Monthly Archives: October 2011

Shake your turkey legs: Skeleton on Escalators Gig Guide NY

Here are the shows I’m excited about from now until the goddamn year is over and through.

Nov 3          St. Vincent @ Webster Hall

She is a beautiful and weird creature. This show is sold out. So have fun all of you lucky bastards who get to see her. I’m highly considering breaking my no more than $35 rule and getting fucked on StubHub just so I can see her sing Strange Mercy. 

Nov 7          The Drums @ The Bowery Ballroom

The more I listen the the Drums, the more I just want to listen to the Drums. MY TICKETS ARE PURCHASED – SEE YOU THERE

Nov 8          WU LYC @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

These guys are Manchester babes. It’s worth it for the drums. They’re known for being quite mysterious. It’s interesting that they chose that angle. In an age over-sharing, it’s refreshing to have band act like a recluse.    MY TICKETS ARE PURCHASE – SEE YOU THERE

Nov 11          Kurt Vile & The Violators @ Webster Hall

There’s always a lot of buzz about Kurt Vile. Every time I heard his name, I thought of Kurt Weill and how much I love him. Recently, I heard Creature. This song is beautiful enough for me to stay all night to see if I like him.

November 18          Keep Shelly in Athens @ Bowery Ballroom

This band has my vote for best name! Dreamy electronic love music. 

December 1         Future Islands @ Bowery Ballroom

YAWP! I want to scream my affection for Future Islands from the rooftops. I don’t want to tell anyone about this show so it can just be me and them at the show. They released On the Water earlier this month. This show at my favorite intimate Mercury Lounge will be ridiculous.  

December 7         Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah @ Webster Hall

Why not? I missed them last time.

December 10           Antlers @ Webster Hall

I’ve been addicted in a bad way to Burst Apart for months. Every time I think I’m over it, someone will play it and I’m right back there – in the glow of love. TICKETS PURCHASED – SEE YOU THERE.

December 15           The National with Wye Oak

The National are staying home for Christmas and playing SIX shows. The thing is, I saw them once and really didn’t enjoy myself. But whenever I listen to them, I can’t help but drown in love. So…I’m going to try again. Maybe I just was in a mood. Of all the shows, I recommend the one with Wye Oak. She’s dazzling.

Midnight Magic is playing this month, in NY and Los Angeles. But I forgot the dates. I don’t have the dates yet. Chew on this:


Cure for homesickness on a rainy day

It’s funny how the universe conspires. The heart shatters on the pavement, and then it starts raining. Of course, on both fronts, we knew this was coming. The autumnal equinox was September 23. Summer has been over for a while.

Of course, I’m not really used to this because I come from a place where there are no seasons. The land of endless summers, one of the most despised metropolises in the world, my paradise, my heartland, my home – Los Angeles.

All my saddest memories feature the sun shinning brightly outside. Like crying in the morning while driving on the 101, the bright white glare of the sun blinding me. Or my cousin’s funeral – it was the most beautiful day but we were all in tears and in black. Whenever I was miserable or disappointed or lost, it was always a warm and comfortable 78 degrees.

I never thought I’d leave Los Angeles. When I was young, I had dreams of escaping, but the older I got, the more I loved it. I became so deeply connected and I celebrated my good fortune of being born there. It was different for us natives. The streets belonged to us, as did the sunsets and palm trees and canyons. We lived on Mexican food, in movie places, on boundless love. When you needed to think or runaway, all you had to do is jump in your car and drive. I was poolside at twilight, watched the fires from the top of a mountain, crawled home on the glittering glassphat, shared a first kiss during a traffic jam – these were my salad days.

It’s taken me some time to warm up to NY. I love it but, of course, not the same way. I’ve gotten used to the cold and rain. But I can’t lie. It makes me homesick.

Which brings me to the goddamn point. Someone recently sent me the link for’s Photo of the Day. This has helped to chase my homesick blues away.

This guy is fun, too:

New York, I live here and I’m not going to complain. But this is what a sunset looks like:

Future Islands have perfect timing: “On the Water”

Future Islands “On the Water” came out on October 11. It’s taken me a bit of time to write about it. I’ve been swooning, you see. Swooning. And it’s been a while since I swooned, so I hope you forgive me.

