Sufjan Stevens: Say you are going to all 50 states. Instead, just go to two and call it quits.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

the impression that i get

I remember the first time I was introduced to ska as if it were the first time I was introduced to my soulmate.

I was sitting on the bus, coming home from middle school. Like most days on the bus ride home, I was contemplating my plight in life as a girl with no friends and a crush who wouldn’t notice me, even when I was wearing silver pleather pants and carrying a Teletubbies lunchbox.

And then that song came on. That feel-good toe-tapper full of positive vibes--”The Impression That I Get” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

I ran home from my bus stop, not caring that my violin case was clanking hard against my side. As soon as I got home, I Altavista-ed the band and learned that this kind of music was called “Ska.” I found out that the people who listened to it were usually unpopular rejects, like me. Maybe this was my chance to find people who would accept me! Loserish Teletubby lunchbox? No, fun and quirky Teletubbies lunchbox! Visions of fedoras and skanking danced in my head. Soon I was tying our phone line up quite nicely with a 7 hour WinMX queue.

And 7 hours later, I was left with this: a lecture from my mom about the dangers of prolonged unsupervised internet usage, and a feeling that beneath the surface, this ska music wasn’t really for me.

That wasn’t the impression that I got from “The Impression That I Get.”

It was a very meta way to learn a very valuable lesson: I am bad at first impressions, in general.

Time after time, I have judged the surface “coolness” of a person and allowed that judgement to carry me into too deep of a friendship with them. And then by the time I realize that this person is someone I should avoid entirely to ensure that my picture doesn’t end up on the 11 o’clock news, it is too late. I am on their hit list. Or, I am one of their 13 Reasons Why.

My first example is not the boy who stole my Death Cab tickets in 2006 for once. I figure the Dec article I wrote about him that his dad ended up reading was enough redemption for a lifetime.

No, rather, my first example is my former roommate. Despite her mullet and the gruff conversations she’d have on the phone wherein she usually called her mother “fuckin’ retarded,” I was originally convinced that my roommate was soooo cooooool. She had the awesomest dog I’d ever met, a party attitude, and good taste in music (that’s the one that always gets me.) In the first month of living together, another roommate who was moving out got into many tiffs with her, one of which resulted in them screaming obscenities at each other while disposing of one anothers’ food, and another of which resulted in our gas and water being shut off for an entire week. The whole time I was thinking, can’t wait til the crazy one moves out. 

Clearly, drama attracts drama, and long story short, both girls were crazy. And apparently used to hook up? Okay. Fast forward seven months and I’m putting a lock on my door because I just don’t know how far this girl’s periodic fits of rage will take her one day. (One place it had already taken her was a townhome common area in Fair Lakes, chasing a 17-year-old girl around with a shotgun.)

Then there was the time when I made a “friend” at the Ocean City. My other two friends were chilling in the hotel room when I decided I should scope out the pool. I scoped out the pool, alright, and waltzed back proudly with big news.

“Hey guys,” I said triumphantly. “I made a friend at the pool. His name is Chris.” They looked on skeptically. “I invited him to come to our room to party!”

They began burying their faces in their hands. Apparently, I was the only person in America who took Chingy’s “Holidae In” to heart.

So, as promised, Chris came to our room “to party.” And as soon as he showed up, it became evident to everyone in the room that this fellow was basically Jesse Pinkman minus all redeeming qualities. I quickly became embarrassed and started backpedaling.

“So actually, we’re going out tonight...” I stammered, ”our friends invited us to a party over in Rehoboth Beach.” Because in my head, that sounded like it could be a thing. But of course, it wasn’t a thing. Of course, the party remained in our hotel room. And of course, we were going to need ice to cool down all of those room-made girly drinks we were consuming. And of course, Chris’ room was right next to the ice machine. And of course, we made one of our friends a makeshift burka out of things found around the suite to ensure her safety during her trip to the ice machine.

I still shudder to think of what unspeakable things would happen to the Ocean City version of Natalee Holloway.

More recently, I started a new job and was instantly super-friended by a manic pixie of sorts. She went above and beyond to make friendly gestures to me in a way that no one ever has before. She’d bring me coffee, she bought me a book, she wrote me cute little notes about how she liked my knee-high socks. Ultimately, I learned this: manic pixie in real life=manic depressed. She’d be super short and nasty with me one day, then offer to do my job for me the next. Just as I was starting to feel a little bit like Rihanna, our friendship ended as quickly as it began: one day, she literally freaked out on me for not knowing the tense difference between lay and lie, and then I decided enough was enough. I suppose she is not a Snow Patrol fan.

