October 3, 2022

Grunge vocal harmonies: Alice in Chains as the final egalitarian all-American sound

To stay on the topic of grunge for a bit, let's return to the economic context of vocal harmonies in popular music, as detailed in previous posts and comments (here, here, and here). Namely, they are an aesthetic expression of an egalitarian economic zeitgeist, rather than a hyper-competitive zeitgeist. The reason is simple: if you want to stand out from the others in a group, that's easier when the climate favors me-first behavior, whereas one that favors collective well-being will corral a would-be lead into sharing status with the other members.

This economic climate, and its aesthetic expression, lasted from roughly 1920 to 1980, the so-called Great Compression, when inequality was steadily falling, and norms were collectivist (no matter if that was under Stalin, FDR, or Franco).

However, just because 1980 marked the start of the neoliberal, individualist Reagan era, doesn't mean the egalitarian ethic disappeared everywhere overnight, nor that vocal harmonies totally and instantly vanished either. The best-known example in pop is Wilson Phillips from the early '90s, well into the Reagan / Bush era.

But just a few years later, during the Clinton years, and even more of-the-'90s in their style, came one of the most popular grunge bands, Alice in Chains. Unlike other bands of their scene, and of modern rock as a whole, their songs made heavy use of harmonizing vocals between lead singer Layne Staley and the lead guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell (and perhaps one of them overdubbed, to make three voices).

The multiple voices and the intricacies of the harmonizing come through better with a mellow acoustic arrangement, without loud angry distorted electric guitars. Here is "Down in a Hole" from their MTV Unplugged performance of 1996 (originally released in '92):

As far as I'm aware, they were the last major group to rely so consistently on vocal harmonies, especially involving two different people -- that's the whole point of the egalitarian climate. Overdubbing your own voice, to make two or more of your own lines, is perfectly compatible with a me-first norm. Sharing the spotlight with another person is only possible when there's a stronger social pressure to do so.

There's also a geographic angle here, which is that grunge was not only from the West -- where American ethnogenesis has always been most intense, during its westward frontier expansion -- it was mostly not from California (aside from SoCal band Stone Temple Pilots). It was from the Pacific Northwest, which no one had heard much of before.

Most of the other harmonizing bands like the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, and their kids Wilson Phillips, were from California. Earlier girl groups were from the Midwest (Andrews Sisters, McGuire Sisters, and the Chordettes). Only the Everly Brothers (Tennessee) and Simon & Garfunkel (New York) were from back East.

So, the Next Big Thing in music hailing from the cultural center of the nation, out West, was hardly new -- but not this specific region of the West. Why not California, where the record studios are mostly located as well? By this point, neoliberal yuppie-ism was starting to thoroughly infect California -- and yuppies don't want to share credit and fame.

But there was still a pocket of the informal, egalitarian, "Hey man, we're all Americans here" spirit up in the Northwest. That was one of the few regions to vote against Bush in the landslide 1988 election -- not California, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Vermont, all of which voted Republican (for the last time). Rather, Oregon and Washington, the Lutheran Triangle of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and West Virginia alone in Appalachia.

Jerry Cantrell thinks of himself as half Yankee and half Redneck. In fact, during that same Unplugged concert, he led a brief impromptu rendition of the Hee Haw staple "Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me". Part of the broader trend of multiculturalism in the '90s, including across various white cultures -- in this case, the rural / country / hillbilly culture. No different from every sub-culture wearing bib overalls in the '90s. That's probably also the root of the grunge / post-grunge vowel growl -- including a nod to the Southern drawl, while still making it a new distinctive out-West sound.

Several decades later, the whole Pacific Northwest has been yuppie-fied, led by the tech sector. But back then, it was not like that at all. It had a few large booming cities like most other states, not towers of ill-gotten wealth and inequality, which only began in earnest with the Dot-Com Bubble, slightly after the heyday of grunge.

That whole scene was also one of the last times when working-class people could become cultural stars, whereas now it's mainly the children of investment bankers who dominate the entertainment industry. Back then, ordinary people with enough talent could create their own music -- they only needed the studios to record it, and promote / distribute it.

