Washington Square Park Performances

Here are a couple of performances I caught in Washington Square Park beneath the arch (while I was waiting for the to Bohemians and Beats of Greenwich Village Literary tour to begin)

 

 

July 24, 2013. Tags: , . Music. Leave a comment.

Jawbreaker Movie and Soundtrack

(Review below was written on 2/4/2000)

I chose to watch this movie on cable one night because I enjoyed other movies Rose McGowan has starred in, but this movie has got to be her worst. She’s great at playing her nasty role but the movie and plot is not good enough for her. I was wondering what made her agree to star in the movie after reading the script. It’s actually so bad, that it’s good in a campy way.

This movie has been compared to Heathers, a movie which basically has the same premise. Heathers is a much smarter film which is well written and which has characters that are better developed. Jawbreaker may be mildly entertaining to look at, what with its colorful sets and costumes. It’s cartoonish and over the top and that may have been the point.

The popular and unpopular alike will be curious about seeing this movie because the unpopular girl gets a makeover and the popular girl is humiliated at the end. By the way, if you want to see was Liz Purr was like alive, you should watch “The Rage: Carrie 2” where the same actress plays a character named Tracy (a popular girl).

After seeing the movie and hearing all the great music in it, I knew that the soundtrack would fulfill my expectations. The music is simply fabulous, especially tracks like Yoo Hoo, Don’t Call Me Babe, and Stay in Bed. Next to You is another great song.

Some of the songs from the movie are not on the soundtrack. For example, the song that plays while the girls are putting their dead friend, Liz, back into bed. I really enjoyed that song and was somewhat disappointed when it didn’t appear on the soundtrack.

Another song from the movie that was absent from the soundtrack was the song Heartbreaker which was playing when the girls were walking down the hall and deciding that the character, Vylette, needed a boy.

Listening to the soundtrack feels like you’re watching the movie all over again. It is hip and stylish like the movie was. There’s a diverse variety of songs and I’m sure everyone will find songs that they love on the soundtrack. The artists on the soundtrack that I would recommend are Ednaswap, Transister, Letters to Cleo, and Grand Mal.

Jawbreaker_Polygram314556033

July 13, 2013. Tags: , , . movies, Music. Leave a comment.

Paint the Sky with Stars

(Review below was written on 5/20/2000)

I always enjoyed Enya’s music but I had never bought one of her albums. I was so happy I decided to buy this one (Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya by Enya) because every single song is perfectly melodious and rich to listen to.

This album is a must buy for anyone who loves new age music and anything by Enya. Her voice is one of a kind and her vocals soar and flow with every note. This is a wonderful album with songs unlike anything else you’ve heard. Songs like Orinoco Flow, Caribbean Blue and China Roses are among my favorites. They take you to another place, and are great for relaxation and total calm. The songs are deep, slow and contemplative.

These are great songs to put on when you want to take some time to daydream and drift away in fantasy. Whether the songs have vocals or are instrumental, their beauty is beyond compare. Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya is a great introduction to this compelling artist and many of her past hits that you might not have known about.

enya

July 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Why I love Garbage

(Entry below was written on Apr 10, 2000)

Garbage is a unique band whose music grabs at your core and doesn’t let go until it has put you through the ringer. Shirley Manson provides vocals that are smoky, deep, moody and beautiful. Her voice reflects the inner anguish she feels. She gives a voice to that little outsider in each of us.

When I was 16 years old, I bought this cd to complement my depressing life. The music gave me strength to cope because it felt like Shirley was feeling the same things I was feeling. Her voice is genuine, sincere, and demanding of attention. It’s still satisfying to listen to her frustration and wrath when I’m in that sort of mood.

This CD helped me through my adolescence because it gave me reason to believe I was not alone, that someone out there could relate. This band’s music helps me live my life.

