30 December 2007

Express Yourself

Who knew I'm expressionism personified? I was worried I'd be pop art.

You Are Expressionism
Moody, emotional, and even a bit angsty ... you certainly know how to express your emotions. At times, you tend to lack perspective on your life, probably as a result of looking inward too much. This introspection does give you a flair for the dramatic. And it's even maybe made you cultivate some artistic talents! You have a true artist's temperament ... which is a blessing and a curse.

As viewed at the surrealist Scrivener’s gallery.

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28 December 2007

Mix Tape Friday: Cup's 2007 Concert Series

This was one of the best years for live music I’ve had in years. I saw some amazing shows. I had planned to rank them from favorite-to-worst, but kept wrestling with the top five. Instead, you get to relive my musical moments via this mix tape

Looks like 2008 is going to be a great year for live music as well. R.E.M. will be on tour, and I hope to catch them two or three times. Scrivener and I are hitting the road for a couple of Wilco shows in a few weeks. I’d like to catch Springsteen when he’s here in April; I haven’t seen him in concert since maybe 1981. There’s a Magnetic Fields tour in the works, but I may need to travel to Chicago to catch a show. And the usual suspects should warble their way through town.

So, here we go: One track from each show I saw — in most cases, my favorite song performed during the show. How fitting that we kick off with Glenn Tilbrook. I didn’t post about the show, but it was one of my five favorite of the year. Glenn’s funky — I know because he told me so. You should have seen his Tom Jones number — deeee-vine!

Glenn Tilbrook :: Genitalia of a Fool
1.12.07, The Five Spot

Jeff Tweedy :: I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (live)
1.29.07, The Tabernacle

Scott McCaughey :: Aw Shit Man
1.29.07, The Tabernacle, opening for Jeff Tweedy

Yo La Tengo :: Mr. Tough
2.03.07, Variety Playhouse

Of Montreal :: Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider
2.24.07, Variety Playhouse

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 :: N.Y. Doll
3.21.07, 40 Watt Club, Athens

Pete Yorn :: Life on a Chain
3.24.07, Center Stage

Rickie Lee Jones :: Where I Like It Best
3.26.07, Variety Playhouse

Todd Rundgren :: I Saw the Light
5.03.07, The Roxy

Nicole Chillemi :: Sugar in My Bowl
5.26.07, Decatur Arts Festival

Great Lake Swimmers :: I Am Part of a Large Family
6.12.07, The Earl

Wilco :: Impossible Germany
6.19.07, Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Low :: The La La Song
6.19.07, Chastain Park Amphitheatre, opening for Wilco

Swimming Pool Qs :: Rat Bait
7.07.07, Riverside Park

The Decemberists :: I Was Meant for the Stage
7.13.07, Chastain Park Amphitheatre

The B-52’s :: Mesopotamia
8.01.07, Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Rufus Wainwright :: Between My Legs
8.13.07, The Tabernacle

Neko Case :: Maybe Sparrow
8.13.07, The Tabernacle, opening for Rufus Wainwright

Crowded House :: Locked Out
9.12.07, The Tabernacle

Pete Yorn :: Young Folks (live Peter, Bjorn and John cover)
9.12.07, The Tabernacle, opening for Crowded House

Andrew Bird :: Plasticities
9.13.07, Variety Playhouse

Stevie Wonder :: Boogie on Reggae Woman
9.14.07, Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Bob Dylan :: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
9.22.07, Gwinnett Arena

Elvis Costello :: Less Than Zero (live)
9.22.07, Gwinnett Arena, opening for Bob Dylan *

Drive-by Truckers :: 18 Wheels of Love
9.29.07, Variety Playhouse

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals :: Two
10.14.07, The Fox Theater

Eartha Kitt :: C'est Si Bon
10.20.07, Symphony Hall

New Pornographers :: The Laws Have Changed
10.30.07, Variety Playhouse

Emma Pollock :: Adrenaline
10.30.07, Variety Playhouse, opening for New Pornographers

Queen Latifah :: Mercy Mercy Mercy
11.02.07, Symphony Hall

Glen Hansard + Marketa Irglova :: Falling Slowly
11.17.07, Variety Playhouse

Martha Wainwright :: Bloody Mother F*cking Asshole
11.17.07, Variety Playhouse, opening for The Swell Season

Pylon :: Feast on My Heart
12.07.07, 40 Watt Club, Athens

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra + Gospel Chorus :: Too Hot to Handel sampler
12.15.07, Symphony Hall

The Shins :: Caring Is Creepy
12.16.07, Mistle Toe Jam, Gwinnett Arena

Modest Mouse :: We've Got Everything
12.16.07, Mistle Toe Jam, Gwinnett Arena

* Thanks to the much-missed Haahnster for sending me these EC tracks.

