othersideofthis: (Default)
Me: I've been kind of in a funk, RL and internet-wise, though I've been trying to keep up with tags. I've got a handful of tags here on DW that I'm planning on returning tonight, and a few threads from Snape's EP on LJ that are still continuing. I know I say this every year, but I'd really like to get better about more promptly returning tags, so I don't let them pile up and then get overwhelmed because there are so many of them. tl;dr I suck

And there's more! )
othersideofthis: (Default)

George, Shaun and Biff's Backyard Adventure, gen, Newsflesh trilogy.

Just what it says on the tin. There are a lot of throwaway bits of backstory in the canon, told in the excerpts of journal entries, and the author picked one of my favorites, where a babysitter throws George's (medically necessary) sunglasses into the backyard. This story draws on that scene and turns it into a full-fledged adventure, with perfect voices for Shaun and George, and some zombie action.


Now I have to go and READ ALL THE THINGS.
othersideofthis: (i like yuletide alot)
Dear Yuletide Author...

You write things, I am filled with glee. Simple? Simple. I ramble a lot in the optional-details-are-optional section, but if what I'm rambling about doesn't strike your fancy, then just write what you want. I'll be happy, I can pretty much guarantee it.

Extra blather. )

In re: my requests:

Newsflesh Trilogy - Mira Grant )

Kushiel's Legacy - Jacqueline Carey )

Texts From Last Night )

Tallahassee (Album) )

2011 Books

Jan. 1st, 2011 12:34 pm
othersideofthis: (bibliophile)
Why yes, I was reading shortly after the new year started.

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

Lady Mechanika #1, written/art by Joe Benitez
Scarlet #1-3, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Alex Maleev
American Vampire #1-10, written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King, art by Rafael Albuquerque and Mateus Santolouco

How Did You Get This Number, by Sloane Crosley
The Girl Who Played Go, by Shan Sa

Morning Glories #1, written by Nick Spencer, art by Joe Eisma
American Vampire #12, written by Scott Snyder, art by Danijel Zezelj
Carbon Grey #1, written/art by Hoang Nguyen and others
Scarlet #1-4, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Alex Maleev
Mystery Society #1-5, written by Steve Niles, art by Fiona Staples
Batgirl Vol. 1 - Batgirl Rising, written by Bryan Q. Miller, art by Phil Noto

Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (33 1/3 Series, by John Darnielle
Methland, by Nick Reding
X-Files/30 Days of Night #1-6, written by Steve Niles and Adam Jones, art by Tom Mandrake
Rat Catcher, written by Andy Diggle, art by Victor Ibanez
Scarlet #5, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Alex Maleev
American Vampire #10-11, written by Scott Snyder, art by Mateus Santolouco
American Vampire #12, written by Scott Snyder, art by Danijel Zezelj
American Vampire #13-14, written by Scott Snyder, art by Rafael Albuquerque
The New York Five #1-4, written by Brian Wood, art by Ryan Kelly

Shopgirl, by Steve Martin
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, by Randy Frost
Empty Mile, by Matthew Stokoe
Morning Glories #1-9, written by Nick Spencer, art by Joe Eisma
The Walking Dead #1-78, written by Robert Kirkman, art by Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Green Wake #1-2, written by Kurtis Wiebe, art by Riley Rossmo
Feeding Ground #1, written by Swifty Lang, art by Michael Lapinski
Spontaneous #1, written by Joe Harris, art by Brett Weldele
Shoot #1, various comic one shots (Vertigo Resurrected)

A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin
A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin
A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin
The Cape, written by Jason Ciaramella and Joe Hill, art by Zach Howard
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1, written by Scott Snyder, art by Sean Murphy
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2, written by Scott Snyder, art by Sean Murphy
Lady Mechanika #1, written/art by Joe Benitez
Lady Mechanika #2, written/art by Joe Benitez
othersideofthis: (i like yuletide alot)

The Mysterious Production of Eggs/Fake Palindromes, Real Palindromes. "There's something special that they're looking for. Unique and defiant of classification. Beholden to no one, wild. Female. This is you." This is seriously just magnificent, 500-some words of (what I read as) an alternate universe, and it reads perfectly with the song, with little verbal tics as nods to some of the other songs. Just go read it, it will make you want more. This is all.

