Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top Ten Albums of 2010

Making this list has been difficult. I played the hell out of some of these records (namely, Best Coast, Beach House and She & Him - the top three), and some of these albums I really liked, identified them as fantastic album but didn't overplay.

Does one make a top ten list based on playability and frequency of plays, or the artistic merit of the album itself? I guess I've gone for a combination of the two. True, my most loved albums from 2010 weren't exactly groundbreaking stuff (heck, the Brian Wilson album is basically comprised of covers), but as I grow older, I've found that I tend to stick to what I like (girl group sounds, 60's pop, harmonies). I think this list really shows that.

1. Best Coast - Crazy For You
2. Beach House - Teen Dream
3. She & Him - Volume Two
4. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
5. Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now
6. Brian Wilson - Reimagines Gershwin
7. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
8. Wild Nothing - Gemini
9. Spoon - Transference
10. Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be

Honourable mentions:
The Walkmen - Lisbon
Gigi - Maintenant
Black Angels - Phosphene Dream
Love Language - Libraries
Miles Kurosky - The Desert of Shallow Effects

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Missing in action.

It's been ages since I last posted - anybody miss me? I haven't been very motivated to blog in the past while and when I had some spare time, I didn't feel very inspired. Not sure if I should continue that 30-day meme as I've kinda lost interest in it.

At the moment, I'm really just posting to say that I'm still around! Lately, a lot of great bands have shown up on Conan O'Brien's new late night show, Conan. I'm a huge huge huge Conan fan and I've always been pretty certain that he has fantastic taste in music. I've been loving his new show and was thrilled when She & Him performed "I Put A Spell On You" on December 9th and Jenny and Johnny showed up a full week later (on the 16th) to perform "Big Wave"!

Oddly, I can't seem to get these videos to play for me, but as far as I know, they work for other people. Maybe it's because I'm Canadian. In any case, let me know if they don't work and I'll see if I can find alternates.

ALSO: go to the Team Coco website for more, web exclusive videos - She & Him do "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with Conan himself, and Jenny and Johnny do another song ("Scissor Runner").

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

secrets & lies.

Just kidding about the lies part! =)

I was tagged by Katrina over at The Demure Muse to share seven secrets about myself! So here goes...

1. I've never dyed my hair. Well, aside from two occasions in first year university when my friend put some red streaks in my hair. My hair is a chameleon-like shade of dark brownish-red, which looks black sometimes in low light and its true colour in sunlight/better lighting. I also have natural strands of red and gold hairs. True story!

2. The first concert I attended was.... Savage Garden. Yep, it's true. I liked cheesy pop and boy bands in my early teenage years.

3. I really can't wear tops with a v-neck. I hate them, think they're ugly and they look wrong on me. I used to make an exception for v-neck sweaters, but no longer. I hate v-necks!

4. I don't know how to ride a bicycle. I rode a bicycle with training wheels until I was about... 9? After that, all bicycle-involved activities came to a halt. I'd like to learn, though.

5. I can't whistle. I put my lips in the shape to whistle; no sound comes out.

6. My biggest dream is to start a 60's-style girl group band with a slight punk influence. Can someone make this happen for me? Be in a band with me?

7. I eat pretty healthily, but I love hash browns from McDonald's. This "secret" is in honour of the fact that I just gave into my cravings and polished off two hash browns from McD's.

I don't know who to tag! I'm supposed to pick seven people but I don't know who reads my blog AND has their own blog. Here's two, at least. DO IT GUYS!

Debra at Ate by Ate
Breige at Rare Opal

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Like a shotgun needs an outcome....

I really dig this song right now. I don't care much for the video (though it reminds me of the album cover for Goldfrapp's Felt Mountain). Just have a listen and tell me that it doesn't make you want to dance.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Eighteen

Day 18 — A song that you wish you heard on the radio

I bet you're all sick to death of hearing about how much I love the Beach Boys. (An aside: I recently bought tickets to see Brian Wilson play Massey Hall in June 2011! I think I may die of joy several times during this show.)
This blog post isn't actually about the Beach Boys, but about a song that is reminiscent of any quintessential Beach Boys song (to me). If I had my own radio station, this song would most certainly show up on many playlists and wouldn't seem out of place sandwiched between the Beach Boys and like say, Buddy Holly.

