Archive for February, 2012

All Over the Place

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by factorygirl82

I have a very eclectic taste in music. I have been told I’m all over the place. It’s true. When I tell people who my favorite bands are they usually respond, I wouldn’t have guessed that. This week I decided to write about some of my favorites. There are about a thousand so these are just a few.

My favorite band of all time is Oasis.  I fell in love with them when I was 13 or 14. I was watching MTV and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” came on the TV.  I don’t know I just connected with the song, with them, just something. I’ve seen Oasis five times in concert. I got to meet Noel Gallagher when I was 20 and cried after  the fact. He was very nice to me and saved me from getting crushed by a group of frat boys trying to get to him. I am going to see him with his solo project Noel Gallgher’s High Flying Birds. I am absolutely stoked.  A lot of people, in America at least, give Oasis a lot of crap, I’m sorry they are waaaay better than Coldplay. All you have to do is see Oasis live to get it. Noel Gallagher is an amazing guitar player and Liam Gallagher is probably one of the biggest rockstars ever. His persona its just him.  I use to go to this record store in Evanston. Vintage Vinyl. The owner was and is a big Oasis fan.  He told me about seeing them at the Metro when Definitely Maybe came out. He liked the album but when Liam Gallagher came out on stage and didn’t really do anything, he told me he turned to his friend and said “He’s not doing anything.” His friend responded. “Give it a second. He doesn’t have too” He said he watched him and it was true. Liam Gallagher just owns the stage without doing a whole hell of a lot. They put on a phenomenal show. To me my favorite album is Definitely Maybe their first album. Their later albums are pretty solid too.

I went through a huge Britpop phase when I was 13 til about 16 I’d say I’m still very into the britpop bands but just not as obsessive as I was then. There was the summer I was going into high-school and I saw everyone at the Metro, The Riv, The Vic, and The Aragon. I saw Blur, The Verve, Kula Shaker, The Charleton’s UK, Supergrass, The Seahorses (John Squires newer band), Corner Shop, The Manic Street Preachers, Paul Weller, Starsailer, Mansun, Spacehog, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some but it was the summer of Britpop. I highly recommend all those bands. Most of them aren’t active anymore but they were awesome when they were. Better than the britpop crap that’s out now.

I was raised by hippie parents. My middle name is after Bob Dylan’s first wife and my first name is after Dylan Thomas’s wife. My sister and I grew up listening to the Beatles, The Stones. My Father is the kind of guy where you like the Beatles or the Stones you can’t like both. My mom, sister, and I all like both.  When we went on road trips staples in the cassette player were the Traveling Wilburys, The White Album, The Grateful Dead, and Big Brother and the Holding Company.  I love Janis. She is one of my favorite singers of all time. I have every album that’s been put out and listen to them repeatedly. No one has come close to being able to sing like her.

CCR was another band that was constantly in rotation on the tape deck of the old Eagle. I always joke that I’m closet hippie. I don’t dress like one but do I enjoy true rock and roll from the late 1960s and early 1970s yes I do. I love The Who, CCR, The Moody Blues, The Doors, Skynard, Janis, Jefferson Airplane, The Stones, The Beatles, again I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

While having hippie parents I also grew up listening to Dick Biondi on Oldies 104.3 which sadly is gone but Dick Biondi is on 94.7 now. My mom tells me he sounds the exact same as when she would listen to him on the radio. But I love late 1950s and early 1960s pop music. I was obsessed with the song Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. This was before itunes so I couldn’t find it anywhere. What I love about late 1950s and early 1960s pop music is a lot of it is pretty morbid. I was eight years old and obsessed with a song about a guy and his girlfriend getting into a car crash. At the age of sixteen I learned about Connie Francis. I saw the movie Louis and Clark and George. A heist caper with Rose McGowan. She lip-syncs “Where the Boys Are” in the back of a 1959 Pink Cadillac. I asked my mom who the song was by she told me Connie Francis. I went out and bought her greatest hits CD and fell in love. Connie was fantastic. She’s one that’s on constant rotation at the shop.

Connie Francis and Johnnie Ray are two of my absolute favorite singers. Johnnie Ray is a little less well known unless you’re a lady in her early 70s. I swear any time I listen to him in the shop the only people that recognize him are older women. When they ask me if it’s him there’s always a slight swoon in their voice. He was pretty dreamy. I discovered him because he was in “There’s No Business Like Show Business” with Marilyn Monroe. At the age of again probably eight or nine I thought he had one of the most unique voices I had ever heard. It wasn’t until I was 24 and randomly looked him up on itunes that I finally got a bunch of music. And let me tell you how awesome it is. If you like old school crooners check him out.

The 1980s move Shag introduced me to the beauty of Lloyd Price. Again its early 1960s pop but it’s kind of soul too. Stagger Lee makes me want to get up and dance every time I hear it. I have Lloyd Price’s greatest hits and its a solid album. It’s definitely one I like to cruise around and listen to in the summer. There’s something very beachy about his music without being surfy. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of Shag which is set in Myrtle Beach in the early 60s.  I went to Myrtle Beach, gotta tell ya I probably would have enjoyed it more in 1963.

