147. I Love Egg

I learned about this video my freshman year of college – almost six years ago, now – from my dear friend James. He is a connoisseur of all things hilarious and Asian, and “I Love Egg” is no exception. As soon as James found out that I love all those things, too, he shared this treasure with me. I really super wanted to embed it here, but apparently that’s impossible. So you’ll have to deal with a link, a description, and a screenshot.

I love you egg, egg!

I love you egg, egg!

This video is a bouncing, cheery song about eggs. I assume, from the lyrics, that it’s a PSA about how good eggs are for you. Or, in their words, how “popular and perfect and so complete in every way!” I love the catchy tune. I love the childish voice singing it. I love the weird eggs with faces. I love the ninjas. I love the slightly threatening “Chip a chip away your shell and COME. TO. ME.” I just love egg.

Also, guess what??!!? Apparently, there is I Love Egg merchandise. Hungry? Here’s an I Love Egg snack:

I love you snack, snack!

I love you snack, snack!

You can also get some little charm-doodles on Amazon:

Teh bomb.

Teh bomb.

Who KNOWS what else is out there!??!! Man. Life is GOOD when you love egg. Oodle doodle.

UPDATE:

Found a video to embed. Not the best sound quality, but it does the job.

December 26, 2012. Art, Culture, Music, Rectangles, Websites. Leave a comment.

138. Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”

Joni at her best.

When I was 9 and 10, I had a nanny named Erin. She was magical and creative and still feels like my big sister. Erin and my brother and I used to make up dances and make collages and come up with scavenger hunts. But perhaps the best thing Erin gave me was a love for “Blue” by Joni Mitchell. It has been my favorite album of all time since she introduced it to me.

The first week Erin was with us, she found my parents’ record collection. She was so excited. One of the first things she did was transfer “Blue” onto one side of a cassette tape (the other side was Cat Stevens’ “Tea for the Tillerman“). We listened to nothing other than that tape every day in the car on the way to and from school and to our after-school activities.

“Blue” came out in 1971. It’s often considered Joni’s best album (yes, we’re on a first name basis). Her music  is not only hauntingly beautiful, but devastatingly complex. I’ve tried to play it on the banjo and the piano, and it’s just too hard for me.

My classic favorite song was always “California.” It’s upbeat and pretty and really showcases Joni’s voice. But, as I got older, I gained an appreciation for “The Last Time I Saw Richard,” a song Erin always skipped on our cassette tape.

Here are the lyrics:

The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in ’68
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark café
You laugh he said you think you’re immune
Go look at your eyes they’re full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they’re only pretty lies
Only pretty lies just pretty lies

He put a quarter in the Wurlitzer and he pushed
Three buttons and the thing began to whirr
And a bar maid came by in fishnet stockings and a bow tie
And she said “Drink up now it’s getting’ on time to close”
“Richard, you haven’t really changed” I said
It’s just that now you’re romanticizing some pain that’s in your head
You got tombs in your eyes but the songs you punched are dreaming
Listen, they sing of love so sweet, love so sweet
When you gonna get yourself back on your feet?
Oh and love can be so sweet Love so sweet

Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on
And all the house lights left up bright
I’m gonna blow this damn candle out
I don’t want nobody comin’ over to my table
I got nothing to talk to anybody about
All good dreamers pass this way some day
Hidin’ behind bottles in dark cafes dark cafes
Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings and fly away
Only a phase these dark café days

I love the lyrics and it is also just hauntingly beautiful.

Even though “The Last Time I Saw Richard” is my favorite song on the album, I shouldn’t forget some of the other greats. “My Old Man” is a great song (“But when he’s gone/me and them lonesome blues collide/the bed’s too big, the frying pan’s too wide”), as is “A Case of You” (I remember that time you told me you said/”Love is touching souls”/Surely you touched mine/’Cause part of you pours out of me/In these lines from time to time). This is incredibly cheesy, but I’ve always wanted to put out a birth announcement for a daughter quoting “Little Green”:

“Call her green and the winters cannot fade her

Call her green for the children who’ve made her

Little green, be a gypsy dancer.”

Oh, man. I can’t believe I just shared that on the internet.

Anyway, pretty much every song on this album is amazing. I listen to it all the time – on rainy days, it’s perfect. On sunny days? Still perfect. When I’m happy, when I’m sad, I need to listen to “Blue.” It always fits. It’s always perfect. Thank you, Joni. I love you, gurl.

November 14, 2012. Music, Rectangles, Truth. Leave a comment.

