Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Blog Award! You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

Hello. It's just me again. No ghost of Ingmar Bergman playing chess with me tonight.

It never ceases to baffle me that twenty people subscribe to these day-to-day rants and ramblings of mine. It makes me feel kind of cool.

And today, I got my very first blog award, which makes me feel very cool.

Ambiguous Geek over at Geeky Ambiguous Me tossed this award my way this afternoon:

I know that blog awards are sometimes regarded as the herpes of the blogosphere, but I'm jazzed about it. Look at me, I'm versatile. Huzzah!

Okay, time to play by the rules and spread the infection. Um, I mean the love. <3

There are some rules to this award:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2. Share seven things about you
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs
4. Let your nominees know about the award!

1. Thank you, Ambiguous Geek. You rock, girl. :D

2. *sigh* Here are seven things about me:

(1) There is a dog snoring right next to me.
(2) I really like mangoes.
(3) I play the keytar.
(4) I've been to the top of Mount Sinai.
(5) I have really good taste in music, but I am also secretly infatuated with The Black Eyed Peas.
(6) My family owns an alpaca farm.
(7) I have seen They Might Be Giants in concert three times (don't judge, you know you're jealous)

3. *drumroll* And the nominees are:

Adria at Coloring Inside The Lines
Allison at My Quarter-Life Crisis
Holly at Love Imagine Create
Tasha at Random Musings
Benny at Young Urban Amateur
Mr. O at A Rush Of Blog To The Head
Mel at Mel Learns Her Lessons
LaceyRee at This Freckled Lemonade
Ella Unread at From The Stupidest Corner Of My Mind
Ryan at Ryan's Shoestring Journal
Lady Noix De Coco at Fashion Coconuts

I realize there are only 11 nominees instead of the suggested 15 but that seems to be a pretty good list. Some are newer discoveries than others, but all are great reads. :D

4. Dear Nominees: I just gave you an award.

Just kidding. I will actually alert you all personally tomorrow. Most likely. Unless I die or end up not spending much time on the internet. Right now, I am going to sleep. The dog is still snoring next to me and it's making me sleepy.

Goodnight, oh wonderful blogosphere.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...

It's almost midnight. I'm browsing the options in the fridge when I hear a knock on the door.

Knock. Knock.

I don't know who could possibly be knocking on my door at that hour. I check the peep hole just to make sure it's not a rapist (or a Jehovah's Witness making midnight rounds) and sigh. It's just The Universe. He must have heard I was having a late-night existentialist party and decided it was his job as The Universe to crash it. Reluctantly, I open the door.

The Universe says nothing. He just stands there looking smug.

"Hey, what's up, Universe?" I say.

"Oh, you know, the usual," he says. "Being big and daunting."

"Wanna come in?" I open the door a little farther and attempt to act welcoming. "I was about to make coffee. Would you like some?"

The Universe comes inside my house. "Yes, I will take coffee," he says. "But nothing in it! It must be dark and unsweetened, like me!"

I go into the kitchen and scoop some grounds into the coffee pot. I remembered that The Universe likes black coffee from the last time he came to visit me. In fact, last time he was here he ended up spilling coffee all over my couch and then left without cleaning it up. The Universe can be a pretty obnoxious house guest sometimes.

But tonight, I don't mind that The Universe decided to hang out at my place. Sure beats playing chess with the ghost of Ingmar Bergman, which is what I did last night.

The coffee is brewing. The Universe takes a seat at my kitchen counter.

"So, you havin a good week, girlfrenn?" asks The Universe. Sometimes, The Universe talks like a black person. I don't know why.

I shrug. "My week is fine. I guess I'm just overwhelmed with a bunch of stuff right now. I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing. I still don't know."

"Isn't that exactly what you said last time I came to see you?"


"Hey, is that coffee done yet? You know I don't sleep at night these days. Everyone and their dog is having some sort of existential crisis that calls for my presence these days."

The coffee is done. I pour him a cup. I also pour a cup for myself, dumping an obscene amount of caramel-flavored creamer into it. The Universe scowls at my excessive use of creamer.

"Gah, you're such a wimp. Want any coffee with that creamer, foo?"

I laugh. The Universe takes a sip of coffee and I prepare to ask him a question.

"Why are you so unknown?" I say.

The Universe just stares at me. I take it as a cue to start asking more ridiculous questions.

