Saturday, December 17, 2011

Men and women can't be friends?

This amusing video from Jesse Budd and Patrick Romero attempts to answer the question:
"Can men and women be just friends?"

Unsurprisingly, their answer is no.  But they're only polling good-looking college kids.  I wonder if the answer would be different if they polled, like, people in their 30s?

I mean, *I* have guy friends who are just friends... right?

via Doobybrain

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Robyn, killing it.

"Call Your Girlfriend" as performed on SNL.  

Her performance is mesmerizing.  Quirky, and kind of awkward.  Those shoes!  Those pipes!

The lyrics to this song slay me.  I occasionally tear up when I hear it, as I do with "Dancing On My Own" (the second song she performed) also on Body Talk.  So heartbreaking.  It's rare for pop music to make you cry, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Party animal!

Can you relate?
me, at parties
from Gemma Correll via JR on Twitter

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm going to France!

I'm traveling to Lyon, France in a few weeks to speak (on behalf of one of my professors) at an LED conference.  Luckily enough the conference is being held at the same time as Lyon's annual Festival of Lights.  The pictures I've seen make it look really amazing!

I also heard Lyon a very food-oriented city so I'm looking forward to drinking some wine and eating some crepes.  I don't speak a lick of French, though, which complicates things.  I imagine it it might be like this sketch from Big Train.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goth girl dance party

Someone reminded me of this Real Life song today (although they mistakenly attributed it to Erasure!).  Got me reminiscing about my goth girl phase and going to Stigmata at The Ruby in Hollywood.

Real Life's "Send Me An Angel" (1983)

Ah, dark wave, getting shy weird people to dance alone for 25 years...  Here are a few others.

Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up" (1990)

Sisters of Mercy "Dominion" (1987)

extended version with "Mother Russia"

The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" (1985)... one of my favorite Rock Band songs!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Awkward Black Girl

I just found out about this webseries "The Misadventure of Awkward Black Girl," created, written, directed and starring Issa Rae.  I love anything with a socially inept lead character and these were pretty amusing.

Here's an episode where she goes on a first date with a white guy.  It's super awkward!

Watch the rest of the episodes here

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We’re becoming the men we wanted to marry

Wow, this was a great read!  Kate Bolick's All The Single Ladies, published in The Atlantic, discusses what it's like to be a single women over the age of 30, mixing anecdotes and statistics to explain the implications of the waiting-to-marry and maybe-never-marrying as a generational phenomenon.
...While the rise of women has been good for everyone, the decline of males has obviously been bad news for men—and bad news for marriage. For all the changes the institution has undergone, American women as a whole have never been confronted with such a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be “marriageable” men...
All five pages at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh yeah, there was FYF

Went to FYF again this year and planned on writing a review, but I was too distracted by the bad fashion worn by like 95% of the attendees.  When you're a skinny, 18-year-old girl you can get away with wearing a lot of odd things and still look okay, but I still don't get the whole high-waisted mom-jeans made into too-short cutoff-shorts look.  That doesn't look good on anybody, OK?

Anyway, Broken Social Scene was great.  Yacht, The Cults and Pink Mountaintops were pretty good.  The food choices were a lot better than previous year.  I can't really elaborate any more.  Not sure why I was less into FYF this year, maybe because I'm less knowledgeable about the latest bands/songs/albums.  I guess that's what happens when you're an irrelevant former DJ.

Here's a recap video released today by FYF organizers.  Summer lovin.  Music by Glass Candy, one of the bands I missed.

FYF 2011: The Best Day Of Summer from CATJAM Studio on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Don't hate.

I'm under a tight deadline to get some new results on my research project so I'm working a lot of extra hours in the lab lately.  I haven't taken a day off in weeks.  And so here I was yesterday, in the lab on another beautiful Saturday afternoon, feeling really depressed because my latest set of samples didn't turn out well at all.  I was definitely feeling at a low point of my graduate career yet for some reason watching Phil Collins videos on Youtube was really hitting the spot.

Yeah. Fucking Phil Collins.

Let the record state that my dad listened to a lot of Phil Collins when I was a kid, so I was probably feeling sentimental nostalgia for my family.  Also, this song was in particular speaking to me because I really just wanted to go the fuck home.

Oh, the drum machines.  Oh, the hair.  Seriously, what is going on with his hair?  Anyway, this may fall in the genre of avoidable 80's adult contemporary, but Phil Collins is a solid songwriter.

By the way, if you haven't heard the songwriter segment of This American Life's "Break-up" episode featuring Phil Collins, listen to it here. (also embedded below)

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to ride a bicycle

Because it's Friday and I needed a laugh.

Here's the full Youtube version

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Need Nothing except a donut, maybe

So busy lately, I'm too busy to even find a music video to post.  Here's one my friend Adam found from the Parenthetical Girls.