Beulah! I love this band! Sadly, they are highly underrated and actually no longer exist. The singer, Miles Kurosky recently released a solo album called The Desert of Shallow Effects and it is as excellent as any Beulah album.

Honestly, if I were forced to compose a list of my absolute favourite songs (and I say "forced," because I don't think I would ever make such a list because it would be TOO DIFFICULT), "Burned By the Sun" would definitely be on that list. Back when I used to make mix CDs for friends, this song would almost always appear in the tracklisting.

I also get the same warm, fuzzy feeling I get hearing this song as I do with favourite Beach Boys tunes. And that's saying a lot, people. I LOVE THIS SONG. I'm not saying I'd want to hear it on real-life, mainstream radio but it would most definitely be played on MY imaginary radio station....

(also, yes, I know I've been severely slacking at being a good little blogger, especially at completing these meme! Breige over at Rare Opal has put me to shame and is nearly completed the meme in record time (well, compared to the rate I'm going at!).

Cover me, volume three.

My third installment of Wini-approved cover songs is timely in that I just saw Fran Healy (singer of the band Travis) perform this at his solo show in Toronto on Friday and also because it is somewhat Christmas-themed. I mean, we're starting to get snow around these parts and December is just around the corner, so... yeah.

The melancholy tone is so heartbreaking - I love the tiny break in Fran's voice when he hits the high notes (also see: impressive) and how sad and sincere he sounds. It's pretty faithful to the original, aside from the change of pronouns (from male to female).

The original is by Canadian legend, Joni Mitchell, duh. If you haven't heard it before, look it up. Oh wait, here it is:

Both songs give me chills. And rightly so. But I do apologize if they bum you out a bit. You have been warned!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Seventeen

Day 17 — A song that you hear often on the radio

I don't listen much to the radio, but when I'm in the car with my dad, he tunes in to various oldies stations with no complaints at all from me.

As I've previously mentioned, the Beach Boys/Brian Wilson are probably one of my favourite artists ever. And when listening exclusively to oldies stations, the Beach Boys tend to be a popular choice. There are so many songs to choose from, but I really do love it when I hear "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on the radio.

Also, while I'm gushing, I must say that it is the most perfect opening track on one of the most perfect albums (Pet Sounds, duh!). *happy sigh*

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Sixteen

Whoaaaaa, first things first, it has been a LONG time since I last updated! Or it's been a few weeks at least. Since then... I've had a birthday, had a few work-related meltdowns and done some other fun stuff. =) The weather has gotten colder, so I can't promise many style diaries for a little while, I'm afraid.

I can't believe I'm still working on this meme! I've actually made little notes for the upcoming days of this meme, so I just need to sit my arse down and blog it out!

Okay, without further ado....

Day 16 — A song that you used to love but now hate

I was a huge fan of Nelly Furtado in high school. I thought she was super cool and I swelled with Canadian pride as a fan. A friend of mine went to the same high school as Nelly, back in Victoria, British Columbia (she scanned me Nelly's yearbook photos, which I thought was a hoot!).

My "claim to fame" in my last few months of high school was that I appeared on tv in the audience for Nelly Furtado's Intimate & Interactive special on MuchMusic. Basically, it was an hour-long special featuring an artist performing and sitting down for an interview in the MuchMusic studio. (MuchMusic is generally defined as the "Canadian version of MTV" - though, at this point in time, this definition doesn't mean much anymore since we now have MTV Canada... but that's besides the point.) MuchMusic was also in the habit of repeatedly airing these I&I programs over the course of several months, thus different classmates would see randomly me on tv in these repeated viewings.

