Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Send this to Coca-Cola

Momma & me

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's a small and creepy world out there...

I've learned just how small of a world the Internet really is this week. Turns out, my recent post about all the cool, free music I got my hands on caused a minor stir at WTMD. What I didn't (and don't in general) consider is that people can set Google alerts on any subject imaginable so that when someone (like me, for example) writes anything about that particular subject, it will show up in their inboxes with a convenient little link to that tidbit of online literature. Or they could just, like, Google it.

As chance would have it, one of the artists whose name I included in this recent blog post of mine saw it and apparently was displeased to hear that WTMD had thrown their album in a "Box o' Crap," as I so eloquently put it, for anyone to take. I can't say I blame them. But hey, they should take it as a compliment that I found it aesthetically pleasing enough to grab and take a listen to!

So how did this get back to me? John was in the WTMD studios following up on a radio show he co-hosted that will be airing in the coming weeks, and one of the guys working there told him. How did HE know? The artist called the studio to see what was up with his/her CD getting thrown in a Box o' Crap! Now, I have no idea how this conversation went. I'm not putting words in anyone's mouth. But said artist told him about the blog, and I guess he looked it up and recognized me from my previous visits to the studio, so he told John who told me. As it turns out, the station simply had multiple copies of the CD and didn't need this particular extra.

What I'm curious about is what artist/band it actually was. That, I don't know. Was it you, Thomas Dybdhal? Or you, miss Caroline Herring? Let me just get this out of the way and list them all in hopes that whoever it was will receive this in their inbox and once again read my blog: Nurses, Crash Kings, Catherine MacLellan, War Tapes, Flea Market Poets, Girls, Black Blondie, Trevor Hall, Black Friday, Peter Bradley Adams. Can you hear me?

Well, whoever it was-- leave me a comment next time! This little blog gets lonesome sometimes, and it's nice to know when someone's reading.

This did get me thinking, though, about what other people might be reading without my ever knowing it. As far as I know, there aren't any creepy dudes stalking or e-stalking me, but there is a pretty big difference between regular stalking and e-stalking. Hell, Facebook epitomizes e-stalking, but at least we control who we're friends with and what they see. This blog is out there for anyone to read. I guess that's the point. But it makes me realize just how careful we all need to be when we write stuff on the Internet, because once it's out there, it's out there forever. Every keystroke we make is recorded somewhere deep and dark on our computers-- it's how police often solve murder cases.

It's also why in the few times I've had my computers repaired, I've been uncomfortably aware of the fact that the repairman could look at every single picture I have if he wanted. It's supposed to be a personal computer, but it's far from it.

So now I address all you potential anonymous readers: do comment should the mood strike. Sometimes I feel like I'm talkin' to myself. Though I guess that would be my fault for not exactly promoting my blog. And by "not promoting" I mean not telling anyone. It is a strange concept sometimes, writing for the uknown interweb public. 'Tis the beauty, I guess, that I can write without taking into great consideration who's reading, but rather what I'm writing. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.

As for you, anonymous musician-- don't lose heart. You never know what campus weirdo is diggin' yo music.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Bouncer Has No Heart on Valentine's Day

Instead of bragging about how wonderful my Valentine's Day was, let me tell you a story that helped make last night an unforgettable one.

First, though not entirely my own original wisdom, let me say this: bouncers are bullies who wanted to be cops but failed, who use their weight and height as power, who do so because that is the only power they'll ever have over anything. I'm generalizing, surely, but it's true. Introduce me to one nice bouncer. If you were to say to me, "Hey, my brother is a bouncer and he's a nice guy!" I'd say that I was sorry (sort of) for possibly offending you, and I'm sure your brother is really nice to you, but I'll bet you he's a jerk as soon as he positions himself with his feet spread wide apart, arms crossed over his chest, and mouth twisted in a smirk in front of a venue.

Let me enlighten you.

After a lovely dinner downtown in Little Italy last night, John and I headed over to Rams Head Live to see Umphrey's McGee, a funky and awesome jam band. John had given me a pair of red, light-up heart-shaped glasses, which were also funky and awesome, so I wore them most of the night. Several people complimented them. Some even asked to take pictures of me in them. It was wonderful! Then, after we relocated to a different spot in the venue, a large man (a bouncer), came close to me and motioned me over with his finger. I was prepared to defend myself (I was only drinking water!), when I faced him and he snatched the glasses off my head. He didn't ask for me to hand them over. He took them. Called them a "distraction." Uh. What? Aren't PEOPLE a distraction? Aren't alcohol, loud voices, and dancing distractions, too, then? I recall camera flashes going off. As far as I know, there wasn't a "no camera" policy posted. And there certainly wasn't a "no glowy things" policy posted. Calmly, I tried reasoning with him. Couldn't I just have a warning? Can't I just turn them off? It's not like I would turn them back on the second Fathead walked away. John, being both male and my boyfriend, was also displeased and tried to convince the guy to hand the glasses back over. When it was clear that wasn't happening, we asked for his name so we could find him and get the glasses back when we leave. He wouldn't even do us that favor. So, in short, a nameless bouncer more or less stole my damn Valentine's Day glasses.

This, of course, put us in a bad mood. We contemplated leaving early just so we could get the glasses back and not have to wait in a long coat check line later. Soon after the "incident" when John tried to tell this to the bouncer, he didn't believe him. John talks to head of security, who talks to Fathead, who lies to head of security, who then won't let us get them back, not until the end of the show. Blah blah blah...

We eventually did get the glasses back, but not before a smartass comment from the bouncer. I believe John's words to him were: "You can steal, and you can lie, but God sees everything." (I heart my valentine.)

You'd think the BS would end there. John and I did re-enter the main hallway where you buy tickets because his drummer, Tom, was there handing out flyers for John Mancini Band's upcoming show at the 8x10 on March 6th. I, of course, had put my glasses back on my head where they belonged. Looking up, I noticed one of the bouncers had followed us out the door and back into the main entrance. Granted, I know it may have looked somewhat suspicious, but we clearly weren't making moves to get back into the venue, and I couldn't have anyway because I'm under 21. The bouncer said something into his radio and turned back around. As we headed to the elevator to leave, ANOTHER bouncer we hadn't even dealt with pointed at us and said to the guy at the door, "These two don't go back inside." Meanwhile, we had already walked past the entrance and clearly were leaving. GET A LIFE and worry about something worth WORRYING ABOUT.

Which brings me to my next point: why weren't these bouncers more concerned with all the people selling drugs? Seriously, it was no secret that they were readily available at this particular concert. John and I were not intoxicated, nor were we obnoxious or violent, and yet security felt it was more necessary to control our "distracting" light-up toys than drugs and people ON drugs.

It's clear bouncers love the thrill of "catching" someone doing something wrong or getting in an argument with someone just so they can kick them out. It's all a game, and I get it-- you're sad and bored, and you probably deal with a lot of drunken idiots. But I am a young, delicate girl. It is unnecessary to treat me like a criminal. And even though I am a young and delicate girl, I would have KICKED THAT GUY'S ASS for taking those glasses off my head had he not been, you know, four hundred pounds.

Despite these events, we had a wonderful Valentine's Day. In fact, this experience added to our night in a way-- look what a great story it made! Don't doubt, though, that I wasn't going to let it slide. Just an hour ago, I made a call to the venue and discussed at length my issues with the venue and its so-called policies and especially its security.

Happy Valentine's Day, Fathead.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Wonderhole

As I would imagine the whole world should know, Maryland and the surrounding states are experiencing a natural disaster of sorts. I've done everything I should do for the past five days: read, write, sleep, sled, wear sweatpants, wear slippers, wear my Snuggie, drink hot chocolate, and drink beer.

But this is getting ridiculous.

I haven't been to school since my last blog post a week ago, though I should say that I don't have Thursday or Friday classes. But alas, the semester just started! Going back will be a slap in the face for teachers and students alike, though we may never go back at this point. Because, really, what is the point? We get a week off in March for Spring Break. And May isn't a full month anyway. April will be the only full month of the whole semester, unless something awesome and/or terrible happens then, too. I'm all for it.

Because, though I am going a little stir crazy, you know, this too shall pass. And in April, when it's too warm for snow days but definitely too cold for all this snow to have melted (it WILL still be here in June, folks), we'll be wishing for any excuse not to be doing what we should be doing-- uh, learning.

Funny, though, that this should happen during the first semester I've been excited about in a while. Not last semester, no no, when I had evil teachers and 15-page papers. C'est la vie and some crap, ya know? Murphy's Law? Sure.

Meanwhile, John's cats are even exhibiting signs of cabin fever as they continuously fight, meow non-stop to be let outside (only to decide Screw that!), and follow me to the bathroom. These little things are entertainment enough to not be completely out of my mind. Yet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Box o' Crap

Happy February, everybody. Not only is February the month of leeerrrvv, it's also the month of black people. You know what I learned today? Slash of Guns 'n' Roses is half African. Nigerian, in fact. I never knew that! Then again, I never thought about it either way. Here's a (blurry) picture I took of Slash back in November 2008 at the Tribute to Les Paul in Cleveland:


On a moderately unrelated subject, I had some good fortune last night. Walking to class, I came across some boxes outside WTMD 89.7 FM's studios with a sign labeled "Free CDs." Imagine my luck! Boxes full mostly of bands I've never heard of. I quickly grabbed three albums that looked like they might be good, but I had to get to class. I sat through most of it impatiently bouncing my leg in anticipation of going back for more.

Of course, there were plenty more when class was dismissed early because of the snow, and I dug through the boxes like a homeless person digs through dumpsters. It's fun judging CDs by their covers! That's really all I had to base my choices on. In total, I stole 14-- I couldn't carry any more than that. I headed to John's afterward, and we had ourselves a listening party. I felt like a record exec making decisions that would change bands' lives forever. As we listened to the first track of each CD, we made snap judgments: "yes" or "meh." All we needed were big, fat cigars in our mouths.

One of the first we listened to was Thomas Dybdahl, a Norwegian singer-songwriter compared to Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley and the like. He was one of my favorites. Check out "From Grace."

Another artist I enjoyed was Caroline Herring, who sounds like a countrified Joni Mitchell.

Nurses was interesting, and Crash Kings, whom I'd heard previously, is loud, fun rock. (I always want to use words like "are" instead of "is" or when referring to bands whose names end with an "S," but that's technically incorrect. I think. I'll have to check. Ugh, why do I care? It's MY blog!)

Anyway, if you want to check out the other bands I stumbled upon, here they are. Google 'em:

  • Catherine MacLellan
  • War Tapes
  • Flea Market Poets
  • Girls
  • Black Blondie
  • Trevor Hall
  • Black Friday
  • Peter Bradley Adams

(I picked up Muse and Spoon singles, too. They're just more well-known.)

Still have more listening to do before I can determine whether some of these artists truly are good or meh. Let me know who you like!