Friday, May 23, 2008

Music Critic, Graphic Designer.... Tomato, Tomahto.

I can see myself happy in a lot of places. When I'm watching Without a Trace, I want nothing more than to negotiate hostage situations for the rest of my life. When I'm watching Miami Ink, I know my calling is hiding in the tattoo industry. When I stumbled upon Design By Humans, I immediately researched the best Mac compatible graphic design programs. What the general yet brilliant public designs on a daily basis makes me want to, too. Really bad.

Here's the scoop. Thousands of DBH members submit as many t-shirt designs as desired. Based on user responses and votes, every day yields a new Shirt of the Day. A week's worth of winners go up for Shirt of the Week, and those four go up for Shirt of the Month.

And now for the yummy part. Shirt of the Day: $750 prize. Shirt of the Week: $1500 prize. Shirt of the Month: $1750 prize. Winning over $3500 in prizes and residuals because the butt in your computer chair proved to be an artsy one: well... you know.

Make no mistakes -- the shirts are snazzy. We're talkin' super cool. The skill that goes into making each one is remarkable. So I was thinking? I'll pay for Adobe Illustrator CS3 with the money I make working with Ami in the tattoo shop. Good thing Jack Malone's team is already full, or I'd have a dilemma on my hands.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Swell Season: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre 5.13.08

[Venue before the show]

[The Swell Season]

[Once more, Glen Hansard front and center]

[with Marketa Irglova on piano]

[and then again on guitar]

On the last night before my AP exam, a couple friends took me to see Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova -- collectively known as The Swell Season. They are the Oscar award winning stars of the 2007 film, Once. They were up there in Best Shows Ever. I always hate that I haven't saved every concert ticket stub, since I've seen more artists than I now remember. The Swell Season was better than those guys. Is that worth anything? I think so.

What caught both my eye and ear was how they opened. Using a very suitable, crowd-pacifying tactic (they showed about 20 minutes after a tardy and yawnworthy opening act), Hansard strapped up his characteristic worn in guitar and stepped in front of the mic. Using no amplification, he preceded to hammer out a version of 'Say It to Me Now' that drew my jaw to the ground. Wiping our memories of previous impatience, they followed up with a show that proved, personally, better than the film. And the film was spectacular.

What's more, the passionate vocals and rhythms came in a close second to Hansard's comedic ability and insight. About halfway through, he shared that Marketa had offered him $100 to not speak between songs. He said he just couldn't do it. An explanation or anecdote preceded every song, but it was strangely welcomed. "Strangely" because I often brush aside background information that too completely analyzes the lyrics. Hansard's synopses, however, were the most candid and heartstring-plucking I'd ever heard. I found myself searching fruitlessly for an illegal recording device.

One of my favorite parts: as Marketa hooked up her guitar (see picture 4 and rewind your imagination), she asked for Glen to stall. *Must read out loud in endearing Irish accent*
"Tell a joke, Glen!"
"Hm, what? Oh! Okay here's one. How do you know ET was a Protestant?

He looks like one!"

And for your listening pleasure...that you may understand and adopt my extremely glorifying bias:

Wake Up for Dinner

it was that feeling you get
when fire drill sirens
forget that once is enough
and continue to drone until
you worry your brain may
melt and seep through your ears.

only the eminent natural disaster
was not threatening to consume
my school, but my sanity
and tapped on my temple
with the sort of pressure
that makes eyes water.

remedial spurts of shut eye beckoned
so i pulled back the comforter
on the side i can see,
lamented the absence of your body beneath it,
and fell into R.E.M.
while subconsciously humming DMB.