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Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

100 Songs I Love: 79-82

79. "I'm Waking Up to Us" (Belle & Sebastian)

Yet another song about a broken relationship on the list. You must think I spend my days wallowing in misery. In this song--my favorite by Belle & Sebastian--there is just enough snark and smirk to turn what could've been the typical "woe is me" proceedings into something both sarcastic and wistful at the same time.


80. "Title and Registration" (Death Cab for Cutie)

Let's keep wallowing, shall we?

Simply put, "Title and Registration" is one of my very favorite songs by one of my very favorite bands. If you've ever had your heart broken into a million pieces and your car does, in fact, have a glove compartment in it, this song is for you.



81. "Leave (Get Out)" (JoJo)

I swear, everything is fine, I just prefer break-up songs to love songs. This predilection for songs about broken relationships and bitter regret has not always served me well. When my wife and I were dating, I made her a series of "mix CDs," collections of songs I was listening to at the time that I thought she might enjoy. The first disc was fairly innocuous. There were no hidden meanings behind the songs, they were just, you know, songs. On disc 2, however, I decided to show my hand, at least, a little bit. I included songs like Imogen Heap's "Goodnight and Go" (#10) and Beulah's "A Good Man is Easy to Kill," which contains the lines "...give up, give up your love...I promise it's not gonna kill ya...and I need ya, Lord, I need ya." Actually, that's not very subtle, is it? But it also included the songs "Nothing Better" (#18) by Postal Service and Cat Power's "Good Woman." After we were married, my wife confessed that CD #2 had filled her with confusion. I promptly apologized.

When I heard JoJo's "Leave (Get Out)" for the first time on Top 40 radio way back in 2004, I thought, "This is a woman who knows about heart break, man! She's been there! She gets it and she's not going to take some dude's bullshit anymore." Then I found out she was 13-years-old and it creeped me out a little. Anyway, it's a catchy-as-hell pop puffball and I like it. Give it a listen and get in touch with that heartbroken middle school girl we all have inside.



Oh, shit! Did I miss Fox's Ferocious Fight Night?

82. "Praise You" (Fatboy Slim)

Great song. Great Spike Jonze-directed video. Great job.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010


HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT GIANT ELECTRIC PENGUIN
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Monday, November 22, 2010

100 Songs I Love: 74-78

74. "Best Friend" (The Drums)

Oh, The Drums, you had me at Jonathan Pierce climbing in through the window.



Lingering question: What's wrong with everybody's pants?

75. "Wish" (Nine Inch Nails)

As I mentioned in a previous '100 Songs I Love' post, I am not above wallowing in the sadness of a shattered relationship with the assistance of a depressing song. But what happens when the sadness turns to anger and the tears turn to fists? Nine Inch Nails happens, of course. Specifically "Wish," a song fueled by pure, unadulterated rage. The simple chorus--"wish there was something real, wish there was something true/wish there was something real in this world full of you"--can be embraced by jilted lovers and God-hating goth kids alike. "Wish" is one of the purest distillations of unfettered anger ever committed to tape and suitable for just about any situation. Good show, Mr. Reznor.



Lingering question: What's wrong with Trent Reznor's pants?

76. "Shiny" (The Decemberists)

Let's shift gears drastically, shall we? I love The Decemberists (the band, not the uprising), and this song, from the '5 Songs' EP, is one of my very favorites. You'll notice in the following clip that lead singer Colin Meloy does not need a cage to protect himself from shirtless, rage-crazed fans. That must be nice.



Gettin' older: I attended a Decemberists concert a few years ago with some friends, even though I felt horribly ill and had for several days leading up to the show. (Fun Fact: The following night, I drove myself to the emergency room believing that I might possibly be having what medical professionals call a 'heart attack') I wasn't going to let chest pains and difficulty breathing keep me from a Decemberists show. Hell no! Being quite familiar with their oeuvre, I was certain the audience wouldn't be required to 'stand' or 'dance around,' as we were in a classy establishment with assigned seating and cushioned chairs. "I'll just sit here in incredible amounts of pain and enjoy my favorite songs," I incorrectly thought. The first thing out of Meloy's mouth when he takes the stage: "Everybody get out of your seats!" "Where are we," I thought, "a Poison reunion show" So, you know, old guys and sickies, don't think you're gonna get out of standing up at a Decemberist show just cuz they play nerdy, mostly quiet, pretentious music in classy, upscale theaters. (Belle and Sebastian, however, will permit you to stay seated for the duration of their concerts.)

