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Friday, September 7, 2012

84

The Best Time I Tried to Blend in With a Bunch of Teenage Girls

It’s no secret that I love Regina Spektor. From casual conversations to internet comment sections, I constantly remind anyone who'll listen how important she and her music are to me. It started years ago, when I was in college in Colorado. I would go to class during the day and work the late shift at a local seedy motel. At midnight, I’d clock out and walk the 20 blocks or so home because I didn’t have a car. This meant I’d usually get home at 12:30 a.m., just in time for Late Night With Conan O’Brien. These weren’t really the worst of times but they weren’t exactly the best either. Often, that show was the best part of my day. And one day, Regina Spektor was the musical guest. She played “Fidelity.” I remember thinking, “Who is this girl with the weird vocals?” Over the next few months, I saw this episode over and over again. It seemed like every time they needed to air a re-run, they'd play it. In the show, at the end of the song, Conan came up to her after and said, “That was one of my favorite performances in a long time. By anybody.” Afterward, her music was always in the back of my mind.

Life happened for a few years and I heard about her here and there, but I didn’t fully connect until I moved to Portland in 2008. I was spending too much time alone and looking for new artists whose catalogs I’d always wanted to explore, so I picked up Begin to Hope. As the saying goes, it’s been on ever since. I’ve listened to all her albums religiously and spent extraordinary amounts of time tracking down vinyl releases for even her most obscure songs.

I was lucky enough to see her perform live in 2009 when she visited Portland, and the hoodie I bought there is easily my favorite piece of clothing. I wear it regularly but cautiously, always afraid that I’ll spill my drink or brush up against an errant tree branch that'll ruin the last clothing item I want ruined.

When her newest album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, was announced, I was sure to monitor all the appropriate websites daily for any hint of a US tour. As soon as I saw a Portland date, I immediately emailed my friends with a link. “Are we going!? We’re going, right!? Yeah, we’re going.” Tickets were secured and I spent the next few months getting psyched. 

And then, a few weeks ago, the day of the concert came. I’d been thinking about how I’m always walking past the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall — the venue — and how there’s always a tour bus parked out back. I made a deal with myself: after work, I would head back to my apartment, grab some of her records and take them with me to the show. If I felt up to it, I would see if I could hang out by the tour bus after the show and procure an autograph. Nothing fancy, just a signature on my favorite records. This wasn’t a commitment, it was just a precaution in case I wanted to be bold.

This wasn’t weird, right? Every now and then I’m stuck defending some of the pop culture I love. I don’t have a decent explanation, honestly. I hate to use such an abused phrase, but the heart wants what it wants. Spektor came into my life at a time when I was ready for that kind of art and it just made sense. It doesn’t hurt that the musicianship and writing is impeccable, but it’s more than that. I’m not a huge fan of the female singer-songwriter pianists to whom she’s so often compared — they always struck me as esoteric for the sake of being esoteric, without having much real substance underneath. And, sure, Spektor is often weird in many ways, but the songwriting is always there. At any rate, one of the good things about growing old is that you stop giving a shit about explaining yourself to people. My love for Regina is completely unabashed and it’s not my fault if you don’t get it and I really don’t have time to explain it to you.

Still, I hid the records (and a Sharpie, of course) in my messenger bag so I wouldn’t have to explain to the friends I wen to the concert with why I was going to wait outside the venue for an autograph. One of the things about being someone's big fan is that within the exact demographic to which you’re sexually attracted you often get joked about as a “stalker,” and I didn’t want to go through the whole routine of telling my friends that I just wanted an autograph because I like that kind of thing and it’s important to me. Not everybody’s a kindred spirit. Whatever.

Hoping for a new hoodie, I quickly queued up at the merch table because I’d arrived a little early and had time to kill before my friends arrived. Almost immediately, there was a tap on my shoulder. It was a co-worker.

“HEY! I can’t believe you’re here! Are you a Regina Spektor fan!?”

“Yeah. Huuuge fan. Such a huge fan.”

