Welcome to Backstreet Spaces. This is going to be my page where I explore my boybands addiction through monologue, and the universe through that addiction. It'll probably bore most people, so feel free to get out at any time. If anyone wants to dialogue with me about anything I write here, e-mail me. I love discourse.
The Stalking of Lance Bass Shall Now Commence :)
6th December 2002 - Return
Been a long time since I wrote in here. And there've been things to write about pertinent to this page's theoretical matter... Joey McIntyre concert, Joshua Chasez letting the public know that he's adopted, solo albums... things like that. But somehow I think I've lost my momentum here. It's not that I don't still like the music and admire the people who make it; I think my focus has just changed.
What's happened to me since April? Quite a lot, actually. At the moment I'm in fall quarter of my senior year at UCI. Next week's finals and with that I'll be done with my first major, English. I'll spend the rest of the year studying my ass off trying to achieve my second, Japanese. I've started learning to read classical Japanese this year. You know what? I like it better as a subject than modern Japanese. Though that may be influenced by the fact that I also took a course on The Tale of Genji this term and had a lot of fun reading it. Our main text was, of course, the Tale itself, Edward G. Seidensticker translation. Twelve hundred plus pages of fun. So that's school.
In my personal life, I guess the biggest thing that's happened to me would be a trip I took out to New York City at the end of August/beginning of September. I met up with my British boyfriend there, as well as some of our friends from both of our countries, for Anime Expo New York. I'd never been to New York before, so it was fun. The night after I arrived, in the middle of Times Square, he went down on one knee and proposed to me. I accepted. We're now working on/waiting on his fiance visa. My friends and I winning Best Group Construction and Best of Show in the Masquerade and getting on CNN kind of capped off the trip.
I've also started learning to dance. My social dance final, in fact, was earlier today. Garden plans for next year are fizzling in my brain and my fiance already knows that while he's out here to experience Christmas with my family (I spent last Christmas with his; heavens only know how we'll do future ones) he's going to get drafted with helping to prune back my roses.
Career-wise... I've decided not to do anything to start a career until I'm done with school. I just don't have the time. But I attended a screenwriting conference in Los Angeles last month and found it immensely helpful. I'm starting to figure out hows and whys and such. I'll still need a lot of practice before I'm up to par. But that's what school breaks are for, right? In the meantime I've been trying to watch as a writer--not easy when I get seduced so easily by the story.
This evening I went with my mother and sister to see Treasure Planet. It's very good; the writers really got to the hearts of the characters in their film. Mind you, I never read the original novel, something which will change as soon as I finish my current stack of books and return them to the library. Disney seems to be making films centered on broken homes recently, don't they? But to balance that, I keep in mind how many of their classic films feature broken homes as well--missing mothers or fathers or evil stepmothers. But I really liked this film. I think part of why it pulls at me--it's not their greatest work ever, probably not even on the level of Tarzan--is its visuals. The sheer limitlessness of space, and Jim's wild sky-surfing. It calls to something in me.
I think we are all different people when we are with someone and when we are alone. When I'm driving by myself, I feel free to drive with a bit more speed and risk. When I have someone else with me, they absorb that need from me, tame me. So the wildness, the solo freedom of the sky-surfing... it calls to something in me. It calls to that aesthetic. I wonder if the writers and artists of the movie are like me in that expression/repression duality? Because what is not said or done or thought in the presence of another spills inevitably over into creation of that freedom within... within one's own mind, imagination, heart. What cannot be in our reality becomes our reality in stories. Man recreates himself in his dreams to be bigger, better, wilder, faster, more free... more tamed, more humble, more loving, more true. Our dreams are all we wish to be. They are the creations and worlds of our true longings, our true selves.
1st April 2002 - Old demons exorcised while you wait.
Sat down this afternoon and wrote a story. It's about New Kids on the Block and is called Laying to Rest. It's the culmination of things I've been thinking about in the far back of my mind for rather a while now. Hope y'all like it.