Community, Creative (Non)Fiction. "Abed writes what he knows. And some other stuff, which may or may not end well." Abed writing fan fiction about the study group. The dialog here is just spot on perfect.
History of Film. "I hate it when we do genres. Next time, I at least want some kind of warning." Another spot-on story, with the dialog and characterization. I love all the little genres, and the fact that everyone pretty much just plays along.
Mandatory Futures in Make Believe, Jeff/Britta. "Fake families out of real ones." GUYS, THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD COMMUNITY FIC THIS YEAR. The Dean makes everyone take a family planning class. Wackiness and perfection ensues.
pretty cool, Troy/Abed. '“Maybe Superman just really likes Batman more than the girls,” Abed says, noting more things on his clipboard. Or: plans, not-plans, and a science project involving colorful hermit crabs.' This is a perfect, perfect little story about Troy, Abed, and potentially gay hermit crabs. It is glorious, and sweet, and I love it.
Introduction to Escapology. "The Dean decides that celebrating National Bubble Bath day is his newest brilliant idea. Naturally, chaos ensues. A very special episode of Community." This could, and should, be an actual episode. Bubble baths for everyone!
The Study of Life in the Universe. "Troy and Abed decide to look to the skies for their final project in Professor Duncan's class." This is really a perfect Troy-and-Abed-have-an-adventure story.
The Closest Approximation, Troy/Abed. "It occurs to Troy one day that a lot of Abed's films involve the two of them having sex." Again, seriously, I can't flail enough over the quality of the Community fic. This is seriously awesome. Also, there's a nod to Britta/Jeff/Annie, which made me glee a little bit.
A Visit From Whitman (Or, 'Twas the Day After Christmas Vacation). "When the study group seems to be missing the day after Christmas vacation, Troy and Abed have no choice but to investigate. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is planning something." There is poetry and cuteness and adventures and WHEEEEE.
On a Steel Horse I Ride. Troy/Annie/Abed, '"Road trip," Abed says, nodding approvingly. "One car. Seven people. A country's worth of dramatic situations ripe for both comedy and tragedy."' Every fandom needs a great roadtrip story and a great OT3 story. This is both.
Psychological Factors In Costume Design. Troy/Abed, "Jeff did one uncool thing and now his life is ruined forever. What he needs is revenge on Troy and Abed. Or maybe karmic justice; "revenge" sounds so Old Testament, which really isn't his style." This fic contains THE BEST FLASH MOB EVER, and one of those Community-style life lessons. Also, if Troy/Abed isn't your thing, you can still read this, just skip the last section.
Special Seminar in Romantic Comedy. Troy/Abed, "It was a perfect romantic-comedy moment in a perfect romantic-comedy situation." This story involves a bake-sale, Britta-on-controlled-substances, and a delightful 30 Rock/Conan semi-crossover.

Die Hard, The Day is Saved. 'Sometimes even badasses need a day off. Lucy McClane is going to make it happen or there'll be hell to pay.' Set after Live Free or Die Hard. John, Matt, and Lucy are all bad-asses who just want a normal Christmas.
Chuck Norris and John McClane walk into a bar.... "How tough is John McClane?" A series of vignettes centered around some reworked Chuck Norris facts. It's perfect.

District 9, There's this girl I like. "For Wikus, there is only one reason to make it through." A bittersweet post-movie story.

The Mysterious Production of Eggs (Andrew Bird album), The Red Card. F/M, some disturbing themes. "A palindrome is the same thing backwards and forwards. A fake palindrome just looks that way." THIS IS WHY I LOVE YULETIDE, because things like this exist. "Fake Palindromes" is one of those songs that has a life of its own. The album version is so mild as compared to the wild piece it's become in Bird's live show, and it's a song that's easy to underestimate until you start to tear it apart, and when you do, you wind up with powerful stuff like this. The end.
othersideofthis: (i like yuletide alot)
My browser is full of a million Yuletide tabs and I'm never going to get to read everything.


Andrew Bird's The Mysterious Production of Eggs, De-mystifying the Production of Eggs. "All the Warwicks want is for the chickens to be able to produce more eggs." OMG YOU GUYS, A FIC ACTUALLY ABOUT the mysterious production of eggs. IT IS PERFECT. There are ridiculously colored chickens, and SCIENCE, and food, and a bad-ass woman highway robber, and I LOVE IT, THE END.