"Why are you so big, yet so small? Why do you never really answer my questions? What do you want from me, anyway? What am I doing, sitting here having coffee with you?"

The Universe gulps down his cup of coffee (like a boss) and looks at the built-in clock on my microwave. "It's time for me to boogie on out of here, girlfrenn. But it's been real. Peace."

The Universe leaves without answering any of my questions. It's totally aggravating. But at least this time there were no coffee spills.

There's another knock on the door after The Universe leaves. Just as I suspected - it's the ghost of Ingmar Bergman and he's back for another game of chess.

I should start going to bed earlier.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

When Someone Sends You A "DRINK-THE-KOOL-AID" Request, Please Click "IGNORE"

Another morning. Another cup of coffee. The sun is shining again today, but it's quickly gone from being pleasantly sunny to being obnoxiously hot. I love the heat just about as much as The Wicked Witch of The West loves taking a shower.

I'm such a wimp when it comes to the heat. Good thing it only gets hot here twice a year.

Anyway, enough about the weather and onto more interesting things. Like Facebook.

I've recently realized that Facebook is a bit of a cult. I tried deactivating my account the other day because I just needed a little break from always having to know who is talking to who and who is playing Farmville. Unplugging from Facebook is not an easy task.

First, it guilt trips you:

Note that it drug my mother into this. If that's not meant to manipulate my emotions, I don't know what is.

It was tough knowing that my own mother and three people I talk to IRL (in real life) would miss me if I dropped out of an online networking site, but I decided to stay strong and click the daunting "DEACTIVATE" button. It asked me why I wanted to leave and told me I could come back at any time. In fact, coming back to Facebook after account deactivation is as easy as logging in. It's even nice enough to save all 700 tagged pictures and archived wall-to-walls for you.

That's another reason I wanted to escape for a bit. I'm sick of having my life archived. I don't want to meet someone new, befriend them on Facebook, and know that now they can see pictures of me when I was 18 and living in the dorms. I also don't want to have to know that much about other people right off the bat. I miss getting to know people the old-fashioned way. I miss actually having to ask what kind of music someone likes. I miss being able to interact with members of the opposite sex without alerting the universe. I miss the ability to loose track of people - you know, to meet people briefly and enjoy their company without having to become a lifetime subscriber to their status updates.

Entire conversations are being replaced with the clicking of the "like" button. Sure, Facebook makes everyone more connected, but it also makes the world seem too small and ultimately lonlier. Maybe I'm thinking about it too much, but it felt like time for a break.

So I deactivated my account. But five minutes later, Facebook sent me an email thanking me for returning and saying that my account had been reactivated. Confused, I trudged over to the site and saw that my account was indeed alive and well. I tried to kill it again, ignoring another guilt trip message. But five minutes later, the email popped up in my inbox congratulating me on my recent reactivation.

This happened four times before I gave up.

Facebook is a cult.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dirty Hipsters

Those indie kids never called me back.

With my luck, they probably read my blog.

In other news, the other day I got to witness some guy with tattoos and perfectly scruffed-up hair have a mini freak out at a deli because his sandwich wasn't vegan.

Oh Portland, how I love you. Hehe.

If you've never been to Portland, you can get a feel for it by watching this hilarious video:

Happy Saturday, amigos.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My BFF Jane

Please forgive me for my recent absence from the blogosphere. Life moves fast sometimes. And yet, I think I've probably had too much time to think lately.

Anyway, to make up for a week of unintentional blog abandonment, I've got some music for you! Here are the songs that have been in my car/on my iPod/on my mind this week. It's a pretty eclectic mix, but it's got me in the mood for summertime.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

What can I say, my musical tastes are all over the board. You know you love it. :P

I'm house-sitting in the heart of Portland, taking care of a lovely pit bull named Jane and loving life in the city. It's not the first house-sitting job I've ever had, but it's the first one in an interesting location with a dog that isn't some sort of elderly Chihuahua.

I'm not naturally a dog person, but Jane is my new best friend. We walk everywhere together. We cook dinner together. We run around the backyard with a Frisbee at night and then crash in front of the TV together ("Saturday Night Fever" was on the other night and I discovered that Jane loves disco music). We even sleep in the same bed, mostly because I've given up on trying to push a stubborn 50 lb pit bull onto the floor.

I think I'm going to miss this dog/lifestyle in a week when this job ends.

