Month: January 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

I Should Have Thought of This

Stereogum writer Tom Breihan has started a series where he is writing about every song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Obviously if I owned an alley, this would be right up it.

Now he’s still very early in the series, so not all the songs are terribly relevant or interesting to most of us. But last week he covered “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” from December 1958, and I thought one line in particular would make that entry a fun read for everyone.

As a parlor trick and a feat of engineering, “The Chipmunk Song” is just staggering. As a piece of music, it sucks shit.

The Number Ones

Kid Sports

Our first weekend with sports on both days for awhile.

Saturday M had her first volleyball game of the year. They lost in two games, and neither was very close. The other team had one good server who ripped off 6–7 straight points early in each game and that was pretty much it. They were also better at passing than our girls were.

M is playing on a C team. Sometimes C teams are garbage, with a bunch of girls who have no clue or ability lumped together. But M’s team should be ok. Although they lack a complete player, almost every girl is good at at least one skill.

That said, I did sense a bit of disappointment among the team Saturday. Like a good chunk of them were upset to be on the C team. They didn’t talk very much during the game. I bet if you put the same group in the B league they would have been more vocal. A couple of the girls seemed outright surly. Now whether that was because they were on the C team, or just normal teenage girl stuff I have no idea. We reminded M that she was playing with a bunch of her friends so she should do all she can to make the games fun. They play again Wednesday night so hopefully the attitudes and performances will be a little better.

Sunday L closed out her basketball regular season with two games. We got a big break and played at our local high school, so we had a 10-minute commute instead of the 45 minutes to an hour we had the first three weekends.

Game one was great. We fell behind 2–0 and then dominated, winning 26–3. The girls were really good on defense and on the boards and actually ran their plays halfway decently. At least in the first half. The second half was just chaos. L had eight points, including two breakaway layups in the first half. She also hit a long jumper that was pure chucking and lucky to go in. I had a couple texts after the game from parents on the other side of the court laughing about what a lucky heave it was.

Four-game winning streak, 4–3 on the season.

Game two we played a team that came into the weekend 5–1. We can see total points for and against but not individual game results on the league’s website. All we knew about them was the only game they had lost was to the first place team, who was undefeated, and they were outscoring opponents by a total of 55 points through four games. Yeesh.

A couple parents snuck down to watch part of their early game while we were playing our first. The scouting report was that they had some size but weren’t all that. In fact, they ended up losing their early game by one point to another team that came in 5–1. If we win, we’re tied with them going into the tournament with a tiebreaker.

The first quarter was just a nightmare. Both teams were attacking the ball on defense so nothing was happening on offense. We finally got a bucket late in the quarter. We got another early in the second, they scored, then we got one more to go into halftime up 6–2.

The second half was just terrible basketball for the most part. But the other team had a play that worked. L was on their point guard. She would go left where two teammates were waiting to screen L. We’ve been working on switching on defense for three weeks in practice, but our girls just stood there and watched as the guard dribbled in and tied the game on two-straight layups. We called a timeout to yell at the girls about switching. I also told L that she should know what’s coming, so don’t run into the screen, go around it and beat her girl to the baseline.

Next possession they run the same play. As soon as the guard makes her first move, L turns around, runs all the way around the lane, and sets up under the basket. Not quite the right execution, as she left her girl way too early and didn’t watch the ball, but at least she got the concept. Even better was one of our girls switched down and cut off the drive! Everything kind of went to shit and they didn’t get a shot.

Next possession, same thing. L turns tail and runs away, our center slides down to cut off the drive. But then the guard decides to throw in a 15’ baseline jumper for the lead. Damn, kid was good.

Sadly that was it for us. L hit a free throw early in the fourth quarter but that was the only point we scored in the second half. The final was 10–7. I spent roughly half of the second half with my head down in my hands because of another dumb turnover. But that is 3rd grade basketball for you.

So we finished the regular season 4–4. The girls got so much better over the course of the year. We figured out how to coach them better, too. Of our opening three losses, I bet we’d beat two of those teams if we played them again.

