Sunday, September 30, 2007

Radio Show Friday, September 28 8-10AM

Regina Hexaphone - The Forty-Niner
Jonny Polonsky - Evil Scurvy Love
Bongwater - David Bowie Wants Ideas
Brenton Wood - Gimme Little Sign
Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone
Bishop Allen - Butterfly Nets
The Tourist - The Ol' Ball & Chain
Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man
Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite
The Replacements - Alex Chilton
Bongos, Bass and Bob - Thorazine Shuffle
Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down By the School Yard
Two Dollar Pistols - Stranger Things Have Happened

A friend suggested that I listen to "David Bowie Wants Ideas" as I would get a kick out of the last line of the song. He was right. I haven't thought about Bongwater or Ann Magnuson in years. I might try some more of their stuff when I am up at the station next.

When I was searching for the Bongwater LP, I ran across another record in the "BO" section of the library. Bongos, Bass, and Bob!! I have a cassette of my very first radio show ever from June 1989 at WSOE - Elon College/Burlington where I played a song by Bongos, Bass and Bob called "The Thorazine Shuffle." That song just cracks me up. I was so happy to discover it in WXYC's stacks. That just made my day.

On Wednesday night after the Sea and Cake show at the Cradle, Bill and I wandered down to OCSC. A song came on that I liked and Bill pointed out that it was the Replacements. I never thought I liked them as I thought that were dissonant rockers... but I think I was getting them confused with the Residents. I keep hearing Replacements songs in random places. Perhaps I need to explore some Replacement albums. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

If you are looking for a sweet contemporary ukulele song, I suggest Bishop Allen's "Butterfly Nets." It was sooooo pretty. I don't know who they are or where they're from, but that song is just really nice especially with the uke. When the saxophone kicks in, it makes me think of Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin in The Jerk (although she played trumpet instead of sax).

I am very excited to see that Regina Hexaphone have a record out called Into Your Sleeping Heart. Sara Bell's voice is so endearing. I haven't gotten this record yet, but it's on my list. I need to go to the record store soon.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Going Down the Grade Making 90 Miles an Hour

I've been given all sorts of advice concerning my stress and anxiety and my difficulty sleeping. Folks have offered their advice on relaxation techniques, meditation, breathing exercises, etc. The one thing that helps me to relax is to clear my mind by concentrating on a relaxing, comforting place. For me, this place is my grandparents' house in Danville, VA.

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things in the world was to go visit my grandparents. I was able to visit for a week or more alone without my brothers or my parents. My grandmother and I would kill beetles and water the roses in her huge rose garden. I'd spend time climbing one of the two excellent climbing trees in her yard. We'd make lemon squares in her kitchen in the afternoons. After supper, my grandparents and I would walk around the block, sometimes down Mount Vernon Avenue where I could climb on the "cannon." I will always cherish the time that I spent with my grandparents at their house. It was truly special.

So, now, when I am feeling stressed or restless, I can close my eyes, take a deep breath and start remembering my grandparents' house. In my head, I can walk through each room... the living room, the den, the upstairs bedrooms, the basement, the kitchen. I know what's in every room down to the texture of the dining room wallpaper to the rug in the back upstairs bedroom. When I visit their house in my head, I can even remember items in drawers and closets like the wall-mounted ice crusher in the back porch closet or my grandmother's facial powder in her dressing table drawer. Lately, the memories of the items in the drawers have been fading, but I can remember most of what was in all the closets.

My grandmother died about nine years ago, at which time we emptied their house and sold it. I haven't physically stepped foot in Danville since. But last Saturday, I decided to return.

The Danville Science Center was having Train Days celebrating the 104th anniversary of the train wreck of the old 97 which happened September 27th, 1903 in Danville for which a song was written. I think that the song is more famous than the actual wreck. This song has always been special since it was one that my dad sang to me when I was little. My dad took pride in his non-traditional bedtime songs. So, I decided to make the trek to Danville to participate in the Train Days festivities and to wander around Danville.

