Monthly Archives: June 2010

In which I beg for your help

I have become painfully aware recently that all of my lyrics are romantic relationship songs. And not even happy relationship songs at that. At best I have relationship songs that mock other relationship songs. This makes me feel horribly normal. I need to shake things up a bit, but I’m not quite sure how. I’ve become so set in the whole love sucks theme that it’s gotten hard for me to think outside of it. But I don’t just want to switch themes straight out. Then I’ll get depressed about how all my new songs are about lobsters or something(Fun Fact: All the Machines Are Screaming was originally a really emo suicide song that didn’t involve screaming).

So, to avoid that, I would like to ask for your help. Please comment on this post with subjects for me to write one song about. When posting, please think logically about specificity. Telling me to write about “the world” is a bit broad, but if you suggest “anchovies,” please think carefully about narrowing it down any further(Yes, I do have rock lobster stuck in my head and I am wanting pizza, how did you guess?). I will write these in the order of comments listed. Most likely I’ll post finished lyrics here, and notify whoever posted the suggestion that it’s up through the email you listed when you commented.

6 minutes left.


Not all addictions are bad

I’m fairly certain I’ve become addicted to Earl Grey tea. A little under a month ago I ran out, and have been slowly drinking my way through the chai left in the tea cabinet as a substitute. My house is very well-stocked tea-wise, but I am partial to black teas, and we’re out of most of those from other Earl Grey shortages. Well, except for the orange pekoe. I’d rather go without tea altogether than drink orange pekoe.

So anyways, yesterday the chai ran out. This morning I went off to Spanish class without any tea at all, and I know anyone reading this is probably getting annoyed at me by now. I mean, with all the people starving in the world, I’m complaining about not having tea before school. But it’s important to me, gosh darn it!(As a side note, I find the phrase “gosh darn it” inherently funny. It makes me think of dubbing over curse words, and for some reason I always imagine how Steppenwolf’s song The Pusher might be re-dubbed: “Gosh darn the pusher, gosh darn I say the pusher, I said gosh darn, gosh darn the pusher.” I have an oddly unfunny sense of humour.)

And what makes going without tea even worse is that I have friends who will guiltlessly tell me about all the tea they’re drinking, and of course they haven’t figured out how to teleport themselves yet, let alone tea, so I suffer. And they laugh at me. (You know who you are.) And even my Spanish class friend, who can’t drink tea right now because she can’t have caffeine for a while, does not share my pain. She manages to be perfectly happy drinking root beer and sprite, and I am in awe of her ability to not mind.

So my mum was awesome tonight and bought a big box of Earl Grey. I got it home and as I took the plastic off the box, the lovely scent of bergamot drifted out and I was instantly completely happy. For a moment. Then I said to myself “You have a problem. You are clearly addicted to Earl Grey.” Then I decided I didn’t care, and started the kettle.

10 minutes left.

Some thoughts on Evelyn Evelyn, now that I’ve finally seen it executed

This blog entry is me finally getting my thoughts together about Evelyn Evelyn. For those of you who don’t know, Evelyn Evelyn is Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley dressed up and performing as conjoined twin sisters. For those of you who follow Amanda Palmer and/or Jason Webley more closely, yes, I was aware of the huge internet backlash when Amanda Palmer posted about the twins on her blog. Yes, I know this is coming late. But at the time of the backlash, I decided to wait until I had more to go on than the first blog post, which Amanda, Jason, and everyone else involved were calling hastily-written and poorly thought out.

So I got a ticket to one of their shows and pre-ordered the CD, based off of my fondness for the songs Elephant Elephant and You Only Want Me Cause You Want My Sister. When the CD arrived, I also fell in love with the song Evelyn Evelyn, which I relate to probably more than is healthy. Other than those three songs, I wasn’t very impressed with the album. Still, I had a ticket, so I went to the show.

I don’t think I’ve been so uncomfortable at a show in my life. I was in the front row, close enough to clearly see facial expressions. Amanda and Jason played the twins looking so miserable, I felt guilty for being there. I know they were going for shy, but they looked terrified. I might have felt better if they had smiled when various members of the audience shouted out “We love you Evelyn!”, but they looked even more unhappy.

Adding to the exploitation vibe was Sxip Shirey, who was acting as host. (Oh yeah, did I mention that Evelyn Evelyn never spoke normally? They told the story of their birth, the first Tragic Events track on their album, and they answered questions from the Chalice of Knowledge, using the improv game The Three(or, in this case, two)-Headed Oracle.) Anyways, Sxip announced the songs, and, along with Stage Boy, helped get instruments on Evelyn Evelyn. Which sounds fine in theory, but they played it very poorly. The first time the accordion came out, Sxip stood holding Evelyn Evelyn while Stage Boy put on the accordion, while Jason’s Evelyn had her eyes squeezed tight looking even more miserable than the rest of the evening. The second time the accordion was brought out, Evelyn Evelyn tried to back away, but Sxip caught them and held them again. During Elephant Elephant, Sxip came out and stuck kazoos in their mouths, and they glared after him as they played the instrumental. During the song Chicken Man, Amanda’s Evelyn had a breakdown, screaming and hitting herself with a drumstick. Sxip came out and gave her a Twix bar to calm her down, then, as soon as she had calmed, spent several minutes trying to take it back as the Evelyns shared it. So in addition to making the Evelyns look too mentally unstable to cope with performing, we got the impression that they are performing for small amounts of chocolate. Near the end of the show, Sxip actually gets a monologue about how he’s going to get Evelyn Evelyn to star as Annie and have them repeat every syllable to emphasize that there are two of them, and is interrupted when Amanda’s Evelyn shoots him. However, this came across more as “the abused dog finally attacks” than “we’re not being exploited, we shoot anyone who tries.”

So I’m sorry Amanda and Jason, but no matter how many times you say that Evelyn Evelyn was created with love, and that it’s not meant to come across as a freak show, it does. I went into the show trusting you two to pull it off tastefully, because I really wanted to like it and to see you succeed. In my opinion, you didn’t, which probably doesn’t matter to you too much, as the rest of the audience seemed to have a great time. But it’s big for me – I get to deal with my first disappointment by one of my favorite musicians.