song o’ the day

January 29, 2007

Neutral Milk Hotel – “The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1”

And your mom would drink until she was no longer speaking,
And dad would dream of all the different ways to die –
Each one a little more than he could dare to try.

No, I really don’t stop loving this album.

song o’ the day

January 26, 2007

It’s been a few weeks since the last song o’ the day, hasn’t it? Well, these are the songs that I would have posted if I’d been more proactive about communicating with the world. Two dancey tracks, and two introspective head music sort of tracks:

Of Montreal – “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse”

C’mon chemicals!

This is, I think, the most catchy song on this catchiest of albums. I’m dying to see them play a show again, I can’t wait. This song has the perfect head-bopping-from-side-to-side sound in it.


(OK, that’s not a record cover, but it’s a really cute poster, and I want it.)

The Skatalites – “Lucky Seven”

I love the mouth noises (huh! hee! hee-bop!) and the clacking, choo choo train sound in this song, not to mention the horns that make me want to jump up and down with my knees held high like those boys in the club did near Stanford U. back in the day.


The Radio Dept. – “The City Limit”

Don’t drop me off just yet, it’s too safe.
… just drive, the city limit’s fine.

This is the final track on the “Pulling Our Weight” EP, and it sounds EXACTLY like driving in a car with someone, and it’s somewhat sad, and you don’t want the night to end, but it’s going to end, and you feel a little panicky, and you can’t talk anymore, but you just bliss out on the music playing on the stereo. Like being in high school, I guess….
Well, more accurately, it’s a very fuzzed out shoegazey sort of song.


The Microphones – “The Moon”

We just lied on the roof and watched the moon, the moon,
the blue light of the moon.
We didn’t talk, and silently we both felt powerful.

This album sounds incredible on headphones. I’ve been listening to it while walking home from work. This song is my favorite – it starts off with three (?) acoustic guitars playing different things all at once, and then shortly after the one minute mark, BOOM! lyrics and drums and more fuzzy shoegazey (yes, more of that stuff) kicks in. It’s frantic and gorgeous.

can you dig it?

January 21, 2007

(I’m the 2nd from the left, in the blue and white dress, Robb took the photo)

Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies played their first show last night at Local 506, opening for The Gondoliers and Death of the Sun. I have taken a hiatus from the band due to some personal things I have had going on, so it was a very bittersweet night for me, to watch the band really come together onstage. They played so well, and looked so cute, and the club was packed with friends and other random people. I really think the band is going to go somewhere – Chapel Hill is ready for a super P!O!P! almost-all-girl band.

Amanda called me up onstage for the last song, “Can You Dig It.” Matt handed me a tambourine, and we got to playing. And it felt SO GOOD to be onstage with my lovelies, and play our song together, and look out into the crowd of people and see them happy and dancing and smiling, and all those familiar faces. I’d thought it would be terrifying to be onstage, but it wasn’t at all, it just felt very, very fun.

I hope I can play with the band for real in the near future. It was hard not to start crying on my way out of the club.

(title from lyrics from the song “Mathilda” by Cookie and The Cupcakes)

As part of my job I occasionally do radio shows on WXYC, the local college station. This Sunday I will be playing a show consisting entirely of…..


Eh? You say? Wikipedia says Swamp pop is a musical genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenaged Cajuns and black Creoles, it combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences.

But I think it’s more like rockabilly with a Louisiana flavor.

I had a lot of fun putting this show together, especially messing with the sweet 45s my library has got in our collection and dancing in the studio while digitizing tracks.

So listen, y’all. If you’re in the area, you know how to find WXYC on the dial, and if you’re not in the area, you can stream the show live over the internet from

I’ll be on this Sunday, from 1-2 pm Eastern time. The show is officially called Hell or High Water. This is my third ever radio show, so I’m still nervous, folks, but this is gonna be a good one, I swear.


January 19, 2007

1. Locopops is opening a storefront in Chapel Hill, in the same building where 3 Cups is located. This is very happy-making.

2. I found my first grey hair on my head this very morning. I’ve been expecting this to happen this past year, so I’m not surprised. I’m just glad I stopped dyeing my hair so I can see those grey hairs pop up in their natural setting.

3. I am moving into a new place in Chapel Hill this weekend – if you are the sort of person who sends me things in the mail, e-mail me and I’ll send you my new address, rsdchen at gmail dot com. It’s a funky place, with a great location, not bad rent, so I’m pretty excited about it.

help a girl out

January 14, 2007

I am desirous of the following albums:

Sparklehorse Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
CSS Cansei de Ser Sexy
The Legends Facts and Figures
The Manhattan Love Suicides The Manhattan Love Suicides
Lily Allen Alright, Still
The Knife Silent Shout
Peter Bjorn and John Writer’s Block

Which are not available via my usual music purchasing outlet these days, emusic. (Speaking of which, if anyone was considering subscribing to emusic, could you list me as a referrer….I get 50 free downloads if you do, which is always nice.)

