everything’s gone orange – Random gum of August 2018 soundtrack

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Everything’s gone orange – Random gum – August 2018
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01 Curtis Mayfield – “Pusherman”
Watching old episodes of Soul Train; cheers to Ade & to Ste
02 Wendy James – “Bad Intentions and a Bit of Cruelty”
For Naomi: I am sure I said I would never include any Wendy James thing anywhere. Wrong again
03 Julia Jacklin – “Leadlight” …I love you my darling I do!/But I can’t promise I’ll be here to see this whole love through…
Oh, how I love Julia. “I didn’t know that the ground, is not only harder/Oh but colder when you are not around”
04 Weyes Blood – “Everybody’s Talkin’”
Weyes Blood does Harry Nilsson
05 Cat’s Eyes – “I Knew It Was Over”
We always know it’s over before we’re told
06 Sunni Colón – “God is a Woman”
If God were a woman, would things seriously be the way they are?
07 Three J’s – “Chalito”
A song to escape the wee prick that is Three Js
08 John Denver – “Leaving, on a Jet Plane”
John Denver is like… reliving earliest childhood, and learning over time that nothing and no one you perceived in childhood is anything like what it really is
09 Al Green – “Love and Happiness”
10 Zack Mexico – “Suzuki” …I don’t wanna fall in love…
11 Sparks – “Girl from Germany” …My word, she’s from Germany/Well, it’s the same old country/But the people have changed…
12 Bill Baird – “You’re Someone Else”
13 Juliana Hatfield – “A Little More Love” …I’m trapped, trapped in the spell of your eyes/In the warmth of your arms/In the web of your lies…
Juliana’s take on Olivia
14 Fad Gadget – “Coitus Interruptus”
15 The Cambodian Space Project – “The Passenger”
16 Beastie Boys – “Egg Man”
17 Pongo – “Tambulaya”
From Angola to Lisbon – I dare you not to jump around
18 Marissa Nadler – “Hungry is the Ghost”
19 Nai Palm – “Atoll”
Australia
20 San Mei – “Wonder”
More Australia!
21 Barrie – “Canyons”
22 LCD Soundsystem – “Never as Tired as When I’m Waking Up”
23 Spirea X – “Chlorine Dream”
24 Machine Translations – “Made a Friend”
More Australia and Australian translator friends … and machines
25 Eva Pilarová – “Popocatepetl Twist”
For the Czech chicks – Anne, Martina
26 MorMor – “Heaven’s Only Wishful”
27 Jefferson Airplane – “White Rabbit”
For singing loudly in middle-of-night darkness. Hubbubs with Mr Firewall!
28 Emily Jane White – “Nightmares on Repeat”
29 Emma Ruth Rundle – “Fever Dreams”
30 TEKE::TEKE – “Chicchana Toki Kara”
Montreal
31 RÜFÜS DU SOL – ”No Place”
More Australia for an Australia-heavy mix
32 Laura Marling, LUMP, Mike Lindsay – “Shake Your Shelter”
Some things are hard to listen to
33 Whyte Horses – “Empty Words”
34 Caterina Valente – “Popocatepetl Twist”
Another (this time French-Italian) take on this song – and of course a nod to my old friend Mike and our time in Mexico, as Popo erupted
35 Sequoyah Tiger – “Cassius”
Italy… not often I get to include or get fooled by Italy
36 Kaada – “Care”
No-no-no-norway
37 The Walkmen – “Another One Goes By”
38 Natalie Prass – “Your Fool”
39 Erika Wennerstrom – “Extraordinary Love”
40 Boxed In – “All Your Love is Gone”
41 Unloved – “When a Woman is Around”
42 Illy – “Enquanto Você Não Chega”
Brasil
43 Olden Yolk – “Takes One to Know One”
44 Gamine – “Fille du soir”
45 Dirty Three – “Great Waves”
Australia
46 Julio Cesár Oliva, Morgan Szymanski – “Estampas de México: No 16 Los volcanes (Popocatepetl & Ixtaccihuatl)”
47 Rafiq Bhatia – “Before Our Eyes”
48 Mitski – “Geyser”
For the geysers that explode again and again before my eyes
49 Mimicking Birds – “Lumens”
Shining a certain kind of light…
50 Blondie – “Picture This”
“All I want is a photo in my wallet/A small remembrance of something more solid/All I want is a picture of you”

 

Meow Mix – Random Gum of January 2018 soundtrack

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Meow Mix – Random Gum of January 2018

