Andrew in Drag ukulele chords

Love at the Bottom of the Sea is finally out, and I am predictably ecstatic.

More on the actual album later, when I have had time to process, but for now, I'm posting these chords because I have scoured the internet for them and not found any to my satisfaction. You could capo it and play C, D, G instead of B, C, F but this is still easy on the uke. The way blogger publishes these takes out the spaces between the chords, so you will have to figure that part out but the emphasis is pretty obvious.

These are based on this video of Stephin playing the song in his hotel room:

Andrew in Drag chords

F Dm F

a pity she does not exist
a shame he's not a fag
the only girl i ever loved
was andrew in drag
there is no hope of love for me
from here i'll go stag
the only girl i'll ever love is andrew in drag

andrew in draggggggg
C C7
andrew in drag
andrew in draggggggg

i don't know why i even went
its really not my bag
just thought it might be funny to see
andrew in drag
the moment he walked on that stage
my tail began to wag
wag like a little weiner dog
for andrew in drag

andrew in draggggg
C C7
andrew in drag
andrew in draggggg

i've always been a ladies man
and i don't have to brag
but i've become a mommas boy
for andrew in drag
i've signed away my trust fund
i would even sell the jag
if i could spend my misspent youth
with andrew in drag

andrew in draggggg
andrew in drag
andrew in draggggg

so stick him in a dress
he's the only boy i shag
the only boy i'd anything
is andrew in drag
i'll never see that girl again
he did it as a gag
i'll pine away forever more
for andrew in drag


Andrew in Drag/ When Next in Love 7"

My Andrew in Drag/When Next in Love 7" came in the mail today, to my great delight.

Since I've already written about "Andrew in Drag," I'll share some thoughts about the b-side, "When Next in Love." Michael over at Aging Spinsters has kindly transcribed the lyrics for us. Understandably, the record did not come with a lyric sheet. "When Next in Love" will also not be on the upcoming record, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, so there are rare chances to hear it.

The song is definitely a b-side. I would call it a necessary but insufficient component of Stephin Merritt's oeuvre. As with "Andrew in Drag," I am ecstatic to have Stephin back on vox. This track is a little sing-songy, but that is not at all a criticism. I will probably have it stuck in my head for a couple of days. It maintains the sardonic wit and cynicism about love that we have grown accustomed to from Mr. Merritt. I especially love the verse,

When next in love I fall,
I'll give it three minutes
just like a song.
I'll give it just that long to live
before before
before before
before before
it all goes wrong.
You can hear samples from each song here.


"the only girl i'll ever love is Andrew in drag"

Listen to "Andrew in Drag," from The Magnetic Fields' upcoming (10th!) album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea!!!

I always say my gender/queer studies education begins and ends with Stephin Merritt, with slight detours through Foucault, Butler, Sedgewick, and graduate school.


Love at the Bottom of the Sea

The new album from The Magnetic Fields was just announced. Love at the Bottom of the Sea will be released in March, with a tour happening all through the spring. Synth is back! TMF are playing SXSW!

You can pre-order the new album (including limited-edition, eggshell colored vinyl) on the Merge website, and buy tickets to the tour via the links on House of Tomorrow.

Track Listing:

  1. God Wants Us to Wait
  2. Andrew in Drag
  3. Your Girlfriend's Face
  4. Born for Love
  5. I'd Go Anywhere with Hugh
  6. Infatuation (with your gyration)
  7. Only Boy in Town
  8. The Machine in Your Hand
  9. Goin' Back to the Country
  10. I've Run Away to Join the Fairies (!!!)
  11. The Horrible Party
  12. My Husband's Pied a Terre
  13. I Don't Link Your Tone
  14. Quick!
  15. All She Cares About Is Mariachi


March 6 - HUDSON, NY | Helsinki Hudson
March 7 - PHILADELPHIA, PA | Union Transfer
March 14, 15, 16 - AUSTIN, TX | SXSW
March 18 - VANCOUVER, BC | The Vogue
March 19 - SEATTLE, WA | Neptune Theater
March 20 - SEATTLE, WA | Neptune Theater
March 21 - PORTLAND, OR | Roseland Theater
March 23 - LOS ANGELES, CA | Orpheum Theater
March 24 - OAKLAND, CA | Fox Theater
March 26 - CHICAGO, IL | Vic Theater
March 27 - CHICAGO, IL | Vic Theater
March 28 - IOWA CITY, IA | Englert Theater
March 30 - TORONTO ONT | Sound Academy
March 31 - MONTREAL, QUE | Le National
April 3 - NEW YORK, NY | Beacon Theater
April 6 - BOSTON, MA | Berklee Performance Center
April 7 - BOSTON, MA | Berklee Performance Center
April 9 - WASHINGTON, DC | The 930 Club
April 11 - CARRBORO, NC | Cat's Cradle
April 12 - CARRBORO, NC | Cat's Cradle
April 14 - ATLANTA, GA | Variety Playhouse


Hey ATL, whatcha doin' Monday night?

