Tag Archives: music

Not-Even-A-Lady Jam: Heart, Oberhofer

26 Mar

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really keep up with what the kids are listening to. I used to have a radio show in college (I know, what? I have a face for radio, but I also have a voice for print), so at least then I had some sort of an idea about what was going on. Now that I’m an adult, sometimes Alex will tell me about things or occasionally I’ll see something on a blog, but for the most part I just listen to Dr. Dog, St. Vincent, and New Order on repeat. So I have no idea if this Oberhofer song is really popular, but what I do know is that it made me cry when I heard it yesterday in my car! Is that too much to share with you guys? Probably, but you already know I operate on a highly emotional level at all times. I only have Sirius for another week, so then I’ll go back to really knowing nothing about music.

Do you love this as much as I do? I hope so! I’ve already listened to it about ten times. The album’s out on Tuesday, and you can see them on tour right now! I want to go when they come to town, but I will probably cry in public. Whatever. Won’t be the first time, won’t be the last.

Flashback Time

13 Mar

It’s easy to romanticize the music of our childhood. We all know those old guys who say things like, “Music just ain’t what is used to be,” as they crank up the Zeppelin or Stones they listen to exclusively. Well, I’m here to tell you that I do not feel that way about the music I listened to in high school. In my freshman year (around 2000), I think popular music was the worst it’s ever been. But you couldn’t have told that to me at the time, because I was too busy jamming to these songs:

Crazy For This Girl, Evan and Jaron

To be fair, this is the best song on this list. There isn’t really anything wrong with it and it’s kind of cute. It’s weird to think about how ubiquitous this song was for, like, 2 months. According to Wikipedia (my source of truth), they were on American Inventor once.

Back Here, BB Mak

I remember listening to this song on the way to my freshman homecoming (in a van driven by one of my friend’s dads, because none of us were old enough to drive) and just really feeling it. You know what? This song isn’t that bad either.

Soul Decision, Faded

I completely forgot about this song until Alex reminded me of the wonders of Now 5. If anyone tries to tell you they didn’t like this song when it came out, they’re a straight up liar. We all loved this song, okay? We loved it. It was on all the time and we listened to it while we got ready for dances. The production on this song is really, really strange. It sounds like it’s beamed in from some strange planet, and that planet is the year 2000.

Nine Days, Absolutely (The Story of a Girl)

This is the worst one. Even in 2000, it was a little much for me.

O-Town, All or Nothing

The one with the dreads. I FORGOT ABOUT THE ONE WITH THE DREADS.
O-Town were the victims of the worst band name ever, and also of Lou Pearlman stealing their money. I feel the same way about boy band members as I do about football players. They have this very fantastic but very limited skill set that can make them so much money but leave them unprepared to have any other career. I worry about them, is what I’m saying. I worry about O-Town, okay? Especially Ashley Parker Angel, whose reality show my college roommate and I watched religiously. It was mostly about him trying to make it as a singer and also him trying to have sex with his wife, like, 8 days after she gave birth. Ashley Parker Angel, do you understand what happens to a woman when she gives birth? Terrible things. It looks like they are reuniting, except for Ashley, who is focusing on his acting career. I wish you all the best, O-Town members past and present.

This is the face of a girl who just wants to listen to some Evan and Jaron and also doesn’t know about bangs yet (center):

What songs do you remember from the early 2000s? I’m aware that there was actually good music being made then, but I didn’t find any of it until years later. I’m talking about the embarrassing, terrible stuff here.

Lady Jam: Cheerleader, St. Vincent

9 Feb

One of my favorite musicians is also one of the prettiest women in the world, even (especially?) when she’s a giant.

People Like This Were The Only People There

3 Feb

Last night H. and I saw Dr. Dog for the third time. They were amazing, and they looked exactly the same as they did the two previous times we saw them, which was comforting.

They were amazing because they’re always amazing. I know it’s not “cool” to gush about how much you love a band once you’re older than, like, 19, but clearly I don’t care about being cool.
This song is from their new album, which comes out next week.

But that’s not the point of this post! The point is to talk about the people we met (or, more accurately, “met”) last night. These are the people you’ll see at just about every concert, unless you’re seeing, I don’t know, Barry Manilow or someone.

