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1. We’re not dead yet!

2. Be kinder. But on the other hand, people who think climate change is fake are responsible for the continued destruction of our one and only goddamn beautiful planet Earth. So what can we really do?

3. Sparkles!

4. Politics is war.

5. Let’s all remember that one time in 2012 when Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) tweeted @ me about my dad being a fan COS WE ALL NEED SOME GOOD MEMORIES IN THIS DAY AND AGE

(shout out to Walmart’s wall of fake flowers and that black coat that kept me warm for several winters)

6. I see your 24-hour cold brew coffee and raise you my half-full of cold coffee french press which has been left abandoned on my desk for a week. Take that, hipster scum!

7. Grow a garden. Plant trees. Sunshine.

8. Read something by Alan Watts (or Carl Sagan or anyone)

9. Podcasts are great. Podcasts are radio? Who wants to make a podcast with me?! Does EVERYONE have a podcast?? Does the world NEED more podcasts??

10. We can win.

 

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You think about him on the drive home between the spurts of howling along with Father John Misty; “chateau lobby,” you croon together. You need to get out more, that’s probably all it is. Seven minute conversations seem so much more important and meaningful than they are when you haven’t had a conversation of any amount of minutes in months. Are your headlights actually on? You’re not really sure, driving your mom’s expensive car with both hands clutching the steering wheel like it’s a driver’s training session. You can see well enough anyway, and you can’t risk removing a hand to fiddle with the strange knobs sticking out from behind the wheel.

“You took off early to go cheat your way through film school!”

Misty’s singing the same song over and over because you just bought it on iTunes and are still in that particular phase of new-song-listening. By the 30th time you’ve pretty much got the lyrics down.

It doesn’t feel like anything, particularly. His blue eyes or green or whatever are far north now and you’re not trying to chase them down. But it is sad in a way, like the grocery bag boy, forgotten about a few hours later after a brief rush of love. There is a person there. You can be apathetic all you want, but it’s still true.

It’s Monday, and it’s summer, and it’s really freaking hot. Which reminds me of last summer, and this really cool band I saw that was the opener for another act in Detroit in a tiny, packed basement show. Usually you want openers to get off the stage as soon as possible, to get to the actual reason you’re in a tiny, sweltering, basement in the first place. But, sometimes, rarely, they’re so good you don’t mind their presence that much. That’s what happened when this crazy/cool/weird group took the stage, called

Youth Lagoon

With their music they put all of us in that basement in a weird and wonderful swaying trance-like state. It was pretty magical. For being in a trance, I guess.

Follow Youth Lagoon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/youthlagoon

Check out their weird music for yourself and put some on your ipod here.

Oh, did I mention the lead singer has a dylan-fro? Yeah.

So, remember that one time I wrote about how I never do things alone and that doing things on your own can seem strange, difficult – maybe even impossible? Stuff like going to the movies alone, or out to eat at a restaurant all by yourself?

Being the sort of person who always has other people with me when I go do things, the thought of being alone with myself in public, like, doing things, was a scary thought.

Then, I did it. Twice. No, three times. Well, actually – four times.

This summer, I went to four concerts by myself. Well, that’s an outright lie – once I took a friend along to help me sell “merchandise” (wow, that looks sketchy! I swear, it was T-shirts and CDs – nothing illegal!). Then – the next night – I went to the same concert in a different city (this time actually alone) and sold “merch”, again. But, here’s the reason I don’t really count this experience as being “alone” – because I had done it before, and was, technically, meeting someone there  – the guy I was going to sell stuff for. I had an agenda. I wasn’t really going alone.

It all happened about a month later, in late July. Twice.

So, remember that one time I wrote about Father John Misty? Yeah, me too! Well, that musical discovery led me to the additional discovery that Father John himself was going to perform a show in Michigan. My hometown! (state. My homestate?) I had to go!

Only – none of my friends liked Father John Misty! None of my friends really knew about Father John Misty. Same went for my family. No one cared! No one wanted to go to Pontiac, Mi with me! Nooooo!

So, I decided not to care about whether someone else could go. I could go! So, I would! And, so, I did.

Going to a concert alone was basically everything I expected it to be. As I considered myself a concert pro after attending two-in-one-weekend a month earlier, I knew some moments could get awkward. Oh, and they did! Think: standing in the middle of a room surrounded by groups of friends, staring blank-faced towards the stage, waiting almost two hours for the show to start. I stood. I stared. I swayed (not to any music, just from foot-weariness). I was most definitely alone. I did, however, find a companion in the crowd who was there with her parents (so, kind of alone), and we struck up a conversation. See, this is how it’s done! Being alone! You meet people! It’s great!

