Author Archives: Pookie

About Pookie

Pookie (aka Eleanor) once let her own mother drive herself to the hospital to get stiches so she, Pookie, could watch the remainder of a Devils-Rangers game. She can be reached at interchangeablepartsblog [at] gmail.com.

Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes Week 6: Dalek

Dalek: Deadverse Massive 1: Dalek Rarities 1999-2006

Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes Week 6: Dalek

After the last two duds, hopes were very low for this week’s Hydra Head For Your Earholes adventure. In fact, we were so gun-shy, we broke the rule that we had to listen to whatever we drew first. That disc promised “brutal” grindcore, so… We moved on to Dalek, a group we’ve actually heard of! Granted, we’ve heard of them because Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn recommend them, which could mean anything, including “brutal grindcore”. Feeling very, very nervous, we cued up the CD. Seeing it was 77 minutes of rarities, the nervousness only grew. Visions of brutal re-mixed nonny-nonny music danced in our earholes.

Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be awesome! Instead of brutal grindcore, we got hip-hop. Hip-hop that went from dreamy to intense to intensely-dreamy. Hip-hop is not, generally, on the ol’ stereo here at Maple Hoo because none of us are really lyrics-driven listeners. This CD, though, is a good reminder that hip-hop instrumentation can be really, really wild, and interesting, and just the kind of genre-blending-and/or-busting music that frequently is on the stereo here. (Of course, the flipside of that thinking is ending up tapping your toes and revealing in awesome music only to realize you’re bopping along to a song about the atrocities of racism in America. But, officer, the music was catchy!)

All in all, it was good to be off the dud schnide. And who knows, maybe that brutal grindcore will be really fun when we get around to listen to it?

Elsewhere in earhole news this week:

We spent Saturday afternoon in need of some bouncy, energetic work music to accompany the giant project of basting a queen-size quilt. With about twenty minutes to go, Pookie was looking for some sunshine-y, goodtime music to make those twenty minutes fly. She turned to the ol’ stand-by Wires Under Tension’s “Replicant” (one of Maple Hoo’s picks for Top Ten Album of 2012, btw).

Schnookie: This song makes me feel like I’m in a movie. It’s the end of the movie, and the camera’s panning back to show me, the newly single, newly happy woman in a big city, joyously greeting whatever comes next.

Pookie: Right, and you’ve just met-cute with Joesph Gorden Levitt on the corner!

Schnookie: Of course! JGL and I have just saved the world from some terrible fate that the rest of the city didn’t even know was going down.

Pookie: It’s “(500) Days Of Jason Bourne”!

Man, who wouldn’t want to see that movie?!

Behold, (500) Days of Jason Bourne:

Leave a comment

Filed under Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes

Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes Week 5: Kayo Dot

Kayo Dot, “Blue Lambency Downward”

Hydra Head For Your Earholes Week 5, or More Like Kayo Puke, Amirite?

You guys, this was such a bad album. It started out with Pookie being all excited we drew it, because she’d listened to some other Kayo Dot on Spotify and really liked it, and was all, “They’re really good!” Then we put the CD in the player, got the speakers fired up, and… oof. The first track was what seemed like an hour of the world’s most pretentious college acapella group (but the people who didn’t make the college’s actual acapella group, and had to start their own off-brand one) doing experimental theater. Then the second track seemed like the world’s most pretentious college theater students (but the people who didn’t make it into the college’s actual plays, and had to stage their own in their dorm’s common room) doing experimental dance. We didn’t hear the third track because Schnookie was laughing too hard and Pookie zapped over it. The fourth track was more of the same — a little “nonny-nonny,” a little ridiculous-poetry lyrics, a lot of WTF??? music. Who even knows what it was like after that, because we threw in the towel. We staged our photo of it under a heap of cat toys, hoping maybe Fabi could get more use out of it than we will.

But all was not lost, music-wise, last week. Because lo! Our earholes were tickled mightily by the long-awaited release of Tomahawk’s Oddfellows. We had despaired when the first single was released several months ago, because “Stone Letter” is not the most compelling song we’ve ever heard Mike Patton sing on. (That’s a polite way of putting it. “Stone Letter” sounds, out of context of the album, like lousy ’90s rock. In the context of the album it’s a lot more ignorable, and in fact even comes off as catchy and fun.) Far more indicative tracks are “Waratorium”:

and “Baby Let’s Play”:

Oh, sweet, sweet Tomahawk. Thank you so much for rescuing us from the evil clutches of Kayo Dot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes

Project Hyrda Head For Your Earholes Week 4: Hayaino Daisuki

Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes Week 4

Schnookie’s review: That 14-minute CD was 12 minutes too long.

Pookie’s review: It sounds like if Zu met Dethklok and then played the same song over and over.

In short, this was our first outright dud of the project. But the packaging was pretty funny, so there’s that.

Also tickling the ol’ earholes this week, new Dan The Automator!

This is terrific music to perk up the drab month of January. We hope this isn’t replacing the rumored-for-years sequel to Lovage, but it’s still a delightful addition to Maple Hoo’s music collection.

Also blowing our minds this week was Om’s Advaitic Songs. Yeah, we’re a few months behind on this, but we discovered it at the record store over the weekend — thanks, Elizabeth, for having your wedding reception right next to the Princeton Record Exchange! If you’re looking to have a song climb into your head and then look out your eyes, look no farther than this:

4 Comments

Filed under Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes

Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes: Week 1

To kick off another year of awesome music, we picked up a grab bag of 30 CDs from Hydra Head Records.  We’re going to snag one at random each weekend, give it a spin, and then keep track of it here, along with notes about whatever else is tickling our musical fancy that week.  It’s a sort of Project365 for Your Earholes!