I Need Nothing - a nearly useless odyssey from Cãoceito on Vimeo.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Three Word Phrase

This comic is really funny!  Especially if you like dark, nonsensical comics about butts and boners and poop.

Really nice time by Ryan Pequin

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thank you, R.E.M.

R.E.M announced yesterday that they were splitting up after 31 years.

To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.

I really loved R.E.M. growing up.  I had a poster for New Adventures in Hi Fi hanging in my bedroom for years and my sister and I played Out of Time and Monster so often around the house that even my dad knew the words.  The older I got, the more I delved into their earlier stuff, slowly collecting albums.  I probably played their Eponymous compilation hundreds of times throughout college.

To me, their music from the 80's represents quintessential east coast college rock and remains timeless, and their music from the 90's is some of the most recognizable and significant from that decade.  You have to admire them for successfully crossing over from alternative to mainstream.  Automatic for the People was a masterpiece.  Remember when everywhere you turned, you'd hear "Everybody Hurts?"  They probably lost their college/alternative radio credibility around that time, but I never stopped loving them.

As much as I adore R.E.M., I won't miss them being together.  Over the years I paid less attention and didn't bother listening to many of their albums released beyond the 90s.  I noted a few weeks ago that they'd probably completely lost relevance when some of my younger friends told me they didn't know who Micheal Stipe was.  (Remember how big of a celebrity he was at their height of popularity?)  It was a surprise to me that they actually released an album earlier this year, apparently to good reviews.

My feelings about R.E.M.'s break-up are mixed.  I'm happy for them for being together for so long and deciding to end on a good note.  I'm sad because it represents the end of an era.  I'm sad that alternative music is dead.  I'm sad that I never saw them perform in person.  (Unless they played the Tibetan Freedom Concert the year I went, in which case I forgot... festivals are like that.)  Mostly I'm sad because their music reminds me of growing up, and them breaking up reminds me how old I am.

I wanted to honor R.E.M. with a long post and thank them for being such a big part of my life and for shaping my musical tastes.  I'm embedding some of my favorite songs of theirs, below.  It was difficult compiling this list because there are SO MANY great songs in their catalog, and honestly, I got a little emotional watching all of these.

By the way, I'm posting LIVE versions of their songs because they sounded TIGHT AS FUCK live and being forced to watch commercials for the official videos on Youtube makes me ragey inside.  However, their official music videos were always amazing, so I provided links to those official versions below in case you're more patient then me.

"So. Central Rain" from 1984's Reckoning - their first TV performance?  How cute are they?

official video here

"Radio Free Europe" from 1983's Murmur - Wow, remember when bands performed TWICE on Letterman?

official video here

"Fall On Me" from 1986's Life's Rich Pageant

official video here

"The One I Love" from 1987's Document

official video here

"Drive" from 1992's Automatic for The People

official video here

"Man on the Moon" also from 1992's Automatic for The People

official video here

"Nightswimming" also from 1992's Automatic for The People

official(?) video here

"Strange Currencies" from 1994's Monster

album version here

Great voices

Check out the vocals on these tracks from Taylor Kirk of Timber Timbre and Katie Stelmanis from Austra, both Canadian artists. Amazing!

Timber Timbre performing 'Demon Host' from their 2009 self-tilted album on Out of This Spark/ Arts & Crafts

Austra performing 'Lose It' from their debut album, Feel It Break on Domino Records

I need a new music podcast to listen to because all my new music recommendations lately come from The Signal.  (I love The Signal, but I want to diversify my listening is all.)  Perchance any readers have a new recommendation?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We say "thanks for playing" even though we missed the opening band

Just saw this really cute article/comic/drawing documentary from the illustrator Wendy MacNaughton giving a behind-the-scenes look at Thao and Mirah while on tour.   I love Wendy's illustrations and really loved this series.  Check it out at The Rumpus.

                        Wendy MacNaughton at The Rumpus

I have seen both artists perform separately -- Thao with The Get Down Stay Down (great show!) and Mirah, solo, twice (always good!).  They came through Santa Barbara within the last year touring together and now I'm kinda bummed that I missed their show!  Maybe I couldn't find anyone to go with, or maybe I had something else planned, or wasn't in the right mood to go to a show.  Anyway, I'll make do watching videos of them performing together on KEXP, sounding great.  Thanks, internet!

Damn, KEXP always does such a great job putting videos of live performances together.  Check out Thao and Mirah's album on Kill Rock Stars.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dealbreakers...from the men's perspective.