I'm also not really sure what my next move is. I keep hearing the phrase "quarter-life crisis" and I think it defines this phase of my life. Though it's not really so much of a crisis as a weird time of trying to figure everything out. I feel like there are so many things I want to do but I don't know where to start.

Someone recently told me to talk to my future self more often, to figure out what I want my past to look like and then live life accordingly. They sent me the following message:

if you wanna make history, you gotta make shit happen.
the world is as big and as small as you want it to be.
breath it in.
then live the way you want to remember living.

The message was a little out-of-the-blue, but totally what I needed to read this morning.

Anyway, I've been camped in this cafe for a while, I should probably walk back and see how Jane is (this is one of the few places she doesn't go with me haha).

Over and out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tin Foil Hats and Boy George

Yesterday I was digging through my hard drive looking for music to play at a wedding reception tomorrow. I ended up getting distracted by a folder full of old pictures. I'm sure everyone in this tinfoil hat photo would cringe severely if they knew it was still floating around the internet, but it was too amusing to keep to myself. It was taken circa freshman year of college during some bizarre b movie appreciation night I was hosting in my dorm room (my roommate conveniently left town every weekend). I'm the one with the glasses and the brown stripey shirt (I believe that was back when my hair was still blond/mullet-esque).

I know that in reality freshman year wasn't really that long ago, but now that college is over it almost seems like a completely distant past life. Everyone is busy getting married and landing "grown-up" jobs these days.

Speaking of marriage, the big wedding I'm playing at/DJing is tomorrow. See the young guy on the far left with the goofy smile? The one in the tin foil hat? No, not the one with the toilet paper tube, that's the guy with the self-appointed nickname of "Ninja." I'm talking about the guy sitting cross-legged on the floor next to the girl who looks a bit disgruntled (ironically, that girl just got married to the boy that has another girl on his lap). Anyway, see the guy I'm talking about? He's a good friend of mine as well as one of Original Sound Trash's biggest fans. And tomorrow, he gets married to another good friend/OST super-fan. They are completely perfect for each other and I'm happy to see them get married. But it's also driving home the fact that everyone around me is growing up.

Personally, I still feel about 14 years old, so watching my friends do really adult things is really bizarro (get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about working full time, getting married, etc.). Maybe I'm stuck in a prolonged state of adolescence or something, but I don't think I'll be ready to do any of that "grown-up" stuff for awhile.

I heard a song yesterday that does a good job of explaining how I feel. It's a song I've heard before, but yesterday these lines really stood out to me:

should i choose a noble occupation
if i did i’d only show up late and sick
and they would stare at me with hatred

plus my only natural talent’s wasted

- "my alcoholic friends" (the dresden dolls)

Amanda Palmer, you say it better than I can.

Anyway, I should probably wrap this up before it becomes totally uninteresting. In the spirit of this weekend, I leave you a clip from "The Wedding Singer."

Hopefully Ryan and I will sound a little better than that Boy George impersonator. ;)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Audition Recap (And A Bunch Of Other Stuff Too)

Hello. Just me again. Maybe the world will slow down long enough for me to write a semi-coherent blog post. Lately, I've found myself overwhelmed by various things that all seem to be happening at once. And then there are the things that are not happening right now, which are also overwhelming. Anyway, blah blah blah, vague vague vague, whine whine, emo emo, moving on. Tonight was good. Hung out with Steve and his crew, had some good laughs and some good food. Put a lot of thoughts on hold for the evening. It was nice.

Aaaand I just realized you guys are probably still on the edge of your seats waiting to hear how my audition went on Sunday (thanks to everyone that wished me luck, btw!). Truth is, I'm still waiting for that call as well. I think the audition went well but apparently they're auditioning multiple people. They said they'll let me know if I'm in or out in a few days. I'm not going to be heartbroken or anything if they don't pick me, but I think it would be a ton of fun to play with them and I hope I make it into the band.

The Michael Cera-esque guitarist had emailed me a few recordings and told me to learn the songs for the audition. I've been learning a lot of new music lately (more on that later) but was able to play through the songs a few times and grasp onto the main riffs and chord progressions. I put on my finest indie rock and roll attire (no, it did not involve that lovely sweater), picked up the boyfriend/body guard, and headed into Portland.

