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JohnnyC

Hurricane Regina: The Untold Story (Aka, The Neverending Story III)

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I'm baaaaack! After quite the hiatus from this great community, I've rejuvinated myself with the tastes and smells of the world! I've had plenty of rest, and plenty of restlessness! 'Stixers from Ireland, I love your country. Marry me into citizenship please! Enough about me... to the post!!! (It's very long, I needed to get months of not posting out of my system!)

I decided to make a thread that reminisces my entire Regina journey, and confesses my rampant fandom into an easily digestible after dinner piece of reading! This posting is wheat, gluten, fat, and lactose free! It's full of meat though! (read: juicy content!) *punches self for lame joke* Sorry.

I was reading Lamposts' question about Regina being single or not, and it struck me as a kinda personal question, but I remembered back to a time when I asked such a questions... The year was 2004. I remember it like it was only two years ago... *Cue playing of Harp* (You must now picture me looking to a bubble forming over my head where you will see a cinematic presentation of the event's that I'm about to describe).

-

I was a much younger guy in those days. I was a fresh faced 22 year-old (as opposed to a handsomely aged 25) and I was still green behind the ears in the real world, having only been out of school for two full years. I had wondered what happened to all of the good music on our planet as it was being replaced by more Milli Vanilli's and Britney Spears' than I could handle! Noone seemed to notice it, but just as much as climate change, the music situation truly was An Inconvenient Truth. I was sure that the loss of musical skill among humanity was a sign of the end times, armageddon. Surely anarchy and looting were only months away, if not days. At that time, listening to the radio had already been relegated to "only when the power is out, and we need life-saving information" status. I couldn't bring myself to listen to the radio ever again. The music was just so horrible. My religion was dying.

The situation was grave, the clock of doom was ticking, and something HAD to be done. So I started digging back through my past, recalling bands that I knew I liked at one point. 2001, 2000, 1999... old album titles, collaborative projects, embarassing guilty pleasures (*cough* Natalie Imbruglia) and Napster friends libraries long since past, all flooded through my thoughts. I remembered songs that were surely headed for brain cells that were scheduled for alcohol demolition. The hammer was coming down on so many of them, I just knew it. College was not nice to my memory, you see. I pictured tiny jets of touring bands flying imaginary world tours in my brain, but all of their planes' hydraulics were failing, they were crashing everywhere, dying premature horrible Buddy Hollyesque deaths in my mind, unless I took control, revived their memories, and listened to their music once more! The radio sure wasn't helping them anyway.

So, my journey for good music began, and the bands that I really enjoyed at one time were being rediscovered. Some were even grateful enough to repay me by sharing new albums that they had recorded, and I loved them. There are so many great artists. I was kindling my love for music back to what it once was, a raging deadly inferno of metal signs whilst I sang in the shower. It was a difficult journey though, even through the rediscovery stage. After facing the Avril's, Nickelback's and American Idol's of the day it was hard to stay motivated, while pretending that the world wasn't about to destroy itself from fear of sucking so badly. In terms of how us brumstixers would describe it: The world had the Biggest. Nosebleed. Ever. My enthusiasm wasn't flatlining yet, but it was soooo close. I sometimes think that if I never heard my favourite band from 10 years ago, and then heard them for the first time ever, tomorrow: Would I like them? Probably not. I'm a completely different person now, with musical tastes that have evolved since then. Good music is better when it fits somewhere. The old bands that I was rediscovering were mostly great, but there was a loss of freshness for most of them. I still liked their older stuff from the past, but most of the bands didn't evolve like I had. I was getting more distant from them no matter how much I wanted to go backwards. Diverging paths and all that jazz.

The stakes were as high as they were going to get! I was seriously considering finding a new passion, like joining a curling league, or learning how to knit myself mittens! Something. Anything that would compliment my life the way music always had. But winter was fading, and the need for mittens was going with it. Forced by this reality to make one last push, my journey was coming to a deadly brink, but I didn't know it yet. It was time for success, or complete revaluation of the world that I live in. At the time it wasn't as draatic as I'm making it sound, but looking back, I don't see how I could've survived much longer!

I remembered a band called PHASER; a Brit-Rock influenced anomaly among the thriving D.C. punk scene in the early 2000's. I had their first album "Sway" for quite awhile, which I loved, but hadn't kept tabs on the band for ages (seemed like millenia). I found their site, which was lucky because myspace was still a glimmer in a nerd's eye at the time. From there, I decided to purchase their new album that had just been released. This was it. The album was in the mail, on it's way to my apartment. It was a ticking timebomb! A follow-up album so horrible, that I would have surely pushed me to join a monastery to find a simpler way to experience the world. Quietly! The order had been placed though. The bomb was on it's way...

