Thursday, December 31, 2009

I dub thee The George W. Bush Decade

No better way to convey the greed, arrogance, stupidity, tremendous sense of entitlement, and pretense of values (with a dash of nepotism) that seems to have tainted every aspect of American life.

My runner-up name was the Michael McDonald's Motown Covers Album Decade. It just didn't have the dash of nepotism.

Happy New Year everyone! And I really really REALLY hope this season of The Bachelor is every bit as "lucky in love" as all the other seasons of The Bachelor. It's true love y'all. True love.

2009 singles: "Method Of Modern Love"

It's sadly not a Hall & Oates cover, but it IS St. Etienne and worthy of a reminder.

No rules for foolish hearts, Never looking too hard that´s the method of modern love

2009 singles: "Crystalized"

The xx. Don't know much. Including for completeness but probably not gonna make the Top 50.

Do I have to keep up the pace, To keep you satisfied

2009 singles: "Sweet Disposition"

Temper Trap. Don't know much about them. Don't know ANYTHING about them. Like the song. Couple of pretty good tracks, 2 songs of the day this year. Enjoy.

A moment, a love, A dream aloud

Happy birthday Bebe Neuwirth

I've been slack on birthdays. Oh well. Enjoy Bebe singing.

Song of the day: "Russian Roulette"

So I'm not crazy about the latest crop from Riahnna (whose name I apparently don't know how to spell), but I figured I'd end the year with her. After all, I feel like 2009 beat the shit out of me and my friends the way Chris Brown beat the shit out of her.



Ta da.

Plus it'll disappear in the final day of 2009 singles reminders.

Well, except for "utmost confidentiality"

Dear Beloved,
My name is Mrs. Kate Powell I am a dying woman who has decided to donate
what I have to charities through you. You may be wondering why I chose
you.But someone has to be chosen. I am 59 years old and was diagnosed
for cancer about 2 years ago, after the death of my husband who had left
me everything he worked for. I have been touched by the Lord to donate
from what I have inherited from my late husband to charity through you
for the good work of humanity, rather than allow my relatives to use
my husband's hard earned funds inappropriately.

I have asked the Lord to forgive me all my sins and I believe he
has,because He is merciful. I will be going in for an operation, and I pray
that I survive the operation. I have decided to Will/Donate the sum of
$10,300,000.00 (Ten Million three hundred thousand Dollars) to charities
through you for the good work of the Lord, and to help the motherless,
lessprivileged and also for the assistance of the widows.

Presently, I have informed my consultant about my decision in willing
this fund to charity through you. I wish you all the best and may the
good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always
extend the good work to others. If you are interested in carrying out
this task, I will inform my consultant, so that he can arrange the
release of the funds to you. I know I have never met you but my mind tells
me to do this, and I hope you act sincerely. I decided that 30% of this
money should be taken by you from the total sum upon the success
release of this fund, because I am now too weak and fragile to do things
myself because of my cancer.

NB:I sincerely know that a lot has been written about some SCAM coming
out of the world, but I assure you that this will never in any way
associated with that as you will be given the right to verify this directly
with the Bank were the funds is presently deposited.

I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the
task is accomplished, as I don't want anything that will jeopardize my
last wish, due to the fact that I do not want relatives or family
members standing in the way of my last wish.


Reply me via this email address:
God bless you and your family,
Mrs. Kate Powell.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The 2010 Marriage Protection Act

I'm so glad someone is making the effort to do this. If I had more energy and could interact with other humans, I might try in Oregon.

2009 singles: "Search And Destroy"

Peaches puts her imprint on the Iggy and the Stooges classic as part of the War Child charity album. And I like it.

Look out honey cause I'm using technology, Ain't got time to make no apology

2009 singles: "Man In The Sand"

Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes fame, with The Ryans of, um, Gordon Gano & The Ryans fame. A late summer/early autumn release with some power pop appeal. Rock on dude, rock on!

I would like to stroll on the old boardwalk, I would like to sit close and have a talk

2009 singles: "Think I Need It Too"

Echo. Bunnymen. 2009.

Just as I thought I'm thinking, How can I change when I don't want to

2009 singles: "Silver Trembling Hands"

I wanted to include Flaming Lips in the reminder, although I don't think this will make my Top 50. It's just so.... yeah. Big and over-the-top arty. I mean, really guys.

Is it wrong not to believe, Nature makes us all complete

2009 singles: "People Say"

Portugal. The Man (sic) used to live in Wasilla, Alaska. Now they live in Portland, Oregon. Perhaps I have cursed one or more of them for some minor infraction against what I consider to be "the most basic rules of behavior"--like putting a backpack on the seat of a crowded bus. Or perhaps not. But probably, it's the biggest small town in America.

All the soldiers say it'll be alright, We may make it through the war if we make it through the night

2009 singles: "From The Hips"

Don't know a thing about the band, Cursive, but I want to make sure I include it in the reminder file.

I don't want to have to spell it out, Don't want to mumble what I'm trying to say

2009 singles: "Black Hearted Love"

I'm not a huge PJ Harvey fan, but this collaboration with John Parish insinuated itself into my head back in the Summer. And here we are in the Winter.

When you call out my name in rapture, I volunteer my soul for murder

Quote of the day

"Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President."--Dan Pfeiffer, White House Communications Director

Pfeiffer was responding to comments made from Dick Cheney. Dick FUCKING Cheney, the WAR CRIMINAL. Because the incident on the Northwest flight MUST have been Obama's fault--he's not keeping us safe. You know, safe like Bush/Cheney who allowed 9/11 to happen. Who allowed the Anthrax thing to go... how long again? Wait, who was responsible? Who allowed Osama bin Laden to escape so they could justify an oil grab/invasion of Iraq. Who gave billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to Halliburton, a company the Dick FUCKING Cheney kept his stock options in. Whose invasion of Iraq led to the needless deaths of thousands of Americans, the injury of tens of the thousands of Americans, the disruption of the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and the complete fucking of the lives of millions of Iraqis (as if they count). Who shot a fucking man in the face. Who worked to suppress the rights of millions of gay and lesbian Americans, LIKE HIS OWN FUCKING DYKE DAUGHTER who, disgustingly, is raising a child (perversion!!!!).

