Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fiona Apple

As we all know, Common Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions bars businesses from assaulting customers with Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, countless malls and restaurants ignore this directive, opening the door for the year’s most profitable holiday to encroach upon the year’s tastiest. (This encroachment isn’t quite as irksome as Walmart starting their in-store Black Friday sales earlier and earlier on Thursday, which strikes me as pure evil, but it sucks nonetheless.)

So you can rest assured that, to liberally paraphrase one of my favorite songs from Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine album, “This is not about Christmas.” However, this post is about music featured in a movie that’s coming out on Christmas (sorry, once you start adding emphasis with italics, it’s hard to stop).

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Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

Whipped Cream and Other Delights

Being a dutiful son of two college-teaching Democrats, I skate to one song and one song only on the drive to work each morning: Morning Edition. As much as I love listening to music in the car, NPR has a choke hold on my early-morning airtime. OK, so I change the channel like 2 seconds into the semiannual fund drives. Everyone has a breaking point, alright? Point is that I spend a LOT of time with Steve Inskeep and Renée Montagne, and as far as morning routines go, I’m pretty happy with this one. But now that the election is over, and my at-times-unhealthy appetite for political coverage is sated, I’ve been doing some thinking… is this really the best soundtrack for my ride to work?

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Sounds of RVA

The internet is a funny place.

Well… I suppose it’s not actually a place. It’s a thing. A network. A series of tubes, much like the ones used to transport endorsed checks between you and the bank’s drive through teller. The fascinating thing, though, is that it feels like a place. The virtual spaces we visit so that we can interact with people who share our interests feel just as real as the 7-11s we hit up for coffee on the way to work — even more so in some cases, given that a diligently updated blog can be front-and-center in your consciousness several times a day, if you’re equally diligent about reading it.

Though I’ve never met Sarah Moore Lindsey in person, her words regularly occupy that front-and-center position, thanks to Sounds of RVA.

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Big Gigantic

The National

When I’m at a show, as I was on Saturday night, and I’m inspired to write about the experience, as I also was on Saturday night, I’ll often jot down ideas and observations using the skeuomorphically-styled iPhone Notes application. (I flirted with the Evernote mobile app a few months ago, but it never felt right. Something about fake legal paper mixed with that atrocious default font keeps me coming back.) These missives are usually short and few in number, mainly because I hate being the guy at the concert with his phone out while a song is going on. But Saturday’s show proved to be quite the noteworthy exception.

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The Snowy Owls

Within Yr Reach

So I’ve been excited to hear the new Snowy Owls tunes. How excited, you ask? So excited that, a few months ago, I compiled some of the Twitter-based progress reporting the group posted as they were preparing for the recording process. More details have emerged since, and I’m happy to say that the suspense bubble is set to burst tomorrow, when The Snowy Owls release the Within Yr Reach EP — a beautiful, 8-song, impressionistic portrait that showcases the band’s knack for pairing memorable, guitar-driven melodies with hazy arrangements that set a distinctive and mesmerizing mood. I had the chance to catch up with Owls frontman Matt Klimas via email this weekend, and he answered a few questions about the EP, his favorite pedals, Swedish pop music and more.

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The Trillions

Last week, I shared a little about how I pick songs for Fridays, saying that I tend to look for the most fun/weekend-y thing I heard during the course of the week. On a somewhat related side note, I woke up with R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” stuck in my head, which is fun and all, but not really appropriate for 8 a.m., no matter which day of the week it is. (By the way, have you seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance of “Ignition”? Well worth a look-see.)

Wait… what were we talking about? OH YEAH! Besides levity, there’s another great reason to save a post for Friday — the need for a couple of weekend days to chew on it.

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Joe’s Pick: Jamie T

Kings & Queens

I’ve heard it said that “Good people eat good food.” Can’t remember where though. Probably on the Food Network. It sounds like something Ina Garten would say while smugly assembling a delicious picnic lunch. HOW DOES SHE MANAGE TO BE SO UPSCALE AND SO RUSTIC AT THE SAME TIME? HOW?!?!?

In any case, I’d posit that the “Good people ___ good ___” axiom holds true for music as well, and this idea actually played a big part in how Mrs. YHT and I got together. One of the first things I knew about the fellow University of Richmond senior who would eventually become my wife was that she liked The Band. I knew this because her apartment had a few people over for brunch on Easter weekend, and we all watched what I believe was her DVD copy of The Last Waltz. I can remember thinking this was immeasurably cool, and that coolness proved to be just the tip of a whole iceberg of awesomeness that I’ll be happily chilling with for the rest of my life.

I’ve since learned that, as matters of coolness often are, this predilection was inherited from the previous generation — in this case from her music-loving father. Now, if my father-in-law was simply a fan of The Band and their contemporaries, I would count myself as lucky. During holidays, we could put on the brown album, drink some brown liquids, and both of us would be happy as clams. But it’s even better than that — he gets just as excited about finding and sharing new artists as I do, and I can’t tell you how awesome that is. That’s why I’d like to introduce a new feature that will hopefully pop up on YHT every now and again: Joe’s Picks. Maybe I can even twist his arm into making a guest appearance.

First up is a Brit called Jamie T. (See what I did there? I’ve always wanted to use “called” instead of “named.” It’s so sophisticated, innit?)

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