I recently added a cello to my Amazon wish list, because I think it’s good to learn you suck at as many things as humanly possible. Starting to feel cocky about yourself? Here, let’s see how you do with this set of oil paints, Vermeer. (See also: the tap shoes I bought myself.)
This is the cello.
Seriously, how COOL is that? I could hang it up as art when I invariably realize I’m not a cellist!
That wishlist is more just a way to bookmark stuff I might buy myself later than a list I think people will actually use. I have zero expectation that my fan club members will pool the change in their car consoles to get me a home electrolysis system. I mean, unless my unsightly knee beard is really bothering them. Which, really, will be an interesting conversation that we must have as soon as I can find the time to spend with someone PRETENDING to be a fan.
I am not young. Kids who still need car seats probably think I’m someone’s grandma. To be fair, I do have peers who are just that, and that’s cool, I just like to think of myself as a much younger woman. Like maybe 32, tops.
I have read articles that say people stop listening to new music around age 35. I can see that. I know a lot of people who just sat back in their easy chairs surrounded by their favorite bands from college.
I followed a different path. I kept finding new music I liked. If it’s power pop or has a certain type of solo male singer-songwriter vibe like Duncan Shiek, I’m in. I use those “if you like A you should try B” algorhythms and often find some pretty cool stuff. I have all sorts of Spotify playlists of new fun things I like. Friends introduced me to Jellyfish years ago and I used the members of the band to branch out to find solo work, special projects and people they worked with. I found Bleu this way, and found the world’s greatest ELO album the ELO never made, L.E.O’s Alpacas Orgeling. (Go buy it. Trust me.) Over time I found other bands I love: Luce, Air Traffic Controller, Washed Out, The Neighborhood, Walk the Moon, Two Door Cinema Club, to name many. I like musical styles I shouldn’t at my age. But I really do.
I discovered a guy who recorded as “Owsley” a year or so ago on Spotify and just fell in love with his music. I bought his two albums on iTunes and played them on repeat for weeks. Now I have a habit of reading up on anyone I like (singers, actors, underwear models) so I looked him up. I was absolutely crushed to learn he had committed suicide years before. No more music from him; I was robbed of his voice, his talent. If I was this upset about it, I cannot fathom what his family was going through every day.
in the past year the Bleu newsletter
So I just discovered Bleu covered Owsley’s Oh No The Radio on this album. This is the 2nd time Bleu has done something with an unrelated favorite of mine (see Air Traffic Controller). I thought the Owsley version was perfect so I was hesitant to listen. The cover is amazing. And made me sad all over again that Will Owsley killed himself and robbed me of any future new music. Sorry for the tangent but you can understand why this would stun and amaze me, and why I wanted to share.
I used to have a reputation of being a collector of Christmas Music. I think it was a lot easy to be such a thing when you had to buy entire albums, cassettes or CDs of Christmas music. It’s much too easy now to just buy one or two songs today.
I did buy an entire CD via MP3 Purchase on Amazon last week, and that is going to be my 2009 recommendation for you. If Trans-Siberian Orchestra toned it down about 2 notches and didn’t have any vocal tracks, you’d get the Arctic Express CD “A Christmas Rock Experience.”
Some of the reviewers called it the love child of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller but I don’t want to turn people off because they dislike one or the other. It really is just rock and roll Christmas music. Listen to the samples, and if you’re like me, you’ll just pony up the $6 to download the CD. PLEASE NOTE: There are apparently two versions of this CD up on both Amazon and iTunes. On both sites, one is about half the price of the other. I have no idea why this is, other than that the album has a slightly different name and track ORDER, but the same tracks. I have linked to the cheaper version on Amazon. My gift to you. Disclosure: If you do buy it from Amazon and you use the link above, I think I get a dime or two. If you use the link above and buy other things, I get a few more dimes. I like dimes.
The cool thing about forgetting something, is that unless you are trying to remember it, you have no idea that you forgot it. In many cases, forgetting something is a blessing, because you probably should not have had the piece of information locked in your head anyway.
Case in point: Tuesday night on the way back from a brutal baseball game (18-13 them, although we should have kicked their butts but what are you going to do. They basically stole home about 12 times on passed balls. Not a fun evening.) and Mr. Dump mentioned that he’d brought up a singer to one of the player’s grandfather, who didn’t really remember the singer. And I mentioned “what about that other guy….” and completely blanked.
The funny thing is that I could totally picture him. I had the hair and the mustache burned into my brain, but his name, a name I had used about a billion times in the long ago as my humorous go-to guys, had escaped. Couldn’t remember it. Mr. Dump couldn’t remember it.
This morning, I did a Google search sort of describing him, and I got some false leads, but a name in one of the false leads reminded me of this guy’s name, and now it’s stuck back in my head again.
Can anyone guess the answer? Here are your clues – you’ll have to click this link to get the answer, you buncha cheaters.
1. 70’s television commercial star
2. Elvis hair (not “elvish”, Elvis)
3. kickin’ mustache
Everyone out there is posting stuff about iPhone applications, so I thought I should do the same because if you know me, you know I like to be completely and utterly trendy. It’s almost a genetic thing. That and my need to wear comfortable shoes. Now I can already hear you saying “but Jody, the need to be completely trendy and the need to wear comfortable shoes cancel each other out!” You know, for some people, that would be true. But I can be completely trendy AND wear comfortable shoes and they do NOT cancel each other out. That’s how awesome I am.
So here is my pick for the absolute best free iPhone app. The runners-up, More Cowbell and SimStapler, were very worthy opponents. I’m guessing tens of thousands of people out there did not know they needed an iPhone application that allowed them to make a cowbell sound, followed by Christopher Walken saying “I need more cowbell”.
As for SimStapler, well, where else can you go if you have an urgent need to pretend to staple something? Nowhere I tell you! SimStapler does it all! It pretends to staple, and keeps count of how many pretend staples you’ve done! Perfect!
But to get all serious, the true winner here, in the “I can’t believe it’s free” category, is AOL Radio. All kidding aside, this app (which I’ve run on Mr. Dump’s 1st generation iPhone so it doesn’t need the 3G) gives you access to dozens of radio stations, to listen to live over your iPhone. There are some custom AOL set up stations (comedy, trance, and my favorites, One Hit Wonders and All 80s.) If you hear something you like, you can mark it as a favorite and/or go pull it up in AOL Music (where you can learn more about the song/artist) or iTunes to buy it. You can set favorite stations to find them quickly. And big bonus, it carries some terrestrial local stations, so you can listen to WBCN anywhere.
There are some limitations if you aren’t on wifi or 3g, according to the iTunes site, but don’t let that stop you. If you have an iPhone and haven’t grabbed AOL Radio, go do it now.