132. Square Rolls

If my readers don’t know, I play the banjo. I’m no good at it, but I do enjoy it a lot. I love how the banjo sounds, and I love that it allows me to accompany myself while I sing my old-fashioned folk songs.

Aside: Buckley used to howl whenever I played the banjo, but he’s gotten used to it. Now he just watches it with distrust and skitters away when I come near him with the banjo in my hands.

Anyway, banjos are most commonly tuned to the key of G, so that when one strums an open chord on the banjo, it’s a beautiful, round G. The strings are tuned as in the diagram below.

 

Standard banjo tuning.

 

Now, when I say that I’m no good at the banjo, I really mean it. I took a few months of bluegrass banjo lessons at Swarthmore, but I haven’t taken any since. And the first thing you learn at a bluegrass banjo lesson is the most simple roll – the square roll. In the key of G.

And that is what I can do. I know a few chords, and I can pick out a 1-4-5 blues song. And it sounds lovely, thank you very much.

Maybe I can pretend that I stick to the square roll on purpose, out of solidarity with the rectangular cause. Hey, why not. That’s right, bitches. I stick to rectangles in every single aspect of my life. I am nothing if not committed, friends. You’re welcome.

October 31, 2012. Culture, Music, Rectangles. Leave a comment.

128. “The Classical”

My senior year of high school, I met one of the most magical people I’ve ever known. Her name was (and still is) Juliet Gordon. We formed a band with one of our teachers at our progressive private high school called the Tennessee Valley Authority. We played folk music. Juliet and I sang, the teacher played guitar, and Juliet played mandolin. It was really awesome. Like, really, really, really awesome. And that wasn’t even close to the extent of the magic that Juliet brought into my life – together we explored Virginia, music, and fashion.

Anyway, now Juliet is finishing up school at Colorado College. She has embraced music as her true love, and she and her band came out with this album. It’s really, really unique and interesting, and also nice to listen to. Here‘s a music video of their song “Man on the Stairs.”

You can download the album here. I’d at least check out the video and give it a listen. I think you’ll agree that Juliet’s voice is truly amazing, and that the music is really, really cool.

October 22, 2012. Culture, Music, Rectangles, Truth. Leave a comment.

126. TajTunes

Sometimes, I have trouble expressing what I want to say.

Ok, that’s not true. But, if I did have that problem, this website would solve it.

Tajtunes.com is an Indian (dot, not feather) website offering singing telegrams delivered to the phone number of your choice. Although it’s based in India, they will call anywhere in the world for the reasonable price of $6.99. And it will be the best 7 bucks you’ll ever spend.

For example – let’s say you want to tell your significant other how happy you are, but don’t know how to express it in your own words. However, you don’t want to buy a Hallmark card – it’s just too impersonal. Also, you don’t want your man/lady to understand a word of what you’re saying.

You’d go here and purchase the song “I’m so happy.”

This is the image associated with the song on TajTunes, just to reinforce the general sentiment.

Here are the lyrics:

I love it when you call me… (ring-a-ling-a-ling)
I love it when you sing… (lah lah lah lah LAH)
I love it when you hold my hand… (Awwwwww…)
And even when you cry… (wah wah wah)

I’m so happy. I’m so happy.
I’m so happy when I’m with you.
I’m so happy. I’m so happy.
I hope I make you happy too.

I love it when we spend time… (tick tock, tick tock)
I love it when we laugh… (hah hah hah)
I love it when we hug and kiss… (smooch)
And even when we fight…. (you jerk!)

I’m so happy. I’m so happy.
I’m so happy when I’m with you.
I’m so happy. I’m so happy.
I hope I make you happy too.

Oh yeah… I hope I make you happy too…
Oh yeah… I hope I make you happy too!

They’re deep and beautiful. But they sound even more deep and beautiful when you listen to the clip of the person singing it. I’d post the clip here, but I don’t know how to. Just click through and check it out for yourself.

If you’re single, don’t fret. There are many different categories of songs, including “encouragement,” “congratulations,” and “birthdays.”
Super Duper Job” is another favorite of mine.

Imagery. Teh best.

This guy is personalized, for maximum impact. Lyrics:

Super duper job!
Super duper job!
(Recipient’s Name), you’re a pro!
A great action hero!

Super duper job!
Super duper job!
You gave it all you got
And did a super duper job!

When you put your mind and heart into it
There’s nothing you can’t do

Super duper job!
Super duper job!
You’re brilliant, magnificent,
Excellent, resilient
Because (Recipient’s Name)…
You did a Super duper job!

