Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back to the Music

Now that I'm finally done traveling for a while, it seems like I can get my life back together. I had the house to myself on Friday night and other than some much needed phone calls with Eric and The Warners, it was a very quiet night. Trekked into the city on Saturday and introduced Randi to the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien. We did some shopping and I roamed around mid-town and the park for a bit, before heading to Blondie's for some basketball. Talked sports with a PR guy until Jeff showed up for the Xavier game and I also made friends with a skinny Andre Agassi look-a-like. I randomly got a text asking what the official video from the CCC finals had been and got Andre to play it on his iPhone.

Today has been a Jessi Cranky Pants day. Just been laying around the house, tired, confused and listening to music. I'm still loving Cloud Cult & MGMT, while giving The Raconteurs' new album a few spins this week. It still hasn't fully grown on me, like Broken Boy Soldier, but we'll see.

Here's what's struck my fancy over the last few weeks:

  1. Go to Hell by David Ford (Songs for the Road) - Not sure which of my music sites recommended this one, but iTunes refers to him as a mix of Damien Rice & Ray LaMontagne. I'll definitely be downloading the rest of the album.
  2. Little Bit by Lykke Li (Youth Novels) - This one gets into my head and the beat doesn't want to leave.
  3. Electric Feel by MGMT (Oracular Spectacular) - The song makes me want to do certain things.
  4. Kids by MGMT (Oracular Spectacular) - My other favorite song from their album. I wish the Brooklyn band was playing nearby sometime makes me want to drive to Vermont to catch their show in a few weeks (and knock another state off my map!)
  5. Don't Fight It by The Panics (Cruel Guards) - So melancholy, even before my current mood set in.
  6. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man by Morning Jacket (Live at Bonnaroo) - Yay! Something to lift my spirits. I've always adored this song by Prince and was excited to find this cover. (Note to Canada: I could use the Prince Chappelle Show skit right about now.)
  7. Glad Girls by Guided by Voices (Isolation Drills) - I was listening to KEXP the other day and this came on and I said to myself, "No way! My crazy blogging about EAOD has gotten one of their songs onto the radio." Nope. I'd just seen them do a cover on youtube, but the song stuck in my head.
  8. Along the Way by DeVotchKa (A Mad and Faithful Telling) - I like this song and I liked his set from SXSW. Now it's time to download the album and maybe get my hands on tickets to his show in New York.
  9. We're All Stuck Out in the Desert by Jonathan Rice (Further North) - I'm still trying to place who he reminds me of on this song, but I do like it.
  10. The Sword in the Stone by Ted Leo (Live at the South Street Seaport 2005) - I have a very deep desire to see him live. And he's an ND guy!
  11. Cold Hands Warm Heart by Brandan Benson (The Alternative to Love) - I have really cold hands and feet, so I really identify with this one. Plus, he's my favorite Raconteur.
  12. Anytown Graffiti by Pela (Anytown Graffiti) - I'm so glad these guys were able to get back on tour again. Billy, the lead singer, finally had his stitches removed and they're ready to go. Be sure to support the band, 1) because they're wonderful and 2) because like a lot of people in the arts, there's some medical bills to pay from the last injury. I heard him interviewed on KEXP and he seemed heartbroken to have let the fans down by canceling/postponing some shows. I love his voice and hope to see them at some point this year.
  13. Your 8th Birthday by Cloud Cult (The Meaning of 8) - Thank you Jeff for introducing me to this band. This song tears at my heart as he sings his son's name over and over again, but the entire album is beautiful and so poignant when you've heard the story behind it.
  14. No One Said it Would Be Easy by Cloud Cult (Feel Good Ghosts) - I'm not sure if this is my favorite song off their new album, but I get excited everytime the piano kicks in a few seconds into it and suddenly thirty-nine minutes have passed and I've gone through the entire album. I'm definitely excited to see them at the Bowery in a few weeks. I'm taking it as a good sign that The Forms are opening for them, since they opened for The National when I first saw them. Illinois will be the first opener that night.
  15. These Few Presidents - Why? (Alopecia) - I cannot explain why I love this song so much. The opening always makes me pause and wonder what on earth I'm listening, but the chorus hooks me. I keep picturing FBF making fun of me for my strange electronic music on one of our flights together--he'd certainly give me hell for this one, but I don't care. Let him make fun of my "arcade music" as he called it.
That's all from this girl. Nick Brown, hope you enjoyed an actual music post.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Still Traveling

My head has been in a daze the last two weeks from all the travel. Last weekend, I headed to Indy to spend the day with Neelay and meet his fiancee. They treated me to an array of traditional Indian foods throughout the day and I was loving it. It was great to catch up with my favorite Brown guy and I can't believe it'd been a year and a half since I'd last seen him. From Indy, I headed to Houston for two days. I've never been a fan of that town, but it did bring back so many memories of our week at TEAMS during grad school. (Note to self: Insert side-talking photo here.)