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01 Grace Lightman – Halloween is Over
Because Halloween really is over
02 Inspiral Carpets – This is How It Feels
Lonely and nostalgic
03 Robyn Hitchcock – Raining Twilight Coast
“Just one thing, baby, you forgot my heart”. Glasgow in May
04 Soccer Mommy – Switzerland
“i trace and memorize your curves and lines until my fingers start to bleed
we could go some place alone
don’t you see
we could go somewhere it snows
just you and me
we could go to switzerland
never come back home again “
05 Calypso Valois – Amoureuse
06 Luwten – Double for Me …You don’t want to need but need to know what you want/You think that if you need too much you’ll end up with none…
“What you said is not what you meant
You haven’t quite figured it out yet”
07 Lykke Li – Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone
Sweden
08 Nap Eyes – Alaskan Shake
Nova Scotia
09 Moonface, Siinai – The Nightclub Artiste
Pretty prolific Canadian from delightful British Columbia
10 Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping
11 Niobe – Hawaii Duet
12 Summer Aviation – Thrust
Old friends
13 Nana – Gato é Crime, Denuncie
meow… meow…
14 DRINKS – Hermits on Holiday
For beloved grumpy would-be hermits and mugwumps
15 The Amazing – Perfect Day for Shrimp
Why, Swedish, of course…
16 Black Marble – Iron Lung
17 Vashti Bunyan – If I Were
A name-dropping opportunity
18 Lily & Madeleine – Devil We Know …Come the memories, come the shivering cold, let the rain fall…
Better the liar you know…
19 Fats Domino – Every Night About This Time
RIP – 2017
20 Al-Masrieen – Asef Gedan
Egypt. Cheers to Aurélien and Cat
21 Moon Palace – Shapeshifter
Is a person a liar or just a shapeshifter? …Seattle
22 Sylvia Striplin – You Can’t Turn Me Away
23 The Third Bardo – I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time
24 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – The Pilot …A tough-love motherfucker, who was born a clown…
“What could I say? What was I after?
I forgot, but you figured it out for me again with your radio silence”
25 Sevdaliza – The Language of Limbo
Iranian-Dutch
26 Over the Rhine – Faithfully Dangerous
Memories of the 1990s. “I wonder which part of this will leave a scar”. Ohio.
27 LCD Soundsystem – Emotional Haircut
Glasgow in May?
28 Anchorsong – Butterflies
29 David Cassidy – I Think I Love You
RIP – 2017
30 Cults – Right Words
31 An Luu – Pourquoi tu me fous plus des coups?
32 Christopher Owens – Heroine (Got Nothing on You)
33 St Vincent – Sugarboy
34 Sébastien Tellier – Drunk on the Radio
35 Luwten – Indifference
Netherlands
36 Maggie Rogers – Alaska (acoustic)
“And I walked off you
And I walked off an old me”
37 Kyu Sakamoto – Sukiyaki
The old days: Japan
38 Laibach – Drzava
Slovenia
39 Otis Redding – That’s How Strong My Love Is
You can’t not love Otis
40 Eivør – Salt
Much love to very music-loving colleague, Eva
“langt burtur úr landi
hómi eg gráan av minnum
lati aldurnar taka meg
føli djúphavið darra
havið er í mær
er saltið í tárunum”
41 Tropic of Cancer – The Dull Age
42 Helado Negro – Lengua Larga
Ecuador-USA
“Abre tu boca que quiero conocer
Adentro
Y hay un gran vacío
Conocido”
43 Sound of Ceres – Gemini Scenic
For twins of all kinds: birthday twins, astrological twins, lost twins
44 Patio Furniture – Please, Please, Please Let me get what I want
A song for the hardy, sturdy patio furniture
45 Neşe Alkan – Kaçma Güzel
Turkiye
46 Acetone – Shaker
47 Aimee Mann – Knock It Off …You had your chances but now they’re gone…
“Seattle finally couldn’t hold her”
48 Summer Aviation – Angle of Attack
Old friends, lovely sounds
49 Coparck – A Dog and Pony Show
Netherlands
Martina! Here’s to, if not the end of dog and pony shows, at least new and exciting ones
50 Shura – Nothing’s Real
“I’m a dead girl walking
I need medicine”
51 Salma Agha – Barish Men Main Khari
52 Natalia Lafourcade – No Más Llorar
Mexico
“No más llorar
Sé que ya lo nuestro no tiene remedio
Pero no más llorar”
53 Anna Burch – Tea-Soaked Letter
Detroit
“I forgot to fake
The way that I was feeling
I guess it’s too late
Now all my cards are showing”
54 Malena Zavala – Should I Try (acoustic)
Argentina
55 Mdou Moctar – Iblis Amghar
Tuareg/Niger
56 Softer Still – 1993
England, of course
57 Ages and Ages – How It Feels
Portland, Oregon
58 Jaws of Love – Love Me Like I’m Gone
Thanks, with love, to Andreas
59 Heartless Bastards – Marathon
Cincinnati (why are people always surprised that Ohio has not only a bunch of cities but a ton of bands?). Not my kind of marathon, but okay…
60 Marta Kubišová – Cesta
Requisite Czech. Love to Martina, dearest Anne and Mr MI
61 P.P. Arnold – Medicated Goo
Good goo of random gum and love and life
62 Hatchie – Sure
Australia
63 Mattiel – Not Today
“Everything’s okay – but maybe not today”
64 Cinnamon Tapes – Cinnamon Sea
São Paulo.
65 France Gall – Les sucettes
RIP – 2018
66 Xenoula – Tororoi
South Africa/Wales
67 Essaie Pas – Futur Parlé
Montréal, bien sûr
68 Jonathan Bree, Clara Viñals – Say You Love Me Too
Thanks to Tom
69 Julia Holter – Don’t Make Me Over
The simplicity of this song makes me overly emotional
“Don’t make me over
Now that I can’t make it without you”
70 Angel Olsen – Fly On Your Wall
“I found a feeling inside
Or should I say it found me
I turned into someone I
Never imagined I’d be”

