Glee Against The Music

September 29, 2010

Hold on, hold on, hold on. All I heard today from my fellow Gleeks was how annoying it was that all of the musical numbers in this episode were dream sequences. It actually lowered my expectations for the episodes, which made the actual episode blow me away. It was AMAZING! The only problem I had with last night’s episode was how scarce Britney Spears’ cameos were. I wanted more! It’s also cool how much I could relate to the kids, or at least their love for Britney, in this episode-I grew up listening to and idolizing Britbrit. And, Ms. Sylvester, she did not have the over-sexed effect on me that you were so afraid of. I still love and admire her and listen to her music…quite often, I’ll admit.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

And this happened:

Brittany: I don’t wanna do Britney.
Kurt: Why no Britney, Brittany?
Brittany: Because my name is also Brittany Spears.
Mr. Schuester: What?
Mercedes: What the hell is she talking about?
Brittany: My middle name is Susan, my last name is Pierce. That makes me Brittany S. Pierce, “Brittany S. Pierce.” I’ve lived my whole life in Brittany Spear’s shadow. I will never be as talented or famous. I hope you all respect I want Glee club to remain a place where, I, Brittany S. Pierce can escape the torment of Brittany Spears.

I ROFLd so very hard.

The music numbers, even though most of them were dream sequences, were breathtaking. “Toxic” was all I’ve ever wanted and more-see Mr. Schue! You don’t always have to rap to look good!-and “Me Against The Music” was just perfect. Heather Morris is an amazing dancer, and I was so excited that she was getting more camera love this episode. She looked so hot in all of the sequences, not gonna lie! I’ve been waiting for them to point out that Brittany has some crazy dance moves up her sleeve since she broke it down during “Ice Ice Baby” last season. And she still had the best lines. Oh and Rachel did a good cover of “The Only Exception”, I enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to.

Hmm, what else happened? Oh, that’s right, John Stamos. I’ve had a lifelong crush on Uncle Jesse, so quite naturally I was peeing my pants. When Brittany/Heather was dancing all over him during “I’m a Slave 4 U” I was seething with jealousy but amazed at her skill and beauty at the same time. I’m so excited to see more of John/Carl. His relationship with Emma needs to last just so that I can enjoy his presence for at least the rest of the season. Is that a bit much to ask?

On a final note, go Artie and Finn and Coach Bieste! More development into her storyline would be nice as well, I knew she was a good person all along!


Best Day Ever

September 29, 2010

Dear Diary,

Tonight I abandoned my Gleeks to go watch David Sedaris speak at McCarter theater. He told stories, some old, some new and fresh out of his newest book (which was just published today), Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and some deep from the depths of his personal diary. The stories he read made me throw my head back with laughter, made me cringe with chagrin and sometimes disgust, and made me titillate with joy. Even during the worst of the instances, the most gory of the details, his voice seemed to warm the theater. But it wasn’t until he exclaimed, during the question and answer portion, “I love Glee!” that a warm feeling of awe and inspiration shrouded me. I clapped uncontrollably, and when he was finally off the stage, I pushed pass my father and did a sort of run-skip that you have to do in polite setting or else you’ll just look ridiculous, but you look ridiculous anyway because nothing screams “Teenager rushing to meet idol” like a girl in a skirt and purple patent leather flats run-skipping through McCarter.

As I stood in line, I fanned myself-the excitement of meeting him was clenching up in my stomach and making me nervous. I also envisioned what I would say to him. Would I tell him I was a writer? Would I tell him about how influential his work has been to me? Would I tell him about the portrait I drew of him for my final art project in sophomore year?

My time finally arrived. I handed him my just-purchased copy of Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk and the slip of paper with the proper spelling of my name on it, and blurted out,

“Oh, wow, hi! Gosh, I feel like a little girl at gymnastics camp meeting an Olympic gymnast for the first time all over again!”

Good analogy, self.

He smiled at me and said, “Well, hello Pauline! We’ve met before, haven’t we? I feel like we’ve met.” Only in my dreams. After my response, he said to me, “Well, Pauline, I have a little something for you. I was in the Netherlands last week and picked up this. Have you ever been to the Netherlands?” and he pulled a plastic toy squirrel out of a white crumpled up paper bag. “See, isn’t that cute? It’s just like the cover!” and he held the toy next to the cover for comparison, and then handed it to me. We then got into a discussion about bikes and how everyone bikes in the Netherlands because the whole country is entirely flat, and then we began to talk about where I’d been in Europe (never the Netherlands, but plenty of other places!) and speaking German and might I add, he has a pretty damn good German accent. And then he asked, “Where are you going next?” and my mother and I both said, “College!”

