31 December 2008

Unfinished Biz

::  G E T   R E A D Y   T O    C E L E B R A T E  ::

In the spirit of wrapping up some loose ends before 2008 comes to a close, below is a distilled offering of tunes from earlier posts. Or more correctly, my 'pre-streaming player' posts. I am just smitten that I have finally taken the time to upload these for you to experience as it's been on my to-do list for a while. That said, I have big plans for the blog next year: I will be switching over to WordPress (in the shape of www.heyjoy.com) which will have a 'comments' functionality. As I want to hear your feedback. I mean, we can always agree to disagree, right? Rawght.

2008 was a good year. Better yet, I am already optimistic about the new year. I am adopting the anthem Newman coined: "09 is Mine." I hope it's yours as well.

Sometime Around Midnight
The Airborne Toxic Event
When the clock strikes midnight Weds night, may at least one of your dreams begin to gain momentum.

As always, Cheers + Peace: Joy

from Lovely Libations   |   26 JUNE 2008

Kings of Leon
I saw these guys @ Lollapolooza last year and they did not disappoint. This song just makes my skin crawl (in a good way) when he hits those drawn out screechy notes. Nice.
(programming note: have tix to the Jan 27th show @ the LC.  Nice.)

from Sum, Sum, Summertime!   |   03 JULY 2008

With Arms Outstretched
Rilo Kiley
The song is a dusk song, without question. The first 13 seconds sound like fireflies fluttering about. The way it crescendos with the group singing reminds me of being called home when you don't want the night to end...thinking you could never possibly have a day/night as wonderful as the one you just were blessed with. And if you listen closely, you will notice, yup: hand clapping. ;)

from Smoke + Mirrors?   |   19 JULY 2008

Despite that vacation being over, I have Lollapalooza to look forward to. The two bands below will be there and are very much on my hit parade. These two tunes sum up Orange County for a lot of folks. For me? My jury is still out as it's just too easy to buy into stereotypes(although that typed: There was luncheon @ our hotel one day in which Obama was the guest of honor. It cost folks $55k to attend... that cost is not a type-o. ouch.)

from Show of Hands, please   |   23 JULY 2008

Something to do with My Hands
Her Space Holiday
After hearing this song like 4 times, I kept wondering what they meant by sucking "lama prints".

... then I found the lyrics.

Oh.    Ohhhhhhhhhhh. (snicker, snicker.)    GREAT lyrics.

Handjobs for the Holidays
Broken Social Scene
Wow, another BSS tune on the heels of my earlier post. All the same, great song. And I like the title for its shock value as the lyrics never fully bring the title full circle.
Dave Brubeck Quartet
A must have for anyone's jazz collection. The local So Cal jazz radio station always had this song playing in the background of their Sunday Jazz Brunch promotions so when I hear it now it brings back a warm fuzzy (+salty) feeling of oceanside breakfast(s).

Sugar Cinnamon
Portugal the Man
I was completely hooked w/in the first 5 secs of this tune-I love the driving beat... the alternating pitches in John Gourley's voice... the undulating tempo. This tune is a regular on my iPod for my workouts.

Breakfast with Abductees
Sven Van Hees
This is a fantastic tune to listen to when getting in a Sunday Brunch mind set. Whisking of egg will never seem quite the same. Bloody's anyone?

Au Reviore Simone
A splendid, haunting little ditty. Because we were sans electricity, this tune captures that primitive and adventurous feeling of sneaking about in your neighborhood in the dark.

Spill the Wine
This gem is chosen because I did just that: I spilled the wine. Oliver, our Golden, was cowering behind me while I was standing in Steve/Sarah's yard reviewing their damage and I tripped backwards over him. But have no fear, not much was spilled. Sign of a champ, eh? ;)

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But you know...
that she's watching
She's laughing, she's turning
she's holding her tonic like a crux
The room suddenly spinning
she walks up and asks how you are
so you can smell her perfume
you can see her lying naked in your arms...

You just have to see her (repeat x 5)

- sometime around midnight
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16 December 2008

Cool Yule | Little Joys

With the holidays in full force and the state of the economy, what better time to approach the holidays via a simplistic lens? Although I do need to confess: I am a tad smitten w/myself as I feel incredibly control over this holiday season. And don't begrudge me: those that know me, know the past two years were quite the "humdingers" in personal loss. So there ya have it. And gracefully stepping off soapbox now...

But truly, the holidays are for 'little joys. Not big extravagant ways of giving. But of the more quiet, heartfelt one that express your respect and love. At least that's my approach this year. The image above is from Orange Beautiful (dubbed All Things Paper) and Emily, the proprietor, hand binds these gorgeous books steeped with any sentiments or images you want to add. Her entire line is just deelish and will speak volumes to your recipient about the care and thought you put into the gift.

