Thursday, May 31, 2007

This Fire Is Outta Control

Georgia is on FIRE! Atlanta is covered in smoke! You know what that means...

The Yankees are coming!!!!!

(Er, wait a minute... I'm a Yankee...)

But the smoke is terrible. It's like having your face really close to a BBQ grill when someone is cooking crappy cuts of meat. I can't imagine how bad it is down south, where the fires originated. The poor residents down there...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Vacation Deals - Urgent Memo

We get a lot of SPAM faxes here, so Jared and I would like to try our hand at creating one. We will SPAM the world on our own. How's this for a deal!? [Addendum: In case my humor is not obvious, no, we are not really SPAMMING the world. This is meant as social commentary]


To: All Corporate Employees
From: Human Resources Department
Re: Employee Vacation Time
Reply to: 1-800-FAX-SPAM


Dear Staff,

This is the last chance that all employees have access to our company vacation packages at the wholesale rate (you save nearly $3000 per couple). These vacation slots are almost full and will be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Please review the vacation detail:

Duration: 6 week, $23 pppn
Destination: Cancun, Mexico
Dates: Open dated valid for 1 YEAR

Included in Package:

FREE ocean view
Corporate meal plan (we recommend the best dining establishes)
Children play in the sand for free
Unlimited non-motor water sports (FREE swimming)
No-wait taxi line
Authentic Mexican workers speak to you in Spanish - no extra cost
Salt-included on all margaritas (do not burn the hotel down)


-- Notice --
The information contained in this meesage is CONFIDENTIAL which is why we've faxed it to you. To no longer receive these requested promotions in the future, please call your local HR director who probably requested these promotions for you.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hipster Haikus Return; Shoes Die

On Gianni Bini shoes...

Broke my favorite shoes
While dancing at MJQ
Good-bye, Power Pumps.

On Brit Pop Night...

My black clutch smells like
A room full of cigarettes.
Where is my Febreeze?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Books for Summer?

For the 5th summer in a row I am attempting to get through Catch-22, one of the most critically acclaimed fiction novels of the 20th century. Problem is this: there are a heckuva lot of characters and long, ridiculous sentences, so when I put it down for awhile I forget what I've read. But I finally got through the chapter about Major Major Major Major and couldn't stop laughing.

I used to read a lot. In 4th grade our teacher, Mrs. Austin, held a reading competition for us. For every five books you read, you got a star, cut out of construction paper and marked with your name. The stars hung from the ceiling of our portable classroom. Each time you earned a star, it was stapled to your previously-earned stars until a little chain formed. Well, I didn't have a lot of friends in 4th grade, but I had a lot of time. Therefore it follows:

(Free Time)^2 - Friends + Competitive Spirit = Lots of Reading Stars

I earned so many stars, in fact, that my teacher stopped giving me stars. I should also credit my reading spree to being a member of the Babysitters Club Book Club. Each month I received three new Babysitters Club books, which I read immediately (Claudia Kishi was my favorite character because we shared the same initials).

These days, though, I hardly read (though I did recently complete Audacity of Hope for our defunct Tuesday Night Pub Club Book Club). Please suggest some good books here. I'll begin the list.

Books I've Been Meaning to Read Because They Were Recommended
- The World is Flat, Tom Firedman (suggested by BFF Andy)
- The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown (suggested by almost everyone I know)
- Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics Earl Black and Merle Black (suggested by Merle Black, my former professor)
... others??

Monday, May 14, 2007

On the phone with Paul McCartney

Here are my career goals thus far:

5. Get my work in AdAge, Mediaweek & Brandweek
4. Plan a festival
3. Book Beck for a concert
2. Grow Paste to readership of 1,000,000 (currently halfway there!)
And the #1 goal of my career...
1. Interview Paul McCartney

Today I got very close to that #1 goal.

Paste writer and friend, Brent Dey, interviewed Sir Paul for our upcoming "Can Rock Save the World?" issue and he let me sit in on the phone interview and help prep him. Unfortunatly, I didn't get to talk to Sir Paul, but I listened to the interview in live-time.

Paul talked about being a "veggie," why carnivores are hurting the earth, and which song his three-year-old likes to dance to. He also sang to us as Johnny Cash -- "I keep a close watch on this heart of mine...."

