Monday, May 28, 2007

Ahhhhh...Note regarding the blog:

I apologize for being late with the post again. I am so sorry I didn't post yesterday. I was 3/5ths done with the post yesterday, and Eric and I decided to do a marathon walking expedition, about 3 miles. Then we got to our destination and I realized I had the wrong bus schedules, so we ended up walking part of the way home, then Eric said he wanted to go shopping, so we took a cab to the mall and spent several hours there. Then we decided we wanted to go out to a nice place for dinner...cue midnight and I'm in a wraparound dress that was threatening to not be wrapped around anymore, I was exhausted, freezing, sore and smoking the heck out of hookah. Cue one a.m. and I was asleep.

I had been thinking as I was on my marathon walk that I've been having difficulties for several months now getting the Five Songs post together on time. The main problem is it takes a long time to research and write about five songs. I have to figure out all the websites, find and upload photos, structure the blog post (I do have a template that I made, but I keep forgetting to use it) and the hardest of it all, attempt to write a paragraph on each song that doesn't make me sound too amateurish, uninformed or hackneyed. I succeed part of the time, and I'm sure I fail part of the time.

It takes me half a day to do all that (a whole day if I take breaks to do other things). It's really starting to get to me, and I know if I want to write more reviews and articles, it's going to be impossible to keep up the pace with all that and a full-time job.

So, I started thinking about shortening the blog post--probably by posting only three songs at a time, instead of five. To avoid seeming silly or confusing people, I will probably need to change the name of the post from "Five Songs I'm Loving This Week". I suppose I could be mean and keep it, but I think I'd probably end up looking the most foolish. Anyhow, I have to think about what I want the new name to be and think of if there are any other ways to tighten the process for me. I will be doing that this week, and I plan to debut the new format next week.

It'll still be me--Miss Lola from Jacksonville, but hopefully I'll be less irritated, exhausted and more on time. The name of the blog will still be Cerulean's Love of Music, of course. Only the name of the post will change.

Anyways, I really appreciate everyone who clicks on my blog and I love knowing that people are listening to what I post and that I may be having an effect on people's music interests. I hope you keep reading my blog and listening to my podcast. Doing all this for over two years has helped my writing, helped my confidence about my writing and given me something to do that's worthwhile, and that's for me--not some company I work for.

Anyway, I'm going to keep doing it for as long as I can--I just need to do it a little differently.

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Spoon, "The Ghost Of You Lingers"

Spoon, out of Austin, Texas, has shown themselves to be one of the best rock bands of the decade, with such perfect songs as "I Turn My Camera On", "The Beast and the Dragon", "The Way We Get By".

Of course, they've been around since the 90's, but they've just reached prominance recently, with the release of their 2005 album "Gimme Fiction". Spoon became the darling of the blog circuit and were featured in one of my favorite movies, Stranger Than Fiction. There's a lot of anticipation over their upcoming album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Will it be as near-perfect as the previous one? I don't know. I know I really like the first song from the new album I've heard, "The Ghost of You Lingers". I adore the urgent piano motif that almost completely constitutes the track. Spoon's known for loud, pounding piano, but not this one. This is subtle to the point of almost disappearing. It's encouraging to know they're not following a template, and it bodes well for the new album coming out July 10th.



Brighton, MA "Bet You Never Thought"

"I bet you never thought it'd be like this". Those words can be used to acknowledge that everything is falling apart or that everything is going better than it ever has. I, of course, prefer the latter. Then again, without the former, would we have so many emotionally resounding songs? I'm not sure what singer Matt Kerstein means would ever be like what, partly due to his wonderfully mumbled and jarbled voice, which gives the song a touch of disappointment and melancholy. Also, the lyrics kind of give away the intention:

"You've cut yourself from existence
for the sake of tradition
just to be alone..."

and the lyrics go on to be even graver and damning. Okay, so not happy and optimistic. Eh, hopelessness makes the song more dramatic, anyway. Lyrics like the following fill me with a heavy listlessness:

"and with your soul 'neath your feet
your hitting the streets in search of a collective sigh
I'll bet you never thought it would be like this"

Yet, I will always listen to these songs no matter the level of contentness, because we all need to remember what that sadness feels like, so hopefully we can excise it from our external life.


Brighton, MA.