And for other things I've read so far and enjoyed:

(500) Days of Summer, make me dance (i want to surrender). "Summer/Husband.This is not the beginning. This is only the meeting of two people, one of whom you already know, a little and the other? the other is a stranger to you." A story about Summer meeting the man she winds up marrying. This felt really true to the movie, and also made me feel better about Summer's sudden change of heart about relationships.
30 Rock, The Peanut Butter Incident. "Liz/Jack, Liz and Jack go on a first date, but it's all for show. (Or is it? Or is it?)" A fake date, some perfect banter, and just a hint of adorableness.
Bad Romance (music video), I'm a Free Bitch. "Racquel was sent to the Haus by her parents to become the perfect girl. But she came out a Monster." This is basically a perfect fleshing out of the storyline we see in the video. Which I now want to go watch again and again and again, while reading this story.
A Complete History of the Soviet Union As Told By A Humble Worker Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris, An Incomplete History Of History, As Written For Yuletide, In Five Acts And An Epilogue. "What's the point of it all, when you’re building a wall, and in front of your eyes, it disappears?" Okay, first, go watch the music video. Then go back and read the fic. Your mind will be blown. Tetris as a metaphor for life, indeed.
Crossover: Hotel California (Eagles' song) and For Your Entertainment (Adam Lambert album). (Costing not less than everything) "A couple of hours later, he spies a glow in the distance." A fight, a flight from home, a mysterious hotel, and finding yourself when you thought you were lost. Perfect, and the two canons wind together so well.
Dexter (books), Dexter by Daylight. "We will enjoy ourselves as a family--as though love is something we are capable of--and I will do my Dexter Daddy best to follow in Harry's footsteps. Dexter and his Dark Passenger spend a Sunday with Cody, Astor and Brian." This follows the books, which are very different from the TV show, but regardless, the voices of the characters and Dexter's narration are perfect.
The Hurt Locker, Escape Becomes The Habit. William James/JT Sanborn, "In the last days of Bravo's tour, things have fallen apart for Will. He does what he always does; he pokes the snake. This time, the snake is Sanborn, and he's not afraid to strike back." Because every vaguely homoerotic military movie needs angry first time hate!sex. What?
Law & Order: SVU, Gardens Are Not Made by Singing. Munch/Fin pre-slash. "The radical nature of potatoes, compost and John Munch." I don't know if I can call this cute without Munch and Fin coming to life and finding me and Judging Me for it, but, damn, this is pretty cute, in a completely IC sort of way.
MythBusters RPF. Like Bottled Lightning. Gen, pre-show. "They watch the sun rise in the desert, and Jamie gets to ride in a helicopter, and they fire off three thousand horsepower of rockets and send up a cloud of dust that can be seen more than a mile away, and the tips of Adam’s ears and his nose and a little triangular patch on his collarbone all burn crispy in the sun. On the ride back Jamie is happy, deep-down glow type happy like he hasn’t been since the first year M5 broke even." This is just a perfect little look at the show before it was a show.
A Softer World (webcomic), maybe next year is the year (maybe last year). "Even after an alien invasion and a takeover by a dystopian government, life still has to go on somehow." I have a soft spot for stories like this, little vignettes and the apocalypse and life going on despite it all. I saw this prompt go across the pinch hitters list, and I'd half a mind to try my hand at it myself, but I'm so glad that someone else did, because I never could have created this awesomeness.
othersideofthis: (Default)
Dear Yuletide Writer:

I WILL LOVE WHATEVER YOU WRITE. Let's just get that out of the way right now. Seriously, I will be gleeful.

I feel like my Yuletide letter is always completely unhelpful, but I'll write it anyway.

In re: ships, I am okay with anything. Het, slash, gen, whatever. I love porn but I love plot more, so don't feel like you need to write fic with Lots of Gratuitous Body Parts if it's not you or it doesn't fit the fic. (Conversely, I am just fine with PWP, if that's what your brain creates for Yuletide.)

In re: plot, go wild. I love big, long, plotty things, and some fandoms clearly lend themselves more towards intrigue and wacky hijinx than others do. I love AUs and twists on the universes and "what would happen if..." sorts of things. Really, the most important thing is having the fic feel true to its source. Characterization, voice are key. My favorite fics are the ones where I feel like I could print them out and stick them seamlessly into the original canon.

