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Archive for the ‘Devil’ Category

There comes a time in every universally acclaimed, pathologically sensitive man’s life when he must jump the shark on his own messiah complex. After going along in life, writing astoundingly beautiful music, collecting the accolades of critics and lay music-listeners, and remaining just shy enough of the radar that he might retain all his indie glory, Conor Oberst has finally let his awesomeness wash over him and pickle his brains.

On Friday night, I and another Skeptic traveled to the cursed depths of Midtown to watch Bright Eyes play the first of seven sold-out shows at Town Hall. The opener was a real warm glass of milk of a band – Gillian Welch. Perhaps if I were lactose tolerant and liked folk music, my feelings might be a little bit different. But the crowd seemed to dig it and, later when she came back on to sing “Look at Miss Ohio” with Bright Eyes during their encore, I was slightly more into it.

But back to the main event. The stage was set with flowers and fences like a front yard in heaven or the deep south, or like a funeral. The band came on with each member dressed entirely in white. In the New York Times, Conor noted, “I was going for this just-stepped-off-the-yacht sort of vibe.” It struck me as a tad gimicky in the style of the White Stripes. They played all or nearly all of their newest album, Cassadaga. They also threw in some other songs for good measure: Lua, The Calendar Hung Itself, First Day Of My Life, and possibly a few more. While the Cassadaga songs are undeniably strong, they are not my favorite in the catalogue. I’m assuming that the set list will switch up a bit with the rest of the New York stint. I just happened to be there the first night and those are probably the most fun songs to play right now.

The band for this tour consisted of twelve members – two drummers, a small orchestra, a couple of guitarists, a trumpet/keyboard player, and Conor. There was also a “thirteenth member” who was a video artist providing what I think was the most innovative, interesting stage dressing I’d ever seen. Where pretty much every other show I’ve been to has mostly worked with automated stage lights, flashing and changing colors constantly, this show featured a video projection of simple things happening, created live by this artist. There was food coloring dropped into a glass of water, swirling out and getting bumped around by the vibrations of the music coming from the speakers. There were old photographs flipping by. There were random lines drawn by an Etch-A-Sketch, flowing with the meter of the song. There were markers coloring in between the lines formed by the molding on wall behind the stage. During the performance of “Lime Tree,” Conor asked for the stage to be as dark as possible. As the lights went out, the video projected a single tea light, whose flame was moved directly behind Conor. It gave the impression of an organic spot light, its edges blurring slightly with the breath of the man holding it. It was all so simple, but fascinating because it was formed extemporaneously, so entwined with each song. I spent more time watching that art than the band.

About halfway through the show, Lou Reed joined the band on stage to play “Waiting for the Man” and “Dirty Blvd.” To watch Lou Reed and Conor, standing side by side, was like watching night and day join forces to make the best day imaginable. Sure, they’re both sad bastards, known for their eloquently expressed angst. But where Conor is so young and kind of twitchy, Lou Reed makes rocks look like spring chickens and has a deep stillness and confidence. Where Conor wrestles so obviously with his own forming legend and his own belief that he is cosmically important, Lou Reed quite possibly is the Messiah and clearly doesn’t think it’s that big a deal. Conor seemed like a yipping puppy at his feet, but that seems about right.

While it’s interesting to watch a band work out its existential issues on stage, I’m looking forward to their continuing to grow up and accepting that you can be an amazing band and not be related to god. When they shed the white clothes. And their performance-crucifixion fantasy:

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Reck’, John’,

There is one Hero, or should I say anti-hero who is the most emo of them all. He is Sylar. The Hemo-ist Hemo in Hemoville (Brooklyn).

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The proof:

1) Black rimmed glasses? Check.
2) Black hair, side part? Check.
3) Forlorn look? Check.

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3a) Forlorn look often a result of being incapacitated due to drug induced paralysis? Check.
4) 5 O’clock shadow? Check.
5) Long sleeved Waffle undershirt with a black band t-shirt accentuating his slim physique? Check.

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6) Anti-establishment / sociopath? Check.

Sylar is bad ass and has EMO written all over him. Not only does he eat brains, he is also a momma’s boy (and what emo boi hasn’t written a song about, or secretly dreamed about going all Norman Bates on his mother?).

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If this anti-hero, or all aforementioned heroes for that matter aren’t emo, then prepubescent Conor Oberst didn’t look like Harry Potter in his first year at Hogwarts. There, I said it.

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By Guest Blogger, H.

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I am going to have to disagree with your latest post, Recklesley. Peter Petrelli is, in my book, the anti-Emo. I’m not sure which “Heroes” you watch, but in my (Primetime NBC) version, Peter Petrelli does not waste his time writing forlorn lyrics or perfecting his black eyeliner, but rather directs his actions towards, oh, I don’t know, Saving The World, perhaps? Now I realize Peter Petrelli’s duties run parallel to those of Peter Parker’s (interesting…similar names these two), protecting everyday civilians from evil villains, etc, but from what I hear, Peter Parker transforms into an (Emo) tool once he puts on that black outfit-thing (or whatever), more so than he already was. And Petrelli, aside from falling in love with a woman whose heart belongs to a heroin shooting, psychic comic book writing, artist, does not embody any other tell tale signs/symptoms of an Emo d-bag.

