The Llama Scribe

March 11, 2008

Excitement in the Air

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 1:11 am
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With one week to go till the Magnetic Fields show in Chicago, I decided to do a spot of research on their current tour, so as to prepare myself and avoid the disasterbacle that was the Of Montreal concert at the Canopy in October.  To my great relief, I found this in a review of their February 29th show at Harvard’s Somerville Theater:

“Though songs from “Distortion,” the band’s newest album, are covered in layers of shoegaze distortion, feedback, and electronic effects, the live performance was entirely acoustic, consisting of piano, guitar, cello, and bouzouki (an eight-stringed instrument similar to a mandolin). Adapting the new songs to this format consisted mostly of removing drums and guitars to expose the melodies underneath. Merritt’s latest lyrics emerged from the layers of guitar noise to reveal a sincerity and intimacy unheard since “69 Love Songs.” Compared to the pristine, stripped-down acoustic versions, the studio recordings from “Distortion” sound cluttered and muddy.”  

I’ve been trying to get into Distortion, but it sounds so little like the band that I fell in love with last summer that I found myself terrified of having to sit through two hours of…well…distortion. I understand the musical statement that Merritt and the band were making with the album, but the truth is that 69 Love Songs, and to a lesser extent the band’s earlier albums, form a uniquely pleasurable listening experience which is not replicated in the newest album. I booked the tickets for Friday well in advance of Distortion‘s January release, and I’m infinitely happy to hear that the show should be more like what I was expecting in November- sweet, sardonic lyrics with an accompaniment to match.(Pictured is Stephin Merritt, the songwriter and singer for the Magnetic Fields, as well as the 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, and the Gothic Archies).

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March 8, 2008

On Literary Magazines and Serendipity

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 4:23 am

Like thousands of young intellectuals who are sufficiently ashamed of that title and optimistically humble to add a “pseudo” to it, I attend college at a large state university, and am presently studying within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, specifically the English department. Like hundreds of other English students at this college, I am pretentious enough to read and enjoy McSweeney’s on a regular basis (the electronic version, not the paper version; I am, after all, a student with mounting debt and too many expensive luxuries already). A fellow student, who is, surprisingly enough, not an English major, alerted me to the possibility that the author of the Dispatches from Adjunct Faculty at a Large State University could potentially be on University of Illinois payroll about two years ago, which I dismissed due to the great number of large Midwestern state universities. However, I was wrong.

To me, this is more significant than all of the achievements and donations of our dear Mr. (Dr.?) Siebel, who has funded something like 90% of the University’s architectural achievements over the past decade. Coupled with the revelation that Mr. (Sir?) Timothy McSweeney himself is a U of I alum, I feel my chest swell with the good old Illini pride.

Hoorah!

(Incidentally, Mr. Griswold’s observations on Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day capture my experience of the holiday, and of those who seek alternatives to it. An English professor of mine, largely disliked and distrusted, handed out fliers for the Guitar Hero tournament which Mr. Griswold attended, and I silently observed that every student that I know who plays Guitar Hero regularly does so with the assistance of alcohol, including myself- while there are, no doubt, a great deal of Guitar Hero experts on campus, they were likely playing and drinking in their apartments or dorms).

March 7, 2008

Desmond Hume Has Come Unstuck in Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 8:50 am
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To extend the praise of recent Lost episodes, here is a very detailed analysis of last week’s episode, “The Constant”, and its various allusions and references, including one shiningly beautiful connection to Slaughterhouse Five: Lost: The Constant & Non-Local Brain Games.

It’s a bit lengthy and extraordinarily detailed, but I loved that episode in a profound way, and I love that it is possible to analyze an episode of a TV show with such depth.

March 6, 2008

Further Laziness

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 3:43 am
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Things that I have recently enjoyed:

  • Cave-Aged Kaltbach Swiss Gruyère
  • Cocoanut-Lime Amalfi Soda, both from Espresso Royale and homemade
  • Rewatching Season 1 of The Riches (Eddie Izzard is the shit, yo).
  • Following the current season of Lost, and basking in the show’s return to form while blissfully pretending that seasons 2-3 never happened.

Things that I have recently not enjoyed:

  • Falling behind in classes (way behind)
  • Falling behind in blogging (which I care about much less than falling behind in classes)
  • Fucking Jane Austen, and the “Heritage Cinema” section of my Cinema class.

Explanation of Jane Austen Hatred: It’s the formula. Build up an intelligent, independent female character, then create a love triangle which ultimately ends with the intelligent, independent female conforming to social standards in order to complete herself by finding a man (“Aww!”). Forced viewing of Mansfield Park in aforementioned Cinema class has all but led to induced vomiting. I’m sure that Jane Austen hate in this vein has been articulated before and many times, in many different venues, by folks more scholared than I, but I’ll chorus it for good measure: The woman was a hack. I understand that she would have been ostracized for expressing anything resembling true feminism- at the very least, she would not have enjoyed the sort of popularity that she did- but what truly baffles is her current status as Female Novelist Supreme.  Can we get over this, collectively?

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