- One Good Phrase: The Lord is kind to the undeserving (a meditation on goodness vs. kindness)
- There's No Such Thing as a 'Boy Color' or 'Girl Color'
:: Song Reader ::
I think I practiced piano almost nine hours the week of last month's sightreading party -- just one reason I'm nursing a minor obsession with Beck's sheet music-only album. Thanks to the work of my co-worker, you can hear all 20 songs from that night -- wrong notes and all. Despite the rough nature of the performance, you can still start to hear the shape of the strongest songs. Some of my personal favorites: "Do We We Do," "Sorry," "Eyes That Say 'I Love You'," "We All Wear Cloaks" and my favorite, "Last Night You Were a Dream."
After giving the public months to make the own recordings of Song Reader, Beck finally assembled an impressive cast of musicians for a July 4 performance at London's Barbicon. It looks like about seven official videos from the show have been posted (based on what Pitchfork and Paste shared), but I was able to find about 14 of the 20 songs:
- "Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard" - Beck
- "Saint Dude" - Franz Ferdinand
- "Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings" - The Staves
- "America, Here's My Boy" - Sam Amidon
- "Old Shanghai" - Conor O'Brien
- "Sorry" - Michael Kiwanuka
- "Eyes That Say I Love You" - Joan Wasser (Joan as Police Woman)
- "We All Wear Cloaks" - The Mighty Boosh
- "Please Leave the Lights on When You Go" - Beth Orton and Sam Amidon
- "Just Noise" - Beck and Charlotte Gainsbourg
- "Why Did You Make Me Care" - Jarvis Cocker
- "Do We, We Do" - Joan Wasser, Conor O'Brien
- "I'm Down" - Beck
- "Rough on Rats" - Everyone (finale)
:: events ::
- The Mazzarellos have brought back their film-viewing series. This summer they're going through Simon Schama's The Power of Art on Thursday nights. Learn about Bernini on July 25, Jacques-Louis David on Aug. 1. Contact them for details.
- Beck has also released the title track from his forthcoming album I Won't Be Long. You can hear it on NPR, but I have to confess I don't like it nearly as well as anything from Song Reader.
- First Listen: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
- This profile of rising radio star Glynn Washington, who's based in Oakland, highlights the influence of various Bay Area talents in public radio's "golden age."
- After months of silence and speculation about the Civil Wars -- who are still on hiatus, but will release their second album next month -- Joy Williams spoke to the Associated Press. Read the interview.
- Meet the nuns whose a cappella album beat out the 50 Shades of Grey album on the classical charts.
- You say skyscrapers, I say, yodeling with Jimmy Fallon and Brad Pitt (Yes, really).
- 10 free songs! Download the songs from NPR's latest "heavy rotation" set of songs popular with public radio DJs.
- Get 10 more free songs from Noisetrade: download the Anti Records summer sampler, featuring Neko Case, Calexico, Mavid Staples, Tom Waits and Keith Richards.
- This is a few months old, but worth reading if you missed it: the Alan Lomax recording archive has been released.
- Lastly, those of you who got to see Matt's documentary Eighth Street a few weeks ago probably shared my delight with the short film and the beautiful cross-section of East Bay residents brought together to watch it. In particular, I loved the blues on the soundtrack, courtesy of former West Oakland resident Saunders King. I had no idea what a thriving blues scene the neighborhood used to enjoy, but this L.A. Times piece gives a hint of the lovely sounds that once competed with the BART tracks' screech. It would be wonderful if Dave's mural and Matt's documentary could, in their own way, contribute to a cultural revival in that neighborhood.
:: film & visual art ::
- Jeff Overstreet began a new experiment in film criticism earlier this year: reviews written through the form of fiction. The setting: a group of film aficionados who regularly meet up at a store called All-Thumbs Video to discuss and debate recent releases.
- On a related note, members of the Arts and Faith online community (affiliated with Image journal and the Glen Workshop organizers) compiled this list of their top 25 films on marriage.
As some of you know, I left for a "sewing vacation" shortly after the Song Reader party, which meant a week at my parents' house in Riverside. In exchange for making such a long stay with them, I offered to make dinner each night. Mom sometimes handled the side dish, though, like a simple green salad for which she made a tasty homemade Ranch dressing. When I got home, I found myself craving the same thing to go with some lasagna. I'm not exactly sure this Ranch recipe is the same one she used, but it's pretty good. Notes:
- I was short on mayo, so wound up using about 1/4 each sour cream, mayo and milk for a half batch of the dressing. I liked the consistency with the milk, though; otherwise it's pretty thick.
- The flavors need more than 30 minutes to really blend nicely — which Mom also said — but even so it wasn't bad on my dinner salad.
- This recipe calls for all dry herbs, but if you prefer to use fresh chives, dill, garlic, etc., check out the Pioneer Woman's Ranch recipe. I might have to try it next time.