This offered the perfect segway into discussing my writing, which was not my ultimate goal, but nice to stumble upon. I told him that I had a blog and wrote for the Tower and the Packet and sometimes wrote books but they usually didn’t go anywhere and he smiled at me and said in disbelief, “Books? I wasn’t even dreaming of writing books when I was your age!” and that made me even more tingly inside. Then he told me, “You know what? I find that the kids who wrote for the high school paper are winners.” What a confidence boost. That may be one of the best compliments, or well-wishes, that I’ve ever gotten (aside from the Hermione compliment). I’m about to type that up, frame it, and put it on display in the Tower room. I really am.

But that wasn’t even the highlight, oh no. The best part was when I told him that I saw Joyce Carol Oates in the audience, and he said, “Oh no, Joyce Carol Oats? No one told me! You’re the first people to tell me that!” and put his head in his hands. He then looked at me and said, “I’m so happy no one told me that before the performance, because I don’t think I would have gone on. Joyce Carol Oates? Wow.”

And then he pulled out his little aqua blue notebook and jotted down this momentous event, because it’s Joyce Carol Oates. IT’S JOYCE CAROL OATES! (Reason #423 why I love Princeton-spotting JCO at McCarter). But that wasn’t the most exciting part. What’s exciting is that I MADE HIS LITTLE BLUE NOTEBOOK!!! The one that he derives ideas from for his stories, the one that he read to us from, the one that he takes very important notes in. And believe me, learning that Joyce Carol Oates went to listen to you read your work is one of the biggest compliments a writer could ever receive. But one of the biggest compliments a fan of David Sedaris could ever get is making it into that blue notebook-and not because of your unicorn-shaped uterus. When I say best night ever, I’m not exaggerating. That means that this happened:

Life goal complete.

L’Homme Run

September 28, 2010

Grace stumbled upon this internet gem last week and was kind enough to share it with me.

Yes, that is Ezra Koenig, my current favorite frontman. (I’m still riding on the concert high from that show, and yes, Vampire Weekend is all I’m listening to. That and Disney show tunes.) Yes, that is him rapping. Yes, that is French that he’s speaking. I’m sorry, does this remind any PHS readers of any particular duo? Perhaps Dan and Marcus? And now, for your listening pleasure, I present Dan and Marcus with The Unshushables. (Warning: not quite L’Homme Run.)

Dan You, Sef

The Ballad of Sir Real

Scream What-the-Hell-For?

September 23, 2010

Okay I know the title of this blog is kind of lacking, but I have to get this out.

Scream is one of my favorite horror films. Of. All. Time. I can watch it over and over again and it still scares the living crap out of me-it’s damn good. This trailer…whatisthiIdon’teven…

First of all, the cast. No, seriously, the cast. Every key actor/tress from the 2000’s is in this film-Hayden Penetierre, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham, Adam Brody (who, by the way, IS TOTALLY SCREAM. He’s the obsessed movie buff. He’s the killer. Or, at least that’s my opinion.)-they’re trying to make it the quintessential 2000/2010’s film, just as the original was to the 1990’s. Especially with that original cast, man. I loves it! The original, I mean. Which is why I’m okay with Courtney Cox Arquette, David Arquette and Neve Cambell coming back, I mean, it’s the least they could have done considering that pretty much all of the characters always get killed off EXCEPT for those three. I bet Sidney finally dies in this film. Wait, they can’t do that! That would mean no reason for there to be yet ANOTHER addition to the series.

That’s my other problem. There is no way that this one girl could attract so many psychopaths. There were two of them in the first movie, going around and murdering people as quickly as some people finish off books or movies-it was their strange hobby. And there was that whole storyline where it intertwined with the killer’s love for movies, which made it kind of bizarre and fun, and that carried on into the other films. How can they incorporate that into this one? And will Sidney ever be able to rest? I mean really, her mother’s death, which we all know was Skeet Ulrich’s fault, was (technically) like 17 years ago at this point. And everyone linked to the death is dead and gone. They dragged in a long-lost brother for the third one-is there any one else who played a part in this devilish scheme? Is there any more mystery to be solved?

Regardless, I will be attending this film. I feel like I need to. It’s a cult thing, I guess?


September 22, 2010

I can’t even explain how excited I am that Glee is back. It’s actually the only thing I’ve been looking forward to for about three weeks now. What I hate about this episode is how many spoilers there have been, and how much I knew already when sitting down to watch. But there were plenty of pleasant (and not-so-pleasant) surprises.