Now, with the whole process being more of a committee-managed machine, the performers are more a series of slots that individuals can be plugged into -- or unplugged from, when they lose favor with the machine. So someone's daughter doesn't need to have a whole band behind her -- she'll collaborate with other pro songwriters, lyricists, and sessions musicians. And when the machine is through with her, that's it, she's on her own and fades into obscurity.

Taking on the system, however, requires a huge amount of social cohesion -- the same small group of outsiders, the band, need to stick together and work out their problems in order to maintain the integrity and bargaining power of their collective unit, rather than be split up and fending for themselves as they fight for individual slots within the machine. No team spirit, no team behavior -- and they get crushed by the collective power of the culture cartel.

As economic norms have shifted even further into me-first yuppie-ism (however rebranded for Millennials and Zoomers -- "get that bag"), and as a cocooning rather than outgoing mood took over the social sphere during the '90s and after, bands disappeared. Everyone became a solo artist and free agent, plugged into and dependent upon the machine.

But back in the '90s, this disappearance was just beginning, so although it was noticeable, it was not total. There were still plenty of highly popular rock bands, and rap *groups*.

By now, though, if you want to be in a band, you won't be creating your own music, but playing covers. Participating in your own band is about more than finding the right number of individuals with musical talent -- they have to collaborate, get along socially, work out problems, etc., on an ongoing basis. That was already a tall order back in the good ol' days, when fights and creative differences were standard -- but typically got resolved, at least enough to make another album (and the loser of those fights didn't automatically take their ball and go home alone).

Today's young people have imprinted on a climate of hyper-competitive economic norms, and helicopter parent-induced cocooning away from their peers during their critical developmental years (which is why they're still socially anxious in their 20s).

It is time to start accepting that American ethnogenesis is complete, and very little new will be created going forward. However, that just means we're going to switch from expecting new stuff all the time, to performing the classics and standards of our culture. And that's not bad, it's just the next natural phase of the cycle. Nobody who goes to church these days is composing their own music -- they're performing what was created by other people, during an earlier era of ongoing ethnogenesis and cultural dynamism, hundreds of years ago.

On the bright side for today's young people, and all future generations, they have an infinite treasure trove to choose from, in order to showcase their talent for playing music in a group, and harmonizing their vocals -- from the Chordettes, to the Bee Gees, to Alice in Chains.


  1. Music youtuber breaks down Alice in Chains' approach to vocal harmonies, for further examples and going into the music theory details:


  2. AiC going Hee Haw before their own "Angry Chair", on Unplugged:


    Also, Nirvana and their guests the Meat Puppets did a brief impromptu rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" during some downtime in their Unplugged show, after someone in the audience shouted a request for "Free Bird".

    The interaction begins around 6:10 below, and wraps up after 7 minutes.


    Both cases are only half-trolling, half-sincere tributes. Nothing wrong with playing a little hillbilly or Southern rock during a grunge concert -- cuz it was the multicultural '90s. Every culture had to be sampled from.

  3. For a good documentary look at how rough life used to be, set in a very unglorious Seattle of 1984, check out Streetwise, an ethnography on teenage runaways. Totally naturalistic, no propaganda (this was way before the era of documentaries as partisan hit pieces / puff pieces). I reviewed it here:


    As usual, old YouTube links are dead, but here's a new one:


    Around that time, I tracked down the photojournalist book that followed the movie, also called Streetwise (by Mary Ellen Mark), and it's great too.

    The kids are Gen X-ers, before they had their own generational nomenclature. That's the adolescent background for lots of the people who would go on to create grunge, alternative, and gangsta rap (in a different demo).

    Grunge, whose heyday was the early-mid '90s, came right at the peak of the crime wave. No bubble-wrapped helicopter parent victims in that scene, or its audience. Alternative, nu metal, the rock world of the '90s and y2k was mainly by and for the latchkey kid generation, whose world was fraught with all the dangers advertised on those public service announcements on '80s TV shows.

    It's a vivid reminder that -- contra the conservatards -- the entire nation was gripped by that crime wave. It wasn't just large black cities, but all-white areas too, like the Pac NW. And states with no big cities, like Alaska. While black cities were worse than white cities, both were soaring for decades, compared to their own recent past.

