My favorite rendition of my favorite Christmas song.
Rilo Kiley — “Breakin’ Up” from Under the Blacklight
revenge is the saddest thing/honey, I’m afraid to say/you deserve everything
I dated a vegan for a while. To be clear, I have no issues with vegans; their food habits leave more cheese for me to eat so I say the more the merrier. I was a vegetarian when I was dating this vegan but when he dumped me in especially cruel fashion, I just relapsed right into a hot dog and ropa vieja and this amazing medium rare burger with a fried egg on top. I was sad but I didn’t want to drink it away, I just wanted to float away on a sea of meats. It was revenge meat and I ate it so happily not just for me but for all people who dated someone who decided to spend the last three months of their relationship not using soap because soap is made by “the man” and then dumped you because monogamy is also made by the man, yo. I was still sad but meat helped.
I was reading a book and eating one of 96 burgers I had in the month after we broke up in a restaurant…when he walked into the restaurant I was in to pick up take out. I panicked and tried to slip out but he spotted me. We started to talk and it felt ok, better than I expected it to go. Since it had gotten dark out and I had walked, he offered me a ride home since we lived on the same block. The waiter took my plate and put my food in a box for me as I paid my bill; my ex-boyfriend went to go pay for his take out and didn’t comment on my food. We walked to his car and rode calmly for approximately four seconds before we erupted into a huge fight about something I can’t even remember now. Suddenly, he looked at the box on my lap and up at me.
“What do you have in that box?” He asked.
“My dinner.” I put my hands on it.
“You know what I mean. What did you have for dinner?”
I was nervous but also very suddenly pissed off that he was trying to dictate what I ate, that he had ever tried to dictate what I ate.
“It’s a kind of bloody burger with like, egg on it. Super yolky.” I smiled beatifically.
“Did you seriously bring meat into my car? Are you fucking kidding me?”
“It’s not like I’m eating it in front of you or rubbing it all over the interior of your car.”
“No but now you’ve made a part of the chain of animal cruelty and exploitation.”
We were actually moving, not in any way stopped, when he reached for the box. We swerved a bit as I held onto it with both hands. We actually struggled over a take out box, the styrofoam crumbling under our fingers as we engaged in a literal tug-o-war over a burger. He slammed on the brakes at a stop sign and we jerked back in our seats, the box finally giving way and ripping, burger and egg and fries scattering all over the front seat of the car. I didn’t breathe as he stared at me, shocked as I was. I still don’t know why but all I know is that I grabbed my bag, picked up the burger, threw it right at his face, and jumped out of the car before he could say anything. I sprinted the two or three remaining blocks to my apartment, running up the stairs and slamming the door shut. I sat leaning against it, crouched almost, for almost thirty minutes to be sure he wasn’t going to come murder me. I eventually made and ate a turkey sandwich and went to sleep; that was the first night in the weeks we’d been broken up that I didn’t miss sleeping next to him.
SARAH JAROSZ - BUILD ME UP FROM BONES
Not Aubrey Plaza.
Juana Giaimo: This is the first time I’m hearing her, so I can’t really compare it with other Sarah Jarosz material, but I can say that this song makes me want to know more about her. It’s not only her soothing voice or the mild changing intensities of the guitar, but the perfect combination of everything (including the sunny day I can see through my window as I write this) that fuses the melody to an innately natural and peaceful feeling.
Mallory O’Donnell: Bluegrass touches might be obvious in the fingerpicking and vocal range, but that music resonates more interestingly in the close miking and wide panning of acoustic instruments. It’s a technique that coaxes warm, pleasing, and sometimes unexpected tones from these organic sources and creates a lot of space and atmosphere with what is essentially a very limited sonic palette. Overutilized, it quickly becomes muddy and cloying, and the strange and surprising tones get overwhelmed by a kind of hayseed schmaltz. This happens to a degree here, but it’s more Texas Hill County Sarah McLachlan than Appalachian Celine Dion. A good song that’s been poorly used by its’ producers, then.
Edward Okulicz: The fiddle’s not just there for show; each distinct passage is a beautiful melody in its own right that underscores and enhances the words. It’s so intimate and delicate, but with a vocal performance that has a perfectly understated strength to it, as much torch song or pop ballad as bluegrass.
Will Adams: The music mirrors the lyrics beautifully. A basic fingerpicking pattern is joined by pizzicato strings and bass guitar. Later, the simple harmony winds its way into unfamiliar territory. Guiding everything along is Sarah Jarosz’s warm timbre, which recalls Shawn Colvin at her most affecting. By the end, there’s something undeniably raw and human.
Brad Shoup: She hangs those shaded autumnal chords over the small serration of violin and palm muting. It’s a fine portrait of devotion, presented as a matter of fact. It’s also a tribute to the slower seasons.
Alfred Soto: She’s got the right touch: a weary voice sweetened by fiddle and cello. Working out the emotions line by line, Jarosz gives the impression she’s built her song from bones.
Anthony Easton: The fiddle here is modulated and so it becomes irregular, and the irregularization of it works at an oblique angle to her voice, which fits quite comfortably into the dobro and mandolin. It’s not an unusual arrangement in the Appalachian tradition, but this does not seem to be caught in amber. It might be that an earnest love song does not end in death, it might be her voice, her epic, intimate, lovely voice, but there is something both ancient and modern in how the song is constructed. You can run the matrilineal line — Dolly around the time of “Me and Little Andy,” middle period Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and “Elvis Presley Blues” — but like Appalachia itself, tradition and a desire intermingle with a profligate splendor. This is not to say that the work is not her own, or that her performance choices and those of her musicians are not unique, because she has a voice that’s just floating into a carefully-constructed self identity.
Some days ago I said that I had some news to tell you that made me very excited and it’s that I’m now a writer for The Singles Jukebox!! I think that I discovered them around a year ago because they reviewed the singles of Javiera Mena and I then got to know that there is actually music from all around the world, which I think it’s awesome. I truly couldn’t be happier to contribute (even if when reading what the others wrote is enough for me to feel I’m a disaster, but hopefully I’ll get better!).
COSENTINO: I am constantly watching Seinfeld. I take it on tour all the time and I literally have all of them on DVD but my DVD collection is so disorganized so I’ll like find four discs laying on the ground and it’ll literally be the same four discs I took on the tour before so I’m like, “Ok, I have to watch the Junior Mint episode for the ninetieth time.” But that episode is one of those things that I can put on and watch it over and over again and it’s not annoying and doesn’t bother me. It’s comfort food to me. I emotionally eat Seinfeld. I just put it on and I feel so much better. Recently, though… I was never really into The Simpsons when I was growing up but within the last few years, I’ve gotten really into The Simpsons. So I’ve been watching Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Sopranos, and Martin, and they’re my go-to shows right now. They’re all weird and don’t really make sense together…