Saturday 9: Son of a Preacher Man

Saturday 9: Son of a Preacher Man (1968)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This song was originally offered to Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. What’s the most recent thing that you said “no” to? Putting in overtime at work over the weekend for double the usual overtime rate, but only because I was dog-sitting and couldn’t reasonably squeeze in a few hours.
2) Two years later, Aretha recorded “Son of a Preacher Man.” What’s something you changed your mind about? I feel like I’m frequently changing my mind based on new information. Not being indecisive, just informed.

3) This song tells the tale of Billy Ray, a young man who could be very persuasive. If we wanted to change your mind about something, would you be more easily swayed by an emotional argument, or with verifiable facts? Facts, completely. I usually feel manipulated by emotional appeals.
4) If you ordered a “Son of a Preacher Man” in a bar, you’d get a cocktail made with peppermint schnapps, gin and lemonade. When did you last have lemonade? Was it just lemonade, or was it spiked with alcohol? It was probably just lemonade, for once, because I do really enjoy it in the summer. I’m known to drink it a lot at any sort of outdoor summer event.

5) Dusty had a thing for maps. She admired them artistically and enjoyed using them to take long car trips. Do you use printed maps? Or do you rely on technology, like GPS or Google Maps? Technology, but I’ll grant that I do still see a good use for paper maps. No battery or data to worry about.

6) As a girl, she attended convent school. There, one of the nuns discouraged Dusty from performing, telling her that if she would do better to be a mother or a librarian. When you were growing up, did the adults in your world encourage your dreams? Yes and no. I wasn’t strongly discouraged, but I wasn’t strongly encouraged, either, and my family certainly wasn’t thrilled about me choosing to major in English in college. But here I am, making a living and having the occasional piece published. Piece of advice: people leave you alone the second you make a little money/prove them wrong.

7) That nun inspired Dusty’s first major act of rebellion. In an attempt to make herself look less like a future librarian or housewife, she bleached her hair platinum blonde. In school, were you much of a rebel? Or did you conform to the expectations adults had of you? I definitely conformed more in school, especially when I was younger, because I hated getting in trouble. I wasn’t the type to act up. At home, though, I definitely pushed limits more, and as an adult, I feel like I still have that balance where I’m not doing anything bad, not doing anything that would get me in legal trouble, and not doing anything to hurt anyone, but I do things on my terms and don’t quite fall in line with certain societal expectations.

8) Early in her career, Dusty provided the entertainment at a family summer camp. She appeared on the bill with a clown, a fire-eater and a hypnotist. Have you ever been hypnotized? No, and I’m a little afraid to try.

9) Random question: Have you ever played matchmaker to your friends? If yes, did your efforts lead to romance? No, but I’ve expressed it when I thought two people might be good for each other, although never awkwardly in front of both of them together. It’s just never gone that extra step of actually setting something up.

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Friday 5: Makin’ It

  1. What skill seems like it would be really fun to learn? I keep saying I’m interested in taking up glass blowing.
  2. Which of the winter Olympic sports would you love to compete in? Curling!
  3. What fun craft did you make when you were a kid, in school or at camp or somewhere else? I don’t know. I remember not really liking art-project stuff in school, and I know things that were more crafty than artsy I did like more, but none of them really stand out.
  4. If everyone in the world is the best in the world at some very specific thing, what are you most likely the best at? Being me, which I realize is a cliched answer, but still!
  5. What’s something you own that was handmade by someone you know? My best friend makes jewelry, so I have a lot of things she’s made me over the years, including my wedding jewelry in August. And one of my favorite wedding gifts was an afghan crocheted by my sister-in-law’s best friend, and it’s big, soft, and warm and I love it. I have a lot of handmade things lurking around the apartment, really.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Get Down Tonight

Saturday 9: Get Down Tonight (1975)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) Tonight, KC has three things on his “to-do” list: do a little dance, make a little love and get down. Tell us three things you’d like to accomplish this weekend. Writing articles for Thanksgiving event coverage that are technically far overdue, writing thank-you notes from the wedding that are still within reasonable etiquette range but too for out for my liking, and cleaning that rarely gets done.

2) This week’s song is considered emblematic of disco, a genre that had as many detractors as fans. Is there a kind of music you simply cannot stand? No. I’m a firm believer that every genre has something someone will like, it’s just a matter of finding it. I have my genres I listen to significantly less, but I still found great artists in them.

