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Daily Archives: January 9th, 2012

Defending Our Ride on CBSLocal Philly!

E and I are sharing a slice of Internet Fame today courtesy of CBSLocal Philly via their auto correspondent @MikeyIl (who you may recall from my epic interview with him last summer).

Shot by MikeyIl for CBS Local.

My only prior auto-related run-in with Mikey was when he drove me to a concert in a pimped out ride he had on loan for a week to write up for a blog. Many months ago, Mikey put out the call for Philly residents with cars they really loved that were less than five years old. Feeling pretty strongly about the utility of our Toyota Matrix, E and I volunteer and wound up with an interview and photo shoot with our car! It’s our first shared press!

You can read the entire interview and see Mikey’s photos at CBSLocal Philly. As a bonus, here are a few exchanges from our interview that got wound up on the cutting room floor:

DYR: Does your car have an nickname?

E: I’m leaning towards Molly, though after Molly Weasley or Molly Bloom, I’m not sure.

 

DYR: Where did you get your car from? What/where was the dealer?

P: I didn’t even have my license when we bought the car, so a big test for us was if the dealer would actually talk to Elise about car stuff. I didn’t even know which side the gas pedal was on – I was there solely to haggle. I actually staged a walk-out mid-conversation at one dealer who didn’t seem as though he was actually listening to what Elise was saying.

Locally we work with Ardmore Toyota. Except, if you’re me, you sometimes call Toyota of Ardmore OKLAHOMA … which would explain why everyone answered with southern accents for a whole week that one time.

 

DYR: What’s your favorite or worst part of your commute?

E: I’ve driven it to work a few times. My favorite part is when I can first see the skyscrapers, and my least favorite part is when the radio cuts out in the parking garage. :)

P: I commuted to work once all summer. It was about five minutes shorter than my SEPTA commute but, unlike the El, I was not afraid of catching syphilis during the ride.

 
Oh, and this non-sequitur:

P: Elise is the best car-packing Tetris player I’ve ever known. She can make anything fit into anything.

#MusicMonday: “Safe & Sound” – Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars

This weekend I was up late writing, and turned on the film of A Hard Day’s Night in the background to keep me awake and alert.

It kept me more than that. It’s a funny movie that unleashes a stone cold classic Beatles song every six or seven minutes.

Beatles or Bieber?

As my gaze drifted up to the screen again and again I noticed the fans. The film is full of them. While everyone from businessmen to make-up artists treat the fab four as a commodity, the fans who are screaming their heads off are invariably teens of both ages, and slightly older young women.

I think about today, and who that same demographic of fans is screaming for. I’m sure a few artists come to mind, yes? I’ve sampled them all, but I wondered – would I be willing or able to recognize if they were producing music even a fraction as beautiful and groundbreaking as The Beatles’?

I think so.

Case and point, I typically assume Taylor Swift songs are going to be fizzy pop affairs with obscenely catchy chorus hooks. Not that there is anything wrong with that – hell, I aspire to it. I listened to “Safe & Sound” from The Hunger Games soundtrack expecting more of the same. I got something other than I was expecting. I’m certainly not comparing it to The Beatles, but “Safe & Sound” is an amazing song. Fitting, that it comes from the movie of a book I nearly wrote off as Popular YA Fluff and wound up devouring.

The song is so beautifully organic, with production that makes it sound as though Taylor and The Civil Wars are sitting right beside you as it plays. Notice the imperfect guitar plucking, sometimes evoking buzz from the edge of a fret.

There are a couple of bits of pure magic here. The endlessly-repeated, never-resolved simple melody hook, that turns into a canon in the middle of the song. The eerie, almost spooky underneath harmony from The Civil Wars. How the song hints heavily at an impending major crescendo with an increasing artillery of percussion and then never actually arrives there. As Jacob pointed out to me, how the menace of the arrangement belies the title. And, finally, how it absolutely sounds as though it could come from within the world of The Hunger Games.

It’s a great song, and I hope you still gave it a chance after you saw it was by Taylor Swift.

(Thanks to Jacob, my personal hero of snark, for turning me on to this song!)