Week 1: “Conquerer” by Jesu

Jesu - Conquerer

I sort of cheated with this week, because I didn’t pull this at random.  Before committing to buying the grab bag, I checked out a few HHR bands, and Jesu sounded amazing.  I was very eagerly anticipating this one, and had high expectations for some mind-blowing complex post-metal weirdness.  OK, first lesson of Project Hydra Head for Your Earholes: don’t have any expectations.  This album was much more straight-forward and listenable than I imagined; it wasn’t the least bit weird or challenging.  That wasn’t really disappointing per se, but the vocals definitely threw me for a loop.  They were like something out of some “indie” band — inoffensive and airy.  I can see the track “Conqueror” being a staple on Spring playlists for years to come, but my initial reaction is that I’d like this a lot more with different vocals.

– Pookie

Also tingling the ol’ earholes this week:

Creature with the Atom Brain – it’s like what Queens of the Stone Age should sound like

Big Business – after wallowing in a lot of Mark Lanegan in December, it was hard rock week at Maple Hoo!  Hands up, indeed.

John Zorn’s “The Concealed” – it’s like a slightly more serious Dreamers

4 Comments

Filed under Project Hydra Head For Your Earholes

Is That An Actual Photo Excursion I See There?!

That’s right, we actually, finally got up off our duffs for a good old fashioned photo excursion! We’ve lived just around the corner from Grounds For Sculpture for years but have never bothered to go over despite everyone and their mother telling us that it’s delightful. Meanwhile, we hadn’t seen our buddy elizabetht in forever which is totally unacceptable. So last weekend we bundled up the cameras and headed out for some modern sculpture photography and catching up over fried pickles and beers. In the end, I think we were all more interested in the fried pickles, but we did get some shots we liked.

Viney

Dirt Carpet

Giant Vase Of Flowers

Red Filter Bokeh Sparkle

Plant Piano

I Blinded Myself For This?

More Than One Peacock

Tiny Chairs

January 28 2012

3 Comments

Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

An Open Letter To Crafters On The Internet Who Have Recently Discovered Cross-Stitching Is Fun

Dear Crafters On The Internet Who Have Recently Discovered Cross-Stitching Is Fun,

As a long-time cross-stitch enthusiast, I am beyond thrilled that cross stitch is finally getting its due alongside other “rediscovered” cool crafts like knitting, crochet, and quilting. For too long, it’s been ignored as a dorky craft suitable only for grandmother’s bathrooms. It deserves better than that!

However, when most people on the internet embraced knitting, crochet, and quilting, there’s been a lot of love for using high quality or designer materials. So why, for the love of all that’s crafty, is everyone using Aida or evenweave cloth?! People, there’s a whole world out there of beautiful fabrics that are a joy to work with, that feel good in your hand while you work, that add depth to your work, that compliment the colors of your floss*.

It’s called linen, and if you’re not at least trying it out, you’re doing your project and the process of cross stitching a huge disservice. If you have the budget, would you knit/crochet/quilt with polyester? No, because it wouldn’t feel as nice in your hands while working, and the final product doesn’t look as good, right? Guess what? The difference between Aida and linen is the same thing. So this year, do yourself and your stitching a favor — switch out that Aida for some linen. You will not regret it, I guarantee it.

Hugs and kisses,
Pookie

P.S. If you’re worried that it’ll be much more difficult, don’t worry and just go for it! Start with a big count linen. Sure, you may need to really focus in the beginning about counting up and over two linen threads for every stitch, but once you get going, you’ll start to see the linen in terms of the grid made by your existing stitches, and not in terms of each individual linen thread. Trust me!

*If you’ve really got the budget, I also highly recommend trying out silk thread instead of floss. It’ll blow your mind. It’s like sewing or quilting with voile instead of Kona cotton.

5 Comments

Filed under Announcements

Helloooo Henrik Jane!

Almost exactly two years ago, I fell hard for Heather Bailey’s fabric line, “Nicey Jane”. Just as I was wondering what to do with it, I received a generous gift that included the Minick & Simpson pattern “Chippewa Nine-Patch”. At first glance I just knew the two were meant for one another. So I ordered a giant pile of fabric and started to cut a zillion 1 3/4″ squares. Months and months passed without much progress. Finally I had to admit that hand-piecing the whole quilt was not happening. (The pattern does helpfully suggest strip piecing, but two years ago I was still thinking strip piecing wasn’t for me. I was an idiot.) I dragooned Boomer and Schnookie into piecing the rows of the 81-patches that alternate with the snowballs. Turns out the sewing machine sews a lot faster than I do. I suspect this is because it doesn’t stop every hour to look at the “Coming Soon” section of fatquartershop.com while dreaming of the next quilt it’s going to start.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is, thanks to their help, I was able to finish Henrik Jane this summer! Woo-hoo! After a short spell with Mary, The Long-Arm Quilter, Henrik Jane was back at home, ready to be bound and washed. I put the final stitches in last weekend.

Henrik Jane Take 2

I am simply over-the-moon for how this turned out. It seems lots of little pieces combined with low-contrast fabrics is the signature look that’s going to make my quilts famous. Heh. I was concerned at first that the nine-patches weren’t showing off the fabrics well enough, but once I got going on it, I really loved how it ended up looking like confetti. Or an impressionist painting. Or an impressionistic painting of confetti.

Henrik Jane Quilting

There was a long time there where I thought this project would never be finished. I’m so glad I powered through, though. Now, if Henrik Zetterberg ever shows up at Maple Hoo, we can greet him with a quilt he can call his very own.

Henrik Jane

9 Comments

Filed under Pins and Needles, Pommerdoodling, Quilting