The Latest Buzz
- On the Shelf: Thirst by Kerry Hudson
- On the Shelf: The Great and Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms by Ian Thornton
- Suzy and The Swizzle Sticks Debut
- PonoMusic: We Hear You Loud & Not So Loud, But Clear
- SXSW 2014: Musicians to Watch
- This Buzz for You: Elizabeth & the Catapult, Like It Never Happened
- Grammy 2014 Predictions: Who Will Win vs. Who Should Win
- Favorite Albums 2013: Special Edition
- Erin McKeown Celebrates The Holiday Season With An Anti-Holiday Tour!
- Most Buzz Worthy of 2013: Halfway
Ten Random Pop Culture Musings
I have failed at updating my Little Hens here at thebuzzabout.com.
Life gets so busy sometimes and muddles my already scattered brain. It's not an
excuse for neglecting you...but, an explanation of sorts.
On that note, I hope this update finds you all happy, healthy and prepping for
the holiday season.
I have some random thoughts (big surprise, I know) that I want to share.
Hang on to your knickers, folks.
As one of Glee's (self-professed) biggest fans, I am underwhelmed with this
season. I miss the "old gang" and honestly can't stomach having Finn lead New
Directions. Having everyone break up in one early episode this season almost did
me in. However, this past week's Thanksgiving episode did bring some
satisfaction. The opening song, a perfect mash-up of Home/Homeward Bound, was
the highlight of the episode. And, I must confess, that I sort of love SJP
(shh...it is our little secret). Am so over whiney Blaine and (spoiler alert)
the promo for the NEXT episode was a shocker...can you say, "Blam"?
2. The Girl Who Knew Too Much
A gal I know through AgainToday.com's fan community is the web developer/master
for www.girlworldproject.org and she told me about a cool Kickstarter campaign
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2300763/the-girl-who-knew-too-much-final-production?ref=card to help fund final production of The Girl Who Knew Too Much, a documentary by Scott Squire and Amy Benson. As I watched the video explaining this documentary
I was overwhelmed with a sense of sadness...and then a sense of duty.
Take a few minutes and watch the video and please spread the word (and even
donate a couple or more bucks to show your support if you are able):
The mind-blowing statistic that suicide is the #1 killer of young girls and
women of child bearing age in Nepal (and other parts of South Asia) was more
than I could bare. This documentary did not set out to shed light on this
epidemic initially. However, when one of the featured young women, Shanta,
committed suicide with only one year remaining before she'd graduated from high
school, the focus of this film changed. Shanta's story NEEDS to be told and this
film must be seen. Knowing that young girls and women are dying by their own
hands at such an alarming rate hurts my heart.
Please consider backing this campaign. You can certainly donate financially,
but, there may be more power in spreading the word. Use your social media super
powers to tell your friends/family about this project.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Twitter): @GirlKnewTooMuch
The Girl Who Knew Too Much (FB): https://www.facebook.com/GirlWhoKnewTooMuch?ref=ts&fref=ts
3. Pickled Okra - An Aquired Taste
In late September we stumbled upon a "new-fashioned, old-fangled" bluegrass band
called Pickled Okra. They were playing at a wedding we attended. Their authentic
clothing and sound captured my attention and drew me in. Check them out at
www.getokra.com and give them a listen
We'll be catching their Holiday Hoedown in Seattle on 12/5 - featuring our pal,
Brandi Carlile. Can't wait!
And, for the record, I don't like pickled okra (the food)...am more of a "fried
4. She's Back!
That's right! Jonatha Brooke, my all-time favorite singer/songwriter, is back.
She's got a new website and a new project called "My Mother Has Four Noses". She
started a PledgeMusic campaign (with some pretty cool items for those who
donate) to get her new musical workshopped in NYC, the cast album recorded, etc.
Read all about it here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/jonathabrooke?utm_campaign=project4830&utm_medium=project_badge&utm_source=unknown.
In the three days since the start of the campaign her fans have come out
full-force to help fund it. 146 backers have funded 39% of her project so far.
Please consider donating your time (share info through social media) and/or your
money. Jonatha is a sweetheart with the voice of an angel and one of the
wickedest senses of humor around. Thanks.
We listened to the live taping of a Minnesota Public Radio show called Wits
online Friday night. Maria Bamford (damn funny lady) and Brandi Carlile were the
guests. If you've been to radio show tapings or listened to "old school" radio
hours you can imagine how this all played out. The comedic skits and improv bits
were brilliant. And, who knew Brandi could hold her own against one of the best
funny ladies around.
Listen to the full podcast here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/wits/2012/bamford-carlile.shtml
Watch a video of the Wits Game Show segment "None of Us Can Relate to That" with
Brandi and Maria here (IT IS HYSTERICAL):
6. Silver Linings Playbook
I am dying to see this film. Love Jennifer Lawrence. I plan on reading the book
during my travels to/from Seattle next week. Have any of you seen this film?
Read this book? Thoughts?
7. iPhone 5 (Yes. Please. And. Thank. You.)
I am eligible for an upgrade via AT&T now and I am dying to get an iPhone 5. I
am addicted to my smartphone. It's a problem...a blessing, but also a curse.
And, I am finding that this "smart" device is actually making me "dumber" in
What did I do before I got a smartphone? The answer is...paid more attention to
other things, other people, to myself and my needs. Granted, without the
interwebs and technology I wouldn't know all of you lovely folks and wouldn't
have met people from around the world. It would be much more difficult to stay
in touch with my family and friends down in GA and SC. Still technology is
eating away at many of us...actually DISCONNECTING us on many levels.
