There are always interesting developments in "simple" everyday events. I mentioned to my wife that I ran into an old high school friend at Stop N Shop the other day. Truth be told she was a girlfriend. It was so far out of left field I am still a bit weirded out by it. The last time I saw her was in another grocery store 15 years ago near my college campus. I think at that time she was there to run into me. Back then I politely said hi then and introduced me now wife to her. And that was it.
And all of the sudden I am staring at her and her two daughters in the freezer section. She was on her way to her folks from Massachusetts and needed to use a restroom. I needed food. And for 2 minutes we caught up and went on our way. Bizarre to say the least. But, as I have been reliving the past over most of this year, it seems perfectly normal. All events lead to this moment. And I thought about the summer of 1994. Of Black Crowes, of Ace of Base, of Lisa Loeb. Then I came to my senses. That was a bad year in music. We can do better.
But before we do a quick fist bump to the Twice is Nice Madison, NJ softball team. This determined bunch of women have been playing for the love of game for several years now. Each of the past 3 or 4 seasons they had gone winless. Wednesday night marked their first victory since my wife has joined (and maybe ever.) These women deserved it. There are other teams who may be more fit, and certainly more competitive. This is a lesson in camaraderie and perseverance. There were several moments in recent history when players could have thrown in the towel and hit the Pilates class instead. Nope, each year brings new players and trusted friends. Now, after tasting some on-field success the goals are now higher. It is the same lesson we try to teach our daughter. Go out, have some fun, try your best, and good things will follow.
So, when my daughter got her first defensive attempt in Travel softball last night we had several teaching moments. She picked a line drive cleanly off the infield at second. Without hesitation she threw home trting to cut the runner down from 3rd. Nevermind there were 2 outs and an easy throw to 1st ended the inning. Run scored and she learned a lesson. Talent will not be your only calling card. Thinking and understanding are as much a part of sport as they are life. The age old metaphor I learned many years ago in my Sociology of Sports Class. Sport as societal microcosm. So enlightening seeing it play out this week on such different playing fields. Inspires me to keep playing. Now, if only I could play something.
I had visions and even took notes earlier in the week on an elaborate essay comparing Lady Gaga to Katy Perry. Mainly, the two women remind me very much of Madonna versus all other pop queens she has dealt with during her illustrious career. Janet Jackson was a contemporary for several years. Pre crackhead Whitney Houston had her time. Madonna has the staying power for whatever reason. Maybe her interaction with a Coke bottle in Truth or Dare explains it? Essentially, there is never 1 singular pop star. Today, since pop, and in particular female vocals, is so popular, I notice the trend continuing. Gaga draws the Madonna comparisons for obvious reasons. My money is on Katy Perry though. After hearing what is sure to be her 5th straight # 1 single "Last Friday Night" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A I am solidly in her camp. There will be several loonnng road trips this summer and this track is less likely to be skipped than anything Gaga has to offer.
Same too for hottest of all messes Ms. Kesha. Try as I might to hate her left coast trashy self I have been hooked on "Blow" for weeks. Hell she resurrected James Van Der Beek from the dead. Where have you gone "Dawson's Creek?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFWX0hWCbng
OK, that felt a bit like confession. Let me finish my 10 Hail Mary's and 5 Our Father's and get real.
I am going liberal with my alphabet theme with the song "Colours" by American Indie's Grouplove.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ddd70PMxTE. All you need to know that Yes guitarist Trever Rabin has a son in the band. Right, that is useless Wikipedia nonsense. Whatev, the song is good.
A few months ago I caught the Cults video for "Go Outside" on MTVU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPKbG1CCLx8 .) I paid it little attention and thought it was overall ok. Well the programmers at Sirius Alt Nation happen to love it. Since they have ruined it for me I would like to do the same for you. Oh, and the video is not online so enjoy a stupid homemade youtube one filled with bad still photos. Should you care, they are a romantically involved Manhattan duo. Straight couple that is. Forgot in NYC we need to be more specific. I will give it 6 months. I have undersold this and I am sorry. The song is good, trust me.
Champarticles are from Portland, OR. Other than that I know very little. Save for this gem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGnc9We-ufs.
I searched for it further and noticed you can download their entire debut album on their website. You might want to look into it http://music.charmparticles.com/album/alive-in-the-hot-spell. Sultry female singing with some soft chords and overall sense of longing. Now, if you don't mind I have a 2pm salt scrub appointment.
I have written several times about Cut/Copy so I will not bore you again. About a month til I see them in Brooklyn. If you know only one of their sings "Need You Now" should be it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb1o42RdVzA.
I should include Chuck Prophet when discussing summer and music. No reason to do any bio's or build-up either. "Summertime Thing" is pure listening magic. Of course the only real way to watch and listen is through some guys montage of him flying through Western Pennsylvania and drinking beers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TedoUrTcU5o&feature=related.
Chris Isaak has been on my iPod from the beginning. Maybe it was Helena Christensen half naked many years ago that put him on my radar? Wicked game indeed. But after a career in film, tv and music Mr Isaak deserves some respect. His voice and band play well off one another. No harm in the good writing that serves, most often, as the catalyst. Some notable non- Wicked game winners.
"We Let Her Down" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoBiEgWqwqE Fairly certain this live version is from a Friday night Canadian Football game. Um, weird. But he is good live.
"Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPZQ7ZLy3MI The best part of Kubrick's final, ill fated film "Eyes Wide Shut." Also serves as the inspiration for the True Blood theme song... also very good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0eQL5R3bw4 How many of you knew Jace Everett?? One of these days I will devote a column to that overrated show. I wish Alan Ball would just bring 6 Feet Under back. How many fairy tale creatures can there be??? And do they all have to be sexually ambigious?? And how can Anna Paquin be this bad an actress??? She has an Oscar???Running out of space but as you can see I have lots to say on the subject.
See past columns for new favorites Civil Twilight too. They are in the studio this week starting work on their 2nd album. Cannot go wrong with these two numbers:
Ok, I was told I should probably eat. Almost 1:30 and I have not had anything yet. Perils of working from home. You always have things to do and eating never seems to fit in. Weird eating at home by yourself... never got used it.
Enjoy the weekend all and give me a yell should you like. Want to hear feedback and/or criticisms.
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Also check out http://madison.patch.com/ I am annoying others on that webpage.