Are we grown ups? This question has been nagging me over the last year. I live on my own, have a  job, and don’t get an allowance. Growing up, that always seemed like the definition of adulthood, but now that I can check all of those boxes, I’m not so sure. I’ve been asking this question quite a bit and have gotten some fantastic responses. My two favorites:

My mom: “I knew I was an adult when I could eye the leftovers and know, on the first try, which Tupperware container to use.”

My roommate: “You’re a grown up when you know when Labor Day is. I don’t mean you know the month, I’m talking the DATE.”

I’m all ears to hear what my readers think qualifies someone as an adult. My good friend and constant provider of fodder for this blog once asked me “when are we too old to get blackout drunk?” In her own way, I think she was asking essentially the same question I am.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at speaking English. I am not, however, good at speaking any other language. I studied Dutch for a semester while living in Belgium, to disastrous results (I was convinced my professor spoke English fluently and was “faking” it. I was wrong). Italian is the best shot at a second language that I have, but take away my hand motions and you realize just how not proficient I am. None of this stops me from enjoying music in languages other than my own. Here are three favorites; as always please add your own in the comments!

 

1.) Fel Del Av Garden by Movits!

First off, let me give credit to Stephen Colbert for introducing me to this super fun band. Secondly, let me point out that when I don’t know the lyrics to songs, I often make them up. For instance, when I get caught singing this song in the car, I choose “Coming from Finland!” as the opening lyric. (The band is Swedish.)

 

2.) El Kilo by Orishas

I should be able to speak some Spanish, but I can’t. I dated someone from northern Spain for a little while, and his English wasn’t great. “Sorry me” was a common apology. None the less, I came away from the relationship with some wonderful Spanish music.

 

3.) Staralfur by Sigur Ros

According to Wikipedia, I’m not the only person who can’t comprehend what Icelandic lead singer Jonsi Birgisson is singing; apparently the language is made up. My good friend and follow blogger Gastronomiquelle refers to their sound as “whales mating.”

 

I’m back, y’all! Sorry for not getting back to this when I said I would, but I wanted to wait to begin blogging again until I felt I had enough material to start consistently writing, and it seems that time has come. Plus, I recently received this in an email from a dear friend: “Okay, so I don’t want to be a total bitch with this comment but now that you’ll be jobless pretty soon I think you should start blogging again.”

SO TRUE.

So, let’s get right down to it. If there are two things I’m pretty unabashedly snobby about, I’d say it’s beer and music. Chief among my music gripes has always been a real disdain for electronic music. In a music class I took during college, we had to create a techno song as an assignment, and it really made me hate the entire genre. The whole process of creating synthetic beats and melodies didn’t seem to lend itself to ingenuity or soul; it felt like it had about as much heart as an Excel document. Everything about it has always felt phony and manufactured to me, and I could never get into it. Whether this kind of music has gotten better in recent years or I have just loosened up is beyond me. Below are my picks of great songs that rely pretty heavily on electronic sounds. Enjoy! Since I’m a recent convert to this type of music, I would really love everyone to post some choices of their own in the comments.

1.) Sleepyhead by Passion Pit

I’ve featured another song by Passion Pit in the past; suffice to say that they alone are responsible for me giving electronic music another listen.

2.) Block After Block by Matt & Kim

I know, hipsters, this is the third album by this Brooklyn band. I’m behind. I get it. Still a catchy song.

3.) Swing Tree by Discovery

To steal a line from someone wittier than me who commented on this YouTube page, “I want to feel how this song sounds.”

My bad. I guess I should have mentioned that I’m out of town for work, and will be for the next 2+ weeks, hence the lack of Music Mondays posts. As an olive branch of sorts, I will offer up the information that I’m in the South. Or, rather, I’m far enough below the Mason-Dixie line that this Jersey girl can warrant saying “y’all” in a non-ironic way. Here are three country songs (they’re as country as I get, lay off my back) for your listening pleasure. I’ll be back to Pintje in mid-November, and hopefully with new fervor. In the meantime, add me to Twitter (@PintjeBlog), as I can sometimes manage 160 characters, even though grammar and capital letters are asking too much. XO!