Andy Borowitz posted a really funny column in New Yorker magazine titled Alarm Bells.  I love a great satire!
When I’m on a first date, alarm bells always go off if the woman says, “Let’s play Nixon.” This happened a few weeks ago when I was out with a tax attorney from one of the big midtown firms whom I met on OkCupid. I can understand why she wanted to play, because she was totally great at it. She looked scary with her shoulders hunched over, growling about the press and vowing revenge against the people on her enemies list. But as she started screaming about Jane Fonda and Joe Namath, I thought, Did it even occur to her that maybe I wanted to be Nixon and she could be Kissinger? That set off major alarm bells for me, because the last thing I need in my life is someone who’s inconsiderate
Read more

I first heard of Andy on The Moth Podcast talking about his butt and how he almost died.  That sounds trite, but trust me he did so in a very smart, funny and touching way.  He managed to survive and is an active Twitterer and has a new anthology book out: The 50 Funniest American Authors

Monday, September 19, 2011

The song "is just basically John doing Dylan", Paul McCartney later said.

The Beatles- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away from the 1965 album Help!

I sing this song to my cat.  (And by to my cat I mean to myself, poorly.)

I feel like I should own more Beatles albums.  And by more of them I mean all of them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Audio, Video, Disco

New video from a French electronic music duo Justice for “Audio, Video, Disco.”  I really like the bassy piano.

Not sure how I feel about their use of the Christian cross imagery.  Are they a Catholic Daft Punk?  Or do they sound more like Air?

Thanks, Doobybrain

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I fucking love Prince.

...did you know this already?  This song was stuck in my head today and it took me forever to figure out the song title.

"Erotic City ("make love not war Erotic City come alive")" was released as the B-side to the 1984 single "Let's Go Crazy" and features Sheila E.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just a fat guy dressed as a fat girl, eating some fries

From SNL's "Gap Girls" sketch, circa early 1990's.  I adored SNL at this time, in middle school, and used to quote it all the time.  I still use the "Lay off me, I'm starving" line to this day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh hai.

I moved into a new apartment and got a cat.

That is all.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Don't get in the way of a man and his morning coffee

This has been ALL OVER the internet lately but in case you haven't seen it.... A series of 1950's and 60's-era coffee commercials edited them down to just the moments when the guys were the biggest jerks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just a song I like today.

This song is good.

Apparently it's from a movie.  I want to see this movie.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Song about deers

Californian turned Toronto band Snowblink performing the song "Rut and Nuzzle."

Listening to The Signal, drawing alternative GaN crystal planes on my computer, loving the her voice and that plinky guitar sound and the pedal-effects.  You can download this mp3 for free, courtesy The Wild Honey Pie.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm busy

I'm helping one of my professors write a journal/book chapter about laser diodes on alternative crystal planes of gallium nitride.  It's overwhelming.  I'm learning a lot, but I also feel like my brain is reaching some saturation point.

Right now, I'm listening to Sigur Ros and reading about the polarization of light waves.  Somehow they seem to go together.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The 70s were so fucked up.

This song was in my head today. WHY? IT IS SO WEIRD!

The Carpenters - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

What the fuck is going on here?  Were the Carpenters trying to be edgy like Queen and David Bowie, or was every artist going through a sci-fi phase in the late 70s?  

And now for some vintage 70s French space disco...

The Droids - The Force

Kinda feel like the Germans did it better.

Kraftwerk - Die Roboter

For some reason I'm reminded of a viral video by Santo Cilauro.  Do you remember this?  Zlad?  An Eastern European superstar from a fictional country called Molvania?  It's not vintage at all. It's from 2004.

Zlad - Elektronic Supersonic

Someone called this the worst video ever, but I think it's still pretty amazing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Science, blinding you with it.

This probably only makes sense to other graduate students but it's FUCKING HILARIOUS.

Not sure I agree with all of these (do undergrads even know what a postdoc is?) but for the most part they nailed it.

I feel like I've been a PhD student for too long. I'm about to finish my SIXTH year of grad school. Why aren't I done yet? It's STUPID. I need to GRADUATE. The next few months are going to be major crunch-time, which is frustrating but exciting, too. I'm looking forward to clearing the hurdle. Then I'll be a pimpin' Postdoc!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SB Cruiser Ride

I finally got to participate in the annual Fiesta Santa Barabara Cruiser Ride on Sunday.  Hundreds (over a thousand?) bike riders bombing down State Street from the fountains at the Fisherman's Wharf all the way into Goleta and Isla Vista.

I'm usually really good about obeying traffic laws, but it was SO MUCH FUN to just cruise through traffic lights with a huge group of riders.  That's the power of numbers!  I only noticed a few car drivers get really aggressive, honking and trying to cut off cyclists, but there were also a lot of people who just smiled and let us pass through.