    (The causes of the crime wave, to reiterate, are the Baby Boom swelling the age pyramid in the crime-prone age brackets of roughly 15-24, and the outgoing social mood that made everyone go out in public with their guard down, to socialize and be part of the crowd, making them easy targets for criminals.)

    There was no gentrification back then -- that followed on the heels of the falling-crime trend of the mid-'90s through the late 2010s. Once it was safe, then the yuppies moved in en masse. Now that crime is soaring again, as of 2020, they'll start to move outside of the danger zones just like last time ("white flight", only now every color wants to GTFO).

  4. Faunnie O'Faunnegan in top form last night during the Sana tower visit, and crazy slumber party / unsupervised field trip.

    Egging others on, the perfect comedic timing of diving off the tower to rescue an item Kronii had accidentally thrown overboard, paired with a completely deadpan resigned voice, getting a little spicy with, "*My* porkchops are right *here*..." Hehe.

    And all the heartfelt messages Sana left for everyone. Faunya had to read faster than usual, to not let the words catch too long and make her start sobbing, like they were during the graduation.

    Clueless viewers don't understand that this is reality TV, in stream format. When someone from the Real World on MTV had to leave the house, it was a shock to the social roles and dynamics. Will there be a replacement? If so, will they play the same roles, or will they be someone totally new, shaking up the balance of the characters' relationships up to that point?

    That's why the girls still feel her absence, and so do the non-autistic audience members. It's just not the same, however they may be dealing with it off-screen. Sana making that sanctuary with messages at the top of her tower, and the other girls visiting and reading them, allows for some healing.

    These are always the best Minecraft streams, and they don't have to last more than 1 to 2 hours. And there's no checklist to complete, no homework, no quizzes, no high-stakes competition -- it's simply, "Let's put all these interesting characters together in the same place at the same time, and entertainment will ensue". Sometimes it's chaotic hijinx, sometimes it's chill confidante therapy sessions. No matter what, it's must-see streaming.

    Even in reruns! I mentioned a few days ago I watched that Sana gingerbread house group-stream from nearly a year ago, and it still holds up!

    If you girls are ever at a loss when planning out schedules, or are hesitant to put out a schedule b/c there's one day that you can't think of anything for -- Minecraft field trip! Or chill intimate convos! Or whatever, just put two or more together for a MC collab, and it'll be great.

    No grand purpose necessary either. I remember watching a stream of Fauna and Mumei just watching toward and past each other in a narrow hallway, turning around and repeating, ad infinitum -- while having an entertaining conversation, egging each other on a bit, etc. The game is just a pretext for hanging out and socializing with each other. :)

  5. *walking toward each other

  6. Revenge of the Goobinator! Not even acts of God can keep this 4-foot gremlin from shitposting her way right into your heart! :)

    And she *will* be in full gremlin mode tomorrow (snotquest, acc. to Mumei's schedule). Not to be too TMI about it, but let's just say I've noticed that the first week of the calendar month is when Gooba's mood is most likely to be irritable, making it perfect for trolling and bullying. The Stanley Parable series was a perfect example.

    But also most likely to be sad, so... maybe a karaoke of downer songs is in the cards sometime soon? Those songs deserve to be sung sometimes, too -- it's not all jazz hands and shuffle dances, right? "A Team," "Lost Boy," "When I Was Your Man"... oh yeah, it's that time again. :)

    I don't know if you want to attempt another "Creep," but maybe "What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes. The original, non-meme version, of course. Hehe. Same year as "Creep," too -- early '90s alterna, reflective, pensive, but also sick of the bullshit and ready to just belt out those notes too!

    Or "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star, for a more mellow vibe of that same year...

    I've said it before, but natural entertainers like Gooba not only give us great performances when they're in their super-smiley-and-giggly two weeks of the month, but find a way to transform their one downer week into something great as well.

    I hope you take Sana's message to heart, and see how much you're loved, appreciated, and valued by your peers & colleagues, not only random fans from the recesses of the internet. They like being around you, and working with you. :)

    Really warms the heart to see girls who like and get along with other girls, rather than the standard for the media / entertainment industry, of girl-hating girls who are catty and obnoxious toward each other. Blech.

