Friday, December 23, 2016

The continued adventures of an unabashed bookworm. . .


My reading agenda for the holidays includes a new collection of columns by Inland Valley Bulletin writer David Allen, a compendium of the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen given to me by my boss and friend Kathryn, and a gripping book about the breathless struggle to harness electricity, chuck that nasty gaslight, illuminate the cities and get rich in the progress.

Jealous, any?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

That cool quote by Björk. . .















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Song of the Day: "Never Never" by the Tontons

"Never Never" by The Tontons is a sweet and wistful dollop of indie frosting. And its retro in all the right places.

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Song of the Day: "Sweet Fascination" by Ladyhawke

"Sweet Fascination" by Ladyhawke is both sweet and fascinating. There's so much fine indie-rock electro-pop music out there nowadays.

My internet peregrinations tell me that along with being a 1985 fantasy film starring Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeifer, it is the stage name of New Zealand songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Philipa Margaret "Pip" Brown.

And who doesn't like a lyric video? It makes it so much easier to sing along.

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Song of the Day: "Cascade" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

Some mornings—like today, half-knocked down by a cold but with lots to do—there's only one cure for what ails me. It's the song "Cascade" by alt-rock goth queen Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

My, I feel cool for being able to spell her mouthful of a name. And I love the drama of the lyrics, and her gift for metaphor: "Oh the air, was shining/Shining like a wedding ring/Barbed like sex, I felt ten thousand volts. . ."Oh love, like liquid falling. Falling in cascades."

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Song of the Day: "Satin Doll" by The Chills

Here's one more good'un from New Zealand indie rock band The Chills, "Satin Doll." If you like the Stone Roses, '60s garage band and a touch of quiet psychedelia, you'll like this tune.

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Song of the Day: "PInk Frost" by The Chills

"Pink Frost" by indie rockers The Chills is wonderfully atmospheric.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Etsy Shopping Find of the Day. . .

I do believe that my soon-to-be three-year-old daughter needs this charming yellow chicken family from the GoOnDesign shop on etsy.com. It costs $20 for this delightful brood.

















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Song of the Day: "Alex Chilton" by The Replacments

They say all roads lead to the Replacements. Actually, no one says that, but I am liking this band more and more as time goes on. Here's their "Alex Chilton."

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Song of the Day: "End of the Party" by The English Beat

"End of the Party" by the English Beat, featuring Dave Wakeling's glorious vibrato and some saxophone glamour, is making me so happy right now.

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Song of the Day: "Horchata" by Vampire Weekend

I'm not an early adopter of the band Vampire Weekend, but I'm starting to really appreciate the rich melange that is their sound.

One of my virtual friends on the music-sharing site Letsloop suggested I give their joint "Horchata" a listen.

It gives me a really good feeling—so upbeat and, well, being from So-Cal, I of course always celebrate the sweet rice drink that is horchata.
















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Song of the Day: "The Veldt" by Deadmau5

Do you ever have a carry-over resolution from the previous year? Last year I resolved I'd read Ray Bradbury's entire catalogue in the year 2016. Alas, I only got to about 10 short stories. But I'm back, Ray. I'm coming for you in 2017.
One more thing, Bradbury fans. Did you know Deadmau5 has a song based on Ray Bradbury's short story "The Veldt," an eerie tale about two neglected children whose interactive nursery walls—you think it, it appears—turn into a savage savannah?

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Song of the Day: "Sea Legs" by The Shins

In Garden State, the Natalie Portman character urges the protagonist to listen to "New Slang" by The Shins, saying, "You gotta hear this one song—it'll change your life; I swear." 

That's true. In fact, I think it applies to almost every song in The Shins' catalogue. Here is their "Sea Legs." 

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Song of the Day: "Otubone Rock" by Charisma.com

I've discovered a Japanese electro-rap group called Charisma.com and I dig their energy big-time. Here is their "Otubone Rock."

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Song of the Day: "Kiss Them for Me"

My song of the Day is "Kiss Them For Me" by Siouxsie and the Banshees, a song coated in gold dust and flower petals. It's from the 1991 album Superstition and Wikipeda tells me it was the band's most successful song in the US. 

I didn't love it at first, despite being a die-hard Siouxsie fan with all of their releases and releases by the Siouxsie/Budgie side project The Creatures on album, CD or both. It has grown on my, however, over the years. 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Song of the Day: "Blow Out the Light" by Gems

"Blow Out the Light" by Gems is a chill but melancholy duet on the death of love. As a happily re-coupled but still slightly battle-scarred divorcee, the lyrics work for me: "If you ever have another glass heart to break, it won't be mine. . .I can't promise that I'll ever be cool with you, but I'll try to be kind."

