MsS: July 2005

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Can't you see that you must be a part of that beat in my heart

I've been super busy this week working on some of my Uncle's houses that he's renting (which is why I haven't been posting every day. Not making excuses, just saying). I'll be doing the same thing today and probably tomorrow as well. Anyway, my cousin Kevin has been helping out too. We always listen to the radio while we're working, 'cause it helps to make the time go by faster. While listening to some hits station, The Black Eyed Peas song Don't Phunk With My Heart, came on and Kevin said, "You know they took that one line from a Lisa Lisa song right?" And I asked, "Seriously?" Sure, enough they did. I hope Lisa got paid boo coo bucks for that.

Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam was a Brooklyn based dance-pop/R&B group that was pretty successful in the mid 80s. The group consisted of Lisa Velz (Lisa Lisa) and Mike Hughes and Alex "Spanador" Moseley (Cult Jam). Anyway, I hadn't heard Lisa Lisa's I Wonder If I Take You Home until today. It's SOO good of course, 'cause Lisa Lisa is the shit. Turns out that I Wonder If I Take You Home was their debut single in 1985. Hey I was only 4. Like I knew what was going on in 1985.

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So since we were on the topic of Lisa Lisa, I said to Kevin, "And that Nina Sky song also has a part from Can You Feel The Beat" and he was like, "Who?" and had no idea what I was talking about. Sometimes he's out of the music loop and doesn't know what the kids are listening to, so I have to help him out a bit.

Then Kevin said something about how Lisa Lisa was the bomb back in the day when he was younger (he's 37) and recorded some really great stuff. And I said, "Yeah I really love her song, Let The Beat Hit Em." and he said, "She didn't do that. Someone else did." and I was like, "Nuh Uh!" and he was all "Yes huh!" and then he had me doubting myself for a second. And then I looked up the lyrics on the trusty ole internet and saw that I was right all along. I win.

The group disbaned in 1991 after their record Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen. Lisa went on to record her debut solo record LL 77 , but the record failed to duplicate the success she had with Cult Jam.

Lisa and the boys should be proud of the awesome music they made together. I dare you to listen to these songs and not dance. And yes tapping your feet and bobbing your head count.

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(from Head to Toe)

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam- Head to Toe
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam- I Wonder If I Take You Home
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam- Let the Beat Hit 'Em

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(from Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force)

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam- Can You Feel the Beat

(from Spanish Fly)

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam- Lost In Emotion

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And for kicks, here's Nina Sky's Move Ya Body

Nina Sky- Move Ya Body (from Nina Sky)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Because the day is coming up, from a night of holding nothing back

My mom used to make lots of arts and crafts, and every couple of months, she would sell the stuff that she made at craft fairs. I hated having to go to these fairs, since crafts aren't exactly the most exciting things in the world. Not to mention that these fairs would always be on Saturdays, we'd have to get up super early to set up, and they'd last all day. And if it wasn't really hot outside, then it was really cold. So basically, these fairs were never much fun for me. But I had to go to them to help my mom and what not.

One Saturday a few years ago, my mom had a fair at the park in Hapeville. It was especially cold that day, and I was especially tired and annoyed having to be there. I hadn't gotten that much sleep the night before, so once I finished helping my mom set up her stuff. I went back into the car to sleep. I woke up maybe an hour or two later, kind of dazed and not sure where I was. I heard some music coming from outside. I figured that the live music must've started or something. But as I listened, I heard Jeff Buckley's song Lover You Should've Come Over. Then I was just plain confused. At first I thought someone was playing the song really loud on their stereo. But when I sat up in the car and looked out the window, I saw a guy on stage with long dreads playing guitar and singing into a microphone. Excited by the fact that someone was on stage singing the hell out of my favorite Jeff Buckley song, I quickly got out of the car and ran towards the music. I finished listening to his amazing rendition of the song, and watched the rest of his set. I later found out that his name was Jeffrey Butts, and he was the lead singer for the Atlanta based band Modern Hero. I bought a copy of their cd, Threedom in Stereo, after Jeffrey's performance. That's not something that I would normally do after only a few listens, but I was really impressed with Jeffrey, so I figured his band was worth checking out.

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Modern Hero was a band that could've easily found a home on modern rock radio. I used to imagine them playing shows with bands like Collective Soul and Better Than Ezra. The thing with Modern Hero, though, is that there will be a part in almost every song that makes you love them. Whether it's a really great line like, "My way, twisted decay, from the day we collided drowning in my bedroom," or the pleading sound of the guitar in Insomniac when Jeffrey sings "Can't sleep, can't be, can't see without you." And before Bloc Party's This Modern Love, Jeffrey was singing, "It's this modern love that drives us insane."

