Sunday, April 27, 2008

AP Test Hell

I'm going to be studying for/taking AP tests all of this week, next week, and half of the week after that. I'm taking 4 of them- US Government, Spanish, Physics B, and Calculus BC. I know, fun. I mean, who in the world would rather be hanging out at Coachella right now when you can try to memorize the amendments of the Constitution, right? So yeah, just a heads up, I'm probably not going to update much if at all in the next two weeks. Unless of course some sort of breaking news occurs, like if Brandon Flowers gets a new haircut or something. Hawww, just kidding just kidding. Wish me luck, I don't know if I can get through another excruciating, brain-frying AP exam marathon like last year.... eesh. At least this is the last.

Oh yeah, I've decided on a college. UC Berkeley. It's not so much that I love Berkeley- it's more that I just really didn't click with Oberlin or Macalester. I'm a little confuzzled now because my mind was so set on liberal arts schools, i know I'm veering in a completely different direction- the direction I had established in my head as WRONG up to less than a month ago. So I'm trying to reset my brain, let go of some previous feelings... the dumbest thing is that I didn't apply to a lot of schools specifically because they were big and career-oriented and blah blah... and that's pretty much exactly the kind of school Cal (Berkeley) is. But it is in a city area, it is well-known and whatnot, it has a variety of people so it's safe to say that if some people want to burn me at the stake for liking the Killers, at least it's not everyone. I mean, in the facebook group music section for Berkeley 2012 a lot of people mentioned The Killers, Muse, Arctic Monkeys... yay! Also there was rap, hip hop, and plenty of indie snobbery as well. A good mix, that's what I like. So I'm warming up to the whole thing. But I've pretty much decided for sure. I don't feel like I have but I have, haha.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New York Noise

I found this show through BuzzFeed, and it's pretty awesome if I may say so myself. It's not, well, overly pretentious as you might expect from a channel that exclusively covers indie rock.

This is how BuzzFeed describes it:

A NYC cable-access show featuring well-curated music videos picks up where MTV left off. Online episodes are now available. If you live in New York, you’ll find comfort in knowing that your precious tax dollars are going towards educating the masses about important life topics like indie rock bands and rediscovering irony. Anyone still unwilling to throw out those tattered VHS tapes of old episodes of 120 Minutes will surely appreciate this show.

There are only three full episodes up right now, but they have only just started putting them online HERE.

And the official website has a schedule of the shows and featured artists- who include Klaxons, Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer, etc.

They play music videos, interviews with bands, and so far my favorite feature- commentary by bands on other bands' music videos. It's like a sort-of-not-really resurrection of Beavis and Butthead!

Add this onto the growing list of shows I have to watch online because my vicinity over here does not have cool state shows like this, nor does American cable in general have too many worthwhile shows.

Also, this is so easy to do. Why can't MTV do this? Just make some freaking music shows. Goddamn, MTV. Goddamn.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

R.I.P Pornstache

It's true... Brandon Flowers has shaved his mustache after two whole years of letting it cover that pretty face of his. I must say, I'm s bit ecstatic. How pathetic that this sort of thing can make my day? Damn pathetic... But whatever! I had nothing against the 'stache, it was nice while it lasted... but bring on the changes, I'm up for anything. People are saying this and it's so true: when BFlo first grew the mustache, there was this whole uproar over it with little teeny boppers complaining about it and critics saying he was trying to be taken seriously. But he refused to shave it off, and left it on for two fucking years... then, seemingly right at the moment that people got used to the look and no longer minded, he went and shaved it off. This is why I love him!

Go HERE for a lovely and sentimental ride through the mustachioed Bflo days, courtesy of those crazies over at caps_thekillers.

Here's a hilarious interview with NME (Dave is druuunk) after yesterday's American NME Awards here in Los Angeles, where the Killers won Best Band and Best Track for "Tranquilize" with Lou Reed. This was also where Brandon debuted his new look, which by the way makes him look about 10 years younger. And gives me some serious "Hot Fuss" days déjà vu:

And here they are accepting the awards:

^ Ronnie is so awesome. I love that he makes everyone stand up for his wife. And then he effectively kills time because the producers ask him to.

HAHA I love that Brandon just straight out says "I'm going to be sincere unlike everybody else." To his defense, I watched the live stream and people were truly being douches, just going on stage, slurring a half-hearted "thanks," and leaving. Dude, this was voted for by your fans! But still, gotta love Brandon just undermining every single person at a room in a single sentence. Aaah- with anyone else I would probably scoff, but this guy can never do wrong in my eyes. Especially when he looks all shy and nervous on stage like that!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Final Verdict? More Confusion!

