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Another thing I don’t really need but totally want, regardless…

HiFi Console by Department

HiFi Console by Department Home & Audio

So I was sorting through a pile of unopened mail and other misc papers that have piled up on my desk, and lo and behold, I come across the flyer for this most perfect incredible subtle wireless new style old school record player plus storage by Department Home & Audio in Chicago. And I fell in love.

And then I realized that there really isn’t anywhere in our apartment that I could put this.

And then I was sad.

But maybe one of you lucky souls out there has been in the market for a record player/LP storage cabinet. And now your prayers are answered.

You can thank me later.

Here comes summer!!

photo: Brooke Williams

Nothing says summer quite like a cold one on the dashboard of a motorboat…

And then, suddenly, summer sets in. Memorial Day has come and gone, and my plan was to post this playlist back on Friday before everybody took off in their cars all harried and looking for something new to listen to while they sat in traffic on the Taconic or the LIE.

But nope. Didn’t manage to get it together.

But hey, it’s never too late for a new bunch of songs. And there will be plenty of traffic-filled hours logged on the road during these next few months during which a new playlist will be much appreciated.

So without further ado, I give you a few tunes (via Spotify) to help us all get in the mood for the sultry days ahead.

Be mine

our valentine's

As promised, here is our version of the painted newspaper heart valentines I wrote about in the last post. We painted on envelopes so that we could enclose our traditional handmade peppermint bark. And they were very well received, if I do say so myself.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a playlist of some of my favorite love songs. On Spotify, as usual.

Below please find the track list, should you wish to follow along:

Beggin’ – Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons
Happy Valentine’s Day – Outkast
I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family
(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry – Darlene Loe
I’ve Got A Woman – Ray Charles
Wanna Be On Your Mind – Valerie June
Hidden Place – Bjork
(Every Time I Turn Around) Back – L.T.D.
It’s In The Kiss – Betty Everett
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – Bettee Swann
Boy From New York City – The Ad Libs
Kooks – David Bowie
Love Has Fallen O Me – Chaka Khan
I Keep Coming Back – The Afghan Whigs
A Song For You – Donny Hathaway

A little pep in your step

I was just wasting time on Facebook when I came across this amazing video. The caption (from the Studio by Kelly Facebook page) reads:

The Nicholas Brothers were a famous African American team of dancing brothers, Fayard (1914–2006) and Harold (1921–2000). With their highly acrobatic technique (“flash dancing”), high level of artistry and daring innovations, they were considered by many the greatest tap dancers of their day. Growing up surrounded by Vaudeville acts as children, they became stars of the jazz circuit during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance and went on to have successful careers performing on stage, film, and television well into the 1990s.

Now that I’ve shared it with you guys, my time on Facebook has been well spent.

Phew.

I am too sad to write a real post today…

kid david bowie

David Bowie, back when he was just David Robert Jones.

My mother, who is at once one of the loveliest and least sentimental people I know, cried when Jackie O passed away back in 1994. She explained to me that she felt as if a part of her had died too. This morning, when I first heard the news about David Bowie, I finally understood exactly what she meant.

I’ll be back on track tomorrow, I’m sure. But today, I’ll leave you with this New York Times obituary and a really interesting and insightful e mail exchange I read between two writers who thought they were crafting tributes to the thin white duke after Grantland.com got a tip (back in 2012) that Mr Bowie was on his last legs and would be dying at any moment.

Terrie Gross (of NPR’s Fresh Air) of course has something meaningful to say, plus she replays some great moments from her 2002 Bowie interview:

Also this photo, which features my favorite hair incarnation:

bowie

David Bowie (1947 – 2016)

And this song, which is one of the sweetest songs ever written from a parent to a kid:

Kooks

Will you stay in our Lovers’ Story
If you stay you won’t be sorry
‘Cause we believe in you
Soon you’ll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing

We bought a lot of things
to keep you warm and dry
And a funny old crib on which the paint won’t dry
I bought you a pair of shoes
A trumpet you can blow
And a book of rules
On what to say to people
when they pick on you
‘Cause if you stay with us you’re gonna be pretty Kookie too

[CHORUS]

And if you ever have to go to school
Remember how they messed up
this old fool
Don’t pick fights with the bullies
or the cads
‘Cause I’m not much cop at punching other people’s Dads
And if the homework brings you down
Then we’ll throw it on the fire
And take the car downtown

[CHORUS (repeat ad inf.)]

