Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Drew January : Part One

Late last year my dear friend Rachel decided that she wanted to start some sort of creative project involving her friends. She asked me to help her out and I obliged. What we came up with was WeDrawJanuary, a tumblr where people would upload a piece of original artwork corresponding to a daily prompt. I really was expecting a whole bunch of crap, but I ended up being really impressed by what people made. Over the next few days, I'll share some of my favorite pieces. I'm not going to include any of my own because that is tacky. If you want to see my stuff,  just scroll through our tumblr! Also, this dude Brandon who I've never met made a bunch of sound art, but I don't know how to put it up here, so please look at the tumblr!

January 1st  Hung Over 

by Denise 

January 2nd Octogenarian 

by Jaimie

by Michelle 
January 3rd Rock, Paper, Scissors 

by Jaimie

by Alice

January 4th Ice 

by Jaimie

by Michelle

January 5th Twerp

by Rachel

by Alice

January 6th Industry

 by Becky

January 7th Slovenly

by Marissa
January 8th Liquid

by Liz

by Jennie 

 by Al

January 9th Fetch

by Al

by Liz

January 10th Anticipation

 by Marissa 

by Rachel

I'll put up part two of We Draw January tomorrow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Got You Covered

I love cover songs, sometimes even more than the original and not just because I am a contrarian. I've even shared some amazing covers on this blog. Part of what makes a cover song a treat is that it is not only comfortable because you already know the song, but if done well it adds some life to it. And isn't that all we want from life? Something we are comfortable with just some extra pizzaz?

As I type this up I am listening to the Bird and the Bee's album consisting exclusively of Hall and Oates covers. Below I have compiled a list of my favorite cover songs. I didn't include any Tori Amos or Cat Power or Nouvelle Vague because they have just have too many.

Them "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" (originally by Bob Dylan)

Remember in 1999 when everyone was starting to notice Angelina Jolie and she was doing crazy stuff like making out with her brother at the Oscars in a fountain? She was in this underrated movie Girl, Interrupted that has an amazing soundtrack of some '60s classics and a couple Wilco tracks (for some reason). My favorite track was Them's version of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue." It seemed so familiar to me because Beck totally sampled it for "Jackass."

I think that Bob Dylan's songs lend themselves to being covered because he wrote some great songs, but he sang them like a jangly-old lady suffering from chronic bronchitis. Van Morrison has the pipes to do this song justice.

James Blake "A Case Of You" (originally by Joni Mitchell)

I am going to share two embarrassing things now:
  1. I  haven't really listened to Joni Mitchell, so this is my first taste of this song. Hey, my parents were born in the 1960s. We weren't listening to old LPs in our house. We were listening to Stop Making Sense (in compact disc form) and the Counting Crows (who are responsible for the very worse Joni Mitchell cover of all time).
  2. I learned about this song from this dorky family show called Parenthood that is about how hard it is to raise children as upper-middle class white people living in Northern California. They played this song during a montage where everyone was crying and I've been listening to it pretty much daily since then.
It took me about a year to realize that Blake's most famous song  "Limit To Your Love" is actually a cover of Feist. I mostly didn't know this because I don't care about Feist. She is one of those interchangeable singer-songwriters with bangs.

If you want to hear another femmey dude covering a lady song, here is Bon Iver singing "I Can't Make You Me." 

Fiona Apple "Across the Universe" (originally by the Beatles)

This might be controversial to lameos who deify classic rockstars and believe that the 1960s were the most bitching time in history, but I prefer this version to the original. I think Fiona also did a better job with this creepy-ass Elvis Costello song. I love her and I think she should be more famous and respected than she is.

M. Ward "Let's Dance" (originally by David Bowie) 

M. Ward is the better half of She & Him, a band that is no stranger to cover songs. I am not one of those hipsters who pretend to dislike Zooey Deschanel because she is a hipster. I am sure that most of the people who hate on her hate on her because they are jealous of her life (because she gets paid $92K a month to be "adorkable" [okay, that word is just gross, but I doubt it was her idea]) and her hair (her hair is so goshdarnpretty). Anyway, I love this version because it is slow enough for you to realize how beautiful the lyrics are. You don't get that in Bowie's original because you are too busy shaking your butt.

Tatu "How Soon Is Now" (originally by the Smiths)

Here are three personal facts about me concerning this song:
  1. Once during 10th grade, I decide to stop liking my friend for the day because she referred to this song as, "the theme song from Charmed." 
  2. This is my second least favorite Smiths' song. My least favorite song by the Smiths is that one from Meat Is Murder with all those cow noises. 
  3. My sister and I used to drive around in her car and listen to Tatu and pretend like they are tiny mice singing. Try it. It makes listening that much more hilarious and adorable. Also, I am more impressed by singing mice than Russians who are paid to pretend to be underage lesbians.
David Byrne "I Want to Dance with Somebody" (originally by Whitney Houston) 

The day that Pandora alerted me to the existence of this song was one of the best days of my life and not just because my life has been largely uneventful.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Resolutions For Other People

Today is the second day of 2012. This might be the last year ever if the Mayans are more accurate than this guy. We should try to improve ourselves and make the most of the little time we have left on this planet. I am compiling my resolutions for the New Year today in preparation for tomorrow's Do-It Club and since I am a judgey stick-in-the-mud, I've decided to take it upon myself to write some new years resolutions for other people.

People in My Yoga Classes
Purchase and wear more substantial pants. Too many of you are wearing sheer approximations of leggings and diminutive booty shorts. I do yoga without my glasses and am pretty much blind, but I still feel like an amateur gynecologist at Yoga to the People. While I have your attention, chill out on the rhythmic breathing. You sound like a punch of pigeons having a painful orgasm.

Mean Middle School Kids from that Charter School in Greenpoint
Stop running amok in droves and yelling at people. You are making everyone over 22 nervous and our eyes are becoming strained from rolling them in your direction. You can keep yelling "blow job" randomly because it is sort of funny.

Those Uncomfortable with Modern Communication 
Start retiring voicemail as a means of communication. It is incredibly inefficient and I am more likely to respond to a text because I won't put off reading it for three weeks like I do with all of my voicemails.

Sketchy Tunnel Connecting the 6th Avenue L/F/M stop and the 14th Street 1/2/3 trains
Work on smelling less like a rickety old crackpot filled to the brim with poop, hobo sweat, and garbage. 

My Friends and Family Who Don't Live Near Me
Move to wherever I am whenever I move. I love you too much for you to be so far away all the time.  I will reward you with hugs and homemade lentil-based meals.