The Sandwiches Are Wicked And They Know You At The Mac Store: The Discography Of Amanda Palmer

amandapalmer

Amanda Palmer is one of my personal heroes. I discovered her a few years ago completely by accident when her song Astronaut popped up in Spotify, and I fell for her instantly. Her piano-banging, open and honest and not-giving-a-fuck style of lyric writing and living in general, she’s been a real inspiration to me as a musician, an author, and a person, and a lot of time it’s been her music that inspired me to keep writing. Her discography is pretty scattered, as her relationship with record companies has always been difficult, and she has jumped from project to project, meaning that she has technically been in four bands and performed as a solo artist as well, but it all began with the Dresden Dolls in 2003. This is not really a compendium of B-Sides and rarities, more a guideline of what albums and singles she’s released, so that anyone looking to get into her music will have an idea of where to start. It should also be noted that almost everything on this entire list is available completely for free on her official website and her Bandcamp page, where it’s almost entirely “pay what you want,” meaning you can choose to have it for free or support her as an artist, a sales model I really love and support. When I first discovered her I had no money, so I took her up on the offer and downloaded the albums all for free, but later when I had the means I threw her a bit of money when buying an album to support her art. This incidentally is really the way I plan to release my music, if I can ever get an album put together (although as a side note, I finally finished compiling my demo album and put it up on Bandcamp, a decision largely inspired by Amanda). So let’s dive right in, shall we?

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls

Amanda began her career as one-half of the Dresden Dolls, playing piano and singing while her partner Brian Viglione provided drums, guitar, and the occasional backup vocal. They invented a genre they call “Punk Cabaret,” which is essentially where all of the Panic! at the Disco / Moulin Rouge / The Killers / New Orleans whorehouse / circus freak aesthetic you’ve seen in a million bands since the mid-2000’s came from. It’s not like they’re to first people to ever dress like mimes and have circus acts at their shows, but they should really be credited with having a huge part in the movement of that aesthetic in popular music. In total they released four albums in their career, the first of which was a live album that served as a kind of teaser for the their debut album, and the third of which consisted entirely of B-Sides and cut material from the second album. Later on Amanda released a digital version of a their live album on Bandcamp. They also released a self-titled EP, but as far as I know the only track to ever surface online is the demo version of Girl Anachronism, which they included on their “Live and Unreleased” downloads page on their website, consisting almost entirely of live recordings by fans, and featuring several guest performers, including The Ambitious Orchestra and Ryan Ross of Panic! at the Disco. The downloads page is still active, and all of the songs are still available for download, though they’re not greatly formatted, so I’m going to include my compilation “Live And Unreleased” as I have it in my music library with suggestions on how to organize the tracks.

A very important thing to know if you’re interested in purchasing Amanda’s music is that she purportedly gets paid NOTHING by the album company if you purchase the albums on iTunes, Amazon, or any place other than her official website or on her Bandcamp page, which includes all of her albums, including those in which she’s involved with a band. So, if you want to support her by buying the music, do so on her Bandcamp page, because if you purchase the albums on iTunes or Amazon, all of that money just goes to a record company that doesn’t even support her music anymore, so you’re literally throwing money away. Even if you paid full-price for all of her music on iTunes, you wouldn’t be supporting her art in any way. In summation, buy the music from her Bandcamp page, or download it all for free from there.

Dresden Dolls EP

The Dresden Dolls [EP]
Released: 2001

1. Half Jack
2.  Girl Anachronism
3. The Perfect Fit
4. Colorblind
5.  Good Day

Notes: All of these songs are demo versions. As far as I know the only demo ever to be released online is the Girl Anachronism demo, available on the Dresden Dolls’ downloads archive on their official website.

Original Cover

Original Album Cover

A Is For Accident
Release Date: May 27, 2003 (Original Release)
October 20, 2009 (Bandcamp Re-Release)

1. Missed Me (Live Demo)
2. Coin-Operated Boy (Live At TT’s)
3. The Time Has Come (Live At The Milky Way)
4. Mrs. O (Live At Luxx)
5. Christopher Lydon (Live At Sanders Theater)
6. Glass Slipper (Live At TT’s)
7. Thirty Whacks (Live On WBRS)
8. Bank Of Boston Beauty Queen (Live On WMBR)
9. Will (Album Outtake – B.C. Studio)
10. Truce (Live Demo)

2009 Bandcamp Re-Release Bonus Tracks

11. Stand By Your Man (Live At The Lizard Lounge)
12. A Night At The Roses (B-Side From the Good Day 7″ Single)

Bandcamp Album Cover

Bandcamp Album Cover

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls
Release Date: September 26, 2003

1. Good Day
2. Girl Anachronism
3. Missed Me
4. Half Jack
5. 672
6. Coin-Operated Boy
7. Gravity
8. Bad Habit
9. The Perfect Fit
10. The Jeep Song
11. Slide
12. Truce

Physical album cover

Physical album cover

Yes, Virginia…
Release Date: April 14, 2006

1. Sex Changes
2. Backstabber
3. Modern Moonlight
4. My Alcoholic Friends
5. Delilah
6. Dirty Business
7. First Orgasm
8. Mrs. O
9. Shores of California
10. Necessary Evil
11. Mandy Goes To Med School
12. Me & The Minibar
13. Two-Headed Boy
14. Sing

Notes: Track 13, Two-Headed Boy, is a cover of a Neutral Milk Hotel song. It isn’t available on physical editions on the album, and appears as track 13 on the Bandcamp release, as well a bonus track 14 on the iTunes release. Pretty In Pink is a cover of a song by The Psychedelic Furs. Also, there is an advance version of Yes, Virginia… that contains an earlier version of Sing in which the first line is “There is this thing that’s like fucking except you don’t fuck,” as opposed to the line on the final version, “There is this thing that’s like touching except you don’t touch.”

Digital album cover

Digital album cover

Standard edition/physical album cover

Standard edition / physical album cover

No, Virginia…
Release Date:  May 20, 2008

1. Deary Jenny
2. Night Reconnaissance
3. The Mouse And The Model
4. Ultima Esperanza
5. The Gardener
6. Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner
7. Sorry Bunch
8. Pretty In Pink
9. The Kill
10. The Sheep Song
11. Boston

Special Edition Bonus Tracks
12. Glass Slipper (Live In St. Louis)
12. A Night At The Roses
13. I Would For You

Notes: I Would For You is a Jane’s Addiction cover, and the version of Night At The Roses included here is exactly the same recording from A is for Accident, which incidentally is featured as track 12 on the Bandcamp version of the album. Also, The Gardener, The Kill, and Boston are all purported to be Yes, Virginia… B-Sides, and I don’t deny that, I just can’t find the singles or material they were B-Sides on)

Special Edition Album Cover

Special Edition Album Cover

Dresden Dolls

Live And Unreleased
The following is a compilation of all the available tracks from the Dresden Dolls’ official downloads page, in the order they were released. I’ve titled them with where they were recorded, though the downloads page includes more specific informtation about the exact dates, venues, guest appearances and who recorded the audio.

