Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last Supper of Summer

Today felt like the last day of summer for many reasons:
1. It's the second to last day of watermelon milkshakes at Cook-Out.
2. Summer tomatoes are getting fewer and greener.
3. I really feel the shrinking daylight hours.
4. School's back in and students are everywhere.
5. I have this great urge to shop for jackets.
6. It's Labor Day weekend which means it's almost September (which reminds me of the Earth, Wind, & Fire song).
7. It's only 90 degrees outside instead of 105.
8. My fall semester radio show starts tomorrow morning.
9. Starting next Tuesday, I'll no longer be able to wear my white shoes, according to the fashion rules.

Since I was feeling like summer was coming to a close, I decided to celebrate with my last meal of summer: two barbecue sandwiches featuring the meat we brought back from our trip last weekend (one on the left has barbecue and slaw from Bill's & one on the right has barbecue and slaw from McCall's), a sliced summer tomato with cottage cheese (which is how my mom adorned tomatoes growing up), hushpuppies from Cook-Out, and the watermelon milkshake. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to eat all this food. I finished only 2/3s of each sandwich and only one hushpuppy. (Stick to the cheddar burger and milkshakes at Cook-Out, as the hushpuppies aren't their strong point.) But I did finish that tomato. Yum!

Although summer is over, I'm really excited about the fall. Trips to Calistoga and Sicily. A slew of weddings and a baby shower. Lots of rock shows. And I just finished the audit at work. This fall is going to be great.

I can hear Maurice White, now:

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.

As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya - say do you remember

Ba de ya - dancing in september

Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Barbecue Country Doctor Drag Strip

On Saturday, a group of us took a road trip to eastern North Carolina for a day of barbecue sampling in Goldsboro and Wilson, a winery tour, Vollis Simpson's whirlygigs in Lucama, the Dunn-Benson Drag Strip, and the Country Doctor Museum in Bailey.

Ross can give you all the details about the barbecue we sampled over at Chowhound. Let me just say that I am ready to take a banana pudding tour of NC barbecue restaurants. Oh my god. I have never been a big banana pudding fan, but I am now!! Do all barbecue restaurants in this state carry banana pudding? I think I need to take a road trip to find out!!!

As far as barbecue is concerned, my friend, Robert has always sung the praises of Wilber's Barbecue on Highway 70 in Goldsboro. Other NC barbecue enthusiasts hold Wilber's as the eastern NC standard by which to gauge all others. Hmm. We weren't that impressed. Some coworkers and some other Goldsboro natives have told me that right across the street from Wilber's you'll find better barbecue at McCall's. They were right. McCall's ran out of barbecue soon after we arrived. We got the last pound of it. Time to make more.

The visit to the Country Doctor Museum was amazing. The museum itself didn't thrill me all that much, but our tour guide was the best. I swear this woman looked like she was an 18 year-old, sweet-as-pie, sorority girl wearing the cutest little sundress. She kept amazing me with her ability to just spout off the facts of the museum collection in this matter-of-fact tone. She told us which instruments were used to saw off limbs in less than 60 seconds, which plants could induce the shits, and how the iron lung chorus used to creep nurses out. It was borderline performance art.

You should definitely check out the Dunn-Benson Drag Strip if you are in the area. Don't forget your earplugs. I have never witnessed anything like that before in my life and for some reason, I really loved it. Wheelie-poppin' fast cars!!! Woo hoo!!!

Have you ever been in the presence of Vollis Simpson's whirlygigs? There's nothing I can say to explain the experience. So, if you haven't ever been to Lucama to see his artwork, please go. He is an amazing person to chat with. Very sweet man. He's 87 or thereabouts, so don't put off your trip to visit him. And his artwork is phenomenal. I bought one of his pieces a few years ago. I haven't put it out in my yard yet, but I should. It's got a bird sniffing a cat's butt on it. Now that's what I call art.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moonbeams and Weird Dreams

Last night, I woke up at 3:45am. I was fully awake and trying desperately to get back to sleep. But then I looked around and noticed that I was sleeping in a moonbeam. I woke just at the right time for the couple of minutes that the full moon moonbeams made it through the trees and were shining on me. I quickly made a wish and sang the moonbeam song. I sure hope my wish comes true. It was a good one.

