Mr. Green Pea-Ness writes with passionate, breathless, furious intensity about Nelly Furtado's unstoppable new single "Maneater" (which similarly blew me away when I got around to downloading it this weekend), about what it means when Voxtrot covers the Talking Heads, and about seeing the Guillemots live.
Speaking of the Guillemots, their From the Cliffs EP compilation disk doesn't quite live up, back-to-front, to the promise of "Trains to Brazil" (then again, what could?), but their "Made Up Lovesong #43" has to be one of the silliest, happiest, swooniest things I've heard in ages. It's not just a song about love, it's a song that makes you feel like you're falling in love. If you see me walking around town with a goofy grin on my usually scowl-marked face and a bounce in my otherwise leaden step, I'm probably just listening to that song on my Nano. Approach with caution; I might huuuug you!
The Hype Machine recently pointed me in the direction of Joanna Newsom's predictably stunning cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Angel." I've never been able to figure out exactly why Jimi's music in general, and this song in particular, touches me so deeply. The reaction he elicits in me is a totally distinct beast from the respect I have for the rest of his contemporaries in the rock canon. I mean, I was putting "Angel" on mix tapes in high school when I thought "classic rock" meant those cheesy recordings of guitar shredders interpreting Mozart sonatas and shit (kidding; I wasn't that bad off), and I remember getting emotional at the EMP in Seattle with Holla Mossick and LBLA a few summers ago as we strolled through a room that reverently displayed the first draft of his lyrics for "Angel" scribbled on the back of an envelope or napkin or similar scrap of paper. Anyway, all of this is to say that, despite the shoddy quality of the live recording, for me, this MP3 provides a potent and irresistible combination of Joanna's otherworldly harp, her gift for singing way more than just the notes, and Jimi's divinely inspired (haha, not a pun, you bastards) composition.
I forgot to post this last week: Liza Minnelli losing her mind on Larry King.
Her almost-spit take when that guy calls up and says he's a musical theater major in Arizona is classic. Whatever demented asshole edited this thing together deserves an Emmy. Also, I love that some bastard on YouTube has tagged the clip with "trainwrecks." (Thanks, Benji.)
Had the chance to support some local art this weekend. LK and I popped by the Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts on Friday night for the opening of Columbia's Interdisciplinary Arts & Media Thesis Show, featuring Liz Wuerffle's lovely series of pieces combining maps, pictures, and other memories of a life spent on the move. Dan Schwarzlose's synesthesia installation was also really cool, though I'm not sure how the interactive portion of it will be handled when he's not there behind the bar taking orders for stuff like hearing Yellow and touching Buddha Nature. On Sunday, I saw Seanachai's production of A Whistle in the Dark (at the Victory Gardens until May 14), which is certainly worth a look for the slowly burning, quietly seething rage that Coby Goss does so well and for Dan Waller's tour de force performance of tightly coiled menace shot through with scrappy, wounded pride.