Category Archives: Thoughts

H20: the album that keeps on giving

I keep a notebook with to-do lists, names of records I’m looking for, movies to watch, and (as found in last year’s notebook) a full-page demand for myself to LISTEN TO ALL HALL & OATES ALBUMS IN THEIR ENTIRETY ASAP! I went through a similar phase with the Bee Gees a few years ago, knowing that a band capable of such a stellar run of singles clearly had to be writing album tracks nearly as good or better, and I spent months getting up close and personal with Idea, Horizontal, and Main Course–now my three favorite Bee Gees albums.  I’ve always associated Hall & Oates with the sweaty H2O cover, which is no wonder I never exactly embraced the duo. But a group responsible for “I Can’t Go For That” (admittedly ripped off by Michael Jackson for “Billie Jean”), “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “Private Eyes,” and “Kiss On My List” deserves not to be judged by one silly sleeve. My Hall & Oates education would begin with H2O  because admittedly, it’s the only H&O album I own, and then I would proceed in reverse chronological order (Private Eyes, Voices, and so on). I should be … Read more

a whole lotta love for all things awesome

Hello to friends and readers, old and new!  Cha Cha Charming has come out of hibernation–with a little less pink and a whole lotta love for all things awesome. For those that have visited in search of girl pop, you’ll still find plenty of that here. But my enthusiasm for everything has made it difficult to keep CCC in such narrow focus. The site is still very much music-centric, but with the more-than-occasional nod to favorite destinations (Palm Springs), animals (spiders), documentaries (at the moment, anything by Adam Curtis), and other random delights. For the newcomers, I started Cha Cha Charming in 1998, after having returned to NYC from London with a pile of girl-pop 45s that would prompt the beginning of a record-collecting habit that I have yet to shake. I needed a place to gush about Andrea Carroll records whilst at the same time documenting my ever-growing obsession with metal band Megadeth. Cha Cha Charming lasted for three print issues, and then moved to the web a couple of years later as a hub for female-fronted pop, from the past, present, and future, and from all over the globe. I updated it fairly … Read more

Century of the Self

I watched Adam Curtis’ 4-part series The Century of the Self (2002) and my brain went into “too much information” mode and left me overwhelmed and mind-blown. It was the moment in the Monkees’ film Head, where the band are sitting for hours in a steam bath with the Maharishi, hoping to gain some insight into the meaning of life. After hours of lecturing, the Maharashi concludes by questioning everything he’s just said. “But why should I speak?,” he asks. “For I know nothing.” The Monkees flip out. “You know nothing?!” they ask. And Davy Jones storms off in a huff. After absorbing 240 minutes worth of footage on propaganda, PR, consumerism, and psychology, I was left with the frustrating yet oddly liberating feeling that I know nothing. When the film reveals that women’s “choice” to take up smoking in the 1920s was not actually a radical expression of equality and feminism, but a carefully constructed PR plan to get the other half of the population to cough up their cash for cigarettes, it leaves you questioning your own forms of personal expression, and begs the questions, Am I in charge of myself … Read more