Sunday, October 31, 2010

Charity Suffereth Long and is Kind

I am taking a break from Halloween songs today. Please check out Halloween Playlist below for 31 alternative party songs.

My friend's sister has been out and about amazing people again. Tuesday, Martha Stewart was tweeting about her at TEDMED.

She also made it to the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta's blog:

and CNN earlier this year:

Charity has idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, swelling her heart to a dangerous size, which has caused her incredible problems, endangered her health and life, and her singing career only exacerbated the issue. She eventually had an emergency double-lung transplant and was in a coma for a month as her body healed and adjusted to the new lungs. Miraculously, her vocal cords were still in tact and she is back to performing.

I met Charity a few years ago in D.C. when she was still sick, and it is so wonderful that she is back to singing again. I'm sure you will agree she is supremely talented.
Here are a few links to her performances.
Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick in her first public performance post-transplant:

and a rehearsal :

Saturday, October 30, 2010

halloween playlist round-up

Halloween Wrap up :

Here is final handful of a few more of my favorite Halloween songs:


"Vampires" - Adam Ant

"Dig Up Her Bones" - The Misfits (back when Glenn Danzig was HOT)

"The Living Dead" - Suede (ah, I LOVE Brett Anderson)

"Bones in the Ground" - Robyn Hitchcock

"You're a Zombie, I'm a Vampire" - Beatastic (not great sound on the video, but a cool song)

Friday, October 29, 2010

halloween playlist

I decided to post the playlist before Halloween so in case you are having an earlier party you can borrow from my list.

Happy Halloween. *j


31 songs October 2010


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


If there is any one "character" of Halloween that is in the slightest bit deserving of being the "face" of Halloween, I would have to say it is the ghost. Both the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian All Saints Day, upon which Hallowe'en is based are both primarily founded upon the belief that there is a time set aside when the spirit world is allowed to pass with ease through our temporal world. I know there are people who hunt for ghosts, and claim to have seen ghosts, and quite frankly I am not at all interested in sharing their experience. That stuff creeps me out.

I just discovered this band, The National, who has been around for a decade without my knowledge, like two days ago, and found out I missed seeing them play in my city by 3 weeks. What a ghastly feeling.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Anyone's Ghost" - The National


HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Little Ghost" - The White Stripes



Last month I read a fabulous piece of historical fiction, The Heretics Daughter, by Kathleen Kent. It is based on Kent's ancestor, a woman and her daughter accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. I learned quite a bit more about the factors leading up to the hysteria. From what I gleaned from the story it seemed to be a frenzy created by a bunch of conniving teenage girls making outrageous accusations for attention. One of my favorite lines showing the senselessness of it all was from an old woman in the jail cell. Dozens of people were crammed in a rotten cell, and she proclaimed something to the effect of 'If we were all really witches we would have blown the roof off this place a long time ago'. I was constantly amazed by the superstitious blindness of the community. They were spellbound by the notion of witchcraft and reacting rashly, captivated by their own fears and insecurities (compounded by problems with the natives whose land they had taken and poor harvests) leading them to irrational acts. The inability to have power over their true enemies or nature lead them to take out their anger and fear upon those immediately around them causing them equal frustration. Obviously no one was thinking straight, but it didn't keep them from killing their neighbors. Oh, the wicked things people do.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "The Witch" - Rosetta Stone (cover of The Rattles)
HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Spellbound"- Siouxsie and the Banshees

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


All I can say is wow. 2000+ hits on my measley little blog in 3 1/2 months. That's astounding.
Thanks everyone for stopping by and feel free to comment on what you like or would like to see.

Vielen Dank, bardzo dziękuję, tak, gracias, merci, dank u wel, cheers!


Monday, October 25, 2010

scary little monsters

Throwing a Halloween party for Yaz and his little monster friends today. Gotta run...
HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Frankenstein" - New York Dolls

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" - David Bowie (feat. Frank Black)

graveyard stomp

Once upon a time I lived in Warsaw, Poland. I lived there for nearly a year, and due to my job at the time I wandered the streets like a vagabond, and had lots of free time on my hands to investigate interesting sites around town. If you ever have a chance, you should go to Warsaw. There is an amazing amount of history there. When I moved there it had only been a handful of years since the fall of communism, and not everything was as lovely and cheery and modern as it is now.

Because of its history, Poland in general, and Warsaw in particular has a lot of cemeteries. They were one of my favorite places to visit while I was in Warsaw. In contrast to the brutality of what occurred with the Nazis, the cemeteries were gorgeous and peaceful, and very unlike many of the WWII memorials that were just overwhelmingly emotionally draining.

