January 30, 2010

why are...

Lucy Schwartz

I like to let things percolate.  Well, not everything.  But with singer/songwriters.  Electronic music is a lot easier to decide: "I like this." or "I don't like this."  But vocalists usually take me a while, and sometimes I end up changing my mind about a singer that I like initially.
Anyways, Lucy Schwartz has percolated and I think she passed the test.  I really love the piano playing that she has in some of her songs and I think her voice has a great timbre. 

January 29, 2010

"I don't know about you, Olivier, but I feel so much less lonely with the internet."

1. Went to class and made a fool of myself
2. Donated blood
3. Gave money to the guy outside of Albertsons
4. Gave 2 bucks to this chick on a street corner and had a conversation with her about the economy

and yet, I still don't feel great

January 28, 2010

2 Post Secrets I read today

The Sea

Okay, I realize that I've basically put up only music lately (see: every. time.), but... it's important that you hear it.  That's my only justification.  When I feel inspired by something other than music, I'll let you know.  Now, shut up and listen to this immediately.  It's incredible.

This first song is a cover that was attached to an LP released previously, but it's still one of my favorites.  Led Zep:

Everything else is from her new album (released yesterday) and I've already basically dissected it.  I literally couldn't wait.  I could not wait (obviously).  It's so great that I feel like I want to do it.  You have no idea.

So.  I felt like a lot of this album (obviously) had to do with her losing her husband recently.  And I thought she wrote utterly beautiful songs about her feelings of loss and grief.  They were actually my favorite (is that morbid?).  "Are You Here" is probably my favorite.  And don't be shy, crank it up:

"I'd Do It All Again" is another reflective song about a relationship that's passed.  It was released as a single a few weeks ago, and I liked it immediately.  I feel like her live performances really bring a lot to her music:

My favorite uptempo (not really, I guess) song is "Closer".  It has a funky beat that's reminiscent of her first album without sounding like it's stuck back in 2006.  My biggest issue was more about the tone of the uptempo songs rather than just the fact that they were uptempo.  A few sounded too... happy?  I can't think of the right word, but you know what I mean.  Once you've set the tone of the album with the first few songs about grief it just feels awkward to have something so fast come immediately after.  If you listen to the songs independently they're fine, but in the order that they're on in the album it just feels weird:

Just so it's here, this is "Paris Nights/ New York Mornings":

This is probably my second favorite track, "Love's On It's Way".  She really ends the album on a hopeful, cleansing note.  I think one of my favorite things about Corinne is how perfectly she times the music when she gets to the chorus.  It just makes you stop everything that you're doing to listen, for even just a few seconds.  She makes you listen.  She'll be singing, but suddenly the background orchestration will die away and you'll find yourself straining to hear something, anything.  And then there it is:

January 20, 2010

She & Him Vol. 2 Update

While reading Rolling Stone, I came across a little tidbit about one of my most anticipated albums of 2010 so far (along with Corinne Bailey Rae's), She and Him, Vol. 2, which will be released March 23rd.  The article gives a few hints about the style of their new songs, and indicates a noticeable increase in Zooey's singing confidence, but what intrigued me was that they posted their covers already.  Or, rather, what their covers are going to be.
Skeeter Davis' "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" and NRBQ's "Ridin' in My Car".
Naturally, I looked them up pronto, and was pleased to find that they are perfect songs for the band, especially "Gonna Get Along.." - it's perfect for her.  If you'd like to have a listen, here they are, along with a cover that I found of Davis' song after the jump.

January 16, 2010


I don't buy music on itunes.  Ever.  I tend to think that it's a waste of money, because it's impossible to share and that is really frustrating.  And I'm not really computer savvy enough to bypass anything, I just want my stuff to work how I want it to work!

Having said that, you now realize the significance of my having bought most of the debut album by French electropop group Somethingalamode.  Because it's awesome.  And torrents were thin on the ground.

I lovelovelove the strings that they use in these tunes - I really think that they add a lot of depth to the music.  They make it darker, more mysterious somehow.  It gives me a little bit of an ELO feel, but in a modern sort of way.  You can tell that they're real musicians, not just some guys that found some old synthesizer at a garage sale (not that they're music is bad, necessarily, but... you know what I mean).  Anyways, listen to it.  Please.  And if you decide to get the cd, listen to "Vodka Martini" first, because it's my favorite (but there wasn't a video on youtube!!)

January 15, 2010

I love this

Everything goes perfectly until Annie Lennox makes that weird face at the end.  I'm really excited for this cd.

January 8, 2010

thrill seeker go dress up like a ninja and enter a friends house take something and leave something in its place

Should I start a new category and title it "Weird Shit I Find On The Internet"?  

Because mystery Google is definitely going to be the source of many of that weird shit, along with CL (my recent obsession is NYE posts like this one).

Just try mystery Google.

And search Google images more often.  I find that a great distraction as well.
Type this in:  "source:life" and then type anything.

For instance, I just searched this "source:life warren beatty natalie wood" and I got the most incredible picture I've ever seen.  It's easy!

