Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Playlist

" 'August': Les Tres Riches Heures"- Du Duc de Berry
The xx – “Crystalised”

Gogol Bordello – “Immigrant Punk”

The Ataris- “Boys of summer”

Shudder to Think- “Red House”          

Built to Spill- “Car”

The Big Pink- “Dominos”
Black Happy- “Home”

Minor Threat-“I don’t wanna hear it”

Bjork- “Army of Me”

Brian Setzer Orchestra – “James Bond Theme (Spies in the Night)”

The Fratellis- “Henrietta”

The Cute Lepers – “Terminal Boredom”

The Killers- “Mr. Brightside”

The Pixies-“Bird Song of Olympus Mons”

Throwing Muses- “Him Dancing”

The Knife- “Handyman”

The Reconteurs- “Many Shade of Black”

Social Distortion- “Story of my Life”

          back to school set

Ghost of Tom Joad - “Back to School”

Green Day – “Library”

Operation Ivy- “Knowledge”

Kaiser Chiefs- “Never Miss a Beat”

Echo and the Bunnymen- “Read it in Books”

The Ramones – “Rock’n’Roll High School”

White Stripes- “Sister do You Know my Name”

Super Furry Animals- “Teacher”

XTC- “Playground”

Nirvana- “School”

            Depeche Mode Covers

Smashing Pumpkins- “Never Let me Down”

The Cure- “World in my Eyes”

Dishwalla- “Policy of Truth”

Veruca Salt- “Somebody”

Meat Beat Manifesto- “Everything Counts”


Pajama Game Soundtrack- “7 and a ½ cents” (performed by Doris Day and Company)

Anchors Away Soundtrack –“We Hate to Leave” (performed by Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra)

Astrud Gilberto & Stan Getz- “Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)”

the big pink

I just discovered The Big Pink yesterday while looking for a few new things to explore and share, and although I love Jools Holland as a source, I somehow missed them before now on his show. I saw a few comments that they are opening for Muse, which will help sway a few more fans their way. I think they are one of my new favorites and a new inspiration for great girl drummers.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Dominos"- The Big Pink

"Velvet" is also stellar with a different sound.

Monday, August 30, 2010

birthday kids

Today is my sister's & Mr. IMo?'s brother's birthday so I thought I would do a double birthday salute to them today.

For HIM: "Birthday Boy" - Pet Shop Boys

For HER: "¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe!" - The Killers

Sunday, August 29, 2010

astrud gilberto

Mostly known for her version of "Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema)", Astrud Gilberto is a legendary Brazilian Bossa Nova singer. Since Mr. IMo? is practicing his Portuguese this week, this song is for him. Thanks Maciej for the idea.

"Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)" - Astrud Gilberto & Stan Getz

Saturday, August 28, 2010

built to spill

Here is my latest review. I was supposed to go see Built to Spill tonight but I sprained my knee biking, and now I can barely make it around the house. I am really disappointed, but I hope to be able to see them a little later at Pygmallion Fest.

"Car" - Built to Spill

Friday, August 27, 2010

shudder to think

Dischord Records was set up by Ian MacKaye of Fugazi & Minor Threat, as a DIY label that did not pander to the corporate machine of the recording industry and has been an inspiration for generations now of punk kids doing their own independent albums and labels. There is so much to say about Ian MacKaye, Minor Threat and Fugazi, that I will save it for another day, since he's not really my focus.

However, it leads me to one of the bands on his Discord label, Shudder to Think. I have a lot of deeply personal memories attached to this band, both good and bad, so I never know how I am going to feel when I pull it off the rack. I have never seen any videos so I thought a good way to create some new memories around the band was to add some new images.

My three favorite things about Shudder to Think are #1: Craig Wedren's voice & #2: the poetic lyrics; not many bands have the imagination and creativity to match & #3: each song has it's own musical influences that complement the unwavering punk foundation.

Other songs to check out: "Funeral at the Movies", "Abysmal Yellow Popcorn Wall", "Animal Wild", "Day Ditty", "Chocolate".

