- I'd just like to talk about things I am currently obsessed with. I am obsessed with the show Looking. Seriously, why aren't more people watching this? Well, many criticisms I've heard about the show is that it's slow and I beg to differ. I think the first season was really about establishing and developing these set of characters in an intimate way. The director, Andrew Haigh, has this way of filming the characters so you're really within their space and it develops an intimacy that you don't see in other television shows. Andrew Haigh directed one of the best movies I've ever seen, Weekend, and he brings the same aesthetic to Looking.
I love television shows and movies and theater that really focus on subtlety -- particularly subtle acting. Looking provides a plethora of that and I constantly roll around in it and am usually desperate for more. There are moments I catch with each rewatch that I never notice the first time, acting decisions the actors make that would go unnoticed if you weren't really looking for them. Those choices can really change the nuance of a scene -- a hitch in their voice, the blink of their eyes, their choices in movement. I am obsessed with it. Obsessed.
( I have so many feels, you guys. )
UGH I LOVE THIS FUCKING SHOW SO MUCH. WHERE ARE THE FIC WRITERS TO SATISFY MY NEED FOR GAPFILLERS? WHY ISN'T EVERYTHING STILL ON LIVEJOURNAL SO I CAN JUST JOIN A TON OF COMMUNITIES! TUMBLR IS SO FUCKING CONFUSING SOMETIMES AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOOK UP THIS STUFF.
Do you realize that if you put "Looking" in a tumblr search, it is very, very rare you will actually find what you're looking for. Just saying. Ugh.
- What else have I been up to? Well, photos that I took back in August have finally been published in the online magazine they were meant for. If anyone wants to check it out, they're here: http://issuu.com/undergroundsparksmag/
I got to interview one of my favorite musicians, ever, Jay Brannan. Yes, I have spoken about him once or twice in here. (Understatement). He is one of my favorite people in the universe and he let me photograph one of his shows. It was a ton of fun. I also got to do a photoshoot with actress Jena Sims and it turned out beautifully, I think.
- I got to see Randy twice in Amadeus. That's such a great play and Randy was great in it.
- I saw Pippin twice and I want to see it a billion more times.
- I got sick for a trillion weeks. I'm still sick. Going to the doctor this week to figure out what the hell is going on with me. This is the first time I've ever lost my voice and it sucks. I talk a lot so these past few weeks have not been fun at all, actually.
- I saw Jordan Knight and Nick Carter and it was one of the most fun shows, ever. They did this '90s medley that made me unbelievably happy. Unfortunately, I relapsed into illness the following day but I gotta say, the concert was so worth it. Ha.
- I saw the Hunchback of Notre Dame and I'm going to go see it again in December.
- I've already bought my tickets to see Newsies on tour next year. Twice.
And I think that's it! You're all caught up.
It has been 15 years... 15 years since I saw The Moffatts for the first time at the Century Club in Century City, California, not too far away from here. I cannot believe it's been 15 years! It does not feel like 15 years. It feels like it just happened yesterday.
I was interviewed on Access Hollywood here and I was treated like a VIP. The people at the table next to me thought I was some celebrity from Asia. I took promotional photos at the show. I listened to the interview they did. It was my first real band experience. I've never done anything like that before and especially for a 13-year-old at the time, it was wonderfully overwhelming. At 13, that really shaped my experience and as you guys know, I've had plenty of positive band experiences since then. But this will always be my first taste of my favorite band in a small club and fantastic things happening in one evening. I'll never forget it. Here's to 15 years!
Me and Dave Moffatt.
I was 13 and he was 14.
One of my favorite Moffatt songs and first heard it 15 years ago.
They had just finished writing it and performed it that night.
I haven't been counting the movies I've seen this year but I have counted concerts and theater shows!