Anyway, yeah, I was a superfan. The song that propelled Nelly Furtado into popularity was obviously "I'm Like A Bird" (ie. overplayed to hell). I can no longer stand to hear this song. Gahh. Sorry, Nelly. I guess I just grew out of your music.

However, I can still stomach the acoustic version of "I'm Like A Bird" - something about it isn't quite as grating as the original version.

Now, writing this entry has awakened a slight hankering to listen to her debut album Whoa, Nelly! (I didn't care much for her subsequent albums, to be honest), but I will most likely skip over "I'm Like A Bird"....

Friday, October 22, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Fifteen

Day 15 - A song that describes you

I thought this one over for quite awhile because to choose a song that supposedly describe a whole person... that's a bit a challenge. Or least narrowing down what song describes a particular part of my personality was the challenge.

Most people who know me know that I'm sarcastic and generally pessimistic. Most of the time, I'm convinced I have bad luck and I tend to wallow in misery. Friends joke around that Emily the Strange is based on me (heck, I actually dressed up as Emily last year for Halloween).

So the song I ultimately chose for Day 15 of this meme is pretty much perfect to describe me (or at least, perfect to describe me when I'm in a pessimistic mood). Garbage's "Only Happy When It Rains" was my anthem in grade 9 and it still remains as one of my most beloved songs. In my books, Shirley Manson will always be remembered as one of my first rock idols and my first ever girl crush.

She didn't sign her name; she gave an autograph.

On my commute to work this morning, I remembered how much I love this song.

You're not a teenager
So don't act like one
Sure, she is a heartbreaker
Does she have one?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cover me, second installment.

I previously mentioned that I grew up listening to my parents' records and was blissfully unaware of "contemporary" music for the longest time. Prior to the Beatles and Beach Boys, I bopped around to ABBA as a baby. My sister (eight years older than me) had a tape recorder with which she made recordings of baby Wini learning to talk. The gem of this tape is of me singing along to ABBA's "Voulez-Vous" (in which I'd sing "VOULEZ-VOUS!" loudly and then babble/mumble the rest).

ABBA is pure pop, no way around it. Their songs sound happy and cheerful, and the lyrical content tends to come second. Sad lyrics? Doesn't matter, it'll still make me want to dance.

Comparably, Camera Obscura is somewhat similar. Their lyrics have a stronger effect; the twee melodies still make me want to sway, but with a heavier heart. Their cover of "Super Trouper" does the song justice - the music actually reflects the lyrics better than the original. In fact, I'm not sure if I ever really paid attention to the lyrics until I hear Camera Obscura's version. Tracyanne's mournful, melancholic voice rings out and I'm surely convinced of her homesick loneliness when she sings, "Facing twenty thousand of your friends / How can anyone be so lonely?" Hearing her sing that line causes such pangs in my heart!

Camera Obscura's version:

The original by ABBA:

Wonderful example of a cover version bringing a whole new dimension to a song I already enjoy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Fourteen

Whoops, it's been a little while since I updated/continued this meme! But at least knowing that I'm only halfway through this meme means that you, lovely readers, are guaranteed 16 more posts (assuming I finish it - which I do plan to do!). And then some, of course. =)

Day 14 - A song that no one would expect you to love

Most friends who don't share similar musical tastes with me assume that I'm abhor from "mainstream" Top 40 radio stuff. While I am self-admittedly a music snob, I won't deny a good pop song when I hear one (see: Day 13 of the meme!).

On the way to get coffee one morning, a Lady GaGa song came on over the store's sound system. My coworker remarked, "Ugh, god, I hate Lady GaGa." I turned to him and said, "What, seriously? Who hates Lady GaGa?" With the same look of surprise, he said to me, "What? You like Lady GaGa? You know who Lady GaGa is?!" (Some context: every now and then, said coworker will bring up a popular song or music group and I'll have no idea what/who he's talking about. Case in point: Pussycat Dolls... I've heard of them, but am not familiar with their music... thankfully.)

