I really think I planned my goodbye to NY’s privelaged music scene quite well. Kicking it off was Jacob Vanags who I gushed about at length already. And then Sunday Night was a very different type of show. It was like being in the live audience for an MTV unplugged rehearsal. And I only say rehearsal because their banter was a little unpolished … which only made the show better. Those guys are very cool.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
- Listen to their music and enjoy.
- Tell everyone you know. Retweet this. Post it on people’s walls.
- GO TO their Sunday shows at The Canal Room. Totally worth it.
April 19th is next!
- I’m counting on you to do this because I need them to still be playing when I get back to NYC in a few months.
that I’ve been in love with Brian Chartrand’s music for years and years. One of the first recommendations from Icon Music I received was Brian Chartrand’s “Better Way to Spend the Day” with Ten Dollar Outfit. After hearing it a couple hundred times on myspace, I did basically what I did to Jacob Vanags: I totally stalkerbooked him. (Are we seeing a pattern here? Well, when I like a musician, I really like them. I’m not shy. And unsurprisingly, Brian is pretty damn cute in person. He smiles a lot.) So this was about 5 years ago or more—and the song is still on my playlist of 10-15 songs I listen to when I go to sleep/am depressed/need a musical hug. Unfortunately he was (is still) based out of Phoenix, AZ meaning there was about 5% chance in hell I would ever get to see TenDollarOutfit perform live. THEN while trying to plan a bunch of shows for my farewell tour of NYC’s underground (which I would also be saying hello to at the same time) I discovered his new band The Sweet Remains … with regular shows in NYC!!!
What are the chances that I would discover that a musician, who I had stopped hoping to see, is starting a regular gig in the very brief window of opportunity left to me?? Yeah, not high. Serendipity.
(Here’s a live recording of The Sweet Remains singing “Better Ways To Spend the Day.” I wish I could say I almost passed out when they started singing this last night, but really, I’m not that lame and it’s a bit dramatic. But I WAS all tingly through the whole thing. Surreal. I was also all tingly all through “Moving in Slow Motion.” Wish I had a video of that for you.)THE SHOW:
I arrived late (stupid weekend trains—curse you!) with my wingman, Eddie, but it felt like they had just started. I heard all of my favorite songs anyway, so I guess I arrived in plenty of time. ;)
Three musicians, the aforementioned Brian Chartrand, Rich Price, and Greg Naughton — all amazing musicians individually. They were set up in the middle of the space on a raised platform, all facing each other. Three singers, a bunch of guitars, a piano, and a guest drummer (who was also freaking awesome and will be recording with Paul Simon soon). The audience was seated in little couches and pouffes all around them. (We had to sit up in what looked like a VIP area a little removed, but it was a good view.)
The band had such great chemistry together. Others have gone on about their amazing tight harmonies—like a new-rock barbershop quartet with effortless harmonies that surround the soul and remind me of a male version of “Go to Sleep You Little Baby” from O Brother Where Art Thou—so I won’t go into that. What I really enjoyed about the show was watching their visual cues to each other. Rich kept making faces at Brian and making him laugh. (I presume he was making faces but I’m not entirely sure since I could only see Brian’s face.) They went off script a LOT and kept giving each other (usually Rich) crap about it, but the dropped cues never interrupted the flow because everyone else covered any mishaps. Here’s a different way of thinking about it:
IT WAS REALLY LIKE I was chilling at a campfire with these guys. They were playing music they loved and as is the case with impromptu jam sessions, someone jumps in with “OMG check this out!” starts playing something else and everyone else joins in after a beat to create a new rendition of an old love that is better than it ever could’ve been if it had been planned. The excitement, joking, and rawness of a live show was shared 3-fold.
Also unexpected, but awesome, was the inclusion of “dad.” During the cover-song jam, which was requested via Facebook and will be for every show at The Canal Room, they got themselves into a harmony that needed a deep bass. Well, try as he might, Brian just couldn’t quite hit the note. So Greg brought his dad up to show ‘em how it’s done. He immediately went into the crazy scatting of Blue Moon. Classic. (seriously, just like my dad. I can just imagine what their campfires are like if the Von-Moe family singers are anything to go by.)