I'll tell you what you're doing. You're going to Wonderroot to see a fantastic band called The Shondes.

You're going to see the Shondes and fall in love because you love punk bands with violins and because their vocals sound like a grown up, east coast Agent M. And also because they have great style.

You're going to wake up the next day and listen to their new album, Searchlights, over and over because something deep inside of you kinda craves it. You're going to listen to it on the train or in your car with the windows down and people will notice you dancing a little bit because you can't help it.

Check out Ocean to Ocean, from Searchlights.


Okkervil River + Titus Andronicus, Variety Playhouse

I started this blog maybe six years ago when I was writing a senior honors thesis and needed space for non-academic writing. Somehow, it became vaguely academic, because I don't operate in any other mode, and eventually I just grew tired of keeping up with everything. That and I started blogging elsewhere about a number of other things. Now that I'm starting the dissertation, I'll probably come back to it again, because writing about music gets my other geeky juices flowing. And ew, get your mind out of the gutter.

For those of you who still have this thing in your google reader, you probably know that my favorite band is The Magnetic Fields, and that I dabble heavily in Mr. Merritt's other projects. Ranking bands always seemed silly to me, but at this point in my life, I can definitely say that my other favorite bands, in precisely this order, are now: 2. Okkervil River, 3. Titus Andronicus. There are of course, many others, but for now this is the holy trinity.

So I got to see the latter two tonight, and it was probably the 2nd best show I've ever seen, second to The Magnetic Fields in New York last March, which I consider to have been a truly religious experience.

In a lot of ways, Okkervil River and Titus Andronicus are perfect foils and that is precisely why this tour pairing works. Both have charismatic frontmen, a hot brunette lady, and some bearded fellows playing various instruments. But for all of the softness that imbues everything Will Sheff writes (no matter how dark), Titus Andronicus is loud, edgy, epic, and badass. This is a band that is not afraid of songs that are almost entirely instrumental, incredibly complex, and last like 14 minutes. They played kind of a short set, but it had all of my favorites, including "Richard II or Extraordinary Popular Dimensions and the Madness of Crowds," which, parenthetically, is one of the best rock songs written since In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

I saw Titus a few weeks ago on their last tour, kind of on accident. My mind was blown by their energy, the number of folks in their band who play multiple instruments simultaneously and extremely well, the wonderful scream-a-long quality of most of the songs, the genius use of piano, lyrical prowess, and just the general impression that they had their shit together. That was a longer set, one in which they played almost all of their songs and the crowd sang along happily. This set, though shorter, generated just as much frantic energy, with everyone jumping up and down and singing along. One gets the feeling, whether while being in the space of a live music venue or listening to a record at home, that whatever new genre is being produced by the complexity of these moments is one that is about painting landscapes of sound and telling real and fictive histories, all at the same time.

Just like this, actually:

That is also pretty much how I'd describe Okkervil River. A few months ago, when I had high tea with Stephin Merritt, he repeated a story I heard at their last show, in which he was in a store where they were playing an Okkervil River album. Stephin was so impressed that he believed himself to have found a nemesis with a near-equivalent ability to write lyrics and arrange instruments. High praise coming from a man who only likes a select number of very good things.

The set began and ended with songs from the new album, I Am Very Far. Frankly, I wasn't too obsessed with it until I heard these songs live. The album is kind of big and swelling compared to the more understated albums of theirs I prefer. But there was a lot of dancing and awesomeness, so I will accept it.

Other standouts were:
-"A Girl In Port" - the rest of the band left the stage for the first half of the song, leaving Will Sheff standing in a bright white spotlight. He was almost whispering the song while the rest of us stood there in silence. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen and heard. I still feel like that moment is giving me the kind of hug that leaves you breathless. They also did "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe," "John Allyn Smith Sails," and "A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene" from The Stage Names. I was really hoping they'd play "Plus Ones" but I don't remember them doing it.
-"A Stone" followed by "So I Come Back Waiting" - this was an amazing combination of two of my favorite songs from my favorite Okkervil River album. They were also played with just Sheff on stage. I never thought "A Stone" could sound so ethereal. "So I Come Back Waiting," a song I play a lot on the ukulele, was just so deeply satisfying to sing along to. Also from Black Sheep Boy, they also played "Song of Our So-Called Friend" and "Black." There is something deeply cathartic about these song, especially because I listened to this album a lot in a particularly difficult time of my life.
-From what I remember, they only did "Lost Coastlines" from The Stand-Ins, and it was during the encore.