One day I will write a nice piece on Paul McCartney and The Beatles and why their legacy lasts. I'm best suited to write this because by the time I was born The Beatles were no more. John was dead, Ringo was The Conductor on Thomas the Tank Engine, and Michael Jackson had collaborated with Paul. Yet I grew up with the Beatles much like my parents did. At 12-years-old, I dove into their discography and history, and in doing so learned about Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, the concept album, the 60s, LSD, psychodelic rock, protests (by John Lennon, against John Lennon), and love. "Love is all you need." "And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make." "PS - I Love You."

It's probably for the best that I haven't accomplished my #1 career goal by the age of 23. Then I'd have to retire, and I don't have a retirement plan in place yet. Also, according to my "People I'd Like to Meet" on MySpace, I want to meet Paul the Beatle and Paul the Apostle. If I'd met the first Paul, I'd have to depart this life to meet the later Paul, and I'm not ready for that yet... I'm a very "To-Do List" oriented person.

I might also have interviewed Paul much like this:

Chris Farley and Sir Paul McCartney

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Friday, May 11, 2007

John Krasinski plays with Ben Gibbard in DC

Today we have a guest blogger, Stephanie Flax (aka Flaxy), who along with Carlyn made me cry last night. Why? Because I got this text message from them:

From: Flaxy
Sent: 5/11/07, 12:03 AM

Carlyn also left a voice message: "I had to call because John Krasinski is here with Ben Gibbard."

So it seems I missed my date with destiny, Death Cab, DC, and John Krasinski. Here's a post from Flaxy the super-fan:

John Krasinski, photo by Carlyn Madden via camera phone

I graduated from college a year ago, but based upon my current sleep schedule you'd think I was enjoying retirement. Therefore, it took quite a bit of energy for me to get up and go to the 9:30 club last night for the SECOND of two Johnathan Rice/Ben Gibbard shows. Despite the fact that I will promptly be crashing at my desk somewhere around 2:30 pm, my overall assessment is…


Thanks to some high school connections of mine, Carlyn and I were perfectly situated on the right side of the stage, 30 feet from the performers, and directly behind some drunk, obnoxious frat boys.

So here's how the night ran down…Johnathan Rice, an extremely pleasant performer, came out and played for about 30 minutes. He made sure to comment on, and shush (!) the frat boys, thus adding to his appeal.

Then Ben Gibbard appeared in all of his hipster glory. Carlyn comments that he resembles Dwight Shroot, which is ironic considering the episode of The Office entitled "Beach Day" had aired no more than a couple of hours prior to the show. Ben is an extremely talented fellow, and a definite crowd pleaser. For the 18-year old couple making out in front of us, he made sure to play "Soul Meets Body."

The 9:30 Club website said that we would also be witnessing an appearance from David Bazan (a la Pedro the Lion). You can then imagine our shock and (extremely pleasant) surprise when instead John Krasinski, aka Jim from The Office, appeared to joke around on stage with Ben!!!

While Carlyn and I were actively trying not to faint out of pure love for this man, he manages to sneak off to the upper-balcony area. This made it extremely difficult to focus on the remainder of the amazing Ben performance because we were too busy watching John's every move. I was trying to decipher his beer of choice (Stella Artois, Carlyn claims). However, Ben definitely wowed us, and scored major "coolness points" when he too commented on the rowdy audience.

The night was topped off when Carlyn approached Johnathan Rice, who was perched on a security stool right next to her. He then came over and chatted with the both of us and kind of awkwardly danced behind Carlyn.

All in all, I give last night a major gold star!

Well written, Flaxy. You can guest blog anytime. You and Carlyn both.

I miss DC,

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chatting It Up: Arcade Fire, Spiderman, Ben Gibbard

I recently discovered that it is fun to repurpose IM/GChat conversations on blogs. Maybe not if you aren't involved in the chat. But observe this nine-person chat about The Arcade Fire show in Atlanta, and the one about how Evil Spider-man looks like Conor Oberst.

I'll continue this trend by posting a typical Caren-Carlyn conversation, saved from last week and now posted on the night of the Ben Gibbard concert in DC. Appropriate given the context. This is why we are our favorite GChatters.