So I am not dead, I did actually visit the two schools... Here is what I got out of the whole ordeal:


This was the first college my mom and I visited. We flew to Cleveland, Ohio on Friday. In the airport there, they have a church. Like, in one of the rooms in the main terminal. That was sort of weird but it is the Midwest after all. Another observation- a lot of people dye their hair blonde there. For some reason it was much more noticeable than here in Los Angeles... I think that's because even lots of the older women have platinum blonde hair. But anyway- onto more important business. Oberlin!

We slept overnight at the Holiday Inn, and then got a ride from the hotel to Oberlin College early in the morning. It was cold but not too much, and the sky was overcast. Definitely a different environment than I'm used to- all the houses on the way were sort of gloomy and had these really tall, steep roofs, apparently to keep the snow from piling on. Also, each house had an identically sized shed outside, my mom said in order to keep stuff in there over winter. These are all assumptions, of course. My mom and I "approved" of the houses, especially the fact that each one had a huge expanse of land all around and (leafless) trees. Our driver was this grumpy old man and the funniest thing was that my mom sort of accidentally gave him a $20 tip for driving us for 15 minutes... hahaha... he sure wasn't grumpy after that. But anyway.

We ate the "continental breakfast" with other admitted students- it was whole wheat bagels and fruit. They said 65% was locally grown or something but I don't know how that makes sense. Oh well. We sat next to a kid from Maryland who stayed in a dorm the night before and who was really nice- he was deciding between U. of Maryland and Oberlin so he's in a similar predicament as I am. It's funny because the week before the trip, I kept saying that I wasn't nervous about visiting colleges because I was now the one to judge them and I didn't need to worry about being so proper myself. But of course the moment I got there, that all changed. Suddenly I felt all self-conscious next to the admitted kids, the current students, even the admissions people who I have no need to impress anymore! Gah. But I was still very judgmental of my surroundings and observed everything, as I promised. This girl soon joined our table- apparently she had met the Maryland boy the night before. She was... man, I don't want to get too picky, but I can't help it. She was exactly the type of person I feared I would encounter at Oberlin. She had the "cooler than thou" attitude down pat, she had this crazy curly hair with blonde tips and a scarf head band on. She mentioned at least twice that she stayed up until 3 am the night before, talking with her roommates. Like, a really deep conversation, you know? I don't mean to demean anyone and once again, this is just me looking after my own ass because people like that make me feel intimidated and uncomfortable, and I can see through them but yet I'm still intimidated.

Well, I saw a lot of people like that throughout the day at Oberlin. This is one of my biggest worries about the school. It's just that the great majority dress hipster-y, and the great majority are just so cool. And they don't even dress in a similar hipster style. They're all very consciously different- you can tell they're trying to be- yet they blend together and look the same after a while. This probably makes no sense... the school was gorgeous, but almost too much. I think this is because it wasn't really a classic college pretty- it's more of a quirky cool look. The library is very colorful and edgy. I came out feeling like I will become a spoiled brat if I attend this school. Everything seems to be handed on a silver platter to the students. And there's nothing wrong with that- I'm sure most liberal arts colleges are this way- but the mixture of that and the students who are so cool and environmentally conscious and sort of stuck up looking and the quirky decoration... the whole deal tended to feel kind of phony. I'm used to working for what I need at a huge public school, so this will be a different experience to say the least. I think I'm better when I work to achieve something, and I just can't imagine sitting at the cool cafe in the library, with the big (and of course cool) display of news magazines and couches all around, reading about the news to learn. This barely makes sense even to me but I think it would all feel so phony. But I don't know. I'm very confused about it all. the school was great and beautiful and the kids seemed interesting, but I don't think it clicked... yet there are so many opportunities there, and I just found a hefty scholarship in the acceptance envelope so that does not hurt one bit either... what am I to do? Gahhhh.

The area is not wonderful either- it's basically the middle of nowhere. I've had several road trips to places like Las Vegas and San Francisco, and the main town aside from Oberlin was identical to the weird highway/truck stops where all the Denny's and Motel 6's are. I wouldn't mind one bit if there was just forest around, but it wasn't like that- it was all a bunch of pavement and street and motels. Not my style at all- a bit depressing, to be honest. When I said I didn't mind living in the middle of nowhere, I meant a woodsy area- definitely not this. Cleveland isn't great either, so there is really not much to do outside of the school. But I do want snow and snows quite a bit there. The food was great, the facilities were flawless, there were some nice people we met.