Modern Hero has since broken up. I have no idea what Jeffrey is up to these days. But I hope he's still writing songs, even if he's no longer doing the music thing professionally. If he is, maybe one of these days he'll put out an acoustic solo record or something and play all the stuff he played when I saw him that day, includinig Lover, You Should've Come Over. I'd definitely buy that cd too.

I never got the chance to see Modern Hero live, but heard good things about their live shows. And while Jeffrey is a bad ass on the guitar, I must say I like the mellow songs more. Here are my top picks from their 2000 release.

(from Threedom in Stereo)

Modern Hero- Insomniac
Modern Hero- All You Want to Know
Modern Hero- The Way
Modern Hero- Higher

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

When the damage is done, you're damaged goods.

Yesterday I heard on the radio that it was Juliana Hatfield's birthday. She's 38. The first time I heard one of her songs was on MTV when the video for Universal Heartbeat was a frequent spin on the station. Great song, and the video had a workout/gym feel to it. Juliana has an incredibly sweet, girlie voice, even when she's singing, "I hate my sister, she's such a bitch." I've always been impressed with her songs and how prolific she is as a songwriter. Whether it's with one of her bands (The Juliana Hatfield Three, Blake Babies, or Some Girls) or solo, she's had a great career so far.

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Juliana has been compared to other female rockers like Liz Phair, Tanya Donnelly and Nina Gordon. But I think that there's this wonderful sincerity that comes through all of Juliana's songs, no matter what she's singing about. When I was younger, I only had one of her cds, Only Everything. I mostly bought it for the track Universal Heartbeat, but was thrilled when I discovered that the rest of the record was just as good. I always wanted to see her whenever she came to town, but she'd always play 18 and up venues, so I never got the chance to go. However, I'm happy to say that a few years ago, she played the Caledonia in Athens and I was lucky enough to see her. She played lots of great stuff including, Spin the Bottle (which you may remember from the Reality Bites Soundtrack) and the whole show was just awesome. I talked to her for a little bit afterwards, and told her that one of the first songs I learned to play on guitar was Make It Home. It felt so great getting the chance to tell her that, especially considering how much I loved that song when I was younger. She said that when she was growing up, she was a big R.E.M. fan, and it surprised her that she could actually learn to play songs that they had written. And when you think about it, it is pretty cool, actually having the opportunity to learn how to play a song that you love so much.

Juliana still records and still tours pretty frequently. So if you get the chance, go and see her. Here are a few of her songs that I love listening to. Happy Birthday Juliana!

Juliana Hatfield- Nirvana (from Hey Babe)
Juliana Hatfield- Universal Heartbeat (from Only Everything)
Juliana Hatfield- Make It Home (from My So-Called Life Soundtrack)
The Juliana Hatfield 3- Spin the Bottle (from the Reality Bites Soundtrack)
The Juliana Hatfield 3- My Sister (from Become What You Are)
Juliana Hatfield- My Enemy (from In Exile Deo)

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

You're telling me to see the truth even with my eyes sewn up

Wow guys, I'm so sorry that there hasn't been a post for a few days. But it wasn't my fault! Comcast cut off our cable on Sunday 'cause they suck and we didn't get it back until this afternoon. You can read about it in my LJ if you want. I've felt really bad about not being able to post. But you understand right? Anyway, here's the post that I was writing on Sunday before the cable was cut.

Last week, I got an email saying that once again Head Automatica had to cancel a few tour dates because lead singer Daryl Palumbo was back in the hospital. As both a Glassjaw and Head Automatica fan, I've seen this happen before. Daryl unfortunately suffers from Crohns disease and has relapsed while on tour on a few other occasions. A couple of years ago, what would have been my 5th Glassjaw show was cancelled after Daryl got sick on the road. He feels really awful about having to cancel shows when this happens, but all of their fans are sympathetic and understanding and incredibly supportive. Whenever Daryl is in the hospital, he still manages to keep his sense of humor, as displayed by this recent photo.

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If you don't know about Head Automatica, it's the brainchild of Daryl and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura of Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School fame. With Dan's funky beats and Daryl's hardcore, punk rock energy, the two started working on songs together, and in 2004 they released the album Decadence.

I heard the leaked version of the record before it came out (which included songs that don't appear on the official release) and was really impressed with what I heard. It was totally different from Glassjaw (Daryl's hardcore band) but showed that musically, he was incredibly diverse. Some of the leaked songs had different titles from the ones that appeared on the record. For instance, Please Please Please (Young Hollywood) was called Tara Reid is a Whore. Ouch. hehe.

I bought the record my first week back at school last year and it was pretty much the only thing I listened to for about a month. It's dance, it's disco, it's punk rock, it's hip hop. It's everything that the two love about music, all blended into one really awesome album.

