Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Let's play a round of Mixtape!

I am trying my damnedest to make lemonade out of this box of freaking lemons Fate has handed me in the form of the unobtainable, so I am asking for your assistance, my darlings. I am making a list of all the songs I would put on a mixtape for a boy I want who is currently deeply involved with someone else. The tape is intended to woo him, possibly against his better judgment, so it has to make me appear witty, self-deprecating, and completely irresistible. THIS IS A THEORETICAL EXERCISE. I will not be making an actual tape, I will not be passing on an actual tape, I will be doing no wooing of people who have conflicting commitments. That being said, these have to be actual songs, easily obtainable by me. In case I want to make a copy of this mixtape and listen to it in the privacy of my own bedroom. Ready? Here we go:

Not Fade Away by Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Passionate Kisses by Lucinda Williams (Live at he Fillmore version)
Dream a Little Dream by the Beautiful South

Now, granted, I could make this all on my own. But I already know what I would put on here. I want to know what you think I should put on here. You know, just in case!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More self-absorbed musings!

I've been posting a lot lately, huh? I have a lot of head-junk to clear out, so just bear with me.

First of all, since lately we've been on the subject of the things I love without reservation or explanation, I want to talk about country music from the late 80's to the mid 90's or so. La Fab mentioned in a comment that she liked the mid 90's country movement, but frankly I am not in touch with what was going on after 1994 or so, until Whiskeytown and Uncle Tupelo started fetishizing Bill Monroe. (This might actually be what she's talking about). Nope, I'm actually talking not-nostalgic, non-ironic country music from that era. See, I was in my formative years, musically speaking, then, and I was living in an area of Colorado that is best described as rural. Country music surrounded me. Some of it was just plain awful, unlistenable pop. And some of it was fairly innocuous. And some of it is burned into my brain. Specifically, these songs:

1)Just Call Me Lonesome by Radney Foster. I talk a good game about loving the Cash and I can hold a conversation about Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, or George Jones, but this is my all time favorite country and western song not recorded by Patsy Cline or Hank Williams. It's a little honky-tonk, a little Texas Swing, a lot perfect. Also on this album (DelRio, Texas, 1959, if anyone cares) is a gem called Lousiana Blue, which contains the line,"where the muddy bayous run just as black as Coca-Cola." The full phrase Coca-Cola is something you hear only in certain parts of the country, and it is way more evocative of Louisiana to me than countless other poetic turns of phrase I've heard.

2)I Feel Lucky by Mary Chapin Carpenter. This is actually a rock and roll song cleverly disguised as a country song, repackaged for a different audience. It's got a really bluesy guitar, boogie-woogie piano, and some tambourine breakdown. Plus, she name-checks Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakam as objects of attraction. Yes, the two goofiest dudes in music. And she talks about frozen burritos. I think I would probably like to have beers with this lady. The other winner from this album is Passionate Kisses, written by Lucinda Williams. If you don't know about her, you should. It was my favorite love song for a long time.

3)Is There Life Out There by Reba McEntire. Okay, the song leaves me a little cold, but the video features Huey Lewis as her husband. HUEY LEWIS, my friends. And I don't care what you say, Sports is a great fucking album.

4)Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson I don't know what it is about this song. I once waited until 1:00 in the morning to watch this man perform. This was the only song of his I knew, or even still know, and it was worth every minute. I learned to two step to this song.

Can we go back to Huey Lewis and the News for a minute? Organ in Hip to be Square. Pure genius.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I want to say that I was thinking about country music in part because I had a weird little thing happen this week, and I ended up crying over a boy I couldn't have instead of one who was breaking my heart, leaving me defenseless and frustrated that I was upset over the things that never happened. It felt like high school all over again, and after spending a few hours listening to the Replacements, I moved on to the good stuff. In this case the country. Except, confessionally, I did not listen to that Reba McEntire song. I just threw that in so I could talk about Huey Lewis.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Skinny blond boys in pompadours and big guitars.

Mike Mascari in 10th grade English class.

Elvis Costello.

Pre-Army stint Elvis Presley.

Shaggy haired wild eyed creative types with baggy black leather jackets and sneakers.

Men significantly taller than I.

Slightly naive, sort of cornfed boys.

Jazz musicians who tilt back their porkpie hats before closing their eyes and leaning back to hit a high note.

Michael Hutchence. Never Tear Us Apart.

Gene Kelly.

Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock.

Chris in the morning.

Lane Meyer.

Rob Gordon.

Lloyd FUCKING Dobler.

And you?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

F**ck you very much.

John Cusack, you have a lot to answer for. I know everyone born between 1968 and 1978 has already taken you to task for this, but I just have to say it, too. Rob Gordon? Lane Meyer? Lloyd FUCKING Dobler? Do you realize how utterly you've ruined the women of my generation? Of course you do, because people keep telling you. People like Chuck Klosterman, whose book I opened mere hours after obsessively watching the special features for High Fidelity for the gazillionth time. People like my girlfriends, and all the men who regretfully shake their heads when picking up my girlfriends, saying, "I could NEVER imagine being able to live up to your image of Lloyd Dobler!" No one can live up to your particular brand of romantically flawed self-awareness. NOBODY WANTS TO TRY. So, thanks. Thanks a whole parking lot.