First of all, I liked Sunshine a lot more than I had originally planned to. I’ve been very annoyed at Charice for getting the part because I honestly felt that she only got it because she was a foreign popstar who was promoted by Oprah, and because she didn’t take part in that competition. For weeks I fumed over this, deeming her addition to the cast unfair. But I didn’t realize how quickly she would be gone (damn you, Vocal Adrenaline! You will not survive without your precious Jesse St. James, I swear it!) or how adorable I would find her. Chord Overstreet (what a name…he sounds like a character straight from Bon Temps) a.k.a. Sam, the new football player, is such a cutie, and from the spoilers that I’ve read, he’s going to be playing a pretty big part this season. But I’m not going to say anything, because I’m not going to spoil for you what tumblr has already spoiled for me. Also, I’m totally digging the Asian couple (Tike? Mina? Couple name ideas anybody?) and their connection through the Asian community, especially because of how parallel it is to my favorite Asian’s life. Jessica totally did a Buddha camp this summer. I was dying. However, I’m completely Team Artie. I can’t wait for him to join the football team (it’s inevitable) and win Tina back-even though Mike’s abs are irresistible.

Also, how spot-on was that opening sequence? It was actually perfection. “Will Schuester, how do you respond to a recent post on my blog saying that your Glee club song selections sound like they come from a drag queen’s iPod?” This kid (Jacob?) deserves more airtime. And it did a very good job on quickly catching us viewers up on what’s been happening to the members. (Spoiler: nothing has changed.)

Still Divas. Especially you, Rachel.

Everything is so completely normal in a completely new way. I knew that Mr. Schue couldn’t fight his strict moral code, and that Sue and him couldn’t stay friends forever. I also knew Rachel was going to do something selfish and disastrous, but that’s mostly because just before I watched it, my dad warned me that “Rachel is a very bad glee clubber this episode.” He’s good at ruining things. Kurt needs so much more airtime, there was not enough of his wardrobe and sass this episode, and I want to know that Quinn’s mean girl shell has been cracked through completely and forever, and that maybe her maternal instincts are here to stay. However, that little stunt she pulled to get herself back into the head cheerleader spot was not very Maternal Quinn. It’s high time Mercedes gets in here to talk some sense into her bestie. That relationship isn’t over with-right??

And my favorite new character award goes to: Shannon Bieste. She’s like Sue Sylvester with a conscience. I almost cried during that scene in the locker room. I really do think that this woman will do wonders for the McKinley High football team, and perhaps she’ll form a bond with Will and act as the balm to Sue’s endless burns. That’s also why I’m not too scared for Finn’s football dreams-Ms. Bieste has a heart and she definitely can see how much the sport means to Finn, she just needs to get over Mr. Schuester’s uncharacteristic actions before he can be let back onto the team. That’ll happen eventually.

My only complaint is really the music. While I totally dug Empire State of Mind, (even though it was only chosen because nationals are in New York this year and to prove a point that no matter how “hood” Artie claims to be, the club members are losers) I couldn’t get into the other numbers. Telephone should have been reserved for a more appropriate scene, and a better song could have been chosen for that diva-off in the bathroom. And there was too much auto-tune used! Charice and Lea Michelle both have amazing voices, was auto-tune really necessary? And I really noticed the auto-tune more than ever in Billionaire-a song that I found quite wholly inappropriate and kind of lame. I don’t care that Glee’s song choices are comprised mostly of 80’s pop hits and Broadway numbers; that’s why I love the show so much. Listen was good, but not great. I like Sunshine, I really do. I expect more from the Glee playlist, and this episode was quite disappointing. Oh well. At least next week we have BRITNEY!! It doesn’t get much better than that I’msoexcited. It’s time for my weeks to start revolving around the airing of this show. I love being a Gleek.

The Repercussions of Bieberfever

September 20, 2010

It’s things like this that make me really appreciate the primitiveness of technology from my childhood. Had Youtube existed during my boyband-obsession days, videos featuring myself and my father would have surely surfaced somewhere on the internet. Hooray for anonymity!

Coronation Rickshaw Grab

September 17, 2010

My friend Grace is currently a freshman at one of my dream colleges, Columbia University. And by dream, I mean reach, because although I’m 97% sure that I’m applying, I’m also 99% sure that I wont get in. This is also part of my plan to convince myself that I wont get into any of my dream/reach schools so that when I don’t, I wont be as disappointed. Anyway, for the past few weeks she had been trying to convince me to come visit her, have a look around! I promised I would, eventually, on a weekend or something. Then she made me an offer that I tried really hard to refuse, but in the end just couldn’t because it was too good to be true. She had access to Vampire Weekend tickets…as in tickets to the sold out show at Radio City Music hall.

It wouldn’t work, it just wouldn’t. The show was on a Thursday night, meaning that I would have to go to class the next day. It was a feat that I knew I could accomplish, but that my mother wouldn’t allow. Well, the stars must have been aligned correctly or something when I asked for permission to go, because after my promise that I would get sleep and catch the right train back and not mess up my physics quiz, my mother did the unthinkable. She said yes.

Somehow, I did it. I lived up to all of my promises. I got a solid 2 1/2 hours of sleep (something that I realize college kids don’t do much of), made it to Princeton by 8:02 (with more than enough time to get to class at 8:35-the benefits of 1st period free!), and I’m pretty confident with that quiz. But my treacherous school day is not the point of this post. The point is that last night I experienced one of the best concerts I have ever attended. Worth making this the longest Friday ever? Absolutely.

