Sign in to follow this  
Anthony Minsky

Why does she dazzle us so much?

Recommended Posts

It is almost imperative for one to be "preachy" on Youtube when faced with the sheer effluence of vulgarity and slander boiling just beneath its surface. A friend of mine put it best: "Youtube comments are the bottom of the Internet's shoe." The people that don't realize just how amazing Regina is need to be made aware of what they're missing. If they continue to denounce her after the fact, then they either have contrasting personal taste or merely refuse to give her a try. Nothing can be done about that, but we can at least offer her detractors a chance to "see the light," as it were. You have done a fantastic job defending her in the face of senseless slander, my friend, and we are all proud of you as fellow fanatics. I have indeed seen an enormous amount of praise for her there, as well...it warms my heart (which is two sizes too small) to see just how many people she has truly touched with her music and her spirit.

I do indeed know what you mean when you say that it "blows <you> away that she blows <you> away," and I can attest to feeling the same way. She is indeed the epitome of "unconventional;" that unknowable THING she has created is uniquely her aura and I doubt it will ever be replicated elsewhere. Also, "a singing sunset" is the most fitting description of Frank Sinatra I've ever read. If only there was a similar phrase that would fit Regina just as well...but alas! She cannot be defined in mere words, as we've concurred! The connection between her music and her heart is definitely why we love her so much.

Your claims that everyone has a certain "specialness" in their heads and that Regina is a rare example of someone who's been able to successfully and fully express it remind me of a theory put forth by one Dr. William Bell; in essence, he believed that the human mind is infinitely capable at birth, but that each force it encounters--social, physical, intellectual--triggers a process of "Limitation" that diminishes this innate potential. Perhaps Dr. Bell was right, and perhaps Regina was somehow immune to this "Limitation" process... Wink

Either way, her creative expression and her spirit are truly limitless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"when she performs, it's like she's playing her diary."

^^soo true!

i agree with all of you eloquent fellows, though i was like almostspotless-i wasn't immediately enthralled with Fidelity.

I couldn't decide if that chick with the big nose was cool, or if she was just nuts. Pretty or ugly? I wondered why they were playing her on TV in rotation with pop artists, in any case.

long story short(ish), after a time, I rummaged through her songs, playing them all the way through, trying to find the one that would click-the one that would be Regina Spektor's potential-what the other songs were building for. the "point" of her singing. i knew there was something "there", but nothing wanted to fit what i wanted it to be, though i'd hear some amazing thing she did with her voice, or i'd be very moved by a couple of lines here or there. i kept wanting her to show off- to throw everything she could do into one awesome display of music-every run, every perfect imagery, rhyme, beat, skill, and color (if that makes sense).

in short, i was digging for a pearl on a golddust beach. Every once in a while, the sand would sparkle, and i'd start digging there, thinking i was getting closer. but anything i got from her music was in spite of me-just enjoy the precious material for what it is.

once i got that, regina really opened my mind to music that wasn't gospel, rock, or poppy poppitty pop music (backstreet boys, anyone?)

second thing, and i'll be as concise as possible, i'm the type to create my own fads. i get absolutely obsessed with one thing, like, it just tears my heart out and stretches it, and beats it (against a granite countertop), then after a time it loses its pull, its power, and i relax for a few months or years until the next comes along. I assumed that regina's music was going to be like that, but the more i see of her the more i see

1: how little i know her as a person

and 2: how much her music still has to offer

i attribute both to a depth that i underestimated, and then did everything to sidestep from the start. i didn't want to admit that i was drawn to weird music with gagging and sneezing and snoring and fake beatboxing in it, but the more i let the music be what it was, the more i "got" that the random noises were there for a reason.

so... i think a big part of regina's uniqueness, at least for me, was the spontinaety (baaad spelling, college girl. Frowner), "wrong"-ness, and not-taking-itself-too-seriously that eventually drew me in. now i love her music.. it's like this faraway pen pal or something.

no matter how much i "get" it, i still don't know what it looks like, or how it really "is"; there's always been this element of mystery to Reg for me, right from the start.

Shutting up now. Sorry for the length haha

*goes back to edit*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To: 'Be like the water, people"

Beautifully put!! Smiler Appreciated your honesty. I've mentioned this before, but I always remember an old interview of hers when she was recalling a really early concert that she had and when she got off stage she saw that the audience was literally scratching their heads about what to make of her. And she said that when she saw that, she said to herself "yes".

