I've had the good fortune and pleasure of getting to listen to Queen (and singing along with gusto, naturally) while driving lately, as it finally occurred to us to order their best-of 3-CD collection. A friend gave me a tape of the original best-of collection in high school, and we listened to that thing every damn day on the way to and from school. It made everyone in the car happy ... then and now. The 25th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death just passed. Freddie, thanks for everything you were and everything you gave to us.

What are y'all's Thanksgiving plans?
Before I joined Tumblr, I had the impression it was a bunch of bitchy 15-year-olds barely interacting and reposting innumerable pictures of hot guys. After I joined Tumblr, I discovered I was exactly correct. Still, barely interacting is easy, I like looking at hot guys, so it's been all right, although after you see approximately 15,000 pictures of Sebastian Stan, you actually start feeling like maybe you never need to see another.

There are good things about Tumblr, namely that if there is any news whatsoever about someone you're into, THOSE PEOPLE ARE ON IT. Every single photo that may appear anywhere on the internet is on Tumblr within minutes, being passed around, hashed over, and thoroughly analyzed. It's like instantaneous fandom-news central, which is surprisingly gratifying. Now if only real news could be as accurate and immediate.

Anyway, I think maybe I know the reason why I finally felt compelled to join Tumblr when I did: very shortly after, lo and behold, one of the few people I follow cooked up the great idea to have fans submit songs for a fan tribute album of one of my favorite band's great albums (which is set to be re-released soon for the tenth anniversary).

This is sort of a dream come true for me. Not that anyone will listen to my song, but just to get to do that, to have an excuse to record a cover, to get to delve deeply into one of my favorite band's songs, to record music at all anymore (I self-released a couple of albums, but it's been a long time since I recorded a single note), has been soo so awesome and so inspiring and fun. I'm so grateful to get to be a part of it, even though it's fucking hard work! And lots of technology-related frustration, as ever. Maybe someday I'll be able to get my electric guitar to be audible through one of my interfaces, but today is not that day.

Anyway, so that's what I've been up to. I've been missing you all and trying to find a way back into interacting on lj, but it's taken me until TODAY to finally catch up after gishwhes. (YES REALLY.) Hopefully more posts and more responses to your comments to come soon. <3
And for my regular day of happy today, I'ma talk about the amazing Imogen Heap. She has tons of great albums. She's always been an ethereal singer with an incredible voice, but as a songwriter, arranger, producer, her albums just keep getting better. Her latest, Sparks, absolutely blows my mind and literally makes me weep with the joy of knowing something this brilliant is allowed to exist in this world.

Here's the song I've been jamming to lately the most, of so many on this album. I'll embed it for easy access, but beware actually watching the video--I don't know about you, but a bad video can easily ruin a song for me, and the otherworldly quality of her music seems antithetical to the video medium unless it's made with tremendous care. So maybe you'll just want to do like me and only listen.

It's Throwback Thursday at [livejournal.com profile] amilliondays, where you post about something that USED to make you happy, even if you can't imagine ever being into it now! (Or even if you can.)

Here is mine:

HE-MAN AND SHE-RA. I used to watch both shows religiously every day when I got home from middle school. (Then, Voltron, but that's another post.) I even got my (much older) brother into them. She-Ra was probably the better show, but they were both all kinds of cheesy and ridiculous. (And imagine our delight when a live-action He-Man movie, starring Dolph Lundgren, came out not long later! Except it turned out to be really quite, uhhmmm ... S & M.)

I won't subject you to lots of pictures of He-Man (although please do yourself a favor and google "he-man cosplay" images); rather, I will share with you two videos, one a hilarious spoof video from a few years ago somebody made and put online of He-Man and friends singing a modern dance song:

And on what for me is a more poignant note, the full-length song from the pilot episode of She-Ra, a song which my brother hunted down on tape and got for me (not an easy feat, and he did it partly because he simply thought it was a great song), and which, years later, a friend in college was just as into (having gotten into it on his own, also being a big He-Man/She-Ra fan). It really is musically great, if you can get past all the silly sound effects and the Casiotone production:

I am SO LOVING see y'all's posts over on [livejournal.com profile] amilliondays!!!!! It was a rough day, and they did exactly what they're supposed to do: they made me feel better. <3 <3