15th March 2002 - Quote of the day: "Insanity is a good coping mechanism." --Maria Tom
Saw Amelie on Thursday. Good film. Very funny, very sweet. The soundtrack is amazing--not so much the "soundtrack" as in something to be released on CD, but more as in how the sound of the movie was an energetic, living part of it. Not something I usually notice.
Listening to the interview on *N Sync's "I Want You Back." Baby!Sync days and ain't it funny how much the history has been rewritten by now and even already at that point? Voices, too. Their voices have definitely changed in the interim.
Miffed that my CD-Rom drive is not working. Means I can't play the "Girlfriend" single and see the video. Finally remembering the thing that's been irking me in the back of my mind since the concert. They didn't sing "Space Cowboy" and I wonder why. I'm suspecting that the reason may be intricately linked to Lance's astronaut plans. Either they're not doing it because of nerves or because it would be too easy (and cliche?) to do it and have to banter about it. Maybe both. Whose idea was it not to include the song? Lance's or someone else's? In other news, Nick of BSB is allegedly undergoing a physical training regiment, Howie was recently in Japan, and A.J.'s engagement is finally officially confirmed. Not like everyone didn't know anyway. Challenge For The Children is being held in Orlando this year (alas for me) and Jordan Knight's doing some video and recording work in L.A. while Joey McIntyre's all over the place like a jackrabbit and starting to work on his next CD despite not being signed to a label. Pity, he's got talent. I really like Meet Joe Mac. Britney's told MTV Europe that the rumors of she and Justin's breakup are false, and that's the day in pop music.
I've also theorized another reason why the Celebrity tour feels more intimate than the Pop Odyssey tour. As much as the different music and the lack of dancers... whether it was prerecorded or not, the audience got the sound of the Syncs' mikes being on before they actually came out on stage. It made it feel like a glimpse into who they are when they're not being polished performers.
13th March 2002 - Three entries in one day. Sometimes I amaze even myself.
Been lookin' at the concert program. Lance's eye color, as always, is a neverending source of fascination. Yellow? Green? Citrine? Chartreuse? But I'm also realizing that Chris' eyes aren't quite brown after all--they have this shade of red in them. Then there's the picture of him which I want to subtitle "Would you buy a used car from this man?" I've also got a theory about how only one Sync is allowed to have curly hair at any time, and that's the reason Justin's recropped his curls--it's Joshua's turn now.
If the Celebrity tour is not released to DVD, there is no God. I want to have in clear digital copy the group of them singing Beatles and Motown. Not to mention the blues. God, JC's voice....
Thinking I'm a total ho for some things, but if so, I'm in good company. All of my friends are freaks for odd hobbies. And at my age (oh, I'm so old, listen to my bones creak--I'm younger than JC for heaven's sake!) boy bands are an odd hobby. I only know one IRL friend who's into them (Kise-chan)... unless I count Kyriacos, who's developed a Timberlake fetish. Ah, must remember to call him re: the concert. Torturing friends is a wonderful way of affirming one's affection for them. All my other friends don't get it. They listen to J-pop and Loreena McKennitt. And much as I love J-pop at times, my Japanese isn't yet good enough for comprehensive lyrics comprehension. And wandering the soprano high places of one's soul gets repetetive after a while. So sometimes I feel like I'm out in the cold, alone in this thing. Strange to think of being alone in crowds of multiple tens of thousands, but there it is. For me, liking boy bands is my private thing, something that's just for me, something no one can understand and try to get to and share. It's my space just for myself. And I count myself as an oddity even among fans. I don't want to sleep with any of them, I don't want to marry any of them. I have a boyfriend for that. I want to befriend them. I want to work with them. If I ever got into a soundcheck party (mental note, join the fan club before next tour) and was allowed to ask a question, I know what it would be. "Are you happy?" For me, that's all that really matters. I don't think I'll ever be able to give anything back to Backstreet or *N Sync, most definitely nothing on the scale of the happiness and peace from my own inner workings that they've afforded me, but I would certainly want to try.