Being that music is gift that transcends any season, please take a moment to soak these delights in. Sure, I could have gone the expected route of posting tried and true Holiday tunes, but figure so many other blogs are doing so (and doing so very well) that I'd stay true to my theme: the understanding and appreication of small gentle gestures of giving: Little Joys, if ever. Peace. Joy

A Jagged Gorgeous Winter
The Main Drag    (itunes)
How could you not love a song that not only embraces winter, but truly celebrates it?! The lyrics are fantastically benign. Much like when I see a great TV spot and wonder how the concept got pitched (let alone sold) I often wonder how songs are created. I envision the genesis of this song occurring over these bandmates WAY deep in beers on a most dreary of mid-February nights, when one musician challenged another, "This weather sucks. Bet you can't make a great song about that..." Ha! The lil shout at the beginning (@ 0.11secs) sets the infectious energy for the tune. The "drag it out" loop at the end is just a bittersweet zing to the whole concept of winter.

Children of December
The Slip   (itunes)
Another great December tune, that gingerly weaves in and out of the Christmas spirit. I love it mostly because Mister M loves Transformers and this song whismically gives a nod to the mighty "...autobots and the decepticons." For the record, Bumblebee is my fave Transformer.

Cold December
Matt Costa   (itunes)
However if you are a nay-sayer and hate winter, here's a tune for you, Ebenezer (lol!). Great ditty but def about a non-love for the colder months. Love Matt's voice when it shifts octaves here: "If only time could slow down..."

We Can Be Good
Via Audio   (itunes)
Playing off the naughty or nice theme: this is a nice, simple song. One that stays w/me hours after listening to it. Seems like a nice fit for my Little Joy theme here, yes/no? ;)

Be Thankful for what You've Got
Yo La Tengo
Clearly you all know by now that I love YLT. Their breadth of style(s) seem never-ending. I heard this tune and just loved how it bebopped along, as YLT isn't a bebop type of band--at all. Or so I thought. Still not sure, truth be told. The tune is light, the vibe is right, and the message for these times is worthy of repeating every day during your morning rituals. Give thanks, as it is so damn easy to do. No better way to kick off one's day, in my mind (+ heart).

Be Thankful for What You've Got (original)
Here is the original song YLT paid tribute. Equally simple.
William DeVaughn  (itunes)

Some Things come from Nothing
Super Furry Animals   (itunes)
Akin to the tone above, whatever your holiday gift-giving rituals are, consider focussing on the very small, non-material things, like your time, w/your friends and family. If you are reading this, you are def in this demographic of hyper-connected folks. Unplug and enjoy real time, real conversations, real moments and memories w/those you love. I am gonna give it a whirl myself in fact. (updates on my success will be posted on Twitter... jk!)

Linus And Lucy
Vince Guaraldi Trio   (itunes)

O Tannenbaum
Vince Guaraldi Trio  (itunes)

Nothing takes me back to my childhood at Christmas time like seeing/hearing A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just hits SO many emotional chords... Upon reflection, I wonder if listening VG3's soundtrack year after year was an early impetus for my love of jazz. Could be.

Next Time Around
Little Joy   (itunes) 
Pitchfork says it best regarding newcomers Little Joy led by Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti, "Little Joy is not going to stop the world or change your life, but it's one of the sweetest, most listenable, consistently enjoyable records of the season." And man, I got a whole lotta love for these guys.

Brand New Start
Little Joy   (itunes)
Oh so twangy, those geeee-tars. Little Joy is on my hit parade big time. Granted, their namesake drew me in, but their songs made be a believer. If you are over the holidays, give them a listen as these two songs are a killer way to bring in the new year.

Get Your Shit Together for the Holidays
Deleted Scenes   (itunes)
Remember when I said I was going to keep my posts short for the holidays? Aye-yi-yi!

Lastly, if you are now in a wee bit of a frenzy regarding buying opulent gifts vs ones of a more heartfelt nature, just kick back, put on your headphones and listen to this tune: it's a blunt whammy melodically delivered. As come on... it's not like you didn't know December 25th was fast approaching. ;)
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'Cuz we are alone and we are together
(La da da da da)
Weak inside, our own heads
We can be like this for hours
And we can be good, yeah
If we try to be good, if we try
I know that we can be good

- we can be good
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04 December 2008

Cool Yule | Part One

: :   T I S    T H E    S E A S O N   : :
As such, I will be keeping my posts short + sweet, yet marginally season-themed.

I love, love, L to the- O to the- V to the- E, greeting cards. In keeping w/annual tradition, I design and custom-assemble +250 Christmas cards (this year I am breaking out the sewing machine for the bindery... truly very nerdly excited about this!)

However, if purchasing, vs creating, your holiday cards is how you operate, then I have an equally creative option for you: Bald Guy Greetings. Their holiday cards are perfect for all your naughty + nice peeps. Wryly written w/the most wonderfully affable illustrations. The rest of their line is just as clever and snarky (although for a heavy dose of snark, hit Some eCards. Zingers to the hilt.) Bravo! See ya later, Hallmark.

In light of these funky cards, I present an all-star line up of funky tunes. Perfect way to get you in the groove for the weekend and better, the holiday season. Enjoy!

Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) (Mark Ronson Remix)
Bob Dylan

Mr. Quibble

Soul Thing
Tony Newman

Supreme Beings of Leisure

Slap That Bass (Miguel Migs Remix)
Ella Fitzgerald

Discotheque Dancing
Chris Joss

Ivan Boogaloo Jones

Squeeze Me (A Skillz Remix)
Kraak + Smaak

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You say you love me
And you're thinkin' of me,
But you know you could be wrong.
You say you told me
That you wanna hold me,
But you know you're not that strong.
I just can't do what I done before,
I just can't beg you any more.
I'm gonna let you pass
And I'll go last.
Then time will tell just who fell
And who's been left behind,
When you go your way and I go mine.

-most likely you go your way (and i'll go mine)

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programming note: having problems w/the 'comments' capability not displaying. please continue to email me your comments meanwhile... many thanks!  joy

20 November 2008

Heavy Metal

T A G L I N E :
Hot like your Mom, Tough like your Dad.

They had me at Hello.

Ryan Wither + Paul Lewin are the creative brainstrust behind Tivi, the intercourse between industrial materials and intelligent designs. I fell in LUV with this zebrawood cuff and shared the find w/Newman. She loved it too. Always a coveted endorsement. Congrats, Guys, you nailed it.
I love cuffs. I have a ton of them (always right wrist). Something empowering about donning a 1-3 inch accoutrement. My awareness to jewelry (more like adornment) was an output of attending an Art History course at Wittenberg University . Dr. Ann Terry's class had a notorious reputation: a million slides in a very dark room commandeered by the slightest of professors (in physicality) but one of ginormous intelligence, specifically on matters pertaining to early Christian and Byzantine art.
sfx: Click. Click. Click. vo: And on this next slide you will see... me: Serenity Now, Jerry!

Admittedly, I struggled to stay awake through the Byzantine period but something magical happened when Dr. Terry began the lectures re:The Egyptian era. Her enthusiasm and energy level detailing how the Egyptian women chose to adorn themselves, and how their behavior could be deep rooted in current day female DNA, fascinated me. Fashionistas of the Nile. Love it.

Well-known by font aficionados: Lorem Ipsum Cuf by Veer. Simply Brilliant. Simply Veer.

For those 35mm-minded folks, check out re:visions Focus Cuff w/Ridges. An over the top stylish way to recycle anodised aluminium and rubber.

Lastly, if inches of metal isn't how you roll, no worries. Perhaps a more kinder/gentler hardware adornment will be of your liking. Check out these handmade belt buckles by fellow Witt Alum and Evanston designer, Ginny Meenan. I love the materials and patterns she chose juxtaposed to the metal buckle encasement. They are kinda like an Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston mix (read: naughty + nice). Ha! Take my word and go see what all the fuss is about.

And now, the tunes. I am really excited to present this metal-minded playlist as it captures an essence. Kinda like getting ready for a night out. You be the judge.

(reminder: round button = play)

by Elastica (itunes)
I recall first hearing this song and thinking it was unlike any song I heard for the time (circa 1995). It grinds. It wails and has withstood the test of time. Girl Power.

by Sinéad O'Connor (itunes)
Remember when MTV actually played videos? I do too. And loved Sinead's rebel approach pushing her music mainstream w/o selling out. Luck of the Irish? No way. Pure talent.

Volcano Girls
by Veruca Salt (itunes)
So... how about this rockin tune?! College radio really REALLY had an impression on me. Wittenberg's campus station WUSO 89.1 was my lifeline and then when I moved to Columbus, CD101 fit the bill. This gem from 1997 was an enormous hit on both airwaves. Bonus points if you know the origin of this band's name. Tweet me @HeyJoy.

Miss World
by Hole (itunes)
Kinda like how I like Kid Rock, I like Courtney Love. Yes, she's messed up, which is incredibly sad. But as far as this song goes, I love the riffs. Guilty as charged.

Paint A Vulgar Picture
by The Smiths
I wonder if Morrissey and Courtney Love know one another. Hmmm, quite toxic, I imagine. Regardless, Johnny Marr is the powerhouse behind The Smiths. I def 'hart' him. Clever, eh? ;)

by The Breeders
Ah, Rock Band. I am a wee bit addicted. Amazing it took this long for this type of roll-playing outlet to go mainstream. My comrades at CPV are more than forgiving of my enthusiasm. Rock Band Happy Hour at the agency is my fave. This song is on my wish list. My band: Rocco on drums, Ann on Bass, Jen on Electric, me on vocals (and tambourine!), and Kevin our manager. Outta our way, Kim Deal.

La La Love You
by Pixies (itunes)
One really can't blog about The Breeders w/o segueing into Pixies, or vice versa. This is such a great rock anthem and the hints of Dick Dale-esque surfer music pulls me in even more.

by Imani Coppola (itunes)
So here's a modern day counterpart to the songstress' above...but w/a whole lot more anger, yes/no? The lyrics of this song are so bitter-perfect mates for the chords.