Lunchtable TV Talk – Banished

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Banished has a fantastic premise that feels wasted with this show. It has the chance to explore something we have never seen before. But instead, it makes vague allusions and oblique references to things like interactions with “the natives” and only one character succumbing to snake bite. But if you were the first “colonists” – prisoners and the military men from England  – sent to Australia, this should somehow feel wider – told as a much bigger story and through a broader lens, yet with a lot more detail. But it feels like everything about the story and the scenery is too contained, too limited. It never fully conveys how far away they are from everything. They talk a lot about these long prison sentences and the opportunity to go home someday – and even if they all know they will never really get there, or that they will starve before their sentences are up, you never quite sense that urgency or the true sense of eternal banishment that the round-the-world incarceration of geography has imposed.

On a lighter note, the British dude from one of my least favorite shows (another one with a good premise and the opportunity to tell a much-needed story), Looking, gets to beg in the same way in both shows. In Looking he was constantly telling his illicit lover, Patrick, that he will leave his boyfriend someday. But just not yet. Be patient. Eventually he leaves the boyfriend and gets together officially with Patrick, but in the last episode, sets Patrick off by pleading with him to consider an open relationship.

In Banished, he begs for his food back when a bully steals his food every day. Then begs the authorities to take action when he tattles on said bully for stealing his food. When nothing happens because the bully is the only smith among the prisoners, he eventually kills the bully. And then begs for his life and whines and cries in an understandable but not particularly appealing way.

We also get to see Ewen Bremner – best known as Trainspotting‘s Spud – as the colony’s minister/pastor. Funny how nearly the whole gang from Trainspotting are television staples today.

Hopefully, if this series has a second season ahead of it, these kinds of problems can be addressed. I don’t really think a premise with this kind of rich historical import deserves to be a second-rate soap opera.

Wasserkocher and Net Neutrality

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Okay so my birthday happens week after next and I just realized I actually need something. My beloved electric kettle just started leaking in a weird way – and now is my chance to replace it with a kettle that matches my other kitchen appliances! I am kind of excited because I did not even know that KitchenAid made kettles. Please someone procure it for me. Hahaha.

KitchenAid kettle to match my kitchen

KitchenAid kettle to match my kitchen

In other news, the HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver is just getting better and better. The whole program was fantastic (loved the evisceration of Australian PM Tony Abbott), but Oliver’s critical rant of the US net neutrality issue is precisely the kind of thing that illustrates why Oliver deserves his own show.

 

A World Beyond Telecommute: The Digital Wanderer

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Location-free living and working. That’s the dream for a lot of people. For a long time I thought my dream was just to be able to work mostly from home – and that works for me since I live somewhere that’s like a dream in terms of just feeling contentment oozing from every pore almost every minute of every day. Idyllic countryside with a few modern comforts in the peaceful respite of Sweden. But the urge to pack up and spend a few months in Uruguay or spending a year in Australia … or Turkey… or wherever… that’s tempting to lifelong nomads like myself. I feel content and rooted, but the wanderlust never quite leaves.

