Tuesday, January 31, 2006

YA Author Paula Fox is Courtney Love's Biological Grandma

So I was getting my toes done (just for the foot massage, truly) and I picked up Elle magazine, the one with Scarlett Johannsen's purple clad boobs on the cover (and how could anyone, anyone, look at that cover and not notice the magnitude of the boobs only?) and I got to an article about the new memior by Courtney Love's mother, Linda Carroll. Now, I'm not a huge Courtney fan or Hole fan but I like her as a character. And the most interesting thing about this memior was revealed some time ago and that is that Linda Carroll's birth mother was author Paula Fox, which makes Paula Fox, pioneering femme fatale journalist and young adult novelist (and later memiorist and adult novelist), Courtney's g-ma, at least by blood. And that just adds to the whole mystique that is the character that is Courtney. As much as I don't want to admit this seeing as my own mother is crazy, no make that Crazy, I think it's just wild how the genes survived and Courtney obviously has inherited some of Paula Fox's something something—because by all accounts Paula Fox was willful, controversial, direct and how should we say this, not warm. So I guess it would make sense to post some Courtney Love or Hole mp3s about now, but as I said, not that huge of a fan. I sold a rare 45 for a lot of money on eBay last year so that's out. But I tell you what I did kind of like. Courtney's early (maybe 1985) band with Kat Bjelland, later of Babes in Toyland and Janis Tanaka (of like a zillion bands such as Stone Fox, L7, Auntie Christ with Exene and last I heard, Pink's bassist, hi Janis!) and that band is Pagan Babies (or Sugar Babydolls by some accounts.) So I found some of those demos online and here you go.

Pagan Babies, "Cold Shoulder"
Pagan Babies,
"Best Sunday Dress"
Pagan Babies,

Wanna read the Linda Carroll book? (I don't, I just can't do books by psychotherapists!) But that shouldn't stop you. Or maybe you wanna see what Paula Fox is about?

Monday, January 30, 2006

We're the Cupcakes

I started this blog to focus on girly pop and the connection that music and writing have for me. And looky here, it's been a week and I've really not touched on either all that much. So I thought today I would write about my girliest of stories-in-progress, We're The Cupcakes. You can read the first five or so chapters on my superclea site. I was cheifly inspired by TV like the Partridge Family and Scooby Doo cartoons and those mad cartoons that were inspired by 70s sitcoms like when the Brady Bunch became a cartoon and I swear I remember the Partridge Family as a cartoon briefly too but hey, could have been a dream. David Cassidy and Susan Dey have forever and always figured prominently in my dreams. The idea for the story / book, We're the Cupcakes, was to have a Monkees-esque serial in a book form that starred an all girl teen band who also were crime-fighters. For this made for TV book series I needed made-for-TV musical inspiration and so I looked only a little farther than the made-for-tv hooks of the Donnas and Sahara Hotnights. I actually like those bands. But I'm talking about a now-defunct band called Fuzzy that starred a gal named Hilken Mancini and her adorable pop-punk delivery. I wanted that very frenetic crashing pop of all those girls, the two minute song that kicked you up, knocked you down, seriously wiped you out and then woosh, done. But then I heard Graham Coxon's "Bittersweet Bundle of Misery" and I had one of those "pip" moments that I'm so fond of. That song, sung by a gaggle of girls all poppy punked out (preferably Hilken singing) and sped up, would be the perfect anthem for the band, for my book. And that is exactly what I thought about while writing these hanndful of chapters. Can you see it?

The Donnas, "40 Boys in 40 Nights"
Sahara Hotnights, "Alright, Alright"
Fuzzy, "Glad Action"

Graham Coxon, "Bittersweet Bundle of Misery"

Hilken Mancini put out a lovely CD last year with Chris Colbourn and I will post some tracks from that soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Graham Coxon's Happiness in Magazines CD was a favorite of mine, you can hear the new one and buy 'em both at his site. You know you can find the Donnas at thedonnas.com.
I'm not gonna bring you the newest and latest...

But that doesn't mean I don't love the bloggers who do. Because I do. Love 'em. And the best finds of the weekend / Monday on those sites, according to me, are the following—

My Old Kentucky Blog has a buncha remixed Gossip tracks.

