Month: July 2014

Gender Politics and Jenny Lewis

A couple weeks back, I was on a writing date with my ridiculously talented girlfriend T-pumps. Somewhere between lavish praise for the Oxford Comma and a “could you please pass me a chocolate covered pretzel,” we got to talking about what music we were listening too lately.

I was on a Hey Rosetta! kick, and T-pumps was hitting replay on Jenny Lewis’ new single One of they Guys, “But,” she tells me, “there is this one line that just kills a piece of my soul every time I hear it.”

So we watch…

**side bar: I never thought I would say this but Anne Hathaway looks smoking hot in this video

… and lo and behold, Jenny is crooning about how her desire for a baby is getting in the way of “being one for the guys.” Ugh. Vomit.

T-pumps and i were unable to come to terms. Given the context of the video, I was sure the line was ironic – I mean the whole video is one giant gender parody. T-pumps thought it was a genuine sentiment. Eventually we agreed to disagree (though she hoped I was right), cracked open another beer, and I returned to lamenting how I lacked her descriptive style.

Then this morning, I saw this.

“That’s the whole point of that song: if I don’t want to have kids I don’t want to have kids and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not saying that I won’t someday but I’m talking about an issue that isn’t often talked about in music. So I think there’s that and I think there’s still the comparison between female artists to each other like, ‘she’s good among this (group of female songwriters).’ But really I just want to be a songwriter. And I’ve had to work really hard and I’ve had to fight for my rights as a female front-person of a band,” Jenny Lewis said during her interview with Canada.com.

First of all, argument won.

Second of all, the arts industry has a long way to go before it recognizes women as cultural producers rather than just reproducers.

Third of all, Just One of the Guys is GORGEOUS unplugged.

 

Top 5 Tuesday – Brass

There are instruments and there are instruments. I learned the clarinet a bit, I can play a bit of guitar, I’m learning to play the banjo, I even used to know how to play a few different things on the drums  – anyone who is obsessed with music as much as I am is inevitably going to try there hand at recreating it (however poorly).

However, there is one instrument I love, but I’ll never pick one up to try. When ever I hear brass instruments I loose my breath, I feel a fluttering in my chest, my head falls back, eyes closed and can’t help but feel some sort of rapture.

This weeks Top 5 Tuesday is dedicated to some of the most beautiful and unexpected brass sections that give me the tingles.

Neko Case – Ragtime

Broken Social Scene – Meet Me in the Basement

Arcade Fire – No Cars No Go

Cat Power – Lived In Bars

Joe Cocker – The Letter

Thanks so much to Morgan, Matthew P. Matthew L., Kurt, Heather, Lorna, Shane and Mitch for their amazing suggestions on bands that rock brass. Who do you folks think should be added here?

Post Script – I really wanted to add Imaginary Cities, That’s Where it’s at Sam. Alas the only videos I could find were live and wee indie acts from Winnipeg can’t  always afford to take the trumpets on tour. It’s a great one if you can find it!

Ten Bands I’ll Listen to in Hell

During my early morning social media fix, an article from Salon Magazine showed up in my Facebook called Ten bands I will forced to listen to in hell. Could there ever be more delicious click bait for a music snob like me? Alas, author Sean Beadoin (part of the band the Weeklings, a band I won’t likely bother looking into now) doesn’t share my extraordinary taste on most musical matters. Billy Joel? Weezer? Pearl Jam? One man’s hell is starting to sound a lot like another woman’s heaven.

But it did get me wondering  – what bands would be played for my eternal torture? In no particular order:

  1. Hootie and the Blowfish
  2. Celine Dion
  3. U2
  4. Oasis (kudos to Sean for getting this one right)
  5. Insane Clown Posse
  6. Phish (my husband is going to kill me for writing that one)
  7. Nickleback
  8. Coldplay
  9. Hanson
  10. Jonas Brothers

I know I’ll get some guff for these but I HATE them. Put on your cranky, judgemental pants and tell me your worst, all-time, top ten torture bands.

 

 

 

 

Ottawa Folk Fest

So excited for payday this week – because with this paycheque comes tix to go see Ottawa Folk Fest with one of favourite music junkies, my dear Mag-pie.

Every summer I try to catch at least one music festival: Arts and Crafts Festival, Field Trip, Hillside, Luminato, NXNE, anything. But this summer just raced by too quickly – I haven’t seen a single live show since the snow melted. The Ottawa Folk Fest should hopefully fill that void with five glorious days of (hopefully) sunshine, grassy fields, and a fantastic line up of bands.

  • Foster the People
  • Gaslight Anthem
  • Wooden Sky
  • Coeur De Pirate
  • Sun Kill Moon
  • Elephant Revival
  • Adam Cohen
  • The National
  • Wake Owl
  • Craig Cardiff

The best part about festivals is the hope that you’ll discover something new and unknown. Something that will steal your heart away. There are a couple dozen bands playing I’ve never even heard of at the festival and I can’t wait to hear something new. 

