Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't Look At Me Like Another Lost Soul

And if all of our lives turn out to be lies
Then I'll go back home
To the people that knew me
Before I was old and grown...


I toyed with the idea of writing a year-end list. I scoffed at even attempting to make a list of 10 albums (I think I've listened to a total of 3 on repeat this year) and yet did end up coming up with a list of songs. The songs, however, are nothing interesting or unique. What is, however, is what can happen in the span of one year. I saw my life dissected, judged, with too many ups and downs to count. And while I finally learned how to make myself feel somewhat normal, all that was normal to me growing up quickly disappeared.

2008 started with some very major decisions. First up? Quit smoking. I'm proud to say that I have stuck with that new years resolution (probably the first) and couldn't even imagine sucking in smoke ever again. I was a heavy smoker for about seven years, and thanks to the strange sensation of a prescription drug (Chantix), I was able to kick the habit and still live with a smoker. I give myself a nice high-five for that. Once in a while, I think we all deserve a little praise.

The start of the year also saw a number of doctors appointments, swelled lips and hands, chronic hives, and the constant bewilderment of those claiming to be experts. I remember sitting in one allergists' office and after a long sigh while looking over my charts, he simply shrugged. "You're an enigma, Rachael," he said. That wasn't good enough for me.

It took almost half of the year to realize that I had had food allergies all along. If anyone had bothered to do a blood test, opposed to a skin test, they would have discovered that my allergy to wheat was the main culprit in my illness. It was utterly relieving, however frustrating to take on this new lifestyle. Constantly checking over ingrediants, and having special orders are probably things I"ll never get used to. I never wanted to be singled out of a crowd, and now, I'm feeling strange on a regular basis. Lucikly I'm finding ways to make this work for me so I can still retain my wallflower-ness.

As anyone who has read this blog for sometime knows, music was a huge part of my life -- and a huge part of my blog. In March, I decided to take a huge risk and quit my dream job, convincing myself that this was not the end of the road and there was something out there I still needed to achieve. And whilst I have not continued to write about the music I still listen to on this blog, I know that I'll eventually revist this crazy life I once lead -- if only to showcase that yes, I was once cool. But we all know that was always just a ruse.

I moved from Chelsea to Staten Island, I watched my once-happily married parents separate, I embraced my inner nerd, and stopped taking pictures at every show I attended. I'm not sorry to see 2008 go -- it was hard, long, and took a lot out of me. But there's one thing I did learn -- no matter how we identify ourselves, the real person exists inside. Through it all, I'm glad I never lost my sense of self, or my sometimes questionable thoughts.

In case you are curious, my number 1 song of the year is "Mistletoe" by Jukebox The Ghost [listen here]. It's just a demo, but hearing it live (and then begging for a demo version to listen to repeatedly) led to the following email to their lead singer Ben Thornewill.

....So anyways, the REAL reason I'm writing this is because I've acquired an unhealthy obsession to your song "Mistletoe." Seth sent me the demo a little while ago (I'm not sure if I was supposed to mention that, but oh well) and I'm pretty sure its the best song that you (and Tommy?) have written. It's fab. So I was wondering if you could do me a favor or sending me the lyrics? I just want to make sure I'm singing the right words when I'm freaking people out on the subway to work. Make sense?


Ben was nice enough to send them back with the following request:

now go freak people out on the subway


Somethings never change....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Ten things Rachael is thankful for this year:

1. Barack Obama
2. guacamole
3. joining a book club
4. Pat
5. having a job...and liking it
6. The Cable Guy showing on HBO
7. gluten-free items now popping up in regular supermarkets
8. Amanda Peyser
9. the new Mason Proper album
10. Old Navy slippers...I live in them

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gluten-Free in Pittsburgh

I am in Pittsburgh for the weekend visiting my old roommate and was shocked upon heading to the grocery store and finding a whole gluten-free section! I bought the Cherrybrook Kitchen mini chocolate chip cookies, which I hadn't tried before, and turns out they are quite yummy. I'm glad to see the gluten-free products spreading throughout the country. In fact, October is Celiac Awareness month. More to come!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Fall TV Report Card

I realized the other day that I watch a lot of TV. Whether it's on my way to and from work on my little iPhone screen, or on a Saturday morning catching up on the DVR, I basically watch the majority of scripted shows on television today. (I have tried to eliminate the majority of my reality TV, but cannot give up on Project Runway, Top Chef (when it returns in NEW YORK!!!), Intervention, or, ahem, The Hills (I know). So now that most shows are back in our living rooms (save 30 Rock til October, sigh) it's about time I give you my opinions on them. Because, let's face it -- there's a good chance I watch more TV than you and your friends....combined.

