Andrew McMahon: A Review


Just a little disclaimer here, this review is biased. It is as biased as they come. This is like writing a review about your kid or your wife (because if this was a review about my imaginary husband, you bet your ass I would not sugar coat it). This review is glowing, because Andrew McMahon is a god damn saint and everything he touches turns to gold. GOLD I TELL YOU. Which technically would make him Midas, who wasn’t a saint, but whatever.

So, Andrew McMahon is one of my life heroes. I am a sucker for piano, but more so a sucker for beautiful lyrics and if there was someone who I would wish to be able to write like, it is this man. If you know me at all, you know that I practically lived on Something Corporate in my high school days. I was weird. I wore tube socks a lot. Not important for this post, but I just wanted you to know or be reminded of my awesome weirdness. Even though I don’t listen to SOCO nearly as much now as I did then (this needs to be rectified) I was transmitted right back to ten years ago with songs like Punk Rock Princess (piano style, which is apparently originally how the song was written), She Paints Me Blue, Straw Dog (which I can’t remember seeing before, but I am sure I did since it was a big song for the band and I saw them when they were still touring for North), Watch the Sky, Woke Up in a Car, and 21 and Invincible. You can’t not smile and dance when you hear these songs. Okay, you can but that probably means you suck as a person or do not possess the ability to do one or the other.

Now, Punk Rock Princess was pretty much my theme song back in the day. I was that girl. I still probably am. Judge me all you want, I am okay with it. I dyed my hair black, I have freakishly large eyes, and I was in to punk rock. I wanted my garage band king but he did not want me. Emo. Anyways, I had to record this song in its entirety, so hurr it is.

“If I could be your first real  heartache, I would do it over again”. God. It’s perfect. It was one of those shows that reminds you of why you love music in the first place. One of those that when you here each song it takes you back to exactly where you were and how you felt when you were listening. Fucking magical.

Now, I think there were actually more Jack’s Mannequin fans there. I switch back and forth to which I love more. But, they are actually probably equal because I just love Andrew. But people were singing more to the Jack’s song though and generally more pumped. However, I don’t really understand how you could be a fan of one without knowing of the other or being a fan of the other.  Either way, Andrew was on par. Duh. Songs included: Dark Blue, La La Lie (the last song, which is weird. I was hoping for Hurricane, but they didn’t play it at all. CON), Swim, Television, No Man is an Island (Not actually on a CD), Mixed Tape, Holiday from Real(considering this for a tattoo), Bruised (the opener), The Resolution, What Gets You Off.

And writing this I realized all the ones he didn’t do. Hurricane, Only Ashes, Amelia Jean, Amy I, I’M READY, Restless Dream (I would LOVE to have seen this one, but probably would have cried like a baby), and while I have seen all of these live at one point or another, I have yet to see Dear Jack and I would literally kill someone to see it. And when I say literally, I mean literally. (Okay, I don’t. I mean figuratively but god dammit do I love that jam).

The song I have a tattoo for…

And here is the thing about any show involving Andrew McMahon: people will always scream for Konstantine. And he is a classy dude so he usually just ignores it. But any interview he mentions that he won’t play the song. I’ve seen it. It’s good. But I’d give it up in a heart beat to hear two other songs (the song is 9 minutes). I’ve never been a super huge fan of it. But, true to form, he played it. Because it was his first official solo tour and he wanted to thank the fans. He also played two  new songs, and people often complain how bands change over time (Incubus, Linkin Park, etc.) but everything Andrew does sounds like Andrew, but in a new way. His new stuff is no exception. I loved it and I had never heard it before. Especially Synesthesia. THREE PART HARMONIES. I love them. They were perfect. Even better when they can pull it off live. This is the best quality I could pull from the internet and it doesn’t do it justice, but at about 4 minutes the music stops and the harmonies keep going.

I can’t wait to get this EP or album or whatever it is.

I will say one thing, he does have an ugly singing face, but I am pretty sure most people do and if it makes the sweet sounds come out of his mouth like they do, then I am okay with it. Also, he has a brilliant stage performance. He doesn’t talk too much, but enough to be personable and convey his personality. He is a funny dude. And he can not sit still. He has so much energy it is lovely. Even if no one else on the stage ever moves, all you have to do is watch him and it’s enough.

And of course he ended the show by standing on the piano and smashing the keys with his feet in true Andrew form. Ahhhh, I wish I was back there.