That Dick Cheney.

Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself.

Meanwhile somewhere warm

(h/t to Kassie for sending)

Out in the Kenyan colony of Hawaii, Kassie is hanging with the turtles.

Also, there's no snow.

She wins.

2009 singles: "Panic Switch"

Silversun Pickups picked up a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist for their second album, Swoon. This is one of several singles from it that got a lot of radio play.

When you see yourself in a crowded room, Do you fingers itch are you pistol whipped?

2009 singles: "Now We Can See"

The Thermals had a couple of good singles in 2009. This is the only one with an embeddable video, ergo, it's the one I include.

We still need the medicine quick! We still take the pill, But only for the fix!

2009 singles: "No You Girls"

As with Decemberists and Green Day, I can't believe I haven't included Franz Ferdinand in the singles recap file. Wow, I am behind. Tonight: Franz Ferdinand has 3 pretty good singles on it, I'm including this song as it's the one I remember singing to my dogs in the middle of the night when I have to let one of them out. They're not all girls, but Willy acts like one.

Sometimes I say stupid things that I think, Well, I mean, I, sometimes I think the stupidest things

2009 singles: "The Rake's Song"

Decemberists did pretty well last year with "Valerie Plame" but I wasn't sure I'd include anything from The Hazards of Love since it's such a concept piece. But in revisiting, this song has some meat to it on its own. Lyrically it's kind of a mess (conceptual!) but musically it's solid.

Charlotte I buried after feeding her foxglove, Dawn was easy, she was drowned in the bath

2009 singles: "21 Guns"

I need to listen to Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown before I can finalize my list. "Know Your Enemy" is a great song, as is this, their typical second song/power ballad. I'm usually not that taken with them, but this one stayed with me.

Did you try to live on your own, When you burned down the house and home?

2009 singles: "Walking The Dog"

This song from the band fun. (sic) isn't the best, but rhythmically it's got a quality that's hard to forget.

If you could see me whoever I am, It's not like the movie, it's not all skin and bones

Song of the day: "Bang"

A few of my friends have been enthusing about the Ravonettes, so here's another track from them.

And again with Robert Mueller

Dude, don't shout.
This condition is valid until 15 day. after we shall take action on canceling the payment and then charge you for illegally moving funds out of Africa.

He was breath up in Russia

The best part is the pictures he offers.

From: Mr. Zeferino Mauro


Dear Friend,

My Name is Mr. Zeferino Mauro, I am from Portugal, but born and breath up in Russia, I have been diagnosed with cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself) but my business.

Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it.

I Would want to have a Personal and Trusthworthy Relationship with you, as I intend and willing to empower the change of ownership for the transfer of the sum of USD 11,200,680.00  to your Account or personal possession for further Investment and Charity Disbursement to the Less Priveledge and Homeless, therefore,

I appeal to you to write me via my mail portugeese mail address: I will send you the photos of me and my very hopeless and selfish family members, including my wife, who I learnt is getting married to my personal friend and attorney, soonest.

Thank you for your due consideration.

God be with you.

Mr. Zeferino Mauro.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Portland weathermen (and women), I'd like my money back

Not that I pay you anything, per se, but ohmygod you guys totally fucked up. Again.

Look at the "rain" glistening on the leaves in the night. To my Portland peeps who left town this week, well timed!

And here are the dogs in the "wet" backyard.

Snow. Fucking snow.

They said rain. My winter hat is at home. As are my gloves. And not to sound like a little baby, but the weather men said it would be rainy and around 40 this afternoon. Idiots!

Here is the Terminal Sales Building from this morning's walk (remember, back when I was having a good morning). With the church in the foreground.

And this is the view from the mechanic's.

2009 singles: "Rapture"

Bananarama cover the Iio song from 2006, and it's pretty fun. I think I will look for a copy of Viva Bananarama at the used CD place by my mechanic when I head out to pick up my car this afternoon.

Your kisses make my skin feel weak, Always melting in your heat

2009 singles: "Say Please"

Super group Monsters Of Folk are M. Ward, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes, and Jim James from My Morning Jacket. I didn't love the album, but this track got a lot of play, so I'm throwing it in my reminders file, in case I was missing some hidden allure to it.

Everyone gets dark and the worst part, Is the way those thoughts can please you

2009 singles: "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris"

Another track from Morrissey's Years Of Refusal album. Everything's just. So. Dramatic. With him. Ya know? But still, always fun to hear him going on about his latest woes. I wonder what his issue with Iams is...

In the absence of your love, And in the absence of human touch

Quote of the day

(h/t Towleroad)
"Before Republicans are allowed to impose their values on our families their political leaders—Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, et al—should be required to successfully impose their own damn values on their own damn families for for five fucking minutes."--Dan Savage

And across the street

Is the First Presbyterian Church, which is also lovely. The morning light + iPhone camera quality conspired to make this difficult. I'll try again later.

Morning architecture

I took my car into the downtown mechanic for an oil change (which is also free parking for the day) and walked to the office. I'd seen this building before, but never really absorbed the intricacy of the design. It's the Terminal Sales Building on SW Morrison Street.

I guess it's got some historical significance to it as it's on the National Register of Historic Places and has its own Wikipedia page (here).

I will bring a better camera and try to take more pictures. I like Deco and Lee introduced me to the Streamline, um, genre within the Deco family. Which led me to reading about Raygun Gothic, my new favorite school of design.

That plus the Style Council... it's been a good morning.

Flashback song: "Have You Ever Had It Blue"

I work in an office building above a downtown mall. A small mall, but a mall nonetheless. For my morning Starbucks runs it's down the elevator, down the escalator, walk through the food court and past the stores to a different escalator and up to 1 of the 2 Starbucks. If it's not super crowded I'll stop there, otherwise, up to the 4th floor for the nearly always empty, lesser Starbucks.

On my walk back, I heard this fucking Style Council song, from 1986, playing over the mall speakers (but mostly drowned out by lite jazz from the food court speakers). From the soundtrack to Absolute Beginners, here's the Style Council.

Happy birthday Mary Tyler Moore

"With each glance, and every little movement you show it"

Her characters are iconic: Mary Richards and Laurie Petrie. There's a statue immortalizing Mary's hat toss in downtown Minneapolis. She's won 6 Emmys and been nominated for 8 more. She was nominated for an Oscar as the WASPy ice queen in Ordinary People, and she fucking rules Flirting With Disaster. She's done an array of charitable work, including serving as International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, working with animal rights causes, and working in favor of stem cell research.

But you know her. You love her. Here are the clips:

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Fun with comments

So I've gotten interesting comments left on the blog, folks from around the world (which is to say Canada, England, somewhere in South America). Lots of folks are disappointed to find out that they aren't the only one to receive a very special, secret offer from Nigeria (which is why I post those letters).

Sometimes the comments are SPAM. This comment got posted 3 times, but I didn't think to get a screen shot until after I deleted the first one. This was from one of the 419 Scam posts.

Oh Govinda Swamy A, thanks for your thoughtful input. I'm happy you're reading.

Song of the day: "Sea Of Heartbreak"

Johnny Cash gave daughter Rosanne a list of 100 country songs he considered essential back in 1973 (which reminds me, the fabulous Clinton owes me his crucial club hits of 2009 list). She tackled a dozen songs and released The List back in October. It's on my library hold list, but until then, enjoy this Grammy-nominated duet with Bruce Springsteen, originally recorded by Don Gibson.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 singles: "Goin' Thru Them Changes"

At least that's the title according to iTunes, where I got this as a free download earlier this year. Ledisi picked up 2 Grammy nominations from her most recent album, Turn Me Loose: Best R&B Album, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for this song. I lump her in with Jill Scott and Raphael Saadiq as contemporary R&B artists I really need to listen to more.

ooohhh yyeaaah aaww baby yeeeaa
(sic), I wish that I could stay, but staying here confuses me more

2009 singles: "You And I"

Wilco, from Wilco, along with Feist. Another album that I really enjoyed this year.

Oh I don't need to know, Everything about you

2009 singles: "People Got A Lot Of Nerve"

A second track from Neko Case, whose Middle Cyclone was among my favorite albums of 2009. Pointing out the similarities between her voice and Kirsty MacColl seems silly at this point... and yet, look what I just did.

We know they call them killer whales, But you seem surprised, When it pinned you down to the bottom of the tank

Notes on Up In The Air

As always, a preface that this isn't a traditional review, just notes to myself and the public at large (all 4 of you) on Oscar possibilities for the movie at hand. In this case, Jason Reitman's Up In The Air which is getting a shitload of Oscar buzz. In fact, it's one of 3 movies that seem like they have a lock on a Best Picture nomination (along with The Hurt Locker and Avatar).

It's fared well in the slate of critics awards, picking up four from National Board of Review, and a few more here or there--but usually at least one from each of the high profile critics groups. It leads all movies with 6 Golden Globes nominations, and is likely a lock on Oscar nominations in these same categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Supporting Actress (Vera Farmiga) and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick).

I went into the movie expecting Kendrick to have an edge over Farmiga for a nomination, but I think if only one of them makes that cut, that it will be Farmiga. But they're both in strong positions right now. And I'm rooting for Mo'Nique to win, for now (that has nothing to do with Mo'Nique not campaigning and everything to do with needing to see a bunch of movies).

In other categories, I'd give it a strong chance for Editing, and soft chances for Cinematography and Original Score. After that, it's a dark horse at best. Despite a few featured songs, there are no Original Song candidates from this movie. There's nothing special about the costumes, make-up, sound/sound effects or visual effects. There, I said it, the costumes in Up In The Air are boring. Take that, non-existent costume designer that will be offended by this. It's American Airlines uniforms and suits.

Okay, now a post-script that includes some more reviewy types of thoughts:
  • I loved Amy Morton, who played the sister that wasn't getting married. LOVED her. Apparently Reitman was impressed with her after seeing her on Broadway in August: Osage County, there's a cute story here.
  • Sam Elliot's appearance also made me very happy.
  • The idea of the company for which Ryan Bingham works probably existed in a real way, back when the novel was written. It was first published in July 2001, a time when the dot com bust was the biggest of our employment woes. In December 2009, after years and years and years of shitty economy (thank you fuck you George W. Bush), it seems quaint. In fact, in a scene set in Detroit, they walk into an office that appears to have been gutted. I don't think the employees in that office needed their company to hire someone to tell them they were losing their jobs.
  • I am a little incredulous that a window like that could be opened that easily, given the type of window (but in case you haven't seen the movie, it's not a big spoiler). I mean, really? That was a good insulated window.
  • I didn't see the spoiler coming, but I did expect an entirely different spoiler that didn't happen. So ultimately I was very fulfilled and I heartily recommend the movie to anyone who likes smart dialog unless you also hate George Clooney. I know 2 of you. That I know of (some of you might be closet Clooney haters, or perhaps it just hasn't come up yet).
  • There is a real life Ryan Bingham, a musician that's likely to be nominated in the Original Song category for a song from Crazy Heart. Weird.

What is it about the last hour of a flight...

That makes the TSA ban passengers from getting up then? Is it because that's the hour the dude picked last Friday?

Why not ban people from getting up on odd numbered days?

Or Fridays?


That specific part of the rules is so fucking stupid and a perfect example of the kinds of reactionary bullshit you guys keep pulling.

If he'd done it in the very middle of the flight, when would you ban us from getting up then?

Do you work for

If so, then quit fucking calling me. And if I ask you to remove me from your calling list, don't hang up on me, but please remove me from your calling list.

Apparently the FCC's "do not call" list isn't actually useful for anything. It's like a rabbit's foot--no actual correlation to whether or not you are called by telemarketers.

Anyway, if you work for, please go buy a gun (and bullets, don't forget bullets), take the loaded gun to work, and shoot and kill as many of your coworkers as you can, before turning the gun on yourself. Yes, the exact advice I gave earlier. And as before, cough, I'm just kidding.

Happy birthday Maggie Smith

Someone needs to get Maggie a Spoken Word album to record, since she has an Emmy, a Tony, and 2 Oscars already. And she's always just so much fun to watch. She's radiant, she's funny, and she's a great actress. She can do anything except a reasonably close approximation of a southern accent.

I want to give deference to Nichelle today, but here is an extended scene from Maggie's hysterical performance in California Suite, for which she won her second Oscar.

Happy birthday Nichelle Nichols

As part of the ground-breaking cast of Star Trek, she gave hope to millions of women and people of color. That if they worked really really hard, someday they could grow up and become a receptionist.

"U S S Enterprise, how may I direct your call?"

The reboot with the movie gives much more gravitas to her character, and I don't mean to belittle her with that comment. It's just taken the Star Trek universe a little time to anticipate colorblind, gender-neutral, species-neutral staffing.

The Uhuru character is one of the first black female characters on TV that wasn't a servant. From her Wikipedia entry (here):
During the first year of the series, Nichols was tempted to leave the show, as she felt her role lacked significance; however, a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind. Though specifics of the conversation vary, in generalities she has reported that Dr. King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series and told her she "could not give up" since she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country. It is also often reported that Dr. King added that "Once that door is opened by someone, no one else can close it again."

She also worked with NASA helping recruit women and minorities to the agency, helping recruit the first female astronaut (Dr. Mae Jemison) and the first black astronaut (Col. Guion Bluford).

And the girl can sing! She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton (but not Vinyl Hampton, I checked).

Happy birthday you ground-breaker! Rock on!

Song of the day: "You've Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger"

From Beth Rowley, this is from the movie An Education. It's used in a nightclub scene and it's got an authenticity to it--I figured it was a song from the 1950s that I didn't know.

Are you looking for Stefan Jackson?

He doesn't live here. But someone's been calling for him at my house for a good 6 or 7 years now. And it's just started up again.

They autodial my house, with a prerecorded message that Stefan Jackson should call them back. But fuck that. I have called them back. And called them back. And called them back.

It stops for a while, then kicks up again (presumably the defaulted account has been bundled and resold to a new collections place).

  1. It's a robocall. FUCK YOU
  2. You're calling a phone number I've had for nine fucking years looking for someone I do not know. That means you're dealing with either really fucking old, or really fucking shitty data. THAT IS NOT MY PROBLEM
  3. It's a robocall. Double fuck you.
  4. When you call back the number, it's a goddamn fax machine or modem? No. No. No.

So if you work for the company with caller ID 866-716-8545, I want you to go buy a gun (and bullets, don't forget bullets), take it to work, and shoot and kill as many of your cowokers as you can before turning the gun on yourself. (Not, cough, literally, as that would be an incitement of violence and violence against pathetic collections people is not ever justified... except it totally is.)

Fabulous part-time work opportunity!

In case this sounds legit, what happens is you will receive fake checks that you cash in your personal back account, and send 90% of that to someone. Then, 2 weeks later, when the check bounces, you're fucked. Actually, someone should sign up and just sit on the checks. Maybe I'll do that. (Nah, I won't do that, but someone should.)

Southern Electric Company
125 Gosbecks Rd
Colchester, Essex CO2 9JT, UK
Registered in Scotland No.117110
Tel: +447045710297
VAT No-Go 5532 7696 03


We have a job opening for the position of Accounts receivable officer. Would you like to work from your home and get paid weekly? We are offering this position to all interested applicants. Please carefully read through.

This employment opportunity is targeted at providing part/full time job seekers, and also people who would like to working from home, and get paid weekly.

The Southern Electric Company is a well established provider of Electrical service solutions Established in 1948, Southern Electric procures, warehouses, and any kind of electrical and data product, component, or related service to its customers. It stocks and sells hundreds of thousands of items from thousands of manufacturers.

We deliver high quality precision products to some of the largest and best known companies in far back Asia, Europe, the Regions of America and Rest of The world. You will find our high quality Electronics in the BEST products on the market today.

We serve the entire Europe, United States/Canada and a growing export market, particularly in the supplies of Electrical and welding products, robotic welding systems, plasma and ox fuel cutting equipment.

Your primary task as a representative of the company would be to coordinate payments from customers and help us with the payment process. You are not involved in any sales. Once orders are received and sorted we deliver the product to the customer, after this has been done, the customer has to pay for the products but in most cases we make our clients prepay for orders or items they order for.

About 90 percent of our customers prefer to pay through Certified Checks, Money Orders or traveler check drawn from the United States/Canada/Europe based on the amount involved. We then decided to throw open this new contract -to-hire job position as a way of giving back to the Nation in form of extra job creation and as a way of corporate social responsibility to the populace and ultimately to fill up this position.

Your First Primary task (Collection of Payments):

1. Receive payment from our Customers or Clients.
2. Cash Payment at your Local Bank.
3. Deduct 10 % which will be your percentage/pay on Payment processed
4. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any of the offices you will be contacted to send payment to.

You will have a lot of free time doing another job, because this job is part time, you also will get good income, but this job is very challenging and you should understand it. We are sure you will be a diligent and timely worker; you do not need any form of data entry experience to perform the job duties.

Get back to us with information below information, so that we can add your mailing address to our Regional database and forward it to our customers for them to start sending payments.

First name...................
Middle name..................
Last name....................
Address Line 1...............
Address Line 2...............
Zip/Postal code..............
Home phone...................
Cell phone...................


