The New York Optimist
January 2009
Tola Brennan
The Battle of the British Indie Bands
I am a huge fan of British music.
Specifically, I'm a huge fan of the
genre of
British music that used to be
known ? once upon a time ? as
"Britpop." Oh and how glorious was
that seminal year of Britpop, 1994:
Blur, with their smash hits "Parklife"
and "Boys and Girls"
Clandestine Mecca (Hear Ye Thrifters!)
Tola Brennan
I know you’ve been to a thrift store sometime, somewhere. Some of
you may be thrifters (you know, really serious thrift store shoppers).
A few of you may be acquainted with that strange creature called
thrifter’s madness (you know, like those crazy shopping sprees
teenage girls are commonly accused of going on). Under the bleary
eyed exhausting spell of the madness, the objective is not to spend as
much money as possible,
but to make many nifty finds with single
digit price tags.
Souled Out on Sunday
By Tola Brennan

While standing in the audience, I get into
that horrible state of mind where as soon
as something good happens, I start waiting
for it to get bad again, and thus invalidate
my peachy reaction.
This is the result of
Conor Oberst
Fashion Zombies
by Tola Brennan
images by Danelle Manthey
In today’s world, any ordinary schmuck
can go from being horribly dressed and
fashion unconscious to being
unquestionably stylish and cool in about a
day with the help of a few hundred dollars
and couple hours on the internet. Each
social denomination has a
Locomotive Salvation
(Starscream)

by Tola Brennan
We’ve all been to crummy shows. You go expecting to have a good
time and dance around a bit, and as it gets underway, you become
infused with woe. You get this buzz in your body, notice how edgy
and belligerent you’re getting, and then register how bad the music is.
You want to get grooved up,
but it’d just feel morbidly
National
Appeal
by Tola Brennan


I got home today feeling very
somber. It was late afternoon
and I was alone in the house.
The lights were off and I felt like
leaving them that way.
I was in
the kind
Ergo
Wonderment
by Tola Brennan
Anime usually gets a bad rep from the film buff. This is merited.
Googly eyes,
Lolitas, superpowers, high-pitched voices and strange
pornographic offshoots appeal to a particular sort of aesthetic
sensibility. But hidden within the folds of a genre
geared towards
kids and fanatics
Gathering of the Tribes
285 E 3 St., 2nd Fl., (Bet C & D)
(212) 674–3778 info@tribes.
orgthe project  This is an
unfunded musician initiative for
musicians & interested listeners
to create one setting where
musicians can share ideas &
learn from each other, where
Lemongrass Grill –
80 University Place,
New York, NY 10030

Ladies and gentleman, friends and
acquaintances,
loyal readers and casual
browsers all, I come bearing a bit of good
news –
and exceptionally great
news if you are fans of Thai cuisine.
Decompression
by Tola Brennan

How do I begin to write about
Decompression? That very problem has
been probleming me for almost two
weeks. I like to think of it as trying to fit
a balloon into a thimble. I was there, but
I am one person, and so, unavoidably, I
didn’t really see that much. Think of it as
trying to fit a blimp into a thimble.
Reforestation
by Tola Brennan




When you walk inside Goodbye Blue Monday (a name taken from
the alternate title of a Kurt Vonnegut novel) it looks a bit like every
other coffee shop/venue; but after a few minutes, you start noticing
the differences. The piles of aging books, dilapidated lamps, sculpted
mirrors and silkscreened t-shirts seem to be chosen in slightly better
taste than usual. This effect is accentuated when you make your
way into the outlandish
little back-yard filled with half finished
Essential Life
by Tola Brennan


It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen this. So, for the writing of
this article, I had to do a little logistical work. I found a shitty New
York Times review which I couldn’t stand actually reading, so my
being judgmental isn’t entirely fair. On
IMDB, some member who
shared my reaction wrote a little paragraph. I’m sure there’s other
press, but that’s totally irrelevant. The point is, this film went under
the radar because absolutely nothing exciting happens in it. And no,
it won’t give you a good time. But for me, it was the most
overwhelmingly stirring film
experience I think I’ve ever had