“When I first saw you, I was like, ‘Oh, does he work here at night? No, he must’ve just come in to use the bathroom!’”

We spoke for a little while and, of course, I did the little Explaining Myself thing. Unfortunately, there were no hoodies. I did get a nice poster (what of it?) and a t-shirt, though. When I asked for a t-shirt, the vendor (a woman) looked at me and said, “In a men’s size?”

We had pretty good seats. Lowest balcony, four rows back, center. Of course it was a great show; I don’t need to tell you that. She’s always perfectly charming and humble. She reacts to every round of applause like it’s the first time anyone’s ever clapped for her. She curtseyed because she is adorable. Like always, every song was played flawlessly. Lots of really young-looking girls who made me feel old and lots of boyfriends in gingham shirts.

After the encore, we filed out and talked about the show for a little while before my friends decided to call it a night. I waved goodbye and then slowly made my way to the back of the building.

A small crowd had already formed near the tour bus, and the road crew was loading up the instruments. I stood on the outside of the group, trying to look inconspicuous, but it was difficult when I was among a group made up almost entirely of teenage girls and their boyfriends. For the first few minutes, I was reluctant to pull out the records I had in my bag because I didn’t even want to signal to strangers that I had planned this whole thing. Then I started thinking, “What if she just flies out of the door!? What if there’s no time to reach in my bag!? I stick out like a sore thumb here; what if a bodyguard sees me reaching into my bag and thinks I’m going for a gun? What if I get arrested?” As I’m escalating the tension in my own head, I see another dude with a record and a Sharpie under his arm and figure it’s probably not a big deal if I have them as well. I’d brought the two full LPs I own along with several 7” singles and 45s. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed greedy to ask to have all these things signed. She would probably be tired and on her way to the next show, so I didn’t want to ask for too much. I decided to just try for the two LPs.

After about half an hour, I grew tired of looking down at my shoes and acting like I had something to do on my phone, so I decided to make conversation with a stranger. The other guy with a record looked to be the only other person there not accompanying a girlfriend. He had earbuds in. I tapped him on the arm with the rolled-up poster and said, “Hey, which record is that you have there? Is that a live album?” He showed me his copy of Live In London. “Oh…” I said. “I don’t have that one. I’ve seen the performance but I haven’t gotten around to getting the vinyl yet.” I showed him the records I brought and then just decided to keep the conversation going, because whatever, I’m out here and who knows how long I’ll be waiting. I've got nothing else to do...

I sometimes have a problem making friends with other men. I grew up pretty anti-social, and with moving around so much, I often found that the guys I wanted to be friends with already had their core group by the time I arrived and weren’t interested in keeping things going after I’d left. Friendship in adulthood is tricky enough on its own but between men it’s a unique problem because most men only stay friends with the guys they know from high school or college.

But it turned out this dude and I got along like gangbusters! He’s from Louisiana originally (me too) and he’s always trying to explain his love for Regina to his friends (OMG, me too!). We talked about our favorite songs and performances and general Portland lives, but we were always peeking around the corner for a glimpse of Regina. I asked him his name (Gabe). I gave him mine. We shook hands because WE ARE MEN. About an hour in, they’d loaded up the musical equipment and brought in new trucks to pack up the lighting gear. Gabe kept telling me he had to catch the last bus before TriMet shut down for the night, so he was hoping he could get his autograph soon. I looked at him like he’d just told me he had to hurry home to feed his cat. “What are you gonna do," I said, "tell people you got this close to meeting Regina but then had to go catch a bus?” He said, “Yeah, that’s true,” and stopped checking the time on his phone.

At this point, people were shuffling in and out of the tour bus. I looked up at a break in the conversation and saw her stepping on the bus. “There she is!” I didn’t panic, though, I figured she was just setting some things down and would come back out to greet the 20 or so people still hanging around two hours after the show. “I didn’t even see her!” Gabe said, and we formed a line with everyone else. She came back out and stood with a security guard who promptly instructed everyone that if they wanted to take pictures they would have to just take them because Ms. Spektor didn’t have time to pose with each fan.

