Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Why is it that the latest wussy song trend is to try (as much as possible) to sound like a whimsical six year-old who is singing to her cat at a tea-party? That's all I can think about lately whenever I hear these women open their maws and a meek underdeveloped voice jumps out accompanied by "playful" child-like elementary piano recital chords.

Example: Mac Air Book ad song, Old Navy sweater ad song from last fall, Regina Spektor, Girl Put Your Records On. These jingles are even played on the radio and passed off as “songs”, sung by grown women who sound like they haven't learned to tie their shoes yet and probably eat Cheerios from a baggie while wearing a tutu over jeans (awwwwwww….how fucking precious.)

I will give anything a shot when it comes to music. Between the sixth grade and about thirteen years ago, I wouldn't because I was a dick. A record or tape had to either have the Union Jack or a gang of rockabilly dudes on the sleeve to get me to listen to it way back when, or else it was deemed un-listenable. During this whole time, I carefully hid my unyielding passion for Olivia Newton John from "my cool friends", as I was a 40 year-old Record Store Owner Douchebag in the body of a tiny girlwoman.

One day while listening to a particularly catchy tune by The Spice Girls, I figured that I was going to like what I was going to like and that was that. I started wearing guilty pleasures like The Spice Girls and Britney Spears (seriously...she will come back) practically tattooed on my forehead, and what happened was that as soon as I embraced earnestly liking things I'd balked at before, I felt an enormous freedom. I have worked in a few record stores over the past 20 years and even though my math skills are dismal (a pear or a zebra would pass a math test before I would), I'm pretty proud of my Name That Tune-type abilities. This might be because I've opened my mind to a wide variety of music and now never want to stop listening - so I'll give it a go. My "policy" is, if I don't like an album a whole side in (or on CD - five or six tracks), then the chances are I probably won't like the whole thing or the artist, but I'll at least listen to the whole thing first. My husband is great at introducing me to what the kids are listening to today, as he'll go in blind and hear anything at listening stations in record stores or pick up something he read about in some tiny article and it turns out to be a gem that quietly sat in our home months before seeing a silhouette wearing an iPod maniacally thrashing to it on the TV.

So to recap: A) I love music. B) I'll give anything a try. C) I am sorely disappointed with what the fuck is going on with this "I sound like a little girl" movement.

I wouldn't be "open minded" if I were to say: "This needs to stop!", but that's exactly what I feel like saying. I hate this genre that much. Every recordsnob impulse in me wants to see these ladies pack up their Unicorn trapper keeper full of darling lyrics (with a Starbucks contract folded inside), and go away. It makes me want to call up Chrissie Hynde and ask her if she has any plans this year, or to bring Suzi Quatro out for a spin. This music makes me think that we need Sinead to release something pretty much identical to her first album ("The Lion and the Cobra") which left me gobsmacked after hearing just the first track.

PJ Harvey, Exene Cervenka, Olivia, Debbie Harry, Marianne Faithful, Sharon Jones, The Ghost of Dusty Springfield, Nina Hagen, Ronnie Spector, Kim Gordon, Kim Deal, Kelly Deal...even you Courtney (and you Britney!) These child-ladies are driving me back into a position where I will become a narrow-minded music asshole, and I need YOUR HELP to make sure this doesn't happen. Please make something. Anything! Before I....

I'm back to being a Dick.


Have a gripe about the state of popular music, or even unpopular music or music?
Write and tell us!
Biz and Jordi
Princess Pony Party Amazing
Haunted Lighthouse
Tracy Gold,

Monday, May 12, 2008


So...I'm sitting there eating Smart Popcorn on the way home on the train. Smart Popcorn is addictive and makes me forget "how" to eat it in a civilized manner because when I eat it, it's usually either alone or at the snacking table at a party and everyone else is eating it like there's no tomorrow as well. When I eat popcorn, I can't seem to get it into my mouth fast enough and when I eat the cheesy goodness of Smart Popcorn, I make it twice as snappy. I was having such a great time shoveling Smart Popcorn into my mouth, that I forgot that I was in a public place when I ate a few kernels that got stuck in my hair and a few which covered my sweater like bedazzled jewels. I continued to savagely lick my fingers of the cheese-powder. I'm pretty sure I made noises.

