Gossip Girl

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Today on Down the Rabbit Hole day, I’m going to write about what I spent the last half of last year listening to. I missed pretty much everything going on in the indie world because I finally discovered something on the radio.

Since we moved to LA I had turned off the radio because I couldn’t find anything to listen to. But my husband — usually an intrepid fan of the AM dial — found KUSC, the classical music station that USC underwrites. And I fell in love.

Readers of this blog will know that I am pretty much a dedicated lyrics person. I don’t think I ever had the patience for classical music, having had my attention span honed since birth by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the King. But suddenly last summer I had grown up enough to sit still through a sonata, and my reward was beyond anything. I have always loved opera arias, but now I learned about where they fit into the opera and what they were about. I learned names of musicians and singers and musical groups performing symphonies by Dvorak and Lizst and Bach and Salieri. I learned that Salonen was leaving the LA Philharmonic this year (wonderboy Gustavo Dudamel is taking his place).

And I learned that classical music fans are even more fond of arcane detailing than hipsters. Which they totally have a right to — when Fleet Foxes puts out 68 string quartets, 14 operas, 42 concertos, 14 masses, 45 piano trios, 62 solo piano compositions, and 108 symphonies, let me know. (That’s the output of one J. Haydn).

I’m not saying I’m one of the elite (or that F.Foxes are bad, duh) here. I’m just saying, I dove in and swam around for awhile. The water was fine, it was more than fine, so if you want to stick your toe in, I recommend it. Or maybe you’re already swimming around in there and you’re laughing at me for being a dork — fine, I’m a dork. Let’s be dorks together.

I was dorkily delighted to see opera make an appearance on Gossip Girl last week — Rufus drags his former-rock-star butt to the opera with Lily, and tries to impress her by learning about the opera. But he learns about the wrong one (he is actually attending “Tristan & Isolde,” but Eric teaches him all about “The Magic Flute”). My almost-four-year-old son loves that particular aria sung by the Queen of the Night, and often asks for it. It’s called “Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen,” loosely translated by me as “A hellish rage boils in my heart.” Who wouldn’t love a song called that, especially when it sounds so beautiful?

Die Zauberflöte — Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen (as sung by Lucia Popp)

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Well, things between Blair and Chuck are cooling down again, but it was a spectacular run while it was happening! Serena and her blah-blah relationship with Dan cannot compare, can it? Though Lily and Rufus were interesting for five minutes, when Rufus wasn’t being all “me me me me me me ME.” If only Lily would kick him to the curb! But no, the drama must remain high.

So you say you want to talk someone out of jumping off a roof ledge? Here are some tunes to get your courage up. This post goes out to Kendrick’s girl, if she should happen to read it :D

01 Greycoats — Watchman, What Is Left Of the Night? (2.16, “You’ve Got Yale!”)
02 The Faint — Mirror Error (2.15, “Gone With the Will”)
03 Shiny Toy Guns — Ricochet! (2.14, “In the Realm Of the Basses”)
04 The Sound Of Arrows — Danger! (Ice Cream Shout version) (2.11, “The Magnificent Archibalds”)
05 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour — The Sun Ain’t Shining No More (2.12, “It’s A Wonderful Lie”)
06 Franz Ferdinand — No You Girls (2.15, “Gone With the Will”)
07 Department Of Eagles — No One Does It Like You (2.14, “In the Realm Of the Basses”)
08 UNKLE (feat. the Duke Spirit) — Mayday (2.14, “In the Realm Of the Basses”)
09 The Little Ones — Like A Spoke On A Wheel (2.14, “In the Realm Of the Basses”)
10 The Fratellis — Tell Me A Lie (2.02, “Never Been Marcused”)

[ed note — the Greycoats song is, according to Gossip Girl Insider, supposed to appear on next week’s show. I hope it does so I don’t look dumb. But even if it doesn’t, it’s actually an awesome song.]

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Gossip Girl, part 4

In honor of Gossip Girl playing the Black Keys on the show last night, here’s some more music. This feature is rather popular, so I have kept up the music from previous posts. If you want to browse, just click the tag above. That Black Keys song is just the thing if you’re walking into an old speakeasy that you’re planning to renovate. Just in case you need a theme song like Chuck Bass.

01. The Black Keys — Psychotic Girl
02. Seabear — Cat Piano
03. The Republic Tigers — Buildings and Mountains
04. Nappy Roots — Good Day
05. Santogold — Lights Out
06. The Fashion — Like Knives

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Ain’t karma a bitch? We know Blair Waldorf is.

Bring it, girls and boys! Let there be catfighting and backstabbing, fake crying, real crying, and mostly current indie band name-dropping. Not to mention more Chuck Bass Witty One-Liners While Wearing Bow Ties.

01. Lady Gaga — Paparazzi
02. Jem — Crazy
03. Shwayze — Buzzin’ (Villains remix v.2)
04. Nelly Furtado — Afraid

That was a lot of songs with Zs in their titles. You can stream Motion City Soundtrack’s “Fell In Love Without You” right at their site.

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I haven’t had much impetus to blog, though I have some ideas roaming around in my head. But I see that a lot of people have liked the Gossip Girl post that I put up a little while ago. GG is on summer break, of course. Chuck Bass is romancing interchangeable women; Blair probably jumped the guy in the jump seat. Perhaps Georgina jumped off a bridge to escape boarding school and is backpacking in the Himalayas plotting up new ways to drive Serena crazy. Only Gossip Girl knows for sure, but she’ll tell you as soon as she finds out :D

Most of these are from the earlier parts of the series. Enjoy. I am especially fond of “Happy Ending.” I never listen to the radio, and I expect this was super-overplayed and everyone else is sick of it. But it really flies, especially when it starts taking a page from Freddie Mercury.

01. Beck — Timebomb [from “The Handmaiden’s Tale”]
02. The Little Ones — There’s A Pot Brewin’ [from “Dare Devil”]
03. Rooney — When Did Your Heart Go Missing [from “The Wild Brunch”]
04. Akon — Don’t Matter [from the pilot]
05. Mika — Happy Ending [from “The Handmaiden’s Tale”]
06. Cold War Kids — Hang Me Up To Dry [from the pilot]

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Gossip Girl

My guilty pleasure is back … that shiny, ridiculous show where 3/4 of the actors give their lines with a sort of glassy stare. But hey, as the drama ratchets up between B and Little J, and Serena’s crazy ex-best-friend stalks the unsuspecting Dan, let’s take a moment to appreciate another show that keeps up with the musical times. This week’s ep even featured a Vampire Weekend song, making me think that it’s probably someone at Brooklynvegan that moonlights as the music editor.

So if you’re dying for some Upper East Side glamour in your life, steal your friend’s mom’s Valentino dress and rock out to the following.

01 The Kills — Sour Cherry
02 Crystal Castles — Crimewave (Crystal Castles vs HEALTH remix)
03 Flo Rida — Elevator
04 Figurines — The Air We Breathe
05 The Deadly Syndrome — Eucalyptus

Bonus Video: Henry Mancini’s absolutely gorgeous “Moon River”

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