"Where'd you learn how to walk?
Must've been in the dead of winter in New York City
Only some honey who's got no money can look so pretty
Only somebody whose got no heat can act so sweet..."

Haven't we all seen this character in a large city somewhere in our travels and wondered what their story was? Or, is it just me? Sigh... forever the voyeur.

So if those tunes didn't meet your expectations of "Heavy Metal". Sorry: my blog, my rules. But hopefully you will hear their merit and do most def rock, if only in Joy's World.

These next two are balls-to-the-walls rockers by all standards. The type that make you turn your volume WAY up and just lose yourself and your inner rock star badness. Enjoy!

Club Foot
by Kasabian (itunes)

Guerilla Radio
by Rage Against the Machine (itunes)

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All i'm saying pretty baby
la la love you don't mean maybe
all i'm saying pretty baby

- la la love you
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03 November 2008

Rock Your Vote

Ah, finally, back to some sweet, inspiration design. And fittingly, design regarding the Election. What a time for visual communicators! Graphic design/advertising, social networking and mobile media has come to the forefront to an audience previously oblivious to such channels. I am tired of this election-as a marketer- but am giddy over the progress made in these communication arenas. 
Check out Power to the Poster. They get it: great design breaks through the clutter. And when your message is passion-driven, the work is even stronger. And when you offer it for free to the masses-arguably, it is the strongest. 

Short + Sweet: Election Day is here. I don't discriminate. I respect how you sort out your own affairs. Below are a few delights to help you along your way. And if for some reason you are still undecided at the 11th hour, go to Glassbooth.org. Both Guy (@guykawasaki) and myself (@HeyJoy) posted Tweets regarding this site which promotes voting guidance based on your unique beliefs.

Strange Days
by Thievery Corporation
Killer Doors/Jim Morrison remix! Def captures the sentiments of many U.S citizens.
by Snowden
Many a folk just want to put their heads down and not engage in this election. They state it's just too much. Well it IS too much because so much is riding on it. So, don't be that naysayer...the one who says, "Why should I vote?" Please, you ought to know better by now.

Jerk it Out
So despite this being your inclination... do something other than, well.... (snicker snicker)

Do The Panic
by Phantom Wave
But unlike this funky punky song, don't panic. You/we have options.
However, please note: this is not one of your options. 

by New Order
Get out and vote so you don't have a sense of malais when the results come it late Tuesday, or Weds... or next week, the next 4 years.

It Will Find You
by Maps
Because if you have remorse for not voting, or casting an ill-informed ballot, it will haunt you. The media is going to regurgitate every facet of the election results to ad nauseum, so be ready to wallow in your misery or flaunt your victory.

Pass The Hatchet
by Roger & The Gypsies
Get your groove on and get your ass out to the polls. For those that voted early, kudos. Me, I like the madness of the polling stations. And the donuts. Mmmmmm.
by Charlie Hunter Trio
And like Bob Marley and Charlie Hunter pontificate: take a deep breath, Mon. Then exhale. Then reflect on what is very good in this country, in your life, and in your very selves. Brighter days are ahead. When? I dare not make that forecast. But they are. Trust me.

One Chance
by Modest Mouse
Truly, we have one chance on Election Day '08. Go be a part of this historical day.

I am Joy Hart. And I approve this music. ;)

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We have one chance
One chance to get everything right
We have one chance
One chance
And if we're lucky we might

My friends, my habits, my family
They mean so much to me
I just don't think that it's right
I've seen so many ships sail in
Just to head back out again

and go off


- one chance 

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29 October 2008

Ode to Oliver

For those pet owners; for those who have loved and lost; this post is for you. And for me. And for my family. Our almost 8 year old Golden, Oliver, suddenly passed away over the weekend, Sunday October 26th at 1:30, to be exact. For those who have never owned a pet, this surely seems like a blip on the radar. But for those who just read the 5 sentences above and now have a lump in your throat knowing the inexplicable void that losing a pet creates, you get it. Thank you.

Despite my grief right now, every one of Oliver's days were marked by unconditional love and fab memories. He was a fantastic pup. Named after the Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver. For the first few days, he was "Monroe", then for one day, "Jackson". Neither fit. As the credits rolled after a swell Naked Chef episode on Food Network, "Oliver" jumped out at me. Our Oliver was a lot like Jamie Oliver: likable to a fault- in a sweet fumbling, bumbling way.

Even funnier is how we got Oliver. Living in sunny Southern California, B had just finished a successful
2001 Toshiba Classic Tournament and we found ourselves the following Saturday having a few afternoon pre-shopping cocktails at the luxe South Coast Plaza to celebrate the success. A good martini round or three in us, B stepped away to the loo, so I started reading the classifieds from the OC Register left on the bar. Long story short, I saw an ad for Golden pups...vodka in our veins, fast cash from the ATM, Corona California here we come (and no, not Corona del Mar which would have been 5 mins away, but Corona, as in the Inland Empire, (not the movie), but as in haul to get to.)

