Archive | May, 2011

XXX Marks the Spot

21 May

I almost never plan what I’m going to write about or what song to post in advance of the day, but today, May 21st, is an exception.  May 21st is a very important date for me.  It was the date, way back when, when I met the most perfect boy in the world.  It’s also the birthday of the very talented Rebecca Moore (more on her in a subsequent post!).  But neither of these super important events have anything to do with today’s song.

There’s someone else in my life with a birthday today, a friend named Anonymous Gentleman.  If you met him, you might think he’s just a regular guy.  But barely hidden beneath his meat-and-potatoes exterior is the dirtiest mind you’ve ever come across.  The stuff that comes out of his mouth would make even the brashest teenage boy blush.  We can be talking about the most mundane thing and somehow he manages to get a sexual reference in there.  Not even innuendo mind you, but full-on raunch.   So I knew months ago that today I would post the spiciest song I could think of and dedicate it just to him.

Although I threatened to expose his real name here (and even more importantly mock his website name and philosophy behind said url), I was only teasing.  I would never really ‘out’ him.  No, Anonymous Gentleman has way too much stuff on me.   I mean, when I come out to the world as a huge Debbie Gibson fan, I want to do it myself, not because I’m responding to some allegation somewhere.  Oh &*%$!  Well, I guess that’s out there.  It’s true.  I AM a huge fan of the Gibber but that too is the subject for another post.

Back to hardcore…

Anonymous Gentleman, Happy Birthday.  I hope that both you and other tourists of Margauxxxville enjoy Lil’ Kim’s “Big Momma Thang.” I think you will.  It’s not only right up your, um, alley, but it also has a great hook that’ll stick around for a long time.  I’ve often thought you might have written these lyrics, as I can’t imagine you didn’t.  So dirty, so you.

And thank you, A.G., for having your birthday on a Saturday, very considerate.   This song is definitely NSFW.

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The Rapture

20 May

This Monkey's Gone to Heaven

I can’t stop thinking about this End of the World stuff.  Not in a believing-it kind of way, but in an I’m-absolutely-fascinated-by-those-who-do kind of way.  Apparently my initial assumptions about tomorrow were all wrong.  Today isn’t the last full day of the world, it’s just the last full day on Earth for Harold Camping’s Christian followers.  The actual end of the world isn’t for six more months, on October 21st.  As of tomorrow, most, if not all, of us will have six months of playtime without those crazy people trying to buzzkill all our fun!

One of the most interesting aspects of The Rapture for me is the whole 6pm thing.  Basically big earthquakes are going to start in Australia at 6p their time and work their way around all the time zones, always hitting at 6p.  If 200,000 people vaporizing doesn’t convince you, I’m pretty sure the earthquake synchronization will.

Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but what excuse do you think they’ll give if they are still here tomorrow?  I was in the Union Square subway station a few minutes ago and there were so many people with placards and megaphones going on and on about The End.  Are they really just going to say “oops!”?

I know your burning question probably has more to do with why I’m writing this today and not tomorrow.  My answer to you is – hey, you never know.  I wanted to make sure I got my Rapture song posted.  And no, it’s not “Rapture.”  Nor is any one of countless metal Doomsday songs out there.  No, mine is for Harold Camping himself:  “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by The Pixies.

I’m assuming I’ll be posting before 6p tomorrow, but just in case I’ve been sucked up by mistake, enjoy the next six months.

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God’s L.S.D.

19 May

Whoa.  I just discovered the craziest song that has somehow eluded my knowledge until just this morning.  All these years of listening to oddball music and I missed this?  It’s remarkable, on so many levels.  You may remember that I love interesting gospel tracks as well as drug reference songs.  So how do you think I feel now that I’ve found the two together?!

I give you Professor Harold Boggs & The Boggs Specials’ “God’s L.S.D.”  Yes, that’s what I said….God’s L.S.D.

Ah-mazing.

