hi. my name is moonbeam. i know you were expecting the usual blog post from chorpenning today, but he asked me to do this.
so check it out:
last weekend, i was drawing a henna design on my friend’s arm down by venice beach when this guy, who later turned out to be chorpenning, approached me and asked, “are you a hippie?”
“i don’t really like labels,” i said.
“come to think of it, neither do i,” he said. i noticed he was wearing a wedding ring and was about to tell him i don’t go for married guys when he asked, “what’s your name?”
“moonbeam,” i answered, hastily adding, “i don’t go for married dudes.”
“me either,” he said. he seemed to be enjoying himself. “is that a henna tattoo you’re doing there?”
“yes,” i said. “would you like one?”
“i’m all set, thanks,” he said. “i represent a minor music blogging concern and i was wondering if you might be interested in reviewing an album for me.”
“what blog?” i asked. i was hoping it was brooklyn vegan.
“it’s called bollocks,” he said. it seemed like he was saying it in bold-face type or something, real pretentious. but i think we’re all pretentious in some way (i mean, hello. i don’t use capital letters!), so i let it slide.
“never heard of it,” i said. i wasn’t being coy (at least i was trying not to be. i really make an effort every day to not be coy because i always feel like coy people are making you the butt of a joke that you never get to hear, which is possibly the most uncool feeling ever).
i shrugged and wiped my hands on a napkin made from 100% recycled maxi pads. “do i get to pick the album?” i asked.
here’s where it gets weird. i was gonna ask to do the new iron & wine album, kiss each other clean and i was totally prepared for a bummer when chorpenning said, “no you don’t. i need a hip…uh…someone… to review the new iron & wine album. do you listen to iron & wine?”
i couldn’t help myself. i hugged him. “i’ll do it,” i said. okay, i kind of shouted it a bunch of times, hugging him the whole time.
so here i am, writing for bollocks!. chorpenning said i can say literally anything i want to about the new iron & wine album, so i’ve been thinking really hard about it because i don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. chorpenning told me “don’t worry about their feelings” (okay, he said, “fuck their feelings.” he really is a nice guy, he just likes to be a debbie downer sometimes), but that’s really tough for me. i do tonglen meditation every night to try and be more compassionate and i can’t just throw that aside to talk about music.
fortunately, i am a huge fan of iron & wine and kiss each other clean is a really beautiful album. i thought maybe chorpenning wanted me to review it because he hated it and didn’t want to just waste a thousand words talking shit, but then i read some of his other posts and realized that’s really not a problem for him. so i asked him why he didn’t review it himself and he said, “it’s pretty, right?” i told him it’s gorgeous and he said, “that’s an understatement. it’s so gorgeous it kind of makes me feel funny. about two thirds of the way through the album, i feel like i’ve been eating candy all day.” he’s kind of a hyperbolic dude. probably all the meat he eats.
but i kinda get what he’s saying. from “walking far from home” right through “lean into the light” (i got the deluxe version), kiss each other clean starts lovely and ends lovelier. i also get why chorpenning wanted a hippie to review this album; it’s got this totally seventies vibe like sam beam has been listening to a lot of crosby, stills, nash, and young or something. but in a good way. does that make sense? i kind of think of all that seventies stuff as “old guy” music (hey, i’m twenty-two. what do you want?) but kiss each other clean seems like it improves on the formula a bit. like instead of just songs about girls and touring in a rock band, these songs have a real, believable humanity to them. i think “your fake name is good enough for me” is a little too long and jammy (i know hippies are supposed to like that stuff, but you’re thinking of hippies my mom‘s age. hippies my age like iron & wine, the flaming lips, and my morning jacket), but it’s totally cool with me if you dig it. my personal favorite track right now is “godless brother in love” because i think it connects some of the beautiful, quieter music that beam did on albums like our endless numbered days with the e.p. he did with calexico and his last album, the shepherd’s dog. “godless brother” is a slower, softer track that makes me want to light a bunch of candles and just soak in a bath for a while. a lot of old iron & wine songs make me want to do that, come to think of it. something new that i like about kiss each other clean though: it also has songs that make me want to dance naked by a bonfire (okay, the waiter at this coffee shop just read that over my shoulder and now he totally won’t leave me alone. isn’t it time for you to go practice with your metallica tribute band? was that mean? i’m sorry, i just don’t like sketchy dudes looking down my shirt while i try to write). i think “big burned hand” is like a porn song for the goddess of love and the god of war (sam beam doesn’t specify if he’s referring to greek, roman, or some other mythology), and it sets my hips to shaking. oh shit. i’m sorry, i have to leave this coffee shop before i finish the review.
god, what is wrong with some people? i consider myself a tolerant person but i just couldn’t deal with that coffee shop guy. he was trying to flirt with me and when he saw the blog i was writing for, he said that chorpenning was “an asshole” for saying that people shouldn’t cover jimi hendrix songs anymore. why does that guy care? anyway, after he was done trash-talking my editor, he still wanted my phone number. how sad is that?
sorry. it’s a lot harder to get this done than i expected. i guess i’ll sum things up this way: kiss each other clean is a great album for bathing in soft candlelight or dancing naked by bonfires. just be careful where you say that stuff, because you never know who’s imagining you naked.
I’d like to thank moonbeam for helping me out today. She asked me to explain that she doesn’t use capital letters because she doesn’t like the idea of one letter towering over and “dominating” (her word, not mine) the other letters. When she’s not teaching inner city youth how to prepare vegetarian meals on a budget, moonbeam can be found around Los Angeles, drinking chai lattes and putting henna on pretty much everyone she meets. She also sincerely apologizes to anyone if their feelings were hurt by what she wrote. She’s a helluva lot nicer than I am. Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow with the capital letters, swearing, and total disregard for people’s feelings.