After I checked out of the online store, it happened. Morpheus appeared to me while wearing a Soviet naval cap. He offered me a RED pill and a BLUE pill. He said that I could take the BLUE pill and live a quiet life away from all of the horrible music in the world, happy to connect instead with the sounds of nature. Or, he said, I could take the RED pill and see what was really beyond the media networks that sprayed mace in the eyes of artistic freedom, keeping the general population in a headlock, while administering a figurative 'noogie' to all of us through our wallets. Hmmm... RED pill eh?

The website displayed a page thanking me for supporting independent music, and showed me a list of random album covers from other independent artists that sell their own CD's through the site. I saw Regina. I clicked. The RED pill became a Baldwin grand piano. I listened to it play every sample song for me, and immediately afterward, I went to her website. I ordered both of her CDs and downloaded everything that I could find online (basically all of the unreleased "Songs" demos). I became one of those strange people that gets obsessed with obtaining every live recording possible of their favourite musician. Eventually, I even joined the messageboard community! By the time I listened to the deadly time bomb of an album that I bought, it didn't matter. I just turned my deaf ear towards the crap and my good ear towards Regina. Her songs friggin kicked ass. It actually affected me in a positive way too, because I think it made a difference for me when my grandmother passed away that summer. Not in the typical cheesy "The pain of this song helped me get through a tough time" way though. That's just lame. It was actually the constant fun of Regina's music that addicted me in the first place. The clever writing. Even when dealing with more serious or intellectual issues, there's a spontaniety, or a playfulness. It's great music, but also inspiration to look at your real life in as fun a way as possible.

When I first got hooked on Regina, she was way less well known though. Of course, because of this, I briefly imagined that I would one day meet her. Maybe in the market somewhere, or maybe at a gig where I'd capture her eye, and her music (*cough* bootlegging *cough*) and then I wondered what it must be like to live with such a fun, smart, & gifted person. To wake up in the morning to the sound of them writing a song that other ears may never even get to hear... how amazing would that be? Uh oh! What was I thinking? Was I becoming an obsessive stalkerish fan? Was I ready to take that step from "an acceptable member of society" to "creepy guy hiding in the bushes, arrested on the evening news"? Did I seriously just dream of being Regina's roomate? Or boyfriend even!? Of course not! I'm not a creepy weirdo! I just really loved her music. *Shhhh. Telling myself this makes me feel better*

I've never been as devout a FAN of anything before though, so it's kinda scary when I think about how much I used to gobble up Regina articles/music/rarities. I probably just needed a breath of fresh air in my life, and Regina's tunes filled that void. I've cut back seriously lately, and even disappeared from the forums for awhile, but I still love the stuff. I completely think she is just as awesome as ever. Her interviews make it pretty clear how great she is: Just a normal person like the rest of us, but somehow a very cool one! ;-)

Now it's a different experience for me too though. She's crazily famous and increasingly popular, access to her is pretty exclusive/controlled compared to the casual gigs of yesteryear, and the chances of meeting in any sort of normal circumstance (read: without screaming fangirls/boys all around) are miniscule. Autograph? Who asks for an autograph and then screams "I love you" even though you've never met before? I don't even want an autograph. What a pointless thing! Witnessing the swarms of fans makes me want to stay 100 feet away from Regina at all times before & after shows. But she's as humble as always and the music will keep me coming back no matter how much I dislike her becoming a part of the evil mainstream media web of mistrust.

Maybe one day I'll get to be that guy in line at the shop that lends her some change to make an even dollar at the register. She'll smile and say something nice, and I'd leave as a happy guy. It'd be a small repayment for all of the great music she's given me. No autograph, no pictures, no screaming. Just giving some change. Supporting the music, man. Supporting the religion.

*the bubble over my head just popped* It's ok, you're in the Brumstix.

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I'm baaaaack! After quite the hiatus from this great community, I've rejuvinated myself with the tastes and smells of the world! I've had plenty of rest, and plenty of restlessness! 'Stixers from Ireland, I love your country. Marry me into citizenship please! Enough about me... to the post!!! (It's very long, I needed to get months of not posting out of my system!)

I decided to make a thread that reminisces my entire Regina journey, and confesses my rampant fandom into an easily digestible after dinner piece of reading! This posting is wheat, gluten, fat, and lactose free! It's full of meat though! (read: juicy content!) *punches self for lame joke* Sorry.

