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?