Its been awhile since I've *really* been in love with music (excluding Stephin Merritt's) the way that I am now. So maybe I'll start writing about real things again soon, including my new album crush, I Am Very Far. Until then, enjoy this lovely cover of "Pop Lie" from Bird of Youth:


The Gaslight Anthem covers Kelly Clarkson

my first thought was, "...wtf?" but this is really beautiful.


2010: Year in Review

I've been delinquent with this blog for the last two years because graduate school has shifted my creative exploits elsewhere. Between sewing, getting ready to start an Etsy store, being a foodie, and learning to play the ukulele, there has not been a ton of time to listen to all of the music that nice people send me. At the same time, I've lost the energy and ability to pay attention to keep up with whatever the kids are listening to these days.

There were, however, a few noteworthy items that I wanted to put out there, in no particular order. These range from albums that are masterfully produced to those that were recorded onto individual tapes, packaged with handmade covers and full of tiny morsels of twee goodness. You'll see some running themes here, including my new-found love for alt country, my re-found love for late 70's/early 80's experimental new wave, and a bunch of Stephin Merritt action.

Groom: Marriage (streaming)
As I've mentioned before, Groom's last album, At the Natural History Museum, was nearly perfect in my estimation, in a weird way that appealed to my liking of a specific set of genres, so it may not have worked for everyone but I hope that it did. Their sophomore album, Marriage, surprised me by being original enough that it feels qualitatively different than the first, but is every bit as good lyrically and thematically. On a few rainy ATL days, when I've been burrowing inside my cave and feeling, at first, pretty misanthropic, Marriage has actually made me want to go out into the world and give someone a hug. There are so many layers of irony in that statement, not the least of which are the album title and its relation to the album content and my own opinions about the institution of marriage, but it is an enormous feat for anyone to pull that off without making me hate them.

These layers (of irony and other things, like bitterness, yearning, nostalgia's ghosts, and bits of humor) are exactly why I love Groom so much. From Marriage, I've learned a lot about patience, second chances, forgiving, being haunted, and letting go. A perfect soundtrack to the year.

Lucy Wainwright Roche: LUCY

This album earned a "HOLY CRAP" from me back in October, when I saw Lucy open for local indie folk favorites, Girlyman. She is sweet, sardonic, and charming, tells hilarious stories, and reminds me of one of my best friends, so naturally, I love her. The album reflects all of that ("honestly, you were less than a prince") while packing a good bit of Americana punch, including strong travel themes and songs of betrayal. Another near-perfect album that has added the perfect bit of humor to lonely porch sitting on balmy autumn nights.

A few notable things from Stephin Merritt, who hates indie rock but masters it nonetheless:

For those of you who know me or have been following the blog for some time, you know that I've been a Stephin Merritt fan since I was a very young teenager. Without gushing too much about it, I got a chance to meet Stephin for a couple of hours last week over high tea, which was a surreal experience to say the least. Sitting in this Edith Wharton-esque tea parlor surrounded by silk wallpaper and old ladies in pretty frocks, we made lots of zombie jokes, talked about the instrumentation for the new album, and discussed contemporary urban life. I don't have much of note to report because I was trying to avoid talking about music the whole time. I can say, however, that he is working on new songs with electronic instruments that are not synthesizers and that there is an electric ukulele bass involved which basically sounds like what Stephin would be if he were an instrument.

It was my third trip to NYC this year, and the second related to TMF (the first being my spring break trip to see them back in March). Overall, it has been a very good TMF year for me, and also a productive year for Stephin. I've already written about Realism in some detail, so I won't rehash anything except to say that I am glad for the return of electronic instruments, which we haven't seen enough of since before 69 Love Songs.

Also this year, Stephin scored 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and the soundtrack to his musical, Coraline, was also released on CD. Fun fact about that: if you saw the musical in New York in 2009, you definitely noticed that the set was constructed entirely of toy pianos. I asked Stephin if this was a deliberate part of the set design aesthetic and he said that he required so many toy pianos that he suggested the pianos be prominent in the set display. The designer liked it so much that they adopted it, even adding a bunch of toy pianos that were never used for playing music (all of which was written by Stephin except for the parts where the mice sing, because that was already in the book). The musical's showing on the West Coast, however, has a completely different set design.

Back to albums you should check out:

Jews and Catholics: Who Are? We Think We Are!
I've mentioned these guys before. If think you will have any appreciation for new wave layered upon 90's alternative, check this album out.

eskimeaux: Ixsixán (streaming)
Gabrielle from eskimeau wins major DIY points for packaging her tape in homemade paper and felt envelopes. Ixsixán means "I love you" in Tlingit and the album is like catching a whiff of a whisper and the jangle of wind chimes echoing in a canyon. Or maybe a little bit like if the same spirit channeled by Fleet Foxes had presented itself in a single woman and then decided to add a whole lot of epic fullness.

