Thursday, November 25, 2010

Out this Week*--Regina Spektor: Live in London

I've always assumed that Regina Spektor is, for all intents and purposes, batshit insane. In the absolute best way possible, obviously. She consistently makes beautiful albums that are good from first to last song, and will stand the test of time. I'll be listening to Begin to Hope long after I've forgotten about most of the bands on my iPod. I'll be annoying people in my nursing home with that shit. So bear in mind that when I say "insane" I mean it with great love.

"But Larissa," you're saying,"You can't just call people insane without proof."
To which I say "Fair point, crazy person talking to the internet. I do have proof."

First off, she's a Russian emigree which says loads. I live in Moscow so if I know anything about Russians it's that they're all at least a little crazy. Maybe it's the government, or the fallout radiation, or the fact that as babies they have to learn a language that drives fully-grown adults insane, I don't know. But even on the low end of the spectrum they're all quirky at the very least.

Second, there are her lyrics. I know many of the greatest songs don't make lyrical sense, and that songs don't even have to. That's the beauty of poetry. That said, over the years Ms Spektor has offered us the following:
  • "Remember that month/ When I only ate boxes of tangerines?...Hey remember that other time/When I would only read the backs of cereal boxes?" 
  • "They made porcupine love/ Porcupine lo-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-apchu!" 
  • "Maybe you should kiss someone nice/Or lick a rock.Or both/ Maybe you should just cut your own hair/ 'Cause that can be so funny/ It doesn't cost any money/ And it always grows back"
  • "The world is everlasting/Put dirtballs in your pocket."
  • "Eet,eet, eet/ Eet, eet, eet"
This could go on forever, so I'll stop there for now. (I love her crazy lyrics, but that fact does not make them any less pertinent to this argument.)

Thirdly and finally, I submit to you this:

This is really my only necessary argument.
So, forgive me if I have her pegged as, say, the kind of person who would get super high on something home made from antidepressants and tooth whitener, then post how-to videos on youtube about decorating hockey sticks with teddy bear heads. But I think you can agree that, given the evidence, it seems like a plausible find.  And I love this version of her I have for myself. But then normalcy has to rear it's tragic head. Because despite my impressions of  endearing madness, Ms Spektor is painfully camera shy. Totally, self-consciously, normal person-y camera shy.

Which is why--despite having a totally awesome open taping policy at her concerts-- she has never released a concert video until now. This month Regina Spektor gets past her issues with being filmed to release her first concert video Live in London.  Filmed mainly at the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre, it contains 22 songs, 19 from her from her existing catalogue (including On the Radio, and Apres Moi, my two favourites), and three that have only been performed live.

You can buy it on Regina Spektor's website on DVD, Blu-Ray, and CD. 

I'll still be scouring youtube for the crazy hockey stick videos though. I'm not convinced they're not out there.

*This post is for Katie's birthday. Happy birthday Bug---I told you about something you can go buy yourself! Don't spend it all in one place.


  1. I first hear Regina on SNL and was blown away. I hate learning about such great artists through mass media, but it seems to happen all the time (I think I first hear Andrew Bird on Letterman). I will have to check out the live DVD and relisten to Begin to Hope.
    I think most artists are at least a bit crazy. I have always hated that I probably wouldn't like hanging out with the artists I love so much...but such is genius!
    -jennifer u

  2. The crazy person talking to the internet sounds very lawyerly

  3. @jennifer: Maybe not hang out with them, but I'd love to put them in a fishbowl at a party...

    @Meghan: Funny, that.


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