POP your heart out.

No, not quite.

This is more like...a change. A shift.

I've come to realize that what I thought I'd be good at (music criticism) is really just one of my many phrases of obsession. And to try to do it every day, pushing out a new platter of fluttery descriptors and unrelenting praise has become work, and not fun. Some vague notion of what I should be doing instead of what I want to do.

I've mentioned it before: tired of all the hype, all the mind washed hipster chasing after the same band for ten minutes before tossing into the forgotten bin. More importantly, I realized that the entries I like the best are those removed from PR bands and songs meant to entice readers. They are simple and quite and feature more words than downloads, and probably less readers, but I've stopped doing this for an audience. Or perhaps not. Perhaps the audience is exactly what I want--still. But I want them to read for the writing, the sentiments, the honesty and not because there is the hottest new b-side from [insert common Hype Machine popular artist] to seem cool.

so where is this going?

This is going to a new blog, because I like blogging too much to give it up completely. Because I don't want to limit myself to endless consistent inconsistency. Because my writing just seems better when I write for an invisible reader without reservations or pretension.

So here's something new that's simple and different. Personal. Unassuming. One where I won't care about the number of visitors or the number of links. There will be songs, there will be books, of course. I can't live without either of those, and I still adore sharing those which I love. But there will be nothing programmed, nothing hype worthy. Just me and my inhibitions and fears and joys and little observations.

Maybe you'll care to take a look. Maybe not.

Either way.

I love everything this blog has given me--compare, say, my earliest entries with my last. It's been a long time, and perhaps time is the only factor. But I'd like to think not. I like to think that the readers and the bands made it something more. I appreciated each and every comment and message sent my way, I appreciated the fact that someone would take time away for something that a billion other blogs is already trying to do, and perhaps doing better.

So now. Not goodbye, but see you around. See you later.

Maybe we'll meet again.

I hope so.

Get me away from here, I'm dying.

well, I suppose there's no way around it.

even if you've probably already seen it--hey. It's one of those things you can't leave alone.

one of those things--explosions of exclamation marks and instrumental joyous furies and lyrics name dropping Amelia Fletcher and Calvin Johnson. Sure, Los Campesinos! may claim to have never cared about Sarah records, but with a song that proclaims the joys of the international tweexcore underground (and oh oh oh how you'd love to be a part of that underground of kids who look just a little too indiepop to be cool but who rock out on keyboards and guitars and violin! with individual exclamation marks bouncing above their heads) they sure are the start of something. Something wonderful, something worth dancing and shouting and smiling endlessly about.


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when was it exactly, that I realized that I was a popkid?

somewhere between the faux emo pop punk and corporate alternative to the faintly indiepop mostly mediocore death cab for cutie to the first liking of bands like of montreal or the boy least likely to, between indie and pop and things that just happen to drift my way, how did I get here?

where I can fully admit and understand that more than anything else in the world, indiepop is the one thing that makes me happy.

where I'd go as far as to make it up to santa barbara to see the lucksmiths live, and realize already (it's seems so far away!) that it might as well be one of the better days of my life. where a line from a belle & sebastian song has never sounded more relevant. where all I want to do is wake up every morning to the sound of sarah records...on a compilation tape my friend had sent to me from paris.

where reading certain threads on bowlie makes me feel at home...

somewhere between then and now I learned all the lyrics to "get me away from here, i'm dying" and accepted it to be probably my favorite song. somewhere between then and now camera obscura and acid house kings snuck into my top played songs list. somewhere between then and now I became familiar with far too many swedish indiepop artists and too many twee bands the rest of the world wasn't aware existed.

somewhere between then and now I realized all the hipster bands I tried to keep up with were just that--momentary enjoyments, weekly obsessions that fades into the occasional fun nostalgic singalong, but not much more. Hipster bands I'd have fun seeing and then forget that I saw, a month later.

somewhere between then and now I fell in love with every bit of every indiepop boy with the brown hair and sweet smile and lucksmiths record.

and, so what?

so what now?

buried beneath cutesy, sweet sounding names and record label connections and a dream of sweden or at least an indiepop club night somewhere in london, where like minded boys and girls are clad in scarves and cardigans with buttons and friendly faces and dance to a band too obscure for them to have heard...

it makes me happy, but it does this other thing of detaching myself from reality.

reality. you know, the thing where listening to the perfect pop record when the weather is just perfect and walking through the neighborhood park won't magically fix all of life's problems? the thing where disappointment and things that just shouldn't go wrong going wrong never stops happening. the thing without a happy ending, sometimes even without a fitting semi romantic tragic storyline..

and so what?

so what if life has corners and edges and sharp turns that you can't avoid, turns no matter how sweetly sung can't be avoided. so what if life tosses what seems to be all that's rotten, so what if it feels like everyone worth meeting lives too far away, in that other world of the twee kids and intellectuals and people who care, people who smile and people who converse for no other reason than to share a moment. just a moment, with a stranger, a friend.