MONDAY

  • Gossip Girl (A-): Is it just me, or does this show get better and better with each episode. Ever since Blair screamed "Oh my effing god," I knew this season has perfectly combined their clever media savviness with their guilty-pleasure drama. With Serena and Dan finally broken up, we can see Serena for who she truly is (well, anything but a whiner please) and the will-they-won't-they Chuck and Blair storyline is enough to keep me tuning back week after week.
  • How I Met Your Mother (A): I'm so glad this show has finally gotten the publicity it deserves (even if we had to watch Britney Spear's stoic performance to get it). Barney's realization he's in love with Robin could have been forced, but NPH plays it off with such style that we can do nothing but cheer him on. This week's hamburger episode was a cute ode to New York, and even incorporated another silly guest star (Regis) in a great way. Please watch this show so it doesn't get canceled!
  • Heroes (C+): Anything after last season was going to be a great improvement, and the two hour premiere's pace was definitely back Season 1's standard. With some silly story lines in the way (Suresh, ugh, Hiro, please) we're still getting some jampacked drama and comedy thanks to Sylar and Noah Bennett (even if this week's buddy cop drama was cheesy). I think the writers need to throw out the "Save the world" aspect of the show (it's been done...twice) and focus on the characters that we all know and love. Hey, even Nikki became interesting!
  • Weeds (B+): I had my doubts at the start of the season. The move from Agrestic could only mean jump the shark terriority, right? Wrong. Instead we delved deep (and deeper) into border smuggling with Nancy taking a harsh and real look at her role as a mother, and a drug dealer, and how she can possibly still teach right and wrong. The last episode may have been a shocker, but I suspect Mrs. Botwin may just be saving her ass one more time. That girl is sneaky, and I love it.
  • Intervention (A): This show has the power to ultimately make me cry and feel better about my life. What more could you ask for? This isn't your cookie cutter reality TV, this is heartbreaking and almost too real at times for me to digest. I've noticed that this season almost all of the subjects have come out on top in the end, even for the lowest of all lows (did you see the one with the girl sucking on the dust-off? Jeez.) I guess they know we're suckers for a happy ending.
  • The Hills (C): I wish I could stop watching this show. I wish Heidi would break up with Spencer. I wish Heidi's mom would be on the show more. And I wish LC would stop thinking everyone in her life (because of this show) is out to get her. And that is why this show is so popular, because we care, even when absolutely nothing happens in the 30 minutes we watch it every week. I wish I could stop! Maybe I need an Intervention, heh, heh...get it.
TUESDAY
  • House (B+): It's not easy keeping this show fresh. The writers knew this last season when they though throwing in a bunch of new characters would create a new game for our favorite TV Doctor. It did, and I found it quite successful (although fans are complaining about the lack of Cameron and the Australian guy). Last season's finale was one of the most interesting house on TV (other than on Lost) and so far this season we've seen House try and deal with the aftershock. The rumored Cuddy/House romance hopefully wont ruin this consistently interesting show (even if all patients do have seizures!)
  • Fringe (B): I love me some J.J. Abrams. I've loved and obsessed about every show he's done and was not going to stop here. Sure, the story lines are ridiculous. But this is TV people. It's supposed to be ridiculous and entertaining. Combine that with the undeniable attraction of Pacey Witter (or whatever his name on this show is) and you have a pretty solid doubleheader from FOX. Keep up the pace, J.J.
  • Greek (B): I started watching this show on reruns during the summer and it was easy to get caught up in the lives of this sorority and fraternity peeps. I never got to experience the Greek life at NYU, and probably wouldn't had I gone to some other school, but the dramedy and freshness of these story lines make for a fun show. This season we've seen Frannie move in on Evan Chambers (ugh), Cappie break up with Rebecca (yay!) and Casey get a new man. I quite like the new guy, even if he does cry, but I'm still holding out for a Cappie/Casey moment by season's end. Please? Pretty please?
  • The Secret Life Of The American Teenager (D): I can't believe I watched this show.
  • 90210 (F): Ditto on above. I gave up after one episode. I'd rather have my fond memories of the Peach Pit, thank you very much.
WEDNESDAY
  • Project Runway (B+): I hate to admit that I liked Kenley at the beginning (I'm a sucker for that 50's retro look) and now she's the spawn of the devil. Only on reality TV can be begin to love and hate someone within the span of one season, with their combattive claws coming out for the love of fashion. While some of the challenges have been boring (Olympics, yawn) the drama and clothes have more than made up for it. My money is on Korto, although I'd be happy with Leanne or Jerell as well. Just get Kenley out of there, stat!
  • Lipstick Jungle (B-): I just watched this entire first season last week (there were only 8 episode, ok?) in time to catch the season premiere. Frankly, this show is definitely not as bad as I originaly thought. There's clever writing and above decent acting, it's almost like a hour long version of Sex And The City without showing any of the sex (but they get pretty close). I give props to this season's premiere, showing a more realistic side of death, with Neko coming to grasp how to mourn a husband who was planning to leave. Now I hope she can have some fun with Kirby. And please don't let Andrew McCarthy go!
THURSDAY
  • The Office (A): Man, I just love this show. From the smallest one-liners ("That wasn't a tape worm) to the big moments (holy crap Jim and Pam!) this show encompasses everything I love of TV. Characters I want to tune into week after week and that warm fuzzy feeling when Standley fist-pumps in the air. Even Andy got me teary-eyed. Here's to many more laughs, and many more episodes to come.
  • Grey's Anatomy (C): I told myself that I was going to give up on this show. I'd had enough. The story lines kept recycling, Meredith kept whining, and the Office and 30 Rock should be the only show allowed during the 9 o'clock hour. And yet this morning I found myself downloading the two-hour premiere onto my iPhone and crying on the ferry to work. What is it with this show? Bernadette Peters in a fairy-costume and an icicle falling into Yang? Pul-eeze. But I must admit that I'm sorta glad that Mer and Der are finally together, and think that Lexie and George are cute. Sigh. We'll see about this one.
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (A-): This show has definitely filled the void felt by the departure of Arrested Development. It's out-there comedy definitely brings on the laughs and the more ridiculous this show gets, the more daring and creative the writers seem to get. There just are no boundaries here, as we've already discussed canabolism in the first episode. It seems like the popularity of this show is growing, so hopefully FX will keep it on for a few more seasons. I'm a little bit scared, however, at how far they'll go!
SUNDAY
  • Mad Men (A+): I was a bit late to the Mad Men train, having watched the entire first season this summer after hearing all the accolades. Well, they didn't lie. What is undoubetly one of the best new shows of the last few years, Mad Men sucks us into another world and time where we can't help but love to hate and hate to love the incredibly complex Don Draper. While the pace is slow, it does give us time to oogle over the costumes and sets and it's fantastic ability to intertwine real-life events with this fictional show. I'm so glad that Betty finally got a backbone this season, but I fear the result once Don decides he's either coming home or not. Such drama, and so classy.
  • Dexter (B-): I declared this show my favorite show of 2007, and I'm glad to see that more of my friends have picked up on this amazing piece of work. However, I'm a bit skeptical on this season, thanks to the curve-ball ending that way too many TV shows are victim of. I found it interesting that the writers have now officially moved away from the books the series is based on, and the territory is now unknown. Here's hoping they don't screw this up.
  • Entourage (B-): Last season was a snoozefest, but I've found myself remembering why I liked this show so much in the past. Sure, it's no surprise that Vinnie will have to work his way back up to the top (as does the show) but Drama's story line, and even E growing a pair of balls (kinda) has marked for a good time. And hey, Piven never disappoints so at least we have that!
  • Brothers & Sisters (C): I watched the premiere of this season last night and was bored. This is one show that is victim of the series cancellation on my DVR, and frankly last night did nothing to convince me otherwise. We get it -- the family is disfunctional. Now let's move on and get some real story lines, okay? The prospect of yet another illegitamate Walker is not what I wanted.
(FYI: Shows that haven't yet premiered that I plan to watch: 30 Rock, Lost, 24, Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money)

So there we have it! What are you watching? Do you agree/disagree with my grades? Should I cancel Grey's, The Hills, or B&S? What should I be watching instead?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Out Dragging The River

Cause we're out dragging the river, trying to find something missing. But everyone we know is here and nothing that we have is gone...

There are five words I never thought I'd utter out of my mouth or on this blog: I live in Staten Island.

You see, before I met Pat, I never really thought anything of this borough. It never dawned on me to take the Staten Island Ferry, or that I'd one day be living there, in a house, with a car. Am I on my way to the white picket fence? Not exactly. But yet the only reactions I've received so far are either the obligatory: "so when are you guys getting married," or the more offensive, "Wow, you are so old." I cringe at the originality.

I am only 24. I don't think that I should be defined by my age, or that by moving out of the city and moving in with a guy that consistently makes me laugh should be anything of negative connotation. I'm sure one day I'll marry him, but I don't think that is going to be anytime soon. But it is to be noted that this is the only person that tells me I'm weird on a daily basis, and because of that, makes me smile.

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment in which I decided I had to please everyone. It's funny, when I was a kid, I was so sure of myself that I was almost the class bitch -- the queen bee who would be friends with one person one day and then disregard them the next. It's amazing how that confidence and power can fade with time, as I now am constantly seeking everyone's approval, and frankly it's exhausting. Because I like going home after work, cooking dinner, and watching one of the million TV shows I'm currently addicted to. Sure, I like going out once in a while but gone are the days of 4 o'clock bar hops, random strangers, and wasted days. How I ever survived that lifestyle is beyond me, because looking back, I don't think I was happy.

Let's talk about something I do enjoy: driving. We took all of a savings and decided to lease a car, in spite of the crumbling economy and high gas prices. Sure, I no longer have the luxury of 24-hour bodegas at every corner, Whole Foods, or the millions of takeout options like I had living in the city, but now I can drive! I forgot how much fun it is to sing at the top of your lungs...I always get such strange looks on the subway when I do that.

Side note: the ultimate combination is, however, driving and smoking a cigarette (close second to a cup of coffee, of course). I do miss that.

In short, life changes, and it can change quickly but in this past year of all the mishaps and chaos that I've experienced, I always knew that it was me who was making those choices. Maybe the little queen bee is buzzing out of me again. Watch out.

Mason Proper's fantastic album Olly Oxen Free is now out on Dovecote Records. Buy it here, here, or here as soon as you possibly can. It's most definitely a contender for #1 album of the year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Playtime!

I swear I have a million posts written in my head that I so wish I had time to write. I promise I'll get something up in the next week...but until then...

I've decided to get back to djing! It was a Rachael-friendly time (4-9 PM) at a very cool new bar (Arrow Bar) with drink specials for my favorite people (2 for 1 drinks all night!)

Flyer below, or come RSVP on facebook!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yes, I'm Still Here

Hello. I know it's been forever, and I PROMISE I'll update this blog sooner than later, life has just been a bit crazy lately! Lots of changes, and all for the good.

