Sunday, December 30, 2007

High Dollar Hot Dogs With Chow Chow

Last night, the High Dollar Hot Dogs performed our second house concert at Glencoe. It was a housewarming party for Noah and Elizabeth as well as a birthday party for Noah. This time, not only was the crowd bigger, but the band was bigger, too. We had the usual four soprano ukes, but we added maracas, the marimba, the wood block and drums. And I played the shaker and claves on a couple songs, too. We decided to name the accompaniment appropriately, chow chow (our favorite hot dog topping).

Our set was all 70s pop and soft rock:
The Steve Miller Band's "The Joker," "Rockin' Me" & "Dance Dance Dance"
Firefall's "You Are the Woman"
America's "Sister Golden Hair" & "Tin Man"
Climax Blues Band's "Couldn't Get It Right"
The Little River Band's "Reminiscing"
Kenny Loggins' "Danny's Song"

We had amps and mics, too. It was weird to be electrified. But the crowd loved us. There were even kids dancing which is always a good sign. Ted looked like a real rock star with his electric uke. Someone said that he looked like Huey Lewis.

After the show cleared out, we went back to Noah & Elizabeth's house and sat by the fire and listened to music... probably one of my all-time favorite things to do. What a great night!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Robert Writes About Our Food Adventure

My friend, Robert, writes for the Village Voice. Here is his tale about our eating adventure in South Ozone Park, NY.

Birthday Champagne

Can't get your cork out of your champagne bottle? It's easy! Just use a sword to get it off.

Radio Show, Wednesday December 19 10pm-midnight

The Spinners - It's A Shame
Bjork - Big Time Sensuality
Thurl Ravenscroft - You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Stephin Merritt - Ukulele Me!
Of Montreal - Lysergic Bliss
Looking Glass - Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)
Steve Miller Band - Dance, Dance, Dance
Two Dollar Pistols - When It Was Over
E. G. Daily - One Way Love
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
Mazzy Star - Flowers In December
Ivy - The Best Thing
The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
The Monotones - Book Of Love

Germaine introduced me to the voice of Thurl Ravenscroft. He was the voice of Tony the Tiger and he can be heard in many animated Disney films. I wonder if he and Cliff Edwards ever worked together. I just love his voice: deep and kinda ominous. Germ sent me a couple Marlboro commercials and a song about North Carolina featuring Thurl. I like it when they pop up on my Ipod. As I was searching for a photo of Thurl, I found this slew of Thurl Ravenscoft mp3s. Holy cow!

I keep forgetting that we have the soundtrack to Better Off Dead at the radio station. I just love the school dance scene with E. G. Daily and her band singing "One Way Love." After googling her name, I discovered that she not only has a website but she is still making music as well as doing animation voiceover. She's contributed her voice to Rugrats and the Powerpuff Girls. She looks weird.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Don't Hate All Christmas Music

I am not a fan of Christmas music. But there are a few yuletide songs that I cannot live without. Pearl Bailey's "Jingle Bell Cha Cha Cha" being one of them. And I guess that there is only one more, "Winter Wonderland" by Darlene Love, but only because that song is featured in the my favorite movie of all-time, Better Off Dead.

But now I'm adding one more song to the list. "White Christmas" by the Drifters. Listen to it. Doo wop makes everything better.

Thanks, Christa!!!

UPDATE: I was so impressed with the Drifters' version of "White Christmas" that I ran out to Offbeat Music and bought a Drifters Greatest Hits Collection. OH. MY. GOD. It's incredible. They sing a version of "Memories Are Made Of This" that just about made me run off the road. I think I have listened to it at least 15 times today. And I have watched that silly little flash video of "White Christmas" just as many times. The Drifters are the best!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I Don't Have Time To Write

I don't know how I got roped into working both Saturday and Sunday when I am permanently leaving my job next week. Somehow I have managed to work every single day since Monday, December 3th. Not only have I been slaving away at my full-time job and working for my clients, but I've been helping out at a friend's store during the Christmas rush in my free time. Boy am I tired. And I have to be back at work tomorrow at 8am. I have to work Christmas Eve, too!

With all this work, I just haven't had time to think about writing at all. My posts have been so impersonal lately and just completely boring. Someone even complained that I am no longer telling any good stories. I just can't think of any right now.

So, in lieu of personal stories, how about some personal pictures? My mom sent me these last week.

This is me sitting in a tub on my grandparents' back porch in Danville, VA. The table and chairs are now in my own kitchen. (Thank you, Dr. Buckley, for the eight eye surgeries to uncross those eyes.)