I saw Scott McCaughey, Jeff Tweedy, Pete Yorn, and Neko Case twice — Scott as a (damn good) opening act for the solo Tweedy show and backing Robyn Hitchcock as a member of The Venus 3 … Tweedy solo and with Wilco … Pete Yorn’s own show and opening for Crowded House … Neko opening for Rufus Wainwright, then with New Pornographers.

Find the Buck: Which band included here boasts Peter Buck as a member?

There were several almost-saws this concert season — but, alas, job commitments and other issues kept me off the floor for The Detroit Cobras … another Decemberists show … Bishop Allen … The Hold Steady … Rilo Kiley … and some other kickin’-my-ass-for-missing-its. Hopefully I’ll get my priorities straight in the coming year.

Okay, so who’s joining me on the dance floor in ’08?

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25 December 2007

Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

I’ve been tearing up over this scene for fortysomething years:

But Christmas is also about dancing:

Better sign off; I hear hooves dancing on the roof. Merry Christmas, kids. I’ll be back to non-YouTube posts in a day or two.

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24 December 2007

Mix Tape Holiday: Happy Xmas (Tapes Are Over)

Well, the Christmas mix tapes, anyway. I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled mix tape this Friday.

Today’s tape includes some interesting alt covers of popular Christmas tunes — everything from R.E.M. and Pearl Jam to The Pipettes and The Spice Girls. I just stumbled upon The Spice Girls’ track last week, and I’m rather tickled about it.

Download. Dance and unwrap. Trap a cutie under the mistletoe.

R.E.M. :: Good King Wenceslas

Marshall Crenshaw :: Feliz Navidad

Dave Edmunds :: Run Rudolph Run

U2 :: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

The Spice Girls :: Christmas Wrapping

Everclear :: Santa Baby

The Polyphonic Spree :: Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Wedding Present :: Step into Christmas

Swipe! feat. Gwenno :: Last Christmas

Sufjan Stevens :: Holy, Holy, Holy

Sam Phillips :: It Came upon a Midnight Clear

Tom Waits :: Silent Night

Pedro the Lion :: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Lisa Loeb :: Jingle Bells

Pete Yorn :: Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The Pipettes :: White Christmas

R.E.M. :: Merry Xmas Everyone

Bright Eyes :: Blue Christmas

Ivy : Christmas Time Is Here

Hem :: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Clem Snide :: Joy to the World

Syd Straw + Rickie Lee Jones :: O Holy Night

Alexi Murdoch :: Silent Night

Neko Case :: Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

Labrea Stompers :: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Pearl Jam :: Don’t Believe in Christmas

Flat Duo Jets :: Jingle Bells

Seersucker :: Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto

Joan Jett :: Little Drummer Boy

Phantom Planet :: Winter Wonderland

My Chemical Romance :: All I Want for Christmas Is You

Henry Rollins :: Twas the Night Before Christmas

The R.E.M. cover of Slade’s (and later, Oasis’) “Merry Xmas Everybody” is brand-spanking new, having arrived in my mailbox with my Christmas fan club package last week. That’s Mike Mills singing lead.

It’s tough for me to skip The Pretenders’ “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” — but, damn, Hem’s version is just beautiful. Be sure to listen.

I despise “Little Drummer Boy” — except for two versions: Bing and Bowie’s classic and Joan Jett’s. Joan makes the song cool, so pa rum pum pum pum with her.

Happy Christmas, my e-beloveds! I hope Santa brings you everything you asked for. I’ve been a very good girl, so it looks like I’m getting what I’ve been asking for all year.

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21 December 2007

Best. Video. Ever.

Forget about the holidays for a moment. Click the play button and dance away those family anxieties.

Many thanks to Favorite Boy.

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19 December 2007

Mix Tape Holiday: My Christmas Classics

Today we’re listening to my classic Christmas tape. Many of these have been on my holiday playlist since I was a wee music freak. Several come from my all-time favorite Christmas record: Capitol Records’ Merry Christmas to You! My mother got the album when she was a teen, and it was the album we put on the stereo when decorating the tree. You just can’t go holiday wrong with Frank and Dino, a mambo and a fat man coming.