The audition was in the drummer's basement. When we arrived, the guitarist and the drummer where having a drink on the front porch. The drummer was the one member of the band I hadn't met yet. I had seen her onstage with the rest of the band and was unable to tell if she was a boy or a girl. It wasn't until talking to her that I realized she's indeed a chick. She greeted Steve and I and enthusiastically and offered us some warm, old beer that she dug out from under her bed.

We sat around making awkward small talk while waiting for the bassist to get there (the bassist has long, dark hair and doesn't talk - essentially he's a younger, less creepy, slightly more attractive Silent Bob). Once the bassist arrived, we went down into the basement to play through some songs. It was your stereotypical rock and roll practice space (though definitely not as sketchy as the basement I tried out for a metal band in once upon a time...now that was a place I could have possibly died). They even had a keyboard set up for me to play. It was against my natural instinct to leave my own keyboard at home (playing on someone else's instrument is a little bit like running in someone else's shoes) but I figured their keyboard would be programmed on all the right patches.

Since they are a band that "doesn't really jam," the audition itself was short. We played through each of the songs a couple of times. Michael Cera corrected me on the riffs several times and even came over to the keyboard and showed me how to play certain parts. I started taking liberties on a song with a really repetitive chord progression and he told me that the old keyboardist didn't play it like that and that I should play what she used to play. I caught Steve's eye from across the room at this point. I could see him thinking "Uh oh, Rock Star Lauren does not like being told how to rock." It's true, it's annoying, but it was an audition. I think half of what people look for at auditions is someone who can catch on quickly, play what needs to be played, and listen to feedback. And I think I kept up with the band for the most part. It wasn't like playing with Ryan (duh) but it was a lot of fun. Their music is totally catchy and energetic. I want to become a part of it.

"Any questions for us?" says the drummer when it's all over, adjusting her baseball cap. "Anything at all? Anything you wanna know? Anything?"
I can't think of a response fast enough.
"Sorry, I'm acting like an asshole!" she says. "I'm not an asshole, but I'm acting like an asshole, but I'm really not an asshole..."

Michael Cera drinks beer and laughs. Silent Bob is silent. Steve is in the corner, probably taking notes for his next web sitcom.

Soon the whole ordeal is over and I'm back in my truck driving to the nearest Burgerville. The audition took no longer than 45 minutes (quite different than the metal band audition once upon a time - those guys were all on strange drug cocktails and wanted to play for hours and hours because they were convinced that I was the reincarnation of Dio).

Now I just wait and see what happens.

In the mean time, I'm playing at a wedding this weekend. Yes, with Original Sound Trash. It's for two really good friends, but I'm still a bit nervous about the whole thing. We're playing during the ceremony and at part of the reception. And then I'm DJing the rest of the reception. So basically I'm responsible for every scrap of music that is played the entire day. Like I said, these are two great friends of mine so I'm happy to help them out. I'm just nervous. Anxious. Original Sound Trash is not naturally a wedding band. I'm not naturally someone that gets involved in weddings.

Really, I think that if I ever choose to get married, I'm going to elope. Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures and tag people in them as inanimate objects and random strangers so everyone can feel like they were really there!

Okay, I'm rambling. I should sleep. Yes.

Over and out, amigos.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lauren: Ugly Sweater Edition (So Hawt Right Now)

The infamous audition for the indie dance/rock band is tonight. This morning I dug through my closet for the perfect thing to wear. Something that proclaims "I AM INDIE." A piece of clothing that would make Juno and all of her hamburger-shaped telephones jealous. I thought that surely there must be one item hiding in the depths of my closet, waiting to make an appearance on this very night.

Just when I was about to give up hope, I stumbled upon this lovely sweater that I acquired from mugging Mr. Rogers' grandmother one fine evening several months ago. Overjoyed with my findings, I had to have an obligatory photo shoot with myself, posing in front of my collection of vintage 45s for dramatic effect. I even attempted to edit the lighting and colorization effects so that all my myspace friends can see how hip, cool, and artsy I am when it inevitably becomes my profile picture. Unfortunately, instead of looking hip, cool, and artsy, it just looks like I'm guest starring in a bad episode of "Touched By An Angel."

Didn't take long for me to lose the sweater and go shopping.

