Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Blue Scholars, My Neighbors, and Snowpocalypse

Thanks to the excellent Rainier Valley Post, I discovered that neighborhood hiphopsters The Blue Scholars had put up a video they shot during Snowpocalypse 08.

Longtime readers might remember that I posted another Blue Scholars video (Joe Metro) that showed some of the depth of Seattle and some scenes I know too well. I even commented that I'd probably ridden the 48 bus with those guys at some point.

Well, the new Snowpocalypse video is even closer to home! Want to see New Holly? This video is full of scenes of the streets near my house, the townhouses of Phase 3, the fences and porches of my neighbors. You can see the intersections we drive through, catch a glimpse of the scary sub-par Safeway we try to avoid, the view of the power lines that arch over the Chief Sealth walking trail that winds through New Holly uniting the Phases. Holy cow, Geo and Sabzi aren't just my neighbors, they're my neighbors!

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Rock Band Camp finale

People have been asking how it went, so here's a little clip that the school put up. I took video from a different angle of the whole performance (including Kate's favorite, Back in Black) but this will give everyone who doesn't have Mom-level devotion a taste.

Kate was scheduled to go back to Canada to spend some time with her dad on Sunday morning but there was a change of plans which means Kate and I are getting to spend extra summer time together and we've made the most of it. Saturday was a viewing of the new Hellboy and some barbecuing with Ray and Christine (taking advantage of the long overdue nice summer weather) and Sunday Kate and I hit the summer festival circuit while Pramas got some work done.

First we stopped by the Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon down on the waterfront. It was a gorgeous day and we walked a little way along the water before heading into the convention space. Unfortunately the exhibit space was sweltering and many of the exhibitors were having trouble because their chocolates were melting on their tables. I tasted at least a dozen interesting chocolates, truffles, caramels, brittles, cocoas, and brownies. The hands down winner for the "WOW, I've never had anything like this!" award has to go to the savory chocolates from Eugene, Oregon's Kekau, especially their "Smoky Blue" which is made with Rogue Creamery's Smoky Blue cheese. Holy crap was that good. Their Black Truffle Honey was another winner. There were many other delights (such as Poco Dolce's Aztec Chile chocolates topped with grey sea salt and I have a list (and a bag full of things I couldn't resist buying) for further study. We also tried to hit the rumored Berry Bash at the Pike Place Market but we arrived too late for any pie eating contests and saw few stands that were anything "special" that we couldn't find regularly in the market or at one of the excellent area farmer's markets, so we didn't linger too long. Instead we hopped the bus down to Seattle Center for their Bastille Day celebration. Food, live music, and perfect weather for playing in the fountain.

Unfortunately I ended the weekend with a flare-up of my TMJ, which hasn't happened in many months, and the pain/popping/locking is still plaguing me today. Add in a couple of doctor appointments, a bunch of household chores (like trimming our front foliage before the HOA decides they don't appreciate the natural look) and our printer spewing magenta toner all over everything and making very, very bad grinding noises and the work week seems off to a pretty bum start but at least the weekend was pretty glorious.

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Kate Rockin' the YouTubes

As they were leaving today she suggested that another kid play drums for one of the songs because he's better at it off the bat that she is. "You've got time to get better," he said. "You're not going to get any better by not doing it." I think this may be another opportunity for Kate to be surprised at herself.

Hooray Seattle Drum School!

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Rock Band Camp, Day 1

Kate completed her first day of Rock Band Camp. She was so excited and nervous about it that she woke up at three hours early. I dropped her off at 9am and picked her up at 2pm, hoping that everything was as fun as she'd been hoping.

Verdict: SUCCESS!

Kate is the only girl and a drummer to boot. Her description of meeting the boys went something like this:

Wait, you're a *drummer*?

And you like *comic books*?


Don't you like pink, frilly things?!

This is especially cute because Kate's outfit today was very (perhaps even unusually) girly, some khaki shorts and a pastel-checkered halter top.