This just makes me laugh:

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Radio Show, Wednesday December 12 10pm-Midnight

Mark Kozelek - Up To My Neck In You
Fred Neil - Everybody's Talkin'
Roxy Music - More Than This
Ricky Nelson - I'm Confessin'
Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream
Akron/Family - Love, Love, Love
Ike & Tina Turner - Sugar, Sugar
The Shocking Blue - Send Me A Postcard
The International Submarine Band - Folsom Prison Blues & That's All Right
Billy Stewart - Reap What You Sow
Lou Barlow (The Sixths) - In the City In the Rain
The Spinanes - Kid In Candy

Do you know Fred Neil? I don't know Fred Neil, but Richard Hawley cites him as an influence. I know his once song, "Everybody's Talking," but only because Harry Nilsson covered it.

Ike Turner died last Wednesday. In memory, I played Ike and Tina's version of "Sugar Sugar." I gotta say that I just have never really gotten into their music. It seems that it should be up my alley.. Perhaps there is a certain era or album that I should try, but I haven't found it yet.

I definitely don't listen to the Shocking Blue enough. When I was in NYC, Robert was playing a collection of 60s & 70s Asian psych pop which contained a cover of Shocking Blue's "Send Me a Postcard." That song just rocks my world and then some.

It's such a crazy time for me right now: I'm trying to tie up loose ends at work before I leave. I'm trying to get ready for the new job that starts in a couple weeks. I'm trying to finish Christmas shopping and Christmas cards. I'm trying to get in as much ukulele practice as possible as I have to play in front of people twice next week. I am also trying to bowl as much as possible so that I can get used to my new ball before the new season starts. AND I have been working my Christmas job on top of all my other jobs. It's just nuts. I did one more radio show last night, but I probably won't do another one until the semester starts back up. But the one thing that has been pushed to the side is my blog. I hate that. Writing makes me happy. But I'll get back to it soon. I hope.

The playlist for last Wednesday's show can be found here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas To Me!!!!

I bought some new shoes! For bowling. Pink and silver. Ooh la la!

And I got my own ball. The guy at the bowling store convinced me to get a fingertip grip. We'll see how that goes. I wanted this blue one.

My goal is to break 100 in at least half my games in 2008! Go Gutterglory!

Can I Get An Amen?!!!!!

Why I am happy, proud, and absolutely relieved that I am single. I couldn't have written it better myself.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This Is Just Wrong

Paris Hilton is pushing a new product these days: champagne in a can. If Miller High Life is the champagne of beers, then is Paris' new Rich® Prosecco the beer of champagnes? Drinking prosecco from a can just seems wrong. A marketing strategy like this makes me think that it probably taste like pee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Clyde Angels

So many wonderful things have happened for me this year. I think that 2007 has been one of the best years of my life.

One of the great things to happen to me this year is reconnecting with my old friend, Clyde Jones. In the mid-nineties, I would go out to the Critter Crossing to visit Clyde at least once a week. I learned about Clyde through Craven, who studied Clyde during a UNC folklore class. He said, "Charlotte, you just gotta meet this guy." So, I went out there with only the knowledge that this guy built animals out of wood using a chainsaw. Whatever. Big Deal. Yawn.

But wow. Before you even reach his yard, you can see his work from down the street. And then when you finally reach his yard, it's just mind-blowing. There are critters and paintings everywhere. I was instantly charmed by his work. I squealed when I saw his animals. The passion in his artwork could immediately be felt upon entering his yard. The critters were cut by chainsaw from logs and pieced together with huge nails. The heads were made of cedar and decorated with paint, glitter, flowers and other found objects. Each horse, dog, cow, mosquito, giraffe, person, elephant, fish, deer, and cat had individual personality. I found myself wandering around his yard petting each one and talking to them.

Eventually, one time when I was out visiting, Clyde came outside to meet me. We had a great time talking and soon became really good friends. During our weekly visits, I'd talk to him about how I wanted to move away or how I was having a hard time with my parents or stuff going on at work, and he would always offer simple but wonderful advice. And he would discuss his artwork with me. He would discuss how he was trying to paint new animals or how he was out trying to find new cedar stumps. I was honored that he sought my opinion on his work.

