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Category Archives: my life is sad

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I would like this book regarding language which would be an enormous aid and reference point for when I write my hypothetical thesis.

SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS.

A few posts back I talked about one of my romantic archetypes, so studiously titled “Lacrosse Captain” by my roommate. This is not to say that I haven’t had others; there’s Doughy White Boy, Sardonic Asian, Homey, Bespectacled Intellectual, and Louche Douche. Louche Douche is generally some sexily mean-looking guy who would probably beat the shit out of me at a moment’s notice. I think high school was instructive in the creation of this archetype.

Good recent examples of Louche Douche would be our GOP sideshow clowns like Plumber Samuelbacher Joe and Levi Johnston (although this kid actually seems kind of nice), various athletes (punk bitch Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels comes to mind), and Scott Caan. I don’t know anything about Scott Caan except his father is James Caan, and they both seem like douches. I also have never seen any movies starring Scott Caan except for Ocean’s 11, wherein he is mute or something, and Friends with Money, wherein he is a douchebag. So, perfect.

However, while I haven’t seen Varsity Blues or Into The Blue or Bluesy Blue McBlueyton, I can now happily say that I have seen Scott Caan’s meat and potatoes.

I’ve been obsessed with Laura Nyro since before summer started. She was always one of those artists that you heard about, one of those You Should Listen To This people, but I never made the time for her back when I was a teenager. Part of it was her era, and how she was invariably lumped in with Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon, and other free-thinking hippie granola lesbian armpit hair lady music of the 1970s.

The shame of it is, she is far more interesting to me than her famous counterparts, and I wish I’d paid attention back when I was 15 and heard about her for the first time. I would have had twelve more years of being held captive by her. I shared her first record with Michael and he iterated something similar; I thought she would be just this lame thing and instead her music has been soul-destroying.

I have nothing against Joni Mitchell, and Carole King’s Brill Building work is unimpeachable, but Nyro trumps them by somehow combining the best elements of both (I really can’t stand Carly Simon for some likely irrational reason; she has always struck me as a total douche–and not in the way I understand either, like how Joni Mitchell is a douche). Nyro has Mitchell’s poetics and King’s indestructible sense of melody and structure, but somehow on top of everything else is an intangible sense of humanity present in her delivery and voice. It’s not a great voice, not at all, but like Bob Dylan, she is tremendous singer. Her voice is imminently schoolteacher in the most loving way, plainspoken until she suddenly swoops to falsetto with no warning, for no reason. Which, to me, is somehow more touching and vulnerable and remarkably human than someone with exact technical proficiency. But above all else, there’s her unerring melodicism; it’s no wonder her songs were covered and made into hits by acts as disparate as the Fifth Dimension and Barbra Streisand and Blood, Sweat, and Tears and Three Dog Night.

Probably my favorite Nyro song is “Timer,” insofar as it combines drastically wild elements into one beautiful amalgam. It begins rather simply, sounding like your basic folk melody before immediately switching into vague rock orchestral bombast, and then wild, nearly-avant garde howling. The rest of the song takes up girl group and soul, throws in some classic Tin Pan Alley for good measure, and ends with some vocal circling reminiscent of doo-wop. A song that alternately talks about death, love, and religion to ultimately talk about life should genre-hop in as satisfying and full a manner as this.

My heart breaks: “And if the song goes minor/I won’t mind” and everything after that. Sometimes earlier than that, when she sings “Now my hand is ready for my heart so let the wind blow.”

I was talking to Mark about Laura Nyro, whom he had also slept on, and after a few weeks of listening he declared, “She’s basically the American Kate Bush.” Kate Bush is another one of those singers I’ve been hesitant about; perhaps because of the reputation, perhaps because of the limited exposure I’ve had, where basically I’ve only concerned myself with her vocal affects. I know next to nothing about Kate Bush, so I began with Hounds of Love.

The title track is one of the most remarkable songs I’ve heard in a long time, somehow finding a musical landscape that fits the lyricism, which is top-notch: love metaphorized as fox hunting in which you are both hunted and hunter? It is soaring and claustrophobic, and the drums somehow sound to me like the perfect representation of a self-hater’s neurosis and disbelief regarding romance.

My heart breaks: basically once the drums and synth interconnect at the beginning, really. And then Bush’s singing pushes me over the edge. Especially the first instance of the background vocals.

I can’t properly express the effect this has on me; much like Nyro’s “Timer,” “Hounds of Love” has this magic elixir quality to it that reduces me to weepy emotion, that moves me without even trying, that somehow just cuts right down to the bone. It will take me forever to understand why both of these songs, at this point of my life, carry such intense meaning. Each has to do with one’s relation to oneself and the world at-large, in a specific way that still feels universal and full of something so bogus-seeming as Truth. Pop songs don’t ever do this. These two, somehow, do.

Of the many things I hate about myself, one very prominent one is the kind of dreams that I have. Some people have dreams where they have aerial laser fights with Hitler while a choir of angels resembling Scarlett Johansson jack off their 70-ft dick. Not me. I have dreams about driving a car or reading dumb things on the internet. Basically, all of my dreams are as moribund as everything else in my life, hooray.

Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me–ha just kidding! I actually had a dream that I was reading a video blog by Dianne Feinstein. Only thing is that the first post was a blank space with no video, title of which was “I’m not sure how this works.” The post itself had 789 comments, most of which were by Wonkette‘s Ken Layne, saying things like “ha ha gay old San Franciscans fail at the internet!” but you know, wittier like. And people wondering, “Shouldn’t Feinstein have an intern or assistant to do this shit?”

Well. Feinstein, noticing the popularity of her video blog (I believe those are called “vlogs,” kill this generation now), decides that instead of posting video speeches about policy and important things that I don’t know about, just posts random things she finds on YouTube, like ABBA videos and endless kitty and puppy videos, like Box Cat or Puking Kitten or that amazing thing with the three pugs.

Basically, in my dreams, Dianne Feinstein is nothing more than Kathy Geiss.

I pictured Feinstein taking matchbox cars out of her mouth and woke up laughing hysterically.

Bring me the cyanide pills.