Which we may get a chance to do. We have a week off then begin a single-elimination tournament. I don’t know how they’ll divide the 18 teams, but based on the standings going into last week, we would be playing a team similar to the one we beat Sunday. And our girls know they can hang with one of the best teams in the league. In other words, we’re the best 4–4 team in the country, and no one should want to play us!

Friday Playlist

“Fireworks” – First Aid Kit. I’m been working on this band for awhile, trying to figure out if I like them and if their music fits what I usually enjoy. Some of their songs veer a little too hard into the country music sphere. Which seems a little odd for a sister duo from Sweden. But their vocals are so beautiful it’s hard to deny them. I’ve found myself listening to their latest album, Ruins, several times this week. I think I really like it.

“Staring At The Sun” – Wooden Shjips. It’s been over four years since we heard from these psych rockers with the excellent spelling of their name. They haven’t lost a thing in the interim.

“Turn Out The Lights” – Julien Baker. I believe I’ve sampled some of Baker’s music in the past, but found it a bit too folky and spare for my tastes. I thought it was interesting that she teamed with Frightened Rabbit for a track on the EP FR released last fall. That song was my least favorite of the three on that disk, and I didn’t listen to it much. This song popped up into my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist last week and I immediately heard the common thread between her music and Frightened Rabbit’s. This is a devastatingly honest song about loneliness, self-doubt, and pain. If you’re having a bad day, you might want to skip it. Even if your day is going just fine, you might want to have something funny queued up for after this to buoy your spirits. 

“She Will Have Her Way” – Neil Finn & Friends. The original version of this song, from Finn’s debut solo album, came out 20 freaking years ago. It was terrific, but this version, recorded live in 2001, is delightful and perfect. 

“Jereloose” – DJ Cummerbund. This makes no sense, yet it works.

KU Hoops: Hacked and Bricked

I was going to being this post with a line something like “An incredibly important week for KU began with a disappointing – and avoidable – loss.”

But then I realized pretty much every week is incredibly important in the Big 12 this season.

A week ago KU went through K-State at home (fortunate to win), West Virginia on the road (a huge, potentially season-altering, win), and Baylor at home (another very fortunate win). That was no joke.

Getting through that week 3–0 while the rest of the league slipped seemed massive.

Then this week rolled around. At Oklahoma and Trae Young last night. Texas A&M at home on Saturday, which although it has nothing to do with the league race is still an important game for gauging how this team will handle the back half of the league schedule, and then at K-State on Monday. Even throwing out the A&M game, all the good fortune of last week could be wiped out with two losses to their conference foes.

So things looked awfully good midway through the second half last night. KU had built solid leads twice. Oklahoma carved into those leads then KU re-extended. Devonte’ Graham was slowing Young, taking away the deep bombs to give up drives to the rim. KU was actually rebounding well. Svi and Malik were hitting shots. Udoka Azubuike was just destroying folks inside. You knew there would be another run, but I felt confident as hell that KU would hold it off.

I should note here that because of the 7:00 eastern tip and some kid activities, I chose to watch the entire game on delay. And I’m always like 75% less stressed in those situations. Had I watched live, I might have had less faith. But on my DVR, I thought KU would close it out, even with the inevitable offensive lull that always comes late in games.

And then Lon Kruger did something interesting. He put in a kid who hadn’t played all night specifically to foul Udoka. Four times. And it would have been five if Matt Freeman hadn’t picked up a foul on the offensive end, too.

Of course it freaking worked. Udoka went 0–5 down the stretch. OU turned the ball over three times in that stretch but finally got a three from Christian James to take the lead, then another from Brady Manek to ice it.


And now KU fans are reminding themselves they can love their coach and still be pissed at him.

Listen, I get what Bill Self was trying to do. Udoka is a kid that doesn’t exactly exude confidence. He gets down on himself quickly. He’s already a terrible free throw shooter. If you take him out there, does his 40% FT rate drop even lower the rest of the year? Is it worth sacrificing one game to try to give him a shot of confidence for the next 15 games?