I just love that. She new right then that she had created something different. It sounds like you went through a scratching your head type thing in the beginning.

I liked her right away, but not all her music like I do now. I remember after hearing Fidelity, I researched her and although I was liking a lot, I had to warm up to certain songs. Like 'Carbon Monoxide', Ghost of Corporate Future', Chemo Limo, ,Bobbing for Apples, Pavlov's Daughter, and some others. It's funny because it wasn't because I disliked them but it was because in my head I was thinking 'this is too weird' or it was embarrassing cuz of some of the words or the noises she'd make. And NOW that just sounds so crazy, cuz I absolutely LOVE everyone of those. What was happening is that I was doing the scratch my head thing too. Smiler She got me, is what she did. Just when I thought i'd been around this great big world enough to not see something new, she got me. She just came out of nowhere and I wasn't expecting it. That's why it took me a little while to assimilate it in my head. It wasn't familiar, it wasn't related to anything else I knew, it was something brand new. She tricked my brain. She wonderfully tricked my brain. And then she just nailed me to the wall Smiler The more I listened the more I couldn't stop listening. I just went through this kind of transformation from 'hey this girls got some really cool songs' to 'holy frickin' crap there's no one like her!' Now I'm just totally mesmerized by every move she makes. She sure is a funny little thing. Smiler She's more than just great music. She's more like an experience. She doesn't just make great music, she IS her music. That might be said of some other artists, but I've never seen it more true than with her.

That might all sound a little overboard, but that's what happen to me and that's how I see it.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tony, thank you for opening this thread!

I agree with virtually everything you fellows have said, and I identify with it a lot. My story? I was zapping TV channels in the evening, back in 2006, when I chanced on the video of "Fidelity", on the Sony channel (they used to play it in between shows or commercials; at least, here in Buenos Aires, Argentina). I started watching.

The first thing that caught my eye was that the girl in the video was not the typical "hot-skimpy-outfit-female-pop-artist". It was more like a helpless little girl in a weird dress. But then, something happened: she started to play the piano and sing that "hea-a-a-a-rt" thing, and I said: "Wow, a female pop artist that plays the piano and has a daring singing style" (btw, Tony, yes, "daring" is the perfect word). I also liked the story the video was telling; her acting was funny... and extremely, extremely clever! She was playing the role of a girl deluding herself, smiling, small-talking to a bodyless shape... Trying to convince herself that she was happy, when she actually felt lonely and scared... It was like someone showing a deep understanding of the human soul. I smiled at that inside myself (does that make any sense?). The ending was quite original, too, and playful. So I carefully checked the name at the end of the video: Regina Spektor. "Probably an artistic name", I thought. But I also thought: "This Regina Spektor knows what she is about. She's no fool, has a great voice, plays the piano...". I identify with piano players because I was one before I quit some years ago (too little time to practice, in part).

After that, I forgot all about her. Yep. I totally forgot she ever existed, until...

... this year, when in June, one of my Facebook friends posted a link to the video of "Us". "Oh, yes, Regina Spektor," I thought. "The girl that sang that song in the weird dress, with all the colors at the end... OK, let's check it out...".

And I did, and I was enthralled. The strings, the piano, her voice, her "quirks", everything... I don't know what happened to me, but after a point I felt that the music was literally filling the air. So the next day, I downloaded Soviet Kitsch. The next day, Begin to Hope. The next day, 11:11... well, the whole lot. I started reading about her, found out about this place, found out about the wealth of unreleased material, about her forgetting lyrics at concerts, watched her interviews, fell in love with her mesmerizing personality! And since then I haven't stopped.

Tony, like you, I haven't been a fan of many bands or musicians in my life: basically, The Beatles, Queen, a few Argentine bands... and now, Regina. And I want to stress this, because I had not found in a very long time an artist that moves me in this way. I didn't choose to become a fan, it just... happened. It's a bit of a mystery.

I have also made myself the same question sometimes: what is it about her that "gets to us" so much? I could list a few things, for me, at least:

- her talent at the piano. She's so good, it is obvious that she has studied the classical composers, that has given her superb playing skills.