77. The part in "Set It Off" where Jay-Z's "Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)..." gets mashed up with Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" (Girl Talk)

Exact location: 0:21-1:21

Listen, if you want to think of Girl Talk as the Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer of music, you're entitled to your opinion, but you'd only be half right. Sure, part of the "fun" of Gregg Michael Gillis' mash-ups is recognizing songs you love (and sometimes hate) and saying to yourself, "Oh, hey, I recognize that! Yea me!" To be honest though, that can get old after, um, the first listen. What never stops being fun, or better said, amazing, is realizing how seamless and endlessly creative his Frankensteinian combinations can be. Quite frankly, I'd like to hear an entire album of Jay-Z mashed-up with Radiohead. It worked with The Beatles, right?



78. "Autumn Sweater" (Yo La Tengo)

One thing I like about Girl Talk's stuff is how he uses songs you aren't expecting, oftentimes combining them with the most shallow, empty-headed hip hop songs currently cluttering up America's radio dial with mind-blowing results. Sampling a Radiohead song on his album Feed the Animals wasn't that surprising to me, nor was the Aphex Twin sample in "Shut the Club Down," but on track seven, "Like This," Gillis samples one of my favorite tunes of all time, one that I would've never expected to hear surrounded by the likes of Pras, Mya, and Ol' Dirty Bastard: "Autumn Sweater" by Yo La Tengo. Here's "Autumn Sweater" all by itself for your listening pleasure. It's simple, quiet, and I bet Yo La Tengo would let you sit down while they played it.


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

15 More Quirky Facts About Kissing

Recently, Yahoo! presented 10 quirky facts about kissing (ie, sucking face, Frenching, bumping upstairs uglies, etc.), and once again Yahoo! fell way short. Just ten quirky facts, Yahoo! Romantic News department? I could dig up 10 peculiar factoids about kissing with half of my brain removed and summarily rammed up my own ass. 10 facts! Pshaw. That's a cake walk. Way to half-ass it, Yahoo!

But don't worry, GEP, per usual, is here to pick up Yahoo!'s slack. Might want to consider dropping the exclamation point, Yahoo!, 'cause I, for one, am very not excited. Here they are: GEP's 15 More Quirky Facts About Kissing.

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1. Kissing is illegal in 0 American states.

2. Believe it or don't, when actors kiss one another in the moving pictures, they are not really kissing. Each actor has an orange slice concealed inside his or her mouth and what we recognize as kissing is actually two hungry actors enjoying a citrus treat. When actors who are married to each other in real life perform an on-screen make-out scene, the orange slices are replaced with wedding cake. Movie magic, right?

3. The South Polar skua is the only bird that kisses its mate after sex.

4. In over 40 seasons on television together, Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie have only kissed once on purpose, three times by accident.

5. 8 out of 10 prison inmates in America prefer a deep, passionate kiss to having their "salad tossed."

6. The word "kiss" was not allowed to be uttered in a Hollywood production until the late 1920's, but that's only because most films before that were silent.

7. A horse has never kissed a cow. Ever.

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8. While men who kiss their partners before leaving for work average higher incomes than those who don’t, men who kiss their bosses are liable to be kneed squarely in the nuts.

9. Watching two women kiss is totally hot, dude.

10. In 1945, archeologists dug up the skeletons of a tyrannosaurus and a stegosaurus locked in a loving embrace and kissing. This is often cited as the very first interracial relationship in the history of the planet.

11. The members of the rock group KISS regularly kiss one another before going on stage.

12. 7 out of 10 people who wear "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" buttons on St Patrick's Day are not actually Irish. 10 out of 10 of them are drunk.

13. Blowing someone a kiss is considered a serious insult in the country of Azerbaijan.

14. The song "Kiss Off" is one of the few Violent Femmes songs that has not yet been used to hock fast food.

15. Many cultures believe that kissing a newborn on its fontanelle will result in a lifetime of good luck. Many people frown upon strangers snatching up their babies and kissing them on the head.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Food Porn Friday: Pizza Burger

The Burger King Pizza Burger: Big enough to share...but why would you ever do that?
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Monday, November 15, 2010

100 Songs I Love: 69-73

69. "The Shaded Forests" (Deastro)

The only things I ever did in my parents' basement were lose to my dad at ping pong an embarrassing amount of times, play Mickey Mousecapade on my Nintendo Entertainment System, and film a collection of irritating vignettes with my friend James Petix--long before he became a documentarian and noted man about town--entitled James' World, as it was closely modeled after the Wayne's World, a popular SNL sketch at the time. I played 'Matt," a screechy-voiced goofball with a penchant for sexually molesting Barbie dolls. I also played 'Cranberry Bob,' a Santa Claus-wannabe wrapped in wooden cranberry garland, who during his one and only appearance backhanded 'James,' Petix's character, in the face with a string of fake cranberries; 'Roger,' a high society character lifted from a middle school acquaintance who, I learned later in life, lifted it from Gilligan's Island; and a rock musician who performed a song about not wanting to do his own laundry. The show was permanently cancelled after my parents found out that several scenes were shot on a neighbor's trampoline.