I've never chronicled on this page where its title came from. It's actually not a reference to the Backstreet Boys. It's a phrase (I forget the original Japanese) which came up in one of my Japanese culture classes. It refers to the places in the backstreets and corners where private life goes on, unable to be monitored, regulated, or controlled by societal demands. That's what this is for me. I may joke about boy bands and pop music in general being my "spectator sport," but the truth is that this hobby is something just for me, a release from the expectations of those around me. Since no one, not my friends, not my family, gets it, how can they expect anything from me? After growing up to be the good daughter I am, the responsible eldest child, the friend who lets others cry on her shoulder and gives good advice, this is my release valve from what and who everyone else has built me up to be.
So it's partially that I really care for the ten young men who've given me back music, but it's also partially that this is what I need for me. This is a space no one can take away from me, because it's something no one can really look into and see as being there. This... is my privacy, and my life.
13th March 2002 - Musings.
Day after the concert and I messed up resetting my alarm so instead of waking up at five a.m. and getting to the train station in time for her to catch the 5:45, Kise-chan and I woke up at six and got there by 6:30. sigh In other news, I've ordered Tony Lucca's CD off of his website. Really, the "subtitle" girl at the concert with her posters was most helpful to know where to look. I'm just still miffed that all of the booths at the concert sold out of the CD. Alas.
But I've been thinking some more on moral issues. Or whatever they are. In the opening (or was it closing?) video clip, Joey claimed that *N Sync are the most normal celebrities you'll ever meet. Umm. This coming from a man who had a Star Trek-style walk-in theater built in his home? This about Justin Timberlake who collects cars and shoes like they're going out of style? I think "normal" becomes a bit whacked once you get girls fainting for you. Still, no doubt they're nice and marginally sane, but that profession is not normal and inherently neither are those who work in it.
Music versus sex, based off of the "Pop" claim. I think that while sex is all very well and good and wonderful, music is and always will be more powerful. It can reach more people at one time than sex (which is pretty basically one-on-one) and have more meaning. It can make you think in addition to feel. Music can change the world, whereas sex...as Natalie once wrote, "After all, it was foolishness to think that sex could solve anything." So where then do we stand in the intermedia between music and sex? Music is mental, sex is carnal? Music is of man, sex is of the beast? Not that I think that both don't need to be intrinsic to humanity, but it is possible to live without sex. Is it possible to live without music?
13th March 2002 - High, High, High.
People have been bugging me recently for updates. Naming no names. So here I am, back from seeing *N Sync at the Pond in Anaheim. My ears are still ringing, but only a little. Kise-chan and I could only get nosebleed seats and could NOT upgrade to save our lives. Alas. I now agree with her consensus that it's important to sit nosebleed at least once, but that high with that steep of seating is just a bit too much for me. We were about a quarter of the way through the show before I could stand up. On the other hand, being that high up we could see everything. The movement of the crowd, even in the dark, was visible through their lightsticks. It was very organic.
Two opening acts. The first was Tony Lucca, who sang three numbers, accompanying himself with an acoustic guitar, and I must get his CD. I can also see why *N Sync and presumably JC especially like him. He bleeds all over his music. His soul pours out into it. He scintillates. It's very impressive, really. He was doing a signing during Genuwine's set, but we decided the line was too long and tried unsuccessfully again to upgrade our tickets. No success. Alas. We should've gone last night, apparently. There were many upgrades then, the lady at the counter said. And especially if this's *N Sync's last tour for a while.... I'll still love them when they come back, but it makes it always more special and more sad to not be able to have something.
So we went back to our seats to catch the end of Genuwine's set, and listen to the crowd roar whenever the Chili's commercial happened to pop up on the screen. Finally a black and white video of *N Sync started playing. Chris and JC were looking particularly cute with glasses. I really liked something Lance said--"Always follow your dreams. If you have a goal in your life, always go for it and keep it in the back of your mind." Then--enter the Syncs with a bouncy version of "Do Your Thing." Loved Joey's patched jeans. Next, "Bye Bye Bye" (wow, they didn't close with it?) and then "It's Gonna Be Me," at which point the audience's rampant screams turned into sing-along. Powerful, and amusing. And Joshua hit a simply gorgeous solo note in the song.
