Friday, July 25, 2008

This is me

This is me studying for the bar exam.

It's on Tuesday/Wednesday of next week. This is all I am doing (beyond seeing The XYZ Affair tomorrow night at the Nomad). It sucks.

So I will post after it's over. Promise. For now, on to property, torts, tax, family law, contracts, evidence, crim law, crim pro, partnerships, corporations, civil procedure, etc. etc. Woot!

p.s. I can't wait to get back to the music!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

Last time White Rabbits were in town I was confused about the opener. Were there 2? 3? You couldn't really tell based on the poster which said, "with Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson." My boyfriend Carl and I decided it had to be two openers and went to grab a quick pizza at the Bedlam Theatre. We were lucky enough to make it back for the ONE opener (after the obligatory local band) with the long name.

Carl was immediately drawn in. I wasn't so sure. As the set moved along I really loved the poppish beats and folky guitar work... but I couldn't understand a damn thing the lead singer was saying. Carl picked up the disc and we listened to it back at his place - on repeat.

The first track on the album, 'Buriedfed' is a masterpiece. Haunting, lovely, rockin' and sort of disturbing on all the right levels. You can understand the lyrics a bit more, but there's still that mumble and distortion overshadowing most of the tune. The album doesn't back down as it moves on either. It's definitely worth a listen, and 'Buriedfed' is worth the price of the entire album on its own. It's a perfect "slam your fists on the steering wheel" driving song, or one I throw on repeat while cleaning my apartment. It's a motivator.

Pitchfork Media has posted Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's video for 'Buriedfed' and, yay!, lets me embed it here. Also look for the important download of my favorite track from the album at the bottom of this post.

Download mp3:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mark Monogue - The Piano Man

A few weeks ago I found out a guy I sort of grew up with was gone. It wasn't something I expected, although I'd heard from family he'd had it rough after high school. He'd turned to some vices I'm sure some are familiar with. However, he had one of the most amazing families I knew - two sisters and a brother, great parents. He also had a child and a girlfriend. They had their problems. No one's perfect. People get frustrated, angry, depressed. I didn't know Mark during this time of his life.

I knew him as the piano man. My clearest memory of Mark is at an annual camping trip. I don't have any siblings so I grew up tagging along with my cousins and every summer we went on this ridiculous camping trip with at least two other families. It was great fun. In the photo below I'm the one in that hideous green shirt in the middle - Mark is in front of me, wearing the Pink Floyd t-shirt and the red hat. He was obviously smarter than I was.

Click here for the rest of the article
I remember Mark as the piano man because one of the things we used to do was lip-sync to our favorite songs. I remember being enthralled with the way Mark "played harmonica" as Billy Joel blasted from the boom box. I 100% blame Mark for my love of Billy Joel - and especially for my love of that particular song. I can't help but smile and feel happy when I hear it. Mostly because I picture Mark in my head. A 16 or 17-year-old kid, pretending to play piano and harmonica in front of his family and friends. It was damn fun. I also fault Mark for my love of Steve Miller. I remember him choosing "The Joker" as another one of his masterpieces as we sat tent-side. We all sang along after the 50th time it played on the tape deck.

Mark changed the way I looked at music. I don't know that I'd heard Steve Miller or Billy Joel before these camping trips, but I clearly remember going home and buying a Steve Miller cassette because of it - or hearing Billy Joel on the radio and freaking out. That was Mark's doing. It influenced what station I listed to (KQ back then) and steered me away from the Top 40 - which looking back was a huge favor. I don't listen to much Steve Miller or Billy Joel anymore, but I still own their CDs and vinyl.

Some people come into your life for a reason. That reason may seem silly at the time and it usually doesn't sink in until something tragic happens. I hadn't seen Mark in a long time before he chose to take his life. I wish I had. He's forever ingrained in my memory and I thank him for what he did for me. Partially because of what he did, I am fully immersed in music. It plays 24/7 either out loud or in my head. Mark is and was part of that. I'll miss him.