I fell back to sleep only to have really wacky dreams. At one point, I dreamt that I was at a friend's house which happened to be a few blocks from the Rich and Thompson Funeral Home in Burlington. This friend doesn't actually live in Burlington, but he did in my dream. I was at his house getting ready for a cocktail party at the funeral home. I put on my cocktail dress and heels and grabbed my transportation: a hula hoop. I remember other people arriving at the party in cars and on motorcycles, but I arrived by hula-hooping down the sidewalk. I remember being out-of-breath when I arrived, but thinking that I was cooler than everyone else.

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Radio Show Time

So, school has officially started. In honor of this momentous occasion, I played "Love Will Make You Fail In School" by Mickey and Sylvia last Tuesday on WXYC.

I will no longer be on Tuesday nights. Instead, I have my beloved Friday morning 8-10am shift back throughout the fall semester. Good bye west coast listeners! Hello Friday morning commuters!!!

Radio Show, Tuesday August 21 6-9PM

Papercuts - Just Another Things To Dust
Flatlanders - Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown
Petula Clark - Downtown
Golden Smog & Roseanne Cash - Seven Year Ache
Orange Peels - Back In San Francisco
Richard Hawley - I'm Looking for Someone To Find Me
Nick Gilder - Hot Child In the City
Rosalie Allen - Wide Rolling Plains
Mickey & Sylvia- Love Will Make You Fail In School
Tex Williams & Texas Caravan - Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon
Congress-Woman Malinda Jackson Parker - Cousin Mosquito #1
Kate Bush - This Woman's Work
Magnetic Fields - All My Little Words
Albert Hammond - It Never Rains in Southern California
Josh Ritter - Right Moves
The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
Yma Sumac - Wimoweh

Last Tuesday after this radio show, I went to see Un Duex Trois, the Papercuts and Ladybug Transistor at Local 506. I absolutely loved the Papercuts. I like their record alot. I played songs by them and by Ladybug Transistor trying to plug the show, but there were still only around 40 people at that show.

Over the past month or so, I have searched the library for the Flatlanders CD, with no luck. But last Tuesday, I found it and played "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown." Naturally, I had to follow it with Petula Clark's "Downtown," which I think only Craven heard all the way out in Oakland, California.

I think that the High Dollar Hot Dogs have officially adopted "Seven Year Ache" into our repertoire. I hope so. I am so addicted to that song. I need to learn more about Roseanne Cash. That song is so great (especially the Golden Smog/Roseanne Cash version) and Elizabeth sings it so heavenly.

The HDHDs finally have a CD of some of our songs. I think it is difficult to listen to, but Ted thinks it is great. I love being in a ukulele band. I think that everyone should be in a ukulele band.

So, only my closest friends know of my obsession with 1980s teenage angst movies... especially ones with John Cusack. Better Off Dead is my favorite movie ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. I want my two dollars. Say Anything is a close second. I think that if John Cusack were to woo me with a boom box over his head, he needn't play any Peter Gabriel. I think that my boom box woo song would be "I Only Have Eyes For You" by the Flamingos. Dreamy.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Haw River Vacationing

In a couple months, I'm going to Italy. For two whole weeks. I don't think I've ever taken two weeks off work EVER... except about 12 years ago when I was in the hospital, but that wasn't necessarily a vacation. In fact, it was pretty awful, except for the morphine-enhanced Welcome Back, Kotter marathon on the hospital TV. But that doesn't compare to a healthy two-week holiday in Sicily... I cannot wait.

But since I am taking that trip to Italy, I've had no other vacation time to use for any other trips this summer except for the few days in Brooklyn for the hot dog eating contest. But it's been ok because I have been taking weekly mini-vacations on the Haw River. After work or on the weekends, I've joined other folks tubing on the Haw in Bynum. It's been incredible.