But back to my original point: who hates Lady GaGa? How could someone hate Lady GaGa? (Yes, I'm aware that there are plenty of naysayers with their own good reasons for disliking her.) I love her outfits, her persona, her music is catchy as hell and she's a smart, media savvy lady with a queer-posi message to boot. Again I ask, what's not to love?

And so I leave you with this epic video for "Telephone" (again to the haters, who cares if the video doesn't literally translate the song visually? Sorry it's not just Beyonce and GaGa dancing in a loud club, ditching their cell phones). I love this song, don't care who knows it or judges me for it. So there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cover me.

I love cover songs. (Well, generally .) It's weird because my mum hates cover songs for some random reason - she'll always scoff and say disparagingly, "Pfft, why is this person doing someone else's song?"

I'm the complete opposite. I love when an artist brings something new to a song and puts their own style/spin on it. Depending on which version I heard first, sometimes I'll like the cover version more than the original (which I know is somewhat sacrilegious in some cases of "classic" heralded tunes).

This morning I was listening to Nicole Atkins' cover EP, Nicole Atkins Digs Other People's Songs. On it, she covers Nada Surf's "Inside of Love," her lovely emotive voice holding faithful to the original. I love this song. Both versions give me chills and sometimes have the power to make me tear up a little.

(Side note: Nicole Atkins' new album comes out early next year and the first single can be downloaded from her website for free.)

The original by Nada Surf will always be held close to my heart - though Nicole Atkins' version is really good, the original will definitely reign superior. Chills, I tell you.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Thirteen

Note: I'm skipping Day 12 (A song from a band you hate) because I think it's pointless! Why would I want to promote a band or songs from a band that I hate?

Day Thirteen - A song that is a guilty pleasure

Truth: I think Katy Perry is ridiculously hot (and also ridiculous looking, when it comes to her stage/red carpet outfits), but she is undeniably a poor singer (sorry Katy). But also undeniable are her catchy songs and hooks. I wouldn't go around saying that I'm a Katy Perry fan, but "Hot 'n Cold" can get stuck in my head like an earworm... so, guilty pleasure is it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Eleven

Day Eleven - A song from your favourite band

I should start off by saying that I don't have a #1 favourite band. I love a lot of bands but I've always been shite at choosing favourite bands, favourite albums, favourite songs.... just favourites in general. It's just too definitive and maybe I'm just too wishy-washy and non-committal. But for all intents and purposes of this meme, I have a song chosen for Day Eleven.

As previously mentioned, I love, adore and worship Jenny Lewis. Like most Jenny Lewis fans, I first came to know of her existence through Rilo Kiley. (Truth be told, I didn't take note of her cinematic presence pre-RK - most notably in Pleasantville, which was a film I really enjoyed in my high school years.)

"Portions for Foxes," to me, is perfection in the form of song. It packs so much emotion into 4 minutes and 45 seconds; it's a mix of blistering sexuality and desperation - the angst of an unhealthy relationship and pitfalls of love, with a catchy hook to boot.

I know I said it's difficult for me to choose favourites, but "Portions for Foxes" is definitely one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite bands. And I don't think that will ever change.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Step into my office, baby (or, another edition of red, black & white)

The remaining days of wearing skirts and dresses are dwindling down as the temperature drops. What a bummer. The transition into colder weather isn't completely lost, as I have an extensive collection of tights that I can wear until it just gets too cold.

I prefer to keep my style more on the quirky/kitschy side than the conventional. While I do work in an office, I don't necessarily dress very corporate-style. I have quite a penchant for secretary blouses and when paired with a pencil skirt, that look can be downright Wall St. (or Bay St., if being geographically accurate to my city). I aimed to offset this with vibrant red tights. Simple but statement-making (I like to think so, at least!).

Black & white striped secretary blouse - thrifted
Black high-waisted tulip pencil skirt - Forever 21
Red tights
Black flats (not pictured)

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Ten

Day Ten - A song that makes you fall asleep

Day Ten's topic of discussion makes me think that I'm supposed to choose a song that bores me so much that it actually causes me to lose consciousness. Which isn't exactly a complimentary categorization for said song.

