2019 Live Highlights Playlight (pt. 4)

Previous parts – ONETWOTHREE

After a break last week for Thanksgiving last week, here’s the return of Vampire Weekend, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, and an off assortment of bands I saw open for other assorted bands in 2019.

2021 – Vampire Weekend 

Happy & Sad – Kacey Musgraves

Then Again – Pinegrove

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We actually saw them twice this year. Here’s a picture from the back of the room of the tiny Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT

Never in My Arms, Always in My Heart – Pinegrove

The Eye – Brandi Carlile

Found a Way – Hala

Until My Body Breaks – Olive Tiger

Champagne Ladies – And The Kids

Hey Now – The Regrettes

Isaac – Bear’s Den
As always, the full playlist can be found here, if you have Apple Music!

 

2019 Live Highlights Playlist (pt. 3)

Previous parts – ONETWO

Agape – Bear’s Den 

I was just talking with my friend last night about how they mispronounce this word, so I have also for years.

Ottoman – Vampire Weekend 

As I said on my Insta story, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Tim more excited than when they started to play this song. Also, it prompted us to rewatch Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, which holds up. (But that may just be because we now go to a lot of shows in the neighborhood in the movie, which is a fun.)

Oh, What a World – Kacey Musgraves

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The Socialites – Dirty Projectors

(Sorry about the quality of this video, I wanted a video that didn’t have Amber Coffman singing the lead part, since that’s how I saw it, but it’s hard to find a good one.)

Alabama High Test – Old Crow Medicine Show

No Cause For Alarm – Niall Connolly

Intrepid – Pinegrove

As Long As We’re Together – The Lemon Twigs

Came Out of a Lady – Rubblebucket

Chasing What’s Already Gone- Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter (and Trisha Yearwood) was my first concert ever, when I was 10, and it was a thrill to see her as part of a program at the Sheen Center this year.

As always you can see the full Apple Music playlist here.

 

 

 

2019 Live Highlights Playlist (pt. 2)

Happy Friday! It’s looking like Vampire Weekend and Kacey Musgraves are going to the Taylor Swift of this year’s playlist (meaning they play first pretty much every time that I put this on shuffle they play right away putting them on the list every week.)

Previous parts: ONE

Fuel on the Fire – Bear’s Den

Jerusalem, New York, Berlin – Vampire Weekend

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View from above and behind

What Is Love? Tell Me, Is It Easy? – Hala

Butterflies – Kacey Musgraves

Break-Thru – Dirty Projectors

Going to Port Washington – The Mountain Goats

Sweet Amarillo – Old Crow Medicine Show

I saw these guys last night at Town Hall (where it hard to dance, but there was some quality swaying.)

There Is A Ledger – Wild Pink

May 12th, 1916: A Song for James Connolly – Niall Connolly

You may remember this song from last year, I’ve seen him a few times live since then and this song always hits me really hard.

Golden Days – Shana Cleveland

As always, the full list is here on Apple Music.

This week’s not on Apple bonus:

Friendship – Mavis Staples and Brandi Carlile

 

2019 Live Highlights Playlist (pt. 1)

Hey! I cannot believe it’s already November! So I’m bringing back my Live Highlights series. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, depending on your perspective, I didn’t see Taylor Swift in a stadium this year, so there will be fewer videos of her, but I did see lots of great artists, and made a monster playlist that I mostly use as a soundtrack for doing dishes, but now once a week for awhile, I’ll be sharing the songs ten at a time here for you for the rest of the year!

So, let’s jump in:

Go There – Another Michael 

OK, probably not a great start that I couldn’t find a live performance video for the first song this year, but “Another Michael” pulls up a lot of Michael Jackson videos on YouTube, so…oops… But I do have this blurry shot of seeing them open for Pinegrove in Hamden, CT this Spring:

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You can probably tell this is a bad screengrab of an Insta story, follow me here for more stellar content like this.

Diplomat’s Son – Vampire Weekend

This was my show (though very far from my seat)!

Sophie – Bear’s Den

Also my show, surprised you can’t hear me sobbing in the background of this clip.