Shudder to Think is one of only two bands ever to leave Dischord for a major label, but I don't think it ended up helping them out any because they never got any bigger and broke up anyhow. Let that be a lesson.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Red House" - Shudder to Think

Thursday, August 26, 2010

various artists for the masses

On my way out the door yesterday I realized I got to drive the car with the working CD player, so I went to the shelf to grab a handful of CDs. I didn't have time to think so I just plucked out a bright orange case that caught my eye.

"Various Artists for the Masses" is a Tribute album to Depeche Mode with some great covers. These are my top 5 picks from the album with links to videos and streaming.


"Never Let Me Down Again" - The Smashing Pumpkins
"World in My Eyes" - The Cure
"Policy of Truth" - Dishwalla
"Somebody" - Veruca Salt
"Everything Counts" - Meat Beat Manifesto

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

inmates stand here

After my whirlwind trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza, I came home, downloaded my camera and Mr. IMo? took off with it the next morning. When I checked my files, the pics and videos were no where to be found. Yesterday I finally downloaded his pictures from Honduras and found where my Lolla stuff was hiding.

So today I can share a few more pictures. Unfortunately, I was too close to the speakers at all the shows and the feedback makes the videos unbareable.

One of the things I was most looking forward to about this year's Lollapalooza was seeing Social Distortion. Some how in all my years of concert going, and all their years of touring I had never seen them before. While we were there Mike Ness also announced a new album coming out this fall, which I am looking forward to.

I have been in love with Social Distortion this year. I have listened to them off and on for 20 years (which makes both Mike and me sound horribly old), but for some reason it has really seemed to have more to say to me now. Back over the summer when I was in line to meet Danzig, I had some young punk kids behind me and one of them was saying how much he thought Social Distortion sucked. I told him to be patient. Social D is not a teen angst band, but a school of hard knocks band, one that you start to get closer to the more you live and experience, and get beat up by the world and fight back. By the looks of it, those kids were well on their way to becoming Social D fans.

There is something to be said for seeing the newest up and coming bands, but there is a fluidity that long-time musicians have that makes for some of the best shows. They have had enough time to work out all the kinks, have enough roadies on hands to make sure all the technicalities are smoothed out ahead of time, and if they are smart, have figured out which songs fans want to hear. Social D has mastered that. It helps that they have tons of great songs in their catalog to chose from, but every song was flawless and all they played all my favorites.

Mike Ness is looking less hot and more like my grandpa these days, but he is one of the Godfathers of rock and roll, so he has earned it.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Story of My Life" - Social Distortion

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

many shades of white

Oh Jack White, you can do so many, many things. As if it weren't enough to have The White Stripes under your belt, you went off to work in another direction with The Reconteurs, and it is just as incredible in a completely different way. Everything you touch is golden, or rather red, white and black.

"Many Shades of Black" - The Reconteurs

Monday, August 23, 2010

how can you not love a face like this?

A friend of mine posted The Knife's "Heartbeats" on facebook, and I was happy to see the video, but somewhat ashamed that it's the only song I know from them. So, I decided to do a little more searching and listening to redeem myself.

The Swedish brother & sister duo have a funky sound and their videos are just plain crazy. How can you not trust your musical path to artists wearing Carnival masks?

After a week of smelly dudes in work boots traipsing through my house trying to repair a busted air conditioner and the aftermath of it freezing over, thawing then leaking all into the carpets, I felt like a song about a handyman seemed appropriate for today.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Handyman" - The Knife

Sunday, August 22, 2010

anchors aweigh

Today I am hanging out watching a bit of Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in Anchors Aweigh. Gene Kelly and his dimples are so darn beguiling, I can't help giggling.

SONG OF THE DAY: "We Hate to Leave" - Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (ANCHORS AWEIGH)

Friday, August 20, 2010

the real ramona

Throwing Muses were a band that I found out about like 3 days before their show when I was in high school, and missed it because I didn't know what I was looking for. I still remember sitting on the floor in the hallway against the lockers having my friends relive the show I missed. There are few disappointments like missing a concert you will never be able to see again.

