Sunday, November 5, 2006

pieces of the people we love

Apparently, i am one of those people. You know the kind.

When you go to a concert, and there's that one afflicted person who seems a tad more into it than the others. Not a 'groupie', mind you (or at least not yet. I hope. Oh good god, i truly do hope never ever please...), but one who would start gushing over the band & be a little keener than everyone else there. You see, my name is [Vapidly Vibrant] and i am the girl who falls head over heels for live performers. And i am not proud.

It all started with this chick:

That is Leslie Feist, by the way. Or just Feist as she is commonly & lovingly known.

I can still remember the night. It was in the heat of end of June. We [J & i, not Feist & i - unfortunately] had just had some delicious thai food au quartier latin. Tourists were sweatily bustling on the streets while red, yellow & green lights emanated from the scantily attached lanterns on the sidewalk trees. We hurriedly walked amidst the avid crowd towards the Spectrum where she was playing, just at the outskirt of the Jazz Festival. At 6 o'clock sharp, with no opening act, she walked out, basked in a moody red light. And she was absolutely perfect. She had turned her sweet music into a sometime acoustic, sometime rock n' roll, but always warm & touching version of her record. And she was so tiny and lady-like, like a little Thumbelina, but with an overgrown electric guitar to punch the living daylights out of all those who cross her. By the end of the concert, I got out into the musky night, completely infatuated, thinking "that's the kind of rocker i would like to be [if i knew how to sing & play the guitar]!"

Then, there was Ambulance Ltd: Okay, so they may not be the most gorgeous looking band out there, in my humble taste (also, am not nearly sexually adventurous enough as to actually want to [insert term for 'fornicating' starting with the same letter but is somehow strangely deemed a tad too strong so early on such a holy day despite being what Ms. Ann Coulter would call a 'Godless skank'] all of them. Together. At the same time. Or in any combination, nowthatweareatit & letsmoveonthankyouverymuch). Which is neither here nor there, really, and beside the point, i should specify, as these performers have 'turned me on' on a more 'spiritual' sense rather than in the mere animalistic yearning to make babies that some - obvioulsy - could inspire.... I just wasn't expecting much out of the concert, to be honest. I had listened to their LP a few times before, and though i very much enjoyed it - finding it moody in an upbeat, 70's chill way - i also had an exam the very next day, and was seriously in no position to be seeing a band i did not absolutely adore. But i did anyway because being the Queen Procrastinator that i am means that i had duties to uphold, sacrifices to make and consequences to deal with, which involved surely, i thought, the concert to royally suck in such a level that would make, on top of failing the exam for lack of studying, a perfectly karmalicious punishment.

Alas, no! To my utter surprise, it was a fantastic performance! Their chillin' music was rockin' the freakin' roof off! I'd never had such an expereince before (or ever since)! At the end of the concert, i felt like i was on a high, on cloud nine, or some other nirvana-like state, as if everything was tinted in a soft powder blue & rose, and i was in love! And despite the sound of it & the many successive exclamation points, i was/am not literally high either, i assure you. It wasn't only me, the gorgeous Indian girl behind me & her friends also thought the same (i know this because she poked at us [again J & i, not Ambulance Ltd & i - sadly], and elatedly screamed "That was so GREAT, wasn't it?!", to which we elatedly shouted back "HELL YEAH!").

(Furthermore, to prove that my concept of the Universe is completely rubbish, i did not even fail my exam! Pah!)

The third time this terrible affliction occurred, it was with my fatefully doomed encounter with Interpol:

I was standing in the first row for the first time. Well, actually, the second row: my friend A, who was completely bonkers over them, had stood in the first row, right in the middle, for two hours so she could see them up close & poysenal. She had a thing for the drummer. I, innocently enough, did not find any of them particularly attractive. I'd googled them up the previous night to have at least an idea of what this band that was indeed firmly growing on me looked like, and had thought it was rather funny that the singer, whose voice was so cavernous & deep, should actually look like a scrawny little blondie. But then... the actual boy suddenly appeared in front of me. And he opened his mouth. And i was done. That easy.