In re: content, in general, I am okay with just about anything. I don't like crack fic or things that are vastly OOC. My only no-gos are real heavy BDSM, torture or extreme physical violence, things involving bodily fluids, bestiality, and mpreg. I don't know how any of these things would come up, but being in HP fandom has made me neurotic about listing these things. If you write the Kushiel's fic, I know some of these things may creep in, which is okay in moderation, but again, it's all about tone and keeping true to source. Things I especially love: missed connections, unrequited love, forbidden relationships, quaint but humorous series of misunderstandings, cuddling, hurt/comfort, angst, exploration, spur of the moment sex, quiet moments, realistic relationships (you just know that someone hogs all the bed and forgets to do the dishes). Feel free to check out my fic journal ([livejournal.com profile] _regarde) to get a glimpse of what I've written, since that may give you a better idea as to what I like to read.

In re: my requests:

The Mysterious Production of Eggs (Andrew Bird album)
This is a beautiful, gorgeous Andrew Bird album, the first of his that I really fell in love with, and it means the world to me. Last year, I requested and got some fantastic Bird-related fic from Yuletide, and, well, hell, why not give it a try again? Like I said in my signup, I don't care what you write. Put the album on and just let magic happen. I've got a bunch of posts about Bird and his music here on my LJ, which I've helpfully unlocked.

If you're stumped on ideas, though, you needn't go any further than Bird's lyrics themselves to see a fascinating universe just full of stories dying to be told. I put these in my sign-up, but for anyone perusing who isn't my recipient, just check this out:

All of the songs tell such interesting stories in their own right: the strength and control of the woman in Fake Palindromes ("some lonely night we can get together / and I'm gonna tie your wrists with leather / and drill a tiny hole into your head"), the sudden societal change in Opposite Day ("and those who can't quite function / in society at large / are gonna wake up on this morning / and find that they're in charge"), the ironically timely apocalypse of Tables and Chairs ("after the fall / there'll be no more countries / no currencies at all / we're gonna live on our wits / throw away survival kits / trade butterfly knives for adderal"). The lyrics give you all you need to write a story. Immerse yourself in Bird's world and have at it.

Kushiel's Legacy
My main request is Phedre/Joscelin/Hyacinthe, which would just MAKE MY LIFE to read. I don't really care when it's set. Maybe a slight AU where Hyacinthe doesn't go off to Alba at the end of the original trilogy, or maybe something that takes place during the Imriel trilogy. This could be so, so hot, and I see precious little OT3 fic, and there should be more of it, the end. I'd like to see a little bit of plot with it, because these three can't just fall into bed together without there being some angst or drama. I'd like this to not be an established trio sort of thing; in other words, I'd like this to be the first time they've gotten together like this.

If you're not into them as an OT3, then just a friendship fic is great, too. The three of them work so well with each other, especially as the series goes on and they all become more comfortable with where life has taken them. And really, with this canon, just about any pairing or scenario would make me happy. Like I said in my signup, Phedre/Joscelin, Phedre/Hyacinthe, Phedre/Melisande... hell, if you feel very adventurous, I'd love to see someone come up with a plausible scenario for Joscelin/Melisande.

The Time Traveler's Wife
From my signup, I'd most like to see more of Henry's life before he meets Clare. It's clear from the book that he's absolutely no prize, especially around the time he's with Ingrid, but we only get a few glimpses of that time in his life.

There's not much else to this than that, really. The book is about Henry and Clare's story, so it makes sense that we don't see much directly of Henry's past, but I'd love to see more of it.

2010 Books

Feb. 17th, 2010 11:02 pm
othersideofthis: (bibliophile)
2010 Books )
othersideofthis: (the best holiday icon ever)
Dear everyone who isn't my potential fic-writer for Yuletide: feel free to ignore this.

Otherwise, read on...

Hello, and welcome to your TERRIBLY BELATED Yuletide letter. I don't really have much to say, but I figured I should at least give you a little something more to work with. Maybe. I don't know. This is really the least helpful Yuletide letter ever, I think.

Read on, oh brave writer. )
othersideofthis: (far too early for this)
Hi, LJ. I didn't really read anything over the weekend, so if anything interesting happened, I missed it.


after waiting outside for about two and a half hours in the cold with about 12-15 other devoted Andrew Bird fans, wherein we amused ourselves with a cappella renditions of Bird songs (complete with beatboxing) and playing the Name an Andrew Bird Song for Every Letter in the Alphabet (wherein I pwned everyone by using Bowl of Fire songs instead of songs from his newer releases; and where we skipped J, said we wouldn't skip any more, and then got stuck on Q), he finally came out and took time to chat with us all and sign things. No photos, but I couldn't be too sad about that, as A) he'd been filmed for two days straight for the DVD they're making, and B) he was nice enough to stop and chat with us and sign things all anyway.