-Elbow Dancer
A man that dances not with his hips, but with his elbows. Much like Elton John’s Tiny Dancer, you’ll want to stay close to him. This seems counterintuitive, as to be near Elbow Dancer is to put yourself at risk of a jab to the face (if he’s taller than you) or the groin (if he’s shorter). But Elbow Dancer expands to fit his space, much like a tampon. You need to stay close to reign him in.

-Pretty Girls
So, so many pretty girls with pretty hair and pretty clothes.

-Guys That Look Alike
Two guys, side by side. Plaid shirts, thick-rimmed glasses, dark hair, same height. Are they brothers? Friends? Liberace-style lovers? Or did they come to the show separately, drawn to each other as if by magic?

-Making Out Couple/Fighting Couple
We’ve all been half of at least one of these couples before, so I’m not going to judge.

-Happily Dancing Beanie Guy
A guy in a yellow beanie hat who dances, even before the show to the house music. As he points to the stage and flails his arms, his friends don’t react. The fact that they’re neither embarassed nor amused shows that this is typical behavior. “Oh, that? He’s just being Jeff,” they say to any onlookers.

-Old Man/Young Girl
This one may be specific to last night’s show.
Him: a cross between Darryl Hall and William H. Macy. Slightly graying hair still has a lot of body. Khakis and long sleeved polo shirt.
Her: Young. Northface jacket. Ponytail.
What’s their deal? Are they father and daughter? On a date? I suggested he was a new stepdad, but H. noticed that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Then I thought maybe it was an awkward first date, but H. pointed out that he was wearing his jacket tied around his waist, as one would never do on a date. He kept touching her shoulder in a very non-fatherly way and they left before the show was even half through. Their love will forever be a mystery to me, so I made up a story to satisfy my curiosity. I imagine Megan (that’s her name) telling her dorm mate she’s going on a date.
“Oh, do I know him?” says her dorm mate.
“Um…” says Megan, brushing her hair. “No…he’s kind of…older.”
Dorm mate looks up from the Cosmo she’s reading. “How much older?”
Megan sighs. “Like 42? But it’s like, he doesn’t seem 42, you know? And Darrell almost never talks about his kids, so it’s totally not even a thing.”
Aaaand scene.

The Best Lines From The New Yorker’s Article on Carrie Brownstein/Portlandia

3 Jan

Maybe you don’t have time to read this whole article about Carrie Brownstein. I didn’t think I did, either, but then Lauren posted it on my wall and I was at my parents’ house, and, well…it’s a good read, you guys. I learned lots of things. In case you don’t get around to it, here are the best lines.

-“Brownstein and Armisen began building a friendship, but, given that they were living on opposite coasts, they decided that they’d have to work on something together. As she put it, when you’re not dating somebody, “it begins to seem kind of weird if you’re flying around the country to see him.””

-“Armisen and Brownstein text each other every night before bed. Brownstein says of their friendship, “Sometimes I think it’s the most successful love affair either of us will ever have.” Both claim that it wouldn’t work if they were romantically involved. “It would be colder, because we’ve both treated our romantic relationships in a cold way,” Armisen says. “Carrie and I are more romantic than any other romantic relationship I’ve ever had—that sense of anticipation about seeing the other person, the secret bond. But things don’t become obligatory. I’m not thinking, I’m doing this because you’re my girlfriend; I’m just thinking, I love Carrie.””

-“Bill Oakley, a former head writer for “The Simpsons” who had moved to Portland, has helped out on the show. He says, “I’ve spent a lot of time in writers’ rooms. They’re pressure cookers. In most cases, they’re heavily male. You work long hours and many of the people in them have a really negative view about themselves and life.” The “Portlandia” writers’ room, however, is collaborative and laid-back. Some meetings have been held in the loft of the director Gus Van Sant, who has become friendly with Brownstein. “Gus’s dog was wandering in and out,” Oakley says.”

-“In one sketch, Toni, played by Brownstein, reproves a woman who has written an appreciative account of her boyfriend’s sexual technique for the store’s “journaling class.” “I feel like it was a brag journal,” Toni says. “And what a journal should be is a document of misery.””

