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Friday Song-White Nights by Oh Land

This is Danish singer-songwriter Oh Land (real name Nanna Øland Fabricius) with “White Nights“.  I think she sounds a bit like Bjork in a pixie-ish way.  Fantastic song.  Cool weird video.

I’m really loving her eponymous album which was probably my favorite album of 2011.  And that’s saying something because I have trouble getting full albums to stick anymore.  It may be that I’m getting old & less easily impressed or it could be that new music isn’t as good or that the iPod set-up is messing with my head.  Maybe there’s just too much music to sort through.

Her album features several really cool songs (check out “Sun of A Gun“, “Wolf and I” and  “Turn It Up” (which was featured in a tv commercial)).  Last year she toured with & opened for Katy Perry and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD).  By the way, Oh Land turns 27 next week (I only know because I just checked info about her online.  It’s not like I’m stalking her or anything.).  Happy Birthday, Oh Land.  May you sell lots of music and perhaps put up a tent in my backyard.

Music Posts

Friday Song-Everlong by Foo Fighters

Friday Song- I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance with You

Friday Song – California, by Delta Spirit

The DB’s 30 Fav Songs of 2009

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

SOUND OF MUSIC DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

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Friday Song – Everlong, by Foo Fighters

I was driving from work recently and thinking about the nature of  my new quasi-regular “Friday Song”.  How do I pick the song?  What does it represent?  Is it hip enough?  Is it too hip?  Can I play Benny Lava again?  Am I going to die alone thinking about crap like this?  Davy Jones of the Monkees had just died, and “Daydream Believer” was on my mind.  Also, I thought about dredging up that song he sang for his Brady Bunch cameo.  “Girl” or whatever.  That was a good song.  As I was thinking all this, “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters came on the radio and totally hit the spot, like it usually does.

The Foo Fighters don’t do much for me, except for this song.  This is the only song they’ve done that I ever need to hear again (unless they write an equally good song, which I don’t see happening).  You can almost dance to it & it does stuff to you.  About 10 years ago or so I saw the Foo in concert at a rock fest in Council Bluffs, IA with my buddy Ted.  There were probably a dozen bands performing (including Semisonic and Creed) & I only really cared about 4 of them.  The Foo were great in concert.  As for this video, it’s funny, dramatic, well-written, has a dude in drag, & the director, Frenchman Michel Gondry, is as brilliant as ever.  There are big hands & stuff.  Check it out.
Music Posts:

Friday Song- I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance with You

Friday Song – California, by Delta Spirit

The DB’s 30 Fav Songs of 2009

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

SOUND OF MUSIC DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

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Friday Song – CALIFORNIA, by Delta Spirit

It’s always cool to find a song that not only sounds great, but resonates with you.  For me, “California” by Delta Spirit is one of those.  As someone originally from California who’s drawn back there by loaded memories, I almost feel this is for me.  Here Delta Spirit sounds a bit like My Morning Jacket or Kings of Leon, even Fleet Foxes, with smooth vocal harmonies, driving guitar, and emotional lyrics.  It’s a super tune.  I need to check out the rest of their music.  Get a happy wallowing fix going.  Happy Friday.

Music Posts:

Friday Song- I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance with You

The DB’s 30 Fav Songs of 2009

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

SOUND OF MUSIC DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

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Friday Song-I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

My friend Peter posted this video online a few days ago & it’s been stuck like gum to the sole of my brain ever since.  Our Friday Song,  Black Kids‘ “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You“, was released 3 years ago, but apparently not as widely as it should have been, otherwise I would’ve peppered it into various playlists long ago.  The long title might work against it, but the song finds awesomeness in being the love child of The Cure and The Go! Team, 2 very different, but swell bands.  Check it out.  Happy Friday, Goatlings!

 

Music Posts

The DB’s 30 Fav Songs of 2009

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

SOUND OF MUSIC DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

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Christmas Album Favorites

Christmas with the ChipmunksAs you roast your chestnuts, drink your egg nog, and bake tasty Christmas cookies, you probably find it fun to set the rest of the holiday milieu by playing your favorite Christmas tunes on your hi-fi as you rock around the Christmas tree in your worst festive sweater.  I’m sure you have your favorite Christmas music and of course I have mine.  These are my 11 Favorite Christmas Albums.

>>

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Antiquing and the Cylinder Phonograph

by Jonathan B. Perry

cylinderEdisongoldmouldedphonographamberolLast Sunday afternoon, if you’d been looking, you’d have found me crouched at an antique mall in Omaha sorting through a surprise collection of about 250 phonograph cylinders, checking for condition, price, and musical selection.  I bought 11.  What are phonograph cylinders?  You might know about them, but somehow I went my entire life, until a few weeks ago, without knowing. Now I own a cylinder phonograph, several cylinders, and rock out like Teddy Roosevelt rocking a monocle.

Invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, phonograph cylinders rivaled phonograph disc records for many years, but were no longer manufactured after 1929 (it was discovered that both sides of discs could be recorded on, while cylinders had no such option). Recently, though, novelty recordings have been made using cylinders, including a song by They Might Be Giants, “I Can Hear You”. This year, a British steampunk band, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, released a track on a limited edition cylinder.  I might have gone a few more years without knowing about these little record tubes had I not run across some orphaned cylinders in an antique shop last month.

Not long before, I’d started my antiquing obsession when I came across a beautiful set of antique history books being used as props at an interior design shop and thought they’d look swell in my library.  And they do.  I soon set out to find more nice pieces and maybe an old lantern or two, and knew I needed to visit some antique stores.  I hadn’t been to one in awhile and could sense my lameness.  On my first trip, I went to a large antique mall where I found some cool lanterns, as well as one of those old accordion-type cameras that unfolds.  It decorates a shelf in my living room.

It was the next store where I found some more great books and those fantastic phonograph cylinders.  When I saw them, I was amazed by the packaging, and of course the fact that this was another form of musical reproduction (like the cassette, cd, 8-track) and here I was, a fairly well-read person with an enormous music library, completely unaware of their existence.  In my excitement, I immediately called my brother Jay and had him look up what he could find on the cylinders (another good reason to buy a smart phone).  He saw lots of 25 or 30 cylinders selling on eBay and advised me of actual cylinder phonographs selling online for $800-1200. If nothing else, the cylinders were great novelty pieces and priced moderately, so I bought 3 of them.  And some swell books.  I held off on the nifty furniture, stained-glass windows, and brass miner’s lanterns until a somewhat distant future.

edison cylinder phonograph amberola 30

Cylinder Phonograph (Edison Amberola 30). Not mine (my camera cord is missing)

The cylinders became a footnote as I visited one antique shop after another finding such things as a unique 9″ tall brass mesh sieve and an 1880s 6 volume leather-bound set of Le Comte De Monte-Cristo by Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo to us English-speakers).  The leather book spines have those cool ridges.  I even saw a nice cylinder phonograph with a beautifully decorated horn, but at $800 it was beyond my immediate consideration.  A few days later, though, as I was trekking through Iowa and Minnesota, I found another great cylinder phonograph.  This one played well, but had the horn built into the box, like a speaker.  I was primed.  Listed at less than half the cost of the other, I negotiated, getting an even better deal, and took the piece home.  I had my own musical bit of history.  It was awesome!

Really, I should be rebuilding my modern audio system rather than investing in the 8-track equivalent of the 1st World War, but it was too fantastic to pass up.  Also, such non-electronic devices will come in handy in the fallout shelter after EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) have destroyed modern technology.  Yea, verily.

To me, visiting these antique shops is like visiting museums where you can buy the display items.  It’s strange to see what people are selling and what they’ve collected over the years.  Sometimes the displays are themed, like Victorian or old tool shed or mad scientist, and really give you a small insight into the people behind the items.  It’s interesting to consider the provenance of a piece:  Who were the former owners and what were they like?  Which meth-addicted grandchild is selling off grandma’s treasures?

So now as Fantasy Baseball season winds down (I have a decent chance of winning 2 championships, if I can survive today oops!), it seems I’ve found an obsession replacement.   In the last 3 weeks I’ve been to a dozen antique shops in 5 towns.  I’ve started visiting garage sales (though I’m not an early-bird shoppers who arrives early for worms) and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on eBay.  I have an idea of what pieces I’m looking for and what my price points are.  At the moment I’m camping out on eBay looking for accidentally cheap, but fancy, 19th century music boxes that play a dozen songs or use weird metal plates or corn cobs.  I’m also checking out strange musical instruments and unusual antique scientific devices in nice wooden boxes.  In the shops my eyes are also open for the nifty furniture, stained-glass windows, and brass miner’s lanterns, knowing I should still wait on the pricier items until perhaps after I’ve had the house re-sided.  But if I should happen upon that rare cylinder with Christmas music on it, I’ll be sure to grab it right up.  You don’t just find that stuff anywhere.

Once I find my camera cord, I hope to post a video of my cylinders in action.  The cord may be in Minnesota.

The secret word of the day is steampunk.

Read These:

Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

Easter Antiquer

How I’m Not Really Related to Ben Franklin

Bachelors In History

A Photographic Memory

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

by Jonathan Bonobo Perry

ABC has a new cheesetastic reality tv show called The Bachelor Pad which seems like it might combine The Bachelor with Big Brother and The Real World after they’ve soaked in a briny vat of The Girls Next Door.  It promises an abnormally good-looking and freakishly healthy cast of cast-offs from previous reality shows being overly-dramatic and dramatically-amorous in a fine and expensive model home.  Pray, what will this bachelor pad be like?  Certainly it has everything.  Entertainment, games, and watery places, perhaps 7 hot tubs (so a few could be decontaminated simultaneously).  This got me thinking about types of Bachelor Pads as theme parks for men or rather types of homes for types of bachelors. What if guys were only one-dimensional and could each be pigeonholed into one tidy category?  Here’s who 17 of those guys would be and how their bachelor pads would be set up to reflect the weirdness.