    Hololive is a sanctuary for girliness and -- for lack of a bette

  7. Hololive is a sanctuary for girliness and -- for lack of a better term -- sisterhood, and we all value your central role in holding that world together! :)))

  8. Yes, I'm a professional blogger, I totally notice when I haven't highlighted the entire block of text from my text editor, and I would never paste it into the comment box without noticing that it's cut off mid-word...

    Fans, find you an oshi who appreciates your scuffed blog comments. :)

  9. Alice gets unfairly lumped in as a "grunge" band when really, they are a damn good metal band in a very thin disguise. They started as a metal band-Alice in Chainz, and it shows. AiC makes Nirvana look like the second rate garage band they always were.
    As for another karaoke from the 90s candidate, anything from Mother Love Bone.

  10. Senzawa tweeting for the first time in years, like the slasher whose hand bursts through the ground after everyone thought he'd been buried. Mua ha ha.

    Crazy idea to remake this classic song:


    But instead of being about an OnlyFans girl, it's about a cutie-cute idol dissing all her various haters, and hyping up her idol-like qualities (to make said haters jealous).

    "Lil' feeties, wide eyes, and no yabs"

    I'm sure there's someone out there who could pen some better lyrics, something more directly from-the-heart, y'know? Hehe.

  11. Gooba, "According To You" by Orianthi would be another natural fit for any upcoming #ImSad karaoke. A bit of '90s riot grrrl angst, 2000s Kelly Clarkson self-worth anthem, and even some late 2000s dance-rock (with the hi-hat accenting the offbeat, toward the end).

    I've been thinking about that one, adapted for content creators who are in a toxic relationship with their followers, finding appreciative and uplifting fans, and getting to a better place.

    According to noobs...

    But according to simps...

    No more reading toxic text
    I don't feel like blocking them
    I've never been left feeling so uuuwuuu
    They follow me for everything I'm not
    According to noobs

  12. > fans have gone 7 hours and 15 days without vitamin G
    > starting to suffer stream scurvy
    > oshi finally comes back
    > she's so pent-up herself
    > VERY chatty
    > mischievous grin on her avi
    > hold on, chumbies, time for make-up zatsu
    > takes them on a rollercoaster ride of topics
    > gushing enthusiasm
    > fresh shark juice flowing by the gallon
    > cures all vitamin deficiencies
    > so tasty too
    > therapeutic sharky sigh afterwards

    tfw wgmi because our oshi misses us as much as we miss her


  13. Fauna confirmed for fighting Irish, in the Whizquest collab: "Who wants to run away? I want to stay and FIGHT." As bullheaded and spoiling for a fight as she is, could she even be Scotch-Irish?

    Fiauna MacFaunnell

    Also, I've detected something I'd only heard my Scotch-Irish grandmother say. Fauna pronounces "mushy" like "mooshy" with a long "u" sound, instead of either the vowel in "put" or "cut". And I swear I heard her pronounce either "bush" or "push" with a long "u" as well.

    I'll never forget the way my grandmother said those words -- "get outta them booshes" or "you wanna poosh?" on the tree swing.

    (This reflects the tendency for the Great Vowel Shift in English to have started and be most thorough in the South of Britain, and less so in the North and Scotland. But that's for a separate post on imperial ethnogenesis and dialect standardization...)

    Her family spent some time around Indiana during the Depression, where she might've picked that up. She's otherwise from eastern / Appalachian Ohio.

    Fauna does have the slightest Southern twang to her vowels sometimes, especially when she gets miffed. And she finds it easy to imitate Southern belles -- she's not Southern herself, but must be from a border region. The southern parts of Indiana / Illinois / Ohio? They sound like they're from Kentucky. Or Missouri? That's as far south as she sounds, and it is an island of "soda" within "pop" country...

    I don't think she's from Appalachia proper -- where would her top layer of tee-hee Midwestern niceness come from, then? And knowledge of the local pronunciation of "Chicago"? Somewhere between Lake Michigan and Appalachia, with decent Irish or Scotch-Irish settlement.

    I mean, she could always just come right out and tell us -- but then she wouldn't be a witchy woman of mystery, now would she, anon?