It was an awesome experience.  I already can't wait to do it again next year.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Elvis knew a thing or two

I believe the key to happiness is: 
someone to love,
something to do,
and something to look forward to.
--Elvis Presley

I love that quote and it keeps ringing true.  Whenever I'm unhappy, it always seems like one of the three areas is lacking.  It's about balance.

(more ranting behind the cut)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kathryn Calder "Arrow"

This song is in my head this week.

Great song from Calder's first solo album, Are You My Mother?  You may know her as a member of a little Canadian band called The New Pornographers.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

RuPaul's Drag Race

I'm obsessed with this show!  It's like a super campy version of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway!  I love it!  RuPaul is the best!

I feel like this clip doesn't do the show justice.  It's hilarious.  The third season just started on Logo, but in the meantime I'll finish watching season 2 on Instant Netflix.

Oh, AND there's already a spinoff show called DragU, which gives sad female housewives tranny makeovers. Fried gold! I want someone to nominate me to be on that show!

       img via  (Thanks Dana!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


This song is not new at all but I'm loving it this week, from buzzband The xx's 2009 debut album, xx.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Splendid truths

The older I get the more I realize complaining never gets me anywhere.  It's not useful at all!  Eventually the universe finds a way to remind me to either lighten the fuck up or harden the fuck up, usually both.
The secret of being a bore... is to tell everything.  -Voltaire

I love my bike

I get so many compliments on it.  I think my favorite was a hipster girl in the Ralphs parking lot who told me, "that's my dream bike."
My bike: Surly Pacer
I've been effectively car-less for three months now.  I wish I had more to say about it, but the truth of the matter was my ten year old car blew a head gasket and it was too expensive to fix, and I didn't feel I could afford a new car.  Instead I'm biking, riding the bus, (or a combination of both), and if I'm really desperate, bumming rides from friends.  It's works.  And I do get to feel smug about never having to sit in traffic again.

Still, not having a car is not easy.  I think the hardest part is feeling less independent.  With a car, you don't have to think how you're getting anywhere, you just go.  With a bike, you really have to strategize.  (Is there an easy bike route?  Do I need to bring a change of clothes?  How long will it take me to get there?)  Simple things like grocery shopping becomes challenging.  Most of these things get easier with time and I just need to harden the fuck up (HTFU).

For the most part I think I'm really lucky.  The weather here in SB is always great and my bike is rad, and riding it all the time is actually pretty awesome.  Besides, a little fresh air and exercise never hurt anyone!  And luckily no one cares if I'm an hour late to work, ha.  In the past few months I've upgraded to rear-rack panniers (instead of riding with an old backpack), clip-in pedals and shoes, larger lights, and most recently a U-lock.  The right equipment makes a big difference.

By the way, I can't believe it took me this long to get the U-lock.  Check out this video of a bike thief in San Fran who fortunately got thwarted by a good samaritan.  (Fast forward to 0:22 mark.) It took him one second to cut the cable!  Damn!

One thing that sucks about using U-locks is that some bike racks won't let you lock through your frame and your front wheel, so you still need a cable lock anyway.  But I will gladly take the extra few seconds to lock my bike properly, even if it takes two locks.  Sidenote: I want to start a blog just showing different pictures of bike racks and rating them, but in the meantime I started a Flickr set.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A new sex move I've never heard of?

Smang - it's a smash and bang fusion.  "Gotta focus mama, you don't wanna get a coosh contusion."


Also loving Flynt Fossy's DID I MENTION I LIKE TO DANCE (found via Doobybrain)

Monday, July 18, 2011


From Engadget: Robot band covers Marilyn Manson, renders sullen teenagers obsolete (video)

I love the scanner at the 1 minute mark.

Light amplification

Fun fact:  The lasers used in Blu-Ray players are actually violet.  Like blacklights, a violet laser pointer can cause different surfaces to fluoresce (or glow).  

img ganked from Wikipedia

Sunday, July 17, 2011

David Bowie

I love this quote from Stewart Lee's hilarious and weird Guardian article, If Damon Albarn is serious about the occult, shouldn't we call him Damien?
...if viewed as an "artist", David Bowie makes no sense at all. He seems to be little more than a perpetually spooked moth in slip-ons, sputtering, in a series of self-shaming leaps towards imagined relevance, from one swiftly guttering fad to another – grunge metal, drum and bass and having a skellington face. But imagine Bowie instead as a cunning lichen, an adaptive tuber or a semi-sentient mould, endlessly reshaping himself in search of the moisture of acclaim, and it is easy to understand him.

Read the rest

If you ask me, David Bowie can do no harm! Here's a whole bunch of David Bowie videos, just because!

Guardian article found via Jad Abumrad

Rolling shutter

All Songs recently linked to this video taken with an iPhone that captures vibrations in a guitar string. The video author warns: "this effect is due to the rolling shutter, which is non-representative of how strings actually vibrate." Still really cool!