I have written a lot and frequently about employers being flexible enough to allow employees to work from home. By extension, what’s the difference if you are “at home” or on the road – staying for long stretches in different places? Granted, it can be difficult if you have a regular, full-time job and need to liaise with people on a daily basis (and thus must have a guaranteed stable internet connection). But more and more, this is becoming a moot point.

I am not alone in my feeling that this lifestyle is possible. There are in fact a lot of people out there doing it – living it – and writing about it, giving the rest of us inspiration and/or envy on the way. But they are living proof that this lifestyle is possible and sustainable. The infrastructure to support this lifestyle is a bit ad hoc still but as more people choose to live with this flexibility, the supporting structures making it possible will improve.

Some online resources for budding/curious potential digital nomads:

Digital Nomads

Digital Nomad Podcast

Digital Nomad Life

And my favorite: Never Ending Voyage

Let go of the fear – just go! Loads of barriers prevent us from choosing to break free of the 9-to-5 life, but there is another way.

Geographer” – Sydney Wayser

Seahawks + Dodging Deer = Another Commute

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This morning/middle of the night made for an awful commute. During the first third of the drive, the roads were clear, but every kilometer or so, I encountered big groups of deer playing in the road. I must have seen 100 deer in about 100 kilometers. I also saw a rabbit, which I have never seen around here, and two foxes. This winter, strangely, has been mostly devoid of moose. It occurred to me that my driving amounted to little more than dodging deer, which would not be a bad name for a video game. I got to use the whole road, just as the Seattle-based 1990s comedy sketch show, Almost Live encouraged Ballard drivers to do. You pay taxes on the whole thing – randomly weave all over the road!

On the second third of the road, most of it was covered with ice that had been covered over by snow. So many cars were off the road and so many tow trucks were pulling the cars out. The whole thing made me not only not want to drive but made me think seriously about the merits of living somewhere warmer – Hawai’i once more? Australia (perhaps much too warm)? Uruguay?

Thanks to the middle-of-night driving, I did not get to see my Seattle Seahawks win against the San Francisco 49s in their playoff game. It sounds like the Seahawks did not play at their best in the first half, so I know I would just have been getting angry and sick watching it anyway. By the time I was done driving the first two-thirds of the seemingly interminable three-hour commute and stopped off at a petrol station in Uddevalla, the Seahawks had claimed their place in the Super Bowl (versus the Denver Broncos). All kinds of mentions of it are going around the internet already – but it seems funny that the two places in the entire US to pass laws making recreational marijuana legal are the two places that send their football teams to the Super Bowl.

Australia – the Burning Urge to Migrate

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The temptation to pack up and move to Australia has never been stronger. I can’t explain why – I have never really been one of those people who fantasizes about or even wanted to go to Australia, let alone live in Australia or work there. The heat, the poisonous insects and snakes, etc.

New Zealand, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I went through the entire skilled migrant process with New Zealand at one point and then just decided against it – mostly because of the most basic reason possible: distance.

When you tell people (especially Americans) that you live in Iceland, they imagine someplace remote, difficult to get to, distant. Yet, despite the fact that the lands down under are more than twice as far, people imagine some kind of nearness or kinship – perhaps because these countries are English speaking, are more in the headlines, seem friendlier and less forbidding? It’s hard to say why (other than the dismal state of the average American’s knowledge of geography). It seemed far more reasonable to them when I was plotting out a move to Christchurch than to Reykjavik.

I’d say I’ve exhibited a fair amount of perspicacity when it comes to making decisions based on the so-called “writing on the wall”. I am fairly observant and think – and act – on things that appear to be in the offing. For example, when things start to shift significantly in the workplace, I sense it and start evaluating options – I don’t want to be blindsided.

But there is very little deeply intellectual understanding informing this growing urge to move to Australia. I have halfheartedly thought about it in years past, but suddenly in the last six months, the pull is very strong.

The biggest hurdle, which is something I have never wanted to face again in my life, is the immigration part. The bureaucracy and paperwork and endless steps in the process – all perfectly surmountable, if expensive. Easier if one had a job offer and sponsorship/employer nomination, but as a communications and marketing manager, writer or even as a technical marketing and user documentation writer/manager, I am not really a prime candidate for employer sponsorship. I am not a tech worker; I am not a healthcare worker – even if I have worked in these fields, I have never been a programmer or a nurse. And I don’t work directly in any of the in-demand fields for which Australia has a shortage.

In any case, the desire is there with strange dreams of Melbourne.