Category Archives: Miscellaneous

If I Could Dance, I’d Dance to This.

It was a exciting weekend. Friday night I went to see CHVRCHES at the Black Cat with Megan, WGTB’s outgoing Promotions Director. We danced for hours to the crisp, beautiful beats of the electro-pop trio whose hype is growing faster than Feminist Taylor Swift. On Saturday I went to the hip new Malmaison for the Fête de la Musique, then hit Georgetown bars with friends. And Yesterday I worked at my bakery job to earn some cash.

It would have been nice if any of those things had actually happened. Alas, I was confined to the couch all weekend, thanks to some increasingly mysterious ankle pain that’s been bringing me near tears for weeks. Luckily, I had the company of a fat orange cat and a number of wonderful friends who entertained me, fed me sweets, and prevented me from drinking that six-pack alone as I rubbed my legs with blocks of ice.

In all seriousness, save for my lower extremities, I feel completely fine, and I was content to obey the doctor’s orders to sit things out for a few days. But damn, am I mad about CHVRCHES. Even with my oft-elderly habits, I frequently need to, in the words of Ke$ha, “let the crazy out,” and this was my chance. To put it in perspective, my only outings since Saturday have been to CVS for more IcyHot, or to the doctor for x-rays. If I had known just how restless I would become, I would have tried to stick it out on Friday night, even if it meant wearing Danskos to a club and asking random people for piggyback rides.

So here I am, left with ants in my pants, the jitters, so much pent-up energy! What better use of my time than one of my favorite activities – crafting playlists? After examining my music library with a fine-toothed comb, I have compiled a list of the Top 5 Songs I Would Dance to If I Could. Hit me up if you want to do some Sit and Be Fit to these; I hear they have exercises for, well, everything.

1. The Pointer Sisters -“Jump (For My Love).” The way Prime Minister Hugh Grant dances to this song in Love Actually is the only acceptable way to do it. The subtle butt shake, the all-out stair descent – I can think of no better way to get that body movin’.

2. Beyoncé – “Countdown.” It should come as no surprise to anyone who has attended one of my social gatherings that I am always itching to dance to this. Though I can most frequently be found dancing to it with my beloved roommate around 1 AM as a homework break, it doubles as a fantastic all-purpose crowd-pleaser. Humble brag: in addition to being able to hit every note of the “Boioioioioioioy” vocal climb, I have also created a signature dance move to accompany said vocal climb. It is so popular that Ryan Gosling copied it and put it in some movie.

3. Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – “Mais Que Nada.” Serg has been my main man since February. His tunes always make me want to dance, but since I don’t really have, you know, a sense of rhythm, I’ve settled on replicating what I see the two ladies doing in this video. It’s great! You don’t even have to move your feet!

4. Phoenix – “Sometimes in the Fall.” Speaking of not moving one’s feet, that was the one viable method for dancing at Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival. I was able to rock out to the headliner, Phoenix, only after one of my radio forefathers helped me plant my feet firmly in the mudpit pictured below, the result of of a mid-afternoon monsoon. Had I not had my feet firmly anchored, I would have slipped and had to say goodbye to more than just my shoes (read: my dignity) that night . At any rate, footplanting dancing seems to be viable for those, like myself, who must remain in IcyHot ankle sleeves at all times, and it works especially well for music like Phoenix, whose sound is tight, refined, and easily complemented by hand gestures and aggressive headbanging.

5. The Argument – “No Way.” R.I.P., The Argument, the only quality musical act to ever emerge from my hometown.This song may be over a decade old, but the aesthetic goes for something even older, and it never fails to make me want to put on my monacle and bring out a cane as I sashay across the stage like Fred Astaire, or, you know, Mr. Peanut.

BONUS TRACK! If I make it in to my internship tomorrow, I will have no choice other than to politely say this to someone on the metro if I cannot get a seat.

This post will be cross-published on The Rotation, the blog of WGTB – Georgetown University Radio

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7 Links You Need Right Now

Bookmarks are one of the simplest yet greatest web browser innovations. Don’t have time to watch that  video or read that article now? Just bookmark it and come back to it – it’s as simple as that.

