Sammy the Seal

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Learning is, like, hard

In Uncategorized on Monday, 28 February, 2011 at 9:55

Apparently, when you’re invested in a class or whatever you’re learning, it takes a lot out of you. I had my voiceover workshop this last weekend, and when I wasn’t in class, I was asleep at least half of the remaining time. Too bad I still had to prepare for the coming week and go back to my normal life. Up past one last night cooking and cleaning, since my recording session ended at ten.

Been out the game too long. It’s the good kind of jarring, though.


“I’ll build a house inside of you”

In vinyl on Saturday, 19 February, 2011 at 4:25

Song: You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son
Artist: Wolf Parade
Album: Apologies To The Queen Mary

I will now attempt to shed my fat little face and poofy gut. Here’s to living in the 160’s again!

Sick boy

In Uncategorized on Monday, 14 February, 2011 at 23:01

(Social Distortion reference, anyone?)

Being single forever doesn’t bother me too much. The mishegoss of emotions, crushes, and relationships and the lack of control it often results in isn’t something I miss. One thing I miss though? The obligation of a s.o. to care for you when you’re ill. Nothing like cooking and going to the store to pick up stuff for yourself when you need to be supine as possible.

“You better move fast”

In music videos, vinyl on Saturday, 12 February, 2011 at 22:45

Song: With Arms Outstretched
Artist: Rilo Kiley
Album: The Execution Of All Things

“Now some days, they last longer than others
but this day by the lake went too fast
and if you want me, you better speak up– I won’t wait
so you better move fast”

Fawn-over-Jenny time at 0:33, though it seems calculated. Still a sucker, though. I like how she directs Blake to a mic, as if he dunderheadedly missed his mark, and when she mutes his guitar. Polite and gentle, yet “shut up, this is the a cappella part of the performance.”

“Making believe is all I can do”

In music videos, vinyl on Monday, 7 February, 2011 at 22:03

Song: Making Believe (cover)
Artist: Social Distortion
Album: Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell

No disrespect to the original (Kitty Wells? Dolly Parton?) but good lord there is so much life in this version. Hey, plaintive is good once in a while, but when you add musical oomph and Mike Ness’ vocals, the passion and anguish (and drama) blows up to bigger-than-life size. It’s just as heartfelt if not more. And it’s also a fucking blast to sing along to. (Air guitar solo, anyone?) I LOVE their version.
Just for fun, below is some fabulous person’s video of SD at CBGB in 1992. CB fucking GB! 1992! Vocal quality isn’t that great, but I think it’s great little piece of recorded history. Time just keeps going….

Read the label

In experience on Monday, 7 February, 2011 at 14:02

Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, people will let you know who they are, for better or worse. “I’m not worth it”, “I’m a pessimist”, I’m not very emotional”, “I’m a tangled mess”, “what do you see in me” or just a litany of issues, past and/or present. We’re none of us perfect, but when people clue you in (after all, they do know themselves better than you), it’s often a good idea to resist the noble impulse/reflex to say “no, no, that’s not true. We should be there for each other when we can, but caring too much is a drain. After all, we’re each ultimately responsible for our own sanity. You can’t care about someone unless they let you. And maybe they’ll come around. But only put as much effort as they do.

It’s against my nature to be dispassionate, but I’ve learned many times that if you discount their words and get invested anyway, you can’t say they don’t warn you.

“Call me subwoofer”

In music videos, vinyl on Saturday, 5 February, 2011 at 22:30

Song: Grindin’
Artist: Clipse
Album: Lord Willin’

Ugh, tired of posting pretty, sensitive, subtle songs. Really, I’m usually more open-minded and upbeat. For some reason, this song popped into my head a few nights ago, and I remember being impressed with it back in 2002, when I knew even less of rap and hip-hop than now. Unforgettable beat. Verses and flow so good they nearly forgive the subject matter (for me, anyway). For four minutes, they’re rhyming about moving weight and I couldn’t care less (not that it’s our place to judge, anyway). That’s charisma. Sample the last verse below. Tell me his delivery isn’t hypnotic.

“I move ‘caine like a cripple/balance weight through the hood/kids call me Mr. Sniffles/other hand on my nickel-plated whistle/one eye closed I’ll hit you/as if I was Slick Rick/my aim is still an issue/lose your soul in whichever palm I’m holdin’/one’ll leave you frozen, the other noddin’ and dozin'”

Even if you don’t listen to anything like this, you gotta respect the writing. It’s airtight.

Your sad is my happy

In experience, music videos, vinyl, words, words, words on Saturday, 5 February, 2011 at 16:08

I try to stop prefacing myself, but I will here, because though not intentional, the following may very well come across as self-important. It is merely one person’s thoughts, that is all. As a matter of fact and coincidence, rather than intent, almost all of the music I listen to could be qualified as “indie” or “underground”, even if it’s not all that obscure. I just can’t fucking stand the radio. It’s not political, I just can’t fathom how people can listen to the same shit over, and over, and over, and over, and over , and over (“oh my god I love this song!” Uh not really, it’s just been bludgeoned into your head. I would bet a million bucks that if a truly incredible song like “Thursday” by Asobi Seksu were all over the radio, you’d love that too.)

