She has a tattoo on the back of her neck which reads “A Equitas.” She wears a black baseball cap, cargo khaki pants, and her hair is buzzed. Her sandals have nylon straps, and the cuffs of her pants are rolled up. She wears retro geek glasses, a baggy blue shirt with excess pockets, and – most important of all – she broke the social contract.
Song 8: “Over and Over,” Hot Chip
One of my architecture professors, Ralf Weber (born in the former East Germany), would often say to us,”The only way to avoid boredom is repetition.” I think he was referring to repeating elements like a row of columns or pattern of windows, but I think it could apply to this song as well. The repetitive, monotone beat actually keeps it from getting dull. Again, royalties to Kraftwerk.
Song 7: “Playgirl,” Ladytron
I’m usually not big on electronic/ambient-ish music, but I do like this one. It has a hypnotic, repetitive, melancholy feel which grabs me. Plus these kids know how to pay respect to what all this music is: a footnote to German electro-pioneers Kraftwerk. Check out the visual and aural similarities (of course the one pop genre the Germans nail is “menschmaschine musik.” Menschmaschine = the German ideal of a machine/human hybrid; apologies to Nina Hagen and Nena!).
Here are some more “I-Search” projects which I help tutor through Writer Coach Connection. This week we take a look at kids who love sports.
Is ballet more of a sport or art? Eh, who cares? Those who do it are as athletic and hard working as they come.
Sitting here in Starbuck’s, reading an article in the paper entitled “We’d Zap Back To The 80’s If We Could,” I can’t help but notice what music they’re piping in: “Age Of Consent,” New Order (1983); “Only You,” Yazoo (1982); and “The Ghost In You,” Psychedelic Furs (1984). As I’m listening to the Starbuck’s new wave soundtrack, I’m also planning the best date for our next “80’s Party” at the bar…
(it’s gonna be Thursday, May 30th, btw, nine days from now. Pop by: I’ll be dj-ing and will buy you a drink or three)…and find myself shaking my head and asking myself the same question I’ve been asking for the last ten years:
Song 6: “Express Yourself,” NWA
This is NWA’s take on a little known soul classic from 1971 by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band.
It’s something between a cover, a mashup, and a faithful homage. No gunplay, no misognyny, just a beat everyone from the jaded indie hipster to the 60-something jazz fiend can groove to – I’ve seen it on a Friday night at my bars – along with booze, music like this is the great equalizer, the uncommon common denominator.
Song 5: “I Know You Got Soul,” Eric B. and Rakim
Old school hip hop was better than today’s stuff. It just was. So was the break dancing. Check it out:
It’s so awesome even the weather arrow is pointing to it!
Being a Nor Cal snob, I always look down my nose when I’m in L.A. and see so-called “meteorologists” reporting the weather, with their ridiculous names, ridiculous hair, and ridiculous teeth. Yeah, I’m talking to you Dallas Reines (a weather-porn name if I ever heard one)…
…and Jackie Johnson…
…and Elita Loresca…
…oh, sorry, that last shot was tasteless. Here’s a more representative shot of Elita:
They’re obviously L.A. actor wannabes pretending to know something about the weather while we up here in the more sober north are “authentic.” We don’t care about looks. We’re about hard hitting journalism, minimal bullshit banter, and a dearth of cleavage.
Besides wondering why certain of their body parts grow larger at inopportune moments, and why the “feminine hygiene” aisle in the drugstore is suddenly relevant.
I tutor kids in writing at the local middle school as part of a wonderful program called Writer Coach Connection, and every year, the eighth graders have a semester-long project called the “I-Search.”
“I” as in me, myself and I: they can pick any topic that interests them – any – and they put together an ambitious project which includes written reports, display panels, models, websites, artwork, you name it. It’s impressive. This is late high school level stuff. And it’s absolutely fascinating to me to see the range of subjects that grabs the attention of twelve and thirteen year olds in the beginning of the 21st century.
Song 4: “Union City Blue,” Blondie
I feel awful after going on yesterday about my imaginary girlfriend Siouxsie Sioux.
I mean, how do you think that makes my other imaginary girlfriend – Debbie Harry – feel?
I don’t want a cat fight breaking out because of my insensitivity. No, ladies, each of you is as lovely and cool and talented as the other. And again, I’m gonna go with a personal fave. Y’all can look up “Heart of Glass” or “Rapture” or “Call Me” on your own.
Debbie, Siouxsie, a big kiss to you both! Surely we can work something out – I’m thinking alternating schedules: who wants Tuesdays and Thursdays, and who wants Wednesdays and Fridays?
Song 3: “Into The Light,” Siouxsie and the Banshees
How could I not include a song by my imaginary high school girlfriend Siouxsie Sioux?
Picking the song was agonizing: do I go with something like “Spellbound” or “Christine” or “Kiss Them For Me,” y’know, something more people might know, or do I just play one of my personal faves? And even narrowed down to a personal fave, it just as easily could’ve been “Dazzle” or “Love In A Void” or “Swimming Horses” as “Into The Light.” All I knew for sure is that I don’t want to disappoint her. Being an artist, she’s mercurial and moody. I can’t let her see my indecisiveness. I’m on eggshells with her all the time, but it’s so worth it.