- her boldness, originality, spontaneity (totally agree with you, Be Like the Water). I remember for example, listening to the Reginasaurus for the first time. I went crazy! Only she could have thought of something like that!

- her "not too serious" attitude towards everyting.

- her directness. Let me explain: Regina is not afraid to deal with the dark side of life. I find this very striking, and I respect her a lot for that. "One more time with feeling"; "Begin to Hope " (the song, I mean); "Chemo Limo", several verses scattered in other songs... she touches upon issues that are sad, difficult, scary... and she is not afraid to do it, and somehow, through her songs, she helps us cope with those issues too. In this, she is so different from the rest of pop artists.

- she is a very clever performer: she knows how to manage the intensity of her voice and playing so that you feel that in every song she is taking you by the hand on a trip through peaks and valleys... you don't know what's coming next.

- her passion. I don't know you guys, but I enjoy watching her play with her eyes closed, her face showing the effort, the energy. And it's contagious (ha ha, bad joke; but I mean it).

- her general attitude during interviews and with her fans... unassuming, funny, kind, totally honest. I think this a very important reason why we feel so close to her. She does not intend to appear as a "demi-god", apart from humanity: she's just human, she's just people like you (anoter bad joke, will I ever learn Big Grin ).

- and I could go on and on...

I guess it also has to do with the moment in your life that you are going through... I consider myself to be now more mature and reflexive than I used to be; maybe her music would not have had such an impact on me if I had discovered her when I was, like, 15. (I'm not telling my age, ok? I'll just say it more than doubles that number, period Wink ).

OK, enough. If you have put up with me till this point... wow, you are very patient! Thanks for that!

No, just a final word: thanks for being here. This is the only place where I can freely express my awe at Regina at length with people whom I know will understand how I feel. May I add that reading the shows thread makes me happy and sad at the same time: happy, because I like to see how other people enjoyed seeing her live, the stories, the anecdotes. Sad, because I don't know if I will ever get the chance.

Regina in Argentina! We can make it happen!

There.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've had to think about this one for a few days. i read half of a book once called

'the jewish mystique', by some dutch guy who

tried to research why 'they' do what they do.

why they seem to be so prolific at being doctors, lawyers, not to mention entertainers.

the only thing i really remember is that he studied askenasi and sephardic private school kids in america (this was like the fifties or sixties, mind you) and IQ results and grade performance. now, nothing against sephardic individuals, i don't give much creedence to any 'bell curve' type of shit, humans are humans, to me, race means nothing. but he found that askenasi jew schoolkids (and if i'm spelling it wrong, and you chide me, fuck off) were scoring higher, considerably. now, i'm not sure, but i think that they're more the russian jews. and, jews in general, he seemed to think

(i forgot i remember this also) that because throughout history, their culture starts young studying the talmud and all that crap, as per their religion, that they are just more scholarly in general. okay, fuck all that, about regina: she's one of a kind. i listened to soviet kitsch recently, the other day, and like i remember when i first heard this shit a few years ago, and mary ann, and begin to hope,

i was like what in the fuck?! i mean god,

has there ever been the like? no. the different genres on the same album, the endless storytelling, the complete unabashed no holds barred who the fuck cares this is my art i hope you like it and if you don't well i mean no harm here. the girl is relentless. i've never heard anyone so relentless. the themes - chemo limo, for gods sake. the pickle song. what the fuck is she thinking? does she take a lot of drugs and drink vats of beer when she comes up with this shit? of course not. well, probably not usually. the piano playing. what? the mixes. the goofy shit. regina! start it already!

the girl's just fucking magical, that's why

she dazzles us. it's innate. people do what they're meant to do. artists and truck drivers.

it's all just human. work it baby. i guess probably the most fond and vivid memory of just what i was getting into, after listening to those three albums for a while, then seeing her for the first time at Warsaw, when she played Baby Jesus, which I'd never heard. I was like,

uhhhhhhh. Uh huh. Yes. Yes dear, you are very

very good at what you do. Don't applaud, just

throw money. Peace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:
Originally posted by RaelNYC:

about regina: she's one of a kind. i listened to soviet kitsch recently, the other day, and like i remember when i first heard this shit a few years ago, and mary ann, and begin to hope,

i was like what in the fuck?! i mean god,

has there ever been the like? no. the different genres on the same album, the endless storytelling, the complete unabashed no holds barred who the fuck cares this is my art i hope you like it and if you don't well i mean no harm here. the girl is relentless. i've never heard anyone so relentless. the themes - chemo limo, for gods sake. the pickle song. what the fuck is she thinking? does she take a lot of drugs and drink vats of beer when she comes up with this shit? of course not. well, probably not usually. the piano playing. what? the mixes. the goofy shit. regina! start it already!