I came back home on Wednesday to run errands and get in a fight with the Asians at my salon. Thursday and Friday it was back to work and watching lots of basketball in the rec room. And being the restless girl that I am, I trekked into the city on Saturday for some shopping, galleries and basketball at Hi-Life with Jeff. Today has been a fabulously lazy day and I'm off to Chicago tomorrow for two days.

Once again, the blue proves why I love them so with David Sedaris's Easter story. Of course, that got me youtubing and the below video has a guy reading my favorite story from Me Talk Pretty One Day, You Can't Kill the Rooster. I love that the guy (who eerily resembles Nick-I-Like) can't help but laugh as he's reading it to his friends. I can't even read it to my friends, because I'm usually laughing too hard. I love that David.

MGMT popped into my head in the city yesterday and I've been listening/singing it to myself ever since--I might have even been spotted dancing at the train platform in Harlem this morning. I'm currently loving Electric Feel and Kids the most. Both videos follow--I'm still sad that I wasn't at SXSW. I love how he goes into the crowd and is dancing with them throughout the song (spring break!). White people can dance when given the right beat! (Note to Sam: I'm making you this cd.)

Electric Feel Live in LA in January

Kids at SXSW

Dave Eggers - TED Talk

I've had a fascination with Dave Eggers ever since Kelly lent me A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. (Note to readers: when Kelly and Jody tell you that there's a crazy twist at the end, do not let your literary imagination run wild. They will think you're insane as you try to conjecture what this twist might be.) When I found out that he'd been awarded one of the TED prizes for 2008, I wanted to hear his talk but didn't find it online until today. It's 25 minutes, but definitely worth it--his nervous energy leads to a rambly, oratory style but the audience is quickly drawn in by his sense of humor and the story/photos behind 826 Valenica.

826 Valencia was started as a writing tutorial shop in San Francisco, where the McSweeney's team would work during the day and take time in the afternoon to tutor kids after school, but the space was zoned for retail. Since they had to sell something, it became a pirate supply shop in the front. The story is pretty inspirational and chapters have been popping up around the country. I'm now on a mission to check out the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

In other Dave Eggers news, I was reading You Shall Know Our Velocity when I interviewed for Velocity. It wasn't until I set the book down to go to bed the night before the interview that I realized this. FBF's influence was definitely still on me, as I took it as a sign that I had to work at Velocity. What is the What is his latest book and while I was leery about reading it at first, it was very well done. Also, I am thankful that I did not ramble on about the book when I met Luol Deng a few weeks ago. That would've been bad. Finally, McSweeney's is great for random amusement, particularly their quirky lists and recommendations.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raconteurs to Release Consolers of the Lonely next week!

I have been dancing in my bed for the last half hour since learning that The Raconteurs are releasing an album next Tuesday. I would've been even more excited if it was like the Ghost release and I woke up to find that it was there like Christmas, but I think I can handle a week's wait.

Consolers of the Lonely will have 14 tracks and I love the band for not allowing any bonus tracks or special releases--I hate those bloody record label tricks. It's coming out on vinyl, cd, mp3 on their website, amazon, iTunes and mobile for those kids in Japan who are way ahead of us digitally.
The dancing in bed and Woos! keep coming from this girl. (Note to The Warners: I keep making the excited yelping that our poker playing Canadian friend made on that crazy night in Vegas!) I just called my brother who shares my love for the band and it made his day, too. I've loved Broken Boy Soldier since it was released and continue to include it in my recommendations to people, even if it came out 2 years ago.

Their tour dates are up on the site and they won't be making it to the east coast area, which has me dreaming of flying to see them in Austin or New Orleans for the Jazz & Heritage Festival and definitely skipping Symposium that weekend. (Note to Athens: You know I love you, I just am not feeling it this year. Maybe I'm still feeling the effects of our time together in November. Dammit Woody!)

Concert clips from their set of Lollapalooza will be going up whenever I finally get home this week. They were definitely in our top 5 bands from the weekend and their cover of Crazy was better than Gnarls Barkley's real version.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jessi's Listening to Bon Iver + Cloud Cult

The entire purpose for this blog has been sidetracked lately. It all started back at New Years when I was determined to listen to a new (as in different) cd each day, rather than my favorites from 2007 that had taken over my iPod. I was doing so well for the first two months, but have recently fallen hard for Bon Iver and Cloud Cult.

