Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...

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Joie Jager-Hyman
Kidz Today: My Humps
4 Comments | posted April 25th, 2007 at 10:19 am by Joie Jager-Hyman

What you gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside that trunk?
I’m gonna get you drunk off my hump.
What you gonna do with all that ass, all that ass inside them jeans?
I’m gonna make you scream, make you scream.

When Alanis Morrissette heard these lyrics from the Black Eyed Peas’ song My Humps, she must have thought “there are words that really make a statement.” So she got all hooched-out Fergie-style and sang the song in a wildly popular You Tube video.

WATCH THE VIDEO.

Alanis’s interpretation has been seen by an estimated 5.5 million viewers, and it is currently the most popular video on the web. Now everyone wants to know WHY? What’s so good about it?

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: The Power Of Ritual
7 Comments | posted April 05th, 2007 at 09:41 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

“Ritual gives structure to chaos,” says Judy Davis, author of Who’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This Anyway. “It’s a form of communal holding. All who light candles in this way are connected, part of a family, part of something larger.”

It’s the morning after the second night of Passover, and we’re sitting in her kitchen, eating Matzo Brei covered with real maple syrup. Delicious.

She goes on to explain, “All rituals have open and closed parts. Everyone usually agrees about the closed parts. A Christmas tree on Christmas. A turkey on Thanksgiving. Open parts are the ways in which we can contribute our signature stamp, personalize the structure.”

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Origin of Love
5 Comments | posted April 05th, 2007 at 05:09 pm by Cristina Pippa

This time eavesdropping was the last thing on my mind. I was about to cross the street when the conversation behind me brought me to a halt. I had a walk sign, there were no cars coming, but I stood there on the corner for you, Crucial Minutiae, snatching a bit of real life soap opera on a park bench. Okay, I’ll admit it. It was my own curiosity that caused me to turn and look at the preppy kid whose hand was inching toward the neck of a wide-eyed brunette.

“Oh, my girlfriend. She’s just mad because I’m taking you home with me. But I said I would, and I’m going to. You know? I mean, she should know I love her.”

Love. On the tennis courts, it means zero. Off the courts it can mean everything– or still zero. It’s a word packed with meaning and forever open to interpretation. Some use it frivolously while others are scared to use it at all. Many believe it can never be conveyed enough and make a habit of ending every phone call with a mention of it. Americans throw it around as a compliment or an expression of taste too. “I love that sweater!” “He loves pies.” “Don’t you just love it when she says that?”

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Then Jesus was like…
4 Comments | posted March 29th, 2007 at 09:24 am by Cristina Pippa

PRIEST: So the Pharisees brought this adultress before Jesus, and they were like, “Adultery is punishable by stoning. Are you gonna break that law?” And Jesus was like, “Yo, whoever is without sin can be the one to cast the first stone.” Then Jesus was totally alone with this woman and he was all, “Who are your accusers?” And she was like, “No man, Lord.” So Jesus was like, “I won’t accuse you either. Go, get outta here, and try not to sin.”

Most of my experiences with the Catholic Church have been in Sardinia– where my cousins still celebrate saints’ days because the solemn parading of the saint and his/her relics is usually accompanied by a carnival with giant blocks of torrone and fun houses pumping techno music. So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised last Sunday when I visited a very liberal Catholic Church (yes, it seems that those actually do exist in America) where amid full regalia of cloaks and candles, the priest spoke like he was reporting on a tailgate party the night before.

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Felice Belle
A Loss for Words
1 Comment | posted March 27th, 2007 at 09:07 pm by Felice Belle

totally avril

“She’s like so whatever.”
– Avril Lavigne, from the single Girlfriend.

Never before has a song lyric been used to communicate so little.

p.s. Full disclosure: Two days after posting this, I made Girlfriend the song on my myspace page. Damn you and your catchy pop music, Avril.

Kate Torgovnick
Where did you come from Cotton Eye Joe?
1 Comment | posted March 23rd, 2007 at 01:06 pm by Kate Torgovnick

This morning I did my first ever radio interview, and as producer put me on hold, the music had to be my personal 8th ring of hell. It was “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex played on repeat. For. five. minutes.

This happens to be the worst song on the planet. If you are not familiar, listen to it here, but I warn you that your ears may bleed. Let me tell you a story about this song. It was camp, sometime in the late mid-nineties. And everyone was listening to this horrible song constantly all summer. So for our camp talent show, I asked the counselor responsible for the Rednex CD if I could borrow it for my skit. Foolishly, he didn’t ask what my talent was. Because when my turn came in the show, I got on stage and smashed the evil CD with a hammer. I felt bad afterwards so I gave the counselor $20, but still, it was one of the crowning achievements of my life.

Oh, and this is the kind of thing you find out when you Google “rednex.” Evidently, they’re a Swedish band? What the heck? —Kate

Florian Duijsens
Loney, Dear’s punctuated Scandinavian pop
2 Comments | posted March 22nd, 2007 at 06:10 pm by Florian Duijsens

After The Pipettes’ fabulous encore, I hopped into my waiting car service (or probably someone else’s) and rushed through downtown Brooklyn to sneak into Union Hall’s sightline-challenged basement. Thank the gods, Loney, Dear had only just started their set. What you need to know about this Swede is that he is quite relentless. Already four albums into his short one-man-band (expanded to four on stage) career, his latest, “Loney, Noir” is pop almost to a fault.

Laden with cheery hooks and brassy Sufjan-strumentation, the album is precise and hopeful even in the face of mild tragedy, a state of mind that can be a bit much for those who sometimes like their sentiments sloppy and slushy. On closer inspection, the songs always undercut their own pop-bravado. “I Am John,” the free mp3 offered by Sub Pop is undeniably the album’s tour-de-force in peppy relentlessness (sparkly xylophone included), but Emil Svanängen’s lyrics hint at a tragic romantic realism when he follows the chorus’ “Never gonna let you down” with the downer line, “but i will always let you down.”

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Florian Duijsens
The Pipettes’ Brooklyn charm offensive
3 Comments | posted March 20th, 2007 at 03:27 pm by Florian Duijsens

After the ridiculous cool-concert drought of February 2007, I was more than enthusiastically snapping up tickets to the many SXSW-related shows happening all over NYC in March. Belatedly realizing, after clicking the ‘Confirm Payment’ button, that I had bought tickets for two shows happening on the same night. Moreover, the first was happening in Williamsburg, the other in Park Slope, a true Brooklyn logistics horror.

Sure enough, my double-booked evening did not start well, I stood in the lush Luna Lounge anxiously hoping The Pipettes would start on time so I could make it to the nerdy Union Hall in time for the uniquely Swedish indie-pop of Loney, Dear (but more on the Swedes in my next post). The Pipettes were late, and nervous; their tech-guys checking up on the same keyboard five times. The suspense was killing me, I hardly even noticed my teen-idol, the ever-present ex-Pumpkin James Iha, lounging around behind me. Still, when girl-group-goddesses Gwenno, Becki, and Rose stepped on the stage, dressed in three different, but equally polka-dotted dresses, all was forgiven. The group performed choreographed literal dancemoves, democratically alternated on vocals, awkwardly said ‘cheers’ between songs, and in the process played all my favorite tracks off “We are The Pipettes“.

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