Monday Earworm: Beck

You know, every time I hear another Beck song, I think about how much I love so much of his work. It’s such a great mix of mellow and dance, perfect house party music, and quite a few of his songs that were big hits when I was in college hold fun memories for me.

Enjoy this wake-you-up-easy track on a Monday morning when I am, as it turns out, heading into a day full of meetings, because the school year has officially begun. But I promise I’ll be back later this week or next with some fabulous news as soon as I can reasonably share it, so stay tuned.

Until then…

Monday Earworm: Michael Penn

Michael Penn is an extremely underrated artist, especially for being arguably the most talented of the three famous Penn brothers (including actors Sean and the late Chris). He’s definitely the only one who can write.

Enjoy this complex and darkly charming song. It’s hard to identify the mood it evokes in me, but I know I don’t mind sitting with the discomfort of it because the music is so good.

Monday Earworm: Barenaked Ladies (Again)

I love this song, and I love this version, which has Steven Page on it. I know he left the band some time ago and that there was probably some drama — I didn’t keep up with it — but Steven Page has one of the best male singing voices I’ve ever heard, and BNL won’t ever be the same without him, as far as I’m concerned. In the studio, he’s divine. And even live — I’ve seen BNL in concert at least twice, maybe three times? — he does a bang-up excellent job.

This cut comes from their first album, Gordon, and features some of the thoughtful details that put this band on the map: harmonizing vocals, instrumental flourishes in the background, clever and smart lyrics, an engaging storyline. At the height of their abilities, BNL was probably my favorite band, even for a while edging out the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Depeche Mode. (But they never could touch those queens Ani diFranco and Dar Williams. They definitely reached nostalgic The Bangles status, though, easily.)

Do enjoy this. And good luck not doing a little bit of a swaying dance while you’re at it. And then? Give the whole album a listen. Good, good stuff, even if their band name sounds like some frat boy nonsense gone wrong.

Monday (Tuesday) Earworm: Petrol Bomb Samosa

I was in physical therapy a lot of yesterday and didn’t have time to post an earworm. So you’re getting one today. Surprise!

This is a song that I’m actually using to help me with my injury, in fact: I feel better if I’m in motion, and this song is at just the right tempo and has just the right heaviness of percussion for hip drills, which helps stretch out the muscles that have clamped themselves so tightly — from too much sitting and from stress — that I cannot comfortably sit.

Also fortunate is that this weekend my husband and I rearranged the furniture in my office, so now I can access my standing desk. Yay! You may expect a different background for future livestreams, perhaps.

Anyway, enjoy. And get up and move. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Monday Earworm: REG Project

Somehow on Saturday I reactivated an old hip flexor injury. I don’t know how I did it, except by literally turning around while I was collecting laundry. I exacerbated it further when I later bent down to help my daughter apply sunscreen to her back. At my age, I guess this is just my life now? Whatever.

As I’ve been doing my physical therapy to soothe this old injury, I keep thinking of what my physical therapist told me back in September the first time I had to take care of this nonsense. “Quitting bellydancing was the stupidest thing you ever did for your body.”

And he was right grumble grumble grumble.

Please enjoy one of the songs I choreographed and taught to several dance troupes back in the day.


Monday Earworm: The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain (Covers The Cure)

There’s a lot going on here in Authorland for the end of June. You’ll soon be able to order my books and poetry art cards from my brother’s shop, Ella’s Apothecary (based in Austin), so look for more on that very soon. One of those books, in fact, is the pre-order for Homecoming, Book 2 in my Animal Affinities Series (after Finis.). Yes, you read that right — it’s finally coming out! Look for it this August (assuming we don’t have further covid-related delays.) One might question the wisdom of launching a book during a global pandemic, and one might be correct to do so. But authors gotta work, too, so. Stay tuned for more info on that later.

In other Homecoming news, I turned everything in today so the book could go into production, and I’m expecting a galley proof next month, so yay! And while I was working all morning, my darling Salaadin jumped up onto my desk and stretched out behind my laptop and fell asleep so fast he forgot to fully close one of his eyes.

About fifteen minutes later he woke up from a nightmare or something, jumped violently with this terrified look in his big blue eyes, and then freaked himself out every time he bumped into something on my desk. Then he tried to eat the golden leaves on the evil eye hanging over him. I had to swaddle him in my arms and coo at him to calm him down. Then he was fine.

Now, time to work on the next book — as soon as I finish the critiques I’m working on for my writing group this week. I am neck-deep in them, but I wanted to take a break and give you an earworm.

I really don’t know what to say about this absolute gem of a video, but I hope you enjoy it.

Monday Earworm: Jonathan Coulton

Today’s my dear husband’s birthday, and in honor of such, I’m using his favorite Jonathan Coulton song for my earworm. And it really does have a catchy chorus. Aaron first introduced me to Coulton’s work with “Code Monkey” years ago, and now I’m a big fan as well. So much of his music is ridiculously funny (such as this earworm) as well as nerdy, so you know we’re going to be big fans in this house. You’ve heard Coulton’s work on this blog before, too, particularly in the form of his Christmas album, a collaboration with John Roderick; some of those songs often show up in 12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck.

I’m also a fan of Coulton’s because he wrote a new song every week for quite a long time and posted them online. “Skullcrusher Mountain” is one of those songs. If I’m not mistaken, this project (called “Thing A Week”) allowed him to transition from a job in IT to being a full-time musician, and let’s be frank, that kind of creativity, persistence, and dedication are just inspiring.

Have a great week, everyone!