Tag Archives: John Green

on Ben Gibbard’s Former Lives LP

I’m probably not the only person that has developed mixed feelings over Ben Gibbard’s first solo album Former Lives. Don’t get me wrong–I think the album is worth every penny, and also worth the (in my case emotional) wait¹.  But there’s something a little off about it. I mean, obviously it isn’t like anything Death Cab has ever done, though he’s the one that writes the songs. If he’d wanted it to be like Death Cab’s stuff, he wouldn’t have gone solo, right? But some of the songs don’t quite feel Gibbard-y. Not like The Postal Service’s stuff, or like Death Cab’s stuff, which has always felt intensely personal, even when they weren’t meant to. I mean, listening to Something About Airplanes is so laden with… college-boy angst. It reminds me of John Green’s first novel, Looking For Alaska. And “Title and Registration” on Transatlanticism is just… so poignant and relate-able even if its not a cop that pulls you over asking for the some legal documents, only to unleash a barrage of memories of a former lover who deserted you. It’s always reminded me of people I’m not friends with anymore. And like all the stuff you amass during that time that you’re friends with them that means something to you. I always ask myself what the heck do I do with this? throw it out? I never do. Comparatively, none of the songs on Former Lives really inspire any zeal. None of them really make you want to cry your eyes out, or laugh your troubles away (yes, laughing is very cathartic. Especially when Monday Morningis on. It is simply beautiful).

However, there are some GREAT songs, such as “Lady Adelaide”, which reminds me of DCFC’s “What Sarah Said” on Plans, although the melody is a lot happier; the story runs along the same lines. “Lily” is also quite good, despite the fact that it’s not “Monday Morning”, meaning it is not about Zooey Deschanel, which saddens me a lot².  My Second Absolute Favourite, “I’m Building a Fire”, is also Wonderful. It is slightly reminiscent of “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, although much happier-sounding. My absolute favourite, “Teardrop Windows” is actually one of his best songs EVER. I mean, it is so pleasant to listen to! and the music video is just charming!

I can only conclude that he was definitely going for a different vibe. I did read that this LP wasn’t meant to be quite so biographical, despite the fact that a) it was a SOLO album, b) and it covered “eight years, three relationships, living in two different places, drinking then not drinking”.

I’m pretty happy with it, overall. It’s a very pleasant addition to my music library (30% of which is made up of DCFC! because I haven’t got all their albums/EPs). I’m so happy for him!

If you want a more professional/less amateurish review, check this one out, by Ian Cohen on Pitchfork, and this one on Rolling Stone, and this one on  the LA Times.

For further Enlightenment, check out HuffPost’s Michael Hogan interview with Mr. Genius himself.

 

¹Admittedly, I had to wait just over a month to get it. And the fact that Sandy  interfered with my two-month-long campaign for my parents to take me to Ben’s show in New York just made it worse. But, take my word for it, it is great.

²UGH. WHY DO I HAVE TO CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THIS?

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O_O

UH. I think I deleted my other post. So you guys probably didn’t see it. I hope. OH GOSH I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING ON THIS SITE. D8

…so. I wrote this post already, but then when I tried to put a picture in, I clicked “Post a Photo” instead of “Insert Photo” because NITWIT BLUBBER ODDMENT TWEAK, which deleted my entire post. and also resulted in me posting a screenshot that was still funny but also slightly out of context. OH NOES.

BUT THAT’S OKAY. BECAUSE I GET TO INTRODUCE MYSELF ALL OVER AGAIN.

I’M ALEX! 😀 Unfortunately, I’m not a Whovian… but… I have other redeeming nerd obsessions. probably. >_<;; And looking at everyone else’s introduction post, I guess I should also have a warning/disclaimer type thing, since I also tend to write informally. and also sporadically neglect capitalization rules at beginnings of sentences… but I make up for that with random bouts of CAPS LOCK.

Actually, I use Shift. BUT that is another story for another time. In the meanwhile, I will try (again) to post screenshots of amusing Tweets of the JOHN GREEN. DFTBA YO.

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https://twitter.com/realjohngreen

-ALEXXXXXX. 🙂

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The End of Summer (is almost here)

Just looking at your calendar you might have realised it was coming: The End of Summer.

It can’t be!

It’s only August!

When did this happen?

When did the months of doing nothing (or everyhing, if you’re that type of person…) go?