I wasted my childhood basement. Randolph Chabot, AKA Deastro, on the other hand, took advantage of his. He crafted hundreds of original songs in his parents' basement, 10 of which were selected to appear on a 'best of' album called Keepers, one of which you are about to hear right now!



Common misconception: Deastro is not a transforming robot from outer space. He's just a guy. Don't worry.

70. "One More Suicide" (Marcy Playground)

You're welcome to refer to Marcy Playground as a 'one hit wonder' if you must, just don't do it around me. If you're having a Marcy Playground discussion with a group of friends and I come sauntering by, drop it to a dull roar, all right? Granted, "Sex and Candy" made the biggest splash--one could argue the only splash and one would, in fact, win this argument--but Marcy Playground's eponymous first album is full of splash-worthy gems: "Sherry Fraser," "A Cloak of Elvenkind," and this charming ditty about death and sadness. Someone should've told Christopher that it gets better.



Reasons why I love Marcy Playground and their first two albums, Marcy Playground and Shapeshifter:
-the number of times and style in which lead singer, John Wozniak, utters the word "yeah."
-most of the songs are easy to play, which is great for a 15-year guitar amateur like myself.
-songs about sex, candy, elvish cloaks, and super hero squirrels are awesome.

71. "The Moon Theme" (Ducktales for NES)

There's no use denying it: The beloved "Moon Theme" from the Ducktales video game is one of the finest achievements in epic 8-bit music makery. Yoshihiro Sakaguchi wrote the highly regarded tune and the rest of us just soaked it in while Scrooge McDuck hopped around on his magical pogo-cain. Seriously, for a geriatric Scottish duck, that guy could effing bounce.



72. "Hard to Be" (David Bazan)

Hi. Want an insight into my views on organized religion--particularly Christianity--and the religious themselves? Look no further than this rather straight forward assessment written by David Bazan and performed here live in all its gorgeous, stripped down glory.



Favorite lyrics: "Wait just a minute, you expect me to believe that all this misbehaving grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it, we should all be satisfied with this magical explanation of why the living die and why it's hard to be...a decent human being." AND "Child birth is painful. Toil to grow our food. Ignorance made us hungry. Information made us no good. Every burden misunderstood." AND ... it's all my favorite, all right? Just listen to it!

73. "Old Blind Bartimaeus" (The Bishops)

Lest you think I am a godless heathen, you should know that I have a special place in my musical heart for Southern gospel music, particularly when it is sung a cappella by three weird looking brothers and their even weirder looking old man. Keep in mind, I discovered The Bishops two years after I discovered Nirvana. I have eclectic tastes, and that makes me super cool. That's all I'm saying.


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Friday, November 12, 2010

Food Porn Friday: The Dream Realized

Ladies and gentleman, I give you...PIZZA TACO!

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Or would it be the TACO PIZZA? You decide. I'll be right here, eating and crying tears of pure joy. And grease.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

100 Songs I Love: 65-68

65. "Stadium Love" (Metric)

Ostensibly a song about various animals battling one another for supremacy, "Stadium Love" is as cheesy and goofball as it is loud and rocking. Metric could record an entire album of songs about random animals fighting each other and I'd be right there nodding my head and jumping up and down until both of my legs were broken. I think Ms. Haines' song is about something deeper than MMA-style animal brawls--possibly how humankind is daily engaged in the same kind of fights for survival as our four legged brethren--but I just like the idea of a rabbit and a dove donning boxing gloves and duking it out in front of a unruly crowd.



The Results:

-Spider vs. Bat: Spider (the spider is poisonous)
-Tiger vs. Rat: Tiger ('cause duh)
-Rabbit vs. Dove: Rabbit (the rabbit just wanted it more, plus doves are all about peace or whatever)
-Owl vs. Dove: Dove (after the rabbit debacle, the dove was sick of being called a pussy; the owl is actually still in a coma)
-Angel vs. Eel: Draw (both parties fought exceptionally well)

66. Suspiria (Goblin)

Suspiria is a creepy movie about an international school of dance inhabited by bloodthirsty witches, and Italian prog rock band Goblin's theme song sets the mood nicely. Nothing could prepare one for falling maggots, torture rooms full of razor wire, and an invisible, centuries old hag quite like the music of Goblin. Turn down the lights and turn up--or pump up, whichever you prefer--the volume on your computering device, and prepare yourself for six minutes of creepiness, Goblin-style.



