Archive for September, 2010

Seth’s Favorite Poems

Posted in Seth's Favorite Poems (by other people) with tags , , , on September 30, 2010 by sethdellinger

into the strenuous briefness
by E.E. Cummings

into the strenuous briefness
Life:
handorgans and April
darkness, friends

i charge laughing.
Into the hair-thin tints
of yellow dawn,
into the women-coloured twilight

i smilingly glide. I
into the big vermilion departure
swim, sayingly;

(Do you think?) the
i do, world
is probably made
of roses & hello:

(of solongs and, ashes)

Wednesday’s Picture

Posted in Photography with tags on September 29, 2010 by sethdellinger

Is There a Ghost in My House?

Posted in Concert/ Events, Rant/ Rave with tags , , , , on September 29, 2010 by sethdellinger

We all know I have a habit of writing a preparatory blog about artists I am about to see in concert a few days before I see them; I do this because most of the bands I like are completely unheard-of, and maybe partly because I’ve run out of truly interesting things to write about, but whatever, you’re here, and that’s all that counts.  I’ll try to keep it short.

Band of Horses is one of those indie bands that is super, super hip inside the indie rock community but will probably never break through to the mainstream, as their music is simply not commercial (though they do have a song, “The Funeral”, that has been used in a few car commercials).  Although, they are quite reminiscent of My Morning Jacket, a band that, despite never having a song on the radio, now plays to sold-out stadiums, so I suppose there’s hope for a large audience for Band of Horses. 

They’re actually a fairly new band.  I’m too lazy to look it up but I wanna say they’ve been around since 2005.  A little over a year ago, I put them at #80 on my list of 100 Favorite Bands.  Now, after a third album has been released, I’m sure they’d enter my top 30.

Here’s their only moderately “famous” song, “The Funeral”.  Lyrics are on the video:

They’re a difficult band to amply describe.  Like My Morning Jacket, they seem to draw equal influence from country, rock, and seventies standards, melding all the sounds into something so cool it’s almost corny, or so corny it’s almost cool.  (“The Funeral” is much more “rock-y” than their typical song).  Witness this song, “Factory”, which seems to meld Big Band, Americana (think The Band or Gov’t Mule) and freak-era Bowie. 

Band of Horses also contains one of the more interesting figures in Indie Rock–Ben Bridwell, lead singer/songwriter.  Much in the way The Lemonheads were not a very famous band, but their lead singer Evan Dando was a major spokesman for the music of their time, Bridwell fronts a laregly ignored band but is one of the more interesting figures in indie rock at the current time.  Couple that with the fact that the band doesn’t tour very much and their tours are very brief, and it does in fact feel very special that I’ll be seeing them next week.

Also, opening for them is a band called Brad.  I do not know Brad’s music very much, but I do know that Brad is a side project of a man named Stone Gossard.  Stone is the rhythm guitarist for Pearl Jam!!!  He’s also my third favorite member of Pearl Jam and my favorite guy named Stone, as well as my favorite guy to ever wear an all-orange outfit!  So even though I don’t know the band’s music very well, it’ll be awesome to see Stone up close and see him playing music in a small venue.

Back to Band of Horses:  this is my favorite song of theirs.  I simply cannot get enough of it!

Seavers Apartments, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

Posted in Memoir with tags , , on September 28, 2010 by sethdellinger

Read this.

Seaver’s Hall is the top-of-the-line dorm at Shippensburg University. Each dorm has three rooms (two bedrooms and one common room); six people live in each (three to a bedroom) but the rooms are huge. There is cable TV and air conditioning. You can put multiple couches in the common room. There is a massive walk-in closet in the common room, typically used as a food pantry, but almost big enough to fit another couch in (we used ours for food and guy junk).  The walls are an off-white wallpaper, and the ceiling is a tiled ceiling—in short, it’s kinda like a real apartment.

            I had five great roommates; we were almost like a season of The Real World, we were all so different. Except we were all straight, white males from the Northeast. But other than that we could not have been more different—or more well-suited to one another.

            This particular night that I am thinking of was quite a bad night.  I had endured a rather horrible break-up a few months prior and had not taken it well. I was drinking very heavily. I was writing tons of awful, angry, awful poetry, and I had collected this poetry into a little booklet that I called Ever-Always a Late Dream. Every poem in this collection was about Her, and every poem in it was awful.  I had finally convinced Her to come to my dorm room so I could give Her a copy of it. At least one-quarter of my desire for Her to come over was so my roommates could see how hot She was. The other three-quarters…well, that motivation was probably even uglier.

            I sat on the brown, smelly couch facing the television and got much more drunk than I should have. By the time She got there (around midnight) I was so wasted that I had entered that area where the things you are looking at, the things you are hearing and doing, do not seem real. If you concentrate very hard, you are in decent command of your faculties, but are vaguely unsure of who the people around you are, where you are, and why you are doing what you are doing.  A stage past this is blackout territory; in fact, this stage is often blackout territory.