If you'd like to discuss in person, or just check out some awesome music, I am coming out of DJ retirement for one night only in celebration of the 4th anniversary of Pat's blog! Wow! I'll even be teaming up with my one and only partner in crime: Miss Nora K. It's going to be an awesome night, so you should come.

Click here or here for more info (the latter of which is currently up on our refigerator!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Be Sore, Farmer John



I've diagnosed myself. After months of doctors, therapists, friends and a few too many glasses of wine I've figured it all out. I burned out: mentally, physically, emotionally. I needed a step back to look at what was most important to me, to acknowledge that I'm still young and have the rest of my life to be successful, and start reevaluating myself inside and out.

I stopped eating wheat.

It's funny how it took 24 years for a doctor to actually diagnose me with a food allergy, considering I've gone to doctors for my entire life and even more specialists than I care to count. The rashes, the exhaustion, swelling of my fingers and lips...it all came down to the fact that for an undetermined length of time, my body actually rejected what I unknowingly ate on a daily basis. It's been almost six months now living a gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle. I can't say it's always easy (I am a New Yorker after all...pizza, bagels, etc) but the pros most definitely outweigh the cons. And because of this, I've started cooking more, finding new recipes and being very conscious of what I am consuming, food and other things alike. But please, I'm still a novice, so feel free to share any tips/recipes in the comments.

I've started to enjoy music.

It's hard to believe that it was over five years ago that I started Underrated at the young age of 19. A friend of mine who I've known since that very beginning told me that I started too young. I never really thought about it that way, but it has infact shed light on why I started to become so jaded towards the end. I burned out. For so long I had engrossed myself in this "music scene"—it was both my personal and my professional life and there was no start or end to the constant craziness it contains.

In short, I stopped having fun.

It's been four months since I quit CMJ and now I work in a completely unrelated field in a job I happen to quite enjoy. When the day is over, I don't think too much about my profession, instead I have the pleasure of unwinding, relaxing, and finding solace in the company I keep. But since most of the company I do keep happens to still be involved in the music industry, I now have an opportunity of being on the outside looking in.

And I quite like the view from here.

The past couple week's I've attended shows as a fan, that person inside of me that got into this whole mess at the very beginning. I've danced and sang along without worrying of who I am impressing, smiling from ear to ear in the mere revelation that this is what I actually enjoy. I questioned that too many times, I think, and now I'm more sure than ever. I love music. But I don't like the music industry, that's for sure.

Tuesday night I found myself at Pianos, a place where I've spent oh so many Tuesday nights before. But this week I felt as if I had a weight lifted off my shoulder. And I happened to catch a set but the wonderful Tereu Tereu who were exactly what I needed to experience—catchy melodies, bouncing rhythm, and a hell of a live show.

It feels good to be back.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Long Division.


His head was a city
Of paper buildings
And the echoes that remained
Of old friends and lovers
Their features bleeding
Together in his brain
And once it started was harder to
Tell them apart
He was always distracted
By the very mention
Of an open door
'Cause he had sworn not to be what he'd been before

To be a remain remain remain remainder


It has been over a month since my last severe allergy attack. What was once such a fear of my daily life is now a distant memory, proved witness only by the dozens of iPhone pictures of swollen lips and hives. Dare I say that I feel normal? I'm not quite sure if there is such a thing, but for so long of my life striving for the abnormal I'm taking much comfort in the routine, a bit of the mundane, and very much a security that things may be for the best. One day I'll feel guilty for making this change, but I have a feeling it will pass. For so much of my life I was obsessed with the idea of growing up. I wanted to be an adult, with responsibilities, a job, an office, title and telephone to call my own. I used to love going to my dad's office and pretending it was my own. And now, I've grown up. And it feels right.

I started my new job this week and it's quite a departure from my last few positions. There's a definite structure to the company, and while I may be at the bottom I feel already overwhelmed by my responsibilities, unsure of whether I'll be able to pull it off in the end, but confident in the fact that at the root of all the ways I can define myself—computer nerd is one that is always justified. Speaking of definitions, it's come to my attention that for the past five years I've defined myself by my job. I'm trying hard not to do that these days. I've also come to terms with the fact that some of my friends may have just been my friends because of my jobs. Part of life, I suppose.

Although its been rather hot and humid out in New York this week, the warmth has felt so positive on my body. I think I was hiding away for the past two months, embarrassed of myself. It feels good to be outside, amongst the city that I fall in love with more and more each day. Except when the newspaper ink ends up on my face...that, I could do without.

Since I no longer work in the music industry, I've taken joy in listening to music for pure enjoyment. One such album is the new Death Cab For Cutie one, Narrow Stairs. While it's taken me a bit longer than expected to get into it, I've grown quite fond of the West Coast band's new execution. It feels natural. We all fall into our own strides. When did I become so philosophical?

Anyways, I like this song "Long Division" very much. If only because I've started doing math on a daily basis for the first time since high school. Long division was always my favorite. Call me what you want.

Death Cab For Cutie - Long Division [YouSendIt]

P.S. How cute is my boyfriend?

Photo by Luke Robinson

Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't Play With Me 'Cause You're Playing With Fire


Now you've got some diamonds and you will have some others
But you'd better watch your step, girl
Or start living with your mother
So don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire

In the last week I turned 24, landed a new job, and felt relief at the fact that I no longer had to work within the music industry. Strange, because for so long its all I wanted but when I actually got it, I realized how little it is for me. In the end, I never really felt comfortable talking or writing about music, much happier to talk about what happened on TV last night or chat nonsense with a band. I never liked the business, the networking, the fake smiles and the constant look for someone better in the room. I suppose it could be true for any industry, but with the state of music these days, I saw scavengers holding on to whatever they could. And me? I was content in the back of the room, bobbing my head like an idiot.

I probably just experienced one of the worst times in my life for a multitude of reasons but I'm looking forward to a new beginning. I wasn't planning on such a change, but something tells me this happened for a reason. If this feeling of relief is any indication, I do know that I thoroughly look forward to actually enjoying music for the first time in almost five years. I can't wait to attend a show without a camera or the thoughts of how to turn this into a review. I can't wait to see which of my acquaintances are actually friends, and not just colleagues or clients in the long run. But mostly, I can't wait to not feel like such an impostor, because for so long I knew that this was not the right place for me.

One day I think I'll turn these past five years into a book. I wish that I had that short story I wrote about a life as a blogger, but its currently still sitting on that hard drive that wont start up. I'm not entirely sure if this is the end or a new start for Underrated, but I'm not too worried about giving it a label. Because, in the beginning I had fun writing about my escapades in this blog, and I only did it because I enjoyed doing it. So much of blogging now has become an institution, going against the very reason why they were created in the first place. So as long as I still like writing in here, I'll attend, and you're welcome to join me. Just don't expect too much and we'll be just fine.

Everywhere I've gone in the past week, this song has followed me. I first discovered the wonderful Rolling Stones b-side in Darjeeling Limited and haven't gotten it out of my head since. Enjoy.

The Rolling Stones - Play With Fire [YouSendIt]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yes, I Watch American Idol

I'm often ridiculed over the fact that I watch American Idol religiously. I know that there are bazillions of people out there just like me, but I'm pretty sure they are all have a medium age of 16. I'm glad my soon-to-be-24-year-old self upped that average.

You see, I'm not an American citizen. I do feel left out in the fact that I can't voice my pick for our next president. Of course, I'm not putting our Commander In Chief in the same vein as this year's American Idol winner but the actual act is one in the same.