When I looked up and saw a few commuters staring at me questionably, all I could say was: "I'm so pregnant right now" with a quietly crazed half laugh, followed by a quivering bottom lip that wanted desperately to cry.

How was your day?

Monday, May 05, 2008


Labradacht! is near.

Labradacht!, is a Netherlands holiday which means: "Wise Town Yellow Dog Who Tells the Future!"

1. The week leading up to Labradacht!, the 'kinder' (or 'children') nominate their favorite barn elf to be Baron of Festivities. This is done through a play in the town square starring puppets they make out of 'kandy' (or 'candy').

2. Once a barn elf is chosen (that only they can see) they make a rendering of the barn elf out of porridge and fashion a Baron of Festivities hat made of pancakes. A monocle is made out of twigs. He is then put in a stool and placed next to a window nearest to where the Oldest Man in Town lives, so that he may watch over the town.

3. Two nights before Labradacht!, it's time to leave offerings of praise and joy at the doorstep of the Wise Town Yellow Dog so that he may be prepared to tell the future on the actual day of Labradacht!. These include shoes, clogs and boots filled with carrots. With each offering the following is spoken: "Labradacht! Labradacht! Ich ein beinnen die deuschcremmen! POW!"
(Translates to: "Yellow Dog! Yellow Dog! Tell us our future and you will be rewarded in carrots! BANG!")

4. On Labradacht! Eve, a dance is performed for the Baron of Festivities by all of the town's young people. They wear orange to represent the carrots left, clogs to represent what the carrots are in and coats made of porridge. At 11PM a re-enactment of the first Labradacht! is performed by the older siblings of the town's young people. They act out the arrival of Wise Town Yellow Dog by boat and light candles made of porridge. At midnight, the Town Crone comes out and points her stick at random until it lands on a redheaded child who is then put to death.

5. Labradacht! Morning...There is much excitement as the town gathers outside the Wise Town Yellow Dog's home. The Baron of Festivities is placed on the doorstep and the second youngest young person in town knocks three times. The door is opened and Wise Town Yellow Dog is led out to point his paw either North, South, East or West. Wherever his paw points is where the future will be! There is wild cheering and porridge eating as another Labradacht! comes to a close. The rest of the day is spent watching a play about being lazy and being killed for idle hands. At night, the town goes crazy at the discotheque!

6. Sweden is so crazy.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

An Overlooked Movie Cliche That Makes Me Want to Punch People in the Face

The Scene: A sports event or concert.

The Participant: Ignored Son or Daughter/Done Wrong Lover.

The Cliche: The Ignored Son, Daughter or Done Wrong Lover puts on the most important game/concert of their life. Just when they have given up hope that Selfish Parental Figure/Boy/Girlfriend will never show up to watch them play/perform, the Selfish show up just in time. How do we know? Because after seeing several shots of an empty chair meant for the Selfish while precious time ticks away, we suddenly are treated to a close-up of the ISDD/DWL's face; going from thinly veiled disappointment to they see their Selfish enter the the sporting arena/high school field/auditorium/packed concert hall allllllll the way from the stage. Their eye sight is that good! In return, the Selfish Parental Figure/Boy/Girlfriend can see their faces...alllllll the way from the back. In this moment, a serious rift is usually mended.

I guarantee you right now, that if I showed up late for a Duran Duran concert, Simon Le Bon would not notice me walking in to take my seat. There would be no teary-eyed: "You made it!" head nod from him and no: "I was an idiot earlier. Forgive me?" sheepish grin from me. Which means there would definitely be no: "See, mate?I told you she'd make it" wise look to Simon from keyboardist Nick Rhodes.

Hey - you're welcome.