Seven Things

1. I have no photographic proof of what a lovely Easter Sunday we had. The children colored eggs and got fun Easter baskets. The girls and I dressed up and went to Mass. The weather was perfect. We had dinner at my in-laws. All in all, a lovely, low-key holiday.

You’re just going to have to take my word for it.

2. Sunday night, Dan and I cleaned our house. Well, together we cleaned up the front room. Then I crashed and he cleaned up the kitchen. Monday morning, I got up early to clean the kitchen, not knowing Dan had done it the night before. That was a nice surprise! I put away all the clean dishes and took out the garbage. It was a good start to the week.

3. Also a good part of Monday: Kate had a follow-up appointment to see if she’d cleared her latest ear infection. Fortunately she had, and now I just need her and Michael to keep everything clear so we don’t have to move the surgery date.

4. I only work four days this week because we are heading to the woods on Friday. We are going to try to hit the road by 2 p.m. So far, I have packed most of M’s clothes, pajamas for the girls, my Saturday outfit and pajamas for me, plus socks and underwear for everyone. Last night, I browned the beef for the beef vegetable soup I am making; I’m going to put that in the slow cooker tonight. I’ll have to make the lentil soup either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

5. I woke up Tuesday morning hot and uncomfortable. Like, at 1 a.m. Despite opening windows, I still couldn’t fall back to sleep. I am really hoping that wasn’t a hot flash. It was… pretty yucky.

6. New things, primarily authors: Ania Ahlborn, The Bird Eater. Extremely creepy. Amy Stewart, The Drunken Botanist (I may have mentioned this book before). Very educational, and fun for cocktail making. Jessie Humphries, Killing Ruby Rose. Highly entertaining page turner.

7. Old things that are kind of new to me: I recently took up the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris again, and find myself waiting for Book 12 to be available to my Kindle. The series ends with Book 13, and I’m curious to see how it all wraps up.

After 16 years, the Afghan Whigs have released a new album, and I’ve become hooked. I didn’t listen to them in the late ’90s, although I did check out some of their older stuff because Do to the Beast roped me right in. 1965 is pretty good. I especially like “Sweet Son of a Bitch” into “66”. It’s compelling. Do to the Beast is a different animal from their ’90s music; clearly reminiscent, but with the sharp edges smoothed down.

And after 23 years, The Pixies have released another album — without Kim Deal. So… call them the Not Pixies, I guess. (The argument was made to me on Twitter.) I think this review sums up my own thoughts on the issue. (I will refer to them as the Pixies.) Regardless of what you want to call them, you should go listen. It’s a solid album.

What do you think? If a band’s lineup changes, should they pick a new name? Why or why not?

Musical Monday: Grammys and Beyond

I had meant to write about the 2012 Grammy Awards earlier. I was excited for the Grammys show this year, which hasn’t happened in forever. I did end up “live tweeting” it, god bless my husband for putting up with my antics.

I remember when Lauryn Hill’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill won a Grammy — in 1998 — I decided to buy it. Hill won a number of categories that year: Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. At the time, she broke records by being the first woman to be nominated in 10 categories in a single year, and the first woman to win five times in one night. I thought it was an exciting time for women in music! Maybe the Grammys were relevant again!

The album, however, was not as exciting as the hoopla in my opinion, and I pretty much stopped paying attention to the Grammys.

And then the 2012 Grammy Awards rolled around and it turned out that I owned music from a lot of the nominees. Either the Grammys are relevant again, or my taste in music stunk last year.

Mileage varies.

The Grammy artists that I had in heavy rotation in 2012: Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Gotye, fun., Jack White, “Call Me Maybe”, Rihanna, Adele (who won HUGE for her 2011 album 21), The Lumineers (whom I saw live a about a month ago — the week before the Grammys as a matter of fact — and who have a great, great, great live show. Tons of energy), Florence and the Machine, even (I’m not afraid to admit it), The Muppets soundtrack.

Anyhoo, I enjoyed watching the show. The best performances of the night in my opinion were Jack White, the Levon Helm tribute, the Bob Marley tribute, and Mumford & Sons. I didn’t like the pairing of Black Keys with Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band — although I seemed to be in the minority there.

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In the meantime, going forward, these are some of the songs Flora has stumbled onto lately (the first two thanks to me, the last thanks — I guess — to Pokemon).

She really likes “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye. I should probably worry about that?

I also turned the girls onto The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, which is like a Sly Stone/ABBA/80s synth pop mash up. The single we keep listening to is “Heart Attack”. I love that she says, “Jeez Louise.” Bonus: They cover that ’80s pop classic “Safety Dance”. Playing that for the girls tonight!

Finally, she likes this cut by a band named Superchick, “Stand in the Rain”. I said, “That’s a pretty good song” to which she replied, “It’s a *great* song.” Well, all righty then. Bonus: American Christian alternative pop/rock. So, safe to listen to more!

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Did you watch the Grammys? What’s on your kids’ (or your own) playlists?

What I Am: Music Video Edition

More music that is turning me on lately.

I rushed home from soccer practice this evening and downloaded the Ting Tings’ album (thank you, H, for the fantabulous suggestion). It is going into heavy rotation in the car and while washing dishes.

Vampire Weekend has become extremely popular with my girls based on “Mansard Roof” and this song:

Flora thinks Ezra Koeing has a “nice voice”. HA! The indoctrination continues.