-“In the bathroom were posters seeking roommates for group houses, including this one: “We are into open and honest communication, dumpstering, crafts, music, raw/living foods, biking, natural building, permaculture, living in shacks and trailers and all kinds of fun stuff like that. We are a vegan house, except that some of us do dumpster dairy.” (When I mentioned this to Brownstein, she said, “If I were into dumpster diving, dairy is the last thing I’d dive for.”)”

-“When Miranda July tried to explain why she and Brownstein had stayed friends since their riot-grrrl days, she began to say the word “ambition,” but hesitated. Instead, she said that they shared “a steady focus on what we are going to do next. We’re always asking each other, ‘What’s the next project?’ And, that being the throughline in our lives, more than relationships, that becomes pretty meaningful, at a certain point.””

-“It had taken a while, she said, for her to shed the sense that it was unseemly to “take credit for something you did. So Fred is so nice, because he never came from that scene. And it’s not about being self-aggrandizing. It’s just about taking a moment to be proud of yourself, that you worked hard and feel good about it.” Maybe, she mused, it helped that he was a guy.”

-“Brownstein mentioned how hard it was “to stay sharp on tour,” and said that she did a lot of reading. She had James Baldwin’s “The Devil Finds Work” and Hawthorne’s “The Marble Faun” tucked into her travel bag in the van.”

-“But Fred is someone whom I deeply trust, he’s already an extension of what I’d call family…We drove home late and I dropped him off at his hotel. Sometimes I get confused and think, Are we supposed to kiss goodnight? But, the truth is, I don’t want us to kiss, I want us to teach each other how good it can be to stick around.”

Okay, you’re welcome, now go read the whole article!

Lady Jam: I’m His Girl, Friends

12 Dec

I wish I could stop listening to this song, but I can’t. Even when I’m not actually listening to it, the song’s odd cadence repeats in my head.

I’ve been hearing this on XMU a lot, so I guess it’s popular, but I’m incredibly out of touch with music. “You guys want to listen to this Dolly Parton album?” -me. Anyway, good luck getting this out of your head. In addition to being catchy as all get out, it’s also an ode to healthy relationships. Listening to Friends is basically like watching Dr. Phil.

Donald Glover OR Childish Gambino OR I Don’t Know What to Think Anymore

14 Nov

I’m a warm-blooded human being, so of course I think Donald Glover is attractive. Let’s not kid ourselves.

He’s got a Miranda July level of productivity and creativity. It’s confusing because he’s so talented and so good looking; there is absolutely no reason he needs to be so good at both, because I’m pretty sure he could be successful on either the looks or talent alone. He’s like if Ryan Gosling was also great at stand up. Not fair and also unnecessary. Donald Glover hit it big with his group Derek Comedy’s Youtube videos, then he wrote for 30 Rock, then he quit to do stand up, then came Community, then came Childish Gambino, then came my deep confusion/attraction.

Childish Gambino makes for a complicated listening experience. This is his latest video, which is both great and creepy. It’s got a real An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge thing going on (oh, did you guys forget I majored in English? BOOM) while also dealing with a lot of other things too.

I’ll be honest. It’s hard for me to accept that the guy who raps lyrics like, “This Asian dude, I stole his girl, and now he got that Kogi beef / My dick is like an accent mark, it’s all about the over Es” is also the dude who looks like this:

He’s no Drake (no one is), but he’s close. CG reminds me of Lil Wayne, but with more highbrow references (Sufjan Stevens instead of Shenaynay, not that there is anything at all wrong with Shenaynay). NY Daily News recently published this article about Camp, his new album, which I’m really excited about. I love this quote from him, taken from an interview on a blog called Poop or Chocolate because, sure, that’s a great name.

Lately it’s been like I have a calling. I’ve always felt like the stuff that happened to me when I was a kid happened for a reason. And I’ve always felt like I had something to say and that what I’m doing is important. And I don’t let anything get in the way of that. If I really want to do something I can do it, and I’ve always felt that way. Never wavered from that. Lorne Michaels once said something to me that really stuck, and I’ve never seen it not be true. He said truly talented people are only faithful to their talent. Which might explain why he has people sign contracts for like seven years. Because if you’re really going after something, if you really have a goal, the only thing that’s gonna stop you is you. What I love about Kanye West is his willingness to be like “Fuck it. I’m gonna do it and I’ll deal with it later.” To take that leap. Because people who are real innovators; your Kanyes, your Michael Jordans, your Steve Martins, your Salvador Dalis, your Jim Hensons; nobody’s gonna tell them they’re too anything. Except for them. And since I have this unique perspective of having seen the world from all these opposing viewpoints, and I also happen to be creative, I feel like it’s my responsibility to expose the dichotomies that exist so there can be dialogue and understanding. I feel like that’s my calling. So what do I want? I want everything. Not because I’m greedy, but so I have all the tools to reach as many people as possible.