I was reading Lamposts' question about Regina being single or not, and it struck me as a kinda personal question, but I remembered back to a time when I asked such a questions... The year was 2004. I remember it like it was only two years ago... *Cue playing of Harp* (You must now picture me looking to a bubble forming over my head where you will see a cinematic presentation of the event's that I'm about to describe).

-

I was a much younger guy in those days. I was a fresh faced 22 year-old (as opposed to a handsomely aged 25) and I was still green behind the ears in the real world, having only been out of school for two full years. I had wondered what happened to all of the good music on our planet as it was being replaced by more Milli Vanilli's and Britney Spears' than I could handle! Noone seemed to notice it, but just as much as climate change, the music situation truly was An Inconvenient Truth. I was sure that the loss of musical skill among humanity was a sign of the end times, armageddon. Surely anarchy and looting were only months away, if not days. At that time, listening to the radio had already been relegated to "only when the power is out, and we need life-saving information" status. I couldn't bring myself to listen to the radio ever again. The music was just so horrible. My religion was dying.

The situation was grave, the clock of doom was ticking, and something HAD to be done. So I started digging back through my past, recalling bands that I knew I liked at one point. 2001, 2000, 1999... old album titles, collaborative projects, embarassing guilty pleasures (*cough* Natalie Imbruglia) and Napster friends libraries long since past, all flooded through my thoughts. I remembered songs that were surely headed for brain cells that were scheduled for alcohol demolition. The hammer was coming down on so many of them, I just knew it. College was not nice to my memory, you see. I pictured tiny jets of touring bands flying imaginary world tours in my brain, but all of their planes' hydraulics were failing, they were crashing everywhere, dying premature horrible Buddy Hollyesque deaths in my mind, unless I took control, revived their memories, and listened to their music once more! The radio sure wasn't helping them anyway.

So, my journey for good music began, and the bands that I really enjoyed at one time were being rediscovered. Some were even grateful enough to repay me by sharing new albums that they had recorded, and I loved them. There are so many great artists. I was kindling my love for music back to what it once was, a raging deadly inferno of metal signs whilst I sang in the shower. It was a difficult journey though, even through the rediscovery stage. After facing the Avril's, Nickelback's and American Idol's of the day it was hard to stay motivated, while pretending that the world wasn't about to destroy itself from fear of sucking so badly. In terms of how us brumstixers would describe it: The world had the Biggest. Nosebleed. Ever. My enthusiasm wasn't flatlining yet, but it was soooo close. I sometimes think that if I never heard my favourite band from 10 years ago, and then heard them for the first time ever, tomorrow: Would I like them? Probably not. I'm a completely different person now, with musical tastes that have evolved since then. Good music is better when it fits somewhere. The old bands that I was rediscovering were mostly great, but there was a loss of freshness for most of them. I still liked their older stuff from the past, but most of the bands didn't evolve like I had. I was getting more distant from them no matter how much I wanted to go backwards. Diverging paths and all that jazz.

The stakes were as high as they were going to get! I was seriously considering finding a new passion, like joining a curling league, or learning how to knit myself mittens! Something. Anything that would compliment my life the way music always had. But winter was fading, and the need for mittens was going with it. Forced by this reality to make one last push, my journey was coming to a deadly brink, but I didn't know it yet. It was time for success, or complete revaluation of the world that I live in. At the time it wasn't as draatic as I'm making it sound, but looking back, I don't see how I could've survived much longer!

I remembered a band called PHASER; a Brit-Rock influenced anomaly among the thriving D.C. punk scene in the early 2000's. I had their first album "Sway" for quite awhile, which I loved, but hadn't kept tabs on the band for ages (seemed like millenia). I found their site, which was lucky because myspace was still a glimmer in a nerd's eye at the time. From there, I decided to purchase their new album that had just been released. This was it. The album was in the mail, on it's way to my apartment. It was a ticking timebomb! A follow-up album so horrible, that I would have surely pushed me to join a monastery to find a simpler way to experience the world. Quietly! The order had been placed though. The bomb was on it's way...

After I checked out of the online store, it happened. Morpheus appeared to me while wearing a Soviet naval cap. He offered me a RED pill and a BLUE pill. He said that I could take the BLUE pill and live a quiet life away from all of the horrible music in the world, happy to connect instead with the sounds of nature. Or, he said, I could take the RED pill and see what was really beyond the media networks that sprayed mace in the eyes of artistic freedom, keeping the general population in a headlock, while administering a figurative 'noogie' to all of us through our wallets. Hmmm... RED pill eh?