the girl's just fucking magical, that's why

she dazzles us. it's innate. people do what they're meant to do. artists and truck drivers.

it's all just human. work it baby. i guess probably the most fond and vivid memory of just what i was getting into, after listening to those three albums for a while, then seeing her for the first time at Warsaw, when she played Baby Jesus, which I'd never heard. I was like,

uhhhhhhh. Uh huh. Yes. Yes dear, you are very

very good at what you do. Don't applaud, just

throw money. Peace.

Awesome!!! I'm just in awe of how great people explain their Regina love. You described her perfectly. I don't understand the Jew connection. Sounds like you don't either. Smiler Do Jews like Jews? I'm part Jewish and my ancestors come from Belarus. But like you said, all of that doesn't mean a damn thing. Humans are humans in any shape and color. Regina just happens to be a magical human. Smiler There might be magical truck drivers, but I'm not sure if I'd enjoy them as much. Of course I might feel different if I needed one. Smiler Until I appreciated this brumstix site, Regina was like a great movie that I only saw. But she's more than that. With a movie alls a person has to do is see it like you did. Regina is more like a human study. Most people don't quite get it at first, but once they give it the proper chance, she hits you in the gut with a sledgehammer. Your comment on Baby Jesus made me laugh. She is just like you said. In your head she just makes you go 'what the f...!' Sometimes not just in your head. Smiler. In this hum drum world it just feels good to get kicked in the ass about how beautiful and creative things can still be out there. I didn't expect her at all. She just came out of nowhere and surprised the hell out of me. I'm still trying to process it. And I'm loving every minute she confuses me. Anyway, enjoyed your comments very much, but you spelled askenasi wrong. Smiler

Tony

I'm expecting a healthy 'fuck off' after that Smiler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fuck off, tony.

yeah, dig it. what you said, 'i didn't expect her'.

that about sums it up. it could be the name of a biography

about her. first song i heard was the hotel song, on WFUV,

was driving a car so didn't pay all that much attention,

but enough to grab a pen and write down her name.

at the beginning, with the three part harmonies,

and the electronic vibe, i just thought it was

some electronic singers group. then i bought begin to hope,

i'll never forget it. fidelity, ok, wow this is nice,

better, holy shit THAT rocks and is relevant, samson,

how gorgeous, and on through. must admit some of the later

ones took a little while, like lady, a little disonant,

but anything she does eventually just soaks in like a

hot bath. and field below and summer in the city.

they were both so relevant to my life in NYC with

missing past loves and people. i actually lived downtown,

and had these girl friends, and this one girlfriend, then

it all came apart, and i moved uptown, and 'you don't live

downtown no mo', and everything must come and go...'

i often kept a mop in my room nearby while i painted, for the

tears. she just never freakin stops. the energizer bunny

from the BX. i didn't know there were swimming pool noises!

she's fearless. i think the quintessential thing for me was

the 5 song begin to hope addendum. i'd already worn out

the CD, and had to buy a new one, and the new one came

with the addendum. i was blown out of the water,

after having already been blown out of the boat.

god, the memories. the music box. an uh-merica

there's never been the like.

that's why we're all here on this site.

peace, cc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:
Originally posted by RaelNYC:

fuck off, tony.

yeah, dig it. what you said, 'i didn't expect her'.

that about sums it up. it could be the name of a biography

about her. first song i heard was the hotel song, on WFUV,

was driving a car so didn't pay all that much attention,

but enough to grab a pen and write down her name.

at the beginning, with the three part harmonies,

and the electronic vibe, i just thought it was

some electronic singers group. then i bought begin to hope,

i'll never forget it. fidelity, ok, wow this is nice,

better, holy shit THAT rocks and is relevant, samson,

how gorgeous, and on through. must admit some of the later

ones took a little while, like lady, a little disonant,

but anything she does eventually just soaks in like a

hot bath. and field below and summer in the city.

