Monday, October 25, 2010

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 PowÄ…zkowski- 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

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