I grew up around the Haw River in Burlington, but didn't think much about it except that we drove over it on our way to my grandparents' house as we headed north toward Danville. I really fell in love with the river and with Bynum in 1992-93 when Craven took me out to meet folk artist, Clyde Jones (see his paintings above) and to sit by the dam by 15-501. I just thought that Bynum was magical. Over the past ten years or so, I've unfortunately spent less time in Bynum with Clyde or by the Haw (except a few visits to Glencoe).

But latey, I've had the opportunity to go tubing about once a week on the Haw in Bynum. It's such an amazing experience, I don't even know where to begin to describe it. The craziest, most stressful day just melts away while lounging lazily in a tube floating down the river. The scenery is breathtaking and the water is so calm. My favorite thing is seeing the water reflected in the trees... which looks like little fairies. Usually we're the only people around. We able to see creatures such as damselflies, herons, and some little fishes. We've even seen a bald eagle. I like to zone out on the sound of the cicadas (which I called crickets growing up). I'm sad that it's mid-August and the summer will be over soon and I won't be able to experience the Haw like this anymore.

But until summer is over, I want to tube the Haw as much as possible.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Please Help Me, Miss DJ

I have three weddings in four weekends coming up. That means that it's dress-buying time. UGH. UGH. UGH. I would rather go to the dentist, clean a litterbox, go bra shopping or mow grass than go dress shopping. (Well, maybe not grass mowing... I really hate that.)

I went to Nordstrom tonight and forced myself to try two on. I didn't like either of them. I couldn't handle trying any more on. I ***HATE*** buying dresses. I hate shopping for clothes and shoes. I really hate it.

But I have to get a dress before September 15th as that is when Craven is getting hitched! I do have this dress that I seem to wear over and over to wedding after wedding. But since I wore it to Craven's sister's wedding, I probably should try to find a different one. I found a picture of me the infamous dress and it is a hysterical photo.

So, I got some emails from Craven today regarding his wedding reception music. He completely stressed and needs help. He asked if I could help him put together a playlist. [Big grin.] He needs four hours of danceable music that will please the parents and the kids and those of us in cocktail dresses. [Bigger grin.] It's the ultimate mix tape!!!!

I am excited to help out with the music and I have a huge playlist ready for him.

But I still have to find a cocktail dress. I am going to brave the boutiques this weekend in search of a dress that I can tolerate. I don't even know where to go. I hope that Modern Times has something. Where else can you find a dress around here?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweet Jenny Lee

Well, it finally happened. My ukulele arrived in the mail this afternoon. It's a little Bushman Jenny Soprano Ukulele. It looks and feels and sounds wonderful. I'm in love. As soon as I opened the box, I squealed and ran to show her to all my coworkers. One of them is an old-time banjo player who wants to start playing some old-time songs with me during our lunch break. I am so excited. All I can think about is my new ukulele. She sounds so beautiful. I was torn between tubing on the Haw this evening or staying at home with Jenny, but uke playing will have to wait until I get home later tonight. It's too hot to turn up a good tubing opportunity. I'll probably end up staying up all night playing Jenny after I get home. When I think of her, I think of this song:

Sweet Jenny Lee from sunny Tennessee,
You'll love her when you see
Sweet Jenny Lee!

Each little bird is singing merrily

Just getting set to see
Sweet Jenny Lee!

She's got that certain little something in her style,
She's got a great big bit of heaven right in her smile.

She promised me that she'd say yessiree,
That's good enough for me,
Sweet Jenny Lee.

Sounds ukulelable to me. I'm in love.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Radio Show Tonight

I won't be on the radio this evening due to a work function, but you should tune in anyway. My sub is awesome. She's been filling in during sign-ups this month and I caught her show last Friday. Her show is really fun and very listenable. She even played Betty Hutton's "Blue Skies."

Tune in.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taking Baby Steps

Yesterday, I made it through the day with only listening to one Richard Hawley song, "Tonight the Streets Are Ours" off his upcoming record, Lady's Bridge. I only listened that song once. No more Richard Hawley. I was so proud of myself.

I listened to Josh Ritter instead. I wrote about my addiction to Ritter's music a few months ago and how I loved his record, The Animal Years. And now, I think I love his new record. Alot. I listened to The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter several times yesterday on the way to and from the farmers market and Raleigh. It's got some really amazing tunes on it. I think that my obsession with the new record rivals the obsession that I had with The Animal Years. That record made me get up and dance on one foot when I had my broken ankle!!! Clearly, the Animal Years moved me more than any other record during my ankle recovery. I suffered through pain just to dance to it. Woot!

I am so excited that Ritter is touring with Eric Bachmann this fall and will be coming to the Cradle in November. Eric Bachmann and Josh Ritter are going to be here! Together!! That's a show that I would travel to see, but I don't have to, because they are going to be here! SWOON!
The only problem is that they are playing the night after I return from Italy. I am going to be so jet-lagged. But I'll have to drink coffee or something to stay awake.

Well, today I steered clear of both Ritter and Hawley on my drive back and forth from Chapel Hill. I listened to Squeeze's Singles 45's and Under. It seemed safe enough.

But when I got home, I checked Richard Hawley's MySpace page and whaddaya know... there's a new track off the upcoming record up there. I've only listened to "Looking for Someone To Find Me" three times so far. I love it. It's definitely got some doo wop going on, which is just amazing to hear. I seem to really connect with the 50s pop influence in his music. Each time I listen to his track, "The Nights Are Made For Us," I am reminded of the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You." Ah, so dreamy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Let's Watch Your Home Movies

Tomorrow is International Home Movie Day. It's a day to celebrate your old vacations, birthdays, weddings, or whatever that your family recorded on film. Home movies are my favorite kind of documentaries.

So, go find your old home movies and bring them down to NCSU tomorrrow, Saturday August 11th 1-4pm to view them or just to watch home movies from other folks. It's alot of fun. There's even Home Movie Day Bingo with prizes!!!! Don't miss it!

More information about the event can be found here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Radio Show, Tuesday August 7 6-9PM

The Hollies - The Air That I Breathe
Jacobites - Before I Die
XTC - Mayor of Simpleton
Patti Page - (How Much Is) That Doggie In the Window
Dooley Wilson - As Time Goes By
Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime
Spoon - Don't You Evah
The Cyrkle - We Had A Good Thing Goin'
Dimitri From Paris - A Very Stylish Girl
Nada Surf - Concrete Bed
Misha - Scars
Lush - 500
The Softies - Favorite Shade of Blue
Chris Bell - You and Your Sister

Someone requested "Concrete Bed" by Nada Surf on Tuesday. I had never listened to that band before, but I liked the requested track. I wonder what the rest of their stuff sounds like.

At the station, some of our djs will come in several days before their actual radio shift and pull CDs and records that they want to play on their show. They'll fill mail bins with music and leave them all over the station. One time I counted eight bins full of music. It seems ridiculous to me that someone can't show up for their shift early enough to pull music to play. But what do I know. When I was up there on Tuesday, there was a bin with probably 25 CDs and only one LP, which was XTC's Oranges and Lemons. That record was just begging me to play it. I love the song "Mayor of Simpleton" off that record. It was great.

The High Dollar Hot Dogs haven't gotten together in a couple weeks for any practice. I'm jonesin'. One of the songs that has been suggested that we play is Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime." I have a hard time hearing the ukulelability in that song, but if the other guys do, I am sure that they'll teach me.

I didn't list above the four Richard Hawley tracks that I played. I still haven't stopped listening to him. I am so addicted. I've tried to stop by listening to the Shout Out Louds' new album as well as the new Sea and Cake album, but I keep going back to my Richard Hawley albums, especially Lowedges. That album is amazing.

Entire list (including the Richard Hawley tracks) can be found here.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I'm In Love

Over the past couple months, two friends separately have been trying to introduce me to Richard Hawley. Upon first listen, I thought to myself, "Uh, Okay. Whatever." But I kept finding myself coming back and listening to the few tracks that they sent me. And last week, something happened. I fell in love. I feel hard for Richard Hawley's music. I am 100% obsessed.

