seeking irony, because sarcasm clashes with my outfit
Tuesday, April 03, 2007 :::
In case the barren past few months didn't tip you off, I just haven't been motivated to post lately. I've been DJing, going to shows, listening to new bands, dancing, reading, going to the movies and of course watching too much TV. But somehow none of that made it onto here.
During the time I haven't posted, Hej Hej returned with a vengeance. Lots of actual Scandinavians showed up at our January party. Tall, blond, gorgeous Scandinavians. In February, I was invited to DJ at Taint, one of my favorite dance nights. I've gone to some great shows -- Scissor Sisters at the 9:30 Club (thanks, Kyle), Datarock at The Empty Bottle and Loney, Dear at Schubas. I went to a disappointing show -- The Raveonettes at Rock & Roll Hotel. I love The Raveonettes but, sadly, the energy was just off... I visited my brother in Chicago, where I soaked up some Swedish culture (and pancakes). MG and I helped the Embassy of Sweden promote two sold-out Ane Brun performances at the House of Sweden. But like I said, none of that made into onto here.
I started Seeking Irony after getting out of college and realizing that a 9-5 leaves one with a lot of time to stare at a computer screen. In addition to filling some of that time, this little blog led me to new friends, new bands, and great opportunities. If you've enjoyed reading Seeking Irony, and especially if you liked reading about new Scandinavian music, please add Hej Hej to your MySpace friends. And if you don't have a MySpace account, send an e-mail to hejhejdc at gmail dot com and I will keep you posted about Hej Hej events.
Of course, I wouldn't leave you without a plug for the next Hej Hej:
Plus, the House of Sweden is hosting another concert this month:
Sofia Jannok is from the north of Sweden, and writes most of her lyrics in Sami, her native language. She mixes jazz, pop and yoik influences. Yoik? It's a traditional Sami form of song that's very hard to describe in just a few words, except maybe as chanting. You can listen to some bits on her site. It can be quite pretty, actually, but probably a bit difficult to get into if you're not Sami, or at least Swedish.
I'm loving "Punkdrömmar" in particular. Many of the Swedish bands I come across are lo-fi and/or twee, but this [ingenting] track sounds like The Bravery decided to record a song in Swedish. Labrador is giving away the song along with two remixes here.
And speaking of Labrador bands, the label is releasing a 4 CD box set to celebrate 10 years and 100 releases. The box set will have one song from each release and a booklet with interviews, comments about the songs, and more. As someone who's addicted to Labrador releases, I have to warn you that the 22 Euros you spend on this box set will end up costing you much more once you start buying the albums from which the tracks come.
I swear, I'm not actually searching the Internets for ABBA-related items. But maybe if I study really, really hard, some day I too can be "highly respected ABBA historian."
Via IMDb: Streep To Star in Film Version of 'Mamma Mia!' Academy Award winner Meryl Streep is putting her vocal talents to the test in the Hollywood adaptation of ABBA musical Mamma Mia! The Devil Wears Prada star, 57, is set to play Donna, whose daughter Sophie is due to be married when she embarks on a journey to discover the identity of her father. It will be Streep's first musical. The film's producer, Judy Craymer, says, "(Streep) was always at the top of our wish list. She encapsulates the spirit and energy and has the powerhouse qualities that character requires." The movie features ABBA songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson as executive producers, while the picture will be produced by Tom Hanks' production company Playtone. Mamma Mia! will begin shooting later this year in London and Greece, and reports suggest the film's release will coincide with the musical's 10th anniversary in 2009.
ABBA Star Ordered To Pay $2.1 Million In Tax Former ABBA star Bjorn Ulvaeus has been order to pay 16 million kronor ($2.1 million) in undeclared royalties by Swedish tax officials. The "Dancing Queen" hitmaker is accused of tax evasion, with officials believing Ulvaeus siphoned his royalty payments into a Netherlands-based construction company. Victor Palm, a spokesperson for the country's tax office, says, "He is paying less tax than he should." Last year, Swedish authorities presented Ulvaeus with a 90 million kronor ($13.1 million) bill for backdated taxes, fees and interest rates prior to 1984, when he moved to the UK. ABBA enjoyed chart success in the 1970s and 1980s, selling 370 million albums across the world.
I will resist ending this post with a quote from my dad's favorite ABBA song "Money, Money, Money."
Wednesday, January 03, 2007 :::
A giant thank you to everyone who made our final bluestate a huge success. The crowd was fantastic from the time doors opened to the moment Kyle's last song ended. It was the best ending I could have imagined, and I'm still finding blue confetti in the strangest places. My photos are up, and setlists will be up as soon as I get them from my fellow DJs.