I didn't really like David Cook from the start. In fact, I thought his hair was stupid and I was too busy pining over the Australian, wondering how I could get his phone number other than the one Ryan Seacrest kept telling me to call. But as the weeks went by, and as everyone else was wooing over that stupid 17-year-old kid, I started to dig the psuedo-rocker's style. Sure, Cook is totally cheesy and a bit of an early 90's wanna be, but I applauded the fact that not only cold this dude sing in any range, but he also did his homework by giving the judges what they want: originality.

So as much as I'm prepared to see the other David take home the prize tomorrow night (in spite of that hideous voice crack during "Imagine" and the fact that he cannot form a complete sentence), I would still like to state my vote went to Cook. And yes, I did vote. It's the American thing to do, after all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Save Brooklyn Nightlife

I know I haven't been updating this site as much as I want to, but I have been blogging regularly over at Limewire I'll give y'all a nice ramble soon, but for now please take notice on the bulletin below.

Tomorrow could change Brooklyn nightlife as we know it!

Community Board 6's advisory board is taking action against Union Hall of Park Slope. They are recommending the removal of their liquor license based on a group of about five people from Union Street, with no facts generated to prove any violations. I repeat... THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE AWAY UNION HALL'S LIQUOR LICENSE WITHOUT A SINGLE VIOLATION! If this is allowed it could set a chain-reaction through the night life scene. If they can deny the renewal of a liquor license for an establishment with no violations they will be able to close down anyone they like.

DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!

The General Board will be meeting on this and other matters at the address and time listed bellow. Show up in numbers with signs stating your support for Union Hall and Brooklyn Nightlife. The press will be there and we have to put the pressure on.

Borough Hall
Court Room / 6:30PM
209 Joralemon St.
Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Jaymay | "You'd Rather Run"

The music doesn't move you, doesn't soothe you
Doesn't prove you're worth a dime
You work 'round the clock, watch it tick and tock
But this isn't your time
Move over son, it's my turn to shine


I've been thinking a lot about silence lately, ever since someone told me that I am insecure in the quietness of life. Funny, because I always thought I cherished the in-betweens, thriving taking a step back to acknowledge, observe and imagine. But who knows what people actually think you do, or do not, do or are. It's such an impossible feat. But it has been caught in my mind, the space above that so many things run from day to day, minute to minute. There, it's not so quiet.

I cannot believe its been a month and a half since I left my job. I fret over the fact that I am still in the in-between, the restless calm where many would enjoy but I cannot stand. You have to be optimistic, I tell myself, that there's something out there. I am thankful for the small realizations that I made the right decision. Like Friday. A form of vindication, I'd say. But I don't want to get ahead of myself.

It's amazing the types of things people do on a daily basis. I find myself in offices, helping out, a temporary place for me to pretend I belong. I wonder if these people are happy with their professional lives, if that is even a reality in this day in age. I tell myself to be optimistic, that there's a chance that one can live off their dream. But there can be hiccups, and there's no reason to be insecure.

Pat and I watched The Diving Bell And The Butterfly this weekend, and I found myself rejuvenated to write. That I have this ability, this chance to express through words is something not to be taken for granted, and while it has been quiet here, I have been thinking, formulating just what to say. And then here I am, without much to say at all. It's a strange moment when you realize that this thing, the very place you bear your soul, is nothing but a page spun within the millions. And yet even so, it still has a profound effect on the exposure one feels.

I have a feeling I'll look back on this time of my life, and if I ever write a memoir, this chapter would have a terrible title. In less than a month I'll be turning 24, and one day I'll laugh at how naive I was, how there many more awkward silences, and in-between's to come. Until then I'll be listening to Jaymay's debut, Autumn' Fallin', which brings back a certain memory of much easier times.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm Okay, Okay....

The morning's hot and harsh.
My notebook fills itself.
The words come thick with sweat.
But it feels like someone else
is writing all of this.
Someone I just can't believe
So I mop my brow, set my pen back down.
Still me, still me


I blame Kevin Devine. I blame him for getting me into this mess, for getting me out, and putting me back into introspective thinking. The night I decided to quit my job I listened to this Brooklyn boy, and here I am, about a month later, listening again. Trying to figure it out, make sense of life and where it brings you—ow I ended up laying in this bed in this apartment and why it happened. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what my place is in this world. And why Kevin Devine, and sometimes Oprah, always make me think there's reason behind it all.

I'm glad I went to the show on Sunday. After a late night on Saturday at Pat's show, I spent much of the day in a lethargic daze, unable to envision returning to Brooklyn, let alone the same street less than 24 hours since I left it. I tried stealing some of Katie's excitement before, but found myself only harboring in on monetary situations, a conversation I had with my father earlier in the day, and the utter desire for the sigh that would be Monday. But I couldn't.

It took a few songs for me to feel lost (in a good way) in the beautiful Music Hall Of Williamsburg. Upon walking in, all I could think of was the wonder I once felt walking into North Six and how this, like everything, has been renovated, made anew. Once I put that mourning behind me, and found myself staring wide-eyed at the red-headed singer in front of me, I decided that everything was going to be okay. Because if Kevin says so, I have to believe him, right?

How could I not.

Save The Date: After The Jump, June 21


In a few short months, it will be Summer and that means the second annual After the Jump Fest! Bigger, better with even more acts and surprise guests, this year the festival takes place along side the city wide music event, Make Music New York (which itself is a part of the worldwide music phenomenon that takes place in 300 cities in 108 countries) on the first day of Summer, June 21st.

After the Jump Fest is the effort of 20 New York City music bloggers whose goal is to help new artists gain exposure while raising money for struggling school music programs. This year, After the Jump is teaming up with The Music Hall of Williamsburg and Galapagos Art Space for a festival stretching from noon until last call. In the next few months, After the Jump blogs will be making more announcements about the festival including new artists and pre-parties. Stay tuned and in the mean time, check out AftertheJumpFest.com for information on our past events and mark your calendars! It's going to be a doozy.




For press opportunities such as interviews with the organizers or bands, please contact publicity@afterthejumpfest.com
For sponsorship and all requests, contact producer Jennifer Kellas: jkellas@afterthejumpfest.com

Friday, April 18, 2008

Saturday.



More info here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Paper - 1.1



Is it wrong I really enjoyed watching the premiere episode of MTV's The Paper? Perhaps after being officially bored with The Hills today, the station's latest reality try—this time in the setting of a high school's news room—came off as witty, entertaining, and highly addictive. But maybe it's because I related to the young teens quest to become Editor In Chief. Although when I got the position my senior year, no one was plotting a coup d'etat. I don't think.

As the four gunning for the position took the walk to find the piece of paper that would determine the rest of their lives (okay, not exactly but go with me), I specifically remembered my own walk. It's the little dramas in our lives that are so important in their settings, and frankly—it makes for great TV. Who doesn't want to see Amanda overcome her patronizing and succeed at leading a staff? Who doesn't want that lame couple to break up so that it's awkward city in the staff room? And, by god, let's hope that they win all those awards again or else brace yourself for some mental breakdowns. Because in the first five seconds of the show, truth was spoken: journalists are the most important people in the world.

Amen, sister.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Van Helsing Boombox

When anything that's anything becomes nothing that's everything
And nothing is the only thing you ever seem to have
But only time will tell if I'll allow
the scenery around to eat me alive


I survived over a week without a computer. This should be a feat in itself. I now mourn the loss of over 10 years of work—writing that I may never see again, and the start and finish of a project that seems further and further with each day. But I will not let me get this down, because I'm trying oh so hard to be optimistic given the state of my life right now. My only hope is that this cannot last too much longer.

I've recently been recounting specific periods of my life, and it's funny how much you can forget, even at only 23. The most monumental things become appropriate bullet points in the time line, but its the smaller decisions, the quick phases that really shape a character. I had forgotten I once started a email newsletter for Felicity that, when I really think about it, basically shaped the rest of my life. I remembered the move from California to New Jersey, how I couldn't find a dance class and so easily gave it up, when it had consumed my life only days before. We're fickle beings, and I'm finding that may be one of my biggest detriments, or benefits, depending on the day, of course.