Below are some of my favorite tracks from Decadence. Check out Head Automatica's myspace page for tour dates and info on how Daryl is doing. Wish him well and a speedy recover so he can get back to doing what he loves to do.

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(from Decadence)

Head Automatica- At The Speed of a Yellow Bullet
Head Automatica- Please Please Please (Young Hollywood)
Head Automatica- The Razor
Head Automatica- I Shot William H Macy

Friday, July 22, 2005

Ain't no woman like a Georgia Peach.

Whenever summer time rolls around, you always expect there to be some sort of hot summer time anthem that everyone ends up loving. Whether it be a song telling you to lean back or rock away, or just a straight up catchy tune that everyone is singing. Is there a song like that for this summer? Beats me. But last summer I heard this song that I was hoping would have at least all of Georgia singing. The song was GA Peach by Anthony David.

Anthony David is a local singer/songwriter who released an album last year called Three Chords and the Truth. Most of the tracks have a acoustic guitar driven R&B feel to them, and Anthony's soulful voice sounds great singing them.

The first single off the album was the Southern Girl appreciation song, GA Peach. As you might have guessed, the song is about the many reasons Georgia girls are so great. Now, while you might think that a song that refers to women as peaches would come off maybe a little sleazy, this song doesn't at all, even when Anthony is referring to Georgia women's shapely figures (Coca-cola bottle shape from the red clay/I'ma love a Georgia woman til my dying day). Anthony sings about the women he sees in an adoring tone, and this song is a way to honor all the different kinds of women in the peach state. Although, I'm still a little bummed that Anthony shouted out College Park and not East Point. If you've listened to ANY Outkast AT ALL, I know you've heard about College Park and East Point.

My other two favorite tracks from the record are 50/50 Love and Cold Turkey. 50/50 Love is a reggae song about being equal in a relationship, and Cold Turkey is about a man who just can't stop thinking about a woman. While drastically different from GA Peach, these two songs show Anthony's diversity when it comes to writing songs. And if you only want to listen to one song, I'd say check out Cold Turkey 'cause I dig it a bunch.

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(from Three Chords & The Truth)

Anthony David- GA Peach
Anthony David- 50/50 Love
Anthony David- Cold Turkey

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Your Cheatin' Heart

So every once in awhile, I have to write about celebrity news, because their lives are way more interesting and juicy than mine. This week, Jude Law confessed to his fiance Sienna Miller that he had an affair with his children's nanny, Daisy Wright, 3 months into his and Sienna's 7 month engagement. I just have one question, Jude. Have you actually SEEN your fiance? She looks like this:

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And I know you look like this:

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And think that you can have anyone (and you probably can) but you just don't cheat on Sienna Miller.

Here's a picture of the other woman. She ain't no Sienna.
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According to NY Daily
, Jude has been calling Sienna non stop, desperately wanting to apologize for what he's done. But Sienna's not hearing it.

Meanwhile, "Jude's been leaving Sienna, like, a million missed calls on her mobile and she hasn't picked up once," a friend told Us Weekly.

That's right girlfriend! I don't care if he is the Sexiest Man Alive, you don't need that shit! hehe. Sienna has already stopped wearing her engagement ring, so it looks like there won't be any reconciliation between the two anywhere in the near future. But I still think Jude Law is hot. He's just kind of an ass now.

And since this is a music blog....

Your Cheatin' Heart as done by Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, Beck, and Louis Armstrong. Enjoy.

Hank Williams- Your Cheatin' Heart (from 20 of Hank Williams Greatest Hits)
Patsy Cline- Your Cheatin' Heart (from The Patsy Cline Story)
Beck- Your Cheatin' Heart
Louis Armstrong- Your Cheatin Heart (from Highlights From His Decca Years)

Jude and Sienna in Happier Times
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Sienna in London, minus the ring
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I wonder what it would be like.

I think my next couple of artists posts are going to be about local singer/songwriters with a lot of soul. I was listening to David Ryan Harris earlier today, and I think you guys need to know about him.

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I've worked for a couple of music related things (labels, media relations companies, booking agencies) and I've had to promote some artists that I wasn't exactly crazy about. I'm glad to say that David Ryan Harris is not one of those artists.

Last summer as an intern at Metro Talent Group, I had the pleasure of being introduced to his music. If you're a fan of John Mayer's, you may have seen David open for John during a few shows last summer. Or, you may have seen David playing guitar as a member of John's band. However, David has been a part of the Atlanta music scene for several years now.

In the late 80s, David formed the rock group Follow For Now. While dubbed "The Next Living Colour," they had a wide array of influences, ranging from Stevie Wonder to Bad Brains. But the band didn't last very long, and broke up in 1991 after releasing only one album.