Maybe I’m completely jaded now, but these days I force myself to be really unimpressed by every new person I meet. And if we’re talking music from the early 2000’s, the only thing that’s worse than being jaded is being in too deep.

Friday, September 21, 2012

that terrible girl from train's drops of jupiter

    I don’t like people who do a lot of things. Especially if I have to hear about it.

    You can ask anyone who lives with me about my reaction to this one Expedia commercial. “My friend just asked me to be in a wedding in San Francisco,” the bright-eyed, poor man’s Katherine Heigl begins, “But I was already training for the big race in Boston!”

    That’s usually the part where I start throwing whatever I can find nearby--usually the Trader Joe’s appetizers that I am stuffing in my sedentary face--at my roommate’s television. “Oh poor me,” I say in a voice you can barely understand because my mouth is so full of Lemongrass Chicken Bites. “I do so many important things!”

    You can do things. That’s fine. But don’t expect me to give you a round of applause for your action-packed life of sucking up awesomeness. You’re biking from coast to coast, stopping at little no-name towns along the way? Yeah, I don’t want to hear about it. You’re moving to Honduras for a few months to--you’d better just stop there.

So maybe that’s why I think the girl from Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” is a smug, self-righteous bitch. In addition to doing things, she makes a really big deal about knowing herself. Even Juno once said, “I don’t know what kind of girl I am,” and she seemed to be the quippy-est, wittiest, most self-assured pregnant high-schooler that never existed.

    Train creates character pieces. That’s what they do. (Listen to me talk about Train like I know more than four of their songs.) I was almost as surprised when I found out that “Meet Virginia” wasn’t on the Miss Congeniality soundtrack as I was when I found out that Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight, Tonight” wasn’t on the The Hangover 2 soundtrack. So as I listen to the words, the sensory detail is there--creating the perfect puke consistency in my mouth as I imagine what this girl is all about.

    The line that stands out the most to me as the perfect example of why I hate everything about this girl is: “She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-bo/ Reminds me that there’s room to grow, eh-ehhhh.”

    First of all--hey, have you checked out this new band yet? They’re pretty underground, so you probably haven’t, but Pitchfork gave them like 8.3 stars, and Pitchfork doesn’t give those stars out like knockoff Livestrong bracelets, so, you know, they’re actually pretty good. They’re called...Mozart?!?! Check ‘em out?!?!

    Second of all, she’s also doing Tae Bo? Is Billy Blanks her sensei?

    Third of all, her musings in classical music and non-traditional exercise are making you want to be a better person? Wow, you don’t have a lot going on, do you? case you didn’t know, this is a song about Pat Monahan’s girlfriend finding herself. In fact, she is just now back from a soul vacation.

    Soul vacation-- noun. Spending a semester of senior year abroad in Amsterdam where you commit acts so heinous that you literally take a vacation from having a soul.

    His crooning begs the question, “And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?”

    The answer is no. No, she did not. Breaking up with someone because you need to “find yourself” is just about as original as “It’s not me, it’s you.” And George Costanza invented that line. So by the transitive property of pop culture of the 90’s-00’s, Pat Monahan’s girlfriend is George Costanza. Make of that what you will.

    So, your girlfriend’s back. With “drops of Jupiter in her hair,” apparently. I suppose he means dark orange streaks? With light bluish streaks? In her hair? Personally, this sounds like a hot mess to me. The first thing I think of is the only time I felt empathy towards Rashida Jones (usually I am just holding my unceasing grudge against her for keeping Jim and Pam apart on The Office.) It was on Parks and Recreation when she was upset with Rob Lowe’s character for breaking up with her. She emerged with an ugly maroon streak in her hair, and among the list of pathetic things she had done in the past few days, she pointed at it and said helplessly, “And I my hair.” I, too, have been through particularly rough break-ups, and I, too, have been tempted to make bad hair decisions. My thinking is usually along the lines of, “Okay, now that I’m single, I can finally cut my hair like Tegan. Or Sara.” But then that idea is usually overridden by the temptation to listen to Dashboard Confessional’s So Impossible EP on repeat while I cry into my Ramen noodles.

    “Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken” is also particularly offensive to me. Because I’m telling you now, I can say this with almost complete certainty. This girl who wants to find herself on Daddy’s dollar and has got one foot in every possible extra-curricular activity is the whitest. So now she’s like, I like soul food, I’m so quirky!

    Then there’s, “Now that she’s back in the atmosphere I’m afraid that she might think of me as/ Plain ol’ Jane told a story ‘bout a man who was too afraid to fly so he never did land.”
Are you going to take that kind of thinking, Pat Monohan? Too afraid to fly? You gave up all reasonable career paths so that you could be in a rock band. What did she do? Is she just mad that you didn’t go to Tae-bo at Gold’s with her last Wednesday night?

