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Posts Tagged ‘ryan adams’

So I’d been having a fine Saturday afternoon, listening to Mandy Moore and writing a little bit about her, dancing around to The Marvelettes and Françoise Hardy and painting my nails. In the middle of all this, DJ Reggie popped into my head.

that ryan, he thinks about the big things

that ryan, he thinks about the big things

Yeah, DJ Reggie. As in, the pseudonym Ryan Adams used a few years back (on his own website! ha!) to release about a thousand fucking songs. Those songs! They were silly, dude. So I love them. I have a soft spot in my heart for “Egyptiania Christmica” which contains lines like: “I got a thing about Ancient Egyptian documentaries / I like the voices they relax me.” Even better: “Those motherfuckers were busy as hell too / They just wanted, they wanted to build something fun / And have something to do / Well, not really /I mean, some politics went into it / In fact, there’s a good chance a bunch of motherfuckers didn’t get paid.”

Thinking of “Egyptiania Christmica” made me think of my favorite: “Unicorns (prob. don’t exist).” Here are the lyrics to this brilliantly insightful song:

“i got to tell you the truth about unicorns
unicorns don’t exist
i got to tell you the truth
i got to tell you the truth

motherfucking unicorns don’t exist
elves and wizards don’t exist
although it ain’t proven
nobody ever took a picture of them

i suppose they could still be
but the chances are 95%
that shit don’t exist
unicorns don’t exist
i got to tell you the truth
unicorns don’t exist
sad, but true
sad but true motherfuckers

if they did i bet there would be some kind of skeleton remains
on exhibit up in the moma or the met or the national history museum
but i ain’t seen nothing
nobody reported it back to me
it’s a fucking shame
unicorns don’t exist.”

Ryan Adams, you are absurd. Of course wizards exist!! But I love you anyway.

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Okay. So I am sort of a fan of Mandy Moore. As in, I inexplicably love her as a person despite, you know, not knowing her. Whatever, man.

mandymoore

I don’t know how it started. It wasn’t her early music, for sure. But I didn’t dislike her for it. I remember seeing her on tv from time to time and thinking to myself: “She seems like a sweetheart. I like this broad. I had better not tell anyone.” Of course, being myself, I told everyone. I went to see her films. I bought a cd. I listened to it occasionally. It was silly pop, but hey, I can make room for some of that in my life. So for years, unbeknownst to Ms. Moore herself, we shared a steady but slightly embarrassed relationship. I would get drunk and tell people I was a fan. I would go on lengthy talks about how I bet she was really cool to hang out with, and my theory that her earnestness might lead to her making a sort of decent album one day.  Friends had to listen me chat about how yeah, she did some cheesy movies, but she was always polite about it and self-deprecating and spoke about how she wanted to be a better artist. I would wake up in the morning and think: “Damn! I told people how I feel about Mandy again! I have to stop doing that!”

I need to point out that, despite my bizarre faith in Mandy Moore, I wasn’t under any illusions about some of the stuff she had done. I only saw the film How to Deal when my sister told me it was the most hilariously terrible film I would ever watch. She was right. Manos: the Hands of Fate and Troll II are certainly joyously bad, but much of the awfulness is because they are both (I don’t really know what to call them) sci-fi/fantasy/supposed horror films. They have a lot of room to be stupid. How to Deal tried to deal (ha!) with teen ‘problems’. Instead, Mandy Moore put her arms above her head at many points in the film, doing a weird swaying thing. I don’t know what it meant. God, Mandy, that swaying!! That fucking swaying, and those little turns!! Please, why, please, explain it to me. And! Alison Janey! I’m sad you were in that. Still.

Anyway, digression aside. Mandy Moore did things I wasn’t wild about, but I persisted in thinking she was going to do something pretty good one day. Then Mandy Moore did something which kinda broke my heart while also delighting me. She totally started dating Ryan Adams.

I Like This.

I Like This.

There were a whole lot of feelings I had about this. A) I love Ryan Adams. B) I like tall people. C) Mandy Moore seems like one of those really nice people who meets assholes and jerks and doesn’t feel a need to prove how morally superior she is to them, but just kinda smiles and makes the best of it. D) Does this mean Ryan is into dating tall people? Cos I’m as tall as she is. E) Why do I know how tall Mandy Moore is? F) Whatever, so I do. G) This is the only celebrity relationship I approve of. H) I hate celebrity relationships. I) I never want to know a single thing about their private relationship, because that is creepy J) All the same, I will feel devastated if they break up K) I probably shouldn’t live vicariously through this relationship L) Does this mean Mandy Moore will write a good album soon? M) I feel so proud of them both. Look at these two kids, growing up! N) I am getting old and sentimental.

