Archives for September 2012
- Good morning! What is your #1 reason that life is good, as of this very moment? #
- @JettSuperior Combination of two nights of solid sleep, two days in the studio with the bands, and absolutely perfect fall weather. in reply to JettSuperior #
- @mabonish That is a very enlightened approach. Sometimes I can forget to appreciate what I already have (esp. my health) until it's at risk. in reply to MABonish #
- Everyone is working remotely today. Is that code for having an unplanned Monday brunch on the veranda? Who left me off the memo?! #
- @KaraLaFleur My abs appreciate that timely memo from your abs ;) in reply to KaraLaFleur #
- @MissGinaMartino Are you attending tonight? We'll be there! in reply to MissGinaMartino #
- Thank you, @amandapalmer, for making a fair decision about your guest musicians. This is why I like you and your music: you're a real person #
- Alarm. Alarm. This is an emergency hair intervention. #
- Just recognized a friend from high school in a guest spot on Supernatural. How randomly cool! #
- @jmooreconrow Leslie Odom, he was only at Masterman our Freshman year. in reply to jmooreconrow #
- @Remysbaby Super-cool! We have a college friend making similar rounds, was on HIMYM. in reply to Remysbaby #
- @Remysbaby We just noticed he's on Smash, does he sing on it? in reply to Remysbaby #
- @Remysbaby Maybe I'm just biased, but he's a pretty awesome MotW. in reply to Remysbaby #
- Loving @TheWayHomeMusic. Fantastic three-part backing harmony on everything and awesome keyboards (generally lacking from Philly rock bands) #
- Lessons learned: We sound punk-y if we play fast enough. I’m not terrif at stage jumping. I can scream ok if I have time to cry afterwards. #
- @glenncase So want to see them when they’re here this fall. Lower keys on some old stuff? in reply to glenncase #
- Can we play a show w/ @TheWayHomeMusic & @VeniceSunlight every week? I feel like I’m on tour with them. I love love love an awesome lineup. #
This post is about a song I have never heard that you cannot buy.
So much good new music arrived in my mailbox last week – Amanda Palmer, Adrien Reju, and Juliana Hatfield – and the coolest part is that I sponsored it all! Juliana Hatfield’s new LP was truly a surprise – an all-covers project with no hint of the setlist or direction when I pledged my support. Given that Hatfield’s past decade of albums have ranged from minimal acoustic to grungy indie rock, there was really no telling what would arrive.
When it showed up in our mailbox last week I did what you would expect and likely do yourself – I listened to the covers of songs that I knew. The version of “Learn to Fly” was delightful! I’m still digesting the rest of it.
Anyway, this is not a post about Juliana Hatfield (partially because Ms. Hatfield doesn’t have her album up for streaming/sharing anywhere – oh noes!). It’s about one of the songs she covered, a pretty and ingenious bit of sfi-fi tinged heartbreak called “Self Machine,” originally by I Blame Coca AKA Sting’s daughter, Eliot Paulina Sumner.
Lonely robot in a wasteland
Rusting in a lonely harbor
Lonely robot in a wasteland
Rusting in the harbor’s water
I’m not a human if you say I’m not
I’m not a human if my engines lock
And this motor that you call my heart
Is another machine that will stop
The Hatfield version of the song first came on as E and were running errands on Saturday, and you could almost draw a dotted line from our ears to the car speakers as they perked up. Not only is this a great song, but it brought out the best in Juliana Hatfield. Her singing is tuneful yet bruised, suspending by pulsing, buzzing synthesizers like a man laying on a bed of nails.
It’s one of her best songs in years – maybe ever.
Which brought me to the original I Blame Coco version. It’s good. I’d probably give it four stars if it came up on my iPod. But, in my first and only listen to the original version above, Sting Junior does not bring that same powerful fragility to the song. It’s too strident – too much declaration, not enough regret.
Of course, I wouldn’t know that without listening to Juliana Hatfield’s version. She took a good song and exploited it’s flaws in the best way possible. Her version is the more definitive of the two, in my mind.
Even if it was the I Blame Coco’s version I was obsessed with, her LP Constant isn’t available in the US, nor is the MP3 of this song (though you can buy the LP as an import).
The Juliana Hatfield version, which I am obsessed with an firmly believe you should buy, is not available for download anywhere, and Amazon only has a single copy of her CD – or, you can buy it directly from her.
Two versions of an excellent song, both trapped in the internet machine, unable to shake free.
