Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fun with coasters

When Lee told me about the furniture he recently acquired, I had visions of being the guy who leaves a bottle of MGD on a piece that warrants the phrase "museum grade" and I just can't live with that stress. I'll let Julie or Brett take that one.

Instead, I designed some coasters for him. And yes, I'm awfully pleased with my own creativity... but then you probably already knew that about me (I am a blogger).

Crap, now I'm worried that the cork bottoms will cause a problem...

This may become everyone's Xmas present.

"Mind the wood" is always good advice.

I really am awesome.

Song of the Day: "Glad You Came"

This is The Wanted from their second album, and despite what people who know me might think from watching this video, the song totally stands on its own merit.


It's like super tribal or something.

"We all felt it was a new, refreshing sound and a perfect song for the summer which really gets you in the mood for a party."--Tom Parker, The Wanted

Song: "Glad You Came"
Artist: The Wanted

Friday, March 9, 2012

Song of the Day: "We Can't Have Nice Things"

Another Hogan joins the fun!
Kelly Hogan may or may not (she is totally not [unless she secretly is]) related Hulk Hogan, or Hogan's Heroes.

She definitely is a singer, and has cultivated enough fans in the music industry that her new album, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, includes songs written for her by folks like Robyn Hitchcock (who provides the title track), John Wesley Harding, M. Ward and Vic Chesnutt (and he's dead, so that really says something about her talent [oh, or he wrote it before he died]). This track comes from Andrew Byrd and author Jack Pendarvis, and it's got a cool veneer of hipster codependence --  that may or may not be intentional (I'm waiting for lab results, I guess).

Song: "We Can't Have Nice Things"
Artist: Kelly Hogan

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Song of the Day: "You Jane"

The 90s nostalgia wave continues with new music from The Wedding Present.

Song: "You Jane"
Artist: The Wedding Present

2011 Music: Songs #20-11

It's what made me, saved me, drove me crazy/Drove me away then embraced me, forgave me/For all of my shortcomings, welcome to my homecoming "Coming Home"
From the Oregon corners/To the Iowa corn/
To the rooms with the heat lamps where the snakes get born
"Birth of Serpents"
I know I know I know what I am chasing/I know I know I know that this is changing me "Uberlin"
20 'Sway' Mates of State
19 'Junk of the Heart (Happy)' The Kooks
18 'Coming Home' Diddy-Dirty Money & Skylar Gray
17 'Birth of Serpents' Mountain Goats
16 'Firework' Katy Perry
15 'Being Followed' Duran Duran
14 'Rad Racer' Work Drugs
13 'Party Rock Anthem' LMFAO & Lauren Bennett
12 'Uberlin' R.E.M.
11 'Going and Going. And Going' Icebird

2011 Music: Songs #30-21

This group is an interesting melange: another Head and the Heart track (I believe this one is associated with the night before a friend's chemotherapy began), breezy power pop from Fountains of Wayne, and a bad-ass track I only found when checking out the dude opening for Nick Lowe (JD). Everything Everything were another happy discovery through the Mercury Prize shortlist ("who's gonna sit on my face when you're gone?" ... is that what he says?)...

Mayer Hawthorne re-packaged Cee-Lo's "Fuck You" and did pretty fucking well with it.
Two cigarettes from the package gone/You must have thought about it just that longI never knew you were so strong/I guess I never will
John Hiatt reminded me why he's a fucking living legend.

And then there's JoJo. Who the hell is she? Her take on Drake's "Marvins Room" is part 1 of a song that's haunted me for months. Oh, and it's not even an actual single (I didn't let Roddy Frame on the list with his wonderful "White Horse" and this drunk dial anthem won't get out of my head, so it's here).

30 'Sydney, I'll Come Running' Brett Dennen
29 'Down in the Valley' The Head and the Heart
28 'You're Too Weird' Fruit Bats
27 'Too Insistent' The Dø
26 'The Summer Place' Fountains of Wayne
25 'North Side Gal' JD McPherson
24 'MY KZ UR BF' Everything Everything
23 'The Walk' Mayer Hawthorne
22 'Adios to California' John Hiatt
21 'Can't Do Better' JoJo

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2011 Music: Songs #40-31

With Teenage Fanclub and James making recent year-end lists, Charlatans UK's appearance should come as no surprise to anyone, ever. They're like Davidson in the NCAA basketing balls thing (I will get a ruling from J-rod, the official Sports Information Dude for the Rebel Agenda), although "Can't Get Out of Bed" may have been a #1 single, or at least top 10... did Davidson get that far? Maybe they're Kentucky. Jesus, I'm still writing about basketball... that's so gay. Or not gay. Whatev.