Gabe was ahead of me, and after he got his autograph he started walking away. All the teenage girls were asking for hugs (she obliged, of course) and most of them were crying. It was almost my turn! I wasn’t even paying attention to anything else when Gabe said, “Hey, it was nice meeting you man.” Oh, no! But! Wait! I was going to find a totally not-weird way to ask for your number so we could hang out later! Don’t goooooooooobacktoRegina. I held out my two records, and the security guard gave me the side-eye. “ONLY ONE ITEM PER PERSON, GUYS!” He said it to the group, but it was meant for me. For half a second I thought about asking her, specifically, “Just two? Please?” But decided I should just be honored by her presence and take the one autograph. I held out the record. She signed it.

People often tell you that you should never meet your heroes. They will disappoint you. Or you will disappoint them. It’s best to keep the fantasy alive, where they can be perfect. These are the same people who won’t get off the bus 10 stops early because they made eye contact with the most beautiful girl they’d ever seen and just had to talk to her. I can’t live that way. Although there is some wisdom to their sentiment. Entertainers are notoriously rude. They will let you down. But I think you just have to know your idols. I, for one, would never want to meet Kanye West. He is hands-down my favorite artist of all time but I just know he would make me feel terrible. But not Regina! She’s delightful!

You feel different when they’re that close. They’re real. Two of my strongest celebrity-encounter memories involve marveling (separately) at how short Mos Def and Nas were. These men are icons in my mind, and I’d always just imagined them to be eight feet tall, but my slightly-above-average height easily towered over them. This didn’t shatter my images of them or anything, it was just more, like, “Whoa. They’re real people.” And Regina was real… impossibly tiny, sure… but not for a second was she anything less than you’d dream her to be. Always grateful to have fans and always, always, always looking happy to be there.

She signed my album and then looked up at me. Directly in the eyes. She said, “Thank you!” like I had given her something. Like it was my albums she’d listened to when she hadn’t spoken to another person in days. Like it was me who’d written songs that said everything she could never find the words to say. Like it was me that made her so happy she would grin like an idiot on the bus because my songs had so much joy in them. She smiled her goofy-but-warm, several-million-dollar smile. And for a split second, I lost that defensive edge of cynicism and sarcasm that I’d been developing for years. This woman was real and she was happy because of me. I smiled uncontrollably back and said, “Thank you.” in the most normal way I could.

It wasn’t exactly magical, but it was far from disappointing. I walked home wondering if there’s such a thing as Missed Bro Connections.

Reginal T. Squirge is a man for all seasons. He can be found on an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

84 Comments / Post A Comment

frigwiggin

REGINAAAAA REGINAAAAAA

melis

Also: Reginal!

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin Sorry, got carried away. She is fantastic, so amazing, I was just listening to Songs today. Her music is so important to both me and my best friend...the new record is amazing, although I can't listen to "Jessica" without sobbing because our other best friend, Jessica, died at the very end of January last year and it's too much.

frigwiggin

@melis Coincidence? I think not.

every tomorrow@twitter

@frigwiggin I went through this weird evolution with the new record where the first time I listened to it I didn't like it at all, and then I listened to it again and was meh about it, and then about the fifth time through I was like NO ACTUALLY THIS IS FUCKING AMAZING AND I LOVE EVERY PART OF IT FOREVER.

Which I guess shouldn't surprise me because it's the same process I go through with at least half of the music I end up really liking.

smidge

@frigwiggin I'm sorry about your friend :-(

frigwiggin

@every tomorrow@twitter I sort of felt that way when I first started listening to her music, but that quickly transformed into an all-out devotion.

@smidge I wish I could tell Regina what that song means to me and how much it breaks my heart (in a good way), but she's probably heard it already from a bunch of people, she doesn't need to hear it from one more.

katiemcgillicuddy

@frigwiggin I'm so sorry. I'm in the same boat as you, but it was 3 years ago. I know how many things still constantly remind you of her, so, a song with her name as the title is the worst. Hugs.

oh! valencia

@every tomorrow@twitter That is my way with most music as well.