We'll see what happens, I guess. It's down to Oberlin and Berkeley for me because I've basically dropped Macalester for now after visiting. It was nice but I think Minnesota might be just a bit above my cold threshold, and the students were reeeally nice and the boys were very cute and my-type-ish (the girls, on the other hand... damn, they have clearly let go of themselves. All wearing fleece. Polar opposite of Oberlin). The library was butt ugly- worse than the one in my local community college. The whole college wasn't very impressive indoors, and that is most important because I'm sure that's where I'll spend most of my time during snow storms. Also I talked to this girl who it turned out felt like the school didn't have a community feeling- the international kids generally kept to themselves (the international factor is what mostly attracted me to the school) and I guess she just couldn't really find herself. And she was form NYC, so she can't be so different from me. I don't know, I just sort of lost enthusiasm for the school after the visit and it has gotten buried on its own accord in my mind... thank god I visited.

So we'll see what happens... I have, oh god, 11 days to decide! Wow, this sucks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm Off To Minnesota and Ohio

This is going to be one helluva hectic weekend.

Friday- fly to Ohio at 1 pm, stop at Phoenix Arizona. Arrive at Cleveland, ohio at 11 pm (don't freak, it's different time zones. It's still a lot though). Drive to Holiday Inn in some random middle-of-nowhere place 30 minutes away.

Saturday- go to Oberlin in the morning. Eat "continental breakfast" there, then take a tour, then listen to an info session (this is all with other accepted students). Then I'll walk around with my mom and study every inch of the place and stare at every student to insure, you know... stuff. About them. Yeah. I must make sure that they're not too artsy indie snobby, if you know what I mean, because I've been getting that sort of vibe off the class of 2012 facebook group and, I'm sorry but- I'm not going to have any of that. A little indie snobbery is okay, I guess, but I'm not cool with every single person in a school listing the Decembrists, Jose Gonzalez, and Panda Bear as their favorite bands. I mean, seriously, everyone? That's just not fucking cool, or normal for that matter. I'm really only looking out for myself here- I don't want to be burned at the stake for loving the Killers. But I digress... later we'll walk around the quaint little town of Oberlin, Ohio. We're staying there the whole damn day, which was not my plan exactly but that's how my mom got the tickets so what can I do. Then sleep at Holiday Inn again, and then wake up at the middle of the fucking night and drive to the airport again, to get whisked away to St. Paul, Minnesota, probably stopping for no good reason somewhere in the middle because that's what happens when you get the cheapest tickets possible.

Sunday- arrive at St. Paul. Probably get some breakfast somewhere in the city- supposedly it is a very "hip" city- we'll see about that. Oh yeah, it will be cold as fuck. Rain, sleet, the whole deal. It's really hot here- tomorrow it's 90 degrees. Minnesota- 30 degrees. Just 60 degree difference, no biggie! It's not like environmentalists freak out over two degree differences or anything! Anyways, then we'll visit the Macalester campus. Unfortch there will be no tours or anything- I'm hoping that at least the cafeteria is open because food is very important for me and I must try out the foods at each school. (So far in the past: Princeton: eh. Cornell: yummm. Stanford: well, they have Subway so not bad. Vassar: not so much... Berkeley: lol everything was organic and healthy at the snack store, but what do you expect...). ANYWAYS. So I'll walk around and get as much as I can out of a campus on a Sunday with no classes and probably not too many students (outside in the ccooollllddd). Then we'll leave and explore Minneapolis/St. Paul a bit more. Then we'll leave around I think 3-ish pm, to the airport, back to LA (of course, stopping at Phoenix on the way). We'll arrive at 11 pm and somehow I'll have to finish my homework at the middle of the night.

Do you see how this will be hectic now? two states (actually more- PHOENIX) in one weekend.Oy vey. Oh well, I'm actually pretty excited. I think I really like visiting new places like this- especially now that I have read so much about them. I'll be back after the weekend with all the deets. 'Til then, ciao...!

Oberlin pictures

Macalester pictures

Monday, April 7, 2008

Stuff ___ People Like

These blogs are so awesome. They are also all written in the same cynical/sarcastic style, as if by the same person, which is impossible unless someone has a lot of time on their hands AND they happen to be an unlikely combination of many different things... but anyway:

The original: Stuff White People Like (inlcudes: coffee)

Stuff Asian People Like (includes: false humility) (possibly the funniest)

Stuff Nobody Likes (includes: anal leakage)

Stuff Queer People Like
(includes: all having the same hair cut)

Stuff Indian (Desi) People Like (includes: staring)

Stuff Jewish People Like (includes: all you can eat buffets)

Stuff College People Like (includes: air fresheners)

I love these so much, especially the self-deprecating humor in the commentary.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ideal Musical Collaboration: BFlow + Kanye

I was just listening to this Chris Martin (Coldplay)/Kanye West collaboration, "Homecoming."... it's, eh. Nothing special. I used to listen nonstop to Coldplay and I still like their older music (I just cooled off a bit when X & Y came out). But I don't think Chris works so well on this song. It's like he needs to change his voice a bit to fit it, because his voice is perfect for Coldplay songs but it feels very out of place in this song.