The voice, the allure, the silent charm. The fatigue. And he was not scrawny at all. I repeat, NOT. Scrawny. At. ALL. (Mmmmm.) And when he sung 'Hands Away', i fucking cried (yes, i do realize i just used the other word that starts with the same letter as 'fornicating' despite going through a bizarre rant about not using it earlier, but it is not employed here in its true prude-trampling sense but rather in a 'I can't fucking believe i cried in public' sense, you see. Which is always never inappropriate. The using of the word 'fucking' like that. Not the crying in public part). What's important to note here however is, I CRIED! IN PUBLIC! Where there were actual people around! To see me cry! In public! Argh!

So i was admittedly not in the bestest of moods to start out with... They were still quite amazing. Plus, Paul Banks has this whole pseudo-shy-intellectual-with-guitar thing that [sadly] fits right up my alley. Literally & figuratively speaking.


Fast forward to Spring 2006. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs had just released a new album, and it kicked so much tooshies that my Twelve-Year-Old and Seventeen-Year-Old Selves both came together, at the same moment in time, for that one performing night - a phenomenon that should not be taken lightly as most of the time my Twelve-Year-Old Self would choose to completely ignore my Seventeen-Year-Old Self (out of spite more than out of respect, really, as she would much rather annihilate the poor girl but cannot - she is only 12 years old after all), while the Seventeen-Year-Old Self is so concerned with her own issues & what's wrong with the world to ever care about that pesky Twelve-Year-Old anyway. But at the concert, they completely rocked out like the silly little girls they both had forgotten they were - together - and i firmly believe that nobody but the incredible Miss O can achieve such a feat. I mean, just look at her:

So cute. She came out in a wool-feathered chicken suit and wore a discoball hat for crying out loud! *bows to Her Magnificence*

The latest addition to this illustrious list (and the one who confirmed my chronical condition) is The Rapture. Their debut album came out three years ago, if i am not mistaken. I loved it immediately. Underground rock meets 70's disco, with cow bell. What else can one ask for? And it was sexy, and dancy, and unpretentious, and so totally rock n' roll, dude! It was fantastic. They released their second album recently, and i get to see them last Thursday in a little venue downtown, and by George! this is what they look like:

Geeky gents who dance! Huzzah!

[** Note: i am aware that there are lots of geeky bands who dance out there - namely Franz Ferdinand, whom i saw & loved - but they are not exactly 'hot', are they? Behold, completely biased & superficial comparison:

FF:Cool, nice, funny-looking boys, lovely to hang out with it seems, but not exactly shaggable, are they? At least, not while being sober. And/or maybe when one is horny as hell.


The Rapture:
Guitar-arms & singing-jawlines, who knew? (except perhaps for that poppet in the middle in the back. He kinda looks scary there). And it's not because the picture is in black & white either.

Case in point.]

Anywho. They had this unpretentious coolness about them, and it was so odd to see the singer (the one with the muppet hairdo) wailing in such a high pitch voice it would give Mr. Gibb a run for his money, all while looking absolutely calm & nonchalant about it (am all about the weird and contrast, y'see). And! hewasalsoverycute. They were able to create a mood that saw the entire crowd - even those sitting in the too-cool-to-care area - dancing like it was indeed 1999, where there was nothing left but disco & love in the air. There were no annoying Emo hipsters to make me want to scoop my eyeballs out, no retardo I-Am-The-Center-Of-The-Universe-Set-Aside-elbowing, no overberaing drunk lunatic. Everyone just danced. Like that ridiculous mating ritual scene in The Matrix Reloaded, minus the ridiculousness. Obviously. During the last encore, everyone climbed onstage, and the singer was completely friendly about it and took pictures with them in this most adorable unassuming way. AND!... hewasalsoverycute. *blush* (Just give me a nice little crazy dancing boy any day, really. Pretty please?)

That's the thing with live performances that predisposes me to such an affliction - the mood, the atmospehere (and the alsoverycutesinger). It felt as if we were all connected, friends, brethren, with the same skewed dancing Xanadu vision of what the world should be like....