In 1995 David produced and played guitar on Dionne Ferris' debut record Wild Seed-Wild Flower. After acting as musical director for her live band, he decided to embark on a solo career of his own. He signed to Brendan O'Brien's 57 Imprint at Columbia Records and released his first solo cd in 1997 entitled David Ryan Harris. The album was so diverse and mixed so many different genres, that it was hard to classify. Even though it was hailed by critics, it didn't sell well.

Instead of recording a following up record, David started the band Brand New Immortals with bassist Johnny Colt (ex Black Crows) and drummer Kenny Cresswell. After their 6 song EP, Piston, Protein, and Afro-Sheen, started to receive a lot of attention, they group signed to Elektra and released their debut record, Trafic Show, in 2001. While the album was good, it didn't do well commercial, and in 2002, David announced that the band had broken up.

David continues to record as a solo artist. He put out an album last year called Soulstice, but I'm going to give you some tracks from his 2002 EP, Atlanta. Atlanta consists of seven songs that David recorded in his apartment between February and April of 2002. He engineered, arranged, produced, played and sang on every track. David writes great songs, and his voice is just so passionate and soulful. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to tell right away what's so special about him.

(from Atlanta)

David Ryan Harris- Strong Enough
David Ryan Harris- Would Be
David Ryan Harris- Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) *Hendrix Cover*

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Is there something I should know?

Well I got my phone yesterday and I've been playing with it for the past 24 hours. Music blog what? But I figured you guys might want some music today. So here's some stuff from Simon, John, Nick, Andy, and Roger.

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Tonight the godfathers of new romance, Duran Duran, are playing Chastain Amphitheater here in Atlanta. Steve played a lot of their songs on Retroplex this afternoon and it was fun singing along to Wild Boys, Planet Earth, and All She Wants. I can't really say that I remember all of the Duran Duran hoopla in the 80s. I was still pretty young when they were starting to get really big. Hell, their first record came out the same year I was born (1981). But I do remember seeing their videos on MTV, liking their songs, and thinking that John Taylor was definitely the cutest. 'Cause every girl had a favorite.

At the time, a lot of critics just wrote Duran Duran off as a teeny bopper boy band who cared more about makeup and hair than their music. Sure they had a lot of young teenage fans (mostly girls because I hear it wasn't cool to like Duran Duran if you were a boy), and yes they were all really good looking, and yeah they wore pastel suits and lots of makeup. But if you look at the other guy groups that critics call teeny bopperish, there's no way that you could put Duran Duran in the same building. They're actual musicians, and they've written really incredible songs. Take your pick. Girls On Film, The Reflex, Rio, Hungry Like The Wolf, notorious, Ordinary World, etc. And you know that if you're somewhere and Rio starts playing you're gonna sing along to every word. That was definitely my favorite video of theirs growing up. And when I found out that they had filmed it in the waters of Antigua (the island where my parents are from) it made me like it even more.

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Here are a few of my personal favorites from the boys.

Duran Duran- Girls on Film (from Duran Duran)
Duran Duran- Save A Prayer (from Rio)
Duran Duran- New Moon On Monday (from Seven and the Ragged Tiger)
Duran Duran- Notorious (from Notorious)
Duran Duran- Come Undone (from Duran Duran a.k.a. The Wedding Album)
Duran Duran- White Lines (from Thank You)

So you probably don't know this about me, but one of my favorite bands is Deftones. I just love everything they do. I still think that they are the best when it comes to covers because all of the ones that they've done have been spectacular, mostly because Chino (unlike a lot of other frontmen) has a really great voice. Deftones did a cover of Duran Duran's The Chauffeur for the Duran Duran Tribute album. It's AWESOME. And dare I say...maybe even a little better than the original. Chino was definitely a new romantic in another life.

Duran Duran- The Chauffeur (from Rio)
Deftones- The Chauffeur (from The Duran Duran Tribute Album)

The rest of the dates for Duran Duran's North American tour can be found here. My friends say that they still put on a really good show.

And remember, don't squeeze the Lebon :)

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

I need you now like I need you then

I'm not really a big movie buff. I rarely go out to the movies, I never rent them, and usually the only time I ever end up seeing one is 4 years after its release when it winds up on TBS or something. The last movie I saw in the theater was Constantine, and that was just because my friend Steven had free passes. So, occasionally someone will invite me out to see something (this happens like twice a year at the most) but otherwise, no sour patch kids and popcorn for me. I'd name some of the movies that I've never seen, but you'd be shocked and probably lose a lot of respect for me (well if you had any to begin with). So I won't do that. But I do like watching movies, and I even have a few favorites.