Uploading the full zip file seems to be eating up the bandwidth quickly, so today I’m linking just the individual tracks. Using your right-click finger will be a good opening-prezzies workout for you.

But not all of today's tunes are oldies. Some are radio staples between Thanksgiving and Christmas (including the only Mariah song I like), some I just got this month. Right-click, grab a ‘nog, and sing along.

Johnny Mercer :: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Frank Sinatra :: Jingle Bells

Mariah Carey :: All I Want for Christmas Is You

Donny Hathaway :: This Christmas

Dwight Yoakum :: Santa Claus Is Back in Town

Les Baxter :: Santa Claus’ Party

Tom Jones feat. Cerys Matthews :: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Tony Bennett :: I’ll Be Home for Christmas (“The Jon Stewart Show”)

Eartha Kitt with Henri Rene & His Orchestra :: Santa Baby

Diana Krall :: The Man With the Bag

Charles Brown + Bonnie Raitt :: Merry Christmas Baby

Sheryl Crow :: Blue Christmas

Dean Martin :: The Christmas Blues

Frank Sinatra :: The Christmas Waltz

Coldplay :: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Death Cab for Cutie :: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

R.E.M. :: Christmas Time Is Here

The Carpenters :: Merry Christmas Darling

The Thrills :: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Andy Williams :: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Capitol Studio Orchestra :: Cha-Cha All the Way

Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops :: Sleigh Ride

Billy May :: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo

Chuck Berry :: Run Rudolph Run

R.E.M. :: Ghost Reindeers in the Sky

How the Grinch Stole Christmas OST :: Trim up the Tree

Burl Ives :: A Holly Jolly Christmas

Vince Guaraldi :: Christmas Is Coming

David Bowie + Bing Crosby :: Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

Nat “King” Cole :: O Tannenbaum

Michael Wolff feat. Warren Zevon :: The Christmas Song

Lyle Lovett :: Christmas Morning

Ron Sexsmith :: Maybe This Christmas

Sufjan Stevens :: Away in a Manger

Elvis Presley :: Christmas Message from Elvis/Silent Night

Dean Martin’s “The Christmas Blues” is traditionally the first Christmas song I play every year. It’s cool. It’s sexy. It’s Dino, dammit. I had a rough day last week, so my favorite boy (December 2007 version) sent me the video to cheer me up. He's going to have a very good Christmas.

One or two more Christmas mix tapes to come this week, kiddies. Next up: Christmas covers. Any special requests?

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18 December 2007

Mix Tape Holiday: Christmas Wishes

Aren’t Christmas songs grand? Some of you listed your favorites in Friday’s comments box, or e-mailed me, or called me with requests. ‘Tis the season of giving — so I'm giving you every one of those holiday tunes. Your present is ready to be unwrapped under the MyDataBus tree.

The Pogues : Fairytale of New York (Christmas in the Drunk Tank)

My Morning Jacket : Santa Claus Is Back in Town

Bruce Springsteen : Merry Christmas Baby

The Ronettes : Sleigh Ride

Lindsay Buckingham : Holiday Road

Stevie Wonder + India.Arie : The Christmas Song

Billy Idol : Run Rudolph Run

Elton John : Step into Christmas

Paul McCartney : Wonderful Christmastime

Wham! : Last Christmas

The Pretenders : 2000 Miles

The Eagles : Please Come Home for Christmas

Kenny Loggins : Celebrate Me Home

Ella Fitzgerald : Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney

Ryan Adams : Hey Parker, It’s Christmas

Marvin Gaye : Purple Snowflakes

The Plastic Ono Band : Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

James Brown : Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto

Eurythmics : Winter Wonderland

Olivia Olson : All I Want for Christmas Is You

RuPaul : Santa Baby

R.E.M. : Deck the Halls

The Kinks : Father Christmas

Material Issue : Merry Christmas Will Do

Fear : F**k Christmas

The Temptations : Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

Kurtis Blow : Christmas Rappin’

Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters : White Christmas

Vince Guaraldi : Linus and Lucy

The Raveonettes : The Christmas Song

Shoes : This Christmas

Thank y’all for programming this special edition of Mix Tape Not-Friday. Some of these were planned for later this week, but I thought it would be more fun to Casey Kasam this playlist. There will be one or two more Christmas-themed mix tapes before The Big Day, so we may crash MyDataB*tch.

