Nov 8, 2011

You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein. For the dead, and for your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. [...]for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You're left with only your scars to mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it's knowing you carry your scars with you.
Charles Frazier : Cold Mountain

Oct 11, 2011

All the Single Ladies | Atlantic Monthly

But what transpired next lay well beyond the powers of everybody’s imagination: as women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.

All the Single Ladies | Atlantic Monthly

Sep 7, 2011

Things clients say about advertising (and what they really mean)

Source: anonymous

We want a slogan like “Just Do It.”
Translation: We want to be the Nike of plumbing accessories.

We don’t want your creativity to be constrained by a budget.
Translation: We are bankrupt.

I personally think the ad is brilliant, but I think our target market isn’t ready for something that innovative.
Translation: I don’t want you to think I’m uncool, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.

What is the agency recommendation?
Translation: I wouldn’t know good creative if you blew it up my ass With a leaf blower.

I don’t think it speaks to the teen market.
Translation: I showed it to my attention-deficit 13 year old, and he was indifferent.

We want a bite and smile’ shot.
Translation: Even ‘Ogilvy On Advertising’ is too avant garde for me.

Which one of you is the writer?
Translation: We hate the copy.

Which one of you is the art director?
Translation: We want the logo bigger.

So, how long have you been at (name of agency here)?
Translation: Good lord, I’m old enough to be your father. Say, what are you doing for dinner tonight?

Can we take the headline from this ad, and combine it with the visual of that ad?
Translation: I am mentally challenged.

This music isn’t appropriate for our brand.
Translation: I haven’t heard this type of music in an ad for our competitive brand yet.

Let’s get back to the basics of what made this brand great.
Translation: If I don’t see some tits and ass in this beer commercial, you’re all fired.

Do you think that font is appropriate?
Translation: I want you to know that I know how to use the word ’font’ in a sentence.

We’d like you to have a look at what the States is doing with this brand.
Translation: You don’t have an igloo’s chance in hell of ever seeing this commercial produced.

May I have a look at the strategy again?
Translation: I don’t want to appear uncool in front of the creative team, so I am going to blame the account team for this fiasco instead.

Here’s how I think the headline should go:
Translation: I am a frustrated ex-English major.

We had a lot of learning on this one.
Translation: I have no clue about production costs. I am hoping to score points with my boss and save money by eliminating those expensive backgrounds.

I love the layout.
Translation: I hate the idea.

(In an ad with a group shot) I think we should have a black person in this group shot.
Translation: I am white.

(In an ad with only one person) Why is the person in this ad black?
Translation: I am white.

I hope you guys didn’t have to work all weekend on this!
Translation: The power I have over you amuses me.

Make the logo bigger.
Translation: You advertising people are all the same. All you want is to do some hoity-toity ad that’s going to win you awards, take you to Miami on some overpriced photo shoot so you can do cocaine and get laid by Cuban prostitutes, and spend my company’s money on bordeaux and osso bucco at four star restaurants. Well let me tell you buster, I’m on to your game. I may not know your fancy ad-talk, and I may not be able to figure out where you’ve hidden all the money for your hedonistic debauchery in my ad budget. But I do know one thing: people love my logo, dammit, and they want to see it. Personally, if it were up to me, I’d just buy a super-powered laser and project my logo on the moon. But since I can’t, for now I’m stuck with you assholes.

Aug 27, 2011

in the family of things

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

- Mary Oliver

Aug 16, 2011

"I thought I’d loved bands before, but I was wrong."

The Reverb Essay: An Avett Brothers superfan tells all
by Ricardo Baca
Originally published Aug. 16, 2009

Falling in love with a band is a funny, intense thing. And I’m not talking about casual, iTunes-culture fandom. This is a much more serious relationship, the kind that involves the obsession over a band’s media, the dissection of album art, the devotion of traveling long distances to see the band play live.

I thought I’d loved bands before, but I was wrong. The Avett Brothers proved this to me when I first heard “Emotionalism,” the North Carolina quartet’s last full-length record.

On first listen, I was hooked to the Avett Brothers’ surreal combination of folk instrumentation, power-pop choruses and punk aesthetics. On second listen, I was already singing along, unconsciously memorizing the words. On third listen, I was e-mailing all of my friends MP3s, urging them to run and buy this record — now. On the fourth listen, I was ordering their entire back catalog.