During that time, we even made several critters together. We made a HUGE giraffe for my porch. We made painting for my parents. We made little critters which are still scattered all over my house. I even made some artwork for him to hang on his porch. My favorite subject to paint was Clyde and his dog, Speck. But once I moved to Durham and started working in Raleigh, our visits became less frequent. And when I did make it out to Bynum, it seemed that he was never at home. He's a busy artist.

But this summer, when I was regularly out tubing on the Haw, I started visiting Clyde all over again. And we just picked up where we left off. And I've been out to visit him about once a month ever since. Yesterday afternoon, I went over to Clyde's for a visit and to pick up an angel that he was supposed to be making for my for my Christmas decorations. He had been working on the Nativity for his yard, but was having trouble with the Baby Jesus. He instructed me to drive by the Bynum Church down the street from him to see a finished Nativity.

This is Clyde's Baby Jesus from the Bynum Church Nativity:

So, Clyde ended up giving me three angels for Christmas. Two for me and one for my mom and dad. While listening to my favorite radio show of the year, Bill Burton's Best of the Year Show, I wrapped my angels in lights. It's better than a Christmas tree:

I was going to get a real Christmas tree for the first time ever. (The thought of that just seems so grown-up.) But since I was out of town last weekend and I am swamped this weekend, I decided to put off getting a Christmas tree for another year. I think that the angels look better than a tree anyway. Now I just need to wrap some presents to scatter at their feet.

More Ricky Nelson

Writer, Jody Rosen explains Hawley like I am unable to. Rosen really gets it. All I know is that Richard Hawley has rekindled my obsession with Ricky Nelson now.

Ricky Nelson makes me swoon.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Radio Show Friday, November 30, 2007

Damon and Naomi - Lilac Land
Massive Attack - Better Things
Tippy Canoe - Neighbor of the Telltale Heart
Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark - Enola Gay
Joe Henry - Civilians
Roy Orbison - In Dreams
Emmylou Harris - Sweet Old World
Ella Fitzgerald - I Can't Get Started
Holiday - Everything You Say
The Cure - Just Like Heaven
Rick Nelson - I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow
Everything But the Girl - Another Bridge
Richard Hawley - Valentine

What a week. I should've posted about my radio show much earlier in the week, but I was busy in NYC seeing Richard Hawley.

I love Richard Hawley's music partially because I love Roy Orbison and Ricky Nelson. I forgot about my love for Ricky Nelson until this week. I used to play him almost every day when I worked at Cameron's. When I was the cute little sales girl and arrived at work early enough, I got to pick the music that we would listen to for the entire day. It usually consisted of at least one of the following: Fred Astaire, Tex Williams, Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Van Morrison's Enlightenment record, and Aretha Franklin's Sweet Bitter Love. Getting to program the music for the day was the only incentive for me to get to work on time. There were a couple of folks that we all dreaded to program the CD changer. One guy was addicted to the Rent soundtrack and played it so frequently that I was on the verge of going postal. [By the way, support your local businesses like Cameron's during the holidays. Buy local.]

Here is Nelson singing "Lonesome Town" which Hawley covers. Ricky Nelson makes me melt. [Christa, this is for you.]

During my radio show, I played two songs in honor of my band, the High Dollar Hot Dogs. We haven't played in so long that I feel like we've broken up. But we're supposed to be doing some uke gigs after Christmas. In honor of us, I played "I Can't Get Started" as performed by Ella. And I played Ricky Nelson's take on Hank William's "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow." Both of these songs are in the HDHD's repertoire. Well, Noah and Ted have worked out the arrangement for "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow," but I haven't heard it yet.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Now that the semester is over for the kids, I've lost my 8-10am Friday morning slot. But for you west coast folks, I'll be on at a time that you can hear me... the next two Wednesday nights from 9-midnight EST.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Richard Hawley @ Other Music Dec 3, 2007

Charo and Richard Hawley, Other Music NYC 12/03/07

Call Me Irresponsible

On the advice of my friends yesterday, I went to check out the space at Other Music, which is hosting Richard Hawley's free in-store performance this evening. While I was in there, I became excited over three things: 1. I found a CD of the soundtrack to the 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, one of my all-time favorite movies. 2. I saw Parker Posey shopping in there! 3. The record store was tiny... about the size of my living room! Seeing an acoustic performance by Richard Hawley in such an intimate setting was too tempting to not stay.