3) Before becoming a musician, KC, aka Harry Casey, worked in a record store. In those days, record stores were very popular. Peaches, Coconuts, Sam Goody and Tower Records are four store chains that once dotted the landscape but now are gone. Today, if you wanted to purchase a CD, where would you turn? I’d either go into Pittsburgh to one of the great record stores there, or I’d go back to where my parents’ live to a surviving FYE. There’s also one out in Greensburg about the same distance away, so that’s an option, but I’m obviously near my parents more often.

4) One of his duties at the record store was unloading the big corrugated shippers filled with LPs. What’s the heaviest thing you’ve lifted lately? A mini washing machine full of water and clothes. Lifted it up to the edge of the tub to drain.

5) KC is proud that he’s lived his entire life in Miami-Dade County. Do you expect to change your address in the next year or so? Yes. If it’s not a house, it’s gonna be a bigger, nicer, and better-run apartment.

6) In 1975, the year this song was popular, former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, never to be seen again. Many theories flourish about what may have happened to him. Is there a famous criminal case that has a hold on your attention? There’s not one single one I keep going back to, but I enjoy true-crime stories in general. I’m fascinated by what makes people do the things they do and then how people figure it out and catch them.

7) Jaws was the most popular movie of 1975. Are you afraid of sharks? Yes. It’s not a paralyzing fear–I’ll still go in the ocean–but it’s in the back of my mind. It’s not just sharks, though. Oceans and large bodies of water in general that are very deep freak me out a little when I think about what could be down there.

8) Actress Angelina Jolie was born in 1975. People magazine once named her “most beautiful.” Who is the most beautiful woman you can think of? I’ve got lots of beautiful friends and family.

9) Random question: A wizard offers you a choice — would you like your life to stay as it is right now (in terms of your health, your career, your relationships and your finances) for the next 5 years, or would you like to take a chance that the future will be brighter? Take the chance!

Friday 5: Space

  1. Of all the spaces in your residence, which is most powerfully your space? It’s a tough call because I’m married and we’re in a small apartment, so neither of us really has a dedicated space that’s our own. But when we’re doing our own thing in the evening, on our computers or reading and whatnot, I tend to park on the couch and he goes back on the bed. And we’re still within reasonable speaking distance.
  2. What’s the most spacious space in your everyday life? God. Nothing? I guess the living room in my apartment, but there’s not really a lot of space.
  3. What’s a good song about space? I’m thinking of “Space” by Something Corporate, but if we’re talking about, like, the cosmos, I’ll just go with Sufjan Stevens’ Planetarium EP. Or Bowie’s “Space Oddity” or “Starman” or “Life on Mars?” Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” Or Flight of the Conchords’ “Bowie’s in Space.”
  4. What’s under your bed? A box of my husband’s clothes and God knows what else.
  5. What are your thoughts on typing one or two spaces after sentences? One space. Two is outdated and unnecessary.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Suddenly I See

Saturday 9: Suddenly I See (2005)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
1) This song is a tribute to Patti Smith, the rocker who inspired KT Tunstall. What woman has inspired you? My mom and all the badass women in my family.

2) In this video, you can see a turntable and an LP. When is the last time you played a record? It’s been a while–I don’t own a record player, nor do I have space for one.

3) Growing up, Ms. Tunstall seldom sang at home because her father is severely hearing impaired and music interfered with his sensitive hearing aid. Do you, or does anyone in your family, wear a hearing aid? Nope.4) In high school, she got experience performing on street corners. Have you ever tipped a street musician? I have, and when I have small bills on me, I do. I think some people don’t have a great attitude about it, but they are performing, and some street performers are really talented–I’m a big fan of living statues in particular. Some other successful musicians have done it. And if you want to tip but don’t typically carry cash, there’s an app I just found out about called Bravo that lets you securely do it on your phone without exchanging personal info.

5) When this song was popular, Microsoft introduced the Xbox 360 to North America. Are you into gaming? Kind of. I do play, but I tend to focus on one game at a time. Occasionally, I get really wrapped up in one–that’s what happened with the entire BioShock series. I fucking love those games. I even have BioShock jewelry.

6)  In 2005, Prince Charles married his long-time love, Camilla Parker Bowles. At the time of their wedding, 73% of Brits said they disapproved of her. Today, her popularity has increased somewhat and her disapproval has dropped to 55%. Do you know anyone who married someone you didn’t like? Did their spouse grow on you with time? I can’t think of anyone who’s married someone I didn’t like, although I can think of people whose spouses later got really shitty or significant others I didn’t like. It actually tends to be the opposite at first–I like them, and then they get worse and worse. When it comes to people “growing on you,” sometimes I think that just means you got used to bad behavior.
7) Harry Potter ad the Goblet of Fire was popular in theaters. Who is your favorite “Harry Potter” character? Sirius Black, Lupin, and Tonks, in that order. Tonks would be higher if she’d had more time in the books, honestly, plus Sirius was the first one I really loved. You don’t move on from your first love.

