Lykke Li: Boston 10/23/08

On Thursday night, I saw Swedish indie pop artist Lykke Li perform at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. After a set by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Lykke Li emerged onto the dimly lit stage in an oversized black hoodie and launched into a captivating performance. She sang a mix of songs from her debut album Youth Novels along with some covers, which she said were fun to sing. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” During “Little Bit,” she switched up the lyrics and exclaimed, “I’m a little bit in love with Boston.” She was full of energy and charmed the audience with her beautiful voice and cool dance moves. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she explained, “I just move, I wouldn’t even call it dancing. It’s just letting go of emotions.” Whatever it is, it definitely works. Here is the video for her first hit, “Little Bit”:

Lykke Li recently released an alternate video for “Breaking Up” that you can find here. You can also find a free download of “Tonight” at her official website and a remix of “Little Bit” at Pitchfork.


October 27, 2008 Posted by | Music | , | Leave a comment

Hanson: Foxboro 10/19/08

The Walk Around The World Tour (from night was a reminder that no matter how I feel on the day of a Hanson concert, I can’t be anything but insanely happy once Isaac, Taylor and Zac walk out onto the stage. It’s been a little over a year since my last Hanson concert (Philadelphia, 9/27/07). Over the past 11 years, I have continued to be amazed by Hanson’s passion, talent and dedication to the music and their fans, and the show in Foxboro on Sunday night did not disappoint. The set list was amazing, Hanson seemed to be having a blast, and nothing can match the energy of a room full of Hanson fans singing along to a band we’ve been following for over a decade. After opening with a few upbeat songs, Hanson toned it down a notch and played a beautiful acoustic set. Taylor took the opportunity to share some of his experiences traveling to Africa and introduced a song based on his trip. Several times throughout the show, Taylor thanked the fans who took part in the walk and urged the audience to take action to fight poverty in Africa. After Zac and Isaac’s solos, Hanson launched into Yearbook, which was introduced into their set last year and was definitely one of the highlights of the night. Other highlights included Get Up and Go, Blue Sky, and SoulShine, an amazing cover that I hadn’t heard before. For the encore, the two opening bands, Everybody Else and Dave Barnes, joined Hanson onstage for Long Way to the Top. One of the guys did a handstand, Taylor jumped off of his piano, the crowd went crazy and most of the fans probably lost their voices. It was a great end to a memorable night.

Here is the set list (taken from here):

1. Somethin Goin’ Round
2. Hole in my Life (cover)
3. Great Divide
4. Get Up and Go
5. Follow Your Lead
6. Higher (cover)
7. Penny and Me (acoustic)
8. Deeper (acoustic)
9. Lay Me Down (acoustic)
10. Where Did It Start (Zac solo)
11. Everyday (Isaac Solo)
12. Yearbook (acoustic)
13. Blue Sky
14. Minute Without You
15. Can’t Stop
16. SoulShine (cover)
17. Running Man
18. Been There Before
19. MMMBop
20. Cried
21. If Only
22. Hey

23. Long Way to the Top (w/ Everybody Else & Dave Barnes)

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Hanson, Music | , | Leave a comment

Obama and McCain: The Final Debate

Tonight’s debate between Obama and McCain was very heated. No fist fights, but McCain was aggressive and kept pressing Obama. Obama remained calm and logical, and I think did a better job overall. Joe the Plumber seemed to be the focus of much of the debate. Some thoughts I jotted down while watching:

I really like the split screen. Great reaction shots.

Obama is wearing a red tie and McCain is wearing a blue tie. Is that intentional?

McCain keeps claiming that Obama will raise taxes. Obama sets the record straight and responds that “even Fox News disputes” McCain’s claim, “which doesn’t happen very often when it comes to accusations toward me.”

McCain gets aggressive when Obama talks about George W. Bush. He exclaims, “I am not President Bush.” I’m sure we’ll be seeing this clip replayed later.

In response to a question about negative campaigning, McCain says that Obama declined his request to do town hall meetings, as if that justifies McCain’s attack ads. Both candidates claim the other is running too many negative ads.

Obama says we need to have “tough, vigorous debates” and not “characterize each other as bad people.” McCain responds by bringing up Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers and ACORN. Obama explains why McCain’s allegations are ridiculous.

McCain calls Palin “a role model for women” and “a reformer.” I’m not impressed.

McCain says that Joe Biden is wrong on many foreign policy issues. Obama looks amused. Does McCain really think Palin is more qualified than Biden?

McCain repeats that Obama wants to spend more. Obama looks amused.

Obama gives a thoughtful response to a question about reducing our dependence on foreign oil. He states that we can’t “drill our way out of the problem.” McCain criticizes Obama for saying he will only “look at” offshore drilling. Drill, baby, drill.

McCain brings up Joe the Plumber yet again. I wonder what Joe is thinking right now.

Obama talks to Joe the Plumber. McCain looks shocked and then amused as Obama talks about health insurance. Obama attacks McCain’s plan. McCain is annoyed and talks to Joe again.

On Roe v. Wade, Obama talks about right to privacy and says that women are in the best position to make a decision.

McCain refers to a “pro-abortion” movement. He continues to say “pro-abortion.”

Obama refutes McCain’s claim that he voted “to withhold life-saving treatment from an infant.” Obama voted against the bill because the law was already in effect. This has already been covered before. Why is McCain still bringing this up?

Obama and McCain both think that having more charter schools will help create competition, but they disagree on vouchers. McCain talks directly to Obama about vouchers in a patronizing tone. Obama says data doesn’t show that vouchers help solve the education problem. McCain laughs.

McCain brings up town hall meetings and autism, which “Sarah Palin knows better than most.” McCain says “reform” a lot.

I like the moderator’s final words: “Go vote now. It’ll make you feel big and strong.”

Update: Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. Joe the Plumber, has been contacted by The Associated Press about his reaction to the debate. He said, “It’s pretty surreal, man, my name being mentioned in a presidential campaign.”

October 15, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin

Since John McCain announced his vice presidential pick on August 29, Sarah Palin has risen from relative obscurity and caused a media frenzy. Here are some blog posts and articles relating to Palin and feminism that I found interesting:

Shelly Mandell, President of NOW’s LA chapter, has endorsed Sarah Palin for Vice President. Feministe posted a video of the endorsement and made the following comment: “Having women in positions in power is crucial to empowering women more broadly; but when those women are anti-feminist, it’s not a feminist move to elect them.” Mandell states that Palin is an advocate for women’s rights, but she doesn’t give much evidence to support that claim. She mentions that Palin supports equal pay for women, but Palin told Katie Couric she is against the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Mostly, she just says that Palin will shake up Washington, which doesn’t seem likely considering her stances on feminist issues. Mandell’s statement was a personal endorsement, and NOW PAC officially endorses Obama/Biden.

An analysis of SNL’s VP debate skit. I found Aviva’s blog post via Feministe. I think the SNL skits parodying Palin have been hilarious, and I agree that it’s both funny and scary that some of the dialogue is taken verbatim from Palin’s interviews. Femiste remarked, “Next week, SNL is just going to overdub a laugh track on clips taken directly from the campaign trail.”

Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin. In this TIME article, Belinda Luscombe argues that some women loathe Palin for three reasons: she’s too pretty, too confident and could embarrass us. Luscombe bases her opinions on her experiences at an all-girls’ high school, and refers to women as “weapon-grade haters.” I really hope she’s not being serious.

Sarah Palin: Not a Feminist. Evil Slutopia details why Sarah Palin’s policies are anti-feminist.

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Feminism, politics | | Leave a comment