La La Land

Did anyone else expect La La Land to be dumb as fuck? After watching the trailer, it felt like everybody else had drunk the Kool-aid and I was just waiting to be the last person on earth (#agirlcandream).

I try to see all the critically acclaimed films of the year at the theater because I’m bougie as fuck, so I went to see it and was pleasantly surprised! Other than the fact that they wedged all the actors of color into the very first scene and then went full mayonnaise for the rest of the film (except for the all-black jazz club Ryan Gosling is inexplicably asked to play). Another movie about white dudes in the jazz world, featuring women gazing rapturously into their eyes as they explain music to them and black people dancing fabulously in the background.

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“Mew..zik? What’s that?”

But I can’t pretend that it wasn’t charming as fuck. I used to find Ryan Gosling irresistible, but he was solidly *aight* in this movie; meanwhile, I was fawning wildly over Emma Stone. I guess I’m getting gayer in my old age! Not to mention I often have music mainsplained to me (a woman with an music degree) by dudes that think they’re the next Thom Yorke (they’re not).

Plus, all the visual aspects were dazzling and imaginative, from the set design to the cinematography to the choreography. I even liked the music, which is akin to hell freezing over, because I’m judgmental as fuck when it comes to musicals.

Anyway, I’m stuffed with endorphins right now because I worked out and did *~*yOgA*~*(I had to use my raggedy-ass lambskin rug from Ikea instead of a yoga mat because I don’t have one #brokedownbitch). Every time I feel this way I’m like, “Where’s the catch? Why do I feel this good? When will this brief drop of levity shatter into the inevitable existential breakdown?”

On that note, hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

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ART

Look at this shit, y’all!

I had an Exit Through the Gift Shop moment with a guy on the subway the other day who was drawing with two pens simultaneously, as you can see above. I thought maybe he was some famous New Yorker cartoonist or something so I got excited. As it turns out he’s just some rando, like the dude in that movie. The only evidence of him on the Internet is the video above, which some other person took three years ago.

I really can’t make sense of fine art – I went to the Guggenheim a couple years back to see a Kandinsky exhibit and I was like, “Is this good? I honestly can’t tell.” And everyone was like “Go away you’re dumb.” It’s weird, because I’m such a fiend for films, books, and especially music, but I’m a dunce when I walk into an art museum or look at an art book on some rich person’s coffee table.

Speaking of rich people, I worked a reception at an apartment on Eighth and Fifty-Seventh with a nearly panoramic view of Manhattan this evening, so obviously the first plan of action was to scope out the bathroom situation. I thought they would have the finest toilet paper money can buy. But to my horror, the toilet paper was the shitty kind you steal from work when you’re running low! What the fuck is that! Do you think they put the shitty kind out when they know they’ll have company? By the way, folks, I just Googled “shitty synonym” because I saw I’d used the word “shitty” twice. And now that’s four times. So I guess that’s a sign I should stop writing now, or perhaps it’s a sign I shouldn’t have started in the first place. Good night!

 

 

 

Times Square

I cannot goddamn believe this, but by the end of this weekend I will have been in Times Square e.v.e.r.y. d.a.y. of the week except Monday. I have two concerts this weekend, one in which I’m singing (if you call Beethoven’s Ninth singing – I call it yelling) and one in which I’m feeding rich people hors d’oeuvres. Y’all know I just looked up “hors d’oeuvres” to find out how to spell it and was filled with rage at the realization that the “r” comes after the “v.” This is like when people pronounce “chipotle” with the “l” before the “t” or when people say “marscapony.” If everyone just watched The Great British Bakeoff, this wouldn’t be happening. Also, we’d have world peace because that shit is like audiovisual Xanax.

Anyway, back to complaining. According to Wikipedia, Times Square is adorned with the nickname “the Center of the Universe,” which would make sense were these other places not also given the same nickname:

  • High Falls, New York (a place that doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page)
  • Epping, New Hampshire, a town that is 97.08% white
  • Toronto (OK, y’all can have that one, Canada)
  • Ashland, Virginia (Their former mayor declared that this was the actual, cosmological center of the universe)
  • Magnolia, Delaware, a town with 226 people
  • Wallace, Idaho (another town declared to be the center of the universe by the mayor, who actually fucking said “Wallace MUST be the Center of the Universe because you can’t PROVE otherwise.”)
  • “Bushkill, PA a small town adjacent to parcels of abandoned property for a proposed dam on the Delaware River that was never built.” -actual Wikipedia description

Ok, that’s enough of that. Ego is fascinating, isn’t it? Luckily, I live in New York City, a place that mercilessly beats the shit out of your ego with seemingly no end. See exhibit A:

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I’m moving right along with Little Women. It’s so fucking charming that it makes me want to bake a whole goddamn cake just for funsies. Or maybe just eat one.

google_sketchAnd this is the Google Doodle today! It’s like I have ESPN or something.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, whose acronym seems so on the nose that it’s almost inappropriate, is actually less SAD and more APATHETICFATIGUEDBOREDANXIOUSLISTLESSHOPELESSSEDENTARY. For me anyway. For example, it’s taking me literal actual hours to write this fucking post.