No Children – The Mountain Goats

But, Kath, didn’t you post this song last year? Yes, get ready there’s gonna be quite a bit of that.

Redesigning Women – The Highwomen

Also from my show, and technically this is The Highwomen – Maren Morris of course, but as they are my favorite musical thing to happen this year (a year with a new Taylor album, so a big deal) I couldn’t not put them on the actual playlist.)

Merry Go ‘Round – Kacey Musgraves

Alaska – Maggie Rogers

This Is My Tree – The Lemon Twigs

As you can gather from this video seeing The Lemon Twigs live is an Experience, and so I the videos are sometimes terrible quality, but I didn’t understand them at all until I saw them play live, and I really love them now…

Carousel Ride – Rubble Bucket

We Get By – Mavis Staples

The legend is an adorable and strong and everything all at once as ever.

The full playlist can be listened to here if you have Apple Music.

Like last year artists I saw selfishly kept singing songs I couldn’t add find on Apple Music, so here’s this week’s extra off-playlist highlight (another from Brandi Carlile’s truly spectacular night at MSG):

A Case of You – Brandi Carlile (Joni Mitchell cover)

Best Picture Baking Project: Going My Way

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For those of you who don’t know me personally, my boyfriend is a graduate student studying American Catholic history, so we were uniquely primed for this month’s Best Picture, Going My Way. 

Had I seen this one before? 

Nope. I really only knew that Bing Crosby played a priest and that Barry Fitzgerald had been simultaneously nominated for both Best Supporting and Best Leading Actor for his performance. (My friends also informed me that there is a sequel with Ingrid Bergman as a boxing nun.)

Top 3 observations on this viewing? 

  1. This was a surprisingly emotional watch. To use a word that the characters in this love, a lot of this veers towards schmaltz, but Bing has just enough wit and charm to pull it back. But also some schmaltz just works...
  2. Though I’m glad his dual nomination led the Academy to clarify the rules, I do understand why people voted for Fitzgerald in both categories, he’s wonderful in this movie. I have a soft spot for stories of old men facing their diminishing world, and this one is treated with such warmth and sensitivity. (By soft spot I mean, these stories will always make me cry.
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He has great expressions too.

3. A lot happens in this movie, considering nothing really happens. The grand narrative is basically – the church has a mortgage and an old priest. But the movie needs to show us all the ways Bing’s Father Chuck is magic and cool: He plays baseball! He writes songs! One of them is this one:

He’s to quote a very 40s child, “a right guy!”

 

What did it beat? Did it deserve to win? 

Double Indemnity – Absolute classic, I love Barbara Stanwyck so much and this is always my first thought when I think of noir.

Gaslight – I’m not sure if I’ve seen all of this, but probably the most culturally influential nominee this year.

Since You Went Away – I’ve never heard of this, but it was Jennifer Jones, Claudette Colbert and a not-pint-sized Shirley Temple, so may be worth a watch.

Wilson This is a biopic of Woodrow Wilson, which I’m glad hasn’t stood the test of time.

Hmmm, I really enjoyed Going My Way, it was a charming film, but I like Double Indemnity quite a bit, but it’s so dark and cynical. I can see why Academy member (especially in the middle of a war) would choose the warmth of Father Chuck.

Bechdel Test Pass? 

No. There are five named women that I can remember, and it avoids some sexist tropes that it veers towards at a couple of points, but it’s still a remarkable male film. (All the kids in the neighborhood seem to be boys.)

