January is a Tough Time to Watch Buffy Season 6: Mixtape 3

Finally watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer! And Season 6 was tough. Here were the tunes that got us through.

Click here for the Spotify playlist

1 Use Me, Bill Withers — My wife and I finally ate cronuts at the Dominique Ansel Bakery last Monday, a few years after the original frenzy. We didn’t have to wait in line, though, a perk to living in New York all the time. We could wait out the crazes. It was calm and light inside. They played “bands similar to Bill Withers.” I told Rachel how, when I worked in coffee shops, one owner would have been happy if I played rockabilly and punk for my double shift, another Americana. The only balm for my burnout ears was Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers.

2 Grandma’s Hands, Bill Withers — Atlanta Season 1, Ep. 2

3 Walk it Talk it, Migos (fea. Drake)

What an intro to The Migos, that part in Atlanta Season 1, Ep. 3, where Paper Boi’s drug overlords are back in the Georgia woods with a rifle trained on some weeping guy in his underpants. (As backdrop to some hilarious jokes, eg Darius forgetting the key to the handcuffs locking his wrist to the gangster’s money case.) “What you all call your group, man?” Paper Boi asks.
“The Migos.”
I thought they were actors, since I’m not part of the 21st century when it comes to music or shows (which is why I’m just watching Atlanta now). Article about their cameo in Complex.

4 Home Again, Michael Kiwanuka — Atlanta, Season 1, Ep. 4

5 Bonzo Goes to Bitburg, Ramones — Part of my Jan. 14 Spotify “Discover” playlist. I hadn’t heard it in forever. I first listened to the Ramones blasting from my Golf’s tape deck while I toodled around Greenville SC.

6 Dance With Me, Alphaville — Our Brooklyn supermarket, Stop and Shop, weirdly plays lots of B-side-sounding 90s top 40 for a mostly Caribbean neighborhood. I imagine it’s the tyranny of a Gen X marketer in the New Hampshire HQ who can quote all of Strange Brew. But once in a blue moon, the B-52s ring out “Roam” to take you hip to hip through the paper aisle. Alphaville asks you to prom over the avocadoes.

7 Black Smoke Rising, Greta Van Fleet — I thought LED ZEPPELIN too when they played Saturday Night Live, but that doesn’t make them not great.

8 Full of Grace, Sarah McLachlan — I know Prayer of St. Francis was her Buffy Season 6 finale song but hey, “The winter here’s cold and bitter.
It’s freakin’ chilled us to the bone.”

9 The Boxer, Simon and Garfunkel — For my wife, who had never heard it and would appreciate, “laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone, going home. Where the New York City winters aren’t bleeding me, leading me — going home.”

10 Bad Reputation, Freedy Johnston — From my Spotify Jan. 21 Discover Playlist. I always liked this song, but never knew who sang it.

Cool photo from the Voice Project’s production of Freedy Johnston covering The Replacement’s “I Will Dare.”

11 Touch of Gray, Grateful Dead — A little winter sunshine

12 Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Weezer — Because, of course

Sara’s Trash Hat: Mixtape 2

This looks suspiciously regular, being the second week in a row that I’ve posted my musical journey for 2019. But I promise, it’s completely sporadic. (Story behind “Sara’s Trash Hat” below.)

Sara’s Trash Hat: Mixtape 2 on Spotify— 12 songs

1 Move Your Feet, Junior Senior — From the cool “docu-narrative,” Skate Kitchen on Hulu, featuring the real all-female Skate Kitchen skate crew.

From the NYT review, “Older New Yorkers often wax nostalgic about places that were important to them and are gone, and grouse that the city doesn’t have the same “magic” that it used to. This movie is a useful reminder that each subsequent generation of New York children gets the city’s magic where they find it. “Skate Kitchen” is a depiction of a particular kind of hangout freedom that’s at its most beautiful when it’s nearly languid, as characters sit on tar-beach rooftops taking in the city at twilight, or navigate street corners on their boards in relaxed arcing motions. Many of its moments perfectly capture the delight and dread of a summer in the city at an age when you may think you’re invincible, in spite of all the everyday defeats life may be handing you.”

