Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Hold On, Hold On" by Neko Case

It is the end of the month and I've come full circle. In the May 1 entry, I said that I would probably get to Neko Case at some point during this month and I never did so today I bring you my favorite Neko Case song.

She is an accomplished solo musician as well as a member of the Canadian band the New Pornographers. I wish I could have a tenth of her talent.

This ends the month of music. I might still do this occasionally but I think the actual knitting content may return next week. Thanks for bearing with my odd musical tastes for 31 days.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes

I'm not a big Violent Femmes fan by any means but for some reason I used to put this song on almost every mix CD I ever made.

There's just something about this song that screams "dance party!" Come on, you know you want to get up and dance right now. I'm doing my tiny little "dance in my chair and hope no one walks by my cubicle" thing. It's Friday, let's have some fun.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"LDN" by Lily Allen

Oh, Lily Allen. Let's look how much better you look with brown hair.

And could you go back to wearing the cute sundresses? That was an awesome phase.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Robots"/"The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room"/"Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" by Flight of the Conchords

Hurray for Flight of the Conchords. They are a band from New Zealand that also have an HBO show of the same name which is unfortunately not returning until 2009 due to residual writers strike effects. Bonus, I have a thing for puns. I couldn't decide on one song, so you get three.

Binary solo!

"You could be an air hostess in the 60s"

This one is just for the motherflippin' dance moves.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Oxford Comma" by Vampire Weekend

Both on her blog and in person when she was in person when she spoke in St. Paul this past spring, the Yarn Harlot spoke about her dislike of the serial, or Harvard, comma. Another name for it is the Oxford comma. It's the comma before the word "and" in the sentence, "Those shoes belong to John, Suzie, and Jack." In many cases, the serial comma is unnecessary but it can provide extra clarification. As a former journalism major and current analytical chemist, I'm a fan. Apparently Vampire Weekend agrees with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

Warning: a few uses of the f-word that are not edited out in this video.

I like Vampire Weekend. They suffered a little from too much online hype before their album was released but overall it is a pretty good album. You can definitely hear that Paul Simon's Graceland was a major influence of theirs along with the South African pop that was that album's influence. The band formed at Columbia University and considering the fact that most groups coming out of my own school were a cappella, this would have been a welcome change.

Monday, May 26, 2008

When Knitting and Television Collide

Dude. These Monkey socks were on Jeopardy! today. The contestant's name is Heather and her name on Ravelry is BlackberryTea. She was ahead going into Final Jeopardy but ultimately was defeated by the returning champion. Doesn't matter, though, because I think she might be my new hero.

"Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knights and the Pips

I was in the mood for some soul today.

Gladys is working some wicked earrings in this vid. The Pips are dancing smoothly. Couldn't ask for much more.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Peaceful Easy Feeling" by The Eagles

I have a feeling that Lisa, much like myself, took a classic rock song and changed one of the words to knit(ting) for the title of her blog Peaceful Easy Knitting.

This song makes me want to find a tree to spread a blanket under so I can sit outside and knit or read for the afternoon. This weekend has been so lovely and I'm glad that we get an extra day to enjoy it, even if we are currently in a tornado watch.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"See Emily Play" by Pink Floyd

It was only right that I get to this at some point during the month.

And now you know the reason for the name of the blog. Knitting, hallucinogenic drugs, and me, all tied together in a Pink Floyd song. I knew a few people that would bring this song up in reference to me a few times. Not that I've ever been known for a drug habit, but it's almost too fitting for those moments that I come off as such a blonde stereotype.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Adia" by Sarah McLachlan

Phew. Almost missed posting today. Less than two hours to spare.

I was walking home from work today when I found myself humming this to myself. No reason why. I did have my iPod on, but I was listening to an NPR podcast, no Sarah McLachlan playing. For whatever reason, my mom cannot stand this song. I don't think it's that she's against Sarah McLachlan, either, because I'm pretty sure she was cool with "Angel." This song, along with a lot of Tori Amos, played heavily into my teen angst years. A lot of flinging myself onto my bed with the full agony of living was done to Surfacing. I do not think I could have been more of a cliche had I tried.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer

I'll admit that a spinning record isn't the most exciting video out there.

But as far as audio quality for a YouTube video goes, this is pretty damned awesome. This choice was definitely influenced by the appearance of Ms. Summer on American Idol last night but it calls to mind another television show, one from simpler times. A time when you could stay at home on a Friday night, turn the TV to ABC, and bask in the glory of TGIF.

Work it, Mr. Feeny! Cory + Topanga 4eva!!!!!!! (Those exclamation points are for you, Erin).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"It's a Hit" by Rilo Kiley

Warning: Today's selection has a bit of questionable language (it's all censored in the video) and also alludes to certain political values.