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I Googled “Irish-American desserts” and found this Guinness take on a traditional porter cake, and despite the molasses (not my favorite ingredient to work with) it turned out very tasty

Chocolate-Stout Cake with Guinness Whipped Cream

Ingredients for cake

  • Butter for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for whipped cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Guinness

Directions for cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Butter and flour a bundt pan
  3. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl
  4. Pour the beer and molasses into a medium pot and bring to a boil
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda (it will rise and foam)
  6. In another large bowl whisk together the eggs and two sugars until combined
  7. Add the oil
  8. Whisk in a little of the beer mixture to temper the eggs
  9. Whisk in remaining beer mixture
  10. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients
  11. Pour liquid ingredients into the well, whisking slowly until just combined
  12. Pout batter into prepared pan
  13. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan, and a tester comes out clean
  14. Coll cake on wire rack for 30 min covered with dry hand towel
  15. Invert onto a cake platter

Directions for whipped cream

  1. Whip cream until slightly thick
  2. Add the sugar and Guinness and whip until peaks form
  3. Serve each slice of cake with scoops of whipped cream

Best Picture Baking Project: Gigi

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(Photo Credit: MK Holman)

Firstly, I know I didn’t post about the Tony’s. I meant to, I took notes and everything, but I had a job interview the morning after the show and then, I kind of didn’t want to…and the biggest plus of a blog I do for fun is that…I don’t have to. Anyway…I got the job! (And I’ll be back to posting about awards shows soon I’m sure.)

Something I definitely wanted to do – eat cake, drink champagne, and watch Gigi! 

Had I seen this one before?

Only about 100 times as a child. My mom got me the VHS and I loved it, though I don’t think I understood it at all really.

Top 3 observations on this viewing? 

  1. It’s so much more complex and frankly less horrifying than I remembered it. When I was a kid, I mostly just loved the costumes and Leslie Caron’s hilarious, huffing physicality. But as I grew up songs like this:

and the general plot where a man watches a girl grow up and then falls for her, left a general sense of ickiness in my mouth about the whole thing. But, on this rewatch (having noticed that it was based on a novel by Colette) I can see it’s actually a really arch satire of the misogynist culture of infidelity and the “keeping” of mistresses in Parisian culture and there are so many more layers to the relationship than I could have seen as a kid. (Maurice Chevalier’s character is still super creepy and hard to watch – but I see that’s on purpose.)

2. Even as satire though, the flippant, maybe even giddy, response to Gaston’s first “lady love’s” suicide is really fucking hard to watch, especially since there is no reckoning with that particular sin after his last minute (almost literally) revelation that his lifestyle is empty and sad.

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Justice for Eva Gabor

3. This movie is still so much fun to watch, and I’m glad I don’t have to feel as queasy recommending it as I thought I did for years. Gather your girls, pour some champagne, enjoy!

What did it beat? Did it deserve to win? 

Auntie Mame – Haven’t seen it, but it feels pretty culturally similar

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Damn. This is a great movie…I mean, Paul and Liz!

Separate Tables – All I know about this is David Niven won Best Actor for it and I won a trivia point once for knowing that.

The Defiant Ones – Sidney Poitier was in this, I think?

I’m clearly not super qualified to make this call, but between the two I’ve seen…I’m still partial to Gigi, Best Picture is an Oscar for production and this is a grand one.

Bechdel Test Pass?

The Bechdel Test site says no, but I think it does. There are four named women, three of whom talk to each other. Gigi’s grandmother and aunts discuss her life (and teach her about jewels). Yes, these conversations often hinge on the idea of a man, but that’s kind of Colette’s point, I think. Patriarchy limits her options, but they are still hers. I give it a pass.

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Given my favorite song from this score, I had to make a champagne cake, which was easy and turned out so pretty!

Champagne Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 package two-layer white cake mix
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1 can 16oz pink Funfetti frosting
  • 4 large fresh strawberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease two layer cake pans (I did one 9in round pan and one slightly smaller disposable pie plate, but you can adjust based on what you have)
  3. Prepare the cake according to instructions on mix, except replace the water called for with an equal amount of champagne (Mix slightly longer than you normally would)
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans, spreading evenly
  5. Bake according to package directions, approx. 30min
  6. Cool in pans for 10 minutes
  7. Remove from pans and let cool completely
  8. While the cakes cool, rinse and slice strawberries for decoration
  9. Place bottom tier cake on serving plate, frost the top
  10. Frost bottom side of top layer
  11. Place upper tier on top of the bottom cake
  12. Frost top of cake, and place strawberries in circular pattern on top of cake

Award Show Round Up: Oscars 2019

You know, the fact that Green Book won Best Picture, was an unpleasant surprise at the end of the night, but let’s not let that leave a bad taste in our mouths. In general, last night’s show was pleasant and fun and there were some wonderful, history making winners.

