You know how when you're in a class in college or wherever, and you don't speak up in the first couple weeks of class, and then this silence starts to accumulate around you, so that the longer you don't speak, the more conspicuous your silence becomes, so that by the time you actually want to raise your hand and say something it feels like opening your mouth had better yield something momentous?
Well, anyway, that used to happen to me, and that is what happened to the blog in the past couple weeks, and now I'm just going to interject a few quick recommendations and then I'll get back on it.
SEE! Girls Rock! the movie. Funny, moving, stirring--enough gerunds, suffice it to say it is one of those winning documentaries in the vein of Spellbound, and the subject matter is dear to my heart, and it may forever change your preconceptions of little girls. I'm in it for a few seconds here and there, co-leading the morning assemblies and gesturing the theme song. (Extra points if you can recognize me in a long straight black wig, playing out the final triumphant moments of our serial morning soap opera skit "Sistrrrz.") (I didn't at first.) Here's the trailer, itself known to move grown humans to tears.
LISTEN TO! Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago. I was all jaded the first few times I heard this and made some snarky comment about beard music. Then I found myself singing "Skinny Love" all the time, in that I-wasn't-really-listening-but-it's-totally-stuck-in-my-head way ("And I told you to be something, and I told you to be hmmmm, and I told you to be la la, and I told you to be whaaaah...") And it turns out he's just this northern Wisconsin dude who holed up in the hunting cabin and made this lovely heartbroken record that I now play in its entirety at least three times a day.
And also, of course, The Magnetic Fields' newest, Distortion, which is a return to/forging ahead with the MF magic combo of dazzling songcraft and insane production. I particularly recommend "Xavier Says," "The Nun's Litany," and "Drive on Driver" but really all of it is worth it. Despite a typically stone-faced Pacific NW audience, the show in Seattle sounded gorgeous, the banter hilarious, my nostalgia deep. They played "Take Ecstasy With Me," an all-time favorite of mine and one I think I've never heard live; Sam's pulsing cello beautifully simulated the recording's feedbacked delay/tremolo. Plus way-deep-cuts like "The Tiny Goat."
Claudia came down to hang out in Portland for a couple days and one thing we did was go to Pix Patisserie and eat these crazy-good treats, which leads to my next recommendation:
EAT! The Royale With Cheese at Pix. (Their description: Chocolate mousse blankets a crisp hazelnut praline filling and dacquoise base, with a slice of creamy French Brillat Savarin cheese.) Cheese and chocolate? Sounds hideous, tastes heavenly. The creamy cheese and the sweetness/slight bitterness of the chocolate hit it off perfectly. And it's dusted with gold.
(Picture from Flickr, no credit of mine.)
READ! Chickfactor, a trove of indie-pop lore and prescient interviews of before-they-were-huge bands and musicians. A backstage party in magazine form, a time capsule of an era. I hope it gets collected in a book. Gail O'Hara was in town last weekend, and though we never did get around to doing karaoke, we romped in dog-land, ate Vietnamese food, and treated our ears to Janet's superb spinning on a low-key Sunday night at the Aalto Lounge. (Perked up my ears at Elyse, a buried treasure.)
How convenient--it's Janet, by Gail!