1. Girl Anachronism (Live in Portland, OR)
2. Bad Habit (Live in Munich, Germany)
3. Two Headed Boy (Live in Cambridge, MA)
4. Gravity (Live in Munich, Germany)
5. Add It Up (Live in Boston, MA)
6. Backstabber (Live in Munich, Germany)
7. Mandy Goes To Med Shcool (Live in Brussels, Belgium)
8. Sorry Bunch (Live in New York, NY)
9. One (Live in New York, NY)
10. Half Jack (Live in Providence, RI)
11. Dance Me To The End of Love (Live in Boston, MA)
12. Modern Moonlight (Live in Knoxville, TN)
13. The Ghost In You (Live in Cambridge, MA)
14. Seven Nation Death Squad (Live in Boston, MA)
15. A Night at the Roses (Live in Boston, MA)
16. Blueprint (Live in Brooklyn, NY)
17. Life On Mars (Live in San Francisco, CA)
18. The Kill (Live in Boston, MA)
19. Colorblind (Live in Waltham, MA)
20. Ultima Esperanza (Live in Washington, DC)
21. Mother (Live in Portland, OR)
22. Cosmic Dancer (Live in Vienna, Austria)
23. Will (Live in Edinburgh, Scotland)
24. Umbrella (Live in Edinburgh, Scotland)
25. Girl Anachronism (Demo)
26. The Sheep Song (Live in Boston, MA)
27. God Damn the Sun (Live in Cambridge, MA)
28. Hate (Live in Boston, MA)
29. Karma Police (Live in San Diego, CA)
30. Science Fiction Double Feature (Live in Providence, RI)
31. Sing (Live in Munich, Germany)
32. Rid Of Me (Live in Portland, ME)
33. Train (Live in Boston, MA)
34. Imagine (Live in Cleveland, OH)

Map of Tasmania

Amanda Palmer (As A Solo Artist)

Amanda went solo in 2008, co-producing her first album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, with musician Ben Folds, along with producing an art book with several writers, including Neil Gaiman, to whom she would later marry. She also took to referring to herself as Amanda Fucking Palmer, after having a falling out with her record company, who finally released her from her contract after fans protested them and she was allowed to release her music for free. She officially released two albums, as well as a lot of other EP’s and goodies.

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

Standard Album Cover

Who Killed Amanda Palmer
Released: September 16, 2008

1. Astronaut (A Short History Of Nearly Nothing)
2. Runs In The Family
3. Ampersand
4. Leeds United
5. Blake Says
6. Strength Through Music
7. Guitar Hero
8. Have To Drive
9. What’s The Use Of Wond’rin’?
10. Oasis
11. The Point Of It All
12. Another Year (A Short History Of Almost Something

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks

13. Straight (In The End)
14. Leeds United (Lounge Version)
15. Guitar Hero (Alternate Version)

Who Killed Amanda Palmer Deluxe

Special Edition Album Cover

Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Alternate Tracks]

Who Killed Amanda Palmer (Alternate Tracks)
Release Date: December 24, 2008

1. 1.1.94
2. The Point of It All
3. Night Reconnaissance
4. Runs in the Family
5. Blake Says
6. Strength Through Music
7. Guitar Hero (Note that this is NOT the alternate version on the Special Edition of Who Killed Amanda Palmer)
8. Boyfriend in a Coma
9. Oasis
10. You May Kiss The Bride
11. I Will Follow You into the Dark
12. Ampersand
13. Straight (with Strings)
14. Astronaut
15. Have to Drive

Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her

Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele
Released: July 20, 2010

1. Fake Plastic Trees
2. High And Dry
3. No Surprises
4. Idioteque
5. Creep (Hungover at Soundcheck in Berlin)
6. Exit Music (For A Film)
7. Creep (Live in Prague)

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
Release Date: January 21, 2011

1. Makin’ Whoopie
2. Australia
3. Vegemite (The Black Death)
4. Map of Tasmania (feat. The Young Punx)
5. In My Mind (feat. Brian Viglione)
6. Bad Wine and Lemon Cake (feat. The Jane Austen Argument)
7. New Zealand
8. On An Unknown Beach
9. We’re Happy Little Vegemites
10. Doctor Oz
11. Formidable Marinade (feat. Mikelangelo & Lance Horne)
12. The Ship Song

Singles

Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Neil Gaiman Reading]

Who Killed Amanda Palmer: Neil Gaiman Reading

1. Neil Gaiman Reading (feat. Zoë Keating & Lyndon Chester)

Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing

Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass

1. Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass

Ukulele Anthem

Ukulele Anthem

1. Ukulele Anthem

Yes, Virginia

AFP Reading: Yes, Virginia (A Letter To The New York Sun, 1898)
(released online with the 2011 Christmas merchandise sale)

1. AFP Reading: Yes, Virginia (A Letter To The New York Sun, 1898)

Behavior [feat. Mat Devine, Erica Iozzo, and Caroline]

Behavior [feat. Mat Devine, Erica Iozzo, and Caroline]

1. Behavior [feat. Mat Devine, Erica Iozzo, and Caroline]

Dear Daily Mail

Dear Daily Mail (Live) [Official Bootleg]

1. Dear Daily Mail (Live)

The Thing About Things

The Thing About Things (Live) [Official Bootleg]

1. The Thing About Things (Live)

Here Comes The Rain Again

Here Comes The Rain Again
(released only on Soundcloud)

1. Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics Cover)

Photo of Evelyn Evelyn

Evelyn Evelyn

In 2010, Amanda teamed up with fellow musician and friend Jason Webley to form an extremely weird band called Evelyn Evelyn, releasing one concept album in which the two play the characters of conjoined twin sisters, which they reported to be two real sisters who they had found and whose music they were attempting to promote to help spread their story. In the end, Evelyn Evelyn was actually just an act played by the two, but they kept the facade up on Amanda’s blog and during shows, in which they pretended to invite the sisters on stage and played songs in character after their respective individual shows. The album contains not only songs by the sisters but also three songs that consist of spoken dialogue and background music and sound effect detailing the twin sisters’ tragic lives. After the album and the tour, Evelyn Evelyn has never returned, although Amanda and Jason have played some of the songs on tour together and individually.

