April 2016 Round-up (Other)

This playlist:

Just a few points of interest here:

  • “Election Day,” Arcadia: so Duran Duran briefly had a goth side project in the 80s and they all dyed their hair black and omg, the ~Aesthetic~ is everything you could hope for.
  • “Io sono qui,” Claudio Baglioni: I’ll admit that a large part of the appeal of this song is that it taps directly into childhood nostalgia brain in a way that few other things do (among those: panettone, tomato/mozzarella/basil sandwiches, Spice Girls’ “Stop”), but after listening to it on loop, I think it might actually just be a semi-perfectly constructed song? I don’t know enough Italian to decipher the lyrics, but just in terms of the specific musical form and the variations in dynamics and vocal effects between the different choruses and verses and the driving DRUMS and everything, it feels very masterfully composed and probably like it deserves more music theoretical attention than I am capable of giving at the moment. It’s, like, the opposite of a Rihanna song: there’s enough repetition that it’s pleasantly familiar and each “io sono qui” feels meaningful, but not so much repetition that it gets boring. Even after listening to it like 30 times, there are moments where the melody or dynamics feel unexpected (but not unfitting). 


Chocolate Disappointment Muffins:

  • Recipe from King Arthur Flour
  • Used whole-wheat flour instead of white, because I was too cheap and/or lazy to buy new white flour until I used up the whole wheat flour. Did this affect the taste of the muffins? Unclear. They were a bit too dry and bland, though.

Bread Pudding:

  • Recipe from Allrecipes
  • Use Giant brand wheat bread and a few (3? 4?) of the leftover chocolate disappointment muffins. Also, 3 eggs instead of 4.
  • Holy shit, YES.

Clothes acquired:

Target sweater
Silver Doc Martens (via Zappos)
AllSaints top

Books acquired:

  • Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
  • Sex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Sucide, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
  • Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan

Movies watched:

Only watched two movies in April, so no point in having a separate movies post.

Pirate Radio a.k.a. The Boat That Rocked (2009), 2nd time

I guess I remembered this movie as better than it actually turned out to be upon rewatching. The ensemble cast is great and the period styling is great and the soundtrack is great and if the movie were just a chill hangout comedy of the radio DJs on the boat, it too would be great. However, the actual plot with the cartoonishly villainous government ministers and the eventual boat sinking end up being a bit too dumb, I think, and the only saving grace there is that it gives us the scene of all of the fans coming in rescue boats, which did legit bring me to tears.

Filth (2013)

Discussed here.


I saw Duran Duran performing at the Verizon Center and, fuck, I love Duran Duran, but I think I find the Verizon Center repulsive? Let us bitch about it at length:

  • This is true for all large performance arenas, I think—it was also true for the Staples Center and Nokia Theater—that just the interior of the venue, with all of the gross smells of fast food blending together and all of the corporate logos/branding, is too much sensory input and tacky sensory input at that; it would be fine in a mall, but not at an event you’re going to specifically to experience pleasureable sensory input.

  • Overheard more than one person vomiting in the restroom.
  • The specific people next to me—oh, please bring back basketball shorts guy and hot camera girl for every concert. On my right, a visibly older than me (late 30s?) woman whose phone screen I happened to look at during the opening opening band (apparently, a 7:00 concert start time means Duran Duran won’t actually be on until after 9) and read her tinder conversation and ughhhh:

    HER: are you a democrat or a republican?
    HIM: democrat
    HER: thank gawd
    me too
    HIM: cool
    I like pussy not cock lol
    HER: you may be my dream boy
    blond, tall, and a democrat
    HIM: 6.6″
    [I don’t remember too much after this point, but they were apparently going to meet up for drinks that Sunday]

    It just made me feel so gross, not so much for being a voyeur, but because this is, like, normal courtship? What the fuck? This woman can go to a Duran Duran concert alone and dance the hell out of their greatest hits, but she’s also regularly checking back on her tinder conversation with this dude who really feels like his dick length (I’m assuming) is vital information. And maybe it is! I wouldn’t know! But ugh.

    Meanwhile, on my left, a woman spilled her soda on the ground where my backpack and brand new Doc Martens were residing as she tried to get into her seat. She was also pretty fat and spilled into my seat, which, I know, is more of a problem with the seating at the Verizon Center than her weight, but combined with the soda, it seemed very symbolic. Also, she was looking at Facebook on her phone, like, the entire time, which made me feel old and cranky.

  • Really, the concert-going population in general. So many middle-aged women, either dressed frumpily or trying to be sexy to recapture their youthful selves and/or impress Simon LeBon, but in both cases kind of sad. I mean, I’m sure most of these women have happier and more fulfilling lives than I do, but fuck, I can’t deal with the fact that they were once young and stylish and hot and now they’re…this. It’s weird, because I should probably feel that way about Duran Duran itself, but since I actually haven’t watched many of their music videos or seen that many photos of them in the 80s, I don’t have a visual concept for Duran Duran: The Romantic Ideal so much as an aural one, and their sound remains pretty good, so.
  • That said, the acoustics were such that it could be hard to discern between Simon Le Bon’s voice, the backup singers’, and the crowd’s, and distinguishing lyrics was completely out of the question; they performed their cover of “White Lines,” which YES, but wow, the acoustic setup of the Verizon Center does not seem even close to ideal for rapping, even though that is presumably the venue big rap stars perform at when they come to DC.

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