TA Mixtape / Music In Media: TV Dinner

by Andrew Thomas

“It just sort of introduces the idea that you’re in for something pretty idiotic.” – Larry David

I love food. I love eating it. I love making it. I love talking about it. I love hearing people talk about it. I even love watching people make it on competition based television shows. Unfortunately, those shows by nature must leave out one of my favorite elements of food: the smell. When you enter a restaurant owned by a knowledgeable chef, you’ll notice the immediate presence of a powerful, distinct and pleasing aroma. It heightens the anticipation. It lets you know the type of food is on the way. It focuses your senses on the tastes and textures to come.

A good theme song is the television equivalent to a tantalizing aroma before a delicious meal. It whets your appetite for the rest of the show. The tone of the song will let you know if the show will be light, dark, comedic, dramatic, intense, intelligent, unconventional, or any number of things. When you hear the twanging guitars and mournful fiddle of Deadwood’s Opening Sequence, you know you’re not in for a buddy cop comedy. When you hear The Barenaked Ladies prattle off a Brief History of The Universe, you know you’re not watching a show about a rape lawyer.

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Guest Mixtape / Tympanogram / Wake From Dreaming

This morning’s guest mixtape comes from Andy, one of the co-founders of Tympanogram – a great blog that covers a broad range of new and often undiscovered tracks, show and album reviews, and more – and always shares opinions on music in an approachable way.   The guys at Tympanogram were even kind enough to add a newb like me to their blogroll first, that’s how nice they are.  And so it goes without saying that I’m thrilled to present the below mix titled: “Wake From Dreaming”

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I tried to come up with what I would have given to an object of my high school affection, and while no mix tape I made ever came out like this (because nothing comes out right in high school), it’s a pretty accurate representation of what went on tapes at one time or another. There are two sides: songs 1-7 on Side A, 8-14 on Side B to make up a 60 minute mix tape.

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TA Mixtape / Summer Lovin: Dandelions Are Not Your Friends

At the end of last week I got so obsessed with writing this story, I completely ran out of time to post my other gardening mix last week.

My 12-year-old self is so tempted right now

Who didn’t think the dandelion was the best flower ever when they were little?  They were the best for making flower chains and headbands.  You could use them as crayons.  If you held one under your chin the amount that it glowed on your skin predicted how rich you would be.  And it was insanely fun to blow the all the seeds away into the wind.

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Theatre / "The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World" take a weird piece of music history to Playwright’s Horizons

Yesterday a theatre-loving friend of mine tweeted about a new musical coming to Playwrights Horizons next spring that tells the story of a girl group called The Shaggs, a band of 3 sisters from New Hampshire who had their “heyday” in the late 1960’s. A band that only released one album some people regard as a colossal failure, while others – most notably rock icon, Frank Zappa – proclaim as utter brilliance. When discussing his take on it Gunnar Madsen – who will be writing the music & lyrics for the musical is quoted in the New York Times as saying the following:

“I found it profoundly depressing. Other people find a simple joy in it, but for me I just heard how they were forced to do this. I can hear where they’re just struggling to find something out of the chaos which is music.”

The article follows up by discussing how Madsen planned to approach the original music – one of the biggest challenges (I think) in translating the life of any artist to the stage in the form of a musical – to which he answered that he intends to “try to answer the question, ‘What did they hope they would sound like?’”

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TA Mixtape / Summer Lovin’ : How Does Your Garden Grow?

If the fact that my last mixtape included tracks from both Journey AND The Backstreet Boys didn’t reveal me to be a huge nerd, then I’m about to blow my cover now: this past April I actually left my apartment in Silverlake – Los Angeles hipster music mecca – and moved completely across town into a house a mile away from the beach.  AND I LOVE IT. Yeah, it’s much farther to get to most shows, and a much more painful drive home when I head east on weeknights, but I moved to be closer to my job in Santa Monica and in that regard it’s a total win.

I also love living in a house.  Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two floors.  I love my huge living room and kitchen.  I love having a front yard.  I love my tiny room, which is almost completely become my own personal magical music happy land.  Currently though, I’m especially loving my back patio.  I want to paint the walls.  I want to buy cute vintage patio furniture.  And I want to garden.

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