Christmas Jam: Last Christmas

11 Nov

Oh man, you guys. This week. I’ve been so busy I actually didn’t post anything yesterday. Not that I’m complaining; everything I’ve been doing has been fun and social, but let’s just say that someone we all know quite well fell asleep on the floor last night at 8:30. Spoiler alert: that someone was ME! As it turns out, my body doesn’t appreciate me giving it only 5 hours of sleep per night and then eating far too many fried pickles in a moment of fatigue-induced munchies. I got 8 hours of sleep, had a green smoothie, and I felt much better.
Until I saw Martha Marcy May Marlene, which we are not even going to talk about here. I am probably going to have nightmares. Instead, let’s focus on something that makes me happy: Christmas music!
Let me just say that if you are one of those people who complains about Christmas music being played too early, then get off of my lawn/blog. I seriously don’t understand your attitude, or the attitude of anyone who makes arbitrary rules about when it’s “okay” to do anything. Whatever. Eat pancakes for dinner, listen to Christmas music in July, see if I care! It’s your life. People who complain about others playing Christmas music remind me of people who are against gay marriage. Like, why do you care what other people are doing with their lives/iPods? Just stay out of shopping malls, which you should be doing anyway because malls are the worst, and you will rarely hear Christmas music. Let other people be happy and keep your attitude at home!
One of my all-time favorite songs just so happens to be a Christmas song, and I enjoy listening to it periodically year-round. Once the weather gets cold, though, I’m likely to bust it out multiple times per day. My favorite Christmas songs are the sad ones, and this fits the bill. It’s a delight. Listen to it to cheer yourself up, get in the Christmas spirit, or try to forget that cults are real and they will take over your life if you let them.

My Romantic Comedy Soundtrack, Part 2

8 Nov

Let’s just get this out of the way: Somebody’s Baby is one of my favorite songs, ever. It would be perfect for a couple of different scenes in my romantic comedy. Picture it: opening shot of the movie, a woman trying on clothing in a fancy department store. But when the camera pans out, we see that she is not actually the character we will be following at all. Instead, that honor falls to the lowly sales clerk. She is not even rich or successful!
OR: a montage of the main male character hanging out with the girl he loves. She has a boyfriend, but she’s hanging out with him because they’re working on…something. Like, maybe they are both planning an event or helping a friend out. Whatever it is, it definitely involves some hilarious scenes wig-shopping and/or exiting a dressing room and doing that, “Well, what do you think?” pose with outstretched hands, while the other character gives an exaggerated thumbs-down or thumbs up.

My Romantic Comedy Soundtrack, Part 1

4 Nov

As a romantic comedy aficionado, of course it’s my dream to one day write my own romcom. I don’t know that it will ever happen, since I think I’d have to achieve some sort of success before anyone would agree to produce my script. And, clearly, I will only work with the biggest studio. I mean, I’m going to need a massive budget for a lot of elaborate explosions.
Even though my Hypothetical Romantic Comedy is lacking a lot of things, including financial backing, studio support, an idea, or a script, one thing it has is a soundtrack. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty good at compiling romantic comedy soundtracks in my head.
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. Alex went through a major Herb Alpert phase in high school. Some kids have Zeppelin, he had Alpert. Whatever. The important thing is that I heard this song and I fell in love with it. It’s easy to see why; with the horns and the strings and the grandiose, hyperbolic language (“If not, I’ll just die”), it’s basically a romantic comedy in and of itself. I’m not sure what scene I’ll put this in; maybe a montage where the lead character walks around the city morosely, imagining every person they see to be their beloved? Or maybe over the end credits, when the camera zooms away from the lead characters embracing in a park? I’ll figure it out later. I’ve got nothing but time.