Happy Christmas!

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16 December 2007

Walk Unafraid

My best friend’s life changes today. We’ve always gotten a lot of strength from this song, so I’m posting this for you, Renae. I'm thinking about you.

R.E.M. : Walk Unafraid

As the sun comes up, as the moon goes down
These heavy notions creep around
It makes me think long ago
I was brought into this life a little lamb, a little lamb
Courageous, stumbling
Fearless was my middle name
But somewhere there I
Lost my way
Everyone walks the same
Expecting me to step
The narrow path they've laid
They claim to

Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love me or leave me high.

Say 'keep within the boundaries if you want to play.'
Say 'contradiction only makes it harder.'
How can I be what I want to be?
When all I want to do is strip away
These stilled constraints
And crush this charade
Shred this sad masquerade
I don't need no persuading
I'll trip, fall, pick myself up and

Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love me or leave me high.

If I have a bag of rocks to carry as I go
I just want to hold my head up high
I don't care what I have to step over
I'm prepared to look you in the eye
Look me in the eye
And if you see familiarity
Yhen celebrate the contradiction
Help me when I fall to

Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
jold my love me or leave me high.
Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love me or leave me high.

Up, 1998

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14 December 2007

Mix Tape Friday: Merry Christmas, Baby!

I love Christmas. Tinseling tinsel, twinkling lights, brightly colored balls, Santas everywhere. The decorations and the feeling of the season make me so very happy in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Nightmares of scary monsters are replaced with visions of sugar plums dancing through my head. Yep, I’m a seasonal dork.

So of course I love Christmas music — even the Singing Dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” even that song by Alvin & The Chipmunks. I’ve never cataloged all the albums, CDs (one or two 8 tracks), and MP3s, but I have more than a thousand seasonal tunes within easy reach. And you lucky kids get to reap the bennies of my obsession. I have such a massive collection, I may do several mix tape posts in the days leading to Christmas.

Since my bandwidth tends to get eaten up quickly, we’re going to try something different. I’ve uploaded just Santa’s bag o’ zipped file; no individual track links on this post. If you need just one or two songs to complete your fabulous Christmas mix and don’t feel like downloading the zipped file, drop me an e-mail.

Today we’re rawkin’ out — Santa style. Some classics you’ve heard on your local station for years, some not-so-classics that should be played in place of Bob Seger’s “Little Drumer Boy” (gawd, I hate “Little Drummer Boy”). Some of these are local groups off early-1990s Flagpole Christmas albums, so give ‘em a listen. The late Deacon Lunchbox kicks off the set.

Deacon Lunchbox : Introduction

R.E.M. : Christmas Griping

Hüsker Dü : We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Keith Richards : Run Rudolph Run

Darlene Love : Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Bruce Springsteen : Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

The Ramones : Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)

Young Fresh Fellows : O Little Town of Bethlehem

Pearl Jam : Someday at Christmas

Yo La Tengo : It’s Christmas Time

The Flaming Lips : White Christmas

Oasis : Merry Xmas Everybody

The Beatles : Christmas Time Is Here Again

Graham Parker + Nona Hendryx : Soul Christmas

Clarence Carter : Back Door Santa

The Sonics : Don’t Believe in Christmas

OK Go : Father Christmas

Kelly Hogan : Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Robert Earl Keen : Merry Christmas from the Family

Dread Zeppelin : All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

Simple Plan : My Christmas List

The Waitresses : Christmas Wrapping

Billy Squier : Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You

The Woggles : Santa Claus

Pee-Wee Herman : Christmas Medley

Run-DMC : Christmas in Hollis

R.E.M. : Parade of the Wooden Soldiers

Radiohead : Winter Wonderland

Squeeze : Christmas Day

Sufjan Stevens : Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time!

Band Aid : Do They Know It’s Christmas?

King Missile : Jesus Was Way Cool

Keith Richards’ cover of Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” is the best, in my opinion. I like Dave Edmunds, too, but I’m a Keef girl.

There is one song I’ve been trying to find for years (lost my CD in a breakup a decade and a half ago): The Coolies’ “Feliz Navidad.” If you have it, would you share it?

What are your favorite Christmas tracks? Maybe they’ll make an appearance in coming days. Don’t worry — Sinatra and Dino, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis are hitting the Cup next week.

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10 December 2007

MyDataBus Is Back

Start downloadin', kids.

And I'll be back later this week.

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