It's felt like Bon Iver was hovering on the tip of my tongue for a month before I found him. I'd sent Perry a long list of music recommendations before heading to Hawaii, of which he's slowly plugging through, and then heard some songs from Black Mountain, who I'm not that into, but I thought Kevin would like. Then, when I went to see Dax Riggs, the girl who I met there, was supposed to see Black Mountain and Bon Iver the night before. I hit up nyctaper for the National concert and someone asked in the comments what song was playing when the band took the stage. Guess what? It was Bon Iver's Flume. Then, NPR's Live Concert series had his DC show as a download and I've been hooked since listening to it. (Note to Bob Boilen: I want your job and love your taste.) And even better news! NPR just posted his set from SXSW, which I'd listen to now but am on such a slow internet connection in this hotel. I can't wait to download Bon Iver's album For Emma, Forever Ago whenever I finally make it back to Connecticut. There's been a ton of stuff written about the album and the three or four months that Justin Vernon spent in seclusion in the woods writing and recording the album, so google away for more info. I love his falsetto and I think it's the perfect music for two or three in the morning when I just want to lay in bed with music and have no desire to sleep (which seems to be quite often lately).

Cloud Cult is something that I wish I'd pay more attention to when Kelly first asked if I'd go to their concert in the fall with her crazy work friend. Back then my head was too wrapped around ND football and the people that came with the game watches to even consider missing one when I was already in town for so few. I think I only went to their myspace page and don't even remember listening to any of the music. At the same time, I wonder if they would've affected me so much back then. I seem to be in such a different mental space than I was last year.

When it was time to find someone for the National, I asked Kel if Jeff would go and she said, "Jessi, his favorite band paints on stage during their concerts. I'm sure he'd be fine with yours." This gave me a bit of a Blue Man Group impression (thank you Tobias) and since I judge everyone on their musical taste, I couldn't even let myself listen to any of their music before meeting him, lest I hate it and completely write him off. I downloaded Feel Good Ghosts two weeks ago and it got plenty of listening time at work and on my drive to the city to grab Woody for Texas Independence. Thank god I liked it or else I would've never been able to talk music with Jeff again. I downloaded the Meaning of 8 before leaving on this ten day trip and it's slowly reaching the comfort level. (If you're going to download their albums, go straight to their website, as they get a much better cut releasing it themselves than through iTunes.) Now to just get my Kelly and Jody into town for their concert in April and my first show at The Bowery. (Note to Jeff: you should've never told me about the death of their son. It leads to Jessi crying on planes when listening to the lyrics, which is completely embarrassing.)

And just in case the boys of EAOD are googling themselves again, I just found out that Cloud Cult was on the bill at Monolith. This would've given me another thing to talk incessantly about and also ask for a connection to get backstage passes for the show at the Bowery.

Cloud Cult's No One Said It Would Be Easy at SXSW. Before buying tickets last night, I was afraid that they wouldn't translate well live. This put me at ease.

I might have already posted this rendition of Skinny Love by Bon Iver at the Bowery, but I haven't slept in 12 days, have no idea what city I am in and just want to be back in New York.

(Note to Nick Brown: Be amazed! It's a post about music again! And keep sneaking The National onto your car mixes. My influence will reach those friends of yours at some point!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Painting Chicago Green!

While Dommie had to work on Saturday, we woke up and headed to Belltown for brunch with Emily before settling into Ginger’s Ale House for the day. Thanks to facebook I saw that my Nicole Lee was in town for the festivities, too! Nicole and her girls had a much earlier start and were roaming with roadies in Dunkin cups to see the river being dyed, as we were just getting started. We stayed in touch all day and there was definitely some jumping when she showed up at the bar at the end of the night. Our last two encounters were completely random and we had no idea we were both in the same cities until that day. There might not be anyone more exciting to randomly run into on the road. Our day at Ginger’s was pretty much a day of solid drinking around our table that Emily managed to finagle for us before we’d even gotten our first beers. The jukebox certainly didn’t seem to understand that it was St. Patty’s Day, as strange 80s selections and lots of Tupac kept pouring from the speakers. When a selection of songs by Rod “The Bod” Stewart started, I was accused of commandeering the jukebox, but there was just another person in the bar with really good musical taste. (Note to my non-ND readers: You haven’t lived until you’ve listened to my Best Hits by Jessi collection.)
The bar had a curious mix of people and our Irish eyes seemed to spot lots of trannies, especially the one in a tiara. One of those awkward bag pipers came into the bar later in the evening and I hadn’t seen Dommie that antsy since I last watched an award show with him. Then there was the girl in a grey sweat suit who kept going Flash Dance on us. Oh wait, she gave us the shoulder once; then Kelly and I did it the rest of the day.
Lots of Strongbow was consumed by this girl and those kids at Black Hand Productions, while the rest of the crowd focused on Black & Tans, Guinness, and Baileys. We had a fabulous waitress who was disappointed by our slow drinking early in the day, but I like to think that we fully redeemed ourselves as the evening progressed. Enjoy the pictures…

My beer really wanted me to Be Amish

I'm calling this one Single Shoulder, Double Bobcat

I love how distubed the Emily looks in this picture.