The first song of Man Man I heard was "Van Helsing Boombox," where the quote above is from. The sound and lyrics of that song combined do a perfect representation of chaos. I admit I started to go a bit stir crazy in my apartment this week. If I don't leave, I cannot spend any money, I rationalized. But now I'm determined to find some spots with with free wifi in my neighborhood. Any one know of any in Chelsea? Today I shelled out the 9 dollars to sit in Starbucks, but that seems to not justify my previous reasoning. Humph.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friendship

I froze my hands
Broke my fingers off
Gave them to my friends as a gift
Because a rift has formed between us.


I always loved that line from Mason Proper's song "Friendship." It's one of those very strange images that makes complete sense once you hear it, but for only a split second, of course. It's charming and disturbing—the kind of dichotomy I fall in love with.

Irony is a funny thing. I have spent the past two weeks basically cleaning up my life, feeling guilty about removing parts that I've held so dear, and taking on new occurrences, thoughts, dreams. It's actually my dreams that are throwing me for a loop, the subconscious ones and not, which can battle and befriend at the same time. But in a swift move of "a ha" my computer died yesterday, the hard drive completely failed, and all the things that I had always planned on holding on to, have been removed from my life. And somehow I'm left without a job, without a computer, and paralleling one of my favorite shows on television. Sure, I'm on no island, but I am trying to figure out what the hell is going on around me.

Luckily, I tend to be an eternal optimist. And frankly, I always think that things happen for a reason so I'm off to search exactly what one is. Who knows, maybe this time next week everything will have changed again.

Of course, it only really takes one thing to lift my spirits, and anything pop culture related pleases me to the core. Which is why I was thrilled to see my name forever imprinted on the wonderful USA Today Pop Culture blog. Click here to read about my silly obsessions with Ethan Hawke, Felicity, and a lot of other embarrassing moments. It was incredibly fun.

In related news, I came in fifth on my first ever Hollywood Draft. Thanks Heath for getting me the most points. (Too soon?)

--
"Friendship" by Mason Proper is found on their recently released Shorthand EP, which can be purchased on iTunes.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lost Link Of The Day

Lol. Literally.



More here [via Pop Candy]

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead



I've been watching a lot of Degrassi lately. I never really watched the show up before meeting Pat, and I've since found myself waiting for Sunday mornings to catch the repeats on the WB. Then came The N, and basically in light of my recent unemployment, I've almost gotten a grasp on all the different dramas that have gone through the cast of characters, although I find myself asking Pat a lot of questions still. Cause, you know, they "go there."

I've turned a lot of my attention lately to TV, rather than music. It's an awfully strange experience when something has basically occupied your entire life to be so accepting of its place on the back burner. But like everyone who I tell that I think I'm done writing about music, they seem to all respond: well, you're probably burnt out. And perhaps they are right, and perhaps this "break" between music and myself will only be beneficial. For the first time in a very long while I've found myself not listening to what I should be listening to, but instead what I want to be listening to. Who cares if it came out three years ago, who cares if they weren't some buzz band, or if they were. I'm paying attention to what I want for a change, and it feels kind of nice.

Last week, my first real week of unemployment, I went to see three bands just for kicks. I wasn't worried about writing about them, or taking pictures, or meeting the right people—I found comfort in hiding in the back of venues once again, and just listening to what was in front of me. As it turned out, I liked the two bands I knew nothing about, and was underwhelmed by the one I thought was the greatest thing ever. I will always love the art of finding and falling in love with certain bands, or albums or songs, but it feels nice to be sure that there are no ulterior motives.

So music is kind of like an ex-lover. An ex-lover is far different than an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, and forgive me for quoting Carrie Bradshaw, but it helps if you pronounce it "lovah." Because an ex-lover is free from guilt or heartbreak, and only the fond memories are remembered. Which made me go back to a song I quite liked, which was featured in an episode of Degrassi I was watching tonight: Stars' "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead." And as strange as it seems, its lyrics seem quite appropriate to my "relationship" with music today.

Live through this, and you won't look back...
There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save


MP3: Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here Comes The Sun

This girl is in need of a vacation. I'll be back next week...don't miss me too much.

DSC01492.JPG

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beauty vs. The Geek?



Dear Beauty And The Geek,

I never thought I'd watch your show. It's not that I'm against reality TV (trust me, it's far from that) but I just never thought that this idea/concept was interesting. It sounded like a farce. My past roommate started watching it, and since the majority of New Yorkers are too broke from their expensive rents to leave that apartment, I got hooked. It wasn't what I expected—there was an actual "moral" if you can call it that, perhaps "message" is better. Everyone went on the show to better themselves. The geeks wanted more confidence, the beauties wanted to be more accepting. If you forgot the fact that they were competing for money, it was an interesting, and somewhat genuine, social experiment. And yes, by season's end, I always ended up in tears.

I was okay with your "twist" last season to have one couple whose genders were switched (the beauty was the male, geek female). It was pretty fun in the end. But after watching this season's premiere, where you have decided to have the beauties compete against the geeks, I wonder why you have completely removed the only redeeming factor of the show. We don't need a new twist every season, we just want to fall in love with the characters. By having these two teams fight against each other, instead of learn from each other, you lose your essence and the search for comraderie. Its ideas like these that hurt my defense of reality TV.

Sincerely,

Rachael

P.S. - I really like Gregie.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ryan Adams Has A Blog



Dot-com, mother fuckers! 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lost Link Of The Day

Listening to the LostCast right now…thankfully there’s no Tasha this week (fast forward through the beginning to avoid listening to her “dance remix” ugh.)

LOSTCasts 64: The Other Woman

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Stills - "Yesterday Never Tomorrows"

My looks pushed too far, I'll get wrecked in some bar
I've lost it, my foot's on a nail
The dark winter snows bright, please stay here tonight
I'll cry my face straight through my pillow
Some things last forever, why can't this last forever
Nothing lasts forever, I hope this lasts forever

I had to get out of my head this weekend, or so that's what I figured out on Saturday night. The past few days have been emotionally draining, trying to be one person for someone and another for someone else, never fully realizing who I should be for myself. It's a very strange experience to see your parents as real people, perhaps even more flawed than you are yourself. As much as I tried to pretend I wasn't part of my family growing up, there's no denying I'm a product of my parents. Now, for the first time, I'm scared of what that might mean.

I almost cracked Friday night, when silence was deafening and my thoughts took over my entire body until I could hold in anymore, resulting in a vicious regurgitation that even I wasn't allowed to control. After a lot of hesitation and fear, I made my way out of my apartment and downtown to Bowery for Ra Ra Riot. It was pouring with rain, which helped me hide within the masses of people out and about. It didn't take long for me to get lost in their music, a familiar sound and safe freedom. I forgot what it felt like to have energy on stage pour out on a control, but the band proved they could do it for the umpteenth time. By the show's end I had my fist pumping and hands clapping. I stayed out until 4 a.m. that night. I hadn't done that in years.

The rain continued into Saturday. I didn't want Pat to go back to Staten Island but we both had things on our to do list that day. Again I was alone in my thoughts, running across town while my sneakers became sopping wet. I removed myself from my apartment and reality again that night, heading to a familiar site of my past that only made me realize how much I have changed. Maybe I haven't even really changed, just realized where I do and do not fit in. It was a nice refresher, almost like that puff of the cigarette on Friday night too. Sometimes you have to remind yourself how bad things really are. Katie and I made our way to Bowery for The Stills, and although I couldn't physically make it through the whole show, hearing songs off my beloved Logic Will Break Your Heart was enough.

