When I was a kid, our next door neighbors had a Hammond organ. They used to let me play it but their sheet music selection was pretty limited.

Very limited.

Let’s put it this way: if you ever form a Jim Croce cover band and need some funky organ breaks for “Time in a Bottle,” I’m your girl.

I have no idea how this post was supposed to end because I went down a rabbit hole for a while. I was linking to Jim Croce’s website and the front page link for “dinner reservations” was deeply confusing until I discovered it led to the Croce’s Restaurant site. Croce’s Restaurant is closing in December. It’s in San Diego, I bet Batty has been there.

I should really get back to lecture writing. Or watching shitty movies. Ooh, my lecture is on urban legends, so I could watch the movie Urban Legends and multitask!

In the summer of 1981 my brother and I spent a lot of time at our cousins house. They had a TV. And cable. And they were cool. And on August 1st, they got MTV. And they got to stay up as late as they wanted, so we all watched it’s debut.

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I could spout some media and cultural theory bullshit about the dawn of MTV. Instead I’m just going to do what everyone else is doing and embed the moon landing station ID and the Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star,” because frankly, as a 5th grader, watching the debut of MTV didn’t fill me with any grand-eloquent sense of the future of music. I just thought it was cool.

Have you been following Maura Johnston and Christopher R. Weingarten’s countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010 over at the Village Voice? If not, now’s your chance to catch up. It’s worthy if only for the lengthy screed about their choice for #1 (worst) song, Train’s “Soul Sister.”

“Hey Soul Sister” is an orgy where bad ideas trade STDs, and the most syphilitic brain-fart stumbled in drunk from a Smash Mouth show. (For those of you who arrived late, Smash Mouth was a band from the late ’90s that was formed when a soul patch met cake frosting. Their wikki-wikki scratching and dorkpie hats did to music what blood-soaked clowns do to the dreams of sleeping children.) Listen to “Hey, Soul Sister” a few times and you’ll inevitably be reminded of the “whistling solo” from the Shrek house band’s inescapable “All Star.” From Smash Mouth, Train picked up an earworm that burrowed into society’s asshole, laid 4.7 million iTunes eggs, and gave birth to a grey cloud of banality that covers the Earth.

That’s one of the nicer things that can be said about that song. And I like ukuleles.

If you’d like to start at the beginning of the countdown, the front page is here.

(Link courtesy of Husband)

By now you’ve probably heard that Apple made a big fucking deal over their “unveiling” of an authorized Beatles catalog available as digital downloads.

I try not to fawn in obsessively creepy ways when he attends a pho dinner, but I think the Washington Post’s Faster Forward columnist Rob Pegoraro is an excellent tech journalist. His post about this topic was especially good:

The Beatles, their surviving heirs and their misguided management finally turned in their Flat Earth Society membership cards today, allowing the sale of their music as digital downloads on Apple’s iTunes Store. La-dee-freakin’-da.

I’m sorry, were you expecting congratulations here?

Pegoraro then outlines all of the mis-steps that the Beatles management made along the way to this allegedly historic moment.

If you can’t be bothered to go read that post, I think this tweet sums the whole absurd announcement pretty well:

The benefit concert for Dear New Orleans Monday night at the Black Cat was fantastically fun.

New Orleans legends Bonerama played house band and they’ve posted a summary of the night on their blog. Joining them onstage: Jean Cook (Beauty Pill), Jenny Toomey (Tsunami) Tim Quirk (Too Much Joy/Wonderlick), Alex Maiolo, Mike Mills (REM), Damian Kulash (OK Go), Rebecca Gates (Spinanes), Erin McKeown, Hank Shocklee (Bomb Squad/Public Enemy), Timothy Bracy, Jonny 5 (Flowbots), and Jill Sobule.

You can buy the Dear New Orleans disk at the DearNo.La site, on Amazon and on itunes.

The background noise makes it a little bit of a labor of love to listen to, but this short interview with the always-groovy Tim Quirk explains how this show came about. (If you give it a view & just embrace the background noise, you’ll experience what it was like to be in my head when I woke up the morning after the show).

About Dear New Orleans

Air Traffic Control has been co-hosting artist activism retreats in New Orleans for the last four years. To mark the 5 year anniversary of the storm and floods we thought it appropriate to produce a benefit album. We started by asking the 60 alumni artists who participated in the retreats if they’d be interested in donating a track for a benefit album – we had no idea over half of them would send us music.

We are grateful they did.

Some of the songs that appear on this album are specifically about the city, or the disaster. Others pay a more oblique tribute, and still others are songs that the artist played at the concert we close each retreat with.

Dear New Orleans is a letter of gratitude and promise to the city and her people — to never forget what happened and to continue to rebuild.

For more on Air Traffic Control visit www.atctower.net

Dear New Orleans Beneficiary Organizations

Proceeds from the sale of this album will be granted to New Orleans based nonprofits working to support and sustain the region’s unique musical and cultural traditions, and to protect and restore vital environmental and community resources for future generations, such as:

Sweet Home New Orleans
Gulf Restoration Network

The concert was produced by Air Traffic Control and the Future of Music Coalition in conjunction with the Future of Music Coalition’s 10th Anniversary Policy Summit.

Wednesday the 19th brings the return of the Artomatic Happy Hour:

Artomatic Happy Hour
Wednesday, May 19
5pm – 7pm
Bistro Bistro
1727 Connecticut Ave, NW

Also on Wednesday, Dave Mallen, founder of Innovation Station Music, hosts a monthly music business networking event at Whitlows on Wilson. I’m super-lazy today so I’m going to copy/paste from the email Dave sent out because it says it’s okay to forward it:

Just a reminder about this month’s Metro Music Source networking event, which will be held Wednesday, May 19th at Whitlow’s on Wilson in Arlington, VA at 6pm!

This is a great opportunity to connect with others in the DC area music community and have fun doing it! The Metro Music Source was founded nearly a year ago with the goal of bringing the disparate elements of the vibrant DC music scene together, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst music creators and music industry professionals, as well as helping to raise the profile of our music scene on a national level. ??In past months, MMS events have brought together local musicians, major and indie label executives, artist managers and marketing reps, record store managers, publicists, filmmakers, music publishers, producer/engineers, and more.

Whitlow’s is located at 2854 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA, 22201 (Metro: Clarendon). We’ll be meeting in the room with the 2 pool tables. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and sign up for the Iota open mic next door (sign up by 7pm and 10pm).

I hear these are great events and I swear someday I’m going to get to one. This week is pretty hectic, with every night triple-booked, so I know I’m not going to make it this time. There’s always June…