Out of all of the genres out there, my all time favorite movies are the 80s high school ones: Weird Science, Heathers, Footloose, Lucas, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Some Kind Of Wonderful, and of course the John Hughes/Molly Ringwald Trilogy, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink. Those are the ones that I grew up watching on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I love the music, the hair, the clothes, the slang, and the storybook endings. I don't care what anyone says, I love it when movies have ridiculously happy endings, even if they would never actually happen in real life. Who cares? It's not supposed to be real life, it's a movie.

In my favorite movies, I love how there's always that song at the end that brings the whole thing together and leaves you with a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling. Like in Sixteen Candles when Samantha is feeling bummed because (yet again) everyone has forgotten about her and left her at the church. Then the Thompson Twins' song If You Were Here starts playing, and bam, there's her crush Jake Ryan. Sure in reality, there is no way in hell that the hottest senior guy would even look twice at a sophomore. But wouldn't it be cool if he did?

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In the movie Pretty In Pink, OMD's If You Leave plays throughout the entire prom scene, but you don't really notice it until Blane tells Andie that he loves her and walks away. And even though you think Duckie should get something for pining over Andie for all those years, you're happy when she runs after Blane. That's who she really wanted.

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While the newer batch of teen movies aren't nearly as good as their predesscessors, some are still fun to watch. When Clueless was released in 1995, I remember it being a big deal because of 1. Alicia Silverstone and 2. the massive amounts of slang used in the film. There were even articles written to help people understand terms like Jeepin' and phrases like, "He says you gave him a toothache."

Directed by Amy Heckerling (we have her to thank for Jeff Spicoli and Fast Times at Ridgemont High) the movie was full of awesome one liners, humorous situations and delightfully vapid, yet entertaining conversations. I remember that the mom of one of my friends thought I was silly for liking Clueless so much. Sure it wasn't going to win any Academy Awards, but it was funny and cute. And even though it seemed a little weird, it was awesome when Cher and Josh got together in the end. The final scene takes place during Ms. Geist's and Mr. Hall's wedding and when Ms. Geist gets ready to throw the bouquet, General Public's Tenderness starts to play, and you just know that Cher is gonna catch it.

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Have I lost all of my indie cred now? Ok, well I'll get it back. Finally, I want to talk about Rushmore. Wes Anderson is of course a genius and you just knew that everyone in this movie was going to be fantastic because Wes brings out the best in his actors. Jason Schwartzman was great as Max Fisher, a 15 year old boy who is more concerned with extracurricular activities at his school (Rushmore Academy) than actually doing any school work. He becomes infatuated with a teacher at Rushmore, Miss Cross, and tries his best to get her to fall for him. Obviously, nothing romantic was going to happen between Max and Miss Cross, or else it would've been a completely different kind of movie. But Max sure thought he had a shot.

When you're younger and you develop feelings for someone much older than you, you entertain the fantasy of being with them, and a part of you actually thinks that you might have a chance. But when you look back on it later (a little older, a little wiser) you realize how ridiculous you must've looked. You think about all of the silly things you said and you wonder how you could've ever been so naive and delusional. But life is about learning, and the experiences you have make you who you are. Even though Max had put all this energy into getting Miss Cross to fall in love with him, at the end he realized that he was far too young for her, and nothing was ever going to happen between them. When you learn a lesson the hard way, it's not so fun, but it makes a bigger impact on you, and that's what's important. Although you still can't help thinking of all the time you could've saved if you only knew then what you know now.

This scene is great

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Miss Cross: Well, you pulled it off
Max: It went ok. At least nobody got hurt
Miss Cross: Except for you
Max: Nah. I didn't get hurt that bad

Then Miss Cross asks Max to dance and as the two walk to the dance floor, The Faces' Oh La La echoes Max's thoughts of wishing he knew before what he knows now.

So here's to all those movies that end with a great song. And to the ones that make you feel good when you're finished watching them. Don't let anyone give you shit for liking happy endings, no matter how unrealistic they may be.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I never win ANYTHING

So I entered this contest over at The Tear That Hangs Inside My Soul Forever to win a Fischerpooner cd, stickers and posters. It was awhile ago and I totally forgot about it until today when my dad gave me a package and said, "This came for you." Everything that I've ordered recently has already arrived so I didn't know what it was. So I opened it and to my surprise, it was the Fischerspooner cd Odyssey, a ton of stickers and a poster. I was like, "Holy shit?! I actually won?" I never win anything, so this was a total shock. So, thanks Mishie! There are always cool giveaways over at TTTHIMSF so check them out. If you're Gorillaz fan, then you should definitely enter this one.


