10 December 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

~ a little housekeeping note ~
No, I did not abandon my blog. But yes, I had become super uber busy and let is slide.
Sorry. But it's my 2011 priority. Fab. Moving along...

NPR's Morning Edition published a commentary re:the rise of women's roller derby which caught my attention. The article, These Roller Skating Women Get 'Down And Derby', highlights the resurgence of roller derby and dispels the long-held stereotype that it's more theatrics vs athletic prowess. It struck a chord w/me as I have a friend who is on the Denver's Roller Dolls team and lives up to her pseudonym: Kendra Blood (aka Andrea Hill). Andrea's verve for this sport, as portrayed via her Facebook updates, is infectious. She is one wickedly smart gal (UX, strategy and insights expert) as well the consummate athlete (multiple marathoner). She moved from Columbus to Denver, a more lifestyle-driven culture, so it wasn't surprising that roller derby would appeal to her competitive nature. Andrea is proof that the former stigma of women's derby is long gone. As she puts it, "Our league is really focused on legitimizing the sport and showcasing it as a sport..." And while the West was quick to the draw, perhaps Andrea's timing was off as Columbus now has The Ohio Roller Girls (which I def plan on checking out!)

Shifting gears to the music... At last summer's Lollapalooza, Val (valslist.com brainchild) and I noticed the glut of band names with an animal aspect to them - the lineup sounded like an episode of Mutual of Ohama's Wild Kingdom. Ha. But the trend was evident. Out of fashion: names like "The (i.e. The Hives, The Thrills, The Strokes, etc.). Enter: one's with bestial nomenclature. And with the first snow upon us, it doesn't look like the trend is near ending. The bands chosen for this post have names which read like the manifest to an ark, yes? :) Enjoy them. As always: Thank you. Be well. Send me your feedback. I love it. Merry, Merry ~Joy


Band of Horses
Quite possibly my fave tune out right now.

Freelance Whales
Damn, what a dreamy tune... "Thinking softly what a concrete mess we live in..."

Cannibal Queen
Miniature Tigers
Val and I caught these guys on Sunday of Lolla. Super big time fun in such a wonderfully understated way. Put Miniature Tigers on your list if they come to your city. Columbus was blessed w/them on a double-bill with Freelance Whales at The Basement last Friday.

8 4 8
Young Mammals
Houston's Young Mammals have my ear, big time. I hear a hint of back-in-the-day Johnny Marr + New Order in the guitars right around the 1:00 mark. Like.


Val and I had media passes this past Lolla, Phoenix did an acoustic set to about 50 of us. I had always liked their sound but it wasn't until I heard them so unplugged that my respect increased fifty-fold. What I couldn't get past was Thomas Mars' blue oxford shirt. It was a hot day so he had to be uncomfortable (in my mind). Then when they performed later that night and he was still wearing it, it just distracted me... Music AND wardrobe critic now, I guess. :)

Grizzly Bear
Not to linger on Lolla, but it is amazing as you can see so many great bands w/in a ridiculous amount of compressed time. You need to be strategic about your scheduling. Getting the proverbal "Where are you?" text for a friend who's seeing an act you intended to is always bittersweet. My good friend David Murphy took his fab daughters to Lolla (from So Cal) and I was mad/frustrated/jealous (self-induced) when I got his text that they were front and center for Grizzly Bear when I had yet to lay foot one on the grounds that early day. Point goes to: Murph! (Hope the crowd surfing is still rich in your memories too!)

Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat's Heavenly House Mix)
Nina Simone + Felix Da Housecat
Nina Simone. Nuff said. This track is off, Verve Remixed 2, a worthy addition to your library if jazz and electronica appeal to you. Yummy combo imho.

Skinny Cow Blues
The Foxymorons
What a great band name! I like the Pavement-esque vibe of this tune.

Empty Nest
Wild Beasts
My go to source for music, Cary Whitt, shined me onto this band. Cary has impeccable taste and he once again, was right. Thank you, Cary!

