Saturday, October 11, 2008

I’m Gonna Cack Ya

I’m in that goldilocks zone of boredom where I’m too bored to thumb through my DVD library for something to watch, but not bored enough to do schoolwork. That’s Blog Country right there. These moments do not come often, as is demonstrated so clearly by my spotty attendance record with this here journal, and when they do come, it’s not guaranteed that I’ll have anything interesting to say.

I was at a bookstore with my sister last weekend and in their vinyl LP section they had five or six records with titles to the effect of “Songs of the Third Reich”. I guess they, along with all the other records at the shop, came from the same gentleman’s collection. He also had copies of “MacArthur Park” and “Purple Rain”, so I imagine, to his credit, that the Nazi records were more a reflection of his interest in history than his preferences in music or racial purity.

I finally brought myself to walk into American Apparel this week. Since I am not a tall, stringbean-like man with a wall-eyed expression or a swan-like woman with grandma glasses and a Pocahontas headband, I felt more than a little out of place. But I had assumed this would happen going in. What I hadn’t assumed was that the dressing rooms would consist of a series of voting booths at the back of the store, made just barely private by thin white curtains. In my little booth, I couldn’t help but hear the lady employees, all dressed like Peter Pan, talking about making their boyfriends cry as they folded clothes. Another thing I hadn’t assumed about American Apparel was that the employees would be so nice. I guess they must not ship them in by crate from L.A. along with the clothes, huh? Ha-ha; Minnesota is clearly better.

My mother sends me letters every week। She mentioned in her last message that she felt bad that she hadn’t been keeping up in her weekly writing. This made me feel awful, because I have never in my entire life written a letter to her. It would be too picture-perfect, too functional of me to write her a response telling her she’s the most important person in my life, or how grateful I am for everything she’s given me (which is almost everything I have), or that when I think of home I mostly think of her.

I don’t like Joanna Newsom. It’s not that I don’t respect her abilities as an artist, or that I don’t like harp music, or that I’m jealous that she’s only twenty-six and already way more hip than I could ever hope to be (although that is troubling to me). It’s that I feel she goes out of her way to sound like a muppet that bothers me.

I’ll try to put some interesting content up in the coming few weeks। I have some neat projects I have to do for school, and they ought to be pertinent enough blog material

As Captain James Tiberius Kirk and Commander William Thomas Riker begin to slash their way through the dense, alien jungle, they barely have time to wonder why they are appearing together on the same television series before they are AMBUSHED by SAVAGE, BACKWARDS MONGREL-MEN (and a dinosaur)! ALL IN NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE: PLANET OF THE MONGREL-MEN.*

*“TWOK Captain Kirk™” and “Commander Riker™” action figures intellectual property of Gene Roddenberry. “Mongrel-Man™” action figure property of LucasArts™. “TYRANNOSAURUS RES™” figure provided by China™. Foreground scenery provided by Nerf™. Background scenery created with Crayola™.


Shobhna said...

I highly doubt Joanna actually tries to sound the way she does, she just doesn't care what she really does sound like. She has an untrained voice because though she's been playing harp as a kid, she only started singing towards the end of her teens. To that effect I think her songwriting and singing abilities (in terms of tone, not merely voice) are highly commendable, don't you think?

Shobhna said...

*since she was a kid, I mean.

(sorry!) :)

Jeffrey Beaumont said...

As a self-taught singer myself, I must humbly submit the opinion that people without formal vocal training may still establish a deliberate vocal style. I believe very sincerely that Joanna Newsom sings the way she does entirely on purpose, especially given some of the extremely difficult tricks she performs with her voice.

That said, I didn't say I don't respect her abilities as a singer. She's an extremely able vocalist with more talent than I or most people will ever have. But that doesn't change my opinion that the way she chooses to utilize her talent is awful. That is all.

Shobhna said...

Interesting point. Why, in your opinion, would she do so, considering the flak she gets for it by so many?

(Hope you don't mind me asking)

Jeffrey Beaumont said...

I think I'd have less respect for her if she changed her voice to be more "pleasing". Part of being an artist is taking other people's advice and not following it.

This, however, does not change the fact that I can't stand Joanna Newsom's voice. Similarly, I respect the ideas supporting the Dadaists, but I hate Marcel Duchamp's artwork because, like Joanna Newsom's voice, it causes me to feel sick to my stomach. One can simultaneously have reverence for and be completely repulsed by someone or something.