Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Mix Tapes: Toni, Babyface, and Another Time

Next Tuesday, all my dreams come true.

That's right! On 2.4.14, Toni Braxton and Babyface are releasing their duet album, Love, Marriage & Divorce. 

About damn time. Cause, duh:

Look, I know I'm being a little flip about this whole thing, but I should probably be clear that my heart aches every time I listen to this song. (And I've been listening to it, often.)

Not only do I absolutely love Babyface and Toni Braxton collaborating with every fiber of my being, every time I listen to Toni Braxton sing, I'm transported to a different time. A time when I'd put my mother's Toni Braxton CD on in our living room while we'd be cleaning the house on a Saturday afternoon. A time when I so often snagged her Waiting to Exhale soundtrack to play in my room, she finally laughed and told me to just keep it.

So yes, while I can only assume that this duet album will be jam-packed with tunes to make my heart ache about love and romance and breakups (unless of course it's just an incredibly misleading album title), it's also going to make my heart ache in a wonderful, separate way.

It's like hearing my mom laugh again. It's the two of us in my little Dodge Neon, and her turning up the radio to one of our favorite R&B songs and tapping her hand on her oxygen tank to the beat.

I couldn't be more excited.

So let's take it back for a minute to one of mine and my mom's favorite Toni Braxton songs.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poetry Slam: Our Whisper Woke No Clocks

[via here]

by W.H. Auden

Dear, though the night is gone,
Its dream still haunts to-day,
That brought us to a room
Cavernous, lofty as
A railway terminus,
And crowded in that gloom
Were beds, and we in one
In a far corner lay.

Our whisper woke no clocks,
We kissed and I was glad
At everything you did,
Indifferent to those
Who sat with hostile eyes
In pairs on every bed,
Arms round each other's necks,
Inert and vaguely sad.

What hidden worm of guilt
Or what malignant doubt
Am I the victim of,
That you, then, unabashed,
Did what I never wished,
Confessed another love;
And I, submissive, felt
Unwanted and went out.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Mix Tapes: Spend Your Snow Day with Sharon, Stephen, & SITA

Happy 2014, geeks!

It's really fucking cold outside!

Today in Chicago, it's record-breaking cold. We're talking wind chills of minus 50 degrees, here. In other words, it's the perfect time to wrap up in three different blankets, a scarf, and write while wearing fingerless gloves!

There are so many great things happening out in the world of music while I huddle with my Macbook in front of my space heater. First up, the much-anticipated arrival of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' new album, aptly titled Give the People What They Want. (You can stream the full album on NPR.)

"Retreat" (and its delightful, animated video) almost makes me forget that I'm currently living in the Arctic. This was recorded before her cancer diagnosis and battle, but I still take it as further proof that Sharon Jones will kick anything's ass. She is the boss.

Next on my list is Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, largely because I'm geeking out over their upcoming album's name (Wig Out at Jagbags) and this video for "Lariat" accompanied by the lyrics, in French. (Also, to the girl applying eyeliner and the dude reading in the tub, je vous aime tous les deux.) You'll have a crush on the star of this video by approximately 34 seconds in, too. I promise.

"Tu n'est pas ce que tu n'est pas."

I can't stop listening to this next one from James Vincent McMorrow, either. Maybe it's just how high and perfect his voice gets when he sings, "I remember my first love." I can't wait to hear what else he's bringing on his new album Post-Tropical.

I found this next gem over at Disco Naïveté. Brace yourself. This girl can sing. Here, she's doing a cover of James Arthur's "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You," and I can't wait to hear an original. Holy shit:

What's on your music radar this January? Tell me everything.