Here we are, Blogworld: it's February.
Every year I fear February like no other month, and every year I talk myself into it by Valentine's Day: "it's not as cold as I thought--we're in the teens today!" "hey, look, an hour of sunlight!" "boy howdy, I love the Fleet Foxes!" etc. I send and receive Valentines cards like a third grader with a cubby. I fight the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with such tenacity I end up enjoying a happy, active, productive month.
At least this is what I tell myself.
So, I needed February's Fan of the Month to be a warm personality year-round. I needed someone with a voracious appetite for music (I spend so much time in, I get sick of old music quickly). I needed someone to shine a little light on this weird, dark, enigmatic month.
Fortunately for us, I've got just the gal.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you...
February's Fan of the Month, Anna in Nashville!
(If you'd like to be a future Fan of the Month, just email email@example.com with "FOM" in the Subject. Thanks!)
20 in years, 13 in appearance.
(Editor's Note: I feel your pain.)
Nashville, TN. Anywhere within walking distance of Vanderbilt’s campus is my domain.
Something the average interweb browser wouldn't know about me is…?
As a child, my biggest fear was that parting my hair would make me look like Emilio Estevez.
The music scene in Nashville is…?
Pretty much anything you could hope or not hope to find.
Whatcha do for a living?
Student/hopefully soon-to-be student employee in the Admissions office.
We've heard a bit about Nashville in this blog. What's Vanderbilt like?
Beautiful campus, great professors, excellent resources--but there are girls who don’t understand the dynamic of wearing pants. Tights just don’t cut it. I want to politely explain to them that they forgot to get dressed. The food on campus makes it all worth it though – plus Ralph Nader is coming next month. I might have trouble keeping my pants on then.
(Editor's Note: I'm going to bypass the thought of Ralph Nader as a sex symbol and note that, in 2001, Vanderbilt offered Chik-fil-A ON CAMPUS. If you think it's good now, you cannot imagine the walking euphoria that was 24/7-already-paid-for-Chik-Fil-A. When a "generic chicken sandwich place" replaced it in 2002, students wept in class, common rooms hosted "coping sessions," classes were canceled, and guest speakers began with a moment of silence. Dark days, indeed.)
Is Ralph Nader your #1 sexiest "Ralph" of all-time?
Ralph Nader is my #1 sexiest living being of all time. Even more than Waldo Emerson or Fiennes.
(Editor's Note: We might have stumbled upon the first person to find Ralph Nader sexy. Groundbreaking blog, as always!)
When was the last time you ate at Burger King?
I basically lived in a hospital waiting room from Halloween until Christmas Eve, and after eating Subway twice a day for several weeks, I got one of those disgusting veggie burgers from BK to mix things up a bit. The fries and bucket of soda were nice though. (You call that a medium?)
You have one meal left in life but it has to be fast food. You can pick and choose different items from different joints. Name that meal!
Is Jimmy John’s considered fast food? I’ll pretend it is. #6 for the avocado spread, plus salt and vinegar chips and pink lemonade. I don’t care if their health rating is 74 – there is nothing better. Since it’s my last meal, I’ll spring for both chips and French fries--fries from BK I guess. And a side of nachos from Taco Bell.
What music publications/blogs/sites do you read? Any of them good? Chris Milam’s Mailbag, FOTM, and Songs for the Month; Under the Radar (my current favorite magazine); The Arcade Fire and of Montreal website updates and blogs. I don’t keep up with them regularly enough, but it’s nice to know what’s new.
Pick your dream concert. Any three (living) artists, anywhere, any venue, any month, any time of day. What is it? What's it called?
of Montreal, Hall & Oates, and Ryan Adams at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA on an evening in May. I would love to see how they would interact, and Jackson 5 covers are a must. It would be called “A Tribute to Steve Buscemi.”
Which makes more sense: that Steve Buscemi must attend his tribute concert, or that Steve Buscemi must not attend his tribute concert? I can't wrap my head around this. I just went crosseyed.
I just went crosseyed too. Now I'm "kinda funny lookin'" like Carl Showalter.
You can pick one album as your morning alarm for a year. The songs and their “wake-up” segments will shuffle randomly, but you are stuck with this album for a full year. What is it?
Antics by Interpol: amazing album but not so beloved that it would pain me to resent it for waking me up all year.
(Editor's Note: I have to interject. Of all the FOMs, Anna's questionnaire was the best-edited when she sent it in. It was immaculate. In other words, I haven't had to do anything. At all. I might go bowling...)