Now, i've been listening to them - both albums, back-to-back - for the last three days, and bopping my head like a maniac. It is starting to hurt in the neck area. Also, i want to be a rockstar.


In other news, I went karaoke-ing for me birthday for the first time ever (am now addicted to singing really badly in public), was shocked in the brain for forgetting to take Mr. Effexor (again), got into a ginormous fight with J, kissed & made-up, and have been craving for pizza & milk. And fornication. That is all.


Pomgirl said...

I really want to listen to The Rapture after reading this. They get the thumbs up from me image-wise. Mmm.

arb® said...

nice new format. rapture looks hot. i admit honestly, that i fill my ears with crap 24/7. i am one of htem indlessly led who listens to whatever the radio gods determine is fit for me and do not stray widely away. so i appreciate music reviews. helps widen my view. also, ex-bfs are good for music. that's the souvenir i usually keep from them. it's a trade-off with the scars.

arb® said...

oh, and my pill takes away my drive for fornication. gives me more energy to build houses, care about commas, order indian food, and blog. great.

vapidly vibrant said...

Radical! The Rapture is really most excellent if you're feeling like dancing like there's no tomorrow, Miss Pom. And it certainly doesn't hurt that they look just as yummy either!
By the way, did you ever get a chance to listen to Broken Social Scene after all? Not quite the same, but lots of pretty noise just as well. It sure makes the days look better ^_^!

Arb, glad you like the new format - it fits nicely with my general november/december mood, me finds. And by no means am a serious 'music reviwer' at all, having absolutely no idea how to differentiate the bass from the drum, or the whatsathing. I rather tend to base everything on my feelings. Which is not always as dependable as one might be lead to think...:S And the radio isn't that awful. Much. I'm just personally incapable of associating as much emotional attachment to the music that's being played there. Especially when Justin Timberlake is considered as #1. Pah!
Oh! and Mr. Effexor does that to me too in the beginning! I was so mad at it though, for i quite wanting to fornicate thing. Ahem. I'm clearly not as productivity-minded as you are. Sadly.

Mark said...

Hey, neato site.

Let me tell you, there's nothing like playing in a band when everything is tight but not yet boring. Best thing ever. And as far as hawt goes, cf: Magic Dirt, Joanna Newsom, Schvendes and the Breeders.

vapidly vibrant said...

I would imagine! (yes, i'm gushing all over again...and a tad envious too :S) And call me naive, but i also always associated a feeling of 'Us against the World' thing along with it that just makes me feel like i'm missing out on something...I tell ya, i curse the day when the musical note was denied from my genetic conception!!*fists to the sky*

Anyway, thanks for the musical/'hawt' factor suggestions, 'tis much appreciated!
p.s.: Schvendes is undeniably kewl as well as 'hawt'.

Mark said...

'Us against the world'? I think the bands that actually go somewhere realise pretty quickly that they're part of a community and need to pool their resources with other bands. Especially if they can't fill a room by themselves.

And just to be ultra-inspirational, musical ability isn't innate, except perhaps in the case of singing. It just takes time and practice.

vapidly vibrant said...

'Us against the World -> The Man', that's what i meant. Like in a punk-rock kinda way, like a bunch of musicians ('a community') just getting together and jamming, and if all else fails they'd at least have that. That's the kind of romanticised vision i have of it sometimes. It's like a modern day fairy tale for me, if you will:).

Thank you for your kind 'ultra-inspirational' word of comfort. Alas, i'm afraid i'm way past that age where you can fine-tune your musical ear, recognise a beat, play an instrument like an expert, or actually have rhythm altogether. It's with exasperating obsitnatation that i keep insisting on dancing like a tart whenever there is music. Also, i'm a lazy bum.

Anonymous said...

Many a year ago, I used to require the Effexor and if I forgot it, would break out in sweats to make a rotating pig with an apple shoved in its gob blush. Terrible! So don't forget, girly.

I, too, love the Rapture and - especially - the cowbell. I remember being gravely disappointed when I realised that none of the Ferdinand were at all, not even vaguely, hot. But boy are they jaunty!

- Momo