Here's my post for today, 100 Days of Happiness Day #2:

This guy right here: Gerard Way

I post about him all the time. His existence on this planet makes me happy. Thanks, man, for sharing yourself with the world. It's made my world better.
My favorite musician hasn't posted on Twitter for weeks, and damn, I really miss him. I've never figured out how to use Twitter properly myself--the best I've ever figured out to do with it is (respond to some of the guys we love and) make the occasional pithy comment/joke, but somehow in just a few tweets this musician has managed to say things--deep, important things--that stay with me indefinitely. Gerard, I miss you. Come back.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to like Fallout Boy. (Why yes, I do like emo music, not that you could tell from my fic.) Great music, if a bit heavily produced, very impressive lead singer. Guys, I'm trying to like you, so why ya gotta have so many douchey lyrics?? "You are the drought and I am the holy water you have been without"? REALLY? "I wish I'd known how much you loved me. I wish I'd cared enough to know." Very nice, a true gentleman. And yet it's still so much more tolerable than Panic! At the Disco's out-and-out misogyny. SIGH ....

Summergen is the coolest thing. I'm beginning to realize other fandoms' fanfic pretty much exists, so far as I can tell, only for the sake of slash, but SPN has such a healthy flourishing gen aspect, too, and summergen brings it to us EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE ENTIRETY OF HELLATUS. GO SPN FANDOM!

Cat fic

Apr. 26th, 2016 07:03 pm

My favorite book for a time as a kid was The House of Thirty Cats. Well, [livejournal.com profile] septembers_coda found it for us at the library and we're reading it aloud right now. It's really quite good, and almost distressingly me. Like, was I already like that and that's why I was so attracted to that book? Or did it significantly form me? It's a bit disturbing.

Anyway, typical of me, it's extremely obscure. I somehow managed to convince my teacher to read it aloud to the class, and everyone was so bored and not into it that she stopped after only a few pages, no matter how much I lobbied the whole class to keep it going and insisted it got much better after the first chapter (which it does, adult-me can confirm!). Those plebeians in my elementary-school class didn't know great literature when they heard it! But s_c is lovin' it. :-) I'm always delighted when I find something I loved in my youth holds up later on, because Bill and Ted ... not so much.

Today I thought, maybe I will be the person who writes the first House of Thirty Cats fanfic and puts it on the internet. And then maybe someone who likes my other fic will see it and give it a try and it'll bring a little more attention to this strange, brutal, vivid, wonderful novel.

... And then I see that my favorite musician is tweeting about the notorious "milk fic" and encouraging his fans to write the most horrifying fic about him they want, that he dgaf.

I got my second (hopefully last) root canal this morning, and learned that these abcesses have been weighing on my immune system a very long time. When you walk out of the endodontist's office feeling better--like, all over--and then you run an errand you meant to run eight months ago and you get to drive around in a different car from usual hearing new music and it's all rainy and your favorite musician is tweeting about obscene fanfic featuring himself ... it's a good day.
Freakin' amazing. It ain't like the other musicians on the stage (Tom Petty, Steve Fucking Winwood, Jeff Lynne, Dhani Harrison) aren't massively talented, but Prince just blows them all away. Plus, I've almost never seen his purple highness having so much fun. He made it look so effortless.

Oh, Prince, you never aged a day. How could you have gone before me? RIP, my purple genius.
I'm a total software nerd. (A hardware nerd, too, actually.) I'm the only person I've ever known who actually uses MS OneNote--religiously.

I just stumbled across a new MS program, so I couldn't resist trying it out, and I ended up making a little ... presentation, I guess you'd call it, about my favorite musician. Of course they make it so you can share it easily, so here it is, I'm sharing!

The program is called Sway. It probably won't catch on, but despite all the usual MS problems of non-intuitiveness/ease of use, it's really a pretty cool program. I'd love to see SPN ones of these ...
Ahhh ... feeling better today. Got a FULL night's sleep, no waking up to pee or anything, with fun dreams, and felt good enough to finish my taxes first thing this morning.

