POP your heart out.

The Mountain Goats-Get Lonely

I was startled out of my paper crafting when I heard this song. The acoustic guitar and John Darnielle drifting from my computer, singing, with this aching sadness. And when the chorus came, that rush of emotions, honesty, I froze. And listened to the song, again, from the start, and again. To soak it in.

This is a song for cold winter nights. For sitting alone, in your car, in a deserted parking lot. And for glazing up into the perfect slice of half moon and the stars around it. This is a song to feel. To feel the chilly night wind brush against every inch of your skin. To feel the silence, the stillness around you. Like you're the only one, the last one alive in the world. And it's just...you, and John Darnielle, and a guitar, and those fuzzing, trembling strings.

This is a song for tears. No--not tears, but a teardrop. A crease of pain staining a perfect face. This is a song for broken hearts, for shattered promises, for losing hope. This is a song for that aching, binding emptiness. This is a song for the beauty in loss. A song for the rain, for heavy clouds, for a slow, walk through a fog, a mist, a haze of sorrow.

This a song to hear--alone. Still, attentive, waiting, and understanding.

Because I haven't done Video Wednesday in a long while, and you guys deserve the best, here's this video, which might as well be the most amazing music video of all time.

Ok Go-Here it Goes Again

It speaks for itself. But, in case you're still in need of convincing, it features treadmills and dancing on such treadmills. And also features a pretty good, catchy little indie pop song. That is all.

The book: Darker Places-Richard Matheson

I think I have a love/hate relationship with this book, which was a signed (!) and limited (of 500) edition I got from the library, featuring, I guess, some of Richard Matheson's earliest stories that he's too embarrassed to publish elsewhere, or even publish in an easily accessable manner.

Richard Matheson, who's sort of the pioneer of contemporary horror fiction, with a couple of short stories that shared far too many similar qualities for comfort, and who wrote these when he was young and hoping to scare readers, did not really reach that "scaring readers" stage for me. They're good stories, with all the basic horror tale elements, but each one felt a little lacking in something. It might be that most of these has a rather predictable plot/ending, but horror stories often share that flaw (my own insignifigant creations included).

I like the book since it gives me an idea of Richard Matheson's early workings, and these are fun, short little reads, but if I treated the content as a regular horror short story comp, then I wouldn't find much good in it.

Although the screen play included (for "The Creature") held my attention the whole way through, it was such a perfectly cliched plot that I wondered if I read the original novel, therefore justifying why I seem to be able to see everything that comes next. Even without the original, if I saw this movie produced I'd probably be crying halfway through due to the utterly predictablility of everything. Richard Matheson is a fantastic writer, but this collection really cannot him justice, and I guess it's just as well that this is a limited edition that most will not read.

Colour Revolt-Mattress Under Water

This drifting, sometimes tinkling, sometimes flowing, sometimes exploding song bends and shapes into a living moving picture. A piece of wonderous brushing harmonies and emotions all wrapped up into one song. With the occassional breaking, gasping chorus with a shock of clashing, thundered guitars and screams, and the line of the song mesmerizing to listen to, at the very least. And, it does not hurt at all that ex-Fletcher Colour Revolt's debut EP will be released on Tiny Evil, home to other Bubble Death favorites such as the glaring obscure Jimmy Eat World and Brand New.


I always want to start Mondays off with a bang, and end the week with something close. You know, something utterly upbeat and catchy that you'll be excited for the days to come. But...when shifting through my stack of emails (I've been slacking off with this new music thing, I've mentioned?) and songs like this one appear, utterly calm and a whirling drain of dark, melodic beauty, a stare, a challenge, a lush air of mystery, of vaguely Gothic appeal, of full and flowing emotion, of wonderful, hooking sound that despite its smooth exterior, is attention snapping at its best, then I've got no choice but to post, and let the dreamy landscaping of Trentalange speak for itself.

Jimmy Eat World @ Del Mar--8/26/06
(+shitty photos (ignore the camera's default date)/super shitty videos!)

If you've read this blog at all in the past, you would know that I am an obsessive Jimmy Eat World fangirl. And you would know that for many previous attempts, I've failed at meeting Jimmy/seeing them live. So, yesterday would have been an amazing experience even if the show didn't go as well as it could. But, since I am writing this, it must mean that last night's show really did kick into dream show land, and that would be an accurate assumption.

JEW kicked it off right away with the always crowd pleasing, energetic and brilliant "Sweetness," followed by "A Praise Chorus" without pause. The very beginning of a show is generally tentative, with a sense of ginger awkwardness, and needs a bit of time before rioting into concert la-la land, but these two songs of pop genius snapped the crowd's attention and left no time for doubts--although, I do wish they had saved one for later, since these are some of the catchiest, most live-suitable songs in their catalogue.