    I think the very last line of the last verse sums up Pat Monahan’s fate: “The best soy latte that you ever had...and me.” And him. That’s all he’ll ever be from now on. Riding backseat to this girl’s fantasies of being a totally fake granola hippie who so totally knows herself.

    Gag me with an eco-friendly corn-based spoon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

me vs. god vs. the internet

    When I lay down to bed and start counting all of the horrible things I’ve done (sheep are just too scary!), it isn’t god that I’m afraid of.

    Trust me, I was raised as a god-fearing Catholic. While I’d eradicate my future chromosomally abnormal babies faster than you could say, “Cuba Gooding Jr. is…Radio,” I’d probably feel so guilty about it that I’d adopt a family of ten cleft-lipped children from some starving Third World country. You can fix that. You can’t fix Radio. You probably can’t even fix Cuba Gooding Jr. at this point.

    So yes, god is scary. And so is hell, probably. But the Internet is TERRIFYING. And the darkest depths of the Internet are probably worse than hell could ever even dream up.

   God only knows the terrible things I’ve done. And I say, “god only knows” not as a phrase, but literally. I literally do not even remember some of the things I’ve done.

    I’ve got a dark internet past. Don’t act like you don’t. Even youth groups take pictures of themselves stealing street signs and post it under an album called “WWJD? YOLO!!!”

    Mine mostly consists of, but is not limited to, exacting revenge on my exes in the most public way possible. So that no one will ever want to date them, or me, ever again. But for real—that’s what they get for dating girls clearly on this side of the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal. And for stealing my Death Cab tickets right after Plans came out, you ginger.

    Whatever specific Internet crimes I’ve committed aside, face it—it’s hard to see your future as an 8th grade English teacher in a suburban school while you’re writing terrible shit on the internet about your 8th grade English teacher in your suburban school. No, man. You were just a kid. Lookin’ for fame and 4chan. How could you have predicted your future?

    So naturally, when I first got to college, I had absolutely no interest in education or the Curry School, which sounded like it’d make a better 12-course meal than a 12-course program. I wanted to write for the paper.

    Unfortunately, both papers at UVA were cliché characters from nineties movies. One of the papers was a straight-A student bulimic girl. The other one was a guy with a beard and a burlap hoodie who liked to make experimental music about insects in his basement. Since I didn’t really know which one of those things I was more like, I wrote equally insufferable things for both. For one, I was making jokes about the Virgin Mary losing her virginity at frathouses. For the other one, I was bitching about the library not being open on weekend nights. Really. Don’t blame me! I can’t be held responsible. For the life of me, I cannot believe I’d ever die for these sins. I was merely a first year.

    Oh, you call them “freshmen”? Hahahaha. You must not have gone to Mr. Jefferson’s University.

    Anyway, the result of those misguided years is this: I dread a Google search of my name.  Not that I’ve done anything so SO bad, but if Culpeper County can ban The Diary of Anne Frank in school, what hyperbolized psychotic confession could the world dig up on me? I DON’T EVEN KNOW!!!

    I don’t think I’d have to be as afraid of the Internet if my name were Anne Smith or something. But it’s not. And there are even things on the Internet connected to my name that I didn’t even create. Like a Ratemyteachers review that says I’m too easy? Really?! F’s for everyone.

    Anyway, to get back to my thesis, which I have strayed from since I am a terrible English teacher: God, do your worst. Consider me that overweight guy wearing a trucker’s hat that says, “I hope they serve beer in hell.” Preferably PBR. But gods of the Internet ,please keep my good name sacred from scorn. 

    P.S. Microsoft Word is autocorrecting for me to capitalize the Internet, but not god. They know, man. They know. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

northern virginia wants a shout-out, goddamnit!

    Okay, so we’re not the 212. We are not deserving of countless anthems. In fact, almost everyone who lives here fucking hates it here and would give their right thumb to live anywhere else. But like, someone in the music industry, just acknowledge our existence, please? 

    Someone? Anyone? Are you there, Jason Derulo? It’s me, Marissa.

    In college, one of my roommates put a map up in our kitchen that he found on the Internet. It highlighted the area code locations of Ludacris’ hoes. The map was ripe with factual data and was an anthropological study of sorts.  From this map, I garnered three pieces of information:

1          1) There is a Ho Belt, nearly synonymous with the Bible Belt, in the southern part of the US.”
2          2) There are hoes in central Indiana (317), half of Nebraska (402), and Milwaukee (414), but NO HOES in Nova. I beg to differ. Ludacris, I will take you to Arlington on a Saturday night. You will see hoes. In fact, you will see nothing BUT hoes. You might even find that there are so many hoes that you need one of these.
3                   3) I should maybe consider switching my major to anthropology?

