Saw these babies walking down the street! A good way to be welcomed back to the city!
Saw these babies walking down the street! A good way to be welcomed back to the city!
Vampire Weekend- Finger Back
I’ve been listening to this deceptively cheerful song a lot today, and at first I was shocked by what seemed to be violent lyrics “bend my finger back (snap)” and “hit me with a wood bat.” Listening again, I’ve been interpreting it as wanting to feel, something, anything, even if it’s just pure pain. “I don’t wanna live like this/but I don’t wanna die” to me, is the definition of depression. When you’re suffering from depression you kind of lose your feelings. Things become muted shades of grey, and living and dying seems to matter. Nothing seems to matter (don’t worry— I’m not depressed). Or maybe it’s merely malaise.
Pairing this desire for feeling with the spoken word about the falafel shop (which is near where I live, sup), where a girl lets herself fall in love is interesting, because it’s such a strong emotion. I guess letting yourself feel something so [powerful is almost a form of violence in itself— it’s the heart attack he’s asking for “crise cardiaque.” And then you have the chanting of “blood blood blood” which can be symbolic of violence but it’s also the stuff that’s keeping you alive. Maybe it’s the things you feel that make life worth it.
I’m probably totally off-base/crazy. Anyways, I’d recommend checking this album out, even if you weren’t into them before. It’s moving in a way that I wasn’t expecting.
Stephen Colbert salutes UVA’s Class of 2013 | Speaking from one generation to another.
Yo, I was there.
I’m in Charlottesville for the weekend for my older brother’s graduation (he is graduating from UVA a year after me). When I told my mom I was coming, she said, “Good, because you have a dermatologist appointment, an eye appointment, and a haircut scheduled.” To which I said, mom, I file taxes as the head of my household. Also, shouldn’t I go to all those places in New York? And she said, “Yeah, well you won’t.”
This is true. I hate making appointments like that. My family in general isn’t big on doctors. I remember one time when I was really little, my dad was attempting to build a bed, when he drove a massive splinter through his hand (he didn’t notice it until he found that his glove wouldn’t come off). He yanked the offending five-inch piece of wood out, and refused to go to the doctor, because “what would they do? I don’t feel anything in that hand anyways.”
So I went to the derm, where I found out that apparently I have severe rosacea, which means that my goddamn pale skin breaks out in a stress rash, and all the acne medication that a previous dermatologist gave me three years ago when she misdiagnosed my skin, was just aggravating it. When the derm told me that, I said, well, I’m not in bad company. Bill Clinton has rosacea. And she was like, “How do you know that?” I don’t know how I knew, but I had never been more sure of anything in my life (look it up— I dare ya).
I went to the eye doctor, and even though I have 20/20 vision, I have an astigmatism, which means my eyes are too dumb to focus on their own. So I have perfectly blurry vision. Call me glasses.
Finally, I went to get my hair cut. A an elderly woman with a portable oxygen tank was thanking Missy, the lady who has cut my hair since middle school, saying, “Can you imagine if I had had to leave the salon looking like that?” I thought that maybe someone had screwed up her hair, but as it turns out, her stylist ran out of the salon screaming during the hair cut because she had gotten a phone call that her husband had died. Holy shit. Missy solemnly shampooed my hair and apologized for seeming distracted during my haircut.
Home sweet home.
Stan Getz + Astrud Gilberto played an important part in my childhood. When he was in the Navy, my dad would go to Brazil for long stretches of time. Bossa Nova music came to feel synonymous with him coming home.
OH MY GOD OHMY GOD OH MY GOD.
Bryan Ferry is, and always will be, my absolute favorite.
Marcello Mastroianni in 8½ (Federico Fellini, 1962)
I don’t want an artisanal experience. I want a goddamn cup of coffee, preferably in one of those mythical blue paper cups from the 60s with the faux Greek writing on them or maybe an accidentally offensive Ziggy gag mug (do those exist?), poured by a grumpy barista who likes to growl, “I’m not a barista! I’m a barrister! I defend good coffee!”
I want the place to have sagging couches and mismatched chairs. The walls should be covered in the terrible artwork of the owner’s cousin, as a family favor sort of thing. The wood floor should be rotting from the amount of spilt coffee forming pools on the ground. Not health-violation stuff— just natural decay. The lighting should be a combination of natural sunlight and non-flourescent light bulbs. I want to be able to see without having my eyeballs bleached.
Also, I want the reincarnation of Baudelaire glaring from a corner, scribbling madly next to a table of grumpy old people in an ungodly amount of tweed arguing about the proper way to measure a finger of scotch, “You’re fingers are too fat! Two fingers worth from you would be a double-up!”
There would be no internet. You can go online at home. I guess they can sell pastries, but I don’t want to hear about them. What do you mean, tea? This is a coffee shop! Finally, the door should be inexplicably difficult to open. That way people will know what they’re about to get.
Any suggestions for places like this in NYC?