The Farewell Drifters: Yellow Tag Mondays

These guys are incredibly talented and put on a fantastic, energetic live show. The album is hardly quieter, and carries with it a lot of the authentic hootenanny feel of seeing them on the stage. I honestly never thought this was a genre I'd be into but Yellow Tag Mondays has changed everything.

Birds and Arrows: Starmaker
Channeling a little bit of the Submarines and Mates of State but original enough to keep you interested.

Humble Tripe: Counting Stars
These dreamy, auditory landscapes nevertheless feel as intimate as sitting in someone's bedroom while they cry.

Anthologies that were good this year:
Kevin Dunn: No Great Lost

This dude came to a local record store this year a few months after I received this album and it was kind of epic. I was frankly unaware that there was apparently some kind of new wave history woven into the very fabric of the city, but if you are into that kind of thing, you'll agree that The Fans probably gave the B-52's a run for their money.

Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox

Chris Knox has had an obvious influence on a lot of bands I really like (Tullycraft, anyone?), and when he had a stroke, a bunch of musicians I really like contributed a song to this benefit collection, from Stephin Merritt to the late Jay Reatard to Jeff Magnum, Lou Barlow, and Yo La Tengo.

Other than that, I've enjoyed some Deerhunter action, a bit of Yeasayer and Bell & Sebastian, even a little bit of The National, but don't have anything particularly new to contribute to those conversations.

Happy 2011, everyone!



I have given up entirely on making end of year lists because, frankly, who gives a damn? I don't.

But I did want to say that a year ago right now, I was highly anticipating Realism, the most recent album from my favorite band, The Magnetic Fields. A year later, I am 1. kind of amazed that it has been that long. What a bizarre year! 2. Highly, highly, highly anticipating tomorrow's 5:00 p.m., when I will be having high tea with Stephin Merritt as the culmination of my third trip to NYC this year.


That is all.


Bodies of Water: I Don't Believe in the Sun (cover)

Stop what you are doing and go listen to it now!!!


Holy crap, Lucy Wainwright Roche!

My neighborhood has this folk club that's kind of a big deal and the Indigo Girls used to play there blah blah blah. I go there sometimes to see folks like the Farewell Drifters and Girlyman, who are now local to me. The latter were the headliners tonight, and they were amazingly funny and charismatic.

But I was totally blown away by Lucy Wainwright Roche, whose shy, awkward, and perfectly timed sense of humor was matched with an incredible songwriting capability and such.a.gorgeous.voice. You know the kind of love at first sight that makes you feel like you've been punched in the face? Yeah. Like that. I'm a sucker for quiet, sad, acoustic folk and this is all of that at its best.

Her album will be released this Thursday in New York. Then she'll be traveling to open for the Indigo Girls, who appear on her album along with some of her famous family members and so forth. Oh yeah, she's also Rufus Wainwright's sister.


Tegan and Sara cover Bad Religion

You heard me. Check it out over at Paste.



Eyad Zahra's Taqwacores is the film version of the book by M. Knight of the same name. It tells the story of a good Muslim boy who goes to live in a Muslim punk rock house. The house is inhabited by a straight edge kid, a Shi'a skinhead, a burqa-wearing feminist, a skater kid, and a late '70's punk, all of whom practice Islam in deeply personal and often seemingly controversial ways. It is a really fantastic film--the best drama I've seen this year. It takes up many feminist issues in both subtle and sharp ways, including one scene in which a woman leads prayer. Beyond that, it has a lot of elements of your standard Bildungsroman but with the added twist of a character coming of age in a subcultural world, rather than one that is mainstream or given. It also treats the subject of religion with a great deal more complexity and attention to identity than what one hears in most debates over the existence of God and so forth.

I'm looking forward to seeing the documentary produced about Michael Knight and the Taqwacore scene that emerged as a result of his book.


The only thing I will write about Scott Pilgrim

because we all know what happens when I begin rants about my giant crush on Michael Cera...yeah...C'mon, we're all grown-ups. Anyway, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was basically exactly like reading the comics, which in this case was a good thing. Unlike Heroes or all of the movie versions of Marvel comics, the film really expressed the dynamism of the original comics, which were more like a screen-by-screen visual representation of a video game happening inside a young man's head than anything else. Knives Chau was perfect, kind of terrifyingly so at times, and the evil ex's were very, very evil. The nerdiest part was Michael Cera's tall, lanky body performing outrageous ninja moves, which made him into some kind of DDR/Adam West hybrid creature. Yeah, pretty nerdy. Kieran Caulkin was dry and witty, as usual. I watched Scott Pilgrim in a theater in Canada, which made me notice the American self-deprecation for the first time.

Oh, so the thing I was going to say:
The soundtrack was actually pretty good. Beck wrote a bunch of the songs performed in the actual thing and there is a bunch of other stuff on there, including the Black Lips and a funny cameo by Broken Social Scene.