            So. She arrives. I offer brief introductions to everyone and whisk Her into my bedroom, where I have kept a pristine copy of Ever-Always a Late Dream for Her.  I think I tried to talk to Her briefly about love, or forever, or some drunk whispy bullshit, and when She wasn’t hearing me, I started letting her have it. I was angry as hell with Her. How dare anyone break my heart? I was special!

            Well, I’m sure I had already spent the last two months guilting Her, and She figured (rightly so) that She didn’t deserve it anymore. After all, She was just trying to do what made Her happy, no? How much was She supposed to suffer, simply because I suffered?

            So she stormed out.

            At first, I paced the common room, gently sobbing, unresponsive to the questions and comforts of my numerous roommates. After a few minutes, though, I got angry again, and tried to flee the dorm room to go after Her and make Her feel terrible again. Either that, or make Her kiss me.

            But the roommates stopped me. Shippensburg University is, after all, a dry campus, and you can get in a lot of trouble for being drunk. Which I clearly was.  They spent a good 5 minutes trying to convince me to calm down, but I just got angrier and angrier, and louder and louder. And drunk, angry, and loud is bad even inside the dorm room, because some authority figure is bound to come check things out eventually, and then they’re all gonna get in trouble.

            So, they stuffed me in the closet.  They turned out the light. I’m sure they were thinking I’d just go to sleep or something, but I got even angrier. I got all turned-around and confused. It was pitch black and I couldn’t tell which way the door was or even which way was up or which way was down and I started to howl and claw at the walls I was so angry I couldn’t even remember Her name now I was just angry at everything and god oh so drunk I started throwing the food off the shelves the Slim Jims the Captains Wafers I stubbed my toe kicking the big Igloo cooler it hurt but just for a flaring moment I got angrier still and tore the shelving unit down on myself and howled even louder howled like I was outdoors or on a mountain not stuck in some pitch-black closet I got a full head of steam and ran into the wall hoping it was the door but it wasn’t I couldn’t find the door then somewhere in there I forgot where I was and then a moment later who I was I am not exaggerating this is not the only time this would happen to me and there is nothing more terrifying than being so drunk yet so cognizant that you are aware only that you are drunk at this point I stopped howling and forgot I was angry and became utterly terrified who was I? what was I doing here? why wouldn’t they help me? I knew there was a they somewhere who could help me but didn’t have the smallest clue who they were or where they were it was like being encapsulated in a huge malevolent concrete womb I slid my hands along every wall surface but it was all just smooth cold painted cinder blocks no knobs no windows no magic buttons I began to cry in earnest and wonder if in fact I was dead or in some kind of prison but at the moment I could not picture what prison looked like not even images from TV or that movie Escape From Alcatraz that my mother had helped me buy on VHS when I was ten I could remember that though I could remember my mother helping me buy Escape From Alcatraz from Hills department store but I couldn’t picture my mother I had no idea what she looked like or what her name was so maybe Escape From Alcatraz was all a dream…

When I emerged into the common room the next morning, the front of my pants were covered with piss and there was dried rancid shit in my ass crack.

Monday’s Song: Pearl Jam, “Hard to Imagine”

Posted in Monday's Song with tags , , on September 27, 2010 by sethdellinger

Hard to Imagine
by Pearl Jam

Paint a picture using only grey.
Light your pillow. Lay back. Watch the flames.
I’d tell a story but no one would listen that long.
It’s hard to imagine.

Tear into yourself, count days on your arm.
Ah, the beating ticking like a bomb.
After having seen all that they saw,
it’s hard to imagine.

Things were different then.
All is different now.
I tried to explain, somehow.

(I hope this works, somehow.)

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , on September 26, 2010 by sethdellinger

From an interview with William Shatner in the current issue of TIME:

TIME:  If you could share a secret about yourself, what would it be?

Shatner:  The secret is, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.  I don’t really know what I’m doing in anything: relationships, driving, talking to you.

Audio Poem: “Language”

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , on September 26, 2010 by sethdellinger

Year written: 2004
Collection: Ridiculous Things

Language

There are only seven different things
that what you just said to me could mean.
First and most apparent, you could have meant
that in fact you do hate the opera
and think that the art form is dead,
especially in the southwest portion of France;
or of course you could have meant it sarcastically,
and you really still love opera,
especially in the south of France;
or you could have meant that you hate to travel
and would rather walk to Kingdom Come
than fly to Europe in today’s air travel industry;
or of course you could have been saying
that terrorism scares you and that
you’re not afraid to admit it;
or you could have meant you’ll never admit
that you were wrong about the IRA when you
said that silly thing you said six years ago
at my friend’s Irish wake;
or you could have meant that death scares
you up a wall, especially the possibility
of being blown-up in a car as you turn the ignition
while you wait for a pal to emerge from the cafe
with your drinks and mini-sandwiches;
or, of course, you could have been saying
you really do love me, and of course
you’ll go to Hawaii with me next spring.

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