So, I changed my flight. I am staying here an extra day. It feels so wrong. I am too responsible to do things like this. I feel a little freaked out. But darn it, I will never have this sort of opportunity again!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Oh Tonight, Oh Tonight, Oh Tonight, I Got It Real Bad

Yesterday was a super fine day. After sleeping in, April and I hopped in a car with Robert and headed out past Canarsie to South Ozone Park to eat some of the best Indian, Trini and Guyanese food I have ever eaten. Heck, I don't think I have ever had Guyanese food before in my life. We had Roti (a savory dish in which some doughy bread was stuffed with some sort of vegetable or meat) and Barfi (sweet candy along the lines of frosting). I love saying that. "Robert, could you please pass the Barfi?"

We stopped at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to watch the sunset on the way back to Manhattan. At one point, we just sat on a bench and listened to all kinds of birds chirp, squawk, shrill, and hum from all around us. It was a breathtaking experience.

After finishing up a bottle of Cava, Robert and I met up with Lee and headed to the Bowery Ballroom for the big event. I was very much impressed with the opening act, singer-songwriter, Ferraby Lionheart. Upon Bill's recommendation, I made sure that I got there in time to hear him. His songs are sweet country-tinged folky melodies. His sound is much more lo-fi compared to Hawley's.

After Lionheart, we waited for what seemed like an eternity for the guitar tech to get the gazillions guitars ready for Hawley and Hawley's guitarist. But then in what seemed like a dream, Hawley drifted in, picked up a guitar and began singing "Valentine." I was aglow. I couldn't stop smiling. I was watching Richard Hawley!! But it was an odd experience, because my obsession with him has been so private. Well, I write about it here, but I listen to his music alone, without anyone else around. So, it was a little strange to be sharing this experience in a room with 500 other people. But it was a great show. I danced like a fiend to "I'm Waiting for Someone to Find Me." And his performance of "The Sea Calls" and "Born Under a Bad Sign" just made me melt.

I woke today feeling like my life is complete. It's snowing outside. If my flight is cancelled then I am staying for Richard Hawley's in-store performance tomorrow night. I really want to stay. Should I stay or should I go?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Christmas Wish List

If you've ever been to my house, you've seen how my fascination with outsider art has manifested itself. I have artwork not only on walls and over door frames, but also under beds and in closets. I've kinda run out of wall space, but you know... I can always try to squeeze more somewhere. The ceilings are bare... I need ceiling art.

In the early 2000's, I frequently visited San Francisco and would always stop by Creativity Explored. It's a non-profit arts center for developmentally disabled adults. The artists create some of the most amazing artwork I have ever seen. And their monthly gallery openings in that space are just phenomenal. The artists are more than willing to talk to you about their work and are always very excited to see folks buying it. The artwork is powerful and rich and emotional and raw. Creativity Explored is the one non-NC non-profit to whom I regularly send contributions.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival screened a documentary this April called Cross Your Eyes Keep Them Wide about this facility, the artists and their work. I took Christa with me, who was quite impressed. This film won Full Frame's Jury Prize for Best Short.

This piece is by Andrew Li:

The last time I was in San Fran YEARS ago, I ate dinner at a restaurant where I struck up a conversation with some folks from the Black Rock Arts Foundation (the arts group who provide grants for Burning Man artists.) They were headed over to Creativity Explored gallery opening after dinner and invited me to tag along. I was more than happy to go! I had the best time meeting the artists and checking out their abundant masterpieces. I shipped stacks and stacks of artwork back to North Carolina. It was a great night.

This piece is by John McKenzie:

In the mail today, I received a postcard from Creativity Explored that their annual art sale is going on December 7-9. I really wish I could go. But there is no way that I could swing that. But if you happen to be in San Francisco looking for a Christmas present for me next weekend, Creativity Explored is where you should go. Whee!

Less Than Forty-Eight Hours

Holy cow! Holy cow! Holy cow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wootie woot woot!

After finishing the really amazing "Cheese Pork!" and banana pudding at Crooks with Maggie and my parents, I jumped into my car and let out a little "woo hoo!" My meal was soooo delicious that I felt giddy. And then I realized, I am not going to work tomorrow and that just made me feel all warm and happy. I clicked around on my Ipod to pull up my Richard Hawley playlist and hit play. (Who am I kidding, I haven't stopped listening to him since this summer.) The beautifully dreamy acoustic version of "Darliin'" came on and I just melted and I just smiled and smiled and smiled. By the time I reached 15-501 headed back to Durham, I was listening to his song "Serious" and I started squealing in the car. I literally screamed at the top of my lungs all the way to South Square. I am so darn excited! I am going to see Richard Hawley perform on Saturday night!

