• Music

    Nashville City Record List


    I’m using this list of Nashville records as a kitchen playlist, with the help of my Spotify account. I wish I was a little more old music-savvy, and this is helping! Wildsam put it together for their gorgeous Nashville guide. There’s so much poetry and story in just reading through these album titles and artist names.

  • Music

    Their Whole Life’s Been Blessed

    The new song for the quarter month on the blog (you can play it on the sidebar, just to the right of this post) is Wishes and Stars by Harper Simon. I first heard it on GIRLS and really liked it. But the more I listen, the more I sing it to myself and as I sing bits of it I had the thought: this song is about Instagram. And the design section of the New York Times. And some blogs. It doesn’t make me sad to think that. And I love the song.

    Wishes and Stars

    (click to listen to all his songs)


  • Boston,  Life Story,  Music,  Wine & Spirited Drinking

    My Valentine’s Day

    Lux and I listened to this all day, like the latin lovers that we are. (on Grooveshark. I couldn’t find it on Spotify, Rdio, or Last.fm. What, no kids music? Come on guys.)

    I had a dentist appointment and they gave me a rose. Sweet, but the implication reminded me that I’m there a lot these days (sad but true) and neglecting my first love (my teeth) made room for our new relationship…Or some metaphor like that. When I walked home carrying the rose, people smiled knowingly at me, and I wanted to say, “it’s not as good as you think guys!”

    A little vintage ring for me from Joe, from our local antique jewelry shop. With a background of aging roses from a friend who visited over the weekend.

    This photo makes the ring look really nice, which it is, but Joe promises that it was not expensive as I have tragically lost rings before and neither of us want to worry about that. I love how the stone looks black but is actually a little red. It’s too big so I need to find one of those little adjustment-pieces that make rings smaller.

    a little antique (not really) Scotch whiskey for Joe. He likes peaty stuff from Islay, and I’m running out of new brands to try as I basically buy him whiskey for all special occasions.

    While I was at the dentist, Joe took Lux out and bought her a sneaky Sylvester. oh my gosh does she love balloons. And I do too. We had to bring him on our walk to soften the blow of being stroll-ered around. It worked!

    In the evening after Joe got out of work, we met him midway to go to a favorite local wine shop that also sells chocolate, olives, eighty-five different kinds of cheese, and salami! On the T ride to meet him, the car was full of people holding bouquets of flowers, fiddling with their ties, or fixing their hair. When we waited for Joe outside there was a feeling of anticipation in the cold air and we watched as couples excitedly met up for the night. One corner of the T station was taken up with a bustling impromptu flower shop.  It felt a bit like Christmas eve!

    The wine shop was having a very clever wine tasting and oyster-eating event. For $10 you could try three different wines and have a small plate of three oysters. Lots of people were taking advantage of it. I loved how they gave you a slip of paper with the names of the wine, and the cost of the bottle, for easy reference.

    Lux spent a lot of her time looking around for other baby friends, to no avail.

    We used some Valentines money (thanks Mom! thanks Mimi!) and picked out a german champagne, soft cheese, a salami, homemade crackers, and homemade biscotti. It was all irresistible!

    After we got home, we settled in with our snacks, and caught up on episodes of Downton Abbey. Joe said, “wine, cheese, and the aristocracy!” All and all, we barely noticed that we couldn’t go out to a nice dinner or a late night party.

  • Music

    Stroked: (free) Strokes Tribute album

    Before the Strokes gave a bunch of old man interviews, forced a new album out through a sieve, and generally griped about each other to everyone listening, I really liked them.

    Obviously mostly because of the album Is This It, which I can play in its entirety on repeat while driving and not feel irritable when the sun burns only one of my arms. Back when Joe was wooing me with mixtapes, Last Night (remember when bands still felt safe spelling words out fully? Don’t you just want to edit that to say Nite?) made it on to one and it was just so good that I married him.

    So it feels nostalgic and college-y to listen to Stroked (could have left that name in the brainstorm sess. a little longer) and hear these funny, wonderful, little bands like Peter Bjorn and John and the morning benders cover their songs. And write thoughtful notes about how much they love these songs too. And get to hear the lyrics slowly enough to actually sing along.

    Full album, free download, right here at Stereogum.

    First seen on Nylon.

  • Good design,  Music

    the Rome album

    We’ve been enjoying npr’s First Listen of Rome. But I just saw the album cover for the first time. Nice.

    In fact, it’s truly remarkable how much work went into the making of this album — we’ve heard tales of bartering bottles of wine for vintage equipment, recording with analog tape in the famed Ortophonic Studios, calling out of retirement the elder statesmen who played on the soundtracks of films like Once Upon a Time in the West. Yet all of that fetishism is quickly and completely eclipsed by the jarring presence of the distinct voices of Norah Jones and Jack White (each of whom appear on three tracks) and the plodding, midtempo modernity of the songs composed by Luppi and Danger Mouse.