Next came a costume change into monochromes. Joey and Chris were in mostly black with a touch of white (Joey wearing a white fedora), and Chris and Lance wore mostly white with a bit of black. Justin was in total black and had a black armband looping beneath his cross tattoo. Lance, amusingly, wore a tie. Business Spice. At the front of their pit-enclosure stage, they sat on stools and sang "For the Girl Who Has Everything", after which came "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You," which got a video-screen dedication to the victims of September eleventh. Then they performed "Tearin' Up My Heart," after which Joey introduced the band. Following came a segue into a technoized version of "Celebrity," then my beloved "Up Against the Wall." They slid down the inverted U firepoles at the back corners of the stage to exit for another costume change, during which the catwalk and B stage lowered from the ceiling.
Returning in black retro suits with just hints of white at the collars, the five proceeded onto the catwalk (Lance and Joshua stage left, Chris, Joey and Justin stage right) singing The Beatles' "Yeah Yeah Yeah," followed by "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," and then arriving at the secondary stage with "Hey Jude." Once there they rocked the entire arena with "Twist and Shout," accompanied with confetti blasts and the five of them leading the audience in the twisting. Next came The Temptations' "My Girl." Subsequently, Chris got to sing a lead on "The Way You Do the Things You Do" as well as on another "oldies" song which neither Kise nor I could name. Lansten also got a few solo lines on these two songs, which was nice. Their usual sound mix has changed--you could hear both Lance's depths as well as Chris' heights, individual even in the harmony. I think I prefer the new approach. Then the group continued circling the bi-pronged catwalk back to the main stage while singing an uptempo version of "Sailing." And I know it makes me a heretic, but I still prefer the Christopher Cross original. Not that *N Sync's version's not good, but it's just what I prefer. Next, another costume change.
As they re-emerged in street clothes, I was left wondering what it is with Lance and orange. And--Justin's hat. Sorry, but that poor thing should've been left to die in peace. Oh, did I mention that JuJu's cropped his curls again? But I digress. Next came "Tell Me, Tell Me... Baby" and then "No Strings Attached" wherein they swung out over the audience once or twice on hanging ropes. Next they sang "This I Promise You" to which, I admit, I sang my Shadows and Lies alternate lyrics. Then banter! And looking at other online reviews, apparently the banter isn't all prefabricated! Woo. Starting with some copycat vocalizations, Justin explained they'd toned down this tour because "We're gettin' old and can't dance so hard." This sounded really odd coming from a twenty-one-year-old dance prodigy. So either it's for Chris' sake or he's yanking the fans' chain. Either seems a good guess. I loved Chris tickling each of them on the arm with a feather. Lance even asked him to do it again before replying in the negative that it didn't tickle. But Joey, alas, poor Joseph, he got tackled to the ground and wrassled with while Justin counted to ten. Dingdingding, and Kirkpatrick wins the round! I liked JC's line when he got the story back from Justin's and Chris' attempted hijackings "This being my story...." It reminded me of his interview in Teen People. Heheh. I think he can hold his own. After a small argument about where the home of the blues is (JC leaned towards New Orleans, Timberlake towards Memphis, and CK towards Saint Louis--guess which choice the band did not approve?) the guys gave their audience a performance of blues-style "I Want You Back." And for the last note of the song, Justin led up to it, then stopped and backed off, wanting JC to take it. JC, obviously hoarse a bit earlier, was hesitant. The others tried to get him not to worry about it--to pretend that no one was watching, or to pretend that everyone was in their underwear. JC just kind of looked at the audience with this grin on his face. Down boy! Then Chris added in, "except that guy over there." Pointing to security, maybe? Well, JC did that last word of the song and nailed it. Made it totally worth all the lead-up and teasing the audience. Nice, nice, nice. Then off for one last costume change.