Fields, "If You Fail, We All Fail"

I've posted a song from this band before; previously I posted "Brittlesticks", from their 2006 EP From The Village. Just goes to show you how much I like their songs. If I'm posting a band twice, it means I really like them (or I've forgotten I've posted them before, which hopefully with the new supplements won't happen as often).

"If You Fail, We All Fail", from their newly released debut, Everything Last Winter, has a bit of a shoegaze glaze over it, but it's got a very vibrant, high-reaching and un-shoegazy guitar line which just grabs me. It reminds me of some of the early 90's bands I loved like Lush and Galaxie 500, but with a bit of Cocteau Twins intertwined. I remember feeling completely enraptured by those bands' songs. I get a little bit of that feeling with this song.



Shannon Wright, "St. Pete"

She says "There's no fight left in me", but I don't believe it. She sings with conviction and a lot of determination. She sounds like she would be willing to fight for something, but I'm not sure what--the meaning of the song isn't immediately graspable from reading the lyrics alone. It sounds like maybe someone else is saying they have no fight left in them:

"And you said it sad and so playfully
I wish God would make things clear
‘Cause there’s no fight left in me"

Whomever said that sounds kind of defeated. The singer even refers to the Floridian streets as "defeated". A bleak view, but with the kind of power and strength she puts into her voice and lyrics, I doubt anyone around her is surrendering. I'm guessing with the mention of Florida, the St. Pete she's referring to is St. Petersburg, Florida. What that has to do with anything isn't clear at all in the song, but that's cool. It's such a cool song I'll make up a reason. Maybe she's upset because she hasn't been able to go to the Salvador Dali museum. Maybe she got waylaid while on a quest to retrace Jack Keroac's life and she's still determined to finish.

Myspace (Fan's Myspace)
Lyrics for St. Pete and other songs
More songs from Shannon Wright

Shannon Wright

Meg Baird, "Do What You Gotta Do"

The only influence listed on her Myspace is "songs taped off the radio", and I can understand that. I remember as a kid changing the dial on my mother's travel radio late at night, hoping to find something I'd remember for the rest of my life, something special that I could keep forever. Well, my mom's travel radio only got AM radio, so mainly I got weird late night talk radio shows. This could go a long way towards explaining my personality now; particularly why I liked The X-Files and The Lone Gunman so much. Anyway, I spent nights trying to find a song like this on the radio, and if I had, I would've gone to sleep peacefully and woke up desperately wanting to know what the song was and who performed it. I would've driven the radio station crazy. Luckily, I don't have to find out what the name of it is; thanks to the magic of the internet I do already know. I also know I hope some kid is out there listening to internet radio late and night and comes across this song. How lucky for that kid.

More info on this site

Meg Baird

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week (also, podcast show notes)

Hello. It's Lola. I'm sitting here drinking tea with caffeine (which is bad) but without sugar (which is good, but bad 'cause I'm using fake sugar). I'm also listening to some of the great songs I've found this week. I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to have to make some changes to the blog. Not big changes, I just may not always be able to include mp3s with every song I write about. I probably will make sure I have downloads for at least 3 or 4 of the songs, but there will be some cases where I will need to substitute the video (streaming) or even just point to the website. Why? Because I'm scared. That's all I'll say about it. I'm also going to go back to using the original locations for most of the mp3s, unless the original source is just too difficult to navigate or it's not obvious where on the page the mp3 is. Okay, so that's my announcement. You may go back to what you were doing, or, actually go on and read my blog :) The first song is so awesome.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, "The Songs We Sing"

I read that Charlotte Gainsbourg, the French actress who was in a movie I saw recently (Science of Sleep), had an album just released called 5:55. I was skeptical--I'm too used to actors wanting to be musicians, musicians wanting to be actors, and rarely anyone pulling it off, which is probably why I crack up every time I hear this Onion news bulletin. I wanted to know for myself, though, if her music was good, so I looked up her website and Myspace. The first song that played was "The Songs That We Sing". I immediately thought that it was a beautiful and unique song, and that the music compellingly arranged--it manages to sound tense and light at the same time. Of course her voice helps add the lightness--her voice softly pushes the words along, with just the barest hint of an accent. In addition to the mp3, I found the video online--she has a haunted look about her--slightly distant, slightly vulnerable, but gorgeous all the same.

