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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bonny Bear

I've liked Bon Iver since he self-released his first album For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007. Yes, that's five years ago, yet he recently won a Grammy for Best New Artist.

I don't mean to be all "well I liked him before he was famous," but... I did! I'm such a jerk!

Anyway, it's a weird feeling. I feel like Bon Iver was my special little friend. I would listen to him after I dropped my friends off from a night on the town, and his gentle, yearning falsetto echoed through my parents' station wagon as I took the long way home winding down Wellington Crescent, just to hear the whole album.

I liked Bon Iver back when only the snobbiest of music snobs knew who he was. I knew he was great, yet I was reluctant for him to catch on. I wanted him all to myself.

This past weekend, Justin Timberlake did a (pretty dead-on) impression of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on Saturday Night Live. I laughed, but I also felt kind of... offended? It was like they were making fun of my best friend. I wanted to yell at the TV "But you don't know him like I do! DON'T MAKE FUN OF HIM."

I'm kind of crazy, yes.

I was kind of glum that he was famous enough to be made fun of in SNL. He's hit the big times.

While part of me is glad Bon Iver is getting such well-earned praise, another part of me is a little bit sad that he's not all mine anymore (and yes, I knew he was never 'all mine' - he's had an army of dedicated fans since day one, not just me). And another part of me is offended that thousands of people didn't even know who he was on Grammy night, even though, technically, that should make me happy, as I don't want anyone else to know who he is...

I'm so complex!

Now that he's hit the big leagues, I only want the best for Justin Vernon. I just hope he stays true to himself, and that he never fixes his hair.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mistaken for Strangers by your old friends

Ever since I started listening to them about four years ago, I've always thought the National provide the perfect background music for growing up, abandoning your youthful ideals, and becoming part of the 9-5 rat race of the so-called 'real world'. If you've ever read Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road, you'll know what I mean.

It's good music, I swear. A little depressing, but so honest and so beautiful.

As I contemplate a career in the advertising industry, I can't help but think of this song. I don't mean to insult or put down my education in any way, but sometimes I stop and think of what I'm being trained for. In university I took classes that taught me to be critical of the media, to be aware of when I'm being advertised to and to take everything I saw on TV with a grain of salt.

In college, I'm learning how to market to people and how to draw on basic human instincts in order to sell a product or brand. Granted, there's nothing shifty about what I'm learning. My instructors are some of the most intelligent people I know, and they are in no way teaching my classmates and I to be evil, sneaky money-makers. Along with the principles of advertising, we learn about honesty, transparency, and the utmost importance of telling the truth.

Still, though. It's weird to think about sometimes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Waves at Night

Gosh, I swear - one of these days I'm going to post a cheery song.

But for now - a sad man!

Phosphorescent, the pen-name of Alabaman singer/songwriter Matthew Houck, has been releasing dreamy, folk-y, pretty music for over 10 years. This song never fails to calm me down when I'm in the middle of a wild, self-inflicted storm of stress.

So sit back, give it a listen, and maybe cry in your beer/beard for awhile. Works for me!