30 August 2009

long time no see! also: boston phoenix, WTF. regards, hil.

hey guys.

my my my, i've been a busy girl. between day job work, TPB work, enjoying the brief heat wave here in boston and riding my bike all over this city to catch up with friends new and old, i'm getting very little sleep and i'm spending very little time at home. this past weekend consisted of running around like a crazy person trying to cover Boston Band Crush's ONE NIGHT BAND [which was an incredible success], the McAlister Drive show over at the 'Dise and Jeremy's last night drumming it up with the Sea Monsters on Sunday. I'm back at my desk. I have iced coffee in my system, even if it's getting a little brisk out. life is good.

fast-forward to today, when little miss jessietron sent me the link for the Phoenix's new lifestyle piece: "A Girl's Guide to Boston Boys." this post royally pissed me off on many levels and as much as i've respected the phoenix in the past for its music coverage and photojournalism and other stuff [and hey, i have some friends over at phoenix media, ok?], nina maclaughlin's article in the Welcome Back '09 issue made me want to write to her directly and ask her to never ever write an op/ed ever again. my issues with it:

1) The Boston Phoenix is one of the OLDEST alternative weeklies in the country [second only to the village voice, i believe, or hell, it may even be older], it has an established readership and it still gets picked up even though it's a free paper with midweek circulation. what's the most important part of that last sentence? ALTERNATIVE. WEEKLY. The Boston Phoenix is NOT the Improper Bostonian [aka the glossy which boasts quips on cavity-inducing $15 cocktails and socialite photo spreads to keep the beacon hill set happy] and it's NOT the Boston Herald [aka the daily owned by Rupert Murdoch known for its blue collar/conservative slant.] it's picked up, predominantly, by readers in cambridge, somerville, allston, jamaica plain and charlestown, which host some of the most well-known [and liberal] academic institutions in the metro-Boston area as well as the most creative and innovative nightlife/restaurants/venues/museums/etc etc. i think it's incredibly short-sighted of maclaughlin, and the lifestyles editor at the phoenix who allowed this to even hit the web, to make sarcastic [and, um, entirely unoriginal] cracks at THE PAPER'S KEY DEMOGRAPHIC. Boston Phoenix, these "arrogant, competitive, and highly self-centered" men of cambridge/"members of the famed creative class" of JP who are most likely to be seen at the cemetery [wtf?]/"(aspiring) rock stars" of allston are THE ONES PICKING UP YOUR PAPERS. the yah brahs/frat boys/finance dudes of downtown/beacon hill/kenmore are hardly the gentlemen who'll be picking up the latest issue by the T on a wednesday morning. in fact, it's these assholes who are most likely to use your classified pages to wipe puke off their face after a particularly rowdy night at the liquor store/on lansdowne street. i think that this article had the potential to poke fun and crack jokes in a good-natured way: i mean, come on, we're all capable of making fun of our idiosyncracies as bostonians and we're all very aware of how we tend to distinguish ourselves by neighborhood. with that said, maclaughlin's angle on this puff piece was poorly written [line edits, anyone?] and dripping with disdain from someone clearly suffering from a case of hipster/harvard envy.

2) at the risk of sounding repetitive, this piece was COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UNORIGINAL. oh my god! hipsters in allston with ...tattoos?! girls wearing lily pulitzer in back bay?! backwards red sox hats in... WAIT DON'T TELL ME... kenmore square?! OHMYGAHDTHATISSOHILARIOUS. you write for The Boston Phoenix. i'm sure you had ample time to pitch an idea and see it through to fruition. that should've given you PUH-LENTY of time to think of a new spin to put on this idea.
also: ashmont. dorchester. SOMERVILLE. even southie [which tends to host these frat boys who're just like "the pals of your best friend's older bro."]. how about you do your research, learn how to use the subway beyond the red and green line, and get to know the city you're covering? if you're going to write off half your audience, you may as well include the neighborhoods where yes, the Phoenix is distributed and where you can find exceptions to every single "type" you defined in your piece. maybe it'll even give your story a little color and keep it from looking like the half-assed column of some Carrie Bradshaw wannabe majoring in Communications at BU.

aaaaand i'm spent. rant done. editorial staff of the boston phoenix: i expect more from you as the supposed authorities on arts & entertainment coverage in my fair city, and i never thought an alternative weekly would be so snottily exclusive. and, frankly, a little more uneducated about the city in which it resides than it should be.

in other news, teaparty boston? yeah, we won't tell you who to date based on what neighborhood you're scouring for boyfriends in, but we WILL tell you how arts & entertainment actually is in Boston and with direct quotes from the people who are making exciting things happen here. we won't be poking fun at them. OR their tattoos.

07 August 2009

my avett brothers fangirldom knows no bounds.

seriously, guys. i'm obsessed. since folk festival 50 i can't stop listening to the second gleam and emotionalism by the avett brothers. also, JOHN HUGHES DIED?! :( anyone down for a breakfast club/pretty in pink/sixteen candles/st elmo's fire/ferris bueller/home alone marathon this weekend? preferably sunday?

anyways. here's an adorable video of the avett brothers all up in the back of their tour bus playing my favorite song of theirs, "will you return". enjoy :D

04 August 2009

my morning was weird.

well, i guess it's still going on so "is" weird would be more appropriate, but whatever.

a little update: i am exhausted. i drove up to lake george on thursday afternoon, it took me five hours to get there because i got craaaazy lost, and then i doubled back and drove home in less than 24 hours. made it back to cambridge, picked up jessie, we drove down to rhode island in a torrential downpour and made it to newport in decent time. we got up at 7:30 on saturday and sunday mornings and worked for pretty much 12 straight hours at the newport folk festival [which was an incredible, incredible experience that i'll put into words later] and then we drove back home sunday night and got back here around 9:30. last night, we met up with the love language over at the middle east for their sold out show (!!!) with cursive and i didn't even make it to cursive's set. the love language were amazing, as usual. what a great group of people, too.

anyways, my tuesday night is going to consist of watching "the life aquatic with steve zissou" in bed with a salad [who am i kidding i'll probably order shalimar] and my laptop and i will start plowing through the first half of the newport folk fest transcripts. before i start work for the day, though, i wanted to share with all of you the two notable sights i spotted this morning while walking to work.
first off: shepard fairey. fairey got a slap on the wrist for various installations he's done in the city since his exhibit opened at the ICA and he's supposed to notify BPD of when he'll be in town AND he's not allowed to have "tagging materials - such as stickers or paste" on him when he does come to Boston. so, yeah, imagine my [pleasant] surprise when i woke up, showered, ran out my front door and literally walked into this in the parking lot behind my building:

i like shepard fairey, i'll admit it. i like his style, his collages and the murals he's done. maybe he's a douchebag in real life, maybe not, but i dig his work. i'm just bummed that i missed him painting it, that would've been sick.

secondly: after getting off the train this morning at my office, i walked through the parking lot by the commuter rail station and passed this:

please note the "please do not leave anything outside of the box" memo written across the front of the box. 987213987198273 happy meal toys? for the american red cross? really? what the hell? i literally stopped and stared at this pile of technicolor plastic for ten whole minutes before shuffling off to my cubicle shaking my head the whole way.

haha seriously. and all of this happened before 8:30 am. wow.