Apparently the city bus experience includes ruined baby faces.
As someone who rides public transportation on a regular basis in a large city…I see some strange stuff. In fact, just last week I saw a drunk older lady who wore fake Uggs that reeked of beer get on the bus and shove people out of her way to the back. She could not stay still and would constantly switch seats. She carried a bag with her and in it was candy (I think it was Valentine’s Day) and water guns. She tossed both those things at commuters only to pick them up herself not long after. She even threatened people by pointing the water guns at them. Luckily they weren’t armed. One moment she would be kind and offer the candy in her bag by throwing it at you…the next she’d be telling you she’ll kick your ass for no reason. I was at point blank range when all this occurred. How do you lessen your chances of being collateral damage from shit like this? Try to avoid eye contact. Luckily, it worked.
However, none of that was as disgusting and strange as today in a long time. An older man got on the bus. He was pulling one of those suitcases with the rollers on them. He moved towards the back but refused to sit down. The buses here in the back have two seats in a row. He stood to the side of them with his back facing me. Over the course of my ride I heard him cough numerous times. Okay, so maybe he was sick. Not too uncommon in the winter months. Then he started doing those windup coughs where you make that very unpleasant sound at the back of your throat before spitting. Spit he did. I could hear it all but couldn’t see him well since his back was to me and there were people in between us. I heard that a few times. Okay, so he’s probably covering his mouth with tissue like people do on the bus. NOPE. As we all got to the last stop people started getting off. I got a better view of him. He did another windup cough, “HHAAAAHCK” and then a “TUUUU”. Spit he did…except now I saw that he was not spitting into a tissue. He moved away to get off the bus…revealing what his body was covering from my view. He spat ALL OVER those two seats he was standing next to. I got up to get off as well and had to walk pass that horror! It was the most rude and disgusting thing I’ve sen in real life in a LONG TIME. JFC. You, sir…are the WORST HUMAN.
I think we were both going to pretend to be asleep, but I made this face instead? 2010, NYC.
My Friend, John David
John David is a 27-year-old man living in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve known him for twenty-one years! As kids we had our own kingdom that spanned over an entire apartment complex! We had outdoor thrones that jutted out of an embankment over a creek and we called them The Crows’ Nests. We built forts, ate cupcakes for breakfast, and kept up with Captain Planet together. We had all of the same Academically Gifted classes with each other, then would go to Odyssey of the Mind or the after school program where we would impose the rules of our gang onto others and terrorize the adults until one of our mothers would pick us up. It seems like maybe we’d eat dinner at our own apartments before meeting up afterwards and running around outside until it got dark, or if it got dark early we’d change the words to Billy Ray Cyrus songs from “me,” to “pee,” and then sometimes even have a sleepover. Rinse, and repeat for several years… Until my mom got remarried and we moved 45 minutes away. As a child, that is SO FAR AWAY! Our parents rarely made the commute for us to see each other and we lost touch…
Photo credit: his babe of a Serbian photographer/designer wife, Ana Kras
If you don’t yet know, I’m really obsessed with Devendra Banhart. I briefly hint to him on the music show I picked out songs for (which if you haven’t listened to: what are you doing?! Episode 115.5), I email Zach anytime new news comes up concerning him, and I’ve got a tattoo dedicated to the man and his music. That’s musical love, right there. So the announcement of his much anticipated new album Mala to debut March 12th is a really big deal for me.
Can we just talk about how beautiful he is for a second?
This is Devendra’s eighth studio album and first since 2009’s underwhelming What Will We Be. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy “Rats” and “Maria Lionza”… but they had to grow on me. The fact that the album was released on Warner Brothers seems to have crushed a lot of the whimsy that comes with Devendra’s music. Even the album before that, 2007’s Smoky Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, showed a switch to a more heavily produced pop-ish sound for Devendra.
Mala is coming out on Nonesuch Records, which is still a subset of Warner Brothers, but is home to artists such as Iron and Wine, The Black Keys, David Byrne, and Bjork. Hopefully this subtle switch will allow for more creativity, although in interviews Devendra responded to claims that he was selling out by saying that WB was actually really open to all of his creative desires. I know many Devendra fans like myself are hoping for more of the raw musical energy from his early albums. While I appreciate and understand that artists have to grow and adapt over the years, I think that the sound he brings to songs like “At The Hop”, “Sight to Behold”, and “Quedate Luna” is the reason a lot of us fell in love with him.
A few of the songs are already on YouTube to listen to before the release:
Für Hildegard von Bingen
Echoey vocals and guitars reminiscent of The XX almost, infused with electronic elements – this song is a little far off from what we’re used to with Devendra, but it works for me, I think.
Never Seen Such Good Things
This song is a fun little tune, that seems to be a bit of a love song. Its got hints of that lovely vibrato, a cute danceable beat, and some off the wall lyrics that we’ve come to love.
Spanish style guitars, a song about hopeless love. Beautiful and so very true to Devendra.
The album is produced and recorded by Devendra and bandmate, Noah Georgeson. They played most of the instruments themselves and recorded it on a vintage Tascam recorder; they utilized their environment as much as possible to create the rare sounds in the album. Which, according to an interview with Pure Channel, included such things as a switchblade, a chain, and a belt.
So if you don’t know Devendra Banhart, I highly suggest you familiarize yourself with him. His music has changed my life in a way that I cannot say any other thing has. I cannot wait for this album, and no matter what I will love and support him always. A tour has yet to be announced, but he’ll hopefully be making the rounds in the Spring/Summer! Pre-order Mala on CD and vinyl here: http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/mala. Both include an autographed print, instant download of “Für Hildegard von Bingen”, and a download of the whole album on March 12th. The LP also comes with the full CD, a poster, and a 7” with two bonus tracks.