1 Lothario/Lech Pad-Round spinning bed, cocktail bar, fancy lighting, a fine collection of loungy mood music.  It would be like the digs for Quagmire from Family Guy or for Austin Powers, replete with bathrobes and smoking jackets and lots of velvet.  A hot tub.  This is usually the first picture that comes to mind when one thinks of the classic bachelor pad.  It’s a lie.  Mostly.

2 Gamer Pad-Comfy chair for all that sitting.  Probably plush.  A couple gaming systems (XBox, Nintendo, Playstation, Wii) backed up by a quality entertainment system.  Dice and game parts for various role playing games.  Occupant-pasty sleepy nerd. 

3 Partier Pad-A sufficient supply of food and beverages and, if lucky, easily cleaned surfaces.  Large tv and other entertainment devices:  good stereo, lots of music, the gamer’s gaming system, some board games and backyard games.  Possibly a jacuzzi and a grill in the awesome backyard.  There might be a firepit.  Tiki torches?

4 Handyman Pad-Handmade furniture or carvings.  An extensive collection of tools and parts.  A fine workbench in the garage.  Powerdrill always plugged into the wall.  Multiple projects at different stages of completion spread about the garage and house.  Possibly a classic car parked in the garage being restored.

5 Traveler Pad-Travel books, posters, and paintings.  Souvenirs and maps.  Photo albums of trips.  Several suitcases, bags & perhaps an enormous travel cases like Jimmy Stewart‘s from It’s A Wonderful Life.

6 Collector Pad-The house may be overrun and/or decorated by strange collections:  stamps, baseball cards, license plates, Coca-Cola memorabilia.  Butterflies.  Places to store and display all this stuff have been set aside. The Antique-r is a sub-specialist of collector. Or is it the other way around?

7 Gadget Dude Pad-Assorted collection of the latest and greatest gadgets both electronic and mechanical.  Not only does he have the latest ostentatious Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), he also has camcorders, ereaders, robots, roombas, gps’s.

8 Reader Pad-Several bookcases, maybe some built-ins for a large a well-organized library (possibly numbered books, as if it were a real library).  There might be a list of books lent out and who has them and why you’ll never get them back.  (Chris?  Marshall?).  If he’s gone gadgety, there might be an Amazon Kindle or a similar ereader.

9 Sports Fan Pad-There will be lots of sports memorabilia, some of it plastered to the walls.  Maybe jerseys of the home team.  There could be game highlight footage on DVD.  There might even be sports cards, but certainly sports magazines.

10 Movie and TV-Buff Pad-Huge TV entertainment system with surround sound.  Lots of DVDs.  Lots of VHS tapes with the player.  Possibly a Beta player and Beta tapes for some rare ancient weirdness.

11 Musician Pad-Instruments.  The pinnacle is a grand piano or a specialty guitar signed by some dead rock legend.  Recording equipment.  A fine hi-fi system that spans the years from phonograph to 8-track to cassette to cd to mp3 player.  There will be plenty of albums to play on this system.  There might be busts of musicians and sheets of music.  Perhaps rooms have been modified to adjust acoustics.

12 Fitness Enthusiast Pad-In this pad might be found a bicycle and helmet.  If he’s a daredevil he might have mountain-climbing equipment, otherwise regular (and strange) exercise devices: dumb bells, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, medicine ball.  He might have his own awards from previous sporty endeavors.

13 Animal Lover Pad-Aquariums, terrariums, cages and kennels.  Leashes and bowls on the floor.  Adorable creatures that want to eat and bite you and need to use the facilities which may or may not be in your house.  Animal hair everywhere.  Unsolved allergy issues.  Hello Kitty stationery?  Maybe that’s just a sub-genre.

14 Hoarder Pad-this comes from mixing too many of the other categories together and having certain psychological issues.

15 Artist/Photographer Pad-Paints and brushes.  Easels and canvas and frames.  Cameras and camera equipment.  Maybe a dark room for old film.  Some of his own work might be framed on the wall as well as his inspirations’ works.  Art supplies and works are spread all over the house.

16 Gardener/Plant Guy Pad-Much of this guy’s stuff would be in the backyard: Veggie garden, flowers, other odd plants.  Sometimes the greenery will come inside and there will be pots of living greenstuff (non-mold) around the house.  There might be books and magazines for gardening ideas and tips.

17 Chef/Cook Pad-This dude has a kitchen full of quality cooking equipment.  Pots and pans and skillets or whatever.  There will be odd measuring devices which might use the metric system or stuff like pinch or smidgen.  He’ll have lots of spices and fancy oils.  The cupboards and fridge are stocked with all kinds of food.

Certainly your type has been overlooked.  That just means you’re weird.

The secret word is pigeonhole

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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The DB’s 30 Favorite Songs of 2009 (1-15)

by Jonathan B Perry

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yes,  we’re halfway through 2010, but I’ve gathered my 30 favorite songs of 2009 anyway.  Like any good self-respecting music snob and addict, I think my music taste is pretty darn good.  All music snobs feel this way and usually hold that their taste is superior.  But taste is taste.  You might not like the sort of stuff I like (if you’re crazy) and vice versa.  I used to keep a spreadsheet of  around a thousand bands and albums I rated as I sifted through reviews and recommendations.  It’s always great finding a new good band you can sink your teeth into.  And for me, there’s this need to share these niftiest sounds with my friends.  It’s sick, I know.

