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Feel Good Inc.

June 17, 2010 \pm\30 6:21 pm

So often the Internet can seem like a repository for negativity. Feel powerless or impotent? Why not just mock some starlet or politician on a blog. Had a bad day? Just rant on Twitter. Don’t like the way something was reviewed? Just write a hateful screed against the author in the comments section. The online written word tends towards snark and biting sarcasm. (And as a music writer, I am as guilty of it as the rest of you.) So today, I thought I’d ignore my usual glass-is-half-empty world view and make an effort to post about stuff I love.

So I give you the Top 5 Things That Are Making Me Smile Today: (Read on, I promise not to make you vomit with sunshine and flowers and Polyanna-ish good vibes.)

1) The trailer for Sophia Coppola’s new movie, Somewhere.

I loved Lost In Translation and even though I had problems with Marie Antoinette, I still wanted to live inside the candy-colored, Adam Ant-loving confection, so of course I’m breathless for a new film from one of the small sorority of Academy Award nominated lady directors. Plus, I like Phoenix (featuring Coppola baby-daddy Thomas Mars) and the Strokes, who both have music featured in this preview. And, despite the appearance of a Fanning sibling, I’m excited for the cast as I’ve got nothing but love for Stephen Dorff after he appeared in one of my favorite John Waters films, Cecil B. Demented.

2) The Onion A.V. Club’s Undercover project, in which every Tuesday a new video is uploaded of a band covering a track from the strange, eclectic list of of possible tracks. I’m still waiting to see who is going to cover Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Two-Headed Boy” and the Smiths “A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours.” But for stand-outs amongst the already posted songs, let me suggest starting with Ted Leo’s “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” or the Clientele’s surprisingly string-led version of “Paper Planes.”

3) I generally don’t give a shit about baseball, but if you don’t smile reading this story of a Seattle Mariners bullpen catcher who hit on a woman in the stands by throwing her a ball with his number on it and is now marrying her in the bullpen at Safeco Field, then you’re dead inside.

4) I love, love, love Jamie Lidell (even if I don’t dig his latest album, Compass, so much). So after catching the British electro funk soul brother’s intimate show last night at Portland’s Doug Fir, I was thrilled to note that he had his own episode of the Black Cab Sessions up online. (Oh, to be that microphone!) If you’ve never seen the UK-based webisodes, they feature an artist playing in the back of a taxi and their list of participating artists is large (Lidell’s is volume 89) and varied (including Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver as well as Daniel Johnson and the one and only Brian Wilson).

5) Janelle Monae. Have you heard her album The Archandroid yet? Don’t be scared off by the fact that it’s Diddy-affiliated. It is an ambitious, sprawling 19-track collection that spans futuristic soul, Hendrix-influenced psychedlia, Of Montreal-aided electro-funk and even Fairport Convention-ish folk. And so far, it is a frontrunner for my album of the year. But don’t take my word for it. Hear it for yourself.

So… what’s making you feel good today?

  1. June 17, 2010 \pm\30 10:21 pm 10:21 pm

    A lot of things, particularly this blog post. First, you nailed the exact two songs I was looking forward to in the “Uncovered” project, particularly “A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours,” which is on one of my favorite albums ever. Then you declare your love for “Cecil B. Demented.” I’d start writing sonnets about you if I weren’t so awful at writing poetry.

    I listened to a lot of Janelle Monae’s album due to my roommate, who normally isn’t into music per se but fell in love with it. It definitely grew on me, and I’m glad she’s finally getting more exposure after her awesome work on Outkast’s “IdleWild” (she saved that record for me).

    My album of the year so far, though, is Erykah Badu’s “New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh).”

  2. June 17, 2010 \pm\30 10:53 pm 10:53 pm

    “One and one I wanna play that game toniiiiiight.”

    B, did you see this piece by our Daniel Nester?

  3. Rebecca Raber permalink
    June 18, 2010 \pm\30 1:34 pm 1:34 pm

    I had not seen that, Meliss. But I love it! Thanks for suggesting.

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