Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bright Eyes @ SXSW 2011 (in bullets)

music: Bright Eyes, Bright Eyes, Bright Eyes


Ah, what an amazing two-hour set! I stayed up till like 4:45 a.m. and watched the live feed at The audio should be available later on today, and tomorrow, a video replay will also be available. I'll definitely watch it again. (Update: the audio :) (March 24 update: the video is up, yay!)

  • The old songs they played last night are slightly reworked, which makes this npr recording a little treasure worth holding on to.
  • I was under the impression Conor was trying to distance himself from the early BE records. So glad I was wrong! (Fevers and Mirrors is one of the albums that really got me into their music.) However, during this tour, the Americana/folk sound is what he's trying to distance himself from. Pretty much all the songs they played at SXSW have a... what he calls "a modern sound".
  • It's so great to see him play Road To Joy with the same energy he played it years ago on tv. (well... with almost the same energy *wink*).
  • Conor is such a sweetheart: he gave a shout-out to the Supermoon, he stood next to the sign language interpreter, and at the end he hugged as many people as he could.
  • I thought the fireworks following the show were going to be tacky, but: how appropriate! - the fireworks started just as One for You, One for Me was ending, and you could hear the voice of Denny Brewer talking about the cosmos and stuff. What a wonderful juxtaposition that was!

Also at SXSW: Bright Eyes played an AOL Pop-Up Show, which is available for streaming at

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slow motion

music: Wye Oak - Civilian

It's 7.59 a.m. and outside it's so sunny. I was just reading from a journalism textbook while listening to this Wye Oak concert, and that little moment felt so right. For the first time in a really long time sth has felt right. And no, I do not miss formal education. Maybe just the structure of it all. Just maybe.

Things have been a lot slower than usual around here. I've been feeling sluggish for too long now, and it's not just my usual depressive mood. I felt crappy for a while, then had a really bad fever, and then felt crappy some more. As a result: during this whole time I've only been able to watch a few movies and tv series. I'm way, way behind on my reading schedule. I haven't even felt like checking Twitter or Facebook or my reader. But you know what? I don't have to "like" everything, I don't have to tweet my every thought, I don't have to check out every link that may or may not be interesting. Actually, I'm getting pretty sick and tired of the nowness of everything.

And so what if I started reading Villette in January and still haven't finished it? Reading only 20-30 pp every now and then is actually a lot more satisfying than engulfing in this book.

And if I feel like watching Pretty Little Liars (i.e. one of those teen guilty pleasures) all over again, that's okay too. (Watching tv series / movies with kids who still have to do homework motivates me with my own learning. It works just for a little while, but hey, if a silly tv series can make me read 20 pp of theory or learn even one new word in Japanese, then that's great.)

I've been watching a lot of La grande librairie, even though I'll probably never get to read any of the books they discuss on that show. Two books have really caught my attention, though: Le fils by Michel Rostain and Femmes de dictateur by Diane Ducret. I wish they got them at CCF - I need an excuse to renew my card.

I've also been listening to Elliott Smith again, mostly to From a Basement on the Hill. I just love how those sad yet dreamy melodies intertwine with the depressive lyrics. And I like missing listening to certain musicians or records because when you finally do listen to them it's like remembering how to breathe again.

Elliott Smith - Memory Lane

I really enjoyed these photographs by Thomas Ordoyno. (He cites Dash Snow as one of his influences. Remember him?)

I also enjoyed this NPR story about vinyl. Ah, my poor little vinyl "collection"... it's been too long since the last addition - so long that I can't even remember how long.

*sigh* Slow might not be okay, but for the moment it sure feels okay.