This is one of my favorite songs by my favorite band but I had never seen the video for it until today. It's kind of weird but features some pretty kick-ass Lite Brite effects. I've discussed Rilo Kiley on this blog before when I had tickets to see them back in September. It was a great concert, one that really made me appreciate tracks off their newest album which I wasn't completely enjoying until then.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Closing Time" by Semisonic

Today's entry is pretty much going to be a love story to Dan Wilson, a former member of Trip Shakespeare and frontman of Semisonic. Besides being a pretty awesome musician himself, he's also extremely active behind the scenes. In his Minneapolis studio, he has produced both albums by Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty, who I mention in the post introducing this month's theme. He also won a 2007 Grammy for song of the year for co-writing "Not Ready to Make Nice" with the Dixie Chicks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan

I know, he's hardly the world's greatest singer and listening to him can be quite painful, but you have to give Bob Dylan his due.

Yes, I chose the infamous night he went electric.

He's a great songwriter and since he's Duluth born and Hibbing bred, he's pretty much one of my people. Trust me, the people of the Iron Range are quite proud of Bobby Zimmerman even if he doesn't really lay much claim to the state of Minnesota anymore.

No matter what you say about his vocal talents or drug use, the man is a genius songwriter. The Hendrix version of "All Along the Watchtower" is a classic. I'll be the first to admit that when I think of "Knocking on Heaven's Door," it's totally the voice of Axl Rose singing in my head. I could have done without Jason Castro's performance of "Mr. Tambourine Man" on American Idol, though.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"When Doves Cry" by Prince

I could hardly cover Minnesota artists without talking about Prince. Sure, he's a crazy little dude with a seemingly unnatural obsession with the color purple but he's also a fantastic musician. His skill on the guitar alone is enough for him to be remembered by. Prince has sued YouTube to keep his videos off of there but he was OK with providing the full track of "When Doves Cry." I was trying to decide between this, "Raspberry Beret," and "Let's Go Crazy," but since this is the only one that had the full track available this is what you get.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by The Andrews Sisters

In honor of the sesquicentennial, I thought I'd focus on Minnesota artists for the next few days.

I think I might have gotten to the Andrews Sisters eventually, anyways. Their influence on music over most of the twentieth century and still occasionally today is enormous. Unfortunately, I think their influence sometimes is to make parents think that their children should all sing harmony together. Or at least my mom. My sister and I tend not to discuss those occasions.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Groove is in the Heart" by Deee-Lite

In honor of the gorgeous weather Minnesota is experiencing today, I thought it was time to haul out fun one hit wonder pop songs.

Careful! I think this video might be able to create a Pokemon-like seizure. You have been warned. Now dance! Full-length body suits definitely not a requirement.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"I've Got a Theory/Bunnies/If We're Together" by Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It's time to dig deep into the cult favorites today.

Even my sister, who can probably count on one hand the number of Buffy episodes she has seen, loves "Once More, With Feeling." This is my favorite song in this episode (Bunnies!) with "Rest in Peach" coming in close second (dude, it's Spike with character development). With all this Whedon musical reminiscence, I can't help but be excited for Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's going to be legendary.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"In My Room" by The Beach Boys

I had a bad day at work. This helps.

The Beach Boys was the first concert I ever went to. I was with my parents and my sister at the Minnesota State Fair and America was the opening band. I'm not sure if my parents were trying to create some of the geekiest children ever, but I think that at least when it comes to music they succeeded. A little too well. I'm going to go hug a pillow and pet some yarn now. Mmm, alpaca.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cindy Lauper

Sometimes I'm such a child of the 80s that it's scary.

I've even seen the movie although probably not until the 90s. Early Sarah Jessica Parker brilliance with Solid Gold-style dancing. That's almost Xanadu level of camp. Definitely not something to miss out on. Even if SJP does annoy the crap out of me 80% of the time.

Emily Deschanel sang it on Bones last night. It was all good times until somebody got shot.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Mr. Sandman" by The Chordettes

This song is a pain in the ass to sing. It's got close harmony and you have to sing "bum bum bum" a lot. It's lovely if kind of sad and desperate when you think about the lyrics.

I actually had a dream that had my ex-boyfriend from high school in it last night. I'm sure it was spurred by my recent visit home, especially since we went to the grocery store he used work at yesterday. It wasn't much, just ran into him at said grocery store. It was just weird because I barely think about him these days.

When I sang this song, I was in fact still dating him. I was a senior in high school and the theme of our high school Pops concert was the 50s. Back when I could still sing more than five notes in a row and stay in tune. Overall, I'm happy with the direction my life has taken since then, minus a small bit of job dissatisfaction as of late.