Love The Decemberists album, love The Head and the Heart and Gillian Welch, not as taken with the whole of M83 as critics seem to have been and was a bit disappointed with Iron & Wine after loving this particular song. And F the Peeps (as I call Foster) make a couple appearances (as do Decemberists) with this song penalized for its current state of overplay.

40 'My Foolish Pride' Charlatans
39 'Don't Carry It All' The Decemberists
38 'Lost in my Mind' The Head and the Heart
37 'The Way It Goes' Gillian Welch
36 'Midnight City' M83
35 'Tree by the River' Iron & Wine
34 'T.O.R.N.A.D.O.' The Go! Team
33 'Who Are You' Kathryn Calder
32 'Pumped Up Kicks' Foster the People
31 'Lotus Flower' Radiohead

2011 Music: Songs #50-41

When I review the year in music, it's usually the stuff higher than #35 or so that is rewarding for me to rediscover (the higher ranked stuff I've listened to a bazillion times by now, duh)...

2011 was a shitty year. Really shitty except that one lucky bastard, so that does minimize it to merely shitty, but that's not reflected heavily in these first 10. Of these, "Chinatown" stayed with me longest -- the entire Destroyer album is lovely, moody, elegant, all that broody cool shit. Kelly Rowland might not have made the top 50 had this track not been played before the Janet Jackson show shortly after I featured it as a song of the day (or had it been more Big Sean). Oh, and apparently I really dig Girls, since this is their third consecutive year to make my list.

50 'Miranda' Surfer Blood
49 'Jejune Stars' Bright Eyes
48 'Edge of Glory' Lady Gaga
47 'Hold On' The Chain Gang of 1974
46 'Lay it on Me' Kelly Rowland & Big Sean
45 'Chinatown' Destroyer
44 'County Line' Cass McCombs
43 'Neat Little Rows' Elbow
42 'Embody' SebastiAn
41 'Honey Bunny' Girls

"...that was all he missed and he ain't comin' back"

Boz Scaggs is in town tonight (not that I'm going), and Silk Degrees was such a mainstay on the turntable at my house (courtesy of my mom), that I can't not post something.

Well, technically I could, but I didn't want to, so I am.

Here's "Lido Shuffle"...

Song of the Day: "Andrew in Drag"

Transgender Icon Andrew "Ann" Coulter
I awoke to a pleasant surprise: the gift of music!

The new Magnetic Fields, Love at the Bottom of the Sea courtesy of Leland (thanks again dude!) -- haven't given it much of a listen (it's not yet 7 a.m.), but definitely liking this track.

Song: "Andrew in Drag"
Artist: The Magnetic Fields

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Song of the Day: "Leave the Engine Room"

I broke down and bought the Everything Everything album Man Alive -- some of you might recall them from last summer's Mercury Prize shortlist review. Most of you won't.

Here's another track.

Song: "Leave the Engine Room"
Artist: Everything Everything

Monday, March 5, 2012

A sadly fantastic advertisement

Banner ad at
My relationship with Salon is on the decline, and I've let my subscription lapse. But this ad speaks to me.

I doubt a subscription to MAD Magazine is enough to woo me back, but I appreciate the sentiment of the ad, and that a website geared toward, cough, adults would work with such a ground-breaking publication (what, they begat The Onion).

"... never marry a guy who's really into shoes."

Lindsay Lohan held up pretty well on SNL. If you missed the premiere of Disney Housewives, it was great. They should have Andy Cohen on, just because.

Song of the Day: "Paradisco"

Charlotte Gainsbourg, am I right?

Actually I don't know much about her -- she was a song of the day in 2011, through a collaboration with Villagers, and that's it. Or it was it until a song on Passport Approved put her on my radar. I now know enough about her to dub her the French Gwyneth Paltrow (which is not meant as an offense although god knows it's hard not to read some into that).

Note to self: see about the Melancholia DVD release date.

Her Stage Whisper double album, from late last year, is a collection of unreleased (disc 1) or live (disc 2) tracks. This song is from disc 1 and was written/produced by Beck and features (pay attention) drum programming by a dude who used to be in Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (I know!). With her proclivity for working with established musicians (and a dude who used to be in Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti), I could have called her the French Courtney Love, but that is unmistakably insulting.

OMG, why didn't Saturday Night Live have Hole as the musical guest when Lindsay Lohan hosted last weekend?! (Also Lindsay was pretty funny.)

Song: "Paradisco"
Artist: Charlotte Gainsbourg

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Song of the Day: "Conduct"

New music from The Cranberries--I think they're riding the Newt Gingrich/90s nostalgia train, but at least this sounds good. Newt's just "attack on Catholicism" and "lunar colony... psych!"

Song: "Conduct"
Artist: The Crandberries