8) In 2005, YouTube was introduced by three young men who met while working at PayPal. What’s the last thing you paid for using PayPal? Just this morning, I went on eBay and bought Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold box set. I’ve had my eye on that thing for years and finally got around to buying it.

9) Random Question: After a long, exhausting day of travel, you check into a motel. The room is not at all to your liking. It’s next to the ice machine, so you can hear cubes dropping noisily into metal buckets. Your view is of the parking lot. The bathtowels and thin and tiny. In short, you feel like you’re being ripped off. Do you grab your bag, turn on your heel and check out, hoping there are better accommodations nearby? Or do you say, “What the hell, it’s only one night,” and climb into bed? I deal with it. I don’t sleep great away from home anyway, and if it’s just a place to rest, I honestly don’t care if there are a few things I didn’t like. The ice machine might be a problem since I have trouble sleeping as it is, but then at the same time, how much does that really matter, then?

Friday 5: Functions

  1. What are you holding your breath in anticipation of? Seeing Regina Spektor next week. The list of musicians I haven’t seen live is getting smaller and smaller, but I’ve never seen her!
  2. What most recently gave you goosebumps? Being cold, which is how I’d answer this question 99% of the time.
  3. What’s giving you that pain in the neck? I had a literal pain in the neck the other day, sort of right at the bottom of my head on the right from sleeping funny. Figuratively, I have a bunch of articles due again, but this time, it wasn’t my fault–when they were assigned to me, something went wrong and they weren’t showing up in my dashboard, and by the time we figured it out, almost all of them were late. And still are, but at least I know I have some leeway.
  4. What’s making your heart ache? I’m not sure. Maybe nothing?
  5. What are you yawning at? Ha, I’ve yawned a couple times since starting these questions. It’s the end of the week, it’s about time for bed, and I am pretty tired.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Monster Mash

Unfamiliar with this week’s featured song? Hear it here.
1) In your younger days, did you ever trick or treat while dressed as a monster or ghoul? Not that I can think of–I might’ve had a costume as a toddler where I was a devil, albeit an adorable one, but my Halloween costumes tended to be less scary.

2) Do you enjoy being frightened by celluloid boys-gone-bad, like Michael Myers (Halloween) or Jason (Friday the 13th)? In terms of slasher movies, not really–they just don’t do it for me, for whatever reason. I think it’s that I just don’t find them particularly interesting.
3) When you were a kid, did you ever TP a neighbor’s house or indulge in any other Halloween acts of vandalism? (Don’t worry, the statute of limitations is up.) Nope.
4) Will you be attending any Halloween parties this year? If so, will you dress up? Maybe. We were invited to one, but it’s Sunday night and that’s a work night. We’re also stopping by both sets of parents’ houses, and that tends to suck up the whole day.
5) Can you see any Halloween decorations as you answer these 9 questions? No, because I didn’t put any up. There’s no room in this little apartment. Check with my next year, when so help me God I will have either a house or better apartment.

6) While Halloween is most popular in the United States and Canada, and isn’t really celebrated at all in Japan or South Korea. How would you explain our Halloween customs to a visitor from another land? I’d probably just say you dress up and people give out candy, then do my best to answer their inevitable questions.

7) “Monster Mash” is one of Halloween’s most played songs. Are you happy to hear it every year? Or does it set your teeth on edge? I’m indifferent, I guess. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. I don’t really mind hearing it, because I do like songs that set the mood for a season. And no, that does not mean starting Christmas music November 1.
8) This week’s featured artist, Bobby “Boris” Pickett, started as a stand-up comedian who incorporated his imitations of Boris Karlof and Bela Lugosi into his act. Can you impersonate anyone? Not really. I mean, maybe, but it’s not like there’s one I do particularly well or that I’m, like, known for.

9) Dick Clark was an impossibly young looking 33 in this week’s featured clip. Are you often told you look good for your age? Not good, but young. I’m 28 but can probably pass for a few years younger, although I have noticed I get carded a little less when I drink. But I have a theory that the wedding ring is a tip-off and that sometimes, your demeanor and the drink you order can clue in the server as to whether or not you’re underage.