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wonders never cease Thursday, April 22, 2010

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21st, 2010play list of the week: 10 songs inspired by science + a bonus 11th

[caption id="attachment_3866" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="click to listen"]abigail.2[/caption]This past weekend, the brilliant clothing designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury was kind enough to journey down from Chicago and spend the weekend discussing her designs & inspirations. She blinded us with science; as she told The Washington Post's Jennifer Barger, her inspiration comes from science and natural history. She designed her current (spring) line thinking about electricity, specifically charts that show how electrons move through metals. Her fall collection has robot-inspired leather jackets. Robots, electricity, nature, science. We thought these ideas sounded like a cool theme for our weekly Play List, and Abigail solidified our plan by suggesting the first song. (Thank you for the photos, Bethanne!)agl.4.1 agl.1agl.3Electron_Clock AND SO, we now present: Ten Songs Inspired By Science (and a bonus Apples eleventh)

1. Science Genius Girl - Freezepop
Straight from the play list of our favorite Science Genius Designer, we thank Abigail once again and highly recommend this Boston synthpop outfit whose members describe their music as "sweet and cold and fruity and plastic-y", much like the snack they named themselves after.

2. Energy - The Apples in Stereo
The Apples in Stereo sounded terrific at the Rock and Roll Hotel Sunday night, kicking off a tour promoting their new album, Travellers in Space and Time. Lead Apple Robert Schneider gives a new meaning to the term musical genius, experimenting on the new album with his recent invention, the Non-Pythagorean musical scale based on the logarithm, a mathematical function. Schneider is a passionate student of mathematics, and recently composed music based on prime numbers for a play written by world-class mathematician Andrew Granville, performed at the hallowed Institute for Advanced Study (home of Albert Einstein) in Princeton, New Jersey.

3. I Am a Scientist - Guided By Voices
One of the more popular of the over 1,300 songs written by former fourth grade teacher Robert Pollard.

4. God Monkey Robot - The Apparitions
Before he became the beloved folk hero to legions of fans in the US and Europe, Mark Charles Heidinger of DC's Vandaveer headed this great band in his native Lexington, KY. Catch this globe-trotting troubadour at the Proper Topper-sponsored Rose Park Spring Celebration Saturday morning.

5. E = MC2 - Big Audio Dynamite
The third track on the debut album from former Clash guitarist and singer Mick Jones with his new band, the eclectic and electric B.A.D. This is considered to be the first song to make use of highly defined sampling technologies.

6. Einstein A Go Go - Landscape
We would have expected smarter lyrics for a song about Einstein and the theory of relativity, but the best they came up with was "Better watch out, better beware. Albert says that E = MC square."

7. Sounds of Science - Beastie Boys
A complex song from the 1988 album Paul's Boutique, a surprisingly sophisticated release that followed the Beastie's 1986 debut album, Licensed to Ill, the best selling rap album of the '80s.

8. The Edison Museum - They Might Be Giants
Clever homage with a creepy vibe from the two Johns, "In the topmost tower, a light burns dim, a coiling filament glowing within."

9. I Am a Scientist - Dandy Warhols
The pride of Portland get more synthesized on 2003's Welcome To The Monkey House, which takes its title from the Kurt Vonnegut book of the same name.

10. Robots - Flight of the Conchords
Straight from HBO, this duo introduces themselves as "formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo." We may have to fly halfway around the world to check out the other three bands because these guys are funny.

11. Dance Floor - The Apples in Stereo
A song from the aforementioned new Apples release, Travellers in Space and Time, along with the video directed by and starring Elijah Wood. We wonder if Elijah is familiar with the Flight of the Conchords song "Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring." See how the play list can come full circle, kind of like a chart showing how electrons move through metal?

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