I made you a Summer mix! (Right-click to download)

Do you drive a convertible? Do you frequent California’s scenic Highway 1? Have you been hankering for a disappointingly-short but still altogether satisfying female-driven Summer mix? If you answered yes to all those questions, please introduce yourself in the comments area, as I am 100% sure we don’t know each other.

Presenting: Ben’s Summer Mix to Listen to In the Convertible You Don’t Have (right-click to download). This forty-two-minute mix features a lot of old favorites, as well as one song that I sometimes play when I want to see if anyone in the room has worked in a restaurant (any guesses?). I do feel a little guilty for including a couple songs that I’ve already posted on the site—but it’s not like I’m not going to include “Someday We’ll Be Together” in my Summer mix just because you’ve heard it already. That song is so fucking good.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

  1. Diana Ross & The Supremes - Someday We’ll Be Together
  2. Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
  3. Margo Guryan - Someone I Know
  4. Feist - I Feel It All
  5. Nouvelle Vague - Baby
  6. Erin McKeown - Didn’t They?
  7. She & Him - Don’t Look Back
  8. The Blow - Come On Petunia
  9. Camera Obscura - Honey In the Sun
  10. Madeleine Peyroux - Don’t Wait Too Long
  11. Dawn Landes - Straight Lines
  12. Koop - Waltz for Koop

Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere (DL)

The other day I downloaded Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits, and was appalled to find it didn’t include “Landslide”! What a crock of shit! What if I’d paid $15 for that album? Fortunately, I haven’t paid for an album since 1998, as no thought brings me more joy than the suffering and starvation of musicians I enjoy. Also, it just occurred to me that I don’t know what a “crock” is, so let’s take this opportunity to cool off by looking it up.

Main Entry: crock Pronunciation: \ˈkräk\Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English crocc; akin to Old English crūce pot, pitcher, Middle High German krūcheDate: before 12th century

1 : a thick earthenware pot or jar
2 [from its formation on cooking pots] dialect : soot, smut
3 : coloring matter that rubs off from cloth or dyed leather
4 : bunkum —usually used with a <the story in the paper is a crock>

That wasn’t very interesting. Also, I don’t particularly care for Fleetwood Mac.

Here’s a photo of Stevie Nicks and me. We’re both still upset about the “Landslide” thing.


Broadcast - Corporeal (DL)

I’m still grumping, but in the interest of contributing something positive to the world, I’m posting my absolute favorite brownie recipe (along, of course, with this beautiful Broadcast song). I would call it my family’s secret recipe, but it’s probably just the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Good lord I’m joyless. Enjoy!

1 c. margarine
¾ c. high quality cocoa (Ghirardelli or Hershey’s Premium)
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 12-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

- Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a 9x13” pan.
- Put margarine in large bowl and melt in microwave.  Add cocoa and mix with hand mixer.  Add sugar and mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt.  Do not overbeat.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread evenly in prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until pick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Let me know if you make them! Preferably by sending them to me.


Little Eva - Loco-Motion (DL)

I was cripplingly depressed yesterday, so while my plan was to post my top five cripplingly depressing songs of all time, fortunately for you I was too depressed to do anything, so that didn’t happen.

Today I’m going to meet you halfway and post an upbeat song — but I’m accompanying it with a photo of me looking upset. As part of our compromise, I’d like you to:

  1. Press play.
  2. Maintain eye contact with me for the entire length of this godforsaken song.
  3. Not smile. I’m not being cute here, I’m trying to take solace in the fact that somewhere out there, there is another human being listening to this cheery drivel with a frown on their face. I don’t feel like that’s unreasonable. And hey, if you don’t feel like playing my games, I can always dig into the Cat Power. Your call.

I am NOT feeling this song.

Also, I don’t know what the white spot on my shoulder is, but it’s not bird shit.

(It might be bird shit.)

It’s not bird shit.


Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim - Waters of March (DL)

I’m back, fuckers!

Reading over my last couple posts, it appears that I promised both a review of the songs that Amy posted, and some sort of elaborate contest revolving around a song I don’t like that much anymore. Well, I’m not going to deliver on either of those promises. I have to keep you jerks guessing.

Today I’m going to post what I think is the most beautifully written song of all time (at least from a lyrical perspective). Also, it’s in Portuguese, so even if she were singing the side effects of cholesterol medication it would sound like poetry.