We’re singing Beethoven’s Ninth in choir which I was really excited about, but as it turns out, singing it brings about this unfortunate paradox in which your throat is somehow dry while simultaneously fifty percent of the air in front of your mouth is filled with spit. The piece has no chill whatsoever. But neither did Beethoven. I mean, look at him:

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That dude has definitely spent some quality time with a Fleshlight.

Speaking of Fleshlight, I just Wikipedia’d that shit (if you only knew the internet spirals I’ve descended into over the years) and learned this:

“In 2011, the company that manufactures Fleshlight sent a complimentary package of its products to the members of the SEALs team that killed Osama bin Laden.”

I’ll let y’all meditate on that. Enjoy this shitty-ass weather, friends.

Women in Music

Conversations had between three fab ladies while attending a house show where no women were asked to perform (aka most shows, aka the whole music industry):

  1. Getting head hairs stuck in your butt crack or front crack, and the subsequent satisfaction from pulling them out
  2. What pegging each of the individuals on stage would be like, and whether or not this is something we’d want to do
  3. When and where it is acceptable to drink unlimited Lime-aritas (the beach, and everywhere else)image.png
  4. Farting and blaming it on the dog
  5. Farting and blaming it on someone else
  6. How can I fart at this house show because beer makes me gassy
  7. Why do dudes not notice when there are zero women on stage? Why do dudes not notice when all the women in the room are in the audience? When I was the front person of a band, the sound guy often assumed that I was the backup singer (despite being in the literal front of the group) and put the volume on the mic lower than the violinist, who sang backups (but was a dude). My friend who was the only woman in a touring band got harassed constantly and her bandmates were so oblivious that they never thought to tell dudes to fuck off. People always assumed that she and the front person were dating each other. Etc. Etc.
  8. How many times do we need to spill Lime-arita on ourselves before it’s necessary to wash our clothes

Some dude left the GOT-DAMNED seat up before I went into the bathroom and I made a big fuss because I was like a Corona and a half in. Luckily for women everywhere he literally ignored me even though the whole room was watching.

I can tell that I’m still relatively frustrated by this whole thing because I’m having trouble making any jokes about it. I mean, this is one of the reasons my desire to be a musician has vacillated so much over time. I have wonderful, talented friends who are working on their music careers, but they’re almost all male.  The few female musicians I do know have male partners who are more well-known (but not necessarily more talented).

More on this later, because I’m getting grumpy now.

A Seat at the Table

I’ve been flattened by this album every time I’ve listened to it. This world doesn’t deserve A Seat at the Table and Lemonade in the same year, but we got it anyway.

I’ve been looking for articles celebrating these two sisters releasing their odes to black femininity that are so utterly appropriate for each woman, but all anyone can talk about is how Solange is sure gonna endanger Beyoncé’s Grammy! Some people like her album more than Beyoncé’s!

Ugh. Can y’all shut the fuck up? First of all, who gives a fuck about the Grammys. Second of all, why don’t we focus on what is good about each of these albums and why we’re losing our collective shits over both of them?

This isn’t intended to be an album review, btw. Ironically, I’ve never been all that great at talking about music subjectively.
“Hey, did you like that album?”
“OMG yes it’s so good!”
“What did you like about it?”
“Um…the songs?”

I do have a few things to say about them though –

A Seat at the Table is a little subtler musically, while Lemonade tends to hit the nail on the head – “Daddy Lessons,” for example, is a down-home deep-south country song (and by the way, can we talk about the glory of returning country music, even for a second, to black Americans, who invented it? I had the most irritating conversation in the car on the way home from the concert about how “can’t we all just accept that art is a collaboration, and we all invented it?”)

NO

I went to see this therapist over the weekend who explained to me that anxiety doesn’t exist and it’s all just physical sensations combining to make you think you have anxiety. Thank you Beyoncé for “boy, bye” and Solange for “Cranes in the Sky,” an expression of the difficulties in showing love to yourself when the world tells you you’re worthless and then tells you it’s your own fault. Both songs do me better than this fucknuts.

What I love about A Seat at the Table is that sometimes you just need statements like “I’m weary of the ways of the world,” “I’ve got a lot to be mad about,” and “Don’t touch my hair” to get the point. I ran up against a wall of Solange’s genius when I realized how “F.U.B.U.” is so catchy and yet I can’t sing along with it (even in my head, white guilt I guess), and then I realized the last chorus is “Don’t feel bad if you can’t sing along/ Just be glad you have the whole wide world.” D A Y U M

Lemonade feels familiar, like when you meet someone you feel like you’ve known forever. There’s still something to learn from it, but you learn it in a language that feels intimately accessible. I feel a sense of implicit understanding, and I sit in the middle of the music as I’m listening. Meanwhile, A Seat at the Table feels like something I’ve never heard before, a synthesis of so many traditions and sounds and themes that it’s a whole new thing (synergy, amIrite?). It’s like a box I can only get into from one side at a time, so each time I listen to it I’m looking at it from a new perspective.

Anyway, I would love to write about every single song on each of these albums but I don’t think anyone would want to read that. This is all to say that I, like you probably, find these albums to be extraordinarily different and yet equally effective in getting across similar messages. And I, like you unless you’re a moron, feel #blessedashell to have all this Black Girl Magic at my fingertips.