67. "Alberto Balsalm-Steel Drum Version" (Aphex Twin by way of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (CCM) Steel Band directed by Rusty Burge)

I can't think of any instrument more irritating than the steel drums. They remind me of the first and only cruise I've ever been on. For those of you just joining us, I hated that cruise so much. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing inherently wrong with or evil about any of the cruise ship's staff, they were a lovely group of people, especially our personal waiter, Michael. And I have no complaints about the food. The food was epic! It was just everything else: the ports of call (Nassau? More like Snore-sau! Right?); the on-ship entertainment; my unluckiness at the casino; the constant barrage of alcoholic beverage offerings; the whole 'being on a boat in the middle of the vast, endless ocean' thing. All of these nightmares come rushing back to me whenever I hear steel drums. Unless I'm hearing a steel drum version of my favorite Aphex Twin song, which is, incidentally, right here for your listening pleasure:



Spot on, College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (CCM) Steel Band directed by Rusty Burge.

Songs including steel drums that don't piss me off: "No Signs of Pain" (Azure Ray); "Heartbeats" (The Knife); "Under the Sea" (The Little Mermaid)

68. "Brainbow" (Royal Bangs)

Royal Bangs is my latest discovery. I bought their 2009 album Let It Beep on a whim two weeks ago and it has become a quick favorite. Here they are performing one of my favorite tracks live at a venue called Sticky Fingers for some reason.



Admission: My favoritest favorite song on Let It Beep is called "Shit Xmas," but I couldn't find a place where you can easily listen to it, so I've showcased my second favoritest favorite. You can hear clips of "Shit Xmas" in various places, but my suggestion is that you just man up and buy the damn album already. Isn't my admission of love and respect for it enough, or are you still holding the fact that I've put an ABBA song and an Extreme song on this list against me? Buy Let It Beep, a-hole! But not you Jonathan. I'm gonna make you a copy. See, it pays to be my friend.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Afternoon News Bits: doughnut disaster, Jon Gosselin vs. Taco Bell, owls, and time travel

Sorry about the lateness of this week's news, but I was catching up on TV this morning. Here now are the most important news stories of this week...

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1. TIME TO SCRAPE THE DOUGHNUTS

I apologize for the above photograph. It may be the saddest, most horrifying image to ever grace (disgrace?) the blog. No doughnut should be made to suffer like that, not even the lemon-filled kind. Look at all those poor, scared doughnuts strewn about the road like casualties in a war they never signed up for. The horror. The tragedy. All that deliciousness gone to waste. It's sick!

Oh, the driver of the doughnut truck was injured as well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his/her family. God, I hope those doughnuts are OK. I can't believe this!

Just what was the cause of this injustice? Here's the story from KVAL.com. It may be inappropriate for little ones. Reader discretion is strongly advised.

EUGENE, Ore. – A car fleeing from police at high speeds through downtown parking lots and alleys collided with a donut delivery van, seriously injuring the driver late Tuesday night.

The incident started around 11:06 p.m. when a Eugene police officer spotted a black Honda driving with it's lights off downtown.

The driver took off, and the officer attempted to keep up as the driver cut through parking lots at high speed, police said.

The black Honda exited 10th Alley westbound onto Pearl Street at high speed and hit a donut delivery van on the driver's side, police said. The van's driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The identity of the driver and his or her condition is not yet known.

The impact caused the van to overturn, spilling donuts across the road.

The driver of the stolen Honda, a 32-year-old piece of pastry-squashing garbage named Aaron Prentice Pate, was arrested for reckless driving, second degree assault, and failure to respect the importance of timely doughnut delivery, among other charges. I hope he rots in jail forever, I really do.

No news on the delivery driver, but the doughnuts were unceremoniously buried in an unmarked mass grave, i.e. the dumpster behind Burger King.

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2. DOUBLE-DECKER DOUCHEBAG

Speaking of taking a dump, former reality TV luminary/failure at life Jon Gosselin was regretfully back in the news this week. What's going on with the lumpy, half-Asian father of 8 essentially fatherless children now? Well, apparently, Gosselin and his current girlfriend, Ellen Ross, were humiliated in a Taco Bell drive-thru. Allie is Wired has the story:

Jon Gosselin and his girlfriend Ellen Ross have waged war on their local Taco Bell…and it’s not because those Chalupas they bought made them “run for the border”.

Apparently, after they paid and pulled around to the next window, employees recognized Jon and started making fun of him.