- @rocza I think almost all of my queries are Devera-related. I was so happy to finally see Aleria’s with Kyron arrangement described! in reply to rocza #
- Good morning! I’m trying to bring my vacation smile and weekend energy back to the office today. What could you stand to import? #
- @rocza Related: I have a sign at my desk w/a martini glass on it that reads “Copywriting=Yes. Proofreading=No.” That is my official policy. in reply to rocza #
- @Chimeratravel Nap is surely the way to go, unless you really need to get more done. Finally learning my lesson about travel prep. in reply to Chimeratravel #
- @brimil @smashleydubs @ryandaniel @melissa_shae 2/19 Philly! RT @RollingStone: @LadyGaga announces US #BornThisWayBall http://t.co/LbGSXCNe #
- @Chimeratravel Find that I exhaust myself the day or two before my trip, then spend the 1st two days of trip napping. Trying to relax more. in reply to Chimeratravel #
- @brimil @SmashleyDubs @ryandaniel @melissa_shae I’m so in for this one. Her setlist for Asia has been killer. No duds. in reply to brimil #
- @Chimeratravel Wait, so … are we talking about taking a nap at the office? ;) in reply to Chimeratravel #
- I just rode the elevator with someone who I assume to be a professional Lady Gaga and/or Miss Piggy impersonator. #
- I guess Miss Piggy wearing a Kermit the Frog dress would be a little disturbing. #
- @brimil Ha! in reply to brimil #
- I have a number of questions related to the arrival of @AmandaPalmer‘s spectacular limited edition “Theatre Is Evil” CD on my doorstep… #
Waiting to go on with Filmstar at NorthStar Bar.
Since taking this photo we’ve begun watching the so-far awesome The Way Home, who played with Filmstar long before my joining two years ago. Three and four part harmony, awesome keyboard vibes, acoustic/electric mashup – pushing pretty much all my buttons.
We’re playing next, followed by our esteemed colleagues in Venice Sunlight.
Myth: Vegan food is always a stuck-up meat imitation or utter rabbit food, and of no interest to people who don’t mind a bit of animal in their meals.
Fact: HipCityVeg is vegan fast food your entire office will merrily devour without question.
I am so utterly addicted to this vegan lunch joint at 18th and Sansom that our relationship has become deadly serious. After heading there experimentally with my wall-sharing colleague MK I have vowed to try every delectable item on their chalkboard menu.
I’m not sure what the next step is for us – usually once things get this serious I write a song about the person and/or food establishment I am crushing on.
I started with a Buffalo Bella – a huge portabella mushroom breaded and spiced up in the buffalo fashion. As a pescetarian, one of the few world-of-meat things I ever crave are buffalo ANYTHINGS – because, really, there aren’t many fish-y or veggie things that work well with the classic breading and sauce treatment. Well, this sandwich fits the bill perfectly – it isn’t trying to be chicken at all, it’s huge and luscious and spicy and will gradually explode all over your desk as you eat it as any good buffalo meal ought to.
Also, the best sweet potato fries in creation, paired with ridiculously incredible cilantro-black bean dip.
Fast forward to my next visit. I ordered the same thing (how can you turn that down) when a random woman in line started enthusing to me about the Udon Noodle Salad.
(This is the sort of thing that happens at HipCityVeg. While you are there everyone likes everyone else, but not in a creepy tie-dyed hippy way. People are just friendly in a way that isn’t brought out by a trip to Wendy’s. Did I mention vegan milkshakes? They are so good.)
Based on the recommendation, I picked up the Udon Noodle Salad on my next visit – and it was AMAZING. As utterly addictive as the Bella. I almost shamelessly drank the dressing out of the bottom of the container once I was through.
That is when I made my vow to eat my way through the entire menu.
So far everything has been excellent. I would amend the Arugula Taco Salad onto the greatest hits list with my first two selections, as well as their irresistible Groothie. A few items have included fake “Chik’n,” but I don’t feel like it’s trying too hard to be chicken so much as it’s a convenient protein delivery system, happily accepted.
If you work within a few block radius of 18th and Sansom I highly recommend a pilgrammage.
Here’s a public service announcement from the awesome folks at Skeleton Balls comics, because the only election result that will truly make me happy this November is knowing that every one of my friends and readers took the opportunity to vote.
If you aren’t already aware, Pennsylvania recently passed Voter ID law that is effectively a cynical act of voter suppression targeting lower income residents and young people. And, let me speak from experience here, it is an awful feeling to show up to cast your vote and be told you are unable to submit a ballot. Please don’t let that happen to you.
For more information on the Voter ID requirements in PA, see the VotesPA website. They also have a handy polling place look-up tool! Pertinent: Even if you don’t have ID, you cannot be denied your right to vote – you should still be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.
Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Heath is reportly issuing free Birth Certificates, if you need one to get a new PA driver’s license or passport. The webpage only mentions refunds for certifications requested earlier this year, but I think that’s because they’re now for free? Unclear.
Unsure if you are registered already? There’s a simple web look-up tool that will tell you, along with advising on your polling place.
100% turnout, people! Let’s make it happen! The best result of an election is not your favored candidate winning – it is the vast majority of the American people engaging in our electoral process.