You don’t want to hear me
So I’m kind of cold-turkey quitting Facebook as of five minutes ago. “Anna May” practically went unnoticed, overlooked, or just outright ignored, even after three straight days of promoting and plugging it. I have friends on Facebook, but I can’t keep doing this. Can’t do it. I feel I worked way too hard, and put a lot of time and effort into that song, to not even get feedback or constructive criticism. Also, this isn’t therapy hour. I’m not “upset” at my network of peers, I’m more disappointed in myself. I see what I did wrong; I was too much of a joker on Facebook. So much so that I believe I may have inadvertently become nothing more than just a “funny guy” who wrote nothing but silly status updates that when it came time for me to post my actual artwork, nobody took me seriously. It’s a bummer, but now at least I know what might have happened here. It’s also a good goal for me to set; I won’t be asking that you like or love what I do, or that you even remotely agree with what I do. I just want to be respected as an artist, that’s all. I guess I’m too prideful of my work to see it go unseen, untouched by virtually everybody, but that’s what makes me tick. Certainly what makes me hungrier, what gives me a chip on my shoulder. I think it’s meant to be this way. It’s misery, but romance at the same time. Hustle. And fight. It’s a fight to do anything, to get anything done. The fight is real. The fight is 100%.
I know, I just know, that somebody, somewhere out there will see or hear what I’ve been making, and even appreciate it maybe. But it’s not there in Facebookland with my “social network”. So that said, smell ya laters Facebook! It’s been rad. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya, and I’m off to fly away with the Twitter bird!
"Is it you?"
I like to think of myself as an artist. That, by no means, should be interpreted that I am A) successful or B) that I think what I do is lucrative or of high-value. I do what I do (and at the moment, I don’t get paid to do what I do) simply because it’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s stimulating, and perhaps, most importantly, I get to express myself. I get to express how I feel and what I’m thinking about. Art, and by extent, being an artist, is a creative outlet for me. I don’t like to use the word “escape”, because I feel like it makes me seem like I’m longing to get away from reality, or “the real world” if you will, and off into fantasy. Rather, I’ve always felt like I’m not really from here, that I’m from outer space or something, and that art is more like, a new planet, a new, or at least a different, alternate world, where I can go to and just BE me.
For the past three years, that brave new world, that strange, unfamiliar frontier, has been the artform of music. I’ve normally been more of a writer and an illustrator; coming up with crazy stories, creating entire characters, and doodling away on notebooks. But since 2011, I have found music to be the most fun I’ve ever had being an artist. For those of you who may not already know, I am the Y’allstars. Friends and family know me as Alain Balano, but after deciding to teach myself how to make songs, I’m now also xAJx, a nerdcore rapper. Every artform that I embraced in my life, I can tap into and manifest into the artform I love the most, but up until 2011, could never do: music. I write my own lyrics, design the artwork, and produce the beats. All on my own. My very lonesome.
As a guy who majored in game art and design, but has really struggled to make in to the business, I’m glad I found music as my outlet to stay creative despite all the obstacles and dead ends I came across. If it hadn’t been for States, Mindy White, and a little known 2010 mixtape from Team Radio to really inspire me to do it just to HAVE FUN, even if I probably had no business doing so, I’m almost certain I wouldn’t be writing this post right now and that I’d be going to work bright and early tomorrow morning at WalMart.
Any artist will tell you that feedback is essential; it’s how you gauge your growth and development as an artist, regardless of what medium you are in. How else are you going to know if you’re doing better, worse, or not making any real progress if nobody is giving you critiques? And this is where the point of this late night brain vomit on Tumblr comes in: I’ve been doing music now for three years, and I’ve never gotten any real significant amount of feedback. It’s gotten to the point now where I doubt anybody is actually listening.
I don’t want this to sound like I’m expecting people to be remotely interested and that they have to listen to my music. I’m not forcing anyone to listen to it or even like it. But I am beginning to question whether or not this is all worth it in the end, or if I’ve been wasting my time for the past three years pointlessly chasing… chasing something I’m not even sure what I’m chasing, where all this effort could have gone to working a 9-5 day job. I don’t know anymore.
Today I released my song “Anna May”, a track I had been feverishly working on for the past 2 months. I had so much fun with it, from beginning to end, and put in untold amount of hours, doing everything myself. I put it out there… and nothing. I don’t know what this means. All I know is that it’s deflating. It sucks. In a word, it sucks.