perhaps nothing. perhaps everything.

perhaps life's problems can be sidestepped--it shouldn't be too hard. snuggle up in bed, with a good book and a good record on the stereo, maybe that all important diary and a pen, maybe a head filled with thoughts far too complicated and directionless...perhaps all we really ever need is that one song, you know the one where every line seems to be written for you? and the singer, that boy or girl who you imagine to be singing to you, that boy or girl who wrote the song because of you. perhaps all we really ever need is to singalong--go on. forget that the neighbors might be listening or that someone else might laugh. forget that you can't quite clarify the lyrics, or that sometimes it just sounds so, so, silly. forget all that and close your eyes and sing and imagine...

it's not so hard, you see?

times like these, you might as well be, one in the crowd, eyes glistening, attentive, excited. smiling at the band who are smiling back even as they play, those precious jangly guitars and that familiar melody and those ba da da da and la la la's that seem to be pouring from your own heart...and you know, soon, you will be.

you just have to wait.

after all, the best things happen when you don't know what's going on.

Blue October-Into the Ocean

apparently this song and band is pretty popular...popular as in, people other than me, a handful of bloggers and hardcore indiepop kids have heard of them, as in they are played on the radio and people who listen to the radio would know who they are. Popular as in...I heard this song on one of those myspace celebrity like people's page and thought it was interesting, and then forgo the name of the artist/song and then heard it played in the bookstore where I work one time when the store was set to a poppopopop station and finally looked up the lyrics and found the song. Finally.

anyway. I'm not sure why, but I like this song a lot. Like listen to it on repeat a lot alot. The lyrics? Maybe? Wish I was more masculine...I want to swim away but don't know how? Maybe? Maybe it's that idea of..escape. Maybe it's just that, I haven't heard a good catchy pop song in a while. Not like powerpop Hey Hey You You pop but just, kind of scene kind of emo kind of alternative pop. The sort that suggests suicide for a love long gone and rain...into the ocean end it all.

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Trembling Blue Stars-Idyllwild

This is anthem for a girl who was once seventeen, who, hears a song on the radio, and remembers the past. The future with its glass buildings and high heels and smudged mascara, cities and lights, a distant reminder closing in...of a past spent holding hands with a best friends, laying on the dew tinted grass at night, tracking a ladybug's progress on a thin twig. A past where her bedroom was the center of her universe, snapped polaroids pinned on walls a musty rose paint. This song is a reminder of all the possibilities, a sky stretching with the pins of a billion stars, it's a surrounding image, it's a time traveling moment, it's a nonstop enchanting song about a girl whose favorite thing is snow...snow, and being alone.

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Future Conditional-Broken Robots

There's something to be said about broken items. Hearts, glass, dreams, robots.

There's something to be said about this sort of vintage-y electronica. Pop and minimal, and all repetition and these little bleeps of sound. This echoing, male and female vocals, balancing with dark undertones, unspoke accusations, plain words not with malice but with something like resignation? Acceptance?

And oh, when the boy rambles, in that faintly bitter tone of his, a continuous stream of words over these backing, pressuring da da da's (don't worry, it's less cute than it sounds), it seems the story is summed up with perfection.

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It's not just procrastination. Or the lack of anything to say (or ways of saying it). Although, yes, those come into play, somewhat, always.

It might simply be fear.

Because when you settle down, reach a decision, finally make a post that details your mission in a blog--not to listen to every promo song ever and hand pick the ones that are mediocre to relatively good, to only share those songs that are worth something, something personal, it's a decision to reveal a lot more of myself.

Revealing myself has been a constant in my life lately--but only to a diary no one will read, to a mind no one can see through, to people I'll never truly meet.

Songs have become something more, again. Every line resonates within something personal, something I'm afraid to explore.

So. Stop speaking in abstracts. Stop thinking in vague terms.

Here's a song, a delightful song, a catchy song, a stuck in your mind, chorus repeating, singalong, upbeat, Swedish indie pop song. A song that seems to represent so much of my life, at least some aspects of it. At least enough to become more than just a catchy pop song.

Maia Hirasawa-And I Found This Boy

It sums it up, all too well. Those cheery trumpets, that snapping melody, the fickle piano, Maia's voice, self assured, sass tinted...except for those few lines, of course. Those few lines of honesty, of revealing vulnerability, truth underneath this outward whatever. The exclamation marks of stopping points, climatic moments in a conversation. Don't say I'm desperate, I'm not! But she is. And no matter how hard the righteous chorus, the girlfriend at home, the pleas from the boy, the drinking all night long...it's all too simple, it's all too apparent. I wish I had not been here before.

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I like it when you talk to me
Listen, love, buy.
MP3s don't last forever.

songs + words