This one girl said to him, "I told a friend that I wouldn't leave here without touching you, so can I have a hug?" and he was like "....okay." Which, you know, was all the opening I needed.

As he was signing my poster, I told him about how we met at the show at the Art Museum where I promptly hurled a bunch of words in a huge run-on sentence at him, and said that I felt kind of awkward about it afterwards, because I had hoped I would be able to be less tongue-tied, so I wrote him a little message in a card. (Hilariously, during the show, a girl in the audience shouted out in between songs, "DID YOU READ MY LETTER?" and he was like "...maybe?") So I was like, listen, you can read this or not read this or misplace it and pretend that you read it, but here, I just wanted to give this to you. And he was all, oh, thanks, and took the envelope (which, uh, may or may not have had one of my awesome blog-business cards in it, which may or may not have been a kind of psychotic idea, particularly considering that a big chunk of my blog has been devoted to reviews of his shows, and that the name of the blog itself is taken from a lyric in one of his songs, but I was like, fuck it, I'm doing it), and, yeah, will he ever read it? I don't know, I'd like to think that he will, but it was just important to me to communicate somehow just how important what he does is to me, and if I can't get the words out in talking, then I'm writing them. So there.

And then, and then, and then, I was like, well, he just hugged a couple of other people, including one guy in a hilariously awkward man-hug. This was an opportunity I wasn't going to pass up. And I was like, "since you're giving them out, can I have a hug too?" And was all, "...sure."



That's how you know that despite the fact that he's pretty much the poster boy for terribly introverted people, that he's also a pretty awesome guy, because he hugs crazy fangirls without worrying that they're going to knife him or whatever. As someone who has her own Personal Space issues with strangers, I appreciated the fact that he let me violate his personal space for a couple of seconds.

Unrelated to the hugging, I felt really old with all of the other people waiting around for him. Most of them were college freshmen or sophomores, and I was all omgzold.

BUT WHATEVER, ANDREW BIRD HUGGED ME. If I can't steal him away for naughty things, I will make myself happy with a simple slightly awkward hug at 1:30 in the morning out in the cold in Milwaukee.

After he'd signed things for us, we all thanked him for coming out to see us, and he thanked us for waiting so long for him. We started telling him about how we'd amused ourselves, and about the Name the Song game and I looked at him and was like, "yeah, do you have any songs that start with Q?" He thought about it for a moment before saying no, he didn't think so. "We got stuck there," I said, "and I figured it anyone would know, you would."

He needs to get on that, writing a song that starts with a Q. Because you can't play the alphabet game without hitting all the letters.

I texted Concert Buddy about this, and she responded with a couple of texts worth of exclamation points. This is, I think, the only appropriate answer.

ABird 083

othersideofthis: (monsters-that would be my first guess)

For an admitted introvert who lives part-time on a farm outside of his hometown Chicago, Bird enjoys performing onstage.

“Touring warps you because you get into this hibernating, daily existence," he admits. "I like it because you’re sort of off the hook and have every excuse in the world not to engage people except during the show. But I ask myself, ‘How am I evolving to deal with this lifestyle? Will I have some weird appendage when it’s all over?’ ”

Toward the end of our conversation, Bird reveals, “I’m not your typical singer-songwriter, you know.”

October 10, Cincinnati City Beat

othersideofthis: (oh you pretty thing)
* omg I need a Halloween costume, guys, what am I going to do? Ideas, give them to me!

* The concert was amazing and epic and beautiful and everything I hoped it would be. It wasn't the best performance I've seen from him, but I think that's a slightly less than fair thing to say, as a slightly less than perfect Andrew Bird performance is still something above and beyond pretty much any other show I've ever been to.

* My review of the show is here, at my blog. Photos are here, at Flickr.