1.) Devil In The Jukebox by Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs

I love this song. Like I said, this is about as country as I get.

2.) Mama’s Got a Girlfriend Now by Ben Harper

If there is a genre of music that Ben Harper doesn’t do well, I have yet to find it.

3.) Jackson by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon

I hope it’s not sacrilege that I prefer this version to the original!

I don’t know why,  but I have been on a 1960’s music kick this whole week. No, I haven’t recently watched Dirty Dancing, nor did my car radio get stuck on an oldies station. The only thing I can possibly point to as the inspiration is a conversation I had recently in which I realized that both my brother and a friend of mine had to be told at a young age that no, life didn’t used to be in black and white.  Apparently, they were confused by old movies and old TV shows. Like a real-life Pleasantville, basically!

1.) Cry to Me by Solomon Burke

A perfect song, with one notable exception. “Nothing could be sadder than a glass of wine alone.” I beg to differ, good sir. How about being alone sans wine?

2.) Mamma Said by The Shirelles

This song is on heavy rotation whenever I have a bad day.

3.) Chain Gang by Sam Cooke

It’s sort of incredible that this song is about working in a chain gang, but manages to be so catchy and fun. I like to imagine someone who has been in a chain gang describing it as “horrible, and not at ALL like that f-ing Sam Cooke song makes it sound.”

Happy Labor Day, y’all! In trying to explain the concept of Labor Day to an Italian friend of mine, our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Basically we celebrate how hard we work – labor – by taking the day off of work.”
Friend: “But don’t you take the day off for all of your holidays?”
… awkward silence …

I then mumbled something about not being able to wear white pants anymore. I think the best way to explain this strange holiday is that it marks the unofficial end of summer. To celebrate, I’m sharing three of my favorite summer songs. Just as I’ll continue to wear flip flops until my feet freeze, these songs will get off-season play, but they just seem to sound better when the weather is warm. Enjoy!

1.) Girls in Their Summer Clothes by Bruce Springsteen

The Jersey girl in me knows better than to leave Bruce off of this list.

2.) Rock and Roll by Eric Hutchinson

Horns!!!1

3.) Doin’ Time (Remix featuring Pharcyde) by Sublime

All of Sublime sounds like summer – this was just the most obvious choice.

This Saturday capped off a week-long celebration of the birth of my roommate. It included a soccer game, a baseball game and a delicious lunch with not one but two incredible desserts. It also included a trip to her favorite bar where, in true fashion, she danced the night away. I am not a dancer. This graph accurately depicts my relationship with dancing:

Let me apologize, by the way, for my 5th grader approach to the graph. I have the technological understanding of an AARP member, and my big sister inherited all of the family art skills.

If anything gets me to break it down, beside liquid courage (or, often, accompanied by liquid courage), it’s the following three songs. They are my kryptonite.

1.)  Little Secrets by Passion Pit

Passion Pit has been around for a little while, but I just recently got into them. Mainly, I used to have a pretentious approach to electronic music that I no longer hold. Besides, any song that includes the talent of P.S. 22 in their chorus is OK by me. Listening to this song, not only can I not resist breaking into spontaneous dance, I can hardly keep from smiling:

2.) I Don’t Feel Like Dancing by the Scissor Sisters

Man oh man do I love this song. Scissor Sisters are such a fun band and every part of this song is so carefree that you get the feeling that there’s no wrong way to bust a move to it. Which is perfect since my signature move is (inexplicably) one hand over my head while making a kissy face.

3.) We Are Golden s by Mika

More Eurotrash! This music video shows that Mika is aware that his music lends itself to dancing around in one’s bedroom in one’s underwear. Keep living the dream, Mika.