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Breakfast With Riley – Little Dragon

Morning came early today, courtesy of another almost-4.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault (a mile from my house, and this was the 5th quake in less than a week. Whoa.).
Fortunately, this morning’s breakfast music choice made almost as much of an impression. For your pleasure, allow me to present…Little Dragon.


I’m pretty late on coming around to these guys, mostly because I first heard of them a couple of months ago when a guest dj on the otherwise very excellent KALX was spinning a crummy remix of one of their songs, and I assumed that they sucked. So glad to find out I’m wrong!
I’m getting sort of a Lauryn Hill + Gary Numan + Billie Holiday vibe from them. You?

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Feels Like The First Time – How Did You Learn Lyrics?

I was talking to someone yesterday about what he called “foundational music”, the music that you’re listening to at that point in your life where you start to figure out what music actually, is, and what it means to you (usually around 8th or 9th grade, I think – though maybe you’re one of those precocious kids with older siblings who was listening to the Clash, or Ministry, or the Strokes when you were six).
singer songwriter steve miller rock'n me lyrics
Then he asked me an interesting question – “What was the first song you learned the lyrics to?” – which led me into a full-on, time-traveling nostalgia attack.
When I was 5, my parents bought me a radio for Christmas, and every night after they put me to bed (and I was supposed to be sleeping), I’d switch it on and stay up ’til midnight listening to KFRC, which was San Francisco’s AM hits station at the time.
I remember that they played a lot of Heart, Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac, Gerry Rafferty and Jefferson Airplane, but the song I really liked, that I’d stay up waiting to hear, was “Rock’n Me”, by the Steve Miller Band.
Why? Well, the melody is pretty sing-songy and memorable – perfect for a five year-old – but what I really dug was the part where he started reeling off the names of cities: “…Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma / Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A…” (What he was probably actually doing was obliquely cursing his booking agent, but I didn’t know that).
And then when he ended with “Northern California”, where I was living – well, that was just the greatest! Every time it came on, I listened to make sure that I had all the cities right, and in the right order, and I gradually learned the rest of the lyrics too.
What about you? Any first lyrics-related memories? Don’t be shy. I mean, I think I just copped to loving Steve Miller – there’s nowhere to go but up.

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Just Testing

Just testing the old blog plumbing here, folks. But please enjoy this photo, which I look for every excuse I can find to post.