February 20, 2008

(post)age stamp

This past weekend I went to New York. At my mom's high school reunion a couple months ago, she reconnected with a friend she had in middle school. She had not seen her in forty years, and last weekend we went and stayed with her. Forty years! And they reconnected so quickly.

Anyway, so we took the Chinese bus up to NYC, which surprisingly was not horrible. I thought it would not be so pleasant spending three hours cramped in a bus seat, but it was fine. And cheap. So take the bus! When we finally reached wherever we got to, we flagged down a cab to get to the friends' apartment. Well, in NYC cabs now have tv screens in the back. Ridiculous. I do not need to watch the news while I am in a cab. I do not care that some Italian restaurant in New Jersey makes fist-sized meatballs. It did have a map of where we were, though, which was pretty cool.

On Saturday, we all went to the New Museum on the Bowery. It's a contemporary art museum, and it was weird. The building was interesting in a good way. It had two or three galleries, each on its separate floor. The elevator was this huge lime green box. It is the best elevator I have ever been in =] The art in the museum....umm....yeah.... There was a plow spray-painted orange. There was a big cube of something. There were collage posters from porn and violence, drawn over with pen. Overall, there were about three worthwhile things. Two of the walls had these huge installations. One was a landscape, with mountains made from duct tape. I can't describe the other one, but both were amazing. Then there was a series of 'good housekeeping' type photos digitally layered with photos from Iraq. Other than those, the main exhibit, "Unmonumental" was, well, unmonumental.

Overall, it was a great weekend. And yes, we did a lot more than one museum. This will be more than one post =]

February 13, 2008

(post)master general

Many people have never heard of much of my music. I find that quite sad. There are some wonderful musicians that people don’t think they’d like before they even hear a song! People are scared of folk and country. I’m not sure why, are they scared they’ll be labeled a hippie if they listen to a folk singer/songwriter? I get looked at quite strangely if I ever mention Tuvan throat-singers. I think more people should be exposed to ethnic music. What most people listen isn’t unique to anywhere. Pop is all the same, wherever it’s made. Now, I like pop music, but I believe that people should listen to different types of sound.

Polka seems to have fallen out of favor. It sounds like something our grandparents listened to, an ancient relic of a long, long time ago. Well, it’s still good music. Brave Combo is the only group that got me dancing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. According to their website, they are a “new wave polka band.” Now tell me that doesn't sound awesome. Look them up sometime. Expand your horizons!

I love finding new music. I really have too much, but I like exploring new genres and finding great artists or just great songs. The other group I remember from the year with Brave Combo is La Bottine Souriante. They are a Quebecois roots group and their music is joyful and makes you start tapping your foot. I like the dialect too. It's a language I want to learn. I want to learn a lot of languages. Anyway, back on to the subject of finding new music. I have two main ways I hear new music.

One: free iTunes. Every Tuesday, the iTunes store releases two or three free songs to download. They are available for about a week. One song can be anything, from rock to country to electronic. A second song is something in Spanish. The third one is the "Discovery Download" and the blurb I believe says something about highlighting odd/unknown genres. I'm not really sure about that. Anyway, that is where I discovered my current favorite artist, Joshua James. One of his songs was a free download about a year ago, and this year I bought his album and I love every song. Sweet!

Method #2: iLike. I added this application on Facebook, and there was a link to free downloads. I downloaded some songs, and then some more...and deleted bad ones...and downloaded more....I ended up with way too many songs (if there is such a thing!) but I had again found one of my current favorite songs. Wives of the Circle Five by dariustx is a hilarious Americana song with a great melody and some nice harmony. I may not like the artists' other songs, but that one tops my charts.

So go out and discover! Don't say that you don't like a music style without first listening to a few samples. And check out the artists mentioned. I think they're fabulous, and maybe you will too =]

February 12, 2008

(post)cards are not dead

Since this is my first post, I suppose it's introductions. My name is Hannah, and I am a sophomore in a Philadelphia public magnet high school, the Science Leadership Academy. My school in three words: Projects and Hugs.

I plan to use this blog to write pretty much write whatever I feel like talking about at any given moment. That could range from school to music to sports (unlikely but possible) to technology to the news to goodness knows what else! Doesn't that sound exciting?

WXPN (88.5 fm) is a fabulous radio station. I am listening right now to one of their "Live at the World Cafe" cds. A couple times a year they release a cd of live performances from their free-at-noon concerts. What I love most about XPN and these cds is that the music is really varied in terms of style/genre, yet it all fits together so well. I guess that's the point of radio and djs, to make everything work together, but it still amazes me. I wouldn't like some of these songs on their own. I probably would not like many of these artists' full cds. But, put these songs together in a playlist, and it's wonderful.

Here's the lineup on volume 24:

1. Let It Ride - Ryan Adams
2. No Bad News - Patty Griffin
3. O' Valencia! - the Decemberists
4. Falling Slowly - the Frames
5. Start a War - the National
6. Hands Open - Snow Patrol
7. Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo y Gabriela
8. I Trained Her to Love Me - Nick Lowe
9. Clifton Bridge - Mark Olson
10. Worst Trip - Dr. Dog
11. I Think I'm In Love - Beck
12. Ankle Injuries - Fujiya & Miyagi
13. Back in Your Head - Tegan & Sara
14. Get Up, Get Out - the Rosebuds
15. All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
16. The Car Song - the Cat Empire
17. Modesto Is Not That Sweet - the Hold Steady
18. Imitosis - Andrew Bird

So yeah. My favorite tracks on there are 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, and 14. This is my favorite of the world cafe cds I have. I think my next post might elaborate on my music library. I have quite a bit =]