Merry Christmas!

I’ve waited all year to post this song. How serendipitous that Christmas should fall on a Tuesday, right? In my opinion, which counts for little given my, shall we say, questionable track record and taste in music, this is the only Christmas song that counts. And yes, it’s by George Michael.

This year, to save me from tears, I’ve belted out this song at every quiet moment I could find. Didn’t like Wham’s rendition of “Last Christmas” before? Now’s your chance to become painfully acquainted with it!

In case you missed last year’s George Michael Eyebrow Spectacular, feast your eyes on this wonderfulness:

full explanation (if you can call it that) here

All of this to say, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, kiddos. Spend it with people you love. And if one of those people happens to be George Michael, call me immediately.

Tuesday Tunes

Last night was my first weekly French class and holy merde, it was l’intense. That’s not the right word at all, in fact I don’t even know if that’s a real word but I’d bet that it’s not. I’ll find out over the course of the next 10 weeks, won’t I? The class is small, just 6 of us total, and the teacher, Rachel, is the same woman from the second half of the Immersion class I took a few weeks ago. It was 2 solid hours of all French. We dove right into the passé composé and futur tenses, and were even chided firmly for answering in English or in incomplete sentences. Rachel is a big proponent of not coddling us or starting off easy; she said she’s not going to hold our hands through this, which is good, that isn’t what I want. I want to one day be fluent and that isn’t going to happen if someone doesn’t take crack le whip, so to speak.

I will toot my own horn here for a second and say that I understood everything that Rachel was saying, even if I couldn’t formulate responses without a hot flash of panic flooding over me (we even learned the word for feeling overwhelmed or filled to the brim: débordé). At one point, she asked me a question, and I answered en Francais and it was like that moment in “A Fish Called Wanda” where (SPOILER ALERT) Ken realizes his stutter is gone. He looks bewildered at the sound of his own voice. C’est moi.

I got home late last night, way past my bedtime at the raging hour of 10pm, and got an adorable email from Christine (SPOLER ALERT: I’m guest-posting over at her blog today! Go check it out!) asking if I had any good French music recommendations for her. Aha, do I ever! I suggested Coralie Clement, and it reminded me how much I adore her music. Thus, awkward segue to today’s Tuesday Tunes:

I don’t have a clue what she’s saying (the only part I caught was “café crème,” French class is working!) but is she not just the cutest? Wearing vintage rollerskates and (??) an Amherst tee? The little shaker in the background and the sweet flute (piccolo? clarinet?) makes me so happy. And I mean, I’m sorry, I know it’s like The Way the World Works that all French women are naturally stunning and phenomenally more beautiful than their American counterparts, but come on. THIS:

IS JUST MEAN. I could style my hair for hours and it would never look that good.

So! To recap: I am in love with French class, and you should definitely run right this second over to Christine’s blog and check out my guest post. She was so sweet to have me! Thank you again, ma chérie!

Tuesday Tunes

Have I ever mentioned my love of Fiona Apple before?  I wouldn’t have survived the ages of 13-17 without her first two albums. Or maybe I would have and I would have been less indulgently melodramatic all those years. I’ve seen her in concert twice and even got a photo of her leaving the back of the venue (my poor dad waited for hours in the cold with me for it). I was less than in love with her third album “Extraordinary Machine” (the demos that leaked months before the album were far better than the actual album) and I’m still warming up to her newest one, “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.” What? You think that’s a long and rambling title? Her second album title came in at 90 words and I still know the whole thing by heart: “When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king. What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight and he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring. There’s no body to batter when your mind is your might. So when you go solo you hold your own hand and remember that depth is the greatest of heights. And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land and if you fall it won’t matter, cause you’ll know that you’re right.” It’s commonly abridged to “When the Pawn” because can you imagine dropping that in conversation? It’s is still one of my all-time favorite albums and the songs that were once heartbreak anthems and angry letters to boys I knew are now nostalgic and sentimental.

Amazon offered me a $2 mp3 credit for some reason or another, and during Black Friday her new album was on sale for $3.99, so I only spent a whole $1.99 on it. I’m still having residual guilt over it; I remember when CDs were $18 a pop and the rush I would get from buying a physical copy and leafing through the cover insert. Anyway. This is the first single from her 4th album, and it’s weird.

So, what have we learned after watching that? Well, for starters, Fiona Apple is still batshit insane, which was always my favorite thing about her, after those gorgeous puppy-dog eyes. I’m not going to pretend I understand why she is wearing an octopus on her head or rolling around in the dirt with snails, but hey, at least there’s a shot of the Eiffel Tower in there. Fiona Apple + Paris = awesome, regardless of the giant sea-monster that makes an appearance in the Seine. I’m particularly in love with the lines “Every single night’s a fight with my brain” and “I just want to feel everything.” I’m such a deep and sensitive flower, you guys.