Armed with that grotesquely brilliant canon, my love affair began. The Avett Brothers — who play four Colorado shows this week, including dates at the Boulder Theater on Friday and the Ogden Theatre on Saturday — are my life’s great musical love. I’ve loved before — David Bowie, Dandy Warhols, the Beatles, Neil Young, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. But none has compared to the way I feel about the Avett Brothers and their music.

What’s special about the connection I feel to this band is that it’s uniquely mine. You have yours, if you’re lucky to have found it yet. Chris has Nine Inch Nails. Nichole has the Pixies. Jason has Phish. Kit has Amy Ray. John has Guided by Voices.

These bands are the soundtracks of our lives. They give us light and direction. They give us solace and strength. We don’t technically know these musicians. (I interviewed singer-banjoist Scott Avett via telephone in 2007, and I met him briefly backstage at a Seattle rock club in 2008.) But we know them through their music, and with some bands, that’s more revealing and important than shaking their hand.

Why do I love the Avett Brothers? I get asked that a lot. Much of it comes down to my love of rock ‘n’ roll, which drove me out to concerts at a breakneck pace for the first six years of this job. Some weeks it was three shows. Other weeks it was six or seven.

Acoustic craving

After all that amplified music, I woke up one day in need of something acoustic. I went to folk and bluegrass shows, and I listened to old Dylan bootlegs and Neil Young LPs. That was great, but it wasn’t until I got word that a band called the Avett Brothers was playing the 2007 Telluride Bluegrass Festival that I found what I was truly looking for.

If “Emotionalism” rocked me, seeing the Avetts play two shows in one day — a festival set at Telluride and a late-night set at a very sold-out Sheridan Opera House — rolled me.

I was owned, and other shows followed: at a sold-out Soiled Dove Underground in Denver; two sold-out shows at the Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C.; three not-quite-sold-out shows in Southern California (Solana Beach, Anaheim, Los Angeles); two sold-out shows in Seattle at Neumos; one sold-out show at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Ore.; crazy festival sets at Monolith (at Red Rocks) and Sasquatch (at the Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington); an elegant set at the Strings Music Pavilion in Steamboat Springs.

With each Avetts show comes a renewed sense of life — a reminder of purpose. In their music, Seth and Scott Avett talk about honesty, fidelity and vitality. They sing drinking songs and dancing songs. They praise family and pretty girls, and they tell tales about the road, about Kansas and Manhattan.

I’ve introduced friends to the band, and the records weren’t enough. They had to see them live to get it, and that’s understandable. The Avetts are the best live show on the road right now, with flying banjos, kick-drum dances, stand-up-bass twirls, mastered acoustic guitar, fluttering cello lines and lyrics that are as quotable as Oscar Wilde or Ralph Waldo Emerson.

They used to stage-dive occasionally, but you don’t hear much about that anymore. They don’t need it. Their shows are already packed with energy and life, enthusiasm and love. It’s why a group of friends and I are road-tripping to Telluride on Wednesday and Steamboat on Thursday — both mountain shows are free — and Boulder on Friday and Denver on Saturday. It never gets old, and judging by the Avetts’ new, Rick Rubin-produced full-length “I and Love and You” — out Sept. 29 as their major label debut on American/Columbia — it never will get old.

Jun 29, 2011

sometimes I hit / sometimes it robs me blind

my life is but a coin that's pulled from an empty pocket
it's dropped into a slot with dreams of sevens close behind
and these hopes and these fears go with it
and the moon and the sun go spinning
like the numbers and the fruits before my eyes

Jun 27, 2011

there's another round for you

know your head is spinning
broken hearts will mend
this is our beginning
coming to an end

Apr 28, 2011

fools by heavenly compulsion (aka the poll spread)

For some reason, I heard this quote from King Lear in my head when I attempted to unravel today's birther reversal. It's not entirely germane, and yet...there it is.

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune--often the surfeit
of our own behavior--we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star!

Apr 12, 2011

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up having simply visited this world.

- Mary Oliver, When Death Comes (excerpt)

Mar 14, 2011

Did I win the lottery while I wasn't looking?

Four five times in three months. It's like I've been rescuing puppies or something.

ETA: Win, not when. Jesus.

Feb 2, 2011

Sunday alcohol bill passes first big test  |

Praise the baby Jesus (who, as it turns out, doesn't really care when we get our drank on) and pass the lemon drop martini.

The Avett Brothers,"Traveling Song"

I think I'll use this as the soundtrack for my 2011 mantra: what is for you will never go by you.