I need Botox
Gunna need a couple of Nad’s to the eyebrows
We’re making a new @STATESmusic record!!! And we’ve launched a Kickstarter to help make it possible! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1602696600/states-2nd-full-length-album Pleaassee share :)
I pledged like it was PBS public televison, and you guys should too! This is the perfect way to support good music!
I didn’t watch that clip of Jen getting papped while she was on the phone and I don’t intend to, but when you’re going through this tag, it’s like the elephant in the room that you can’t ignore. First it was pics of her being visibly upset about something. Then gifsets with some subtitles. I don’t want to speculate on what it all means because honestly, it’s none of my fucking business. What is pissing me off is that I’m watching somebody, “celebrity” or civilian, get absolutely thrown into the lions den. What pisses me off is that the thumbnail on that video is “WE’VE GOT YOU”. Got what? Should we be excited that you caught, from the looks of it, a 22-year old woman in the middle of a personal crisis? There’s two ways you can dehumanize somebody; you either dismiss them, or you idolize them, and frankly, both of those things happen to Jen on a constant basis, be it her detractors and some of her fans.
I know this happens all of the time in Hollywood, but it really sucks when I see it happen to Jen. And I don’t even personally know her for cripes sake. Some of you are probably already rolling your eyes and thinking, well, she signed up for this. No. No she didn’t. She signed up to be an actress. She didn’t sign up to be hounded and stalked and prodded. Nobody in their right mind would sign up for that. So stop dismissing her. You may have already put her higher above you in your head for whatever reason; because of “fame”? The fact that her profession and what she wanted to do happens to deal with Hollywood? The fact that she has ”lots of money”? No. It’s unfortunate that the by-product, fame, is overwhelming her desired occupation, acting. It sucks when people overlook or forget that. It sucks when you have a dream to do something, you do it, and then people completely misinterpret what it is you do and then tear you apart for it. Nobody wakes up and says they want to only be famous. And if you do, you’re arrogant.
What pisses me off is that I’m watching somebody who, for all intents and purposes, is like me, a kid around my age, a kid from my generation, get exploited by older people, the older generations. And then these old people, who are out of touch with OUR world, judge us and give us shit for it. Whether or not you want to believe it or accept it, you strip away her acting career, what do you have? Just a normal person. She’s just an ordinary girl who happens to be doing extraordinary things, and obviously post-Hunger Games, has extraordinary things happening to her. But take away all the “extra”, and you’re left with just ordinary. Stop making her out to be something that she’s not, that she doesn’t even make herself out be.
There are some of us, some of them fans, and a lot of them in the Team Katniss coaliton, who are going to yell in Jen’s face, and stick useless crap like movie posters, and DVD cases, and sharpies in her face and demand that she sign them, demand for that photo-op, then half-sincerely thank her for it, then brag about it on whatever social media outlet they prefer. And then there’s some of us, who’ve kind of been following her career and watching her grow ever since The Bill Engvall Show, who are just going to wave at her, maybe nod and salute her if we happen to catch her jogging or something. How about a simple hello? Maybe not even say anything and just smile. Maybe take a second to just appreciate her hard work, and that’s it, nothing more nothing less. Which one are you?
Her life isn’t going to revert back to normal anytime soon, probably ever, so don’t make it worse. She’s probably already had to consciously make the decision a long time ago to start distancing herself from civilians, people like us here on Tumblr, not because she wants to, but because she just needs to. It sounds like a hopeless battle trying to maintain what little privacy, if any, she has left. And who can blame her honestly? Everybody wants shit from her: pictures, autographs, her weight, her number, her address, who is she dating, how much money is she making, who is she dating, they want to do interviews with her, they want her to come in and model off these designer brands like she’s a walking billboard, they want to look at her, touch her, kiss her, fantasize about her, hook up with her, ask her hand in marriage, and then some of y’all just want to get into her pants. The world becomes closed-off and much smaller when nobody wants anything to do with you other than what you can do for them. Shit is lonely.
If you really respect her, if you’re really appreciate what she does, then don’t make her world even lonelier than it already is.
Is it any wonder, I reject you first?