Also, the show was at Hawthorne Theater which is a tiny, hot little venue. It’s been a long time since I walked out needing to take a shower. I LOVED IT. And we saw about half of Barcelona’s set. They were pretty good, enough so that I plan on checking out their stuff so I won’t comment on it yet but you can look forward to it being on here later.

Taking Back Sunday: New American Classic

Flashback to 2004. Senior year of high school. This song meant the world to me. Both because I loved TBS and because I love acoustic, and also because I think it is beautiful. And yes I am in Grad school and I realize the format of that last sentence was terrible but I DO WHAT I WANT. I saw them in Cleveland at the Aragon the same year this CD came out and they did this song and I cried like a baby. I also went with my ex, who wasn’t my ex at the time, but had already been my ex before and would most certainly be my ex again (damn you high school relationships) so I am sure that didn’t help. But there is just something about seeing a song that means a lot to you live. It’s breathtaking. It melts your heart. It puts you on cloud 9. I just have a lot of feelings! Anyway, here is da song!

Thoughts from a Girl Not Paying Attention in Class:The Oldest War in History

You think with your head,

with no link to your heart.

Never acting on impulse,

always playing it smart.

The brain can define love,

can put meaning to lust.

But it cannot make you feel,

and the outcome is unjust.

We’re made up of organs,

but they don’t react the same.

It’s a bout of brain versus heart,

the winner is the one that causes less pain.

You act from your heart,

always taking risks.

Never thinking through decisions,

allowing feelings to persist.

The heart will long,

every beat will bring yearning.

But it never plays it safe,

with the heart there is no learning.

It’s a war of brain versus heart,

pitted against one another.

The irony of the war,

is that one can’t function without the other.

The heart carries blood,

through the body to the brain.

The brain responds with messages,

to keep a steady stream of life through the veins.

Yet one will fight the other,

if the situation calls.

Love is something the brain will smother,

and a pain for which the heart will fall.

It’s not always a choice,

sometimes even organs can be dominant.

Whether brain or heart has a voice,

with your actions  becomes evident.

And actions can give way to regret,

when you make the wrong move.

Then to your body you’re in debt,

and now you have something to prove.

Because you think with your head,

and she thinks with her heart.

And soon it’s time to decide if the enemy is dead,

or if this is a surrender, if this is just the start.









Local Natives: Cards and Quarters

I recently updated my iPod and have been listening to a lot of old forgotten songs and well as brand new goodies. I have had a few things come up that I wanted to post, but this morning, when I actually had time to get on my computer and make a post, this delicious cacophony (this actually does not apply because it’s a very smooth and beautiful tune, I just wanted to use a word that I learned for the GRE and have never gotten the chance to write) came on.

Another band I am stokkkkkkkkkked to see at Sassy! (aka Sasquatch festival at the Gorge in May)

Thoughts from a Girl Not Doing Homework

This house is not a home, when you’re in it all alone

These walls can’t talk , but their barren spaces tell the tale

of a man who couldn’t love enough

and a girl who wanted far too much.

We grow up, but we’re never grown

Setting out to make it on our own

Walking in the same foot steps of everyone who has ever come before.

This heart beats, this blood flows

But it does so without feeling, like a poet without prose.

This tongue, these teeth make language

and this voice turns them into diction

But the phrases that make their way out

were carefully penned by an author writing fiction.

These lungs they expand, it’s a forced  inhalation

In rhythm with every line and every time

we knew we’d have to say goodbye.

This house is not a home,

it holds memories we hold dear

like a dusty catacomb

Thoughts too tender now to touch

but with time their skin will thicken

and as we age we’ll tell the tale

Of a boy

and a girl

and the friction.


Thoughts from a Girl Working Overnights

I tried to write at work. This is as far as I got…

When you hold on to what you can’t have

It’s like holding on to broken glass.

The harder you grip it, and the longer you risk it

More of what you need slips through the cracks.

So you focus on the what ifs, and the feeling on your lips

That never did, and never will exist.

It’s the hands that tell the story, and the words they write are sweet

But the wounds they leave are greater, when the meaning behind them is fleeting.

They’re just words, and they don’t come anymore.

Their space is filled with silence,

and silence says what words try to force.

Matchbook Romance: Tigerlily

Hey remember this song? Probably not. But I do, because we were whiny emotional kids in high school with a lot of problems. (I don’t remember this, but the music I listened to implies it). I remember when Broc broke up with his girlfriend he played this and Konstantine all the time. Oh Broc. So I forgot about this song until this week, when I was being whiny and emotional. And I still like it. So you should like it too.