So it turns out we lucked out that they were recording the show. And as a lucky member on their email list—I eventually get to hear it all again for free!! Sooo happy.THE MUSIC:
The music is obviously great. Three musicians together who are all very strong individually, but no one steals the stage - they truly create a collaboration. The real power is in the songwriting. The lyrics are crazy-awesome. (highly technical term, I know) Someone who has dated these men needs to come forward and let us know if this is really how they are, because if so, can I date you? A lot of the songs talk about how love should be (at least in my opinion). Sure there are breakup songs, love songs, and supposedly not about love songs in the mix … but all of the stories they tell are like John Mayer’s “Comfortable.” The kind of real relationship that isn’t full of romantic ideals that no one can live up to. The songs are about the easy life of being in love - how that one simple factor in your life can make anything better. Particularily poignant were the lines
“can’t deny the way that your lookin in your brand new two-piece.
If I had my way, I’d find a bit of shade and follow those tan lines …” from Easy
“You say your boss will know you’re missin
Your bein naked makes it hard. To Listen.
I know you’re runnin late
and the deadlines at work, they can wait
I can think of better ways to spend the day …” from Better Ways To Spend the Day
(I didn’t mean to imply I only have sex on the brain. There are other good lines too …)Their message: Savor life. Enjoy the sun. Don’t let work be who you are. Appreciate what you’ve got when you’ve got it. When things go bad, you can be sad, but know there are people who still love you.
A video of The Sweet Remains in the studio recording “What I’m Looking For”
So if you’re still reading, which I don’t know why you are, I will share with you my last fun moment of the evening. Brian was the lucky guy who got to man the merch table. It had been so long since we’d corresponded over myspace (stalkerbook-style on my part, but he was very nice to not be creeped out. I’m really harmless. And live really far away.) that I assumed he had NO idea who I was. I was just happy to finally get to meet him. However, that damn picture I have for my myspace profile has never changed (see below), and I got a big ol “I didn’t recognize you without the Groucho Marx glasses!” Ha! It’s nice to be remembered—even if it’s for those stupid glasses.
I just hope that next time I see The Sweet Remains I get to go with a gaggle of my hot girlfriends (sorry, Eddie and James, you can come too. I will ammend it to say a gaggle of my hot friends) and we can take the band out for a drink if they’re up to it.
Obviously I’m still floating from the show. Gotta love live music. You really need to see their live set. April 19th is next!!!
- Do not open the internet (except for work purposes) especially the time suckers Twitter and Facebook.
- Do not reply to any messages I get that aren’t work related.
- Do not cheat by obsessively checking my phone and killing its battery the way I did the other day when I tried to turn off twitter & FB.
Goal 2: Get a lot of shit done today!!! (namely stuff that requires me to not be sitting at my computer)
- Fail on 1.
- We’ll still see on 2.
Why did I fail? Well, I woke up late. As usual. Because I went to sleep at 4:30am. So no one could expect me to get up before 11am, right? (those of you who kept me up that late, you know who you are!)
Also, after lunch with the Suvudu peeps at Random House (@suvudu), which was really fun, I started writing down a list of things in my notebook that I wanted to post on twitter as a sort of “twitter roundup” tonight. WTF?? If I’m taking the time to write shit down, I might as well post it. Seriously, I passed up a picture of a Mullet because I couldn’t post it. (But I did get a sweet one of the biggest man-purse I’ve ever seen. And boy did he work it!)ANOTHER REASON
is that both Jared and Josh wrote to me in different mediums to entice me back online. Seriously, Josh actually texted me “Hey Susie … Just wanted to let you know there is some CRAZY stuff happening on the internet right now.” A. I love that you still call me Susie. B. NOT FAIR. But still hilarious. I had actually been monitoring the internet all day “because I had a lot of work-related emails to send” - so I knew you were full of shit. But yeah, I cheated.So what the hell.
If my inner monologue is still on Twitter mode, then why fight it? I can wean myself off of twitter - by not obsessively responding to every little response. But I don’t really need to quit cold turkey. … right? Ugh. See what I mean? HARDER THAN QUITTING CAFFEINE. Yes, Jared, I’m addicted. But I’m not hurting anyone!
