Posts Tagged ‘music’

so recently i took a very abridged, very free version of the myers-briggs personality test online, and found myself to be an esfp.


if i am to take this cheap edited internet version of psychology to heart (which obviously, as a 20-something, i must), i must accept the fact that i am a person who feels a guttural need to be amongst other humans — but just so happens to be crazy anxious and neurotic about that sort of thing. a shy extrovert, is what i am, and i do suppose part of aging is trying to reconcile what we need (people! people all the time) with the personal tools we have to work with (a very self-conscious demeanor, currently enjoying itself on a latte + a bottle of wine).


this is all to say, i find myself hanging out with myself on a saturday night, having a grand old time but unable to let go of the need to tell everyone about it. here we go!

let's all ignore my tiny pinky nail

i am in my third hour of npr’s tiny desk concerts. have listened to first aid kit three times so far. so have my neighbors; i must assume they love folksy swedes as much as i do.

forest frolicking


i have also been watching a whole bunch of netflix, obviously.


tv shows: united states of tara, sons of anarchy, the x files (duh), law & order svu (duhhhh)

movies: take this waltz (love hurts etc etc), the future (ok i admit it i love twee shit and will never stop), cave of forgotten dreams (oh werner).


later when the wine wears off i will be launching myself headfirst into wolf hall by hilary mantel; i have never read any of her work before but haven’t stopped thinking about her since reading the hugely fascinating profile published in the new yorker a little while back.


and so, in conclusion. i hope you all are enjoying family/friend/me time right now as well! we are looking forward to bringing festo back from the dead and hope you will stick with us as we do so. 2013! here we come.


[ stefanie ]

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future islands is a shimmery new wavey sorta group who used to play with dan deacon and wham city; on 12 june at 8pm they will be playing at the silent barn in ridgewood; you should come!

this is an especially pretty music video (in hd!!!) for their song tin man:

their music feels like pastel afternoons at a build-a-bear workshop, and also like wearing neon leggings while eating ice cream cake on cape cod, and maybe even a little bit like what it would’ve felt like if molly ringwald came to my bat mitzvah.

if you do come to the show and you see a short girl with brown hair dancing around like a huge dork you should come say hi; either it will be me or you will have just made a super cool new friend.

[ stefanie ]

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i haven’t been the biggest fan of john cage since i was in high school, when the boy i was dating performed 4’33” at our senior solo recital and i was so embarassed to have been dating the kid who stood on stage in silence for almost five minutes that i thereby rejected all avant-garde composers.



high school biases notwithstanding, it turns out john cage is, in fact, a worthwhile figure to acquaint oneself with. i love this reaction he had to opinions of 4’33”:


They missed the point. There’s no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began patterning the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out.


this recording posted exerpts from john cage’s indeterminacy this morning. read them!


One of Mies Van der Rohe’s pupils, a girl, came to him and said, “I have difficulty studying with you because you don’t leave any room for self-expression.” He asked her whether she had a pen with her. She did. He said, “Sign your name.” She did. He said, “That’s what I call self-expression.”


When Colin McPhee found out that I was interested in mushrooms, he said, “If you find the morel next spring, call me up, even if you only find one. I’ll drop everything, come out, and cook it.” Spring came. I found two morels. I called Colin McPhee. He said, “You don’t expect me, do you, to come all that way for two little mushrooms?”


Five years later, when Schoenberg asked me whether I would devote my life to music, I said, “Of course.” After I had been studying with him for two years, Schoenberg said, “In order to write music, you must have a feeling for harmony.” I explained to him that I had no feeling for harmony. He then said that I would always encounter an obstacle, that it would be as though I came to a wall through which I could not pass. I said, “In that case I will devote my life to beating my head against that wall.”


when i was a freshman in college i took a course on the history of modern dance taught by a woman who had danced with merce cunningham, john cage’s lovah and creative collaborator. i wish i could remember my professor’s name — louise, maybe — but far more vivid in my memory is her adamant refusal to wear a bra, ever, and her sorta icky smell. anyway, she was old and fairly crazy, often telling us to “float like seaweed” and leading us through the hallways with ribbons and sheets of chiffon. one day, we were all sitting in the room waiting for her to arrive, talking and being pretty loud probably, when she appeared in the doorway. she walked to the front of the room, silent all the while, and watched us calmly until we quieted down. then she walked back to the door, turned the lights off, and left. after what felt like forever — the darkness had been punctured by occasional nervous laughter but no one had dared to speak — she reentered the room, turned the lights back on, and, with no further explanation, told us that today we would be learning about john cage.



the dark classroom was a vehicle, just like the silence of 4’33”, to hear and notice background noise. that was john cage’s music: giggling, squirming, breathing were just as momentous as chord progressions and intricately placed harmonies. very very zen.


in the end, how can you not love someone who, in addition to being one of the most influential creative figures of the 20th century, was also an amateur mushroom collector?



[ stefanie ]

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