Dommie, Me and a Knife

The Little Stevie Nashes Rock Chicago at Casa Biscuso-Leddy!

It was back to downtown Chicago on Friday as I joined Kelly, Emily and Mary for lunch and some serious shopping. W should salute our patriotism with all the money we threw back into the economy. Em and Kelly made a fabulous dinner of crab macaroni and cheese. Then it was time to get serious about being in a band.

I’ve had a weird fascination with costumes lately, so my suitcase was immediately opened and our extra jerseys from the events were pulled out and promptly worn. While there might have been a Luol Deng on drums and Peja would occasionally guest on a song, we were the Little Stevie Nashes. Because of my awesome voice and general loudness, this girl was the lead singer at first, then they realized that maybe they should stick a guitar on me instead. Should I ever find myself as an actual singer in a band, I would probably drink a bottle of wine on stage each night—that stage fright is awful, even if it’s in front of some of my closest friends, but throw a guitar on me and my inner rock star comes out. (I attribute my awesome stage presence to the theatrics taught to me by the boys of Quiet Riot. And no, their show hadn’t changed from the awesomeness of their heyday, even though we saw them in 2001.)
We worked our way through most of the Rock Band catalog, before finally ending the show around midnight. We really gave our fans what they wanted and I think Mary discovered a passion for the drums along the way.
(Note to Jody: Yes, I did use the word awesome that many times.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Jessi Knows Professional Athletes!

The last week has been a blur of NBA events around the country. I've been to Phoenix with Steve Nash and Chicago with Luol Deng on my way to Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon, but nothing beats a sighting of my favorite kicker for the Buffalo Bills, DJ Fitzpatrick!!

When I used to work with ND's football team (during the Bob Davie years), I worked for the linebackers/special teams coach and while he was having meetings with the linebackers, the kickers/punters/holders/snappers would show up early for warm-ups. Ellen and I adored our kickers and especially mothered DJ. "He's our freshman and we love him!" When he started, the rest of the kickers would make fun of his punting and perform DJ punts that would go about 5 feet--this would cause us to yell and tell them to leave DJ alone. Fortunately, his punting skills improved greatly and we wish he were still the ND kicker. It's been fun to watch him after we graduated and there have been WAY TOO MANY text messages about DJ during football games.

We love DJ!!

It was a great surprise to see him at the bar as I came back to our table from the bathroom and I think fate decided to put him at the table next to ours with Roger Klauer, who played with the soccer team when I worked with them. I loved catching up with those two and was texting and calling Ellen who requested that I send DJ her love and pinch his butt.

ND lost the Big East tournament game, but otherwise, the night was a lot of fun. Chrissy and I met Neddy at the bar and I might have assaulted him 17 times, but I love him. Now just to find those two some lovers in Chicago.

Oh and here are the other famous people that I saw this week. I'm very popular!

Steve & I. He might be the ideal height...

Me and Luol. I'm wearing flats and have crazy hair. I shook his hand on the curb when he was on the street and felt really tall, then reality set in.

Neddy isn't famous, but he should be.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Texas!

Kupper and I have lived in the New York area for 2 1/2 years and I've probably seen him 4 times, 2 of which were in the last 6 weeks. (He's giving me an A- overall, as my A++++++++ from the past weekend greatly raised my grade.) We were texting about Texas Independence a few weekends ago and then I got the invite to the Texas Independence Day Party. I was a little hesitant at first, but I'm tired of Connecticut and tend to trek in every weekend, so I figured why not. Little did I know that a not-serious-at-all invitation from me to Woody would get him here, too!

Woody and I headed to Yogi's around 5 and Kupper was there with his football coach from high school who coaches once again at Columbia and another coach. I had a bit of trouble when it came to keeping my hands off Jeff--I couldn't help it, as you'll see in the pictures, his outfit was fabulous and the lone star was conveniently located on his chest. Our flirting is always imbued with a deep sense of repulsion, which entertains both of us. The boy had on jeans, boots, belt buckle, a lone star flag button down shirt with cowboy string tie, corduroy sport jacket and hat. I loved it!

Hakola and his lady showed up shortly after and I pounced on him--so good to see him after almost two years. Woody invited some friends from Texas (who we'd (ahem, Eric,) ramdomly met and scared last year during one of our OU weekends in the city) and Jeff showed up wearing a little bit of Texas, or Montana. More Columbia people trickled in as the night wore on and one of the bar tenders showed up in sparkled underwear over tights. And there was a yuppie who kept lingering...definitely a mixed crowd at the dive bar.

