On Fridays, We Wear Pop Music


I don’t know about you, but things have been pretty heavy in my sector lately. (My sincerest apologies for the Vague Declaration of Distress. The VDoD is one of my least favorite Internet behaviors, but Internet whining ranks even lower, so I’ll stop at “things have been pretty heavy in my sector lately.”) In an effort to lift spirits and welcome this weekend with open arms, I’d like to share with y’all kind folks some of the poppy obnoxiousness that I’ve been (almost completely shamelessly) enjoying between moments of weightiness.

[Point of Parliamentary Procedure: The title of this post not does indicate that this will be an every-Friday thing. Like the .gif above (YHT’s first embedded .gif, I believe, which is shameful in its own right), it’s a reference to Mean Girls. If you do not know the script of Mean Girls well enough to derive meaning from this post’s title, please do the right thing and lock yourself in a room until you have the dialogue memorized like a civilized human being. Thanks.]

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Spiders game

Just last night, Mrs. YHT and I had the pleasure of sitting in section 18 of the Robins Center and watching our alma mater, the University of Richmond, mount an unlikely last-minute comeback and beat #19-ranked Virginia Commonwealth University in overtime.

It was fantastic. Probably the best college basketball game I’ve ever seen in person.

That said, I had low expectations going into the game (VCU has been playing extremely well — UR, not so much), so when VCU started pulling away near the end of regulation, I wasn’t exactly shocked. What was a little jarring was how much louder the VCU fans were, despite the fact that they were the away team. It was impressive. Also embarrassing. At times, the VEE-CEE-YOU chants were so loud, the only thing that could take your mind off the ticket sales/team spirit disparity was the music pumping out of the arena’s possibly new and definitely booming PA system.

Since I failed to DVR the game and am desperate to relive it, and since the music they played in the arena during breaks wasn’t half bad, I thought I’d share with you a sampling of the songs that helped carry the Spiders to an unlikely victory.

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Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake

On Saturday, Mrs. YHT and I met up with friend of the blog Trang and made our annual pilgrimage to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and boy howdy was it fun. And fattening. The fried cheese was nice and cheesy, the milkshakes were shakin’, and the potato donuts left nuttin’ to be desired. I even snagged a free Tractor Supply Company hat, which I sported throughout our post-feeding frenzy tour of the the best and smelliest livestock the commonwealth of Pennsylvania has to offer.

It was a good day.

So how does one switch gears and return to the 9-to-5 city life after rockin’ camo at the Farm Show? How about a brand new tune from Justin Timberlake called “Suit & Tie?” Featuring Jay-Z? Even better.

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Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds

I was in New York City for a wedding this past (long) weekend, and had a super fun, action packed few days — I ate at some amazing restaurants, visited a museum exhibit that included a working slide from the 4th floor to the 2nd, conducted an unscientific study on regional differences in transactional conversation (saying “Thank you!” enthusiastically to store owners and waiters to see if they return a “You’re welcome” — they usually don’t, which I know isn’t considered to be rude, but it’s still fun to try) and saw an amazing band that I didn’t even know I’d be seeing. Saturday’s wedding reception was packed with great music, thanks in large part to the fact that the couple of the hour answered “Both” to that age old question, “Band or DJ?” The DJ provided an excellent chronological progression from Motown to “Otis,” deftly managing the inverse relationship between time and mean age, but it was the band, Brooklyn-based Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, that totally blew me away, playing a short set of dynamite soul songs that packed a serious punch. It can’t be easy to come into that environment and get people dancing with original music, but Sister Sparrow, fronted by Arleigh Kincheloe’s booming yet feminine voice and bolstered by a 4-man horn section (I think it was 4, but don’t hold me to that — the Brooklyn Lager was a-flowin’), did just that, playing tunes off their self-titled album alongside a few covers, and everything just worked. The horns were great, the vocals were great, the lead guitar was great, the harmonica was great — to paraphrase our good friend Thom Yorke, everything was in its right place, and I eagerly found the album on Spotify so I could preview it on the train ride back home to Richmond. Check out a full stream of their album below, and buy it on iTunes here.

Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds – Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds