Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"You didn't see me, I was falling apart. I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park. You didn't see me, I was falling apart. I was the television version of a person with a broken heart. You didn't see me, I was falling apart. I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park. You didn't see me, I was falling apart. I was the television version of a person with a broken heart." ~the national

Fargo's finale was this week, and it was a fantastic closer to a fantastic show. I've thought a lot about TV's recent fascination with antiheroes, and this article from Time beautifully expresses how Fargo breaks the mold. Of course the show is brilliant because of the writing and the storytelling, but it's also brilliant because of the acting. Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman's performances are stellar and have gotten lots of well-deserved praise, but Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks also gave extremely nuanced, wonderful performances that should be recognized. I'll miss this show.

ETA: Allison Tolman literally just won a Critic's Choice Award for her performance! Yesss! And the show won Best Miniseries! Billy Bob Thornton also won for his role! (Martin Freeman was nominated in the same category as BBT for his role in Fargo and I actually would have preferred to see him win, but I am glad it went to someone from Fargo.) The show is racking up the awards tonight, and rightfully so!

BTW, Tatiana Maslany also won a Critic's Choice Award: Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), for the second year in a row. This makes me unbelievably happy. Just give her an Emmy already!

The National. Prospect Park. Oh my gosh. This was my 17th concert of theirs, but it ranks among the best. During "Terrible Love," Matt (the lead singer, in case you're not up on the best band in the world, which you should be) leaned on me while singing for about a minute. He comes into the crowd during a couple times ("Mr. November," "Terrible Love") and I happened to have the perfect spot. I was in the front row, on the railing, and he stood on the railing as he sang. He leaned on me as I helped hold him up. During some of it I was holding his thigh and during some of it I was holding his arm. It's all a bit of a blur, but it was fantastic. His arm was strong and sweaty and hairy and magnificent. At one point I just stood there thinking, "I'm currently holding Matt Berninger up by his thigh. This is really happening. Seriously." It was a crazy feeling. Having seen the band 17 times, I've seen most of the songs I've wanted to see. The setlist this time was great, though. The one song I've wanted to hear that I got to hear last night was "Green Gloves." They also did "Santa Clara" and "The Geese of Beverly Road," favorites of mine that I've heard live before but always give me chills. I'll post some video and audio later. For now, here are some photos.

BrooklynVegan has some great photos. You can see me in one of them, so go play "Where's Claire?"

Here's a panoramic photo I took of the crowd behind me:
 Here's Matt:
 And Bryce, playing two guitars at once:
 The band:

And these are photos that other people took:

From chophaus on Instagram (I'm up there close to Matt):

From patiobop on Instagram (I think that's my hand on his leg):

A good one from mattmartin507 on Instagram (again, I'm in there somewhere):


When Matt was in the crowd, he somehow cut his head. It looked pretty bad, but he didn't even seem to notice; he kept right on going. LOTS of photos from the show here (including the one below), taken by David Andrako:

Thursday, June 05, 2014

I went to an Old 97's concert on Tuesday at Webster Hall. I've been a fan of theirs for a long time, so I was eager to see them live for the first time. They've been together for 20 years, they have ten studio albums and four EP's, and they're pretty awesome. My favorite album of theirs is Fight Songs. Because they have so much material, I know it's impossible to go to a concert and hear everything you want to hear, so I tried not to get my hopes up too much. They did play my favorite song of theirs, "Question," so that made me very happy. I also loved hearing "Indefinitely," "Wish the Worst," and "Nashville." There were a LOT of songs I love that I didn't get to hear, though, like "Salome," "Adelaide," "The New Kid," "Jagged," "Lonely Holiday," "Oppenheimer"...again, I know there's no reason to expect them to play all those, it was just wishful thinking on my part. Of course they played a lot from their new album, Most Messed Up, which is good. It's gotten awesome reviews. I think I need to give it a few more listens to fully digest it. Anyway, here are some videos I took. I recorded audio of the whole concert which I'll upload later; the videos are of my favorite songs.

First of all, a .gif I made of Rhett Miller falling (gracefully):

And now for the videos!

We'll start with my favorite, "Question:"

And here's another one I love, "Indefinitely:"

One of the best songs from the new album, "Nashville:"

And an oldie but goodie: this is where you can see Rhett fall, if you find that kind of thing funny (which I do):

And finally, "Four Leaf Clover," another song I love, performed with Lydia Loveless (who opened for them):

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Drama Desk Awards were last night. They were entertaining, largely because Laura Benanti was the host and she's hilarious. The highlight for me was Sydney Lucas performing "Ring of Keys" from Fun Home, my favorite musical of the year. This song has stuck with me since I saw the show, and I was thrilled to see it performed again on last night's awards.

I could write a detailed essay on the song "Ring of Keys." It makes me cry it's so wonderful; it's one of the most powerful songs I've ever seen onstage. First of all, the music is gorgeous; I love the melody (and I love the fact that the only accompaniment is a piano). The lyrics really make the song astounding, though, as well as the delivery. Sydney Lucas hits it out of the park with this song. She's ten years old (actually, she might be eleven now, but she was ten when the show opened), and she gives one of the best performances I've ever seen, and this song clearly demonstrates why. She perfectly conveys such a wide range of emotions; she's confused and awed and is trying to process her feelings in this situation. The song beautifully captures a child's perspective, and it's a turning point for the character. Basically the music is absolutely gorgeous, the song propels the story perfectly, and the performance is fantastic.