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Assorted songs I like, and weekend open thread

30 Mar

Amy Ray came to Portland on Tuesday. Her band was the mutha-effin BUTCHIES, (yay!), and this rad chick named Lindsay Fuller opened. Amy Ray played this, among other awesome songs in her typically awesome fashion:

I saw Stanley Clarke quite by accident at Blue Note in New York last week. Fantastical show, including a 15-year-old pianist that blew the tops of everyone’s heads off. It was very messy. Here’s Stanley playing bass and then talking about playing bass:

You all know how I feel about unexpected covers, so this acoustic cover of the synthey Heaven pretty much rocks. Brandi Carlile is in Portland in May, and I’m currently trying to justify the ticket price. Stay tuned to find out who wins, my fiscally conservative self or my musically liberal self. Ha:

Another cover, for kicks, because I was listening along to Lights not expecting this AT ALL (bonus track! C’mooon CDs aren’t dead YET, guys, amirite??):

I love a good remix as much as I love a good cover, and thanks to Pandora this song in both its original and remixy forms is now in my regular rotation:

Heard anything good lately? Any good shows or stuff you’re excited about this weekend? Share, share alike.

I want to wear pants!

15 Mar

Delightful thing my roommate brought to my attention. It’s a re-swizzling of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” but it’s about suffrage and it’s way better than the original:

Just remember, ladies: Suffrage is swell, but the battle ain’t over yet. Don’t listen to Beyonce. Girls do not run the world. That is straight shit and everybody knows it.

Happy Friday! and weekend open thread, evil genius edition

27 Jan

Happy weekend everyone! This week’s open thread topics are:

One MILLION dollars!
  1. Brilliant ideas
  2. Evil plans
  3. Awesome shit

I have been having all kinds of GENIUS IDEAS lately, probably because of the massive quantities of cold medicine I’ve been consuming. I have also been thinking about Things I Like, because um well why the hell not? So here are some of my brilliant ideas/evil plans/awesome shit I’ve thought of this week:

So what are your evil-genius plans for the weekend? For 2012? For ‘someday’? For the summer? For the good of all humanity? Discuss these and any other topics you want in the comments. Winner gets a unicorn!

And last but not least, here’s some happy (hardcore) music for you to listen to while you plot:

    Pop hits of the whenever

    18 Jan

    Here are some random songs with which I’ve been enamored at one point or another in life. Most of them started out as a sort of ironic love, and then at some point the irony left and the love remained. So if you were less awesome than I am, you’d be afraid to admit you like these:

    Oh, Phil Collins. I have a factory copy of your Greatest Hits. It was actually among the first CDs I ever bought myself, along with my first real CD-playing stereo (an upgrade from the tape deck boombox and the discman from my little brother). All the boys make fun of you, Phil, but you know what? At the end of the day, you may be short, pudgy and balding, but you’re still a rock star.

    I came to Journey late in life. Not too late to realize the AWESOMENESS that is Journey, though. Haters gon’ hate, I don’t give a poopie. STREETLIGHT PEOPLE, you guys. Streetlight people. WERD.

    Fleetwood Mac RULES. Everyone knows Landslide (or at least the Smashing Pumpkins cover), and Go Your Own Way, but I didn’t find out about Rhiannon until Steve Jobs invented Pandora. Just kidding, Steve Jobs didn’t invent Pandora. Anyway, Stevie Nicks, woooo!

    EDIT to include Peter Gabriel. How could I forget the man who does duets with Kate Bush AND Paula Cole? Hot.

    And that’s all you get for today. What are some embarrassing songs you like? It’s notable that embarrassing songs are suddenly cool when sung at karaoke night. Keep this in mind, internet people, next time you’re drunkenly pawing through those giant directories of karaoke songs to sing at the local watering hole. The cheesier, the better!

    Soundtrack for junior high

    14 Dec

    There comes a time in everyone’s lives where we have to stop listening to Dad’s record player and Mom’s piano and develop our Very Own Taste in Modern Music. For me, this happened in middle school. Sure, I also worked on maintaining my love of post-1965 Beatles and early 19th-century Beethoven, but around about the 7th grade, I began receiving music from outside sources – friends, boys and other bad influences.

    Here’s some stuff I started listening to then:

    I first learned of Tom Petty via a mixtape. Then, a boy gave me “Wildflowers” on cassette. It’s hard to choose a favorite from that album, especially with so much creepy fodder like “Cabin Down Below,” “Honey Bee” and “House in the Woods,” but here’s one (of the many) I dug:

    Much later, I would make a foray to a faraway city to see Tom Petty live with a selection of friends given to shenanigans. Naturally, shenanigans ensued.