Here's the vid for the tune from a KCRW session. Hopefully it translates to their mesmerizing live show. And if you love KCRW like I do, check out Betsy Moyer. Tell her I sent you!

Spanish Sahara
Break out your dictionary: a "foal" is a young horse. :)

This is a BIG song which you won't discover unless you stick around until the 1:45 mark or so. It just builds. The music is dreamy, the lyrics are somewhat vague yet foreboding and the result is a big sound that lingers w/you. I mean, who doesn't have "...a ghost lingering in the back of your head." God, I love this tune...

Love of an Orchestra (NightWaves Remix)
Noah and the Whale

Out In The Woods
Birds & Batteries
This tune is like a journey in and of itself.

Be Less Rude
Frightened Rabbit
Good advice! Love the leads vocals in this tune - a skosh scratchy. These guys were amazing live at Lolla. Took the crowd by surprise.

Mama Told Me (Not To Come)
Three Dog Night
Here's a throwback for ya. My parting words: Always listen to your Momma.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Gonna take a trip to Laredo
Gonna take a dip in the lake
Oh, I'm at a crossroads with myself
I don't got no one else

And possibilities at the door
I won't be needing them anymore
Oh, is this the first time in your life
It's hard just to get by

~ Band of Horses 
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 

06 August 2010

No Apologies

::     R E G R E T S Y  / Where DIY Meets WTF     ::

So....let's just talk about a "Damn: I wish I had thought of that" moment. We all know/love Etsy. But there are some odd-ish things lurking about that site. Regretsy (the self-titled 'Where DIY meets WTF' web site) was to the quick on recognizing those less than stellar homemade madness and illuminate them to those of us who deem ourselves as purveyors of good taste. But really who are we to judge? Hard to say. I mean I "L" to the "O" to the "V" to the "E" IKEA, but frankly those bags are an ergonomic nightmare. Too large... But alas here's a Babe (Inrgrid, to be exact) on Regretsy who's made fashion from them. Check out the site - it's so wrong, it's right.

While I am in the advertising/communications biz, my degree on paper is a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) so while Regretsy is awesome, I have empathy for the fine artists/crafts-persons I've met along the way that felt their craft was not understood by the masses.

For my readers this post is a blend of the madness that possibly goes into these possible creative geniuses. (One departing thought: Snuggie. Who knew...)

Out of the Blue
Julian Casablancas
I get to see Jules, The Strokes frontman, Friday night in Chicago at Lollapalooza! They are in the same time slot as Lady Gaga. I will peek at her, but just a blush. The Strokes have my love. Can't wait! This tune, "Somewhere along the way, my hopefulness turned to sadness..." is so very Jeklly/Hyde-ian. Brilliant.

Heavens To Purgatory
The Most Serene Republic
Perfect song title for such a debatable topic. Hidden hand claps - my achilles heel.

The Rat
The Walkmen
This band will be at Lolla too. Nice. But that's not why they are in this post. The entire angst of the tune, "you've got a lot of nerve..." Those lyrics ring true to artists who are expressing themselves in a manner which no one else might immediately connect. It's a lonely, angry feeling. They capture it poetically w/this tune.

The Captive Mind
The Helio Sequence
I love this band. Check them out if their sound is new to you. The song title represents what sets creative folks apart from the herd - we are always on a quest.

Beautiful Wreck
Shawn Mullins
Art. Life. Love. All beautiful wrecks. Ingredients for an interesting life. Deelish.

Forgive Me, Love
Clem Snide
My Mom sewed a lot. Threw herself passionately hours into projects. As such she, and many a crafts persons, consider their objets de art, as a love. Clem Snide is such an amazing band -- their sound -- so honest, that this song, while a love song, felt so perfect for this post. 

Baby, We'll Be Fine
The National
This is my one and only "must see" band this weekend at Lolla. There are loads of great bands but I want see/feel The National. I have art directed/produced a music video in my mind each and every single time I hear this song as the lyrics are so visually rich. I relate to it, or know that those that do. And per this post, it's so apropos to (creative) angst.