Buy the Garbage CD! and buy their follow-up, Version 2.0 while you’re at it! They are one of the few bands out there with actual musical, creative talent who don’t get enough attention by the media. Their songs are interesting, moving works of art that are worth many listens.

May 10, 2013. Tags: , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Happiness for Unhappy People

This is a review I wrote back in 2002, of the third Garbage album, Beautifulgarbage

Shirley Manson once said she was thrilled after she read a review saying that Garbage’s music created happiness for unhappy people. That is the perfect way to describe it. I bought this CD on the first day it came out because I love this band, they have been my favorite band since their self titled debut, and I still can’t get enough. I grab every b-side as soon as they come out too.

Garbage’s release, Beautifulgarbage, follows the grand Garbage tradition of perfect music, flowing vocals and guitars, dreamy tones and inspired lyrics. This band doesn’t know how to disappoint. All fans who love Garbage and Shirley Manson will have no problem embracing their new musical direction and adorable quirkyness.

Breakdown of the tracks:

Shut your Mouth– This is a great song, lots of in-your-face attitude which is always Shirley’s forte. Garbage fans will be giddy with anticipation. It rocks!

Androgyny– I don’t know why but I love this song. Shirley just sounds divine and I am totally taken in. I know this song is supposed to resemble R&B but I really don’t hear it. I can’t swallow any kind of R&B, but this song is delicious.

Can’t Cry These Tears– Another great one! I find this song very uplifting in a weird way. Shirley sounds empowered when she sings about letting her pain go and just letting things be. It inspires me to stop obsessing. It sounds like she had a lot of fun recording this track.

Til the Day I Die– This song could definitely be a single, you can’t help but move and sing along when you hear it. It has very catchy beats and you’re left wanting more when it’s done. Another very fun song.

Cup of Coffee– Heartbreaking, but still cathartic and moving song about loss. Every time I hear it, I hear something new. It’s very dense and layered, and Shirley sounds beautiful. Lovely song.

Silence is Golden– I’ve heard a bunch of different interpretations of the lyrics of this song, and that’s the beauty of it. It means whatever it means to you. This is a heavy song that is infused with meaning once the words hit you. You feel the anger, the pain, the frustration. It hits you like a truck.

Cherry Lips, Go Baby Go!- I love this song! Ok, so a lot of people say it sounds like early Madonna and I have to admit, it shocked me on the first listen but it really is a fabulous song. The chorus is indescribable, it’s just full of beautiful sound. Fun to sing along to and just a light, breezy song. Great contrast coming after Silence is Golden.

Breaking up the Girl– Great swinging song. It’s sweet ear candy with a driving chorus. A typical Garbage song that’s rough and still sweet. Nothing wrong with this track, it has something for everyone.

Drive You Home– Very soft ballad that’s kind of sad, but still good. You can’t argue with this woman’s voice. It grabs you and doesn’t let go. This song is a little short but still nice, the chorus is quite dreamy and strange. I love it. It’s not as well put together as some of their past ballads, but it’s still a good listen.

Parade– There’s usually one Garbage song on each CD that I just don’t care for much, and this is it here. Nothing works for me. You’ll see what I mean.

Nobody Loves You– This is the best song on the CD! I am amazed and hypnotized by this song: the lyrics, the melody, the vocals, everything. It is a work of art. It’s a slow song and Shirley voice starts very deep, but then she lets it all out and we have a stirring chorus and wonderful backing music. It’s so hard to explain but you will love it, trust me.

Untouchable- This song is so cute! I think it’s just fun and meant to be funny and lightweight, then again, there’s a power to it. Kind of poppy but in a good way. You actually get the message, instead of a bunch of fluff. Addictive, great song.

So like a Rose– An OK song, pretty sleepy melody. Shirley sounds sweet but the lyrics are a little off for me. I just don’t get it. It’s ok.

In Conclusion:
This band is a force to be reckoned with. And I wish they would just win a Grammy already. They are the brilliance of the music business. No other band or singer can even come close to Shirley Manson and her boys.

beautifulgarbage

May 3, 2013. Tags: , , , . Music, writing. Leave a comment.

