31 July 2010

Pick Me Up: Nina Simone - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

Sometimes you wake up in the morning with a bit of a head-stinger (aka a hangover). You've tried the ol' multi-vitamin-with-a-big-glass-of-water trick, you tried the pop-twelve-ibuprofen-in-the-morning thing or the suck-down-a-huge-mug-of-coffee remedy.

All those may or may not help.

But what certainly helps is a little Nina Simone.

Now that you're set and you want to kick it up a notch, check out this very chill, Zero-7-y remix of "Feeling Good."

Nina: The Essential Nina Simone
{Buy, buy, buy.}

You can thank me later.

23 July 2010

Pick Me Up: Metric - "Gimmie Sympathy"

Sometimes you get on trains late. Sometimes you see the train and you think to yourself, "No worries, I can catch the next one."

Or the next one.

Or the next one.

Flash forward to 2010 and you realize you missed the train a whole bunch of times.

That's how I feel about Metric.

Metric's first album (Grow Up And Blow Away is a damn good record) was released in 2001 and my head must have been stuck in the sand because I never really heard of them until many years later. I heard a couple songs here or there, I liked 'em but never really dove into their catalog.

But in September of 2009, I saw Metric open for Phoenix and I thought to myself, "Hey, I should check these folks out."

So, I downloaded some albums and then they sat on my "shelf" (harddrive) for a while and then only in the past few months or so did I really start giving them a fair shake.

And, well, as God would say, "it was good."

Here's the video for "Gimmie Sympathy" from their most recent album, Fantasies. This is one of my favorite songs from the record and the blatant references in the lyrics to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones is a nice bonus.

Oh, and I may or may not have a mild- to moderate-crush on Emily Haines.


15 July 2010

Weather Or Not: The Beach Boys - "California Girls"

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Weather: 74 degrees, sunny, blue skies, wind from the ESE at 4 mph
Song: The Beach Boys - "California Girls"

The Beach Boys - "California Girls"

No, this isn't Katy Perry and her silly attempt at writing a California song (Ahem. I kinda like it), no, this is The Beach Boys doing what they do best: write songs about girls, the beach, surfing, fun, sun, cars, good times, great oldies.

The weather here in Santa Monica, CA is pretty much perfect.

And with weather like this, you've got to blast some Beach Boys in the morning.

Or else you're not an American. You're probably a Russian spy.

09 July 2010

Pick Me Up: Aretha Franklin - "What A Fool Believes"

If you spend enough time listening to music with me, you'll inevitably reach a point where you realize: Boy, this guy has a really unhealthy obsession with "What A Fool Believes" written by Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) and Kenny Loggins (freakin' EVERYTHING).

The obsession gets really bad when you start seeking out covers of the song, live versions, bootlegs, empty the savings account on the original handwritten lyrics, insure it, frame it, love it.

Not quite there yet...

Anyway, here is this amazing gem by Aretha Franklin from 1980. It has that '70s-funk to it with a wonderfully '80s saxophone outro. And, of course, Aretha.

Here's your Friday afternoon "Pick Me Up." Enjoy!

If your head isn't bobbing back and forth by the end of this song, you have no soul.

{If you love it that much, you can buy it.}

06 July 2010

Weather Or Not: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder - "Ebony and Ivory"

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Weather: 60 degrees, wind from the SW at 11mph
Song: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder - "Ebony and Ivory"

Does this song piss you off?

Well, it should.

Just like this weather pisses me off.

Los Angeles is barely pushing a high of 70 degrees today while other parts of the country are going through a heat wave.

I call bullshit.

Just like this song.

On the surface, you're thinking to yourself, "Paul McCartney. Stevie Wonder. Collaboration. What could go wrong?"

Everything. Everything can go wrong. Apparently, those two got together and said to each other, "Forget it. Let's not rock 'n' roll."

You think of LA in early-July and you're thinking to yourself, "Los Angeles. Early-July. What could go wrong?"

Apparently, everything because I can only barely see patches of blue sky and the roads are damp with rain. RAIN.

Maybe I should get over it. "Ebony and Ivory" was released in 1982 and there is no reason to hold on to anger for that long (OR IS THERE? I mean, it's a really bad song) and in two weeks I'll probably be complaining about how goddamn hot it is.

Whatever. Doesn't change the way I feel about "Ebony and Ivory" and the weather right now: Old Testament-style rage.

On YouTube you can add some vuvuzela sounds to the "Ebony and Ivory" video by clicking the little soccer ball next to the "pop out" button.

It doesn't help.

Apparently, One Annoying Thing + Another Annoying Thing does not equal Funny.