If you could fight any public figure, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough decision. A few people come to mind immediately: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Donald Rumsfeld, Natalie Portman, Brian Kelly, the members of the band Seether (are they even considered public figures?), whoever stopped John Hinckley Jr. from finishing the job... I think Glenn Beck isn’t harmful enough for me to want to fight him the most--who can take this guy seriously? For starters, he can’t spell “oligarch.”
Hannity kind of falls in the same category, and someone far stronger than I should go up against Rumsfeld. I don’t want to choose Seether because that’s giving them way more attention than they deserve (covering a George Michael song should be punishable by death.) Kelly isn’t really a threat because I refuse to acknowledge ND as an established program. I'm not sure who stopped Hinckley, so I guess that leaves Portman.
What a hobag. She’s a terrible terrible actress who ruins movies that otherwise would be amazing, or at least less bad. She looks like a 15-year-old boy. She makes vegetarians and liberals in general look like whiney idiots with underdeveloped agendas, and I don’t appreciate it one bit. Plus, I think I could take her.
(Editor's Note: Wow. Just, wow. Chris, didn't you used to have a thing for Portman?)
(Chris's Note: Used to. We're talking. It's complicated. Hours and hours of couples therapy later...I need to "give more" and her love language is "Swahili." We bought a microwave together. It's a process. We're definitely not "back" enough that I wouldn't want to see her get in a fistfight, or treated like a hydrant.)
Just curious: what's the beef with Seether? I know nothing except that they have a song every year on Madden.
I don't know much about them either, but they covered (read: ruined) the song "Careless Whisper" by Wham! That does not sit well with me.
Fill in the blanks!
Five favorite artists from the 60's are…?
The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Band, The Chiffons.
Five favorite artists from the 90's are…?
Nirvana, Radiohead, Blur, Gin Blossoms, Boyz II Men.
Five favorite artists from the 2000's are…?
of Montreal, Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian, Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst.
Some more singer/songwriters I love are… ?
Neil Sedaka, Sigur Ros, The White Stripes, Phantom Planet, Carla Bruni, Sublime, Rage Against the Machine, Chris Milam.
....is my favorite Beatle.
I know you disagree, but George Harrison.
Why George? (He's not my pick, but I still love George...I think it's fascinating that so many FOMs have picked him. I would've never expected that. I haven't gotten an explanation yet--I'm hoping you can shed some light on this phenomenon.)
He may not have been the leading contributor to the overall success of The Beatles, but I think he wrote the best songs. It mainly boils down to personal preference; I like his style. I also like a reasonable amount of sitar, which he sometimes provided. He didn't whore himself out like McCartney, and he didn't create a cult of personality around himself like Lennon. Ringo's great too--I hear that Yasser Arafat gig is working well for him.
(Editor's Note: There's still something here that we're not getting at. The George Phenomenon is curious. I feel a 3,000-word Chris-treatise coming.)
...is my favorite adjective in the English language.
...is my favorite month of the year.
(Editor's Note: Me too!)
...is my least-favorite month of the year.
(Editor's Note: Me too!)
Favorite wrongly-heard song lyric is...? (e.g. "Excuse me while I kiss this guy...") “Trim up the tree and join the Ku Klux Klan!” by the Whos in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
What's the real/correct lyric?
Apparently they're actually saying, "Trim up the tree with goowho gums and bizilbix and wums!" ...that would have been my second guess?
Favorite rock album of the Oughts?
Cold Roses by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals or Hot Fuss by the Killers.
Favorite non-rock album of the Oughts?
Dear Catastrophe Waitress by Belle and Sebastian or Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? by of Montreal.
Favorite movie (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
Arthur and There Will Be Blood
Favorite TV show (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
Arrested Development (or The Office if my choice has to be currently running) and Mad Men.
Rank these items in order of awesomeness: Mountains, Nick Saban, the 2nd Amendment, The Complete Cinematic Works of Paul Newman, Ice Cream, California
1) Nick Saban (SABAN NATION)
2) Ice cream
5) The Complete Cinematic Works of Paul Newman
6) That amendment that no one knows how to interpret
I did a "Monthly Playlist" throughout 2009, and have taken a brief hiatus. I need your help. Give me 5 "Songs for February."
1) “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen. Not because it’s appropriate for the time of year, although there’s plenty of darkness. February just sucks, so it’s nice to sing all dialogue to the tune and grunt of this classic in an attempt to cheer yourself UP. (“Would you liiike a Frennch fry?”)