The kids got right to playing music, too. "It wasn't a boring camp where you're waiting to go home. You want to know what time it is but just so you know how much time you have left to do things. And it wasn't full of facts 'n' stuff... 'The Clash is this kind of music and The Beatles are that kind of music, blah blah blah,' we just jumped in and played!"

They played Louie Louie, Blue Suede Shoes, "something from Nirvana, I think," and Smoke on the Water. "Oh, so classic rock, then," I said. "Yeah, totally classic!" she enthused.

She absolutely can't wait to go back tomorrow.

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Juanny Cash is blowin' up!

Saw this over someone's shoulder in the paper this weekend but didn't manage to snag a copy for myself. Can Can Chris is doing a great job getting Vince Mira all sorts of exposure. The Seattle PI calls him "The Reincarnation of Johnny Cash" in their article, which I was happy to find on the website.

He's playing a show at the Triple Door on Tuesday.



Boys From My Hood

The Blue Scholars are not only from Seattle but also from Beacon Hill. Hell, I've probably been on the 48 with Geologic at some point.

I'm currently digging this song (and the video that goes with it). Want to see what my world looks like?



Day of ups and downs

Solved a nagging distribution error. Yay!
Still no progress on several other fronts. Boo hoo!
Made a batch of really good sweet/spicy pecans (2 minutes to mix while I nuked something for lunch, 25 minutes to bake) Yay!
Took Kate to Queen Anne for "holiday Magic" but it was a bust (aimed at small kids and way crowded) Boo.
Picked Chris up, since I was on Queen Anne anyway. Yay.
Couldn't get seated without reservations at several places. Boo
Found a sweet, free parking spot. Yay!
Walked all over creation looking for anywhere to eat. Boo.
Was able to get a seat at Jalisco. (Yay for Tortilla soup!)
Walked all over looking for Vera Project because of bad directions. Brrrr.
Took the family to the Speaker Speaker show. Yay!!
I was, without a doubt, the oldest person there. Boo, hiss.
Speaker Speaker rocked out. Double yay!
I got to meet Danny in person after corresponding with him online for ages. Yay!
We walked straight back to the car, which was mere blocks away and hadn't been towed. YAY!
Sleep in my warm bed and no getting up early tomorrow. Hooray!

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Kate is still in BC. I drive to pick her up tomorrow. Weather should no longer be an impediment.

My mom called my cell phone tonight and scared the crap out of me because she never calls unless there's some horrible news (or it's my birthday... whether that's horrible news or not varies from year to year). She was just calling to check on us because of all the news reports about the weather. Weather where she is has been bad but she's personally safe and sound.

Chris and I ate out tonight at the "Steelhead Diner. The beet tartare (yes, BEET not BEEF) was outstanding and the porcini linguine was a great match to the Jigsaw Pinot Noir the waiter recommended. Chris said his chicken sandwich was also quite good. Even though it's the Market (and therefore touristy and rather expensive) I would go back. In fact, I look forward to it.

We then caught a show at the Showbox SODO (formerly the "new" location of the Phoenix Underground which itself was formerly of Pioneer Square) and saw Flogging Molly, who put on an excellent show. We missed hearing who the other opening Celtic-punk band was (they of the wild-haired accordion player). In between Celtic-punk bands we heard Murder by Death whose Wikipedia entry claims they play "an eclectic range of music, from eight minute ethereal instrumentals, to driving punk rock, to alt-country" but at this show they played everything in one dirge-like down-tempo "Morphine with all the goodness stripped away" manner. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for a couple of songs but by the end I was answering e-mail on my cell phone and begging for it to end. I wanted to like them, to be charitable, but I just couldn't. What downers Murder by Death were! They claimed they were going to "shred" for one of their songs but it could only be considered shredding if by "shred" you mean "beat to death in slow motion under water". As Chris quipped, "I've seen cheese 'shred' faster." Well, anyway, the Mollies put on a good show to an enthusiastic and packed house. I'd never been to Showbox SODO before... it seems a little too classy for punk shows but I enjoyed the venue (and 2/3 of the bands) just fine.