Between the 172 bottles of Lone Star for each year of Texas' independence and the Tough Texan shots, Kupper had plenty of cheap alcohol for the evening. We eventually left for dinner at Hi Life, of which I've heard all sorts of things, and if Jeff isn't a celebrity there, which I think he is, he's at least surrounded by celebrity look-a-likes. Woody might have missed us too much and passed out on the bar for the final half hour or so. (This image of Woody would have been entertaining, but has no chance of replacing the image of us sprinting out of bars hoping to lose him or how long it took him to realize we were giving him flavored water during our last trip to Athens. Oh, Woody. You've got 3 1/2 months left, buddy!)

The Texas party left me nostalgic for our last Texas party at Courtside in Athens with fist pounding, Sizzle and the flag, my favorite basketball coaches (Note to The Warners: this is not Coach Kevin) and Carl with a Jager Bomb in his hand.

Ooo, and it was Lou's birthday. These shots are blurry, but I still love the coloring in them. And yes, that's an Entenmann's singles cake.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

23 Hours in NYC with Woody!

With 4 months left until the big day for Woody, the boy is trying to cram in everything that he wants to do before he really has to check with the boss. I just laugh every time I hear the excuse, but I loved hearing it on Wednesday! We were chatting that morning and I mentioned that Kupper was having his Texas Independence Day party in the city and I was planning on going. Woody paused (very) briefly, then decided that he wanted to come, too! Soon he was negotiating for one of my free flights on Jet Blue. His flight would've been $900+, so I think he got a good deal on the $200 that he offered. I couldn't resist--I loved the spontaneity behind it and I think I was bouncing around the office all day after we booked the flight.

We were both on very few hours of sleep when I picked him up at JFK, but the boy was craving breakfast. We headed into the city, calling Kupper along the way and learning that Hakola was coming to the party, too. We parked on the UWS and headed to the Manhattan Deli for breakfast, which was much better than the breakfast I'd had in the city the previous weekend. You can see our fabulous deli here, but even more important is the fabulous suit the guy is wearing across the street.

There was a drizzle in the city when we left the restaurant, preventing us from roaming the park, so we decided to take the train to the village. It was raining harder when we got there, but was still bearable for the first 5 minutes. Then the sky opened and we were hiding below awnings until we decided to make a run for Off the Wagon, a Bobcat favorite. I had mascara running down my face and was completely soaked when we got there, but I always like sitting in that bar and drinking the really cheap pitchers. (Although I was QUITE nostalgic for Jeff, Rich, Nicole and Eric.)

a very moist woody
i love this picture of woody, although i'm not supposed to publish it...whoops!

After 2 pitchers, we finally were dry again and headed back up to grab some wings at the Firehouse, then it was time for the Texas Party!!

i'm dry and happy at the firehouse

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jessi's Reading 3/10/8

A self-proclaimed feminist geographer couldn’t resist creating a map plotting the locations of Luda’s hoes in the song, Area Codes. Luda loves all the area codes of Maryland, a good part of the South, half of Nebraska, and some hoes on both coasts. What she seems to have missed is that Luda seems to keep striking out at home. The Atlanta based rapper hasn’t been very prolific in his exploits near Atlanta, thus forcing him to roam the country for some lovin’. What had originally been interpreted as a typical chauvinistic, rap song has suddenly turned into a sad tale of a man forced on the road to find love, so far from home. Ladies of Atlanta—take a page from the women of Maryland and open your hearts (I said heart, not legs) to Ludacris.
And while I’m on the topic, I couldn’t believe what hoes came to the private Ludacris concert that Cingular threw before the VMAs a few years ago. We had the balcony of Hammerstein as VIP level with the clients, who were fortunately old, white people and not so interested in the concert, enabling us young agency kids front row seats to the display below. I’ve never seen so many shirts held precariously together by a few string on the back. I didn’t care much for (or even remember) the opener, but Luda made up for it. Before that night, I had always referred to him as his given name of Ludacris (yeah, yeah, his given name is actually _____, which I learnt after watching Crash), but Q told me that those in the know refer to him as Luda and thus it was. When a guy named Q tells you what nicknames are hip, you listen.
In other news, a new company, Sellaband, hopes to allow strong, indie bands the opportunity to record their first album and throw away the outdated industry model. With so many young bands gaining exposure on the internets, they are able to develop a fan base, but still lack the funding to record in a studio. This model allows fans to buy an advance copy of the album and each share of the record is $10. $1.5 million has been raised from investors with the largest investment hitting $25,000. 14 bands of the 6,500 on the site have reached the $50,000 mark in order to gain studio time. Amazon UK has also taken an interest in the project and invests $1,000 once a band reaches $30,000 and helps promote the cds on its site. Should the band find success, they are able to buy themselves out of the contract at any time.
The Times Paper Cuts book blog had an interesting post this weekend about signature passages in books. Being the girl who will tear apart my house to find my red notebook of quotes, I was excited to check this out, especially with readers sharing their own favorites in the comments section. And being The Times, I’m hoping for lots of high-brow one-up-manship.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hallejuah! Kiks now likes 7 songs!