- “Fame” by David Bowie
FIRST WEEK, LAST WEEK… CAREFREE
So I rang in the New Year basically by taking dump. I can already tell 2013’s gunna be absolutely fantastic. Just perfection. This year, I’m turning 25 (my birthday’s on 1/23/88, so that’s coming up pretty soon), so I would have been alive for a quarter fucking century. Holy shit. Isn’t that what they call a Silver Jubilee? Or anniversary? Or something? Yah, I’m totes gunna live it up for my very own Silver Jubilee. Geez, I feel old. But I’m not, or at least, I shouldn’t be. Must be what the “quarter-life crisis” feels like. Hunh. Maximum crabbiness, everyday.
What did I do today, let’s see. I cleaned-up my desktop and tricked it out with a new wallpaper, so that’s refreshing. I changed my Twitter bio, that’s cool. I forgot my password for Skype, so I made a new screen-name. Now I get to quasi-hang out with friends and pretend to be sociable again! Ummmm, uhhhh, laundry… I tumbl’d (which is a very hard commitment for me, so this is a big deal). OH. I baked a pizza. That was the highlight on the first of 2013. Easily. Food ‘o clock is my favorite time of the day.
I decided to not make any New Year’s resolutions this time around. Couldn’t really think of any to be honest. Oh, I also was not the recipient of those “new year kisses” thingies. Just ‘cause I don’t get it. Wow, I’m really coming across as not giving any bothers whatsoever. None.
Anyhoot, happy new year! It’s been real 2012, but see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!
What progress have I made the first week?
-“First Week, Last Week… Carefree” by Talking Heads
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY
"Silver Linings Playbook" Movie Review
I finally got to watch Silver Linings Playbook today. I’ve been meaning to catch the movie, especially during its first run back in November, but it was so limited and none of the theaters in my area screened it unfortunately. So suffice to say, I was stoked when it was expanding to even more theaters on Christmas! I went today since my hometown of San Francisco was celebrating the 100th anniversary of MUNI by offering free Muni rides all across town, not to mention, I got a cool $20 as a Christmas present from a relative. Stars aligned for this happen, eh? :P
(spoiler-free! just a plot summary)
SLP is about Pat Solitano, Jr. (Bradley Cooper), a Philadelphia Eagles fan who suffers from undiagnosed bi-polar disorder. He goes in for treatment over a period of eight months at a mental health care facility, though he outright refuses to take any medication to handle his condition, and frequently butts heads with his therapist over his prognosis and how he plans to overcome it. You learn that Pat’s drive to succeed is fueled by his want to win back the love of his wife, Nikki, who cheated on him. She subsequently placed a restraining order on Pat as he was institutionalized for nearly beating the man with whom she was having an affair with to death; the incident being the progenitor of the events in the movie.
After he is released, he begins to get his life back to normal. He moves back in with his parents, gets reacquainted with friends, and along the way meets Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence). A depressed widow still reeling from the untimely death of her husband and the loss of her job, Pat is surprised to learn that the two share something in common; they are both neurotic and subject themselves to medication, with Tiffany’s being to manage her recovery from sex-addiction. The two awkwardly bond, mostly through verbal abuse. Tiffany reveals to Pat that she can get in contact with Nikki, since the restraining order in effect won’t allow him within 500 feet of his wife. Pat pens a letter, but Tiffany explains she’ll only give it to Nikki if she gets something in return from Pat: for him to be her dance partner in a forthcoming competition she has been practicing for. Pat is reluctant to go through with it, however Tiffany convinces him otherwise, citing that it may be all the change his wife needs to see to accept him back in her life and resume their marriage.