“Why was this the best concert ever?” you ask me. Let’s go back to what convinced me to get this ticket in the first place-Vampire Weekend may actually be one of my favorite bands of all time. I’ve loved their music from the first time I ever heard “A-Punk”. I know every single word to every single song. They’re adorable, they’re awkward, they’re Columbia bred and fresh out the Garden State-my home. This was enough of a reason for me, but here’s another one-they’re amazing live. They put on a great show, especially the ones they do in and around New Jersey because it’s where they’re from and they don’t need to introduce all of the New Jersey references they make because the audience gets it-we’re in on the joke, and we always have been. When singing “Walcott” the crowd goes insane because it’s a song about going back to where most of the crowd came from. And when the whole crowd ecstatically points towards Mystic Seaport/Connecticut/the north, there’s a sense of collective togetherness and place that unites us. Sometimes it feels like our state is a cult that needs to be in constant defense of itself, no thanks to Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and whatever other crap the reality TV world has been exploiting our land for. Vampire Weekend is a key player in that defense-well-educated rockstars making amazingly beautiful music.

That leads me to the next reason why this was the best concert ever: the music! Duh! The drums, the keyboard and the synth which got the audience dancing (yes, dancing to Vampire Weekend-a bizarre thought, but great fun), the lyrics worth whipping out the lighter for, the songs that have carried me through my adolescence. They played “I Think Ur A Contra”, which apparently they have just recently figured out how to arrange so it could be performed live, and which is also a song that I must have listened to upwards of a hundred times by now, if not more. The band plays some pretty damn good music, and on top of that they do some pretty damn good covers. I’ve posted their calypso-y version of “Ruby Soho” by Rancid, which I can never get enough of, and last night they covered a much softer version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down”, appropriately honoring another Jersey rock legend. Even if you weren’t dancing, the show was still fully enjoyable because just listening to them is a pleasure.

This is where the concert goes from memorable to terrific-Vampire Weekend has a wicked sense of humor. (And style. Choosing which t-shirt to purchase was excruciatingly difficult. I wanted them all). They embrace the fact that they’re nerds, as evidenced by the awkward (but adorable) way they present themselves on stage-stiff and sudden movements, walking backwards or spinning around ungracefully after finishing a song-they don’t exude a rockstar persona, they seem like old friends you know well enough to laugh at when they trip or slip up. They aren’t divas-pretentious maybe, but they’ve definitely got some humility going on there. For Chrissakes, the drummer, Chris Baio, wore a too-tight NJ Nets basketball jersey that revealed his bony arms and a bit of hairy upper torso. People who can rock that in front of an audience of thousands have to be able to laugh at themselves. Rostam Batmanglij (keyboardist) resembles a shy high schooler who keeps his head down in the halls but who gets really passionate during in-class discussions-he even acts that way a bit on stage. But he’s got to know how ridiculous he looks wearing a puffy red winter vest over a sleeveless t-shirt. And as the roadies set up the stage for them, Biggie boomed through the speakers. “Dead Wrong” isn’t exactly elevator music, and I know it wasn’t Radio City Music Hall’s choice to play it. It was so unexpected that it surpassed being ironic, and was really just hilariously awesome. To add even more to the clashing of genres, when the band walked onto the stage, “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled and co. started blaring, prompting the masses of drunk college students to start jumping around uncontrollably. The boys walked on quietly as the crowd roared and took their places, where they stood looking rather uncomfortable, until Lil’ John shouted “everybody’s hands go up-and they stay there!” The band did as they were told and threw their arms up into the air…and just left them there, looking a bit more uncomfortable than before, sort of hunched forward, half-mocking and half-serious about their stance. (When I describe it, it isn’t as funny as it looks, but I’m sure it’s a scene that has already found it’s way to Youtube.) I. Couldn’t. Stop. Laughing. And to top it all off, Jack McBrayer was in the house to announce the encore. I’m just going to assume that Vampire Weekend and I share a love for 30 Rock, because why else would they ask Kenneth to do those honors? And anyone who loves 30 Rock has a killer sense of humor, hands down. Maybe I’m so drawn to this band because they remind me of all my guy friends-ironic and funny but unabashedly nerdy and awkward. But that’s not the point. The point is that, when you add all of everything together; good music, favorite band, lively show that never lulled, an uncontrollable desire to dance in an environment I was completely comfortable in, and Kenneth, you get the greatest concert that I have ever attended. Zero competition.

I may fall ill from pulling an all nighter, during which I was on my feet the entire time, but nothing has ever felt so worth it before. Perhaps this feeling of ecstatic contentment will be enough of a remedy for a sleepless night.