The Blue came through again with a great post about covers of Leonard Cohen’s Hallejuah. I usually cringe at everything American Idol (the first season began when I was in Scotland and I found myself perplexed upon my return to an apartment of crazed Idol fans), but Jeremy has had me watching the show with him like the good accounting widow that I am when he comes home. One of the guys last week sang the song and it spurred a nice conversation about the versions.
The post linked to a blog that analyzed the variations between Cohen’s original and a later live performance, followed by Cale’s cover which changed a few of the lyrics. It seems that when Jeff Buckley covered the song, he used Cale’s version, as the lyrics are the same as Cale’s and he follows the same style. Buckley’s version will always be my favorite, but I can’t figure out when I fell for the song. I know that it was sometime in college, so I might have been one of those late-comers, but I’m refusing to give Shrek credit for the introduction. The analysis also covers the surge in covers and the many tv shows and movies that have used it, but always in a sad, heartbreaking context.
Check out My Old Kentucky Blog for mp3s of the covers. KD Lang’s voice really suits the song and I was excited to hear Beirut’s version, which led to my discovery of their Black Session. (Note to Black Sessions: when are you going to give me access to the sets from each show? They’ve been one of my favorite musical discoveries over the last year.) Vive la France!
The best part of Idol doing the song is that Kiks now has found a new song that she likes! I was chatting with Mom last night and out of nowhere, she says, I like that Hallejuah song! My first thought was, oh shit, she has found my blog, even though I hadn’t even gotten the chance to publish this post. Fortunately, she is just addicted to Idol. There once was a time that my mom loved music and we see flashes of this when David Bowie comes out of the speakers, but she hates having the radio on in the car, which led Dad and I to plot ways to keep her out of the car on the trip to the airport when I was last home. She eventually caught onto us and we had to endure the drive to Cleveland in radio silence.
Here for your listening pleasure are the 7 songs that Kiks enjoys, in no particular order:
1 Guns ‘N Roses – November Rain
2 Jeff Buckley – Hallejuah
3-7 I just called Kiks to ask what songs she liked and she couldn’t remember anything beyond GNR. She told me to just ask Dad when he is back in town—no fun at all, Kiks!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Crazy about Swayze

As a self-avowed Crazy About Swayze girl, I was saddened by the news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. I'm not sure when my love first started, but it's been going strong for years, something probably shared with Kelly and Jody and Ellen in college, but it took on a life of its own in grad school after I told the Canadian. Soon enough, he was calling me into the living room or bedroom whenever Roadhouse was on (a movie that I have yet to watch in it's entirety), I was leaving Crazy About Swayze puzzles on his office desk and I decided this our official song.

-I'm still angry whenever that guy who played his co-worker in Ghost shows up in a movie or tv.
-I feel like buying a pottery wheel is permissible, just in case Patrick Swayze ever swings by.

-Did that scene where Whoopi lets Patrick inhabit her body for a final night with Demi ever really throw anyone? I used to cry everytime I'd watch the movie, but that scene was perplexing. I could never imagine Demi actually doing things to Whoopi's body with Patrick's voice constantly saying ditto. Fortunately, that left most of that scene to our imagination and I'm probably the only one who has over-analyzed it
-I never realized Chris Farley was in this skit, as I couldn't take my eyes off Swayze--such great 80s hair!

I've got my fingers crossed for him.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Team Rad, Extraterrestirials, Rainbows & Margaritas

After a very lazy, but wonderful Friday at home, I was looking forward to a trek into the city Saturday. And thanks to The Warners' new-found love of Nike Plus, I had some miles to log for our latest challenge. It's no surprise that only my competitive nature could drag me out of bed on a Saturday morning. He recommended Lance Armstrong's long distance workout and after three runs, I've already dropped 15+ secs off my mile pace. I'm not such a fan of Lance's music selections, but I like the updates/tips/encouragement throughout the run and it caused some crazy Lance dream last night, but I'll only tell The Warners about that one!

I was already running late for my train (usual story there) when I came back from the run, so I jumped in the shower, grabbed some breakfast and headed to the train station for the trek to the city. After a few emails Kelly's Jeff and I decided to meet at The Gugg. (Note to Ebele: I am still calling this a blind meet-up. Thank you very much!) I'd read about Cai Guo-Quiang's exhibition, but had completely spaced on it when we made plans.

