Monday, September 01, 2003

Here ya Go, Day Trippers:

Various people at various points have tried to tell me that writers have to actually like their own writing, or what's the point.

Some people told me I had to set five year goals.

People told me I wasn't bold and brave enough.

I've said all the same things to myself too. But it never stuck.

I still don't have any sure answers about Happiness, but I do know that I can't accept anyone else's ideas like gospel anymore. Everyone is so unique and so limited, they have no clue what's gonna work for you. Even the people who know and love you the best.

In Prague there was this insufferable crowd of the most insufferably pretentious East Coast would-be poets, called Beef Stew. I liked their leader, Dave, because he was so earnest in his pretentiousness, it was charming. Plus, his writing was funny. But many of them had this self-congratulatory thing about their writing that I just couldn't get with. I'm more of the loner school of writers, who hate almost everything they write and would sooner snort batshit than read in public. Not saying it's good or bad. (The blog is OK because of its seductive illusion of solitude.) Anyway, due to Beef Stew and its culture of Fancy Writers, I thought I must not be a real writer. Now I know that some writers are just like that--you know, self-loathing and all. It's how they improve. But fuck it: If you're into doing readings, then go kick some ass reading.

I like this: "One of the big songwriting things for me has always been: always think what you do sucks. Because the second you stop believing that, you suck. And that's a fact." That's what the guy from the Strokes, Julian Casablancas, said recently.

You don't have to feel rock at all times to be rock.

In other news, the Hanson show at the Roxy Saturday night was great. Girls screamed from the moment they appeared, and then they broke into two hours of nonstop crazy three-part harmonies and acoustic guitars. This is their stength, and it eliminated the cheesy vocal posturing Taylor sometimes does when he sings lead. They're still blonde, still brothers, still sing like candy and play their instruments real pretty. They work a crowd like stadium vets and shine like the sun, so I don't understand why I got to see them at the Roxy. Candy boy teen magic like that is usually on TV. This was in the flesh, no recorded vocal tracks, no autotuner, no makeup and no quick-cut video edits.

Zac sang one song on his own at the piano, a sweet ballad about daring to rock. They also had a fast one called "Rock 'N Roll Razorblade." I do believe Taylor sang something about "on the bus you shave your legs." They did my favorite, "Runaway Run," and "Mmm Bop"; "Where's the Love" and new yummy ones like "Penny and Me" and "Underneath" (which they wrote with Mattew Sweet). They really seemed to enjoy "MmmBop"--it wasn't painful, it wasn't ironic. Taylor had control of the room and often got everyone clapping their hands over their heads like on Donnie and Marie; he ran his hand through his hair and wore a T-shirt that said "The Music Lives."

I don't know any "rock critic" who would back me up on my loyalty to Hanson. Hanson are not "cool" anymore. Not even in in an ironic sense. Like Julio said, though, you can't really like anything purely ironically. You have to also really like it, or else you get bored. I really like Hanson. I like what they stand for. Harmony and fun.

One day the world will turn around again and deem them hip. That's cool.


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