I forgot how much I love that album; I've been listening to it all day today. It's strange to think that was five years ago, and how much I wish I could go back to that time. Life felt much easier then.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lost 4.6 - "The Other Woman"



While this week's episode of Lost was far from the mind blowing and equally adoring episode last week—any episode with Desmond and Penny is automatically my fav—we did have some fun stuff in this week's, too. While I'd venture to call it one of those "filler" episodes, it's still keeping with the fantastic pace and ambition of Season 4. Juliet has always been a fascinating character and, unlike some people, I enjoyed this week's flash back just as much as previous ones. If only for Ben's utter creepiness when he uttered the lines: "You're mineeeee. (pause) Take all the time you need." Let me say it again—Michael Emerson is an acting genius.

I could, of course, have done without the Kate/Jack romance—hopefully it will just lead to Ben kicking some Shepherd ass—and the Daniel and Charlotte mission was ultimately anticlimatic. Of course, scenes between Locke and Ben have become more and more intriguing and within minutes I cringed and then yelped at the sign of that "Red Sox" dvd. Finally! We have a proper Widmore connection to the island, that hasn't come from something other than the show. I have a theory as to who that blindfolded guy in the video was, but we'll get to that in a second.

Although we weren't privy to another flash-forward, this flashback cleared up some holes in our story line. It's great to see scenes we've come to know so dearly through new eyes. Ben ordering Goodwin to go to the Tailies (what does that mean for Ethan?), Goodwin and Juliet in bed together, and so on. While not too many mysteries were introduced or revealed, there's nothing more creepy than a dinner party with Ben. Please, invite me next time. Thanks.

Best line: "This rabbit didn't have a number on it, did it?" Genius.

Some theories....

I'm 99% convinced that the guy in the blindfold is Desmond. I just have a hunch that I cant get rid of, no matter how many people tell me I'm wrong. It's him.



I'm also 99% convinced that Ben is able to time travel. How else would it explain how he knows where Daniel and Charlotte were heading and how he could tell Harper to warn Juliet? That would also explain why he sent Goodwin to the Tailies.



And what's with Faraday's map?!



Poll on who the mole is on the freighter? My guess is Michael but I hope they throw us a wild card to keep up the shock value.

Ra Ra Riot Tour


If you don't have tickets to tonight's sold out show at Bowery Ballroom, don't fret! Ra Ra Riot is hitting the road with a vengeance. Kicking off their two month plus tour tonight, the rowdy sextet will play six (!) shows at next week's SXSW and then opening for The Cribs for a bit before a national tour with the equally enjoyable The Little Ones. If you've seen the band as many times as I have, there's still reasons to come back for more. Not only are they one of the best live bands out today, but they will also be showcasing brand spanking new tunes off their upcoming full-length. Can't wait!

Tour dates below...

3/7/08 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom – SOLD OUT

3/12/08 – Austin, TX @ Austin Conference Center/Day Stage

3/12/08 – Austin, TX @ Ms. Bea’s/Todd P Party

3/13/08 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s/Canvas Media+The Onion Day Party

3/14/08 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Annex/Soundcheck Day Party

3/15/08 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Annex/Park The Van-Daytrotter Showcase

3/15/08 – Austin, TX @ Saengerrunde Hall/Diesel Party

3/17/08 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club *

3/18/08 – Greenville, NC @ Spazzatorium Galleria *

3/19/08 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *

3/22/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar *

3/23/08 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *

3/24/08 – Bowling Green, OH @ Howard’s

3/25/08 – Chicago, IL @ Double Door *

3/26/08 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre *

3/28/08 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *

3/31/08 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey *

4/2/08 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge *

4/3/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Popscene *

4/4/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre *

4/5/08 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah #

4/6/08 – Phoenix, AZ @ Modified #

4/9/08 – Norman, OK @ Opolis #

4/10/08 – Ft. Worth, TX @ Lola’s #

4/11/08 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s #

4/12/08 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon #

4/13/08 - Atlanta, GA @ TBA #

4/14/08 – Orlando, FL @ The Social #

4/15/08 – Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds #

4/16/08 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jaxx #

4/18/08 – Charleston, SC @ Map Room #

4/20/08 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 #

4/22/08 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar #

4/23/08 – Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s #

4/25/08 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs #

4/28/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks #

4/29/08 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement #

4/30/08 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Gypsy Hut #

5/2/08 – Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s #

5/3/08 – Detroit, MI @ Alvin’s #

5/4/08 - Milwaukee, WI @ TBA #

5/7/08 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown #

5/8/08 – Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Saloon #

5/10/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court #

5/16/08 – Pomona, CA @ Glass House #

* w/ The Cribs

# w/ The Little Ones

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Friday Night Lights Saved?

After finally catching up on Friday Night Lights just prior to Season Two's finale, I was disheartened to hear that it could be the end for this show. While bordering on soap-opera-esque story lines, there's a lot of heart in this little show, and a cast of characters/actors that make even the cheesiest scenarios seem authentic. Luckily, it might not be the end.

EXCLUSIVE: NBC Picking Up 'Friday Night Lights' After Partnering With DirecTV

A Weather's 'Cove'



I recently sent an email to a few of my close friends, attached was a song by A Weather. I told them they had to listen to it immediately. I don't do this too often, but when I find a band I truly love, I have to tell everyone. So I told them first, and now I can tell you. Below is my review from CMJ today. Please listen to the band, they are so good.

There's a reason why Portland's A Weather isn't a household name—their hometown won't allow it. Unfortunately, with a debut this good, Oregon's precious secret, in the form of a bedroom pop quintet, may not be a secret for much longer. On Cove, frontman Aaron Gerber and drummer/singer Sarah Winchester quietly lead a nine-song odyssey, complete with whispered vocals, jazz-infused bass lines and carefully crafted beats. There's no wall of sound here—instead, the band equally highlights every part, thanks in part to the well-known production work by Adam Selzer (M. Ward, the Decemberists). The dueling vocals avoid love-struck lyrics, instead, Gerber and Winchester's chemistry feels natural and rare.

Cove opens with an impressively five-minute-plus track "Spiders, Snakes," that sets the pace and ambition for the rest of the album. In fact, although only nine-songs long, Cove clocks in at over 45 minutes, with some tracks over seven-minute long. Not track out of place, A Weather seems to have focused as much on order as the sound. Not relying on heavy production or unnecessary sound effects, the band allows the songs to create a self-reflective mindset. From the bass heavy, playful "Screw Up Your Courage," to the retrospective "Small Potatoes" and the fuzzy, angsty "Pinky Toe," Cove refuses to shine a spotlight, instead stepping aside to engage listeners from start to end. So that by the time Gerber and Winchester sing, "It's good to know when good things arrive," in the final track, "It's Good To Know," we already know that they have, indeed.

Listen:
A Weather - Spiders, Snakes
A Weather - Screw Up Your Courage
A Weather - Oh My Stars

Lost Link Of The Day

As expected, the one…the only…Doc Jensen…

'Lost': A Desmond Fact-Check

Nice little tidbits from Damon about what happened last week, plus some clarifications on tonight’s ep. Mild spoiler warning.

Project Runway Season Four Winner

Not to toot my own horn, but I so called this after the very first episode this season.

Read Bravo's interview with the winner here. (Spoilers, obviously)

I didn't actually get to watch the episode last night, but I had to see who had won. The rumors, and my own predictions were right. Horray!

How Well Do You Know 'Arrested Development'?

Even after watching all the episodes on a regular basis before i go to sleep, I only managed to get a 12 out of 20 on this quiz. It's harder than you think.

We Miss Arrested Development (So I Made This Quiz)

In other AD news, looks like that movie might actually happen. I can't decide if this is awesome or scary. I'm going to stick with awesome.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lost Link Of The Day

I've been sending daily emails to my friends and co-workers with various Lost related links, and figured I might as well let everyone else enjoy. I'll copy and paste my emails here, and most of the time I'll make fair warnings if any spoilers are involved. This week's episode is a Juliet-centric episode. It's going to be hard to beat last week's Desmond-amazingness, but I'm sure our Lost friends will throw something just as crazy at us. Is this season the best, or what?