Over the weekend, I've kept my listening to myself. I was scared to share my new obsession with anyone except with Tim and Robert, the two who kept insisting that I give Hawley a try. I mean, Richard Hawley's music isn't cool. You won't ever find it in rotation at WXYC or WXDU. But it is absolutely beautiful music. I am no musician, but the guitar sounds ethereal... what kind of guitar makes sounds that sweet? Oh, and his voice is deep and dreamy. For the past half hour, I've been playing "Hotel Room" over and over so loud that it rattles the windows in my house and makes my green chair vibrate. [Thank you, Rossi, for my super-duper stereo speakers.]

To me, Richard Hawley sounds like a combination of the best of Morrissey and the best of Lambchop with a dash of Roy Orbison. It is just perfect. And there's so much yearning in his music that I just cannot help but be obsessed. I haven't fallen in love like this since that Vetiver show back in February. I really want to listen to other music, but I can't right now. I've got mix tapes to make. I've gotten music in the mail that I haven't opened. I just cannot get Richard Hawley out of my mind.

I haven't been able to sleep at night lately... not because of Richard Hawley, but just because I having difficulty sleeping. So I find myself staying up late listening to the few tracks of his that I have on my computer. I just got his album Coles Corner in the mail on Friday, which I quickly devoured. I'm waiting for two more of his CDs to arrive later this week. He has a new album coming out at the end of August, that I am dying to hear. I've also been watching his videos on YouTube here and this one from his new album. That second one I play over and over just so that I can listen to the song. You can listen to some of his tracks on his MySpace page.

I accidentally fell asleep in front of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer tonight and my poison ivy is driving me nuts, so it looks like it might be another late night with Richard Hawley... but I am not complaining.

He is so dreamy. Sigh.

Radio Show, Tuesday July 31 6-9PM

Pure Prairie League - Amie
Dave Van Ronk - Mack the Knife
Coco - Move On
Squeeze - Black Coffee In Bed
Rabbit Muse - Darkness on the Delta
America - Riverside
Pilot - Magic
Public Image Limited - Happy
The Arizona Wranglers - Wreck of the Old 97
Bobby Darin - Beyond the Sea
Frankel - Thermostat
Everything But the Girl - Frost and Fire

Last week, I was completely obsessed with Dave Van Ronk's version of "Mack the Knife." Noah had put it on a mix tape for the rest of the High Dollar Hot Dogs to hear. I cannot wait to play this with the band. It has a very high ukulelability to it. It is just beautiful. One day, I want to figure out how to play the jug while playing the uke.

I once told my friend Lightnin', that it was my dream to be wooed by someone playing "Beyond the Sea" on ukulele. He sent me the chords for the song and wrote that I can learn to play it myself and not have to wait for the wooing. I'm learning it. I can chug through the first verse or two. One day, I'll woo myself with it. In honor of my struggle, I played Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea" which is just absolutely dreamy. And I am sure that Christa would agree. Bobby Darin makes the two of us melt.

It's been absolutely wonderful being on the air during the evenings this summer as Craven can listen to me on the west coast. I played Public Image Limited's "Happy," remembering how I played that song over and over the summer of 1989 after I graduated from high school. That summer, I djed at WSOE (Elon College) and PIL's Nine album was in heavy rotation. I played "Happy" on Tuesday hoping that Craven would hear, which he did and remarked that it brought back memories of that summer for him, too. I LOVED djing at Elon that summer. Friends would gather at the Elon College radio station and hang out until I got off the air at 9pm. Afterwards, we'd ride around in my 1979 Honda Civic blaring WSOE and either go to the pool, the truckstop, some random Elon party or a kegger in a cornfield. Ah, those summer nights. I don't think I've been to a kegger in a cornfield since that summer. Do those happen anymore?

Entire playlist can be found here.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Oh How I Love That Potato Salad Song

I have never seen "Solid Potato Salad" performed by anyone ever. But now I can say that I can (and you, too). Minty sent me this amazing video.

Watch the whole thing. Don't give up after a minute. Just watch the whole thing. Yowza!