For reference, 80s New Wave might be the base of my popular music-food pyramid.  That and mid-to-late Beatles.  I especially like songs with strong melodies and harmonies with unique instrumental sounds.  More recently I favor Indie/Alternative music and listen to the U of Nebraska’s radio station (90.3 KRNU) to hear new stuff that circumvents mainstream radio, though I still listen to mainstream radio sometimes.

(Most of these songs were released on albums in 2009, though in some cases there may be a song or 2 that came out in 2008, but didn’t hit it big until 2009.  There’s an unhealthy number of break-up songs in the list.  Maybe 20%.  It’s demented.)

So, here they are:  The Domesticated Bachelor’s Favorite Songs of of 2009.

1. “Heads Will Roll”-Yeah Yeah Yeahs:

I can’t seem to shake the lyrics to this song.  I keep walking around all Tourette’s-like chanting “Off off with your head!  Dance dance dance ’til you’re dead!  Heads will roll… on the floor!”  I imagine people are concerned, but they should know better by now.  For this reason (crazy hooky lyrics), I’d say this is probably my favorite song of 2009.  And like any red-blooded Goth-wannabe guy (minus the weird clothes, makeup and ultra-gloom.  Ok, I’m not Goth.), I have a little thing for Karen O of the YYYs.  I suppose she and the band are not really Goth (more weird/cool), though the video for this song might bend a little that way.  In some performances she looks like she’s doing semaphore or some sort of bizarre sign language, and she often has this incredible look of joy or amusement or ecstasy on her face when she’s singing.  Pretty swell.  I also appreciate her whisper-singing-cooing sweet nothings into my earbuds (in the bridge).  Anyway, “Heads Will Roll” is a super song.  It really gets a good bit of synth going in a minor key while Karen O sings her headless dancing fantasy.

2. “Two Weeks”-Grizzly Bear:


Lyrics for this song aren’t as clear for me as for “Heads Will Roll”, but that’s ok because “Two Weeks” is really a beautiful tune.  Gorgeous even. This song opens with a simple piano plinking, a bass, then some great ascending vocal harmonies.  The soaring melody and harmonies are awesome and happy and I’ve installed this song in my iTunes “Happy Songs” playlist that I use as self-medication for depression and pining.  I heard “Two Weeks” on a tv show, maybe “How I Met Your Mother”, and Googled it immediately.  Turns out I already had the album.  Apparently I’d downloaded it from Amazon.com while it was their cheap promo of the day, but for some reason hadn’t really listened to it much.  The band has some other good songs on their 2 albums, but this is probably the best and deserves lots of attention.

3. “Hundred Hearts”-The Swimmers:


The local college radio station played this a lot and it was right down my alley.  It’s a well-written song all the way around: great tune, harmony, instrumentation, and a great beat.  I especially like it when the phrasing gets faster then slows in the middle of each verse, then there’s that keyboard that climbs up and down.  I seem to be appreciating songs more with male and female vocals.  Adds nice texture.

4. “Chinese”-Lily Allen Share Chinese by Lily Allen
I was introduced to this song when my brother Jay showed me a video of a children’s choir covering it.  They do a really great job, but the original is awesome.  My iTunes list says I’ve listened to this one over 50 times already.  I love the wall of sound.  It’s beautiful and sad.  She sings about a comfortable evening at home with her mom and for the longest time I interpreted from the lyrics that her mom had died, but apparently she’s not dead, so…

5. “Young Adult Friction”-The Pains of Being Pure at Heart:


The entire album is actually quite listenable, but this is a standout.  To me the sound is a little similar to My Bloody Valentine, but a bit more accessible.  Not so dense or distorted, but this is still one of the ‘noisier’ songs on my list.  I like the boy/girl vocals on this, too.  A few of the band’s videos are in 8mm, which is a pretty great effect that could be used more.

6. “Did You See Me Coming?”-Pet Shop Boys Share Did You See Me Coming? by Pet Shop Boys
I’ve been a huge PSB fan since “West End Girls” came out when I was in grade school.  A high school ex even mailed me mix-tapes of largely PSB music.  The band has been going strong for a good 25 years now, and though the recent quality has been more mixed than in the golden age, this last PSB album was probably their strongest in a while.  Almost a perfect song, except for an unremarkable bridge, but it’s ok.  Still awesome.

7. “Carol Brown”-The Flight of the Conchords:


I had this song stuck in my head for weeks, too.  “Carol Brown just took a bus out of town, but I’m hoping that you’ll stick around.“  Flight of the Conchords‘ song “Carol Brown” is a modern “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover“, except it’s happening to you and it’s a little sad, though it’s also funny and a bit hopeful.  Good for therapy.  Jemaine bemoans the different ways women have left him and those exes form a choir to explore his issues.  It seems that whenever my brother Jay and I get together we find ourselves watching episodes of FotC’s HBO music comedy series or video clips on YouTube.  I’m sad they won’t be making the show anymore. I kind of wish I’d done a list like this last year, just so I could put up “Prince of Parties” from their last album, but I digress.