That sounds great, but it’s rare that I ever actually return to my bookmarks. With an evening to myself last night, I decided to go through some of the hundreds I’ve compiled over time and try to figure out why these things mattered to me in the first place. Here’s a list of the best (and admittedly random) 7 I found.

Seriously Good

Not So Serious-ly Good

  • Father John Misty covers “I Believe I Can Fly”
  • Drinkify – Not sure what to drink while you listen to some tunes? Enter the artist name in Drinkify, and behold – a drink recommendation!  (As a side note – these are not real drink recipes. 10 oz. of gin on the rocks for Jay-Z? Cream, tabasco sauce, and microbrew for Feist?)

Absolutely Ridiculous

  • Corn Weenie (start 2:00 in) – One of my friends would not stop singing this nonsense when he was high as a kite at 10:30 in the morning one day. I was not in that state, but I still loved the ridiculousness of this song. Be careful – it might get stuck in your head all day.
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Returning for Business

It’s been a long, long time. Between managing the station (and writing a couple things for our blog, The Rotation), training for my race, and forcing myself to finish a particularly ugly bunch of classes, spring semester was a blur. Writing about – even listening to or playing –  music was less of a priority than I wanted it to be. Fortunately, it’s summer now, and while I wouldn’t quite say that I have all the time in the world, I have much more of it to devote to devouring music both new and old.

My tastes haven’t changed much since my December love letter to Sharon Van Etten. I still listen to “All I Can” and the rest of SVE’s work quite often, though I have finally found some other female vocalists over whom to obsess, like those in CHVRCHES, HAERTS, and MS MR (and other bands whose names are in all caps, of course). I did let go of some of my pickiness about vocals, studying every intricacy of Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave. Exploring beyond what I learned in an ethnomusicology course, I fell in love with old Brazilian music to the point that I spent an hour during study days digging through Sergio Mendes and Tom Jobim scores in Lau, when I really should have been researching Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba for a final paper.

The biggest difference this semester was in how much live music I heard and how much of that came from student bands. More than ever before, I was in awe of the incredible musical talent surrounding me at Georgetown. I am so privileged to be friends with the members of Danny and the Dark and Betsy and the Bicycles, not to mention those musical people who just seem to be everywhere always – people like Gianfranco Nuschese, who plays with more energy than anyone I’ve ever met at Georgetown, and one of my best friends, Catherine DeGennaro, whose lyrics and melodies have gotten stuck in my head on more than one occasion in the past 48 hours. It hasn’t yet hit me that many of these musicians have graduated or will be abroad; I’m not ready to accept the reality that the campus music scene will be undoubtedly and markedly different come fall.

Another big development came later in the semester in the form of an idea for my senior capstone project. About a month ago, I was laying on the grass by the Georgetown waterfront on the most beautiful of days when the idea came to me, and I haven’t been able to fully stop thinking about it since. I have a strong uniting theme for what I’m imagining as a multimedia project. Gaining inspiration for the theme was amazing, and I don’t think I’d ever before been so excited about one of the crazy ideas that’s popped into my head. I have a feeling that composing/performing/recording/whatever I end up doing will be more challenging, so for now, I’m checking out a few library books on architecture and trying to keep track of my lyrical and musical ideas before they all escape me.

As for the direction of this blog – well, it’s a little up in the air. This summer, I hope to see as much live music as I can within reason; unpaid internships aren’t entirely conducive to paying for tickets. But in addition, I’m sure you’ll see a return of the Metro Tracks playlists as I commute downtown four days a week. You may also find reviews of books about music or profiles of DC artists. Thanks to my newfound vinyl collecting habit, I may pick up a random $1 record from CD Cellar every week and write about it for shits and giggles, or do the same with a CD from one of my local libraries, which have proven to be an absolute goldmine.

Though some things have changed, I hope to keep AMPlify as a platform for a non-intimidating introduction to new music and lesser-known music, with the hopes that someone else might like it too.

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