  14. I thought you may appreciate this link on old girl groups.


  15. Gura cutely let slip what the appeal is of horror games for girl players, or for guys watching them being streamed by girls. She recounted how she played Slenderman as a kid, and had her brother there to comfort her, although she still ended up crying. She invited the chat to be her bro while she entered a creepy part of Madison.

    Most of these games fall under the theme of "girl hears strange noises in her home at night, but has no male protector to go investigate and either reassure her it's nothing, or become the one to fight / die against that threat".

    This all began with the Paranormal Activity movies, the use of jump scares -- like what you'd encounter while investigating the strange noise in your home at night -- and the domestic setting (also Insidious, the Conjuring, etc.).

    As video games got more immersive and sim-based, they simulated being a character in this genre of horror movie.

    The scary thing for them is not the jump scare itself -- these are fleeting, acute attacks that subside fairly quickly.

    The unsettling feeling they get is from the awareness that they are all alone while investigating the strange noises, and that their male protectors have either abandoned them, or are temporarily out of town etc.

    Girls and women may be able to rely on themselvs, or other women, for certain things -- but not investigating strange noises in the home at night. That's what her dad, brother, or bf is for. She wants him to come back safely and say it's no big deal (which must be true, or else he would've gotten hurt while out investigating), or to be the one to take the physical and mortal risk to neutralize whatever is really there. It could turn into some kind of fight, or combat, and that's the guy's role.

    If she hears him getting killed, it gives her time to GTFO. If she had gone first herself, she wouldn't get to escape -- she would be the one getting killed. And it's "women and children first" for escaping danger. No guys to serve as the buffer between the danger and the women themselves? No soft landing possible, she could get killed.

  16. Fauna and Bae showed the flipside of that the other night, during their stream of the Mortuary Assistant. They were both easily frightened, and it didn't matter that they had a friend to accompany them -- both were girls, so there was no strength in numbers, because that's a guy's role.

    And both of them had the unconscious awareness of "where tf are the men to investigate these creepy noises, fight away these creepy home invaders, etc.??!?!?!" It's impossible not to be aware of that as a girl being terrorized by such things.

    That meant neither one could help the other.

    I remember that dynamic during my freshman year of college -- there was supposedly some creepy weirdo roaming around the dorms, going up to isolated girls and squeezing their heads real fast before running away. No major damage, just to scare the shit out of them.

    I don't remember if the campus police said this was actually happening, or was just hysterical rumors passed among the girls.

    But in either case, the girls were freaked tf out. And they didn't want to go traveling with other girls -- better than nothing, perhaps, but only because the other one might be a witness, not that she'd be able to stop him or deter him.

    They wanted us to go along with them, even if it was just descending the stairwell from one floor to another. It wasn't even one of those bleak stairwells like in a parking garage -- it was a nice student dorm. But it was 2am, the Headsqueezer could've snuck in early and be waiting for them, etc. -- so, PLEASE, guys (not girls), just walk us downstairs, he won't attack us if you're there, and you can fight him off if he shows up.

    The crime rate had been falling for 7 years by that point, but there were still plenty of urban legends flying around (and there was a popular horror movie called that as well). I have to believe it was just a legend, because he wasn't the common rapist, mugger, or assailant. He had a scary epithet, straight out of a short story collection -- the Headsqueezer! Mua ha ha ha...

    But nothing appeals to guys more than to play these roles, since most of the time, there's no real problem. So we get our egos inflated, get validation for being manly men by cute young girls, and with minimal risk -- unless it's that 1 in a million time where it really is dangerous, but we'll take those odds, cuz da babez must be protecc.

  17. So these domestic jumpscare games girls enjoy playing -- and streaming to a largely male audience -- not only show what kinds of things scare them nowadays. I.e., having to investigate strange noises at home at night b/c there's no guys around to do it.

    They're also a kind of message, or consciousness-raising campaign, trying to urge the male audience to take a more active role in protecting the girls out there who have no man in their life IRL.

