song o’ the day

July 28, 2006

Architecture in Helsinki – “Do the Whirlwind”

Tallulah and I have been grooving to this song in the car during the morning drive to her preschool this past week. And there is a cute music video (on youtube).

ghost in the office?

July 28, 2006

A few minutes ago I was sitting here at my desk at work, typing away on my computer, when I felt a cat rub up against my shin, as cats tend to do. And then a second after I felt that I realized THERE ARE NO CATS IN MY OFFICE. And my skin became electrified because, wow, this is crazy.

Apparently I now have a phantom cat.

song o’ the day

July 27, 2006

Jonathan Richman – “Circle I”

Because there ain’t no potato like natural potato, no.
And there ain’t no tomato like natural tomato, no.
And there ain’t no spinach and there ain’t no corn…

As the years go by, I realize more and more I need to get more Jonathan Richman in my life. And after watching him crawl on the ground and sing in Sproul Plaza, circa 1981 I am further convinced.

(I was boggled the other night while watching that, I know exactly where on Sproul Plaza that is, where the person holding the camera is. As of 2003, when I left town, the place looked exactly, almost creepily the same as it did in this grainy film footage from 1981)

Sean called me this morning from work while I was eating breakfast – he goes in two hours earlier than I do, and comes home two hours earlier so that the children don’t have to spend all day away at school – to tell me that he by accident put on my American Analog Set t-shirt. This is funny because he does not like American Analog Set, declaring them “boring” (that’s alright, we have slightly different tastes). This is also funny because the shirt is “girl” sized, cut tightly and short. I can’t wait to see what that looks like when I get home later today. Ha ha, it’s cracking me up just thinking about it. (Although he better not stretch it out….hmmm.)
Back in the day, when we were young undergraduates, we used to wear the same size clothes, it’s funny to see that happening again, although he likes his clothes loosely fitted and I like mine more tightly fitted.

Also Tallulah is making her first mix tape, or, as she calls it, “mix-up tape.” She’s selected five songs for it so far. She and Matilda were dancing in their underwear all goofy-like to the songs last night. And she’s excited about sending copies of it to all her friends. I am so proud.

I’ve got a nice weekend coming up, been anticipating it for a number of days now. Band meeting tonight, in which I will have another opportunity to bang the hell out of a tambourine, and then Meriza comes for a weekend visit. I can’t wait.

song o’ the day

July 26, 2006

the Gaylads – “My Jamaican Girl”

…you sly, foxy thing, you…

I couldn’t find a pretty picture of the original single or of the Gaylads themselves, so here’s a picture of the boring Trojan Records box set that I found this song on in the first place. That was a nice mistake I made, purchasing that for my birthday. A lot of the songs have been growing on me. I danced in my bedroom this morning, listening to this song, thinking of ocean breezes and boys in trilby hats. It’s got a gentle, swinging beat, optimistic and happy.

It appears this was first released in 1971, and has made its way onto many compilations here and there.

Oh, and here’s a nice hat. Very nice. I did a lot of research on the Internet about the Gaylads, and rocksteady, and other things, just now, and yet, all I have to say is, “Oh, look, neat hat!” Grrr. Weekend, please come soon.

song o’ the day

July 25, 2006

Jens Lekman – “Black Cab”

Oh no, god damn.
I missed the last tram.
I killed a party again.
God damn, god damn.
I wanna sleep in my bed.
I wanna clean up my head.
Don’t wanna look this dead.
Don’t wanna feel this dread.

I can’t hear this song without thinking about the Magnetic Fields’s “100,000 Fireflies,” which is a song I actually don’t like very much (although the lyrics are lovely.) The plinky sound – what instrument is making that sound? it sounds harpsichordish – they both share is really attractive to my ears though. And Lekman’s low, deadpan voice crooning over the plinky sound is even better.

This has been song of the week, really. When I’m walking across campus to the bus stop after work the usual worries that have been busied away during the day start creeping back into my head. Lately I’ve been playing this song at that time on my headphones, and it keeps the worries – momentarily – at bay.