Anyway, while listening, I thought of how Kanye would probably kill to collaborate with Brandon Flowers (of the Killers, duh). No that's not just me making shit up- he has mentioned in plenty of interviews that the Killers are one of his favorite bands, and for a while last year he would not stop gushing about them.

Now, this is what the BFlow/Kanye relation has been these past couple years as far as I know:

-The first time I read anything involving the two, it was in a Killers interview with I believe Spin magazine around the Hot Fuss era. The whole band was asked to comment on people and events in pop culture at the time and one of the people was Kanye West. Brandon naturally said whatever came to his mind without censorship (that was before he started biting his tongue. Ah- the golden age of bitchery). He said, to quote him:

He makes me ill. I wanted to love him so much when he first came out. He has this sweet voice, and there's a cuteness to it. And then you see him in interviews and he's like a lion. It just ruined the whole package for me.

So no lovey doviness whatsoever thus far...

-Then Kanye discovered the Killers around the time he was making his new album (I'm guessing that's partly why there's so much synth in his songs now) and slobbered all over them in interviews for a while. He said they had "bigger hooks" than TV on the Radio (indie snobs around the world collectively gasped)

-then it was reported by one of those trashy "star sighting" websites like The Sun or something that Kanye and the Killers were seen partying together at a club with their own table and debauchery and the whole deal. Oh really, now?

-Finally, in another interview with the Killers a little bit later, Brandon was asked about Kanye after the interviewer mentioned how Kanye seemed to be a fan and Brandon said something along the lines of "he's great" in a gushy sort of way. Oh really???

So that was the transformation from icy feelings to a whole love fest between Kanye West and the Killers. And, naturally, this must culminate with a collaboration! The idea actually makes me really excited- I'm sure it would turn out excellent. For some reason I just have the feeling that Brandon's voice would work very well with Kanye's. Notice I'm not saying Kanye should appear on a Killers album, but the opposite. Brandon should feature on one of Kanye's songs, like this Chris Martin deal. I think Brandon would be a million times better.

Friday, April 4, 2008

No Handlebars

My friend told me about this song a couple days ago at school- supposedly it has been highly requested on KROQ and other radio stations this past week. It's not what I expected at all, I actually like it... Which is surprising because it's done in a rap style that's a teensy bit reminiscent of Linkin Park. But I don't like Linkin Park so not exactly... maybe more like Eminem. Anyway the real compelling thing about this song is the lyrics. It starts with "I can ride my bike with no handlebars" and then escalates to way darker subjects. Pretty powerful stuff. My friend said the radio DJ hates it because it's too "obvious" and shoves the message down your throat, but I don't think so, I think it's just the way it should be.

So here's the music video for "Handlebars" by Flobots:

I'm not sure what exactly the message is. I thought it was about how the US is show-offy and thinks it's the center of everything. My friend says it's about how we started out so simple and things have become overly complicated, and that it's also a big negative statement on the Iraq war. Who knows, probably a lot can be made out of it.

Is this the next "Hey There Delilah" phenomenon? I think so... I give it about two months until it gets so overplayed that I want to murder it, ha ha.

Last Envelopes Have Come In...

Wesleyan: waitlisted (that's five wait lists in all :/)

Yale: rejected (surprise, surprise. I'm actually glad I at least didn't get waitlisted haha)

So, that's all of the colleges. I got into all the UC's but only three out of 9 privates, one of which was a safety. And then all the privates I didn't get into except for Yale were waitlists. So now it's between Berkeley, Macalester, and Oberlin. I'm not really counting on the waitlist schools- I just have a feeling like that's not going to go anywhere. I think I'll try to visit Macalester (Minnesota) and Oberlin (Ohio) because they're in such random places that I don't want to decide on them and then get a total surprise when I arrive. I'm still a little bitter about Vassar, but oh well. Things happen for a reason. And I was stupid not to appreciate the schools I did get into. I have no idea how I'm going to decide in less than a month. I'll keep updating about my progress but right now I'm trying not to even think about college stuff.