Who isn't misunderstood? "I'd like to thank you all for nothin'..." Oh, cry me a river, Jeff Tweedy... ;)

Big Head Todd & The Monsters
I chose this song as creativity is in fact bittersweet. But knowing this song is a fave of a good friend of mine brings double pleasure. Huge props go out to Ms. Alexandra Kelley. She is a tsumani of awesomeness in her passion for the Columbus Arts Scene via community awareness. (ie. Pecha Kucha and  Goodale Park Music Series to name a few...) Thank you, Alex!

New Order
So the dance of 'second guessing' begins. It's so amazing to design/create something you love. But then... you want to share it w/others. And then, whoo-boey, the second guessing begins. For those on Regretsy, I am guessing their audience were die-hard happy hour go-ers: "Sure, Chuck Taylors cut at the toe make for awesome tennis-sandals... " Wha...? This tune makes me smile mostly as there was a local Columbus/Cinci Band: The Websters, that played this song. A highlight for me any time we'd go see them play: "I was upset you see/Almost all the time/You used to be a stranger/Now you are mine..."

Supposed To Be
Jack Johnson
For the record, I am not a Jack Johnson fan when it comes to his tried and true pop tunes. But man, he has some songs that I just love and as such, credit him as a strong singer/songwriter. Check him on the Thicker Than Water soundtrack if his pop stuff leaves you cold. This specific tune is off the Curious George Soundtrack and it haunts me as my dear friend Ned saw this film before I did and commented on the film's deeper meaning via the soundtrack. This tune encapsulates so much about creativity. And life. Ambiance tip: Headphones on. Loud. Repeat.

Pick Up The Pieces
Average White Band
 As the saying goes, "If you haven't failed, you're not trying hard enough."
But hear me now: we creatives are not wimps. Be it our 8-10pm advertising jobs, or the 24/7 stay-at-home-crafter. We are creative. Hear us roar. ;) We can take criticism (kind of) and figure out how to make greater greatness. It's all part of what we call, The Creative Process.


: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Maybe it's up with the stars
Maybe it's under the sea
Maybe it's not very far
Maybe this is how it's supposed to be

Maybe it's trapped in a jar
Something we've already seen
Maybe it's nowhere at all
Maybe this is how it's supposed to be

Looking forward as we rewind
Looking back is a trap sometimes
Being here is so easy to do

If you want to... (repeat)

~ Supposed to Be by Jack Johnson
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

13 July 2010

Better Off Ned

 ::    W I L L I A M S O N ' S  -  H A N G I N'  L O O S E    ::

Ned Williamson, passed away July 13, 2006. A very dark day for so many people. http://nedwilliamson.tributeforyou.com/

He passed away the day before my 40th birthday. He and I had a lot of hilarious banter about my pending Big-Four-Oh (esp since he had just only turned 36) and his absence, the lack of his snark...   was beyond deafening. I now go through a bittersweet annual ritual of mourning one life and then celebrating another.

We were at a wedding w/a gaggle of friends who glommed onto the fact my father's name was Ned too. From there on, I became "Ned Jr." or "Junior" for short. The surname that stuck like glue. Amen.

This was Lucy's (aka Mrs. Ned) homage to Ned at his service, and it's still spot on:
There Is A Light that Never Goes Out
by The Smiths

You all hear me say this often, "Life is not a dress rehearsal." Show up to play, my friends. Let this be a cautionary tale.

Ned, we miss you. Thank God we have Lucy, Ella, + Charlie.