    And maybe by the same token, urging their fellow females to at least shack up with a guy, whether they get married or not. Because there are lots of roles that guys are supposed to do, and if they aren't there, they won't get done. And that absence will not only be bad on a utilitarian level of the task not getting done -- it'll make her scared and raise her baseline anxiety level, because she doesn't have that buffer against the forces of chaos.

    Kind of like when kids threaten to run away from home, to urge their parents to treat them better, and value them more, because how will you feel if I run away and get kidnapped, hit by traffic, etc.?

    Girls playing, and streaming, these games are similarly saying, "OK guys, I guess since there's no guy I'm living with, I'll just have to go investigate these strange noises in the middle of the night by myself -- hope I don't get possessed by a demon or anything, wouldn't you hate yourself if you let that happen to me by not being here to do this role as you're supposed to?"

    Of course, the chat can be there for the girl gamer during the stream, and help her through the game itself. But that doesn't mean we're actually living with her IRL, so that anxiety about not having male protectors will not just go away, and before long, she'll be back with another veiled plea for guys and girls to settle in with each other.

    Gura really drives this home by always telling us how much she's been baking -- and not for gluttonous self-indulgence, since often she doesn't even care for the things she's baking (turns out she's not into pumpkin, but has tons of pumpkin goods she can give away).

    "I'll do the baking, uwu, you'll do the strange-noise-investigating -- deal, chat?"

    Hard to think of a high-profile female figure who activates our MUST PROTECC instincts more than our baking-and-cleaning cottagecore vtuber princess. ^_^

    She can vent to us through karaoke singing, and we can feel validated that she chose us, rather than some other audience, to be her shoulder to lean on.

    Goobarama. :)

  18. I will sacrifice myself to be the resident strange-noise-investigator, whenever Gura, Fauna, Mumei, and whoever else, start living together in their cottagecore idol princess dormitory.

  19. Sharky singy tonight! Gooba, that thumbnail tho...

    POV: in the dead of night, you're stirred awake by a devil loli sitting on your chest.

    She leans down to whisper into your left ear. "Spooooky". Then leans over to your right. "Ooooky". Then as stars pierce through her eyes, she looks straight on from only inches away. "Paaaampukiiiin," she purrs, before pressing her lips to yours, slowly and tenderly drawing the life from your lungs.

    "Mmm, these vocal cords don't stay eternally young all on their own," she says gratefully. "Suddenly I feel like I could sing for another lifetime -- but not without the, mmmm, undying support of my number, one, fan..."

  20. My shark will log onnnnn annnnnd onnnnn...

    One of the best sets tonight, it really shows how much you missed us, just like we missed you. :) You had so much building up in your system, just had to let it out!

    And that ending, talk about spoiling your fans ROTTEN. Having our hearts tenderized by your voice for three whole hours -- mmmm, organ meat, so tastyyy.

    Imagine your oshi not smelling and then consuming you through the screen, psssh, couldn't be us...

    A great big chuuuuu from the chumbies!

  21. Gura starring in a gender-swapped Phantom of the Opera, with her chat as Christine. More of a siren than a phantom, but still tempting to lure us away from normie IRL life, and into her beautifully edgy lair of a YouTube channel. Marked not by a physical scar, but having a Tumblr gremlin streak on her otherwise uwu idol princess skin, hidden by a kawaii avatar.

    I know she's very tidy IRL, but lately when I hear those cups, dishes, and silverware clanging as they surround her mousepad, I can't help but think of the "Dang gurl, you live like this?" meme. And living in that most cursed of states, too, hehe. All to establish the topsy-turvy, subterranean other-ness of her abode.

    And yet, with all of the enchanting content she has put out there, and as devoted as she is to her fans, who can resist her mad-genius allure? Especially when IRL has totally died off, and everyone is socially disconnected, and pining for relations of some kind, however ghostly they may be in the virtual realm. And where corporate culture-makers have uglified everything around us, leaving us deprived.

    * * *

    Trolling, talking, neuron activation
    Hug me, "Hon" me, believe my simulation
    Let the stream begin
    Let your LARPer side breathe in
    The flower of the cuteness I design
    The flower of the cuteness of online

  22. Gooba, can we see your plethora of pumpkin pastries, pweeeeease? ^_^

    No need for a fancy-schmancy photo like your Instagram idols. It's only Twitter / your livestream, we're not foodie nazis. Hehe.