If you want to see more rolling shutter effects, check out these disturbing propeller videos:  [1],  [2],  [3]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two songs in my head lately

Vampire Weekend "Run"
I love this song so much. I think it's the constant build up and the "oooh ooh oooh ooh" at the bridge.  This live version from KCRW sounds great!

Lily Allen "Fuck You"
Because I always gotta be hating everything.

How NPR voices look in my head

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Picture Me

I simultaneously love and hate the fashion world.  I think it's pretentious and extravagant and gives a wrong message to the world of what women should look like and has absolutely no relevance in my life.  Still, like a moth towards a flame I'm positively drawn towards fashion-related reality shows, movies, and street fashion blogs.  Is it because I worshiped fashion magazines as a teen?

I really dug this documentary: Picture Me from 2009.  It follows the surprisingly down-to-earth Sara Ziff for a few years during her rise in --and ultimate rejection of-- the modeling world.  It provides a really intimate glimpse into a glamorous, and not so glamorous, money-driven industry.  Super interesting!

I watched it while designing outfits on Polyvore, which I continue to be obsessed with.  You can watch Picture Me on Netflix instant.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From CBC Radio 2

There are a few requirements for music to be good background music.  It has to be easy to listen to, at the right volume, low-key enough that you can kind of ignore it and focus on what you're doing, but still entertaining enough to keep you alert and motivated.

When I'm cranking away at my desk at work, I like putting on Laurie Brown's CBC radio show and podcastThe Signal.  She focuses on mellow contemporary/indie music by Canadian artists.  I just love her soothing voice and song picks.  It's definitely low key and listenable.  Consider it officially recommended!

(Pretty sure I got this recommendation from Colin Marshall. Thanks, Colin!)

Monday, June 20, 2011


This Married to the Sea comic cracked me up today

Friday, June 17, 2011

FYF Fest 2011

Tickets go on sale today for the FYF Fest, happening in LA in early September.  I've attended FYF the past two years and it's always been a good time.

The lineup this year doesn't seem quite as exciting to me as last year, but includes some big acts like Broken Social Scene and Guided by Voices, The Cults, Girls, and No Age (see left).  Still a good deal for only $35.  And still plenty of time for other bands to join the lineup (last year Local Natives joined late, I was so happy.)

Here's a video playlist of some other bands performing:

They're moving the location from LA State Historic Park (near Chinatown) to downtown LA, which the organizers said was for "a more comfortable experience."  I really hope it's still as laid back and open as it was in the park.  I loved being able to take a break in the beer garden, sit in the grass in the shade with a cold beer, and still hear music.  Sounds like the new venue will have shade and food trucks, so I'm excited to check it out.  Four stages!

Also the people-watching will be top-notch.  LA hipsters are the best and by best I mean worst!

Follow FYF on Twitter for updates

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


All Songs Considered just posted their Best of 2011, So Far music poll, as well as their staff's Top 25 picks of the first half of the year. I haven't heard ANY of the albums up for the vote. I feel so behind! I miss having my radio show as an excuse to search for new music every week, it was always such a thrill to find something I'd never heard and instantly fall in love.

I realize that not many people have the same open-mindedness towards of music as I do. I'm reminded of this reading through some of comments left on All Songs Top 25 list.  It's amazing how ANGRY people get if their favorite artist isn't included. Some of the comments left :
  • you guys are crazy to not include KURT VILE's new record, SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO. i created an NPR account just to say this.
  • Times New Viking is not on this list, therefore it is wrong!
  • No R.E.M., Raphael Saadiq, Paul Simon, Decemberists, Beastie Boys, Fleet Foxes, Lupe Fiasco... A good 40% of this list tests the musical relevancy of the old addage "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?" Hipsterism is a pernicious affect that kills music.
First of all, a list called "25 favorite albums" is completely subjective. How can you argue with subjectivity?  If I told you my favorite fruit is an apple, you can't argue with that. I'm not saying it's the best fruit in the world, I'm saying it's my favorite.  It's my opinion.

Secondly, why would anyone want to read a top 25 list if all it included were really popular bands that everybody has already heard of?  If I told you my favorite fruit was something you never heard of, like a cherimoya, wouldn't you at least be curious to see what it looked like, and if you were brave, tasted it for yourself?  The point of these lists are to introduce people to music they probably haven't been exposed to yet, and give deserving, unheard artists some recognition.

Furthermore, it really bothers me when people assume any music they haven't heard before is pretentious, and then start throwing the term "hipster" around like a dirty word. Do they really think all good music is popular (or only popular music is good)? Why are they so afraid to keep an open mind and try something new? Everything is new in the beginning. Even R.E.M. was underground at some point. Even Beethoven.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Black Lips

Excited to see these guys play tonight at Velvet Jones! I've seen them a few times before, most recently at SxSW, and they are always a good time. The songs I've heard from their new album, Arabia Mountain out now on Vice Records, sound great.