The lovely Charlotte Gainsbourg

Augustus Sweetheart, "I'll Be The Getaway Driver"
(scroll down to "secret song", or click on their Myspace for the song)

Sigh...this is not a new song. In fact, the band's disbanded. Whoops. It's a neat song, though. They're from Washington state, but the sound reminds me of some of my favorite British and Irish music of the 80's--like the Psychedelic Furs, with maybe a little Dexy's Midnight Runners. It could be the really cool song on the John Hughes soundtrack. You know how all the songs on John Hughes soundtracks were always good, but there were always a few that you would wake up thinking about in the middle of the night? This could totally be that song. (Oh before anyone gets an attitude about me saying John Hughes soundtracks are great, which they are, please remember that New Order and Echo & The Bunnymen were on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Suzanne Vega, too--pre-Luka.)

Label Site

The school assembly went well for Augustus Sweetheart

Deliurium Tremens, "The Circus Song"

I love a gothic chanteuse, but this song has a lot more kick than your average black-clad coffeehouse waif. The guitar and bass aren't afraid to stake it's territory--it has to. It has to be able to keep up with the strong, emotional and resonant dual male/female vocals. The songs seems to be about internal conflict--she's been living "upside down", but she's "too drunk to care" and he's just basically angry. They seem to be wanting to share their faults, and maybe get a little clemency. There's a drama to this song that reminds me of the music from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. John Cameron Mitchell infused his character with a similar need for self-expression and self-understanding, with the unfortunate side-effect of a lot of self-flogging.

(Warning--for the non cussin' out there, she slips in a quiet utterance of the "F" word.)


Deliurium Tremens

Radical Face, "Glory" (from the media promotional site Toolshed)

I have to love an intro that begins with whistling and piano, then adds humming and percussion along the way. From that beginning the song marches forward--progressing rapidly, rarely slowing and never losing focus. It keeps momentum even as some of the instruments drop out, retaining the structure of the song but momentarily lessening the tension. Adding a chorus of "ahhh"s to the already escalating and unified suite of instruments gives the finale a sweeping, orchestral quality. Varying the composition like this gives the song life--makes it more dynamic and engaging than if they just played the straight melody. Also, the whistling is awesome. Radical Face is really just one permanent member, Ben Cooper, and he draws from a roster of talented musicians to flesh out the music. Also, he's from my town, Jacksonville, Florida!


Radical Face

Cary Brothers, "Who Are You"

I've been a fan of Cary Brothers for a few years now--"Blue Eyes" was probably one of the first songs I posted. He's been extremely successful, despite (according to his Myspace) not being on a label. According to his Myspace, "Blue Eyes" became one of the 50 most downloaded songs on Itunes and he's been featured on several soundtracks including Garden State and the "Last Kiss" soundtrack.

Anyways, this isn't an informercial for him; I just find it inspiring that a musician can achieve so much just through hard work and a huge fan base (his Myspace has had over 3 million hits). According to his website, though, he has just partnered with Bluhammock Music to release his record, but it looks like everything up until recently he's done on his own.

I could listen to this song a dozen times in a row (which I'm almost at now, anyway). It's perfectly made, perfectly played and the vocals embody the emotion and tone flawlessly (but I'm not gushing) . Interestingly, the reviews I've read point to him as an acoustic artist, but this song is very plugged in. I'm made no secret that I adore wall-to-wall, thrashing, screeching guitar (if it doesn't overpower the song or derail the song) and this song screams, screeches and fills my apartment with vivid, strong emotion. He's singing about someone whose existence is imploding ("one more pill and you won't feel a thing"), but the song isn't about the person's derailment; it's about his love and adoration for the person. This is a welcome and unfortunately uncommon perspective in most modern music--usually the amount of love is equal to the amount of happiness and ease in the relationship. In truth, love is strongest if it grows during the bad times, making the bond between the two people even more solid.

The music and vocals escalate with this conviction--he ferociously sings that he adores this person, even after he admits that this person doesn't know who they are--the windows are "crashing" around them, and there's no one left to carry them away. Justaposition like this absolutely belongs in a love song, and his willingness to bare these feelings out without reservation and without the need to justify makes this one of the most uplifting and purely expressed love songs I've heard in a long time.


Cary Brothers

Please look at the two previous entries for my podcast and a review of the rerelease of Leonard Cohen's Songs From A Room.

Here are the show notes from this weekend's podcast:

1) Limbeck, "Big Drag"

2) Voxtrot, "Trouble"

3) Semaphore, "When You Can't Sleep" (okay, well I swear to all that I know that this was on Myspace a few days ago, because I'm certain that's where I got it. Oh well).