I was going to stay up late upon returning home to sort out some nagging issues for the company that aren't related to the ongoing utter hell I've been living with regard to Miva, Quickbooks, 6000 individual customer entries, several hundred SKUs and 8000 individual orders that need my personal attention in two separate virtual locations in order to be at peace with the world. I've tried very hard to maintain the separation between the "work day" and my private life, which is so, so hard to do when I'm "at work" virtually every waking hour (and doing stupid things like checking my e-mail on my cell phone when I'm supposedly "off" work). No exaggeration, I could work for Green Ronin every waking hour, every single waking hour, and still not get everything done that I "need" to get done... especially when dealing with things like this stupid web store break down or delinquent distributor accounts or products being listed as "unavailable" with Amazon when they're in print and in stock (and have been for months or years in some cases or...or...or...

I'd better stop now before I do or say something I'm going to regret. Tomorrow will come soon enough and I can always work myself to death then. Tonight, for what's left of it, I will try to sleep and maybe not wake up ridiculously early in the morning with fucking stress dreams. It hasn't worked terribly well so far but hey, one can hope.

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I want to rock and roll all night...

...and part of every day. (A funny childhood mis-hearing of "party every day" that was passed on to me and has now become stuck in my lexicon.)

It's been quite the go-go-go few days. Of course there's the usual end of the year/Christmas season craziness at work. Two products that were supposed to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving still haven't shown up, while another arrived ahead of schedule and without warning at the warehouse. Time spent fine tuning issues with our various webstore conversions and figuring out who to talk to at Payquake about strange transaction errors. Meanwhile distributors are tight with money/late on invoices/going out of business and need some personal attention as well. One distributor informed us he's closing up shop come 2008 (and since I've sold games to this guy going back to my earliest days in the industry, that was sad news indeed). Another called me to give me a heads up that they'd been bought and were under new ownership. Eeeya.

On the home front we had a crazy "game night" idea of trying to podcast our game group engaging in a round table discussion (as we game with a bunch of game industry pros) but I suspect we're not actually going to be able to use most of the material we recorded because of background noise, uneven voice pick-up and so on. It was a fine idea... maybe in a more controlled atmosphere. We'll see what we can do with it, I guess. This turns out to be the only "Kate-free" weekend we're going to have in December because Kate's dad is going to be traveling and can't take her again until January. As it happens, we're making the most of it.

Pramas and I had tickets to see Naked Raygun last night so I met him downtown before the show and we snuck into the last half hour of Wann's happy hour. Things were incredibly busy and it took almost twenty minutes for me to get my sake and we'd seen nothing from our order after half an hour but the waitress made sure everything came out asap once she finally she noticed the problem. Some chamame (like edamame but a different slightly stronger flavor), fried aonori potatoes (potatoes seasoned with dried seaweed), soft tofu (tofu with grated ginger & bonito flakes), an eel roll, a spicy tuna roll, and of course a Mecha Godzilla roll and we were happy. We topped it off with this fabulous dessert:
Satsumaimo Clafoutis

We rolled out of Wann and over to El Corozon where we saw four of the five bands on the lineup for the Naked Raygun show. We missed the very first band who, we gathered from the comments of other bands, were some young kids who were pretty good. We arrived just as local Ballard-punks Dreadful Children were setting up. The kids (and I mean kids... are they even old enough to drive?!) loved the Dreadful Children. They were followed by Chicago's Shot Baker. Their list of influences reads like a best of Pramas' record collection (if you leave out CCR and Cat Stevens, which you could more likely find in mine) and I wasn't surprised Chris considered picking up their CDs. They have the "Chicago sound" down pat. I was more excited about the Swingin' Utters who I've listened to for a long time but never seen live. Apparently they came prepared for a half hour set only to find out they were expected to do an hour, so there was a lot of stage banter and long breaks between songs. They played Tied Down, Spit On, which I love, but not Twenty-three which is one of my favorites but I guess it's too emo for their macho mosh-pitting testosterone crowd. There was one poor guy yelling for them to play it all night but they didn't. Naked Raygun came on and did a lovely long set with three encores. They were playing a lot of their "newer" (and by "newer" we're talking older than Kate) stuff that I didn't know at all but then they dipped into some of their older old material and everyone (including the band) seemed to perk up. By the end Pramas was pogoing like a young punk, singing along, shoulder to shoulder with the other old punks brave enough to push to the front of the stage. I sat up in the old punks' lounge and left the moshing to the kids and the fellas. Naked Raygun sounded great, though. If you're a fan, do try to see them on this tour! They're playing Tacoma tonight and heading down to Eugene and points south.

