Worldly Wednesday: “The International Rumor,” Hidrogenesse

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Welp, this song makes no sense.  And not just because I don’t speak Spanish.  But I feel like this week needs some weird 80s-style music, so here you go.

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TDTU: A Valentine’s Day Spectacular

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Hooray! It’s Valentine’s Day! Whatever your feelings on the day, the Tune-Up’s gotcha covered.

Choose your own adventure!

Pro-Love: “I Will Dare,” The Replacements

Love happens at any time and when it does, it’s really exciting.

Meh-Love: “Shape of my Heart,” Noah and the Whale

A song about being excited to love again but man, kind of totally not excited at all.

Anti-Love: “No Children,” Mountain Goats

This song is so horribly bleak that it’s really, really funny.

Funk Friday: “Sleazy” + “Closer,” DJ White Lotus (NB: Parental Advisory)

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In honor of the day before Fear Day (check out Valentine’s Day from the blog last year), and all of the single humans out there, here is one of the best pop mash-ups of all time. This is one awesomely twisted duet between a lecherous dude and a woman who couldn’t care less. Apologies (mostly) for the profanity and lewdness.

Modernism Monday: “Rise,” David Guetta feat. Skylar Grey

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So, most of last week was spent in what we call “an exercise.” It simulated an invasion scenario and my job was to monitor how the Blue team (aka “the good guys”) defended their country against the Red team (aka “those rat bastards”) – and then see whether there were ways to make it more interesting. It was about as much fun as you can ever get paid to have, and it was absolutely exhilarating, exhausting fun. The stress of the whole week, though, was also oddly exhilarating, and it served to remind me that, unfortunately, I am often the best captain of my ship in a gale.

Back when I worked on a boat for a summer, the single-most valuable thing I learned was that the only way to safely steer through rough water is to point the prow of the ship directly into the oncoming waves and hold steady. It turned out that, for some reason, of all the people working on that ship, I was the most skilled at this. We sailed through three major storms and I was at the helm for each. During one such time, the waves were so high that, as we crested them, the schooner’s wooden underbelly rose out of the water before gravity and momentum tipped the shrieking vessel downwards to meet the oncoming surge. The memory of the force with which that little 88′ schooner slammed into the waves remains in my bones. So, too, does the astonishment that we didn’t become a mass of floating splinters.

I don’t know if I’m necessarily a person of extremes, and I don’t think I actively look for rough waters. But as my spiritual advisor, Dorothy Parker, put is, “They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.” Fare forward, voyager.

Termagant Tuesday: “Sweet Home, Chicago,” The Blues Brothers

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Today in 1809, the 10th Congress (one of about seven that haven’t totally sucked) created the Territory of Illinois.  That being awesome, and Chicago being awesome, I give you the Blues Brothers.

 

Sacred Sunday: “Toumast Anlet,” Tamikrest

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“The situation of the Touareg is very difficult right now. Even before I played the guitar and started recording, I had this ambition to be a lawyer or you might say, an ‘advocate’. I wanted to be capable of expressing the hurt I felt in my heart, and speak out about the situation, even at the United Nations. Because we’re a people who don’t have journalists, we don’t have advocates. But it was only later that I realised that a musician can play that role. What is the weakest part of any nation or people? It’s ignorance. We are stuck in our ignorance. I see the world changing, racing ahead, and leaving us behind. And the only thing that is holding us back is our ignorance. As artists, it’s our duty to make our problems known to the world, to sing songs about the nomadic life, about our traditions and culture. But above all, revolutionary songs, about what we see, about what the government is doing to our people, which makes no sense to me.”
– Ousmane Ag Mossa, leader of Tamikrest