Bandcamp Album Cover, featuring artwork by Cynthia von Buhler

Bandcamp Album Cover, featuring artwork by Cynthia von Buhler

Evelyn Evelyn
Release Date: March 30, 2010

1. Evelyn Evelyn
2. A Campaign of Shock and Awe
3. The Tragic Events of September – Part I
4. Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?
5. Chicken Man
6. The Tragic Events – Part II
7. Sandy Fishnets
8. Elephant Elephant
9. You Only Want Me ‘Cause You Want My Sister
10. The Tragic Events – Part III
11. My Space
12. Love Will Tear Us Apart

iTunes Album Cover

iTunes Album Cover

8in8

Amanda Palmer as a member of 8in8

In 2011, Amanda was set to attend a conference to discuss the state of music, and she decided that it would be more fun to that with friends, so she contacted Ben Folds, Neil Gaiman and Damien Kulash (of the band OK Go), and Ben proposed that rather than just appearing together, why not lock themselves into a studio and attempt to write and record eight completely original new songs in eigh hours? They did just that, only it took them twelve hours and they only produced six songs, but the results were pretty impressive nonetheless.


8in8

Nighty Night
Release Date: April 26, 2011

1. Nikola Tesla
2. Because the Origami
3. One Tiny Thing
4. Twelve Line Song
5. I’ll Be My Mirror
6. The Problem With Saints

Current Bandcamp Artwork

Amanda-Palmer-The-Grand-Theft-Orchestra

Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra

I believe it was at some point in 2011 that Amanda joined forces with musicians Jherek Bischoff, Michael McQuilken, and Chad Raines to create The Grand Theft Orchestra, and used the website Kickstarter to fund the album. The project met with incredible success, and I can say personally that I’ve only ever seen one Amanda Palmer album in stores, and it was this one. Kickstarter backers got a lot of extra tracks on their copies, which until recently were pretty much unobtainable, but Amanda recently released a “complete discography” download for free on her website, which includes the Kickstarter version of the album, containing all eight bonus tracks.

 

Physical Album Cover

Physical Album Cover

Theatre Is Evil
Release Date: September 11, 2012

1. Meow Meow Introduces The Grand Theft Orchestra
2. Smile (Pictures or It Didn’t Happen)
3. The Killing Type
4. Do It With A Rockstar
5. Want It Back
6. Grown Man Cry
7. Trout Heart Replica
8. A Grand Theft Intermission
9. Lost
10 .Bottomfeeder
11. The Bed Song
12. Massachusetts Avenue
13. Melody Dean
14. Berlin
15. Olly Olly Oxen Free

Bandcamp Bonus Tracks

16. Denial Thing
17. The Living Room
18. Ukulele Anthem (New version, not the same as the earlier single)
19. From St. Kilda To Fitzroy

Kickstarter Bonus Tracks

20. Video Games (Lana Del Ray cover)
21. Provanity
22. Assistant
23. Not Mine

Kickstarter Album Cover

Kickstarter Album Cover

 

Polly

 

Polly

 

1. Polly (Nirvana cover)

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman

Amanda Palmer And Neil Gaiman

Amanda’s most recent foray has been a return to working as a solo artist, though she went on tour with her husband Neil Gaiman, performing something of a variety show that included music, readings, and question and answer segments from the audience. She released one album, and two live albums, the first of which consists of covers of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground songs, the second of which is included as a fourth disc on the final release of An Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer.

Lou Reed Surprises

Several Attempts To Cover Songs By The Velvet Underground & Lou Reed* For Neil Gaiman As His Birthday Approaches
Release Date: April 10, 2012

1. Attempt To Sing A Birthday Song / Lou Reed Misgivings
2. Satellite Of Love
3. Walk On The Wild Side
4. Another Birthday Song Attempt In Another Theater
5. I’m Waiting For The Moon
6. I’ll Be My Mirror
7. Vancouver Birthday Song Attempt
8. I’ll Be Your Mirror (feat. The Jane Austen Argument)
9. Sad Little Portland Birthday Song Attempt
10. Caroline Says II
11. Blake Says
12. I’m Sticking With You (feat. John Cameron Mitchell)
13. Perfect Day (Intro)
14. Perfect Day

An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer (3-Disc Edition)

An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer
Release Date: November 19, 2013

Disc 1

1. My Last Landlady
2. The Rhyme Maidens
3. The Day The Saucers Came
4. Feminine Endings
5. The Winter Gardens
6. In Relig Odhrain
7. The View From The Cheap Seats
8. I Will Write In Words Of Fire
9. The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury
10. Making A Chair
11. 100 Words

Disc 2

1. Margaret Cho introduces the Show
2. Makin’ Whoopee
3. (Introduction to The Problem with Saints)
4. The Problem with Saints
5. Jump (for Jeremy Geidt)
6. Ask Neil and Amanda
7. (Introduction to Broken Heart Stew)
8. Broken Heart Stew (by Amanda)
9. Poem for Amanda (by Neil)
10. Poem for Neil (by Amanda)
11. Electric Blanket (a duet, Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley)
12. Psycho
13. (Introduction to I Google You)
14. I Google You

Disc 3

1. I Want You, But I Don’t Need You
2. (Introduction to Dear Old House)
3. Dear Old House
4. (Introduction to Gaga, Palmer, Madonna; A Polemic)
5. Gaga, Palmer, Madonna; A Polemic
6. (Introduction to Judy Blume)
7. Judy Blume
8. I Don’t Care Much (with Lance Horne)
9. Map Of Tasmania
10. (Introduction to Do You Swear to Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass)
12. Do You Swear to Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass
13. (Introduction to I Will Follow You Into The Dark)
14. I Will Follow You Into The Dark (for Ashlie Gough)
15. Look Mummy, No Hands
16. Ukulele Anthem

Prelude To An Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda PalmerDisc 4
A Prelude To Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer

1. Intro
2. Ampersand
3. Runs in the Family
4. Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar
5. Blake Says
6. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
7. Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass
8. Zombies and Shy People
9. Drinking with John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
10. Making Mixtapes
11. Everyone Should Have a Hobby That Could Kill Them
12. It Was All Going So Well
13. On-Stage Dating Service

 

Amanda Palmer

Afterward

This is not a complete history of everything Amanda has ever done. On her band camp are some more releases: a collaboration with Kim Boekbinder, a collaboration with Murder By Death, a podcast of she and two friends discussing sexuality with an audience, and a really cool compilation called AFP’s Webcastacular NYC Extravaganza! that features songs from Kim Boekbinder, Bitter Ruin, and even a cover of Missed Me by Meow Meow and Lance Horne. Suffice it to say this is a compendium of mostly everything she has released as a solo artist and with bands that she was an active participant in. If you’ve never listened to Amanda, you should. If you’ve never heard her speak, you should listen to her TED Talk, or read about her life as a human statue, or her experience couch surfing in fans apartments while being on tour, or tweeting that she needs a ride to a show or that she’s welcoming any musicians who want to come and open for her. She’s a revolutionary: she embraces the idea that music and art are free for the taking,that if you like an artist, you should support them, and that decisions don’t have to be dictated by record companies whose main interest is in making money and not making art. She strips her clothes off on stage, she reveals her unshaven legs and armpits with pride, like everyone else she is sometimes terrifying and sometimes incredibly beautiful, and sometimes a little of both. She embraces her fans, she embraces the world around her, and she has been inspiring to me not just as an artist, but as a person. Carry on, Amanda.