Tuesday Tunes

I’ve mentioned many times my musical ineptitude, but the story behind today’s Tuesday Tunes makes me look even worse, in a funny way. The other day at work, I was checking out Young House Love, specifically this adorable video of their daughter Clara dancing better than I ever have. I was struck immediately by the music in the video. It was the end of the day and it was only me, Herbie, and Brett left in the office. That’s important to mention because those two have an extensive music collection between the two of them, and both have significantly better taste in tunes than I do. Case in point: I’ve apparently been living under a rock the past 6 years while the indie duo Matt & Kim have been making music and, you know, generally being amazing. So impressed with myself for finding a new song and thinking Matt & Kim were some brand new artist, I pop up out of my cube, throw my hand jauntily on my hip and ask the boys, “Have you guys heard of a band called Matt & Kim?!” Oh, the pitying stares I received. There was a pause while they both surveyed me to see if I was being facetious, and then they both asked varying versions of the same question: “You’re just now hearing about Matt & Kim?” Cue the next half hour of, “Have you heard of this really awesome band, _____?” only they’d fill it in with obvious choices. Though I shouldn’t say obvious because again, I live in a tiny little impenetrable bubble where I only have 9 albums on my iPod, and 4 are by Keane.

Ahem.

Here is today’s song, courtesy of my cluelessness.

Come on. The beat in this song is amazing. I’ve listened to it approximately 45 times since discovering it. Aren’t they just the cutest band in the world? What other bands have I completely missed? What are you listening to this week?

Tuesday Tunes

I’ll tell you up front that you are really lucky I stumbled across this song, because I saved you from what I was going to post (this throwback, (un?)surprisingly sexual boy-band song from like, 2002). I went out for happy hour last week and the bar had this Massive Attack song playing. Being as I’m always on the hunt for new, non-embarrassing music, I asked the bartender who the band was. I know it’s the height of un-cool to not know every hip band, but you forget I once lost my shit over George Michael’s eyebrows. And Ace of Base.

And of course, I would be remiss to let today pass without noting its significance. Today is election day. Voting is such an important right, I don’t care who you vote for (okay, that’s a lie, I totally care, don’t be an asshole and vote for the rich white guy who doesn’t care about 47% of this country) as long as you get out and vote. My earliest memories are of standing in the voting booth with my mom and having her stress the importance of using our voice as women. I’ve refrained from getting political on my blog because that’s not what it’s about, but today is a monumentally important day in this country’s history. I am voting for Barack Obama, because I have a uterus and a conscience and because I am phenomenally better off now than I was 4 years ago. I am grateful for what he has accomplished in the last 4 years and excited about what he can do in another 4. And because of the Affordable Care Act, I cannot be denied health insurance because of a weird esophageal disorder I didn’t know I had. Because of Obamacare, a friend of mine undergoing chemotherapy can’t be denied coverage or capped at a lifetime benefit. I am pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-not-being-a-Republican. How could you vote for a party that has tried to define “legitimate rape” and said “rape babies are a gift from God” as a means to legislate morality from a fictional book about a mythical man in the sky and chip away at my reproductive rights? I can’t, not in good faith. I don’t believe in God. I certainly don’t want a President who would force his God into my everyday life, or worse, into my body. That’s what this election has become. The economy matters little to me if old religious men can tell me I have to carry a rape baby to term. And for that, I’m voting for Obama.

Tuesday Tunes

So, I’m assuming you’ve heard that there was a major hurricane that hit the northeast corridor. A lot of you expressed concern, which was incredibly sweet, but thankfully nothing really happened here. It rained Sunday night into Monday but stopped around Monday late afternoon and never picked back up. It got a little windy here late last night, but Sandy has moved on and we’re out of the path. At least I don’t feel like a total idiot for rushing out and buying bread, water, and non-perishables. Kidding! I bought into the hype with Hurricane Irene last August too and it was barely a drizzle at best; I’m pretty sure we have a jug of bottled water from last year in the closet still. Now we can add about 4 more jugs to that count. Better safe than sorry, right? Obviously, lots of people are without power and a lot of places got hit way worse than we did. I’m hoping everyone is safe and warm and dry.

This song seemed especially appropriate given the current situation. We totally hit the liquor store in addition to buying groceries just in case, only we never had an opportunity to start drinking.

It’s funny, the weather on the east coast has always been a seesaw of extremes (the Blizzard of 96 dumped almost 3 feet of snow on Philly in 24 hours; we had an earthquake last year; and we have frequent 100+ heat waves in the summer) but we’re normally exempt from tropical storms or hurricanes. Public transit is closed again today, and so is my work, so I’m home. The upside (in addition to two free days off work) is that I’m getting a lot of writing done! And also a lot of Fitz cuddlin’.

Tuesday Tunes

Today’s Tuesday Tunes references one I did almost a year ago which featured “I Wanna Be Your Man” by then-unknown artist Willy Moon. Allow me to refresh your memory of this awesome song:

His dance moves kill me, I love him. All music should sound like that. I had this to say back in November: “If you were to make a composite of all the boys I dated between the ages of 14 and 17, it would look exactly like Willy Moon. Seriously.” This still stands. He is a mash-up of everyone I dated from 2000-2004 (I’ll pause here while one of you invariably bemoans how young I am). I continued, “And his adorable dorkiness in this video aside (part of his charm, be honest), this song is so good! So catchy! I don’t know really much about Willy Moon other than that he wants to be my man, so I’m excited to see what else, if anything, he comes out with.”