This song's for you

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Take me out tonight
where there's music and there's people
who are young and alive
driving in your car
I never never want to go home
because I haven't got one anymore

Take me out tonight
because I want to see people
and I want to see life
driving in your car
oh please don't drop me home
because it's not my home, it's their home
and I'm welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus
crashes in to us
to die by your side
is such a heavenly way to die
and if a ten ton truck
kills the both of us
to die by your side
well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
and in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
but then a strange fear gripped me
and I just couldn't ask

Take me out tonight
oh take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
driving in your car
I never never want to go home
because I haven't got one
no, I haven't got one

And if a double-decker bus
crashes in to us
to die by your side
is such a heavenly way to die
and if a ten ton truck
kills the both of us
to die by your side
well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

There is a light that never goes out

~ The Smiths  
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

21 June 2010

Running on Empty

::  B P  O I L   S P I L L - G R A N D  I S L E, L A   ::
"Oil collecting at the mouth of one of the breeches on Elmer’s Island...
There were no clean-up crews in sight and no one for at least a mile in either direction."
~Richard Shepard, Aerial Photographer

I am grossly under-qualified to try to comment on this oil spill catastrophe yet when I heard it was going on its second month, it gave me pause. Another staggering stat I read last week is apparently the oil spilled so far would have fueled the United States for FOUR hours. WHAT? That's all?

When will it end? No one knows.

I came across Richard Shepard's site and his aerial images of this debacle are arresting--as are his first-hand accounts from talking w/the locals while documenting this disaster. Worth a visit.

How does this all works into a blog post? Well I love songs that have this 'on and on and on' vibe. A perpetual motion, if you will. And I have more friends than not, it seems, that are runners (crazy lot, those runners). So this post is a nod to them and hopefully a near-soon end to the tragedy in the Gulf.

Be well, All. ~Joy

TO DOWNLOAD tunes: right-click (pc) or control-click (mac)
the song title link in the page (vs the player at the bottom).

Jumping Someone Else's Train
The Cure
Mark my words: this it where all began (for me). 1984-ish. At Wittenberg. WUSO 89.1-FM. College radio. It started w/INXS  (see Beck track), and quickly led to The Cure. The Smiths. New Order. R.E.M. et all. 

Good Thing
The Wooden Tops
I was exposed to The Wooden Tops via a road trip from Springfield to Cincinnati (destination: a landmark Cinci Diner who's name I cannot recall. Suggestions welcomed.) Off the Giant LP. (okay, I had the cassette and played it to death) Every song was great. Very rhythmic. Fantastic lyrics here in Good Thing. Be sure to give an acute listen.

Brimful of Asha
Cornershop's got a fab ditty here. "Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow..." Yes, indeed.

Answer Yourself
The Soft Pack
Perfect words of advice to BP? Hell, for all of us truthfully. The Soft Pack will be at Del Mar Race Track (xo Lucy + Ned) in August. Would love to see them there, but guess I'll have to suffice for their Lolla gig. Not a bad Plan B.

I saw these guys on a triple bill at the Polaris Ampitheatre in the mid '90s with The Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors-who, brace yourself-were the headliners. Yikes. Cracker. Stole. The. Show. Hearing this song live was special. You just caught all the subtle nuances of the guitar. 

Some Are Lakes
Land of Talk
I had never heard this tune/band but tuned into the Friday, June 4th CD101 Guest DJ session and it was a pick of Margot Heinlein's. I can't stop listening to it. It fits perfectly into my sound wheelhouse. Thank you, Margot + Lesley James!

Sweet Disposition
Temper Trap
High on my must see list at Lollapalooza this year is Temper Trap. I wish they were playing later on Sunday as I'd love to hear this song when the sun goes down because that's the color I see when I hear this song - burnt orange. My fave.

Get It
Little known fact I unearthed off iTunes: Rjd2 lived in Columbus, Ohio for a brief while. Fancy that.

Toro Y Moi
I love Richard Armitage's Pitchfork article description: "Blessa...feels much like a summer's slumber..." which nails why this song is so Joy - I la la love summer like no other season.

Round and Round
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Odd this post is turning out so electronica skewed as categorically I'd say I'm a more Indie/Alt/Alt-Country fan--but here we are and this playlist is def suggesting otherwise. Hmmm.... Anyhow, does anyone else hear Ariel Pink's Elvis Costello-inspired vocals at 1:20? And, I love the "pick up the phone" + other lyrics droning on at the end.

Still Missing (Royksopp Remix)
This is a toss up: I love both the orig Guero LP + the Royksopp remix... And I love Beck Hansen even more due to paying homage to INXS (along w/St. Vincent, Liars, Os Mutantes...) INXS was mentioned above as their sound was so unique. So sad Michael Hutchence left us so early.

Sleep On The Bottom
Low, Transient Waves & Piano Magic
This very sleepy dreamy tune was found a while back on Motel de Moka. Yum. If you are a runner (and did in fact download this playlist for your run--see download directions above) I can only hope this plays when you are in your zone... and helps time pass by like waves of the ocean.

All My Friends
LCD Soundsystem
May this seven plus minutes of piano frenzy segueing to controlled chaos of clever lyrics paying tribute to life + growing old motivate you to keep on running. That run-on sentence was intended, btw. An epitome of the tune. :)

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
I prayed heaven today
would bring its hammer down on me
and pound you out of my head
I can't think with you in it 

~Still Missing by Beck
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :


03 June 2010

Hey Mister DJ

Short and sweet post... yay! I receive repeated emails suggesting I create a podcast version of my blog (so you can hear me vs just read me...yikes). Well, in lieu of a podcast, I did come across the mp3 recording from last May of my Guest DJ stint (on CD101- Columbus' Alternative Station) that might suffice.

I had the amazing fortune to be on-air for an hour w/the divine Ms. Lesley James and in my little fiefdom, it was all out rockstar: she rocks, the studio rocked, the experience rocked. Although, the promotions and commercials were tricky. Self deprecation, fully in tact. ;)

The file uploaded is an hour long + 90MB. As such, I am only keeping this up for a week so to not bog down the music player below. Right-clicking will allow you to download the file. Grab it while ya can. Enjoy. ~ Joy

Bigmouth Strikes Again - The Smiths
Pump Up the Doorbell - Party Ben
Don't You Evah - Spoon
Love Dog - TV on the Radio
Enter Laughing - Electrelane
Speak for Me - Cat Power
One Big Holiday - My Morning Jacket
Jump in the Pool - Friendly Fires
The Heavens - Weird Tapes
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
Nothing to Worry About - Peter Bjorn + John
The Step + The Walk - The Duke Spirit

HeyJoy Guest DJ 

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

What's next?
I'm out of time.
Losing my touch I can feel
Speak for me; you'll see the same signs
Do you know how to read between the lines?
All now it's all for now, all for one.
What you want?

Going on and on...

~ Speak for Me by Cat Power
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

22 April 2010

Joy Ride

::  J  O  Y   =   A    T  H  R  E  E    L  E  T  T  E  R   W O R D   ::
Today is Earth Day. So what could be more fitting than a blog topic that pays homage to a gas-guzzling carbon-emitting German vehicle, eh? Eeghads, sorry for the poor timing... While I can't take any credit for the Joy Is BMW campaign, (not to be confused w/this site http://www.joyisbmw.com Zing!), nor am I a BMW owner or advocate, I do love the campaign. The brand essence is woven so smartly into the messaging: Joy is Youthful  |  Joy Breaks the Mold  |  Joy is Timeless  |  Joy Can Be Counted

Driving is joyful-in any vehicle. It's euphoric and what we pine away for in our pre-license years. I've been blessed to own some crazy fun cars: Mazda RX-7 (a black '82 and a white '90) and my fave, my Alfa Romeo Milano. Windows down and/or sunroof open: even on the highway; even in the winter. For me, the equation is simple: car = music. Driving w/music an enriched experience. This playlist is a spin-off of the High Octaine playlist I created for valslist. The Joy Ride playlist below is a broader mishmash of tunes perfect for the quick trip to the Kwik-E-Mart or for driving for the sake of aimless driving moments. Actually, this post's offering feels more a mixtape than playlist. Enjoy + let me know where it takes you (physically or mentally). Save travels. Always ~Joy

California Soul (Diplo Remix)
Marlena Shaw
Damn, can she belt out this tune. Love the exaggerated intro. If you live in a metro area w/city-bound tunnels, I suggest cranking this tune upon exiting one as you enter the city as it has an "I. Have. Arrived." crescendo vibe. 

