What's with the name?

What's with the name? In my mid-twenties, I had essentially gone through one kind of life and am starting to enter another. The people that are probably going to read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those who don't know, here's a brief rundown . Cheers to Chapter 2! A journey in health in many ways, and to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am also a blogger for GreenMommas.com. This is my blog.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Weekend, Landon's Birthday, New Summer Tunes

It's my birthday! Well, tomorrow is. But today is party night. Exited to get together with some friends tonight for some drinks and music (and I've been told there is dinner involved). Don't I have a wonderful man to plan this whole thing for me? I do indeed. Yesterday at my regular stop at Drink, Kelly gave me two free drink cards for my birthday, and she reserved the couches for my crew and I tonight. If that doesn't scream loyalty to their customers I don't know what else would. Happy early (27th) birthday to me, I am hoping it will be a great success.

There is another birthday coming up (we have a swarm of Leos in our family). My little boy will be 4 on August 9th. Epic plans underway for that as well. First, the cake. I have never actually made a cake for him (shame on me, I know). This year, I'm getting all Martha Stewart/Ace of Cakes on this birthday's a** and making an incredible cake. This cake has blueprints and a week long planned out process. I am making him a Fairly Odd Parents cake, 3 layers, lime green frosting, marshmallow fondant crowns and stars coming out of the cake complete with a Cosmo and Wanda candle. Here comes the one bitch about this - Fairly Odd Parents is a retired show, therefore anything Fairly Odd Parents has become collectable. I paid $6 for a candle, which wasn't bad (thx Amazon), but all the figurines are $22 each! Bummed I couldn't put more on the cake. I have been watching tons of cake making how-to videos, so I should be a virtual expert by the time I have to start this cake. Another fun thing Noah and I are doing for Landon's birthday - a surprise room remodel. Painting a wall lime green and putting up some cool robot decals and he is going to have bunk beds! I figure the top bunk can just be a little seating area/hangout for him. I hope he is going to like it, I'm exited to get started on it.

Some great summer tracks I am really digging this week.

M83 - "Midnight City"
He's back and releasing a double album in October. The first single off Hurry Up We're Dreaming I love the 80's synth vibe and the quintessential romantic saxophone at the end (maybe Kenny G can be cool?)
I was playing this in my car and the car stereo turned this track up on it's own...really strange. Turn it up, and dance.

Midnight City by M83

The Drums - "Money"
10 points for a catchy surfer hook

The Drums - Money by weallwantsome1

SBTRKT - "Pharaohs"
I love SBTRKT's (self-titled) new album, another great track. I'll have to give the link for this one, couldn't find it on sound cloud : http://hypem.com/item/1ckz7/SBTRKT+-+Pharaohs

Chiddy Bang - "Manners"
IMO, Chiddy Bang is the future of hip hop. He's a seriously creative MC, I always love what he uses for a back beat. "Manners" is no exception.

Mind Your Manners by ChiddyBang

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Jamz 2011 - Top Ten Dance-your-pants-off-sunny-day-bbq-open-field-festie Tunes

It was bound to happen. With the amount of fantasic tunes released in the last 6 months a summer jam playlist is definitely needed, but not that easily thrown together. While rotating favorites like MGMT "Kids", Banarama's "Cruel Summer" and Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor" will always make my summer soundtrack, there are some great new contenders for that classic summer dance sound. So, without further adieu, my countdown of the top 10 (new) Summer Jamz.

10. Adele - Set Fire to the Rain (Plastic Plates Remix)
 It's no secret, I am a raving fan of the remix - a GREAT remix. Adele has acheived noticable mainstream pop attention with hits like "Chasing Pavements" from her first album, 19, and more recently with "Rolling in the Deep" off 21 (which has also seen it's fair share of monster remixes). The powerful bluesy and sometimes raspy voice of Adele set to a road-trip-worthy summer dance beat, I can envision my self driving with the window down, 70mph, singing "but I'll set fiiireee, to the rainnn...." while the sun reflects off my fuschia mock Ray Bans. And while I know next to nothing about Plastic Plates - it's safe to say now the name will stick.

Adele - Set Fire To The Rain (Plastic Plates Remix) by PLASTiC PLATES

9. Future Islands - Tin Man
Baltimore's Future Islands have peaked my interest recently, most likely because they are not like anything I've heard before. Lead singer Sam Herring's voice is reminiscent of that always-in-pain vocalist of the 90's grunge scene, is somewhat rock opera like, but he is usually backed by more upbeat pop/rock synth beats which makes for an odd combination that, surprisingly, works extremely well together. "Tin Man" strikes me as a summer beat - with the steel drums and rolling bass, but perhaps with a darker undertone. I've heard they are fantastic live, and I'm terribly bummed I missed them at the Monkey House recently.

Future Islands - Tin Man

8. Caribou - Sun (Pyramid Remix)
I'll have to admit, I am not really into Caribou's orginal "Sun". But there is really something special about this remix. Pyramid is a young producer from France, I really couldn't find much information about him otherwise (try searching Pyramid on Google). This remix in particular shows bits and pieces chillwave with a little more of a dance beat. Either way, it screams summer - aviators, lightweight sundresses flouncing in the wind, sunkissed skin. It may even be a perfect track for a pool party.

Caribou - Sun (Pyramid Remix) by -Pyramid-

7. Wolf Gang - The King and All of His Men
If this countdown was based purely on the number of days the song was stuck in my head, this tune would without a doubt be #1. Alas, because there are many more factors than brain stickiness, Wolf Gang's "The King and All of His Men" lands at a respectable #7. It has all the elements of a fantastic pop song - catchy lyrics, back-up "oooo oooo ooooooh" vocals, great keys, drums and a chorus you just can't forget: "you took her soul, so incomplete, why don't you stop....fighting me. You're in control, so why should you beeeee....fighting me". They have been galavanting around Europe and opened up for The Killers, as well as headlining a good percentage of their own gigs. Here is the video for the track below - how much cooler can you get than filming in a cave while running after a cute girl with vintage suitcases? Here's to wishing they'll come stateside soon.

6. Fitz and the Tantrums - Don't Gotta Work it Out
There is nothing I like more than a throwback to Motown. Among the likes Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Mayer Hawthorne and Raphael Saadiq, Fitz and the Tantrums have literally exploded on to the 'modern motown' music scene. How? Take it from their website "In just a year or so, soulsters Fitz & the Tantrums went from the living room to the main stage. The recipe for meteoric success? Six killer musicians, five dapper suits, irresistible songs, some serendipity and one vintage organ." When I see a band come on stage wearing stylish, well fitting suits, black ties and swanky fedoras, I know it's going to be a great show. "Don't Gotta Work it Out" off Pickin' Up the Pieces is a track you can throw on at a BBQ and people of all ages can jam out to it. Or you can hang out in the air conditioning and imagine you're in a smoke-filled jazz club with high rollers, dirty martinis, and red carpets.

Fitz & The Tantrums - Don't Gotta Work It Out

5. Justice - Civilization (LAZRtag Remix)
It seems like the second Justice released the first single from it's forth-coming, still untitled sophomore album on the heels of the new Adidas commercial, everyone made a remix. There were some good, some bad, some ok, and some exceptional. LAZRtag's remix was one of the exceptional. While it still keeps the vibe and weight of the original track, it mixes and speeds it up a bit so this remix is sure to hit dance floors around the nation. Justice recently released the Romain Garvas-directed video for Civilization, which is as much and interpretive piece of art as it is a music video. Check out the video here, but also enjoy the remix.

Justice - Civilization (LAZRtag Bootleg Mix)

4. Starfucker - Julius
Ok, ok, so I know I blogged about this track before, but I just adore it. It's on it's way to being one of my summer classics. And because it was not released until last fall, it's still technically a new summer jam. I love how the vocals drown in the pop synth beats, so neither is more prominent than the other. Something about the beginning of it reminds me of an 80s cartoon theme song, though I can't put my finger on it. It's wonderful and fun in it's entirety, sure to be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Julius 7" version

3. Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise
Here we are at #3 - getting to the good stuff. One of these things is not like the other. Meaning, I normally don't post much hip hop. But it's the Beastie Boys. With the release of Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 they are still schooling everyone in the hip hop realm on how it's done. The first track off the album, also accompanied by a star studded video (Seth Rogan, Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Susan Sarandon and more) leads by example. It shows us that solid rhymes and a funky beat are still king.

Make Some Noise by Beastie Boys

2. Dillon Francis - HARD Summer 2011 Mix
Moombahton is taking over the world (yes spell check that is an actual word). Maybe it isn't yet, but it's made it's way in to our hearts just in time for summer with this epic mixtape from Mad Decent's Dillon Francis. It may have been "invented" by Dave Nada, but Mr. Francis is showing us what it's all about, and that it's made for gettin' down. A mix of sultry reggaeton and house music, I had not much interest in Moombahton until this mixtape. Now, I get it; it's quite honestly dance floor gold. If you're not convinced, get yourself about 3:05 in to this mixtape and you will understand. That's where it hooks me in and makes me wants to move. Also included in Hard Summer Mix - a throwback to some high school tunes with some Fat Joe/Big Pun and Missy Elliot. Somehow, Dillon Francis managed to sample CSS' newly released song "Hits Me Like a Rock" about two months before they actually realeased it. Not sure how that happened, but pretty sure this man is genious. Initially, he only allowed about 10 free downloads of this mix, then cut it off subsequently pissing off the masses. Now, once again, you can download for free (do it while you still can!).

Dillon Francis - HARD Summer 2011 Mix  by DILLONFRANCIS

1. Cut Copy - Pharaohs and Pyramids
I already knew what my #1 summer jam was before I decided to put this post together. Off their album Zonoscope, "Pharaohs and Pyramids" taps in to the 'drop the beat' mentality that mirrors LCD Soundsystems's "Dance Yrself Clean" (My #1 Summer Jam of 2010), although Cut Copy makes you wait for it less, and want it more (sorry J Murph I'm still upset you broke an incredible band up at it's peak). While "Dance Yrself Clean" is fairly lackluster for about 3 min and leaves you salivating for that beat drop, Cut Copy has an amazing track that just happens to have an impressive dance beat drop about 3 min in also - no doubt getting the party started and the crowd in a complete dance frenzy at one of the numerous summer festivals they are playing this year. I expect I will see nothing less at Camp Bisco, where they are expected to 'get the party started' opening up the stage on Thursday night. Add it to your summer playlist, you will not be disappointed in the least.

Cut Copy - Pharaohs and Pyramids

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting Shpongled

So what is a Shpongle? Or a Shpongletron for that matter. I was bound to find out. Noah and I went to "The Shpongletron Experience" kind of on a whim. His friend was going, and I Googled "Shpongle" and knew by the YouTube videos that I would not even be slightly let down by this show. Shpongle live will also be at Camp Bisco this year, so I figured I should check it out. The Shpongletron appeared to be a pagoda style DJ booth (well DJ tower) that has multiple projection screens. There was an eye shaped screen at the very top, and a 3D cast of the Shpongle head front and center on the tower. As the DJ/Producer made his way up to his perch in the Shpongletron, with his surely Peter Pan inspired feather chapeau, we got closer for a better look. The two hours that followed were no less than amazing, I was awe-struck. The graphics on the projection screens were really fantastic. The projection on to the 3D Shpongle head made it appear to move it's multiple sets of eyes, and twist and turn it's head around. The music was great. A world beat/house music combo with some obvious bits of Latin flare. Lots of drums and flutes. You can see the Shpongletron video I took below :

It was an all around fun time, and it was and experience. AND I am about 99% sure I saw my high school science teacher.

With all this rain and flooding, I've been seeking out some new fun music to listen to to keep my spirits up. Here are a few tracks that have been rotating on my playlists this week.

Just bought their album Reptilians - Definitely worth a good listen, this is my favorite track:
STRFKR - Julius by Polyvinyl Records

I also have to post the Zelda-inspired music video for this one:

And speaking of Zelda, you can check out Zedd's "The Legend of Zelda" remix here 

Funkabit is an Italian export - real funky, almost lounge-like

Blue moon by Funkabit

Yet another super remix from this 16 year old (!) France native - watch this kid:
Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix) @ Pete Tong 05.13.11 by Madeon

And finally, not so uplifting but still a great time, Electro-pop group Fenech-Soler:
Lies by Fenech-Soler

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Relentless Grasp of Winter and New Music Obsessions

I have to vent for a minute here. It seems like Vermont is stuck in this terrible weather pattern of mid-40s and clouds (well thunderstorms today). What is going on here? It's the end of April and it feels like late February. As soon as I gave up my boots and my winter coat on one 55 degree day, they were back on the next because I like to take a nice long walk on my lunch hour and not freeze.

Last Saturday was no exception to this absurd weather pattern. April 16 (aka the day that everything good in the state seemed to be happening) was an attempt at the start of music outside. I purchased my tickets to UVM's annual SpringFest weeks ago, crossing my fingers for a sunny day above 50 degrees. This April 16 was neither of those things. Just barely pushing 40 degrees, with fierce wind gusts and a terrain that was like a soaked sponge due to rainfall and a record amount of snowfall pushed SpringFest off the green and in to Patrick Gym. Bummer, but at least I was going to get to see the Roots and Theivery Corporation. SpringFest was due to start at noon with three openers before the headliners, so we took our time and arrived at 2pm hoping to catch at least one of the openers. What we found was a pretty empty gym with some rowdy college kids tossing around SpringFest branded beach balls. Hmmm where was the music? About 40 minutes of waiting later with still no music, we discovered Patrick Gym had no power which meant...no music. The last opener, Brothers McCann, tried to ease the crowd by doing some acapella stuff with a drum kit, sax and a tambourine. I applaud them for the attempt but almost an hour in with no (amplified) music, we left to go have a drink at a local chain restaurant. Fast foward an hour later, the power turned on right as we walked in. Like literally, as we walked in the door. Our string of luck for the day started here. Brothers McCann were allowed to come on and do some legit performing - and all I can say is what a difference when they were plugged in. They went from almost high school recital sounding to a perfectly rendered, beautifully harmozied, jam-band version of Mumford & Sons. You can check them out here, glad I caught a few songs from them.

Next up, Thievery Corporation DJ set. A quick disclaimer; I LOVE Thievery Corporation. I have seen their live act 3 times, always with an on-stage posse of 20+. This was a DJ set, so I knew it would be different, but I was a bit disappointed. The switched off, El Jefe spinning Thievery-esque instrumental stuff and Eric spinning mostly reggae. The transitions between tracks were not that good, and there was little to no performance value. Just one guy walking around while the other one spun and bobbed their head, no microphone. AND I missed the sitar. But I still love Thievery.

The Roots put on one of their classic lively shows, almost freezing the whole act multiple times and starting back up perfectly synchronized, like pressing pause and then play on a tape deck (or iPod). Oh, that sousaphone...I didn't really understand why they did a bunch of "americana rock-and-roll" cover songs, they have a ton of material to work with. But they were really good, as expected.

At 7:30 we departed Patrick Gym, just enough time to go home and eat a combination of left-overs for dinner and back to Burlington for, what I consider, the better part of the day : ?uestlove DJ set with Lazerdisk Party Sex and Philly Slick at Nectars. We parked nearby and just barely made it in to Nectars to catch about 15 min of the first opener, Philadelphia Slick. Philadelphia is a good, funky hip hop crew who are way too underestimated. Hardly anyone was there for their set at a sold out show. They kept it lively, threw out some t-shirts and cleared the stage. Noah's friend Joe happened to be bartending, which got us little to no cost drinks for a few rounds. Lucky lucky day. Lazerdisk Party Sex was next. They had me at storm trooper masks. Not only do they have fun, synthy, mixes including "Lemonade is Still Popular" (the vocal sample was 'lemonade was a popular drink....and it still is...pop...pop...pop...pop...Bruce Willis' HILARIOUS and totally danceable) and "Tigerblood" (you guessed it snippits of Charlie Sheen rants), but they are really good performers; jumping up and down and making hand motions to get the crowd going. Dressed in suits with a tie and bow tie, and of course the storm trooper masks. Fun fun fun. Oh, and they are originally from Burlington, awesome. Here are some photos from the show below:

As well as the two aforementioned tracks:


Lemonade is Still Popular by LAZERDISK PARTY SEX

So, mid-Lazerdisk set I'm standing watching in excitement while Noah runs outside for a minute. Someone comes up and stands right next to me. I'm having a good time, I look over and did an instant double take. In all his awesomness and brown cord jacket glory, stands El Jefe (Rob Garza) of Thievery Corporation. I froze, and got on the iPhone and started a text to Noah: "I'm standing next to El Jefe..." as soon as I get done with the last "e" in Jefe, Noah comes back. I whisper "look to my left". He's looking around and finally spots El Jefe (who was maybe two feet from me) and goes right in for a handshake and a compliment about the great set today. Noah buys El Jefe a Corona and us another round of drinks, and I'm still close lipped and starstruck while he goes on about how we've seen Thievery 3 times in the last year. I couldn't believe it, the whole night I was just in awe. I never meet musicians, or anyone famous!

The night got more awesome still, if that was possible. ?uestlove came on and did almost a 3 hour DJ set of hip-hop history (or what I call ?uestlove unconvers the sample). He seeks out the sample of a track, plays the sample, then somehow transitions into the hip-hop track completely seamless. It was truly amazing, every minute of it. The show was totally worth the $20 just for that set, but I happened to get 1 1/2 more sets included in the ticket price.

More spring music tonight with Bassnectar and EOTO. I'm trying to prep my ears. This weekend will be crazy - I took Thursday and Friday off which will be spent putting up moulding and transition strips and preparing to have Noah's family up for Easter. Landon wants the Easter Bunny to bring him new movies (mommy plans on the Easter Bunny bringing some fun outdoor toys). We'll see what happens.

New music obsessions - Miami Horror. A perfect combo between chillwave and disco, I can already hear their album Illumination being the soundtrack to my summer. Check out my favorite tracks below:

Holidays by Miami Horror (Official)

Sometimes by Miami Horror (Official)

Looking forward to album releases from Digitalism and Justice. Check out the new singles :

2 Hearts by digitalism_official

Justice - Civilization by WATM Magazine

Ok sorry, this was a long post. But thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Without a coat and in to Festival Season!

It's April 14, 45 degrees, and I'm wearing a skirt and flip flops. Now, this might not seem like appropriate clothing for the conditions, but it's April and I am giving up my pants/leggings, boots and winter coat. Warm weather will come eventually. Heck, it was 73 degrees on Monday of last week. But it's Vermont. I have come to terms with our obscure weather, or our lack of weather pattern at all. It could be 70 degrees and sunny one day, and  snowing the next. I do remember a snow fall once in June, during my high school days - wow is my high school 10 year reunion really supposed to be next year?! Scary. Anyway, I digress. So yes, off with the coats and in with pasty white skin that hasn't seen sunlight since, well, last summer. And while my cold-to-the-touch legs are waiting for that 70 degrees and sun again, let's talk about what I am most looking forward too this summer.

M-U-S-I-C, outside. While it is a bummer that UVM's springfest this Saturday has been moved inside to the Patrick Gym (the stage would sink in to the green it's so moist), at least it's an attempted start to the beautiful, unpredictable and absolutely necessary outdoor music season. It will still be a fantastic show - with the Roots and Thievery Corporation DJ set. I really can't imagine those two acts could ever disappoint. I'm actually pretty stoked to see Thievery do a DJ set. While they are amazing live, I have seen them no less than three times in the past year and a half, and they usually do a very similar set. Music outside - June for me marks the start of Festival Season! For a reasonable ticket price, you can see a menagerie of your favorite acts perform while you tough it out camping with port-o-potties, little running water and no electricity. But that is the whole experience of things. The festival culture is something you will not see anywhere else besides a festival. The music and togetherness allow people to let go of their inhibitions and just enjoy themselves (am I sounding like a hippie yet?) A good music festival is probably the freest place you can be on Earth. Surrounded by people that all love the music and to be there with you. I'm still deciding on the festivals I'll attend this season, one I am pretty sure of is Camp Bisco. It was hands down my favorite last year with more than enough bass, lightsticks, lazer-like light shows and Eeyores on sticks to go around for everyone (yes the Winnie the Pooh character).

Cheers to the kick-off of a great spring, which will lead to a fantastic summer, and enjoy some tracks from this year's Camp Bisco artists below:

Cut Copy - Pharaohs and Pyramids by modularpeople

Nighttime by Afrobeta

Everyday (Netsky Remix) by Rusko

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Love, Death and then some

Before I get to the "death" portion of this post, I'm going to talk about love. As in the recent holiday where we celebrate it : Valentines Day. Up until I met Noah, my vdays had been lackluster. Well, lackluster is a bit of an understatement actually. This vday lacked no luster at all. I had a great time. We did our vday the Friday before the actual day. We went to Church & Main for dinner after work, located at the corner of Church and Main street (get it?). Looking at the menu ahead of time, I was already pretty exited about the options. The only disappointment of that dining experience was the lack of a place to wait for a table. They literally left a three foot square for people to stand while they wait for a table, and it's cold outside. But we had reservations and were seated right away in the back corner. The ambiance was romantic, understated and simple. Dimmed track lighting, brick walls and floor to ceiling curtains that sectioned off various sections of the restaurant made me feel cozy right away. The waiter greeted us and took our orders for water (tap is fine with me!) as we perused the menu. The menus were heavy, obviously housing a solid menu. I started out with their "Russian punch". A delightful blend of Ketel One vodka, some sort of berry compote and topped off with bubbles. Kind of like a bellini with good vodka. This was already my kind of joint, I thought. We just HAD to try the poutine with bacon and bourbon gravy as an appetizer. The only other time I have ever tried poutine was arond 3:30 am on some little sketchy fast food place after stumbling out of a club in Montreal. Even then it was decent. This poutine was absolutely amazing, a true comfort food of sorts. Hand cut fries that were slightly crunchy and hot, but not greasy. Melted bit of cheese curd topped off with the bacon bourbon gravy. Easily one of the best gravies I have ever had. Slightly creamy with just enough but not too much taste of the title ingredients. I would probably go back to Church & Main just for that dish. For my entree, I had the lobster mac & cheese. The waiter had asked if I wanted bacon in it too, but I held off on that decadence. Good mac & cheese is probably my ultimate comfort food. Lobster mac & cheese could be considered a little bit of heaven for me, if done right. I had not found a lobster mac & cheese that rivaled the decadence and perfection of Our House (one of my favorite places to eat comfort food)....until Church & Main. Slightly sharp cheese perfection with large bits of perfectly cooked lobster claws and tail mixed in brought it right up to my "best mac & cheese" list. I could only finish about half of it. But leftovers are a wonderful thing. Based on that one visit, I would place Church & Main atop the best restaurants in Burlington, at least for contemporary american cuisine.

