Monthly Archives: October 2013

Today’s non-music post: Adventures in meeting new people, and spare pants

Reading a blog post by Hayley Krischer about how difficult it is for moms to find and make new friends made me realize– I’m in that dark void right now.

Met a very nice person at the coffee shop the other day. The beauty of it was, I wasn’t even looking to hook up— she struck up the conversation with me. Our talk was pleasant and easygoing. Turns out her daughter and my daughter were baptized the same day, same place. 

She seemed really friendly, and I liked her. Things seemed to be going well. THEN……..

I noticed a brown smudge on the back of my kid’s pants— maybe it’s just the coffeecake she was munching on, I thought, as denial washed over me. 

On closer inspection I saw, it was, indeed, NOT the coffee cake.

The woman and her daughter were oblivious to my pending nightmare, happily sharing a grilled-cheese sandwich.


Horrified, I frantically dug through my diaper bag for any semblance of clean or spare pants for Sarah to wear. (I’ll take pre-worn, stained pants, as long as the stain was some kind of food— that’s acceptable for this emergency). I found plenty of socks, some bibs, an empty fruit-bar wrapper, a free bottle of lotion from the doctor’s office.

No pants.

So now the options are: scoop her up and take her home before the aroma hits, or change her in the bathroom and have her run around a bit with just a diaper and shirt on. 

I think the woman sensed my anxiety and suggested the easiest thing to do was to just take her home and deal with it there. 

Keep in mind, we had already exchanged email and FB info, so I thought we were  golden.

I sent out my friend request. Nothing yet.

Questions: How long do I wait before I give up and concede that no, I guess we weren’t meant to be friends?  Was it me? Was it my lack of preparedness? Was it my panic and embarrassment that I had no backup? Was it our newfound differences (her a stay-at-home mom, me with a night job who naps as my daughter watches Sesame Street?) I thought opposites attracted.

I may never know.

As moms looking for new relationships, we are always hoping for the stars to align. Maybe next time I’ll remember to keep a full outfit in my diaper bag 🙂

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Ben Sollee’s authenticity shines through on “The Hollow Sessions”

The Hollow Sessions, by folk singer, cellist and composer Ben Sollee, is a refreshing stroll from the fast-paced music that floods the airwaves every day.

The Hollow Sessions is honesty overload.

The Hollow Sessions

The Kentuckian‘s voice could be compared with Ray LaMontagne’s, or maybe a rough-hewn Ben Folds. It is painfully honest and organic. The songs are beautifully pared down to the bones, so that each instrument is allowed to shine.

NPR named him one of the top 10 unknown artists of the year. His first EP, “If You’re Gonna Lead My Country,” was released in 2008.  He’s played with My Morning Jacket, as well as solo, at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2011. Sollee is also known for his political activism with a focus on coal-mining issues.

Sollee’s sound is introspective and extremely personal, with sometimes just vocals and acoustic guitar. The abundant cellos is at times foreboding and sad, but also lends a classic touch.

The opener to the “Hollow Sessions,”  “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face,” is an immediate hook in.  You’re transported, porch swing at the ready, the sound of crickets and a warm summer evening  a constant gossamer. He compares himself to a lowly piece of metal in the romantic “Just a Little Tack,” as he professes his love. You can practically see him tip his straw-brimmed hat. Tom Waits has been done justice with Sollee’s blues-tinged “Chocolate Jesus.” The album also includes other tracks originally performed by artists like Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Fiona Apple and The Zombies.

“The Hollow Sessions” has a romantic, heady air about it. Sollee is there to set the table for you— complete with couples at quaint wooden tables. If you let him, Ben Sollee will stand alone at the front of the dimly lit room and serenade only you.

You can download it for free here through NoiseTrade.

Dig it or Ditch it: Dig It.

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Filed under Folk, Indie folk, Review

From Bowie with love: A book list

Just about anything Bowie does is cool– this now includes opening up the dusty old spine of a musty book. He’s now invited the world to check out his book list.

My blog post many moons ago mentioned David Bowie’s exhibit at the V and A in London. The “David Bowie Is” exhibit now resides at the Art Gallery of Ontario. A story about the exhibit is here.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

As part of the exhibit, curators Marsh and Victoria Broackes released a list of 100 of Bowie’s Must-Read books. Besides the fact that a global musical pioneer is letting us know what he likes to read, the list is an eye-opener simply for its variety.

The list runs chronologically, starting with “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, from 1945 and ending with “The Age of American Unreason,” by Susan Jacoby, from 2008.

It includes well-known classics and music-based books, mysteries and obscurity.

There’s poetry and beatnik stories; stories on Kafka and Francis Bacon. The list even includes British crude-comic mag “Viz.” The only details are that the magazine started in 1979 — Does this mean he’s read the roughly 266 issues since its inception?

Be like Bowie: Read.

Be like Bowie: Read.

A few highlights:

Well-known classics: George Orwell’s “1984”;  Vladimir Nabokov‘s “Lolita.”

Music-based books: “Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom.”

True mysteries: Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

Bizarre titles: Arthur Danto‘s “Beyond the Brillo Box”; Howard Norman’s “The Bird Artist.”

And the corker: “Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson,” by Camille Paglia.

Your own well-rounded cosmopolitan library, built by Ziggy himself.

vintage book poster

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Welcome to the funhouse: Parquet Courts raise freak flag with new EP

By Emily Reily

The playful and raucous set served up on Parquet Courts‘ latest five-song EP, “Tally All the Things That You Broke,” sounds like their sitting at the controls on a Saturday afternoon, the adults are gone, and they’ve got the house to themselves.

Tally All the Things That You Broke

As proven from their 2012 full-length “Light Up Gold,” the indie-guitarpunk band has a clever knack for addictive guitar and  bass hooks that dig into your brain and settle down for the night.

Their music is sometimes irreverent and always  frantic fun. These guys like to poke fun at themselves and their music, but they still know how to put out precision punk-rock.

Parquet Courts

Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Savage practically spits out the lyrics and serves up a spoken word diatribe in a nagging  monotone. Savage always seems appropriately spazzed out.

The pan flute on “You’ve Got Me Wonderin Now” lightens up the song. It sounds the closest to their August 2012 full-length release “Light Up Gold.” Listen to “You’ve Got Me Wonderin Now” here.

The song “The More It Works” is a rambling sweat-fest as it experiments with guitar noise and feedback built around a repeating guitar riff and rapid drumming.

“Fall On Yr Face” (the shortest at 1 min. 26 seconds) employs a Southern-drawl guitar riff — a signature sound for Parquet Courts. Vocals are shifted around and manipulated like it’s an android from the movie “Westworld.”

He’s Seeing Paths” is the goofiest, longest (at 7 mins., 39 seconds) and most enjoyable tune on the EP. It’s offbeat and loaded with Beck flavors. Something that sounds like a cowbell runs rampant as the vocals are manipulated up and down, fast and slow, and some strange Middle-Eastern chirp follows behind. Guitar distortion and hand claps are thrown in– it’s like a giant steaming pot of funk stew.

It’s not THAT experimental when you really think about it. But they are stretching their limits as far as weird sounds go, and that’s never a bad thing.

Dig It or Ditch It: Dig it

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Filed under Indie, Noise Punk, Post-punk, Protopunk, Punk, Punk-rock, Review