Waters of March

A stick, a stone,
It’s the end of the road,
It’s the rest of a stump,
It’s a little alone

It’s a sliver of glass,
It is life, it’s the sun,
It is night, it is death,
It’s a trap, it’s a gun

The oak when it blooms,
A fox in the brush,
A knot in the wood,
The song of a thrush

The wood of the wind,
A cliff, a fall,
A scratch, a lump,
It is nothing at all

It’s the wind blowing free,
It’s the end of the slope,
It’s a beam, it’s a void,
It’s a hunch, it’s a hope

And the river bank talks
of the waters of March,
It’s the end of the strain,
The joy in your heart

The foot, the ground,
The flesh and the bone,
The beat of the road,
A slingshot’s stone

A fish, a flash,
A silvery glow,
A fight, a bet,
The range of a bow

The bed of the well,
The end of the line,
The dismay in the face,
It’s a loss, it’s a find

A spear, a spike,
A point, a nail,
A drip, a drop,
The end of the tale

A truckload of bricks
in the soft morning light,
The shot of a gun
in the dead of the night

A mile, a must,
A thrust, a bump,
It’s a girl, it’s a rhyme,
It’s a cold, it’s the mumps

The plan of the house,
The body in bed,
And the car that got stuck,
It’s the mud, it’s the mud

Afloat, adrift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It’s the promise of life
It’s the joy in your heart

A stick, a stone,
It’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of a stump,
It’s a little alone

A snake, a stick,
It is John, it is Joe,
It’s a thorn in your hand
and a cut in your toe

A point, a grain,
A bee, a bite,
A blink, a buzzard,
A sudden stroke of night

A pin, a needle,
A sting, a pain,
A snail, a riddle,
A wasp, a stain

A pass in the mountains,
A horse and a mule,
In the distance the shelves
rode three shadows of blue

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It’s the promise of life
in your heart, in your heart

A stick, a stone,
The end of the road,
The rest of a stump,
A lonesome road

A sliver of glass,
A life, the sun,
A knife, a death,
The end of the run

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It’s the end of all strain,
It’s the joy in your heart.


The Caravelles - You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry (DL)

The first six seconds of this song really annoy me, but the following 116 seconds are perfect. I WANT MORE SONGS LIKE THIS.

For this post, I’d like you to suggest a song that, like this song, does one or more of the following things:

  • Prominently features harmonizing
  • Relies heavily on reverb
  • Simulates the sensation of heaven

Once I have a few submissions, I’ll pick a winner and rank the submissions. As a prize, I will make a photoshop collage in which I will combine photos of the winner and photos of the band/artist whose song they submitted. That last sentence took me about three minutes to write. I need to write more.

Good luck, jerkwads!


CocoRosie - Lemonade  (DL)

Oh shit, I’m back! I’d like to thank Amy for posting for me while I was gone. Tomorrow I’ll post my reviews of the songs she posted, offending Amy to the point where she’ll refuse to talk to me again, much less fill-in for me in the future.

I need to run now, I’m about to be late for a meeting with a certain I Love Rap'ist, but I will leave you with the following text message conversation, in which I have a fairly inappropriate conversation (over the course of two days) with a complete stranger who mistakenly texted me thinking I was a girl named Gaby. Enjoy!

I miss him already.


Yup, I do want to see your face in every kind of light. This may have a “cheesy” status, but I think it’s really beautiful.

Alison Moyet, “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life”

- Amy


Hi!

While Ben is on his lovely honeymoon with his lovely wife Joanna, he’s asked me to contribute to his blog, since I remain in cold, rainy, polluted New York, and I too very much like girl music. Don’t tell Ben, but I haven’t really been checking his blog on a daily basis - still, I think I get the point, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite female-sung songs. While Ben and I do have a lot of overlapping music, there may be some areas in which we diverge - so just remember, if you can’t stand the music that I’m posting, Ben will be back in twelve days! Don’t leave him! He loves you!

Today’s choice was easy - I am really, really liking Psyche by Massive Attack featuring Martina Topley-Bird. I’m a bit of a hermit at times, and I don’t really know if this song has been over-played, under-played, or is a figment of my imagination. Either way, I hope you all like it too!

From your friend, acquaintance, or a complete stranger,

Amy

ps. This is Martina Topley-Bird, in case you were interested.

Hello, Martina


Dolly Parton - 9 to 5  (DL)

I didn’t have time to post yesterday. I did, however, quit my job. It was the first day job I’ve ever had. Hopefully it will be the last. For the next couple months I’m going to be working all day every day on my first full-length feature, which is simultaneous exhilarating and terrifying. I’ll do my best to post as frequently as I can.

Below are the lyrics of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” edited a bit to better describe my work situation prior to yesterday.

Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the (bathroom, which is in the) kitchen
Pour myself a cup of (nothing, because I think coffee tastes disgusting)
Yawnin’, stretchin’, try to come to life
Jump in the shower (about twice a week) and the blood starts pumpin’
Out on the (L train subway platform) the (assholes) start (pushing)
And (soulless hipsters) like me on the job from (ten) to (seven)
Chorus:
Workin’ (ten) to (seven)
What a way to make a livin’
(Doing fine financially)
It’s (an acceptable balance between) takin’ and givin’
They (don’t particularly) use your mind
(Because it’s a retail job, so it’s a lot of mindless repetition)
It’s enough to drive you
(To quit)


Pomplamoose - Beat the Horse  (DL)

These videos are all kinds of adorable. I almost feel like they’re TOO adorable. But then again maybe I am just a CareBears villain.


Diana Ross & The Supremes - Someday We’ll Be Together  (DL)

This song was both the final R&B number-one of the 1960s, and the first R&B number-one of the 1970s—-meaning either that it dominated the top of the R&B charts for years, crushing to obscurity all other songs in its path, or simply that it was popular for about a week at the end of December in 1969. Disappointingly, the latter is true. Still, this is a fantastic song with a really well-produced track. Listen to the intro with headphones to see what I mean.

Also, because I know you were wondering, below are some examples of what it would have looked like if I had been dating The Supremes, but then we broke up and they cropped me out of their Facebook photos.


FRIDAY REPLAY!  ///   She and Him - Sentimental Heart  (DL)

Even though I love this song, and it’s one of the more-played songs in my collection, I spent the better part of a subway ride today debating whether or not to post it. Sure, it’s probably their best song, but it’s also the track you’re most likely to have heard already. At long last, obviously, I decided to post it, with the hope that you’re a lamewad and you’ve never heard this song before. If you’ve already played this track to death: I apologize, and promise I’ll post some rarer stuff next week. If this track is new to you: enjoy, lamewad! This song is a vibrant auditory canvas of emotion and feeling, matched only by the greatest works of God himself. How’s that for a description, fuckers?

I’d like to take a moment to recognize how hard it must be to be a professional critic. Sure, you get free music or free food or free vibrators or free whatever-it-is-you-review, but on the other hand you really need to have/exercise a really extensive vocabulary. I keep catching myself saying that songs are “great,” which, though true in my opinion, is incredibly dull, vague, and unimaginative. It’s definitely made me realize how much thought goes into reviewing things in an interesting, thought-provoking way. Though, maybe if I had some free food my brain would work better.

Below is a chronological list of some of my previous posts, and the typically-single-word critiques I used to describe the song I posted that day.

  • Beach House - Walk in the Park - “Great”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Modern Romance - “Great”
  • Jolie Holland - Damn Shame - “Love love love love love”
  • Fiery Furnaces - I Lost My Dog - “Love” 
  • Gui Boratto - Beautiful Life - “Great”
  • Asobi Seksu - Thursday - “Great”
  • She and Him - Sentimental Heart - “A vibrant auditory canvas of emotion and feeling, matched only by the greatest works of God himself. How’s that for a description, fuckers?”

Also, thanks to yesterday’s comment discussion, I have firmer grasp on what people would like to see in a photo of She & Him.


She & Him - Thieves  (DL)

I don’t know Zooey Deschanel personally, but my gut instinct says that she’s probably a bit of a crazy person. Not full-out crazy, not afraid of being eaten alive by bats—but still probably functioning on a slightly different level of reality where things are a tad bit less coherent. I have absolutely no concrete evidence, and have done zero research into the matter, but I feel like I get a bit of an “emotionally unstable” vibe from her. Am I alone in this?

For fun, post your own gut reaction in the comments section of this post—I’m interested to see if anyone is willing to take the opposite side. To help refresh your memory of where you may have seen her before, below is a list of the movies I’ve seen her in, as well as a description of the role she played.

  1. 500 Days of Summer - Emotionally unstable love interest
  2. Yes Man - Emotionally unstable love interest
  3. The Happening - Emotionally unstable love interest
  4. Elf - Emotionally unstable love interest
  5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - I don’t remember her being in this movie.

Asobi Seksu - Thursday  (DL)

I’ve learned about an embarrassing number of songs from movie trailers. For instance, New Order’s “Age of Consent,” which I amazingly never heard until the Marie Antoinette trailer. (Later, I told a friend that that song was ruined for me by being in that trailer. In actuality, the opposite was true.)

Another perfect example is today’s song, “Thursday” by Asobi Seksu. I first discovered this song in the trailer of the independent film Flannel Pajamas. I never saw the film (because the film itself seems like it might be boring and have a lot of drawn-out dialogue about relationships), but the song does an amazing job of conveying what (I imagine) this film is (probably) about. And also, like the rest of the songs I post on this site, it’s great.