The breeder's grounds were so questionable that I called my parents in OHIO and told them where we were and if they didn't hear back from me in a hour to call the police. Kid you not. But the breeder was a likable gent and the pups were gorgeous. They lived in better conditions than that owner did. We had Oliver loaded in the car, were about to leave when I made small talk that I worked for marchFIRST in Irvine therefore I could go home and check on Oliver throughout the day. The most unexpected thing happened: the breeder ran, and I mean RAN into his home/trailer/construct and reappeared waiving papers at me. Here he was also ... dramatic pause... a day trader! And one who proceeded to ask ME (in a fairly high pitch that was scaring the dogs) if I knew if HE should sell or keep his stocks, and his clients'. Upon re-read, guess you had to be there. But it was surreal. Much like the demise of marchFIRST.

Strangely, all month I intended my last post for October to be about 'wolves', as the concept has a nice tie in w/Halloween coupled with the fact that I have an inexplicable amount of songs that are 'wolf' related-either in title, subject matter or band name. But instead of wolf, I am going the canine route. Oliver deserves first billing. It has taken me all week to compose this playlist... I will miss him beyond description. Where my Berner Jonah is my protector, Oliver was the Lover. The quintessential Golden: always at the ready to snuggle, to kiss, and just be where ever the family (or food!) was.

Mister M's reaction was golden (every pun intended). After he had a moment to digest the news, he paused, looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, will we have calling hours for Oliver?"It was nice to take a break from the tears and have a good belly laugh at that one.

Goddamn, I will miss you Oliver. You rest in peace, my pup.

My sister read/saw a saying about dogs many years ago and repeats it so often that we hold it as doctrine. While I can't recall the words verbatim, it essentially states 'never pass by your dog without petting him'. In our busy life, it is/was so easy to just breeze past the dogs onto wherever I needed to be. But more often than not, I am happy to report that I would put my ol self in reverse and go back to give a pat on the head, tummy, or a kiss, and say their names affectionately. I am glad I made the time to do so. If you have a pet, please make the time. You will never regret it.

N O T E: click on the square gray 'play' button next to song title to listen. Nice indeed.

Golden: Acoustic
by My Morning Jacket   (iTunes)
Since my boy was a Golden, this song came top of mind immediately. This live version is from the Startime Pavillion. While I love the studio version on iTunes (as the instrumentals just carry you away) Jim James' voice is more pure and equally equipped to take you on a personal journey in this live version.

Sunday Best
by Kind Hearts and Coronets
In honor of Oliver's faux british pedigree linked to Jamie Oliver, I post this gem from Kind Hearts and Coronets. I love the change in tempo @1:40. Rather light spirited, as was Oliver.

The abrupt nature in which Oliver left is what I am struggling with. As the next two songs attest:

These Days
by People Press Play    (iTunes)
I love the haunting nature of these lyrics:
These days are moving fast ahead
And one more day like this
Could change everything...

by Bon Iver    (iTunes) 
Just a perfect summation: totally, utterly, painfuly blindsided.
Forever My Friend
by Ray Lamontagne    (iTunes)
Great song. More incredible in this live version. Trust me. Just passion driven.

Old Turns
by David Vandervelde    (iTunes)
Man, love the piano in this song. Just sad, sappy, dripping lyrics. Feels like old school Loggins + Messina via the harmonies.

Weighty Ghost
by Wintersleep    (iTunes)
I am sure to post about this song again. The lyrics are pure: "Have you seen my ghost?" Oliver's enormous tufts of fur will be wonderfully ingrained in the fabric of our household for many more months  (literally-he shed a ton). And the lover of all things ice cubes... it will be hard to pull open our freezer drawer without expecting to see/hear him eager for a frozen delight.

The Trapeze Swinger
by Iron + Wine    (iTunes)
I have only listened to this song once. It was shared w/me on a day when a young family friend had just passed away so the lyrics, "Please remember me, happily" just struck a nerve which prevented me from listening to it ever again. However, I do know it's a beautiful song. The lyrics read so. And perfect for this tribute playlist.

Tiers of Joy
by Funki Porcini    (iTunes)
Oliver did spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Just hangin' out with the w/fam. As such he spent a lot of time listening to great music as I've stated in the past-we always have music playing in the kitchen. This gem is a twist on my feelings and perhaps a nod to Oliver's propensity for down tempo jazz. Cool pooch, huh?

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
by Cannonball Adderly    (iTunes)
Ever the optimist, I will find good in this bad. I need to. Just that simple A classic like this one certainly  will help bolster me along. I love the vibe of this song. Makes you feel like you are there in the moment of the recording. Reminds me of La Cave in Costa Mesa. The would-be-a-dive-if-it-weren't-so-cool kind of restaurant in The OC that you could have a great steak, an insanely stiff pour, and still smoke (I don't, btw... but man, the smokers there lived it up large) and of course listen to some great jazz in the tiniest of spaces.