Friday, December 15, 2006 :::
On Wednesday, I celebrated St. Lucia Day with The Cricklewood Massive, playing some songs and wearing a crown of (battery-operated) candles for a bit. My iPod Jukebox set:
And oh yeah, I forgot about Sunday: Aberdeen City opening for Rasputina at the 9:30 Club. I've never been to a seated show at the 9:30 Club before. I understand sitting for a band with cellos, but how does one rock out to Aberdeen City while sitting down?
New music from Garbage? Yes, please. Ok, so it's only one song, but I'll take it. The band is releasing a best of compilation titled Absolute Garbage. There's no US release date yet, but it will be out in the UK on March 19.
Absolute Garbage 01. "Vow" 02. "Queer" 03. "Only Happy When It Rains" 04. "Milk" 05. "#1 Crush" 06. "Push It" 07. "I Think I'm Paranoid" 08. "Special" 09. "When I Grow Up" 10. "You Look So Fine" 11. "The World Is Not Enough" 12. "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)" 13. "Shut Your Mouth" 14. "Why Do You Love Me" 15. "Bleed Like Me" 16. "It's All Over But The Crying" 17. New Track (Untitled)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006 ::: Breaking:Britney files for divorce. Irreconcilable differences, obviously. Despite everything, I still felt surprised when I first saw the headline (or more accurately, when my boss yelled out across the entire office "Britney Spears is filing for a divorce!"). I guess I really wanted those two crazy kids to make it... More here.
Tonight: The last ever SALT at Cafe Saint-Ex. From Will Eastman: For 3 years, DJs Sad and Lonely have provided a first look at new synthfunk, indiepop, electropunk, dancehall, digital disco, grime, and hiphop. They hosted the first all Grime-themed night in the DC area, years before Dizzee Rascal stepped foot on our shores. They played M.I.A. before your niece had the cd. And they championed Junior Boys before the Canadian embassy thought highly enough of that country's musical export to sponsor their show here in DC. SALT has been like your favorite mp3 blog (but in person,) a graduate seminar in musical literacy, and a great house party all rolled into one.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 :::
Last night, I was one of the 150 or so lucky people who saw Beck perform on the Black Cat backstage. Kyle has photos and a write-up, including a partial setlist, over at DCist.
I went to the Black Cat to have one drink with CS and Hugh, thinking that maybe, if I was lucky, I'd still be able to get a ticket for the surprise show -- I was a bit behind the curve when it came to the pre-show rumors, so I had no idea what my odds would be. When I got there, the line was wrapped around the corner, so I gave up on the hope of getting in and joined the guys in the Red Room. But I ended up getting a ticket for the show, and it was amazing. I watched Beck, who was one of my favorite performers for many years and whom I've seen many times at stadiums and arenas, play for more than an hour from less than six feet away. The set was fun and loose, and although I found the band's shenanigans a bit distracting, they added to the intimate and friendly atmosphere. Beck joked, took requests from the crowd and even played some covers.
At one point in the show, Beck told the audience that he was in DC following taping an appearance on David Letterman in NYC. He then realized that the episode was on while he was playing this show, and pointed out that those of us at the show wouldn't be able to watch his David Letterman performance. Obviously, those of us at the Black Cat last night got the better end of the deal, and when Beck made the comment, it made the show feel even more special. Considering that shows like this almost never happen in DC, I'm still coming down from the excitement. Luckily, the resulting exhaustion helps with the coming down...
Friday, October 06, 2006 :::
For the second week in a row, I have a visitor, but with my college BFF Ms. Rhinestone in town through Monday, that means saying "no" to tourism and "yes" to shoe shopping. But there are a few other things on our agenda (if we decide to take a break from shopping and watching bad movies, that is).
Saturday:Middle Distance Runner at Velvet Lounge, playing The Dance Party, Ed Joseph and Brooklyn's Pawns. How much have I been listening to the Middle Distance Runner CD that Ian gave me when I DJed Unbuckled 4.0? A whole lot. Thanks, Ian! There's also Tease at DC 9 or The Wag at Black Cat, because we both *heart* dancing.
Sunday: Meeting Ms. Rhinestone's brother at the Turkish Festival. I didn't even know there was such a festival in DC, but it looks fun and full-of-kabobs.
Monday: If I weren't driving back and from the airport around this time, I'd go see Laura Burhenn play at The Rock & Roll Hotel with Dead Meadow and Meredith Bragg. Even if you're not a Georgie James fan, give Laura's solo show a chance. She has a gorgeous voice that gets covered up a bit in a bigger band, but when it's just Laura and the keys, I totally melt.
Thursday, October 05, 2006 :::
What I did on my blogging hiatus...
1. Fall television. Now that summer is over, I'm back to being anti-social on weekday evenings. I haven't gotten into any of the new TV shows, but am loving the return of Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, House, Lost, and Veronica Mars. Especially Veronica Mars.