I'm flying to New York tomorrow afternoon in time for supper with the Badgers. Before the show on Saturday, I am going to spend some time eating with Robert. I think I might have even convinced him to come with me to the show. I need to pack my elastic waistband pants so that I can eat alot. I really hope I can make it to Crif Dogs. I haven't been there in a few years and their bacon-wrapped dog is divine.

But the show is going to be great. Seeing Richard Hawley is going to beat watching Duran Duran from the fifth row in the Greensboro Coliseum when I was in middle school. I hope I don't act too freaky. I am going to take Hawley a copy of my hot-off-the-burner Food Mix. Is that weird? Am I being too weird and stalkery? I am a little bit crazy.

Richard Hawley is performing an acoustic in-store set on Monday in New York at Other Music. Should I call in sick on Monday and Tuesday and stay a couple extra days? I feel like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Hawley do this in-store show. I am seriously thinking about it. And who cares, really... I'm quitting this job anyway. Hmmm. What should I do?

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Melody Haunts My Reverie & I'm Once Again With You

Around ten years ago, I regularly hung out in the local record stores blowing entire minimum wage paychecks on music. There was one store on Franklin Street, that I thought was the coolest. The manager, Brett, was so nice and we totally clicked musically. We clicked on a old school level that no straight man had ever clicked with me before. He'd order things for the store with me in mind, especially western swing, vintage country and 1950s pop vocalists. When someone came in selling an old R&B CD or doo wop or some old vocalist CD, he'd save it for me. There was always a little Charlotte pile waiting for me each week.

And the music that he introduced me to was just mind-blowing to me: the harmonies of the Everly Brothers pop hits, the craziness of Billy Stewart's scat, and the cowboy tunes of Tex Ritter. He helped me get beyond the cheesiness of 1950s pop, too, which was no small feat.

And then the mix tapes started. These were all cassettes of course. We traded like mad. And to this day, no one has made a better mix tape than Brett. There was one that contained the most heavenly selection of music that I had ever heard. I loved that tape. I listened to it constantly. Each 45-minute side was perfectly dreamy and pretty. And he made the tape just for ME! I swooned over him. I painstakingly tried to uncover hidden meanings in his song choices and song placement hoping to discover that Brett was in love with me. He wasn't. But we did have a small handful of dates, one of which ended with me dancing in his arms to "Since I Don't Have You" by the Skyliners. Ah...

After that date, things fizzled for Brett. We still traded mixes, but it wasn't the same. Soon the record store closed and Brett moved away. I have no idea what happened to him, but I will never forget him or that mix tape. To this day, it is my favorite mix tape ever.

His song selections included:
Night and Day - Fred Astaire
It's All In the Game - Tommy Edwards
You Belong To Me - Jo Stafford
Indian Love Call - Slim Whitman
Memories Are Made Of This - Dean Martin
Five Minutes More - Tex Beneke
Give Me More More More of Your Kisses - Lefty Frizzell
Wish You Were Here - Eddie Fisher
Book Of Love - Monotones
I'm A Little Mixed Up - Betty James
Tears on My Pillow - Little Anthony and the Imperials
Love Letters - Ketty Lester
Summer Place - Percy Faith

The tape is old now and very, very played. I am scared to listen to it because I don't want it to break. One day, I'll transfer it off the cassette and onto my laptop. Is there a USB cassette deck on the market yet?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ella and Her Fellas

I needed an Ella fix this morning. About halfway through this, it gets really really nutty... a cappella scat and it just gets better. She is crazy brilliant.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Radio Show Thursday, November 22 9AM-Noon

Wendy Renee - Bar-B-Q
Cisco Houston - Beans, Bacon And Gravy
The Viscounts - Shortnin' Bread
Louis Prima & Keely Smith - Banana Split For My Baby
Frank Sinatra - The Coffee Song
Big Bill Schaeffer - I Hate Popcorn
Louis Jordan - Cole Slaw
Little Joe and the Thrillers - Peanuts
Little Eva - Let's Turkey Trot
Oliver Twist - Food, Glorious Food
The Ink Spots - Pork Chops and Gravy
Sweet Violet Boys - I Love My Fruit
Little Jimmy Dickens - Cornbread and Buttermilk
Lonnie Donegan - Ham N' Eggs
Roscoe Gordan - Cheese and Crackers

On Thanksgiving morning, I did a three-hour show on food. Nothing but food songs. I loved it. I searched hard to find songs just about food. Not songs that mention food or songs about food-named dance styles. I wanted to hear folks singing about food or eating. Chomp. Chomp.