Tonight Pramas is heading out to see The Cops at the Vera Project but I'm going to see The Thermals. I've been waiting to see them since I missed them playing with Speaker Speaker at Chop Suey back in February. Busy busy Kate-free weekend for us!

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Thanksgiving Eve Show notes

Saving Arcadia: Still a mystery to me as we missed them completely.

Diablotones: Local Seattle ska, promised to "pick it up" but left it down. By the numbers. What's with the singing about Jamaica?

Brain Failure: Oh my god, yes! Now we're talking! Chinese punk rock. Chris has seen them before but this was my first time. Xiao Rong's leopard spot hair put Mark Rein*Hagen's infamous 'do to shame and Dee Dee Wang Jian was all rock star.

Whole Wheat Bread: Poor Florida boys, it was a cold night (37 degrees) and Studio Seven had doors open and no heat that I could tell. It was freezing for the whole show. But Whole Wheat Bread, as they will tell you, ain't nothin' to fuck with. New bassist since the last time we saw them but he fit in. Made me happy, though I think the ska kids weren't entirely sure what to make of them.

Big D and the Kids Table: If David Spade fronted a ska band. We saw them as part of an opening line-up for some show we saw with Rick. Suicide Machines maybe? Headliner favorites but we left after two songs. I can listen to them on CD in the warmth of my house and enjoy it more, thanks.

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Wimpy Roy
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
Subhumans photos are now up.

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Anniversary Weekend

Pramas and I spent the weekend in Vancouver to celebrate our anniversary this weekend. Thanks to some school friends of Kate's, we got to spend our romantic weekend away together alone after all (after Kate's dad had to be out of town and skip his visitation weekend, this plan was in peril until the very last moment).

I'm quite busy trying to get everything in order for the upcoming Green Ronin Summit which begins on Friday, so I don't have time to write up a full accounting of events, but I have posted photos to my Flickr account, including photos of our dinner at Chambar (a Belgian restaurant), dinner at Tojo's (in their new, swanky location), and dim sum at Vancouver dim sum institution, The Pink Pearl.

Other events of the weekend included a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery for an exhibition on Emily Carr and the Group of Seven and the last weekend of wacky experimental artist Andrea Zittel's Critical Space exhibition. Georgia O'Keefe starts next weekend, darn. Lest we go too high-brow with our fancy hotel room, gourmet dining, and art exhibits, we balanced things out with an hours-long expedition to Gastown's Pub 340 for an intimate and rockin' good Subhumans (Canada) show. We'd missed seeing D.O.A with their original line up at their DVD release party the night before we arrived in Vancouver (which Pramas lamented) but the Subhumans show was awesome and we're pretty convinced we spotted both Randy Rampage and Joey Shithead in the audience. Lots of pictures of the show waiting to be uploaded. We wrapped up the weekend by sitting in the icy rain on the 8th floor outdoor jacuzzi (pros: no one else was using it, cons: rain and cold everywhere outside of the actual hot tub) and then making a quick stop at Richmond's Imperial Hobbies to sate someone's lust for hard-to-find historical miniatures rules.

Pramas or I might have more details on the Subhumans show later but for now it's back work! Summit, then the in-laws visit, then Kate's week-long outdoor school trip and next thing you know October is going to be over! Ack.