Finding the balance between technology/the interwebs and being present in the
"here and now" is no easy task. How do you all find a balance between the two?
8. Gangnam Style...um...yea...there's that.
9. Let's Have a Kiki...huh? Had no idea this was even a song.
10. Happiest of holidays to you all wherever you are.
Start thinking about your resolutions for 2013 and we'll chat about them soon.
In 2013 I resolve to focus (HARD for me to do) on being present and invested
more fully in those who are in my life....oh, and to floss regularly.
P.S. - Hugs are the best
Ani DiFranco at The Keswick Theatre
It’s just a few days after election day, and Ani DiFranco opens up her 10th show at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pennsylvania with “Which Side Are You On?,” the classic protest song popularized by Pete Seeger and seriously re-worked into the title track of her last album.
Ani windmills her right arm, striking strings on each bass beat like a clock, then slides the guitar up and over her body, revealing a bulging belly beneath a black empire shirt tied into a prim bow in the back. “Yes,” she says, smiling. “I am getting fatter.”
DiFranco’s pregnant. She cracks wise about overpopulation and teases that at least she’s not bleeding anymore. They’re just jokes of course, but the point rippling just beneath the surface fins through: Of course the personal is still political. But shit, this about love--and what could be more personal or political than that?
Ani plays a mixed bag of old and new songs, one song so fresh that she requests forgiveness should she mess up, because she just wrote the last lyric an hour earlier. (She doesn’t mess up.) But she doesn’t hold back on giving us the sing-along golden oldies like Untouchable Face, Fire Door and Shameless—though they’re prefaced with playful comments about how many years she’s been fulfilling the same old requests.
I imagine that for Ani, playing songs written so many years ago feels like unfurling a garland of paper dolls, eternally linked silhouettes of earlier and earlier incarnations of herself, each version faithfully clasping the hand of the one behind her, pulling her toward today: the brilliant, relaxed woman with a second husband, a five-year-old daughter, a round belly, fading tattoos and a head of loose curls, baring her teeth into the white light for a theater full of adoring gender-punks, a few holding babies with bellies full of warm milk.
Watching her scratching into the guitar like it’s a poison-ivy itch, falling backwards from the mic and jerking her body to the rhythms doled out by cohorts Todd Sickafoose on upright and Terence Higgins on drums, I’ve never been more convinced that she’s still doing it for the joy it brings.
Her fans have changed too, of course. For us, those opening notes are aural constellations that twist open the universe of our pasts, delivering glimpses of who and what we’ve left behind, but haven’t forgotten.
And then just before the encore, she sings Overlap: “I build each one of my songs out of glass / So you can see me inside of them I suppose / Or you could just leave the image of me in the background, I guess / And watch your own reflection superimposed.”
We all keep moving forward, and it’s a gift, these presents she gives us so graciously.
Biweekly Album Picks
Martha Wainwright ~ Come Home to Mama
The Raveonettes ~ Observator
P!nk ~ The Truth About Love
Corin Tucker Band ~ Kill My Blues
SHEL ~ SHEL
Julie Kathryn ~ Broken Love
Election Buzz: Women's Health
Journalist Tara Murtha joins us to share her insight and opinions about issues, namely women's health, before the majority of the US take to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 in a tightly contested presidential race.
From all of us at The Buzz About, we wish you a safe voting day. Exercise your right to vote. It is a great privilege.
This Buzz for You: Admiral Fallow
I don't usually get involved tweeting musicians. But in June (the 30th, to be exact), I tweeted to the universe (and, well, Admiral Fallow) that Admiral Fallow needed to come to Philadelphia, simply because I really wanted them to (really, really). Let this post be a lesson that, sometimes, the universe comes through for you. Admiral Fallow came to Philadelphia's Johnny Brenda's on October 16th, and, after having listened to their sophomore release Tree Bursts in Snow for the better part of three months leading up to the show, I left in the early-morning hours even more excited about Admiral Fallow than when I entered.
Tree Bursts, released in the U.S. in May, follows their 2010 debut Boots Met My Face in admirable fashion, and their live show was equally split between the two albums. The quintet--Louis Abbott, Sarah Hayes, Kevin Brolly, Joe Rattray, and Philip Hauge--has a sound that's common among modern British folk-pop, but has both a lyrical and instrumental depth that separates them from the rest of the noise in their genre. "The Paper Trench," the first single from Tree Bursts, obviously has pulsing drums and strong, roaring guitars that add up to an infectious beat and an equally catchy hook in "Holy Moses, holy cow." But Tree Bursts combines strong drum, guitar, and bass lines with the clarinet, flute, keyboards, and complex lyrics, giving listeners a full, whole sound throughout the album. In its quieter moments, like the title track or on "Beetle in the Box", or in its more riotous ones, like the album's second single, "Guests of the Government," or "Brother," which was really fantastic to hear live with everyone getting into the percussion near the end of the song, Admiral Fallow proves that while five may be few, they can sound entirely mighty.
Tree Bursts in Snow is an album you'll love rocking out to for its sound, but also for the quality of the lyrical turns of phrase. Its songwriting and arrangement are complex, not gimmicky; it's real, honest music and Tree Bursts is an album you should not miss.
Tree Bursts in Snow is available now.
Admiral Fallow has limited U.S. tour dates remaining, and European dates forthcoming. Tour information can be found at: http://admiralfallow.com/live/
But, don't worry: if you've missed them in the States this time around, I'll work on building up karma for my tweets forthcoming in 2013, when, hopefully, they'll be back.
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