If you'd stop making yourself so damn easy to make fun of, maybe folks way stop doing it, Jon. Have you ever thought of that?

Ross filed a complaint with the restaurant (Wait, what? You can do that? You can walk into a fast food joint and file a formal complaint? That sounds delightfully stupid.), in which she made the following accusations:

...my boyfriend (Jon Gosselin from the reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8) and I came through to purchase dinner. When we pulled up to the window there were three girls inside and a man. The three girls noticed who Jon was as his phone rang and he answered (it was his attorney, coincidentally), they proceeded to laugh loudly and talk about him as if he weren't there they said "OMG how funny, that's him OMG, say something to him say something." Jon put his car window up to avoid them. Every employee inside was gathered at the window staring and talking loudly about us. When we put the window back down to get our food, one employee (she had a wrap around her head) pulled out her cell phone and held it up to us to try and take a picture, while laughing at us. No one did or said anything to stop this. It was humiliating.

Ross goes on to single out the employee with the "wrap around her head," requesting the young woman's immediate dismissal from burrito-folding and nacho cheez reheating. We'll update you on Taco-Gate '010 when the latest news breaks.

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3. OWL-SOURCED

Indian kids love the Harry Potter movie series so much, parents have taken to capturing wild owls and presenting them to their children as gifts. This is leading to a significant decline in the owl population of India.

On an entirely unrelated note, though one not necessarily considered so by the Manila Bulletin Online, owls are also being slaughter en masse in black magic ceremonies during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. And owl torture, I guess.

Sucks to be an owl in India, but it must be awesome to wake up and unwrap the owl your parents kidnapped from the wild for your birthday. Every Harry Potter fan should have their own Hedwig, right? I was a big Gremlins fan when I was a kid; begged my parents for a mogwai every Christmas, but they never bought me one. They claimed it was because there was no musty junk shop run by a mysterious Chinese man in our town and because mogwais don't actually exist, but I think it's because they never loved me as much as Indian parents love their kids.

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4. TITOR 2.0

Didja hear about the old woman talking on a cellphone in the background of a Charlie Chaplin movie? Some people claim she is a visitor from the future. Others claim that she is simply using some kind of rudimentary hearing aid. Even otherers believe her to be a crazy old woman babbling nonsense into an empty sardine tin. Whether you think she's deaf, nuts, or John Titor in drag, it's still fun to speculate. Check it out and make your own decision, why don't you!



Hmmmm. I don't know what to think. I'm fairly certain I don't believe in time travel, but I can't say exactly what's going on here. This toilet-mouthed hooligan thinks he's figured it out though:



He knows there was already something called The Man Show, right? What am I saying, of course he knows. He's Matthew Know! My bad.


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Friday, November 5, 2010

Food Porn Friday: The Art of Bacon

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Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

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Bacon Bowls

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Cinnamon Bacon Bun (There's bacon in there, dudes!)

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Bacon Bra

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

100 Songs I Love presents...Singin' 'Bout Dancin' (61-64)

61. "Just Dance" (Lady GaGa w/ Colby O'Donis)

I don't go to parties--mostly because I'm not invited to any--but I wouldn't mind hanging out for a bit at the scuzzy, whacked-out soiree featured in the video for Lady GaGa's infectious single "Just Dance." A weird old lady wearing novelty New Years eyeglass from 2006. A chick in a full Indian headdress. A shirtless, musclebound high school mascot chilling out in the bathtub. Spaghetti-and-meatballs served Lady and the Tramp-style. And was that Mr. Echo? This party's got everything!



62. "Polite Dance Song" (The Bird and The Bee)

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"Polite Dance Song's" lyrics go from polite to crass fairly quickly, but the lilting beauty of Inara George's voice keeps things from getting too smutty. It's a catchy little pop song brimming with goofy sexuality, made all the goofier by the Eric Wareheim-directed music video, which depicts the most surreal dance contest ever captured on film.

Favorite line: "Pardon me, for losing my cooling..."

63. "I'd Rather Dance With You" (Kings of Convenience)

A delightful kiss off. Or is it? I can't decide if the singer feels intimidated by the woman with whom he's ask to dance, choosing to hit the dance floor rather than discuss literature or film (after all, he hasn't read a book in the past year and the only film he saw, well, he "didn't like it at all") or if he assumes the woman won't know anything about books or movies, so rather than spend the evening locked in abysmal conversation, whisks her to the other room where dancing is apparently occurring. Either way it is another delightful tune from Norway's foremost indie-folkists.



64. "Dancefloor" (The Legends)

I don't know if this song is actually about the physical act of dancing, but it sure as hell makes me want to get up and move around like a maniac.


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