The audition is at 8:30. Steve's going with me for moral support. We'll see what happens. If it goes well, I might be adding another band to my repertoire. If it does not go well, I'll probably at least have something really funny to write about. :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Need To Leave The Country (Doctor's Orders)

The headaches never really stopped. I went to see Dr. Flintstone yesterday. His name isn't really Dr. Flintstone, but he has a Yabba-Dabba-Doo vibe about him and his real name is hard to pronounce. It's not meant to be an insulting nickname - I think Fred Flintstone is totally cool.

But anyway, I told Dr. Flintstone all about the headaches that wouldn't stop and the weird migraine meds the creep at urgent care put me on. And Dr. Flintstone just looks at me and asks if I'm been stressed out lately.

"Technically, I'm not supposed to be stressed at all," I say. "I mean, I just graduated from college-"

"Hold it right there," he says. "That's one of the most stressful things you can do in your life!"

"Yeah, I guess it is," I say, nodding in agreement.

"And lemme guess - you're unemployed and don't know what you're doing and can't find a job in this miserable economy?"

"Yeah, something like that."

"That explains everything."

He perscribes some stuff for tension headaches and tells me that the best thing I can do right now is leave the country. He asks what I got my degree in. I always dread telling people with practical careers that I majored in film, but Dr. Flintstone reacted differently than I expected.

"You definitely need to leave the country if you have a film degree!" he says, his Flintstone-esque face glowing with enthusiasm. "There are so many stories out there in the world that aren't being told over here. You need to go experience them and bring them back."

I still had a headache when I left the doctor's office, but I felt slightly better about my life.

Steve came over last night and we talked about going on some grand adventure together. More on that later...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Something Crazy Cool Is Going On Right Now

Allow me to interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to tell you about something exciting that is happening right here in our very own Interwebs! We can get back to my existential dribble and tales of rock and roll in moment. But first, you should take a look at this:

The world's very first random acts of kindness contest kicks off today! It's called "The Big Give" (TBG for short). You can check it out here. The idea is to promote kindness and generosity worldwide by turning it into a friendly competition of sorts. Sounds kinda fun, right? :)

The rules are simple: Using $20 or less, spend the month of July plotting, executing, and documenting an incredible random act of kindness for someone. Turn in your results at the end of the month. A panel of four judges will review all the entries and choose the winners.

If you look at the judging panel on the site, you may notice that I am one of the judges. I am really excited to see what kind of things people come up with and want to encourage everyone reading this to consider taking part in this. There is a registration page on the site. Go register now! :) Join this crazy worldwide movement!

Also, you can "like" The Big Give on facebook here. And then you can spam all of your friends! And they can spam their friends! And so on and so forth, until the entire universe knows about it and is actively engaged in being nice for the hell of it. Yay!

That's all for now, amigos. Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So The Guy That Wants To Be Michael Cera Called Me Today

"Um, I've never really done this before," says Michael Cera-esque Indie Rock Guy on the phone. "We've never had to audition anyone. Should I just send you a couple of the songs and you can learn them and like, play them with us?"
"Yeah, totally," I say. Why is this phone conversation so awkward? Man, I hate phones sometimes. "And then maybe we can jam or something," I add.
There's a pause.
"Yeah..." he replies. "We don't really jam. We're not that kind of band. We write songs and then we play them."

This response baffled me slightly. I've always thought that jamming was half the fun of playing with other people. Maybe I'm just used to Ryan. We spent a couple of years jamming together on weekends before we even became a legit rock band. Even now that we are a legit rock band, we still let ourselves get lost in free-form chord progressions during practice now and then. We're not The Mars Volta or anything, but we do enjoy jamming. I just assumed that most musicians were into it, too. Guess not.

I try out for this band on Sunday night. I'm sure it will be an interesting experience.

I just hope I'm feeling better by then. I finally broke down and went to Urgent Care today for the crazy headaches I've been having. Had a lovely visit with a really creepy doctor. Acquired a prescription for some supersonic migraine pills.

There's no reason why I should be stressed out to the point of developing a week-long migraine at this point in my life. After all, college is a thing of the past. Isn't that supposed to be the most stressful part of your life (unless you go into politics or get a job as the food taster for a fascist dictator, of course)?

I guess I'm experiencing a different kind of stress. I don't even know if I can fully explain it. It probably all comes back to the fact that I don't really know what I'm doing right now.

But, let's not start that again. I'll figure everything out eventually. Or something like that.

And now - sleep! Supersonic migraine pills are making me sleepy/loopy.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Bleck. Still feeling sick. Scheduled a doctor's appointment for the earliest time available - Friday morning. In case you haven't noticed, today is Monday.