There's a lot of music to which that I've fallen asleep. I spend a lot of my time commuting by train, where I tend to fall asleep - especially during my commute home. Two things you can count on me doing whilst on the train: listening to music and falling asleep.

Some artists and albums are perfect for this. It's not that they're boring or uninteresting - but more that they have a dreamy quality that takes me to another place. </cheesy>

Mazzy Star is definitely a band that embodies that dreamy quality. Hope Sandoval could seriously sing the world into a beautiful, otherworldly trance if given the opportunity. I love all three Mazzy Star albums and both of Hope Sandoval's solo efforts. I'd also classify their music as perfect night time listening.

"Fade Into You" is probably their most famous song, but 'commercial appeal' aside, I love this song and love falling asleep to it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Red, black & white; polka dots & bows.

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for polka dots and bows. And I wear so much red, black and white that I've been told on numerous occasions by various people that I dress like a "lost member of the White Stripes" (which is fine by me!).

On Saturday, when I was getting ready for a day in Toronto with my boyfriend (plans included the annual Vegetarian Food Fair at Harbourfront Centre, record shopping, squirrel watching and dinner), I put on this polka dot top and jeans. Then, I decided to snazz up the monotony with a red bow pin. I looked outside and it was sunny. I thought, Why don't I dress up this outfit and ditch the jeans? And so I did. (I did eventually have to add a cardigan as the sun departed, and a jacket by nightfall.)


Black & white polka dot button-up - Forever 21
Red bow pin - Primark
Red bow belt - H&M (clearly I love this belt!)
Black asymmetrical tiered skirt - Luella for Target
Black tights - Old Navy
Black flat oxfords - Aldo
Rainbow cocktail ring - Harbourfront Centre gift shop
Squirrel necklace - anirtak on Etsy

Two more photos after the jump...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Nine

Day Nine - A song that you can dance to.

So there's this common known "fact" that hipsters apparently don't dance at shows. Everyone stays perfectly still even at the catchiest, toe-tappingest tunes. I must admit that while I have witnessed this firsthand, it's not entirely true.

I'm going to come right out and say that I like to dance at shows. I mean, I'm no dancer - though I did take ballet and jazz dance classes as a child, but I am, admittedly, disappointingly uncoordinated as an adult. Thinking back, I was probably just as uncoordinated as a child, but I just really wanted to wear a tutu and neon spandex. (Priorities!) Plus clumsy children are endearing. If a song moves me, I won't fight it. I draw the line at flailing and/or interpretive dance, of course. But of course.

But I digress.

Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I am a diehard Jenny Lewis fan. I proudly worship at the alter of Jenny Lewis, and also Zooey Deschanel (nope, I'm no monotheist of female hipster darlings - why choose?).

I saw Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins twice while they were touring Rabbit Fur Coat (in 2006) and the second time I saw them perform, I recalled they introduced several new songs - including a foot-stomping number that I crossed fingers and toes would appear on the next album.

At the time, the song was simply called "Fernando" and Jenny Lewis and band actually went on to perform it on live late night television on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (alas, no Youtube video as NBC is staunchly hardnosed at keeping their clips off unofficial sites).

The song eventually appeared on Acid Tongue, Jenny's followup to Rabbit Fur Coat, to my delight. The title had been changed slightly to "See Fernando" and the track was sans Watson Twins, but it was still raucous as ever.

Along with the awesome, 60's spy movie-inspired music video, how you can resist that toe-tapping beat and Jenny portraying a sexy, sultry femme fatale? Instant classic!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Eight

Day Eight - A song that you know all the words to.

As someone who fancies herself as a writer and a music enthusiast, lyrics are pretty important to me. I'm sure I know the lyrics to lots of songs that I like or love... I love when lyrics are included with the liner notes of an album. One of my favourite things to do is follow along with the lyric booklet when I've just bought a new album. And yes, I do still purchase music in tangible form!