2013: My Literary Journey

I look so ditzy in this picture.

I look so ditzy in this picture.

At the beginning of this year I made myself a list of goals. I failed most of them. However, one of them was to take the Goodreads reading challenge, which is a feature on the aforementioned website where you challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a year. I wasn’t sure what number I should go with, as even though I own a great amount of books, I’m kind of a slow reader. My initial pick was 30 books, but at the last minute (being minutes ago) I changed it to 20, and realized I had actually already reached my goal! Is it an empty victory because I kind of rigged the system to fit my needs? No, because I still read 20 books, and just like on virtual pet sites, reading books increases your intelligence. Usually.

And here are the books I read in the year 2013.

Novels

301082

Dead Until Dark
by Charlaine Harris

This was an easy read, and an absolutely ridiculous book. The author has kind of made it clear in interviews about the series that a large part of why she writes the books is money, and it really shows. A telepathic waitress falls in love with a Civil War veteran who also happens to be a vampire. She’s also being courted by a shapeshifter who stalks her as a dog. Good things about this book: it was cute, it was fantasy, and it was interesting. Bad things: the stereotypes were drawn with magic marker. There are two gay characters in the book: the first one we meet is a man infected with AIDS who is trying to infect a vampire with it and kill him. The second is a flamboyant drug dealer who sleeps with vampires and steals their blood. Both of these stereotypes (the AIDS-spreader and the drug-dealing slut) have been bad images that have been superimposed onto gay people for decades, and I find it extremely ironic that this woman has won some kind of award for gay rights because she includes gay characters in her books. Don’t get me wrong, there are gay villains in the world, but I don’t think you qualify as a gay rights activist if your gay characters are harmful stereotypes and your supposedly accepting protagonist basically says several times in the novel that she just overlooks the fact that the gay people she knows are gay, as opposed to actually being an accepting person.

In addition to this, the novel is a parody of everything southern, and unfortunately it seems to take itself totally seriously. The character development is lacking, as there are something like thirty characters in the book and apart from the main four or so, each gets about two lines of dialogue, and once Sookie and Bill sleep together, they never have another conversation for the rest of the novel, they just fuck on every other page. I find it very disturbing that Sookie reveals to Bill that she was molested by her uncle (oh look, more fun stereotypes), and Bill’s immediate reaction is to get all turned on and force himself on her, before leaving her asleep to go and murder her uncle. It’s just… really ridiculous. And I will finish my thoughts on the book thusly: Elvis Presley is a character in the book. The real, actual Elvis Presley. He is a vampire. I am not making this up. Moving on.

14935

Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen

Ah, now onto something a lot more classy. The first Jane Austen novel I read was Pride and Prejudice, and I was surprised by how hilarious I found it and how extremely enjoyable it was to read. I was expecting the same experience from this book and I got it to a lesser degree. The story was basically structured the same way as Pride and Prejudice: a woman meets a man who seems perfect, he turns into a complete jerk and breaks her heart, and then comes back to redeem himself, all while a wise elder sister wags her finger from the corner, before she herself falls madly in love with some charming devil herself. Well, it’s mostly the same thing here, but my issue is that the story is not as witty, the characters are not as funny or interesting, and the jerk who comes back to redeem himself actually proves himself to be even more of an asshole that we thought. For some reason, only the reader understands this, as the characters all forgive him his terrible behavior for no real reason. In the end, some marriages are thrown together for the sake of getting everybody married off and they all live “as happily as can be managed.”

Don’t get me wrong, this is actually a fantastic novel, it’s just not as good as I was hoping after having read Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen’s writing style is engaging and fast-paced, she doesn’t bother with minute details and entire months can pass in a paragraph; she gets on to the action and the dialogue and in every chapter there is a clear event that changed the characters or progresses their story in some way. Sense and Sensibility is a great novel, just maybe not the greatest Jane Austen novel. Still, I recommend it for someone interested in getting started with classic literature, although I might think Pride and Prejudice would be a much better starting point.

256683

City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare

And here we go. I was roped into reading The Mortal Instruments by people who worked with me at my old job. Let me simplify it: City of Bones is cute. It’s even interesting and entertaining. It is also completely unoriginal. Every single plot point is ripped from Final Fantasy and other video games, anime and manga, and other fantasy novels. It’s a hodge-podge of fairies, vampires, werewolves, and angels, thrown into a boiling pot. It made for an okay read, but I was very dissapointed by the lack of originality, and I saw every plot “twist” coming a mile away. It incorporates such overused favorites as: the best friend becomes a vampire, the brooding sexy guy is violent and abusive, the female protagonist is an idiot, and that old favorite, the villain is the protagonists father. Let’s also mention that there are cringe-worthy names like Lucian Greymark, the werewolf, Raphael the vampire (a direct rip in appearance and personality from Armand of Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles), and of course the evil demon-hunter amassing an army of nasty creatures to wipe out humanity Nazi-style: Valentine. It’s just… yeah.

1582996

City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare

And then I kept reading! Shame on me, I know, but by this point it has been revealed that the two main lovers are actually siblings, and now their passion has become the incestuous love that dare not speak it’s name. What bothers me isn’t that they’re siblings, it isn’t that they continue to make out after they learn that they’re siblings, it’s that the description of the back of the book describes Jace as Clary’s sexy newfound brother, and kind of says up front: “Oh yeah, you ready for some steamy sibling love?” It’s just… unusual. “Unforseen” plot “twists” in this edition: the bad guy is gathering not one, not two, but three instruments of great power to summon forth the armies of hell and take over Hyrule, I mean the world, the best friend vampire becomes a SPECIAL vampire that can go out in daylight, and yet oddly after months, his mother notices no change in him whatsoever, and the main character is a magical savant with like, seriously extreme UBER ANGEL POWERS you guys, and they come from her talent as an artist, because she’s like, really misunderstood and stuff, like for real. Oh, and did I mention there’s a gay warlock who literally shits glitter? Like, glitter actually flies off of him every time he blinks or gestures or walks across the room. It only gets more predictable from here, folks!