The museum's lobby was a crowded fiasco and I was herded into the atrium area with 9 Chevy cars hanging above me. Definitely an interesting spot to wait for a girl whose fears involve falling from high places and things falling on me. (Note to Best Friend...that's what we call foreshadowing, but this is latent--I don't give away the secret.) I was on a DeVotchKa kick in the lobby and How It Ends was a great soundtrack to the video piece that kept me in a trance as I waited for Jeff to do battle with a deli, all over an apple juice. (Note to Little Miss Sunshine & Eternal Sunshine: A+ on your work.)

The exhibition was interesting, although let's be serious, I never know what to make about some of these installations. I'm still laughing to myself about the tunnel of love portion where visitors could jump into a little boat and push themselves along the canal. The video pieces were informative, as they showed his large scale explosions, unlike the videos that drive me nuts at MOMA. It's even better when he has younger people doing the igniting and fanning the fire. The gun powder effect kept making me/us want to touch the paintings, but those sneaky guards were onto us. The artist certainly has an obsession with extra-terrestrials and rainbows (Note to artist: real rainbows do not look like hyenas), wolves and tigers, spears and pyrotechnics. Guo-Quiang was even hanging out at the museum in his studio in residence, working on some clay statues. We think it was all part of his interior motive to see what people thought of his work.

After the museum we headed for Mexican at Sante Fe for some food and what turned into lots and lots of margaritas. The music was phenomenal and unlike my subway ride that morning, it was not a live mariachi band. Instead, they went against all stereotypes and were playing 90's alternative from one of the satellites. (We're not sure which one--it took three waiters just to get that information.) The place was empty when we got there, but slowly filled as the night wore on. They might have realized that we weren't leaving that soundtrack, as the music eventually switched to dance pop around nine and it was time to leave.

It was defintitely a fun day/night--still a bit random to try to get to know someone in a museum, but the gugg and mexican were full of talking. I was definitely in my comfort zone early on, which leads to me talking about all sorts of things. Maybe I've spent too much time with Tommy and don't know when to bite my tongue anymore, but I'm not convinced that it's a bad thing either.

After quite a late Saturday night, Sunday was unproductive but good with lots of laying in bed and Arrested Development...not such a bad combination.

As I'm writing and listening to Pela, I have to admit that I'm currently in love with them, but their singer took a worse fall than me this weekend and they've had to cancel their tour. Since they're a Brooklyn band, I'm hoping to catch them in the city sometime this year.

This is my current favorite song by them, Waiting on the Stairs. (If I hadn't traveled so much in October, I would've loved to go to CMJ at the Bowery. I'll get to the Bowery in the spring.)

Mini-Reading: Alex P. Keaton Week

This week started with the sad news that Jeff Healey passed away at the very young age of 41. I've been crediting my long-lost ND friend, Rick, with telling me that the sad song Alex P. Keaton chooses on the jukebox after his heart is broken was Jeff Healey's Angel Eyes. (I can't find any clip on YouTube of this, causing me to think I'm making this all up.

The Canadian would always support my love of this song in grad school, as it's more of my favorite--Canadian Musicians!!

Adding to the fun of the unofficial Alex P. Keaton of the former writers for Family Ties discusses his thoughts on what Alex P. Keaton's political leanings might be in this election year in the Times.

(Note to Sony BMG: I would've put the real music video here, if your rules weren't so strict!)

The Primaries are Making Me Cranky

Once again my home state has let me down in election times (don't judge me, Nick-I-Like). Our row has been fired up (ready to go) for the big primaries today. I might even have gone a little overboard and found that the dive bar in my neighborhood was having a watch party, triggering my inner political nerd.

I managed to run and swim, while still coming home early enough for a solid evening of election coverage. Now I'm just Jessi Cranky Pants, but still watching after midnight, which reminds me of the late-night 2004 presidential election with the Canadian.

The only thing that is making me laugh is what Justin A. pointed out during the last big election coverage night: Murray from Flight of the Conchords is freelancing as political talking head and using the pseudonym, Chuck Todd. See for yourself. (Note to Justin A.: I give the proper people credit on my blog. Note to self: start a war with Uniwatch over links unjustly credited to Justin:) )

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Jessi's Reading 3/2

It's back to work tomorrow, which is exciting, because I'm having some row withdrawal. My Kate has been off in Colorado for the last week and I'm hoping that she didn't injure her foot again. I think I accidentally called her on Saturday...whoops. Thanks Margarita! Justin A. is in Vegas for his 3rd trip out of the office, but Sam and Ebele should be there. (Sam loves shout-outs in the blog...he's my minor blogebrity!)

My poor Mozilla is full of random articles and things I've been reading online and I need to clean this up before I can even think of getting any work done tomorrow. I made myself some Auntie Anne's organic mac and cheese, which is one of my favorite quick meals...even if it makes me feel like I'm a 4 year old who can't cook. (I really miss cooking the massive meals for our friends in grad school, although the poor Canadian could never deal with my love of/obsession with spice and cheese.) I somehow had a hankering for Janis's Maybe, so she's keeping me company as I catch up on my reading.

Can I go on a Janis tangent, please? (Watch out friends, a LOST spoiler is coming...) I heart Desmond and loved the episode this week and might be a romantic sap deep down inside, so when he and Penny finally spoke with each other, it was beautiful. Nick Brown (ooo, it's Nick's first tag) even sent me the video, which I'm putting here. It gave me goose bumps; it was that great.

(This video also had me telling one of my bestest friends to propose to her boyfriend by playing the clip and asking him to be her constant. It was leap year day, after all. Thank god she's known me so long. And her boyfriend just thinks I'm slightly crazy at this point, but in a good way.)

BUT, Penny's been ruined by her turn on that HBO show Tell Me You Love Me. Jeremy and I started watching it this summer and we'd have to shut our front door and close the blinds so that our sweet little Jakai next door couldn't hear or see anything. And it's not just graphic, she was a nasty, bitter woman on the show...basically everything that Penny doesn't seem to be. I had to immediately call Ebele to discuss. She's the only other person who admits to watching that show and we would have whispered conversations about it at work. Whispers with Ebele at work are the best and sometimes juicy, but I'll let you think that it's always juicy.

I'm quite talkative tonight, but not as talkative as some people were today...back to the reading:

Since I continue to tell everyone that Marissa Tomei was so hot and that I'm jealous of her boobs in the movie Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, I have to share this...Philip Seymour Hoffman was pegged as one of the top ten worst nude scenes in film (ooo, I got to say film!) I never understood how those two would ever be married in that movie, but oh well. It gave me a horribly twisted feeling in my stomach afterwards and Justin A. and I could hardly talk as we left the theater.

The Atlantic had an interesting article on how the American housing/urban dynamic is changing and the suburban sprawl is going to be the new ghetto. Relatively new subdivisions are already ridden with homeless squatters and crime, due to recent foreclosures. Makes me happy again that I'm renting in an urban area, instead of owning a house in middle america. I kept picturing the rundown house from Fight Club as I was reading this. Love me some Chuck Palahniuk.

The Moran Library & Museum is exhibiting Irving Penn's work. After all the installations at the Gugg yesterday, I need some photography in my life. Gonna have to check it out on one of my next trips to the city.

Thanks to Q (aka Ernesto) for turning me onto Stuff White People Like. A good part of my Friday was spent giggling and exclaiming that I, too, liked these things! I like Apple! I like Indie Music! We're all about expensive sandwiches! Jeremy might have found me to be a bit weirder (in the Claire voice) than usual when he came home and I was still reading while we laid around the apartment that evening.

The Blue comes through again with this post on Syd Barrett. Kevin, if I weren't inundating you with email right now, I'd be sending this your way. They also had this post about Brooklyn writers. It reminded me of this article, which gave me serious rage because I love my Brooklyn authors. Eggers, Safron Foer, his wife, and many others. Basically all my favorite authors like to include diagrams, and rambly writing and that's exactly what I like. (Note to self: Brooklyn scores another point in the where should Jessi live drama.)

Bloomberg had an op-ed in the Times declaring that he's not running for president. People were already protesting in the city this weekend over the possibility of him as VP. I'm intrigued by him, but happy that he didn't go Ralph Nader on us. And I'm still really, really nervous and excited for Tuesday. Justin A. and I might have to have a political nerd night with some Colony. Timmy would fit right into the mix, too.

We tried this thing called Spokeo last week and it sounded way more creepier than it actually was. It basically uses your email address book to tell you what your friends are up to online. The only interesting thing that it came back with was Amazon wish lists, but we obviously hardly use those anymore, as most people had things on there from three years ago. It will also show their myspace, picasso, friendster, pandora and other accounts and what might be on there. It's like facebook's news feed and not as fun.

This last one is for Kate and Katie. When we were in Maui last year, we kept talking about wanting to take a helicopter ride or charter a boat to go snorkeling, but that we couldn't because only rich people got to do those things. In the week after we left, a helicopter crashed and everyone died. We felt badly for those rich people and thankful that we were poor. With the volcano spewing lava on the big island, lots of homes have been abandoned, but these rich people are making money with their Lava B&B. And they know how to out run lava flows. Awesome.

I'm sleepy. And will be blogging about my weekend at a later date.