Let the posting begin … !
- Him: Daddy often talks to himself in the third person. It helps keep Daddy sane.
- Me: However accurate, using Daddy as the identifier in the 3rd person is actually kind of ... creepy.
- Him: This is how Daddy rolls.
- Me: I bet you do, you dirty bitch.
I have decided to move out of NYC and go back home to ND temporarily. I was laid off in January and the huge lack of jobs in publishing at the moment is staggering. (At least, I think they’ve stopped laying people off now. Right?) And it will be a few months, if not more, before things start to pick back up (or before they realize that with the amount of books they currently have, the staff can’t possibly keep this up indefinitely … wishful thinking?)
So we were able to break our lease and get out by March 31st. Only, the cost of moving into a new apt ($$), with new roommates (emotionally), and the stress of making ends meet without a steady job/benefits was something I did not want to go through after the last two months. As it turns out, the cost of moving to a new apt what with the truck rental, storage space, deposit, etc it’s about the same cost as my mom hitching up the trailor and driving out here!
Sure, I’ll be ready to temp or subsist on freelancing gigs soon enough - I mean, actors do it ALL the time, right? - but I wasn’t quite ready to give up being a corporate whore. And I mean that in the best possible sense. It isn’t just because it’s easier and more secure. I like working for “the man” because it’s a collaborative effort. When you get a query, or a problem figuring out your html, you need a second read, or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, there is always someone around. Freelancing just doesn’t work like that. At least not as much.
SO, MY DECISION to move home wasn’t easy. But I’LL BE BACK. (Ugh, I just quoted Aaahnold. Boo). I’m going to enjoy the hell out of the lake cabin, (hopefully help my dad flip it, and finally finish the 2/3rds of the cabin that has been in construction for the last 10 years) ride my bike a lot, spend time with my family, friends, and heterolifemate … and work my ass off trying to find another job. Or work up enough of a freelancing profile/platform to be able to subsist when I move back.
MY BIG PROBLEM NOW: The decision to move lifted a giant weight off my shoulders and allowed me to enjoy the time I have left. Only now that I’m leaving — I DON’T WANT TO! I’m finally falling in love with NYC. After over a year of hating on NY (but loving on Del Rey) I get it. I understand why people love this city. So I think the claws will sink in for another month and drag me back sooner rather than later.
In order to combat the looming depression of leaving this place, I made a nowhere near comprehensive list of Pros and Cons. The Pros come out in favor of the move, whether it’s something I miss about ND/MN, or something I dislike about NY. The Cons are the bulleted entries and come out in favor of staying in NYC.
Feel free to debate these … however, keep in mind that I made this list to convince myself that it’ll be better for me to go home for the summer.
More opportunities to sing really loud with my music due to all of the driving I’ll be doing. (I really kind of miss making up my own harmonies and failing miserably without anyone being able to hear it.)-Pro
- (Really good, often cheap) Live Music-Con
- Greaaaat food from NON-chains-Con
Water Sports: skiing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, tubing-Pro
Ok, so neither driving nor public transportation are perfect. Driving works for ND much better than public transit would, and subways work much better for NYC than driving does. Well, better than parking, anyway. However, I am both a horrible driver and don’t like doing it - so driving gets a Con, and you’ll see later down the line why Subways are a pro.
Being reunited with Fezzik, my amazing Giant bicycle. (I’ll let you work out why I call it Fezzik for yourself. The hints are in the previous sentence) Oooooh I miss you, Fezzik!-Pro
No Roommates (Well, they’re my parents. It’s different. They play Gin Rummy with me every morning at the kitchen table. You can forgive a roommate a lot of ills if they’ll wake up & play card games with you over eggs & tea.)-Pro
Miguel’s Tacos in Detroit Lakes-Pro
Tubing down Otter Tail or Red Lake Falls-Pro
- A lot more drinking goes on in ND … Con? (Yeah, I’m not so into getting trashed anymore. Kind of over it.)