Last week I got my M.I.A. pocko book. It's a tiny book filled with some of her artwork. Very cool stuff, and a nice thing to have if you're in love with M.I.A. like I am. The official Pocko site is sold out of the book, but you can buy it here and get more info about it here.

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Also, Pull Up the People has lots of cool M.I.A. footage for download so check those out too. Ok, no more M.I.A. for today, I promise.

Justin over at No Silence! has an interview up with Prefuse 73. His 10 questions are awesome as always so go read them.

The other day, Blow Up Doll posted this awesome track by a Swedish band called Paris. I don't know if their other songs are this good but 60 minutes is freakin' awesome.

Yesterday, my mother told me that she hates this shirt because she doesn't like the way Morrissey's tongue is sticking out. But the back says, "Ask me. I won't say no. How could I?" How could she not love it?


I discovered a cool blog on LJ called Music for Snobs. There's some good stuff over there, including some Maria Taylor, Sufjan Stevens, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tracks.

Finally, if you haven't read this yet, you should because it's hysterical!

You say you're doing fine, but that's not what it looks like

I bought Rival Schools' United by Fate one day at School Kids Records in Athens. I think I had heard maybe one of the songs from the record. I mostly decided to buy it because a few of my friends wouldn't stop talking about how awesome it was. I remember going over to the R section, finding a copy, and going up to the counter to pay for it. I don't remember how much it was but it was probably $12 or $13. Then the guy at the register told me that he was pretty sure he had seen a copy of the cd in the used cds section. He said that if I didn't mind buying used cds, that I should go over and try to find it 'cause it was probably still there. So I did, and I found it, and it was like $9. I thanked him for cluing me in, especially since he could've gotten more money out of me if he wanted to.

Whenever you'd see anything written about Rival Schools, you'd always read the same things about them. The first being that they were originally called Rival Schools United By Fate, but had to shorten it since it was also the name of a video game. But they made up for it by naming their record United By Fate.

The second thing that you'd always read was that the band was made up of ex members of Civ, Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, and Youth of Today. Lead singer Walter Schreifels was a member of the legendary hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits as well as Quicksand and drummer Sammy Seigler played drums on the first Glassjaw full length Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence (definitely one of my favorite albums ever).

So with all of these really talented musicians coming together, you just knew this record had to be amazing. And it is. United by Fate was one of those cds that I used to listen to before going to bed at night. Kind of a weird choice to lullaby me to sleep, since their music is a passionate, punk driven style of post-hardcore indie rock. I'd usually fall asleep somewhere between Used for Glue and World Invitational and then be sad the next day that sleep had deprived me of hearing the rest of the cd. Walter has this really great raspy voice and every song is good from start to finish.

Rival Schools also put out an EP with One Line Drawing called Rival Schools United by One Line Drawing. It's basically a Rival Schools EP with One Line Drawing (a.k.a. Jonah Matranga) singing and playing on a few songs. Really good stuff though.

Rival Schools toured for a bit before breaking up. Walter's new band, Walking Concert just released an album called Run to Be Born. You can still buy some cool Rival Schools stuff at Merch Direct. It looks like they even restock some items, and their shirts are pretty damn cool.

Get these records.

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(from United By Fate)

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Monday, July 11, 2005

I've got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots

Well, my mom is pretty much driving my father and I crazy. Since our basement flooded again last night, she's been in a hurry hurry hurry to move stuff upstairs before it rains again. We understand that and all. But she doesn't understand that sometimes, we have to take breaks to sleep and eat. Earlier, my father had just finished eating lunch, and my mom wanted his help downstairs. She didn't know why it was taking him so long to start helping again. So he told me to tell her that he'd be there in 5 to 10 minutes because his food had to settle. When I told my mom, she thought that was a load of crap. haha. I dunno, she's like super woman or something, 'cause she hasn't been tired since Thursday. Amazing.

Anyway, I was able to sneak away for a bit to have a bowl of my favorite ice cream. Mayfield's Birthday Cake! Seriously, best ice cream ever. But I'm not going to rush back downstairs just yet. 'Cause my food has to settle too.

And not that this is the same kind of settling but ya know...

Have you noticed that The Sound of Settling by Death Cab For Cutie is being played in everything now? I heard it in the trailer for the upcoming Steve Martin/Claire Danes flick Shop Girl, as well as the commercial for the DVD release of the 1st season of Laguna Beach. Shop Girl looks really good actually. Jason Schwartzman is also in it. It's based on a book that Steven Martin wrote. I hear the book is really good too. You can watch the trailer for the movie here.

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Let's stop this clock from starting.

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On Thursday we all found out that Q and Not U was calling it quits. Why do they good bands always break up but the shitty ones continue to make one crappy record after another? However, the guys feel that they have accomplished all they set out to do as a group, and you've gotta respect them for that.