Oddly enough, in a funny coincidence, some  of the main drug trafficking laws came into being under The Bogg’s Act.  How perfect is that?  I get high on life when I see connections like that!

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Why Can’t We Live Together?

18 May

I had an interesting moment earlier.  Timmy Thomas (great name!) came on my iPod.  I know the song “Why Can’t We Live Together” like the back of my hand, having heard it probably about 5,000 times in my life.  But, as happens with a lot of things in life, I assumed I knew it so well that it no longer had the capacity to surprise me.

I was wrong.

I listened to it, really listened, today – and all of the goosebumps that I got from the sparse sound of drum machine and organ when I heard it the first 300 times came back twofold.

It’s shocking that it became such a huge hit (in 1972) if you think about it.  Not that it didn’t deserve to, mind you.  It’s just that it seems so jazz-like, so bold, so strange a sound to be coming out of little AM Top 40 Radio speakers.

Timmy Thomas never had another hit.  And I still don’t know why we can’t live together.

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Stuff I Own

17 May

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I’m in the process of getting rid of almost every CD I own.  I’m saving a couple that have amazing artwork (hello, Joseph Arthur) and others by dead friends (hello those above and below, you know who you are) and some that are, in my head, valuable, but for the most part, as soon as I digitize, they’re packed up.

It’s been a bit of laborious process, but there has been a huge upside.  I forgot so much of what I owned because quite frankly I don’t remember the last time I actually listened to a CD.  And while I didn’t own a humungous amount,  it’s still been an awful lot to forget about.

God knows what I’ll find when I get to the digitizing process of all the many, many, many albums and singles.  But since I can’t imagine getting rid of those, that’s a job I can put off for awhile.  I guess that’s both good and bad.

I’ve rediscovered tons of amazing gems.  And a bunch of guilty pleasures, which luckily have remained guilty pleasures.  And then, for some insane reason, I’ve also realized I owned way too many CDs that I know I never, ever liked.  Why were they even in my home?   (I’m speaking directly to you, Real World Records catalog.)

I would never post something like that for you though.  You only get pure goodness.  As proof, here’s a bit of deliciousness I just pulled in:  the best Madonna cover in the universe.  You really hear the beauty of the song so much on this version. Here you go – John Wesley Harding’s version of “Like a Prayer.

I’m sure it will make you want to run out and buy a case of Pepsi immediately.

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Mole People

16 May

The Australian band The Moles never got the attention they deserved.  Their 1991 debut album, Untune the Sky, was virtually ignored upon release, which is kind of odd, in retrospect, since it’s a treasure trove of solid sounds.  While it really doesn’t matter, Untune the Sky also just sounds cool as a name, don’t you think?

Part pop, part absolute dissonance, it was probably too experimental to be a hit.  But the record is full of wonderful melodies, even at its scruffiest.  It’s just that sometimes you have to look for them a little.  I like to think of it as a audio scavenger hunt, only one where you always find the prize if you just pay attention.

Although it’s been long out of print, it was re-released (on vinyl!) last year.  If you see it, do not pass go, buy immediately.

Here are the first two songs off that record so you can get a glimpse of the extremes within.  First up, the lovely pop song, “Bury Me Happy” and then the second track, “Tendrils and Paracetamol,” which is kind of a melodic wall of noise, in the best way.

The Moles are slightly schizophrenic but always rewarding.  Kind of like me, right?  Right??!

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The Language of Flowers

15 May

I came across an advance copy of a book called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh recently.  It’s the story of a girl from the foster care system who communicates best through the nearly dead language of flowers.  (Apparently in the Victorian era people expressed themselves through the various meanings of flowers.)  It is so vividly written and the plot is so compelling, that when I cracked it open around 11a this morning, I resented all the moments the rest of the day when I wasn’t reading it.

I read it on the train and hated when my stop came.  I read it while I was doing laundry and hated when I had to fold.  Most importantly, I read it on my way to Whole Foods, where I incidentally tend to buy my flowers.  Today I wouldn’t let myself buy ones that I normally would have chosen:  peonies (anger) and hydrangea (dispassion).  I hadn’t realized I’ve been inviting negativity into my home!