* Concert Buddy and I got there extra early around 5:15ish, but we couldn't get in until 6, so we sat around and freaked out/screwed around on Twitter/mocked the hipster kids and the people trying to get into the locked museum doors. The whole thing was making us both a little anxious though, because there was no order, no instructions, no one there who knew what was going on. So there was no line, just this massive blob, and we were both like ORDER. LINE. MUST HAVE. Eventually, as it neared 6, we started edging up next to the doors that the security guard was standing at. We wound up being probably in the first group of 10-15 to get in. En route to finding seats, we walk right past Andrew Bird himself, who is wandering around kind of aimlessly. We waited until we were appropriately far away to freak out properly. We managed to waltz our way up to a table right front and center, which we sure weren't going to complain about.

* Much waiting ensued, and then more waiting, and more waiting. Which was followed by more waiting, while a woman from the art museum and a guy from the radio station had a little discussion about art and music. Nice, kind of funny, but the crowd was impatient for Andrew Bird. I ran to the restroom as soon as they were finished, hoping that the break would be long enough for me to get back in time, but unfortunately, the restroom might as well have been in another freaking state, it was so far away. :( As I exited the restroom, I could hear the opening notes of his first song -- the acoustics in the place were absolutely crazy -- and shuffled a little faster to get back.

* Once the show was over, guests were allowed to walk around some of the exhibits in the modern wing, which was pretty awesome. I hadn't been over there yet, other than just a quick walk through to find the restaurant my boss took me to the other week, so it was really great to have that chance. And also really great to have that chance surrounded by other people who were the kinds of people to think critically about art. Very awesome. There's some deep stuff in there.

* Concert Buddy and I walked around for about half an hour until we realized we had finally exhausted all of the areas of museum that we were allowed to go into. "I guess that's it. The only thing left for us to do," I said as we turned the corner from the staircase and began walking towards the doors, "is to hunt down Andrew Bird whoisstandingrightinfrontofus." Yeah, he was just a little bit in front of us, taking a picture with some people. (Apologies to those people, who probably have me and Concert Buddy in the background being alll :O) And cue fangirl freakout. It wasn't so much that he was standing there, but that he was a) still at the museum at all, and b) talking to people and c) taking photos with people who are obviously fans, because it's not like real friends would be all Hai let's pose for photos! After shuffling further away to observe and freak out without being seen as total psychos, it became pretty clear that if Concert Buddy went up to talk to him, that she would have either thrown up on his shoes or had a panic attack or something awful, and I was like, well, I'm not letting this opportunity pass me by, and just sort of marched up to him and, idk, spewed some word vomit at him. Something lame about how I love his music and am just amazed every time I see his live show and omghugefan. He asked my name and shook my hand and was all, wow, thanks, that's really nice, sure you can have a photo. While I was wrangling someone to take the pic, Concert Buddy said hello to him and got in the shot. (The woman I asked to take the pic, for the record, was really snippy with me. I'll feel bad if I'm badmouthing his mom or something, but she was like "Yes, I'll take it, just don't take up too much of Andrew's time" or something like that. Bitch plz. He could have said no if he didn't want to take the time to have picture with us; he's notorious for politely declining to take photos with people. The last time Concert Buddy had the opportunity to talk to him, she asked for a photo and he said no and she was kind of crushed. It wasn't like I was expecting to have an indepth conversation with him. The whole encounter took, like, 3 minutes tops.) So we got our photo (which is yet another atrocious photo of me - though not quite so bad as the one with Loudon Wainwright) and said thank you and then scurried outside and promptly made a big pile of SQUEE in the doorway. Epic.

* He is so tiny omg I just want to put him in my pocket. When I talked with him, he was just a hair taller than me, and I was in ~4" heels, putting him at probably 5'9" or 5'10" or so. But physically he's just so... angular. Lanky. Wiry. Something like that. I wouldn't be shocked if I weighed more than he did. Very kind and gracious and patient when presented with one fangirl who makes a giant run-on sentence all in one breath, and another who could barely get out her name. And also pretty.

* So we sat around outside the museum while Concert Buddy smoked a POST-ANDREW BIRD-FREAKOUT cigarette, and we both sent obnoxious tweets out to the internet. She finished her cigarette and was like, well, I guess that's it, there's not much else to do. Cue Andrew Bird walking out of museum, violin case strapped to his back. "Not much else to do except see where he's going," we said. We followed from a decent distance (this wasn't creepy stalker following; regardless we had been heading in the same direction down Monroe anyway), wondering if he was just going to go take the train home or something, because that would not be surprising at all. He went and got in a car with someone, though, and thus ended any ideas of getting in the same train car and staring wistfully at the back of his head.

