Monday, November 16, 2009

Mix 2: God Help the Girl (pretty girls singing pretty songs)

photo: mum, i am gay!


1. Jenny Owen Youngs-First Person
2. God Help The Girl-God Help The Girl
3. The Magnetic Fields-The Nun's Litany
4. Pink Martini-Je Ne Veux Pas
5. The Pipettes-Dirty Mind
6. Ida Maria-Queen of the World
7. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down-When We Swam
8. Lykke Li-Dance Dance Dance
9. Bobby Baby-Bye Bye Snow
10. Dirty Projectors-Two Doves
11. Camera Obscura-French Navy
12. Asobi Seksu-Transparence
13. Annie-I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me
14. The Blow-Hock It
15. La Roux-Tigerlily
16. Friendly Fires-Paris (Aeroplane Remix Feat. Au Revoir Simone)

I know what you are thinking, but this is not that sort of mix. "Pretty" does not mean all pastels and soft edges, girls with big brown doe eyes in vintage floral dresses. "Pretty" does not mean writhing hands and writing love letters, hopeless optimism and sentimentality. This is not easy and simple and sugar sweet. And it is most definitely not harmless.

No. This is about a girl with complexities and aspirations you can hardly imagine. One who takes risks and smiles at the consequences. One who is at once in charge of her independence and sexuality as she is vulnerable. Shy yet aggressive. Subtle but bold. One who seeks the thrill of tottering at the edge between this and that. A girl who stays up all night waiting for a phone call and dismisses it when it does come, a hopeless romantic with a filthy mind. One with a sardonic wit and a tender sweetness. One who goes after what she wants and dismisses anything in her way. A feminist with a heart that can be melted with a single glance, a prototype with impossible to classify tendencies.

As God Help the Girl put it: you have been warned, I'm born to be contrary. And she demands your attention, in dancing bright acoustic verses and shouted choruses that stay in your head, in soft delicate cooing or catchy sassy riffs that you can dance to nonstop. In songs about desires and moments and boys and girls, with broken hearts or a pounding anticipation. In pop and beauty and dreaming of a future that hovers just ever so slightly out of reach.

As always, if you download this, please do let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

, originally uploaded by paper.lilies.

+acoustic indie karaoke: realizing my life long dream of singing "Stars of Track and Field" (and getting compliments from strangers on it!)
+buying darling lingerie (with ruffles and bows and garters, oh my!) on lunch break
+unlikely beautiful fall weather--and my favorite past time, reading in parks and petting puppies
+croissants & earl gray
+field trips and adventures (esp. when they're under the excuse of 'work')
+library books
+staying in bed on cold cold mornings
+making mixes (don't worry I'm making it for you too!)
+unexpected emails from people I rather like a lot
+revelations after painful obsessions
+grapes. (I know. Always.)
+chai, vodka milk cocktail (seriously best thing I've ever had.)

Oh I know, I haven't done one of these in far too long, but don't worry, I haven't forgotten. And you shouldn't either! What makes you want to dance and sing and love this week?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Morbid Anatomy Library

Death makes no sense
except to people who have passionately loved life.

- Cioran

There is something immensely beautiful about death and the grotesque. It's the quiet dignity of a still body, the tragic song of blood and bones. And everything that reminds you of your own mortality, at once stirs discomfort in the pit of your stomach and inspires a desperate worship.

Sometimes it's simply the soft fur of a taxidermic creature, eyes glazed and glassy with a body frozen forever, that provokes a silent appreciation. That's a large part of the appeal of Obscura (my favorite store of antiques and oddities store in the East Village), all the hidden treasures and histories of the past tucked beneath dark aesthetics. When I chanced upon the Morbid Anatomy Library (actually while fact checking for TimeOut), I knew I had to pay it (and my love of all things morbid) a visit.