Reginal T. Squirge

@every tomorrow@twitter

This is how Regina's songs work. Even the ones you don't really like at first will eventually consume your entire existence.

meetapossum

@every tomorrow@twitter I went through all those feelings when Far came out.

Judith Slutler

@every tomorrow@twitter Yeah I got introduced to her music by this Russian guy I was hooking up with for a while, and I was like "whatevs" because he was trying to play romantic music for me and I was not there for the romance.

BUT, eventually I was glad that he burned a CD of her first album for me

Reginal T. Squirge

Was it Soviet Kitsch because Soviet Kitsch is the best album. Ohmygod let's talk about how much better Soviet Kitsch is than anything in the world.

tea for all

@Reginal T. Squirge Soviet Kitsch is so so wonderful. Poor Little Rich Boy! Carbon Monoxide! Chemo Limo!

Reginal T. Squirge

Bonus cuts: She performed "Ode To Divorce" at the concert and my heart swelled.

"The Flowers"!!!

And "Chemo Limo" shatters me every single time I hear it. Did you know that Jay-Z reportedly sampled it? I read about this one time and then spent HOURS looking for the song on the internet. It makes sense with the "crispy, crispy Benjamin Franklin" line. But it's NOWHERE online. So either they're really good at hiding it or it's never been recorded.

Also, make sure you get the deluxe and/or vinyl version that has two bonus cuts. "Scarecrow & Fungus" is good enough on its own but "December" might currently be my all-around favorite Regina song.

tea for all

@Reginal T. Squirge December December December!! YES. I didn't know it was on the deluxe version of this album. I just got it as a standalone mp3. December + Oedipus = my favorites.

Reginal T. Squirge

"And then one morning I woke up and I thought, 'OedipusOedipus OedipusOedipus'/ Then one morning I woke up and I thought, 'RrrrrexRrrrrexRrrrrexRrrrrex'"

Don't forget "Uh-merica". That's a great one, too! So many bonus gems!

tea for all

@Reginal T. Squirge THIRTY-TWO IS STILL A GODDAMN NUMBER

dee
dee

@Reginal T. Squirge Eeek, "Chemo Limo" is one of the few songs that has made me sob not only when I've listened to it but when I've just *thought* about it, haha. I think it's especially the line "you'll be okay anyway" that gets me. And the particular rhythm with which she says "If you don't wanna do it, then you don't have to do it" runs through my head almost daily. And the little touches of surrealism that save it from just being a treacly tearjerker . . . ahhh I could talk about this song for paragraphs apparently.

Reginal T. Squirge

Oh, no! When she's talking about all of her kids! And she says, "Bar-ba-ra... she looks so much just like my mom..."

I DIE.

meetapossum

This made me smile so much. I saw Regina at McCarren Park Pool many years ago. It was raining all day, but it started to clear up just as she came out. She was just so sincerely thrilled that we stood out in the rain just to hear her perform. As if we could leave her.

oh! valencia

@meetapossum I saw her at Coachella in 2007 and she was so nice then, too. I have listened to her music so much, my daughter knew all the words to "On the Radio" when she was 2. I don't have her newest yet though!

meetapossum

@oh! valencia I'm in love with "Call Them Brothers", which she sings with her husband. I've probably listened to it 100 times in the last month.

Reginal T. Squirge

@meetapossum

Her dude's solo performance was kind of meh but that song is really good. And it was good when they performed it together.

redheaded&crazy

THIS WAS GREAT. Yay Reginal T. Squirge, published on the hairpin!

every tomorrow@twitter

I love Regina Spektor unashamedly, and as a bonus she always seems like a super nice person. (I hate how all the teenage girls sing along at her shows though. I did not pay whatever ridiculous number of dollars that was to go to that concert to hear a bunch of teenagers sing.)

Also, amused to have confirmation that she is ridiculously tiny. I took a photo of her holding a guitar at one of her shows (shameless link) and was never sure if the guitar was enormous or she's just tiny, but I always suspected it was that she's tiny.