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Speaker Speaker on tour

My boys Speaker Speaker are going on a month-long tour and I'm doing my part to help promote it. Tired of hearing me blab on about Speaker Speaker without having seen them for yourself? You can rectify that situation now. Towns and dates have been posted on their MySpace page, though most of the venues aren't yet listed. They'll be out there for a month, America, so be good to them. They'll rock a show of 20 people as earnestly as they'd rock a show of 200 so go see them if you have the chance. (I'm looking at you Lawrence, KS; you Minneapolis, MN; you Madison, Chicago, Boston, New York, DC, Atlanta, Austin, San Diego, Eugene...) Tell 'em Nikchick sent you.

Oct 5 2007 at 8PM at Neurolux in Boise, Idaho
Oct 6 2007 at 8PM at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 7 2007 at 8PM at The Hi-Dive in Denver, Colorado
Oct 8 2007 8:00P TBA Omaha, Nebraska
Oct 9 2007 8:00P TBA Lawrence, Kansas
Oct 10 2007 8:00P TBA Iowa City, Iowa
Oct 11 2007 8:00P TBA Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 12 2007 8:00P TBA Madison, Wisconsin
Oct 13 2007 8:00P TBA Chicago, Illinois
Oct 14 2007 8:00P TBA Detroit, Michigan
Oct 15 2007 8:00P TBA Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 16 2007 8:00P TBA Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 17 2007 8:00P TBA Providence, Rhode Island
Oct 18 2007 8:00P TBA Trenton, New Jersey
Oct 19 2007 8:00P TBA Brooklyn, New York
Oct 20 2007 8:00P TBA New York, New York
Oct 21 2007 8:00P TBA New York, New York
Oct 22 2007 8:00P TBA Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 23 2007 8:00P TBA Washington DC, Washington DC
Oct 24 2007 8:00P TBA Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Oct 25 2007 8:00P TBA Atlanta, Georgia
Oct 26 2007 8:00P TBA Memphis, Tennessee
Oct 27 2007 8:00P TBA St Louis, Missouri
Oct 28 2007 8:00P TBA Little Rock, Arkansas
Oct 29 2007 8:00P TBA Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oct 30 2007 8:00P TBA Austin, Texas
Oct 31 2007 8:00P TBA Las Cruces, New Mexico
Nov 1 2007 8:00P TBA Phoenix, Arizona
Nov 2 2007 8:00P TBA San Diego, California
Nov 3 2007 8:00P TBA Los Angeles, California
Nov 4 2007 8:00P TBA Los Angeles, California
Nov 5 2007 8:00P TBA San Francisco, California
Nov 6 2007 8:00P TBA Reno, Nevada
Nov 7 2007 8:00P TBA Sacramento, California
Nov 8 2007 8:00P TBA Eugene, Oregon
Nov 9 2007 8:00P TBA Portland, Oregon
Nov 10 2007 8:00P TBA Seattle, Washington

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Speaker Speaker!

Kate's with her dad tonight (only weekend this month) and my sweetie is taking me to see Speaker Speaker. Rock out!



Wish I was going

Dinosaur Jr. at the Showbox tonight

Yeah, Dinosaur Jr. is one of those things that takes me back to my first marriage, one of the bands (along with Sonic Youth and Fugazi) that my ex-husband introduced me to. It always reminds me of the time when our relationship was new, when he was still in college and I'd go to see his band. When we still liked each other and the world seemed full of youthful possibilities.

Sometimes I don't thrill you
Sometimes I think I'll kill you
Just don't let me fuck up will you
cause when I need a friend its still you.

God, I still love that song...




According to Last.fm I've found my near-perfect musical match: a teenage girl from Brazil who apparently loves Bad Religion, Rancid, Flogging Molly, The Specials, and The Pogues. In fact, I think she'd be an even more perfect match for FreeportPirate, since I'm considerably less inclined toward the Street Dogs, Agnostic Front, or Motorhead than he might be.

According to Last.fm, FreeportPirate and I have only passing musical tastes in common. It's true that I have a broader and more eclectic taste in music than he does but we have a ton of bands in common. I think it's because he's been on a Joy Division kick lately and listening to podcasts.

I've been very much enjoying listening to the "radio stations" of my Last.fm "neighbors" and would love to connect with a few more friends. If you're on Last.fm let me know and let's connect. What are you guys listening to?