It’s beautiful. The tune and intonation really make it for me.

Anyway, explore and enjoy. And, to all my loved ones, this is what you’re getting for every holiday for the next ten years.

October 3, 2012. Culture, Music, Websites. Leave a comment.

100. DJ Rectangle

My dear friends Dirk Keaton and Brian Gonynor make up the hot DC hip hop group The Eubonics. Give them a listen. Especially “Fuck Tom Hanks” and “Gucci Linen.”

:top five white rappers in the dmv:

Once I was talking to Mr. Keaton about hip-hop and he was telling me how it’s really all about the DJ’s – like DJ Rectangle, I presume.

:my man spinnin':

I have to say, none of his music really did it for me. However, this dude is big – his myspace songs have hundreds of thousands of plays. And since he is one with the shape, I had to dig deeper.

According to Wikipedia, DJ Rectangle “is an American hip hop DJ/turntablist and hip hop/R&B record producer. He is best known for his battle records and party-friendly mixtapes. Previously based out of Los Angeles, CA, he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. His mix tapes generally feature West Coast artists. He competed in the U.S. DMC DJ Championships in the early nineties. In 1991 he made it to the DMC US finals but was bested by DJ Q-Bert. In 1993 he won the U.S DMC championship, the same year that he became the DJ for West Coast rapper Warren G. DJ Rectangle is considered an underdog of DJ’s creating a unique style of music that relates crowds all over the world.”

:glamr shot:

He relates crowds all over the WORLD, bitches. So give him a listen, for Post Number 100, and, as the Eubonics always say, please put your hands in the air.

:rectangle's rectangular poster:

August 26, 2010. Culture, Music, Rectangles. 2 comments.

98. Ms. Bittle and “Little Giraffes.”

I went on a rectangular google treasure hunt tonight. I couldn’t sleep, although Curtis was snoring away next to me. When I googled “rectangular songs” I found this website. It’s just called “Shapes,” but it seems to be a part of the Little Giraffes learning program, featuring art projects strongly influenced by Ms. Bittle (obviously a fantastic art teacher, wish we could be buds).

Although the songs were the first thing I found, they were sub par. For example:

Rectangle Song

(tune of: “The Farmer in the Dell”)

A rectangle has 4 sides,
A rectangle has 4 sides,
Two are long, and
Two are short.
A rectangle has 4 sides!

Okay, making some progress. These kids will learn about parallelograms eventually, and 90 degree angles. They’ll get there, but not with Little Giraffes, apparently.

One of the songs even mooched its way into the incorrect, in my opinion. I’ll let my readers judge for themselves, but I’ve worked so hard to convince the world that squares are rectangles that I just don’t think this is helpful.

It’s a Rectangle

(to the tune of: “B-I-N-G-O”)

There is a shape that has four sides,
But it is not a square…No!
It’s a rectangle;
It’s a rectangle;
It’s a rectangle;
It is not like a square…No!
Two sides are long; two sides are short.
They are not the same…No!
It’s a rectangle;
It’s a rectangle;
It’s a rectangle;
The sides are not the same…No!

I dunno, Ms. Bittle. I just don’t know.

Next I moved onto the art projects. I’ll include the captions that the teacher wrote underneath them.

“This fishy project was created by cutting the corners off of a rectangle to make the fish. Then triangles were added for the fins and sea plants.Thanks to our art teacher, Ms. Bittle, for these projects.”

:more from ms. bittle:

“Glue different size rectangles on paper to make a picture–another idea from Ms. Bittle.”

“This turtle was drawn and the shell was filled in with pre-cut colored squares.”

Also, this just sounds fun:

Have a shape party by asking parents to donate foods in different shapes.

Circles: M&Ms, Oreos, Nilla wafers

Squares: Cheese Nips, Saltines, Wheat thins

Rectangles: Graham crackers, sugar wafers, ice cream sandwiches

Triangles: Doritos, taco chips

Oval: Ritz crackers

Sphere: cheese balls

Cube: caramels or cheese squares

Cylinders: marshmallows

Cones: Bugles or ice cream cones

Personally, I’d prefer more rectangles (although I hadn’t thought of ice cream sandwiches, good one, guys) but this just seems like a classy idea for a par-tay. Shape party here I come!

August 26, 2010. Art, Culture, Music, Rectangles, Websites. Leave a comment.

81. Buses

:a bus in london:

Think about how many people take the bus every day. In your city, in every city, in the world. A lot of people in a lot of rectangles.