Reginal T. Squirge

The girls singing in the first few rows was definitely a problem the first time I saw her a few years ago (when she was touring Far). It was kind of cute but also kind of weird. This time around, though, it was much nicer, probably because it was a bigger venue.

Also, yes, she is miniature. I wanted to stuff her into my pocket and steal her away.

redheaded&crazy

I don't know anything about music but I very much enjoyed reading this AND I totally have anxious thinking spirals where I think I'm going to get arrested because a bodyguard thought I was reaching into my bag for a gun. I feel ya.

Reginal T. Squirge

You shoulda seen his face. He took one look at my two records and was NOT having it.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

This was delightful.

kittennnnns

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

OKAY, your username. I love Regina and all but this is perfect

Megasus

I first heard her in In Bruges, which is one of my favourite movies and probably says pretty horrible things about me, but mostly that I really enjoy profusive, creative cursing.
Wait, did you ever find Gabe again though? ARE YOU BFFS NOW? I HAVE TO KNOW!

Reginal T. Squirge

Sometimes, when it's very late and quiet out a wind rushes past my window and I think I hear him calling out for me.

We could have been brooooooooos...

Mira

REGINAAAAAAAAA.

I always wonder why it's considered a little strange for men to be big fans of women artists (singers, authors, whatever), while it's 100% expected for women to love male artists. (Just kidding! I already know why.) The other day I saw a guy on the Metro reading Cheryl Strayed's book and I did a double-take because it's just...unusual.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I love that you love Regina, Reginal T. Squirge! Because she is the best. Also, I thought this post was delightful. And I hope Gabe reads the 'Pin so you can be Bros.

graffin

@Mira I'm a big fan of Tegan and Sara, but I keep that stuff on the down low when my male friends ask what I'm listening to these days.
I think that society expects men to be unable to appreciate a female artist beyond dreaming of getting in their pants.

Cat named Virtute

@Mira So true! I love that it's my dad who got me into Kathleen Edwards and Aimee Mann and Lucinda Williams and, fuck, even belatedly Tori Amos because he bought a copy of Scarlet's Walk when it came out that I listened to constantly. I love bragging about that, but people usually find it kind of weird. Whatever, my dad is great!

Beatrix Kiddo

@Mira Plenty of my friends, both male and female, are Regina Spektor fans, so it never occurred to me that she was supposedly only popular with a young girl demographic. I mean, it's not like she's Taylor Swift.

Also, she came to play a show at my workplace recently (where easily 2/3 of the audience was male), and she was amazing and hilarious.

sarah girl

@Mira I've seen Regina twice, and each time was with a different male friend!

anachronistique

@Cat named Virtute Dads who love music are the best! My dad got me into Luscious Jackson and Beth Orton and went with me to see Cibo Matto last year and it's just great. INTERNET HIGH FIVE

Reginal T. Squirge

@graffin

It's all about the artistry with Regina but don't get it twisted. I want to build a lake house in her pants and retire there.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@graffin Oh my God, Tegan and Sara. I heard them open for Cake in 2005 and have listened to them ever since, mostly while walking to class or driving to work.

sarah girl

Missed Bronnections?

HeyMatilda

Ahhhhh, you so perfectly described that moment when you meet someone famous that you love and realize they are an actual human in front of you. Best of all, the feeling of keeping your composure and not coming off like a psycho!

This happened to me when I met Dallas Green last year. Somehow I got the great fortune to go backstage and the man offered my friends and I BEERS while we were all hanging out. I was so proud to keep my composure until I got back to my hotel room and then I lost my shit.

graffin

@HeyMatilda I wasn't aware there was a singer named Dallas Green. I was picturing you getting all worked up over the 78 year old former Mets manager Dallas Green.

HeyMatilda

@graffin HAH! Clarification: Singer of the band City & Colour, former singer of Alexisonfire, Canadian. But coincidentally, named after THAT Dallas Green.

meetapossum

But, hahaha, let's talk about how I just got embarrassed right now because I remembered meeting Andrew MacMahon my freshman year of college after Something Corporate played a show there. I was so star-struck all I could manage to get out was "G-g-great show" just before my friend took a picture of us.

polka dots vs stripes

@meetapossum oh god meeting Andrew is one of my best/worst life experiences ever. I did get a hug from him though, because I saw his show the day my mom was having cancer surgery and told him how she knows all about him and wanted me to go see him etc etc (this was 2008 maybe?).