Q and Not U are part of the Dischord Records family and gained a big fan base due to their constant touring and their fun filled shows where you were sure to have a blast. I was lucky enough to see them in 2003 when they played the Caledonia in Athens. I was taking this Journalism class, and one of our assignments for lab was to get an article published in a newspaper or magazine during the semester. Luckily, the Variety editor for the Red and Black was in our class, and when I found out that Q and Not U was coming, I thought that it would be great to write about them. So I interviewed John over the phone one Sunday and wrote a nice little piece on them. Of course a lot of the good stuff was cut out, 'cause space is always an issue with newspapers. But if anything, the article made people aware that the band was playing in town. And after it ran, a lot of people came up to me and said that they had read the article in the newspaper so that was really cool.

The show that night was great. They were definitely one of the best bands I've ever seen live. So much energy and the crowd was so into it which always makes for a fun show. It was sold out, but John got two of my friends in (one who had driven down from Atlanta) so that was awesome of him.

Now I'm even more bummed that Q and Not U didn't play the entire Interpol tour earlier this year (their last show on the tour was in Florida, the day before the Atlanta show. Dammit!). I emailed John and asked if they'd be playing in Atlanta, and he said no, but probably Athens. And sure enough they did. But since I'm an hour and a half away from Athens now, I couldn't go to their show. And now, I won't get to see them again :(

Justin says that they'll be back though and we can expect a Q and Not U/Dismemberment Plan/Fugazi tour in 2007. Haha, how much would that rule? But until then, thanks to Chris, John, and Harris for the good music and for being rad dudes in general.

Here are the dates for the last handful of Q and Not U shows. If you're anywhere near these places, definitely go and see them. You won't regret it.

07-16 Brooklyn, NY - Siren Music Festival
07-17 Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony
07-18 Washington, DC - Fort Reno
09-22 Washington, DC - Black Cat
09-23 Washington, DC - Black Cat

Read Justin's 10 questions with Chris here.

And check out these songs:

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(from No Kill No Beep Beep)
A Line in the Sand
and because I couldn't decide
And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight

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(from Different Damage)
This Are Flashes

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(from Power)
Wonderful People

Friday, July 08, 2005

Water, water everywhere.

Thanks to a really bad rain storm on Wednesday, my basement is a complete disaster. The whole place flooded, and we spent a lot of yesterday and most of today trying to throw things away, get stuff cleaned and organize all of the boxes and stuff that are now all over the ground. We have so many clothes that got wet, but our dryer isn't working ('cause water got into that too), and so we have clothes hanging all over the house. It's pretty bad. Here's a picture.


You can see on the wall where the water was. A lot came in, and now there are leaves and mud EVERYWHERE. Even though I've been cleaning up since I woke up this morning, I still feel like we haven't gotten very far. And Hurricane Dennis is supposed to be coming through soon, so we're a little worried about that. We're just trying to get the important stuff upstairs just in case we get more rain.

Right now is actually the first time today I've been able to sit down and do something online besides check my email. But I think we're done for the day, which is good because I'm exhausted.

So while I was sweeping leaves and mopping up mud, I listened to 99x on my old boom box (there was no way that I was gonna take my ipod down in all that mess). Mainstream radio isn't bad all of the time. 99x has actually really improved their programming over the past couple of years, and I can honestly say that I enjoy their selections more often than not. The best thing on the station though is their hour long program Retroplex. It comes on every weekday from 12 to 1 p.m. and features 80s new wave, 90s alternative, old school punk, and some older college radio favorites. The show seems to be mostly made up from requests from listeners, which makes it even better of course. And Steve is one of the more entertaining DJs at the station, so it's always fun listening to him. The only thing not cool about this show is the name. Because before it was called The House of Retro Pleasure, and that was way cooler.

Whenever you listen to Retroplex, you know you're going to:

a. Hear a song that you love that you haven't heard in forever
b. Hear a song that you that you never knew the name of, but dug every time you heard it
c. Hear a song that you've never heard before but really enjoy.

Steve played lots of cool stuff today, including a song from Joe Strummer's pre-Clash band, the 101'ers. I never knew about the 101'ers (looks like a cd of their recordings was just released on the 14th of last month) but really liked what I heard. Retroplex strikes again!

During the show, this girl called in requesting a song she didn't know the name of. But she said that it was by Echo and the Bunnymen, and that it had a kind of creepy feel to it. She also said that it was on the Sid and Nancy soundtrack, and in the movie "with the bunny" (Donnie Darko). Turns out that she was talking about The Killing Moon. GREAT song that I haven't heard in awhile so that was nice.

