Monthly Archives: September 2008

We’re Bound

This song was Yakima to me, the chorus is resounding, the verses are sad and coming from a very small voice nestled inside somewhere. The voice is totally trapped. The buzz and drone of the guitars fit perfectly. A different fit than, say, Beirut. Still, a fit that makes me wistful.

My friends feel it too. A good buddy of mine sat with me in an empty cafe one afternoon in complete silence. We listened to this song and felt the home that always surrounded us in the sometimes melodramatic words and the always desperate voice.

Now, we are gone and this song is grounding us in where we come from. Deny it we may try.

“There’s a town, just a little town
Raining cloud, a hollow sound
When our lover gather round
And if they’re cold
Then they’re cold
Feed them wine, feed them chrome
We hate this place here
It’s our home, It’s our home

And your car-collapsing trees and I
Could turn them back to sound
With the torches in our hands we will reduce it
To the ground

I stood outside in the bright black night
Beneath their buzzing power lines
And I saw a number in the sky, in the sky
And if there’s a God, he’s a little gun
And he holds you closely inside these walls
But he hates his babies most of all

And your car-collapsing trees and I
Could turn them back to sound
With our torches in our hands we will reduce it to the ground
In the parliament there’s a little
Hands that are reaching out
You can try and try and try but baby there’s no way around

Sing Captain
Sing out loud
Sing, but we’re bound
Sing Captain
Sing out loud
Sing Captain
We’re Bound”

-Sing! Captain by the Handsome Furs

Maybe we didn’t hate it as much as we pretended.

There is a conflict in the place where every heart belongs.

One for the melodramatic.


Shout It Out Loud

I have finally come full circle as a music writing geek.

Tonight, I met Chuck Klosterman—again.

He was hilarious and read from his new, also hilarious, novel (cue raised eyebrows.)

I photocopied an article I had written about meeting him the first time three years ago. It was entitled “Oliva Meets THE Chuck.” I won an award for this article. I am inordinately proud of this fact.

After the reading, redfaced from laughter, I gave him the folded and unfolded photocopy along with an awkward letter of my undying admiration. He addressed me by name and seemed genuinely appreciative of the piece of paper I thrust into his hand. Published in Medium-Town, Washington.

We took a picture together, one of the crowning achievements of my eighteen years on earth.

And, wouldn’t you know it.

He spelled my name wrong.



Chuck Klosterman

The Best Moment. Ever.

The Chuck and Oliva.

Different Names for the Same Thing

I leave for college in five days. Five days that are bound to be extremely short and entirely painful.

As much as I feel stifled by the town that I live in, I am just as dependent on the ones that I love within it.

My mother, in particular. My mom is my best friend and one of the best people that I know. She’s the first person I want to talk to when the things within my chest near the point of exploding. And I don’t quite know what to do without her.

And I’m sure it’s mutual. If not for the emotions and the memories and the basic connection between mother and daughter—than at least for the fact that she’s never gonna know who the hell is singing on the radio.

“Who is this, Liv? Who is this? Is it Coldplay? Is it The Professor?”

“No mom. It’s Radiohead. That song you’re thinking of is called The Scientist anyway.”

“I knew that! I knew that!”

I cannot count the number of times we have had that exact (and I mean down to the punctuation) exchange before.

She’s hopeless sometimes.

Whatever is this poor mother going to do when she no longer has me sitting beside her with my sneakers on the dashboard? Who’s going to distinguish the Citizen Cope’s from the Honorary Title’s? The Mirah’s from the Camera Obscura’s? The Death Cab song from the entirely different other Death Cab song? She’ll be lost without this knowledge, I know it for a fact. She will sit, unaided, in her vehicle, racking her brain for song titles and band names. Leave assured that every song was, indeed, Coldplay’s “The Professor.”

I feel like I can’t leave my mother in this position. As if perhaps I should stick around a little longer, make her flashcards and sit on the couch doing band-naming exercises.

I owe her more than to leave this home when she is stuck in this state.

Then again, maybe I’m just reaching and it’s just time to move away like I wanted to in the first place.

Before I realized that I had so much stake in staying right here, spewing off band names forever, safe in the warm embrace of a passenger seat.

Softly Open Our Mouths in the Cold

It’s been a few weeks and I’m still sitting staring into space at odd moments, eyes fixed on objects that aren’t of any consequence. I’m just still trying to find the words.

I don’t know where I’m supposed to find them. The phrases and sentences, the arrangement of syllables, to describe Radiohead in an amphitheatres, playing to thousands, standing shoulder to shoulder, yet still feeling completely alone, all probably thinking the same very thing.

I’m not here and this isn’t happening.

Because when a band transcends the things that a critic might throw at them (but not anymore) and even the biggest of names shrugs their shoulders and concedes that one band is truly the best band in the world, there reaches a point where any words a person can conjure really doesn’t make anything of an impact.

I could write things like beautiful and lovely and perfect and amazing. And they would all be completely appropriate. But they’d be lacking in conveying that feeling of standing, shivering, hair soaked from the rain, with every bit of myself buzzing with excitement and a sensation of total peace.

I could explain that listening to the song Nude made my chest clench. That How to Disappear Completely left tears in my eyes. That by the time they played Street Spirit, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

I could do these things and maybe they would begin to cover it, but really, no one would ever have any idea.

It’s Radiohead. And maybe I should just leave it at that.

Modern Girl in a Modern World

I am broken.

Last month, I bought an iPod.

Not as if it would alter my love for CD upon CD, falling out of drawers and stacked upon books and papers, never ending and all with scratched cases from being carried in too full backpacks.

Or at least that’s my full intention.

I’m a little bit ashamed of myself.

I had declared a few years ago that I would hold out as long as I possibly could, but I just figure this was as long as even a person of strong character could last. My CD players were constantly broken, always skipping, not playing if they barely even bumped against my thigh. I had scratched the heck out of even my favorite CDs, falling of their cases in my always jam-packed shoulder bag. There’s a breaking point for anyone.

I have endured the glances of people who think I must be a few years back into the stone age with my broken Walkman. I have done my best to hide my excitement while playing with my friend’s pocket-friendly Mp3 players. I really, truly have.

And now I am done.

So, words of mourning and self-loathing aside… I LOVE this freaking thing.

I have a playlist specifically for walking that has a few HUNDRED songs on it. I have a best of Radiohead playlist. I have comedy on it (did I mention I love iTunes as well ?)

It’s 80 GB, so with even the full force of 5 + years of Divorce Guilt Money spent on CDs, only a mere fraction is filled with music.


And as if my old mantra of turning every moment into an indie film moment wasn’t already something I strived to fulfill, it’s so much easier now.

Yesterday I watched a butterfly spin across the street while listening to a Mozart Piano Concerto’s flute solo. And that wasn’t even on purpose.

It is wonderful. I feel that I have been fully embraced by this 21st Century.