I made two exceptions to this rule, due to the fact that I rediscovered how much I love doo wop while researching this show. One of these exceptions was "Peanuts" by Little Joe and the Thrillers, which I played at full volume ten times before leaving for work on Wednesday. I was dancing hard in the kitchen until I realized that I was late for my 8am meeting.

The other exception to my food rule was Little Eva's "Let's Turkey Trot" which is about dancing. But I thought that this song is just brilliant. Instead of the backing vocalists singing "doo wop diddy diddy" as you might expect in a standard doo wop tune, they were singing "gobble gobble diddy diddy." How cool is that!?!?! So I just had to play it for Thanksgiving.

I discovered lots of new-to-me food songs from folks I know like Little Jimmy Dickens, Louis Jordan, the Sons of the Pioneers and Anita O'Day. And then there were songs from folks I had never heard of like the Sweet Violet Boys, the Thrones, and Bradley Kincaid.

But I think my favorite was the Viscounts' take on "Shortnin' Bread." That song is so much fun. It's a high-energy rockabilly number that makes me want to put on a cowgirl outfit with lots and lots of fringe and rollerskate around my house and dance like a lunatic. Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!

You can see all seventy-two food songs here. Chow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks Mr. DJ!

I had the worst soul-sucking day at work. Dazed, I left work and headed to the Federal for a beer with Patty and Mary. But I felt like crawling into a hole somewhere and not coming out until spring. When I arrived at the Federal, I was surprised to hear them playing Neutral Milk Hotel over the speakers, but I am always pleasantly surprised by their music choices. While I sipped on my Duck Rabbit porter, Patty mentioned that she had listened to some Richard Hawley and liked it. And then it dawned on me that I will be in New York City seeing Richard Hawley one week from Saturday!

But I left the bar still feeling kinda foggy. It can be really difficult to shake off a mind-crushing day at work sometimes. Today was one of those days.

But then, at 11:55pm, my melacholy was lifted. Bill played "Tonight the Streets Are Ours" by Richard Hawley. I squealed at the top of my lungs and ran into the kitchen and turned up the volume and pogo-stick danced all over the kitchen. I knocked some of the kinder egg toys off the windowsill during my shrieking dance fest. I think that if I made a top ten list of all my favorite things in the world, one of them would be hearing my favorite music randomly on the radio.

I cannot wait to go to New York next weekend. I am so excited.

But right now, I am afraid to go to bed. I am scared that I am going to have dreams involving Yo Gabba Gabba! I think I might love that show. It's now being recorded daily on my DVR. It's a kids show with wacky life-sized, brightly-colored creatures and psychedelic cartoons and kids dancing and indie rock. I swear one of the songs they played was sung by Dominique Durand of Ivy. But I couldn't find her listed in the credits anywhere. If you haven't heard of this show, here's a sample:

(Thanks, Skip!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Radio Show

I won't be on the radio this Friday morning due to the holiday schedule, but I will be on Thursday from 9am to noon eastern standard time. I just got the motherload of crazy old food songs all of which I hope to play on Thursday. I even have some new hot dogs songs!!! Heaven. And wouldn't you love to hear Sammy Davis, Jr. singing "Plop Plop Fizz Fizz" or the Andrews Sisters' take on "One Meat Ball?" Well, I got 'em!

I just have to figure out how to get these songs off my computer onto a CD. I cannot seem to burn CDs, but I am hoping that I can burn through Itunes.

I hate my new computer.... it is so frustrating and depressing. This is part of the reason that my blog posts have been less frequent. If you are interested in a fancy new laptop running Vista, let me know. I'll give you a deal.

But tune into WXYC on Thursday. Food songs always improve my mood. Even if I don't get this new crop of food songs off my laptop, I still have lots to play. I wish I could find a song about bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Yummmmmm. My next mix CD will definitely be a collection of meat songs focusing on pork products.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Radio Show Friday, November 16 8-10AM

Astrud Gilberto - Beginnings
The Brothers Dimm - To Oblivion
Keren Ann - Between the Flatland and the Caspian Sea
Clare & the Reasons - Track 1
Arizona - Midday Midnight
The Silver Seas - The Country Life
Ikettes - Doo Ron Ron
The Coasters - Yakety Yak
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Gone, Gone, Gone
Loudon Wainwright III - Valley Morning
Clyde McPhatter - Come What May
Everly Brothers - Kansas City
Magic Apron - Tender Ghosts
The Bird and the Bee - How Deep Is Your Love

At the beginning of my show, a woman wandered into the station because she loved the song that I was playing, "Beginnings" by Astrud Gilberto. She looked about my age and was in a professorish-looking suit. She said, "This is a Chicago song. It is music of my generation." She then asked if I was studying djing in school. I can't decide if it is cool or depressing that this woman close to my age thought I was a 20-year old college student. She then asked, "What kind of music do you normally play on your radio show?" (As if I don't listen to Astrud Gilberto on a regular basis.)