4) Swati, "Blackjack"

(Hey--also on Bluehammock records, like Cary Brothers!)

5) The Long Winters, "Carparts"


Thanks, folks!

Friday, May 18, 2007


I'm very very tired, so I'll post the shownotes either tomorrow or Sunday, when I put up my Five Songs post.

Direct mp3 download


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Review, Leonard Cohen, Songs From A Room (re-release, Legacy Records, 2007)
By Lola Lariscy

If you're fortunate, you are well aware of who Leonard Cohen is and have been listening to his songs for years, if not decades. If you haven't heard of Leonard Cohen, then someone somewhere in your life failed to do something important for you. On behalf of humanity, I apologize for that. Even if you don't recognize the name, though, you've most likely heard at least a few of his songs, whether performed by himself or covered by one of the dozens of artists who've interpreted his music. Heard the lyric "Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk at a midnight choir?" You might imagine Willie Nelson's voice singing those lyrics, and that's okay—he did a well-known and well-done version. You've also most likely heard one of the many versions of Cohen's beautiful song "Hallelujah"--K.D. Lang's done it, John Cale, Bob Dylan and a list of others. My heart belongs to Jeff Buckley's cover, though. He rings emotion out of every heartbreaking line. If you like gothic music, you may have heard Concrete Blonde's version of "Everybody Knows" (what a great version).

Talking about Leonard Cohen in relation to other artists will never get you closer to knowing Leonard Cohen's music, though. That would be like trying to understand a writer through the blurbs on a book jacket. Great, you know that Stephen King thinks the book's a thrill-ride, but it doesn't get you closer to experiencing the ride.

You need to listen to the songs. They're classics in the way no one has recorded since (sorry, Nirvana--you're close, but no guitar). They're timeless—his music doesn't belong to any one decade—not the sixties, not the seventies, not even this time period. The songs will always speak to the part of us that doesn't change. The part that experienced heartbreak for the first time, or death, or the feeling of being truly alive.

I'm listening to Cohen's second album Songs From A Room, re-released April 24th, 2007 on Legacy Records, and I'm amazed at the beautiful simplicity of each song, the honesty, the minimalism of the music and the impact of his lyrics--intimate to the point of making one feel exposed, yet completely recognized.

As simple as the songs may seem, they can be interpreted on many levels—regardless of what the song seems to be about, he often sneaks in something that lets you know he's asking you to consider something beyond what you immediately hear. In “Bird On A Wire” he questions humanity's need for certainty; he presents two very different answers to a fundamental question, yet he seems to present both as being correct:

"I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, 'You must not ask for so much.'
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, 'Hey, why not ask for more?'"

When so many people are too arrogant to admit they're unsure, or to even entertain the idea that they're not on the right course, he's radically suggesting that maybe there are multiple answers to any supposed dilemma, or maybe no answers at all. During the Vietnam War, which was fully raging at the time, I'm sure it would've benefited the U.S. and the world to find out. Today, with a four-year old war (six if you count Afghanistan), many more people are asking if there isn't a different answer we need to look for.

Cohen's talent goes beyond creating wonderful verses, goes beyond microcosm—verse and chorus form a painfully beautiful and cohesive whole. He's a storyteller before anything else. The words wouldn't resonate so well if they weren't encased in a memorable, meaningful story. In “Story of Isaac”, Cohen plays the part of the biblical Isaac, first learning of his father's conviction that he is meant to sacrifice Isaac to God. Despite the story being thousands of years old (and I am not well-versed in religious history—I'm going by what I've read and don't pretend to have my own opinion on the story), the details he paints are so immediate. He says that the father's “blue eyes there were shining and his voice was very cold”, giving an impression of detached zealotry (I use the word “zealotry” because I get the impression that's what Cohen means to convey--there are many interpretations of the story of Isaac and Abraham-- I'm not trying to pass judgment on something I know virtually nothing about). Indeed, the subject of uncertainty Vs. assuredness comes up again. The father says he is “strong and holy”, so he must do as he's told by God. It seems apparent in this version of the story that Isaac doesn't think the conclusion is so preordained. Isaac proclaims that “you who build these altars now to sacrifice these children, you must not do it anymore”. Of course, he has a vested interest in this viewpoint. He tells his father that the commandment is a scheme, not a vision, and since his father's never been tempted by a demon or a god, this is not a holy mission.