I'm not entirely sure why I was singing this to myself today, but that's how it goes sometimes.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Him Dancing" - Throwing Muses

Thursday, August 19, 2010

related reading

Today I am finishing up Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I know it doesn't exactly count as deep reading but when I heard it was a children's book about mythology I couldn't resist. I want to read it with Katydid, but needed to make sure nothing was too scary for her very vivid imagination.

Rick Riordan's tale of Percy Jackson does a great job introducing myths and legends to readers, in the same way the Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl books do, mixing modern life and ancient stories.

I am sure there are plenty of songs out there about Classical Mythology, but this is the one that popped into my head.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons" - The Pixies

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

off the hip

On my way out the school today I was passing by the security guard and he had his phone on. Tuned in to Pandora from what he said, as I commented on The Killers blaring from his hip. Now I can't get them out of my head.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Mr. Brightside"- The Killers

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

terminal boredom

While pondering which of the more recent 2010 album releases to review for the month, I stumbled upon The Cute Lepers new release Smart Accessories. The Cute Lepers are a break-off from Seattle based The Briefs both of which take their cues heavily from early Brit punk, like Generation X, The Sex Pistols, and the Ramones, the Clash, etc. I like they way they take a classic sound,riff on it and make it their own.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Terminal Boredom" - The Cute Lepers

also check out "I think my baby is a communist" by The Briefs

Monday, August 16, 2010

wah wah wah wah-ow

Feeling sluggish and I have an appointment this morning that I don't want to go to. Here's some Monday morning wake up music.

For some reason this song reminds me of the posters of Sarah Bernhardt. She seems to embody the type of woman who isn't content to be in a life-less life and while she may play the role society expects of her, you can see she is open to being tempted away.
Sarah Bernhardt 1876 by Georges Clairin

SONG OF THE DAY: "Henrietta" - The Fratellis

Sunday, August 15, 2010

7 and a half cents

Now that the countdown is over, I can finally get settled in, and use my Sunday posting as I planned: classical music, jazz, musicals and all the other stuff I don't listen to all the rest of the time.

Today we start with one of the most infectious soundtracks I have ever heard, The Pajama Game. If you are scared of earworms, beware because these songs are as catchy as a virus. Doris Day was a favorite in my house growing up, and I have seen Pillow Talk more times than than I can count. But, the film version of The Pajama Game with Doris Day has been my Katydid's favorite for years, and she has been watching it since 6:30 this morning. The songs are catchy and the tunes stick with you even when you don't yet know all the words.

The "7 and a half cents" bit is an interesting song for a few reasons. Mr. IMo? has used it as an example countless times for everything from explaining compound interest to the influence of labor unions. Almost every time I think about saving money this song pops into my head. I know it is supposed to be encouraging, but to me it seems so pitiful to work hard, risk losing your job over a labor dispute and and only get a measly vacuum cleaner and television out of the deal, although I could live with the prices.

If you haven't seen The Pajama Game, it is cheesy to be sure, and is rather propagandist. In case you are queasy around unions, 1950's TV wholesomeness and kitsch this may not be the movie for you. However if you are looking to spend a lazy Sunday folding laundry watching a movie, it's worth checking out.

SONG OF THE DAY: "7 and a half cents" - The Pajama Game (Soundtrack)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

my own international man of mystery

MAD magazine SPY s. SPY
My husband: he is closer in looks to the blonde Bond than my favorite incarnation, Sean Connery, and actually he isn't a spy either because that would just be too cool, but he is my own Mr. IMo? trotting the globe doing boring power point presentations in exotic locales. We just play it up to pretend it's glamorous. This week he got to play his favorite game: where in the world is Mr. IMo?. This weekend the game was: if it's Saturday it must be Chicago, Sunday must be Texas, Monday it must be Tegucigalpa (that's in Honduras). After a week hanging out in the Central American capital, speaking funky Honduran Spanish and eating at the local Popeye's Chicken across from his hotel, he comes home tonight. I'll be asleep but I'll leave the theme music on.

Brian Setzer has been making music fun ever since he and his Stray Cats strutted. I recently picked up Built for Speed on vinyl for the kids.

