My favorite way to learn history


Waaay back in 2011 before I traveled to London and subsequently took a break from all things British (spoiler: I didn't have a great time), I published a post about the show Horrible Histories. Now 5 years later, I discovered that the whole series is available as part of my Hulu subscription. I think I'd only made it through season 3, and they ended up making 2 more that I never saw, and my love is now rekindled. This summer has been weird and full of self-pity and self-loathing, so having this little show available to make me laugh has been a gift.

Here's a round-up of the songs I've had happily stuck in my head for the last month. Unfortunately the CBBC has really been cracking down on illegal videos of the show, so most of these are missing their hilarious sets/production/actors. Really, you should just get a Hulu subscription. This show alone is worth it!

RAF Pilots (as Take That)

Mary Tudor (as Kate Bush)

Aztec Priests (as The Bee Gees)

The Thinkers (as The Beatles)

Charles Darwin (as David Bowie)

Charles Dickens (as Morrissey)

Vikings (as Simon & Garfunkel)

Victoria & Albert

The Emperors (as Michael Jackson)

#151: The B-52's by The B-52's


The B-52's by The B-52's (1979)

Favorite Tracks: "Lava" and "6060-842"

Thoughts: The B-52's! This is their debut album, and it's pretty much exactly what I expected a B-52's album to be. I'm only really familiar with "Love Shack" (which isn't on this album) so this was an opportunity to get to delve into their music in a way I haven't up to this point. I liked it, but it also didn't blow me away. I think I could enjoy hearing this album while at a dive bar or even showing up in a random party playlist, but it's definitely not something I will be going out of my way to hear.  For me, they're iconic for sure, but not essential.

Is This Better Than Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy?: Not to me.

Somebody somebody somewhere keeps me in mind


I mentioned in a recent post that I've become addicted to the 'comedy' podcast My Favorite Murder with comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. I'd followed Karen for ages on Twitter, and I highly recommend following her because she's hilarious:

In an effort to be more vulnerable today I chose jeans that make me look like a lost baby (x)

You always know a girl wants a serious relationship in a movie if she rides a bike to work (x)

My therapist is out of town so if you see me I'd appreciate it if you'd make a sad face, hold both palms out and say "That's a lot to hold." (x)

When I was finally able to distinguish Georgia's voice from Karen's, I realized I really, really, really like hearing it. It's kind of raspy/scratchy, and it's lovely (though of course today I learned from the most recent episode that she smokes!). So out of curiosity to match a face with a voice, I searched for videos of her on YouTube, and found out she's a singer-songwriter! Which is basically the best result when you love hearing someone's voice.

So I decided I wanted to share some of my favorite songs of her's I came across.

"Solid 9"

If only life was like a sitcom
If only I could play the husband
Then I could just be fat and funny
and you'd be hot, and shut your mouth 

But we all know our roles 
it's impossible; it never will be otherwise
Men fall in love first through their eyes
And second through their...eyes

"Jesus Walks"

Jesus lived then he had to die
Because of your sins
Because of how much you lie

"Gimme Mine"

I'm holding out for that old-time feeling
And I just wanna know 
Somebody somebody somewhere keeps me in mind
It's a heavy load
But it's worth repeating
Everybody got some
Gimme gimme gimme gimme mine

A live album featuring these three songs is available on iTunes, titled Live at the Bootleg. More recently she seems to be working with a guy named Drennon Davis, and here they are performing "The High Song" on Conan. (They also have an album together on iTunes called I Don't Care I Like It).

#152: Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest


Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest (1991)

Favorite Tracks: "Buggin' Out" and "Verses From the Abstract" and "Show Business" and "What?" and "Scenario"

Thoughts: (Pre-Listening) I was quite young when A Tribe Called Quest was in their hey-day, and I heard about them, but never connected their name to what type of music they made. The name alone made me guess funk or reggae. But now I find out they're hip-hop! And there's only three of them? I pictured a much more populated group to make up a 'tribe.' Wu Tang Clan's had at least, what, 10 members? Anyway, now I've been set straight.

Low End Theory is the group's 2nd album, and according to Wikipedia, "Engineer Bob Power has been quoted numerous times calling the album, "The Sgt. Pepper's of hip hop."" High praise! Let's get listening.

(Post-Listening) As rap albums go, I really liked this one--impressive rhymes and enjoyable beats (the whitest description in the world). And so delightfully 90s--I think I counted at least 3 Arsenio mentions.

Is This Better Than Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy?: Not to me, but very good.

#153: Moanin' in the Moonlight by Howlin' Wolf


Moanin' in the Moonlight by Howlin' Wolf (1959)

Favorite Tracks: "How Many More Years" and "I'm Leavin' You"

Thoughts: Confession: I thought that Howlin' Wolf was a band, not a person, probably because I was conflating the name with Steppenwolf. I know, very embarrassing. This album is Howlin' debut, and it's straight-up classic American blues.

Is This Better Than Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy?: Not to me.

Currents, August 2016


Drink: Our family's newly bottled (as of this weekend) 2015 Pinot Noir!

Food: My mom's fresh-made pesto on anything. (Can you tell I went home this weekend?)

Podcast: I've been racing through My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.

Celebrity Crush: I'm back watching Star Trek: The Next Generation again and the answer is always Patrick Stewart.

Book: I just finished Emma Rathbone's Losing It. I hope she writes more, I like her style.
When was the last time you wanted something? Wanted it so badly that the very grip of your wanting seemed to prevent you from actually getting it because you were throwing things off with your need, holding too hard, jarring things out of joint?
Project: I am just a few steps away from having some kind of catio situation for the cats. It's gonna blow their tiny minds.

TV Show: I've started Stranger Things, it's awesome so far.

Movie: Saw the new Ghostbusters (not as bad as it could have been, but wish it was better) and Star Trek Beyond, which I loved. 
Poetry: I love this excerpt of Marge Piercy's "The Sabbath of Mutual Respect":
Fertility and choice: 
every row dug in spring means weeks of labor. Plant too much and the seedlings choke in weeds as the warm rain soaks them. The goddess of abundance Habondia is also the spirit of labor and choice. In another life, dear sister, I too would bear six fat children. In another life, my sister, I too would love another woman and raise one child together as if that pushed from both our wombs. In another life, sister, I too would dwell solitary and splendid as a lighthouse on the rocks or be born to mate for life like the faithful goose. Praise all our choices. Praise any woman who chooses, and make safe her choice.
Fashion: Oh my gosh, guys, it's August, we're thisclose to sweater weather again. I'm ready to ceremoniously burn all my tank tops and shorts.

Music: The Smiths, on repeat. (AKA God, when will this interminable summer end?) 

Reminder: "How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved." - Sigmund Freud