2. Tourism. A cousin from Israel visited last week as part of his first trip to North America, which meant seeing every monument and memorial in DC, many of which I hadn't visited in years, or ever. In the two days he was here, we covered the National Mall (including a thorough visit to the National Air & Space Museum), the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln and FDR memorials, the Korean War Veterans and Vietnam Veterans memorials, the Albert Einstein Memorial at the National Academy of Sciences, and the drive-by "Monuments at Night" tour (with help from Ms. WeirdCurves, who can always be a professional tour guide if nothing else works out). We also walked around Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and Georgetown; had drinks at Bar Pilar, dinner at Creme and an all-American lunch at Old Glory; and my cousin tasted his first bagel with cream cheese and lox (surprisingly not something people eat in Israel). Whew. By the time my cousin got on the bus to New York, I was exhausted. Tourism is hard.
3. Crafty Bastards. More crowded than ever. It made me nervous about stepping on small children and dogs, including Edgar. This year's crafty favorites include Mr. Pickles. I almost got the "Friends Don't Let Friends Get Scurvy" T-shirt. Almost.
4. CS's birthday party. A Bloody Mary made with fresh tomatoes is kind of like an alcoholic gaspacho. Delicious.
5. Kathy Griffin at Warner Theater. I'm not a huge fan, but Ms. WeirdCurves invited me and I said yes, because I hadn't seen stand-up comedy in ages and I sort of enjoy Kathy Griffin. Poor BV, who does not like Kathy Griffin but is in love with Ms. WeirdCurves, also joined us. Sitting next to Ms. WeirdCurves was the drunkest girl ever, who at one point loudly drawled out, "I hate fags," which probably caused a lot of whiplash as all of the gays surrounding us turned to give her super-dirty looks. Could she have picked a worse place to pull a Mel Gibson? So there, BV, I was not the drunkest person there.
6. Hooters. BV read that Borat was going to show up, but we didn't know what time. Since we were already nearby for the Kathy Griffin show, we decided to head over there anyway. We didn't see Borat, but we did have some chicken. We learned that on Fridays, the waitresses wear black instead of orange and white, because it's more formal or something. Also, we learned that I'm a perv who has trouble focusing on conversation with all those push-up bras around.
7. Fried pickles. See #6. I've wanted to try fried pickles ever since I heard such a thing existed, but have never seen them on a menu. So of course I had to order them when I noticed them on the menu at Hooters. The verdict: when it comes to things that probably shouldn't be deep-fried, fried pickles are at least as good as deep-fried Twinkies. I'd probably order them again. Once a year, at most. Because I don't want to have a heart attack before I hit 30.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006 :::
It's been a while since I've done a Le Sport update, so it's a shame that this one has to be a sad one: Le Sport are over. From their site:
all good things must come to an end
it's been two years and it has been so much fun but now, as leaves begin to fall, it is time to say good bye.
since we started we have always put everything we had into our music and to everyone who downloaded it, bought it or enjoyed it at our shows, we'd like to say thank you so much. we've loved every second of it.
Friday, September 22, 2006 :::
Why is there so much going on this Saturday?? It's overwhelming. I've already ruled out Virgin Festival (too much pushing for only a few bands I truly want to see). I've come to terms with the fact that I'm probably not going to make it to Rock & Roll Hotel to see The Hourly Radio.
Hopefully one of the venues will be running really behind, because (you and) I really need to see both of these bands.
Check out The Washington Post's review of Lights Out, The Hard Tomorrows' new album.
I've been listening to Lights Out for a few weeks now, and the verdict is that it was worth the long wait. It's lovely and has lyrics that will get stuck in your head. The band's influences, from Can to The Kinks, come together to create an original and diverse album. "Counterfeit" is a song I hadn't heard (except maybe live) until I got the album and is now one of my favorites. To those who haven't seen band cover a Kinks song, it might sound like a departure, but it fits into the album quite well -- a break from the more rocking songs like "Take Down" and "Stop and Shoot" -- and I'm looking forward to hearing it live this weekend.
If you haven't already, you can download songs from Lights Outhere and here, then pick up the album at the CD release party, the band's site or Insound.
Congratulations to my loyal reader and friend KS and to her husband PW, who had their first baby together on Monday (two weeks earlier than expected)! The baby's initials are MEW, which tempts me to call her kitten. Because she's cute and cuddly, duh. She's beautiful, and I can't wait to go to Baltimore and hold her for the first time. KS is the first of my friends to have a baby, so this is supremely exciting for me. You can't tell by reading this, but I'm squealing like a hyper sorority girl right now.
Friday, September 08, 2006 :::
If shopping at Revolution Records for the last time made you sad, here's another chance to feel sad about shopping at Revolution Records one last time. Just when you thought your favorite Van Ness music shop had closed its doors, they've announced that the store is going to be open this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are still CDs, DVDs and vinyl to be bought, as well as some free CDs and posters the guys are giving away. And if you're looking for fixtures, well, Saturday is your lucky day. Even luckier for people who collect vinyl, Revolution Records is putting out 500 records that haven't been sold in the store until now, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and your favorite South Park-quitting Scientologist, Isaac Hayes.