The website displayed a page thanking me for supporting independent music, and showed me a list of random album covers from other independent artists that sell their own CD's through the site. I saw Regina. I clicked. The RED pill became a Baldwin grand piano. I listened to it play every sample song for me, and immediately afterward, I went to her website. I ordered both of her CDs and downloaded everything that I could find online (basically all of the unreleased "Songs" demos). I became one of those strange people that gets obsessed with obtaining every live recording possible of their favourite musician. Eventually, I even joined the messageboard community! By the time I listened to the deadly time bomb of an album that I bought, it didn't matter. I just turned my deaf ear towards the crap and my good ear towards Regina. Her songs friggin kicked ass. It actually affected me in a positive way too, because I think it made a difference for me when my grandmother passed away that summer. Not in the typical cheesy "The pain of this song helped me get through a tough time" way though. That's just lame. It was actually the constant fun of Regina's music that addicted me in the first place. The clever writing. Even when dealing with more serious or intellectual issues, there's a spontaniety, or a playfulness. It's great music, but also inspiration to look at your real life in as fun a way as possible.

When I first got hooked on Regina, she was way less well known though. Of course, because of this, I briefly imagined that I would one day meet her. Maybe in the market somewhere, or maybe at a gig where I'd capture her eye, and her music (*cough* bootlegging *cough*) and then I wondered what it must be like to live with such a fun, smart, & gifted person. To wake up in the morning to the sound of them writing a song that other ears may never even get to hear... how amazing would that be? Uh oh! What was I thinking? Was I becoming an obsessive stalkerish fan? Was I ready to take that step from "an acceptable member of society" to "creepy guy hiding in the bushes, arrested on the evening news"? Did I seriously just dream of being Regina's roomate? Or boyfriend even!? Of course not! I'm not a creepy weirdo! I just really loved her music. *Shhhh. Telling myself this makes me feel better*

I've never been as devout a FAN of anything before though, so it's kinda scary when I think about how much I used to gobble up Regina articles/music/rarities. I probably just needed a breath of fresh air in my life, and Regina's tunes filled that void. I've cut back seriously lately, and even disappeared from the forums for awhile, but I still love the stuff. I completely think she is just as awesome as ever. Her interviews make it pretty clear how great she is: Just a normal person like the rest of us, but somehow a very cool one! ;-)

Now it's a different experience for me too though. She's crazily famous and increasingly popular, access to her is pretty exclusive/controlled compared to the casual gigs of yesteryear, and the chances of meeting in any sort of normal circumstance (read: without screaming fangirls/boys all around) are miniscule. Autograph? Who asks for an autograph and then screams "I love you" even though you've never met before? I don't even want an autograph. What a pointless thing! Witnessing the swarms of fans makes me want to stay 100 feet away from Regina at all times before & after shows. But she's as humble as always and the music will keep me coming back no matter how much I dislike her becoming a part of the evil mainstream media web of mistrust.

Maybe one day I'll get to be that guy in line at the shop that lends her some change to make an even dollar at the register. She'll smile and say something nice, and I'd leave as a happy guy. It'd be a small repayment for all of the great music she's given me. No autograph, no pictures, no screaming. Just giving some change. Supporting the music, man. Supporting the religion.

*the bubble over my head just popped* It's ok, you're in the Brumstix.

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JohnnyC! What a wonderful person you are! This made me smile so much.

I always feel so sad over losing Regina's music to a mass audience. And then I feel guilty for being sad about it. It's just, part of the reason I loved Regina's music so much to begin with was because every song was just imbued with this sense of her personality, and that came through every recording. As she gets more and more famous, I feel less of a connection to HER through her music. If I saw her in the street, would I freak out? Yes! Would I run up to her and gush about how much I love her music and all of her albums? No, she probably hears that everyday now.

I suppose that's inevitable, but I still mourn for the days when I could go and see her play live in a crowd of 90 or so, where she would talk to you about stupid little things. Maybe this is really cynical and awful, but I see her more and more in business terms. Like a commodity who can be tweaked and altered to go along with what people want, and what people want to buy, rather than a musician just playing songs that she really loves.

On a happier note - I'm glad to see you that you enjoyed Ireland. I am originally from there (currently living in Liverpool). I'd be interested to know if you happened to wander into my home county of Tipperary?

