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classic

an old memory

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When I was a freshman in high school (so this was a good few years ago) I went with a friend of mine to Hoboken NJ. We went to see this band we had heard of called the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at a little cafe called Maxwell's. It was a free show for anyone under 16 and there were maybe...50 people in the audience. It was a bare kind of place, just a back room without any chairs or seating of any kind. Everyone was just sitting around on the floor and it was hot as hell. So my friend and I got there late and I dont remember who played first, but we ended up catching a few songs of Regina's. Regina was this goofy girl, who seemed to me like she had done way to many drugs in her life. Actually, and im not sure if its p.c. to say this, but i swear she was stoned or something when she played. She was kind of spacy, but incredibly sincere, quirky, and seemingly kind-hearted. she sang absolutly unique songs and made beeping and splurting and all sorts of weird songs. her lyrics pretty much didnt make any sense, but you didnt really care. her personality captivated you. she played the piano, and played drums on garbage cans and trash. she was dressed kind of like a hippie-hobo, nothing fancy, an odd collection. she finished her set and some friend of hers in the audience yelled "play samson" and everyone cheered. kind of shyly she agreed. she sang samson and at the end of the song, i knew how it felt to love someone. I had a boyfriend at the time who was getting more and more serious by the day and by the end of the song i knew i was ready to throw my heart on the line and give loving someone a chance. Regina has blown me away. My friend and I both bought her c.d. at the end of the show, I think it cost 5 dollars and for a cover it had a little slip of paper with the track list slipped into the inside of one of those thin c.d. holders you can buy at any Staples. Hardly "professional." But thats what made you love her and her music. She wasnt manufactured or designed by any music label. She was just a girl sitting up on a stage throwing her heart out to the world. She was sincere. She was real. My friend and I listened to "samson" over and over on the way home and we went back the next weekend to hear her again. I gave her c.d. to the first boy I ever fell in love with.

I was driving around Boston maybe two weekends ago and we were listening to the radio and a song came on and I instantly recognized regina's voice though I didnt no the song. I freaked because I hadnt know how much her career had progressed. Then I was watching televison tonight and I flipped to VH1. They were broadcasting their "You oughta know" artists so i listened up. Regina Spektor was the most recent. I couldnt believe it. I was curious as to what had happened to her so I hit her website. I watched some of her videos and frankly got upset. I know all fans that have been there since the beginning tend to the voice the "sold out" claim but I guess I just couldnt help but be dissapointed. Her new(ish?) song "on the radio" was catchy but it didnt have the same randomness and quirkyness that her older songs have. I know artists have to progress with their music, but more then her music was her. It was regina herself that made me fall in love with her music, that made me feel what she felt when she wrote it and she was missing. She was all done up with perfect hair and nice trendy clothes that looked way to much like her publicists told her she "needed an image", all the excessive make-up, the eye shadow and red lipstick, it was all too much. I dunno...I guess disapointed was all i felt.

So I can on here to write my story. I guess I just felt like the whole world doesn't really know her but I do and i wanted to share her because apprently, she won't anymore.

So don't get me wrong, Im still a Regina fan through and through but I hope that in the future, she shares herself with the rest of you. You guys are all real fans and i think itd be wonderful if you got to know like I did.

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When I was a freshman in high school (so this was a good few years ago) I went with a friend of mine to Hoboken NJ. We went to see this band we had heard of called the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at a little cafe called Maxwell's. It was a free show for anyone under 16 and there were maybe...50 people in the audience. It was a bare kind of place, just a back room without any chairs or seating of any kind. Everyone was just sitting around on the floor and it was hot as hell. So my friend and I got there late and I dont remember who played first, but we ended up catching a few songs of Regina's. Regina was this goofy girl, who seemed to me like she had done way to many drugs in her life. Actually, and im not sure if its p.c. to say this, but i swear she was stoned or something when she played. She was kind of spacy, but incredibly sincere, quirky, and seemingly kind-hearted. she sang absolutly unique songs and made beeping and splurting and all sorts of weird songs. her lyrics pretty much didnt make any sense, but you didnt really care. her personality captivated you. she played the piano, and played drums on garbage cans and trash. she was dressed kind of like a hippie-hobo, nothing fancy, an odd collection. she finished her set and some friend of hers in the audience yelled "play samson" and everyone cheered. kind of shyly she agreed. she sang samson and at the end of the song, i knew how it felt to love someone. I had a boyfriend at the time who was getting more and more serious by the day and by the end of the song i knew i was ready to throw my heart on the line and give loving someone a chance. Regina has blown me away. My friend and I both bought her c.d. at the end of the show, I think it cost 5 dollars and for a cover it had a little slip of paper with the track list slipped into the inside of one of those thin c.d. holders you can buy at any Staples. Hardly "professional." But thats what made you love her and her music. She wasnt manufactured or designed by any music label. She was just a girl sitting up on a stage throwing her heart out to the world. She was sincere. She was real. My friend and I listened to "samson" over and over on the way home and we went back the next weekend to hear her again. I gave her c.d. to the first boy I ever fell in love with.