"Modern Art"

"Go Out and Get It"

I still love their rowdy hit anthem, Bad Kids the best.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011


"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."
--T. H. White, The Sword in the Stone
via Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

“What is a douche cougar?”

Haha.  Nick Burd's response to his Italian publisher’s question...
Hi Andrea, Sorry for the late reply! I’d be happy to explain what a douche cougar is. [read the rest]
via Twitter

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Because he loves you

This is a great video promoting bike helmets.

via Reddit

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dead Air Nightmares

I recently joined a Facebook group for KCPR, the radio station I was involved with for three years at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.  It has only been a few months since I stopped DJing at KCSB, but it's been fun to scroll through old pictures of my former station and read the comments when someone starts reminiscing, like "What song would you play to give yourself enough time to run to the bathroom?"

Someone recently asked:

Turns out a LOT of former KCPR DJs have the same anxiety dream, either screwing up the sound board, flubbing the station ID, not finding music to play, or otherwise broadcasting dead air.  It must be one of those "you know you're a real DJ if..." situations.  They're rare, but I definitely have them!

from Len F. posted to KCPR - Cal Poly Radio on Facebook

Friday, May 27, 2011


I'm digging this song today, "Jap Dad" from the band UUVVWWZ (pronounced "double-you-double-vee-double-double-you-zee").

It's mathy and quirky and kinda reminds me of Deerhoof, who I adore.  I think the singer is spelling "make me love you."

UUVVWWZ is a four-member band from Lincoln, Nebraska.  They have one album out on Saddle Creek records.  You can get this song, as well as some tracks from some other lablemates for FREE on Amazon, part of the Saddle Creek records 2010 sampler compilation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This is great!

Walking up to random people in NYC asking a simple question:
What song are you listening to?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bands you break up with

OK, have I mentioned that I love NPR's All Songs Considered and I think my dream job is be a host on their show?  Anyway, I'm listening to their May 3rd show: Splitsville: Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands, which is all about bands they USED to love.  I got my headphones on at work and I'm cracking up at my desk because they're mentioning several bands I used to like too, like Weezer, and even really embarrassing ones like Sting (sans The Police, if you can believe it).

I'll also admit to liking these a lot at one point in my life...  Ah, high school.

R.E.M.  (still love their old stuff)

Tori Amos (can barely listen to her anymore)

Then there was my regrettable industrial phase, circa 2002...

Skinny Puppy (oh boy..)

More fun discussion at All Songs blog too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Parks and Rec

Took me a while to warm up to the show, but lately I'm enjoying 'Parks and Recreation.'  It's pretty amusing to watch the main character's attempt at having a romantic life, including joining an online dating site and having a crush on one of her co-workers.

Here's a clip where Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ann (Rashida Jones) try to plan for a work-related road trip.

Ok, I'll admit it.  I have a girl crush on Rashida Jones.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers

My friend reminded me of this song today.  Classic roadtrip music.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bikes bikes bikes

It's National Bike Month and in Santa Barbara that means it's CycleMAYnia: a whole month of local bike-related events. On Sunday, the kick-off event was a cyclo-cross race held at Santa Barbara High School.

Here's a video that makes cyclo-cross look really cool:

From WikipediaCyclo-cross (sometimes cyclocross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or 'cross') is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter, and consists of many laps of a short (1.5–2  mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike whilst navigating the obstruction and remount.

I got talked into competing in the local cross race just for fun. The event was really low-key and small, and women's heat had only two other competitors.  I decided to just go slow and just enjoy myself.  I got lapped twenty minutes in, but that's okay, at least I finished!

Here's a few pictures I ganked from Hector Gonzalez's Facebook album:

Starting line, we ended up in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, left to right.  That's me in the socks.  I figured if I was going to lose horribly, I might as well try to get a few style points.

Climbing over obstacles

Still smiling, even though I'd just fallen into a tree in front of all the spectators.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rage face : dating

From the Reddit rage comics... 
Thanks, N.

How To Dress Well

What if there's no such thing as "good" and "bad" music, and it's all about whether you like it or not?

Obviously there is such thing as BAD music.  But I'm talking about the gray, in-between areas.  Guilty pleasure territory.  Lots of people love pop music, for example.  I don't like a lot of it, blame years of being a college radio DJ, but just because I find it simple and formulaic doesn't necessarily mean it's bad music.  If that's all you listened to, maybe I'd think you have a bad taste in music, but maybe you don't know any better.  Who cares?