Feel So Free
by Ivy    (iTunes)
This song represents what I hope Oliver is experiencing now: a free feeling. At peace.

by Helio Sequence    (iTunes) 
October 4th is the international day of the Blessing of Animals set forth by St. Francis, Patron Saint of Animals. We missed it. And truth be known, how and where we would have schlepped two 90 lbs dogs to get blessed would have been beyond my Google prowess. But I am pleased knowing there is a day where animals are held in sanctimonious regard. By some counts they are the closest thing we have to God as we accept them and they accept us without conditions.

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Please, remember me
At Halloween...

- the trapeze swinger

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13 October 2008

Zoom Zoom

(Those that worked w/me @ marchFIRST will surely savor the irony of this entry's title! )


My blog is about design + music. And hopefully inspiring design +  music. But once in a while I am bound to break convention and subject you to the madness and insanity of my inner circle of buds-- as we most def are an odd lot. ;)

The delight above is an image taken by one of my most beloved partners in design crime, Dylan. He is a complex soul for which there could never be enough time or space to convey here. But the fact that he has a Flickr series devoted to this Telletubbie mounted to an RC Radio Shack quasi-Hummer was just too rich to pass up. His video of this day-in-life-of, is even better.

And if you find this not the least funny, then you certainly wouldn't appreciate Dylan's love (and many thousands of other web followers) of LOL Cats . But I digress...that fact that Dylan has time to "jack around" (a fave saying of my Father's, btw) w/this type of creative outlet amidst his workload is inspiring. Let's take one from Dylan's rule book and remember to get out there and live.

Okay, enough about Dylan. Let's get to the good stuff. I added a media player for your listening pleasure. While I do hope you support these amazing artists about which I rant (via real iTunes purchases), I realize you aren't gonna buy if you can listen to more than the 7 sec snippet iTunes provides. So, sit back. Put your headphones on. And let me rock your world.

I love to drive. Always have. Always the very first one to say, "I'll drive!" When B and I moved out to California, I was greatly dissappointed that our timing did not permit us to make that drive from Ohio. Regardless, driving songs always endear themselves to me. Here are a few dandies for you.

Stop Thinking
by The Mysteries of Life   (iTunes)
I think why I love driving so much is it is my "thinking time." The time where I sort out a lot of shit, to be frank. Be it work... life... driving just gives me time to figure out, and filter much of, the noise that populates my head into more pure, defined, thoughts and ideas.

by The Avalanches   (iTunes)
Thus, I do not mind my commute. It fits nicely in with this 'think while driving' deelio of mine.

I play this song a lot on my drive as I LOVE glancing at the folks as I pass by. This tune lends itself ever so nicely to the car-jockeying that a morning commute fosters. This tune becomes the soundtrack for my fellow roadmates as I quickly witness them on the phone, applying makeup, eating/drinking, reading (sadly), and countless other things besides focusing on the wheel. Yikes. Stay off 315 S when in Columbus is the lesson here, eh?!

by Fanfare Ciocarlia   (iTunes)
And for those days when the commute truly feels circus-like, this is a must have. The Moulin Rouge-feel is spot on.

by Grand Archives   (iTunes)
And for the remainder of Columbus morning commuters: Hello, Starbucks.

Where Would you Go?
by The Sweet Hurt     (iTunes)
So melodic... beautiful tapestry of lyrics.

Let's Go Driving
by Barzin     (iTunes)
This is the type of tune to listen to when you just don't want to go home quite yet (in the best sense). Either the sunset is just right, or the road you are on is breathtaking, or the simple fact of being 'out' has lifted your spirits. This is the wind down for that type of high. Dreamy.

Driver's Seat
by Sniff 'n' The Tears    (iTunes)
The wayback machine lives on: I loved this song when I was 10 years old (I am guessing) and still love it. Just brings back memories of when cars were really large-able to hold a family of, say 8, nicely (I grew up in a very Catholic area so large cars and families ruled). Which also reminds me of that lost art of long family car trips... tender sweet memories built on togetherness and Slurpees® .

Title and Registration
by Death Cab for Cutie     (iTunes)
Ending this post with a bang! We caught these guys this past week @ the LC. Fantastic venue, paired with an indian summer night... Witnessing this song live was a treat. I listen to a lot of Death Cab and always wonder, "Who did these things to poor Ben Gibbard , to sing of such angst?"

This song has a fantastic dose of sadness and angst sprinkled with clever analogies that resonate with anyone who's been in love. And owned a car. ;)

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Because behind it's door
There's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all I find are souvenirs from better times
Before the gleam of your taillights fading east
To find yourself a better life

- title + registration

18 September 2008

Ike in Ohio

On Sunday afternoon, B and I took Mister M kite-flying. It was nice and windy. "Perfect conditions" I recall commenting.

Little did anyone know just how the rest of the day would unfold. Columbus experienced a mini-dose of Hurricane Ike's wrath, and it was enough to render many folks powerless for days-with a clean up on their hands that qualifies as 'catastrophic' by insurance standards.