What concerts are you all looking forward to before the summer ends?

ABJECT defined. I can’t stop watching Future Islands

Back in university we once had a lengthy conversation in one of my Women’s Studies classes about the term abject. It’s something extremely distasteful, but you’re so intrigued by it you are unable to look away. Think rubbernecking at a car accident our teacher suggested. We preferred to think of it is a generous dollop of mayo sealed in plastic wrap that you couldn’t stop poking.

Many years later, a video was shared with me that captures the term’s meaning better than I could ever dream.

Live stream commentary from my uncensored internal internet troll: I see he attended the David Byrne School of Dance. I really like this song but this vid kind of ruins it for me. I feel like I need to lead him into the spare room so he can just cry it out solo. Oh wait, I feel a need to punch him in the face. Would it be that bad to lead him into another room, punch him, and then leave him to cry? Anyone else think this guy is a bit of an asshole? WTH was that? That growl? That was petrifying! If he keeps pounding his chest like that his pectoral implants might start to leak. HE MADE THE SOUND AGAIN….And I’m about to hit replay.

 

Ham on Rye – Bukowski

I’ve been trying to finish Bukowski’s Ham on Rye for a number of months. It’s not a long book, it’s not even a bad book, but I’d put it down for anything. I read pamphlets dropped off at the door sooner than crack the next chapter.

It’s the story of a miserable person named Henry, who is treated miserably all his life. After an endless number of awful things happen to him, in front of him, and to the people he cares for, all the good that’s in him dies. His innocence, his desire for good things to happen to good people, his hope to be able to protect the weak –  everything is slowly beaten and bled from him. He becomes a physical manifestation of all the ugliness, the evil and the violence and abandons his last friend before going off to get drunk alone.

Damn it, I’m depressed.

Top 5 Tuesday: So Sleep Deprived

Yesterday I may have emptied a bag of kettle corn inside my car.

I may have come home to find a load of laundry from Sunday sitting in the washer and smelling like a combination of swamp, blue cheese, sweat, and the compost bin that time we missed garbage day and had to let it sit for an extra week.

I may have blown off going to the gym.

It may have been my one and only chance for quiet night of sleep and relaxation all week but instead I stayed up late reading Bukowski’s Ham on Rye and am now so, so, very, really tired.

Sleep deprived, blurry eyed, and marching to another cup of coffee, check out this week’s Top 5 Tuesday.

Karen O – The Moon Song

Karen O, being all-in-all perfect and genuis, wrote Moon Song for the Her soundtrack. Quiet and sweet, and perfect for piling feather pillows under arms and legs and head and curling under quilt.

Beck – Cycle

It’s strange to hear the change in Beck since I was a kid and he chanted about the Devil’s Haircut. His lo-fi, harmonious, mellow sound on his latest album Morning Phase, is the perfect nap sound track – just listening to the first track makes me feel like I’m made out of warm honey.

 

Cold Specks – Blank Maps

I had the pleasure of seeing Cold Specks perform two summers ago at the Hillside Festival in Guelph Ontario. Here’s the amazing thing about front lady Al Spyx – she moved out of home and made this album as a complete secret from friends and family because…she didn’t think she was all that good. 

Jolie Holland – Old Fashioned Morphine

Back when I worked at bars, at 4:00 a.m., after a gruelling long night of bad tips, sweaty, gropey men, and shrieking young women, this song was a go to for shutting it all away and crawling into bed.

Broken Social Scene – Anthem for a Seventeen-Year-Old GIrl

Do I really need to explain why Broken Social Scene is here? I could put them on every list – but it perfectly captures the hope that everything will be better on the other side of a dream.

 

 

Happy Birthday you Ol’ Rogue

Happy Birthday to one of the most ridiculous and ridiculously talented writers of the 20th century, Hunter S. Thompson.

Fact: Hunter S. Thompson and I both have tickle trunks

Fact: His was filled with drugs, but mine with costumes (aka. the Mr. Dress Up variety)

Fact: You cannot read Hunter S. Thompson quietly for more than 5 minutes. His words are meant to be shared. My husband hates when I read him because I keep nudging him awake with the promise of: “Just one more – it’s so good. You have to hear this.” I guess that’s what Shortlist.com had in mind when they pulled together together this list of the 25 Greatest Pieces of Wisdom from Hunter S. Thompson

“It never got weird enough for me” either love. We miss you.

 

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Rain

For some reason, I go through phases in my sleep. I’ll have a month of normalcy and randomly will stop sleeping for a few weeks at a time. I’m about half way through the latter phase, and spent the entire day thinking about how wonderful beds are, wondering why I couldn’t work from my bed. But beds are best occupied…

If I could have stayed home with husband and spent this rainy, dark day in bed my playlist would of been:

Wake Owl – Wild Country

The Smiths – Asleep

Leonard Cohen – Suzanne

Hayden – Blurry Nights

Timbre Timbre – Black Water