Author: Ellen

Instead of boring my friends with my need to catalog my life through music, I'm putting it here.


Teke::Teke – Jikaku

As I mentioned the other day, I follow a bunch of Instagram accounts that post pictures from concerts. It began as a way to compensate for my shitty phone pics. After I’d get home from a show, I would look on Instagram for pictures other people had taken using the location or a hashtag. If I liked the picture, or maybe the caption they wrote made them sound like someone with similar interests, I’d scope out their account. If there was enough overlap, I’d follow them.

Between the concert photos and the vinyl collection people, that now makes up a significant portion of my feed. Last year there was a guy beside me with a serious camera at the Public Service Broadcasting show. I started following him so I could find out if he ever uploaded those pics from his camera. This guy goes to a lot of shows, and a lot of them are a complete mystery to me. More often than not, I will have zero clue about the bands he posts pictures of, and usually they are stills so I’m not any closer to knowning what they sound like.

He’s currently attending some conference or music festival up in Montreal. He posted pictures of the band Teke::Teke, and one video clip. I usually have the volume on mute but the video started playing silently and I could see they had a trombone and a flute. I wondered what they sounded like so I turned up the volume to discover they were singing in Japanese. On their Instagram bio they bill themselves as a Montreal-based, Japanese psychedelic-post-eleki band. I have no idea what eleki is, let alone psychedelic-post-eleki, but I was pretty curious to hear more. I mean how often do you see a French-Canadian band, and then to find one that’s not singing in French or English but Japanese? That alone makes it worth checking out.


Ramones – Loudmouth

Is anyone surprised by Rump talking so loudly on the phone that it was easy for others to hear their conversation.

I have an idea, let’s indict Bibi and Trump and let them share a jail cell together. The thought of the pair of them rotting away in prison would just be a perfect ending.

Us v. Them

LCD Soundsystem – Us v. Them

I am not watching the impeachment hearings. For one thing, they take place when I’m at work. Sometimes they are still airing them on NPR when I’m driving home but then I have to change the station any time a Republican has a turn to ask questions because I just can’t stand to listen to their manufactured outrage and attempts to undercut career diplomats. The Ukrainians got the money eventually, they whine, so there’s nothing to see here.

I also feel as if I already have all the facts. Anyone who has paid any attention to who Trump is for the past 40 years knows that he will always con, steal, lie, and cheat to get what he wants, and when he finally gets unmasked, he shrugs, says he did nothing wrong, then pays his way out of trouble. He would always settle a lawsuit rather than let it go to court because he (or his lawyers) knew he would lose when the facts were revealed. The same goes for his taxes. If people can see he’s not as rich and good at business as he claims, that would show him to be a fraud.

Though at this point I don’t know why he cares about protecting his image since his supporters will never believe a bad word about him, while people with two brain cells to rub together can see he’s utterly unqualified for the job in every conceivable way and that he has committed multiple impeachable offenses (again, I’d say treasonous) warranting not only removal from office but jail time.

I did see a snippet in a recap tonight of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney raking Ambassador $ondland over the coals for his flippant attitude and inability to have told the truth the first time he was questioned. Whoo boy! On fire! 🔥

I do not have any hope that we will actually oust Twitler as result of all this because the Republicans are falling all over themselves to defend the traitor. I can’t imagine being so craven for power that you’d prostrate yourself for a draft-dodging, tax-cheating, misogynistic, bigoted, racist buffoon who lies so much that he has to write down, in giant block letters, “I WANT NOTHING, I WANT NOTHING, I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO” lest he forget and say the wrong thing in front of the TV cameras. The man is the Tasmanian Devil, shredding through the Constitution and our standing in the world.

The two sides have squared off. It’s us v. them, over and over again. May we prevail, for the sake of democracy.

Riddle of the Eighties

fIREHOSE – Riddle of the Eighties

This evening I got an email from my mother because she’d seen an article in the daily paper about the 30th anniversary of the record store where I was the first full-time employee. Talk about feeling old. I realize I now have a child who is 18 and technically an adult, and those record store days definitely feel like another lifetime, but 30 years is a long time.

I can’t remember what album I must have bought there when they opened but I remember talking with my younger sister before we headed down there on the opening day and deciding that I had to buy something just to encourage them to stay open. And to hopefully put myself in their good graces so I could improve my chances of a landing a job there.

I scanned through the Slicing Up Eyeballs list of the Top 100 Albums of 1989 to jog my memory. I don’t think the fIREHOSE album fROMOHIO was the one I bought that day but I am sure I bought it there in 1989. There are some records on that list which I would have thought were even older than they are. Probably it has to do with whether I associate the album with college and the first half of that year, or just general life, which would be anything mid-June and after. Also MTV still played videos and I had no way of watching them when I was away at college but once I graduated and was back at home, I would stay up and watch 120 Minutes pretty religiously.