10,000 Lakes Fest at Soo Pass Ranch (DMB is going to be there.)-Pro
- Cool new friends both in Publishing, and well, in publishing.-Con
- Central Park-Con
People watching from the Union Square Whole Foods giant picture windows-Con
Cheap Movies! In the theater! Pro
- Missing free public events: Shakespeare in the Park (Anne Hathaway is in Twelfth Night this year for the first show :( ), Pillow Fight Day (April 4th, I’m missing it by only a couple of days!), free concerts in the park all summer, Un Sq Farmers Market-Con
Avoiding the hot sticky soupy subway cars that require you to commute with a change of clothes in order to be presentable for your destination (hopefully that’s a job). Pro
No easy outlet for heat relief such as an ocean (within an hour of travel) or swimming pool or even air conditioning that doesn’t make your bill $200/mo-Pro
- My dependence on a train ride/commute to get a good chunk of my reading done. I’ll miss that.-Con
SWIM ALL DAY DAY - Pro
Mexican Dominoes after dinner. (Yes, we play a lot of games. I think I’ll have to introduce “Set” to my family)-Pro
- MULTICULTURALISM - there’s no ‘melting pot’ like NYC-Con
Fun Islands, floaties, reading in the sun on the dock, Campfires-Pro
- Daily High School Reunion-Con
- Large annoying (often loud) trucks and the people who drive them - Con (oh wait! Shit that’ll be me. I have to drive a truck this summer. Well, I will understandably hate myself for it. I’ll turn to Fezzik for comfort.)
Knowing 75% of the people anywhere I go … kind of a Pro, actually
The Dragon Army-Pro
- Flying in for interviews-Con
Yeah, you might think flying to NYC once a month (yeah, right. I’ll believe one interview a month when I see it) is a pro, but really it’s so much easier to take a quick subway trip into town than to spend a day in the airport. Especially when I’m still uncertain of how many tickets I’ll get this year. Here’s to hopin Delta’s benefits plans = unlimited!)
Business Lunch with colleagues. Gonna miss that and miss you guys.-Con
LIVING WITH MY HETEROLIFEMATE!!! (Look out St. Paul!)-PRO (seriously, this one should’ve been first.)
I found jesus! Well, I found his doppleganger anyway … This fall I saw who I thought was James Caviezel (who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ) walking into my healthfood store on 8th Ave/54th. After more furtive staring and deep brain wracking we decided it was really his doppleganger (because he was much younger and a little hotter than Caviezel). For months I could picture his face perfectly but not where I’d seen him on TV/film. Hooray for Dollhouse! Anson Mount is today’s winner of the doppleganger ah ha moment of the day. (And I recognized him from Smallville that afternoon oh so long ago.)
Ever since I read the Hyphen comic from xkcd.com I am incapable of not thinking it when I see/hear it.
Perhaps using the [adjective]-ass [noun] is a little childish anyway and should be put to rest. Along with wicked as an adjective …
I was watching a TV special called Egypt: The Search for Tutankhamun last night, a dramatized documentary about how King Tut was found, and the head archeologist’s main motivation for searching for Tutankhamun was to find out about his life. He desperately wanted to find papyrus scrolls detailing Tut’s life. But what he said struck an interesting chord with me:
“If I went to your house, walked through each room, how much would I actually learn about you just from looking at your possessions. Not much I think. But if I read your diary, came across some household bills, read some letter written to you - then, I think, I might begin to understand who you really were.”
I got to thinking, “What are we leaving behind?” Celebrities blog, answer emails, and twitter. Of course I’m thinking about authors, who in the past are notorious for extensive correspondence, which has given great insight into their art. But what are they leaving behind for scholars when they write all their correspondence/extras online? What happened to the forums and blogs that started in the early 90s? Are they still around, or did they vanish in the ether along with my old emails from 7th grade when I first set up my yahoo IM name as Suemoe69 and still can’t seem to figure out how to remove the damned 69? (yeah, the IM name stayed, but the emails didn’t.)
I wonder if in 100 years people will be able to pour over my emails the way I pour over Jane Austen’s correspondence. In some cases I certainly hope not. But if we’re looking for something that will really last, I’m afraid they won’t find it in my apartment.