Your response to this email is needed, so that we can reconfirm your mailing/residential address details we have in our database.

We will be updating you as soon as a payment is being sent to you, and you will be directed as to where to have the remaining 90% of the money sent to, after the deduction of your 10% wage on any payments received and processed by you.

A swift acknowledgment of the receipt of this email will be appreciated.

Thanks for Your Total Understanding.

Thomas G. Boren
Southern Electric Company
125 Gosbecks Rd
Colchester, Essex CO2 9JT, UK

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 singles: "Wheels"

Foo Fighters appear to be fulfilling their 7 album contractual obligation with a greatest hits album (it's usually that or a live album), and "Wheels" is one of the two new tracks on that. It's got this big arena sound, but I give Dave Grohl a lot of latitude and this one grew on me. I don't know if it's based on an actual incident or just hypothetical.

Apparently Grohl's unhappy with the Greatest Hits track listing, so skip that and just buy tracks a la carte. Or check the albums out from your library and make your own.

And everyone I've loved before, Flashed before my eyes, And nothin' mattered anymore, I looked into the sky

2009 singles: "The Great Escape"

British band The Rifles is relatively new; The Great Escape is their second album and the title track has been stuck in my head for a good 5 months now. I don't know much more about them, so... yeah.

Six months of our lives are at a red light, And there's a thousand chances to get it right

2009 singles: "Orange Shirt"

The band Discovery is made up of members of Ra-Ra-Riot and Vampire Weekend. This track was their first single, but they also do a cover of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" which was released within like 10 days of Michael Jackson's death, which meant it got weirdly ironic airplay. This track has a nice sound although it's got a muffled quality like you're listening to it through earmuffs or underwater--but I think that's part of the texture of the song.

Sleep on the train to Tokyo, Google yourself when you get home

2009 singles: "Queen Of The World"

Ida Maria's Fortress Round My Heart album from late 2008 yielded 3 pretty big radio tracks, but it was only the third that I cared much for. This is her debut, so there's not much to know about her; she was part of Perez Hilton's first foray into musical tour promotion... so there's that.

I'm the Queen of the world, I bump into things, I spin around in circles

Midge has a new man

His name is Fred. And he would NOT leave her alone. Not even for a minute.

Song of the day: "Soldier Of Love"

2010 will see the release of the 6th album from Sade, Soldier of Love. This is the title track and I'm hearing it for the first time as I type this. Here's hoping they tour. (By the way, Sade is the band's name, Sade Adu is her name.)

2009 singles: "First Train Home"

When I posted this song back in September I commented about how the video could have been made back in the 80s (it would have been nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the "cutting edge" or some experimental category)--only the colors would have been BOLD. Here it's just too tasteful.

Imogen was part of Frou Frou (and they may work together again); I think their song "Let Go" on the Garden State soundtrack is probably their best known song. She picked up 2 Grammy nominations in 2006 as Best New Artist and Song Written For Motion Picture/Television/Whatnot for a track from one of the Chronicles of Narnia movies.

This current album, Ellipse, is her third solo album.

I want to run in fields, paint the kitchen and love someone, And I can't do any of that here, can I?

2009 singles: "Bulletproof"

La Roux released their self-titled debut album this year, with a very new wave sound. I don't know if they'll be around in 2 years, or just a footnote on my singles list.

Burning bridges shore to shore, I'll break away from something more

2009 singles: "Resistance"

Muse released their fifth album, The Resistance, back in September. I don't know them at all, but they apparently have a pretty devoted fan base. They played a MTV Video Music Awards (or possibly the MTV Movie Awards), and appeared on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. They've had a couple of good tracks off the album, so take a listen.

Love is our resistance, They'll keep us apart, they won't stop breaking us down

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rebecca lets the cat out of the bag

After fervent prayer.

Rebecca L.Taylor,
Address-13400 Alexis-Nihau Boulevard,
Saint-Lauren Monaco.

Pardon me if I have offended you by contacting you through this medium (e-letter) I should have explained this to you on face-to-face meeting. But I could not do this because of the situation, and again not being sure of your reaction. I hope you will keep this little secret I'm about to share with you personal and confidential to yourself. Is about my husband, who is a sailor with INTERMAS SHIPPING COMPANY IN NEITHERLAND. He worked as a crew member in one of their vessels MV KIMOLUS which was leased to Kuwait Oil Corporation LLC. During one of such routine sail assignment, their Vessel was loaded with Contaminated Crude Oil which was to be disposed off at a designated discharge point. But rather they thought otherwise and contacted an Indian buyer, who indicated interested in the product and also directed them to discharge the product to his Tank Farm in South Africa .

The deal was struck, sealed and payment was made with regards to same and the proceeds of this deal were shared among them (my husband and others) accordingly. However, the deal was not to the knowledge of the company, because of International Purchase Agreement on contaminated product. But my husband decided to deposit his share of the proceeds with a financial institution under an untitled holding account, so it will not be traced to him, in case investigation into the discharge of the contaminated oil is initiated. So far so good, nothing of such has happened since the death of my husband 10 months ago of pneumonia.

It has taking me 2 months of fervent prayer to let the cat out of the bag and I thought it wise and led by the spirit to disclose this now and ease my mind of unnecessary tension, in expectation of your assistance to help secure the release of the money from the financial institution.

Please let me know what to do? If it is something you can handle, as my husband made me promise on his death bed not to go near the funds, until I find someone who can assist in securing the release and payment of the funds. As he wouldn't want the money to be traced or associated with any member of his family. I shall furnish you with further detailed information as I await your kind response directly to,

Thank you for finding out time to read my letter.

Kindest Regards.

A nice summary on the TSA reaction to the terror attempt

Laura Clawson's diary at DailyKos is worth reading (here).

So, to recap. Improvements in airport security have historically not worked. Yet, in response to a failed terrorism attempt, a struggling industry in a struggling economy, and the poor saps stuck as its customers, will have to deal with more restrictions imposed not because there's any empirical support for their effectiveness, but so the TSA can appear to be Vigilant and Responsive.