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Kronos Quartet

I was listening to a podcast this morning that used a song in their opening and closing that I recognized but couldn't put my finger on. I knew I knew the song but out of context I just couldn't place it right away. Suddenly, eureka! Kronos Quartet. But which song, which album? They've been releasing albums for over 20 years.

It would have been one of the albums I owned on cassette tape or LP. I would have bought it sometime after seeing them perform live at Carleton College, which means I was living in Northfield. If I was attending an event at Carleton I was probably dating my ex-husband (a Carletonian, in contrast to those St. Olafite Lion Rampant folk) but not married yet. Whittling back through my memories, I could narrow it down to a period between 1991 and 1993. Was it their album of Philip Glass? Deej introduced me to Philip Glass at Rampant House before 1991 and I definitely owned Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass at one point... Still, no, this song has a percussion and lacks Glass's swelling repetitions.

I tell you, it was driving me crazy, like hearing a snippet of a punk song co-opted for car commercial and being unable to place it or shake it out of my head.

Thankfully iTunes came to my rescue. The song was Mai Nozipo ("Mother Nozipo") from their Pieces of Africa album. Of course the search only made the need to hear the whole thing stronger... so I bought both Pieces of Africa and Performs Philip Glass. I'm powerfully transported back to 15 years ago.

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Insult to Injury


Speaker Speaker AND The Thermals are playing a gig at Chop Suey on Wednesday night at 8:00pm. I, of course, will be wrapping up my futile proxy-representation of my non-English-speaking neighbors at the New Holly Home Owners Association meeting and catching my taxi to the airport, where I'll no doubt find my micky-fricky JetBlue flight canceled anyway! The Thermals will, predictably, be heading to NEW YORK in March.

Damn it all!

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Melancholy Mood Playlist

Wow, what a response to my request for melancholy music! Across my various blogs and one mailing list where I made the request I received hundreds of song suggestions. I have a list of melancholy music that I could play for days straight, though I'm not sure that would be such a good idea.

I ended up making three playlists. One is for everything within reason that I could lay my hands on from the suggestions I'd gathered. One is the "short list" of merely three hours or so. That one might grow, hard to say. Then I went all brutal and created the "CD Mix" which had to be no more than 80 minutes long to fit. Tough choices!

Here's what I ended up with on the CD-length playlist:
Untouchable Face - Ani Difranco
Glycerine - Bush
Father and Son - Cat Stevens
I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Between the Bars - Elliott Smith
I Want You - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
Fire and Rain - James Taylor
Ache - Jawbreaker
Many Rivers to Cross - Jimmy Cliff
Have a Little Faith In Me - John Hiatt
Hurt - Johnny Cash
Trouble - Kristin Hersh
Go On Ahead - Liz Phair
The Only Answer - Michael Doughty
Don't Dream It's Over (Live) - Neil Finn
Poses - Rufus Wainwright
Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels) - Jim Croce
Mad World - Michael Andrews & Gary Jules
A Place Called Home - P.J. Harvey

This one was tough. I really wanted Jawbreaker's "Want" on this list but I couldn't find it in my mp3s or online for purchase anywhere. Pramas might have it hidden away on LP, cassette, or CD somewhere but in the meantime I included Ache instead. Unfortunately, I had to cut the Minutemen to make room for the overly long but perfect Elvis Costello. Boo. Normally I wouldn't break out the James Taylor or the Indigo Girls but they're exactly right for this mix and needed to stay. I also opted for some excellent covers instead of the originals (Johnny Cash, Kristin Hersh, Michael Andrews). The Death Cab for Cutie song was completely new to me but absolutely perfect for my purposes.

This was a challenge! I appreciate all the enthusiastic suggestions.



Best Melancholy Songs?

