Monday, May 31, 2010

Doctor's Orders

"Yes, my job is stressful, very stressful. But in the end I get paid to make people laugh. We have a saying that laughter is the best medicine. So I’m kind of like a doctor here. Like you were in Poland." --Tina Fey on 30 Rock.
A bunch of guns , testosterone, and a keg= not the brightest idea.
 A painting by Lee Price (above).

3 photos above from The Selby.

Karen Elson's CD Release Concert

Last Wednesday, I went to see Karen Elson for her CD release concert that was free at the BEST record store EVER, Grimey's of Nashville. Just when I had written off buying any more CDs to "simplify" my life, I bought not only her CD, but also her peach scented Vinyl.
For informational purposes, Karen Elson is a supermodel and the wife of Jack White from The White Stripes.

Other cool things about Karen Elson: she got married on a canoe in Brazil after only a month of knowing Jack White. She also has a twin sister who is a model as well. After moving to Nashville, she saved a vintage store Venus and Mars from closing and now co-owns the beautiful vintage store.
She lives in Nashville with her husband and two kiddos. At the concert, she was so humble, shy and kind. She blushed when she messed-up a chord. I was very impressed with how low-key she was. I was also surprised how iddy-biddy she was. In magazines, she seems larger-than-life, but in person, she's super thin and dainty. She was wearing the same outfit as she had on in the album, with her band mates matching. She had faint traces of her British accent, but after living in the USA for a number of years,  her accent has definitely been "Americanized."
Karen wrote all of the songs on her album, and her husband produced it. I would classify her album as "country noir" which is the genre along side my other favorites like Neko Case. However, unlike Neko Case's voice, Karen has a classic, beautiful voice without traces of a country sound. With many minor chords, her songs have a strong element of sadness and regret to them; and, like all good 'ole country songs, the lyrics are  about heartbreak and cheatin'. There is also a strong vintage sound (surprise, surprise!) as she loves vintage and co-owns a vintage store in Nashville.  After the show, she autographed her albums.

 My favorite lyrics are from "Stolen Roses" with lyrics like 'There was once a time when I was a girl, when darkness hung in my sky/ I was old before how I learned to be young, stone cold before I learned how to cry." 

My other favorite song is "Cruel Summer."
"My darlin' was bewitched by another/ her black magic tricks stole his heart/ I saw her scheming as she twirled her hair,so long and black like the storms/ she caught my darlin's eye and quickly as the lighting I muttered a lonesome goodbye.... It's been a cruel summer/The kind that makes grown men turn pale/ my heart had been crushed by another/I could not compete with black hair."
Yet, the whole album is beautiful and worth buying. Just don't buy it if your lookin' for a cheerful, summer album. It's more if your lookin' for a humid-as-hell, Flannery O'Connor- Tennesse Williams-esque, Southern, summer album.

Memorial Day


4 days after the liberation of Paris


Gail Halverson, the first Rosinenbomber (candy bomber) during the Berlin Airlift.
Halvorsen started by giving a few treats to children watching the planes from outside the Tempelhof base. Wanting to give more, he promised to drop more candy from his plane the next day. Because the planes would arrive every 90 seconds, the children naturally couldn't distinguish his aircraft from the others. However, Halvorsen promised to wiggle the wings to identify himself, which led to his nickname "Onkel Wackelflügel" ("Uncle Wiggly Wings"). A wave of public support led to donations which enabled Halvorsen and his crew to drop 850 pounds of candy. By the end of the airlift, around 25 plane crews had dropped 23 tons of chocolate, chewing gum, and other candies over various places in Berlin.--from Wikipedia

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brandon Harman's America

(photo of Brandon Harman by Backyard Bill)

I found out about Brandon Harman through the site Backyard Bill, a site that photographs "stylish folks in their own clothes." The website is like streetstyle photography like Jak & Jil mixed with The Selby where people are photographed in their own place. So, naturally, I love Backyard Bill's site. Anyway, Backyard Bill featured Brandon Harman and I saw a link to his photography blog. His photos exhibit the quirkiness and eccentricity of the USA which makes me love this country. Brandon was raised in Northern California on an almond farm and a cattle ranch and he now lives in NYC. He seems to just photograph his friends and his own adventuresome voyages across the country...perfect for Passport Smiles! 

His photos exhibit an element of darkness and mysticism that exists in the subculture/ counterculture of the USA. When I look at the women in his photographs, I am reminded of Bob Dylan's song "Sara" [which is about his ex-wife but I pretend is written about name's Sarah, you see] with lyrics like "Scorpio Sphinx in a Calico Dress" or "Glamourous Nymph with an arrow and bow." When I see the photos of his trips out West, I feel it's necessary pretend that they are soundtracked to The Flying Burrito Bros performing in their Nudie Suits [left] and   But enough of my yakin'. Let's get down to business and show the photos...
Check out more for yourself on his Tumblr.
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