3777732

City of Glass
by Cassandra Clare

And here we go, the third installment! Will all of the loose ends be tied up? Will the girl finally fuck her brother/lover and get it over with? Will we hurry up and kill the Hitler/Voldemort-style fascist enslave-everyone-to-do-my-bidding bad guy and go whee whee whee all the way home? Well, yeah. Pretty much. We learn that the protagonist is in fact NOT related to the love interest, who was born into one family that was killed so adopted by another who was killed and raised by the villain and given the same name as his real son who he kept in a cave around the corner who actually DOES want to fuck his sister and who is supposedly “killed” but will CLEARLY be coming back. Confusing? It’s alright, don’t think about it too hard, no one else did. The bad guy summons the power of the Triforce Mortal Instruments to get his one wish granted, and in a “surprising” twist the protagonist gets there FIRST! and she of course wishes for the bastard to die and for her loverboy who he just killed to come back to life. Both happen. There’s a party, we dance we kiss we shmooze we carry on we go home happy, whaddya say? As far as I’m concerned the series ends here. It ties up nearly every loose end, and any continuation of the series from here is clearly a marketing campaign. Though it was riddled with trite cliches, these three books were actually alright reads, just don’t go looking for any serious fantasy or deep, thought-provoking writing.

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The Order of the Poison Oak
by Brent Hartinger

Here we go! The first winner of the bunch. Like it’s predecessor Geography Club, I read this book in one sitting, and it made me cry just like the first one did. The lovable gay protagonist of Geography Club goes to summer camp and of course meets a buncha hot boys he’s crazy for, but the first one turns out to be a total player and in the end he not only helps a group of kids who are burn survivors to regain their self-confidence but he actually falls in love with fellow camp counselor and they have nice happy fool-around time on the lake. It’s all very sweet, and I really, really enjoyed it.

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Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies & Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies
by Brent Hartinger

Unfortunately, though the second Russel Middlebrook installment was as great as the first, the third one totally nosedives into barely interesting. There are some standard gay teen lit moments: parents being cold, unfeeling homophobes, priests trying to turn gay kids straight, and a love triangle between the ex-boyfriend and the new boyfriend, but for the most part this book was just boring. I wasn’t moved, I was barely even interested. The romance between Russel and his new boyfriend just disappears, he has a dramatic moment with his ex that we don’t get an explanation for, and the book is divided into two stories: the filming of a low-budget zombie film and all the teen drama that entails from Russel’s point of view, and the same thing from his best friend Min’s point of view. After you read the climax of the story less than halfway through the book, you have to go right back through the exposition again from another character’s perspective and claw your way to the other side of the climax to see what really happened. I almost couldn’t get myself to finish it, it was that much of a let-down.

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Pendragon: The Rivers of Zadaa
by D.J. MacHale

I have really loved the Pendragon series since I read the first five installments as a teenager, and I was very interested to know what happens next. It seems to be the consensus that this book is less intense and more formulaic than the ones before it: the main character, a dimension-traveling hero arrives in a strange new world, undergoes the trials therein, uncovers a plot that will lead to the worlds destruction, has a Rocky-like training montage, and goes to save the world, all while tiny bits of the overarching storyline are peppered in. At the end of this book though, I just didn’t feel like I could handle waiting four more books and going through countless, ultimately pointless sidequests, just to figure out what the hell the real story is, and what’s underneath everything, so I spent about another hour or so just flipping through the remaining books in the series to see what the hell is really going on and how things end. For the record, it was a little dissapointing, but I doubt I’ll ever return to this series to read the fully fleshed-out versions of the final four installments.

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A Lion Among Men
by Gregory Maguire

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is one of my favorite books. It literally touches on every single aspect of what it is to be a living being: it covers sexuality, religion, politics, and the dirty underbelly of who people really are, all with a lot of really fun and witty wordplay. Well, after the success of the Wicked musical, Maguire returned to write a sequel called Son of a Witch, which, apart from having some legitimate gay romance, no matter how fleeting, was very lukewarm and felt like it was riding on the coattails of Wicked rather than continuing the story. I think the premise of writing sequels to Wicked almost ruins the point of the book itself, because it ends when the Witch dies. We know she’s going to die. We know the story of her life is a tragedy. There isn’t a happy ending tied up with a bow, there are huge existential questions and an ending that really makes you think. The sequels kind of ruin this atmosphere.

That being said, A Lion Among Men wasn’t bad. It’s centers around two characters: Brr, also known as the Cowardly Lion, and Yackle, an enigmatic figure from the original book who hovered around the edges of Elphaba’s life. I won’t give away the ending, but all of the parts about Yackle were very interesting and gave a broader view of the events in Wicked. As for Brr’s life, it was mostly his self-indulgent soul-searching travels across Oz (like Liir in Son of a Witch) and some kinky cat sex. It kind of sets up for a big finale in the final book, and yet it also kind of drops off right as soon as the action ends. An enigma of sorts, but interesting nontheless, and hopefully the final installment will make all this buildup worth it.

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The Queen of the Damned
by Anne Rice

As with A Lion Among Men, this novel is a sequel to one of my favorite books ever: The Vampire Lestat. Anne Rice’s style is mostly unchanged: vivid, gorgeous descriptions of old castles and echoing cathedrals, intense, blood-soaked, heart-pounding passion, and the ocassional run-on chapter describing how frickin’ wonderful New Orleans is. We get it Anne, you really, REALLY like New Orleans. That being said, this book is actually the origin story for the rest of the Vampire Chronicles, it explains how the vampires came into existance and reunites a lot of lost loves with one another. Though there is a sense of danger in the terrifyingly powerful Queen Akasha, the most interesting parts of the story are the flashbacks to the origin story of the vampires, which takes place in ancient Egypt. Though I didn’t love this book as much as The Vampire Lestat, and I am STILL upset that there’s an entire character arc that takes place in one chapter, introducing a character, explaining her life, and then killing her at the end, it definitely feels like the missing chapter and the final piece of the puzzle laid out in Interview With the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat.