Maybe. Although going 0–5 sure isn’t going to make Udoka feel better about himself going forward.

So you can talk me into the strategy on the front side. But after the second intentional foul, I think you have to yank him. Especially given that Mitch Lightfoot had played really well. Eight points, five boards in 17 minutes. Mitch shoots 84% from the line this year, although that seems artificially high. His free throws aren’t always pretty. But even if he’s a 60% shooter, that takes away that option for Kruger. Or maybe they foul Lightfoot too and he hits three of five.

The thing that really upset me, though, was Self’s strategy after the third foul on Dok: sticking him in the corner and making him stand there. So now you’re not getting the value you want from him, either as an offensive threat or a presence on the boards, and you allow OU to play 5-on–4 on D because there’s no need to guard Dok way out there.

A pretty epic brain fart by Self. At least he owned it immediately after the game.

And I’ve won exactly zero college games and have a roughly .500 record coaching first, second, and third grade girls. So what do I know?

KU probably still should have won. They missed a number of good looks on late possessions. Graham, who was fabulous defending Young, was awful from the field and even missed two free throws. If he can even go 6–19 from the field instead of 4–19, KU likely wins.

So it feels like a missed opportunity.

But I’m not super worked up about it. Even if KU loses Monday, that still puts them in, at worst, a multi-team tie for first entering the second half of the schedule. It would be nice to start the last nine games up one or two, but being even is better than being behind. And I figured they weren’t going to win the Big 12 this year, anyway, so I’m remaining a lot more even-keeled than I normally am after close loses this time of year.

As for Trae, man, what a player. I thought KU played him great: take away the deep looks and hope that his drives result in more layups than open 3’s off his passes. That strategy worked most of the night, although KU struggled to shut down those looks by other Sooners. I thought Graham was fantastic staying on Trae all over the court. But I also thought Trae was really good in not forcing stuff. He only took three 3’s, which seems insane.

I kept trying to think how I would compare Trae to Kevin Durant. Neither player is/was really guardable. KD could shoot from anywhere, get to the rim, post up. Trae can shoot from anywhere, get to the rim, and has unreal court vision. I think I give the edge to KD simply because at 6’11” he was such a freak doing all the things he did. I think it’s easier to at least try to game plan for Trae. He might blow it up, but at least you give yourself hope you can do something to slow him down.

Then again, does Trae make his teammates better than KD made his? KD was a solid passer, but Trae sees things no one else can see. He makes some crazy ass passes. But, to he fair, those are passes that get caught and converted in the NBA.

I think the margin is pretty close, though. There have been a lot of great players roll through the Big 12. Trae has already passed everyone not named Durant. And if he keeps going for 30 and 10 a night, he just might leap KD.

Going Mobile

Time for a link to a Joe Posnanski piece about life. This one hit me kind of hard because, although I’m a few years behind him in the dad business, I’m getting close to the stage he writes about. I’m already terrified of our girls learning to drive. I wonder how the hell my mom and step-dad turned me loose in a car after I got my license. Were they insane?

Granted, M still has two-and-a-half years before she’s driving, which is, relatively speaking, a long way off. There will be, hopefully, a lot of maturing between now and then. And as the first born rule follower, my concerns are muted just a bit for her. C, on the other hand? Yeah, that kid’s going to drive me to needing some kind of mood adjusting medication when time comes for her to drive.

None of this is about the stereotypical “my kids are growing up and I’m losing control of them” concerns. At least I don’t think they are. I’m good with my girls growing and gaining new responsibilities. I just absolutely freaking fear the one million things that can go wrong with a kid and a car. Especially with all the extra distractions kids face today that we didn’t have to worry about 30 years ago when we were beginning to drive.

Again, what the hell were my parents thinking?

Anyway, this is a lovely piece about Joe’s oldest daughter trying to get her driver’s license.