Dreams of Horses links to a remix of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs tracks and offers up an acoustic live AOL track.

And finally, The Rich Girls Are Weeping has a Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins song that is not on the fabulous new CD.

And a lot of people have the news that the Raconteurs site is up (that'd be Jack White and Brendan Benson) and there are two songs there.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Delta 5!!

Entertainment Weekly has put up a tune by the Leeds' girls (oh yeah, and two boys) known as Delta 5 for dowload. Now this is the sound of 1979. Or 1986 if you're often late to the game, like me.

Delta 5, "Mind Your Own Business"

You can buy a reissue of Delta 5 tracks at Kill Rock Stars.

Characters I Want to Know

I like The Young Republic. They've been all over the audio blog world, it's all been posted already. But I really like this particular song. It has this literary quality to it, and not in a "literate" way like it's all Decemberists or anything. By literary quality, in this case, I mean that the song evokes such a vivid setting full of emotional turmoil and characters I want to know. I love when songs take hold of me in that manner. Another song that does this for me is the Supergrass track, "Grace," from their '02 "Life on Other Planets" CD. I can see the kids jumping on the trampoline just bursting at the seams with stuff they want to say, but can't... but don't.

The Young Republic, "When I See Your Eyes I Swear to God Our Worlds Collide"
Supergrass, "Grace"

For lots more Young Republic songs, hit their MySpace page. Or try their website.
You can find Supergrass and all their goodies here.
Francophenia, Part Deux

I'm continuing on my French journey from yesterday. Sort of. In this vignette, my friends and I are no longer playing poker. We're now dancing and there are lots of feathers flying around for no real reason other than poofy ambience. Hit it! I know little about the Jaclyn track other than she's covering "My Generation" in French and it's from the 60s and it's good. And France Gall's song "Teeny Weeny Boppy" is from the same era, same good times vibe and has a mention of LSD in it, the only words I can really make out. She sang with Serge for a bit, I believe, and won a few singing contests that bombarded her into French super-stardom. Then I threw in a Serge Gainsbourg track from his reggae-remix album, "Mauvaises nouvelles des etoiles". That one makes me giggle.

Jaclyn, "My Generation"
France Gall, "Teeny Weeny Boppy"
Serge Gainsbourg, "Dub Charlotte"

** Today Some Velvet Blog posted a World Party track, who yes, I love, and The Rich Girls Are Weeping has fabulous Feist re-mixes & a whole lot more. Yowsa.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

French Fun

So this is what I want to do. I want to invite every one of my old school girlfriends over, have them dress up in their tackiest prom dresses, preferably with hats, and I want to play poker. And I want to drink cocktails and if I didn't hate smoking and smoke so much I'd want the place to be all smoky, but frankly no. And I want us to all be wearing red RED goopy lipstick, maybe a little off-kilter, you know put on with no mirror in sight, and big lashes too and the light should be dim but not too dim and I want only sloppy French tunes on the stereo.

Chantal Goya, "Heart Full of Pain"
Serge Gainsbourg, "BB"
Francois Hardy, "Chanson of O"

Oh and sorry for the butchered titles, I snaked these off the radio.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dance Pop-A-Go-Go

This is as awkward as a first kiss. What to say? This here blog is to spread some love around for the bands I adore. And because I just felt like sharing, in an egotistical, self-important sort of way. And it's also to gather round the kiddles who maybe like my books and want to hear from me, but also want to hear good music. That said, moving on.
I've decided to start with a trio of songs, each a lovely cover of a good pop song that was originally sung by a bad pop singer. Nope, these aren't new, nor are they the latest buzz bands, but damn if they aren't mighty sweet. Oh and yes, two of the Chapin Sisters are daughters of folkie Tom Chapin (brother of Harry) and the other gal is Wes Craven's daughter and not really a Chapin. And the other two songs, the Ben Lee and the Flaming Lips, if I recall, are from MBE KCRW sessions. Enjoy!

The Chapin Sisters, "Toxic" (originally by Brit-babe)
Ben Lee, "Beautiful" (originally by Xtina)
Flaming Lips, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (originally by Kylie M)

For more Chapin Sisters, go to their site.