Determined not to spend another week under the command of a miserable headache, I Googled my symptoms, diagnosed myself with the help of Wikipedia, and got started on some weird home remedies I read about on WebMD. Really hope I'm on the right track with this. Otherwise I just drank eight ounces of vinegar water in vain. Yum-o.

The Michael Cera-esque Representative of the Indie Dance/Rock Band has not called me yet. Probably a good thing. He might smell the vinegar on my breath through the phone and decide that I'm too awkward for indie rock.

Then again, is there really such a thing as being too awkward for indie rock? Last time I checked, awkwardness was one of the core principles the entire indie scene was founded upon.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm thinking of adding some sort of reoccuring weekly theme to this blog. You know, something along the lines of dedicating every Tuesday to reviewing a new band I've discovered or posting a witty anecdote every Thursday. I haven't quite come up with my angle yet. I would love to hear what you guys think.

Here are a few ideas for possible weekly posts I could start:

- Songwriting Sunday: Once a week I put up a new (or old) song that's in the works.
- Flashback Friday: I tell a funny story about what a ridiculous geek I used to be. Maybe I'll even reminisce about various moments in pop culture and how I was affected by them.
- Awkward Wednesday: My life is really just an ongoing string of awkward moments. Perhaps I'll share one of these moments with you every Wednesday.
- Bad Movie Monday: I dedicate Monday's post to movies so bad, they are good.
- Music Monday: I dedicate Monday's post to music that I think the world should know about.

Anyway, those are just some ideas. Don't worry, this blog is not going to go gimmick happy - I'm only going to pick one of those options (if that). This is the part where YOU tell me what you want to read about on here. Any of those sound appealing? Apalling? Got any better ideas? Or is the reoccuring weekly feature too cliche?

Help me, Obi Wan Kanobe! You're my only hope!

Gah, I think that vinegar is doing weird things to my brain. No more home remedies for me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Good Boyfriend. Bad Movie. Fabulous Band Photos.

I've been feeling pretty sick lately. Bleck. I hate going to the doctor, but I think I'm going to break down and go see one tomorrow. Intense headaches that last for five days straight aren't really that normal. I'm sure it's just some virus or something. I'll get some meds and be good to go.

Steve came to see me yesterday. I warned him that I wasn't going to very much fun, that I was Sicky Sickerson, but he came over anyway. He even brought over a bad horror movie from the eighties! It was so wretched that it's currently out of print - he tracked it down on the Internet and downloaded a copy, complete with Swedish subtitles.

Yeah, Steve is kinda awesome. It's not everyday that you meet a guy who shares your love of cheesy horror movies and will spend his day-off watching them with you.

And now we've both seen "Silent Night, Deadly Night 2." It was so bad it was good.

If you like bad acting, terrible dialogue, awful synthesizer music, cheesy gore, and expressive eyebrows, this film is worth tracking down. Or you can just save yourself a painful two hours and watch this twenty second clip:


Oh man I'm a nerd.

Steve also brought over the disc full of band pictures our friend Mike took for us. Actually, that's what this post was supposed to be about, but then I got sidetracked.

So, here some of the pictures that Mike took/edited for us (he's got a lot of talent - you can check out his other work at http://www.michaelknightphotos.com/). I know I put up a preview of these a while back, but here are some more:

What thinketh you? Do we look like a real band yet? :D

That's all for now. Time for Lauren to take a nap!

Friday, June 4, 2010

When John, Paul, and George Met Ringo

Lately I've been wondering what it was like when John, Paul, and George met Ringo for the first time. I always imagined there was immediate chemistry there. Maybe they took one look at him and said "Blimey, you've got a cool name and there is no one on the planet that looks quite like you do. Let's get that Pete fellow out of here, we want you in the band." Maybe the clouds parted for a moment and a blinding ray of light shone down upon Liverpool. Maybe a majestic voice from above said, "John and Paul, my children, I have sent you a drummer. Go forth and rock."

Or maybe Ringo simply replied to a desperate want-ad he stumbled upon one night when he couldn't sleep. Maybe he went to an early performance of The Beatles, was intrigued by their music, and awkwardly left his phone number with a very drunk John Lennon. Maybe Paul McCartney flippantly promised to call him sometime in the next week. Maybe George Harrison was standing there silently, unsure of how to act when not onstage.