You said Let’s go and Nothing More

(Entry below was written on August 31, 2005)

So my friend sends me an email today saying that he thought he’d let me know that Blondie would be playing tonight at a free, unannounced show at Washington Square Park. Immediately, I freaked out and got excited and all hyped to go.

When I get there, I see this major crowd in front of the stage with practically no room in between people to squeeze in and get a spot. With the humidity today, being in that crowd meant there would be barely any breathing room, which didn’t seem very appealing.

My friend knew someone who got him a VIP pass, so he was off to the side of the stage where he had a perfect view. I went up to the barricades where he was and he said he would give me a pass. I tried to use it but the scary woman at the gate told me it wasn’t valid and that I had to go around to the front desk. My friend said to try it so I did.

I really didn’t think it would work but I thought, what the hell. When I got to the desk I had the ‘pass’ around my neck but they still stopped  me. My friend told me to say I was with ‘Little Steven’ who was sponsoring the event.

They wanted to know where I work, but I just said ‘forget it’ and that I didn’t want to miss the show. I had to go all the way around the arch to get back to the stage area. There was no way in the world I had the confidence to pull off something like that.

I went into the crowd and got a decent spot. I checked the time and it was 6:20 pm. I misunderstood my friend and I thought he said Blondie would go on at 7pm. So I thought great, I’ll be standing around alone in this crowd in the humidity for 40 minutes. I didn’t think I could do it, knowing how impatient I am.

I felt a bit self-conscious too with my professional work clothes, when every around me was in tank tops and shorts. I got back out of the crowd and called my friend and said I thought I would just skip it since I’d be hanging around waiting alone for so long, and he said, ‘Oh I gotta go, they’re about to start!’ and I said, ‘What??’

And sure enough, Blondie gets introduced and everyone rushes the stage to stand even tighter together. Damn. There I was in my good spot where I should have stayed, but since other bands were playing before them and it had been loud, I couldn’t hear my friend clearly on the phone and I thought he said Blondie would go on at 7pm. So I missed a free live show of one of my favorite bands of all time.

I caught a little glimpse of Debbie Harry from really far away. It looked like she was wearing a long, blonde ponytail hair extension and a visor. Everyone was freaking out and dancing. There are a lot of young Blondie fans out there. Debbie and the band sounded really great.

I could still hear her singing as I walked down towards St. Marks to catch the train. That was $4 in metrocards down the drain. But anyway, at least I tried. I only got to hear X-offender, One way or another, and Hanging on the telephone.

I called my friend around 7pm and he said it was a pretty short set. So maybe I didn’t miss much. The show was a benefit concert to save CBGB’s. The lease for the club is up tonight.

You said… let’s go and nothing more” is a lyric from X-offender

April 11, 2013. Tags: , . Music, writing. Leave a comment.

1,000 Cranes and Audioslave

(Entry below was written a few years ago, I forgot the exact date)

Last night I participated in this origami project started by someone at my job. They asked for employee participation in their plan to make 1,000 cranes out of origami paper and give them as a gift to the pediatric unit at a hospital affiliated with the company.

I thought it was such a sweet idea. I made some tonight at home in between laundry loads. There is symbolic significance to the 1,000 cranes that I’ll post from the email that was sent out to the whole company:

“Why 1,000 cranes? Legend holds that the crane lives for a thousand years. In Japanese, Chinese and Korean tradition, cranes stand for peace and long life. Folded paper cranes are also given to those who are ill to wish them a quick recovery. It is also said that 1,000 origami cranes makes a wish come true. ”

The cranes are hard to create at first, but I got the hang of it. Thinking and caring about others is nice for a change. Speaking of which, check out this page (the link is up to date) and read up on their cause/mission. I love to go there to buy reusable shopping bags and accessories.

http://www.feedprojects.com/feed-shop

On another note, I got a chance to listen to the new Audioslave CD at work today, Out of Exile. It has some pretty good songs on it. The ones that come to mind are Yesterday or tomorrow, Doesn’t remind me, Be yourself, The Curse and #1 zero.