    -Paste Magazine’s review of Rome

    I didn’t think “plodding” (a serious word to throw around) but I did think “soundtrack.” And, “Norah Jones is the best when dolloped in small doses.”

  • Music

    Finding New Music

    Guest post! by Wilson Cusack, age 17, high school senior. Because this post is about an abstract, music, I slid in a few beautiful visuals to accompany it by William Goldsmith. His landscapes remind me of the planets of the little prince

    Talking during car rides usually annoys me. Car rides are for music. When I first started going to school with my siblings I woke up every morning excited almost solely for the car ride.  We’d fight over who’s iPod we’d use, and whoever was the current DJ had the perfect opportunity to show off their latest and greatest music, or perhaps pull out an old song we’d forgotten about. There were always those songs that made the car quiet, that made you not want to talk, just listen.

    Everyone would just stare blankly out the windows, captivated by the sound. One of us might casually grab the iPod to see who it was, but we’d play it off like we just wanted to check the time or something. After all there was almost no greater compliment than the, “Who is this?” If you did come out and say that, you might say it with tone of disgust,to make it seem as though you were unimpressed, when really you’d have the song on your own iPod by the next morning.

    Finding the latest and greatest music became a game, and the game was taken to a new level when I picked up my own musical escapades. Everyone expects a musician to have great musical taste, so I was always searching for the best thing. The blogosphere has made that job 100x easier, even if it does feel like I’m letting someone else do all the work for me. I tell people about the blogs I like or follow, but it is kind of like giving away your recipes, or showing the secret to a magic trick; you’ve taken away your luster.

    But, as I like hearing other people’s new stuff as much showing them my own, giving away my secrets has become a habit. Which is precisely what I will do now.

    The best music site, in my opinion, is HYPEM. It is not a music site so much as a music aggregator. They have hundreds of music blogs that post to their site, so rather than going and checking all sorts of music blogs, it’s all in one place. If you create an account you can follow blogs,  like a music version of google reader. You can click on the latest tab and you can see what your favorite blogs have been posting.

    So far as who to follow, I have a couple favorites:
    Indie Shuffle
    We All Want Someone to Shout For
    Sunset in the Rearview
    Earplugs Not Included

    And, two blogs I like that aren’t on Hypem:
    Pretty Much Amazing
    The Sixty-one  (this is  a site for mostly indie artists, the artists post their songs and then people vote on them, “hot right now”
    consistently has good stuff. I don’t like their new site so go to this one: old.thesixtyone.com)

  • Cooking,  Joe & Rachael Projects,  Life Story,  Music,  Pregnancy

    What Happened to April

    Sorry guys. I’ve been missing this place.

    I went home for a baby shower. Joe and I made a little mix cd to give as a tiny thank you to all the amazing women who gave us gifts, many of them obviously handcrafted with love. It was supposed to be Springy, and Agreeable, so that even my grandmothers would like it. You can listen to it too, right here. (the mix I lined-up to play right after our mix is really good too–French and sexy.)

    Want a close-up of that little painting Joe made for the cd cover? I know I do:

    My only selfish request for the shower brunch was that there be cinnamon rolls. My mom makes the recipe that was copied off of Cinnabon, as in the all rights reserved Cinnabon, the one you hope is in the airport so you can sneak off and get a small box of chewy frosted dough.

    Is there anything quite like seeing a dozen adults queue up to buy themselves cinnamon rolls?

    a sample gift:

    What else?

    I made this easy quinoa tabbouleh and thought about how healthy and worthy I was, eating quinoa and even pronouncing it properly under my breath. (instead of “keen-wa,” there used to be days when I said “qui-noAH.” Whatever. The point is, it has a lot of amino acids.)

    I watched the first episode of “Dresscue Me.” You can download it, free, from iTunes. Joe was almost too stressed out by the estrogen-energy to watch; which I say as a warning before you get the whole family in front of the television.

    I read a bunch of great books. The last three on that list were particularly fun to read. If you need a little great writing in your life, a little reminder of how immediately enticing a story can be, get The Imperfectionists from the library. I almost read it twice, just to make it last longer.

    Don’t forget about this almond pastry Easter recipe I wrote about last year.

    Just because I wasn’t around here doesn’t mean I wasn’t reading your lovely blog posts, and funny tweets, missing your thoughtful company, and clicking your delightful links. I was.

  • Good design,  Music

    Holiday Music

    I love this idea of a Valentine’s Day Playbutton from Opening Ceremony. What a fun way to give someone a mix for them to enjoy on their ride to work. The concept of Playbutton’s idea would also make a fun wedding favor or store giveaway, don’t you think?

    Speaking of music, two recent mixes I’ve been enjoying:

    K.I.D. Collective’s non-oozing Valentine’s Day mix. (you can download this one)

    Dom‘s peppy, happy mix of rock-y songs. (you have to stream this one) (if you’re playing it for a group, watch out for the second to last song)