Sacred Sunday: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” Johnny Cash



If the lyrics sound vaguely familiar, it’s because you might know the Moby version of this song.  I won’t link to it because I don’t want to dilute the effect of Cash’s interpretation, which I find to be an intoxicating combination of chilling, inspiring, heartening, and terrifying.  With all the horrific things going on around the world these days, even the most committed atheist wants some powerful entity, higher or not, to cut down those who do such terrible things.


Funk Friday: “Boomin’,” Slynk



Today, for reasons not yet disclosable, I feel like a total badass.  Also, by a wonderful turn of serendipity, many good friends of mine are also feeling like total badasses – buying houses, getting selected for incredible jobs, sticking it to the man, etc.  We be boomin’.  Have a rad Friday, Tune-Up fans.

Termagant Tuesday: “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing),” Benny Goodman


Oh it is so on right now.  Your plucky heroine is in full battle rattle* today (St. John’s knit sheath, 4″ snakeskin stilettos, graduated pearl necklace, eat it*).  I have a long-overdue throw-down with a local self-styled tough** and I’ve been waiting a mighty long time.  Yankette Smash!

*Yes, I know that’s a dated and lame phrase.

**Hey, Glass House, don’t you judge how I pump myself up.  At least it’s not Cheetos and Tang.

***I am fully aware this is one of those moments that Me In Twenty Years will look back on, and with a knowing chuckle, mutter, “God, I was so dramatic when I was a kid.”  Shut up, MITY.  No one cares.

Funk Friday: “Left Hand Free,” alt-J



This is the second single off of alt-J’s forthcoming album, being released next month.  According to the band, this is the least alt-J-y song ever.  (For a point of comparison, search for alt-J in the search bar on the left hand side of your screen and play “Taro,” the song I posted a few months ago.  Different, right?)  According to me, it’s absolutely, completely, foot-stomingly awesome.  The tone of the song is a mild break from the classic funk music I tend to play on Fridays, but the sassiness of the guitar lick tipped the scales in its favor.  It just slays me.  This will probably be my remainder-of-summer 2014 song.  Happy Friday, Tune Sharks.

Hey shady baby I’m hot
Like the prodigal son
Pick a battle eenie meenie miney moe
Hey flower you’re the chosen one

Well your left hand’s free
And your right’s in a grip
With another left hand
Watch his right hand slip
Towards his gun, oh no

I tackle weeds just so the moon buggers nibble
A right hand grip on his Colt single-action army

Well your left hand’s free
And your right’s in a grip
With another left hand
Watch his right hand slip
Towards his gun, oh no

N-E-O, O-M-G, gee whiz
Girl you’re the one for me
Though your man’s bigger than I am
All my days he disagrees, oh no

Well my left hand’s free
Well my left hand’s free

Hey shady baby I’m hot
Like the prodigal son
Pick a battle eenie meenie miney moe
Hey flower you’re the chosen one

Well your left hand’s free
Well my left hand’s free [x4]
Oh no

Modernism Monday: “Over Yet Blues,” Brian Wright



I saw Brian Wright live in DC a few months ago and he was incredibly awesome.  I recommend picking up everything he’s done so far.  This particular track is my favorite one of one of his most recently albums, “Rattle Their Chains.”

Okay enough about Brian Wright.  Two more days until I’m on vacation…just two…more…days…

Modernism Monday: “La Marseillaise,” Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle



Happy Bastille Day, Tune-Up fans!  Joyeux Fête Nationale!  France’s National Day is known as the Fête de la Fédération and commemorates France’s transition from a monarchy to a republic.  The reason the day is colloquially known as “Bastille Day” is because it was following the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, that the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was written, formally abolishing feudalism.  It’s a pretty awesome holiday and deserves an equally awesome anthem, which Rouget de Lisle certainly provided.  Written in 1792 and adopted as the French National Anthem in 1795, it evidently got its nickname from the volunteers from Marseille who marched through Paris, singing the song.

I do love the above version, but the scene in Casablanca when they start singing the Marseillaise is probably my favorite film scene of all time, so I’m exercising editor’s privilege and posting it, too.

Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’etendard sanglant est levé
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces feroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes!


Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons! Marchons!
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

Amour sacr de la patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs!
Libert, Libert cherie,
Combats avec tes defenseurs!
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure tes males accents!
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!


Nous entrerons dans la carrire
Quand nos ains n’y seront plus;
Nous y trouverons leur poussire
Et la trace de leurs vertus.
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre!


Arise, children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody flag is raised! (repeat)
In the countryside, do you hear
The roaring of these fierce soldiers?
They come right to our arms
To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!


Grab your weapons, citizens!
Form your batallions!
Let us march! Let us march!
May impure blood
Water our fields!

Sacred love of France,
Lead, support our avenging arms!
Liberty, beloved Liberty,
Fight with your defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags, let victory
Hasten to your manly tones!
May your dying enemies
See your triumph and our glory!


We will enter the pit
When our elders are no longer there;
There, we will find their dust
And the traces of their virtues. (repeat)
Much less eager to outlive them
Than to share their casket,
We will have the sublime pride
Of avenging them or following them!


Funk Friday: “Get Up Offa That Thing,” James Brown



I’m not entirely unconvinced that I haven’t spent this week in some sort of strange sonic pressure cooker.  Actually, I’m not entirely unconvinced that all of us poor humans haven’t spent the week in a strange sonic pressure cooker.  It certainly feels like it.


Do you know what we do when things get hard?  Like really, really, in-your-bones, buy-a-plane-ticket-to-anywhere, screw-this-and-all-y’all hard?

You know what we do.


One other thing: THIS IS MY 200TH BLOG POST!  Cue balloon-drop!  Thank you to everyone around the world for making this blog so successful and so much fun to write.  It’s hard to write a post every single day but it’s such a blast to see new pings from all kinds of countries.  I am going to try and create a comment box to make this more interactive but for now – thank you, one and all.


Worldly Wednesday: “Tyrkjaránid,” Icelandic Folk Song



This is an instrumental version of a song from Iceland that documents a series of Ottoman raids of Icelandic towns during June and July, 1627.  Annoyingly, I haven’t been able to find one with lyrics, but according to various historical accounts, Dutch pirate Murat Reis commanded ships of Barbary corsairs from Morocco and Algeria that captured around 400 people.  Only about two dozen escaped and made it back to Iceland.

Termagant Tuesday: “The Ritz Roll and Rock,” Fred Astaire



These days it’s just about all I can do to keep pace.  Everything is moving just a little bit too fast.  But I’m still tap-dancing as best as I know how.  No one else mastered the art of this better than Fred Astaire.