(For the record, I do not hate Green Book, but it was pretty clearly a strange choice for best movie of the year. But…at least it wasn’t Vice.) Anyway, on to better things.

For the most part I didn’t find the lack of host to be a lack at all. There are few better ways to open anything than this song:


(Also it was fun to watch which stars were really rocking out in the crowd.)

And these ladies did a great job kicking off the awards presentations:

(If we are going to return to hosts next year – not that we need to – these 3 should do that.)

Another good way to start anything: GIVE REGINA KING AN OSCAR!!!!

Everything about the costume awards presentation was epic (especially the historic winner):

Keep the good Black Panther feelings flowing for the Production Design ground breaker:

(Also I saw a tweet last night asking if the director didn’t know where Ryan Coogler was sitting or something? Why were they never cutting to him?)

I’m going to go out of order here, but like, Alfonso Cuaron got to give a lot of speeches last night, and I liked all of them. (I only wish he also got to give the final one, but we can’t everything):


(Also love how much Angela and Javier relished rolling that R.)
“There are no waves there is only the Ocean,” is also a great philosophy for looking at art.

I also LOVE that Guillermo was there to present this to Alfonso, their friendship has always made me really happy and that hug was wonderful.

Mahershela Ali is a class act who I am always happy to see get lauded, but he’s holding Richard’s Oscar:

I didn’t see Buster Scruggs but I liked our little Western moment last night:

This was a fun moment:

But my favorite duo of presenters are these awards dorks:

My first tears of the night:

And then the second:

(Sorry about the captions, the Academy was better about uploading speeches this year, but not performances for some reason…) And yes, I see all your tweets about how their chemistry is incendiary. But to quote Katey Rich, “In this house we respect Irina Shayk!”

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER SPIKE LEE LADIES AND GENTLEMAN!:

The least surprising win of the night (totally deserved of course):

And the most. Look, I love Olivia, I really really do, but what does Glenn have to do? Kill and skin a horse?

(Also – I know his speech wasn’t perfect and he should have thanked Freddie more directly, but I love Rami and I especially love that he and Lucy Boynton are in love and so this speech warmed my heart a lot):

This blog is a Peter Farrelly free zone, so I will not be posting the video of Best Picture. So, let’s move onto fashion. It was a night of a lot of fluffy pink (like a lot) of fluffy pink, but there were a lot of great gowns!

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Constance Wu in custom Versace (Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

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Yalitza Aparicio in Rodarte (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Regina King in Oscar de la Renta (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Glenn Close in Carolina Herrera (Photo Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/LA Times)

Give this woman a fucking Oscar.

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Melissa McCarthy in Brandon Maxwell (Photo Credit: Getty/Steve Granitz)

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Helen Mirren in Schiaparelli Haute Couture (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Nielson Barnard)

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Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton (Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

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Lucy Boynton in Rodarte (Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

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Danai Gurira in Brock Collection (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

 

Sad Motivation Playlist

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Sometimes I get weird thematic ideas for playlists, and this week inspired by Brandi Carlile’s Grammy performance (see below), I put together this mix of songs that are uplifting but also sad. Because, apparently that’s a genre I like a lot.

As always, the mix is available here on Apple Music.

The Joke – Brandi Carlile

She Used To Be Mine- Sara Bareilles

Little Me- Little Mix

Rainbow- Kacey Musgraves

Sign of the Times- Harry Styles

(This was going to be an all female mix, but then I couldn’t help myself…)

Not Ready To Make Nice- Dixie Chicks

Praying- Kesha

Golden- Kelly Hogan

GIRL- Maren Morris

Long Live- Taylor Swift

Music For Your Weekend

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As always if you want to listen to this playlist on Apple Music, you can click here!