Afterwards, my platonic friend and I were so excited, but he had thing for me that we were both in denial about, so we HIGH FIVED to celebrate. The most physical contact we have ever had.

Reginal T. Squirge

Lots of the lady fans were hugging her and it took everything I had not to try to hug her.

frigwiggin

I had to run and tell my boyfriend about this article because he's a big Regina fan too, and I mentioned the comment about her being tiny. He stopped for a second, looked under the bed, and said, "Tiny like our kitty?"

Bostonienne

I love Regina so hard! I also first saw her on Conan that time, and immediately ran out and bought Begin to Hope. The most recent time she was in town, the two friends I planned to go with ended up not making it, and rather than getting stuck totally eating the tickets my boyfriend, a straight gentleman, accompanied me. He was definitely noticeably in the minority, though there were a smattering of other dragged-along looking boyfriends.

Reginal T. Squirge

So many dragged-along boyfriends at the show!

Also, I forgot about that exact video until I had too look it up for the piece. Straight-hair Regina looks kind of unusual!

MrsTeacherFace

@Bostonienne All of the ladies I saw in the audience were 1) younger than I am (I am 28), and 2) dressed like eccentric hipsters (unsurprising, but strange to see en masse all in one place). My husband was one of the only guys there.

Reginal T. Squirge

Oh, shit! I was in a cultural awareness meeting (because everybody at my job has to do it, not because I did something wrong) and just got back!

Reginal T. Squirge

This writer sucks, btw.

redheaded&crazy

@Reginal T. Squirge Delete this comment before it's too late fool!

SuperGogo

@Reginal T. Squirge People need to be schooled on cultural awareness in Portland?? Huh.

Reginal T. Squirge

HOLY SHIT, THERE IS A "REGINAL T. SQUIRGE" TAG.

sarah girl

Ahhh, Begin to Hope came out my last semester of college and I have SUCH STRONG MEMORIES associated with it. It's all driving around my college town, working on my last papers in the middle of the night, etc... Oh man, nostalgia bomb in here.

jacqueline
jacqueline

D'aww. I love Regina too. My first night away from home, in my college dorm, I listened to "Fidelity" 'cause I felt homesick and it totally made me feel better.

frigwiggin

I have dreams of orca whales and owls but I wake up in fear!

anachronistique

@frigwiggin A little bag of cocaine, a little bag of cocaine, but who's the girl wearing my dress?

Cat named Virtute

@anachronistique I figured out her number, it's on a paper napkin, but I don't know her address.

Reginal T. Squirge

You will never be my/ You will never be my/ Dear, dear friend...

City_Dater

I so want you to find Gabe again!

It's terrific that you got the autograph and had a postive interaction with someone whose art has made you happy, but everyone deserves to have at least one concert-buddy to whom you never have to justify your love...

Kulojam

I love Regina, but she and I are on a break right now. Her music was such a comfort to me when I moved to Chile, and i got my husband into her, too. But now my husband is my ex-husband and it hurts to hear her voice right now. I hope she and I can get back together someday.

sarah girl

@Kulojam I feel you - the album "Far" came out when I was going through a really devastating breakup, and I still have trouble listening to it years later.

Reginal T. Squirge

I hate it so much when this happens. Luckily I never get over anyone and am still in love with all of my exes so it's nice to remember them through the music.

emilywherever

I loved this story, but because I have this weird thing and guys who like Regina.
Two, TWO separate occasions I was laying in bed with a guy, music on shuffle and one of her songs came on and the guys being like "I love Regina Spektor, my buddy got me into her music" "We told the opening band we were in a band, so they brought us back to meet her"

Even current boyfriend, who isn't a "music" person has one of her cd's in his car? Whaaaa? Is this me or something...