(photo of the Legends taken by thememorygirl, found on Flickr)

Last week I was browsing through photos of the recent Acid House Kings and Legends tours and really liked the way the ones taken at the Cake Shop in NYC came out. After viewing the pictures from Jeff Mangum’s recent appearance at the Cake Shop on Pitchfork this morning, I think it’s safe to say the Cake Shop has got a stage just perfect for taking really interesting band photos.

a weekend of reading

July 24, 2006

I have been feverishly consuming text all weekend.

First it began with Yannick Murphy’s Here They Come, which I selected from the new books shelf at Chapel Hill Public Library because the cover was pretty and it was a McSweeney’s book. I enjoyed reading it but it is the kind of book that, when you only have twenty pages remaining you realize that indeed, nothing is going to happen. I prefer my novels with neat and clever plots.

Then I spent all day Sunday devouring Mark Z. Danielewski’s House Of Leaves, taking breaks for assorted weekened activities, like attempting to track down some curing salt for Sean’s new I-want-to-cure-my-own-bacon project, coloring with Matilda, and brushing Tallulah’s doll’s hair. This book has been recommended to me by a number of people, and I’m so glad I took those recommendations to heart, because it was such a joy to read a book like this. I completed reading everything in the book but the Johnny Truant narrative, which I will read later this week. All afternoon I flipped through the pages quickly, wide-eyed, being truly taken in to the story. I was so chuffed by the way the book was designed, that the very act of reading was so important to the story. I first realized how cool this was (I’d thought it might be kind of gimmicky so was pleasantly surprised by how it wasn’t) when I couldn’t find a footnote – the number was there next to a passage, and I looked on the bottom of the page, in other footnotes, on other pages, in other bits of text all over the place and I couldn’t find it. I was lost, just as the characters in the book realized the truly horrifying labyrinthine nature of the house. It was incredible. I keep having to restrain myself this morning from Googling commentary on the book; I need to wait to finish the Johnny Truant narrative first. But I am so curious! What is Redwood? What’s with the Ash Tree Lane/Yggdrasil thing? Why is Chad such a creepy little kid? etc.

Finally, I slipped a book that Roman sent me for my birthday, Joan Didion’s collection of essays, The White Album, into my bag this morning and read the first ten pages on the bus. Her writing is perfectly exactly clear yet clever, I was reading it and thinking, “OH yes! This is exactly what I want from a writer!” I had to force myself to put the book away when I got off the bus, as walking through campus with my nose in a book can be dangerous. But this! This is what I mean: By way of comment I offer only that an attack of vertigo and nausea does not now seem to me an inappropriate response to the summer of 1968.

It makes me happy to know that I have wonderful things to read waiting for me – Johnny Truant at home, Joan Didion in my bag.

For Sunny and whoever else had trouble getting those songs from my spring mix number 3 to play in iTunes, here’s those six songs – they should play just fine now.

another yousendit link

It is dark and drippy looking outside today. Out my window it looks curiously like a temperate, rainy spring day, though I just know if I actually left this cocoon of air conditioned air in my house I would find myself in a sticky-hot steaming swamp. It’s gotta be better than the last week of sun beating down, mid 90-degree days though. It’s at least somewhat cooler. I guess there will be storms today, and the kids will be disappointed we won’t be able to go to the lake.

Both Thursday and Friday nights this past week I ended the night sitting outside, clutching my knees, talking with friends. Thursday night I was gazing out to a lonely mowed lawn bordered by trees covered in twisting, viney foliage. It was misty and green and lamplight blue. Friday I was sitting underneath pink-blooming crepe myrtles, cemetery at my back, on the embankment overlooking the bike path. It was a surprisingly social-looking night out there in Carrboro that Friday. There’s a particular something special about sitting outside on nights like these. The air retains its steaminess, but the temperature is in the low 70s and things regain a little bit of the activity or sense of forward motion that was lost in the heat of the day. The bugs continue making their creaky racket, which oddly enough after a few drinks is kind of a charming background noise, rather than the annoying reminder that it usually is that an insect could land in my hair at any moment.

shake it, shake it

July 21, 2006

From left to right: Cathleen, me, Amanda, Karen

Last night, we met up for first band meeting. Oh this is going to be so much fun. I’m a little scared, as I haven’t picked up an instrument since I was a kid and never thought I’d actually be making music rather than just listening to it. But it was a blast hearing Amanda’s awesome songs, shaking the tambourine around, call and response, clapping hands. Yeah.

(more pictures)