Lust for Life
I wish Girls had named this song otherwise, as I fear it gets passed over as an Iggy Pop remake. As you will hear, it's far from that. This is a quintessential tune for heading for a fun night out. Oh, wait for the background dudes and tambourine to chime in near :52--wonderfully campy. Poignant lyrics-easy to dismiss given the melody. Don't. 

Just love the giddy-up, lolly-gaggin' preamble in this song. Then :56 kicks in and BOOM: You are on fire, Kasabian-style. Enjoy this 4:14 inferno.

(new readers, a gentle reminder: joy = nerd)
Aside from the awesomeness of this song, the song title's syntax lingers w/me:  "Dissemble" as a noun vs verb...? Hmmmm... Regrouping: I always sing along w/this song while driving. Woodhands is self-billed as an electronic/pop/psychedelic duo so their LP title, Remorsecapade, is fitting. Want more? Check the video. It captures the awkward frenzy of the tune beautifully:

Id Engager
Of Montreal
I'd sing this song as well if I could reach the falsetto pitches Of Montreal's frontman, Kevin Barnes reaches. Not gonna happen. Ever.

Morning Exercise
The Heavenly States
This is a good morning song. The piano gets ya movin' along. This tune is for when you're still in your neighborhood, and happy. Def pre-expressway. You know what I mean.

Native Son
The Judybats
A throwback to my days at Witt. For many years, I always thought they were singing, "Major Tom" in the opening lines (as in my mind he was the 'native son') Shades of Cher Horowitz, no doubt.  ;)

Come Together
Primal Scream
Loads of bongos + percussion. Great tune for a sun dappled drive. This song is a big hit w/my soon-to-be 7 yr old son. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh? Amen.

Shout Out Louds
Tonight I Have to Leave It
If Robert Smith of The Cure and Poi Dog Pondering got together, this is what they'd sound like.

Take Your Momma
Scissor Sisters
This is a last minute addition. I heard this song while driving in this morn, so am adding it. Felt like a great fit nestled twix the SOL's + Joan. And since it is the weekend, I do encourage you to take your Momma out. I sure wish I could.

Right Hand Man
Joan Osborne
Turn up the volume, Friends, as I'm kicking it into high gear. Ms. Joan take it away...

Mr. Quibble
Aside from my belief that Mr. Quibble sounds like a Mrs. Quibble, I dig the tune. (tiny chuckle)

Itza Trumpet Thing
Scott Harris vs. Simon Toogood
I've a penchant to end my posts w/songs that linger. I love this one as it's 7 minutes of jazz brass + techno goodness. Hope you do too.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Oh, I wish I had a suntan
Oh, I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine
Oh, I wish I had a beach house
Then we could make a big fire every night
Instead I'm just crazy, I'm totally mad
Yeah I'm just crazy, I'm fucked in the head
And maybe if I really tried with all of my heart
Then I could make a brand new start in love with you

~ Lust for Life by Girls
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

05 March 2010

Tragically Hip

::   U  N  H  A  P  P  Y     H  I  P  S  T  E  R  S   ::
She reconsidered the eight story drop to the street
{ Photo: Hertha Humaus, Dwell, March 2004 }

Okay, I admit it: I'm a fairly happy-go-lucky-gal for the most part. Yet I do have my fair share of gloom and doom songs which to my chagrin, don't make for the most engaging blog fodder. So I was pretty elated when Unhappy Hipsters (UH) became a darling of the internet a few weeks ago.

Unhappy Hipsters is a lovely site that pokes beautiful photographic fun at the bobo* lifestyle for the 30-something generation. (a term I learned while working on Land Rover's brand strategy, fittingly enough)

*bobo (adj.): A fairly affluent or educated person who repudiates, denies, or rejects the background from which he or she comes and embraces that of another, most likely lower or less educated, socio-economic one so as to not appear snobbish. Bobos, from the French term “bourgeois bohémien” often graduate from private schools, live in hip, but somewhat sketchy neighborhoods, marry an ethnic or ‘other’ to upset their parents, or espouse unconventional food or cultural traditions to prove that they are above their bourgeois upbringing. As soon as the going gets tough, however, their breeding will show, and they will watch your napkin placement and use at the dinner table.

