Archive for January, 2010

Music Review: Arcade Fire

January 7, 2010

Yes Folks, Arcade Fire

I know its been a while but yes I am back with reviews. I can’t believe I am still on A. I am so ashamed of my inconsistency. Ah well, be glad I still enjoy doing these dammit!

Arcade Fire is a band with God knows how many members in it originally from Quebec, Canada. The name of the band stems from an actual historic fire where a bunch of children died in a fire in a filled arcade. Tragic? Yes. Hell of a band name, YES!

Anyways, the first song I ever heard was Neighborhood #1 from their Funeral album. Very very odd sounding to me. I cant pinpoint it. I wasnt crazy about the lead singer’s voice. There wasnt a lot of unity in the harmonies. It was kinda all over the place. Yet… yeah, thats ACTUALLY what made the song awesome. You felt the intense emotion from the lead singer, Win Butler. He has this shaky, trembling voice almost like he cant control the notes he hits its just a reflex action that comes out. The main female harmony is made by his wife, RĂ©gine Chassagne, however there are a bunch of people singing and performing on this song. It just sounds like a crowd of people singing you a story in their own way and time. It makes it so impactful. The video is also an abstract cartoon that is melancholy, morbid, yet colorful and bright. That one song got me.

I got the album. It pretty much all sounds like that one song to me. Thats not a bad thing at all. It keeps the momentum going. However I admittedly cant remember many of the others ones from that album… except for Power Out, Wake Up, and the song that makes me cry (if you remember, making me cry in a song is almost always a great thing) In the Backseat.

In the Backseat is sung by Regine. Its like hearing a little child sing a very very sad song but initially is really shy. You can sense the apprehension and timidness at the beginning. As the music gets stronger and the song progresses, she gets bolder and louder. Shes still innocent sounding but she is determined to express herself. Towards the end, she is “aaaahh”ing and “oooh”ing like her life depends on it. Its so touching, so strong, its like standing in a room naked just to make your point known. You cry because you know shes trying to make sure you feel what shes feeling. I cry every time I hear it. Its that good. If you love Bjork, you’ll love this song.

Wake Up is an awesome song. Powerful beginning. David Bowie loves this band. So much so he actually has sang this song with them live. This song was used in the movie, Where The Wild Things Are. When I heard it in the trailer, I thought it was the most clever usage of a song for a film. It belongs in that film.

So to me, the Funeral album was awesome but the band just seemed so chaotic. Neon Bible came out after and that album did well but honestly, I have never seen the band live and I know THATS where the magic is, Ive seen footage of them performing live and it shows WHY they are so seen by others. They put on a great show and its a show to be experienced. I didnt get into Neon Bible. It didnt sound bad but I dont remember any of the songs except for My Body is a Cage which is awesome. The all were good. Just not memorable to me.

I look forward to seeing them live just to get me more motivated to enjoy them as they should be enjoyed. A new album is in the works for this year but hell if I know the title of that or the exact release date. I highly suggest checking them out though.

Video: The video that started it all for me, so so so weird but awesome. I love the artwork and I love the flow. Its the video for Laika (Neighborhood #1)

Sorry Im late 2010…..

January 5, 2010

I’ve had probably the best time this holiday season. I haven’t posted in a while because Ive had it all swirling around in my head. So much has happened that the idea of posting it up on here has been a bit of dread not because I didnt want to but because even at this point, I have no idea to begin. Sooooo….ahh I know Coquito!

So prior to Christmas, I spent 2 Saturdays making my holiday Puerto Rican version of Egg Nog, Coquito. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment so I couldnt fit too many people in my apartment all at once so I split it in half… the 12th, and the 19th…..

Now before I go on I need to emphasize that over 10 people were the ones INSISTING I throw this party. I wouldnt have split it up if I knew how many people would just not come out.

Ive had some rough times in my life having parties specifically here in Queens. From having invited 20 people and only having 2 show up, cancelling, and even one time my mother trying to throw me a surprise party and having me wait at my grandmothers for HOURS only to begrudgingly tell me to come home and see her crying on the sofa with birthday decorations, balloons, a huge hero and a huge birthday cake telling me how sorry she was, she invited as many people as possible and no one showed up. Yeah when youre 23 that sucks ass. Its Rego Park therefore its difficult for people to trek out. I totally get it. Granted, whenever I would be invited to trek out to see OTHERS I would do it because I am their friends and I make the effort however sometimes NOT all the time, its not reciprocated.

Sorry needed to make the point. Im over it.

Anyways despite the smaller group of people they were in fact the BEST holiday parties I have ever thrown. The first Saturday I had 4 people over: Huston, Scottie, Chantell, and Jay. It was small but sooo much fun. People really came to learn how to make coquito. We talked about everything and it was intimate and lovely. I was so happy that people were happy. It was cuddly. I loved it

The second Saturday was just as fun! It was wilder and crazier but just as intimate and fun. It was Mike, Wendi, Jay, and Iris. Still only 4 people but you need to keep in mind it was a blizzard and to expect ANYONE to come out was a bit too much. I was honored that they came because I knew the weather was not something anyone would trek out it. Iris was molesting the life sized Santa Claus. Wendi was drunk after two cups of coquito , mounting Jay and both toppling over onto the floor. Mike was teaching Iris and Wendi how to fight. It was a blast! So yeah total, 8 people. Probably could have had them all in one night but you know what? In retrospect, I wouldnt have had it any other way. I had two fantastic Saturdays!