My two favorites were both in the Wola District of Warsaw. There is a Christian Cemetery (Cmentarz Powązkowski- photos by me below) and a Jewish Cemetery (Cmentarz Zydowski- photos by me above) from the early 1800s which is still interring people as they pass away.

Today's songs are about graveyards but I also want to put out a quick memorial for one of the artists featured, as she has an unfortunate story which lead her to an early grave. Mia Zapata, vocalist for The Gits, was an amazing leader in the riot grrrl movement for us PNW girls. Then one night in 1993 as she was coming home from a club she was raped and murdered. It sent shock-waves through the grunge world, and most girls I knew.
There was a tremendous outpouring of awareness and concern in response to the tragedy. The song featured here was actually released posthumously in 1996 on the album Kings and Queens. RIP Mia Zapata, riot grrrl queen.

(Blogger isn't letting me link properly still, so there will be an invisible link right next to each song, just run your cursor over it and click)

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Graveyard Blues" - The Gits (remake of Bessie Smith/ can't find a link, but it is available on Napster & on sidebar)

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Graveyard" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

HALLOWEEN SONG 3: "Cemetry Gates" - The Smiths

Sunday, October 24, 2010

midnight music

Yet another great composer had a birthday this month, and in the Halloween spirit died a tragic death.

Georges Alexandre-Cesar-Leopold Bizet (best known for Carmen) was just starting to grow in his career as a classical composer when he got into a swimming match, caught a nasty cold, burst a lymph node and died on his 6th wedding anniversary at the age of 36.

Here is a little Nachtmusik from Bizet.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: Nocturne in D Major - Georges Bizet

(though it would be spookier in D minor)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

personality crisis - get it while its hot

One of the fun things about Halloween is the ability to transform into something beyond your normal self. I worked in costuming for about 5 years, and during Halloween, the shop where I worked became more useful than a psychiatrist’s office in determining the underlying issues people have. While most women wanted to be a “sexy” something or other (usually inappropriately and unsuccessfully), and guys wanted to be either a violent character or a pimp, on occasion there were people who would surprise you with an actual persona that they wanted to try out. They were methodical in their creation of their fantasy self and even more interesting was meeting up with them again upon returning the costume, as they always had a story to tell and often lingered to buy something character related as a keepsake, incorporating a little bit of their fantasy life into their reality, peeling back a bit of the mask.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1:“Mask” – Bauhaus

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: “Faces in Disguise” – Sunny Day Real Estate

Friday, October 22, 2010


There is a certain cosmic cruelty to be found in that fact that today is the first day in a week that my PC is working properly, (after using up all my remaining euro-dollars for the month, and 3 hours on the phone with Shradda from DELL) and BLOGGER is not working properly.

Mr. IMo? headed out on a train then a plane early this morning to yet another of his conferences where they try to torture each other through boredom, fondly known as “death by powerpoint”.

We both seem to be strung up on our own techno-version of the rack.

“Do you really want to hurt me?” – Culture Club
“Tyrant” – The Bravery
“Until Death” - Front 242

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

teenage demon

I am über -excited about going to see Foxy Shazam (again!) tonight. Being as perfect as they are, the boys even have two excellent Halloween related songs for me to feature.

I am just giddy about seeing Sky and Eric again.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: " Teenage Demon Baby" - Foxy Shazam

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Evil Thoughts" - Foxy Shazam

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

all you people are vampires

Willem Dafoe as Nosferatu in

Shadow of the Vampire

 Some yummy vampire songs.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong But..."- Arctic Monkeys

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Love Song for a Vampire" - Annie Lennox (this is a great Annie Lennox video)

Sherlocks Daughter Review - Paper Dragon Ink

I really like this new Australian band. If you like Sigur Ros, you should check them out.

Here is the link for my review:

Paper Dragon Ink - Pygmallion Fest: ReVoLt ReVoLt / Built to Spill

Paper Dragon Ink has undergone a face-lift and is back on-line.

Here is my review of Pygmallion Fest: ReVoLt ReVoLt & Built to Spill

Monday, October 18, 2010

dante's inferno

Aenaes and the Sybil in Hades by Jan The Elder Brueghel

I am going to spend today circling that deliciously evil layer of hell which is reserved for us dummies who can't solve our own computer problems and must dial in to the dreaded call-center to have someone else remotely and smugly help with all of my issues. Honestly, call-people, if I knew what I was doing I wouldn't have to call you, but then you'd be out of a job, so please don't mock me when I don't know the techno-geek speak for whatever in hell is wrong with my computer.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Hellbound" - The Breeders
HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Burning Hell" - R.E.M..