There's this song, "Ready for the World" by a band called How To Dress Well.  I really like this song.  I guess I'd describe it as kinda trancy electronic, which isn't a genre I spend a lot of time listening to.  Still, I get nervous about liking this.  Is it good?  Does it sound too 1990s?  Is it simple and formulaic and I just don't know any better?  Would my electro friends disapprove?

Does it even matter?  I still like the song.

Luckily Pitchfork gave this album, Love Remains, a score of 8.7/10.  So, finally (unfortunately?), I feel justified.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Outfits based on album covers

I started playing around with Polyvore over a year ago (thanks Gala) during a wardrobe crisis. It's a super entertaining way to mix and match clothes and accessories and put make-believe outfits together. That makes me sound like such a girl. But seriously, it's like, hours of your life down the drain entertaining. And then I got the idea to build outfits around album covers and... basically lost track of several days. So addicting!

Isn't it amazing how much music can influence personal style? Think about the music you listened to in high school and the clothes you wore back then. Similar, right? I also realized that I use a lot of the same adjectives to describe a band, or even a band's sound, as I do to describe human beings.

Here's a few looks I put together based on some of my favorite albums.  I like to think each album and corresponding look represents a different girl.  Or maybe they're all just different versions of myself.
Feminine, hippie, thoughtful, brooding, sweet.

Selected track: Banshee Beat
The perfect soundtrack for laying down in sunny patch of grass in the park
and doodling in your Moleskine.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Edgy, young, trendy, tomboy, LA, aggressive, energetic, badass

Selected Track: Ripped Knees
Good to listen to when you're pre-partying with shots of tequila and
funny skateboard videos before you head out to some relevant dive bar.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thoughtful, intelligent, New England, classic yet modern, mature,
possibly a tad pretentious?
Selected Track: Cheerleader
This song is for riding the bus to work, and being obsessed with
crossword puzzles.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Check out the entire collection of outfits on album art on my Polyvore page:

Monday, April 25, 2011

RIP OkStoopid

The entire OkStoopid archive is now available on Auntie Cake!  You may browse the old posts labeled with the tag okstoopid.

I will no longer be updating OkStoopid.  Just seemed easier to have everything in one place.

"Will you get me a Slurpee if I give you a blow job?"

If you're on Twitter, you follow Kelly Oxford, right?

Women throw up when they're pregnant because nothing is grosser than a human growing inside of you.
Seriously guys, there's no way Madonna still gets her period. 
I'm pretty sure she's so good at twitter that she's managing to make a career out of it. (Yes! It can happen!) She's working with CBS on a tv pilot about her life as a stay-at-home mom. She was even recently interviewed on Carson Daly. (Is that even noteworthy?  I was just surprised that he was still around.)

Kelly also wrote an article for GQ magazine, out this month.  It's called "Quid Pro Fellatio" aka Sex Trade, all about using sex as a bartering tool to spice up your love life. I love this!
...When I see a father at the water park with three young children and no mother in sight, I no longer think, "What a cool dad" or "How sad—widowed so young." Instead I think, "That guy's getting fucked for hours tonight." 
Read More 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

RIP my radio show

I decided to take a break from hosting my weekly radio show, Between the Bars.  I loved being a DJ and having an excuse to look for new music every week.  Unfortunately, putting together my show and staying on campus late every Wednesday started to feel like a chore.  I need to focus on finishing my thesis, ok?  Also, my car broke so it made getting home on Wednesdays difficult.

So far, I don't really miss it.  This could easily change.

The other day I was listening to my iPod and this Enon song came on. And I thought, "I LOVE THIS SONG."  And then I thought, "Aww, I can't believe I didn't play this on my last radio show!"  And I stared feeling sad.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Disappointing Gay Best Friend

From the Onion

Really funny fake news segment.

How To Get A Guy To Notice You While You're Having Sex With Him

"We've all been there... You have a crush on a guy, he's thrusting his erection inside of you, but you're laying there wondering, 'Does he even know I exist?'"

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Depending on what the girl looks like, I'll just fight her."

This video is going viral because this chick is really drunk and it's really funny.  But I feel like single gals can learn a lot from her, in that she probably sets herself up to meet men really easily.

First step: ALCOHOL.
Step two: Be into sports (you don't even have to be really into the game as long as you're into, like, beer, wings and hats).
Step three: Not giving a shit.  Clearly.

Opening Day: The Cubs biggest fan from WBEZ on Vimeo.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm the mayor of your dick

I think the underlying message of "Where That Bitch At" by Boom Chicago is this:
Social networking a makes life difficult.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Introducing Garfunkel & Oates

How cute are these chicks? This song is either called "Booty Call" or "Self Esteem" depending which version you find online.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More picks from SXSW

Wild Flag
This female group, half of whom are former members of Sleater-Kinney (you might recognize Carrie Brownstein from "Portlandia") played the NPR day showcase at The Parish.  They killed it!  Only souvenir I got myself at SXSW was a Wild Flag tee-shirt.