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Song of the Day: "Little New Moon" by Dreamers

Diagnosis fun. I'm enjoying "Little New Moon" by alt/indie pop rockers Dreamers. It's off their debut album, which has a good name: "This album does not exist."

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Chillaxing gif of the day. . .











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Cinemagraph courtesy of Living Stills

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Song of the Day: "Just for Now" by Imogen Heap.

I consider "Just for Now" by Imogen Heap to be a Christmas song of sorts. After all, she sings, "It's that time of year to leave all our hopelessness behind." When else could that be but the holidays? It's a lovely kind of melancholy.

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Song of the Day: "Savante Garde" by Chick Quest

It's a proper rock song, "Savant Garde" by Chick Quest, a post-punk band from Vienna.

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That cool quote by J.K. Rowling. . .











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Monday, December 12, 2016

Song of the Day: "Me and the Moon" by The Drums

Who in the world posts this many Songs of the Day in one day? A music lover like me who has some time to wanter through the annals of letsloop. "Me and the Moon" by The Drums is a charming indie pop rock gem.

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Song of the Day: "Take Her Back" by The Pigeon Detectives

The Pigeon Detectives are a fun band and so British. My Song of the Day is "Take Her Back."

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Song of the Day: "Shadows" by Au Revoir Simone

My Song of the Day is "Shadows" by Au Revoir Simone. This indie electro pop group has musical sophistication—with keyboard virtuosity‚and, to a member, fabulous hair. Bring on the brunettes!

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Song of the Day: "Come Back to Me" by X

There's a wonderful throwback sound to "Come Back to Me" by X and a touch of keening honkey-tonk. Way back in 1982, John Doe and Exene Cervenka were emerging from punk a bit and creating music that was, and remains timeless.

There are so many groups aiming for just this sound right now.

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Song of the Day: "Giant" by Vampire Weekend

Who knew a song by a band called Vampire Weekend would be so upbeat. This indie rock/electro-pop outfit's "Giant" reminds me a bit, strangely enough, of Paul Simon's wonderful "Graceland" album. But not in a dated way.

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Song of the Day: "Sprinkles" by We Are Scientists

'Sprinkles" by We Are Scientists is some lovely, layered and soothing indie alt rock/power pop (I never know what to call music nowadays.). It's my first nice musical discovery of the day.

The band's website tells me they are from California, which I like. As a Golden State native, I keep it local whenever I can.


Epigram of the Day: "Getaway" by Sarah Torribio

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A conversation overheard in my mind. . .

"He painted his Nintendo controller bronze to look steampunk."

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A conversation overheard in my mind. . .

(To be delivered in an accent that seems European but is impossible to place.)

 "To understand my work, you must forget everything you have ever heard about fashion. In my world, hot pink is a neutral. Every woman needs a BIG black dress. And spandex is flattering on any shape."

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On Wolf Medicine. . .

I have always been afraid of dogs. Once I get to know someone's dog, it's usually fine—we become good friends. I understand that dogs often have wonderful and loving, if pain-in-the-ass souls. 

Sometimes, when my anxiety is acting up and I feel rabbit-hearted, it's been hard for me to walk through a neighborhood—particularly ones with ramshackle fences—because I'm afraid a dog will come out and attack me. I have shuddered at each menacing bark that came even from behind fences.

It's a real phobia.

But this year, my dog phobia is improving because the universe has sent me some Wolf Medicine. We got a Siberian husky at our house who was just a pup of 12 weedks when he arrived. 



Koda or Cody, if you will, is highly sociable. He's a pack animal and he also has a lot of energy to expend. It is clear to me that to neglect him by not allowing him to be part of the family pack would be cruel. To not take a moment to play tug o' war with him or to toss a ball back and forth with him would be inhumane.

My kids like Cody and Savannah even likes to ride him. The dogs and the kids need supervision. So from the whole puppy thing to becoming a busy dog owner (my cats are blissfully low-maintenance, purring pillows who only ask for enough "wet cat food" to help them maintain moderate obesity), I didn't have a chance to be afraid of Cody.

And the other day, when I saw a scrawny young pit-bull on the loose—perhaps half pit-bull, half lab?—I wasn't as scared as usual. I see pit-bulls on the loose more than most people because I live in Pomona, which is the capital of pit-bull ownership, particularly as you mosey closer to Holt.

Granted, I was in my car but I suddenly had this feeling that if I were face-to-face with this dog, he might not attack and if he did, that's what shoes are for.

In similar news, Alex, now 8, became a Cub Scout and in his age group, he's called a Wolf. Coincidence? Albert Einstein comes to mind, and he once said, "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."





So yeah, this year I got Wolf Medicine. I wonder what 2017 will bring.