You are the captain

Friday Playlist

“Another Time” – Mimicking Birds. For some reason I have a hard time typing the word “mimicking.” I taught myself to type in middle school and never learned home rows and all that. I can type quite quickly, but my hands are constantly crossing over each other, violating all kinds of typing rules. For some reason that causes me to struggle with certain words. On mimicking my right index finger should hit the second M in the word. But, instead, my left index finger hits C instead. I guess because I’m already thinking about the C that comes up later. Weird, huh? Anyway, this is a nice song.

“Pirouette” – Jay Som. Melina Duterte got all kinds of praise for her debut album Everybody Works last year. It topped, or was near the top, of many of the most important Best Of lists. She’s blessed us with a couple extra tracks she didn’t feel quite fit on the album. This one is buoyant and delightful.

“No Man Shall” – A.A. Bondy. Over the holidays Timothy Showalter, the force behind Strand of Oaks, Tweeted out that A.A. Bondy’s 2007 album American Hearts was an underrated classic that people needed to check out. So I did. It’s a lovely, folksy album indeed. This track has all kinds of influences running through it: Neil Young, Elliott Smith, and Ryan Adams the most obvious to me.

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – Laura Marling. Ms. Marling does a fine job with this Dylan classic.

“The ’59 Sound” – The Gaslight Anthem. We’re approaching the ten-year anniversary of Gaslight Anthem’s amazing album of which this is the title track. Steven Hyden just ran an interview with lead singer Brian Fallon – in advance of his new solo disk – on which they spent a lot of time looking back at that 2008 album. Seemed like a good time to bust this classic out for ya’ll.

Reader’s Notebook, 1/18/18

Two more notches on my 2018 reading belt.

Mrs Fletcher – Tom Perrotta
Perrotta’s books all feel similar. They often center on sex, although none of them can be described as salacious, and the problems that sex causes in our lives. There is usually a strong element of nostalgia, where one or more major character wants desperately to turn back the clock to a time – days, weeks, months ago – in the past before they fucked up. And they’re usually quite good.

Mrs. Fletcher ticks all those boxes. It centers on Eve, a mid–40’s divorcee who is about to take her only son off to college. Before they leave for campus, she has a very unfortunate moment: she overhears Brendan receiving a good bye gift from his high school girlfriend. Key word receiving. Wink wink, nudge nudge. And Brendan uses some language while receiving his gift that shocks Eve into wondering what kind of son she has raised.

After Brendan’s departure, the book splits between a third person accounting of Eve’s new life and a first person look at Brendan’s life on campus. Although Eve has a master’s degree, she returns to the local community college to take a course on gender. That class opens her already progressive mind to new ideas. Combined with her loneliness, she soon spends her nights looking at porn and having fantasies that both excite and confuse her. Meanwhile Brendan tries desperately to get laid at school, only to become attracted to a woman who is very different that what he thinks he wants. Secondary characters flow in and out of the tale, all with their own moments of reckoning when they find themselves attracted to people or ideas they hadn’t considered before.

As always in a Perrotta novel, both Eve and Brendan make regrettable choices, although Brendan’s is far more damaging to his life and that of his new girlfriend.

Mrs. Fletcher is equal amounts hilarious, thought-provoking, and cringe-inducing. Just what Perrotta was going for, I bet.

Golden Days: West’s Lakers, Steph’s Warriors, and the California Dreamers Who Reinvented Basketball – Jack McCallum
This is a good book about an odd pairing. Half of the book is devoted to the playing career of NBA legend Jerry West, specifically the 1971–72 season when West won his only NBA title as a player and his Lakers won a still-record 33 consecutive games. The other half looks at the current Golden State Warriors, which came out of nowhere to become the most dynamic, interesting, and popular team in American sports. West, until this summer, served as a special assistant to the Warriors ownership group and helped them make several key personnel decisions as they built around Steph Curry.