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Gypsy Baron

Following this month's Sunday theme of celebrating famous classical composers birthdays.

Johann Strauss is a little chipper for me, but I do like this operetta "Der Zigeunerbaron", which trnslates as "The Gypsy Baron". Here is a quickie Wikipedia Overview:
Overview: This is the colourful story of the marriage of a landowner (returned from exile) and a gypsy girl who is revealed as the daughter of a Turkish Pasha, and the rightful owner of a hidden treasure. It involves a fortune-telling Romany Queen, an absurdly self-important Mayor, a rascally Commissioner, a Military Governor, a band of Gypsies and a troop of Hussars.

I like the craziness of the storyline.

HALLOWEEN SONG OF THE DAY: "Der Zigeunerbaron" - operetta, by Johann Strauss II

Abraham van Helsing

Edward Van Sloan - Dracula 1931

As you may have noticed, I have a thing for the classics.

Yesterday’s bit on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” with Ichabod Crane & the Headless Horseman and the earlier bit on Bela Lugosi lead me to think about some of the other fantastic “gothic” fiction that has been co-opted by Halloween. Bram Stocker’s “Dracula” is a prime case in point, though there are others I will get to later in the week.
I’d wax on about Dracula, but I am short on time and still don’t have a reliable PC or internet access, so I will have to head off to my little parking lot down the street and feed off the WIFI, to share this with you. So, that’s enough of my rambling for the day. Here are some “Dracula” related tunes.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Ichabod Crane, Respectfully Dedicated to Washington Irving. William J. Wilgus
As a kid, one of the main Halloween sries that made a real impression was the story of the superstitious, self-absorbed Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Living in the middle of sunny California, the hills and woods and creepy oldness of the legend was fascinating. My mother was a transplant from the East Coast and it seemed like a story that linked to her own history, so it seemed more personal than something irrational like zombies or man-made monsters. As we would Trick or Treat, it was always the houses with pumpkin-headed scarecrows that would send shivers down my spine.

So in honor of the legend, I dedicate the Halloween songs of the day to the Headless Horseman.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

bela lugosi

Our cousin and her husband love to watch scary movies every night for the month of October until Halloween. I don't like the gore associated with most "scary" movies, but I do like the older The classics like "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi is more my style than the "Friday the 13th" series.

I love Bela Lugosi; his face and Hungarian accent lend themselves perfectly to the myth and mystery of vamipres. And the best part is that he doesn't sparkle like Tinkerbell.

I also thought I would share this cool Hungarian band I like, Hangmás, that has a response to Bauhaus.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Dracula" - Gorillaz

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Bela Lugosi is Dead" - Bauhaus (this is a beautiful copy off of vinyl)

HALLOWEEN SONG 3: "Bela Lugosi is NOT Dead" - Hangmás

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So what is bigger than "epic"? Possibly eternal, though I hope not. I am still battling the computer goblins on my PC. I think I have cleaned up most of the externally added mess, now just the internal. But it had also chopped the line on my internet so I have no connection. Which is why I am currently paying bills and blogging from the parking lot at the nearby college dorms.

Today will be pretty bare bones.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Bones" - Radiohead

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Bones" - The Killers

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Nope, we are not talking about Phoenix today, we are talking about the REAL Lisztomania, surrounding Franz Liszt. It is his birthday this month, and our featured song is a moody piece believed to have been written for his friend Frédéric Chopin.

Here, for your historical reference is a wikipedia blurb about "Listomania". I can believe it. He was the rockstar of his day, and a hottie (look at those cheekbones).

"After 1842 "Lisztomania" swept across Europe. The reception Liszt enjoyed as a result can only be described as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. Helping fuel this atmosphere was the artist's mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt's playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy."

SONG OF THE DAY: "Funérailles" - is the 7th piece in the collection of piano pieces by Franz Liszt entitled Harmonies poétiques et religieuses
(link for song -

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Aliens? We are the Aliens

Today feels like a good day for aliens. Probably because I pulled out our anonymous black duffle bag that I added an alien patch to about 10 years ago because I hated not being able to identify my boring black bag going around in circles at the
airport. I have never seen another in all my travels, so I can always find that bag.