Is it true, that I won’t be able to wake up at ten a.m. and go to bed at midnight? that I won’t be able to spend the whole day watching Criminal Minds and inevitably falling in love with Matthew Grey Gubler? or watching (hideously DOBLY-ed) Bones re-runs with my Bonehead grandparents? Or yelling at BBC Entertainment (because they don’t get BBC America in South America…) for not playing Doctor Who, but instead showing endless episodes of Dragon’s Den, or The ‘F’ Word, or the mind-numbing Top Gear¹? Or actually just laying on the couch like a useless lump? Are you serious?

What?

Do I really have to start getting ready for SCHOOL? Getting ready as in going to bed at not-midnight, and waking up in time to go to the gym with Mom? and then walking the dog(s) and making breakfast and, like, studying? Has the world gone mad? I’m sure it has, but there really is very little you can do asides from becoming a hermit, or getting home-schooled.  If you have no interest in either of the two previously mentioned options, you can only make the most of whatever is left of your summer vacation, which in my case is about two weeks. Here are some ideas!

•Are you a Whovian? even if you’re not, be sure to watch the Series Seven Premier: “Asylum of the Daleks” sometime on the 25²th (of August). Have a viewing party with your fellow Whovians, or try to convert your friends.

•Read! you do know The Perks of Being a Wallflower is coming out as a movie in september, right? go to your library and find it! or The Hobbit! or even stuff you know you might have to read in school at some point, like say, The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird or Franny and Zooey! there are so many good books out there that can get you back in the swing of things, so that come September you don’t feel like a drone looking at words on pages. If you don’t like classics try any one of John Green’s books (which will ideally make you ). Or Harry Potter, or Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker “trilogy” or really anything by Libba Bray and Maureen Johnson and Kathy Reichs and ALL OF THOSE AMAZING YA AUTHORS OUT THERE!

•Learn how to cook. I’ve learned how to make lasagna and Actual-Not-From-The-Box Mac & Cheese. I also might have food-poisoned my cousin, or he might actually be lactose intolerant, and should not pursue a carreer in acting. I go for the latter.

•Go all DIY Queen/King. Ellen posted some really adorable DIY’s earlier this month, so go check them out! You can also check out Rookie Mag’s Denim Jacket DIY, or this Brain Soap DIY, or THIS STRAWBERRY JAM one!or you could learn how to make ZINES!, or CARDBOARD ROCKET SHIPS! and even Saddle Shoes and Bee Hives and Hair Bows. Rookie has so many awesome DIY ideas! just search DIY and go through eleven months’ worth of archives. Personally, I’m very tempted to make a Nerd(fighter) Denim Jacket.

•Exercise. I’m not a big fan of this one, but I do know that after two months of doing Nothing, my body needs to get used to doing Something. And paying attention to What I’m Doing. Also, all this Doing Nothing hasn’t made me any less Neville Longbottom-ish.

•Study. Not a big fan of this one either, to tell you the truth. Especially when it comes to Math. However, this year I’m determined to get, at the very least a B. Maybe then I can convince my parents to let me go to Midnight Showings at the local Movie Theater, or you  know, LEAKY CON 2013!

•Write. I’ve been doing quite a bit of that, with this blog. I’ve also tried to get back into writing fanfiction, but unfortunately I haven’t had either the time or the inspiration, as per usual during The Most Dreaded Summer Hiatus Time. As soon as Bones starts up again, on a hopefully NOT SUCKY NOTE, I should have a few pieces up. Also, looking at pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch and Jim Parsons being their adorable selves makes it impossible to write.

•Wait. Wait for your school  schedule (try saying that with a posh British accent!) to come out! wait for your favourite re-runs of Gilmore Girls or Star Trek  to come on. This is why my sister and I live glued to the iPad. WE CAN WATCH ONE SHOW ON THE TELLY AND THE OTHER ONE ON THE IPAD AND ANOTHER ONE ON THE LAPTOPS.

•Have Fun. You can do that by doing pretty much everything on this list.

Have any other ideas? LET ME KNOW!!!!

Also, READ THIS! I read it over fifteen times, at different points of my freshman year, when I was feeling very teen-ager-y, and moody and weird.

DFTBA♦

¹I don’t know very much about cars, except how to drive them. I’d be perfectly happy with a tiny, adorable car, without having to know how many horses it has, and how balanced, or whatever it is. BTW, If I had a Bug, I would get it eyelashes.

²The BBC America web page is giving me a headache. IT WON’T TELL ME WHEN IT AIRS!

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