And you. Yeah, Klosterman, I'm talking to you. Did you have to go and out us? Because we are the sort of cynical girls who would rather keep that stuff on the d.l. We know. We get that you are intimidated by our understandable attraction to the sensitive slacker that is Mr. Cusack. Would you rather be intimidated by our mystifying attraction to, say, the androgynous King of the Goblins, as played by David Bowie? Isn't that a little lowering? He wears incomprehensible make-up! He wears very, very tight leather jodhpurs! HE'S A GOBLIN KING. There, now you've made me shout for the second time in a single blog post. Happy?

While we're on the subject - Elvis Costello. Umm, Alison? Veronica? You were the only fucking rock and roll star who ever made me want to change my name. You made it acceptable for mildly attractive and completely nerdy guys to go for girls who are patently out of their league. You know the type - you and Mr. Cusack up there conspired to create them, practically- the dangerously smart, stylish girls with careful, messy hair and giant shoulder bags instead of purses, full of Maybelline Great Lash in blackest black and mix tapes featuring Tokyo Storm Warning and You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Yes, you're sneaky enough to pass on your own music and that of Bob Dylan). Girls who sport quirky teeshirts and India cotton skirts and 21 hole Doc Martins. Girls who quote the Simpsons and Kant in equal measure. My point being, us mildly attractive and completely nerdy girls who were once in those guys' league are suddenly beneath them, and it's because of you. And John Cusack. And the guy who invented the tape recorder.

THIS, my friends, is why I only listen to rockabilly anymore.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Adding a new thing to my list

This is no mere "Let me tell you why California Girls is a great freakin' rock and roll song" kind of love. This is true love, deep-seated, soul-mate Harlequin romance love. It's the way I want to kiss certain boys, even if they're the wrong ones. The new love of my life is:

Sea salt caramels. It's as if some crafty and magnanimous chocolatier attempted to create something that would cause me to marry him immediately (if only this would happen!). Hmm, the chocolatier says to himself. She loves caramel, and bittersweet chocolate, but that is by far too prosaic. What would lift this into the realm of the sublime, thereby securing her heart? Large grains of gray sea salt! Little did my candyman know it would make me want to marry the candy, and not the maker.

And also, who decided that a maraca was a good shape for a tea infuser? I just bought this one, and it is a case of unnecessary improvement. I have for years used a wire mesh tea strainer with a chain. It is nearly indestructible, holds a respectable amount of tea, and is easy to open and close. When I was using my birthday gift card today, saw the tea maraca, and thought to myself, why the heck not? It's pleasantly shaped. I sort of want to shake it! The thing is, though, that the polycarbonate makes it buoyant in a way my mesh one never is, it's kind of hard to open, and you have to grip the drippy part to empty it. Not to mention, if you shake it like you want to , you run the risk of boiling hot water everywhere. Even at $10, it is three times as expensive as replacing my mesh one, which I have only in my life replaced twice, once because my 10-year-old, who was a baby, broke the hinge. I'll drop it in the drawer, and I'll probably bring it out every once and a bit, if I can't find my other one, or if I'm feeling a little masochistic, but eh. I love this CONSIDERABLY less than my most perfect of confections, the sea salt caramel.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just a list

Here is a partial list of things I'm not ashamed to love. Please note, these are not things which carry no inherent shame. These are the things that other people look askance at you to ask,"You love that? I mean, I understand enjoying it, but love? Strong words, mate." I love them. You have to live with it.

Tuna fish sandwiches
The Beach Boys, even all the not-Pet Sounds stuff
Disney movies
Renaissance Faires
Socks with goofy pictures on them
board games, especially Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit
Soda in glass bottles
Fresh boxes of crayons
Short stories
National Geographic Magazine
Natural History Museums
Not-scary carnival rides
Squished pennies
Flavored lipgloss
Hedgehogs (okay, who doesn't love a hedgehog?)
Vintage taffeta slips with zippers

Add your own in the comments. It's fun!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A few thoughts on celebrity

So my current favorite thing to do in the whole world right now is this: Find an awesome song (the Buddy Holly version of Ready Teddy tonight; the Dusty 45's Bumblebee is running a close second. The new live version), strap on my purple acoustic bass, and jump around pretending I'm actually playing along instead of barely hanging onto the root chords. I like to shake really hard while I'm doing it, although in real life this makes it impossible to play. If I can manage to hang onto the harmony at the same time, so much the better. It wasn't until about an hour ago that I realized that this is not a common behavior. I mean, not the bass-playing even, so much, but the sheer abandon. I am a talker-to-myself, a singer-along, a take-a-bow-after-a-shower air guitarist type. I do it all the time, and I just figured that everybody was that way. HUH-UH. Nope. As a matter of fact, the part where I use music as my own personal pharmacy to bring me up or calm me down, or make me feel sexy or put me to sleep - did you know there are people who don't do that? It baffles me.

Which brings me to my real point. I am in a conundrum concerning the band. I want more all the time. More stage time, more space, more adulation, more applause. I want more eyes on me. Being on stage is the biggest high I know right now. And I take for granted that everybody feels that way. But the thing is, I had a talk the other day with a near and dear and she mentioned that when we were on the stage, the light seemed blindingly bright, that it was almost disorienting. I was stunned; she hated it!I live to find my light. How do I split the difference between what I want - gigging out every weekend or at least once a month, a bigger store of knowledge concerning this whole inclusive thing, the equipment and the history and the heart behind it - and what everyone else wants? How do I keep being a performer in a sea of musicians?

Anyhow, peeps, more cheering and raving. I adore it.

And for good luck, a gratuitous picture of my kids, who while one day sing my back-up.