I've had a great desire all my life to be a singer in a band, and well, I'm lately accepting that will probably never happen, and probably wouldn't really be what I hoped even if it did, but s_c filmed me singing my karaoke jam last night, and it feels good to have that approximation on video, even if it's the closest I'll ever get.

It's a beautiful day, I get to look forward to watching some good anime tonight, and SPN S11 is SOOOO GOOD. Guh, "Red Meat" was movie-quality writing, acting, directing, effects, everything. SPN I LOVE YOU. And I love all of YOU, too. Happy Sunday!
The lead singer of that band I rave about is currently live-streaming playing nerdy games with a bunch of other nerds, which is so awesome and bewildering in a total wtf kind of way. How many times did I wish I could be a fly on the wall of a lazy Saturday of the rock stars I loved in my youth? And today's technology makes it totally possible ... only to discover their games are exactly like gaming with my nerdy friends only even less entertaining. Life is fucking awesome and bizarre.

The quality of SPN this season has been so back up to ~the quality of seasons 1-7 that I'm starting to get inspired to write fic again! I have two fics in mind at the moment, one a Walt and Roy, or possibly Steve, Reggie and Tim, and the other ... has already slipped my mind. Crap.

I love the Bunker, because stuff like last Wednesday's Random post keep going for days. <3 <3 my Bunker peeps!

I get to go to a party tonight! And possibly meet a bunch of new people. I'm excited, and nervous.

I hope your weekends are good, and happy almost-Valentine's Day to you!
The February Fandom Fest put on by [livejournal.com profile] selenic76 is all about expressing your love for any fandom however you see fit (one of the hopes being that others will find a new show to love). I’ve already seen some really cool entries! (Go here to see them all, and if you’re interested in participating, sign up!)

I already do a lot of this. I gushed about Captain America: Winter Soldier here (with some incidental love for Thelma and Louise that found its way into that post), MCR here and here, Men Without Hats here, and I’ve expressed my great love for Princess Tutu countless times, including writing an SPN crossover. I love those shows/band so much, I had to make myself some usericons for them, as:

Winter Soldier: MCR:

Indeed, Princess Tutu is the source of my default usericon (see this post)! But I guess I’ve never really gone into what makes the anime so great.

First, yeah, I know, worst name for a show ever. I couldn’t help but tease my (quite macho) anime-lovin’ buddy when I saw it on his shelf. He laughed sheepishly, but said, “It’s actually a good show.” He has excellent taste, so I suggested we watch it, and the rest is history.

At first, you’ll think you know where it’s going. Well ... kinda, because this is an anime that makes perfect sense upon viewing but is hard to describe without sounding like you’re dropping acid. So, here’s the acid-drenched version: A duck falls in love with a prince who practices ballet at her lake. The storyteller from whose story the prince escaped offers the duck the chance to play a tragic but important part in the story, and of course she jumps at the chance to be near her prince, and to be human ... but if she ever confesses her love, she’ll turn into a speck of light and vanish, so there’s all the delicious angst of her getting to be close and yet so far.

The whole town has come to revolve around the story the storyteller (his name is Drosselmeyer--it takes place in Germany) is manifesting in the real world, which he can do because his authorial power was so great in life that it continues beyond the grave. (I see a lot of metaphors for God and the human condition in that aspect of the show, as Drosselmeyer literally uses people as puppets, manipulates events and calls it “fate,” rages when anyone revolts and exercises free will, and lives “behind the curtain” where the gears of reality are at his command.) Countless moments of genius are sprinkled throughout the show regarding authorial power and choice, which I think writers might appreciate, so if you write fanfic, this might be just your cup of tea.

It sounds like a fairy tale, but it’s more of a ballet, using famous ballets and classical pieces to tell the story, from Swan Lake to the Nutcracker and everything in between. (One of the joys of the show is hearing the EXCELLENT orchestral performances of all these classical pieces. I’m picky about this kind of thing, and truly, I can’t imagine better versions of any of these beloved classics.) One of many strokes of genius in this show is that it’s “staged” like a ballet. Crows figure heavily into the story, but usually they’re human male and female figures performing ballet with giant crow’s-head masks. Spotlights appear on the performers, like so:

cut for gif )
Meanwhile, Duck, the prince, and the other main characters study ballet at an old, venerable school, so it has all the fun and drama and romantic intrigue of a high-school anime, too.