1. January 20th: Lady Gaga at Staples Center
2. February 10th: Justin Timberlake at the Palladium
3. April 19th: Bon Jovi at Staples Center
4. April 20th: Backstreet Boys at the Fonda
5. April 21st: Ramin Karimloo at the Federal
6. May 10th: Jay Brannan at the Hotel Cafe
7. May 19th: Shoshana Bean at the Americana
8. May 26th: Shoshana Bean at the Americana
9. May 28th: Poprocks! Michael Arden and Andy Mientus at Rockwell
10. May 30th: Darren Criss, House of Blues, LA
11. May 31st: Darren Criss, House of Blues, Anaheim
12. July 5th: NKOTB/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men - Los Angeles
13. July 6th: NKOTB/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men - Las Vegas
14. July 7th: NKOTB/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men - San Jose
15. July 13th: NKOTB/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men, Anaheim
16. July 17th: Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls at Gibson Amphitheater
17. July 28th: Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z at the Rose Bowl
18. July 30th: Backstreet Boys at Jimmy Kimmel
19. September 4th: Backstreet Boys at the Gibson Amphitheater
20. September 6th: Backstreet Boys at the Irvine Wireless Amphitheater
21. September 25th: Hanson at the House of Blues, Anaheim.
22. September 26th: Hanson at the House of Blues, LA
23. October 5th: Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson in Chula Vista at the Sleep Train Amphitheater.
24. November 1st: Jay Brannan at the Mint
1. February 19th: Jekyll & Hyde at the Pantages
2. February 27th: Jekyll & Hyde at the Pantages
3. February 28th: Wicked at Sergerstrom Hall
4. March 16th: Jonathan Groff in "Red" at UCLA
5. June 15th: Next to Normal.
6. October 9th: Tommy at the Stratford Theater Festival
7. October 9th: Fiddler on the Roof at the Stratford Theater Festival
8. October 10th: Les Miserables in Toronto
9. October 11th: Les Miserables in Toronto
10. October 23rd: Evita at the Pantages
11. November 1st: Jay Brannan at the Mint
12. November 9th: The Black Suits at the Kirk Douglas
13. November 10th: Evita at the Pantages
14. December 14th: Evita at Sergerstrom Hall
15. December 21st: Evita at Sergerstrom Hall
Not nearly enough theater! I had a bit of a drought in there somewhere. To be fair, they were during the unemployed months so I felt like I couldn't go out. But I guess I did go to a bunch of concerts during that time, too. The concert number seems a little low to me. I'm usually in the 30s. But went to some GREAT concerts this year.
My very first concert was Janet Jackson at Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA in 1994. My second concert was Whitney Houston during her Bodyguard tour in the same year, same venue. Seeing two vocal powerhouses in a short period of time really set the bar for me and my concert experiences. I go to a lot of concerts by a lot of different artists. And like I said last night, I can't just go once. I have to go repeatedly. Part of my addictive personality. I wrote in a previous blog post that Our Lady Peace was one of my favorite shows. I'd say they're in my Top Five shows of all time.
I not only like going to rock shows where I can't hear when the show's over, my taste gravitates toward singer/songwriters. One of my favorite venues in Los Angeles is the Hotel Cafe. They provide a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere to see artists perform. It's a great venue that promotes artists of all kinds but I've mostly seen quieter artists there. One of my favorite singer/songwriters is Jay Brannan. I discovered him in the movie Shortbus directed by John Cameron Mitchell.
Though his big scene in the movie was sexually explicit, what really caught my attention was his voice. He sang his song called Soda Shop and I was addicted. His voice is so soft yet manages to have edge. He can sing a melody line that sounds so smooth, a voice that sings these beautiful, round notes so perfectly. I discovered that he had a YouTube channel and a website and I downloaded the four songs he had available: Soda Shop, Ever After Happily, Drowning, and Lower My Gun. I listened to those on repeat. Constantly.
As his EPs came out on CDbaby, I bought every single one of them. The very first show I went to was at this small restaurant/venue called Genghis Cohen. I didn't even get inside. I was outside, sitting on a stool by myself, near the restaurant, and I could barely hear him through the glass. He passed me several times and yet I couldn't utter a word. It was like I was frozen in place, intimidated by someone who was a regular presence in my iPod. I'm always extremely nervous around people I really admire -- whose talent I really admire and I have been let down by people I've admired. Part of me didn't want to feel the surge of disappointment I knew I'd feel if meeting him didn't go as planned.
I didn't meet him that night but I listened to his songs, a little muffled by the glass because it was blocking the sound. I wish I could say the next time I saw him it was awesome and spectacular but drunk people ruined both my mood and the concert experience. It's only in recent shows have I been really, really happy and content with the audience. The music's always been amazing but the mood and atmosphere can play a really huge part in my enjoyment. Thankfully, his recent shows have been great but I'll always remember those earlier shows where I either couldn't see, couldn't hear, and all I wanted was to be close to really experience the music.
His music has evolved since he started posting his videos on YouTube a few years ago. He's made great studio albums with backing instruments that never compromise or overshadow his voice. His last full album (all originals) called Rob Me Blind is really spectacular. Every song, every note rings so clear and so interesting like musical ear candy.
Rob Me Blind
I urge you to give his music a try because it's amazing and I really, really wouldn't steer you wrong. And to end on an even happier note, though I still feel intimidated at times to say hello, I have not been disappointed when I've met him. He takes the time to meet with every single person who wants to meet with him, signs every autograph, poses for a lot of photos. You can tell how grateful and appreciative he is that there are fans there to watch him perform. Well, I'm equally grateful and appreciative that he's there to provide me with music I feel connected to. Thank you, Jay Brannan.