    It's about that social-emotional bond between the chumbos and the Goombus -- hand-made with TLC by our one and only oshi. Something that not even a Michelin-star bakery could replace. :)

    Ackshuallyyyyy, I think you got that little baking itch because you started missing your adoring fans, and felt like welcoming us back with some sweets. You baked enough for the whole chat! Just like sweetening us up with 3 hours of that honey-dripping voice on a Saturday night.

    Well, we may not be able to savor them IRL, but at least we could get our mouths watering in appreciation for our baker hostess, if we could only see some pictures...

    If you show them on stream, you could simulate the "open wide, here comes the airplane" experience, by having an ebi PNG on screen, then grabbing a PNG of the pastries and moving it on a winding path toward its mouth.

    "Now hold still, chat, if you swerve your head I might get some in your eye..."

    Mmm, mogu mogu!

  23. Goob adopting one of Faunya's signature cute-girl mannerisms tonight -- holding up a mug to her mouth while speaking, so her voice gets muffled and echo-y a bit.

    It's not just the novel sounds / ASMR value, it's coy and shy in a girly way. Like holding her hand an inch in front of her mouth. It acts like a mini security blanket for her speech tract.

    "Oh, I'm too bashful to speak with such a direct exhale. Too aggwessive. I'll find something to deflect the air flow, and lets me feel like my voice is safely wrapped up in a snuggie, uwu."

    I picture them holding an oversized mug with both hands, while sipping, so that they don't have a free hand to fidget nervously with. Each one comfily occupied.

    justgirlythings, hehe.

    Mmmm, and Gura going on about clam chowder season, reminds me of another New England delicacy I haven't had in a long time -- Portuguese octopus stew (similar to pulpo a la gallega in Spain). Very hearty, and where the octopus is cooked low-and-slow, so it's rich and tender, not rubbery at all.

    On a totally separate topic, Mumei's dog strikes me as a black lab (or chocolate). I'm a cat person, so what do I know about dog breeds? But it's what comes to mind from her and Kronii's description of Animal's behavior during the IRL meet-up stream.

  24. Manic pixie dictator girl...


  25. Gura's also a gemini and totally fits that description, so now I believe in astrology too.

    ::googling gemini libra compatibility::


    It says it's about "love," but applies to any kind of social relationship, I think. Even influencing each other over the internet. :)

    "Gemini brings out the playful kid in Libra by being spontaneous. Libra finds it exhilarating to be in the moment with Gemini and lose the self-consciousness."

    "Libra can encourage Gemini to corral their thoughts, and "do something" with all that crazy genius."

    We're natural good influences on each other. :)

    "Libra is a cardinal sign of taking charge, and that's okay with Gemini, being a mutable go with the flow type. But Libra can become bossy, and make Gemini feel like a pinned down butterfly."

    Always the delicate balance to strike -- I want to encourage and focus her scatterbrain creativity, but don't want to kill her spontaneity-driven motivation by making it seem like I'm giving orders and setting deadlines like an overly demanding fan.

    Sometimes she'll be away for a few weeks at a time, sometimes she'll be streaming on a regular schedule. All part of her semi-nomadic Gypsy charm, without which she wouldn't be the experimental content goddess who we have grown so devoted to.

    ...Plus that lovebombing when she comes back after a brief solo journey. She knows we've been craving it BAD.

    "Did you MISS meeeeee???!?!?!?!!!!" uwu

    Who can resist her sharky spell? *sigh*

  26. Can some libra in Marina's life take a little charge of their own, and corral her crazy genius into starting a blog, streaming, recording mini-podcasts, or something like that?

    She hardly tweets anymore, mostly for ironic one-liners, and that's not big enough of an outlet for what she's capable of putting out there. Curious and passionate people need paragraphs to write (or hours to talk) about what's been percolating in their brain.

    I was never that close to her, only from her friend Heather Habsburg lurking here.

    I know talent when I see it, and Marina's got it. She has the inspiration, but needs more execution. She could get a libra partner for a duo blog, or co-host on a podcast / stream, to draw more of that airy potential out of her and into physical reality.


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