If some terrorist organization wanted to change its stated goals to killing the US airline industry, they could probably declare victory relatively soon.

Given the myriad ways the US has changed the way it lives since 9/11--giving up privacy, torture, ridiculous travel restrictions, a failure to capture Bin Laden (or a decision NOT to capture Bin Laden to help justify an invasion of Iraq), a needless war in Iraq--I'd say the terrorists won.

Flashback: 5 years ago

December 26, 2004 was a massive tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people and displaced more than 1.5 million others.

That's like 77 times the size of 9/11.

R.I.P. folks.

Happy Kwanzaa everybody

Shirley Q provides us another seasonal selection.

2009 singles: "Zero"

Another track from Yeah Yeah Yeahs that I want to make sure I review. The days are dwindling. The list, coming soon (two weeks, tops, I think).

You're never never far gone, So get your leather, leather, leather on

2009 singles: "Ashtray Heart"

I think Placebo might be the descendants of Gene Loves Jezebel with a little bit of The Cult's DNA thrown in. There are worse things to be, I guess. Their album Battle For The Sun had some pretty good tracks, but it's not something I'm tracking down at the library.

You are the birth and you are waste, You are the one who took my place

2009 singles: "Did You See Me Coming"

Pet Shop Boys are back baby. They are back.

Did they go away? Probably not. It's easy to lose track with old friends, but that doesn't mean they're not still doing great work.

The night we met was cold and wet, I needed a drink or two

2009 singles: "Spaceman"

A late 2008 release from The Killers, Day & Age had a few great tracks on it--they're turning into quite the band, actually. "Spaceman" was the second single, I think (after "Human"), so I'm assuming it's eligible for my 2009 list (which is made solely at my discussion, so yes, yes it is). I've never seen this video before... that's quite the codpiece there Brandon.

But I hear those voices at night, Sometimes they justify my claim

Happy birthday Phil Spector

Phil Spector is a crazy fuck and I feel badly for the family of Lana Clarkson, who he killed in 2003. So I'm not going to focus on him, just the music he helped produce. I think that endures without the taint of Spector's crimes.

The Ronettes "Be My Baby"

Ben E. King "Spanish Harlem"

Darlene Love (but released as The Crystals) "He's A Rebel" [in my house SHE'S a Rebel]

Ike & Tina Turner "River Deep, Mountain High" (note: Ike wasn't involved at all--Phil thought Ike was too controlling)

The Beatles "Let It Be"

Rest in peace Lana.

We heart popcorn

My mom, aka Grandma to her Grand-doggers, sent popcorn formulated for dogs (aka popcorn). And I scattered it around the living room.

And OH MY GOD they LOVE it!!!

They are looking for more.


Song of the day: "Te Amo"

A little something from Rihanna.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy birthday Annie Lennox

Holy crap, I didn't realize it was her birthday when I posted "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" earlier. But it is. It totally is.

Love Eurythmics. Their concert at the Fox in Atlanta back in 1984 is still among my favorite shows (although she did call us "Atlanta City"). One of my big personal "ooops" episodes was failing to understand the schedule for the concert at the opening of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and missing their reunion show there in 2000. I missed them, Beck and Rufus Wainwright, and showed up in the middle of Alanis Morrisette. The headliner? Matchbox fucking 20.

Love that they sustained some serious musical output and didn't end up like Culture Club.

Love that she continued as a solo artist. Wish Dave Stewart got a little more credit--it seems like the current arrangement is that he's her "employee" since she's more viable as a solo artist. Her last album listed him as producer and them as songwriters, which is how Eurythmics worked as well.

Their time in the Tourists isn't too important, so let's skip that. She has 4 Grammys (Alicia Keys has 12, Liza has 0, so she's right in the middle there) and an Oscar (for the original song from the third Lord of the Rings movie). She's involved in a variety of humanitarian efforts including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and fighting HIV/AIDS, among many others.

Let's get to the music. We'll start with her serving as a stand-in for Freddie Mercury at his tribute concert. And don't ask why she has raccoon eyes, ask why you DON'T have raccoon eyes.

As far as albums go, I think Savage is still my favorite from Eurythmics. Its whole is better than the sum of its songs, and the accompanying video album creates a back story of a housewife's descent into madness. And I think Weekends played like 6 different songs off it one night when we were out until 6 a.m. Oh to be 21 again.

I ran across that Bette Midler/Shelley Long movie on cable the other morning, and they use "When Tomorrow Comes" over the closing credit. Love that movie. Love this song. I don't know why it wasn't a bigger hit.

Her first solo album, Diva, was nominated for 4 Grammys (she won for Long Form Video), but I feel like "Why" ought to have been nominated for Record and Song of the Year. It has become a sustaining song in a way that "Beauty and the Beast" and "Achy Breaky Heart" have not. Right? I mean, can you go to Pottery Barn and not hear it? Or Borders? It's the "Every Breath You Take" of the 90s.

You know, sometimes I feel like a drunk guy flipping through my album collection and just feeling obligated to talk about every album. Sigh. Here's another song I love and that I haven't heard in forever.

Her second solo album, Medusa, was an album of covers and I was ecstatic that she picked an obscure Scottish band, The Lover Speaks, to cover as her first single. "No More 'I Love You's'" was a regular song on my Unhappy Valentine's Day specials, and her version won her a Grammy for Pop Female Vocalist.

Annie and Dave spent most of the 90s working separately, but they reconnected after the death of an old bandmate, the resulting reunion album, Peace, in 1999 is a little gem. You've probably never heard "Seventeen Again" have you?

I'll wrap this up with "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves," a duet with the great Aretha Franklin.

(And THAT is how we play "Where's Kylie?")

Whoops, wrong version.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Flashback song: "Put A Little Love In Your Heart"

Why doesn't Scrooged get played during the Christmas viewing season? Was it on at all?

