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Gotye, part deux

A few months back, I blogged about this amazing new musician (check out Oct. 21, 2011).  Well, he came back to L.A. and I jumped on that shit.  Just writing to say I was right.  He’s blowing up.  His single, Somebody That I Used to Know, is getting airplay and has been remade and remixed.  He was on Jimmy Kimmel last Wednesday, the night before the show, and he sold out the El Rey the next day.

Not really what I’m blogging about though.  Psyche!

I’ve never been cut out for certain kinds of events and entertainment.  Concert-going is one of those.  I love live music, but the way that it’s normally presented is not for the faint of heart.

First off, most smaller venues are standing room only.  To make it through a full concert this way is like some kind of endurance or stress test.  Surrounded on all sides by a sea of people, struggling to catch a glimpse of the person performing between bobbing heads.  Standing still in a very small spot getting bumped into by strangers who have no respect for your personal space.  Stuck smelling everyone nearby, be they pleasant or unpleasant scented.  Love of the music is the only way to get through this situation.

If you’re lucky enough to be somewhere with a seat, that doesn’t matter.  For most pop music events, everyone stands up anyway so you have to as well or you’re just stuck staring at someone’s ass.  Long lines and even larger crowds at stadiums and large concert halls.  And unless you pay out the nose for good seats, you really only see what’s happening on the large screens.  You might as well be at home.

And don’t get me started on the volume levels at concerts.  There are times when the bass is so strong, I actually get short of breath.  It freaks me out.  My ears are left ringing for hours after.  Why must I suffer so for my love of live music?

Because I’m an introvert and a pretty sensitive one at that.  Not sensitive in the emotional sense.  I’m tough as nails when it comes to my feelings but sensitive to my physical environment.  I can easily get overwhelmed and anxious in crowded places and loud, bright situations.  The first time I drove down the Vegas strip at night was stimulus overload, so bright and gaudy.

Being an introvert is not the same thing as being shy.  I was more reserved when I was younger but I have grown more outgoing as I’ve aged.  I do enjoy the company of people and social situations but I can only handle so much before I need some alone time to recharge.

There are a lot of people out there just like me and I want to tell them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.  Currently, things are not necessarily set up for the introvert but I’m hopeful that things will change.

Let me reiterate for those of you who might have missed that sentence above — THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.  Needing time alone to recharge, enjoying solitary pursuits and not enjoying the things that many of your friends do does not make you defective.  Variety is the spice of life.  You are perfect just as you are and nature made you just that way on purpose.

I imagine Gotye is an introvert too.  He doesn’t say much between sets except “Cheers!” and a little set up for the next number.  But he makes the most beautiful music.  It really does take all kinds, so be happy with and proud of the kind that you are.  The world needs that.  It needs you to be you so it can be the wonderful world that it really is.

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Songs in the Key of Marie

Ever since high school, I’ve had this ongoing personal project to create an album of nothing but songs with my name, Marie, in the title.  It made me feel special because for the most part Marie is more commonly used as a middle name these days.

This is the one that started it all.  I still get chills when I hear it.

I doubt this holds true for men, but for women there is a longing (sometimes unconscious) to be someone’s muse.  A muse ignites and inspires an artist to create a thing of beauty and few archetypes hold the same power.

Yes, some women dream of knights in shining armor rescuing them, the damsel in distress.  Other women long to be queens or Amazon-like warriors.  But to be immortalized in a song, a sculpture or a work of prose is a heady delight indeed.

I know that the songs weren’t written about me, but I can pretend, can’t I?  I also know this poem by Edgar Allan Poe was written for another Marie Louise (my first and middle name), but it still makes me swoon to imagine someone writing these enchanting words just for me.

TO MARIE LOUISE
Not long ago, the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained “the power of words”–denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:
And now, as if in mockery of that boast,
Two words–two foreign soft dissyllables–
Italian tones, made only to be murmured
By angels dreaming in the moonlit “dew
That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,”–
Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,
Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,
Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions
Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,
(Who has “the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures,”)
Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.
The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.
With thy dear name as text, though hidden by thee,
I cannot write–I cannot speak or think–
Alas, I cannot feel; for ’tis not feeling,
This standing motionless upon the golden
Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams,
Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,
And thrilling as I see, upon the right,
Upon the left, and all the way along,
Amid empurpled vapors, far away
To where the prospect terminates–_thee only_!

When I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have admitted any of the above (not even to myself).  I prided myself on being a very independent woman, not falling for all of that romantic, gushy nonsense.  But then, I had never known the experience of being adored.  Gotta say, it’s kind of addicting.

Painter Andrew Wyeth painted an entire series with Helga as his subject

Back to my album.  I only had about six by the time I finished college but thanks to the internet, I finally have a whole album’s worth.  Props to my friends who have tossed a couple my way over the years.

Even though some of the titles may be the same, each and every song is unique.  I dropped in the videos below of some of my faves.  Enjoy!

Songs in the Key of Marie

“Marie” by Tommy Dorsey

“Marie, Marie” by Buckwheat Zydeco

“Sweet Marie” by Thin Lizzy

“(Marie is the name of) His Latest Flame” by Elvis

“Marie” by Randy Newman

“Hot Biscuits and Sweet Marie” by NRBQ

“Marie” by Townes Van Zandt

“Absolutely Sweet Marie” by Bob Dylan

“Sweet Marie” by Hothouse Flowers

“Sweet Marie” by The Anniversary

“Marie Floating over the Backyard” by Eels

“Sweet Marie” by Timo Raisanen

“Oh Marie” by Dean Martin

“Oh Marie” by Michael Buble