I've been playing in the same band for so long that, until recently, I've forgotten all about the strange process of trying to connect with other musicians. Musicians are a weird breed. We're emotional, competitive, creatively-driven creatures who often lack standard social skills and have an affinity for irresponsibility. We crave the limelight but often don't know what to do when it shines on us. Honk if you agree.

And since bands are made up of musicians, they're pretty weird things too. The relationship between bandmates is sometimes almost a cross between a dysfunctional family (minus the obligatory holiday get-togethers) and a really involved romantic relationship (minus the romance).

Anyway, I was recently cruising the musician want-ads on Craigslist (my favorite thing to do when I can't sleep) and I stumbled upon a pretty cool indie dance-rock band that needed a keyboardist. I listened to them on myspace, fell in love with their sound, and sent them an email. I emailed back and forth with them a little and ended up going out to see them perform last night.

Now, I know some of you are going to read this and think I've gone mad. "What about Original Sound Trash?!" you will ask. "What about Ryan and trash rock and making an OST album and all of that?!"

Rock bands are not exclusive creatures. Our friend Jack White shows us that it is possibly to be involved in as many as three bands at a time. Of course, it helps that the man's guitar skills are just plain sexy. But he is somehow able to musically multi-task and pour his talent into three bands.

(I'm not trying to compare myself to Jack White here - I know he's a one-of-a-kind rock sensation. But I'm just pointing out that the multiple-band thing can be done.)

And though Jack is fantastic in The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, The White Stripes seems to be his musical child. If I do end up joining another band, Original Sound Trash will still be my number one. I'm just at a point in my life where I want to make all kinds of music with all kinds of people. You know, try on the starving-musician lifestyle for size and see if it fits.

Original Sound Trash began so organically that I barely know how the whole auditioning thing works. Four years ago, I started college and was determined to play music with other people. I spent all of orientation weekend targeting boys that looked like musicians. Ryan was the only guy I talked to that didn't get all weird and think I was trying to hit on him. Instead, we just talked about our love for Simon and Garfunkel and exchanged myspace urls. We snuck into the on-campus practice rooms to jam a few days later and the rest is history. Or something like that.

Once I tried out for a Shakespearean metal band (mostly just because I was bored and wanted to shake everyone up), but other than that it's been awhile since I've tried to dive into any new music projects. So last night, I put on my indie rock attire (doesn't really matter what you wear as long as glasses with big, black, Woody Allen-style frames are involved), took some pills for a headache that had been around since Tuesday, and headed downtown in hopes of making a good impression on this new band. Took Steve along with me and got there early enough to scope out a group of people that looked like the band.

"I think that's them," I whisper to Steve.
"What?" he says. It's loud in the room and I am whispering.
"Be right back," I reply, and strut off to the bathroom. Once in the sanctuary of the ladies room, I pull out my iPhone with the intention of looking at a picture of the band online. I discover that my battery has died. I fix my hair, take a moment to read some of the fantastic bathroom graffiti, and return to the table Steve is sitting at. I ask to borrow his iPhone and use it to pull up the band's myspace page. I scroll through pictures and look at the group of people in front of me. Just as I suspected - it's them.

"Go talk to them!" Steve says.
"I will in a minute," I say. I'm bad at approaching groups of people I don't know. Remember how I said musicians don't always have the best social skills? I'm really no exception.
"Want a beer?" offers Steve. "It might make this easier."
I shake my head and remind him that I took stuff to kill a migraine before the show. He agrees that alcohol probably wouldn't be a good idea for me but goes to get a beer for himself, strategically leaving me alone to talk to the band.

I wait until they look like they aren't totally involved in a conversation and approach them. "Hey...are you guys (name of band)?" They nod. I then introduce myself as the girl who's been emailing them about playing keyboards. Fortunately, one of them remembered who I was and greeted me enthusiastically. He wore tight pants and reminded me of a less-cute Michael Cera. His phone rang in the middle of our conversation and he answered it, walking away from the table and leaving me to interview the bassist. I was not trying to interview him but he was not that talkative so I nervously launched a game of 20 questions. Michael Cera came back to the table. I wished them both a good show and went to find Steve at the bar.

And it was a good show. The music they made was catchy, danceable, and over-all something I would love to be a part of (the same could not be said about the Shakespearean metal band I tried out for once upon a time). I gave Michael Cera my phone number before I left and we agreed that we would all get together and jam sometime next week.

