This Year’s Automaton

16 02 2014

091018-1Ten years ago, I stopped smoking. Now, I’m not going to say something sanctimonious that I feel good everyday and it’s the right thing to do in this world. Nor am I going to say that I don’t miss it, the smell and the cost. I stopped. That’s it.

In that time, smoking has become a banned substance in bars and places where people gather, where they used to talk and flirt and bond over movies and music over an awful scent of tobacco. The alternative is vapor, a nicotine substitute that sounds as hollow as the brief wisp of smoke it creates. This vapor has turned the act of smoking into a robotic necessity, a desire for the “drug” we associate with high school bathrooms, backstage areas and insomnia. It is now a private act, yet one we can now perform everywhere from offices to low lit bars (for now anyway). It is lonliness in a room full of people, some of them dying to connect if only someone had a pack and a lighter to ease the sting and lubricate the conversation toward how great that new band is or how that director has just lost it completely or that they had the worst day of their lives and would like someone to talk to.

A few people I know at my job have taken to “smoke breaks” that are anything but. They walk, they sit and they connect. It’s not that the smokers at my job don’t do the same thing. But we should be taking the traditions and the ritual of smoking and applying it to a new paradigm, removing the vapor that hangs in the air for a brief moment and replacing it with the solid connection that we all used to feel. Only without the tar.

I encourage you to connect over the the fact that Bob Mould’s first solo album turns 25 this year. And that his words and music are still as vital and solid than they have ever been.





Last Year’s Model

9 02 2014

IMG_0461In June 2009, I started this little blog in the hopes of exposing people to music that I liked and writing about a few things I disliked (Honda CRV and Arcade Fire, I’m looking at you). And thanks to a syndicated blog site known as elbo.ws, I was able to share my love and some scorn with a new audience. Sadly, elbo.ws shuttered its site in November of last year. And up until this month, I was still trying to figure out what I would do with this site. Should it go away? Should it change? Should I just keep at it?

In 1988, I was trying to become a DJ at WPTS in Pittsburgh. One of the requirements was to submit your own demo tape. And the only way to do that was to sit for hours in the studio’s AM station room. The AM station didn’t have much in the way of albums (yes it was mostly LPs and carts then) or listenership. I don’t even know if anyone could pick up the station, let alone hear me trying to lower my voice an octave, create segues or play records with enormous scratches in them. But I kept at it because I enjoyed it and hoped that one day someone would hear a song I liked, listen to it and make that song part of their world. For the record, I think my favorite song at that time was probably something by the Cure.

In that spirit, I am restarting this blog and will try to update it at least once per week. I hope that if you are interested, you will download the songs I upload here, listen to them and learn more about the artists. Or maybe just ignore this blog. My hope is for the former.

With that in mind, I would like to post some of the songs that I “found” at the end of 2013. I thought of doing a “best of” list, but I have already posted a majority of my favorites in past blog posts (Secret History, I’m winking at you). And since people always seem to discount the last few months of the year as not being list worthy, I hope to champion some great songs that you might not have heard or been able to download. I hope you enjoy them. Me and Thee Mightee Kittens are not going anywhere. Please tune in.

Young Knives – We Could Be Blood

Andrew Bird – Pulaski at Night

David Bowie – Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)

Prefab Sprout – Billy

David Byrne (Peter Gabriel Cover) – I Don’t Remember





I am the thief. The waffle thief.

22 09 2013

IMG_0042This wave of nostalgia brought to you by the 1980s. The 1980s – we didn’t have email and we tucked our pants into our socks.

Hipsway – The Honeythief

The Motels – Remember the Nights

Deacon Blue – Raintown





You. Complete Me.

15 07 2013

tumblr_mnjciwZ13q1qz7lxdo1_500Greetings from Thee Mightee Kittens. We hope you are having a fantastic day. And so we wanted to share our favorites songs with you from this week. And not that we play favorites (oh, we most certainly do), but we recommend Motorama, a Russian band that revives your post-punk/post-indie dreams from the brink. Their Alps record was re-released in May.

Motorama-Alps

Franz Ferdinand-Right Action

Washed Out-It Alls Feels Right

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Road to Nowhere (Live)





Let Me Take Your Photo

10 07 2013

IMG_0041I recently had the good fortune of seeing the Gregory Crewsdon documentary Brief Encounters. An excellent snapshot of some of his famous photos and the painstaking effort that goes into staging each one. Very interesting, but I would have liked to have seen a more detailed section about the Ophelia photo. I also learned that Crewsdon had a role DIY Power Pop history as a guitarist for the Speedies. Their hit?

The Speedies – Let me take your photo (1979 Original Version)

Here is the trailer for the doc:





I Can’t Play New Wave Anymore

25 06 2013

tumblr_lvxt3z4d1G1qz7lxdo1_500Thee Mightee Kittens wish you a great day as we head off to see The Mountain Goats this week and get them to add another “e” to their “The.” In the meantime, here are some of out favorites. And while we don’t play favorites (oh, we most certainly do), I would point your musical ear to the new recording by The Secret History out on Cloudberry Records.

The Secret History – Eleanor (The City & Sea)

Childhood – Solemn Skies

Art Brut – Arizona Bay

Melt Yourself Down – We Are Enough

 





Just Sayin’ 1989

17 06 2013

51ZSHNyNPnL._SY300_Found this CD in the local library’s thrift store and oceans of nostalgia washed over me.

The Ocean Blue – Between Something and Nothing

Wikipedia details the whole series here.