Going off Day Seven's song, I'm going to continue reminiscing about my Weezer obsession in university. I thought Rivers Cuomo's lyrics, especially those on Pinkerton were absolutely brilliant. Tangentially, I was convinced I was going to marry him (hee hee, how ridiculous).

For the record, I like to pretend Weezer doesn't exist beyond the Green Album. Blech. Let us not speak of those releases that followed that album...

Back to Pinkerton. Since this album didn't include lyrics with the liner notes, I remember scouring the internet for accurate lyrics. I think I found them on and pored over them endlessly, following along when listening to the songs, etching them to my memory. Then I continued to scour for the deeper meanings of each song, reading on messageboards the speculations of what real-life events inspired Rivers to write each song.

I guess I was pretty obsessed and a little weird at the time. And maybe I should have spent more time studying for my economics midterms instead of researching Weezer lyrics.

In any case, I don't know what it is about this song, but I love it. There was a length of time where Weezer (or Rivers, rather) refused to perform any songs off Pinkerton since its initial poor reception remained a sore spot for the man who penned the songs.

However, when I saw Weezer play Molson Amphitheatre in 2002, it was reported that songs from Pinkerton had begun to emerge this tour. Thinking I would never hear the beloved songs from this album, I think I screamed like a pre-teen at a boyband concert when the first few notes of "El Scorcho" played.

Also, on that note, this (rumoured Blue/Pinkerton tour) totally, absolutely, positively needs to happen. WHO'S WITH ME??

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sweater weather in September?

I feel like it's been a little while since I last updated and for that, I apologize! I had a bit of a momentum going, but alas, I must say that I lost a bit of steam that I'm still trying to grasp back.

The past three days have taken a slightly chilly, fall-like turn, prompting me to contemplate some weather-transitioning attire.

It bums me out knowing that soon I won't be able to wear cute dresses and skirts (even with tights and boots, as I'm quite a wuss when it comes to cold weather!) with the dropping temperatures. But I've been working on a acquiring apparel that will keep me warm in the colder months, but still feel cute and feminine.

I think the following sweater falls into that category! My colder weather outfits tend to fall on the side of simplicity, but I don't think that it detracts from the look itself. Also a plus, I bought this sweater in July for $5 in Urban Outfitters big clear-out sales!

Grey/white striped ruffle sweater - Rendez-Vous by Paul & Joe Sister for Urban Outfitters
"Mod" heart pin - thrifted
Straight leg jeans - American Eagle

Monday, August 30, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Seven

Day Seven - A song that reminds you of a certain event.

Oh god, when I first decided to do this meme and scanned over the different topics, I immediately knew what song I was going to choose for Day Seven.

"Undone - The Sweater Song" by Weezer reminds me of university in general. The Green Album came out when I was in OAC (Ontario's now-defunct grade 13) and I was working in that corporate CD store that I mentioned in my last entry.

When I went off to university the following year - for reasons unknown to me - my first year of university was the height-of-heights of my Weezer fandom. I had a Green Album poster on my wall, I had a string of Christmas lights taped to my wall in the shape of the signature Weezer "Flying W" (see image at left) and I was obsessed with Pinkerton (their initially lukewarm-received second album). I also spent hours upon hours scouring the internet for any Weezer b-sides and live tracks that I hadn't already heard (remember Kazaa and Audio Galaxy? Those were my faves for downloading music back in the day). I seriously thought I was going to marry Rivers Cuomo one day. But I digress.

I'd made some cool new friends, including one friend would sing through the Blue Album with me over the phone. What possessed us to do so, I will never know. We would sing until we were hoarse and it was AMAZING. "The Sweater Song" was always awesome to sing along to with a friend because of its call and response style, and conversational interludes.

But wait, I'm not done! In college (to keep things straight - I went to university for English after I finished high school, and when I finished university, I went on to do a post-grad college program in Journalism), our big second-last semester project was to research, conduct interviews and write articles on a particular topic over the course of a semester and, at the end of the semester, present everything in the form of a magazine and creative presentation.