* Poking around in my blog stats, I found out that a link to my entry was tweeted first by this guy, Don Van Natta, Jr., who is apparently an investigative reporter for the New York Times, and then that one was retweeted by this guy, Matthew Cooper, who was a reporter at Time magazine and who was one of the journalists held in contempt of court for not naming sources during the Valerie Plame thing. CUE INTERNET FREAKOUT, OMG. Like, OMG, WOW. I tweeted at both of them thanking them for linking, and then continued freaking out. In the grand scheme of things, a link on twitter from some noteworthy people doesn't really mean a whole lot, but, wow, it excites me.

* I also went out on a limb and wrote to Gapers Block, a local news site, offering them my review for their music section. They had covered the announcement of the show, but I didn't know if they had anyone at the show to do a writeup. Anyhow, the editor of the music section said she'd love to have the post, and she put it up and linked to some of my photos on Flickr. I was kind of hoping she would link to my website, but whatever, awesome. The post on Gapers Block is here, and now it comes up whenever you Google my name, so there's something in the search results other than stuff about the big gay inaugural parade.

othersideofthis: (it's just livejournal!)
I just went through, out of boredom, and unfriended a bunch of journals that haven't been updated in years. If for some reason, I've unfriended you and you were still reading, just not commenting or posting, please just let me know and I'll fix it.

(For the record, I have never and will never do a "pls comment to stay on my flist!!!" post. These are all journals that haven't been updated in over a year, and in most cases I can safely assume the person behind the LJ has moved on to other areas.)
othersideofthis: (some lonely night we can get together)
Concert Review: Andrew Bird with Alpha Consumer, Schubas, August 6.
For a performer who is finally getting the mainstream attention that he deserves, Bird is still remarkably humble and down to earth. As a relatively recent transplant to Chicago, I unfortunately missed out on the days where you could catch Bird routinely playing at the Hideout or Schubas, but I can’t shake the feeling that he would be just as happy playing for a few hundred people as he would be performing in front of a sold-out Radio City Music Hall. Even though his show has gotten bigger and more intricate over the years, he looked as comfortable as ever, owning the small Schubas stage and having the audience pretty much eating out of the palm of his hand. I can comfortably say that this was one of the most special, magical concert experiences that I’ve ever had. There was the feeling of knowing that something like this may not ever happen again, which made every moment all the more precious.
Overall verdict on Lollapalooza: much better than anticipated, with plenty of nice surprises for me. Will I go next year? Maybe. I’d need an incredibly strong lineup (like Friday’s) to get me to go out again, let alone go out for all three days. But despite the rain and the fact that my legs still sort of hurt from all of that standing, there were enough priceless moments during my Lollapalooza day that I don’t have any real complaints.  (April Smith, Hockey, Manchester Orchestra, Gringo Star, The Knux, The Gaslight Anthem, Bon Iver, Ben Folds, Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, and Kings of Leon.)

Lollapalooza photos on Flickr
Hockey, The Knux, The Gaslight Anthem, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, and Andrew Bird


Concert photos, Over the Rhine, August 9


othersideofthis: (some lonely night we can get together)

A Hawk and a Hacksaw

The opening band was A Hawk and a Hacksaw, a four piece group with accordion, violin, trumpet, and...tuba. Tuba! Also, eventually the violinist busted out a ... trumpet violin? I'm sure the thing has a real name, but when I googled for "trumpet violin" I got this, so that's all the further I cared to look. They had a very Eastern European type feel, reminding me a lot of groups like Beirut and DeVotchKa. Most of their set (about 30-45 minutes) was instrumental, with a few songs with vocals. Very appropriate as an opener for Andrew Bird; it reminded me a lot of his earlier albums, which were more obviously influenced by traditional Eastern European music. They were entertaining, particularly if you like that kind of music. The accordion player (who was formerly in Neutral Milk Hotel) was the leader of the group, though he didn't talk much, which was okay because he was kind of awkward. Anyhow, their music had a very organic feel, the songs all sort of blended into each other. Also, there were tuba solos. You've got to respect any group that write music that includes tuba solos.