Caren: I saw a guy with a hulk hogan-type mustache that rivals Brandon Flowers' as coolest
Carlyn: I love mustaches!
Caren: i know! u'd love this guy!
Carlyn: probably would, not too many mustaches in dc. which is sad
Carlyn: fyi - you know the black cat has hit it big when it's mentioned on GILMORE GIRLS
Caren: WHAT?!?
Carlyn: yes my friend. as i was watching gilmore girls last night (shh, don't tell paste)
Caren: we watch too. our editors LOVE it. and they're dudes. what was the context of it?
Carlyn: the husband of the asian chick is going on tour with a band named Vaporub, or something like that and they're going to hit NYC and DC, places like ___, the 9:30 club and the Black Cat. and sheelu and i were like... waaah?
Caren: hah! love it!

Death Cab for Cutie as legos

Carlyn: Dear Paste Magazine,
A friend and I scored tickets to Ben Gibbard's solo tour.
What are we supposed to expect?
Does he have his own songs he's going to sing? Is he breaking away from the two projects?
Am I going to have to put up with 14 year olds making out? Or do we hope they only know death cab, and not ben gibbard?
Caren: Dear Death Cab Cutie,
Ben Gibbard leads up The Postal Service side project, with Jenny Lewis. It is very techno and he may sing songs from that, including "Such Great Heights," which Iron & Wine made famous in Garden State
With David Bazan of Pedro the Lion opening, you have two lead singers on their own, so the likelihood of 14 year olds is slim to none. However, you may see other people making out, particularly when Gibbard sings "I'll Follow You Into the Dark."

Carlyn: good call
Caren: Enjoy, and who knows -- maybe you'll find a special someone to makeout with, too. Love, Paste Magazine
Carlyn: That was amazing
Caren: good. David Bazan is cool too
Carlyn: i love pedro the lion. i saw him in 2001. oh jesus
Caren: Johnathan Rice is also opening. he is A-MAZ-ING. born in the DC area, but grew up Scottish I think?
Carlyn: i don't know anything about him, so i'm excited to see him
Caren: he is actually dating Jenny Lewis i think
Carlyn: i thought you said jerry lewis, and i was like. whoa now.

Enjoy the concert tonight, Carlyn and Flaxy. I'm jealous.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Concert Poster of My Dreams

I had another rock dream with Andrew Bird AND The Shins... read about it (and see my awesome visual) here.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Too Many Concerts = Exhaustion + Good Stories

Two weeks ago I went to 5 concerts in 5 days. I don't so much remember a lot of that week because I was exhausted. Here's a recap:

Concert 1: Manchester Orchestra, with Kevin Devine and Brand New
Concert 2: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah(Carlyn, I still think that they're really Icelandic...)
Concert 3: Brandi Carlile
Concert 4: Sweetwater 420 Fest
Concert 5: Atlanta Film Festival After-Party, with Ari Hest and Tin Cup Prophette, hosted by Paste

The AFF party was awesome... who knew our office was such a cool concert venue? I'll have pictures soon.

Then I went to NYC and hoped to take a concert break... but The Frames were in town. I was disappointed that The Frames didn't make it to SXSW (they were gonna play our party, too...) but this made up for it. They played all of my favorite old songs and new material, including songs from the soundtrack to Glen's movie, Once. My favorite is "Leave." Irish men normally dance around their feelings, especially sensitive subjects. So to hear Glen belt out this raw song was especially moving.

Last night was The Arcade Freakin Fire.

When I first saw The Arcade Fire in 2005, I didn't like them too much. Not because of anything they did, but because I hadn't really gotten into their debut album, Funeral. But my buddy Nate made me go see them at ACL Festival with him. Good call, Nate. It was 115 degrees in Austin, and the band members were in sweaters and suits. They played until they collapsed on stage... even then one band member was hitting a cymbal while flat on his back. On the bus ride back to the parking lot, one fan started chanting the words to "Neighborhood #2" -- "Alexander... older brother!" -- and the whole bus joined in.

This show was just as good, but indoors where it was air conditioned. Adam and I rushed the stage when Win Butler said it was okay to do so. I jumped around and danced as long as I could stand it, but it was too crowded down there and I got a little panicked. I watched the rest of the show from the safety of my Row P seat.

Here are some pictures (all by Christiano Prado).

No other concerts planned for awhile... what's a girl to do?