It DOES also have a strong fairy-tale quality--the prince’s name is Mytho, and there are numerous animal characters--as if the creator tapped into something deep and archetypal that lives deep in our collective unconscious. Strange and unpredictable and modern, it at the same time nevertheless feels classic. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the layers, metaphors, and meanings in this thing.

Finally, I love this anime because I feel like it tells a story I lived, with parallel characters and events transpiring obviously very differently from in the show, but on a fundamental level, it resonates for me profoundly ... yet nothing about this anime suggests it’s a common story, so I doubt anyone else in the world (except the amazing woman who created it) feels the same. As you can imagine, I’m grateful to have a show to reflect that experience for me and help me understand and analyze it.

Princess Tutu seems to have been strongly influenced by another great anime, Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is a good deal more popular than Princess Tutu, so if you saw and liked that one, you’re likely to like Princess Tutu, as well.

I often suggest watching an anime in Japanese, but in this case, the English dub is so carefully done and so energetic and inspired, I recommend the English. Besides, if you don’t watch it in English, then you’ll never see TJP’s performance of Mr. Cat, and I pity anyone who doesn’t get to experience that in their lifetime. ;-)

Here is an amazing fanvid I found while looking for clips to gif (good Tutu gifs are hard to come by, I’m finding). For your reference, Duck/Princess Tutu is the redhead, and the prince has white hair. (The show most enjoyably ships all pairings, including the other two main characters, both dark-haired.) I’m not sure if any measure of the show’s true glory will come across to anyone not already familiar with it, but many of the themes and visuals I’ve described are present in this vid, and it’s a fantastic song, as well. SPN covered “The Red Shoes”; well, so did Princess Tutu, and you get a sense for that theme in the vid, too.
The happiest of birthdays to the gal who's a big part of what keeps us going and having fun around here.

We've been talking a lot about music lately, specifically (early) '80s music and our shared love for it. I was there for it, she wasn't.

So I made this playlist for you, Milly. Imagine you and I and [livejournal.com profile] septembers_coda are all hanging around together sometime circa 1985 and it's a really, REALLY good day on MTV. This is what we would watch:

Or, if you'd rather watch it on youtube:

A few notes. )

I could literally talk for posts upon posts about each of these songs and everything they meant to me, then and now. So if anyone wants to start up a conversation in the comments on such subjects, by all means, do so! I'd love to hear anyone's memories of MTV or their favorite songs of the era or their favorite videos; anything.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MILLY_GAL! I hope you enjoy your gift.
I can't seem to find words about David Bowie yet. How can you sum up a being and an artist like that?

But I did want to share this with y'all, because DAYUM did the man know how to take a picture.

Article here.
I loved the anti-sexism of the wedding I attended last night: The bride's dad gave her away ... and the groom's mom gave him away. He's tiny--barely taller than the bride, and many pounds thinner, and the non-gender-typical differences in weight and height have never been mentioned. The bride made it through her wedding vows okay, but then the groom choked up there at the end of his.

The guy who married them was the groom's brother, and he told their life stories in brief in a beautifully honest way, not glossing over the groom's struggles with PTSD (he's an Iraq war vet) and addiction, and how much their relationship means in this context. The bride and groom really did kind of save each other--probably the most romantic love story I've ever watched blossom; they really are perfect for each other. You know you're at a good wedding when the groom starts his wedding vows by saying, "You know why I want to marry you? Because to this day, when I fart, I get that laugh." Best wedding I've ever been to.
In which I start a religion. )
So, this band I'm completely obsessed with. Once upon a time, they had a very active bandom, lots of fanfic. There's a pair of brothers in the band, so they even have a -cest ship! But the most popular ship is between the singer and the guitarist (both straight and now married--to women), and they're so hot together, and it's SO GREAT because you don't have to invest in one of those expensive tin hats or read a whole lot into it (though just a bit of websurfing showed there are fans who still manage); they just put it all right out there for ya.
No need for subtext; straight-up text will do. )
Something straight-up magical happened today. I took a nap afterward, and when I woke up, I was like, did that really happen, or was that a dream? BUT IT REALLY HAPPENED.

The ramblings of a hardcore lifelong music lover. )



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