Serendipitously, UH became a muse to which I've paired some of my fave melancholy tunes that are more tongue + cheek vs. slit your wrists. Essentially, this post is really me being "down". I realize the irony. Enjoy, despite the conundrum. ;) ~Joy

St. Vincent's Marrow
I saw St. Vincent this past winter when she opened for Andrew Bird. Annie Clark is electric in concert (which is why I'm posting a video vs the mp3.) She is waif-esque in appearance yet she writes these gut wrenching tunes that are rich in guitar distortion. This tune in particular embodies the ying/yang nature of Unhappy Hipsters.

Kiss With a Fist
Florence + The Machine 
Love this tune. It's catchy, campy...but give the lyrics a good listen: one hell of a lover's spat, eh?

Nico Vega
Heard this on my morning drive w/this blog post in mind and, "Over time you can kill me, But I'll resurrect so...NANANANANANA" caught my attention immediately.
Bear in Heaven
This band was a find off Seattle's KEXP's weekly download. Dreamy tune w/an ever so slight bitter tone--a wonderful, delicate balance.

Little Lion Man
Mumford + Sons
Mark my words (and essentially every other music blogger's) these guys are going to be huge. Their sound is so robust. The songwriting is superb. If you don't like it out of the gate, stay at least until 1:10 mark. It gets wonderfully layered from there on out. There is a clean version to this song, but the explicit one I'm posting here is essential to get the angst that fits this blog post in particular. Enjoy it fully.

Pursuit of Happiness (Kid CuDi Cover)
Kid CuDi is all the rage now yet I feel this version by LA fusion band Barbara is incredibly smooth and reigns supreme over the original. Sorry, Kid.

Gotta Cheer Up
Cotton Jones
This tune could easily be the soundtrack for ANY of the images posted on Unhappy Hipster. Def take a moment to check out the site-the image captions have a Larry David nature to them. Brilliant.

I've been wanting to feature this song in a blog post for quite a while. Just love the downtrodden lyrics against the melody. My fave part of the song however is when he sings, "C'mon" at the 2:28 point which kicks off the instrumental. Just. Dig. It.
The Almighty Defenders
The quasi-shouting effect in this tune is was grabs and pulls me in. And keeps me there for 4:04 gritty minutes. 

Virginia, Don't Drown
Chin Up Chin Up
This tune was a toss up w/Pinback's Penelope, but then I realized I posted Penelope in my Poster Child post from March '09. Frankly, I'm not precisely sure what these lyrics are even after reading them...love that confusion. Ha!

Sooner or Later (HeartMe! remix)
And I REALLY don't know that Zaza is saying/singing in this song but that it warrants belonging to this post as the vibe is so choice. That, and I wanted to end this post on a tune that will linger with you.

15 January 2010

Fashionably Late

::   V  O  G  U  E    M  A  G  A  Z  I  N  E   ::
October 1935 + May 1935 Covers, respectively

Happy Twenty Ten, All! Hope your holidays were fab. Mine were especially wunderbar under 75 degrees of goodness in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, the flight to an fro CMH to FLL gave me some overdue time in my iTunes Library. I spent most of Nov/Dec discovering/listening to new artists, or established artists' lesser known tracks. All good. However, the holidays always make me sentimental thus I found myself gravitating to my older songs as the new year approached. Older songs, but still relevant in their sound and lyrics, for this new year.

As this playlist was formulating in my mind, it wasn't yet aligned to a given design inspiration. I prefer organic inspiration of theme + tunes for my blog (which hopefully explains my erratic blog schedule.)  The obvious common thread twix these artists were that they were all male. I wasn't able to make a relevant design connection. Then, this week I came across CoverBrowser.com and VintageAdBrowser.com and was smitten when the tie to this playlist struck me: Fashion. That is what these artists and their tunes exude: fashion- and design-forwardness in the haze of the mid '80s through early '90s. The sounds are highly stylized, unique and confident. These bands were trendsetters not imitators in the new era of music videos.