Just to reiterate why Peter Parker is, in many ways, a poster-child for Emo boys everywhere, here is a short list of his Emo characteristics:

– Was a nerd in high school.
– Wears dark rimmed glasses.
– (Apparently) morphs into an even bigger Emo-ster once he puts on, surprise, an all black ensemble.

And I’m not even going to attempt to tackle the thousands of reasons why Conor Oberst is the king of all Emo, since you already know them all. I think every time a Bright Eyes song is played, a sad, resentful, greasy haired boy gets his Emo wings. Or cries.

Peter Petrelli, however, does not inherit any of these traits. He is courageous, intuitive, and easy on the eyes. All of which, in my book, are in no way tied in with the Emo stereotype. So let’s not place that dangerous “Emo” label on just anyone who possesses dark features and super hero capabilities (minus Oberst). People’s feelings might get hurt.

PS. You call this Emo?



Note: “Heroes” is the best show on network television right now. Watch it, fools.

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Okay. I know Conor Oberst is some kind of emo wunkerkind, constantly amazing us with the breadth of his talent. His agile mind weaves together the words that give voice to our mid-20s ennui. He wrangles country music into sweet melodies for hipsters crying into their PBRs, agonizing that their jeans aren’t skinny enough as they gather at the tops of their Converse. And now he can be seen in your local movie parlor portraying an American icon, a New York hero in a summer blockbuster. Oh Conor, one man can handle only so much glory.

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Above: In Costume

Below: Out of Costume

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But really, Spider-man was bad. And actually so is Cassadaga. Maybe he should just focus on music for right now.

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Last night I watched a very informative program on VH1: Lindsay Lohan’s Most Shocking. Initially I was reluctant to invest an hour of my precious time to a program dedicated to exposing truths I was already familiar with. (I am well aware of Linzzee’s party girl tendencies, and her internet leaked crotch shots.) However, me being who I am, a celeb indulging gossiper, watched this show in its entirety, and…was not disappointed. If anything, ironically, I came out of the hour long Lohan fest liking the red-headed seductress even more than I already didn’t. (That’s right, didN’T. I have spent the better half of my time here in NY shit talking Lohan….while secretly hoping to run into her on the street, because apparently, I love her.)

Anyway, after viewing “Lindsay Lohan’s Most Shocking” I realize Lindsay is not the worst of the party girls. Is she a liar? Sure. Is she immature? Who, these days isn’t? Does she like to snort coke? Listen, these actresses need to stay thin, and not everyone wants to fuck with trimspa. But my point is, she is just like the rest of young Hollywood, only she is forced deal with one person no other young Hollywood starlet must endure: Michael Lohan.

Michael Lohan, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Lohan clan, is Lindsay’s father. (FYI: Dina is Lindsay’s stage mom, Ali is Lindsay’s little sister, and I think Lindz has a lil’ bro too, but we don’t care about him.) Anyway, Father Lohan was recently released from jail, however during his time of incarceration Michael wrote an apologetic ballad to Lindsay, in response to her single, “Confessions of a Broken Heart,” and published these poetic lyrics in the NY Daily News. The NY Daily News, people, the NY Daily News. This, ladies and gents, is why no one can convince me of Lindsay’s behavior as being unwarranted. Had I read poem like lyrics, written by my former stock broker father, in aa/bb rhyme scheme, dedicated to me, in the newspaper, I’m sure I too would do everything in my power to forget that words, in general, exist. And I would attempt to forget by party hardying. Just. Like. Lindsay.

Also addressed in the Lohanmentary were Lindsay’s ongoing celebrity battles. You know, her quarrels with Paris, Scarlett, and that rich douche, Brandon Davis. In case you pay no attention to celebrity gossip (Recklesley), Brandon D was caught on film calling Lindsay derogatory redheaded slurs, and claimed she “shits freckles.” Admittedly, the latter comment made me chuckle a little. However, that does not excuse the fact that Davis, who is in no position to be judging someone else’s appearance, is an arse.

(Fug Davis)

And I could not care less about either Paris Hilton or Scarlett Johannson. Although, Paris Hilton, in my opinion, is the worst human being, period. If the devil, Lucifer, is amongst us right now, disguised as an idiot blonde who enjoys tumbling off horses and making sex vids, then I believe Paris Hilton is the devil. Therefore, in these fights, Lindsay comes out on top.

But most importantly, let us never forget both “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls.” These two films catapulted Lindsay’s career for a reason. They are funny, heartfelt, and really capture the true Lohan essence. I love both these movies, and hence, my heart will always hold a soft spot for Miss Lindsay Lohan.

The. End.

PS Did you read Michael Lohan’s song lyrics? I wonder who “THEM” refers to!

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