2 Young, Dumb and Broke, Khalid — Skate Kitchen

3 Vitamin C, Can — A friend of mine posted it to Facebook with, “They’re playing Vitamin C by Can at this bar. I’m in a movie written by me.”

4 Run Rabbit Run, The Paris Buns — I saw this singer’s flyer this week on a light post on the chilly Lower East Side. “Will Sisskind and his group of imaginary (and sometimes real) friends. Will has a blue guitar and plays folk rock. Thank you.”

5 Push Gently — The Paris Buns

6 Darkening of the Light, Concrete Blonde — I had never really listened to Concrete Blonde, but got inspired by Grant Reynold’s new comic art on Spiralbound.

“As Dream 6, they released an eponymous EP in France on the Happy Hermit label in 1983. When they signed with I.R.S. Records in 1986, label-mate Michael Stipe suggested the name Concrete Blonde,[2] describing the contrast between their hard rock music and introspective lyrics.” — Wikipedia

7 The Sky is a Poisonous Garden — Concrete Blonde

This is the drawing of the child’s umbrella left in my WeWork that I drew the first time I listened to Bloodletting (not to outdo Grant Reynold).

8 The Hounds of Winter, Sting — How is there a Sting song I’ve never heard? Inspired by friend/filmmaker @armour1 who realized he was really into Sting after he posted photos of the first mixtape he ever made (2000) on Facebook.

9 Bent, Matchbox Twenty — Ian’s mixtape

10 Northwest, College Radio — They tweeted it at me and I liked it.

11 Applause, Tiny Moving Parts — An artist I follow on Instagram @MerryDanger is vaguely subversive and super clever, so I went creeping on their account to see if they were a full-time artist. I was on the B41 bus and it was too hot and someone smelled like Citronella. I couldn’t tell re: Merry Danger, but they had some dealings with EAR Electronics of St. Paul, which handcrafts guitar pedals. EAR in turn did some work for Tiny Moving Parts, according to a post from November.

12 Caution — Tiny Moving Parts

The Legend of Sara’s Trash Hat

First — SO, I HAD THIS HAT. It was a winter cap with the logo for my wife’s whiskey distillery on it, and it was so pretty. Her boss is really good at swag, and he only ordered a few.

I wore it to a drink and draw at The Way Station (a local bar) a month ago, and couldn’t find it when I walked out. It was packed in there, so I called them the next day. The bartender didn’t see it.

We live a 30-minute bus ride from The Way Station, but to put that distance into perspective, the bar has a Tardis for a bathroom, and every store our Brooklyn street sells two kinds of yucca root.

Walking out of our Stop and Shop after buying groceries the other night, Rachel and I passed a lady looking at her phone by the Redbox, like waiting for her mom to finish shopping, WEARING MY HAT.

(Identity concealed to protect the innocent, the lucky finder of my cap.)

In the Facebook comments for the above post, this took place:

Or a great name for an album.

I Thought Cheap Trick Was Weezer: Mix Tape 1

I have a confession. I pretty much only listen to 1970s and 80s punk and New Wave. In my defense, it’s hard to “ACDC” at work because ADHD. I can’t drive and listen to new music because I don’t have a car. I live in New York! The city of eight million stages, but when you’re chasing your own dream (and it’s not music) you don’t have time to seek out new tunes.

Bullshit. Here’s some old and new music I discovered this week.

Spotify playlist, Mixtape 1

La La Love You, Pixies — Spun by the baristas at my favorite coffee shop.

Surrender, Cheap Trick — I’ve only heard it a few times and, singing it in my head since then, it sounds like Weezer! Come at me.

All the Small Things, Blink-182 — heard in a bar in Murray Hill

The Boys of Summer, The Ataris — my fave rendition

Knockin’, Night Spins, garage pop — discovered via a review by Pancakes and Whiskey

Tell Me I’m Wrong, Night Spins

We Live in Brooklyn, Baby, Roy Ayers Ubiquity — heard in my WeWork

Everybody Loves the Sunshine, Roy Ayers Ubiquity

Last Days of Magic, North by North, Chicago ghost pop — via Pancakes and Whiskey

Pistoletta, North by North

Stay Gold, First Aid Kit — the first song I heard in the new year, spun for me by my beloved