Reappearing in punk street clothes, Lance now sported a yellow shirt while Joey had red and white concentric Raggedy Ann circles going down his shirt sleeves. JC wore black (with a wallet chain...) and his shirt proclaimed in sparkles "I heart You." And the man looks good in black. Performing "Gone," Justin took center stage. After the last chorus he sang alone, only he and the guitarist onstage. The boy has got a serious voice. To quote Sir Percy, "I swear, you've been taking lessons! The cravet, it's a picture." With part of the video (which I haven't seen) on the screens as intro and exit, next came "Girlfriend" (possibly my least favorite song on the Celebrity CD), and finally, with a launch from understage as their entrance, "Pop." Towards the end a huge beachball from the crowd made it onstage, something I haven't seen in far too long. Justin kicked it back into the audience. And shortly thereafter, we all left.
Comparative to Pop Odyssey, this was a very stripped-down show. It was also very good. Back to the basics, even if with subtler costume changes. No dancers, which was good, and few gimmicks. It really felt like it was all about trying to connect with the audience on a more human level. There was still periodic pyro, but even if I was physically more distant than at the Rose Bowl show, I felt closer to the performers. I've also come to some realizations. In "Pop" the lyrics can also be read perfectly as music being a metaphor for sex. The biggest band in America singing the songs of the biggest band ever makes me very happy. But most importantly, as a fan I have built all these constructs up in my mind of who the members of *N Sync are. When and if I meet them, I will have to tear down all those constructs and start anew, from a blank slate. Because if I do not, then I will never be more than a fan, and they have those to spare. And so that's all from my brain for now, and good night.
10th January 2002 - A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That
Tadaima~! I returned safely from England after attending a lovely wedding and have hence re-entered scholastic bliss. Theoretically. Let's see--what's up? The AMAs, of course. I admit that I only watched about an hour of them before going to bed. Jet lag, maybe. Or maybe a purpose in getting up at like five in the morning only to discover I can't access the online articles I need to read for class from home. Grr. But I saw Kevin and Nick and Krystal. I am reappreciating how tiny she is. She reached barely to Nick's shoulder. But all three were looking good. Krystal wears other than black? Shocking. Jane theoretically taped the thing so maybe I'll get to watch it at some future point. What other rumors fly? Nick's arrest, of course. I want to thwack him over the head and call him a baka. Idiot. Of course, there's Carson Daly's take on it, which had Nick whipping out his "little Howie"... either Carson is feeding to the slashers (always possible) or maybe there really is a relationship going on there. Who knows? If yes, the best of luck to them.
Snickering just thinking of Destiny's Child's expressions as they realized they'd won for Best Pop Album. I think they were blindsided.
And... hated Britney's outfit. It didn't go with the song. What's this I hear that Justin won an award by himself (without the other Syncs) and the audience booed him for it? C'mon, people, let's show a little class here.
Rumors are flying in the fluff mill, as always, trying to make one or more of the Syncs out to be gay or bi. And On The Line is coming out on DVD in a few months. Oh, plus the Syncs get a cameo in Episode Two of Star Wars. I'm reminded suddenly of that Rolling Stone interview wherein JC wanted to be in that movie and Lance offered to call some people. Me, I'm cheering going "Yay! *N Sync are going to be in the movie!" and "Yay! *N Sync are going to be KILLED in the movie!" I have no ambiguity on where I stand. I love my pop addictions and I love to despise my pop addictions. Perhaps not them themselves but what they inspire in me. I don't want to be a screaming teenie--I've been there, and I'm not going back. So I take my own interests with a grain of salt.
Called Jane last night and spoke with her for a bit. The discussion got around to JC's being adopted and apparently there *was* a clip on Entertainment Tonight a few years back where he said as much. So there is source.
And since I've been sitting on it for long enough, here's Chapter One of Angel's Tailspin, a gender-swapping (Girl!Nick) Backstreet Boys story.
And since I think that's all for now, I'll adjourn and update another section or two. Dewa mata.
February 2001 archive
March 2001 archive
April 2001 archive
May, June, and July 2001 archive
August 2001 archive
September and October 2001 archive
November and December 2001 archive
"The Call" fanfic
"The Call" filk
"This I Promise You" filk
"Laying to Rest" fanfic
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