In my next life I want to be a full-time rockabilly girl. I love the vintage pin-up look, I love the sound, I love to swing dance and I adore the boys with their pompadours, jeans and white t-shirts that James Dean and Marlon Brando took to the screen.

I really fell in love with the Stray Cats in probably the most humiliating way possible, a 1987 Disney special. It's an old fashioned mash-up of a 50's cartoon and the Stray Cats' "Rock this Town" that we taped on our VCR and watched over and over. I haven't seen it in ages, but thanks to the miracle of youtube, someone else thought it worthy of your time and posted it here(start at 2:05). They also have a funny versions of Toni Basil's "Oh Mickey", Madonna's "Dress You up", and The Countours "Do You Love me". My other favorite is the mashup of the Fantasia cartoon & the Eurythmics song "Must be an angel". Yes it's campy, but the Eurthymics original video is actually the inferior version of the two.

And now in my own evil, mind-controlling way I am playing that Stray Cats album Saturday mornings after breakfast during our wake-up dance parties and introducing my kids to the fun of rockabilly, and the cool cat, Brian Setzer.


SONG OF THE DAY: "James Bond Theme (Spies in the Night)" - Brian Setzer Orchestra

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am usually pretty calm and collected but today I feel possessed by The Furies. I find myself in the midst of my 3rd scheduled phone-conference court date with a pack of lying,conniving losers and it couldn't come at a worse time. There is a 4 hour range of when the judge could call me, it's the first day of full-day school with the kids coming home during that time, all my babysitters have moved away in the past two weeks, and I have a husband that's out of country. My heart is racing and I am angry. So here I am, alone in the world, fighting it out all on my own. I am in need of some confidence building, and fuel for my rage, so we will have 2 songs today, first to burn off my anger so that I can seem serene to the judge, and the second to give me a boost.

SONGS OF THE DAY: "I Don't Wanna Hear It" - Minor Threat (for blowing off steam- ps. this is not a kid friendly track)

& "Army of Me" - Björk (because they messed with me and are going to rue the day)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Black Happy

I mentioned before that I am now reviewing for the online 'zine, Paper Dragon Ink. Here is a link to my review.


back in school again

I know it is absolutely asburd that the kids are begining school before it is even mid-August, but that's the way it goes.

Off the top of my head, with no links today, here are 10 great back to school songs, in no particular order:

* "Back to School" - Ghost of Tom Joad

* "Library" - Green Day

* "Knowledge" - Operation Ivy

* "Never Miss a Beat" - Kaiser Chiefs

* "Read it in Books" - Echo and the Bunnymen

* "Rock'n'Roll High School" - the Ramones

* "Sister, do you know my name"- White Stripes

* "The Teacher" - Super Furry Animals

* "Playground" - XTC

* "School" - Nirvana

And here is a thought for the day:
"Historically, much of the motivation for public schooling has been to stifle variety and institute social control." – Jack Hugh , CATO Instutute


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

last day of summer

Laugh if you want to, but I have always loved this song, though I much prefer The Ataris' version over Don Henley's original. As a little California girl I always had visions of the surfer boys at Santa Cruz when I heard this song. This is my favorite bit though, it is such a great visual:

"out on the road today I saw a Black Flag sticker on a cadillac / a little voice inside my head said don't look back you can never look back"

I'm off to enjoy the last day of summer with the kids.


Song of the day:
"Boys of Summer" - The Ataris

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lolla review: Gogol Bordello

I am about to cry because it is starting to look like I may have lost all of my pictures and videos from Lollapalooza. I can't pull them up from my memory card, and Mr. IMo? has the camera this week. I had some great shots of Gogol Bordello.

I was only slightly familiar with Gogol Bordello before I got to Lollapalooza, but I am now a fan. I don't want to make a habit of getting too much into my own personal politics, but often politics and music are so intertwined there is little distinction, so I will divulge this...I love immigrants.

Mr. IMo?'s dad was born into Nazi occupied Holland, during what is known as the "Hunger Winter", and came over to the States with his family in the early 1950's, and eventually became a naturalized citizen. One of my favorite ancestors is my great-great grandmother who was born to a Swiss-German father and his Chilean housekeeper in Mexico, soon to become California, during the Gold Rush. Pretty much everyone in the US has their own immigrant story, and most of us come from a group which was hated for immigrating.