They weren't like "OMG WE LOVE YOU, GET PETE BEST OUT OF HERE AND BE OUR RINGO," though I didn't really expect them to be. I'm not going to get my hopes up too high, just going to see what happens.

And this just happened: Michael Cera texted me, thanking me for coming out to the show and saying he'll be in touch soon about getting together. And after a long debate about whether or not to use a text smiley face at the end of the reply or not, I texted him back saying the show was great, blah blah blah.

What will happen? Will Lauren the Keytar Master and Avoider of 9 to 5 jobs add another band into her life? Or will this simply become another amusing anecdote, residing in the same category as the Shakespearean metal band?

Staaaaay tuned!

Some Crushes Never Die...

I just did something that most of you will probably laugh at.

I entered my band in a contest to open for the Hanson brothers when they come through town this summer.

Yes, they are still together. Yes, apparently they play songs other than "Mmmbop" now, though I have not actively sought out their music since 1997. I think they maybe even got haircuts since then (blasphemy, I know). I think Taylor is still probably the "cute one," even though he got married.

Zack is probably still single though. He was always the one I loved anyway. My cousin had called permanent dibs on Taylor and Issac was just plain ugly. But Zach rocked the drums and was all kinds of adorable. He was 13 when I was about 10, so it always seemed like things could work out between us. Too bad he never knew I existed.

Chances are, nothing will come of the contest. But when my daily Internet surfing led me to a page that said "CLICK HERE TO OPEN FOR HANSON IN YOUR HOMETOWN," the part of me that is still 10 years old got really excited.

And now I'm off to dig out my copy of "Middle of Nowhere" (one of the first CDs I ever bought!) and relive the fourth grade. Peace out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm Only Happy When It Rains

Good morning. Another rainy day in paradise. People are starting to refer to this month as "Juneuary." I'm a native Oregonian and a writer/musician, so naturally I love rain. But this is a little too much. Give me an ounce of sunshine. Give me an excuse to wear something other than a long sleeved t-shirt.

But enough about the weather.

I'm going out to a show tonight. An indie dance-rock band I want to meet is playing a venue I want to check out. Steve's going along with me, despite the fact that he has to go to work early the next morning. I'm stoked. The show isn't until 10, but we'll probably make an evening out of it. Perhaps we'll crash in a coffee shop for a bit and have one of our infamous writing parties. (Who says you can't be writing buddies with your boyfriend? :D)

For awhile, I thought it would be cool to write a book of high school memoirs. I've also always wanted to write a sitcom. Recently, I've merged the two ideas and am currently working on a sitcom that may or may not be based on my own high school experiences. I'm calling it "The Band Room" and letting it evolve from there. It focuses on a group of oddball band geeks and their daily adventures in public high school.

Yeah, you guessed it: I was totally a band geek in high school. Bet you can't guess which one is me:
There I am, freshman year of high school, all suited up in my fancy Star Trek style uniform and posing with my clarinet. Barf.

(I'll give you a hint: I'm on the fourth row from the bottom, end of the row, right-hand side. I was having a hard time dealing with the aftermath of a bad perm...)

But enough history lessons. Back to the sitcom.

Fortunately, I kept really detailed journals of everything I experienced in high school. Though I already remember a lot, it has been really helpful to have those journals as reference material. Over the past couple of days, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on what it was like to be an awkward, suburban teenager. I just might be ready to bust out the first episode.

I think I'll attempt to clean my room first, though. I'm naturally a slob, but I'm finally getting tired of how messy it is. Also, I want to wear something cute tonight and am having a hard time knowing where all my clothes are. My sexy jeans are no good if I can't even find them.

I made some reference to my sexy jeans while at band practice the other day. Ryan just looks at me and says, "Now, are those the same jeans that used to belong to me?"

For the record, no. Though those particular jeans are pretty sexy.

Okay, I'm talking about pants again. That means this post should be over.

The end.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

makeover in the works, yo

Gave this place a makeover today. What thinketh you? Does the new layout look alright or does it look like someone vomited Easter candy all over the font? I can't decide.

I even changed the title of this blog. I was thinking of going all Prince and dubbing it "The Blog Formerly Known as Operation Trash Rock Tour" but decided against it. Best to just let the whole thing evolve into a new creature, right?

The times, they are a changin.