Well, obviously a lot of those thoughts were silly (were they?) but L was actually rather on-point. Because this year she released Amanda Leigh, an album which is not bad. In fact, it is kind of okay. Okay to the point where I kinda listen to it more than occasionally. I wasn’t mad about Wild Hope. Wasn’t into that album of covers. I tried to like them because I could tell she was really trying to become a decent song-writer, but she wasn’t there yet.  On this new album though! There are some good songs on here!

‘Merrimack River’ is rather lovely. And ‘Pocket Philosopher’ is charming, holding itself back from unbearable perkiness. It makes me wanna restrain my own hyperness a bit and try to put some balanced rhythm in my walk. The album is pretty without being totally fucking boring. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfectly listenable. I still think she could benefit from going on-tour with Ryan Adams and getting really fucked up on stage every night, doing shots of whiskey and trying to figure out how to play the guitar while wobbling around. I feel that would be good for her as an artist. But that is probably why I am not a musician, and a poor blogger: because I like to have some beers and try to sing Ryan Adams songs before getting tired and watch Stella shorts. Still. Listen to me Mandy! Get drunk and tour the country! Yeah!!

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I, The Feisty Sweetheart, love music. I am crazy-devoted to a few musical acts in particular, and I fully intend to rant and rave about them at my leisure. Let’s get started.

I love Ryan Adams. I love how prolific he is. Some people bitch about this and I get super angry. What an idiotic thing to be mad about. If you think his songs are shitty, say he writes a lot of shitty songs. Why get mad that the dude keeps trying and keeps having ideas?  Demanding that all artists come in one package and all release 10-13 songs every 2 years just misses the point. Some people out there make albums every once in a while and then go on a hiatus for years and a few people can’t help but make albums every other week. You know who else made a lot of albums in a relatively short period of time? The Beatles. Now, I don’t want to get crazy and compare the two, cos there’s a whole world of difference and my love for John Lennon is something approaching the eternal. But I appreciate someone who says “hey, studio, I have three albums I’d like to release this year. Oh, and surprise! I have another five albums because hey I love making music. What, you don’t want to release them? Whatever, let’s get drunk and write books.” I sense there’s a standard here for Legends of the Past to whom Young People of Today can never compare. Which is stupid, because Ryan Adams doesn’t have to be Bob Dylan or Paul Westerberg or John Lennon to be something worth remembering. He’s his own brand of lunacy, as are we all, and he makes himself (c’mon, have you seen his and Gawker’s mutual obsession? He’s created his own strange universe).

RyanBlue

So he released tons of albums. Then he slowed it down. Then he slowed it down to the point of dissolving the Cardinals and getting married and writing two books. All cool. I’m not going to complain because the man has given me so much music to love over the years. I feel like he’s written his own rules in an industry which isn’t so wild about that. I haven’t read his books yet (as an avid reader I’m nervous about reading his work. I don’t want my opinion of the author to impact my opinion of the singer or vice versa) but maybe I will drink a lot one night and work up the courage.

So I get it if he wants a break. That’s fine. If he goes back to making music, I don’t care if it’s sporadic or crazy-prolific again. Whatever, I’m interested in what he does and not how he does it (Plus, the man’s first major attention-getting band was named Whiskeytown. Good God, I was born to love this dude). In the meantime, let’s all have a good beer and think about the best songs he’s written. It’s an impossible job, my list will change tomorrow, but here it goes anyhow.

My Favorite Ryan Adams Songs

1.  My Winding Wheel

2. English Girls Approximately

3. New York, New York

4. Come Pick Me Up

5. When The Stars Go Blue

6. The Shadowlands

7. Meadowlake Street

8. So Alive

9.Call Me On Your Way Back Home

10. Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play That Part

This list utterly neglects all of his work with Whiskeytown, his unreleased recordings from The Suicide Handbooks, his cover of ‘Wonderwall’, and pretty much everything else he’s done. They all deserve to be on here, and this list was too hard. I’m gonna go listen to ‘Wildflowers’, ‘Gimme Sunshine’, ‘Miss Sunflower’, ‘Trains’, ‘I Taught Myself How to Grow Old’ and ‘Damn Sam’ and try to apologize. Oh and ‘Hotel Chelsea Nights’! Shit, that song is gonna beat me up. I should re-write this list, but I’m gonna have a beer instead.

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