I now have this Tuesday-Saturday schedule at work so while everyone is enjoying their Friday being a Friday, I have to wait until tomorrow to enjoy. I also have something to do next Saturday so I go back to Monday - Friday this week. Therefore, I get one day off this weekend and I will enjoy it at home, thank you. That said, I'm tired and I'd like to read some Buzzfeed before bed so today's entry will be a photo post.
( Concerts, concerts galore. )
It's hard for me to pick favorites. I like a lot of things. That's part of my problem. When I obsess or really, really like something, I go all the way with it. This applies to music, theater, television, etc. I always need to go see this show or that concert. It's one thing after another. So, picking favorites is difficult. But I do have favorite bands, bands I see over and over again. As long as they're within a... 100 mile radius, I'm usually there. Well, 100's probably my minimum. I fly across the country to see bands I like. When they're within a 20-50 mile radius, I definitely go see them.
Our Lady Peace is one of those bands. Our Lady Peace is a band from Canada and in 1999 they released their third album called Happiness... Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch. Since that was during my very strong international music phase, I got addicted to Much Music, a Canadian music channel that actually aired in the States for a couple of years through one of our cable providers. I heard the song "Is Anybody Home?" and I was hooked. The video was beautiful, the music just hit my eardrums in a way that made me feel so connected to what I heard. Single after single came out and I liked every single one of them.
I saw them for the first time in 2002 at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. They had just released their album Gravity. I was 17 years old and moved down to L.A. for the summer to take an internship at a talent agency. Our Lady Peace played in July and a couple of really great bands opened for them: Audiovent and Greenwheel.
Audiovent's "The Energy." Such a great song.
You might recognize Greenwheel's song as the theme show to a show on the WB called Black Sash. Or... you may not recognize it because I'm convinced the only people who actually watched that show were me and my friends Emily and Sarah. But the two openers put on a great show and it only made that night's concert experience even better. It was my first time seeing Our Lady Peace and you can just tell from the atmosphere in the room that the fans of the band are hardcore. The minute they started the opening chords of any song, the crowd went absolutely nuts. It was all fist pumps and singing along loudly (which the band encourages) and this vibe that can't be explained. It's peaceful. It's relaxed. You know you're there for the music.
I'll never forget they ended with 4 A.M., one of their signature songs. It was an encore song. They came out on stage together with Raine in front of the microphone. He starts singing but the crowd overpowers him. He takes a step back and we go through the first verse, chorus, second verse when he says, "You guys don't even need us here." That statement is met with jeers, of course. If only they'd stayed on that stage forever. Canadian flags waved in the air, people cheered loudly as they took their final bow.
I've gone to a lot of shows, a lot of concerts but when I left that show, I felt changed. My heart felt fuller. It was like the music sunk deep into me and it hasn't let go yet. I've gone to other life-changing shows of theirs -- The Troubadour show a few years ago, The Viper Room, another Troubadour show. But there's always something special about the first show, isn't there? From the two opening acts I loved, to hearing songs I loved from the new album, the older albums, the sing-along -- it was perfect.
A favorite recent song of theirs.
Couple photos I took at the Troubadour show.
Just when I think that my feelings for something and someone have dissolved a little, I end up seeing them and I turn into a little girl and my love for them is completely renewed. That's pretty much how I felt about Hanson last night.
Admittedly, I was tired. I go to work at 7 AM and they didn't play until 10:15ish. So, I was exhausted and I really didn't think that I was going to be into it. The minute I heard those opening notes to Something Going Round? Screaming, jumping, dancing, more screaming and my throat feels scratchy and dry.
I loved every single minute of it. My enthusiasm for them didn't waver once even though I was dying of thirst and the bar was ten feet behind me, I didn't want to move from where I was standing. I was waiting in anticipation, hungry for the next song and I never wanted it to end.
Where ... did this come from? I guess throughout I just felt like I was seeing old friends. That line in Mmmbop is pretty definitive of the way that my relationships have come and gone.
"You have so many relationships in this life. Only one or two will last."
Yeah. The person I heard that with for the first time and the person I thought was going to be in my life forever disappeared without a trace. I never thought that that was going to happen. But, it did. I thought about her last night and wondered where she is.
"So hold on to the ones who really care 'cause in the end they'll be the only ones there."
When I was twelve years old I didn't think that I'd still love this band as much as I did then. I think that at twenty three? I only love them more.
Back with an actual review, later.