Of course, they played the usual Futures/Bleed American hit songs that, depending on its chart-popularity, set off various explosions of crowd enthusiasm. And, two or three new songs that I can't determine exactly how I feel about yet. What I am sure of is that they're undeniably catchy, and poppy, and rocking. The sort of Jimmy anthems that you listen for the first time, and halfway through the song, you could be humming/singing along (and you'll definitely want to!) The sort of songs with sparking chorus and catchy verses, fun and upbeat, and nearly guaranteed future chart toppers.

The happy surprises of the show were probably their older, and/or rarely played live songs that nonetheless rocked the hell out. With "No Sensitivity," Jim almost confused Jebediah for a San Diegan band (they're Australian.) "Seventeen" and two Clarity tracks ("Goodbye Sky Harbor" and "Blister"...vaguely disappointing) managed to draw memory of Jimmy's good old days and were still a blast to hear live. But, for a really, unbelievable song choice, JEW played "If You Don't, Don't." Which is really quite something. One, because I really happen to love that song, as one of my favorites from Bleed American, but also, because it's very, very rarely played. I could barely believe what I was hearing!

But the show itself seemed to fly by without much effort, and when the lights dimmed I did not have enough of a fill of Jimmy. I worried because I thought even an encore would still prove the night too short. I've been waiting so long for this, after all. ..

And then, the encore. Opened by "Lucky Denver Mint," one of my favorites off Clarity (and recorded, terribly, for your watching/listening displeasure at my camera's utter crapness and my inability to correctly do this), and then with slicing "Bleed American", where the band's passionate playing, and Jim's sweat soaked hair, and the crowd's devocation became far more obvious, and finally, ended the night with "The Middle." Not Jimmy's best work, by any means, but for finishing off a show for a crowd that had its share of hit-only listeners (the show was free, after all. And this is San Diego, after all, where 80% of the population fits the perfect surfer/bimbo stereotype), it was wonderful. An optimistic end to a wonderful night.

Although the whole show was geared toward rocking/energetic/fast paced songs, I wish they would have played at least one softer, melodic track. Something along the lines of "For Me This is Heaven"/"23"/"Disintergration"/"Just Watch the Fireworks", for instance. But I guess, for a long awaited show that wraped up the summer, all that energy spent was just perfect.

Go watch my terrible videos:
Jimmy Eat World-Big Casino (live, clip of new song!)
Jimmy Eat World-Lucky Denver Mint (live)

And yes, I realize how terrible my recordings are, but until someone else uploads something better quality...this is the best I can do. Sorry about the random fan screaming during Lucky Denver Mint and general blurry/fuzz/noise-ness of everything.


If you notice that I've been slacking off on my posts lately, you'd be right. The reason? Well, many things, really, the majority of which I don't want to go into (procrastination...obsession with useless other activities...laziness...you know). So, instead of trying to justify my post crappiness, I'll take the easy way out and point you lovely readers in the directions of some of my current Internet time wasting material, in hopes that you'll sympathize, and/or become too distracted to mind.

So. As usual, with all musical/book related links, Largehearted Boy pointed out this wonderful Stylus* piece on various J-Rock videos. Perfect, since I'm still not over my Gothic Lolita obsession, and I'm too confused and scared to try and explore the Japanese music scene. Featuring everyone's favorite Lolita stars like Mana, Kana and Aya in everyone's favorite Gothic and creepy bands in creepy and gothic videos that are far more entertaining than a lot of the pretencious crap U.S. "indie" bands tends to come up with (Hello, The Killers!) I'm particularly enchanted with the idea/personality/theatrics of Mana and Kana, and equally distressed at the sound of their music. Maybe they're an aquired taste or maybe I'm not cut out for this, but I just can't treat them as anything more than curiosities. Although that Kana video does remind me of Karen O's singing style, I think I prefer Kana's fashion choice far better.

When it comes to legends such as Malice Mizer (aka Mana's band) or Dir en Grey (I forgot what their relation was...), I heart the idea behind the videos and the videos themselves. The atmosphere, the imagery, the mood, but again, the music just does not do it for me.

Speaking of creepiness and scariness, for some geniune jolt back from your seat terrifying reaction to extremely distrubing imagery, check out the authentic petticoat pin-ups from Petticoat Pond, featuring TGs ("TG = "Transgender Poufbunnies") and GG's ("GG = Genetic Gal Boufhunnies "). I'd strongly recommend that you don't click if you're eating or drinking. Or in a currently happy, healthy and relaxed mood. Click at your own risk. And that'll end the day.