So I was riding home the other night on the F train. By myself. A little tipsy. Lookin hot. And a crazy person sat down beside me as they are wont to do late-ish at night on the subway.
This person then proceeded to take out two small needles and get down to business. (I couldn’t tell if it was a he or she at first) With the strangest man-hands I’ve ever seen, sporting nails that look more like acorn shells than nails and fingers that must have been smashed repeatedly in order to make them shorter, she attempted to cap those two needles with little orange tops. Due to the jostling of the train (how dare it), she only capped one.
That capped needle went into a fountain pop cup where more were presumably lurking … but as we were all staring at her by this time, she smashed the lid back on the cup and took a sip from the straw. Uh, eew. And uh, you’re not foolin’ anyone.
Then for the uncapped needle, she rifled through a few little baggies with apparent difficulty. She managed to get it open and pour the white powder onto a small piece of paper. She tapped the powder into the needle and discarded the paper on the floor. - I will never pick anything up from the floor of a subway car again. (Ok, I probably will if I drop something, but I will be properly disgusted next time I do it.)
I WAS INCREDIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE BEING LESS THAN A FOOT AWAY FROM HER. Since her back was kind of to me, I felt no problems in staring at the process freely. However desperately I wanted to say something, she freaked the fuck out of me so I couldn’t. I was also watching the show with a sick curiosity, so I couldn’t get up and move/leave either. Ugh.
After the needle was filled, there was a separation in the tube between the bright white powder and a liquid the color of plasma (I don’t think it was plasma). This woman, who I’ve by now discovered didn’t have any teeth, then flicked the needle repeatedly and vigorously. “14th St next …” was announced by the conductor over the loudspeakers and she got all upset and said to no one in particular, “I don’t know what his problem is. It’s not like it’s going in his arm … mumble mumble grumble.”
At that point I resolved not to fuck with her. Not that I would’ve. But seriously. WHAT DO YOU DO IN THOSE SITUATIONS??
(She got out at the next stop and all of us in that area of the car audibly gave sighs of relief and raised our eyebrows at each other. No one said a word.)
With mild trepedation, Tad started telling me a little story yesterday morning about his friend Mark. Mark was supposed to help his friend Meghan out for a segment she was doing for her Non Society blog about girlfriends who hate their boyfriends’ hair and wish they would take care of it. Mark was supposed to go in for a bitch-fest about how they all thought his hair was out of control and then get a makeover. Unfortunately for Meghan, Mark’s head is currently buzzed pretty short. (his submission photo does display a pretty atrocious coif, but obviously that’s no longer the case)
So, she asked if Mark knew anyone who both needed a haircut, and who would subject himself to potential mockery on short notice. Mark’s girlfriend suggested … Tad?
Which brings us back to my part in all this: my job, should I choose to take it, would be to play the girlfriend. This was in NO WAY a stretch for me since, well, I very recently vacated that position. (I guess you could say on facebook that it’s “complicated”)
TURNS OUT: the girls in question are the Non Society blogger hotties, Meghan Asha, Julia Allison, and Mary Rambin. (I knew having a TV would come in handy at some point. Why did I sell mine!!?) Apparently they’re kind of a big deal. Despite being a big deal, they were all very very nice, just as hot in person, and you guys aren’t seeing the HALF of it in their outtakes. (the shit that came out of their mouths! seriously … and I don’t mean swearing. Julia must have a very interesting love life.)
ALSO TURNS OUT: The segment they were shooting was an ad of sorts for Axe and a promotion for their campaign to help men who are hair style challenged. Tad was the perfect candidate. The episode should be up on Thursday.
(this cuts off Ty’s face, but if you click through you’ll see an amazing rocker stlye going on.)
We had a lot of fun, and Tad got a great haircut. Uh, I probably shouldn’t say this, but I think I styled it better once we got home. Ty gave Tad a great haircut, but since he came in with such ridiculously greasy hair, Ty was pretty shy with the product and just kind of fluffed it up or “separated it” as Mary said. (looked fluffy to me) Plus I love mohawks/fauxhawks so I went to town with the “spike goo” product. It looked much more Tad to both of us. I’ll try to get an “after” after picture for you too.