Now onto my guilty but not so guilty pleasures. People tell me they are guilty but they aren’t to me because I love them! Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Love them. I have loved Britney since I was 16. I remember when “Baby One More Time” came out. Ooooh how I loved it and still do. Even if you don’t like Britney you have to admit it’s a damn fine pop song. I have seen Brit-brit 4 times in concert. It was awesome. I like Katy Perry because again she makes fun pop music. Pure sugary pop music. She reminds me of Betty Boop. This last album was a massive hit so clearly I’m not the only one that likes her. The rest of you just wont admit it.

Lastly for this lengthy blog my love of hip hop. I love old skool hip hop like the Pharcyde Bizarre Ride is one of the best hip hop albums in my opinion and Passin Me By one of my favorite tracks. Check them out they are fab and not like most of the crap hip hop that’s out now. I’d say for current hip hop my two fave artists are Kanye and Kid Cudi. I know there are a lot of Kanye haters out there but you gotta admit he makes killer tracks. He is also a crazy good live artist. I went to the Glow in Dark tour and it was one of the best concerts I’d ever been too. He’s got an ego but he’s got the talent to back it up. Kid Cudi I just love. Both of his albums are so solid. Check him out if you haven’t!

Alright that’s it for today. Just remember this is a very small sampling of my musical taste. I left out No Doubt on purpose because I’ve already written about Gwen and my love of them a few times.  Apologies for grammar as always. And I am posting a ton of items on the esty so check them out!

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I like to do nerdy things like research.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by factorygirl82

Recently I helped a friend track down an article of vintage clothing he was looking for, I found it in a reproduction but it was perfect. In case you were curious it’s the Apollo sweater that Danny from the Shining wears. He said I was awesome, which I totally am. But I explained to him there are two things I’m really good at research and vintage clothing. This might be why I’m good at what I do. I don’t know when the research thing started. I’ve always been a huge mystery fan especially historical mysteries. When I was little I would write mysteries with a Cat as the detective. This is the story of one of my favorite and nerdiest research moments. Because it was all in my spare time and just for fun. It’s the story of Anna C. Spahn.

I grew up next to a cemetery. They have never wigged me out at all. I always kind of loved them. Not that I have ever been the creepy girl that hangs out in one, but I like the monuments. I wonder about the people buried in them. That’s how this research project came along. The above photo is a monument in the cemetery next to my house. Her name was Anna C. Spahn. Creepy name no?

As you can see this is an impressive monument. She was obviously a teenager when she passed away and her family clearly had money. The reason I started doing research on her was simply curiosity and time to kill.

It was my freshmen year at Columbia College. As a freshmen I didn’t yet grasp the “get your classes as close together as possible, so you don’t have to hang out downtown or travel downtown from the northside every day.” I learned that Sophomore year.  I had about a two and a half hour break between classes on Monday and Wednesday. Some days I would wonder down to Marshall Field’s and look at clothing. That ended up being trouble for my bank account. So I started going to the Harold Washington Library.  While there I would play with the Microfiche. I liked to look up the old newspapers about Al Capone and the Leopold and Loeb murder case/trial. Did I mention I’m slightly morbid at times too? Maybe it has to do with growing up next to a cemetery. I digress.

As you can see there is a death date on her monument. No birth date. This is what put me into curiosity mode. I wanted to know how old she was, I wanted to see if I could find out anything about her, and as I said I had time to kill. So to the Library I went.  I started out by finding the newspapers from the week of her death. I thought there would be a death announcement, again the family had money so it was just logical. I did find a death announcement! But sigh the mystery continued on because there was still no birth date and no mention of how old she had been. The wake was public and held at Holy Name in Chicago.

The family bought a plot but she was the only one buried there. After the lack of information from the newspaper. I decided to go all out. I went up to the librarian and asked her how to read the 1920 census. She looked at me like I was a little nuts. She asked if it was for a project, I told her no just for fun. Again she looked a little perplexed. I was 19, probably didn’t look like your average research nerd, with my pink and purple hair, and sex pistols t-shirt.  But I learned how to read the 1920 census. It’s on Microfiche if you ever want to go check it out but be warned its written in the really tiny cursive from the turn of the century that’s almost impossible to read. Luckily it is alphabetical and divided up so it’s only a few letters together at time. In other words you don’t have to spend six years going through everyone. So I sat and scrolled through not sure how many Spahns there would be. Eureka! Success! There was only one in the Chicago area. Better yet there was one with a daughter named Anna! I finally got the information I was after, it was thrilling, satisfying, and just fun.

So here it is Anna C. Spahn was 17 when she died. Cause of death still unknown. But she was the daughter of a second marriage. Her mother was 40 when she had her. Which for that time period was very odd. She had two half brothers. One who was a detective for the Chicago PD. Her father owned a furniture store at Diversey and Halstead. She was living a few blocks away off of Diversey. That’s what I found out. I found it pretty interesting. But I am a nerd. I ended up doing my production two film about her. I was pretty satisfied with the information I found out, of course I would love to know more especially about her half brother that was a detective. That will probably be the next research project.

Dealing in vintage clothing there are a lot of stories behind the clothes and I love hearing them. I also love discovering labels and doing the research on that. In other words if you every need help finding out something I’m your girl!

As always apologies for my bad grammar. It’s not my strong point. Check out the new items in the etsy shop!