I played mostly stuff out of the new CD bin and there were some great things in there this week! The Brothers Dimm, Clare & the Reasons, The Silver Seas, Arizona... I hadn't heard of any of these bands, but I loved what I heard. I really liked the Clare & the Reason's track.... great indie pop with her beautiful voice and nice harmonies.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Musical Horrorscope

Sammy Davis, Jr. - Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Robert Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders - Sing Song Girl
Tom Waits - Come On Up To the House
Donovan - Riding In My Car
Billy Stewart - I Do Love You

I haven't gotten my musical horrorscope in awhile. I can't really read too much into this, except for maybe the first song.

I have my last board presentation tomorrow afternoon. I have only 6 more weeks at my current job! I am very excited about the change. At my new job, I'll have the joy to work around music, while still crunching numbers. It is so exciting and I am extremely happy. So, when that first song came up on the Ipod, I thought about my board presentation and telling the board goodbye and then jumping on the conference table and in my best Sammy Davis, Jr. voice, singing:

"You go your way, I'll go mine.
It's best that we do.
Here's a kiss - I hope that this
Brings lots of luck to you.

Makes no difference how I carry on.
Please don't talk about me when I'm gone."

In all likelihood, I won't do this, as our board is comprised of a bunch of really nice folks and the words of that song are a bit harsh. But that certainly would make my presentation less boring.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Radio Show Friday, November 9 8-10AM

Manu Chao - Tristeza Maleza
Lightnin' Wells - 12th Street Rag
Beirut - In the Mausoleum
Caetano Veloso - Irene
Two Loons for Tea - Monkey
Georgie James - Henry and Hanzy
A Girl Called Eddie - The Soundtrack of Your Life
The Drifters - Save The Last Dance For Me
Unrest - Make Out Club
Imperial Teen - Do It Better
Euros Child - Horse Riding
Helen Forrest - Bewitched
Jose Gonzalez - Time To Send Someone Away

It had been three weeks since I had been on the air. I felt a little rusty. I had no idea what to play and just wandered aimlessly through the stacks before my show trying to find things to play. Some Fridays I feel inspired and others I do not. This past Friday, I was not. All I could think about was how much I didn't want to go into work after my radio show was over.

Although I didn't have a very good idea of what I was going to play, it didn't really matter since there was so much good NEW stuff in the goodie bin: Manu Chao, Beirut, Two Loons for Tea, Georgie James, Imperial Teen, Euros Child, Jose Gonzalez... It was great.

I don't really know anything about Manu Chao. When I told Craven this a couple months ago, he said, "REALLY!?!? Gosh. Where have you been?" Maybe I'll go out and get his new record, La Radiolina, and try to figure out what I'm apparently missing.

On Friday, I played a track off Beirut's new one, The Flying Club Cup, that featured a ukulele. So, of course, I ran out yesterday to buy it. It is going to require some serious listening (i.e. not in the car) as it sounds dense and complex. It's a big oompa-oompa orchestral sound. I really like Zach Condon's voice, too.

Friday night, I went out to the General Store Cafe in Pittsboro with Mark to check out their food and to see Lightnin' Wells play. Good golly. What he can do with the guitar and the ukulele is mind-blowing. We were both impressed. The General Store Cafe is a weird place. There are chatckies on every surface, which is kinda distracting. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with my Mayan burrito. But the music was wonderful. Lightnin' even played the "12th Street Rag" which is one of my favorites. It's a fast-paced poppy song that seems impossible (to me) to master. But Lightnin' rocks it. Not too long ago, I put that song on for an evening of wig-wearing, rollerskating and cake-baking. That was a great night.

I gotta get back to practicing my uke. It's been weeks. The past week, I've been still trying to get over this Maltese cold which has made me feel like doing absolutely nothing. I am better today and I know I should get some practicing in before I attempt to play with the Durham group on Wednesday. They're good enough that they can just choose a new song, print out the music and just start playing it. Heck, one guy can just play any song without any sheet music at all. It's intimidating.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Guess Who's Going to See Richard Hawley!

