Frightened Rabbit & Manchester Orchestra - Architect - Single
“Don’t waste your time on me, I’m just an architect. I have built nothing.
Please take my arms in assistance if I offer them, and I can salve that sting.
Your life held in low regard beneath low ceilings, they are designed by fate.
Tonight, we can tear from the roof from this existence, I tear it all away.
You told all of your friends, you told all of your friends, you told all of your friends, and no one came. No one came.”
I asked a woman in an interview today “What is a common misconception of you, and why is it false?” I still consider it the hardest interview question anyone has ever asked me (see also: interview eleven of twelve at Google in 2002) and I believe my answer - old age and spotty memory notwithstanding - was “people assume I’m always in a good mood. I have my bad days too, but try to keep that to myself so it doesn’t affect my work.” Good job, Aubrey of yore, how you pulled that one out of your ass is further reminder that you were much smarter back in those days. But, at least conceptually, it holds true. I’ve come to realize that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and know that if I’m having a rough day or are under stress or pressure, often the best thing I can do for the team that I manage is leave & internalize it. I know my demeanor is affecting and when I’m upset or stressed, they know it and it rubs off on them. Sometimes you just need to know when to leave (a rule of thumb I employ in many areas of my life.)
And yet. Sometimes it’s not that easy. Running away doesn’t help anything, and you find yourself in a situation where you’re upset, discouraged, uncomfortable. Angry. You’ll know you’re in these situations (or at least *I* know I’m in these situations) because your first inclination is to run. “This feels bad! Get me OUT OF THIS,” my inner pain-aversion mechanism screams. “Abort! Abort!” Then: “OOH, wine & oysters may help!” (Which, frankly, it does, for about an hour. Then…back to that feeling of “oh shit, I hate this.”) Having gone through situations such as this a mere one thousand sixty seven times in the past years, I’ve developed a strategy to try to keep myself on terra firma and avoid my Vibram Five Fingers* from taking me to my nearest watering hole. (*GROSS. As if I’d wear those.) But instead of fleeing, I try to figure out what I’m actually feeling. Fear? Insecurity? Pain? What is the situation causing and what am I trying to avoid? It usually then lets my Type-A, love-me-an-Excel-Spreadsheet-Action-Plan self to see the situation more clearly and come up with a plan on how to start to remedy whatever is happening.
And yet. Sometimes you’re just discouraged. Sometimes you feel like nobody is seeing you for who you are and what you have to offer, both personally & professionally. Sometimes you don’t want to Excel spreadsheet the fuck out of it, and sometimes you just want to be frustrated and hurt and hope that this isn’t in fact a midlife crisis but it’s just a bad day that you told your Google interviewer that you don’t let affect you. Sometimes you just need to let it affect you, and hope that tomorrow isn’t the Mondayest Monday in the history of all Mondays as today is.
And treat yourself to some oysters. There are worse strategies, after all.
Sight Of The Sun
fun. - www.viperial.com
Have had this song - Sight of the Sun - by fun. in my head since it was on the Season Finale of GIRLS. It was supposed to be on fun.’s full-length, but got caught. Michael Penn - who did the score for that episode, amongst many others - included it in the final credits, and damn. I love it. Lyrics, tune…perfection.
(Side note: Michael Penn is *THAT* Michael Penn, who plays with Aimee Mann and wrote “No Myth”, which I love. No wonder I’m obsessed with his song choices.)
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see Frightened Rabbit live, you know the best part of the concert is the energy. Not just by frontman Scott Hutchison and the rest of the extremely-talented five-piece band, but by the audience. They’re transfixed, a mixed group of equal parts young(ish) men & women who have heard their music, obsessed over the lyrics and made a sometimes-lengthy trek to be in the presence of their favorite band. And not only do Frightened Rabbit not disappoint, but they enthrall.
With this latest release, Pedestrian Verse, Frightened Rabbit bring back the painfully raw (and hauntingly authentic) lyrics that made Midnight Organ Fight a standard for any breakup on both continents, but also that energy that fans have come to expect in person. It marries the best parts of this group and does so with aplomb. The third word in the first sentence of the first song is a curse word; the sentence continues and immediately draws you into the story that nearly every song explores. These latest songs are sure to perform well in concert, but until you can get to that packed, sweaty venue that sells out within minutes to hear them live, this is a solid substitute to capture your attention, and if history repeats itself, obsession.