If I was dating Sam Herring and a girlfriend asked me explain what he was like, I’d blush, dreamily look heavenward and say, “He’s like a mix between Tom Waits and Peter Gabriel.” Yum. Let’s just go ahead a spit out a slew of words to describe this man.  His voice is more of a roar – raw, gravelly, ripping screams through the air and husky pleading whispers. It is haunting and haunted at the same time. His lyrics, too, are sweetly tormented. Consumed by a heartbreak, they dwell in memories and the torture of ‘what if.’ What if it could have been different? What if we try again? That query comes up again and again throughout the album – The plea for one more chance after the last chance has already been used up.

There is plenty of despair for us pain junkies, but no anger and no spite. Instead, these are songs about the continuing love we commit ourselves to as our lovers take leave of us. These ballads and anthems are about how we cope with still loving someone even though we know that they aren’t coming back and ultimately, how we find deeper understanding in it and discover or manufacture a way to hold on and move on. 

Who was this woman and when is poor Herring going to get over her? Is it completely selfish of me to prefer that he didn’t so i can continue to write songs like this forever?

This album is chock full of affectionate sentiments. “I shield you like a candle,” from On the Water and “I would have carried you as far as the stars” in Before the Water. It’s also got some painful zingers. Like from the call-and-echo duet, The Great Fire – “I can’t be the wound you wear to sleep, always.” This prayer-promise features lovely vocals from Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak.

But, with Herring’s words, it really isn’t the poetry that gets to you, for he’s more a Raymond Carver than a John Keats. It’s the treatment of the things we actually say. In the tender and piercing, When I Found You, it is simply put – “You know I love you / And I still do.” There’s a line in Close to None that I’ve been waiting for a man to say to me for years, “I’ve been trying to get back to you for some time.” These words are proof that people don’t need poetry as much as explicit maxims that sum everything up – I love you. I miss you. I want you back.

The last few tracks concern turning the corner.  Give Us the Wind is an anthem about not denying your pain, embracing it, in fact. Wearing it with pride like a war wound on your chest. I love the defiance – “Don’t bless me / No don’t bless me / We don’t want your blessing.” Rather feel the pain then regret never feeling anything at all. As I recently said to a friend. I’d rather be burned by the chemicals then to not do the experiment.

In Balance, we’re reminded that it takes time, which seems corn dog, but it’s always good to be reminded of that. There’s the hymnal Tybee Island and then the exit music of the album, Grease, which is kinda about starting over again. I like the last line of the chorus, “I’m growing old / I was a boy not long ago.” I know the feeling. We all do after a certain point, if we are playing this game correctly.

Much of “On the Water” was recorded literally on the water in North Carolina, so throughout, ambient sounds of the waves and wind chimes can be heard. Or maybe it’s the clinking glasses of the restaurant on a loop. Either way, the first melody sneaks up on you – and wherever you actually are doesn’t really matter because you’re suddenly lost in thought and memory and hope about the last great love of your life. It’s that moment that you’ve finally found yourself at enough distance. You turn this album on as you start walking away. Each step is going to hurt, but it was going to hurt anyway – wasn’t it?

Among other things, I believe that music is a tool to help us retain our memories. I use it to lock in moments and feelings, the look in someone’s eye, lovemaking sessions and fights, conversations, the seasons, the electricity in the air, where I live, what I love. I’m one of those people who organizes life with albums. On the Water couldn’t have shown up at a more timely time. Initially, I thought this was about my Apollo. Especially the tune, Where I Found You. It seemed so pertinent for us.

But, no. It turns out that this album belongs to my beautiful Narcissus. In ten years time, when I listen to these laments and ballads, it’ll be his eyes I see with those long, long, eyelashes. I’ll be his Echo again, deep in cave, repeating my affections to his deaf ears.  Something snapped in him last night. I did something I don’t fully understand and I think he’s gone for good. I’m so stunned and sad about it that I haven’t been able to cry yet. I haven’t even really slept, either. But I have listened to this album about twelve times.

