Monday, February 21, 2011

Damn it all!

I have ONE WEEK LEFT to get my shit cleaned up. I can't believe it's taken me so long, I hate myself for procrastinating!

Why have I got to do this? Because my stepdad is putting the house on the market. And I'm really awful about not putting things away. I wish my mom had just let me keep everything packed away when I moved back because I knew this was a possibility. I'm SO STUPID!

I have to really force myself to work tomorrow. I'm sure I can get this done in two or three days if I force myself. I just have to make myself start. I'm like this with exercise too.

I've also been looking at esthetics schools in Atlanta, and I have a couple of places to look at in a few weeks when we're up there. I hope I can get a paycheck in before then, but I'm not holding my breath because EVERYBODY at the store has worked except me. I've got to go back and beg Ann for some hours. Spring Break is starting this week and I'd like that to work to my advantage for once since I moved to this God-forsaken shithole of a tourist trap we call a city. I would rather live two doors down from Disney World in Orlando because at least I'd have more shit to do there. Here, it's always full of people and yet there is fuck all to do.

Why do people travel to Panama City? Why does anyone live here? Everyone goes on about us having "the world's most beautiful beaches" but that's a big pile of fly-ridden horseshit. Yeah, they're gorgeous under all the garbage and gigantic tourists in tiny bathing suits. Oh, and the huge gobs of seaweed. That's great. And we seem to attract the bottom of the barrel. Or, to quote Penny Arcade, "It's as if the bottom had its own barrel that dripped down into a sewer infested with rats." And the worst part is that the worst of the worst are from my home state, Georgia. Not all of them, but the rule is, they're fucking rude. And they don't seem to know how sunscreen works.

Enough ranting for now. I need to go to bed soon so I can get up and WORK. Damn it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Review- "Let England Shake" by Polly Jean Harvey

That's right, I'm reviewing an album. I won't do it often, just when something really strikes me and I feel like sharing my thoughts.

I was extremely excited when I heard about this record. I've been a PJ Harvey fan since I was fourteen and I've followed her closely ever since I got a copy of Uh Huh Her for my birthday. I immediately fell in love and within six months I'd bought nearly all her records.

This is an album I can imagine being a favorite, it's very rare that I like all the tracks on a CD. Her voice is different, her sound is different... I love it.

So... Let England Shake. I'll be going through track-by-track and giving my thoughts about each, rather than just summarizing it.


1. "Let England Shake" - This song uses a sample from "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon as the base for its melody, to surprisingly good results. It's bouncy and folky, but you can feel the darkness creeping in at the edges. It sets the tone perfectly and neither lulls you into false security, nor does it jar your nerves before dropping off.

2. "Last Living Rose" - It starts with a couple of low-end thumps on a guitar before slipping into a jangly, gorgeous melody. The first words are "Goddamn Europeans!", which strikes me as inordinately entertaining; she is British, after all. Short and sweet and full of sunlight, but bitter at the same time.

3. "The Glorious Land" - In the background of the hazy, gray-tinged sound, there's the bright trumpeting of a bugle, the sample interspersed throughout. The song is so evocative of the dank, foggy hills at night, in terms of the sound, and the words are so... sarcastic, almost disgusted. "How is our glorious country plowed? / Not by iron plows / Our land is plowed by tanks and feet / Feet marching".

4. "The Words That Maketh Murder" - One of my favorite tracks. Again, the bouncy, jangly music lies to you in terms of how dark the song is. "I have seen and done things I want to forget / Soldiers fell like lumps of meat". The background vocals are performed by John Parrish (awesome) and Mick Harvey (awesome-er) and the whole thing is just... perfect. The song ends with the vocals repeating, "What if I take my problem to the United Nations? / What if I take my problem to the youth of the nation?", joyous and horrific all at once. Amazing.

5. "All and Everyone" - I had an extreme reaction to this song. It chokes me up every time I hear it (even now, I'm listening to each track) and I'm not really sure why. The chorus until the very end is "As we advance in / In the sun / As we advance in / Every man", when it suddenly switches to "As we advance in / Sing 'Death to them all, every one' ", and tears start burning my eyes at that point. Something about this track makes me hear the ghosts of people who have died in battle and I don't like that. But at the same time, I would call this a standout track because it's so beautiful. I love it when things make me emote, force any kind of feeling out of me.

6. "On Battleship Hill" - This one is another shapeshifter. It starts off with a guitar melody that reminds of an overcast day in the summer, before suddenly becoming stark, just voice and low-end guitar, then moving back. It wouldn't sound out of place on the Bad Seeds' No More Shall We Part, but the theme is very different. "Cruel nature has won again" is repeated throughout, which is a phrase that resonated deeply with me. I just thought it sounded beautiful, and true, really.

7. "England" - Here, Miss Polly is trying her hand at yodeling, to interesting results, "I live and die through England". Probably the most folky of all the songs. She sings of people stagnating "like water or air" and expresses her "Undaunted, never-failing love for you / England / Is all to which I cling". Beautiful.

8. "In the Dark Places" - Not a million miles away from some of Uh Huh Her, but it's got its own energy. It's another song about men going to battle and not coming home, but that's the central theme of the entire album, so, no big deal.