8. “Bang!” & 9. “Last Dance”-The Raveonettes: Share Bang! by The Raveonettes

I’ve really enjoyed the Raveonettes ever since their first album came out.  This Danish duo who sound like a more tuneful Jesus and Mary Chain (reverby alt group from the 80s & 90s) would sell more albums in a perfect world, but then they’d be less of a rare find.  Really, though, they don’t do too badly.  The albums are consistently very good.  I’m surprised there’s no video for “Bang!”.  Hopefully there will be an awesome video to push them into the stratosphere (like videos mean anything these days).  In “Bang!”, I’m not sure what those kids want to do out in the street all summer long, but it can’t be too obscene if it’s played on the radio.  In the song “Last Dance” we have another potential prom song about impending end of love (and maybe death, I guess).  Great songs, both of them.

10. “Fireflies”-Owl City:


This song is like a warm blanket of colorful sounds and lyrics.  The band sounds almost exactly like The Postal Service, with the intricate electronic beeping and the singer’s voice resembling Ben Gibbard’s (who also fronts Death Cab For Cutie).  It’s a hopeful tune about insomnia and has a special unspeakable meaning for me that must be pushed way down into my gut until it squishes the life out of those dumb stomach butterflies.

11. “1901”-Phoenix:


This French group put out a great album and the song, “1901”, was used endlessly in a car commercial, which is great for exposure and not nearly as frowned upon as it once was by the snobby music community.  It’s accepted that the music biz is broken, so bands need exposure any way it can be gotten.  I love the band’s sound and I always get the feeling that the singer is going through puberty with the voice cracking and changing.

12. “A Better Love”-El Perro Del Mar Share A Better Love by El Perro Del Mar
Is that hammer dulcimer?  I think so.  Pretty cool (even if it’s synthesized).  This sad break-up song insinuates itself in the brain with stuff like “This isn’t over ’til I say when.  When.  When.” sung in a quiet voice.  I suspect that if you listen to it in the wrong frame of mind, it might be a tearjerker (I actually want to hear it backwards).  I have way too many break-up songs on this list, maybe 20% (what’s up with that?), but it could just be that break-up songs are written with more emotion and get a bigger helping of love and junk, so they end up being the cream of the crop.

13. “Use Somebody”-Kings of Leon:


“Use Somebody” was played endlessly on the radio and deservedly so.  It’s a fantastic song full of longing.  It seems the brothers and cousins in Kings of Leon have only been improving their Indie/Southern Rock songwriting with each member taking a turn at songwriting on the album.  I’m afraid I may have OD’d on this one a little.

14. “Silver Moons”-Sunset Rubdown:


I heard “Silver Moons” around the same time I heard “Hundred Hearts” by the Swimmers on college radio, so in my head I pair these 2 together.  To me, the singer for Sunset Rubdown sounds a bit like the lead singer for Men Without Hats (“Safety Dance“), though more so in other songs.  The song builds from piano to full band and goes back and forth.  The chorus is probably my favorite when they sing “Maybe these days are over over now.  And I loved it better than anyone else you know.”  Sweetly passionate and sentimental.  I am officially a sad sack.

15. “Love, Save the Empty”-Erin McCarley:


At first I was unable to figure out the title of the song.  Now it makes me think of recycling (save the empty).  Probably one of my guilty pleasures, I listened to this song and “Chinese” by Lily Allen about the same time frame.  I often find pairs of songs that go together for me, usually because I discover them almost simultaneously.  “Love, Save the Empty” was used in the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, which I actually saw with humans and enjoyed.  Apparently Erin McCarley attended Baylor University, though about a decade or more after my dad finished up his PhD there (yeah, we lived in Waco for a bit).  This is a sweet song, starting with a simple piano part that eventually builds to a full band with strings.  Great tune and excellent sound.

Continued…

(30 Fav Songs of ’09: 16-30)

Related Links:

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

SOUND OF MUSIC DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

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    The DB’s 30 Favorite Songs of 2009 (16-30)

    Part 2 (continued from Favorite Songs Part 1: Songs 1-15)

    16. “Fitz and Dizzyspells”-Andrew Bird:


    Andrew Bird is known largely for two things: whistling and playing the violin.  However, he’s a great songwriter and incorporates the violin and whistling in ways that best fit the orchestrations of his pop-songs.  The songs are usually a bit complex, but not in a way that loses the listener.  He knows how to fit in decorative bits and unique twists and turns which one-ups songwriting that slides by with the basics.  Super orchestration and production.

    17. “I Know”-Zeus:


    I really like the reverby synth riff in this song, but that’s partly because I wrote one a lot like it a few years ago, so it feels familiar.  This song got some good play on the local college radio station.  I especially like the verses with the synth riff behind the singing.  Cool band name, too.  I mean, I would’ve gone with Thor myself, but Zeus works.

