Sunday, February 28, 2010

mixtape of life

Have you ever wondered what the mixtape to your life will be? It's been on my mind a lot lately. Here's a few gems i've picked up along the way so far.

My birth
Hands down "Love Me Tender" by The King. It's the song my daddy used to sing to me as long as I can remember. He even got me a little music box that played it for me when he was gone.

My death
I've always been a bit unconventional therefore, my funeral will be the same. What better way to go out than to have Queen & David Bowie sing "Under Pressure" while your coffin is being lowered into the ground. What a victorious song for a closing curtain.

My adolescence
My mother worked a lot when I was young. She would drop me off at her friend's home who was a secretary at the catholic school I attended each morning at 6:00am. I'd sit and eat my ziploc bag of dried cereal and watch TV until it was time to carpool to school. We didn't have cable at home so I was psyched to be watching the Flintstones Kids and music videos all morning. I was at the age when music started to become more relevant in my life. New Order's Republic had just came out and "Regret" was the best song I had ever heard. I still relate to that song more than anything else I can think of. All my friends were listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, RHCP, Soundgarden, etc. I couldn't relate to that stuff, it was so angry. I wanted to hear silly songs by The Cure, New Order, and Moz. I had no idea how important New Order was or who the hell Joy Division was for that matter. All I knew was that I was in love with that song for the rest of my life.

I can correlate nearly every Jawbreaker song to a certain relationship or former flame in my life. At this point, I have nothing but fond memories of those times because they were good lessons learned. I curse Blake for making me fantasize about the same kind of heartache and pain he went through. However, I'm grateful he continues to seduce me with his witty lyrics. The song that started it all was "Want." I'll never forget the boy in 8th grade who called me and played that song over the phone. If I knew then what I know now about love, I would've hung up the phone a long time ago.

The Descendents are the kind of band that make people connect. When you're flipping through someone's record collection/secretly judging them and you find "I Don't Want To Grow Up" it's like an epiphany. You know this person has felt the same as you before. You know they're kind of weird and awkward just like you. I have the best memories singing along to "Hope" on long road trips with my friends. Then I actually got to drive Houston in the spring of 1997 not only to see them play, but meet them as well. Your Descendents friends are the kind of people you want to hold on to for the rest of your life.

Man, I could go on and on, but I'll stop right here because my mixtape is just beginning. There's so much more to come.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Home Sweet.....?

This past week I had the ubiquitous task of cleaning out my childhood home in preparation of renting it out and eventually selling. So I ventured back to the Gulf of Mexico not knowing what was in store for me. This daunting chore is something I've dreaded for the last 10 yrs. Imagine coming to the realization that your own sweet lovable mother is a hoarder.

I mean hoarder in the most extreme sense! I'm talking about stockpiling the most mundane items like towels, tissues, wrapping paper, science projects, birthday cards, etc. To my shock I found a dilapidated home covered in filth and spewing junk from every corner. There was old term papers, drawings from 2nd grade, mason jars, you name it. I suppose I didn't realize how physically AND emotionally demanding this job would be. I came to realize my mother was always like this, in one form or another. She always saved everything. However, the obsessive collecting has just gotten worse over the years.

Not only was mother's home in ruin, but so was the neighborhood. What was once a thriving neighborhood was now a shell of the community it used to be. I've often had dreams of my hometown and the visions in my head are a far cry of what it is now. I'm not embarrassed that I came from a small town or a questionable neighborhood, nor do I deny it. I came to Austin like many other bright eyed teens searching for a creative outlet. I also vowed never to return home. Over time I have come to appreciate my hometown. I made some wonderful friends and I have a lot more respect for art & music. These were things people in big cities take for granted because they are regularly bombarded with them. I had to seek out different kinds of music, film, and art.

The harshest lesson of this week was realizing that I'm officially an adult because I no longer have a place to go home to. It's now up to me to create a home for myself. Fortunately, I have some really supportive people around to help me. As scary as it seems, I look forward to building a home. I'll also feel a sense of pride every time I watch THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN.

Monday, February 15, 2010

pass the popcorn

Kind of late to the party, but I felt the need to summarize my favorite films from 2009 and the last decade. I'll throw in a few I'm looking forward to this year.

Best of 2009
1. Inglourous Basterds- flawless
2. Antichrist- mind blowing
3. Whatever Works- Woody Allen & Larry David are a match made in Jewish heaven
4. Zombieland- zombie strippers, twinkies, Van Halen, Bill fucking Murrary....all the things I love
5. Extract- Bateman is the new Cusack and Mike Judge is still clever as hell
6. Anvil- know someone in a band? make them watch this film
7. Up In The Air- This might cancel out Batman & Robin for Clooney
8. The Limits of Control- weird, confusing, long, slow, beautiful...I expect no less from Jarmusch

Best of the Decade

1. Irreversible- extraordinary from end to beginning
2. Old Boy- M. Night Shyamalan wishes he could write twists like this
3. Battle Royale- the Japanese have turned this genre into art
4. American Psycho- I never get tired of lovable serial killers
5. High Fidelity- who hasn't wanted to work in a record store
6. Lost in Translation- my heart melts every time he sings "What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding"
7. Let the Right One In- one of the best love stories ever written
8. Mulholland Dr.- weird, creepy, funny, sexy, pure Lynch
9. Wet Hot American Summer- never laughed harder
10. The Royal Tenenbaums- amazing ensemble cast

Of course I'm looking forward to Alice in Wonderland like every other recovering goth chick with a crush on Johnny Depp. I'm also looking forward to Shutter Island because Scorsese has been stepping up his game. I am NOT looking forward to the Nightmare on Elm St. remake. Thank you Hollywood for slaughtering my childhood with a fancy new bladed glove.

Anxiously anticipating

Inception (July 16th)- Christopher Nolan needs a break from Batman and so do I
The Social Network (Oct 15th)- David Fincher meets Facebook...surely he has a plan
Machete (Apr 16th)- Danny Trejo reeks havok on ATX....yes please
Iron Man 2 (May 7th)- Justin Theroux wrote this
Clash of the Titans (Mar 26th)- pointless eye candy is ok sometimes as long as James Cameron is NOT involved
The American (Dec 17th)- it's Anton Corbijin
Black Swan (2010)- only Aronofsky can trick me into watching something with Natalie Portman