First, I went to Main Street to check out the architecture and the Grove Street Cemetary behind Midtown Market. I could try to write about how jaw-droppingly beautiful the architecture was, but it's best to just look at the pictures. Afterwards, I went to Midtown Market and packed my cooler with oatmeal cookies (two dense cookies with frosting between... like a real Little Debbie, but only better), pimento cheese, and chicken salad.

Then, on friends' suggestions, I went to Short Sugar's Barbecue across town for lunch. It was disappointing. I ordered a chopped barbecue plate with hush puppies, slaw and fries. The fries were tasteless... obviously frozen. The barbecue was terrible. It tasted old. It was chewy, fatty and had no flavor whatsoever. I tried to flavor it with what I thought was barbecue sauce, but I think it was just an unmarked bottle of steak sauce. After I watched my waitress behind the counter scream at the other workers while flossing every tooth in her face, I left.

I toured the Science Center whhich is actually the Danville Train Station which has the most eerie collection of mounted animals and birds. It really creeped me out. After watching an old-time band and a couple of old guys clog, I boarded a shuttle to take a group down to the famed train site. But it was gated off! The owner of the land was doing some demolition work and had the entire area locked up. I was slightly disappointed, but not terribly so since I was now thinking about driving past my grandparents' house and I felt a little scared. I didn't know what kind of emotions it might stir up.

To my surprise, when I arrived at their house, I saw that the new owner (she bought the house in the spring) was doing some gardening in the front yard. She was really nice and told me that her neighbors are always telling her stories about my grandparents and what wonderful people they were. She invited me walk around the house and take pictures. Many of the trees had been cut down including my two favorite climbing trees. She told me that the previous owners really let the yard go and she was trying hard to get the yard back to its full glory. As I walked around to the back of the garage, I saw the remnants of my grandmother's rose garden and I burst into tears. About half of the roses were gone, but some were left and the sweet aroma of her roses was intense. It was such a joyous site. I felt like a little girl all over again and I even found myself looking for a beetles like I used to do.

I left Danville and headed to Glencoe for a picnic and wading in the Haw River. We ended up playing "The Wreck of the Old 97" on ukulele which was the perfect way to end my Danville day. That song has great ukulelability to it and it is perfect to sing loudly and off-key. You can listen to Jenks Carmen's version here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm In Live Television and Anything Can Happen

I have been busy and not posting. Maybe tonight, I post something about my trip to Danville last Saturday.

Today, I ran across the following video clip. (Thank you, Apostropher!) I cannot stop laughing. WARNING: DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Radio Show Friday, September 21 8-10AM

The Real Tuesday Weld - Kix
Hank Snow - I've Been Everywhere
Great Northern - Home
Carolyn Mark - The One That Got Away (With It)
The Cure - In Between Days
Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It
Danny Kaye - Inchworm
Bright Eyes - If the Brakeman Turns My Way
Kishore Kumar - Doob Doob Jata Hoon
Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Sol Hoopii - Weave a Lei
Okkervil River - Savannah Smiles

When it comes to new records, this is my favorite time of year. It's like Christmas. It seems like everyone's got a new record out and is touring right now. It's a fun time, albeit an expensive time. I played a ton of new stuff on Friday from the Real Tuesday Weld, Bright Eyes, the Great Northern, Carolyn Mark (half of the Corn Sisters with Neko Case). I wish I had an extra few bucks to get some of these fabulous new releases, but instead I've been spending my cash on cocktail dresses, cashmere wraps and wedding gifts.

But I am thinking about taking on a new accounting client.... one of my FAVORITE restaurants in Durham. I could use the extra cash. But I cannot decide if I should take a new client or not, as I am already working six days a week. The food is fabulous... what should I do?!?!? If I work more, then I can buy more records. But if I work more, I won't have time to listen to these new records. Oh well, I'll decide after I return from Italy.

A friend gave me the new Shout Out Louds record a few months ago and I just fell in love with it. I played it for a friend who said that that they sounded like a derivative of the Cure. But I don't care. I love their new wavey pop sound. They're coming to the Cradle in October (all the way from Sweden), but I am going to be out of town, which I am a little sad about. Our Ill Wills, is probably gonna be on my top ten list for the year. It is extremely catchy and fun.