The chorus of this song has Ed singing “what the eighties mean to me.” I’m not sure what they mean to me, or if I could even summarize it, but we’re closing in on the end of this anniversary year for many things. I’ll have to give this some thought.


Smoke Fairies – Disconnect

There are a couple of accounts I follow on Instagram where they post pictures from concerts and I’m frequently left wondering how people hear about some of these bands. Especially the ones where they’re using #soldout in the caption and I’ve never once heard about them. Which isn’t really surprising, I’m not looking for new music with the same intensity that I once was, but I would have thought I could keep up enough to know a bit more than I do.

One place where I am particularly out of my depth is with bands from outside the U.S. Back in my D.C. days I was always stopping into one or another bookstore that stocked NME and Melody Maker, flipping through them to find new bands, then I’d go over to the music section to see if they had any of the CDs I’d just read about. I didn’t often buy the CDs, or even the magazines, but I would have a clue so if the bands came through on tour, I would probably check them out.

Smoke Fairies sing on one of the songs from Public Service Broadcasting’s The Race for Space. I’m sure I wouldn’t have heard of them otherwise. And the complete one in a million way that I heard of PSB in the first place is still the only time I ever heard them on the radio. That makes the presence of this song popping up on one of those Spotify suggested playlists, some impressive odds.

First Light

Django Django – First Light

I woke up early this morning, much earlier than I wanted to on a Saturday. It was already fairly light out and I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep.

This came the day after I didn’t get much sleep at all because of something I couldn’t put out of my mind. I was so tired driving home yesterday that I felt I’d better stay in tonight. There was a show I’d been planning to go to but in the end, I knew I would be too tired for the drive home.

Here’s hoping I sleep in tomorrow.

Me and the Boys

NRBQ – Me and the Boys

With my daughter off at college, it’s just me and the boys (my husband and my son) at home these days. Today the three of us went up to see her perform in a chorus concert. The students did a very good job but one of the soloists, a woman from somewhere else, was perhaps not on her A game.

The concert took place in a church and it occurred to me that I don’t think my son had been in a church since he was an infant and I had no choice but to bring him with me for my grandmother’s funeral. He was kind of floored by all the paintings and architectural details. To me, the thing that pricked my senses was the incense. “Smells like church!” I said. He asked, “What do you mean, it smells like church?” He didn’t realize that wasn’t just this one place that smelled that way.

Before the concert got underway he was asking me lots of questions: What’s this book? A hymnal. What’s a hymnal? A book full of hymns, then they’ll put numbers up on that board over there so you know what page to turn to so you can sing along. What’s this thing? A kneeler, leave it alone. Who are the guys in those paintings? The apostles. What about those ones? Those are the Stations of the Cross.

Then he cast his eyes about looking for an outlet to charge his phone. Hahaha! Obviously there’s no place to plug in something (I hadn’t brought a charging cable anyway) and I told him he’d have to just pay attention. That’s what we had to do, every Sunday. I told him the story about the time I was so bored that I sat there fiddling with my fingernails the whole time and my mother kept giving me the evil eye. When church was over she said, “If your fingernails are so fascinating, you can play with them for an hour at home!” and she made me sit on a stool in the kitchen and stare at my fingernails for an hour while she was starting something for dinner. How long did church last? Over an hour, on these hard wood benches, but your whole Sunday was shot until about 2pm because you weren’t allowed to do anything before church and the grown-ups would always want to talk with their friends after.

At one point in the concert he started to cough so he snuck out to look for a water fountain. He came back and gave me the thumbs up so I thought he had found one but after the concert ended, my husband asked him where the water fountain was. He replied that he hadn’t found one, he just blew his nose and cleared his throat, because he figured those pedestals with water in them weren’t for drinking. 🤦😬 Holy water! Dodged a bullet there!

After the concert ended and we waited for my daughter to come out, he made a tour around checking out the Stations of the Cross. He informed me that Jesus had dropped it three times! I said, well it was heavy and he had to carry it to the place where they were going to crucify him. At that point I decided that the three of us should watch Monty Python’s Life of Brian together. My husband was going to take my son to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the movie theater so my son could get extra credit in his mythology class, but it was showing on one night only and they missed it. This seems like a worthwhile substitute.

Nothing to Hide

Yo La Tengo – Nothing to Hide

And another thing. It doesn’t matter if Zelensky never caved to Trump’s demands or that the aid finally went to Ukraine, months late and only after the whistleblower came forward. Just because you are unsuccessful in your illegal behavior doesn’t mean it wasn’t illegal.