Feb 062013

Don’t bail on me, HVB. I’m used to you not answering direct questions in our occasional offlist conversations, but this question cannot be ignored.

I stumbled across this Justin Timberlake song while flipping stations in the car last night. It quickly caught my ear with its vaguely “Be Thankful For What You Got” vibe and odd (fake?) Earth Wind & Fire-style horns. I stuck with it. I even made it through the—SPOILER ALERT—rap break. And is that sampled swirling strings from the intro to Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes‘ “Wake Up Everybody” I hear at this song’s conclusion? Talk about a way to your Moderator’s heart!

Check this song out (don’t worry about actually watching the video). Can we agree on a contemporary pop song?

Sep 092012

I first came across the then-16 year old Archy Marshall via the video below, and it just blew me away with raw, choked-up emotion and Billy Bragg-like vocals coming out of this Dickensian Rick Astley urchin.

Working under the moniker Zoo Kid, this little snot-nosed wunderkind cranked out a batch of ’80s-tinged punky, jazzy, folky, rockabilly, dubby little ditties on his Bandcamp site. As a seasoned 17 year old, he changed to King Krule, but he continues to stay true to his aesthetic. Which is what? A thuggish Everything But The Girl? Paul Weller fronting a garage band? Joe Strummer meets Gang Starr? Amped Aztec Camera?

Baby Blue

Ocean Bed

I want to slap this tone-deaf funky little hooligan on the back. You go, kid!

Portrait In Black and Blue

Rock Bottom

Jul 032012

Rockin' rat.

Chuck E. Cheese is getting a rock ‘n roll makeover.

The new Chuck E. Cheese that launches this week will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, the lead singer for the pop-punk band Bowling for Soup. The Chuck E. Cheese Facebook page now shows a silhouette of a cartoon mouse playing a guitar.

A rat mascot for a kids’ food joint. A spokesman who’s sung a jokey love song to his “bitch.” Dirtbag Nation, if you ever doubted that Chuck E. Cheese was the place to hold your kid’s next birthday party rest assured: your trash is welcome. But don’t let that perv Pee-wee and his act anywhere near the children!

Jun 282012

This weekend, some friends and I are co-hosting a baby shower for a good friend of mine. My friend is a dancer and avid music listener, and we frequently share music. Recently, she jokingly suggested that I should make her a mix to listen to when she’s in labor, and I was reminded of The Period Mix that Ashton Kutcher makes for Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached. (Because I’m among friends, I’ll admit to watching this with Mr. Royale—it had been a long week, we needed some mindless entertainment, and wanted to see what Ms. Portman had been up to after Black Swan.) While the movie is pretty dumb, it does have some funny moments, and we laughed at this take on the oh-so-earnest, trying-to-woo-the-girl love mixes that appear in movies such as High Fidelity.

I think that you all can help me create a mix for my friend who will soon be giving birth to a baby girl. Could you provide some suggestions, from the most sincere (cut to scene of gazing at cute baby clothes while a single tear rolls down my friend’s face) to completely ludicrous (the mothers in the audience know what’s ahead and all need a really good laugh)? Thanks.


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