Pug w/ Ensoniq EPS
Don’t act like you don’t want to bring Chillwave back with this dog.
EBM INDUSTRIAL FUK CHILLWAVE
I would start a band iff this dog was guaranteed to join.
I mentioned this a couple days ago, but look at this! Who made a website about my family??? I remember that a while back, some dude tweeted at me, “Look up the book about the Mattimoe’s.” I checked his profile, and it was his only tweet ever. I thought he was talking about the book my great-uncle Ned (a retired Jesuit priest) wrote, but it turns out that there is another book! Anyone named Mattimoe is related to me. A few of my family members were angry when some author, who happened to be from the same area of Ohio as them, wrote a book series about a detective called Mattimoe, because come on! You can’t take a ridiculously obscure name like that and immortalize it in a poorly written book!
There is a review section on the website, where there is a multitude of praises coming from various Mattimoe’s.
So my favorite recording of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata has always been by Glenn Gould. It’s probably because it was the first recording that I really heard of it, but I remember listening to it for the first time in high school and being moved to tears (that makes me sound mawkish. Whatever.).
Anyways, being the ever-ignorant person that I am, I wasn’t aware that Glenn Gould was ambivalent towards Beethoven! And that there are a lot of critics who hate his Beethoven recordings because he just kind of used the music as guidelines.
I knew there was a reason why I liked his recordings best! Playing it straight is difficult and an accomplishment in itself, but to put some of yourself into something that has been played a million times over is truly powerful! I’m not talking Jeff Koons appropriation bullshit (bullshit bullshit bullshit), but taking something and becoming a part of it (not just taking it).
I appreciate the faithful recordings— every crescendo accounted for— but it’s kind of like the atelier art school movement that started up again in the 60s— you learn by doing it exactly the way the great masters did it and then once you get the technique down and can prove that you can do it the right way, then you get to break the rules and show some soul. That’s the different between the photo-copier types and the real genius— muddling about on your foundation because it’s solid and comfortable (not really— aren’t most foundation made of rocks/cement?), or building up some parapets and flying buttresses (castle terms— I don’t know what they actually are)/(“I call architecture frozen music.”-Goethe).
It reminds me of something my favorite professor, Roy Wagner, said when I told him I drew comics for the school paper. He got excited that I was doing them for a classic university institution, because that’s where he said that you could be subversive. He didn’t mean that you should go around with some sort of wicked agenda (I don’t have an agenda or even a day planner). By subversion he meant more of a humorous check on a system, which besides just being a brilliant musician, is what I think Glenn was up to.
Something that I’ve been noticing over the years is that whenever I take a break from drawing comics, my twitter usage goes up. Not in the sense that I check it more often ( think I’m as addicted as anyone), but I end up tweeting a lot more. It’s a weird compulsion to tell jokes, no matter how terrible, all the time.
After taking a long break four years straight of a daily comic strip +op ed cartoons throughout college, averaging around 8-10 published pieces per week), I think I’m back to cartooning. It’s going to be tough. I’m going to start trying to submit to The New Yorker, which involves turning in between 10-15 comics a week while facing constant rejection.
It’s kind of embarrassing to admit this, but once you start putting your work on the internet, you get used to an immediate reaction, and since most people who follow me are friendly, the reactions are generally kind. And even when I was doing comics in college, I was an associate editor for one year and then the graphics editor for two years, so there wasn’t anyone really telling me what to do.
I’m starting to think of that instant feedback from the internet to be sort of a cheap thrill. I could tweet something, and maybe a couple people will go “gold star!” but I could also save the idea, and create something with more resonance. It’s the difference between buying a couple cheap dresses from Forever 21, which are guaranteed to self-destruct in a couple weeks, or investing in one nice dress that I’ll wear for years.
By no means am I abandoning the internet, and I know that all of this is very obvious, but I guess for whatever reason, I’ve been using various distractions to fight against comics for the past year. But I’m back now.
I remember that in middle school, we once had a substitute bus driver who thought it was funny to simulate hydraulics by slamming on the brakes over and over again while driving uphill. She said, “Ye-ah! We bumpin’!” I was terrified.
It’s funny. Whenever anyone asks about religion, I say, “Oh, I don’t know. I’m agnostic.” But whenever I see someone who looks like they’re having an especially hard time, I always feel compelled to say a little prayer for them. I haven’t quite figured out where the prayer is directed.
New James Blake Album: Yes. Yes. Yes.
New Kurt Vile: KURT VILE FOReVER! The War on Drugs who?
New Deerhunter Album: I’m still stuck on Halcyon Digest. Not ready to move on.
The Great Gatsby: It made me sad and frustrated. So I guess that means it effectively told the story. If I’d watched it in 3D, I would’ve had an aneurysm.
New Vampire Weekend Album: !!! Belongs on Carl Sagan’s golden records! I heard the iTunes stream and I already know it’s going to hold an important place in my heart.
I guess my review scale ranges from “ehhhh” to “SEND IT TO SPACE!!!”