I thought about giving it all up. Chalk it up to a heaping helping of burn out, mixed with a heavy dose of the holidays and a whole lotta actual real live and mostly paying work. I still cannot see myself posting here like I did last year, which was at least 4 days a week, if not more. But like beer, I just can't seem to give it up. Here are some things I've been doing or digging over the last few weeks:
* I heart Mark Ronson. It's true, he's often seen with trampy looking women or dressed in clothes that are probably more expensive that my mortgage payment yet look like they came from a thrift store, but... I... as of late last year, well I heart him. There was his cover of Radiohead's "Just" (featuring Alex Greenwald) and his remix of Lily Allen's Smile with the awesome song snippet from Bobby and Jimmy Purify's "I'm Your Puppet" (but that has some frank language, to put it nicely, right up front, so don't play that one for the kiddles) and now Ronson's getting ready to release an album of covers in April. You can go to his MySpace page and stream his lush and fantastically fun horn version of Coldplay's "God Put A Smile." And below, you can hear his take on Brit's "Toxic" which you may find questionable for the littlest ones seeing what the song is about but damn, I love it and it's certainly ok for the older kids who may have at some time or another, been Britney fans. Maybe if I get to it, I'll rip the Coldplay track and post that. And did you know his step dad is Mick Jones from Foreigner??!!
Mark Ronson, "Toxic"
* There are a couple of old songs that inexplicably cause me to cry. Many of my old friends find this hilarious and enjoy blindsiding me with one of these tunes. Yes, Barry Manilow's "Mandy" falls into this category. And so does Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." Now with my daughter dancing around sweetly (but dramatically) to it, it lends a whole 'nother dimension to the tears.
Elton John, "Tiny Dancer"
I pretty much think the Swedish band, I'm From Barcelona and their CD Let Me Introduce My Friends, is great listening for the whole family. There are a ton of handclaps (which is this year's new black.) But also some fun layered vocals, happy rhythms and such. That's their picture I put up at top of this here post. Check it,
I'm From Barcelona, "This Boy"
Our whole family digs Apples in Stereo. The new CD, New Magnetic Wonder comes out next month. Below, you'll find a track from it. If you haven't yet seen Robert Schnieder on the Colbert Report as part of the Decemberists Vs. Colbert Guitarmageddon, you should. His ode to Stephen is terrific and even my daughter giggled lots. And Schneider plays children's music under the name Robert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine. You can check out a couple of those tracks on "Bobbert's" My Space Page.
Apples In Stereo, "Same Old Drag"
* I even played my daughter some Joanna Newsom over the holidays. I thought, like most people's reactions to the high-pitched harp player's voice, she would either love it or hate. I was right, sort of. At first she thought it was so pretty and delicate and she began to dance around on her tippy toes and flutter her fingers. But after a minute of that she declared it "terrible." Ha ha. Moving on. Josh Ritter is on Letterman tonight, and the Islands are on Craig Ferguson. Looking forward to both of those. Heard Islands yet? This song is lovely, it has a little Built to Spill-ness to it with the "Lost in a Supermarket" melody running through it. Not intensely original perhaps, but enjoyable. My daughter doesn't ask for this one, but she doesn't object either when it comes on the stereo (and trust me, she objects to a whole lot a what comes on the stereo.)
Islands, "Rough Gem"
* I sold a new book, to Delacorte. It's called 30 Days To Getting Over the Dork You USED To Call a Boyfriend. It's for teens and is chock full of song references and posi activities masquerading as girly silliness. I've started a blog for it (I had to, didn't I?) that is featuring a break-up song of some sort every week day or so (you know me, I'm never consistent.) I've just started so there are only a couple handful of tunes up, but since the book doesn't come out for some time (we're editing now!) I've got time to post tons.
That's it for now and probably for a little while. But perhaps we coax back our other posters to joining in the fun. Here's to a swell and happy new year.