I watched the "Bill Murray gets an elephant" movie earlier today (which is NOT AT ALL Christmas related, which doesn't make sense) and, when asked by a truck driver if the elephant was afraid of mice, Murray responded "are you HAULING mice?" in that perfect Bill Murray way, so please, someone, play that movie for me.

Here's another seasonal selection with two favorite singers. And a Casio keyboard.

Notes on Nine

Warning: do not watch Nine while driving or operating heavy machinery.

Nine is a frustrating movie. I understand now why director Rob Marshall's earlier effort, Memoirs Of A Geisha, got a lot of Oscar nominations, but none of them in "major" categories. Nine has so many great aspects, so much style, but such a boring song score, that this will make me sound like a bi-polar broken record: the cinematography was great, but don't see it; the costumes are divine, but skip it until cable.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Now for the Oscar odds, keeping in mind that this is a Weinstein movie. And they know how to get Oscar nominations. Strong chances: art direction (probably a lock); costumes (probably a lock); cinematography; editing; and sound/sound effects editing (at least one of those two). There are a lot of great things to watch in the movie. Yawn.

It's a shame it's such a dull musical. Earlier in the week I posted "Cinema Italiano" as song of the day, and was somewhat dismissive of it's shot at winning an Oscar. Turns out that's one of the best musical numbers. In fact, in the context of the film it's fucking fantastic and Kate Hudson CHARMS THE PANTS OFF YOU (metaphorically). But don't go see the movie.

There are 2 Original Song candidates from the movie, and I'll give "Cinema Italiano" a slight edge over "Take It All" but "Take It All" has the drama. But voters will be awake during "Cinema Italiano." And it has an ADORABLE Kate Hudson (you know, the one you fell in love with in Almost Famous, not the one that married Chris Robinson [shudder]). But don't go see the movie. I'll say strong chance for 1 original song, dark horse for a 2nd. Don't care which is which.

Now here's the thing on some of these other notes: it's the Weinsteins. Normally I'd say if you have a hard time staying awake during a movie, perhaps it's not going to get a nomination for adapted screenplay. But then you factor in the Weinsteins, and that one of the writers in Anthony Minghella (oh, right, the dead guy that everybody loved) and I'll say soft chance.

A fantastic cast of women is something of a problem here. Nobody sucks but one actress might want to reconsider her love of Botox. I'm not mentioning any names, but she's from the Southern Hemisphere. If these women had been in completely different movies, they'd all be strong contenders for Supporting Actress. Even Fergie. Especially Judi Dench. And did I mention that Kate Hudson is cute as a button? Do not go see this movie. Somehow it's been ordained that Marion Cottiard is a Lead Actress, and while she's great, I don't think she'll get enough traction to pick up a nomination there. I'd call her a dark horse.

For supporting actress, I think the best odds are Penelope Cruz (soft, considering she won last year in that category); Sophia Loren (soft); Kate Hudson (dark horse, but OMG she's a fucking ray of sunshine); Judi Dench (so hard to say, because they got her an Oscar for walking across a movie set about 10 years ago). It would be great if they can set if up so that Fergie, who does a great job in her scenes, gets to introduce the song from the movie if it gets nominated. So she gets a gift bag from the Oscars. I just think that would be sweet. I can't see her getting a nomination given her castmates... but off in a totally different movie, this same performance would be a contender.

The movie within the movie is called Italia, to represent Italy, which reminded me that last year Nicole Kidman made a movie called Australia. And we all saw how well that turned out. I'm just saying, admitting you have a problem is your first step. The cheek implants aren't helping.

Daniel Day-Lewis is such a fantastic actor, but at this point the Best Actor category seems pretty well baked, and he's not on the final 5 list. He could end up there, but I'm interested in seeing Brothers to check on Tobey Maguire's performance there. Daniel will get more work, this hasn't ruined him in Hollywood or anything.

Normally I'd say Rob Marshall doesn't have a shot at a Best Director nomination, but did I mention the Weinsteins? Also that it's put together with such style? As I left the movie I wanted to blame the boredom on the musical being boring, and give Marshall credit for doing with it what he could. But I don't think he's got more than a dark horse shot.

And Best Picture? List of 10 nominees with a bunch of Guild nominations... soft chance at least. Weinsteins.

Also don't see this movie.

And somebody get this Kate Hudson another project, stat!

Flashback song: "Christmas Without You"

Kenny and Dolly, and if you don't love this song, what is your problem?

Flashback song: "Little Drummer Boy"

Absolutely a classic, and it's a great testament to the quality of both of their voices. The awkward interaction preceding the song is a testament to what Colbert parodies so nicely in his special (you'll see in a few posts from now).

So much for Mary J. Blige's shot at an Oscar this year

(h/t Steve Pond's The Wrap)

Apparently "I Can See In Color" was deemed ineligible because its use in the movie is to brief. I felt like it was on a good amount of time, but I guess if you aren't on pretty much a full 3 minutes, you're not really a song.

Three minutes is the exact amount of a song that is reviewed during the Academy bake-off. Voters then watch the full 3 minutes and assign a score of 6 through 10 (which I have issues with--if you absolutely hate a song, you give it a 6, really?). I like that they have to watch the song in the context of the film (and "The Wrestler" was doomed because it just plays over the final credits), I just hate the scale they use.

But this is great, since there's lots to mine for songs of the day. I didn't know there was an all-star song in Bruno, so look for that soon!