The imagery supports the integral dilemma between Isaac and Abraham. At one point in the story, Isaac thinks he sees an eagle, a positive and noble harbinger, but he questions himself—thinks it may be a vulture, as he's on his way to becoming food for a vulture of a different kind. Anthony DeCurtis, the author of the liner notes in this new, expanded edition of the album, proposes that the vulture he is referring to is the U.S., sacrificing their sons at the altar of a misguided war. Cohen's lyrics work on so many levels that it's very probable that he has an alternate parable besides the traditional “story of Isaac” in mind; after all there can be two answers to that question, also.

While “Story of Isaac”, at least on the surface, is about a conflict most of us may never experience—the choice between loyalty to God and loyalty to family-- Leonard Cohen also writes about conflicts raging inside of humanity. “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy” immortalizes the account of a woman who felt too much of the pressure of the world (she “fell in love for us”) and all of the isolation. Many “use[d] her body” and “comb[ed] her hair”, but no one followed her where she went in 1961, courtesy of the gun beside her head. No one knew this woman, and this is what Cohen is changing. He's introducing the world to a woman who left it 8 years prior.

Love, loneliness and the connect and disconnect between people is ultimately what gives Cohen's songs their blood and tears. He writes about the immediacy of love, the intimacy of love and sex, and what remains when intimacy has left, or never entered in the first place. He writes about this in such a way that he will break your heart. Whether you're in the most stable relationship, or haven't even considered being in a relationship, you will feel the pain (or in some cases the numbness) of this phenomenon. He says of his lover in “Tonight Will Be Fine": “You kept right on loving, I went on a fast, now I am too thin and your love is too vast”. Two people passing each other on the way to each other—wanting the same thing, but discovering it too late. Cohen often speaks of emotional frugality—his characters often can't open up—they allow themselves to get emotionally small. In the same song, his character says he “choose[s] the rooms...[he] live[s] in with care, the windows are small and the walls almost bare”. Emotionally, you would think there's not much there to work with, but Cohen rings out a vastness there. He allows you to explore this person's inhibitions, like they're an exhibit in a very stark museum. In “You Know Who I Am”, the character is the distance between lovers: the distance that will leave a broken man, the distance that will also teach how to make the man whole again.

Leonard Cohen exhibits so much for us: the person who has “torn everyone who reached out for [him]”, the person who stands up to tradition and refuses to be sacrificed at the altar of God and/or the government, the woman who couldn't stand up because she felt too alone and too invisible. He shows us the concept of space, the concept of despair, and of disrepair.

His voice adequately portrays this disparity. Of all the wonderful things Leonard Cohen is: author, songwriter, musician, independent thinker, few go to his music for his voice. His voice is filled with pot-holes, it seems off at times, and sometimes the songs seem too low for his range (or maybe that's just his craggy voice). He serves as the vessel for his songs, but don't listen to his music for the first time thinking his voice is one of the features; it's not. That might be the reason the covers of his songs get more airtime than his versions, I don't know.

I do know that the music is as beautiful as the lyrics, and the two intertwine as gorgeously as his characters do. Melancholy, tempered by reflection and distance, is apparent in the stark but tender melody of “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy”. The music seems to wander as desolately as Nancy's emotional state. “A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes” is not sparse; it fits the determination of the subject, filled with a furiously strummed guitar and a voice that rises with the determination of a hero who needs to put his burden down-- someone who wants to “tell [his/her] story”. His voice rises for the “crickets”, “the army”, an unnamed person's children and for the people who may not even need him. The confidence in his voice and the tension of the song convince me that he has the power to sing for all of these disparate entities; there's enough here for his other song's inhabitant's—the bird on the wire, the woman who couldn't live any more, the son fighting for his life, and the father fighting between his perceived duty and his flesh and blood. Then again, Leonard Cohen sings these songs for everyone, because we can all find ourselves in these songs.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Essie Jain, "Glory"

This song makes me feel like I'm a on porch swing at night in a sleepy, starry small town. Or, I could be watching a black and white film from the 50's, and a girl with blond wavy hair and a pleated dress is singing this to her beau. Either way, "Glory" settles a calmness over me, washing away my nerves, rocking my restlessness away. It's a very gorgeous song.