Well, cut to last night, when I’m minding my own business watching Gossip Girl when the new iPod commercial came on and the background music sounded an awful lot like Mr. Moon himself. Turns out, it is! (Side note: That commercial, coupled with the fact that my iPod is now totally kaput, makes me really, really want a new one). As he says in the lyrics, “Willy’s back with a brand new beat now.” Oh, is he ever. Good luck getting this song out of your head anytime soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T8BCSFicGE

The music video for the song is here, but I wasn’t able to embed it for permission reasons. You should watch it, he’s got some serious moves.

What are you guys listening to? Bonus points if the singer is cute.

Tuesday Tunes

Because I only get my music from tv shows, commercials, or store dressing rooms (I’ve even been known to Shazam the muzak in the lobby of my office building, why do I still have friends), today’s Tuesday Tunes should come as no surprise: it’s the song from an ABC commercial for the new fall line-up. I heard it so many times in the car this weekend during our tour of the NJ Turnpike and thanks to the powers of Google (and, okay, my internet-squirrel prowess) I found the full version. It’s called “A Little Taste” by the seemingly unknown (she doesn’t have a Wikipedia page) chanteuse Skyler Stonestreet. So a) amazing name, b) amazing voice, and c) AMAZING hair. The video is almost like an American Apparel ad in its upbeat quirkiness, but since this song is so sexy there was a ton of potential to do something moody and have an, and I’m just riffing here, Gossip-Girl-where-Blair-and-Chuck-did-it-in-the-back-of-the-limo kind of vibe. She’s super adorable, so I’ll let her slide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea6QGeM-xCo

She reminds me of someone but I can’t put my finger on it. Anyone recognize her celebrity doppleganger? I’m embarrassed to have to ask for help given my previously stellar track record with this sort of thing. If I do say so myself.

So what are you guys listening to these days? It’s nice to get recommendations from you guys and not the playlist at H&M.

Tuesday Tunes

I have a very exciting evening planned tonight: Boyfriend got us tickets to see Florence + the Machine way back in July for our anniversary, and the day has finally arrived. I’m skipping out of work a little bit early today to take care of Fitz (I want to give him some time outside of the crate before he goes back in for most of the night) and then we’re having in dinner in town before taking the train to the one of the top ten most dangerous cities in the country, beautiful Camden, New Jersey. The only reason anyone goes to Camden is to see a show or go to the aquarium. Both are situated right on the waterfront, directly across the Delaware river. We would take the ferry but it’s supposed to thunderstorm all night, and I’m not trying to die. Also I get seasick when I refill the Brita pitcher, I don’t want to press my luck.

But yes! Florence! In all her Welsh-y, weird-o goodness. I hope Boyfriend knows what he signed up for; this is going to be a far girlier concert than Keane (yes, Annie, it’s possible) but I am so so excited I can barely stand it. Our seats are under cover, so  even if it rains we’ll be okay, but half of the venue is lawn-seating. I went to a concert there in high school and sat on the lawn and it poured the entire time. It was a Dave Matthews Band concert though, so at least I got a second-hand high.

Anyway, to honor the occasion, here is a video for one of my favorite songs off her second album. The music video was directed by David Lachapelle and John Byrne and is pretty much on par with all her previous music videos for the level of weirdness. Still, her voice is amazing and this song makes me want to belt it out with her (I won’t, though, because I’m tone deaf).

As far as I’m concerned, this is a better “say my name” song than Destiny’s Child. And because I learned my lesson with the Keane concert, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any merchandise this time. Though maybe just a tote bag.

Tuesday Tunes

I wasn’t planning on bringing Tuesday Tunes into the regular rotation, but I already have one scheduled for next week, and today’s was an unavoidable choice given that this is all I’ve listened to for the past 24 hours straight.

Christina Perri is a Philly native and within the past year has blown up on the scene, starting with a guest appearance on So You Think You Can Dance performing “Jar of Hearts,” and it wasn’t until yesterday that I figured out that it was her song, having heard it a bunch of times on tv. It was like putting a name to a face. “Arms” is such a beautiful song (I sort of want it to be my wedding song one day), and the rest of her album is equally as amazing. She’s currently on tour with Jason Mraz.

Funny story, I can sort of play Six Degrees of Separation with her. One of my dad’s closest friends, Tony, a fellow architect, amazing illustrator (his Christmas cards are always the highlight of the season) and all around motorcycle-driving badass (we have had a long standing arrangement wherein he is always on standby to beat up any boy who breaks my heart), is Christina’s uncle  cousin! (Sorry, Tony!!) I’ve grown up knowing Tony my entire life, and I wish I’d listened to him a lot earlier when he said how good Christina was. Oh well, better late than never, right?

What are you guys listening to these days?

PS. In honor of the 11th anniversary of 9/11, you should all go read Sam’s touching post on visiting the memorial site a few weeks ago.