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How melodramatic was that post? (mine I mean, not JohnnyC's) ((or indeed genkaar's!))

I still love her and all of her songs greatly, of course. I probably should have stuck that in as some sort of disclaimer Wink

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Man, I was going to respond earlier, really I was. But my computer crashed again. Luckily, everyone got out okay.

My discovery of Regina was a bit different, and less dramatic, it involved a lot of awesomely cool people, who surprisingly lived here, and were my freinds. There names also mostly started with a J, except for one, who's name was a G that sounded like a J. My story isn't long/dramatic enough for its' own thread, so it will go here.

I heard Regina first on a mixed CD made by one of said J's, who gave it to my brother. The CD was titled "The CD that Ate -name of Shira's brother-" It was a mix of some random songs, many not that good and solely on there for their funny lyrics. But the song that caused me to continuesly "borrow" my brothers' CD was a lovely song by a Miss Spektor entitled "Us". I didn't know what it was called at the time though, as it showed up only as a track number on my radio.

After that, the CD went missing,as CDs like that do, and I forgot about the lovely song. Later, over a conversation with one of those lovely J's I was sent here, to Reginas website to listen to some "Pretty Music" I clicked on one of the little tape players, or "listeners" and immediatly recognised the voice. After listening to each of the listener samples all the way through I joined this Regina board here and now here I am.

On a side note, a freind of mine has a page from AP magazine with a picture of Reginas album cover (begin to hope) on her door. Regina isn't the reason it's on her door, but it makes me smile every time I see it never the less.

Great story JC, nice job Smiler I'm also on a bit of a quest for good music, because, living here, I don't get to much of it. My daily musical dose consists of a nice long bit of regina, some of something introduced to me by my brother (at the moment it's The Knife) some music from some older famous bands (The Beatles for example)whatever I deem 'sounds good' and of course, a small amount of 'noise rock' or 'scremo' because this city makes me angry.

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i found out about Regina from MTV i liked her songs so much i needed to find out more about her so i looked her up and now i can not stop talking about her she's the best! oh and does anyway know if she is going to play here in Ohio soon?

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Speaking of the NeverEnding Story...I just watched it (Part 1) for the first time in about 15 years...It's SO crazy good...I've become obsessed with finding an Aurin necklace (see pic attached). Anyone know any goldsmiths who work for cheap? Atreyu is 36 years old now! God...I'm starting to feel old (although I'm still a freshfaced 22 year old).

And on the topic of Regina getting more famous...I'm starting to have weird experiences of when I ever play Regina in public, at least 1 person comes up to me and says "Hey, isn't that Regina Spektor?" Whereas before everyone would be like "What the hell are you listening to?" I'm STILL amazed that people know her...Although I guess I should get over it and finally understand that she's famous now.

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quote:
Originally posted by kiwifruit:

JohnnyC! What a wonderful person you are! This made me smile so much.

Haha! Thanks, thanks to that comment, I FEEL wonderful

quote:
Originally posted by kiwifruit:

...I see Regina more and more in business terms. Like a commodity who can be tweaked and altered to go along with what people want, and what people want to buy, rather than a musician just playing songs that she really loves.

I'm confident that Regina will always be "a musician just playing songs that she loves" as long as she plays music. "Noone can take that away". Puff Daddy & Mace once said, Mo' money mo' problems though...

quote:
Originally posted by kiwifruit:

I'd be interested to know if you happened to wander into my home county of Tipperary?

Ahhh! Tip! I did not, but I have an excellent Hurling DVD from the LIAM 2005 wherein Tip gets their asses handed to them by Cork! XD I got to toss a sliter around with a friend while I was there, I freakin love that game! Oh, and next time I'm there, I plan on seeing more of the west, so I may miss Tipperary again (unless it comes highly recommended?) LOVE!

quote:
Originally posted by Fran:

I've become obsessed with finding an Aurin necklace

Then you recently missed out on a necklace cast from the original! HERE Don't worry though... went for $400!

I may have found something for you though! on Ebay BUY-IT-NOW or Ebay AUCTIONS.

The seller looks reliable, but the Auryn seems a bit replica-ey.

Alternately, you could get the REAL Monkey Auryn from The Neverending Story III HERE

But as for the REAL snake one, no chance. Apparently Spielberg nabbed it and has it mounted in glass on the wall in his office. Elaborate heist anyone?

EDIT:

FRAN, you may also find this article interesting! There are also apparently celtic/gaelic variations of Auryn design, ie. the infamous celtic weave patterns. I especially love the complexity of some of them!

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