    18. “Love Letter To Japan”-The Bird and The Bee:  TB&TB is one of my favorite active bands.  There’s a nice mix of old girl-group sound and synth-pop.  “Love Letter To Japan” expresses the band’s appreciation to its Japanese fans in sort of a dance package, while incorporating a slight Asian-music undertone for super-fun-dancy time.

    19. “Uprising”-Muse:


    I sort of wish I was doing the list for my favorites songs of 2006, because Muse’s “Starlight” would hit number 1 with a bullet (maybe), but 2009’s “Uprising” is another well-written and powerful song.  Muse has a propensity to use battle and war themes in the songs.  Strange, but it works.  Great band.

    20. “Zero”-Yeah Yeah Yeahs:


    If this song was scored based on ideal definable attributes of a hit song, it might outscore YYY’s other song, “Heads Will Roll”.  Wait.  Maybe not.  I take that back.  It doesn’t have the visual image that the lyrics for “HWR” brings.  Also no whisper-singing-cooing in my ear buds.

    21. “Already Gone”-Kelly Clarkson:


    I didn’t realize at first that this was Kelly Clarkson singing.  I thought it was a black and/or English artist.  Not sure why, since I’d heard Clarkson sing before.  She seems to have had a fair amount of success for an American Idol (he said a little smugly).   “Already Gone” combines strings and drums in a bittersweet breakup song about mercifully breaking up with someone when you realize there’s no future.  This is another moving breakup song that might make the lip quiver.  And junk.

    22. “Lisztomania”-Phoenix(Link to YouTube Video) Apparently “Lisztomania” was a term coined back in the days Franz Liszt performed the piano to large crowds (in the 1840s) and the fans went a little batty for him.  Who knew.  I like how the lyrics are repeated in succession.  Nice effect.  I need to listen to the rest of the album now.  I mean, I have it, but I’ve been stuck on the 2 songs mostly.

    23. “Summertime Clothes”-Animal Collective:


    Animal Collective is one of those  unique ‘out-there’ bands that march to a different drummer.  The band’s songs often deviate from a normal song-writing form.  Sometimes this is perfect and brilliant, while other times annoyingly incomplete.  The band creates a thick wall of electronic sound that’s probably served as the soundtrack to lots of drug-tripping.  “Summertime Clothes” mixes the conventional and unconventional enough to be awesome. Wild video.

    24. “Love, Etc.”-Pet Shop Boys:


    As I said earlier, this last PSB album, Yes, was really quite good with some nifty tunage.  Be sure to check out the video-game-like music video.  PSB often manages to harvest some great electronic beeps to go with their strong songs.

    25. “Polite Dance Song”-The Bird And The Bee This song was originally released on a 2006 EP, but was also included on their 2009 album, so I don’t mind adding it to the list.  The band’s songs often have some incredibly clever lyrics and this is no exception.  This implores the listeners to clap their hands in sort of a technical robotic way.  Weird-cool.

    26. “Love Story”-Taylor Swift:


    “Love Story” was released in 2008, but still charted into 2009, so I’ve included it as one of my guilty pleasures.  I’m self-conscious about liking Top 40 music, what with it being uncool, let alone country pop, but good songs are good songs and Taylor Swift has written some really sweet teenage girl-type songs. She’s kind of cute, too.

    27. “Oh No”-Andrew Bird:


    I limited my list to 30 songs and limited my Andrew Bird songs on the list to 2.  The 3rd song would be “Not a Robot, But a Ghost”.  I’ll have to look up the lyrics to “Oh No” sometime, since I don’t quite understand all of them, but what I catch are pretty great.  “Across the silver bridge in nothing but a onesy and a veil”.  Strange.  Oh, and this song has some nifty whistling.

    28. “Blue Skies”- Noah and the Whale:


    “Blue Skies” tries to get us past the heartbreak and to the blue skies that are calling.  “This is the last song that I write while still in love with you…while you’re even on my mind”.  Pretty tune working both the sad and the hopeful. I like the video, too.

    29. “Flaming Arrow”-Jupiter One:


    I saw Jupiter One open for Regina Spektor in CA last fall with my friend Cami and was surprised by how great the band was live and how many swell tunes were played.  Of course, one must always beware of live performances and how they can act as ‘beer goggles’ to the music, making the songs seem better than they are.  Jupiter One has some really good songs, though, & Flaming Arrow is probably my favorite of the band’s 2009 release.  It’s a fun tune.

    30. “Paparazzi”-Lady Gaga:


    I avoided Lady Gaga as long as I could, but she’s nearly unavoidable.  She comes across as style over substance, but this isn’t purely true.  There’s just so much weird style, that the substance seems secondary.  Anyway, I really like her song “Paparazzi”.  It’s a great tune, especially the chorus (which I mix into “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” by Simon and Garfunkel, though just as often I’ll turn it into “Papa Smurf Nazi”).  Don’t judge me.