To listen to the album before you commit:


Future Islands will be at the Bowery Ballroom on December 1 – And so will I. They will be closing out US dates in Baltimore, their home turf, on December 3. I love them so much, I may just hightail it there as well.

They will also be in performing in some of other favorite cities in November:

November 5 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest

November 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill

November 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex
November 18 – Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar

November 23 – New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar

I know you weren’t good to me. It hurts to lose you all the same.

Mornings don't make sense to me.

There's nothing to look forward to on my weekends.

“Isn’t she easy?” Pretty in Pink is kind of a heartbreaking song

Maybe the Psychedelic Furs are singing about a prostitute. Maybe Caroline is a transvestite. Either way, this new wave anthem that immortalized Molly Ringwald as the inamorata of teenage love triangles in the eighties, is actually a pretty tragic portrait of a girl who is easy on the eyes and easy to get into bed.

In the  movie, Andie gets the boy. In the song, Caroline gets used. Her lovers never buy her flowers, brag about bagging her and then forget her name. However, if there is a tribute at all to the tarts of the world, Caroline stays a sweet optimistic flower in spite of how badly she is treated. She laughs in the rain, tells jokes and loses herself in dreams. She whispers, “I love you” in her lover’s ear and buttons his shirt as she sends him on his way to the traffic that is waiting outside where “these cars collide.”

But the collision with Caroline is the one that matters. The last line of the first verse explains it, “She lives in the place in the side of our lives / Where nothing is ever put straight.” Caroline is the irresistible desire on the outskirts of reality that we all live in. Time with a girl like Caroline drowns a person in their senses. It’s a world where they listen to the libido litanies and willingly choke on the smoke of bedroom fires. But we can’t live there, can we?  A person cannot accomplish their goals there. They can’t get a promotion or buy a car or pay their taxes in a world like that.

Oh, Caroline, I know how it feels. My lovers, too, have crawled away while I was dreaming about them. Have we really been forgotten so easily as we fear? Or did we make an indelible mark of some kind? Has our blissful hour been tattooed somewhere beneath their skin? And did it itch when he, who we loved so well, walked down the aisle towards a future with a more suitable woman? Will he remember us when he is old and slow and, in that feverish dream, will we still be young and loving and pretty in pink?

This is the original video. Checkerboard floors, Victorian dress, smashing guitars, busts, armless mannequins, tutus in frames, and Richard Butler on a pink chaise lounge! What does is all mean?!?!?!?

Pretty in Pink Lyrics

Caroline laughs and
It’s raining all day
She loves to be one of the girls
She lives in the place
In the side of our lives
Where nothing is
Ever put straight
She turns herself round
And she smiles and she says
‘This is it’

‘That’s the end of the joke’
And loses herself
In her dreaming and sleep
And her lovers walk
Through in their coats

Pretty in pink
Isn’t she?
Pretty in pink
Isn’t she?

All of her lovers
All talk of her notes
And the flowers
That they never sent
And wasn’t she easy
And isn’t she
Pretty in pink
The one who insists
He was first in the line
Is the last to
Remember her name
He’s walking around
In this dress
That she wore
She is gone
But the joke’s the same

Pretty in pink
Isn’t she?
Pretty in pink
Isn’t she?

Caroline talks to you
Softly sometimes
She says
‘I love you’ and
‘Too much’
She doesn’t have anything
You want to steal
Nothing you can touch
She waves
She buttons your shirt
The traffic
Is waiting outside
She hands you this coat
She gives you her clothes
These cars collide

Pretty in pink
Isn’t she?
Pretty in pink
Isn’t she?

We had a brief exchange last night but it wasn’t the same.

We were so young when we met

Cigarette Rollers

Twin Shadow is actually a rock band – Webster Hall, NY 10/7/11

I saw Twin Shadow at Webster Hall on October 7th, night before I went to Los Angeles. I’ve wanted to see this act for a while because I Can’t Wait was on my September soundtrack. I love the story it tells. It’s a great tactic to get the right man to pay attention to you. I know. I’ve done it.

