The Paper Raincoat... my shoes and socks. Ah! My new favorite people ever. I saw them perform live on Friday (as part of the Noe Valley Music Series) and they rocked. Confession: the main reason I went to the show was that Vienna Teng was going to be there. She is also my favorite person ever. But discovering The Paper Raincoat (and the excellent Tim Snider, who opened the show with a solo set, and rocked the socks off the electric violin, and who fronts the band Sol'Jibe) more than made up for the fact that Vienna only played one song by herself. (Granted, it was one of my favorites.)

Enough with the parentheses. Basically, the night was awesome, much more so than I was anticipating it being. Now CakeGirl, who you may or may not remember from this post, can't stop playing all of that lovely music. We loved it all, though perhaps the part we loved best was how Tim Snider was so into the music that he completely wrecked his bow.

Actually, the main point of this post was not to gush about the music and the electric violin. The main point of this post was to talk about inspiration.

I am not good with inspiration. I get tons of ideas...but when I go to write the story down, the words just don't match the excellent idea that's drifting around my head. And when I finally do start writing well, it's usually in a burst of creativity during which I write a couple hundred words that I never ever ever want to change. So I'm...half inspired? I'm not sure what to call this.

Anyway, The Paper Raincoat got me thinking. See, there's a whole story about the creation of the band, which is dealt with exhaustively on their Facebook and Myspace pages. See here:

"The Paper Raincoat is an imaginative collaboration between Brooklyn songwriters Amber Rubarth and Alex Wong that brings to life a colorful world teeming with compelling characters, dream-like storylines, and metaphorical narratives. Their debut EP Safe in The Sound is an introduction to this fantasy world drawn from real experiences of excitement and solitude its creators shared in moving to New York City."

I won't bore you with the rest of it - if interested, see their website. The story is more or less, if you didn't want to read too closely, that there's a whole fictional world they've created, and all of their songs are about one or another of these fictional characters who live in this fictional community. It's an interesting way to conceptualize a band and an album, and I have to say that I loved it. It got me conceptualizing my own project along the same lines, where I'd make up my own fictional community and characters, and write ten or twenty books that focused on each character in turn, running around, growing up, growing out...

It's been done, of course, but I never thought it'd be done by me. Except now I can't get that idea out of my head. Well - this new project (if it ever germinates) will have to get in line. I have two serious projects ahead of it, and no end to those in sight.

In other (abbreviated) news, I changed my template. If any of you are actually visiting the blog, you will notice it. If any of you are also on Blogger and have been playing with the new templates, you may recognize it as (more or less) the default of one of their new ones. But I couldn't help it! I tried out a ton of the others, and this is the only one I really really liked, mostly because of the background design. Although I'd probably like it more if it were in blue... I't'll probably be a bit before I get around to a steady design, since I've only spent about twenty minutes playing around with it, but this is a start. What do you think?