The novel: Neverwhere-Neil Gaiman

Another in flight/home read, and as always, Neil Gaiman pulls off his brilliant fantasy/horror mix stories with the right amount of satire, originality, charm and general plot wonderfulness to be an addicting read. The characters, to me, are slightly stereotypical (but my perspective on this is totally twisted since my first novel was all about making fun of fantasy/scenexcore stereotypes, and many of Gaiman's characters remind me of my own creations...vanity, vanity, vanity), but still alive and sympathy deserving, with personality and sympathy deserving backgrounds. His type of dark fantasy is my only choice, if I were to return to my "epic" fantasy obsessed literature craze a few years back, and for his first real novel, this was a pleasure to read.

Garbage-Cherry Lips

This song is absolutely perfect for walking around, with or without a purpose, any time, any where, any one. I think this was my anthem while doing the massive amount of walking, stair climbing, subway chasing, store hopping in New York, and it's rather perfect to ease into our regular programming. It has a somehow totally different vibe from most other Garbage songs, with such upitty, joyous, pure happy bouncing pop freedom it's nearly overwhelming. Cherry lips and golden curls, hot pants and high heels, rhythmic verse and collective chorus, repetative listening addiction, indeed.

And, concerning my second (and short) trip to NYC, I'm now more sure than ever that it's the city of my dreams. It might be a cliche, but there has to be some sort of creativity magnet embedded deep within the city, calling all writers, artists, musicians as well as the flawless suit-ed business people. And upon visiting my three perspective New York schools--NYU, Columbia and The New School (NYU still being my obvious and painful dream/first choice)--I'm all the more set to live there soon in the future. We can make fun of it all we want, but the forever etched saying of "I <3 NY" does hold true, and more than once I found the phrase popping out.

Before I forget/leave: I'm leaving tonight for NYC (yay again for flights and such funess), but I'll only be there for four days, and if I catch anything especially interesting over there I'll be sure to post. If not, regular programming will ensure on Monday.

I'm excited. Enjoy this short little break from this wordy blog for the little while that you can!

The novel: Cell-Stephen King
The song: The Vacancy-Handheld

Thanks to the lovely Pop Justice Singles Club, I discovered this gem of a perfect pop song. Shameless, open ended, and correctly labeled "pop with guitars", the sort that slides up right next to bands like Blink 182, smashes the shitty whining-ness of such bands, and kicks up the catchy, fun, dancing around and singing about technology relationships with real relationship wonderful popness of it. So, while the tone of the song has nothing to do with the book, it is a great song and does sorta kinda relates. And that's that.

So, now, as many of you know, Stephen King is my all time favorite author, ever. He doesn't deserve to be grouped along people like Danielle Steel, and is most definitely not just another mainstream horror churning machine with no literary merit. Yes, it took me this long to finally read his newest, Cell, but it was worth the wait. It's been a while since I last read a King book, and there is always something about going back to a favorite author. It's kind of like meeting an old best friend after years of separation, there is that awkward and timidness, and worry bubbling beneath: will I still like him? What if it's been too long? What if all our shared interests went away?

But as the novel went on, and the conversation carried away, there is that old familar sensation of being engulfed in the novel, of, finally, not wanting to put it down, of staying up late just to get to the next page, the next chapter, the next section, the end (I finished this book in two days). Stephen King is still a great a writer as ever, and the familiar tricks and details he uses comes back. The storyline is riveting, as always, but does echoes of The Stand by a lot. Another apocalypse disaster featuring sprawling corpses and attacking zombies, lots of gore, snatches of religion and brilliant characterization...which is fun to read, but in terms of something fresh and new from everyone's favorite horror writer, could have been much different.

So, before we get to the music, I'd like to confess: I've been on a major Gothic Lolita kick lately, obsessing over all sorts of elaborate "rules" to the fashion and clothing and photos. And although I've tried to keep an open mind, and there is a certain appeal to the style of Jrockers like Mana, things like jpop and jrock just does not work for this pop/hipster/twee dedicated blogger. But I'm still fasinated enough with this whole thing to be leaning toward the darker, theatrical songs in my collection. So, that brings (moment--)a cover song by a semi lolita-ish band? Yeah. Don't even worry about it.

The Dresden Dolls-Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

I'm usually not a big Dresden Dolls fan. On the scale of love vs. hate, I'd say I reside strictly in the middle. There are some songs that I do enjoy, but often their theatrics overwhelms their music, and I find myself sticking with their songs that are far more quiet (in other words, more "Coin Operated Boy" than "Girl Anachronism"), but they do fit within this whole Gothic Lolita ideal far more than other Western artists seem to. So, here's their cover of the famous "Hallelujah." It's not the best cover out there, but like most of their songs, there's an element of unease bounded to the core of the song, so that even in this live recording, their twisted emotional snap is spiked to the song, and can turn this beautiful and sad classic into a haunting piece of drama. The song takes a turn for the darker side of things, conjuring images of broken glass, shattered dreams, lace gloved hands bleeding into a broken rose...poetic and Gothic. Perfect for the occasion.

