Fandom Lenses

Life as viewed through silliness, Fandom as seen through Reality


“In Concert” with Michael Nesmith (Ferndale, MI 4/7/2013)

photo(3)Ok, it’s time for a wonderful head scratcher of a puzzle. Which of the following should count as the best concert of my life?

A: Sitting in the second row center, holding the love of my life’s hand while one of “our songs” is played by a man I intended to marry when I was ten, and who then played a request in honor of a dearly departed friend;

B: sitting in the 4th row between two of the best friends I have ever had, listening to the group that brought us together (all of whom I intended to marry when I was ten) play a show that I had dreamed of since before puberty while simultaneously knowing it was all but impossible; or

C: standing 10 feet tops from one of the top 5 artistic influences of my late teens and early 20s (who I, yes, intended to marry when I was ten but the aesthetic relationship deepened substantially the year I read the early Neftoon Zamora drafts and Martin Heidegger simultaneously) as he gave one of the most beautiful concerts/storytelling sessions it has ever been my privilege to witness?

The answer is…

D: Never mind. That alleged story problem suddenly strikes me as more of a weird Fandom Koan anyway. What I AM gonna do is share my impressions of concert C (as well as my blurry iphone pics of the same), which will hopefully be a little more coherent than my moderately stunned reflection on Concert A, and more, er, concise than the Proustian geeksquee review of Concert B. (I have always wanted to use the phrase “Proustian geeksquee” in a sentence but never realized it until this moment…)

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How to survive a celebrity meet and greet: Part 1 (Breakfast)

meet and greet cover picHey all! I’m experimenting with multi-part series this week, and today’s the first of a three-part post on the art of the meet and greet. After kicking off with a little cultural theory of the fan/celeb “relationship”, I’ll follow up with a little exploration of what it might feel like to be at the receiving end of the star gaze, and provide some practical tips for navigating a planned or spontaneous Meet and Greet without losing your dignity or earning a restraining order–the sort of guide I wish I’d had as I stood in line to meet my first celebrity, many, many years ago. I hope you enjoy! Continue reading


“But what you have seen you must believe…”(The Monkees, November 17, 2012)



Fair warning, this baby’s about 3000 words. If you want something more succinct and less subjective, I heartily recommend Dave Swanson’s review for Ultimate Classic Rock, which utterly nails the vibe of the evening. If you’re up for a longer, stranger trip, click onward. That said, I think I need to back up a bit first for my bias disclaimer. Not much though, just 15 years. 😉

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Gazpacho, Grief, and Gratitude

Once upon a time (2000), in a land (yahoogroup) called Long_Title, there lived four Frodis Femmes.

There was Cin, the ringleader, and Mich, the warrior, and Camille, the mystic (and your humble author), and Anissa, the sweetheart. The four of us had our own quirks and damage from various geek girl adolescent traumas, but beyond all odds we were brought together by a shared affection for a half-forgotten 60s boy band. We wrote fanfiction and went to concerts together and snarked on the guys’ eccentricities mercilessly (though always from a place of love). More importantly we became friends despite (or perhaps because of) our wildly divergent personalities.

But life, as it has a way of doing, got in the way after a few years as early-20s gave way to mid-20s. While we all stayed friends, we drifted apart a bit as we chased our own personal and romantic dreams. There were marriages and graduate degrees and careers to be created, and I like to think that each of us drew strength and writing skills from our time as postmodern self-aware Mary Sue kickers of fanfic villain butts as we figured out how to be heroes to ourselves.

That said, there’s a difference between growing stronger and growing harder. For reasons I’ll skip, I spent my whole life driven to be a success. Not to achieve fame or fortune, but to develop my talents to their utmost in the service of others, to make sure my life mattered. In service of that goal, I became a librarian. Then I wrote a scholarly paper. And then that paper was selected to be presented at a conference in Cleveland—the geographic center of the other Frodis Femmes. (I live a few states away).

There were a few tentative plans to meet up while I was in town, but nothing definite. And then, the week before my trip, my life went chaotic. While most of the issues had been sorted by the time I arrived in Cleveland, I was a basket case and there were still a few balls up in the air. Between that and the fact that logistics had never been finalized, I/we cancelled the meetup. It was an awkward time for all of us, and there’d be other chances, after all. At least, that’s what I told myself at the time.

Fast forward a couple years, to early 2012. For obvious reasons, the four of us started talking more in early march, and there was some tentative discussion of going to a Shoe Suede Blues show later in the year. Anissa was particularly enthusiastic. I didn’t commit one way or the other, as I was well into my Ph.D and didn’t know if more important things to my career would be going on.

On May 12, 2012, Anissa died in her sleep at the age of 36. As an occasionally wise man once said; “Boy, Dumbass me”.

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