I say that’s an odd pairing because I’m not sure those two things go together, despite West’s presence on both ends of the timeline. The ’72 Lakers really didn’t have much in common with the current Dubs. They ran, but did so in an era when everyone still ran, and didn’t revolutionize the NBA the way Golden State has done. They were built around fairly traditional personnel, with West and Gail Goodrich on the perimeter and Wilt Chamberlain anchoring the defense inside. Even Wilt, a singular player in NBA history, was on the downside of his career and somewhat limited on offense. Unlike Steph and Kevin Durant, who are in the primes of their own singular careers and helping to redefine basketball at all levels.

Those disconnects felt weird to me. “Why is McCallum writing about this?” I kept asking. Not that both stories aren’t compelling; they definitely are. He reports and writes those stories well. They just feel like stories that should have been separated into two distinct books. Or, better, the focus be between how West built the Lakers in the 80s and 90s as GM with how he helped the Warriors pick players. There’s a little of that, but it feels tacked on at the end, as if McCallum couldn’t find the common threads he was searching for and knew he needed to strengthen the old West to new West connections.

Oh well, a quick and interesting read anyway.


Another music legend dies requiring another one of these sad, memorial posts.

Dolores O’Riordan was unmistakably one of the Voices of the Nineties. The Cranberries may not have been as big and important as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but hearing her sing a single note will instantly take those of us who were alive in the 90s back to that time as easily as hearing Kurt scream or Eddie wail. Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? was a required album if you were in college at that time.(fn)

I’m not sure The Cranberries got enough credit for how good their first two albums were. Combined, I think they stack up pretty favorably against any other bands best two albums of the decade. Are they going to beat The Bends and OK Computer, or Nevermind and In Utero, or Vs. and Vitalogy? Probably not. But they’re in the argument. I listened to both albums all the way through yesterday and didn’t want to skip past a single track.

The Cranberries also came along at the perfect time in my life. I went through a stretch of 2-3 years where I made a series of poor decisions, had some bad luck, and became intensely unhappy with where I was in life. To be very clear, I didn’t make any catastrophic choices and was likely just depressed during this period. I didn’t do anything destructive to myself or others or feel like life wasn’t worth continuing. But, still, I was in a place where the sadder, more introspective music of the times spoke to me even more than music always had. The Cranberries wrote sad songs about longing and being overlooked and wishing for better things. Those songs mattered to me back then.

The initial reports are that O’Riordan’s death was not suspicious, which I hope turns out to be true. She struggled with her mental health over the years. While her death is sad regardless of cause, you hope it was just her heart deciding it was done pumping blood rather than a moment of despair that led to her making a choice not to go on.

There are Cranberries song lists all over. With what they meant to me back in the day, I would feel silly if I didn’t share a few of my own.

“Analyse” – The last Cranberries song I ever really liked, it is from 2001’s Wake Up And Smell the Coffee. Those underlying guitar chords recall some of their early classics. O’Riordan’s vocals were as great as ever. For me, this was a fine late-period reminder of their quality. I remember hearing this on the old Music Choice channels on my cable provider and thinking, “Wow, they’ve still got it.”

“Free to Decide” – 1996’s To The Faithful Departed was the end of peak period Cranberries. Plenty of solid songs on the disk, but you could feel them perhaps getting a little too broad in their writing as the intimacy of their early work was fading. This song is, in many ways, O’Riordan’s Corduroy, a song in which she reclaims ownership of her private life from the media.

“Disappointment”/“Ridiculous Thoughts” – This 1-2 punch on the back half of No Need To Argue still floors me. “Disappointment,” with it’s slow, dreamy build is a deceptively savage take down. Is there anything worse than being called a disappointment? And on “Ridiculous Thoughts,” the band dispensed with the subtleties and just rocked out while O’Riordan continued to blast whoever had wronged her.

“Linger” – This song was always just a touch too maudlin for my tastes. But judging by all the other comments I’ve read over the past couple days, there are a lot of folks who think this was the band’s best song. It certainly takes me back to ’93-94 every time I hear it, though.

