After binging on cornbread stuffing and online shopping (at least putting things in shopping baskets), this video from the Center for the New American Dream is a good reminder of what should be important (via The Hairpin).
Check it out:
At least during the holidays my online shopping transfixion has a point. I think.
Happy day after Thanksgiving! My was small and cozy and delicious. And after a day and a half of running around, I am officially spending today on the couch.
Suddenly I turned around and it’s the middle of November and the holidays are creeping up and that means the end of the year, and let’s all just take a deep breath together, yes?
I’m hardly the unbiased party to review a new Tom Waits. I happen to love his gritty, carny, meandering, noisy, maudlin sound. And I know from personal experience (and many mix CDs) it’s a taste that people love or hate.
This is Waits’ 17th album, and I’d say it collects the highlights of the types of sounds he has been working with over the last few albums. “Talking at the Same Time” is a lonesome, almost Latino barroom tune sung in an impressive falsetto. Even his tendencies for loud and brash noises seem restrained and even refined on the title track.
In the interview I heard with him (on Terry Gross, ahem) he spoke of his and wife/producer Kathleen Brennan’s desire to capture a vintage soundscape. And there’s a snap and crackle to the music like make it sound like timeless Tom Waits. And that’s just about perfect for me.
Watch the video for “Satisfied” here (directed by Jesse Dylan… yep, one of those Dylans).
Some magical numbers today! Let’s hear it for people who love symmetry (and have problems remembering the date).
I hope that you’ve at least heard of Harry Smith’s wonderful Anthology of American Folk Music. For the uninitiated, Harry Smith was a kooky old guy who collected American recordings of the 1920s and 1930s. It was released as a six album set in 1952. Loads of folkies in the 1950s and 1960s got their grubby hands on it, and shaped the way of popular music.
The blog The Old, Weird America is one of those places on the Internet that makes the rest of trash worthwhile. The site’s host is going through each song of the Anthology, finding covers and live performances and research (and mp3s!). From the introduction:
With this blog, i want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore american folk music and maybe other countries traditions along the way. I’ ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the net to make this work-in-progress enjoyable and educational the best i can.
It’s a trove of historical music Americana and a labor of love.
Check it out:
Dig in here at The Old, Weird America.
Winter blows in slowly, and I find that my tastes change – no more sunny pop and escapist novels – I want cozy sounds and stories to curl up with.
I know, I know, recommending the Monterey Bay Aquarium is like reminding you of milk – remember when you loved it? Well, it is still awesome! I went last month and was probably even more blown away than when I last went at age 5.
The institution does such a great job of protecting and showcasing their animals. This time I even learnt about the history of Cannery Row in Monterey. Sadly we went right after their Great White was released.
Most impressive sight? A very active octopus that swirled around his habitat in amazing contortions (no picture because I followed the rules and didn’t want to disturb his acrobatics).
I love mini-trips. For me, planning is half the fun, so even if it’s a short trip I get double the fun.