Okkervill River. Who are they? Where did they come from? Why haven't I heard of them until now? How come they didn't invite me to go canoeing?! I've played them a couple of times on the radio and I liked what I heard off their new record, The Stage Names. But today as I am typing this, I can't remember what they sounded like! I might just get their new record and listen. They're coming to the Cradle soon as well.

And if you missed my show on Friday, you missed this great song by Danny Kaye. He's got some really wacky songs, but this one is very pretty. For some reason "Inchworm" reminds me of my grandparents. But I don't know why. Probably because I was just in Danville (where my grandparents lived) this weekend. I do remember him singing this on the Muppet Show.

My entire playlist can be found here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

California, California You're Such A Wonder That I Think I'll Stay In Bed

Craven and John got hitched last weekend on a hilltop in Calistoga, CA. It was a really touching ceremony. Lots of Magnetic Fields quotes. I cried.

There was alot of partying and playing and hiking and swimmng and dancing.

I was voted best dressed (besides the happy couple who looked extremely dapper). But 2 1/2 inch heels were not meant to be worn in grass.

The whole weekend was full of love and happiness. Craven's dad gave such a wonderful toast on Friday that I cried. It was great to see everyone so happy and having such a great time.

It was also wonderful to catch up with old friends that I haven't seen in years and years.

Today, I am exhausted. I got in late last night and I couldn't sleep. I made it into work at 8am and it was a blur. It is so busy at work and there is no time for me to be jet-lagged. I should get to bed.

For my drive up through wine country to the ranch, I chose to listen to Richard Hawley, which was perfect road trip music through the hills of Napa Valley.

Congratulations, John and Craven. Y'all are the greatest. And the bacon was the best.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Busby Berkeley and Eddie Cantor

I showed Denise the amazing dance sequences from Kid From Spain last night. It is so very embarrassingly and painfully socially incorrect. But the dance sequences are jaw-droppingly amazing. I love what Busby can do with alot of ladies in a pool and Eddie Cantor. There are no YouTube clips from this film. But I did find this beautiful shot.

With the resurgence in popularity of musicals these days, how come no musical film producer is doing anything like this? Wouldn't High School Musical or Hairspray or Chicago be so much better with some Busby Berkelian Matrix-style dance numbers thrown in? Berkeley did it all with simple tricks like mirrors, reverse film direction, funky camera angles, etc. I want to see a Busby Berkeley number with some Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 3-D effects!

I Need This Song

I was watching a Roy Lichtenstein documentary, and the song"(Money) That's What I Want" was played during the opening credits. I loved it. I couldn't find this version on Itunes, but the Waylon Jennings and the Barrett Strong versions are fabulous.

But I did find it on YouTube. As an added bonus of my discovery, there is a really bizarre ukulele segment. Who are these Flying Lizards? Woot!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Damn, Now That's Sexy

I've had the song, "I Only Have Eyes for You" on the brain lately. For one, some of Richard Hawley's songs remind me of the Flamingos' take on "I Only Have Eyes for You." And second, I've been watching Busby Berkeley clips and my absolute favorite is the "I Only Have Eyes for You" scene that he choreographed for the film, Dames. In fact, the song was written for that film.

I searched YouTube to see what I could find and I found this version featuring Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour. I am becoming more and more of a Peggy Lee fan these days. This just makes me melt.

Radio Show, Friday September 7th 8-10AM

Lullaby Baxter - What's Wrong With You?
Dean Martin - Just In Time
Iron and Wine - Kingdom of the Animals
Great Lake Swimmers - When It Flows
New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour
The Clientele - I Hope I Know
Nick Drake - Milk and Honey
Caribou - She's the One
Carmen Miranda & the Andrews Sisters - Cuanto La Gusta
Geeta Dutt - Chin Chin Chu
M Ward - To Go Home
Built To Spill - Else

Iron and Wine have a new album coming out toward the end of September and we have the single at the station called Boy With A Coin. They're touring this fall, but they aren't coming to NC. Boo.

There is a new collection of Nick Drake songs out called Family Tree. It's songs that he recorded before his first full-length album Five Leaves Left that his family released from his estate. I played "Milk and Honey" from the collection. It's great. I cannot wait to hear more.

