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. ;)

19 July 2008

Smoke + Mirrors?

So there we were.

In the "O.C".

Orange County California.

land of:
_ glam + gods
_ sun + sin
_ disney + legoland (which rocked)

We used to live there, and Mister M most certainly tired of hearing B and I recite that fact at every landmark or friend we encountered. He, in his 5 year old-ness, frankly didn't give a rat's ass that, "this was were you were born; here was our old house; here's where we'd have pancakes every Sunday (make note: when in Laguna Beach, Madison Square + Garden CafĂ© is a morning must. Especially if you have dogs.)

All in all, a fantastic trip. I love it there. Will post more about the trip's specifics. But right now am reflecting on how thankful for my midwest upbringing. 

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.)

The National:  Fake Empire

03 July 2008

Sum, Sum, Summertime!

One month. Two great birthdays: Our Country's + Mine.

As such, being a child of July, I love this month beyond reason. It's always been chock-full of pageantry and excitement for me.

Best of all, it's about being outside. The sting of a sunburn on your shoulders. About boating, water skiing and trampolines. Firework and fireflies. Convertibles and corn fields. Being waterlogged from pools, lake and sprinklers. And amazing thunderstorms you never want to end. All good.

Enjoy these. Enjoy your holiday. Enjoy your summer.

Galaxie 500:   Fourth of July
That Dean Wareham, what a great buttery voice. Sigh...

Broken Social Scene:  7/4 Shoreline
Just love these guys. Love the ensemble approach. I may be an 'n' of one, but I love Feist w/them more than her being a solo artist. More grit.

Electrelane:   On Parade
A good friend of mine shined me onto this band, and I am ever thankful. They have since disbanded, but that won't stop me from ranting about my love for them. 

Kid Rock:   All Summer Long
YES-Kid Rock. I like this bad boy. I am not ashamed to admit and I LOVE this song due to the video. Sure, I could do w/out all the blonde babes, but all the same, the video aligns w/my concept of summer: 100% pure fun spent outdoors. 

The Shaky Hands:  Summer's Life
Simple tune. And I am total sucker for tunes that have hand-clapping. Strange, agreed. In my mind, I 'see' this song taking place around 4pm... my favorite time of the day. 4pm to sundown. Just a fantastic lazy time of day, especially in the summer.

Rilo Kiley:   With Arms Outstretched
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. ;)

Now some days, they last longer than others
But this day by the lake went too fast
And if you want me
You better speak up, I won't wait
So you better move fast

- with arms outstretched