I know some of you don’t like any spoilers, but here’s two clips from this Thursday’s episode. I promise that these are official ABC promotional clips, and coming from someone who watches them each week, it doesn’t give anything big away. It’s just a nice way to ease the pain of having to wait 7 whole days for a new episode.

Watch at your own risk:









Via Kristen at E!Online

A Brief Smile Reveal 'Never Have The Time'



Download the video to your iPhone/iPod over here where you can also find studio videos off a whole bunch of other tunes from their fabulous Now We All Have Horns. Check out the band this Friday at the Delancey, or April 19 at the Annex.

ALSO! Please go vote for A Brief Smile in the Collegiate Nationals. All you have to do is click here. It takes two seconds, I swear.

'Californication' Coming To DVD

I know what I want for my birthday!! From TvShowsOnDVD.com...

After getting a kind of a "DVD debut" as bonus episodes included with recent releases of The Tudors and The L World, you will now be able to get the entire first season of Californication on DVD this coming summer! Showtime and Paramount Home Entertainment have announced a June 17th release this morning of all 12 episodes!

Californication - Season 1 stars (and is executive produced by) David Duchovny, who won a Golden Globe as "Best Actor in a Television Series" for his role as Hank Moody in this series. Just a bit more than a month after this DVD release, Duchovny returns to his classic role as Fox Mulder in the new X-Files theatrical film, which hits cinemas on July 25th. Showtime has picked up Californication for a second season later in the summer, but the exact debut date of the new episodes has not yet been announced.

The DVD release of the first season set will be in Anamorphic Widescreen video, with soundtracks in various formats of 2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital, and Mono. Language support is both English and Spanish. The running time is approximately 10 hours. Pricing information, extras (if any) and box art were not made available this morning, but stay tuned and we hope to have it for you soon!

Sophisticated and unique, this comedy centers on novelist Hank Moody (David Duchovny) who struggles to raise his 13-year-old daughter, while still carrying a torch for his ex-girlfriend. His obsession with truth-telling and self destructive behavior -- drinks drugs and relationships -- are both destroying and enriching to his career.

If you missed this show when it was on air, start your count downs now. Californication was easily one of the best new shows to hit cable in 2007, and number four on my top 10 of the year. Find out more about the show, and David Duchovny's Golden Globe win, over at Showtime's website.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Movies That Rock: The Darjeeling Limited

I can't remember why I didn't see this movie in the theaters. As a huge Wes Anderson fan and an even bigger admirer (ok maybe obsessee) of Jason Schwartzman, I should have been there opening night. Well, that didn't work out but thanks to the power of Netflix I got this little DVD the week it came out, and Pat and I sat down to watch it late Saturday night. Okay, I fell asleep the first time, but it had nothing to do with the flick itself. I have a problem staying awake these days, so early mornings are actually better for my movie viewing sessions. So at 9 AM, while Pat was still sleeping, I popped it in again. And what an film this is.

The best part is I had no idea what this movie was about. I went in with a clear head, as filmmakers crave, and left feeling moved. The performances from Adrien Brody, my dear Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson, were perfectly crafted and played off each other with ease. Set on a train traveling through India, Anderson's usual quirks were ever-present, and met with a welcoming smile. I found out while watching the featurette after, that Darjeeling was actually filmed while a real life train was in motion. Authentic, indeed.

I'm going to buy this movie because I know it's one I'll want to watch for a little escape from reality. In the film Wilson, the older brother who attemps to reconnect with his brothers and eventually their mother, tells them they are about to embark on a spirtual journey. It isn't until they are kicked off the train and faced with loss, family, and pain that the three finally realize what that journey is. But throughout it all, we're lucky to witness the quick one-liners, the soundtrack, and the visual intentions. We kind of go on a journey too. And like most Anderson flicks, we're left with one of those true movie-going experiences.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mason Proper - "Fish Eyes"

I was lucky enough today to receive a personal email from the always delightful Jonathan Visger of Mason Proper fame, to shed light on his recent solo project. His first 4-song solo EP, North South Part I is currently available for only $3, in high quality mp3, with audio samples of all the songs available at secrettunnelgroup.com. I've listened to the EP at least 17 times today, and let me tell you—it's worth a lot more than a measly 3 dollars. I've always had a hard time pinpointing Mason Proper's sound, and Visger makes it even harder this time. But if I had to, I'd call it something of a lo-fi industrial pop. Whatever, just know that it's good.

Visit the site and sign up for the email list, and you'll immediately be sent a link where you can download the song "Fish Eyes" for free, and you'll also receive a free new song from Mason Proper song!

You can also check out "Fish Eyes" and "The Stupidest Thing" on his MySpace. "Fish Eyes" is officially my obsession of the day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

You'll Only End Up Joining Them | Kevin Devine

These days my hangman's hunger makes my gut kick
My sleeping mind, could map it blind
A flask, a key, a bag, a fifth
I try to will myself away
While shouting habits plead their case
So when the sun sears through my eyes
My beggar's brain can't compromise
I splash cold water, I draw the curtains, I stay inside
There was no wine or motown tonight, just thai food and garbage bags. In lieu of a pretty life changing decision this week, I decided to go through my drawers and closets and throw out everything I haven't used/worn in the past six months. I came to the conclusion that I throw away things too easily. I started to panic. I put the garbage bag, and one of the 12987 black t-shirts down. I needed a break.

On one hand, I just celebrated my one-year anniversary with my boyfriend, my longest relationship to date. Somehow, I had found a patient guy in New York who could put up with my odd behavior. But on the other hand, it was also almost exactly a year ago that I accepted what, at the time, I decided was my dream job. I was 22, wide-eyed, and longing for something to validate what I had strived for all this time. I didn't happen as easily as I thought, and while I was discouraged, I found hope, and excitement that it had all paid off. That was then, this is now. Part of me worries that I'm unable to keep things for too long, that if I went to a therapist he/she would tell me that moving so many times as a child has kept me restless. I worry that I'll always think the grass is greener on the other side, that I'll constantly be looking for the next best thing. But like any choice, it's never that simple.

I took all the above into consideration when I decided to quit my job. But 2008 has really turned out to be one of those times in my life where I'll look back and realize that this was when I started to actually live. After almost two years of being in and out of doctors, on and off of prescriptions, and never feeling fully like myself, I decided to take things into my own hands. I quit smoking, which while I miss it terribly, I've never felt better. I also decided it was time to look into alternative forms of medicine, which solved an almost simple case: I'm allergic to wheat, and dairy. As if my already sever allergies to dust and mold weren't enough, now I had to clear out my refrigerator and pantry and look at ingredient lists for everything I buy. It hasn't been easy, but in the month that I've treated this, I've began to feel like myself again.

But there was something holding me back—a frustration that came because I cared so much about what I did, that the limitations became more and more ridiculous by the day. I realized that my own office, which I spend more time in that my actual apartment for the most part, was making me sick—both physically and mentally. It was time to move on.

So I write this not to be self-serving, but perhaps as some sort of solace for those who may feel the same. I'm incredibly unsure of my future, but relieved that now I know what I need in order to be healthy and happy. I've missed writing here, and I've missed listening to music just for enjoyments sake. Watch this space to see how it all pans out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ra Ra Riot | WOXY Lounge Act



Are you going to see Ra Ra Riot headline Bowery on March 7? I am so excited to see this band rule the stage, in what is bound to be a fantastic show debuting a number of new tunes off of their upcoming full-length. It may be sold out already, but I bet if you get there that night, you could get in. But don't quote me on that.