Carolina – Harry Styles

Happy Birthday Mr. Styles!

TROUBLE – Parov Stela feat. Nikki Wiliams

Wedding in Finistère – Jens Lekman

Come On-A-My House – Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra feat. Imelda May

Did you know Jeff Goldblum is a jazz pianist? I didn’t until today, when something from his album came up on my “For You” on Apple Music.

Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy

(Just in case you need a cry this weekend…)

Call My Name – I’m With Her

Thunder Road – I’m With Her

Did you know there is a charity album of ukulele covers of Bruce Springsteen songs? Well, now you do.

Carry On With Me – Júníus Meyvant

The Tide – Niall Horan feat. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra

It’s not surprising to anyone who knows me/follows my Instagram and saw the trek my boyfriend and I took last fall to Niall play in deep Jersey, so I was pretty excited to see today that he released a new version of his album Flicker today with the backing of the Irish TV station RTÉ’s in house orchestra. The original album is lovely, but we thought he and his band were much better live than in studio and I think these versions of these songs show a part of why.

Where Do Broken Hearts Go – One Direction 

Since we now have two former members of One Direction on this list, let’s end it with a classic. Have a great weekend!

Best Picture Baking Project: Driving Miss Daisy

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I’ve now officially seen the movie that won Best Picture the year I was born! That feels like some sort of milestone. I’m not sure what it marks except that I have actually managed to stick to a pattern of continuing this project consistently in the last few months, but I’ll take it as a win.

Had I seen this one before?

As you can guess from my intro, no I hadn’t seen it before, though, obviously, it’s joked about and referenced enough that I knew the broad outline.

Top 3 observations on this viewing? 

  1. The score – recorded all on synthesizers by composer Hans Zimmer – is so 1989 and insane, but also bouncy and kind of fun.

2. I was on edge the whole time waiting for this uncomfortable premise (old Southern white lady hires an African American man to be her driver) to veer somewhere really offensive. (I watched Cimarron, Crashand Dances With Wolves all in a row I don’t trust the Academy very much on race right now.) But, despite the deferential language Morgan Freeman uses, which would have been true to the period I’m sure, this was much more nuanced that I was expecting.

3. The fact that Dan Ackroyd was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar for this is insane. I mean, he’s fine, nothing wrong with his performances, but it’s literally just “affable guy with an accent.” They should’ve nominated Patti LuPone as his wife for her side eye alone.

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What did it beat? Did it deserve to win? 

Born on the Fourth of July I have a lot of issues with Oliver Stone, but his is a great film

Dead Poets Society – As I am a former prep school girl obsessed with poetry, it will surprise no one that this movie is burned into my brain. it was the first time a move made me cry until I shook.

Field of Dreams – I’ll admit I’ve never seen this all the way through, but it’s great as far as I’ve seen

My Left Foot – Great. Classic. Large Irish Family, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Sheridan, what more could you ask for?

Wow, what a stacked year! I’m not mad Daisy won, but I’d give it to either Born or Poets. 

Bechdel Test pass?

Um, off the top of my head, yes I think this passes. (Note: The Bechdel site confirms it does!) Daisy and her maid – Idella – both have names and talk to each other. Though their conversations are in passing and their relationship is clearly a depiction of an uncomfortable power imbalance.

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But enough about all of that, I made a cake with Coca Cola (because the movie is set in Atlanta.) I modified the recipe by leaving the coca cola syrup off (it was supposed to have an entire box of powdered sugar in it, and as you can see the cake itself already had more than enough sugar in it.

Coca-Cola Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease and flour 13 x 9 in pan (Or be lazy like me and just line it with parchment paper.)
  3. Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk and set aside
  4. Beat butter at low speed until creamy
  5. Gradually add sugar, beat until blended
  6. Combine flour, cocoa and soda
  7. Add flour mixture to butter alternately with cola mixture (beginning and ending with flour)
  8. Beat at low speed until just blended
  9. Stir in marshmallows
  10. Pour batter into cake pan*
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes

* This step broke my spatula (full disclosure, it was old):

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