My group chose to focus on DIY culture and we covered everything from DIY clothing and jewellery, to self-made video games and graffiti. We presented our topic in a fun, off-beat way... We made all our classmates and instructors wait outside the classroom and ten minutes before our scheduled presentation, we let everyone in, one by one, stamping their hand as if entering a venue.

We joked, "We asked Weezer to come play for our presentation... but since they didn't answer, we're going to DIY way..." And we proceeded to do an acoustic version of "The Sweater Song." It was a hoot! Every time I hear this song, I think of our DIY presentation and I smile.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Six

Day Six - A song that reminds of you of somewhere.

When I was in high school, I worked at a corporate CD store, where we were only allowed to play music provided to us by record companies (ie. promotional "play copies" given to us for free). This limited the sorts of music we could play and my choices were often relegated to Radiohead (about which MANY older customers complained about it being "noise") and Travis.

In my last semester of college and a year after I graduated, I worked at a much cooler, independently owned CD shop. We could play whatever music we wanted, so the possibilities were endless!

I discovered Lily Allen's debut album, Alright, Still during the time I was working at said CD shop. I really loved blasting it in the store because it was fun, pop-y and a hoot to sing along to.

The only downside was the uh, copious amounts of cursing and somewhat risqué lyrical content on the album. There'd be many incidents where families with young children would enter the shop and start browsing, and I'd feel the obligation to run and turn down the music, lest they hear lyrics about ex-boyfriends' small penises and girls on guest lists dressed like c***s. The last thing I wanted was parents complaining to the shop owners about "inappropriate music" being played in the shop (because we definitely did have those types of dickhead customers... sigh).

It still makes me chuckle, remembering how kids and their parents would be dancing around to "Smile" and "LDN," completely oblivious to the lyrical content. Listening to this album definitely reminds me of my CD shopgirl days.

"Knock 'Em Out" has always been one of my favourites because it's just so damned funny. My coworkers and I sometimes liked to practice our English accents to this song: "I've gotta go my house is on fire. I've got herpes! No, I've got syphilis!" Hahaha...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Five

Day Five - A song that reminds you of someone.

I don't want to delve into it too much, but this song doesn't necessarily remind me of the specific someone, but reminds me of the fact that I was in a long, agonizing long distance relationship with someone for several years. (And thank god it's over.)

Pretty sure this song should be the official theme of long distance relationships: "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First not-music post.

I think I had sorta promised I'd blog about stuff beyond music. Fashion, I think? Well, here we go. I was really good about keeping a style diary last summer, but I haven't done as well this year. However, I liked my outfit yesterday so much, I made the time to take a few (crappy Photobooth) photos.

Cream pintucked/eyelet blouse - Forever 21
White tank top - Forever 21
Red bow belt - H&M
Navy w/ cream polka dots tiered skirt - Urban Outfitters
Cream cableknit tights - Gap
not pictured:
Silver flats - Sears

Three more photos after the jump...

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Four

Day Four - A song that makes you sad.

As an angst-y teenager/early 20-something, I'm pretty sure all the music I listened to was sad. The kind of music where you could wallow in a bevy of "no one understands me," "why is life so hard" and a hearty dollop of "Why doesn't he like me?"

When I was 22 and experienced my first breakup, no amount of Radiohead or Elliott Smith (RIP) prepared me for it. As a music lover, my one coping mechanism was making a "breakup mix/playlist." (FYI, Feist's Let It Die is also perfect post-breakup music.)

After much stony insistence that I "didn't care anymore," this song brought me to tears: "Guess I'm Doing Fine" by Beck.

By all standards, Sea Change is a breakup companion album.

It's only lies that I'm living
It's only tears that I'm crying
It's only you that I'm losing
Guess I'm doing fine.

Shit. I mean, listening to this song as I type this, I'm feeling a bit teary-eyed.... And while I haven't the slightest attachment to the aforementioned ex, I can't help but feel those wistful, soul-crushing pangs of longing that I once felt then.

Yeah, this song definitely makes me sad.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Three

Day Three: A song that makes you happy.