Website (More mp3s available there)
Thanks to KEXP for the mp3

Essie Jain

Go Find, "25 Years"

A jaunty and unclouded song, the music has little more than a keyboard line going for it and some drums, but the minimilism of the song supports the hopeful, wishfulness of the subject. The singer is regretting drifting apart from someone, and he's hoping they can meet again in the future. I would've picked sooner than 25 years, but that's just me ;) The sentiment reminds me of Pulp's "Disco 2000" where Jarvis Cocker is reminding a girl they swore they'd meet up with the girl in the year 2000 (never mind that she has a baby now, etc.) In either case the anticipated reunion may never happen, but in a way these songs are about things that passed and probably won't be again.


The Go Find

Jacqui Naylor, "Lola"

Heh heh. It's my song. I'm geeking all out. It's all jazzy and king of bossa nov-y. She's got a gorgeous voice that belongs in a smoky Parisian theatre. She covers a lot of songs on her album "The Color of Five", including REM's "Losing My Religion", but there's something thrilling about hearing my favorfite Lola song in such a beautiful setting.


Jacqui Naylor

Jesper Henriksen, "Try Again" (Thanks to Copy, right?)

Sigh...I have a major thing for covers of R & B songs done by men with sexy, deep voices. What? Don't believe me? First I posted about James Eric's cover of "Sexyback" (that's sort of R & B) and now this song. I like a well-done, sexy R & B song, and hang a sexy male voice on it and I am there! As much as I love Alanis Morrissette's version of "My Humps", I think it'd be even greater if the guy from The National sang it. Oh hell, anything sung by the guy from The National would be sexy. Same thing with the guy from Motel Creeps. And the guy from Something For Rockets (listen to "Might As Well"). Oh, I feel faint.

Anyway, this is a sexy cover of an R & B. Oh yeah, it is.

Myspace (I know this doesn't seem like a musician's page, but I'm pretty sure it's his--Liza, from Copy, right? is one of the friends listed, also The Covers Project thinks this is his Myspace too. Also, it's the only thing I could find).

Jesper H. did not put a picture of himself on his Myspace; however, he did put this picture under his "about me" section.

Fruit Bats, "Legs of Bees"

I've been trying to figure out what legs of bees have to do with this song. I've given up trying to figure out what legs of bees have to do with anything. He says "let your pollen fly, on legs of bees". It sounds dirty, which is okay.

It's fitting that they're on the Sub-Pop label; the singer's voice is reminiscent of The Shins' James Mercer's vocals, and the feel of the song is close to The Shins' shimmery pop music. It's bright--not overly dramatic, not emo (thank God) and it doesn't take itself too seriously--it seems to coast along unself-consciously.

Subpop Page (more downloads available here)
Thanks to Kexp for the mp3

The Fruit Bats (or at least two of their members--the only permanent member seems to be the guy--Eric Johnson)

Sunday, May 06, 2007


RSS Feed

Direct Download


Four Fifty One, "Socks and Shoes", thanks to IODA Promonet.


Astrid Swan, "When You Were Young" (Killers cover) from Astrid Swan's website (thanks to Liza, of Copy, right?)


llinois, "Screen Door", thanks to Filter


Shapes and Sizes, "Head Movin", thanks to the promotional company Toolshed for the mp3 (specifically for podcasters and bloggers)

Shapes and Sizes

Soft Lightes, "The Microwave Song", thanks to AOL Music Blog


Scott Von, "Two Eyes", thanks to Inhouse.


EDITED: If I'd had half a brain (or even any brain at all), I would've remembered that I could've gotten more information on the version of "Two Eyes" from Inhouse With Jeremy Petersen's blog. The song is from this show, and it was recorded in the Inhouse studio. The other half of the Scott Von duo is Cary Morin. Thank you Jeremy for reminding me of that!


Okay, thank you for listening to my 18th episode. Please come back in two weeks for the next one :)

(Oh yeah, I made a mistake in the podcast--no! Horror!. I said that the "podcast people"--sorry about that, too--come every week to hear my podcast. If you do come every week, I'm sorry you're disappointed every other week. I only podcast every two weeks--I know that, but I'm just tired. I do post a blog every week, though.)

Oh, and also Tres Important! Before you call PETA, the cat I was mock yelling at on the podcast, Moxie, is my iCat. She is not a real cat--she runs on batteries and music. Also, she was a willing participant in the skit I did :)

If you ever want to know what podcasting is:

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Before I begin, I just wanted to let you know that I fully plan to have the podcast up tonight. Sorry things got so messed up last week and the week before. I'm trying to be more diligent about working on the post during the week so I don't have to scramble on Sunday.