“Dreams” – Their first single announces itself with those epic, jangly chords that I will never, ever forget. And O’Riordan’s voice! Who wasn’t just completely blown away the first time you heard her open up and sing without restraint? The closing stretch, where she is half singing, half yodeling, should go into a time capsule. If you were in a relationship in the mid-90s, or even just trying to start one, this song HAD to be part of the soundtrack to those moments.

Kid Sports

Boy did we have a Sunday. Nine-plus hours of kid sports!

Things started with L and I leaving the house just before noon for week three of basketball, once again playing about an hour from home.

Game one was a barn-burner. We have exactly two plays on offense, variations on the same theme where the point guard either comes off a screen at the free throw line for a (hopefully) good look at the bucket, or passes off to a trailing teammate for a shot. We spend about 15 minutes of every practice running these plays. So when the other team ran this exact play on their first possession of the game, you’d think we would be able to defend it, right? Nope, easy layup, and we three coaches were all looking at each other like, “It’s going to be a long day if we can’t guard our own plays.”

Luckily our girls were on it. We were getting all the rebounds, played really solid D, and mostly controlled the game the rest of the way. Of course, in third grade basketball “controlling the game” means you have a four-point lead because you shoot roughly 10% despite all those rebounds. Man, our girls were good on the boards, we just could not buy a shot. I think we got the lead up to six in the fourth quarter, but when both teams could press after the 3:00 mark, everything kind of fell apart.

Seriously, those three minutes are the longest minutes in sports. It seems like there’s a turnover, foul, or timeout every 4.9 seconds. It’s just brutal. We were up four and kept forcing turnovers, but since all ten girls were grouped together, that TO would turn into an immediate held ball. Line up and do it again. I think we literally had eight changes of possession on the other end of the court in a 30 second span.

Their coach finally called a timeout and had his best player loop around some screens and run up court. Of course we were totally unprepared for it (coaching!) and she hit a nice, guarded 12-foot jumper to cut it to two with a minute left. Literally a lifetime in this game.

We missed a couple shots, they won a held-ball, and we called timeout. Instead of pressing, we decided to pull four of our players back to the midcourt stripe. Our girls all looked crazy confused but we told them just to pick up there like normal. Meanwhile, we would going to have L pressure the ball.

Fucking genius.

L got a steal, missed a shot, we got the rebound, she ended up with it, and then hit a crazy baseline shot in traffic to push it back to a four-point lead. We were on the opposite end of the court so I was screened and just saw the ball go in, but a coach waiting for the next game looked at me after her shot and said, “Damn! How’d she make that?”

We held on and got our second win of the year.

A good start.

We had an hour between games so went and watched the game on our next court. One of the teams was Ben Davis, which is the west-side Indy school that went undefeated in 6A football this year, won boys 4A basketball last year, and has a long history of turning out great athletes. The school is racially mixed, primarily working class. Their team had two tiny girls who were little speed demons. They could both really handle the ball and would get rebounds and just beat everyone downcourt. Then they had a couple big girls who were kind of thick. They were both at least two inches taller than our biggest player and out-weighed her by over 15 pounds. And then they had a girl that, I swear, was taller than M and weighed 140 pounds. I’m guessing she was 5’5” already. This girl was big and skilled. They’d throw her the ball, she’d take a dribble, spin, and lay it in off the glass.

“Good Lord!” I thought, “That is a kick ass fifth grader!”

BD was playing another team sponsored by the high school we’re playing for, so I asked our head coach what grade those girls were.

“Third grade!”

Holy crap. This Ben Davis girl would probably have been able to play with our 7th and 8th grade CYO teams and she was just a third grader! And she was playing in a B league! [1]

On to our second game, which went about as well as we could have asked for. We were up 15–0 before they hit a free throw and cruised to a 29–6 win. Our girls literally had 15 break away, unguarded layup attempts and maybe hit three of them, so it could have been even worse. The girls weren’t running any offense and kept getting lost on defense, which was driving the head coach nuts. I leaned over and said, “We’re up 15. Just let it go until halftime and we’ll get them refocused.”