My first response would be a Beach Boys song. But that would make me predictable.

I have a better answer though - "Rebellion (Lies)" by Arcade Fire. Having seen them play Olympic Island two weeks ago (August 14th), that elated, breathless feeling is still fresh in my mind. I've seen this band five times, since I was 20, when their album Funeral had just come out. As a live band, they could never disappoint. That ferocious intensity they bring to the stage, the unbridled exuberance... you can't fake that. It's the real deal.

This has always been my favourite song from Funeral - seeing this song performed live is always the pinnacle of the show for me. I will unabashedly sing along, shout along during the "Lies! Lies!" refrain, unabashedly punching my fist in the air like a human punctuation mark. And for those several minutes, I'm just a bundle of energy, exploding with bliss.

Come on hide your lovers, underneath the covers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Two

Day Two: Your least favourite song.

I'm going to be whiny and complain that again, there is NO WAY I can choose one single, solitary song. Maybe I'm just wishy-washy and non-committal.

But let me give it a go: When I was a kid, I pretty much only listened to oldies radio stations and children's music (The Smurfs! Sharon, Lois & Bram!). When my parents felt I was old enough and responsible enough to handle the record player, they showed me how to carefully and lovingly place the needle onto a spinning record with minimal crackle.

And thus began my love for the Beatles (and vinyl).

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was an album I grew to love. Of course, the early Beatles catalog is much more pop-driven and accessible; Sgt. Pepper was lesser so. The album had belonged to my mother in her younger days and it, unlike my dad's records, was in pristine condition.

"Within You Without You" was (and still is) a song I could not stand. I cringe at the sound of the sitar (though, I will grudgingly concede that minimal use is tolerable) and I find the tone of the song just... creepy. To me, it's the song equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. (I'm cringing as I write this, as I'm previewing the song right now on Grooveshark.) I'm sorry, George. I've probably been listening to this album for over 15 years and I still hate this song.

My parents always warned against skipping songs on records ("Picking up the needle while the record's still spinning can scratch the record and ruin the needle!"), so I was extra thankful that side 2 began with "Within You Without You." No muss, no fuss, let's just skip right to "When I'm Sixty-Four."

Just say no to the sitar!

EDIT: Dammit, looks like the track was removed from Grooveshark. =(

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day One

I figured that, as a blogger or any kind of writer, sometimes it can be difficult to get inspired.  I noticed a lot of friends were doing the 30-Day Music Meme and I figured that would be a good way for me to get my blog going.  I mean, it's going to get me to blog at least 30 entries, right?

So here's Day One: Your favourite song.

I'm going to be straight-up argumentative and difficult (as I tend to be) and say that it's completely fucking impossible to choose ONE favourite song, especially as a music lover. So I'm going to pick one current favourite song, and a longtime favourite (but not necessarily ALL-TIME favourite... because I seriously think it would be impossible).

My current favourite is Best Coast's "Bratty B." I love the crunchy guitar intro, the harmonizing "whuh-ohs" at the beginning and the cute simplicity of the lyrics: "I'm sorry I lost your favourite t-shirt / I'll buy you a new one / a better one." Clocking in at 1:43, this is a pure pop gem, through and through.

I've been obsessed with this band for months and months now, and I've had their album Crazy For You on repeat like you wouldn't believe. Admittedly, I had a tough time choosing a "favourite" from this album, but "Bratty B" gets stuck in my head so often, it fully deserves to be named my current favourite song.
I can't wait to see them play Lee's Palace in September!

My longtime favourite has to be a Beach Boys song. I'm in love with their music in their heyday and Brian Wilson is something of a god to me. "Surfer Girl" makes me melt, simple as that... "makes my heart come all undone." Yeah... that. Siiiigh.

Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys on Grooveshark

Blogger beginnings.

I tried the public blogging thing a few years back when I was in college and it somehow fell to the wayside.  Everyone tells me they "can't believe" I don't have a blog already - being that I have an English degree, a Journalism degree and I'm opinionated as shit.

So here I am (again).  Hi!