If anyone could send me digital files of any of those albums I would be eternally grateful and would offer you whatever you might be interested in from my own catalog (58 GB and counting) in return.

my top 20 + 1 songs of 2006

January 13, 2007

Well, yeah, things have been busy, and it took me a lot of time to really allow my list of favorite songs of 2006 to coalesce, but I have given it some thought, and I have to say, I really liked the following tracks:

(in no order whatsoever)

1. Pelle Carlberg – “Clever Girls Like Clever Boys Much More Than Clever Boys Like Clever Girls”
2. the Starlight Mints – “Seventeen Devils”
3. Casiotone For the Painfully Alone – “When You Were Mine” (yes, it’s a cover of the Prince song, but sooooo good, so deadpan)
4. Band of Horses – “The Funeral”
5. the Strokes – “On the Other Side”
6. Beirut – “Postcards From Italy”
7. Headlights – “TV”
8. Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”
9. M. Ward – “Poison Cup”
10. the Foundry Field Records – “Buried Beneath the Winter Frames”
11. Islands – “Rough Gem”
12. Califone – “3Legged Animals”
13. the Gossip – “Standing in the Way of Control”
14. Arab Strap – “[If There’s] No Hope For Us”
15. Belle and Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
16. Tapes ‘n Tapes – “Insistor”
17. Still Flyin’ – “M’stery Tent”
18. the Pipettes – “Pull Shapes”
19. Peter Bjorn and John – “Young Folks”
20. Lily Allen – “LDN”

And one more, for a not so even 21:

21. Yo La Tengo – “Tighten Up” (it’s a novelty song but cracks me up every single time I hear it)

I wanted to include a Destroyer song, because I loved the album so much, but that 9 minute song that I loved just became annoying as a stand-alone track after a while. The whole album, though, is definitely in my top 3 favorite albums of last year, with Camera Obscura’s album, and…um, something else.

I have to say, I feel like 2005 was a much more exciting year for music than 2006.

waving, not drowning

January 3, 2007

From Jonathan Cainer’s forecasts:

…now, as you attempt to settle into a new routine for a new year, a part of you feels as if you may be living on another planet from certain other people. In a sense, you are. That’s why it is so important to live by your standards, not theirs.

Which I should keep in mind as this new year begins. I’m starting to realize how living by other people’s standards in the past has damaged me, and it’s going to take a lot of work to get past the damage to my self-esteem, to my ability to be loved, among other things. I’m figuring out how to do that, I hope. But it’s just barely starting.

I feel like I’m drowning right now, barely holding it together. It’s been so hard for so long now, it seems, and it’s going to continue being hard.

But I am learning how to cook, because I have to. Last night Tallulah started eating the food that I made for us, and she said, “Mom, this is really good. You’re getting better at cooking.” This, after I burned the bacon on Christmas morning. I guess I am getting better. Putting a meal together requires a certain type of thought process that I just haven’t cultivated in my entire adult life, because I always had someone to rely on to feed me. Yesterday evening it started clicking in for me, that thought process, very vaguely, but I saw it come together as I poured olive oil into a pan, chopped garlic, and almost without thinking decided to add some tomatoes and marjoram, and so on. And a meal came together and the children actually ATE it. Even the broccoli. And it is so good to know that I’m doing something right with my children, that my daughter, without prompting, in an appropriate moment, knows how to show appreciation and encouragement. And she’s not even six years old yet.

That was the bright moment of the evening. The rest of the time I was in tears, not really holding together very well, feeling frantic inside. My eyes drop the tears without me even knowing anymore. The future is very scary.

But people tell me I’m strong, and I guess I am. I look back on the last 6 weeks and don’t understand how I got through the days without completely falling apart. But I’m still here, and I’m still (mostly) functioning, so there is some strength in me.

Things I want to work on this year:

– cut back on the amount of smoking, so I’ll be closer to my goal of quitting before I’m 30
– walk to work more
– learn how to plan meals that are healthy and inexpensive (eat less meat!)
– check out the gym and see if exercise helps my stress
– get on top of getting the dental work I need
– reduce the amount of “stuff” in my home environment
– get closer to becoming the adult I want to be

what a sound

January 2, 2007

My god, I love Otis Redding.