The Clientele's new record, God Save the Clientele, is really great. This London band plays bright melodic pop tunes that are very sweet and tug at the heart strings. And they're playing at the Cradle on Tuesday night! I was just talking to a coworker about some of our favorite live shows and we both agreed that the Lambchop/ Clientele/ David Kilgour show at the Carolina Theatre a few years ago was one of the best. I am very excited to see them again. They're opening for Pete Bjorn & John, who I don't really know anything about, but I've been told that I would like them. Woot!

My entire playlist can be found here.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I'm A Very Stylish Girl

Well, I am not really a stylish girl, but I do love that song from Dimitri From Paris.

In the next month, I have three weddings, two rehearsal dinners, and a baby shower. You know what that means? I need dresses. I haven't bought a dress since last spring and I bought it only because it was the first one I tried on. It's not that great. In fact, it kinda sucks.

But for the first time in my entire life I purchased three new dresses in two weeks. So here are my purchases.

This little red dress is so cute. And I found the perfect necklace for it at Cameron's. The dress is cotton with a tulle underskirt that makes the skirt poofy. It has hidden pockets perfect for fidgeting in. It looks very 1950s. It is for wedding #1 and possibly wedding #2:

This next dress is silk and fits me like a glove. I look super hot in this dress, especially with my new black patent leather heels. It's for at least one of the rehearsal dinners, possibly both.

I am a bridesmaid in wedding #3, so this green dress was chosen for me. I'm instructed to wear a sash with it.

All these weddings and social occasions kinda stress me out. But there is a light at the end of all this.... in ITALY!!! Two weeks after I return from wedding #3, I leave for Italy. I won't need to wear dresses there. But I was told to wear super tight jeans. Apparently the women in Italy wear their jeans skintight. Hmmm.

Lunchtime with WKNC

Today, I had to run a couple errands at lunch. I jumped in the car and heard Camera Obscura on the radio. I thought, "COOL!" And then, the dj played some Magnetic Fields, Andrew Bird, Of Montreal, M Ward, and Billy Bragg & Wilco.

I felt like I was listening to one of my own mix tapes. It was great. I just LOVE stumbling across a dj that plays song after song after song of music that I love.

I don't know who he was, but I should find out and try to listen every Thursday around lunchtime. My only complaint was that he talked about every two songs, which I find annoying. But his talksets were short and to-the-point. His playlist was great.

You, too, can listen to NC State's WKNC on the internets.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Now That I Know How To Embed YouTube Videos

Do you want to watch a Richard Hawley video? Here's one.

I really don't get this one. But again, I don't get music videos at all. But I watched this video over and over this summer just to hear "Tonight The Streets Are Ours" before the album's official release.

I heart Richard Hawley.

Now That I Am On A Busby Kick

The first Bubsy Berkeley film I ever saw was Golddiggers of 1933. I rented it from VisArt Video over by the Harris Teeter. It was on VHS. They had three films choreographed by Berkeley in their collection: Dames, Golddiggers of 1935 and Golddiggers of 1933. I remember watching them with Craven and we were both absolutely in awe. I have no idea how we learned of Busby Berkeley... I think that maybe we saw a documentary on PBS or something? The last time I was in VisArt which was YEARS and YEARS ago, I checked and they no longer carried any Busby Berkeley musicals... probably because I was the only one who ever rented them.

I received the Busby Berkeley DVD box set as a Christmas gift this year. It was my favorite Christmas present. There is one entire DVD that is just of various money shots from his films. Oh yeah!!! Busby Berkeley spent over $1 million for a spinning circular stage. In the 1930s!!! Gotta love that.

Here is a great clip from Golddiggers of 1933. Unless you are a fan of Dick Powell, I would skip the first 2:30 seconds. In other words, begin it with 3:23 left and watch from there. But if you're like me, you are a Dick Powell fan, too. He's is so weird. But I could live without Ruby Keeler. Why is she in so many of the Berkeley films? Why her? She bugs me. And she looks like a clod when she tap dances.