2) “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” by of Montreal. Best song about winter depression ever.
3) “Stephanie Says” by the Velvet Underground. This song is a great compromise between feeling down and trying to overcompensate for feeling down. Just a step above mellow.
4) “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears. An appropriate allowance of gloom. It’s great if you’re feeling cynical without being full-fledged “Let Down” by Radiohead. This isn’t March.
5) “A Song for You” by Ryan Adams and Emmylou Harris. Second-best Gram Parsons cover ever. It serves as a great transition into Parsons’ weepier classics that you’ll need in the dead of March.
On a scale of 1 to "Chris at Christmastime," how much do you enjoy Valentine's Day?
Somewhere between “Anna on Columbus Day” and 1.2. I don’t buy into Valentine’s Day. I have no use for this flower, and I don’t think it’s worthy of sexual favors. Plus all the girls (and boys too) who feel down on themselves when they don’t have a Valentine--get over it. I plan to celebrate the holiday in my PJs on the couch with scrambled eggs and Reservoir Dogs. The one good thing about VD is getting cheap candy on Feb. 15th. Oh, and the grotesquely lifelike heart-shaped card I made from construction paper.
(Editor's Note: Anna's heart picture below. She's multi-talented.)
Feel comfortable sharing your most interesting (good/bad/embarrassing/hilarious/bizarre) Valentine's Day story?
My friend Nicole and I are currently preparing cheap Valentine’s cards to send to random people on campus (courtesy of Vanderbilt People Finder and a little imagination) which will be signed from Dave Coulier.
In the words of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles, "is love alive"? If not, who killed it?
Of course love is alive. The real question, as posed by Ryan Adams, is “How Do We Keep Love Alive?” The answer: Farmers’ Market and Jason Schwartzman films.
You can move anywhere in America for six months. Money, time, and job situation are no object. Name the place.
San Francisco, CA or anywhere in Hawaii. Anna likey warm weather, especially this time of the year.
You can move anywhere on earth for six months. Same deal. Same place, or do you become an expat?
Expat 100%. I would live in Reykjavik during the six warmest months. Northern lights, hot springs, Brennivin, 24 hours/day of sunlight during the middle of the summer...sign me up!
(Editor's Note: Fine, I'll say it: I don't know what a Reykjavik is.)
You are going out tonight. You are going out to do whatever it is you would like to do for a fun night of festivity and frivolity. This can include anything from organizing cricket tournament to bank robbing in Monte Carlo to spelunking in the Ukraine. Anything. You get to assemble your posse for the night. You can pick ANY FOUR MEN OR ANY FOUR WOMEN on the planet, friends, celebrities, athletes, etc. Who is in your entourage and why?
1) Ralph Nader: the driving force behind seat belts, he’s the reason you can eat a hotdog and not die. Talk about wing man!
2) Javier Arenas: in case I needed to get anywhere quickly and awesomely.
3) Salma Hayek: visuals, visuals, visuals.
4) Will Reynolds: great guy who would make sure everyone hears how much fun we’re having.
Considering Jason Schwartzman has made two appearances in this questionnaire, how's he left out of the entourage?
Because the entourage is spending the evening at Jason Schwartzman's house!! High five!
(Editor's Note: To lift Jack Black in High Fidelity..."Schwartzman's so good...that should've been mine!")
Where will music be in 5 years? What will be the next "big thing"? Where would you like to see it go?
Unfortunately, I think we’re in for more Disney whoring and forced-raspy Nickelback garbage. I’m hoping we see a turn for the better though. There are still tons of great artists making great music every day. I would LOVE to see more people just admitting what appeals to them and stop with this Pitchfork-style competitive interest labeling. I’m not ashamed to admit that I like Air Supply!! Hopefully we’ll diverge from the repetition trend too – those songs that repeat the chorus ten times; I feel like I’ve heard the song four times in three and a half minutes. I’m holding out for more catchy melodies and fewer cookie cutters. 3 Doors Down should be at least 7 Miles Down the Road.
(Editor's Note: Distance-snaps!)
Finally, how can I ever thank you for the support?
Well, you did choose me for the shortest month of the year, so I feel entitled to more glory. Nashville stop on your upcoming tour and a new hit single “Anna."
(Bonus Question! There are lots of songs about "Anna's." Do you have a favorite? Or do you necessarily hate all of them?
Other "Anna" songs are fine, but I don't feel like they adequately represent my thunder and/or jive-ness. That's where you step in.)
Done and already done.