The scene’s a club or a show. There’s this girl and she has this slimy guy hanging all over her. He’s harassing her for a dance, inappropriately touching her and so she turns to our hero and says, “I hate his moves.” Our hero saves her and they begin to dance. It gets hot and heavy pretty quickly and he remarks, “You know, she loves my moves.” It’s a little unclear what happens after that. The hero is suddenly in a quiet room, taken aback by having never felt so wild. But he’s talking to himself, not her. She’s gone. Everything was so quick, all choices made impulsively and instantaneously, under the influence of passion, and now, he’s dumbfounded and alone and can’t help but keep asking “Is it over?”

So much significance once second followed by the eerily absent of meaning the next. That inability to wait, rushing too fast into it, burning too brightly and then burning out. Spark to smoke. How many times have we heard that story.

Twin Shadow often gets hailed as hyper-influenced by haunting 80s synth-pop. And that’s true it a good way. It’s definitely heart pounding sounds matched with heartbreaking lyrics. You know, sad stories you can dance to. But what you won’t know unless you see them live is that Twin Shadow is a total fucking rock band. George Lewis, Jr. has a dreamy deep voice, great hair and plays a mean guitar – no way not to fall in love with a boy like that. His band is tight and the show was singeing.

The only bad thing was the scene. Lots of disrespectfuls, spilling beers on me and crowding me. The drunk dumbfuck behind me kept on singing loudly and off-key. “Glad you are a fan, please shut the fuck up.” (I actually said this to him. That didn’t go over well.) Also, and this is a problem with Webster Hall on a Friday night, there were lots of assholes there who obviously didn’t know the band but were just looking for “something fun to do.” They ignored the incredible band playing their hearts out and just talk to each other while the show’s on. These people are obnoxious and tend to be dressed badly.

Regardless, Twin Shadow was amazing and I can’t wait to see them again. Here’s I Can’t Wait:

October Soundtrack: Songs for roadtrips to recover from heartbreak and soul sickness

I took the 101 all the way up to Santa Rosa. That old beaten and breathlessly beautiful El Camino Real. There’s not much to say about it. I was bleeding out and confused. I’d just had what was probably the most painful night of my little life. All it took was an old flame to burn me again. I was fucked and lonely and stuck in his apartment, nursing the beginnings of a hangover, too tired to leave, too agitated to sleep. We talked so I know he didn’t mean to really mean to hurt my feelings. It was more carelessness than cruelty. But it was killer nevertheless. And I’ve been drinking too much and smoking too much and working too much and obsessing and worrying about everything. I was pretty soul sick in New York, but only one night in Los Angeles and I was ready to runaway.

So. Hit the road and believe it or not, I figured it out. After three years of punishment, I think I’ve been paroled.  I don’t know how it happened – it hurt so bad and then suddenly it didn’t. Something shifted and an opening appeared and I walked through it. I don’t feel numb, on the contrary – I actually feel so much more than I think I’ve felt it a while. For the longest time, it seemed like there wasn’t any room for me to feel anything but sorrow and longing. But now, there’s space.

There’s this quote I wrote down once in my journal by Rupert Brooke,”I thought when love for you died, I should die. It’s dead. Alone, most strangely, I live on.” Not the most profound sentiment ever said, yet it is a state of grace all we heartbroken should endeavor to inhabit. It’s eerie to find yourself finally over it. How many times did you think you were already there just to realize you were still in process of letting it go?  You just can’t choose to stop loving someone and pretend to be healed. You have to wait to you arrive in that place – that strange, bizarre place where you realize that loving someone forever doesn’t necessarily mean kicking yourself forever. That it takes much longer to heal then you thought, but you finally got there. And the road keeps going.

So… here’s the soundtrack:

1.  Searching for Heaven – The Drums   “I can’t need you tonight.”


2.  Your House Is My World – Apparat


3.  Strange Mercy – St. Vincent


4.  Tyrant Destroyed – Twin Shadow


5.  Goodbye Horses – Q Lazzarus

6.  Haunted When the Minutes Drag – Love and Rockets


7. Nightcall – Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx


8.  Sea Within a Sea – The Horrors

9. Dazzle – Siouxsie & Banshees

10.  Movie Monster – Sound Team

11. Black Water – Apparat

12. No Widows – The Antlers

13. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton


It is time to see whether I am worth my salt.

On my lion days, all I want to do is sleep and eat red meat.