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Listed: Diana Eng + Black Taj

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Dusted Features

Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Project Runway's Diana Eng and Amish Records' Black Taj.

Listed: Diana Eng + Black Taj

Diana Eng

Lost during the course of Bravo's hit reality show, Project Runway, among the sassy drama and faint creativity, RISD grad Diana Eng earned the respect of geeks and Back to the Future fans everywhere with her box-breaking ideas. Among these was a hooded sweatshirt with a camera attached that automatically snapped a few shots when the wearer's heart rate increased. While she did not advance to the final round (part 1 of which airs this Wednesday evening), she was able to make a nice impression on the viewing audience and in doing so earned herself the invitation to compose a list for Dusted - a privilege for which Heidi Klum could never hope.

1. Blondie -"Maria"
If I ever get to have my own biographical motion picture, and somehow become irresistibly attractive, I would like this to be the opening or ending song.

2. Supreme Beings Of Leisure - "Never the Same"
A light and relaxing song that reminds me of swimming.

3. Kermit the Frog - "It's Not Easy Being Green"
The song is happy childhood nostalgia mixed with true to life sentiment. I grew up a big Jim Henson fan. Needless to say, I liked Kermit the most.

4. Cowboy Mouth - "Love of My Life"
Reminiscent of my crazy, fun, mid-college phase in life. College is a time of infinite freedom and limited responsibility. I miss the days before worrying about health insurance and paying rent.

5. Prodigy - The Fat of the Land
Great to listen to while coding HTML or sewing/knitting... or rock climbing. Fortunately, I knit on a machine. Knitting with needles would go too slowly to listen to Prodigy.

6. Weezer - "The Good Life"
I'm not nearly as traveling-concert-cool as Weezer, but sometimes I feel this way after staying up three nights in a row getting ready for fashion shows. At times like those, I feel like getting a job at a coffee shop, and getting a boyfriend to curl up and read books with as soon as I get off from work.

7. Liza Minelli - "New York, New York"
Embodies my current New York experience. When I used to get put off by the NYC rudeness, the difficulty of finding permanent employment, or how aggressive people in the city are, I would play this song and pretend like I was in a small musical in my head. I sure do hope I "make it there."

8. The Supremes - "Can't Hurry Love"
The song I play and dance to when I am feeling down

9. Michael Jackson - "Dirty Diana"
I would never act that way, but since Project Runway, it's become my moniker. So I find the song amusing.

10. Save Ferris
Not only is her music catchy and fun, but she dated that Blink 182 guy, became a lesbian, and then they made a song about it.

Black Taj

A Mid-Atlantic supergroup of sorts, Black Taj contains members of Polvo, Idyll Sword, and, at one point, rock star John Theodore (Golden, Mars Volta). Stepping a good distance away from the easy-going nature of Idyll Sword and veering somewhat bluesier than Polvo's angularity, Black Taj spent nearly 5 years (on and off) realizing what was to be their self-titled debut album. Their loose affiliations with Trans Am and the Fucking Champs shine through on their debut record, released last year on the always reliable Amish Records, as do their other interests, as noted below by Black Taj member Dave Brylawski.

1. Jimi Hendrix - Live at Royal Albert Hall
I don’t know why Experience Hendrix is still sitting on this album (and rumored DVD) considering that it is widely available as an import. This was culled from the second performance of a two night stand that was spread out a week apart. The 1st show was supposedly below par, but the second show counted. The last British show of the Experience line up, R.A.H. straddles the phases of Jimi’s live career between the explosive psychedelic bursts and the extendo-jams of later shows. Recorded from the perfect distance – you can hear everything distinctly but you can still grasp the size and power of the show (huge). Contains my favorite version of "Hear My Train A’Coming" – slow, intense and pulsing.

2. Jim O’Neal - Delta Blues Map Kit
This is available at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The Delta is beautiful, soaked with history and infused with collective projected fantasies of blues power. My wife and I made the trip twice when we lived in Nashville. Go to Memphis and head south on Highway 61. A thorough companion to total immersion. Rosedale, Bentonia, Tutwiler, Avalon, Greenwood, Dockery’s Plantation – all mythical stations brought to life. Pay your respects at both of Robert Johnson’s gravesites. Visit the Mississippi John Hurt Museum. Stand where the ‘Southern cross[ed] the Dog’.

3. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings - Live at the Station Inn, Nashville, 2005
I sat three feet away from the stage during one of their multiple show residences at the famous bluegrass club. Enthralling and humbling.

4. iPod shuffle’s internal logic
It’s admirably perplexing. It usually creates a nice flow, and the segues often make sense based on genre, artist, etc. But sometimes it makes ‘choices’ and connections that are truly head scratching, causing magical thinking and serious anthropomorphizing. For instance, earlier today it played "Shine It All Around" by Robert Plant right after "In the Light", how the hell does it know that? Ok, that may not be the best example, but that kind of stuff happens way too often to be mere coincidence.

5. The break beat played under the station ID of 1360 WCHL (Chapel Hill) during Carolina games in the 70s and 80s.
(voiceover "We’re diggin’ our Heels"). Stands on its own, but it brings back great fuzzy memories of youth. Turn the TV sound off and listen to Woody Durham’s play by play on the radio.

6. WXYC / Chapel Hill
Speaking of Chapel Hill radio, I’d be remiss not to mention WXYC (UNC’s college station). Although for a while it grew into more of a love/hate kind of thing, it had a marked influence and impact on my own musical development from high school to the present.

7. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
A complete band. The Funeral Pudding/Admonishing the Bishops/ Mother of All Saints – Hard to narrow it down to just three or four releases. Depth and Breadth.

8. Sonic Youth Cover of "Within You Without You" on Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father
At the time it was my favorite band covering my favorite band. It sounded like they wrote it, or it was written with them in mind. It was like when Dylan first heard Jimi’s "All Along the Watchtower" – he allegedly said ‘He owns it now’. When I finally saw Dylan play, he played Jimi’s version, solos and all.

9. The Feelies - The Good Earth
Why has this fallen out of print?

10. ZZ TOP
The rumor that ZZ Top is going to re-release the 1st three albums with the old vinyl mixes, as opposed to the unfortunate cd mixes that make Frank Beard sound like he’s playing oil barrels with tons of reverb. They need to do it all the way through Tejas at least.

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