The history of this land is a history of civil conflict arising each time there is a new wave of immigrants, whether they are the Spanish coming to "discover" North America, the Vikings before them, the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, the Quakers, the Africans brought over as slaves, the Chinese brought over to build railroads, the Mormons and the Mexicans, the Jews, the Germans, the Irish, the Italians, and now back again to the Mexicans and our newest immigrant "enemy" the Muslims. Nobody can seem to get used to the idea that there really is room for everyone in the free market and a democracy (not that we really have either) and the newest wave of immigrants always takes the heat for anything the majority wants to be disgruntled about.

Gogol Bordello with its "Familia Undestructable" platform is the perfect reflection of that history and all the chunks of influence each wave of immigrants has brought to this country in particular, but also globalization in general. The crowd at Gogol Bordello had the most diverse audience I have seen at almost any festival. Their global attitude is reflected in everything from the nationalities of each member of the band, the cross-cultural dress, the range of instruments, musical styles and lyrics. The music is very gypsy based, but crosses the board. I would call it Indo-European with a splash of Latin American and a sprinkle of Asian.

Eugene Hütz declared his "total support of immigrants worldwide" from the stage and the crowd went wild. I found the whole experience amazing, because so many people were connecting to his sound. They were just fabulously international, and I think every one, whether they were Eastern European, Hispanic, Asian, an old hippie or a politically aware punk kid, seemed to see themselves somehow reflected in what Gogol Bordello represents. It didn't hurt that there was effusive love from the stage going out to the crowd.

If I were to best compress them into a comparison I would say musically they are similar to Dropkick Murphys with the political currency of Rage Against the Machine. The best moment I saw was when there was on old-school punk circular pit going and then as the music slowed it turned into a circle with arms across shoulders like a folk dance. It was incredible.

This is an entirely different kind of "world music" and I bet you find something of yourself reflected in it.


Highlight from the show:
"Immigrant Punk" - Gogol Bordello

26 days playlist

“26 reisen” – Einstürzende Neubauten
“In the year 2525”- Zager and Evans
“Twenty-four” – Mudhoney
“23” - Blonde Redhead
“22” - Babes in Toyland
“Twenty One” – The Cranberries
“Twenty Years” – Placebo
“Not Nineteen Forever” – The Courteeners
“18 soldiers” – Pennywise
“Seventeen” – Jet
“16” – Green Day
“15 men” – Aquanettas
“Fourteen” – Beat Happening
“Thirteen” – Danzig
“Twelve” – The Plimsouls
“Eleven” – Primus
“10 X 10” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“Plan 9 [choki galaxy mix]” – 808 State
“Eight Days a Week” – The Runaways
“Seven Nation Army” – White Stripes
“Six” – Sonic Youth
“Five o’Clock World” – Julian Cope
“Four Letter Word” – The Gossip
“Three Days” – Jane’s Addiction
“Between Two Points” – The Glitch Mob feat. Swan
“One Day” - Matisyahu

ABC playlist

Here is the ABC countdown playlist in order....

A-ha-The Sun Always Shines on TV
Built to spill- Car
Casper and the Cookies- Krötenwanderung
Dinosaur Jr. – I Live for That Look
Eyeliner- You’re all wrong
fIREHOSE- Brave Captain
Goldfrapp- Ride a White Horse
Hot Chip- Over and Over
Interpol –Wrecking Ball
Jesus and Mary Chain – Head On
Kinks- Come Dancing
Ladytron- Destroy Everything You Touch
Maximo Park- Signal and Sign
Navvy- Robot
Operation Ivy- Sound System
Plastilina Mosh- Magic Fever
Quarashi – Stick ‘Em Up [clean version]
Rasputina- Barracuda
Tsunami Bomb- Safety Song
Universal Poplab- Bedhead
Vines- Get Free
Wombats- Let’s Dance to Joy Division
X-ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents
Yaz- Situation
Zombies - Summertime

ending the countdown

It has come down to the end. School is starting in 1 day for the kids, Lollapalooza is over, my International Man of Mystery (Mr. IMo?) is on his trip to Tegucigalpa this week, and on a more practical note my air conditioning finally got fixed.