Whole Foods was sold out of my beloved tulips (declaration of love), but I was able to get lilacs (first emotions of love) and ranunculus (you are radiant with charms).

I finished the book.  Of course I am annoyed that I didn’t make it last longer.  I can’t stop thinking about this secret language.  Imagine, we have all been miscommunicating on a whole other level and haven’t even realized it.

In my head, all the while, I’ve been hearing Public Image Ltd.’s “Flowers of Romance.”  I’ve always loved this percussion-heavy era of PiL and now the song’s tale of utter lack of communication makes me think maybe they were commenting on the whole subtext of flower talk.

The Language of Flowers is being released in August and I suggest that everyone immediately pre-order it right now.

I Believe the Children Are Our Future

14 May

Last night, A Girl Story, a PSA project that I helped work on, won a Gold Pencil at the One Show Interactive Awards.  It was pretty great.  Not just the winning, which of course was great, but the winning specifically for this piece.  We did it on a budget of negative numbers and every single thing by every single person who worked on it (for months!), without exception, was done completely for free.

It was a tiny little website and for it to win alongside huge brands and huge budgets made us all giddy.  The reason I’m writing about it now is to try to hit you all up for money.  I mean, c’mon, a few dollars here and there?  I don’t have many readers, I’m sure, but if each one of them could give a teensy bit….well, that’s a teensy bit more than we had before.

Here’s the dealio.  Nanhi Kali is the organization and their mission is to send Indian “girl children” to school.  Most likely you’re probably reading this here in First World, where you wouldn’t dream of not educating a girl just because she’s a girl.  But please, just think about that for a second.

Our creative concept was to create the World’s First Donation Based Film Series.  Until each segment reached a certain dollar amount in donations, you couldn’t view the next chapter.  The whole film is unlocked now, so you can see it in its entirety here.  But I really hope you will still think of donating.

While you’re hopefully digging out your credit card information, here’s the Margauxville download of the day – The Langley Schools Music Project’s version of “Good Vibrations” – which is exactly what all the Indian girls are sending to you right now.  I just know it.

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Friday the 13th

13 May

I’m one of the most superstitious people out there.  It’s a wonder that I didn’t convince myself that it would be bad luck to post a song about bad luck on Friday the 13th.  The funny thing is, for someone who is so concerned about attracting bad luck, I’m mostly lucky.  I probably just jinxed that.

You know who isn’t lucky, in song at least?  Memphis Minnie, that’s who.  Download “I’m a Bad Luck Woman” and you’ll see what I mean.  Have you ever heard of someone unluckier in love?  Even I don’t hold a candle to her on that front.
But in life, oh boy, what a different story.  She was an amazing woman, a pioneer.  She is one of the only female blues singers and guitarists to ever be considered equal to the bluesmen greats.

She was born in the late 1800s!  Women were supposed to work in the house and the farm.   Instead, she recorded for 4 decades, which is pretty impressive for a woman or a man.  Big Bill Broonzy claimed she was one of the best blues guitarists he ever heard.

I’ve already posted people who were from litters of children or who were child prodigies.  Memphis Minnie was also both of those things.  But I’m pretty sure that she’s the first Margauxville artist who ran away and joined the circus when she was 14 in order to perform.

She’s so cool she almost makes today like a Friday the 14th.

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Sky Blue

12 May

Last weekend, unmanipulated Blue Skies

Jessica Lea Mayfield is one of those musical prodigies that make me scratch my head.  She started performing at 8 years old and by the time she was 15 she had recorded an album in her brother’s bedroom.  They printed up 100 copies and one of those somehow got to Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.

You can guess the rest; he ended up producing her next record.  Now she’s up to her second (or third if you count the one she did on her own) album.

Here’s a song from this latest release, “Blue Skies Again.”

Oh, by the way, she’s only 21 now.  Maybe youth isn’t wasted on the young.

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