Chills

I loved this. This is how i feel about all my musical idols, i want to got out and meet them but will that be weird, or will they like it?!
Basically this gave me all the feelings, much like all your comments,so thank you :)

TheclaAndTheSeals

I'm not a huge Regina fan (don't dislike her, but never got into her), but I love how you described what it's like to be really into an artist and trying to be normal about it. You perfectly captured how I felt about Pete Yorn, pre-Scarlett Johansson. Thanks for this.

MrsTeacherFace

I love Regina! I haven't heard her music on the radio yet, but I keep hearing it in the oddest places, stores - Lowe's and ULTA so far.

My husband and I saw her in concert awhile back; we fell in love around the same time we discovered her music, and so we danced to "Folding Chair" on our wedding day for our first dance. My family thought the dolphin song was a little odd, but so are we!

My husband has the same problem making male friends - most of our friends are women, and all of the people we spend time with are people he met through me, and most of the people I know I either met in college or through someone I met in college. I guess it's awkward for any adult to walk up to someone he or she just met and say, "Hey, will you be my friend?" The closest is - "Do you use facebook?"

Reginal T. Squirge

Holy shit I hope you did whale faces at your wedding.

excitedheart

I LOVE YOU
i love this
i could have written it, not about regina, but all the same feelings i used to feel when i first started trying to meet the bands i loved. now it's kind of old hat but still thrilling in a different way, more like a collector? i don't know. i loved this.

Reginal T. Squirge

*whispery voice because this is very personal*

This memory is my happy place, usurping whatever dumb memory I had there before. If I get too upset, I swear I just try and think of the time she was a foot away from me, looked at me and smiled.

Sometimes I feel like it's all I have left.

kittennnnns

@Reginal T. Squirge

you're adorable

lagreen

Great post! This made my morning and I hope you'll be a regular contributor. I think people who really love things and talk/write about them in such an honest, non-snarky way are too rare. It seems like you lead a happy life--what a gift!

simone eastbro

"BAOBABS" OR NOTHING, BROTHER. YOU CAN'T OUTWAIT FATE.

like a rabid squirrel

This post is enough to get me listening to Regina Spektor... I've dug a song here and there but I've never had a full album. To Spotify I go! I need a fall soundtrack to fanatically adhere to.

Reginal T. Squirge

Are you ready to have your MIND BLOWN!?

Begin To Hope is the best for fall. Definitely. Make sure you have access to the deluxe version that has "Hero" on it because it is one of the greatest songs in American history.

Eddie Would Go

I just joined the Hairpin after a long period of lurking to say how much I loved this article. I haven't listened to Regina Spektor for several years, but over the past few days I have really enjoyed getting reacquainted with her music. So thanks!

grixit

I guess i should check her out also. But we've also got a great movie in the making here. "Reg and Gabe: or Dude, where's my Dude?" After and exciting evening and a failed opportunity, Reg and Gabe continue with their lives. Of course they play a lot of Regina, and both get the same wistful look when they hear one song in particular-- the same one of course. Then one day, Regina wakes up to discover that her manager and her producer have betrayed her. The manager never entered her latest batch of songs for copyright, and the producer has stolen all the session tapes. They're headed across country to sell the tapes as theme music for 30 minute infomercials. When she tweets about her situation, both Reg and Gabe separately decide to help. Since the trail begins at the studio, the both head there. Reunion! As it turns out, even evil beddies like the culprits cannot resist the life altering impact of Regina Spektor songs, and it shows in many little things they say, in some aspects of their behavior, and even ion the way they drive. Reg and Gabe, whose combined knowledge of all things Regina reaches near idiot-savant levels, are able to follow these clues as the question witnesses. With seconds to spare, they tackle the crooks and turn them over to the FBI's Crimes Against the Cute and Precious squad. They return the tapes to Regina. And they each get a hug! After that they walk off hand in hand and go to a monster truck rally.

Or maybe one of them just starts missedbronnections.com for real.

Reginal T. Squirge

Somebody get Hollywood on the phone.

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