    (note:  I prefer to use the singular when referring to a band and it’s name “as in Radiohead has lost me” rather than “Radiohead have lost me”.  I’ll have to study up on the reasoning for the plural (maybe ask my sister-in-law), but in my mind a band is a collective, a group united in one singular entity.  Some band names have plurals in them, like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, so using the plural sounds better (for all I know, that may be where the plural started, unless it’s a Brit v American thing), though with my line of logic the singular should still be used.  I still mix them up, though.  I also refer to a family as a singular unit.  Whatever.  I’m probably wrong.  I’m going to bed now.)

    Other favorites:
    “If”-House of Heroes
    “Say Hey (I Love You)”-Michael Franti
    “Hot N Cold”-Katy Perry (disqualified because it mostly charted in 2008.  This is probably a double standard, since I included Taylor Swift.  Oh well.)
    “Not a Robot, But a Ghost”-Andrew Bird
    2 songs by Lonely Island (one is kinda dirty)
    “Lush Life (remix)”-Nat King Cole (great remix, but it’s a remix of an old song, so)
    “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”-She and Him (it’s a cover used in a movie, which weakened it’s case for my list, but it’s a beautiful cover of a beautiful song”)
    “Fallin’ For You”-Colbie Caillat

    (30 Fav Songs of ’09: 1-15)

    Related Links:

    My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

    SOUND OF MUSIC DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

    Depeche Mode and High School Girls

    Links to Lists:

    My Bucket List:  100 Things to Do B4 I Die

    11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor-The Complete Guide

    My 25 Humanoid Things:  A Peer-Induced List

    Famous Historical Bachelors-A List

    Famous Living Bachelors

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      WHITE WEDDING

      Congratulations to my brother Chris who was married this weekend!  Best wishes to Chris and Kirsten for a lifetime of happiness.

      He’s no longer a bachelor.  Also, the wedding wasn’t much like the one in the Billy Idol video (no leather pants).  (By the way, the undoctored video embed on YouTube was disabled by request, so this is “White Wedding:  Literal Video Version”.)

      The secret word is chapel.

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        Jimmy Fallon As Neil Young Doing Fresh Prince

        (and 75,000 Hits)

        A few months ago I stayed up way too late (again) and saw Late Night with Jimmy Fallon because sometimes I like to screw with my sleep schedule.  I haven’t quite embraced him as Conan O’Brien’s successor (I’m still wearing black about the whole Tonight Show thing, too) , but I thought I’d give the dude a chance.  Anyway, Fallon isn’t half bad and more importantly he does a hilarious dead-on impersonation of Neil Young singing Will Smith’s (the Fresh Prince) theme song for Will’s old show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air .  There’s art and then there’s art.  Not to be overly excited or anything (and slightly unrelated), but I’ve had 75,000 blog page hits now!  We must celebrate with this video.  And dancing.  And leftover Easter chocolate.  And that egg dish I ended up making that turned out suspiciously well.

        Behold the glory.

        The secret word is Harvest.

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        The Brady Bunch: “Time To Change”

        The Brady Bunch kids wish to remind of the time change by singing this puberty-induced song.  Push your clocks ahead an hour today (if you’ve already done it, don’t do it twice).  Be sure to tip Peter Brady on the way out.

        The secret word is tiger.

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        JAMES BOND: Bachelor Spy

        by Jonathan Bond Perry

        james bond casino royale daniel craig poster 007

        Daniel Craig as Bond

        Last night I totally ignored the Academy Awards and all the Oscar weirdness, instead watching Sean Connery in the James Bond film From Russia with Love.  Within the first 40 minutes at least 8 stunning women (I lost count) were featured in places like London, Russia, and Istanbul (not Constantinople), and a fancy spy briefcase complete with a handful of gadget-y weapons was shown to 007 for his approval.  There’s also some stimulating repartee with Miss Moneypenny.  In another scene while spying on a woman in a secret meeting, a colleague asked Bond “How does she look to you?”, to which he responds “From this angle things are shaping up nicely.  I’d like to see her in the flesh.”.  Oh, and after a belly-dancing scene, there’s a catfight between 2 hot gypsy women who don’t seem to be overdressed.  (There were also goats, but that’s a side thing.)

        James Bond is awesome.  His job, nay his duty, as debonair spy for MI6 (British Intelligence), has him traveling the world, wearing sharp suits, driving magnificent autos, and entangling with exotic and dangerous beauties who seem to have left most of their clothing in the other bag.  Bond has engineers constantly creating cool new spy toys to help him dispatch the enemy, which he always does with panache.  Why am I using French words like panache and debonair when Bond is clearly English?  Maybe I want to be beaten up by the james-bond-logo golden eye bullet pierce brosnanbullies in my head.  I don’t know.  But I do know this: James Bond is perhaps the prime vanguard of all bachelors.  He epitomizes the Domesticated Bachelor.  He’s suave, stylish, sophisticated, and completely fictional.  Truly a standard bearer.

        James Bond was created in 1952 by British journalist Ian Fleming while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye.  Yeah, Goldeneye.  Fleming wrote twelve novels and two short story collections about 007, who, it’s said, was actually modeled on Fleming, himself something of an overly-confident manwhore.  Beginning with the 1962 release of Dr. No, there have been 22 Bond films in the EON Production series, making it the longest running, most financially successful English-language film franchise in history (at least through the most recent film, Quantum of Solace).  After Fleming’s death in 1964, several other writers authored James Bond novels and screenplays and perhaps named their Sedona estates Moonraker and Thunderball, but maybe not.  James Bond has also been spoofed, most famously in the Austin Powers series by Mike Myers.