These particular Vogue Covers above appealed to me for their simplicity and sophistication and gave me pause as to how the publication and its covers have transcended time. Bravo Vogue. In a time when many magazines are folding, you remain true and strong to your essence.

Thus true to my nature, I am going against the glut of the blogs out there touting new music for the new year and joyously kicking off my first 2010 post with some relatively old artists and tracks that could very well be new to your ears and heart. Proof that all that glitters does not fade away. 

Chez les Yé-Yé's (Minimatic Remix)
Serge Gainsbourg
I couldn't kick of a fashion-centric post w/o a nod to the French. Monsieur Gainsbourg is the provocative embodiment of french fashion + lifestyle: cool and sexy. Oooo-la-la.

:: The Talking Heads 
David Bryne is a visual mastermind. The wafer thin man in the big suits understood the theatrics behind music concerts, recognized it was unexpected, and then overdelivered to cement The Talking Heads as everyone's favorite eclectic band. I recall the first time watching Stop Making Sense. I owned the CD. Liked it well enough. But watching the DVD brought about an entirely different revere I had for David Bryne and The Talking Heads. First and foremost was the typographic treatment of the title credits created by Pablo Ferro. They were visually arresting and immediately set the tone for the rest of the visual experience ahead. Stop and hit Amazon right now if you don't own this DVD. I emplore you.

Psycho Killer
Barren stage, Sperry Top-siders, boom box at the ready. A classic case of "less is more." My mantra for the new year. Brilliant.
This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)
Bar none, my fave Talking Heads tune. End of discussion. 
Strange Overtones
David Byrne + Brian Eno
Two masterminds. Not much else needs to be said.

:: The Blue Nile
The Blue Nile have been a mainstay in my weekly listening since my days at Wittenberg. They play on my senses w/their aloof tones and dreamy ambient beats: "soulful songs of urban melancholy." 

This song was my first exposure to the band. And fan to the end since. 
A Walk Across The Rooftops
I've never been to London, but this is were my mind wanders when I listen to this song. Donning a trench coat, of course. Love the lyrics: "I am in love. I am in love with you..." 
Downtown Lights
From the critically acclaimed Hats LP. I agree with Stylus Magazine, "Monumental is one word to describe the second track, “The Downtown Lights”. It glistens and sparkles, as it utilizes all the 80s synth touches people seem to be ashamed of, with a dreamy sense of awe and beauty." 
Tomorrow Morning
I live for the end of this song where Paul Buchanan croons, "Come on, Girl" and the singular hand clap soon thereafter. Don't ask me why.

:: Roxy Music 
Sex. Fashion. Music. Enter Bryan Ferry, frontman for Roxy Music. Roxy was in a class their own with Ferry's vocals paired with Brian Eno's trademark keyboard and synth arrangements. If Ferry seems effeminate to you, watch Live At the Apollo. While he's high glam, you'll see he's all man.

Love is The Drug
I love the sfx of the foot steps and the car starting, James Dean style. 
The Space Between
From their most commercial LP, Avalon. Great any time, day or night.

Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix)
A hit w/Warhol, Bianca + Crew at Studio 54 in the early 80s. No doubt.

:: The Style Council
 Dear Style Council, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. All these tunes are from their 1984 LP Café Bleu which captures their breadth perfectly. 

Mick's Blessings
This song is so me: hand-clapping, a tambourine (!!) and piano (note: will try to learn to play in '10)
Paris Match
I get lost in Tracey Thorn's vocals. Just pour a decadent french red and off you go. Ah, vive la France.
The Whole Point of No Return
Paul Weller, I am forever a fan. "From good stock and the best breeding..." 
Council Meetin'
This last track on Café Bleu is simply a feel good tune to send you on your way.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you'll love me 'til my heart stops
Love me 'til I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head

~ This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) 
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :