Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorite Singles of 2008

I've been looking at all the "Best of" lists (and oh I love "Best of" lists...though I'm not sure why). In fact, I've been working on my own "Best Albums of 2008" list for a few weeks now. I'm actually putting a lot more effort in that than is necessary, especially considering I don't think anyone reading is really going to care about my favorite records of '08. However, I do it every year, so you I like making lists. But since I'm still compiling that list, I instead bring you my top 10 singles/songs of '08! I'm not judging these tracks based on artistic merit or hipster cred, but based on how catchy and infectious I found them.

10. Beyonce - "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
I can no longer think of this song without either thinking of A) Drag queens dancing to it when I went to the annual High Heel Race in DC a few months ago or B) Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg in black unitards and heels. Either way, this song is uber-catchy and danceable but it is forever associated in my mind with men in drag.

9. The Streets - "Heaven For the Weather"
I've loved the streets for awhile, and this has got to be their catchiest song and a really sing-able chorus.

8. Duffy - "Mercy"
I've had an debate waging in my head about which British songstress will take Amy Winehouse's crown - Adele or Duffy? I still haven't decided. I like them both. This single of Duffy's I like because it has a groovy, Motown edge to it.

7. Kanye West - "Flashing Lights"
Oh, Kanye. There's something about this song that I really love, though I can't put my finger on. It has a bit of a Daft Punk element to it, kind of like "Stronger".

6. Adele - "Chasing Pavements"
Adele has a bit of an edge in my Duffy vs. Adele debate. There's a sort of unrestrained, heartbreaking element to her voice.

5. The Killers - "Spaceman"
"Human" grew on me a lot after a couple of listens, but this song is more of a return to "Hot Fuss" era Killers. This song has a thumping chorus that'll get stuck in your head for days.

4. Ting Tings - "Shut Up and Let Me Go"
More infectious than mono. And even harder to get rid of.

3. Black Kids - "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You"
I love the line of "You are the girl that I've been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl". This song is a wonderfully 80s-esque track that'll make you want to stomp and shout and dance.

2. Britney Spears - "Womanizer"
Britney's back, bitch. For real this time. I had this stuck in my head for a week straight. Normally in circumstances like that, I end up wanting to kill myself, but for some reason I still relished any oppurtunity to sing along to this song loudly in the radio whenever I could. Also, the Chris Moyles parody of it ("Lorry Driver") is pretty good too.

1. Kings of Leon - "Sex on Fire"
I am pretty obsessed with this song. It's quite sexy in feverish, desperate sort of way. The lead singer wails and howls like he hasn't had any in months. He seriously wants this chick's sex. He wants it so bad it's on FIRE, baby. Either that or she has a venereal disease.


New Kids on the Block feat. Ne-Yo - "Single"

This gets a nod for pure ridiculous-ness. Seriously, did you get attached to this? Seriously! You're like, the hottest thing on the radio right now. You should know better. With this song and video, I think NKOTB tried to prove that they were still culturally relevant. However, when you're famous for being an 80s boy band of budding young heart-throbs, it becomes a little pathetic if you're still trying to keep the shtick up in your late 30s/early 40s. I think it's actually the video that creeps me out more than anything. It shows an attractive 20-something girl in a nightclub and all the members of NKOTB trying to pick her up (which she seems to be digging). I dunno, if the members of NKOTB tried to pick me up in a club, I'd be a bit skeeved out, considering they're all like...40 and don't have any business in those clubs anyway. Especially Donnie. Joey and Jordan might be able to pull it off. But it's still dubious. Ne-Yo can definetely stay though.


I thought I would take this oppurtunity to introduce you all to my two rats, Marlowe and Boaz. 'Cuz I think they're adoreable, even with their naked tails and such.

Here is Marlowe. He is the more cuddly and affectionate of the two. He doesn't seem to mind sitting in my lap and he'll lick me when I give him head scritches. He's also the first one to the door if he hears my voice (Boaz is kinda like "Whatever").

And here's Boaz doing what he does best...escaping.

He's always on the move. When he's not sleeping. He hates being held. But I love him because he's so spastic and the complete opposite of Marlowe. They're a cute Odd Couple.

I should also add that my rats have an interesting relationship with my dog. I've kept them apart for awhile because it seemed quite safe and logical. Shorty loves to play with the ferrets and gets along great with them, but I still thought he might see the rats as something edible. This is very much not the case. Shorty ignores the rats for the most part and likes to expend his energy by desperately trying to steal their food. Especially the vegetables. He's so weird.

And while I'm in a picture-posting mood, here's my favorite one of Shorty, my ridiculously cute Corgi.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's Make A Mistake Tonight

I went to Fredericksburg so I could see Chrispy on his last night as a UMW student. The evening culminated in Chrispy deciding to shave all of his hair off. The events that followed I have documented in pictures for you lovely people.

Prior to shaving Chrispy's head, we had gone to the ABC store. Considering my huge obsession with Mad Men and that time period now, I decided to get all the ingredients to make an Old Fashioned, Don Draper's drink of choice. The recipe I followed from included these ingredients:

-2 shots of bourbon whiskey
-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
-1 splash of water
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1 miraschino cherry
-1 slice of orange
-fill cup w/ ice

Apparently this drink, done well, is the mark of an expert bartender. I am not an expert bartender. Suffice to say, it wasn't excellent but I don't think it turned out terribly. Most people in the room disagreed. I took a lovely series of before and after shots of people drinking it. However, I won't post them here, because I'm sure that's not what you all really want to see. That comes in just a little bit, folks.

Here is Chrispy and I, doing out best impression of an apathetic 1950s couple. You can also use this as a "before" shot of Chrispy's hair.

He actually does kinda capture Jon Hamm's shifty eye expression seen in this picture.

Anyhoo, now I present you with...Chrispy getting his hair shaved all off. The lovely Miss A did the honors.

And now, a small section of reaction shots of Chrispy checking himself out in the mirror after the event.

All in all, it was an interesting night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

Courtesy of Funny Or Die. Features John C. Reilly, Jack Black, AND Neil Patrick Harris...this should be a real musical.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Strange Duets

I had a very exciting moment in my car on my way to work today when I switched on my XM radio, and realized that one of my pre-sets, U-Pop, which is advertised as the "international pop" station, had seemingly overnight changed into BBC Radio 1. BBC Radio 1 is kind of like a weird obsession for me. I'm pretty bored with Top 40 pop over here, so it's refreshing to hear some Top 40 from the UK. Actually, a decent chunk of it is the same, but it still seems like a novelty.

So it was here where I first heard that Jack White and Alicia Keys were doing the theme song for the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace (can someone please explain that title to me? I still don't get it!)

When the DJ announced they were about to play this song, I was immediately thinking, "HUH?" Seriously, that musical combination makes no sense to me. I mean, I like Jack White and Alicia Keys separately, but together? Not so sure. However, I thought, it could be good in that so-bizarre-it-actually-works-way, like when Snoop Dog did that country song. Or when Run DMC infamously paired up with Aerosmith. At any rate, after a listen, I've decided that this is actually a really cool song. And it works really well as a Bond theme.

While I'm on the subject of strange duets that actually work very well, I present you with the following.

Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue - "Where the Wild Roses Grow"

Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell - "Keep Me in Mind, Sweetheart"

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - "Little Drummer Boy" (adoreable!)

Monday, November 10, 2008


I had a case of the Mondays at work today and not much actual work to do. Still pumped from the outcome of this recent election, and inspired by a little poster in my cubicle that says "Barack you like a hurricane", I tried to come up with other ways that Barack can be incorporated with songs that have the word "rock" in the title. Here's what I came up with:

"Barack You Like a Hurricane" (The Scorpions)
"We Will Barack You" (Queen)
"I Love Barack and Roll" (Joan Jett)
"You're No Barack and Roll Fun" (Sleater-Kinney)
"Party Like Barack Does" (Shop Boyz...the original is actually "Party Like A Rock Star, but this wording sounded better to me)
"Barackin Around the Christmas Tree" (Brenda Lee)
"Barack Around the Clock" (Buddy Weaver)
"Barack the Kasbah" (The Clash)
"Barack and Roll All Night" (Kiss)
"I Wanna Barack" (Twisted Sister)
"Barack Lobster" (B-52s)
"Barack of Ages" (Def Leppard)
"It's Still Barack and Roll To Me" (Billy Joel)
"Barackin' in the Free World" (Neil Young)

Feel free to add your own and have at it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Wish Greg Dulli Had Stolen MY Phone

People who've known me long enough probably know of my incredibly, undying, obsessive love of Greg Dulli and everything he does. Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, and now Gutter Twins are pretty much my top music ever. This love has even extended to pretty much anyone that Dulli has ever played with or collaborated with. Dulli got me to love Mark Lanegan (who I've always liked but now my love has grown), Jeff Klein, Afterhours, Joseph Arthur, Howlin' Maggie, etc. I read Scott Ford's (his bassist) blog and listen to his radio show (which is really good, btw, the link is on your right). Actually, Scott Ford's radio show and podcasts were very helpful to me when I was studying for finals and writing my thesis before graduation. So, Scott Ford, if I never in fact meet you in person, I will say through my blog, thanks for your radio show, it kicks ass.

So, of course, I had to attend the Gutter Twins show. It was at the Black Cat in DC. This story will not be a story of how awesome that show was (which, you know, it was). It is a different kind of story.

