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All right! I relent!

For about a year now, I've resisted listening to Modest Mouse. I'm reluctant to explain the petty, stupid reasoning behind it, but here goes: Good friends of mine love them and talk about how sad the lyrics are. It's an "I love this music because it makes me miserable!" logic to which I throw up a wall of resistance. I sneered and groaned at the album title, "Good News for People Who Love Bad News." But a few months ago, I started hearing "Float On" on the radio and would blast it. I thought, okay, maybe they're not so bad. I could get into this. So yesterday at Cheapo, I saw "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" (shudder) for six dollars. I went ahead and bought it, and you can say "I told you so": I lurve them! Gloat on, alright. :P

There are chinks in the armor of my refusal to consume certain pop culture items for no good reason. Jeebus, I might as well watch Titanic now.

How to Flirt at the Used CD Store

As if I'm the first person to think of it...but for those who haven't been struck with this inspiration, I'd like to pass it along. So you're at the used CD store, flipping through the new arrival bins, with that familiar tapping sound of jewel cases hitting each other in the background. Sidle up to a cute boy or girl (first, try it with a not-especially-cute person, just to practice). Grinning and twinkling, say, "Excuse me. I'm looking for (insert band here) CDs. Would you mind keeping an eye out for them and pulling 'em for me if you happen to see one?" If the response is positive, ask if cute boy or girl is looking for anything in particular and offer to pull it for him or her. If cute boy or girl finds what you're looking for, he or she will walk up to you triumphantly, holding the CD(s) up. Be delighted and thank him/her profusely. Then ask cute boy or girl what he/she is doing for the rest of the afternoon.

Push It, Grab It, and Dialectic

Am I the only one who sometimes thinks it would be fun to use Salt'n'Pepa's "Push It" and L'Trimm's "Grab It" to introduce students to dialectic? I wonder if it's crossed Jeff's mind before...the lyrics are a little risqué, and I don't know if I'd really bring the songs into class, but if any of you would like to try it, be my guest, and let me know how it goes. :) As you probably recall, the argument in "Push It" is simply, "Push it real good." But in the lesser-known rebuttal to "Push It," L'Trimm instructs us to "Grab it like [we] want it." The first few lines are as follows:

You say you want to push it but your pushing is through

Let's push you aside and show you what to do

You got to grab it, grab it like you want it

And then later in the song: "So take a lesson, and I hope you learn/That if you push it, it might not return." Listen to the songs, and please share your thoughts. Be sure to listen to "Push It" first, then "Grab It".

The New Song (Doe Maar)

Anyone checked out my new song? Doe Maar is (was) a Dutch band from the 1980s; from what I gather, they're your basic 80s synthesizer-fabulous band, like, oh I don't know, Devo or maybe the Thompson Twins, but with more mainstream popularity in the Netherlands. It seems like they were about as popular as Duran Duran.

If you've listened to the song and you know about my love of happy melodies, you know why I like it; I also like how parts of the song sound almost proto-ska. I'm told the song is about a man who meets a woman, they fall in love, and they're so blissfully happy that they feel young again. The English translation of the title is "since a day or two." I could have this all wrong, though -- maybe Frank will be kind enough to correct me if I don't have my facts straight. :)

Now I want to hear some Thompson Twins...

One Down

Five to go. In order to combat this awful feeling I have (cold, clammy hands, shaking, gagging, feeling like there are bugs all over me), I've composed this Cheer up! playlist.

1. Big Tymers - Still Fly (Dirty) (5:36)
2. DMX - Party Up (4:30)
3. vanessa carlton - thousand miles (interlude), a (3:56)
4. Talking Heads - Wild Wild Life (3:39)
5. Various Artists - Walking on Sunshine - Katrina And The Waves (4:00)
6. Escape Club - Wild wild west.mp3 (5:43)
7. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - Joy and Pain (3:46)
8. Beach Boys - Good Vibrations (3:37)
9. Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize.mp3
10. Erasure - Take A Chance On Me (3:45)
11. Sheena Easton/Prince - You Got The Look (3:45)
12. Dire Straits - Walk Of Life (3:08)
13. Eve And Gwen Stefani - Let Me Blow Your Mind (3:49)
14. Fishbone - Party at Ground Zero (6:28)
15. ZZ Top - I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide (4:46)
16. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Dogs and Chaplains (3:02)
17. Men Without Hats - Safety Dance (2:45)
18. Ramones - 2. 53rd and 3rd (2:16)
19. Kool And The Gang - Fresh (4:27)
20. Go Go's - Head Over Heels (3:36)
21. Kool and The Gang - Celebration (4:59)

Terribly major-label for the most part, I realize, but it's chicken soup for the ears.

Edited to add: Don't even think about giving me static for including "A Thousand Miles" on the list. I love that song, and it's especially good for twirling around until you get a good dizzy feeling -- kind of like "I Wanna Be Sedated."

Lil' Flip

I know I talked about sampling recently, but I have to bring it up one more time for Lil' Flip. Today I was in the car and heard this hip hop song using samples from Pac-Man, and it made my ears very happy, so I blasted it. The song is called "Game Over," and you can watch the video here. If I remember correctly, it uses the basic sound Pac-Man makes when he eats regular pellets (not power pellets), and I believe I caught the noise of ghosts' eating Pac-Man too.


Being an advocate of free culture generally, I support what Larry Lessig has called the "slicing and dicing" of culture--pastiche, sampling, etc. That being said, sometimes I'm not too impressed with the product of such practices.

For example, I hate the song "Through the Wire" by Kanye West, which uses a sample from Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire." Perhaps it's because I enjoy Chaka Khan's music so much that I'd almost place her in the holy trinity of Joni Mitchell, Sade, and Diana Krall, but then it wouldn't be a trinity anymore. Or maybe it's because, in "Through the Wire," they speed up the song so that it sounds like the Chipmunks! What were they thinking? When I'm in the car, I mostly keep my radio on B-96, but when that song comes on, I'm all over the dial.

I also dislike Mase's "Welcome Back", which uses the theme song from Welcome Back, Kotter. The original song was lackluster, and so is this.

But, when I hear "Got It Twisted" by Mobb Deep, I turn the volume up as high as it will go and then car-dance. It uses a s-l-o-w-e-d d-o-w-n sample of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science," and it is sick. You can listen to part of the song on the article I linked.

Dancing in the A.M.

Since I started living by myself, I've taken to dancing in the mornings. Privacy is a wonderful thing. :D Does anyone else hop out of bed, crank up the music, and start dancing? Dance while you make coffee, etc? Here's one of my morning playlists:

US3 - Cantaloop
U2 - Numb
Tupac - California Love
Sugarcubes - Birthday
Stone Temple Pilots-Big Bang Baby
Rufus Wainwright - Instant Pleasure
Robbie Williams - Rock Dj
Peter Gabriel - Digging in the Dirt
The Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize
Mary J. Blige - Family Affair
Go-Gos - Head Over Heels
Eve featuring Gwen Stefani - Let Me Blow Your Mind
Big Tymers - Still Fly

I highly recommend it.

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