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So if you're not tied to any particular lunch time ritual already, check out Retroplex while your inhaling that sandwich of yours. Since most of you probably don't live in Atlanta, you can listen to the show online at

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Live 8 Downloads

If you missed any of the Live 8 performances, you can download a good number of them here. If you haven't seen Richard Ashcroft doing Bitter Sweet Symphony with Coldplay, I suggest you watch that one first. Amazing.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Not Even Jail

Today, rapper Lil' Kim a.k.a. Kimberly Jones was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $50,000 for lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends who were involved in a 2001 shooting in front of a New York radio station. That's a pretty serious crime, but I didn't really think they'd give her jail time for it. I mean, she is a celebrity and all, so I thought she'd just get probation and a large fine. I wonder if she's surprised by the sentence. But perhaps the judge wanted to make an example out of her. However, Kim got off pretty easy, because she faced up to 20 years in prison, and if she wasn't famous, she probably would've gotten more. Hopefully the time will go by quickly for her. More on the sentencing here.

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You'd be surprised how many song titles mention prison. Here are a few.

Beauty Pill- Prison Song
Johnny Cash- Folsom Prison Blues
Loretta Lynn- Women's Prison
The Postal Service- This Place is a Prison

In other news, last night both VH1 and BET showed the entire 5 chapters of R Kelly's mini soap opera Trapped in the Closet. I watched all five chapters on Monday afternoon online, but watched them again anyway when they were on tv. Chapters 6 through 10 are on their way. The story that plays out is just craziness, but definitely entertaining. It will be interesting to see what R Kelly has planned next. Looks like he's going to go on with this for awhile so be warned. If you haven't seen any chapters of the Trapped in the Closet series, you can watch them on MTV Overdrive.

One of my myspace friends (gosh, I sound like a dork huh?) posted a link to Super Fantastic Clothing yesterday and I totally want this shirt:

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Seth Cohen is the new Zach Morris

Do yourself a favor and head on over to My Old Kentucky Blog. If you're not visiting this site at least once a day, something is seriously wrong with you. Yesterday, Dodge posted a slew of Decemberists covers and they're just amazing. There are even a couple of Moz covers, so go check them out.

Yeah ok, I think that's all I had to talk about today

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I'll fight you just to get a piece

Today in Pull Up the People, someone posted a link to the new M.I.A. video for Bucky Done Gun. You can download it here. I love it. But Maya could make a video in an empty room, and I would love that too.

A 15 year old boy was stabbed after refusing to give a group of teenagers his ipod. He died from his injuries later on at the hospital. Can you believe that people are killing other people for ipods? Craziness! I get really nervous whenever I go anywhere with mine. I've been thinking about getting different color earbuds because the white ones scream, "HEY! I HAVE A $400 MP3 PLAYER! LOOK AT ME!" Although, if I take mine with me outside of the house, it's usually because I just want to listen to it in the car. I've only taken it on MARTA a few times, and I was always paranoid about it. So if you have an ipod, just be careful when you're out and about with it.

I missed The Cure's Live 8 performance because I wasn't sure if they were playing in Paris or Berlin (it ended up being Paris) and so I was flipping back and forth between the two on Thank God I have the internet 'cause MTV's and VH1's coverage of Live 8 sucked. They only showed the performances that they thought were highlights of the day, and most of those weren't even shown in their entirety. What's up with that? And what was the deal with the commercials every 6 minutes? That got annoying too. So I'm glad that I was able to watch the performances online. Did I mention how awesome Madonna was? No really. She was amazing.

I've been listening to this Decemberists song a lot lately. What a great band!

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Friday, July 01, 2005

And I knew for sure I was loved

Luther Vandross
April 20, 1951- July 1, 2005
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When you think about the most popular male R&B singers of the past two decades, Freddie Jackson, Teddy Pendergrass, and Jeffrey Osborne all come to mind. But at the top of that list for most people is definitely Luther Vandross. Just the other day I was watching Judge Hatchet, and the defendant in the case was a Luther Vandross impersonator. So the judge asked him to sing something for her. He wasn't bad at all. She said, "That was actually very good. And I know my Luther. You know you couldn't come in here half-steppin.' "

Luther was the best at what he did. He sang so passionately about love that it's practically impossible to not feel a little something when you hear his voice. He made women swoon. And once men figured out that Luther put their ladies in the mood, I'm sure hundreds of children were conceived as his songs played in the background. He had an amazing voice, a great heart, and was definitely a huge inspiration to a lot of people. When he had a stroke in 2003, everyone was really shocked because it came out of nowhere, and he was still young. Surely too young to have a stroke. Last year, he was on Oprah, and though his speech was a little slurred and he couldn't move around very well, you just knew that he was going to get better. He really wanted to. And so it's very sad that he's no longer here.

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