On a cheerier note, here's the Golden Girls' rendition.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Yes, it's Queen again but last time I was technically talking about a cover. This one is in honor of Dr. Brian May.

That's right, Dr. Brian May. I heard this NPR story that last year, Brian May, legendary Queen guitarist, got his doctorate in astrophysics. As someone that is interested in science and music, this is some of the best news I could ever hear. He's coauthored a book called Bang! The Complete History of the Universe that I think I might check out. I'm still a little wary of "creation of the universe" theories because they make my Lutheran-raised head want to explode but I always mean to inform myself more.

It could be said that I'm only reading it because it's by a rock star but I don't know that that's necessarily true. This is a man that had a completely successful career, that could have been perfectly satisfied having never finished the degree he started before Queen hit it big but he wasn't. He seems passionate about astronomy to such a great degree that something that he, along with two cowriters, has written has the opportunity to be brilliant.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond

I'm at my parents' house this weekend for Mother's Day/my grandma's birthday, which is today. My sister, my mom, and I went shopping today which often leads to us singing along to the oldies station.

This is probably my favorite Neil Diamond song and it was definitely one we were all singing in "full voice." I often wonder what we must look like to people in the other cars that go by us. Or our dad.

Friday, May 09, 2008

"Milkshake" by Kelis

I would like to blame Sarah for what I've inflicted upon you today.

This song came up at knitting last night and we were the only ones that remembered it. I think everyone else might be the smart ones in this situation.

I know too much about this song. My junior year we kept a radio in the bathroom in my dorm and that was when this song was still played on the radio quite a bit. I do some of my best thinking in the bathroom but that is not always the case. I figured out once and for all that the "ding" sound that seems to occur randomly throughout the song actually occurs alternately on every twelfth and twentieth beat.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, ding.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, ding.

I don't know what I'm more embarrassed to have shared with you, my knowledge of "Milkshake" or my bathroom habits.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"It's My Party"/"Judy's Turn to Cry"/"You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore

Today's selection is actually a trilogy. We start off with "It's My Party."

It's totally Lesley's birthday and yet her beau, Johnny, goes off to mack on Judy and then gives her his ring. Not cool, Judy! You totally broke some arbitrary girl code there. It's OK, though because Lesley gets her revenge.

Lesley makes Johnny jealous and all it takes is a display of testosterone-driven violence for him to realize that he still totally digs Lesley. She takes him back because clearly it was all that evil Judy's fault. She does, however, set her own terms this time around.

You go, Lesley!

Weren't the 60s fun?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Across the Universe" by Fiona Apple

I'm still in the mood for covers and today I was listening to Fiona Apple's rendition of "Across the Universe" from the Pleasantville soundtrack.

I love this movie (it just went into my Netflix queue) so much and this cover, and Fiona Apple in general, was a big part of my angsty teenage years. Hold your surprise at the revelation that my teen years were angsty.

This song is how I first heard of Sanskrit. Jai Guru Deva om roughly translates to "I give thanks to the Guru Dev, om."

In other news, it is freezing in my office. I'm very glad that I get to leave in ten minutes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy" by Jason Mraz

Yes, it's a cover. A cover by Jason Mraz. Bear with me, here. I've been on a bit of a Queen kick lately as it is and one of my favorite podcasts is Coverville. I've been catching up with it as of late and this was on an all-request episode from a couple of weeks ago. It's from a 2005 tribute album called Killer Queen. I still prefer Freddie Mercury and I think it helped that I didn't know that it was Jason Mraz until after the song was over. It's a little toned down but this isn't exactly the headbanger that Bohemian Rhapsody can be anyways.

All I could find of the Jason Mraz version were videos people made themselves and those scare me sometimes, so you get this version of Queen performing it on Top of the Pops.

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet

I was humming this to myself as I walked out of work today.

Someone I know, who shall remain nameless, always mangled the words of the "big black boots, long brown hair" into "big round boobs." It's actually kind of endearing in a Kiss This Guy sort of way and considering the things that I personally do and don't have, I can't say I'm against this version. I know that this song is generally better known for its ability to sell iPods and motor vehicles and that's probably why it was in my subconscious today but it still makes me happy.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

"Great DJ" by The Ting Tings

"Great DJ" is the iTunes free single of the week right now (I don't know when the "week" is switched over but as of Sunday morning in the Central time zone it is still available).

It's good clean Europop fun. The lead singer kind of reminds me of that one chick from Rock of Love only British and a hot mess as far as I can tell.