Our neighborhood is heavily wooded. I stand corrected: WAS heavily wooded:

I was fascinated by all of it: the color of the sky, the power of the wind, the lack of rain. The sound was thunderous when the enormous limb pierced our sunroom roof (from a tree located on the other side of our home). The +80ft tree that toppled onto our neighbors 2nd floor master bathroom shook our home. The dogs and Mister M were troopers through it all, remarkably.
What did amaze me is how available every service personnel was: firemen, policemen, the plumber, the gas company, the structural engineer guy... arrived in incredibly reasonable time and attentive to everyone's needs. Thank you to all!

Our always gracious and culinary-gifted neighbors, Steve and Sarah, prepared a candlelit feast, as to not waste fresh meat and wine. It was a great culmination to the events of the day/night. And a means to reflect that homes can be fixed, people cannot. Not one neighbor, child, or pet was harmed.
À votre santé!

Had my iPod been charged this would have been the evening's soundtrack:

It's all Gonna Break
Broken Social Scene  (iTunes)
(Again... featuring another BSS tune?!?) But, that is in fact what I kept thinking again and again: Our house is going to break; the gas line is going to break; these trees are going to break; these windows are going to break. We have a lot of large glass windows and the fear of them all shattering had me beyond unnerved. This song captures the pace in which I was thinking these thoughts.

In Front of the House
Human Television   (iTunes)
The willow trees in the front of our home took a beating. Their limbs are twisted, splintered, but they are still standing. Whew- I love those trees.

Through the Backyards
Au Reviore Simone  (iTunes)
A splendid, haunting little ditty. Because we were sans electricity, this tune captures that primitive and adventurous feeling of sneaking about in your neighborhood in the dark.

Jump Around
House of Pain  (iTunes)
Ironically enough, the beloved trampoline (and hammock) remained unscathed. Go figure! Just love this thumpin', thug-lovin' tune. You should too.

Spill the Wine
War   (iTunes)
This gem is chosen because I did just that: I spilled the wine. Oliver, our Golden, was cowering behind me while I was standing in Steve/Sarah's yard reviewing their damage and I tripped backwards over him. But have no fear, not much was spilled. Sign of a champ, eh? ;)

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Then the moon swept down to greet us
It was warm and made of flowers
Into vines that barely reached us
Climbing higher than forever

Baby help me please
In knowing this
'Cause showing never tells
Was it just a breeze
Was it a kiss
Breathless, exquisite chills

- through the backyards
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11 August 2008

Rest in Peace, Chef

Sad to report, but Isaac Hayes passed away. I remember the days of Shaft, but loved him most as Chef. And how could you not? His lines and songs are classic! Or more correctly, were classic. I encourage you to take a trip down memory lane via YouTube.

Good stuff, Children. 

Another Chef worth checking out, is Turbo Chef. In a saturated marketplace-where Wolf and Viking reign supreme- Turbo Chef breaks from the mold. The web site, The Oven Reinvented, was designed by Mono/Minneapolis and sets the stage for an immersive digital experience hosted by Master Chef Charlie Trotter (quite an endorsement in and of itself.) Most flash sites use of music and sound effects ruin the experience. Here they are seamless and purposeful. Whether you 'Explore' or 'Cook', you are sure to understand and appreciate the craftsmanship and complexity of this oven. It's pretty magical when a site experience can deliver upon the product promise. Kudos Mono. Finally, if you are curious about inspiration for this oven, check out this  Fast Company article.

Should our beloved Wolf oven ever die (which I highly doubt), a Turbo Chef (in orange, of course) is on deck.

If a highfalutin, fancy pants oven isn't your thing, then feast your eyes on this:  The Baja BBQ Firepack. This eco-friendly buddy is sure to help in a jiff when lighter fluid toxicity just won't do. ;)

In our home, standard operating procedure is that if someone's in the kitchen, great tunes are on. So, enjoy this little culinary-inspired offering I've cooked up for you (pun intended.)

Jake Coco:   Bleu for You
Well here's a heavy dose of angst for you delivered by one amazingly talented guy. Jake Coco is home grown favorite of mine and any of his songs are worth your ears and heart. 

Portugal the Man:    Sugar Cinnamon
I was completely hooked w/in the first 5 secs of this tune-I love the driving beat... the alternating pitches in John Gourley's voice... the undulating tempo. This tune is a regular on my iPod for my workouts.

Johnson Brothers:   Strawberry Letter 23
And now one from the Wayback Machine...

I remember this song from its hay day. Just smooth, mellow and never quite knew what the hell the lyrics meant. But it's all cool, Baby. This was a big roller skating party "couples" song. And if you are laughing, then you totally know what I mean. Remember: your mouth burning from too many fireballs and your crush by your side (maybe even a comb in your back pocket. lol) Good times.