I AM!!!! ME!!! ME!!! ME!!! How about you?

Saturday, December 1st at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Woo hoo!!! His other US Tour dates are here.

Run. Don't walk. Get your tickets. Book your flights.

Oh! I almost forgot my Italian Richard Hawley story!! While Ross, Maggie, Chris and I were waiting on the ferry in Pozzallo to transport us to Malta, we killed time in a little cafe eating gelato, drinking espresso and playing scrabble. The cafe was playing the radio over the speakers.. Italian and American pop songs. And then to my surprise and excitement, I heard Richard Hawley! He was on the radio!!!! (On something other than my own radio show!) Unfortunately, the gelato man turned the station about halfway through "Tonight The Streets Are Ours." But with the energy I got from hearing that song on the radio, I creamed my scrabble opponents. Go Triple Word Score!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Favorite Things About My Vacation

Besides being away from work for two entire weeks, which is wonderful on a whole different level, these are the things that I loved most about my vacation:

1. Pupi. This is the Italian plural for puppets. We saw a puppet show in Siracusa which delighted me to no end. There were pupi for sale in every chatckie shop and tourist stand. In Taormina, we saw giant pupi. And I just love saying pupi. Pupi. Pupi. Pupi.

2. The seafood. It was the best. Robert, sent me a newly published book of slow food restaurants in Italy. We tried a couple of them and we scored. I had tuna tartare at a restaurant called Metro in Catania that blew us all away. I don't have a picture of that, but here are sea urchins from the market in Siracusa.

3. Mdina at Night. We arrived in Mdina, Malta, very very late and had a tiny bit of trouble finding our hotel at first. So, we ended up walking around Mdina, (The Silent City) in the middle of the night. It was gorgeous and quiet. This is the entrance to Mdina (a medieval fortressed city) as we saw it after being dropped off by our driver.

4. The Opera at the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania. I know bits and pieces about music here and there. But opera is a genre that I know little about. I think I have only seen two or three operas in my lifetime. Ross, Maggie and I saw Tosca at this opera house in Catania. There was a part in the opera that made me tear up a little. It was beautiful and sad. And the opera house was jaw-droppingly beautiful. And they served corn nuts.

5. Dwejra, Gozo. As I said in a previous post, the Mediterranean is so blue. It was thrilling to take a little boat ride out into the ocean and around the enormous rocks.

6. The Cardinal Visiting the Antique Car Show in Mdina. We got back to Mdina after doing some sightseeing and walked into the Cathedral Square to find hoards of people and rows of antique cars. We had so much fun looking at the cars. And then the cardinal arrived. Whee!

7. The Hike to Castello Saraceno in Taormina. I was sick at this point of our trip. And I am embarrassingly fearful of any sort of heights. The hike was steep with overlooks that made me dizzy. I wanted to give up about 1/5 of the way there. But Ross and Maggie encouranged me to continue. We hiked from way down in Taormina toward our destination which was the Castella Saraceno. Here is a shot taken during our hike. At this point we were 3/4 of the way there.

But dagnabbit! We were denied! The gate to Castello Saraceno was locked!

8. Mgarr Harbor in Gozo. It was just beautiful and we drank beer and ate malt balls as we overlooked the harbor.

And then we saw a horse swimming in it.

9. Mt. Etna. Hiking along snow-covered craters of an active volcano felt like walking on the moon. The lava rocks were extremely hot to the touch in some spots. It was so amazing up there.

10. St Paul's Cathedral in Mdina. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like that. It was beautiful in there. There was different kinds of marble everywhere. Every surface was covered with some sort of decoration. It was just stunning.

11. Francesco, Our Taxi Driver. He was just supposed to take us from our hotel to the bus stop in Siracusa, but he ended up driving us all the way to our destination in Pozzallo. He gave us a tour of Noto on the way. He was such a nice man. I sat in the front seat of the taxi with him and he played music for me and I wiggled and danced in my seat in appreciation. That is Francesco in the lower right corner.

12. The Good Graffiti in Catania. I wasn't all that impressed with Catania. I thought it was smelly and dirty and there was graffiti everywhere. Most of it was really really lame. But then I discovered this one artist. I found a couple of his works in the city. I thought it was really amazing stuff. If you're going to do graffiti, do it right.