they were both so relevant to my life in NYC with

missing past loves and people. i actually lived downtown,

and had these girl friends, and this one girlfriend, then

it all came apart, and i moved uptown, and 'you don't live

downtown no mo', and everything must come and go...'

i often kept a mop in my room nearby while i painted, for the

tears. she just never freakin stops. the energizer bunny

from the BX. i didn't know there were swimming pool noises!

she's fearless. i think the quintessential thing for me was

the 5 song begin to hope addendum. i'd already worn out

the CD, and had to buy a new one, and the new one came

with the addendum. i was blown out of the water,

after having already been blown out of the boat.

god, the memories. the music box. an uh-merica

there's never been the like.

that's why we're all here on this site.

peace, cc

'Field below' should be enough to blow a persons moccasins off. What about 'Edit' has there been a greater song since The Beatles 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' I mean come on!! The woman is relentless with her creativity. Just relentless!! 'Left Hand Song' and 'Ink Stains' and 'Ballad Of A Politician' I mean give us a break Regina!! I can't even breathe. She said in an interview somewhere that she hasn't written her 'Yesterday' yet. What in the hell!! I just watched 'Carbon Monoxide' and the girl is just flippin' amazing. John, Paul, George, Ringo and Regina. Until I met her, I would have never put anyone on even the same playing field. She is Tchaikovsky and Paul McCartney wrapped up in a tiny little Russian Jewish wonder. And I have a feeling that she's just getting started. This is definitely why we fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hasn't written her yesterday, hadn't caught that one. would think that samson is a candidate, but i think she's a little weary of that one; she played it quite fast at radio city, in the middle act, like it was requisite.

carbon monoxide is killer, simply killer.

i love the really wacked stuff, lacrimosa,

oedipus, daniel cowman, and of course

the completely off the wall pavlovs daughter.

yeah edit is really a piece of work. she played it first time i saw her, at warsaw, with her little early band, and they didn't pull it off,

it was muddy, and just didn't mix. i was like, what? she has flaws?! it was funny, but it shows how complex some of these mixes are.

i've been trying to sell andrea perry on here, from austin texas. she wrote three CDs no one's ever heard, and sits there and writes jingles.

i always called HER single-handedly the beatles. she plays everything except the drums,

and sings all these harmonies. almost all love songs, so not the storyteller that the little girl who grew up in the bronx is, but i do love love songs, generally can't get enough of them,

and for producing her own CDs on probably little more than pro tools and a lot of innovation, the girl has made fantastic art.

it's funny regina continually refers to herself as lazy, cause she gave up wanting to be a classical pianist. yeah, she's real lazy. not.

she followed the true path. it's always about paths, me and the ex always used to talk about that. stay on the path. once the girl started

'attempting' to write pop/'alternative' songs,

she never looked back. she enjoyed herself, and still does, except maybe when she still has to play samson. i guess it's that one song everyone has that they always have to play forever. jethro tull - aqualung. yes - roundabout. led zeppelin - stairway to heaven.

i'm kind of in regina overload, after far, and seeing it. i listened to it every day for months. didn't take long before i knew almost every word and note, and i like to sing. and it's the first thing akin to some sort of 'concept' album, i think she's conceeded

in interviews. the thing just works as a piece.

one more time with feeling just sums it all up, to me. my ex spent a few episodes in the 80s nursing me through cancer treatments, and the

'this is why we fight' concept hits home.

i continue to try and smile at the moon

like i know her. i'm just glad she's here.

she's supposed to be here, she's supposed to do what she does, we all are. she's so positive

in her outlook on things - that last bit on the begin to hope sleeve, the good things that will happen. and it's isn't bullshit, good things WILL happen, good things do happen everyday, moreso than stupid angry bad things. we just tend to dwell a little too much on the stupidity of the human race. i've always said the the large percentage of the masses of the world just get up in the morning, go to work, come home, and love their families. the idiotic press can make us think otherwise. anyway i tend to babble, love to type from my head.

thanks for sharing, as they say at the meetings that i don't go to. cheers, continue hoping,

bah humbug, and always remember that kid who's brother wouldn't let him try. you can usually locate him or her in the mirror.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this