The band took over the wonderful WOXY a couple weeks ago, and their blog, The Futurist, has just posted a number of tracks, and another very cool video. Definitely worth checking out.




woxy.com presents Ra Ra Riot from Soft City Lights on Vimeo.

today was a rainy day

It's been a rather strange night. What started as somewhat a disaster, has turned into hope, thanks to a couple glasses of wine, some Motown, and a trip down memory lane. I'm at that point that most meet in their early 20's: where to go next. From the little (I think I'm going to move back to blogger) to the big (can I really do this?), every decision is made up of every thought we've had in our lives. I found myself reading old blog entries, and came across this article from February 2005, when Underrated celebrated it's first year. It was so surreal reading how idealistic I once was, and almost unfortunate how cynical I've become. Maybe that can change. Either way, it sort of helped me make some decisions tonight, looking to the younger me for some advice. It's so funny how much things have changed.



[the above picture was my room in my first New York City apartment. it was my "inspiration board" which kept me focused on Underrated. i found it tonight and sort of wished I had kept it]

Monday, February 18, 2008

Port O'Brien Q&A



Port O'Brien topped my 2007 Best Album List, and I must admit that I'm bit taken by this California-based band. Their upcoming self-released debut All We Could Do Was Sing will be out in May, and I've been literally emailing their publicist on a routine basis to get my ears on it. Luckily, she assuaged my obsession by offering up a chance to speak to the delightful Van and Cambria of the band, of which the results can be found here:

Port O'Brien: Sailing The Lo-Fi Seas


If you haven't checked out their "collection" The Wind And The Swell, buy it now. The first single off the new LP, "Stuck On A Boat" can be downloaded here.

I hear the band is quite the live show, so count me in for at least one of their two NYC-area performances. Full tour dates are below.

Tour Dates For Port O'Brien:
02/02 - San Francisco, CA - Swedish American Hall*
03/01 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord**
03/06 - San Luis Obisbo, CA - Steynberg Gallery
03/07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour***
03/08 - San Diego, CA - The Cashbah**
03/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified**
03/19 - St. Louis, MO - The Bluebird**
03/25 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool**
03/26 - New York, NY - Pianos**
03/27 - Washington, DC - DC9**
03/28 - Chapel Hill, DC - Local 506**
* with Nada Surf
** with Delta Spirit
*** with Delta Spirit, The Virgins

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tonight: Jukebox The Ghost's CD Release Show

Horrah! Jukebox The Ghost's debut album has finally come out. And let me tell you—it's pretty darn fantastic. (Read my semi-obsessive review/gush session here.) The boys will be celebrating in New York tonight (with copies of Let Live And Let Ghost in their hands) and I found it worthy of coming out of DJ retirement. Because not only is Jukebox The Ghost playing, but my good pals A Brief Smile are as well. Like I said, horrah!

Here are the details:

JUKEBOX THE GHOST CD RELEASE SHOW
Union Hall, 702 Union Street Brooklyn
8 PM: DJ Underrated On Decks!
9 PM: Hymns
10 PM: A Brief Smile
11 PM: Jukebox The Ghost
A Brief Smile (10),(8)
Doors at 8 (there a couple tickets left at the door so get there early!)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lost 4.2 - "Confirmed Dead"

Where to begin? As I was watching "Confirmed Dead" I began to get restless. I wanted to know who these people that have arrived on our island are, and the flashbacks were not giving me enough. I wanted a showdown. I wanted to know how Hurley gets off the island. I wanted to know so much that I found myself at the edge of my sofa, unable to breathe. Welcome to Lost.

In what could easily be referred to as a filler episode, the more I thought about last night's expose on our four Freighters, the more I liked the pace that this show has now taken. With no one Lostie flashback, instead we were given snippets of who our so-called rescuers are: a physicist who cries, a con-man who talks to the dead, an archaeologist, and a drunken pilot. There was little bits of fun material—was that Eko in those pictures at the dead guy's house? Have you called the Oceanic hot line (I have)—the story was really propelled by their adventures into the jungle to find the beeping locations. That beep was enough to make me nervous (Hello, type in the numbers) and some snide comments from our dear Sawyer and the look on Locke/Ben's face when Hurley mentioned Jacob's cabin were priceless.

And the big revelation, of course is, as Jeremy Davis so perfectly delivered rescuing is not their primary objective. What is? Ben. My thought is that Abbadon is Hanso/Dharma-related, funded by the Windmore's, and these are the four that they chose to kill Ben for his mass execution on the Island. Kinda makes sense, so it must be wrong.

But that picture up above? What a hottie.

What is up with the polar bear in Tunisia? I'm really hoping this all doesn't come down to time travel or else I'll be confused. My thoughts are just that this Island adventure was not the only one Dharma initiated.



How did this helicopter land so nicely if Frank Lapidus landed so far away? (notice the numbers too!)

I'd put money that Ben's mole on the freighter is most definitely Michael. Thoughts, ideas, theories? Leave them in the comments below!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lost 4.1 - "The Beginning Of The End"

First of all—thank god this show is back on television. Secondly—thank god there are still creative minds out there that realize that some television viewers are smarter than a 5th grader. In last night's season four premiere Lost proved its accolades, by giving viewers one hour of jam-packed drama: laughs, tears, fears, and all that good stuff. The implementation of a flash forward, in my opinion, is pure genius. With such a serialized show as Lost, it was easy for viewers to become frustrated and bored. Now, the entire game has changed. The flash-forwards are so seamlessly intertwined in this epic odyssey that we are no longer wondering: will they get off the island? We know want to know is: why? and how? and what!? And so much more.

I'm beginning to think this season (whatever we get to see of it) will rest heavily with the theme of ghosts. If season one was all about the survivors, and two was about the hatch, and three finding out about the others, this season we'll be visiting by all the ghosts of our favorite folk's past, and wonder how they fit into our magical island. Are they dead? Sure. But are they real? That we don't know. As with any sort of paranormal being, there's always a purpose. We're set to find out what that is.

My two major questions from last night:

Is Christian Shepard (Jack's father) Jacob? Is he what Jacob has taken form in? Has he done that with Mr. Eko's brother, Walt, etc? Screen shot:

Who's eye is this? My first thought was Locke, but some people are saying it was Charlie because there was a hoodie.

I loved having Charlie back, even if he is still dead. I know some people hate his character, but I think he's adorable. In case you didn't catch it, that was Charlie when Hurley was "hallucinating" while the police was questioning him. In fact, he had a message, "They Need You":

Man. I need to watch this episode again. Feel free to discuss in the comments.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

J.J. Abrams Is My Hero

I'm going to the Cloverfield MySpace party thingy tonight and am super stoked. Yes, it will be cool to sort of be part of Rob's surprise party (although I hope I make it out alive), but what is really getting me so excited is the fact there is a chance—perhaps a very small chance, but one nonetheless—that J.J. Abrams will be there. Among a few people in my life, he is most definitely one of my heroes. From my obsession with Felicity to Alias and Lost, if there's one thing J.J. Abrams makes you do, is think. Which isn't all that common in television and films these days.

So I was happy to watch this TED talk that J.J. Abrams participated in. Pretty interesting stuff. Who knows, maybe I'll get my own personal inspirational talk tonight. Probably not. Maybe it was just a flashforward.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jukebox The Ghost | Lounge Act, WOXY

Definitely one of the best I've heard (and I basically listen to them all). Fantastic job boys, and the wonderful WOXY. Watch the really frickin' cool video, and download the whole thing while you are at it! Catch Jukebox The Ghost at Union Hall February 9 with Mason Proper. I'll be djing! (And not smoking).


woxy.com presents Jukebox the Ghost from Soft City Lights on Vimeo.

DOWNLOAD: Jukebox The Ghost Lounge Act

Find single tracks over at WOXY's blog, The Futurist.

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