thursday may 3 2007

ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok, listen

A guide to obsessive song listening
Sometimes a song comes along, and I'll listen to it everyday, two or three times back to back, a few times a day, for a few months. Before moving on. Forever. This Winter's obsession was a pair of songs, starting in January when a John Lennon / Beatles song seemed to perfectly suit my winter of some-content. I played it on its own, fearlessly, until I found it's Yoko Ono counterpart song, afterwich I played them back to back, like, a lot.

But that was last Winter. In late April I began to ween off them and now they're necessarily being replaced by a new song duo obession. I'll post the Winter songs next Winter (or later this Summer, or perhaps next week). But now it's Spring, and I'm obsessed with Spring songs.

One is a morning song, listen to it every morning on the way to work, feel ecstatic, ebullient. The second is an evening song. Listen on the way home, at dusk or twilight or whatever, feel contemplative, introspective, what have you. Both are Yo La Tengo.

morning song:
Mr. Tough mp3
Yo La Tengo, I'm not afraid of you and I will beat your ass
...and if you ask for a nickle, i'm going to hand you a dime...

evening song:
Black Flowers mp3
Yo La Tengo, I'm not afraid of you and I will beat your ass
...you know you can always change your mind, maybe I will too in time...

+ I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass, which everyone should buy right now

+ Yo La Tengo

Unrelatedly, from Red:
Amy Stein Photography: Domesticated

Unrelatedly, I've been looking for paraben-free cosmetics which don't smell like hell (Dr.Hauschka's), and which don't cost $300, and finally found Ren Skin Care, a paraben-free product line which smells like heaven. And not only is paraben-free, it's also free of petrochemicals, sulfates, syntehtic fragrances, synthetic colors, and as the label states, "pegs, et al". (Pegs are bad!?).

Parabens, the controversial preservatives, are in almost every American cosmetic product that is fluid or gooey in consistency, including soap, lotion, shampoo, lip balm...

But why avoid parabens? A hairstylist I met informed me of research indicating that parabens act as an estrogen analog, and can cause breast cancer and birth defects such as small genetalia in male offspring, in direct proportion to the levels of parabens accumulated in a woman's body.

Is it true? Well, there are sources which says that it is, and that there is a lot of research revealing so, but there are sources which also claim it's not true. But the cosmetic lobby is allegedly very active in keeping parabens considered safe and legal because they're cheap preservatives. The wikipedia entry for parabens doesn't cover much on the controversy. So, maybe it's not true. But what if it is? Many European cosmetic companies don't allow the use of parabens because of the data suggesting the harmful side effects.

Here are some more links on the topic:
+ Parabens: Some random website on breast cancer and parabens
+ Jason cosmetics are also paraben-free (but don't smell nearly as good as Ren Skincare).
+ Ren Skin Care (available online or at Sephora.)