Monthly Archives: November 2008

There is a Light that Never Goes Out


Taken late at night in Franklin Park the summer of 2006.

It captured a rather hefty moment in time.

And it fits that title perfectly.

Believe me.


The New

I’ve been spending the better part of the past couple days tackling an assignment that my mom only gives me because she knows that I love it: Making mix CDs.

We are spending Thanksgiving at family friend’s house, so I have been assembling a series of peace-offerings. One for the host, one each for his two kids and one for everyone to listen to while we eat delicious pie (this is the only part I truly love about Thanksgiving.)

I love doing this. If I could have a career of creating soundtracks and compilations I would take it for less than minimum wage earnings. Nothing could be better.

Now, here is the extra fun part.

The host’s kids are really cool. Extremely actually. The oldest is a freshman in high school, very smart, very articulate and extremely independent in action and thought. The kind of kid that I can totally root for.

So here I am, making these goodwill offerings of music, and can’t help but draw the (very faint) parallels between the hip, well-read high school freshman that this kid is and the slightly-dorky, bookish college freshman that I am now.

I needed to bestow the bets gift on this kid, the gift of things I wish I would have known when I was 14.

These are some excerpts from the mix I made (with extra-special added commentary!):

1)Center-Sweet Miss

This band was compiled entirely of Davis kids a couple years back. If nothing else, you should know that some good things come out of Yakima, even if they don’t make it very far.

3)Passin’ Me By-The Pharcyde

Always, always give hip-hop and rap a chance. If you don’t, you’re going to miss amazing things. Like this song.

6)That Teenage Feeling-Neko Case

I’ve listened to this song with my eyes closed too many times to count. Neko Case has the perfect woman’s voice. It is beautiful and lilting and amazingly powerful.

7)Cello Suite # 1-Bach

Because it is the cello.

11)No Name # 1-Elliott Smith

My favorite voice of any male singer. He’ll break your heart a million times. “Could’ve been a hero, if I wasn’t such a zero….”

12)I’ll Believe in Anything-Wolf Parade

This song has always inspired the oddest sense of hope in me. It’s always been a rousing call for…something.

14)How We Know-The Thermals

One solid punk band, no matter how soft, is always a necessity.

16) Still Ill-The Smiths

I know that maybe this song doesn’t fit with you right now. But persevere, Morrissey will eventually wrap his voice around your head and this will all make amazingly perfect sense. It is so worth the moment when it does.

17)I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone-Sleater-Kinney

Because chicks are cool, even more so than Thurston Moore.

18)You and Whose Army?-Radiohead

The image of Thom Yorke taunting the audience watching him from from hundreds of yards away is inextricably linked with the slow burn of this song. I know you have an activist’s heart, so just listen closely.

19)This Is Our Emergency-Pretty Girls Make Graves

A very similar sentiment. This song speaks to the desire to cry out in crushing moments and always be heard. It also has a great guitar part.

Passin’ Me By

Assorted thoughts (11/5-11/27):

—-Barack Obama being elected president led to joyous mobs flooding the streets of Seattle. I joined and mostly took pictures with a ridiculous grin on my face. On a personal note, I’ve always felt a very personal connection with the president-elect’s story. I spent most of the night trying not to cry thinking of the immense pride that his mother and grandmother would have felt. I’ll leave it at that.

For a better picture of the night, here’s a link to a blog I wrote for class about it:

We sang some very victorious Queen songs on those beer-stained Seattle streets.

—-The new Bloc Party album (Intimacy) is extremely good. Download Biko.

The new TV on the Radio album (Dear Science) is even better. Download Love Dog.

—-The singer of Crystal Castles looks like a vampire when she walks out in front of the strobe light on stage. And not the stupid Twilight kind (if anyone breathes that franchise’s name to me within the next 24 hours they will be promptly hit in the jaw.) She looks like the kind that will swoop down and kill you. I was frightened to dance. I did anyway.

—-It’s really nice to be home after three weeks that left me incapable of finding time to write anything other than essays in Spanish. I missed the luxury of wasting time making mix CDs.

—-People who work in record stores are the perfect mix of dork and cute. I spend way too much time in Everyday Music for the amount of money that I actually have to spend.

—-I’ve been going through another round of listening almost exclusively to the Smiths. I don’t know what’s to blame for it, but I think I have finally reached the particular juncture in my life (that I always expected I would) in which the Smiths make complete and total sense to me. I didn’t really like much past This Charming Man in the 9th grade, but I persisted because I knew there was something there that I related to. The song Still Ill gives me ants in my pants.

—-Speaking of the Smiths, my uncle and I were talking about this Chuck Klosterman article about Morrissey and about this huge Mexican-American following he has who claims that Morrissey “speaks to us.” We were shopping for CDs the other day and my uncle picked up an album and forbid me from listening to it. “I know how Morrissey speaks to you Mexican kids,” he said with a ridiculously stern face. The album is titled Kill Uncle. I don’t remember the last time I laughed harder.

—-The cello is the most perfect sounding instrument in the world.

People Get Ready (Do What You Will)

A old writing teacher sent me an e-mail this morning containing the links to three music videos.

I’ll let them speak for themselves.