    Since I felt so blatantly excluded from Ludacris’ cell phone (he’s got his condoms in a big ass SACK! He can’t spare a few on the metro area?) I have been on a quest to find a shout-out ever since. And everywhere I look, I am misled or just offended.

    In his mesmerizing swan song “Miss New Booty,” Bubba Sparxxx begins his opus with “College Park Bubba Sparxxx!”

    That’s okay, We’ll take that. It’s technically in Maryland, but it’s still the metro area—NOPE! He is referring to the OTHER College Park, a part of Atlanta. Which really makes more sense if you take a look at the guy’s body.

    Maybe we need to cast our net wider. I’ll even count the Eastern Shore as an extension of the ‘burbs if I can get it. In MGMT’s groove-thang shaker “Electric Feel,” we get what seems like a shout-out to those parts. But according to, a very reliable source that I found on the Internet, “’All along the Western front’ and ‘All along the Eastern shore’ are lines used to visualize ‘worldwide,’ or coast to coast. So MGMT’s just talking about global sex.”

    But really, when aren’t they?

    One would hope that Dave Grohl, who grew up in Springfield and attended Thomas Jefferson and Bishop Ireton (the latter of which he transferred to because, “the marijuana usage was affecting his grades”) could throw us a bone at some point in the Foo Fighters discography.

    And then, in 2011, he did. He gave us “Arlandria,” which I at first thought was his own term for Arlington and Alexandria combined, but it’s actually the name of a neighborhood in Del Ray. Obscure. So far, I like it.

    But then I listened to him whine, “You are not me, Arlandria, Arlandria/ You and what army, Arlandria, Arlandria?”

    Oh come on, Dave Grohl. I got made fun of in high school, too (although I didn’t go to TJHSST, so I had more of an excuse not to fit in), but you don’t see me claiming, “Shame, shame go away/ Come again some other day/ Memories keep haunting me.”

   Ugh. Just shut your enormous D.S.L., Mr. Grohl. I would estimate like 99.995% of the US can’t even tell you what you mean by Arlandria. So I like how this is your little dig at us that only we will get.

    In a sad Post Local article, overzealous blogger Tom Jackman hears Arlandria once and speculates that, “It has the elements of an anthem." He even claims that the lyrics are “SO wrong on the Internet” because he wants it to be true. I’ll grasp at straws for an anthem, but this is basically The Foo Fighters’ northern VA version of The Decemberist’s “Los Angeles, I’m Yours.” But not as funny to me. Because I hate L.A.
    So now that my options have been exhausted, someone, anyone: please write us a northern VA anthem. I know you aren’t even from here, Jason Derulo, but at this point, even you would do. Be the hero that Nova deserves, Mr. Derulo.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

7 Modern-Day Remakes of That Scene from Say Anything…

 7. Macbook Air + extension cables + Beats headphones. Throw them ‘phones up to the window. Try not to be like, careful with those headphones, bitch! Shit’s expensive! Dre made those!

6. Lloyd Dobler knew nothing about real music, man! It’s all compressed these days, man! Extension cord + record player + Peter Gabriel LP + hipster glasses. Careful with that above your head…hold it straight…it’s gonna skip…goddamn it.

5. You should use the most influential invention of the late 90’s—the Silent Shout Lollipop. Wait—you really don’t know what I’m talking about? Wow. Somebody was way too into those Stargate: SG-1 marathons.  Anyway, throw your special lady a lollipop that will play music in her mouth. Resist the urge to change the song to Lil’ Wayne—“Lollipop.” Or don’t. Up to you.

4. You know, Say Anything… wasn’t really John Cusack’s best work. He’s really matured as an actor since then. You would be better off channeling his much more romantic role from The Raven. Bring your Kindle over (or your Kobo…I’m sorry. Did you really get a Kobo? I’m so, so sorry.) and read her some “Annabel Lee”! Nothing says, “I really liked sleeping with you that one time” like a poem that basically says “I WANT TO SLEEP NEXT TO YOUR TOMB FOREVER, MY COUSIN.”

3. Get real meta with it and instead of playing Peter Gabriel, play something by the band Say Anything! But be careful. Their songs are kind of weird. And that guy kind of sounds like he’s always throwing up…

2. You just banged this girl and you want to play her a song about her EYES? No, no. You should be playing her a song about what’s really important to you…DAT ASS! Pop out the tired Peter Gabriel and replace it with Bubba Sparxxx- “Miss New Booty.” You FOUND her, after all.

1. This is the 21st century, man. What are you doing off your ass?! Just send her a Spotify playlist. Spend the time and effort saved JOing and playing Call of Duty.