After arriving at the venue, I made a beeline for the very front of the stage. To my surprise, standing there was Ryan, a guy that I had Arabic class with and did a study abroad in Morocco with, there with his fiancee and one other guy. We say hey and I asked, "What are you guys doing here? I didn't know you liked the Gutter Twins!" Ryan introduces me to his friend that's with them, who apparently dragged them there, and who "hates" Greg Dullli but has the biggest man-crush ever on Mark Lanegan. We chatted a bit throughout the evening about Mark and Greg and Queens of the Stone Age and all that cool stuff and he seemed pretty cool.

Throughout the set, he kept snapping pictures of Mark with his cameraphone. Either Greg Dulli got really tired of this or thought that the guy was constantly texting during the show...I'm not sure. For whatever reason, Dulli came over and smacked the phone out of the guy's hand. It fell onto the stage and Dulli kicked it under the drum set. If I were that guy, I'd be freaking out. For the next couple of songs, he kept elbowing me with increasingly worried expressions on his face. I said, "I'm sure you'll get it back, Dulli can't steal your phone!" I actually wasn't so sure of this, but it seemed logical. His phone remained there under the drum kit for at least four songs. After that, Dulli took the phone, me and the guy gave a sigh of relief that he might get it back. Instead, he took the phone and stuck it in his pocket. The guy looked pretty freaked out at this point. I'm also pretty sure this incident did not enhance his love of Greg Dulli. The Gutter Twins played a couple of more songs, after which Greg Dulli finally relinquished the phone, handing it to the guy while wagging his finger at him like a reprimanding schoolteacher.

The rest of the night, we couldn't get over the fact that, for a brief time, Greg Dulli had stolen that guy's phone. Or, as he put it, "Greg Dulli RAPED my phone!"

The possibly pathetic thing is, while the guy was understandably freaked and annoyed by this, I am so very, very jealous. I would give anything to have Greg Dulli steal my phone. After all, phone are replaceable...even if it is annoying cuz then you have to replace them, which is expensive, and get everyone's numbers again, but still...a phone is replaceable and a moment with Greg Dulli...that's priceless, man.

To top off the overall crazy evening, while at the concert I ran into T, of all people (first Ryan, then T, it was quite an evening for running into people I didn't expect at a Gutter Twins show) whom I still have a weird crush on. I asked him why he was there and he said he's always been a fan of the Afghan Whigs, which definitely makes him a cooler person in my book. We didn't talk terribly long, but then, after exiting the venue, my friends and I ran into this random group of cute, friendly guys from L.A. looking for places to bar-hop and one of them gave me his business card, which is a first for me, I have to say. All in all...crazy, crazy night.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, we did!

Everyone and their mother has been talking about the election all day, so I won't spend too much time ruminating on it. All I can say is that I'm so incredibly elated and so happy that we elected a president that I feel so positive about.

I was checked various blogs. Slog posted a few things and pictures of post-election festivities in Seattle and various places. DCist did some good coverage of what was going on in the District after the announcement that Obama won. A lot of the photos in the posts were taken around the intersection of 14th and U Street. I couldn't help but think that a little over 40 years ago, in that same intersection, people were rioting after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The 1968 riots devastated large portions of the city, didn't even begin to recover until recently.

U Street, 1968

U Street, last night (2008)

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Zeul. She also posted the following video on her Flickr.

It's nice to see that maybe, maybe things have really changed for the better, that things are looking up.

It's all making me so teary eyed right now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Day More

So, it's almost the election. The anticipation is killing me.

I have this friend. She was a very good friend of mine in elementary school, then moved away and we lost touch. We caught up a little bit once college started, but again she's fallen off my radar. I mean, we're Facebook/Myspace friends but I guess that's the extent of things now.

I've been keeping track of her away messages and Facebook status in which I have found out she is...quite Republican.

Apart from the away messages stating "Ann Coulter, you're my homegirl" and "YAY! Sarah Palin, I'm so proud of you! You go, girl!" she now has one that says, "John McCain LITERALLY gave his life for our country...Obama is going to take it away."

I need someone to explain this me. I'm not denying that, you know, John McCain did fight on behalf of our country and spent quite some time as a POW. I'm not gonna argue that. But to say that he LITERALLY gave his life for his country, well...that's just inaccurate. That would mean that he would have had to die in combat, right? Or at least be dead currently? Mr. McCain is, as far as I'm aware, very much alive. So...first part of that statement is false, technically. Also, the second half I just don't understand. Is she implying that Obama is going to take McCain's life away (which, if paying attention to the first half of that sentence, he already gave away) or that he's going to take away our country? Because, really, either interpretation makes no sense at all.

Anyhoo, I leave you with this video, which makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.