Leaving our new found favorite restaurant, with full bellies and the satisfaction of a restaurant that had lived up to it's hype, we made a pit stop at our favorite after work Thursday spot, Drink. Enough time to squeeze in a Candy Cosmo and a quick chat with the bartender and we were off to the second part of the evening. 

Off to see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Always promising a dancin' good time, Sharon Jones funked her way through the set with a green sequined tank bringing random people up on to the stage to dance with her. It was a fantastic time. Wonderful Valentine's day, all around (oh ya and I did get flowers vday morning, not to brag or anything). 

The Thursday after Sharon Jones was time for our next musical fun time - Big Gigantic. Definitely one of my favorite acts to see live, seeing them twice before I knew they would bring their best, like they do every time. It was interesting to see them grow and gain popularity in the 7 months since I had seen them last. They sold out the big room at Higher Ground, and brought a set of multi-colored spotlights atop giant stacked light up cubes. The show was amazing, with new tracks flying out left and right and Dominic Lolli killin' it on the sax, can't wait to see them again.

So, anyway...about halfway in to the Big Gigantic show I get a text. My grandmother had passed away at 11:22 pm that night. Her health had been declining for some time now so there was nothing shocking about this news, just sort of untimely that I happened to be at a crazy super fun show. I was a little sad, but enjoyed the rest of the night. I didn't really cry much at all over the next couple days and was questioning whether or not I had been compassionate enough or really needed to mourn more. I came to the conclusion that when death is pretty expected, it's really not all that sad. She had 84 years here, but the last 5 were rough. When I saw her last in December she was completely "checked out". She was there, physically, but not responding to anyone, just staring off in to the distance blankly. The only time I got sad about her death is heading down to Boston for the funeral, watching my aunts and uncles cry for her. People I had never seen cry in my entire life had an effect on me. 

Back from the weekend in Boston, with Noah by my side, we're unpacking and moving his things in. My son has his own room, which he seems to like a little too much, and we've really enjoyed getting to spend every night together for the past week.

Some new fun tracks for you. Heard this first one during "intermission" at the Big Gigantic show. Come to find out the mix was crafted by a 16 year old!

Wolfgang Gartner - Anthology Mashup (Madeon Mix) by obibongkenobi

And a new track from Royksopp, very enjoyable

Keyboard Milk by Röyksopp

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowpocalypse! and (Protesting?) Like and Egyptian

Winter is here. People are freaking out across the country. OMG, this is the 9th snow storm in 7 weeks?!? Apocalypse! Snowpocalypse!?! Luckily, I am seasoned Vermonter. This weather is incredibly too familiar to me. Yes, I get it - a hundred or two miles south of the Green Mountain State they just aren't prepared for this amount of snow, mentally and financially. But we have small plows just for the sidewalks, we've got it down! I suppose if a category 5 hurricane came sweeping through VT I would probably be debating the real effects of global warming too. I guess I don't see snow as that destructive, at least you can move it around and it certainly doesn't cause the damage that flooding and tornadoes do. Over time, I have come to appreciate the snow. Not the way I did as a pink snow-suited toddler, but as an adult. There is a beauty in freshly fallen snow; lining the roads, sprinkled on the trees, glistening in the path of my headlights. It does still hold that magical sense for me, I hope people in Chicago and NYC can appreciate it that way. Hey, we're not all in grave danger because of a few feet of snow.

On the subject of current events, there is protesting in Egypt. They want new leadership, it's all over the news. I really have no opinion or political commentary on the situation, but it did make me think a little bit about the fact that I have never protested, well, anything. In my life, I don't think there has been a need or an issue I felt passionate about to go protest about. Maybe I have taken for granted that this generation doesn't have the need or drive to protest. It's just not the way we seem to get things done anymore. Obviously I know that there are protests going on over certain issues like abortion, gay rights, Yankees vs. Red Sox (kidding about that one). But they are unmatched to the protests for change on civil rights of previous generations. Do we just not care enough anymore? Or do we really have the major issues right and there is not a lot left that hundreds of thousands of people want to protest about together. I have no idea. Love and peace, man. And music. Gooooood music...two new free tracks for you (plus I will be seeing both Big Gigantic and Bassnectar in the next 2 months)

Monday, January 24, 2011

You can't get what you pay for, anymore

Apartment hunting continues, and it is (*sigh) entirely disappointing. I remember when I used to rent, it was not too long ago. Maybe 5 years or so. I remember a time where $1100 a month would get you a brand new, 3 floor condo with all the bells and whistles. So, what's happened between now and then? Seriously, what? In this search for apartments, $1100 seems to get you tiny rooms, a beat up kitchen and a few windows if you are lucky. Normally, this wouldn't be so frustrating for me. I can make a crappy apartment in to something better looking than it is with some nice furniture and wall art. But, this time around, I have to consider another person...my son. I find myself scrutinizing every inch of every apartment, thinking if it would be safe and acceptable for my precious little boy. None has passed that test yet. If he can't play in the yard (if there is a yard) without the risk of being hit by a car, it's not ok. If there are partying tenants on the second floor that are loud and prevent him from getting a good night's sleep, that's not ok. If I have to worry about the heating system crashing in the middle of the night because it's so darn old and I have to have a stack of comforters on hand just in case, that's not ok. You get where I'm going with this? I have to have really high standards for a place of living because I don't want where I decide to live to affect his quality of life. And it very surely can, in a good or bad way.

So that's where that stands. I may be insanely picky about my next dwelling but it's for a damn good reason.

Pretty exited about February, even if it does involve some moving. Really decent shows headed to Burlington, VT. Starting off with Lyrics Born, 2/2 at Metronome . Looking forward to seeing the New Deal for the first time on 2/4. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings bring their soulful funkiness back to higher ground on on 2/11. Big Gigantic, one of my favorite finds of last year will be in the Higher Ground Ballroom 2/17. If there is one I could recommend to you, you will not be disappointed in Big Gigantic. Music will encompass my February with some Valentine's day celebrations somewhere in the middle. You can get tickets for the HG shows here.

I have found two new tracks (well one is a remix) that I can't get enough of this week, see below :

Hot Chip - I Feel Better by HOTCHIP

Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours (Passion Pit Remix) by Pretty Much Amazing

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ins and Outs of Moving Out

The apartment search is on, well full on. I have sent at least ten emails with only one legit response back. I did get two other responses, though. Surprisingly [or not] they were both from people out of town whose significant other was overseas doing charity work - so all the paperwork would have to be done via mail. Yea, right. I can't even see the apartment before I make a commitment and send out a check for it? No thanks. Why do people try to scam nice people looking for a nice place to live? It really gets me. But I very quickly learned that something that sounds even a little bit too good to be true, is. I have been through enough ridiculousness in my life to have to add this crap in to it.

Sorry, that was my brief craigslist rant. So, moving out. I have only been living in my current dwelling for about two years [take a few months]. I feel like I have accumulated so much stuff since then. This weekend I cleaned out, err...attacked, my closets. My "coat closet" was full of toys and shoes and miscellany that myself or my sister just didn't feel like putting away where it didn't belong. A few trash bags later and it only has coats, a few shoes and some dog food. At least stuff doesn't spill out of it when you open it, and it doesn't put up an honest fight when you shut it, hoping the hinges don't fly off the door in a frenzy. The closet upstairs was a whole other story. The closet is the length of the room, about 12' long by maybe 3' deep. The middle 4 ft were ok, but the sides of the closet were completely engulfed with stuff. Stuff I hadn't seen for at least a year. That took 2 hours, a stick of incense and 6 more trash bags to complete. It's done, and really organized.

One of the reasons that I like to move so often (at least once every 2 years for the last 8 years) is that I really have no choice but to purge things that I don't need. I really don't like the moving process, but I really enjoy getting a new space to set up and place everything neatly. I don't look forward to a very long day of lifting heavy things only to come back to a new place full of boxes, then passing out on just a mattress and a blanket of some sort because you're just too tired to even set the bed up. But when I wake up the next morning THAT's what I look forward to. Waking up, next to someone I love, that I'm starting a new adventure with. Sorting through stuff and creating a space that we can call home. I really like that feeling.

With an open mind, we are venturing to look at the first apartment today. We'll see how it goes. Although there may be boxes and u-hauls and more trash bags in my very near future, there is definitely a very exiting adventure that awaits. A new life of sorts.

Speaking of new and different, apparently this is a return of some sorts for Yelle. Even though I can't understand but 3 words, I can't help but to enjoy the pop bubbly sound of it.

Safari Disco Club by YELLE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What am I Listening To?

It's time for a post about music, I think. I'm not going to comment about albums or try to get in depth with song meanings. I just wanted to post a few things I am really digging at this moment. What I listen to in the car or at work, so I can look back on it in a few years and probably have a good laugh. My music tastes are pretty eclectic. I listen to a lot of different genres and sub-genres. I've been more in to electronic stuff lately, mostly because it gets me through the work day without falling asleep.

Week two, no caffeine. I've shot a few envious looks when my co-workers walk by with their third or fourth cup of the day. It really makes me think about how people try to quit stuff thats really addicting, like smoking. It's not even that I was addicted to coffee, it was just part of my routine. I liked the taste of that agave vanilla latte or mid-afternoon diet soda. I find myself thinking often "gee, wouldn't a coffee be nice right now?" But I'm fighting the urge. I think ultimately I will probably allow myself a coffee like once a week as a special treat. I just needed to get off the 'every morning latte' reality.

Anyway, some music.

Afrojack is a little new to me. I hear a few tracks here and there. I love 'Replica', probably because there is some Daft Punk, MGMT and Kid Cudi in there. I could do without the Katy Perry. Perhaps my favorite part of this mix is the french [unknown to me] lady singer backed by MGMT's 'Kids'. Have a listen, it's fun:

Afrojack - Replica (DG Edit) by danielgoldstein10

I just bought Skrillex's new release, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. While I'm still undecided if I really love listening to the album in it's entirety [it's a lot of hard bass and dubstep], I like each track as an individual. While the title track is probably my favorite, 'Rock n' Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain)' is a close second, and pretty fun.

Skrillex - Rock N Roll Will Take You To The Mountain by djkkkdre

On the other hand, deadmau5 I can listen to all day, everyday. He has brought really great techno to the masses. His shows are nothing short of amazing., I would've just paid for the light show - youtube it. His latest release, 4X4=12 is nothing short of what I would have expected from the mind of Joel Zimmerman. I recommend the continuous mix of the album, but if I had to break it in to tracks I like 'Raise Your Weapon' or as I call it "the softer side of deadmau5".

09-deadmau5 - raise your weapon (feat. greta svabo bech) by Dj Fuma

Breaking away from the electronic [it's not all I listen to], here are a few of my new favorites. Aloe Blacc's 'I Need a Dollar' I actually heard for the first time as a Big Gigantic remix. He has a wonderful voice and a modesty about him. I saw him perform this song on Jimmy Fallon Live with the Roots backing his soft, sincere vocals.

Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar by smithblogsatlanta

And speaking of soulful, here's a new track from Adele. I don't need to say anything about it, the song says it all. If I was this creative and passionate in the aftermath of a break-up, I'd do it more often [OK no I wouldn't].

Adele - Rolling In The Deep by GlobalGrind

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Laundry List of How Not to Grow Old

I went to my local music hot spot on Saturday night. Well, at least the one that's only about a quarter mile from my house in Essex. Noah and I go there often, because they always have some spunky cover band and it's a place to grab a drink very close to my dwelling. But there is a definite other reason that we stop in time after time : people watching. Let's just say we bring the median age down when we walk in the door. It's pretty reminiscent of a Class of Late 80's high school reunion. There is something enjoyable about watching the different ways people dance and the kick they get out of music hits from their time, all while under the influence of alcohol. There is no lack of feathered bangs, light wash denim on denim and Stetson hats. Most people seemed to have updated there styles but there is no hiding "the parents have a night out" looks on some faces. Others seem to be there looking for post-divorce hook-up, pounding the beers and letting the lack of inhibition take a hold of their dancing skills as the slowly close in on equally single looking partner. But then there are couples who just look like they will be perfectly happy slow dancing just like they used to, every Saturday night, for the remainder of their lives. That's the cute part to watch. The couples that seemed to have enjoyed dancing with each other for at least a decade or two.

Besides feeling young and being slightly out of place just because of my age, this local night spot makes me think of how I do or do not want to grow old. I have compiled a rough mental list of things I definitely need to take in to account as I grow older.

*Those clothes you wore 10 or 20 years ago won't work for you now, turn them in to a vintage clothing store so a new generation of youngsters can be fashionable wearing them.

*If you're going to wear jeans, especially out, make sure they actually fit and flatter you. Actually, this goes for any bit of clothes.

*A good undergarment can really make or break how you look (I've really always thought this was the staple to looking good, especially for a women).

*Keep your long hair as long as it looks youthful, not dry and old. Hair length on women seems to get shorter as age goes up, but I've always interpreted long locks as attractive and alluring, as long as it's well taken care of.

*Most importantly, don't stop caring about your appearance. Even if you are dedicated to one person for many years it's still important to look attractive to them, regardless of what age you are.

*Don't start listening to an "oldies" station just because you enjoy the hits of your generation. People are making good music, all the time, and everyone can listen to it.

Those are a rough set of rules I have compiled in my head. They are much more to do with not looking old than not feeling old. I'm working on the "not feeling old" part by giving up caffeine, getting more sleep and staying active. I guess we have to all grow old some time, but there are definitely people that do it more gracefully than others. I want to be in that group.

On to the song, er...the track. Proving you can do a great remix of an already great song is A-Trak with his cut of Robyn's Indestructible

Robyn - Indestructible (A-Trak Remix) by A-Trak

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Clashing of Priorities

This has been an interesting few days. I announced to my roommate, who is also my sister, that I would be moving out. This unfortunately means that she too would have to move out. In a flash my exiting announcement about moving on to the next chapter of my life was turned in to a petty battle about what we don't like about each other. About 50 texts later we haven't talked in two days, mostly because she accuses me of being different when I have a man in my life, and I have little respect for the people she keeps around in her life that tend to  stick around because of the more material benefits they get out of the relationship. It's been rough, but I think that we have completely different priorities in life that keep us from agreeing on how our life should or shouldn't be.

Having a child forever changes you. Suddenly you are no longer the most important person in your life and the life you have created takes that place. My priority in the past year and a half that we've been roommates has been to get financially back on my feet enough so that I could have a place that was more stable for my son. That was the intention all along. Unfortunately, I am living with a 23 year old girl that has lots of girlfriends that like to go out and have fun. One of them pretty much stays there 7 days a week. This is not really any sort of stable living situation or an environment I intended to raise my child in. I think everyone dreams about a home with a white picket fence with a nice yard where the kids can play and you can have BBQs on the porch. A communal living situation was not my dream, just more of the only option. Not to say I didn't like living with my sister. I love my sister, even though there is strife between us now I still will always love and appreciate her. Our living styles and priorities are completely different, I respect that, so now is a good time to part ways and be on our own. It makes me sad that she interprets it as not caring about her. It is because I care about our relationship that I am doing this now. So we can each create our different scenarios that we call our lives. My priorities are no longer going out and having a good time with the girls, they are to find my future. Not to say I don't go out and have a great time sometimes, I do. It's just not what completely defines my life. Fighting is silly. You never know how much time you may have here, and I'm hoping love and peace will eventually take hold on this crazy situation.

But the next part of my living situation I am exited about, even though it's caused this rift. A solid unit of myself, my son and Noah. Cooking dinner together, having fun, having control over who comes and goes in the place. It is a good time in my life, one I've been waiting a long time for. I am really confident in this next step.

I am also confident that you will like the track. My favorite track from Daft Punk's "Tron : Legacy" soundtrack. The whole soundtrack is wonderful, it's unfortunate that this track is a little short.

Daft Punk-Derezzed by klauschen

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Bad, The Good and the De-caffeination

I love lattes, it's no secret. The cafe at work makes some good ones, flavored with agave vanilla mmmm. In the new year I'm on this "getting healthier" kick. I want to live a long life and enjoy all life has to offer me. That means getting rid of some of the bad (not all I can't give up Cosmos), and doing some more good for myself. I have come to the decision to finally quit caffeine. I should be getting my energy from a good night's sleep and good food anyway. I'm three days in, and it's not too bad. I do feel a little more sluggish than usual but I think I need to catch up from some sleep I lost New Year's Eve weekend. It's proven a little difficult when I have to walk past Speeder and Earl's twice a day and I can smell the deliciousness. But hopefully I will maintain a decaf lifestyle.