9. "Bitter Branches" - The words here draw indirect comparisons between soldiers' arms and tree branches, which is interesting. It's very short and fades out with the words "Wave goodbye" repeating.

10. "Hanging in the Wire" - It's almost hard to realize that the words (poetically) are describing dead bodies hanging in barbed wire; "Just unburied ghosts / Hanging in the wire". This is where the quieter moments of Uh Huh Her meet White Chalk.

11. "Written on the Forehead" - This has another sample; "Blood and Fire" by Winston "Niney" Holness. This seems like it's more about England's invasion of another country, but I could be wrong. Either way, it's great.

12. "The Colour of Earth" - Another track with Parrish featured heavily. Or Mick Harvey, they sound similar. The words were inspired by a letter written by an actual soldier in the Gallipoli invasion, giving them more weight. It's a very compelling track.


Okay, so there you have it. I hope I interest someone in giving this album a listen. Hell, give ALL her albums a listen.

It's records like this that make me so irritated when people compare Polly Harvey to Patti Smith. No. Just... No. She's a far superior artist- she's evolved more and produced a higher percentage of quality work since 1991 than Smith ever has since 1975. She's also a more appealing person and doesn't put politics into everything. I wouldn't call this a political album because it was largely inspired by wars that happened a long time ago and focuses more on her home country's involvement rather than war at large.

I would also like to say to every hyper-political musician that thinks everyone cares about their opinion: Shut the fuck up. Unless you're M.I.A. and you've actually seen some shit, just keep your mouth shut. I'm looking at YOU Green Day, and YOU, Pearl Jam, and especially YOU, Bono. Get over yourselves.

Anyway... There it is. I strongly recommend this album. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Honestly, I'm kind of surprised.

I was expecting to be super-angry and depressed today, it being Valentine's Day, my least favorite day of the year.

It's so weird. Maybe it's because I had something to look forward to- a new PJ Harvey album called Let England Shake is coming out tomorrow!

Pictured: Awesomeness!

Maybe it's because I've been pre-occupied with other shitty things that have been going on. I don't know.

Last year, though... that shit was ROUGH. Literally every customer in the store, in addition to all my co-workers, constantly reminding me of everything I wanted and (seemingly) couldn't have. I was lonely, I still am. I just didn't have it constantly shoved down my throat the way I would have had I been working recently, I guess. I was allowed to forget about it.

Although, truth be told, I still wish this stupid, commercial holiday would go away. Seriously, if you need a special day to tell others that you love them, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.

In closing... I hope at least somebody enjoyed today.

That's all for now. PEACE OUT, Y'ALL!  (<--- bad Futurama reference)

Friday, February 11, 2011

I should probably just give up now.

So, out of desperation, I checked Pinkie's Myspace page and saw that she'd been on about a week before. I sent her a message on February 1st so that maybe I'd be able to open some kind of communication with her. I've been worried sick for nearly five months and not one call has been returned, all thirty-odd voicemails have gone unanswered... I want to know what's going on. I logged on last night to see if she'd replied, and she read the message and didn't send anything back.

I know it's stupid, but I guess I keep hoping that maybe I'll have one friend in Georgia when I move back that doesn't work constantly and isn't about to leave the country. Apparently that's too much to ask.

I mean... What, does she just not want to be friends anymore? Would it have been so hard to hit reply and type "bitch, stop calling me"? Or to dial my number (which is in her contact book in her phone) and tell me that? I know she's got that, whatdoyoucallit... baby, but thirty seconds is all it would take.

Maybe her parents or her fiancee (God, it makes me so ill to even think about that) are policing what she does, controlling her phone use. It's happened before. Her mom used to get on her Myspace and monitor her activity like she was an unruly twelve-year-old. Her fiancee (*barf*) sees her as a possession. She dug herself quite a hole.

I know, I know, I should just give up. I just feel like I worked really hard to keep that friendship going and I don't want to let go of it. And I'm so tired of having to work that hard. Having to keep doing favors for people just so they won't leave me. Not that I really mind doing things for people, I just hate feeling like it's necessary in order to keep people around. Driving people around, giving them stuff (usually things I don't want anymore or things I lend that just never get returned), occasionally buying their food... It gets tiring. Especially when you make less money than they do but somehow end up spending more on them than they do on themselves when you're out.

As if this week didn't suck enough.

That's all for now, but expect a mega-rant on Valentine's Day. I've got enough bile to fill an ocean at the moment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I knew I loved her!

"I think everyone’s bisexual to some degree or another; it’s just a question of whether or not you choose to recognize it and embrace it. Personally, I think choosing between men and women is like choosing between cake and ice cream. You’d be daft not to try both when there are so many different flavours."


My sentiments exactly!

What a cool lady. I always admired how upfront she was about her sexuality. She talked about it, wrote about it, and made no secrets about it. One of her videos, "Pagan Poetry", featured footage of her and her boyfriend Matthew Barney (awesome artist, by the way) having sex, animated over with white and black lines and made abstract;

Once you know what it is, it's kind of obvious, but I went YEARS without figuring that out. Me being naive and inexperienced might have something to do with it.

Anyway... This is basically a filler post, but I thought I should write something, so... mission accomplished!