It also really emphasized friendship. I was genuinely honored and proud to have friends. I always am. I love my friends like family but I was feeling it. I know many friends who hate the holidays but I love them BECAUSE of what I experienced this holiday season. Like, what I had from my friends is what I want out of a holiday: Fun times with friends and memories I will cherish. Fuck the presents. I love buying presents when I have money but this just proved to me whether you have money or not, you can still enjoy the holiday season and I truly did as I know my friends who participated did. I felt it and it made me happy. I am still glowing just thinking about it and to those of you who were able to come out, I deeply sincerely thank you and am honored to have you in my lives.

Christmas Eve and Day were not as eventful but they were ok. Pretty laid back. Now, New Years Eve?…. theres another story…

New Year’s Eve didnt really have set plans until the last minute. We decided that we would go to Spike Hill to see a band perform and then to a rooftop party in Williamsburg. Mom was excited to go cuz she never really goes out for new Years except for a few years ago when Jay performed with A Black Tie Affair at Desmond’s Tavern. Since then my mom had been looking forward to going out for New Years. Jay then realized that MSG was selling 20 buck tickets for Mariah Carey at the last minute and would try to get those instead. We didn’t get them but hey despite not being a fan of Ms. Carey, come on, New Years? MSG? that would have been awesome.

Anways we planned on going and then the weather decided to be cold, slushy and treacherous. I was determined to go out but mom didnt look as happy as she did a few hours before. I went to the store to buy food and came home to see mom sitting on the sofa looking a bit melancholy. We ended up having a long talk. She told me she didnt want to go out but knew that it would be really heart breaking for me to stay home. We had NEVER spent a New Years apart. I dont think many people understand that.

In our family, holidays like Christmas and New Years are family holidays. You do your best to spend it with your family. We have always done that. This was the first time we were gonna be apart. Mom WANTED to go out but she DIDNT want to deal with the weather. She cried. I cried cuz she cried. I thought she was crying because she was sad that she would be alone. Well, she was but it wasnt just that. She was actually happy. It was a milestone. She was able to let go a little more and she was happy about that. I felt horrible initially. I mean I was soooooo ecstatic to finally be able to go out by myself for New Years and have fun with my friends but I felt so bad that she was by herself. This was a big deal for her and Im really proud. She even said, its time for me to let go a little. You can do this by yourself now I just wish I had something to do. Awww. Next year, ma, next year.

So, I take the bus to Williamsburg. It was awesome. Everyone is in an awesome mood. I go and see some really great bands. Everyone there is feeling the joy you get when you are all celebrating in unison the end of a decade. Martin showed up as did his friend Patrick. Jay is celebrating the moment I see him and he is the happiest I had seen him in a while. We had touching and lovely talks about our futures and we were really happy to have Martin be a part of those conversations. When the Nightmare River Band is done with their extremely fun set, we take off. We eat a slice at Anna Maria’s pizza and then head on out to first Seth’s party. We were literally racing the clock. We were down the street when we heard people going “10! 9! 8! 7!” and we BOOOKED!!! We ran and got into the apartment right when the clock struck 12! I will never forget that moment. It was the happiest moment. I just remember as we were rushing to the apartment how Martin and Patrick were worried about not getting there in time and I thought to myself: Even if we didnt get there on time, I would love the idea of the clock striking 12 while we are in the street. I know how special that moment would be and know I would never forget it. Either way, we did get there in time and I did remember that moment. It was awesome. It would have been perfect to get a good New Year’s Eve Kiss but hey, it was such an awesome night, I dont miss it too much, haha.

A little bit later we headed out to the rooftop party, saw Kate, hung out for a bit and we headed back to Seth’s friend’s party. I really was tired and wanted to head on home but I knew I needed to do something. I needed to say something that was incredibly important to me. I knew I needed to tell Seth. I didnt meet him until that night… Well,… actually no, he opened for us last April at the Delancey but I didnt get to talk to him really. I knew I needed to talk to him tonight.

How can I explain Seth? Seth is a guy that when you meet him or feel his energy in a room you feel like you are taking a nice, cleansing breath. Jay had been staying with him for about a month or two and it was a time where Jay was the happiest I had ever seen him when it came to his creative energy and just being at peace with himself. I knew sooo much of this had to do with Seth and I was soooo thankful this was the person that was with him up in Mass. I knew I had to tell Seth. I was not going to start this year off without making sure this guy knew how thankful I was that he existed. So I did. It made me happy doing so. I met him and just looking at his face you felt so happy to be in his presence. Seth, you rock dude! Im glad I started my year telling you that.

This is a year that I know will be great. Whether I accomplish a lot of things or minimal things, my outlook on life is anticipation and optimistic. I know that there will be rough times, its the nature of the beast. However I am thankful for the friends I have. I am thankful for the opportunities that are there. I am thankful for the decisions I am making with my life. I am thankful for the decisions I am making on my own. I look forward to sooo much and to those who support me and want to be along for the ride, hop on. For those who really cant make the effort, well… Im sorry but this train is an express haha. Make an effort to be at the designated stops and then we will talk haha.