Music to clear your clutter by

Bill WIthers

Just play this music while you re-organize your life and you will be as happy as Bill Withers is in this picture. No, really.

Clearly, one cannot be expected to get any serious de-cluttering done without a great playlist. And while everybody’s tastes differ– some people find inspiration in Taylor Swift, while others need to sing along to Carmen whilst waving their arms madly about– I say, listen to whatever works. And in that spirit, I humbly offer you (via Spotify) a slice of what I have been listening to for the past several days as I make headway in the massive never-ending project that is the re-organization of my office.

Below please find the track list, should you wish to follow along…

I Can’t Stand The Rain – Ann Peebles
Shame, Shame, Shame – Shirley & Company
Lovely Day – Bill WIthers
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get – The Dramatics
Sweet Jamaica – Lord Kitchener
Saturday Night Fish Fry – Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
Get Out Of My Life Woman – Joe Williams
What Is Hip? – Tower Of Power
Sunshine Superman – Donovan
The Tide Is High – Blondie
Words Of Love – The Mamas And The Papas
Reflection – Diana Ross & The Supremes
Pretty Thing – Bo Diddly
Tightrope – Janelle Monáe
I Feel Like Funking It Up – Rebirth Brass Bad

It’s that time of year again…

nassau st

Tis the season over here in the northernmost part of Brooklyn.

I love listening to all different types of music, but come December, I am suddenly compelled to choose albums and playlists with a “Holidays” theme. I know it may be a bit cliche, but these songs make me feel merry and bright. Which is a lovely way to be.

So without further ado, I give you a selection of some of my favorite songs to play during this crazy and wonderful time of year. If you’re signed up for Spotify (it’s free), just click on the little triangle below to listen:

And here, as usual, is the tracklist if you want to follow along…

Winter Wonderland – Macy Grey
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – The Beach Boys
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Christmas In Hollis – RUN-DMC
Chanukah Song, Pt 2 – Adam Sandler
The Nutcracker Suite: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Tchaikovsky
The Christmas Song – Ray Charles
Just Like Christmas – Low
Coventry Carol – Joan Baez
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – The Temptations
Little Drummer Boy – The Flaming Lips
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – She & Him
Happy Hanukkah – Matisyahu
Twelve Days of Christmas – The Muppets & John Denver
Santa Claus IS Coming To Town – Jackson 5
8 Days of Hannukah – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton
Silent Night – Mahalia Jackson

Yesterday, at some point…

dino pokemon

This is something that one might not expect to see backstage at a Dinosaur Jr show at the Bowery Ballroom.

And yet…

________________________________
Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

Music that my kid actually loves thanks in large part to her music teacher

the sojourners

A fine album cover if ever there was one…

One of my favorite things about my daughter’s school is their music program. They learned basic music theory through singing Louis Armstrong and Carole King, they learned to play Bill Withers songs on the recorder, they are learning about rhythm by beating on the West African djembe. The entire school gets together monthly to sing Neal Young and the Beatles, folk songs and spirituals… It’s really a dream come true. Because at the end of the day, she will remember these songs long after many of the other aspects of elementary school have become distant memories.

So during this season of thanksgiving, I would like to express my gratitude to one Mr Seth Ginsberg for his role in helping to shape my daughter’s excellent taste in music. And I would like to share a few of her favorite I-learned-this-in-school songs with you all today. If you’re signed up for Spotify (it’s free), just click on the little triangle below to listen:

And here’s the tracklist if you want to follow along…

Welcome Table – The Sojouorners
Papa Was A rolling Stone – The Temptations
When You’re Smiling – Louis Armstrong
Lean On Me – Bill Withers
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – The Temptations
I Feel The Earth Move – Carole King
Having A Party – Sam Cooke
Dancing In The Street – Martha reeves and the Vandellas
When The Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong
Stop In The Name Of Love – The Surpremes
Azucar Negra – Celia Cruz
Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha – Sam Cooke
You’ve Got A Friend – Carole King
The Bare Necessities – Louis Armstrong
The Welcome Table – Hollis Wadkins*

*This last one is a more politicized version of this song than they sing at school, but I am finding it relevant these days, so I’m adding it in for yur listening pleasure…