:school bus:

The buses to my house are the M4 and the E2 or E4.

The bus is also an integral part of the children’s song “The Wheels On The Bus.”

:children in rectangle:

However, the wheels themselves are not rectangular.

Question of the day:

Why don’t coin machines on buses make change?

:city bus:

February 23, 2010. Culture, Music, Rectangles. 1 comment.

65. “The Tigers Have Spoken” by Neko Case

As my friends know, when I like something – I really like it. Once it was Allpoetry.com, a site featuring terrible poetry by terrible poets. I posted poems that were as bad as I could write and people told me they loved the imagery. I would comment on the worst of the worst and tell the authors they had a career in poetry. I read really bad poems aloud to my friends, laughing hysterically the whole time. I was obsessed with it for at least a month.

Right now, it’s The Tigers Have Spoken, a live album by Neko Case.  I listen to it over and over and over. It’s been a week and I haven’t listened to anything else. And it’s been a diverse week, too – rainy days, sunny days, days of paper writing. The tigers have spoken eloquently to me in every situation (sorry, sorry, I know).

:and the cover art is cool:

Neko Case, of the New Pornographers, always meant indie-rock to me. My heart lies more with Americana, so I was never a huge fan. But this album is folky, country-y, and even kinda rockin’. Case covers Loretta Lynn’s Rated X (absolutely fantastic), a Buffy Sainte-Marie song (Soulful Shade of Blue) and a smattering of good ol’ American folk standards. Case’s voice lends itself beautifully to country music. I was pleasantly surprised to hear such musicality from a New Pornographer.

Her covers really stand out. Rated X is unbelievable and has been in my head all week. Soulful Shade of Blue is also fantastic. Country legends should be proud to hear such covers of their songs. I imagine that a lot of these covers are boring as shit, but Case is clearly having a lot of fun – and her voice has SOUL, man. Case’s own songs are also really good. The first song, If You Knew, is a perfectly bitter way to start the album. Favorite is a bit country. It features a great banjo, which of course endears me to the song.

Speaking of the banjo. I absolutely love the banjo on this album. It’s used exactly as the banjo should be used – as a pure and simple enhancement to a great song. It’s mostly Scruggs-style picking, and I LOVE IT. I love it. Any album with good banjo is an A+ in my book. Unfortunately, it’s not played by Neko. But Wayfaring Stranger features some great walking banjo pickin’ and also a crowd sing-along – another tug on my folk-strung heart.

:bad. ass.:

Overall, the album is great. It’s not too soft and gentle – it’s kinda rockin’ most of the time. Like good ol’ country and honky tonk. Loretta Lynn obviously influenced Case a lot on this album. There’s also a lot of beauty and the right amount of gentility when it’s called for. With catchy tunes, fantastic pipes, and a banjo, Case hits it out of the park on this one.

:and she's a redhead, too. i am in love.:

December 3, 2009. Music, Rectangles, Websites. 1 comment.

60. “Acid Tongue” by Jenny Lewis

 

:so pretty:

 

 

About a year ago, a friend recommended Jenny Lewis’ Acid Tongue to me. The album was released in September 2008 and I bought it in October. It took me a year to get around to listening to it, for a number of reasons. First, my CD drive broke in November. I finally got an external drive in August 2009. Second, I started feeling the pressure build up – after all, I’d had this album in my dresser for months. It was waiting to be listened to, eagerly. My good friend Joel had recommended it to me, so I felt that I had to hear it. And I like Jenny Lewis’ work with the Watson twins. So Acid Tongue had a lot to live up to.

It did, in every possible way.

This album makes me wish I had gone and gotten that external drive in November. It makes me wish that I hadn’t been so intimidated by the aesthetically pleasing packaging and the indie legacy of Lewis. Because I would’ve been listening to Acid Tongue on a loop every day – like I’ve been doing this week.

There are 11 tracks on this album, ordered beautifully and with care. It’s clear, when listening, that Lewis treats her album as a cohesive art form – each song flows into the next and complements those around it. My personal favorites are Lewis’ softer songs – particularly Black Sand, Acid Tongue and Godspeed – but the more upbeat pieces are also enjoyable, and offer a welcome respite from the sweetness of the songs surrounding them. See Fernando is a fabulous, more upbeat song that I like a lot.

Lewis’ voice is clear and pure, although she can add a throatier growl into her music if she needs to. The music is simple, yet well-arranged. And I can’t turn it off.

November 17, 2009. Music, Rectangles. Leave a comment.

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