January 5, 2010

Nellie McKay

I came across Nellie McKay the other day when Amazon recommended her new album, "Normal as Blueberry Pie" which is a tribute to Doris Day.  I also downloaded her older album, "Get Away From Me".  Okay, this girl is ridiculous - she sings about the most random stuff, and yet if you listen to the lyrics it's funny as hell and she does't care who she offends.  I love it.

January 2, 2010

I want to go to here

1000 star hotel, originally uploaded by Antti-Jussi Liikala.

2009 in Books

I like to read.  Often times, I feel like the frequency of new to old books can be considered as a sort of barometer for my mood.

How am I feeling?  Am I stressed, tired, in need of a comforting, familiar voice?  Or am I refreshed, adventurous - looking for something new and exciting?  Is it time to stay at home, or go out into the unknown to see where that leads?

I put these in chronological order, and I probably didn't remember all of them, but here it is in all it's meager glory:

1. Anansai Boys, by Neil Gaiman.  I more than likely read a couple of things in January (like how about when I went on my trip to D.C.) and February, but I specifically remember reading this book when I went with KC to New York.  And I know that I bought Geek Love while we were in NY, but I haven't finished it yet.  Anyways, Neil Gaiman is amazing and this is a fantastic book.

2. True Believer, by Nicholas Sparks.  I'm sure this isn't on anyone's top 10 list, but don't forget about the stressed, tired, comforting voice that I needed this year.  This book joined the 6 other ones by him on my shelf.

3. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh.  I've been wanting to read this book for a long time and after I saw this, I knew it was time.  This book is loaded and is not necessarily a light read, but was definitely one of my favorites this year.  And incidentally, the reason that I went to see Bright Star was because of Ben Whitshaw and it ended up being one of my favorite movies of 2009.

4. The Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.  Does it count if it was a reading assignment for class?  Even if I read it in a week when we were spending 3 times that long on it in class?  The graphic novel = epic.  The movie sucked.

5. The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot.  This was for class, too.  And it's technically a poem.  But I loved it, which was totally unexpected.

6. The Dying Animal, by Philip Roth.  Okay, now we're in June or July.  I read this book in Spain.  Krystle bought it and I read it after her.  It was a little disturbing and there is definitely some imagery that I will never be able to erase... but, remember the go out into the unknown and see where that leads attitude?  Yeah, I was in the phase.

7. Bonk, by Mary Roach.  I became interested in Mary Roach when I read something, although I cannot for the life of me remember what, that was written by her in a magazine.  I remember it as being something that most people think of as non-scientific, but she explained it terms of science and I definitely had an "aha!" moment.  I found this book in a little shop near the Camden Market in London.  I was soo happy to find something in english that didn't cost 25 euros.  Her writing is hilariously funny and you'll definitely learn a lot of science and history.

8. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle.  I obviously lost a couple of months between June and September, but whatever.  I'd been staring at my Madeleine L'Engle book set and suddenly thought to myself, "what the hell happens in that book??" so I read it again.  It was fantastic.

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling.  Most people have a favorite Harry Potter book.  For the first 6 books that had come out, my favorite had always been HP 3.  I mean, that book was incredible.  But nothing, nothing compares to this one.  It's just unbelievably, undeniably good.  I was 11 when my mom got me the first Harry Potter book for Christmas, and I was a week away from 20 when I finished this one.  Here, she's not writing for children anymore.  I'm not sure she ever was.

10. The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood.  Just to round out a year filled with mythology.  I've always been very interested in Odysseus' stalwart wife, Penelope.  Did she know about his unfaithfulness?  Did she have indiscretions of her own in his absence?  Does she know that the homeless beggar is him?  Do they plan everything together, or is she just  thrilled to not be stuck with a suitor?  This was a very interesting take on that famous poem from Penelope's point of view.

11. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.  My favorite of his books, and possibly the most creative thing I've ever read.  Soon, Mr. Gaiman is going to need his own shelf.

12. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown.  Yes, I finished it.  Actually, once I committed to starting it, I finished it relatively fast - at least, at the pace I've been going.  It started off a little slow, but I got really into the end, even if it left a little to be desired.  Digital Fortress is still one of my favorites, though, and I should probably re-read Angel & Demons.

As a bonus for getting to the end of this list, here are 3 books that I read every year, and sometimes even more often than that.

13. Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen.  Probably one of the oldest and rattiest books that I own, with dog-earred pages and a cracked spine, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love it's worn-ness because it reminds me of all the times I've spent getting lost in it.

14. Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine.  I think I got this book around the same time that I got my first Harry Potter book, maybe a year earlier.  It's completely perfect in every way and I can't imagine a better story to buy for or read to a young girl.  Make fun of me if you want, but just try reading it - you won't be able to stop.

15. Celia Garth: A Story of Charleston in the Revolution, by Gwen Bristow.  Gwen Bristow probably had it hard enough as a woman, trying to write accurate, historical fiction in the 70's, let alone stories with strong female characters.  But she's a very gifted writer and her stories are incredibly inspirational.  If not this one then how about Calico Palace (which I'm also fairly certain I read this year) or Jubilee Trail?