Yo La Tengo:   Cherry Chapstick
Keeping w/teenage crush vibe, I present this gem from YLT. I had an insane obsession w/Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers back in the day (check out this ad from 1979!). Talk about brand awareness at a young age. BB made these lip balms that came tethered and permitted you to 'wear your Smackers' with pride. They were all the rage and I swore I couldn't get enough. Chapstick was never my thing and now I am def more of a Burt's Bees kinda girl.

This tune rocks. Love the intermittent distortion. I was introduced to YLT via their kinder gentler songs. When I heard this song, and when I saw them perform last year, I was shocked how they rocked. Who knew? Now you do. 

Sven Van Hees:   Breakfast with Abductees
This is a fantastic tune to listen to when getting in a Sunday Brunch mind set. Whisking of egg will never seem quite the same.  Bloody's anyone?

Kaki King:  Yellowcake
This song is so gorgeous. Fluid-like, if you will. Like cake batter? That might be a stretch, sorry. But if you are new to Kaki, take the plunge. Her music is most def deelish.

Hooverphonic:   Tuna (not avail on iTunes but many other mp3 sites)
The string arrangement gets me every time. While it's not a high-energy song, I will always run to this when it comes across my iPod. Great pace, great voice. Shades of Cocteau Twins. Dreamy.

Dean + Britta:   Ginger Snaps (not avail on iTunes. So, YouTube it)
Let's end on a dessert, shall we? Ah, that Dean Wareham... sigh. 

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I'm a wayward Tom
I'm a silver streak
And the walls have ears
But the walls don't speak
We're gonna make it after all

- ginger snaps
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23 July 2008

Show of Hands, please

( #240 by Scott Drake )

The beauty (and curse, I suppose) of the web is that it brings like-minded folks together. Who could have guessed there'd be a contingent of people who are into hand art--as in, artwork created upon their own paw-- and better, find a venue for displaying all of this work. Enter The Hand Collector. This site is not new by any means, but I frequent it every now and again to see if the movement is still strong. Some of the images submitted are simple doodles, but others have a care and purpose to them that you can't help wondering where this craft will lead some of these contributors. I am not qualified to comment on their destiny but applaud their pursuit.

I like hands. I feel they convey a lot about people. Sure eyes and facial expressions do, but hands... they just say more.  

The Raconteurs:  Hands
This song made me smile when I first heard it. Just love they chose to start w/hands over the other physicalities they list. I mean, there is a reason parents reach for their children's hands constantly: a silent symbol of love + security. I cannot wait to see them at Lolla next weekend.

Her Space Holiday:  Something to do with My Hands
After hearing this song like 4 times, I kept wondering what they meant by sucking "lama prints".

... then I found the lyrics. Oh.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh. (snicker, snicker.)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:  Five Easy Pieces
A dear bud + I are a wee bit competitive when it comes to bragging rights on new music but it wasn't tough to admit defeat when he introduced me to CYHSY, as they are fantastic. Fantastically different. Newman and I saw them at Lolla last year and I was impressed w/how their sound stayed true in a live concert vs studio. Make a point to see them, if you get the chance.

This tune isn't one of their more popular songs but that's why I like it. I love the droning on and on, and if you put your earphones really, really close to your ears: the acoustic guitar and piano are simply haunting as they weave in and out of the tune. It's the type of song that compels me to put my hand out the window when driving and feel the aerodynamics. Up and down... up and down...

Neko Case:  Hold On, Hold 
This is a tune that I will post about repeatedly, so get used to it. I love Neko and I love this song. I feel like if Johnny Cash were a drag queen, this would be his encore song. lol All the same. It's big. It's robust. Conjurs up bar scenes akin to Urban Cowboy. Sorry Neko: praised you w/Johnny then slammed you w/Debra Winger (at least I didn't bring up Road House. Wait, I just did.... uh, moving on....)

Broken Social Scene:  Handjobs for Holidays
Wow, another BSS tune on the heels of my earlier post. All the same, great song. And I like the title for its shock value as the lyrics never fully bring the title full circle. 

Handshake Drugs:  Wilco
Yippee skippy: gonna see them @ Lolla w/Newman. It will be a treat seeing them w/her as she's a Chicagoan and drunk the kool-aid far before most folks did. B and I got to see them this past fall at the Wexner. Great show albeit we were roughly the oldest folks there (read: all ages show. No adult bevs. Note to self...)

Dave Brubeck Quartet:  Take Five
A must have for anyone's jazz collection. The local So Cal jazz radio station always had this song playing in the background of their Sunday Jazz Brunch promotions so when I hear it now it brings back a warm fuzzy (+salty) feeling of oceanside breakfast(s).

The Long Winters:   Ultimatum
Whoo-boey, this is a sad, sad song. But that's what I love about it. Helps me stay down when I am sad. And you all know what I mean. I've heard both versions of the song and I strongly suggest this acoustic version. More authentic. The power of the lyrics and instruments are better defined. 

In the spirit of full circles, I started w/hand art thus shall end with hand art.
Daft Hands: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.
Clever. And viral has hell. Hard to pull off.

See... I told you I like hands. ;)