So why,  you ask, can I not give Cosmos up? If you don't know, a cosmo (or cosmopolitan) is a lady's martini, maybe the official Sex and the City drink? Vodka, triple sec (or Cointreau if it's a really delicious one), cranberry juice and some lime. Already delicious just like that, I make 'em at home that way. Thursdays Noah and I have our little "night out" and unwind for the end of the week. Our ritual is hang out at Drink : he has $2 pints of Switchback and I indulge in their wonderfully awesome "Candy Cosmo", and we exchange that week's story with the bartender. I know what you're thinking, how could a Cosmo get better? Well it does. They have a selection of infused vodkas there, even a Jolly Rancher infused one...that's what goes in the "Candy Cosmo". I can't give those up. It's not so much the taste and the effect of the alcohol. It's more of the quality unwind time I get to spend with him and get out in to Burlington world and hang out with people my own age. It's when I can relax and let my identity of being a mom float out of the picture for a few hours. It's my sanity, really. Drink Thursdays. [Don't worry I share 50% custody of my son with his dad, although I have seen a few people bring their kids in to a bar in my over 21 lifetime].

That's my indulgenece. I am trying to pick and choose them wisely, but Drink Thursday is one I just can't part with. We all need a little, or sometimes a lot of fun. Caffeine is one of those things that is probably wise and not too hard for me to give up. Here's an indulgence for you:

"And it's alright
It's alright
Bright lights and the big city
It belongs to us tonight

Yes I need it
Everybody does
Cocktails and conversation
Music and making love"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Wedding, A New Year and an Angel in a White Nissan

It's January 2nd, 2011. Another year has gone by in that fast blowing wind we call time. This year my boyfriend (Noah) and I made the trek down to Long Island because he was shooting a wedding on New Year's Eve. He's a hard worker. Eight hours in the car to photograph a wedding for my sister's good friend. This was my first wedding I've attended since my own, which went surprisingly well for me. Single me used to cry at weddings. Newly divorced me cried at weddings on television. But the healed me just kind of smiled and thought about the new union these people were taking on as they said their vows to eachother. Something in me was happy for them to have found each other. It probably reminded me of how lucky I was to find a new and strong love of my own - something entirely different than I've had before. I smiled a lot that day, even though I played assistant to whoever I could in the wedding party.

New Year's Eve was not all business. We left the reception to head west of NYC to Monclair, NJ to see Passion Pit play what they said was their "last show for awhile". Good, I would be delighted to see a new album or even EP from these guys. A short story about the troubles of a GPS: Going though a tunnel going past the city, the GPS lost our global position. Exiting the tunnel, not 100 feet away was a three way fork, each labeled with equally confusing signs that sounded not at all familiar to me. So I went straight, which ended up being staight in to New York City, at about 8pm on new year's eve. I fought back panic as I navigated 32nd street seeing the signs for "Broadway" and "9th ave", amidst throngs of pedestrians, whistle blowing police, and pissed off taxi cabs. No time to look for Ben Bailey here, just had to get the heck out of there, fast. Fifteen minutes later we entered the Lincoln tunnel and I made my flee to the New Jersey turnpike bordering a small heart attack. We survived, the police have a good handle on things there.

On to the show. Slick Rick was supposed to open but we learned from friends that were already at the show that Slick Rick had canceled, and a band named Man Man (no joke) was going to open. We made no attempt to rush to the show and called a cab around 9pm to head there from the hotel. Fifteen minutes and a really sketchy cab ride later we made it to the Wellmont Theater. Some dude was playing his iPod on a completely random mix in lieu of Slick Rick. But that was the better of the openers. Man Man came on. In a very painful 45 min I watched the train wreck that was Man Man. A really messed up front man with cut off jean shorts who repeatedly changed his shirt from sailor striped crew to a green glitter tunic. A few drummers who completely covered up the one electric guitar. And they all had mics, actually screaming in to them in unison at multiple times in one song. At one point the bartender told me that the band was making it hard to do her job because she couldn't hear anything. Train wreck. The best parts of the set were the breaks in between songs. But Passion Pit redeemed Man Man with an incredible set of the full Manners album. "Little Secret" was played just after midnight with a perfect rendition of "Sleepyhead" closing the set. There was even a Cranberries cover. They were wonderful. Confetti filled the plaster ceiling venue with much delight to the crowd, and myself as I got some New Year's kisses. Wonderful night. See closing number below (at least someone had a good camera, not I).

Leaving the venue with 4 other friends we decided to split up to find a taxi. I called two taxi services, who each had over an hour wait. Four miles to the hotel, wandering along aimlessly with no jacket in 30 degree weather. I had my mind set that we were walking back. This was not like Church street in Burlington where there were cabs waiting everywhere with nothing to do. As I was Google-mapping walking directions to the hotel, imaging how I was going to keep warm for an hour and a half, when an unmarked white Nissan pulled up to us and rolled down the window. She mumbled something to Noah asking if we were from a completely different hotel, he replied no, but she told us to get in anyway, she would take us to our hotel. I thought, what great luck this is. Three hours in to 2011 and we get a one in one hundred taxi ride back to the hotel.

I hope this is foretelling of the new year. Good luck, to good people like us. Given the craziness of of new year's eve drive through NYC, a terrible opening band...but then a great band, great set and an angel in a white Nissan. Good things are to come this year, I can feel it.

I leave you with my favorite Pretty Lights track...

Pretty Lights - Final Countdown LIVE Mix - Vic Theatre Chicago 2009/10 by inxsingh

Confetti drops in the Wellmont Theater - Montclair, NJ