A rare moment of clarity from me during a youth sporting event!

L scored seven in the first game, eight in the second, and was the leading scorer in both. She, and the team, had a really good day.

Back in the car and across town to M’s preseason volleyball scrimmages. Her team was playing a bunch of other Cadet (7th & 8th grade) C teams in 13-minute sessions where you could substitute freely, no score was kept, etc. I missed her first game, but apparently she served 13-straight points in it. I think we got to see her play twice before they wrapped up that session. She was also asked to play with one of the B teams, as they were missing three girls. So we ran out to get a quick bite then had her back in the gym for the evening session.

M played really well in both sessions. She’s a setter and does a pretty good job. She’s also become a pretty good passer. She was really disappointed that she didn’t make the B team, but seeing the girls on that team I understand why. They all serve overhanded, most of them can hit at the net, and while her setting is good, it probably needs to be just a touch better if she wanted to play up.

She was excited to get the chance to play so much, though. The B coach never subbed her out, which we didn’t really understand but also didn’t complain about. Last night her team scrimmaged against that B team and she was a little frustrated afterward at how the B team was better than hers. That’s good; she needs a little athletic fire in her. Hopefully that will push her to keep improving. She’s come a long way in two years and I like that she’s not satisfied with just playing with her friends anymore.

We rolled into the house around 9:30 Sunday, so L and I had a hell of a day. Good thing Monday was a holiday and the girls could sleep in.

Thankfully despite the windchill being –20 this morning, school was back in session and on time today. A four-day weekend immediately after Christmas break was not cool for any of us.

  1. We’re in the C league. We’ve heard there weren’t enough A teams this year so all the A and B teams got thrown together, so her team likely would have been in the A league otherwise.  ↩

Monday Playlist

Apologies for the lack of rocking on Friday. We got the call at 5:45 that the girls would be having their first snow day in nearly four years. I never really got back to sleep after that, which wasn’t all bad as I had an eye exam at 9:00 and needed to get up anyway. The exam took entirely too long for some reason and I had to cancel another appointment I had lined up for after. When I got home, S, who also had a snow day at work, and the girls had every single Lego we own scattered on the living room floor for sorting purposes. So I helped with that, read some, and took a nice, long nap, which I don’t do often. Never got around to building a playlist for ya’ll.

As today is a holiday, I guess it is appropriate to offer up some tunes today instead. I just had to completely take apart and reassemble a toilet with new parts, first. I’m so handy!

“Elizabeth” – Long Neck. Those bright, open chords feel so springy on this cold, snowy day.

“Stones” – Alyeska. Don’t recall if I’ve listened to these guys before, but I’m really enjoying this extra track that was left off their late ’17 EP. There’s a lot of Sonic Youth in their music, and some Karen O. in the vocals.

“Night Shift” – Lucy Dacus. The first great song of 2018. This track is amazing. 

“MLK” – U2. They obviously have another more famous song that would work today. But I prefer the understatedness of this one. We’ve come a long way, but still have a long way to go.

“This Is It” – Lo Moon. This song had been popping up on SiriusXM late last year, but I didn’t realize I would be seeing them open up for the War on Drugs so didn’t really pay much attention to them. This isn’t a bad song. I told my friend who was at the concert with me that Lo Moon sounds like if you crossed the War on Drugs and Mr. Mister. Which may be a little harsh on the later half of that comparison. But Mr. Mister did have a couple solid songs, so I offer it with love. Doing some reading this morning, a lot of folks are hearing Talk Talk and Peter Gabriel in this song, which also sound right to me.

My favorite part of their appearance here last month came during TWOD’s set. The four members of Lo Moon stood on the stairs opposite from us, and the lead singer was just a little too into things, jumping around, bouncing his head with the beat, etc. Not sure if he had just had a few, or he was trying too hard to impress the headliners with his fandom.

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