Friday, April 27, 2007

U.S.C. in da house

What up, yo?

I should introduce myself...I'm Helen's upper spinal column. Nicetameetcha.

Why is Helen's upper spinal column guest blogging in the Ninth Circle, you ask?

Weeeeellll...I guess I just got sick of that drunken little hussy and her crazy livin', so I kinda took over the body for awhile. I put the word out to seven of my vertebrae to start an insurrection, so four of them locked up tighter than Mother Teresa's britches, and the other three jumped out in different directions like white people attempting to step dance. That sure as hell shut Helen up but good. Except for the moans of pain and whatnot, that is. For the last week, Miss Mouthypants has been flat on her back. And for once, it was for a reason other than, uh...well, you know. Ahem.

So anyway, that bastard physical therapist of hers managed to snap one of my boys back in line today, which has temporarily enabled Helen to sit upright for more than 20 minutes without crying. Son of a... But worry not, I'm still conspiring with my vertebrae, and we're working hard to ensure she's on her back again, just in time to ruin her vacation. I'm so awesome.

Did I mention that I already cost her free tickets to see The Killers from her firm's corporate luxury box? Oh yeah. I totally did. Who's the big winner? Upper Spinal Column, bitches!

That said, I doubt you'll be hearing from her again for a minute. Little crackhead looooooves those muscle relaxers that the doctor gave her, so she'll probably be too busy drooling and giggling to blog much.

She may not let me blog again once she gets better...vindictive little I'll say peace out to y'all. Cross your fingers that she doesn't get all crazy and try to make me exercise, or something, once she's back on her feet. I shudder at the very thought...and hey, that shuddering seems to cause her pain! Woooooooo!

USC out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cult of Personality

Celebrity encounters, so comparatively common for the denizens of New York, are very often disappointing, embarrassing, or both. The Pretty People sometimes smell horrible (I won't name names), treat you rudely (up yours, Pink!), or simply render one so star-struck that she says something incredibly stupid to them. (Apologies to both Susan Sarandon and Mike Myers are appropriate here. Oh, and William Forsythe, too. Yikes. Sorry guys. Really.)

Thankfully, this was so, SO not the case this past Saturday, when Tim and I were lucky enough to attend Cloud Cult's Mercury Lounge show, and to hang out with the band a bit afterwards. Wow. I've been so profoundly, wonderfully affected by the whole experience that it took me this long to sum up the words to describe it.

I am so enamored with and inspired by this band, their music, their journey, and everything they stand for, that had they been buttholes, I would have been entirely heartbroken. They turned out to be, quite literally, some of the nicest people I've ever met.

The show was nothing short of incredible, especially from our front-and-center vantage point. They played every song I'd been hoping to to hear, from both their new and previous albums (how often does that happen?), with a casual sense of precision and kind, happy energy. These kids from rural Minnesota had a typically snotty, arms-impassively-crossed crowd of New York hipsters actually dancing, and singing their songs back to them word for word. Meanwhile, artists Connie Minowa and Scott West created stunning paintings onstage along with the music. All senses were engaged. It was amazing.

At the end of the set, Tim gallantly grabbed the setlist off of Craig Minowa's synthesizer for me, and we headed out to the bar. There, we met up with Connie, who greeted me with a warm hug and spent the next 20 minutes pleasantly tolerating my semi-coherent flood of admiration. When I asked her to sign the setlist, it took her five solid minutes to craft an appropriate note. Who does that? Unbelievably sweet and beautiful.

Craig (who is also Connie's husband), is the anti-rockstar. He too hugged and thanked me post-show, and stayed around to talk with the remaining fans. He tolerated my teasing him about his smoking (and then fully busted me for taking a pull off Tim's cigarette), as well as the pajama-esque pants he wore onstage ("but they're comfortable!") The guy is a musical genius/organic farmer/environmental scientist who provides consultation to the United Nations and survived the tragic loss of his only child, yet he remains remarkably affable, humble, and perhaps even a bit shy. He puts to shame the self-important, low-or-no-talent, diva-esque nobodies who pass for music idols these days. He reminds me...and this is no hyperbole here, people...of John Lennon, both in his immeasurable talent, and his commitment to leaving a better world behind after he's gone.

The best part is, I have no doubt that Craig will accomplish just that. The fans were absolutely nuts over these guys, and I'm sure anyone who was there would gush as unabashedly as I am. Perhaps it's because everyone in the band is just as awesome as Craig and Connie, but Cloud Cult seems to have an almost magical effect on people. I wasn't kidding earlier...I saw hipsters dance. If that's not magic, I don't know what is. People are paying attention to this band's mission, and only good can come from that.

Eventually, Tim and I left the band at the club and ventured out into the Jersey-trash nightmare that the Lower East Side has become. I had a soon-to-be-framed setlist signed by everyone except drummer Dan Greenwood (next time!), and proceeded to float three feet off the ground for several days to follow.

It goes without saying that I encourage you to listen to and buy Cloud Cult's music, under the following conditions:
  • Buy CDs directly from their site. They're an indie band (by choice!), and that maximizes their profits (ALL of which are donated to environmental causes, by the way. Yeah.)

  • Listen to the CDs in order of release. Especially the four most recent. That will make more sense if you read Connie's bio, linked above.

For my Denver peeps: You'll have the chance to see them at the Larimer Lounge on May 10. Buy advance tickets here. It'd be the best seven bucks you spend this year even if I wasn't gonna be there. Which I totally am. So it totally will be. Ayep.

I stole this picture of the new record's cover from their site, obviously. I'll post my own photos when they get developed, if they don't suck that much. And my new boyfriend will be with me at the Denver show, so photos and hopefully some video will most definitely be posted.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The doctor is IN (the Ninth Circle)

To the person or persons in Auburn, Washington, who just landed on this page after Googling "take alka seltzer and a coke for diarrhea"...

Get well soon.

Dr. Damnation

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Holy Week in the Ninth Circle

To mark the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or, like, the invention of the Cadbury Creme Egg, or something...whatever Easter is about, man, I dunno...but anyway, to mark it, I bring you an interactive map of pretty much every bar in New York City, thanks to NY on Tap.

It just seemed like I should give y'all a gift.

It's what the Easter Bunny would do, I think.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Quick and only vaguely dirty

Christ but a bitch is busy.

More later...but for now, know this:

Lots of green tea = lots of green pee


Monday, April 02, 2007

Helen Damnation, Corporate Whore

Lately, I've been awakening with these incredibly ominous, profoundly dark thoughts in my head. I'm not sure where they're coming from, exactly, but they drop breath-stealing weights onto my chest and make me wish I could go back to sleep once and for all.

This morning's gut-twisting revelation was that the content and quality of my soul seems to have an inversely proportional relationship with the balance of my 401 (K).

Let me tell's happened quietly, little by little, but I checked on my account today, and there's some real cash in there.

Yay for corporate America. And me. Wooo. Yeah.

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