I couldn't have planned it better if I tried, but today's song of the day for the letter Z is perfect. I know the 60's are huge for music, but I think The Zombies are one of the better groups who don't get enough attention. "Time of the Season" was their biggest release in 1969, but they have a lot of great pieces. "Summertime" is the perfect song to round out the end of summer vacation. I have always loved that it is slow and lazy and mulling over the past, which is so opposite most of the over-exuberant summer songs that make you feel like somehow you are missing out on something. A great way to finish out the alphabet.

And to finish our numeric countdown at number one is Matisyahu. I got to see him perform last November and I am so glad I did. He is one of those guys who really knows who he is and has his act together. If my Katydid ever decides to marry a rock star I hope she finds one like Matisyahu. And I hope all my Boise friends are going to see him tomorrow night at the Knitting Factory. I just think he is a genius. He's one of those people I just lose words for when I try to describe how great he is, I just love him.


Today's songs of the day are brought to you...
by the letter Z: "Summertime" - the Zombies
and the number 1: "one day" - Matisyahu

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lolla review: the XX

I first saw the xx on my beloved Jools Holland, and Mr. IMo? in particular liked them a lot. When we saw them come up on Lolla's schedule we figured we would check them out. They had an emotional, minimalist shoe-gazer quality that was interesting because it is so uncommon at the moment.

Coming in the side entrance we came upon the xx and they were blocking traffic. Their fans had overflowed beyond the allotted section and were clogging the pathway. I had heard that they have been a fast rising band but I wasn't prepared for this response.

What I noticed first was that an outdoor mid-day venue was all wrong for them. The xx is more of a hang out in the dark and brood sort of band than a dance around and go crazy in broad daylight as you sweat profusely kind of band. I was doing some interviewing to go with my new slot as a writer for Paper Dragon Ink, and met up with a girl named Brittany. She was an all-American looking blonde from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and had already seen them twice before. She said was of the opinion that the outdoor show was all wrong for them, calling them "lights out music" and she though that although they looked more confident in their performance this time, the feel was all wrong.

Brittany made me wonder why a peppy preppy girl would be so drawn to such a dark and brooding band like the XX. The best answer Mr. IMo? and I could come up with is that they are the closest thing to the Cure to come out in about 15 years and so this generation is finding their own version of gothic-emo bands.

I promised MR. IMo? I would be kind to them in my review, so here is my summation. They are not something new, they are a blurry muffled version of better bands like the Cure or Cocteau Twins, and unless they really step it up this bolt into fame will burn out quickly.

I don't see them as being unique or technically adept enough to last. At this point they aren't quite yet garage band quality, more at a testing out ideas in your bedroom level of playing. But there is something undeniably appealing in Romy Madley Croft's voice that people connect with, and the band seems to be there more as a foil for her ruminations than anything else.
I have never been one who can predict what will be popular with the masses, so who knows, they may prove me wrong.

Best song of the show: "Crystalised"


My littlest rocker, Yaz, gets his nickname from a great New Wave band, Yaz (or Yazoo outside the US). Fans of Depeche Mode may know that Vince Clarke was involved in their early years, and wrote the fabulous track "Just Can't get Enough". He then moved on to form Yaz, putting out just two albums, then moved on to his real claim to fame with Andy Bell as Erasure. My little Yaz is a big New Wave fan like his mommy, and Vince Clarke is a huge part of that.

Todays' other song comes from another act I saw at last year's Lollapalooza, The Glitch Mob. Their performance was the first time I had heard of them, and their infectious sound kept me trapped longer than I had expected. I caught one of the CDs they threw out and liked it a lot when I got home. They do a lot of covers and collaborations so I find they appeal to a larger audience.


Today's songs of the day are brought to you...
by the letter Y: "situation" - Yaz
and the number 2: "between two points" - the Glitch Mob feat. Swan