#Poundsign#, "But Not Tonight" (Thanks to Copy,Right?, though I don't think it's on the site.)

That might've been the easiest time I ever had looking up a band using their band name. Okay, I probably got quicker results the first time I looked up The Flaming Lips, but still--it's not hard to track down a band called #poundsign#--almost all the sites that initially came up in my Google search were related to the band. Too bad they were just mainly articles and other miscellaneous pages--no website or Myspace. They don't seem to have broken up, but the band members may've gone on to be more active in other bands. One of the bandmembers, Alicia Vanden Heuvel, is also a member of another of my favorite bands, The Aislers Set. According to LastFM, #Poundsign# first formed in 1993. Ah, but it was 1989 that I was a Depeche Mode obsessed wanna-be cool chick (but actual dork chick) staring out my window into the night, looking up at the stars, and wondering if my eyes were red-rimmed as Dave Gahan's were apparently in the song "But Not Tonight". I remember feeling a simpatico with Gahan that only someone as close in nature and circumstance as I was to him could feel. You know--I was a 17 year-old virgin who'd never done drugs, had only tasted alcohol once, was American, was in high school, was female, still slept in a yellow and white checkered canopy bed...and he...wasn't. So you understand this song holds a special significance for me. It represented being an adult, and the reflections and sometimes remorses that come with being an adult. To me, that song was everything that lay ahead for me. So, a cover of that song had better be true to the original and respectful of it, without being a shameless copy. This version is not shameless, and it thankfully retains the hopeful melancholy of the original.

#Poundsign# on Artist Direct

Alicia Vanden Heuvel of #Poundsign#

Matt Bauer, "Jordan In A Plastic Bag"

This song always makes me think of Scrubs. Why? Because there's a character called Jordan on Scrubs that is specifically written to be a world-class bitch, and of course all the characters hate her, and I just imagine someone finally, well, you know...I'm sure they have a lot of plastic bags in a hospital. Anyway, besides being the possible swan song of Christa Miller's character on Scrubs, this song is also a pretty meditation on...what I don't know, but it's a nice song.

Website beard, Matt Bauer!!

and we have a connection between artist number two and artist number three. I did not do this on purpose, folks! It just happened.

Feist, "Sea Woman Lion" (Live in Wein, 4/15/07)

I've had this song picked out since last weekend, so it was just a weird coincidence that Matt Bauer also has a cover of this great Nina Simone song on his Myspace. I knew it as "See Line Woman" when Nina Simone did it. I saw one webpage that asserts Simone wasn't the original performer of this song, but I can't find anything else corroberating that. Between Matt Bauer's and Feists version, however, it's hard to choose. I love Feist, but I'll admit it's really cool to hear a man sing it. The Feist version is my favorite (so far) from her new album, The Reminder. I'd rather post the album version (it's clearer and tighter) but a little thing called major label deters me.


Feist, looking very fetching (and not unlike the actress in Casino Royale)

Fionn Regan, "Be Good Or Be Gone" (Thanks to SXSW)

Ireland was the progenitor of the U.S.'s folk music--folk was weaved from country music, which has its roots in the music of the "old country"--the Celtic Isles. It's appropriate, then, that Irishman Fionn Regan creates very beautiful, very traditionally folk music--this song has very minimal instrumentation and an intimate delivery that reminds me of the sincerity and creativity of the American folk of the 50's and 60's.

Website Fionn Regan in The Strokes?

Justin Wiles, "Quiet Dude (final improvise)"

There isn't much information on his website, but there are dozens of songs, including this one, which isn't quiet at all--it brings to mind Elliott Smith, if Smith wanted to write a song reminiscent of the wild west. The best cowboy songs cover a lone man, charged with a burden he can't unload and one he often can't talk about. Wiles plucks his guitar with the ferver of someone who has something imperative to say; there's definitely a story in the lyrics--whatever happened, it sounds bitter, angry, almost accusing. I can't tell if it's about a lover, relatives, a friend, a nemesis, a combination of one or more of the aforementioned, or the world in general, but this dude definitely has something on his mind. One of the last lines of the song is "I feel a break from the mortal coil". That line gives me a shiver up my spine, like I'm out in the expansive desert at night, and I feel the brush of a wolf's fur on my back.


Justin Wiles