Before seeing SLP, I thought Wreck-It Ralph was my favorite movie of 2012 (well, I said the same thing for The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games prior :P). But now I take that back. This movie, this is the movie. Pretty cool that with literally only four days left in the calendar year, the last movie I watch in 2012 ends up being my personal fave. There’s just something about indie movies; the writing, the dialogue, the acting, and SLP has all of that and then some. I was wondering exactly what about this rom-com was garnering all of this Oscar-buzz, and yep, it would be all of those three things. It’s just a well-written and well-directed film. There’s parts where it seemed like the dialogue was improvised, but even then, the actors are so on point, that it legitimately felt like that you as the viewer was also a moderator caught in the middle of a real conversation between real people. That’s one hell of a script. The movie’s also paced really well, almost with this sort of jittery, janky, jump-cut fest vibe. Some don’t like it, especially during the first part of the movie, since it feels overwhelming at times, but I personally thought it was a nice touch considering the main character’s manic personality and frequent mood swings. Speaking of which, the movie does an extremely good job of identifying, highlighting, and explaining a lot about mental illness, as well as dispelling many of the misconceptions people have about it. And the movie does so without giving you a lenghty medical textbook definition; instead it just lets the actors take up these “disorders” and live them out on screen. You’ll feel horrible about halfway into the movie for judging the main characters as typical “crazy” people when they eventually turn out to be probably the most sane, logical-thinking individuals in the entire movie. SLP really makes you think in that sense, which is what really got to me. Yes, the movie is about characters coping with mental illness, but you can’t help but notice this underlying sense of just how judgmental society is towards them. You may not need to have a personality disorder or a mental illness to be able to relate to Pat or Tiffany; you might just need to know how it feels to be unfairly judged by people who don’t even know who you are.
People are going to go in for Bradley Cooper, they’re going to go in to see Robert DeNiro, but they all walk out of the theater talking about Jennifer Lawrence. She steals the show and MAKES the movie work the way it does. It’ll be interesting to see how people receive her in this role since this is really the only other “high-profile” or buzzworthy film she’s in this year, post-Hunger Games, and on a broader sense, since she started doing big budget, Hollywood-style franchises. It’s certainly the first time she’s been getting Oscar-buzz for an indie film since Winter’s Bone. Her fans seem to be split into two camps: people who’ve followed her career from the very beginning and then there’s the Team Katniss fandom. The Tiffany character is extremely raunchy, which was absolutely no surprise to me that Jen took up the part. She has a tendency to play these really dark as well as strong, independent roles. I mean, she was raped for cripes sake in The Poker House and got beat the holy hell up in Winter’s Bone. Some of her younger fans are undoubtedly gunna go wide-eyed at the amount of F-bombs Jen drops in SLP, but I think it has to be this way. I don’t think she’d want to be only known as Katniss or typecasted as an action heroine, and this movie gives her an amazing platform to showcase her range of acting, which is quite deep. There’s similarities between herself and Katniss in regards to her real-life indifference to fame, yes, but as far as her, the PERSON (not the “actress”), it almost feels like Tiffany IS Jennifer. Or at least a slightly exaggerated version of her normal self. Again, this may all come as a shock to some of her fans, in particular, the ones who want to be like her. I can safely say her performance as Tiffany Maxwell has topped her role as Ree Dolly from Winter’s Bone for me. I came to this conclusion during one specific scene in the movie that I won’t spoil for you. Besides, I personally cannot wait for the Tumblr community to start tongue-in-cheek trolling the Team Peeniss/Team Gale shippers with Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence-SLP GIFs.
I’m afraid I’ve crossed-over into “tl;dr” territory, so I’ll wrap this up. Go see Silver Linings Playbook. It truly is worth every dollar. Especially now that more theaters are going to carry it, it means you’ll have a better chance and more of a reason to go see it! If you’re a fan of great writing and dialogue, you won’t be sorry. If you’re a fan of great acting, and there’s truckloads of it here with Cooper, Lawrence, DeNiro, and even a surprise appearance from Chris Tucker, you will not be disappointed. Heck, if you’re just a fan of Jennifer Lawrence’s work, you owe it to yourself to watch it. It doesn’t have the biggest plot, or the biggest budget, but it manages to do what a lot of movies with the biggest anything, always come up short in: give you a fucking fantastic, down-to-earth story with memorable, superbly acted, characters.
I now understand why SLP is getting all of this Oscar-buzz. It’s well-deserved. I’ll be especially pulling for Jennifer Lawrence to win Best Actress. She’s busted her ass since she was 14 doing this. It’s just nice to know that there are people from my generation who work hard and hustle and because of it, they are making it and being successful and keeping it real with a level-head on their shoulders. Tired of the screw-ups. Tired of hearing about the latest shit Lindsay Lohan or Chris Brown’s been in. I mean, who doesn’t think the Queen of Derp winning something as prestigious as the Academy Award won’t be one of the best trololololol moments ever? It means someone made a grevious mistake and we all win XD
\m/\m/\m/\m/\m/ (5 cornas out of 5)
"She was once a true love of mine"
- Girl From The North Country by Bob Dylan