I have a small iHome dock/speaker at my desk at work, because it beats iPod speakers. I keep the volume relatively low, out of respect. But I love that little contraption. This past week I was listening to a couple of Camera Obscura songs, and two cellmates wanted me to stop playing sad music. (Two fucking songs! Versus the catalog of top 40 pop and soft favorites on repeat every other hour….) First of all, one of the things I like about CO is that while their sound is often decidedly melancholy, I never get sad listening to it. It’s hard to wallow in the face of beauty. On the contrary, their music makes me feel good. However, I could not convince my co-workers of this. Hey, they’re lovely girls, this is not personal, but I felt I had to explain myself (which I HATE to do), that this actually makes me happy, so you should sort of be happy for me, especially since I had had a grumpy morning up to that point. And I even got teased about it later, to play some music, but not something sad. Besides, I really do think there is truth behind every joke. You laugh and say “this is so sad”, but you probably mean to say, “what is this crap?” Sorry I’m not always perky. Superficial much? Talk about boring. Sorry if my moods and layers occasionally show. I’m, you know, human?

Honestly, it doesn’t bother me, I didn’t apologize anyway. I essentially said, “well, tough, this is what lifts my spirits, you should be happy for me.” I had brunch with a friend this morning (so delicious, too much food!) and I was surprised to hear her back me up when wondering why so many women still want that, the sentimental, take-care-of-me, damsel mentality at the core. (Hell, I dated one for a while, and only realized that about her almost five years after the fact.) That they would rather have the cheap, easy, comforting, sheened and whitewashed pablum of Bruno “you’re amazing just the way you are” Mars (or an equivalent), than Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade belting out, imperfectly, “you’re my favorite thing, I tell it everywhere I go, I don’t know what to do– this heart’s on fire, this heart’s on fire!” is fucking perplexing. I hate to sound dramatic, but is passion really dead??? I hate macho, patriarchal b.s. as much as anyone, but are women really that impressed by emascualted, wheezing falsettos? Is that what passes for sincerity these days? Funny, because later that week, my co-worker (who is engaged) asked me about my ideal woman. I basically ended up saying, “the opposite of that”. Capable of affection, empathy, honesty, heart, but also an explorer, reasonably intelligent, and independent as hell. Outspoken, but capable of restraint and poetry. Strong and vulnerable. Doesn’t need affection to feel validated. A woman who, in some ways, doesn’t really need you. Strength of personality, mmm sexy.

Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be about music, or about women, I was mostly just bothered how close-minded people and hypocritical people are, and insensitive, when you think about it. “Ugh, this is different, play something crowd-pleasing.” The first time my co-worker heard “Thursday”, she hated it after 30 seconds. Well, I may dislike your music, but at least I’ve heard it countless times and have had time to develop a fair impression, rather than 30 seconds. (Also it pisses me off because that’s one of my all-time favorite songs đŸ™‚ It’s like riding in a car and listening to someone else’s music and not saying a word, then being the driver and having them turn down your music, then trying to play things people might like next time. Well, at least I’ve learned to stop apologizing and I don’t change the songs. Tough shit, people. It’s called being the bigger person and accepting how they are, geez. If I can exemplify it most of the time, so can you. Where are these people who can?

Well, that’s another story….

Some quintessential Camera Obscura to go with this rant, so it’s not totally a bummer. Always an appropriate song.

Song: Let’s Get Out Of This Country
Artist: Camera Obscura
Album: Let’s Get Out Of This Country

“A wish can’t just choose to fall down by the wayside”

In vinyl on Wednesday, 2 February, 2011 at 8:05

Song: Familiar Light
Artist: Asobi Seksu
Album: Hush, Rewolf (acoustic version)
(Both are embedded, use the forward and back buttons on the player as needed!)

Usually it works the other way, but this is an uncommon example of a stripped-down version of a song opening up the original. This song is even prettier and more heartbreaking now that I know what she’s saying. Thank you, acoustic version, for letting me hear them clearly. Lyrics for you:

“I stared at the ceiling to regain some feeling
The days mixed with letdowns and comedowns and putdowns
There’s words and their feelings but none of them sit well
You say that you’re happy when no one believes you
So I just take my time
We’re treading deep water and can’t seem to come by any place where we can force ourselves to know
Where is the space in our heads for hopeful thoughts to grow
So now I hope you’ll rush to my side
A wish can’t just choose to fall down by the wayside

There’s bees in the attic
Acidic with panic
Bees in the attic
Acidic with panic

There’s pills, straws, and bottles for all our bruised feelings
They mixed well in person but sting when they’re leaving
So I will make up my mind
We’re treading deep water and can’t seem to come by any place where we can force ourselves to know
Where is the space in our heads for hopeful thoughts to grow
So now I hope you’ll rush to my side
We’ve threaded the needle and can’t find a way out

There’s bees in the attic
Acidic with panic
Bees in the attic
Acidic with panic”

(Personally, I have no idea what acidic bees have to do with anything, but it’s a gorgeous song nonetheless.)

“Take me out, it’s Saturday!”

In music videos, vinyl on Wednesday, 2 February, 2011 at 3:17

Song: Dreams-Come-True Girl
Artist: Cass McCombs, featuring Karen Black
Album: Catacombs

Someone who sees the things we see, and hope to see, in ourselves, without ever being prompted. And vice versa, of course– if you’re gonna take, you’d better give.

“All the troubles in my past, that’s just what they are/And all the delusions that took host and passed have made my immunity stronger”
“What land is this? May I never wake”