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Beauty’s Punishment
by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)

This is the sequel to The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, a sadomasochistic erotic take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. I feel compelled to mention, however, that the Sleeping Beauty tale is only used as a jumping off point for the story, because after the prince awakens the sleeping beauty with a kiss and a few impassioned thrusts into her virgin sex, the story has nothing whatsoever to do with the fairy tale, that I can tell at least. In fact, there really is very little plot in the Beauty books, it’s mostly a series of intense erotic fantasies brought to life in an ornate sexual dreamworld, kind of like an endlessly pounding orgasm that goes on for page after page, with very little over-arching story. As such, it was a good read for those qualities, but not because of a strong narrative and a deep back story; like with the first Sleeping Beauty book, this is more of an exploration of the human psyche, emotions and sexuality. There are metaphors for the human experience aplenty, particularly that of losing one’s virginity and growing as a sexual and emotional and living being. It’s a beautiful book, but it’s also grade A masturbation material, and I think it’s meant to be such.

Biographies

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson

This is the hilarious life story of Jenny Lawson, who you may also know as the Bloggess. To put it simply, I frequently laughed so hard that I couldn’t hold the book still and had to stop reading just so I could laugh. The woman is hilarious, and she not only talks about her insane upbringing but also about the realities of dealing with severe, crippling anxiety, death, family, and growing up. Also there are some taxidermy animals and a proposal story that involves both suspicion of murder and kneeling in broken glass. Enough said.

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Bossypants
by Tina Fey

Tina Fey’s autobiography was unfortunately not nearly as entertaining as Jenny Lawson’s. It describes Tina’s childhood and career as an actress and writer, the development process of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, with a few hilarious anecdotes here and there. Unfortunately the hilarious anecdotes get fewer and fewer, and though the tone remains light and funny throughout, I stopped laughing after the first half of the book and was just ready to be done. But it was still funny, and I’ll definitely give her that. Also, there’s an example of a “racy joke” somewhere in this book that is the most horrifyingly funny thing I’ve read in a while.

Graphic Novels

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Parts 1 & 2)
by Arika Himekawa

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Fullmetal Alchemist (Vol. 2 & Vol. 3)
by Hiromu Arakawa

Sonic Genesis

Sonic: Genesis
by Ian Flynn

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The Sandman: Vol. 1 – Preludes & Nocturnes
The Sandman: Vol. 2 – The Doll’s House
by Neil Gaiman

I’m not going to go into detail about all of the graphic novels I read, because frankly they are what they are. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time parts 1 & 2 were just slightly altered versions of the story of the original Nintendo 64 game, the second and third volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist were exactly the same story that you may have seen in either version of the anime, and Sonic the Hedgehog was, well, Sonic the Hedgehog. He got the Chaos Emeralds, transformed into Super Sonic, and beat Doctor Eggman, what else is there to talk about? I do want to mention Sandman by Neil Gaiman though, because this is a story I’ve wanted to read for a long time, and I finally got the chance to start. It is downright terrifying and extremely interesting, it builds a huge cosmology of gods and fantasy creatures that actually manages to be completely original while still borrowing heavily from various mythologies, and eventually I’m going to get to the character who shares a lot of personality traits with Tori Amos. I highly recommend Sandman, and I look forward to continuing the series, but as for the rest, I could take them or leave them, to be honest.

I mean, I've really gotta start reading some of these goddamn books.

I mean, I’ve really gotta start reading some of these goddamn books.

And there it is! The twenty books I read in 2013! Yeah, I know six of them were graphic novels but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I’m just proud of myself for having gotten so much reading done this year. However I really feel that I didn’t gain all too much from reading so many books, I was mostly just trying to rack up numbers for my year end score, and it felt more like a marathon or a competition than the actual experience of sitting down and reading and immersing myself in a story. As such, I think I will take the reading challenge again next year, but lower it to perhaps 12 books, one for each month, or even something lower, so that I can take my time and really absorb what I’m reading. I enjoy reading, but not enough to constitute reading 30 books in a year, at least not yet.

I Got Me Some Horses, To Ride On… To Ride On…

So, you of course know my most recent obsession, Tori Amos. I almost feel like I’ve kind of missed the train here, because I’m discovering Tori here in 2010, after she’s released 11 albums, but I have honestly found that my favorites have been her earlier albums. I like many of the songs on her debut album, Little Earthquakes, which has a lot of dramatic songs on it, and dramatic songs are my favorite. I discovered Tori when I first heard a live performance of Precious Things, and I was under the impression that a lot of her material would be like this, but I was surprised that I really had to hunt for more precious things, as it were.

Precious Things appeals both to my love of dramatic songs, and it’s in my key. No, I don’t claim to have a monopoly over any key, nor do I want only to play songs in that key, nor do I want to continue making new songs in this key right now. As it happens, however, two of the songs I’ve written have been in this key, and various other favorites of mine from a few points in my life (Hollow Bastion, Hello) have been in this key. I’d tell you what key it is, except that I don’t know because I haven’t quite figured out how to tell what key something is in. I can look at a piece of music and see that F and C are sharp, but I can’t tell you what key that is. That’s the key in question, by the way. Any idea what key that is?

I feel my key-talking has become boring, and the last thing I want is to bore you, because this is what I am referring to in my mind as an “entertainment” blog post, and I’ll save the ranting for a personal one. I’ve been meaning to talk about the things I’ve bought recently! Oddly enough, some of them seem to tie together, as fate would have it.

So, I got to take a trip to the bookstore last week, and I shamelessly managed to bargain my way into getting two new books by claiming they were overdue Birthday presents. Don’t hate me because I’m resourceful. The first thing I got my hands on was Inuyasha. For those of you familiar with the anime that’s become popular in America, you may have seen the show, which has been running on Adult Swim for at least seven or eight years now.

I got Volume 1 of the BigViz editions, containing the first three volumes. Whose more menacing, the demon or the all-too-Japanese schoolgirl?

Inuyasha is a manga series by mangaka (that’s the Japanese word for a comic artist, add it to your ever-growing list of mental trivia you’ve possibly obtained here) Rumiko Takahashi, centering around a girl from modern-day finding herself transported to the Sengoku period of Japan (that would be the Warring States period. I’m not pretentious, I just enjoy that I actually have some knowledge on the subject, be it from Samurai Warriors and Wikipedia articles or not). She does not, as you might think, find herself permanently trapped there: she arrives by way of an ancient well housed in her family’s shrine-home, and can return to the present at any time by travelling back through the well, with certain conditions.

The girl, Kagome, meets a young man, part human, part dog-demon, named Inuyasha (which literally means Dog Demon). Though there are about a billion plot points in Inuyasha, and it’s hard to make out which is truly the central plotline thanks to a million sideplots, the central story revolves around Kagome’s quest to recover the fragments of a sacred jewel that gives infinite power to anyone who posesses it. Where did this jewel come from, you might ask? Well I can’t give away the whole plot of the first issue, then you won’t want to buy it and find out for yourself!