Andrew Bird

Of course, everyone was there for Mr. Bird himself. I don't really think there are enough words to really describe the show he puts on. It's amazing on a musical level as well as a technical one. Also, it was very neat to see him in an environment that was built and engineered to get the best sound carry possible. Even before he plugged the violin in and started singing, you could hear him tuning, you could hear the clicks of the pedals he uses for looping, you could hear the little sighs and intake of breath before he started. He probably could have done the whole show unplugged and you still would have heard him in the third balcony.

There's not a whole lot to say about the show itself that I didn't already say in my other post. He came out in bright red pants, plaid jacket, and scarf, and after the first song when he paused to take off his shoes (he always plays barefoot), the audience cheered. I believe his socks were stripey. This man has an epically awesome collection of fun socks. He started, solo as usual, with a bit of Dark Matter, then went right into Why?, which will always make me happy and also make me have to try really hard not to throw myself at the stage or something. Other songs included Headsoak, Don't Be Scared (both with Nora O'Connor), Fitz and the Dizzy Spells, Anonanimal, Opposite Day, Measuring Cups, Natural Disaster (which he introduced by telling the story behind the song, which involved him catching pleurisy and thinking how appropriate it was that he wound up with a Victorian-era lung disease), Tables and Chairs, The Happy Birthday Song, and of course, Dr. Stringz and Fake Palindromes (which he prefaced by talking about how this was the same point in the show the prior night where he'd dropped his violin and broke it; he said it was one of those moments you can really only look at and thing "wow, the worst really has happen. As a musician who's had her own instrument malfunctions in the middle of performances, I can certainly identify with that). The setlist really included a good deal of older material, for a tour that's supposed to be in promotion of his new album. There were very few lyrical foibles, and only a couple of missed looping cues, and unlike some other artists I love dearly (I'm looking at you, Rufus Wainwright), the mistakes were barely noticeable and he just kept pressing right on, turning the errors into just another part of the song.

Seeing performers like Andrew Bird really just makes me want to be a better musician. It's concerts like this one that I leave and find myself longing to be performer. One review I read said that it's obvious that Andrew Bird is probably one of those painfully shy, introverted people who feels most at home performing, and that's about it, and there's really something there that I (and I suspect, a lot of his fans) can identify with. The passion this guy has for music is ridiculous. Music really is a living, breathing thing for him, and songs are always being created and edited and reworked. You'll never hear a song be performed the same way twice. It's so impressive, and I don't know how you can walk away from a show like this without being in awe (unless your name is Jim DeRogatis and you use your music column as a way to show off your epic grudge against Andrew Bird, who apparently killed your puppy and stole your girlfriend all in the same day).

At the end of the concert, you can't help but feel like you've just witnessed something magical and one of a kind, and in a way, you have.

Check out my photos on Flickr.
Listen to Headsoak and Skin Is, My; audio from both ripped from the videos I took on my camera which I'm still waiting to finish uploading on Youtube.
Check out Andrew Bird and A Hawk and a Hacksaw online.
othersideofthis: (yes there will be snacks)
Things I will never get tired of: Andrew Bird live. Phenomenal as always. My fifth row seats were just about perfection, except for the fact that the dude in front of me was, as usual, like 7 feet tall. Fortunately I had an aisle seat so I just spent most of the show leaning out into the aisle.

Manuel was a little underwhelmed; he said the concert reminded him of everything he hated about art school (for the uninitiated, while his degree is in business/management information systems, he was an art major for a couple of years). But, you know, whatever.

He ended up opening with "Why?" which was damn amazing and sexy and perfect, and it made me happy. While he did a lot of material off of the new album, he threw in plenty of older things, including Headsoak, which Nora O'Connor popped in for (she's sung on pretty much all of his records and is sort of a Chicago music staple; she did another song, too, which I can't recall by name right now). It was a pretty good mix of songs, and of course included Dr. Stringz, a song he did for a childrens' show where he sings about being able to magically fix any stringed instrument -- which is hilarious because last night he broke his violin during the next song (Fake Palindromes, which rocked just as much tonight as ever). It just sort of slipped out of his hands and the neck broke off from the body. Yikes. He got it all fixed up, of course, and it didn't stop him from flailing around with the thing anyway.

Anyhow, impressive show all around. Maybe I will have more coherent thoughts later. I have pictures and video that I need to upload.

The moral of the story: I want to squish him and hug him and give him a sandwich and then make out with him.

The end.
othersideofthis: (reading)
I like lists. )


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oh, medusa

July 2015

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