It’s actually the only Audioslave CD I’ve heard in its entirety, but my favorite song of theirs will always be Like a stone. I love the way you can hear the pure longing in his voice. It’s powerful, intensely emotional, and really beautiful to listen to.

April 10, 2013. Tags: , , , . Music, writing. Leave a comment.

Suffocate Me with Unsaid Words

(Entry below was written on September 29, 2005)

I still remember the day I bought the Garbage single, Only happy when it Rains. I was at the mall with my sister, and I put it on in the car as she drove us home. I remember listening intently, staring out the window but not seeing a thing. My sister laughed at the line ‘I only smile in the dark’ but I could only focus on the movement and power of the song, filled entirely with Shirley’s rich, dark, distinct voice. It’s still so vivid.

I remember also the day when I bought the debut Garbage CD. I think I had only heard Only happy when it Rains and Stupid Girl at that point. I was in the mall with my sister again and I remember looking for the CD and not finding it and getting annoyed. My sister told me to ask the guy that was working in the store, so I did. She made fun of the way I asked him for some reason. And I remembered the line from that old ‘EMF’ song: ‘ You say to me I don’t talk enough, but when I do I’m a fool.’

I took the CD home and during the summer when I turned 16, I must have listened to it every single day. I listened to it over and over until I knew each song by heart. I would lie in bed, hold the CD and stare at the back cover- at the picture of the band standing on some street at night. All the guys wearing black and Shirley in her wine colored pants, light t-shirt and blue nail polish. I would stare at her long red hair, slouchy pose and heavily lined eyes while listening to each song so carefully and deeply that it seemed like my life depended on it.

How did she know everything I was feeling and couldn’t articulate? It was some kind of miraculous thing. No music had ever affected me that way before, reaching so deep inside me. And no one’s voice ever compelled me to listen so closely, it was emotional and raw. I would listen and forget who I was… finding strength in every note that emerged.

No other band could ever capture my imagination in the same way, and give voice to the things I was always scared to say, or just didn’t know how to say. I couldn’t get over the depth of it, the gorgeous noise complemented by a perfect voice. I listened to it so many times, each time still hearing something fresh and new. Something special happened, and I didn’t feel quite as alone as before.

I hope Garbage never stops creating music.

“Everyone I know has gone away
died or left or just forgot to stay
sometimes took for granted
sometimes turned away
sometimes didn’t say what…
I meant to say”

-Garbage (Dog new tricks)

garbage

March 31, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Music, writing. Leave a comment.

Garbage at Terminal 5

(Entry below was handwritten on 3/24/2013)

I went to the Garbage concert Friday night at Terminal 5, and it was amazing and very fun. It’s always amazing to see Shirley Manson and hear her sing live. Garbage’s music makes sense of my life and makes me feel so good and so happy.

I was at one of the top balconies but in the front, so I had a clear view of the stage. The only drawback was having to stand pretty close to a large speaker which I was sure had shattered my left eardrum at one point. But now it’s Sunday night and my hearing seems to have recovered back to normal.

Shirley sang The One from Not Your Kind of People which I was so pleased to hear. And in the beginning they performed Automatic Systematic Habit and I was pretty much in tears with all the happiness I felt. It’s amazing how healing and comforting music can be. It’s like certain singers, songs, and melodies just hit that one perfect spot inside you that manages to soothe your soul.

Shirley thanked us, her fans, for being part of the “magic of our (the band’s) lives.” I thought how surreal it was that Shirley could put on this amazing show and then be so articulate, lovely, and sincere when she addressed the audience. She doesn’t seem to be part of this earth, but from some better planet somewhere. She is so graceful, intelligent, sweet, charismatic, and powerful. I just wish I could be like her. I wish some of her characteristics would rub off on me.