I first heard this song last month during NPR's coverage of South by Southwest. SXSW is one of the many reasons that I think it would be awesome to live in Austin, TX. It's this total anomaly, a liberal Mecca in the middle of Texas. I'm sure that actually trying to live and work in Austin during SXSW and Austin City Limits could be a big pain in the ass but the accessibility to so much new music would probably be worth it. Plus, it's in Texas and right now I'm so over Minnesota weather.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

"I Touch Myself" by Divinyls

Today's song is brought to you by the two gay guys that sang it during karaoke at the bar I was at last night.

Songs about masturbation are always pure class. Say what you will about this song, it did spawn a classic Buffy line.
It was terrible. I moped over you for months, sitting in my room, listening to that Divinyls song "I Touch Myself"...of course, I had no idea what it was about.
And it's sentiment like that that make this song awesome. I love when people sing songs having no idea what they're singing about. Clearly the guys last night knew what was going on but this is not always the case. Arrested Development picked up on this perfectly by having an uncle and his teenage neice sing what, in their heads, was a cheery, happy song together. Once they started singing, they soon realized that "Afternoon Delight" was not an appropriate choice.

Friday, May 02, 2008

"Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones

Today is a rainy day in the Twin Cities and I love it. It sounds horribly corny when I try to describe why I like the rain. I'm not exactly the world's most sunshiny happy person but it makes me light up. I like rain when it's soft and rhythmic but I also adore a blasting thunderstorm (which we had last night).

My morning drive was to the Oldies station this morning even though I finally got my iPod out from my recliner. My iPod had fallen into the arm of my recliner and I finally heard it in there by tipping the chair upside down and back up again (thanks Sarah for telling me to do that last night). I couldn't get my fingers into where it was so I pulled a few staples out of the fabric at the bottom of the arm and got it out. I now need to ask my dad if I can borrow his staple gun the next time I go home.

So, I was listening to KOOL 108 this morning and Paint it Black came on. The link goes to a 30 second clip of the album version and this video is from a concert in Belgium last year.

It seems like such a perfect rainy day song and was probably the best part of my day so far. Work is a tense atmosphere lately the way it is and very few people are put in a good mood by a rainy day. I don't know if I have much more to stay. I've always been more of a Beatles girl than a Stones fan. I have an aunt and uncle that still go to see them every time they come to the Cities but mother instilled in me a love of the Beatles and Broadway musicals and that love has stayed firm.

While looking for this on YouTube, I also found The Animals performing it at the Monterey Pop festival.

The sound quality isn't the greatest but watching the violinist is pretty amazing.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

It's May 1, so it's time to get this thing going. On the way to work this morning, I was listening to The Current which is actually an odd occurrence. I don't always like the music played during their morning show and usually opt to either plug in my iPod or put on the Oldies station. This morning though, as soon as I was about to change the station, Neko Case was on. Neko Case is also an exception to the rule for me because she's a self-described country performer (she doesn't like the term alt-country despite the fact that that's what she's often classified as). I'll probably get to her later in the month but today we're going to talk about Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

Starting off with this year's Oscar winner for Best Original Song may seem like an obvious choice but it won for a reason. I'm actually really bad at identifying songs I like by their opening notes. It's probably due to my fairly crappy hearing. Much like my eyesight is much worse than it should be due to all that reading by flashlight I used to do under the covers until two in the morning when I was only nine, my hearing is probably worse than it should be due to the number of hours I log with headphones on my ears. See above re: hatred of country music and then take into consideration that my freshman and sophomore year roommate listened almost exclusively to nothing else.

Despite my bad hearing (at age 24), I know this song instantly. It's really calming and I can kind of sing along to it and pretend I still know how to harmonize. It builds and it's gorgeous. It's simple with minimal amount of instrumentation. And if you don't find Hansard and Irglová absolutely charming then there's not much I can do for you.

If any of you didn't watch the Oscars, know that their winning this award was spectacular. They were mainly up against the Disney juggernaut, Enchanted, which fortunately seemed to have its vote split by having three songs nominated. The other song nominated probably didn't stand a chance, even if the little girl in it was as cute as a button (The Current morning show made me a bit folksy this morning). Hansard, in a nervous way, rambled off his acceptance speech and then Irglová stood up to the microphone to deliver her own only to be cut off before she could utter a word.

Nothing to worry about though, because my TV boyfriend Jon Stewart saved the day. I think the man has a soft spot for Best Original Song winners (he felt more people should celebrate their win like Three 6 Mafia did in 2006 for "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp"). After a commercial break, Stewart brought Irglová back on stage to properly accept her award. In a situation that was certainly daunting and in a language that is not native to her, she delivered the following:
Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.
And it was beautiful.