Bishop Allen-Click Click Click Click

Oh god. I know, this blog is turning into another weak at the collection of letters that spells Bishop Allen fan blog, but I can't help it if this song makes me weak with happiness. And if the band can accomplish the impossible, i.e., creating songs that are more and more amazing with each EP each month, by the end of the year the rest of the indie pop band population will have disappeared.

Sitting at a tight and perfect three minutes, it could just as well be the model of a perfect indie pop song. The click click click is exactly as you'd imagine, filled with catchiness and charmingness (if there's one band who definitely doesn't need to head to Charm School, it's gotta be them), the opening tender and hesitant and so playful, the strumming leading up to that bouncy chorus, the story telling, humble narrator lyrics that makes me fall in love over and over again...my words are heavy and burdensome compared to the air light song. So. Good.

The novel: Oh the Glory of It All-Sean Wilsey

The cover of this novel was the first thing that caught my eye in the bookstore. The black and white design swirling over an interesting title, and when I flipped to the back cover, and saw that the first blurb compared it to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Infinite Jest (also: why am I reading so many memoirs all of a sudden? I have no idea, but it's charming and fun anyway), I couldn't resist picking it up. (Not to mention, Sean Wilsey's an editor of McSweeney's)

So, I started the book in the bookstore, then read about half of it on the second half of my flight to China, then read bits of it on and off in China, then read the majority of it on my flight back, and finally finished the last bits a couple of days ago. This was an adventure. Featuring all the bizarre things I've come to expect in memoirs like sex, drugs, beautiful people, fucked up people, evil stepmothers, detached parents, all sorts of conflicting emotions and situations that were as entertaining to read as it must have been disturbing to experience. The beauty of the memoir, that made it far more realistic seeming than other memoirs I've read were the rich details and layered description Sean Wilsey took the liberty of sharing. The newspaper article clippings, the familiar famous names in relation to his family, the society events and life style that we've always wondered and fantasized about, it's all there.

And while his family history and too much information tends to overwhelm the actual "story", and some periods of his life deserved far more pages than others, his tone, style, and unbelievable life makes this a book worth reading (albeit a bit long...)

The novel: Running with Scissors-Augusten Burroughs

For the record, I read the whole book on the flight to China, which was about a month ago, and I really can't remember much of the book. And, I forgot to record my thoughts after reading it in my half abandoned, half hearted attempt at a travelogue. So, this is probably a pointless book talk.

Things I do know for sure: I've heard a lot about this book/author, especially the hipster friendlyness of this book (almost matching that of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius? Possibility, but not a probability.) and David Sedaris comparisons. And, I thought, while I enjoyed the read--slightly twisted, disturbing, not memoir like, with the wit occassionally right on point but lacking the humor every one seems to claim it's filled with--it doesn't meet expectations. I'd still recommend the book as a fun read, but this is more Dave Eggers than David Sedaris.

Hot One-Do the Coup D'etat

See, this is exactly what I need to kick off the Bubble Death regular scheduling once again. This Loud and Bold and Rocking, and also, tinted with Glam and Punk and Politics...okay, maybe that last one doesn't quite have the same effect, but, still. This is an anthem, and it features "oh la la's!" This features major guitar riffs and heavy drums, and it's still nothing that would be out of place at a hipster club.

Matthew Friedberger-The Pennsylvania Rock Oil Co. Resignation Letter

I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about Matthew Friedberger's new solo project. I was hoping for something a little different from the Fiery Furnaces style, but Matthew's still set on that experimentaly indie pop, although perhaps kicked up on the pop element (which is: excellent!) And while the Fiery Furnaces have always liked story telling songs, this just brings it up, again. It's like, strip away the most extreme (and sometimes pretencious) effects of the Furnaces, and layer pop kids approved energy and fun-ness, and slightly more interesting song structure, and then you have this. Which means, that I think I've come to the conclusion that, yes, I really do like it.

Hi hi hi there! If you haven't heard, I'm back, and I'm super excited to be back. I had a wonderful trip, and maybe I'll spare the time to actually share snippets of it sometimes soon. As of now, I'm all sorts of exhausted and walking about the house with a general blank state of mind. After three weeks of pretty much non-stop activity, I'm ready to kick back and just finally hang out with no specific purpose. Yay?

So, anyway, I'm going to need a little time to catch up on all this new music I've been missing, and go through my pile of emails (they really stack up, don't they?) and blogs that I haven't been able to view (you won't believe how many random sites China manages to block for no apparent reason...sigh).

I hope you've all enjoyed the guest posts! I know I certainly loved reading them, and also getting away from posting anything. Thanks a billion to all the bloggers helping me out.

So...this is my short little return notice. I shall proceed now to go lying on my bed and staring at the ceiling, and wasting time and trying to recover from the time difference. If my writing appears to be of the most terrible quality, I apologize. I've been out of practice, but I should be fully back in a couple of days or so.


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

songs + words