I'm in a mood and I want to make an iTunes playlist to reflect it. I'm looking for suggestions for your favorite melancholy songs, songs that ring true and press that emotion button. The Beatles' Eleanore Rigby covers that ground beautifully for me. Tracy Chapman's Fast Car is another in the right vein, the Pretenders' My City Was Gone, Simon & Garfunkel (The Boxer, Homeward Bound), Father and Son by Cat Stevens, Between the Bars by Elliott Smith, It Won't Be Long by Alison Moyet, A New England by Billy Bragg, The Boat Dreams from the Hill from Jawbreaker, Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt. Can be a little tricky because I'm shooting for melancholy but not maudlin. Doesn't have to be slow and ballady either. The Kinks' Come Dancing evokes that sense of nostalgia, or (showing my 12-year-old fan girl) even Rick Springfield's Jesse's Girl.

I'm casting a pretty wide net and I'm open to anything. Suggestions?



Jonathan Coulton

I wrote about seeing Jonathan Coulton perform at the Pre-Bumbershoot literacy fundraiser back in September. The whole event was enjoyable and right up my alley and I've been accumulating projects from most of the night's participants (I bought The Decemberists album The Crane Wife based on hearing Colin Meloy do "O Valencia!" that night) and so on.

I recently picked up the audiobook of John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise, presented (I won't say read) by Hodgman himself, with Coulton in accompaniment. That, plus Stan!'s recent mention of Coulton at CES sent me off on an insomnia-fueled Jonathan Coulton-themed YouTube extravaganza. Months ago I was convinced I was the last person in the world to have seen the WoW machinima video for Code Monkey (and if I'm wrong and you are the last person in the world and still haven't seen it, go watch it!) and I've definitely got a soft spot for the Re: your brains song I saw him perform. I saw lots of less interesting fan-made videos for his songs and video clips from a performance in Santa Monica last fall which got me thinking, I should see if Coulton (normally HQ'd out in Brooklyn, NY) might be performing in Seattle at all.

Success! Coulton is playing Seattle at the Tractor Tavern on February 24th

Of course, I will be in micky fricky NEW YORK at New York Comic Con that day...

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Johnny Cash

I have the most wonderful childhood memories of listening to the music of my parents and grandparents. I realize that most of it is not considered much, if it is considered at all, these days. Kids today are not rushing out to ensure their CD collections include the greatest hits of Credence Clearwater Revival, or the two-record set of Jesus Christ Superstar. No one is impressed that I know all the lyrics to Johnny Horton's version of The Battle of New Orleans, but I could belt it out with the best of them when I was 7.

My family's musical tastes could be described as eclectic. Bing Crosby? Check. Joan Baez? Check. The Amazing Wilson Picket? Check. There are a few artists in my childhood repertoire that were undeniable masters, The Beatles, Elvis, and (one of my favorites) Johnny Cash.

Cash's beloved wife, June Carter Cash, died last week from complications following heart surgery. In the 2002 liner notes from his current hot album, CASH he wrote, "I am persuaded that nothing can separate me from the love of my God, my wife and my music. Life is rich when I can come home, after hours in the studio, feeling as frayed as a hundred Big G strings, and curl up to June Carter. She's a soft, fluffy Mama Bear. That's when I give God a 'Thanks a lot, Chief.' " Combined with her haunting appearance in his video for his cover of NIN's Hurt, the depth of his love for her is clear. I feel so sad for our tough and tender Man in Black. I'm sure I can't imagine the grief of such a loss.

I've been slowly introducing Kate to the eclectic variety of my musical tastes. She is trying valiantly to learn all the lyrics to A Boy Named Sue, she requests to listen to both the Beatles, and Elvis, and she sings along to "Down to the River to Pray" from the O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack with the same blissful enjoyment as she enjoys when she sings along to the latest from Britney Spears or whatever other hollow pop dance track is popular with the kids these days. This is one family tradition I'm pleased to carry on.



In A World Gone Mad

In A World Gone Mad

The Beastie Boys have released a war protest song. The lyrics include:

Itís time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah whatís the White House doiní?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well Iím not pro Bush and Iím not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm

It's not the most rockin'est BB song I've ever heard, nor is it filled with the cleverest of their pop culture references (Zoolander ?!), but damn, I appreciate every single person out there who does anything to protest the madness our country is participating in.

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