I made a mini fanzine about The Weeknd. For those of you unfamiliar with the artist, this is how I described him in SPURNED:
“Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, is perpetually melancholy. He sings with tremulous vigor. He addresses themes that are common in rap and rock ‘n’ roll: money, drugs, sex. Identity-building through escape. ‘Bring your body, baby. I could bring you fame.’ Tesfaye’s groaning melodies evoke summer nostalgia, the queer ache for a better connection.”
During the past few months I have listened to a lot of The Weeknd’s music, over and over again. Naturally that made me want to produce art about him and his lyrics. I wasn’t pleased with the printed version of I Could Bring My Shame, so I decided it would work better as a blog post. The content is mostly drawings, but there is a written section.
Last night I dreamed that I was at The Weeknd’s concert, probably one of the pair he did in San Francisco although the dream did not specify. It was a dream so it didn’t make proper sense. He was swaying to the music, not really performing, and in the dream I flashed to my mom and said, “Electro concerts are awkward because the artist just plays the recording.” My mom wasn’t there, in the blue-purple-grey smoke of the venue, but back in our muted limestone-tiled kitchen at home. The limestone is red-brown-orange. In the dream I could teleport but I didn’t think about it. It was time smooshed together, all the #snippets blending because of the pressure, the force applied.
Surely at his real concert, The Weeknd crooned into the mic and all the girls swooned. I swooned in my dream even though he was just lounging, just standing there really. His crazy hair was extending everywhere, growing up and away from him, leaving the stage and curling around the crowd. I’m lying; it didn’t happen like that in the dream. My awake self is making it up.
I don’t only exist on Thursdays, unfortunately. I looked at The Weeknd’s Instagram once and some girl commented on a random concert photo like, “Please love me, Abel! I promise I’ll only exist on Thursdays.” I was embarrassed on her behalf but I can be like that too. I’ve hit on at least one rapper via Twitter. It was pathetic. I think I deleted those posts but I’m not sure.
“Don’t make me make you fall in love. Don’t make me make you fall in love. Don’t make me make you fall in love with a [man] like me…” Okay, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you, but you’ve made me anyway, and you don’t really exist, not like I imagine you. I’m sorry.
He makes us all fall in love, all of us with self-esteem from Lana Del Rey lyrics. (“Dear Lord, when I get to heaven, please let me bring my man. When he comes, tell me that you’ll let him in. Father, tell me if you can.” I should have capitalized “heaven” but it wasn’t my first impulse.) Those two artists are linked in my head even though The Weeknd doesn’t sing about Lolita, I don’t think. Does he?
I’ll admit that I’m self-conscious. Who am I kidding? I always admit that. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m telling myself, “They thought they were going to read about The Weeknd but they’re reading your stream-of-consciousness trash diary about how lyrics mean too much to you. Lyrics mean too much to everyone. But we all know they’re writing about themselves, the goddam narcissist artists I love.” I mean, fucking Morrissey is the best sad-kid example, right? And he’s clearly writing about himself.
I only write about myself.
“Louis V bag. Tats on your arms. High-heeled shoes make you six feet tall. Everybody wants you; you can have them all. But I got what you need.” Six-inch heels bring me up to six feet…