Father John Misty was just fantastic. A true musician and performer. He danced! He played the tambourine! He danced while playing the tambourine.

The Man Misty

He was beautiful, and tall, and his voice was beautiful, and the band was beautiful, and the music, too, was beautiful. I stood, and stared, and swayed (this time to the music!). The crowd was really into it. I was alone, but it didn’t matter.

After his set, the headlining band came out to play. Youth Lagoon. I had never heard of them. Neither had my new there-with-her-parents friend.

They took a long time to get set up. I thought about leaving. FJM was done, and I was alone standing with groups of friends again – should I just go home?

No, I decided. I would stay. It had already been awkward. I had already stood there alone for 4 hours. Bring it, clock. I was waiting for Youth Lagoon, gosh dang it. Whoever they were.

Thirty minutes later, a short, skinny, bushy-haired boy came out from backstage and sat down at the newly-placed piano. He looked sort of like young Bob Dylan. He sang sort of like young Bob Dylan. He was freaking good. It was freaking weird music. It was freaking fantastic. I was freaking alone and it didn’t matter.

It didn’t matter because that music made us all into a single-brained creature. It was like jamming in a garage with a guy with a guitar. He sang, and rocked out on his piano for long periods of time. He just played.

We swayed. There was head bobbing. Everything became that boy on his piano. There wasn’t a crowd. There weren’t people. There was loud, strange, flowing music. I wasn’t alone; I was no longer there.

The next night, I did it again – went to a concert alone. A different concert, this time. I went to Detroit, Mi (to the coolest concert venue ever, Saint Andrew’s) to see this kid named George “Watsky“. He’s from Youtube. He’s a poet/rapper/awesome person.

Watsky!

His show was so different from the Father John Misty show. First off, the crowd was totally different. At FJM and Youth Lagoon’s show, there were young, hippy sort of kids. Clean cut, pop-drinkers. At George’s show – more young kids. Younger, I think. A lot more males. A lot more baseball caps on backward. A lot more head-bopping and fist-waving. It was cool, though. If a little crowded (we were in the basement!). Also, there was a minute there when I thought I was going to die. (No biggie.) Can you say, everybody in this already-sardine-can of a room rush to the front of the stage as fast as possible? Me, I clung onto a ceiling-support beam and allowed the mass of people to surge by.

It’s really hard to feel alone when there is a human stampede happening all around you.

While these alone-adventures were scary, they were also really rewarding. I felt proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone, and for proving to myself that I really didn’t need other people to go out into the world and do and see cool things.

More and more, I’m realizing that doing things you are afraid of moves you closer and closer to the person you dream of becoming.

So, who do you want to be? Are you good at being alone?

It’s Monday! A late Monday… but, still Monday.

“Monday” is sort of a bad word, isn’t it? Ugh, it’s Monday.

So, to help with the international Monday blues, I thought up

Good Music Monday

This catchy title has been bobbing around in my head for awhile, and on this lovely Monday night, I thought I’d add in a little good music. Oh, and I’m also going to use this opportunity to study up on my roman numerals.

So, without further ado…

Father John Misty

I found this guy mostly on accident. I’ve been a big fan of Dallas Clayton and his Poetry for a while now, and from him I stumbled on to Alexi Wasser and imboycrazy.com, a website which happened to feature a music video by the guy whose name is up there above, big and bold; I hope you didn’t miss  that.

His actual real name is Josh Tillman, who apparently was a member of the band Fleet Foxes before he began is FJM gig. I’d heard of Fleet Foxes before, but I had never listened to their music until I “discovered” Father John Misty. I was surprised to find that I didn’t like the music of the Fleet Foxes. It just wasn’t my style. Good thing Josh left the band (or whatever – I didn’t Google it), because Father John Misty, is, well, beautiful.

Aside from the fact that every time I say, “I’m listening to Father John Misty”, it sounds like I’m at a church service. Freaky. Man, I can dig it.

Ok, here, listen.

If you’ve got a spare 45 minutes, Father John Misty’s new album “fear fun” is avails to listen to entirely here via YouTube.

If not, here’s the song that got me hooked.

I think Father John Misty is a very interesting creature. His song “I’m Writing A Novel” makes me want to dance, “Everyman Needs a Companion” makes me curl into a ball and cuddle my Ipod, while with “Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2”, I enjoy screaming along to “Gonna take my life back one day” as I drive to work at 5AM.

You can get some Misty for yourself here.

Go forth, and enjoy your Good Music Monday.

The man can howl.