And if that isn't enough for you, here's another one from YouTube. It's cut up and I hate that... because to get the full effect of the "I Only Have Eyes For You" dance, you need to see it uninterrupted without breaks or cuts. Oh well. At least you'll be able to see why Ruby Keeler creeps me out.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Speaking Of Busby Berkeley and Dream Jobs

I want to be Carmen Miranda when I grow up. In Busby Berkeley musicals. With bananas. And monkeys.

It's Not Just A Summer Fling

It's for real. I thought that my love affair with Richard Hawley would only last a few weeks, like so many of my obsessive musical crushes.

Last summer, my musical affair was with Camera Obscura. I listened to their record, Let's Get Out of This Country, over and over and over on the way to the beach and back. When I hear a track off that record today, I get pangs in my heart for my old flame. I loved that band so much. My dream job is to one day play tambourine in Camera Obscura. Seriously. I'm not kidding. But I betcha they don't offer health insurance and a 401K package which is mandatory for me. But I'll always dream.

Anyway, this summer, I fell in love with Richard Hawley... first it was just a few tracks that folks sent me. Then I got his record Lowedges. Then it was Cole's Corner and then Lady's Bridge. Oh, and then there were the live recordings. Ahh.

This summer, I was doing alot of driving around the triangle... more than my usual two-minute commute to work. It seemed that I spent most of this time driving in a love-induced haze obsessively listening to Richard Hawley. I'd be headed off to a particular destination and I would find myself lost or headed to Raleigh when I should've been driving to Chapel Hill. It didn't matter. I just loved to be alone silently listening. Alone in the car with Richard Hawley on repeat. I was cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And I still am.

I've been good lately listening to other music... the Rosebuds, Josh Ritter, the Shout Out Louds, and the Sea & Cake. And I've been listening to my Ipod on shuffle, instead of on Hawley. I took the afternoon off today and was rushing all over town for appointments, cocktail dress accessories and shoes, post office, etc. As I pulled into the post office parking lot, Richard Hawley's "Darlin'" came on. I sat in my car and cranked that song. (Supposedly, the Prius is sealed so that sound doesn't penetrate easily, but I know that everyone around could hear it.) I was sitting there in this blissful state practically in tears... wishing that I could play "Darlin'" on my ukulele, but there are no chords on Chordie. I am kinda glad that there aren't chords as there is no way I could ever play that song like he does.

After that, I switched the Ipod back from shuffle to Hawley again. When I was driving back from the maul with my new cocktail dress shoes (some hot patent leather heels with a peep toe) listening to Hawley's "Valentine", I was thinking... if this is what "love" feels like, I sure haven't felt like this about anybody in years. But then I felt weird... is it normal for someone to fall in love with someone's music? Is it pathetic for someone to fall in love with someone's music? I gotta get out more.

So, I am feeling much better than I did on Saturday. I no longer want to kick people in the shins. I want to spread the Richard Hawley love bug to everyone I know.

Watching a new-to-me Busby Berkeley musical made my weekend too. Oh, and chocolate chip muffins. Wootie woot woot!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Radio Show, Friday August 31st 8-10AM

The Reflections - Just Like Romeo and Juliet
Dwight Yoakam - Free To Go
Patsy Cline - Back In Baby's Arms
Django Reinhardt - Embraceable You
Harry Nilsson - Moonbeam Song
Ivy - I Get the Message
Little Name - I Always See the Sun Rise
The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset
Pearl Bailey - Frankie and Johnny
Linda Thompson - Versatile Heart
Sun Kil Moon - Neverending Math Equation
Love - Always See Your Face
Chris Isaak - Two Hearts

When I was pulling music from the library on Friday, I went to get the Summertime Gold box set, thinking that I would find something good and summery to play. As soon as I saw the words "Romeo and Juliet," that Reflections' song got stuck in my head. It's still stuck now. What will make it stop?

I also discovered a new band, Little Name, who play sugar sweet pop along the lines of Belle and Sebastian. I really like it. If you're into that sort of thing, call up WXYC and request it. Or listen on their MySpace page or on the band's website.

My entire playlist can be found here.

So, that was yesterday.

Today, I feel like I could kick someone in the shins. Stay outta my way and don't ask.