    My nascent love of Tori also began in middle school with a mixtape with two Tori songs on it. First, “Mr. Zebra” which is quirky and therefore suited my pubescent misfit image well:

    And second, Caught a Light Sneeze, which is just awesome. I can’t find a video or audio clip of the studio version, so you’ll just have to imagine it. Tori would also be my first concert, which I went to with my dad, as I was too young to drive, or even have friends who could drive.

    What middle school girl’s music list would be complete without some Cranberries, huh? I purchased not one but TWO Cranberries tapes with my allowance money at the local emporium after listening to some on, you guessed it, a mixtape. Here’s one from “No Need to Argue” (no, it’s not “Zombie.” Why is that the only song anyone remembers from the Cranberries?):

    The Cure’s Lovesong, which I also bought on casette:

    Much later I discovered Tori’s cover of Lovesong and almost died of awesomeness.

    Bonus track: My favorite Beethoven song (cliche, sure, but it’s popular for a reason):

    There was a lot of other really horrible stuff I listened to, but this is the stuff that stuck in my mind, and wasn’t too humiliating to post on the internet. What did you listen to when you were a youngin?

    Songs to sing along to

    21 Oct

    Friday music time! Since I’m too lazy/busy/insert-explanatory-adjective here to write anything heartfelt or insightful today, instead I give you some cheesy songs to listen to. And when I say cheesy, I really mean it. I have a whole Pandora station called “Cheesy Dance Party.” I listen to it almost every day.

    I’ve never quite figured out how to describe my taste in music, which is fine by me but confounding to others. You already have my favorite torch songs, this week I give you a litany of cheeseball ditties. They’re kind of in-theme, but as per usual I don’t really know what to call the theme. Ten points go to the first person to correctly identify the overarching sentiment:

    I put the ol’ iTunes on shuffle the other week and lo and behold this song came on. I think it came from a mix CD a friend made me in college, but it really sounds like something I would have listened to in the 80s had I not been busy learning to walk and tie my shoes. I have no idea why the music video accompanying it is Party Monster- themed, although it really makes me want to watch that movie. Also, it reminds me that I think my little brother looks like Macaulay Caulkin. He’s not a drag queen, though. Although one time I did dress him up like a girl and completely pulled the wool over my grandpa’s eyes. Good times, good times.

    I love Prince so, so much. I don’t care what anyone says, he is a supremely beautiful man. And how can you not love his little boatneck shirt in this? 80s fashion was so underrated, until it was overrated.

    Freakishly, I didn’t really start listening to Prince until the summer of 2005, when I spent a lot of time commuting with a Prince mixtape. I am pretty sure I first saw the above video, though, while my big sister was babysitting my little brother and me while watching VH1. I was definitely way too young to be watching this pure filth, but it must’ve sunk in because I have a fondness for Prince that’s out of proportion for someone who didn’t grow up with Princely goodness. Also? I think a love of Prince must run in the family – my sister and my aunt both love Prince too.

    I have no explanation/excuse for this. I will say that it looks like the perfect candidate for a literal video interpretation.

    Everyone loves PJ Harvey. This one’s from a mix CD my Brooklyn friend mailed me one sweltering summer in BFE, Oregon. I listened to it while drinking wine and making collages in my trashy apartment and taking unnatural measures of pleasure out of picking out my own movies to watch before falling asleep on the living room floor.

    This one might actually fit in better with the torch songs. But you could also do an interpretive dance to it if you wanted to. Heh. Anyway, I got this from Ms. Deena, who put it on a mix CD called “dancey music” which is most excellent in every which way.

    Since it’s Friday, that also means it’s weekend open thread time. I don’t have any topics in mind, so talk amongst yourselves about whatever pleases you! Just so long as the things that please you are mostly legal and thoroughly nonviolent, ‘course.

    Seven Sad Songs

    28 Jul

    It’s not all rainbows, sunshine and unicorns here, people! I was in the throes of making mix CDs and noticed how many of my favorite tunes are about forbidden love/heartbreak – which isn’t difficult since so many songs are about that – and decided to share a selection with you. I think these are a very particular brand of forbidden love/heartbreak songs, don’t you?