Joy Formidable
None of us had heard of them when we saw them play just after Wild Flag at the NPR showcase.  I was impressed.  While they were playing, our friends kept turning around and asking "What was their name again?"  Not exactly a catchy band name but they have a great sound.  I would definitely play them on my radio show.

The Naked and Famous
They played a free daytime showcase at Emo's, on a really warm day.  I was ready to leave the venue to get some fresh air and food but my cousin talked me into staying to see this band from New Zealand.  I'm glad I did!  They were fun and upbeat.  They sounded a lot like MGMT at times, but that's okay.  Sometimes pop music doesn't have to be reinventing anything as long as it sounds good and makes you want to move a little.

Sondre Lerche
I wrote about him before.  He's great.  I described him to my cousin as a "a straight, Norwegian version of Rufus Wainwright."  Great singer and guitar player, and totally adorable.  He played the Central Presbyterian church with a full band and played all new songs.  Everything sounded GREAT.  I'm looking forward to his new album coming out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top pick of SXSW: Davila 666

I finally got to attend SXSW in Austin for the first time this year. It was an exhausting whirlwind but still a total blast!  I definitely want to go again.  I'll post more about my experience, but I wanted to start with the band I enjoyed seeing the most: Dávila 666.  They're a garage punk group from Puerto Rico who I first heard of only a few weeks ago on one of my music blogs (Stereogum? KEXP?).  I could tell from listening to only one song that they would be fun to see live, and boy was I right!  They played the Vice showcase at Club Deville on Thursday night and totally blew everyone away.  So much fun!

"La Pingorocha Y La Diva Rockera"

Cover of Blondie's "Hanging on the Telephone" (originally The Nerves)
[en espanol, song starts at 0:38]

- Download their song Esa Nena Nunca Regreso here.
- Download their song Obisidon here.
- Read Pitchfork review of their album Tan Bajo.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gift from the Sea

I will always believe that it's better to be alone than to be in a shitty relationship.  Another straight truth.  But even good relationships aren't easy.  They have ups and downs.  They take work and often patience and humility.

I read this quote on my friends LJ page today, exactly when I really needed to hear it.  (Yes! I still log into my LJ account from time to time!)
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Single to twelve speeds.

When I was single, I went through a serious personal-development phase.  I went to therapy, read a lot of self-help books, and probably had the most utterly boring conversations.  One of the blogs I read then, and still do, is Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, now a best-selling book.  Every week she interviews a different writer about their own pursuit of personal happiness.  This week she talked to Margaret Roach, a gardening blogger.  I particularly enjoyed this question/answer:
Have you ever been surprised that something you expected would make you very happy, didn’t – or vice versa?
I must confess that I really did think the secret to life was in finding the right partner, and spent a lot of time looking for the Jerry Maguire moment of “you complete me.” Today if someone asked my advice on romance, I’d say not to go looking, but to do what makes you happiest and intersect with love as a natural outgrowth of that. Remain open, but don’t undertake a man (or woman) hunt at the expense of the other things on your wishlist.
(Read the rest on the interview)
Her answer reminded me of one of the hardest lessons of life, especially when you're single, which is this: A relationship is never going to make you happy if you can't be happy being single.

That is straight truth!

As boring and lonely as being single can be, if you're utterly miserable, there is other shit going on that you need to deal with first.  You gotta figure out how to be happy on your own.  If your life feels like it's missing something, you gotta fill that metaphorical hole for yourself before someone else can come around and... well, literally fill your hole.  (Did you like that?  That was a sex joke.)

So if you're lonely, spend time your friends.  If you're bored, get into your hobbies, or start some new ones. If you're still blaming shit on your ex, stop it, take some responsibility for the relationship ending, learn something from it, and then get off your ass and devote yourself to those hobbies and friends.  Those hobbies and friends are totally the answer.

The lesson you end up learning is by surrounding yourself with things and people you love, you'll be too distracted to feel sorry for yourself.  If you take it a little further, push yourself a little harder, go outside your comfort zone, take more chances, you'll be stronger than ever and probably have more interesting things to talk about.  So not only does it help the time pass more quickly, it also makes you more attractive, which is a total win/win.  If you're lucky, eventually you'll find someone new along the way.

When I was still single, after I grew bored of all the self-help books, I started hanging out with a friend who rode bikes a lot.  Then I got really into bikes.  And then I met a guy who was really into bikes too.  And then one day me and the guy were really into each other.  It took months but in retrospect it seems so easy.  Step one is simple: get a bike.