        James Bond collection2 007 actors roger moore sean connery timothy dalton george lazenby daniel craig pierce brosnanBond’s date of birth often changed from story to story, frequently leaving him in his 40s, which apparently is an ideal age for spy-adventure coolness and gives me a small degree of comfort as I near that middling decade of life.  Over the years, 007 has been portrayed on the big screen by several actors, most notably by Sean Connery and Roger Moore.  These are usually considered the classic Bonds.  In fact, there was a situation in 1983 where 2 different Bond movies played in theaters simultaneously.  Roger Moore was in the EON production of Octopussy, when Sean Connery, the previous EON Bond, was brought back as Bond in the non-EON Never Say Never Again.  Eventually MGM purchased the name “James Bond”, so this problem could never be repeated.  007 has also been portrayed by Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, David Niven (in an early spoof), Pierce Brosnan, and most recently Daniel Craig.

        Bond music is easily recognizable the world over.  The Bond theme is a super instrumental used in every movie, then a different song usually opens each film and this song is sung by one of the current hot singers.  Some of the best include Paul McCartney and Wings doing “Live and Let Die“, Duran Duran in “A View to a Kill“, and “Nobody Does it Better” sung by Carly Simon for The Spy Who Loved MeShirley Bassey sang three Bond themes.

        james-bond-goldfinger shirley eaton jill masterson

        Don’t get how her panty bits turned gold, but it’s advanced science

        James Bond has had many relationships with women, often quite meaningless relationships.  Of course he’s on the go a lot, sometimes the women are spies, and sometimes they die or turn gold and then die.  At one point, though, Bond marries, but on their wedding day his bride is killed by his archenemy (seems like the writer’s convenient way of keeping Bond single).

        Yes, women love 007, at least the ones in his movies (some of my married friends aren’t so keen).  Between the exciting job, the snazzy clothes, the good looks, the sweet rides, and the strong self-esteem, he has little trouble with the fictional ladies.  He’s the sort of guy other guys hope to emulate, minus the murder.  And the excessive manwhoring.

        The secret word is Moneypenny.

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        Flight Of The Conchords-“Carol Brown”

        My English friend Julia, who’s trapped in Australia, recently had this song stuck in her head.  It’s been plaguing me for weeks, too.  “Carol Brown just took a bus out of town, but I’m hoping that you’ll stick around.”  Flight of the Conchords‘ song “Carol Brown” is a modern “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover“, except it’s happening to you & it’s a little sad, though it’s also funny and a bit hopeful.  Good for therapy.  Jemaine bemoans the different ways women have left him and those exes form a choir to explore his issues.

        It’s one of my favorite songs of 2009 (I’m totally making a list of favorite songs from ’09, so stay tuned).  Unfortunately, Flight of the Conchords (from New Zealand) won’t do any more seasons of their music comedy show on HBO.  So sad.  Both seasons are available on DVD, but you can’t borrow mine.  Hopefully they do some awesome movies, possibly based around “Prince of Parties” (please please).  (Oh, and I’ve had 70,000 page hits to this blog since I started last February!  Yippy. Thanks for reading.)  This video goes out to my friend Julia, my bro Jay (who’s also a big fan of FotC), and the choir of exes in my head that won’t shut up and who I still mindlessly obsess about sometimes.  Dangit.

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        Bing and Bowie Celebrate The DB’s 65,000th Hit!

        ST/DRUMMERBOYOk, B & B aren’t actually celebrating my blog hits, especially since Bing is dead, but they wouldn’t really care if they knew and it would be too expensive anyway.  The point is The Domesticated Bachelor has had 65,000 page hits since starting in February! (we’re actually sneaking up on 68k)  I thought the best way to celebrate was with an Andy Williams Christmas clip from his old show.  Not able to find that, I thought this Bing and Bowie Christmas clip would be swell.

        Davie Bowie made an appearance on Bing Crosby’s 1977 “Merrie Olde Christmas” tv special, but nearly didn’t sing with Bing.  About an hour before the show was to record, Bowie told the producers he didn’t like the song “Little Drummer Boy” and wouldn’t sing it.  Under pressure (nudge wink), a few of the writers got together and wrote an extra part, “Peace On Earth“, and cleverly joined it with “Little Drummer Boy” into a nice counterpoint mix piece called “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” that was a genius combo for a genius pairing of the then 30 year old Ziggy Stardust and the 73 year-old crooner.  The result was a cultural genre-busting epic song that was finally released as a single in 1982.

        Interestingly, Bing’s Christmas show was recorded September 11th, 1977, but a month later Bing died of a heart attack and the special aired on CBS November 30th that year (posthumous specials are extra special).

        Thanks for visiting TheDomesticatedBachelor and come back again soon.  Without further ado, please welcome Bing Crosby and David Bowie in “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy“!

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