So today, feel free to embrace your love or fear or indifference to alien life forms, UFOs, spacetravel wishes, and all things extra-terrestrial, and have a freaky day.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Aliens? We are the Aliens" - Captain Sensible (of the Damned)
(I can't find any links, but I know it's on Napster)

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Music to Watch Space Girls By" - Leonard Nemoy

Friday, October 8, 2010

evil town

Sorry I missed yesterday. I was dragged away from an epic battle with my PC, which was attacked by nasty pack of computer goblins and carried away to the land of The Mothman.

My husband has taken a break from his International Man of Mystery lifestyle and is playing Bear Grylls in the woods. I spent the day playing roadie and tackled some of the most heinously treacherous roads in America.

Nevertheless, at this moment I am writing from a smokey, dirty pit of a motel in West Virginia. I hate motels. They scare me. Something about them always makes me feel like someone is going to break in and I will die a violent, bloody death.

So today's songs are inspired by my weird paranoia, and the frenzy of The Mothman.

HALLOWEEN SONG 1: "Evil Town" - The Vines

HALLOWEEN SONG 2: "Everyone Says I'm Paranoid" - Apartment (currently one of my favorite songs)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Werewolves are Here

Chicago band, The Doleful Lions, put out a project that is worth picking up if you are into Halloween or B-movies. Song Cyclopses is a two volume B-movie soundtrack without a movie, but gives homage to many B-movies, some of which you may recognize by reference. Songs include "Spacecraft Marooned in Gorillaworld", "Contact Beyond the Mirror Room", "The Red Top Lounge Flesh-eaters", "A Cyclopean (interlude)", "Astro Zombies", & "Eskimo Wizards". None of it sounds nearly as bizarre as the titles may suggest, but I love that contrast between weird lyrics and fairly tame music (like The Beautiful South). About half of The Doleful Lions songs sound like the Silversun Pickups, just with a little less fervor. (If you check out their myspace page, I just discovered that they do a cover of "Girlfriend in a Coma" that I can add to my Smiths covers list.)

I decided to throw in a 3rd song today since I don't have many werewolf songs, and The Mighty Atomics song was just released in 2010 so it has yet to grace one of my previous Halloween lists. Plus its surfer/ rockabilly sound just went well with the Rockin' Barracudas.

(My apologies that none of today's songs are easy to find or in my "playlist")

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ghost town

Yeah, so I know last month was cover month, but think of it more as a two-for-one deal.

"Ghost Town" - The Specials

"Ghost Town" - The Prodigy

Monday, October 4, 2010

maybe it was a witch's hex

I woke up at 2 a.m. with a migraine. It didn't go away until 11a.m. Migraines are a terrible curse. Maybe it was a witch's hex.

"Macbeth and Banquo Meeting the Witches on the Heath" 1855, by Théodore Chassériau

SONG 1: "Wonderful Witches" - Thurston Moore

SONG 2: "Love the Witch" - Camper van Beethoven

Sunday, October 3, 2010

happy birthday Giuseppe Verdi

This week being Verdi's birthday I thought we'd celebrate by chosing an opera, but since we are celebrating Halloween too it, needed to be tragic.

When I was 16 years old, I went to see my first opera, La Traviata by Guiseppe Verdi. I was horribly under-dressed. I sat in the very back, in the cheap seats, but in a middle row chair and got to see the wide stage view of the performance.

The story line is based on famed French writer Alexander Dumas' play La dame aux Camélias. It is the story of a fallen woman, a courtesan Violetta, the object of affection of a young nobleman and a Baron. She falls in love with the young nobleman, Alfredo, and abandons her professional life for the peace in the country with her lover.

Of, course the tranquility doesn't last long. Alfredo's father comes to Violetta and begs her to end the relationship with his son in order to save the engagement of his chaste and noble daughter. Violetta agrees and writes Alfredo to end their affair. Later they have a very public and very nasty encounter, with neither revealing the whole truth. The scene ends with Violetta fainting on the floor, Alfredo having a bit of a tantrum, and an eventual duel between Alfredo and the Baron.

Violetta had been ill earlier, with her tuberculosis now worsening after the breakup,leaving her bed-ridden. Alfredo's father writes to let her know that the Baron was only slightly injured and at this point also tells Alfredo of Violetta's sacrifice for his sister. Alfredo goes to visit Violetta but she is deathly ill. The lovers are shortly reunited, Alfredo's father comes to express his sorrow at his interference, but it is too late, and Violetta dies in
Alfredo's arms.

It is a terribly tragic opera, and completely beautiful; a very noble excuse for a good cry.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Follie! Follie!" - composed by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón (playing on PLAYLIST)