I probably only wanted Inuyasha for nostalgic reasons; my brother who’s about six or seven years older than myself moved in with us when I was about thirteen, and he introduced me to the series. Nontheless, it’s an entertaining read, if for no other reason than that it’s a visual read, there are pictures and visual action and I don’t have to imagine the action. Besides, I think reading from right to left is cool, that doesn’t make me a poser, it means I like things that are different. Right to left actually feels more natural to me anyway, probably because I’m left-handed. You know who else is left-handed? Imogen Heap. Haven’t heard about her from me in a while, have you?

That’s because I haven’t really been very interested in her lately. If I were to go and watch some of her video blogs, I’d probably enjoy them, but I think I enjoy Imogen Heap most when I combine her music with her personality; her music alone doesn’t really satisfy me. I’m not much of an electronic person, and I think that her work is inventive, but probably not exactly my style. I have bought just about everything she has available in the US iTunes store, though. I think she’s a very good pianist, but that’s just it: it’s the piano I love, and the piano shows up very little in Imogen Heap’s music (except perhaps for her first album). I’ve never heard a song from her as good as Hide and Seek, and I even burned myself out on that one after listening to it (and a lot of covers of it) often enough.

Hide and Seek still was an important song in my life though. I view the day I heard Hide and Seek as the day that my life started to change. It seemed to set everything in motion. I began to finally feel creative again, I felt raw and emotional, but also uplifted. Admittedly, I let my priorities get seriously rearranged, I dismissed my boyfriend and unfortunately drew back from him, but I came back, and he both was and still is there for me. We may have had our problems, everyone does, but he’s always shown me that he wants to be with me.

So, yes, Hide and Seek is an autobiographical song for me, not because it necessarily tells the story of my life or anything, but because it sparked something in me, it inspired me. And besides, it’s got a lot of great harmony.

Let’s get back on track, shall we? Otherwise I’ll never be able to find the right pictures to pepper in between the paragraphs and keep you reading. While Inuyasha didn’t necessarily tie in with my recent Tori Amos endeavors, the next book I tricked my mother into buying for me does.

I was browsing through the manga section, and I saw a huge book called “The Art of Vampire Hunter D.” It didn’t seem too interesting to me, but I picked up a copy of one of the Vampire Hunter D novels below it and immediately recognized the art style from the cover as Yoshitaka Amano.

An example of Amano's character design in the Final Fantasy series. I picked this one both because of it's colorful and flamboyant nature, and because everyone loves Vivi.

Yoshitaka Amano is the character designer for the Final Fantasy series; if you’re a Final Fantasy fan and you’ve ever seen any of the concept art, he’s the one who drew it. He has this very odd way of drawing characters, I believe they’re all in watercolor, and their skin is completely one hue, for instance characters with white skin literally have perfectly white skin in his illustrations.

I especially like the pretty cursive chapter titles.

So back to my story, I looked to see who was credited as the illustrator, and of course there he was, Yoshitaka Amano. I found the first novel in the series and was so intrigued by Amano’s cover art and the beautiful formatting of the cover as well as the book, that I decided I wanted it. I still have not read it, I have virtually no idea what it’s about except that vampires and werewolves are involved (and this time, let’s hope they’re respectable vampires. You know, the kind that burst into flame in sunlight, rather than sparkling). I still didn’t recognize the cover art of that Art of Vampire Hunter D book as the Amano I’m used to, but that’s probably because it was referring to the art of the anime and manga, not the novel illustrations.

I’ve also noticed that within the book art some illustrations, but they’re all in very hard to see black ink, like those packets of paper stapled together that your high school English teacher would photocopy from the workbook. It makes me wonder if perhaps there’s an edition of the book with full color illustrations, or at least one that can be easily seen. But perhaps they’re just drawn that way. I’d guess not, but I can’t say I’m sure either way.

This ties in to Tori-related activities because I learned today from visiting Neil Gaiman’s website that he and Amano are friends. But Jesse, how does that have to do with Tori Amos? Clearly, since she’s your current obsession, we want to hear all about her. Right you are, nonexistant fans. Neil Gaiman is an author, many of whom’s books have been made into films: Stardust, Coraline, Mirrormask. He’s also a close friend of Tori’s. See? It all ties together.

You may have read an earlier blog post where I mentioned that I got a copy of Tori’s third album, Boys For Pele. One of my favorite tracks on the album is Horses. The song grabbed me immediately, I was hooked from the moment it began, which is actually about a minute and fifty seconds into the first track, because it’s introduced by a song called Beauty Queen. I can’t say that I really know what Horses is about, or that I know what most Tori songs are about, or especially songs from Boys For Pele (which is considered to be her most poetically obscure album), but I know that I like it, and the pretty words all sound nice together. I hope I’m not making it seem as though I dislike the album, in fact I think I’m going through a Boys For Pele phase right now, the album is wonderful. I’ve been imagining myself performing the album in it’s entirety along with my nonexistant band (sometimes, in my fantasies, I have a band. They may be my touring band, or I may just be a part of the band myself) to a sold out secret show of both Toriphiles and my fans (many of whom are both).

But that’s fantasy. Here in reality, Boys For Pele has been around since 1996. I’ve often thought to myself that I don’t think I could musically survive if I’d been my age in the nineties, I like so much current music that I wasn’t so sure nineties music could do it for me, but since discovering Tori I think I would have been having a great time, especially since my favorite Tori albums so far are the first three: Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink, and Boys For Pele.

Didn’t I have a point I was trying to get to a few paragraphs ago, before I lost myself in lengthy asides? The albums first song, Horses, has a line in it:

“And if there is a way to find you, I will find you
But will you find me here,
When Neil makes me a tree?”

As it happens, Tori at one point lent Neil her house, in which he wrote the first chapter of his novel Stardust. She asked that in exchange, Neil make Tori into a tree in his book, and so there is a character of a tree in the novel who is directly based on Tori. Neat, huh? I so envy that conversation, I just see these two masterminds talking to one another, she asking to be made into a character in his novel, and when he asks what kind of character, Tori with a whimsical, yet devilish smile, saying “Oh Neil, I want to be a tree!”

Apparently these two often inspire and reference one another in their respective works. Tori has mentioned Neil’s name in several songs from various albums, written a song based on his Sandman character, and probably been inspired by Neil a million times. Neil, similarly, has written stories for the tour books of Boys For Pele and Scarlet’s Walk, a letter for the American Doll Posse tour book, and a poem for Tori’s daughter Tash, before she was born, called Blueberry Girl, which was turned into a children’s book by illustrator Charles Vess, who also illustrated several of Neil Gaiman’s works.