Epigram of the Day: "Advice on Menfolk" by Sarah Torribio




Chillaxing gif of the day. . .






















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Etsy Shopping find of the Day. . .

This 24" X 16" Photograph of Mexican Toy Guitars, which appears to have been taken at that iconic Los Angeles landmark Olvera Street, gives me a good feeling. It would be great in a kitchen or funky living room.

It's $105.00 from the MayanSoffia shop on etsy.com.
















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Etsy Shopping Find of the Day. . .

There is something very sweet and charming about this Firefly Girl Switchplate Cover from the SSKDesigns site on Etsy.com. It's $16.50 and would be lovely in a little girl's room.

























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Bad pick-up line of the day. . .

(To be delivered in a country accent.)

"You look like a cousin I had once."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bad pick-up line of the day. . .

(To be delivered in a deep, throaty, tobacco-cured voice, betraying more than a little stage training.)

"Let's plunge together to Plutonian depths of pleasure and dissolution."


Friday, December 9, 2016

Etsy Shopping Find of the Day. . .

I am generally a woman of sophistication but I have a confession to make. There is a side of me that is super-kawaii. Hai!

I love the Little Twin Stars, Mimi and Lala, and have since I was very young. There is something so starry and sweet and safe about this Sanrio duo and their pastel-hued world.



I kind of don't want my soon-to-be 3-year-old daughter Savannah to stop baby-talking. She says Ws instead of Ls and it is so adorable. A couple months back I called her a little lady and she said, no joke, "I'm not a wady. I'm a girl." I nearly died.

And rainbows and unicorns are just my jam, and they always will be. They feed my inner 10-year-old, which was my happiest childhood age.

So my Etsy Shopping Find of the Day is this Unicorn Magic Mug from the LoveMugsUK shop on etsy.com. I'm ready to fill it with tea or coffee and get cozy. It's $12.91.


That cool quote by Albert Einstein. . .






















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Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!


That cool quote by Friedrich Nietzsche. . .












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Song of the Day: "Love That's Gone" by La Sera

"Love That's Gone" by La Sera, featuring Katy Goodman (formerly of  Vivian Girls) is atmospheric in a wonderfully low-key way. Beachy with a touch of Sun Records, with sounds like a description of the '70s Laurel Canyon music scene but is kind of better, at least for 2016 listening.

Can you just imagine drinking a beer by a campfire somewhere with this joint playing? My fave music site Letsloop describe's La Sera's genre with the tags rock, indie pop and dream pop, all of which I can get behind.

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Song of the Day: "Coming Down" by Dum Dum Girls

What a sweet Mazzy Star/Best Coast moment on the part of this outfit called Dum Dum Girls
featuring singer/songwriter Dee Dee, neé Kristin Gundred and aka Kristin Kontrol. My Song of the Day is called "Coming Down."

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Song of the Day: "Your Hand in MIne" by Peace

I've got one more Song of the Day, also by Peace. If you like Interpol and Joy Division, you will like the song "Your Hand in Mine." It's simple mathematics—the transitive property.

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Song of the Day: "Bloodshake" by Peace

I'm much taken with "Bloodshake" by indie electro-pop rockers Peace.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Song of the Day: "Cocoon" by Milky Chance

Honestly, I have no idea how to keep up with all the good, enjoyable music that's coming out. And that's just in the realm of alt/indie rock/pop. Here's "Cocoon" by Milky Chance.

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Song of the Day: "Elevate" by St. Lucia

My song of the day—and there are myriad songs of the day today—is "Elevate" by St. Lucia.

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Song of the Day: "Sweet Warrior" by Few Bits

"Sweet Warrior" by Few Bits is sonic ambrosia.


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Song of the Day: "Dancing Song" by Little Comets

"Dancing Song" by Little Comets is pure fun. I found out about this band while looking for artists similar to Bombay Bicycle Club on letsloop.com.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Song of the Day by The Futureheads (Kate Bush cover)

How in the world did I miss this cover? Here's indie rockers The Futureheads with their rendition of the Kate Bush song "Hounds of Love."

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Song of the Day: "After Hours" by We Are Scientists

Another really cute song by indie alt-rockers We Are Scientists. It's called "After Hours."

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Song of the Day: "It's a Hit" by We Are Scientists

If you like The Killers, Bloc Party and The Strokes, you will be drawn inevitably and inextricably to "We are Scientists." Here's their "It's a Hit."

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Song of the Day: "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" by The Specials

Here's a feel-good song by ska superstars the Specials. It's called "Friday Night, Saturday Morning."

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Song of the Day: "Tropical Kings" by ctznshp

This song, while somewhat melancholy, offers such a pretty soundscape. It's "Tropical Kings" by ctznshp, a Canadian indie outfit.

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