    1. Love Song (Tori Amos covering The Cure)

    It just so happens that this one is my very favorite song of all time. Which is odd, considering I typically don’t have favorite anythings (although I am known to have favorite pants from time to time). Anyway, The Cure’s version is really great, but Tori’s version is transcendental.

    2. With Every Heartbeat (Robyn)

    Robyn was in my town this past weekend! I missed it because I was busy doing this, which makes me sound a lot cooler than I am.

    3. Sophisticated Lady (Cat Power covering Duke Ellington)

    Apparently I have a thing for covers that make you want to slit your wrists. I mean, seriously. They oughta outlaw this song it’s that good.

    4. Bells for Her – Tori Amos (Trip Hop/Depressing Mix)

    I really have no idea who remixed this. The “trip hop/depressing remix” is what it’s called in my iTunes library, which I named to differentiate it from the 12 gajillion other versions I have of the song Bells For Her. Rad song on its own, add slow remixiness and you get something great to drink to while sitting on your kitchen floor looking forlorn.

    5. Siren – Tori Amos

    Another Tori song! Aren’t I just a walking cliché? Technically this song may not really be about forbidden love or heartbreak. It could be about vanilla or teenage flesh or coquettes or… wait, no, I was right the first time.

    6. St. Swithin’s Day – Dubstar covering Billy Bragg

    I am apparently not allowed to own this song in the U.S., which is a bummer. And, what is it with me and covers anyway?

    7. Romeo & Juliet – Amy Ray covering Mark Knopfler

    You didn’t think I’d let you go without forcing you to listen to my favorite half of the Indigo Girls, did you? And that concludes this week’s edition of sad songs and covers!

    What’s your favorite cover? What’s your favorite sad song? What’s your favorite song about forbidden love? Heartbreak? Share, share, share!

    Missing gay pride: No fairsies!

    24 Jun

    So I flew out of Portland on the day of the Portland gay pride parade/festivities, and I will be flying out of New York on the eve of the same in the bigger of the two cities. How is this fair? I haven’t been in ages – not since I was, oh, say, 19. That was my first and last gay pride parade – if I recall correctly I got heatstroke from sitting on the sunny sidewalk for so long, got treated to some screamed obscenities from some d-bag four floors above street level, and experienced the wonderful world of intentionally bad table service.

    We are too cute. No, really

    I also recall driving four hours with a group of fun people, singing along to Aqua at the top of our lungs the whole way, parking illegally in some abandoned lot, doing our makeup in the side-view mirror of my first car, making friends with drag queens, getting kicked out of that one all-ages gay dance club since none of us were of age, and having real grown-up champagne brunches. Good times!

    Let me live vicariously through you. Tell me your gay pride stories, whether you’re doing something this weekend or stopped going 15 years ago. Why do you go? Is it too commercial now? Or did you just not notice the commercialism before because you were young and idealistic? What does your city do? Oh yeah, here’s some inspirational music for you to listen to while you compose your Odes to Pride:

    And did I mention: HAPPY FRIDAY!

    Classic Adventures

    7 Sep

    Bored? Explore the Adventures Archives this week for fun and profit!

    Adventures in Pee
    From 2006, when I could still drink things called “Foo Foos” with a straight face.

    Easily Distracted
    Even back in 2007, before I learned about StumbleUpon, Twitter, and iPhones, I was a terrible single-tasker.

    Breedin’ is what branded me, to some readers with below-average reading comprehension, as a hater of children and their parents. Which I am not. I just don’t groove on the smug superiority that’s the primary facet of the cult of parenthood.

    The Tropical Isles of Wherever, is a somewhat coherent rant against the well-traveled, faux-bohemian Millenials among us.

    Soundtrack of my Love Life
    A glorious explanation of the zeniths and nadirs of my music collection, chronologically arranged by lov-ahs. 2009.

    Songs about Sara(h)s

    2 Mar

    I spend so much time whining about NPR that I forget to espouse my love for Portland’s “other” alterna-radio station, KBOO. The production values are super-low (it’s volunteer-run) and they often run long, unedited interviews with people who have very heavy foreign accents, but if you listen to it before 7 a.m. on weekdays, you’ll get a glorious dose of obscure folk music. It’s awesome and it makes my commute mellow and happy. It’s how I discovered a song about a Sara(h) that I don’t hate!

    You’ll also hear union songs, songs from random local folk-y bands, bluegrass and other good mellow stuff. When I grow up, I want to be a folk show radio host. I would so get up at 4 a.m. for that.

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