Only Tori would inspire cover art like that.

Neil also wrote the introduction for another Tori-related book, which I saw on the shelf across from manga in the same aisle, and lunged for, called Comic Book Tatoo. This book is a massive collection of comics inspired by Tori Amos songs. And when I say massive, I’m not referring simply to the amount of comics contained in the volume, but the sheer size of it. It’s gigantic. I believe it was between twenty and thirty dollars, which I found very reasonable considering the size of the book, which was so big that I had to sit on the floor to turn the pages.

And there you have it, today’s issue of me advertising things I find interesting. I’d like to think that this blog is educational on the subjects I enjoy, and that if you read it, you can take away knowledge on a particular artist that will serve you at least as a fun fact. This is how I operate. I find my artist, and I study. It’s surprising to me that though I’m not in school, I find myself educating myself on the things I’m interested in. And the funny thing is, the majority of my information comes from Wikipedia, which I think gets a really bad rep that it doesn’t deserve as being unreliable. Yes, anyone can edit the pages, but the pages are also moderated. Every change someone makes it catalogued, and “meticulously edited” or deleted altogether if proven to be untrue. There are also sources listed for a lot of the information, and just about nothing I’ve ever learned from Wikipedia has been disproven to me. If you don’t trust their information, it amounts to, at the very least, rumors. And rumors can have some truth to them. If nothing else, it’s a way to familiarize yourself with a topic, and if your information is incorrect, then let it be disproven and you can learn the truth, but sometimes, learning something is better than nothing.

Besides, in my case, information on artists and albums tends to be, from what I can tell, true for the most part. What reason would someone have to blatantly lie about something like, “This single was released in 1996, containing three B-sides from the album and one alternate mix of this track.” Perhaps a misinformed person could publish their misinformation, but I still don’t think it’s enough reason to avoid reading Wikipedia altogether. I find it funny that I never could quite figure out how properly to use library research tools, but I literally read Wikipedia for entertainment.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself,and maybe learned a few things here. Have a great day, and remember that love is both divine and eternal. No one should should choose anything but love when given the oppurtunity. Let someone know that you love them, I certainly intend to, and I for one am infinitely grateful to have love in my life. Peace, confidence, and happiness to you.

 

The elusive glasses in question

Oh, one more thing! Earlier this year, I was kicking myself for not buying a pair of sunglasses from Hot Topic that were Lady Gaga replicas, because they weren’t on sale in Gaga’s online store or Hot Topic’s anymore, and were pretty much impossible to find anywhere on the internet. Ot at least I thought they were, upon further reflection I might not have been observant enough. I thought that since the lenses shown seemed to be tinted purple, they couldn’t be the same glasses. I might have either mistaken the lense color of the glasses I found, or I might not have factored in that sunglasses look different depending on how the light’s hitting them.

These are the mystery glasses, whose origins I can't quite ascertain.

(UPDATE! Turns out that the glasses in question, which she’s been seen wearing around town, are fact Vintage Versace #676, and only about ten pairs were made.  Damn, Lady Gaga has expensive tastes. Luckily, I’ll be getting a ten dollar plastic replica from Hot Topic, which as it turns out gets the point across for much less cost. Some people are saying that the glasses she wore in the videos for Just Dance and Bad Romance, are Pucci, hand made in France, model number 89850, and that they were given to her by British model of America’s Next Top Model judging fame, Twiggie. However, my own deduction on the matter is that the glasses from the Just Dance and Bad Romance videos are a different pair altogether, they have traits of both the Pucci’s and Versace’s, but they don’t seem to be either. My replica, however, is of Versace 676. There are currently a pair of animal-print replicas in Gaga’s official webstore, but I’d go for Hot Topic, they have black and white framed glasses, and the black-framed look more like the originals.)

At any rate, I ordered the sunglasses, along with a copy of the Telephone remix EP. Also, the Alejandro remix EP is available for pre-order now, and it’ll be released the 28th of June if I remember correctly.

Just PICK one Tori! We know you're a piano goddess, but that doesn't mean you can't play one at a time!

That reminds me, Tori has a new DVD coming out! It’s a Barnes and Noble exclusive available for pre-order now called Live From The Artists Den, featuring songs spanning her entire career, a twenty minute interview, and here’s my favorite part: a thirty-four page hardbound booklet in the packaging. I’m shivering with excitement at that bit of information. I know it’s going to be great, and as of right now you can pre-order it for twenty dollars, which I intend to do very soon. It’s going to be available July 13, 2010.

Bottoms up, Mama Griffin

Also available for pre-order is an autobiography by Kathy Griffin’s mother, Maggie Griffin, called Tip It! The World According To Maggie. And this is cute, the cover is a box of wine with Maggie and Kathy on it, next to a glass of wine, and if you know Kathy’s routine, you know that she’s made her mother famous with her bit about Maggie loving boxes of wine. Here’s another thing I think is cute: up at the top it says The Star of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Kathy always makes jokes about her mother being more famous than she is and she herself being the sidekick on her own show. Altogether, it looks like a cute read, and if you’re a fan of Kathy’s or have read her autobiography I’m sure this will be as appealing to you as it is to me.

I actually found a paperback copy of Kathy Griffin’s autobiography in the bookstore the other day, and I think it’s so silly how when a new book comes out, there’s always an extra chapter tacked on in the paperback release. This is frustrating because in the grand scheme of things, harback is suppossed to be superior to paperback, and more valuable, and now I have to sit here figeting because I want the harback because it’s so much more regal, but the paperback has more content that I won’t find in the harback! Of course, I see the marketing ploy here, but still, it’s annoying.

Well anyway, there’s my news for today. I’m heading off to the beach tomorrow with family, we’ll see how that goes, since I don’t like my family and don’t particularly want to spend five days in a hotel room with them, sleeping in a room with my mother and her boyfriend. I do have my own bed though, but I think I’m going to try and negotiate myself into a seperate room, or at least try and convince my mother to take the seperate room and let the kids share the larger room with two beds. Altogether, I’m looking forward to some quiet time for reflecting in front of the ocean; maybe I’ll bring the laptop out and do a blog, maybe some writing, describe the sound and atmosphere of the ocean. I’ll probably try and do some reading, and maybe a little drawing. But I’ve got to get packed because we’re leaving in the morning, and it’s almost 3:00 now and I still haven’t taken a shower, so I’m going to leave you with that. If nothing else, you can always say you get ideas of things to buy from me. Unless of course you’re not interested in anything I’m saying, in which case, I applaud you for hanging around for the last 3,296 words.

Goodnight everyone, or good morning, but have a great day nontheless!