I was driving around Boston maybe two weekends ago and we were listening to the radio and a song came on and I instantly recognized regina's voice though I didnt no the song. I freaked because I hadnt know how much her career had progressed. Then I was watching televison tonight and I flipped to VH1. They were broadcasting their "You oughta know" artists so i listened up. Regina Spektor was the most recent. I couldnt believe it. I was curious as to what had happened to her so I hit her website. I watched some of her videos and frankly got upset. I know all fans that have been there since the beginning tend to the voice the "sold out" claim but I guess I just couldnt help but be dissapointed. Her new(ish?) song "on the radio" was catchy but it didnt have the same randomness and quirkyness that her older songs have. I know artists have to progress with their music, but more then her music was her. It was regina herself that made me fall in love with her music, that made me feel what she felt when she wrote it and she was missing. She was all done up with perfect hair and nice trendy clothes that looked way to much like her publicists told her she "needed an image", all the excessive make-up, the eye shadow and red lipstick, it was all too much. I dunno...I guess disapointed was all i felt.

So I can on here to write my story. I guess I just felt like the whole world doesn't really know her but I do and i wanted to share her because apprently, she won't anymore.

So don't get me wrong, Im still a Regina fan through and through but I hope that in the future, she shares herself with the rest of you. You guys are all real fans and i think itd be wonderful if you got to know like I did.

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The three stages of magic are always thus:

1. Delight - the realization that you have been touched by something mysterious, amazing, beautiful, and wholely unique, and that you are in turn "special" for having experienced it. Often followed by the conflicting desires to share and horde the magic.

2. Disillusionment - the return to the mundane world, when the magic is realized either to have vanished, or to never have been there in the first place. Accompanied by a sense of profound loss, bitterness, and nostalgia, and sometimes by a futile desire to recapture the original magic. In the case of musicians, it is often thought that the magic has become dilute, artificial, or commercialized: in the process of popularization, the magic has lost what made it "special", and thus you have lost part of what made you special. (Your post is an example of trying to recapture that lost experience of participating in rare beauty, and to soothe your disillusionment through the consolation, sympathy, and agreement of others.)

3. Acceptance - coming to terms with one's disillusionment, either through the distance of time or through reconsidering one's feelings of loss. In this case, acceptance often comes about in the form of acknowledging "well, she's only human" or otherwise rationalizing or dismissing the magic. (This very post is an example of that, incidentally.) With acceptance, a measure of beauty and appreciation can be recaptured, but never of the same sort as the original, unfiltered wonder.

The only way to ever stop this cycle is to not dig deep enough.

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Dear Classic:

I think I know this feeling of nostalgia you are experiencing. I am writting a paper on Marcel Proust's À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. In the last book Le Temps Retrouvé, the narrator is waiting in the library and takes a book from the shelf, a book with the same title that the one his mother read to him in childhood. Reading this title is like saying the magic words - suddenly for a fraction of a second he recaptures himself at night with his mother reading to him this book in order to chear him up. He plays with the idea of collecting all these objects that would remind him of his past. However, it is impossible. He comes to the conclusion that taking that book from the shelf has added a new experince associated with the book: him waiting in the library. Next time he takes it - he might not remember the little boy listening to his mother, but a young man waiting in the library. He also realizes that we cannot artificially reproduce these moments. Only incidental, involuntery experiences (such as reading the title of a book, drinking tea with madelene) can sometimes bring us back in time.

It is a great book, I warmly recommend it.

I think you are experiencing deep nostalgia for your first love, for the magical moment you've had listening to Regina. And now you are frustrated, because you cannot recapture it again. You are blaming Regina for changing - but it is also you who have changed! You are not the same highschool girl you used to be.

Regina is evolving. Yes, she is wearing more expensive cloths, she has a better production of her recordings, she has developped her voice, she is experimenting with new instruments - but if you listen carefully, beneath all that you can find the same Regina who made 11:11. Personally, I also miss the intimacy of small venues. I miss Regina playing in Tonic (NY) and just stepping off the stage at the end of the show and talking to her audience as if she had just finished her class and now is enjoying the break with her friends. However, I do look forward to her growth. Commercialization has many negative effects - nevertheless it gives Regina a great advantage of experimenting and sharing her music. First I hated the more commercial songs like Fidelity. After listening a little bit more I realised that although it is written in a genre I usually vehemently dislike, it is so much better than other trash played on the radio and it still has some of Regina in it. I think you should buy the special edition of her last CD "Begin to Hope", it has both new and very old songs (as a bonus).

I wish you having new significant experiences and new discoveries in the coming year.

By the way, great observation, Raugust.

Happy New Year, everybody Smiler

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