Friday, September 01, 2006 :::
Wow, Vivienne Westwood's collection for Nine West is super fugly.
Speaking of designer collections for non-designer stores, the Paul & Joe for Target bag I've been tracking for weeks sold out almost immediately at Target.com yesterday, so if you see it in your local Target and buy it for me, I will give you 10 free CDs (and pay you back for the bag, obviously). Here it is:
Some weather-appropriate, Hej Hej-approved music from Norway:
Are you ready for the hurricane? We're supposed to get out of work at 3:00 today, but I'm hoping that the boss will let us go home even earlier, considering some schools are closing early. However, she might be mad at me because I've spent half the morning obnoxiously defending the capitalization of Web.
Update: It's 1:33 and I'm still here. Damn.
Update, September 14: I got the bag at the Target in Owings Mills, Md. while spending the weekend in The B.C. It was the last one. Hooray!
Thursday, August 31, 2006 :::
Today is a serious contender for longest. day. ever. There are only so many hours I can waste on celebrity gossip blogs. (And that's a very high number of hours, but it's less than 8.5, which is approximately how long I'm stuck at the office on slow days like today.) I got to read a book while everyone else was out of the office, but now that both bosses are back from meetings, I have to at least pretend to look at the computer screen. Ms. WeirdCurves got me thinking about the VMAs, which I (very) tentatively plan on watching, so I went to MTV.com to read up on what's ahead. As I was scrolling through the award categories, I came across... "Ringtone of the Year." WTF? Ringtone? Do ringtones come with videos now? Seriously, how is this even a category??
Prediction #1: The VMAs will be super-boring and nothing "controversial" will happen.
Prediction #2: Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson are going to make the VMAs a stop on their "you can never have too many weddings" tour.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 :::
I can't check out Golem at The Red and The Black tonight, and that makes me sad. Golem perform "punked-up Jewish, Gypsy, and Slavic folk songs." Although I don't actually like klezmer music, I'm such a sucker for accordions. Must be the Eastern European in me.
New contest! Win the eighth season of South Park, a three-disk set containing 14 episodes including "The Passion of the Jew." The winner also get a bonus: South Park anime trading cards (a tie-in to the "AWESOME-O" episode, of course).
To enter, e-mail me the correct answers to the following five questions by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 4. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 5.
1) What is the name of the South Park episode in which Radiohead appeared? 2) What is the name of Carman's pet pig? 3) Who sings the South Park theme song? 4) Where was Kyle's brother Ike born? 5) What is Butters' real name?
DJ Leafblower, WeirdCurves and I are doing 20-minute rotations from 10:00 to close tonight. I've spent the day listenig to The Hourly Radio, Shiny Toy Guns, Ima Robot, Favourite Sons, Pony Up! and The Presets, so that should give you an idea of what you might hear.
It's been more than a year since I discovered Johan Wahlgren on swedesplease, and his songs are in regular rotation on my iPod. I was on the Metro recently when "Don't Bite That Lip" came on and overwhelmed me. Just when I thought no one could rival Lasse Lindh when it comes to writing gorgeous songs about emotionally abusive relatonships, here it was:
If I were being picky, I would say that to achieve pop perfection, this song would have to be edited down from it's current length of 5:52, but I suppose that if you like the song, you don't mind that it's long, right?
Wahlgren's site is in Swedish and can be a challenge to navigate, but you can download lots of songs here or a few on MySpace. From what I could figure out, Wahlgren has been playing with Montt Mardie, another one of my Swedish favorites.
And speaking of Lasse Lindh, I somehow missed the release of his EP Attica earlier this year. Looks like I have some shopping to do.
1) I just got that Numark iPod mixer, and I'll let you play with it the next time you visit. 2) I am directly responsible for making Samuel L. Jackson aware of the Samuel L. Jackson soundboard website, by showing Martin who later showed SLJ. 3) I am lonely and pathetic and material goods will fill the void in my life. 4) It's 2pm central and I'm drunk at work. 5) I am listening to a mashup of Veruca Salt's "Seether" and that "don't you wish your girlfriend..." song, which I will send you if you send me the CD.
Monday, August 21, 2006 :::
If you announce a CD release party, you have to release a CD, right? After many delays and a projected release of "when we're all dead and gone," it looks like The Hard Tomorrows will actually release a CD in September, since the release party is scheduled for September 23 @ DC 9.
01/05: Taint and Bliss present INFAMY, 9:30 Club
01/10: Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, 9:30 Club
01/19: Benjy Ferree, Meredith Bragg and the Terminals, Greenland, Black Cat 01/24: Hej Hej, Cafe Saint-Ex