Getting older has given her this strong self-assurance that anyone can easily see. She inspires me endlessly and I will never get tired of her or their music. It’s a lifesaver, a harbor in the storm, a safe haven, a beacon of hope in a tumultuous world. And I’ve been holding onto it for dear life since I was 16 years old.

It’s strange and amazing how things happen. Garbage came out with their first CD when I was at the height of my teenage angst, when I desperately needed to be understood. I heard their songs and was instantly calmed, because I felt understood. I felt like Shirley crawled into my head to pull out the lyrics I was hearing her sing.

It was synchronicity, it was meant to happen that way. They were meant to come together, and they did so in such an odd way, to bring hope and joy and inspiration to millions of people like me all around the world. What an incredible gift that is, such a beautiful contribution to human life- just so pure, true and honest that it could not be denied.

The impact that Garbage and their music have had on me and my life is unparalleled. And I am simply so pleased that they exist as a band, and that I have the incredible privilege to listen to their music, and go see them play live.

In a lot of ways, I’m still that lost and confused little girl, looking up to and admiring Shirley Manson and wanting to be like her, longing to unleash my own power.

shirl

Picture from Terminal 5 show courtesy of http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2013/03/garbage_played_1.html

March 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Music, writing. Leave a comment.

I’m Feeling Small

It’s easy to feel tiny and insignificant in this city (New York). It’s easy to lose your train of thought and hard to be inconspicuous. I look up and realize that it’s a whole world here, and everything keeps moving and you have to keep up or be left behind. I always kept up with everyone else, some people surpassed me, but I never fell behind. It can be tiring

I look up sometimes at the huge buildings and wonder if there is anything else in life for me. There must be many more opportunities for a fuller life that I’m overlooking. Instead, I remain in my lifestyle, doing what I think I should do. Doing what others expect of me, while still trying to hold on to who I am inside- the real me.

The girl who loves to sleep in late and longs to quit her job and live more simply. The starving artist always looking for meaning, for something deeper, who doesn’t want to get swept up and lose herself along the way. I can do small things like where black nail polish in the summer to work and black eye liner at all hours of the day, but it’s just barely keeping the real me alive.

I don’t want to become some corporate drone. I want to have a youthful spirit always. A few years ago I saw Shirley Manson at the Fuse studios being interviewed with her band. She looked youthful, healthy, happy, stress-free, and carefree. She looked amazing and she was having the time of her life.

She lived her whole life doing only what she wanted, and now she is an authentic, genuine, unique individual. She never has to ‘grow up’ if she doesn’t want to. And everyone loves her for it. She didn’t conform and go to college when all her friends did. She sought the fun in life, the real life that most people are afraid to pursue.

That day I saw Shirley, she didn’t look or act like a typical 38-year-old woman you see in New York. She was lighthearted and unburdened, beautiful and secure. She had no lines on her face, no bags under her eyes, she sat up straight and didn’t slouch. She was charming and true. And I long to become someone like her.

I want to be happy in the knowledge that I made of my life what I truly wanted, and never apologized for it. I can’t see myself as some corporate exec at her age. I want to be doing anything but working in a cubicle being forced to wear some inhuman professional demeanor for people to respect me.

Shirley can do what she wants, say what she wants, wear what she wants and still pull it all off with grace. Nothing anyone thinks will stop her. She won’t get shit from people for doing what she wants. No one holds her back. I want to feel that free someday.

I miss those days when I could just be dreamy and write poetry and listen to music repeatedly. Those days that were empty of worry and responsibility. I hope somehow I can recapture that part of myself that I know is lying dormant while I tend to the tedium of day-to-day life.

“I’m feeling small,
climbing the walls,
I don’t let it show…”
-Shirley Manson (Dumb)

March 24, 2013. Tags: , , , . Music, writing. 2 comments.

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