“All Is Love” from “Where the Wild Things Are”
“Almost Over You” from “My One and Only”
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“AyAyAyAy” from “The Maid”
“Back to Tennessee” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Being Bad” from “Duplicity”
“Blanco” from “Fast & Furious”
“Brothers in Arms” from “Brothers at War”
“Butterfly Fly Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Cinema Italiano” from “Nine”
“Colorblind” from “Invictus”
“Depression Era” from “That Evening Sun”
“Don’t Walk Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Dove of Peace” from “Bruno”
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Fly Farm Blues” from “It Might Get Loud”
“Forget Me” from “I Love You, Beth Cooper”
“God Bless Us Everyone” from “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”
“Here” from “Shrink”
“Hideaway” from “Where the Wild Things Are”
“Hoedown Throwdown” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“I Bring What I Love” from “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love”
“I See You” from “Avatar”
“(I Want to) Come Home” from “Everybody’s Fine”
“If You’re Wondering” from “The Lightkeepers”
“Impossible Fantasy” from “Adventures of Power”
“Innocent Child” from “Skin”
“Invictus 9,000 Days” from “Invictus”
“Legendary” from “Tyson”
“Let Freedom Reign” from “Skin”
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36”
“Ma Belle Evangeline” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“My One and Only” from “My One and Only”
“Na Na” from “Couples Retreat”
“Never Knew I Needed” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“New Divide” from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
“New Jersey Nights” from “Adventures of Power”
“New York Is Where I Live” from “Did You Hear about the Morgans?”
“No Time for Love” from “Simon & Malou”
“One Day” from “Post Grad”
“Only You” from “The Young Victoria”
“Other Father Song” from “Coraline”
“Petey’s Song” from “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” from “Ponyo”
“Possibility” from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”
“Raining Sunshine” from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“Running Out of Empty (Make Ourselves at Home)” from “Lymelife”
“Smoke without Fire” from “An Education”
“Somebody Else” from “Crazy Heart”
“Stu’s Song” from “The Hangover”
“Take It All” from “Nine”
“Through the Trees” from “Jennifer’s Body”
“Trust Me” from “The Informant!”
“Un Bouquet des Violettes” from “New York, I Love You”
“We Are the Children of the World” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“We Love Violence” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart”
“When You Find Me” from “Adam”
“Winter” from “Brothers”
“The Word Is Love” from “Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!”
“You Got Me Wrapped around Your Little Finger” from “An Education”
“You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“You’ve Been a Friend to Me” from “Old Dogs”

Let me just pile on the Stephen Colbert this morning

They're replaying A Colbert Christmas, The Greatest Gift Of All and I'm appreciating the music a whole lot more this year than I did last year. When I first watched, I didn't think much of the music but I appreciated the overall homage to cheesy celebrity holiday specials "oh look who's dropping by, it's so and so." I posted his duet with Jon Stewart "Can I Interest You In Hannukah" (your spelling may vary) last week sometime. This morning I'll post 2 other songs [UPDATE: make that one--the Willie Nelson song isn't available], but the whole special is worth watching (especial to see Toby Keith sing along to "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love And Understanding" because, quite possibly, he was given the lyric phonetically)--check Comedy Central or watch online at Hulu or

The songs were all co-written by Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum. Schlesinger may be one of the greatest pop songwriters working right now. I just realized that in the last 10 years or so, he's been nominated for an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. He hasn't won a damn thing, but he'll get there soon. And Javerbaum was Executive Producer on the Daily Show, and worked with Schlesinger on the Broadway musical of Cry Baby.

The first This is a duet with Elvis Costello, and the arrangement is classic and the lyrics are thoughtful, and the outcome is surprisingly earnest and sentimental. And Elvis sounds better here than he has in a while. I'm posting the lyrics below the video if you're interested in following along.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Colbert/Costello Duet
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In
Sung by: Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello

Elvis: There are cynics, there are skeptics
There are legions of dispassionate dyspeptics
Who regard this time of year as a maudlin insincere
Cheezy crass commercial travesty of all that we hold dear
Stephen: When they think that
Well, I can hear it
But I pity them their lack of Christmas spirit
For in a world like ours, take it from Stephen
There are much worse things to believe in.

Elvis: A redeemer and a savior, an obese man giving toys for good behavior
Stephen: The faith in what might be and the hope that we might see
The answer to all sorrow in a box beneath the tree
Find them foolish
Elvis: Sentimental
Stephen: Well you’re clearly none too bright
Both: so we’ll be gentle
Stephen: Don’t even try to start vaguely conceiving
Both: Of all much worse things to believe in

Stephen: Believe in the judgment, believe in Jihad
Believe in a thousand variations on a dark and spiteful god
Elvis: You’ve got your money, you’ve got your power
You’ve got your science, and all the planets going to end within the hour
Stephen: You’ve got your dreams that don’t come true
Elvis: You’ve got the ones that do
Stephen: Then you’ve got your nothing
Both: Some folks believe in nothing
But if you believe in nothing
Then what’s to keep the nothing from coming for you

Stephen: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
Now if you’ll forgive me there’s a lot to do here
There are stockings still unhung
Colored lights I haven’t strung
Elvis: And a one-man four-part Christmas carol waiting to be sung
Stephen: Call me silly, call me sappy
Call me many things, the first of which is happy
You doubt, but you’re sad
I don’t, but I’m glad
Both: I guess we’re even
Stephen: At least that’s what I believe in
Both: And there are much worse things

Song of the day: "Rain"

Look what Santa brought: new music from Creed.

I know, me neither.

I think they broke up. I think they got back together. But either way, I don't really care, they're still Creed. But Clark mentioned this, and I scoffed, and he rebuffed my scoff with "how are they any different than Kings of Leon?" and I didn't have a good response. I was tired. It was one of those (making the "drinky drinky" motion) nights.

Which is why, on Christmas morning, you have Creed. Oh hey, and since they're a covert Christian rock band, it's seasonal. That was, cough, intentional on my part. Hey, that's a pretty sweater, is that new?

I did go to their Wikipedia entry, and while there's a lot of funny (sad funny) things there, this one is the star on top our little Creed Christmas tree:
Scott Stapp contemplated committing suicide sometime in 2003 after drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. According to Rolling Stone he was convinced that anyone involved with Creed wanted him dead so he would become a "Kurt Cobain martyr-type" and increase record sales. "I had crazy thoughts going through my head," he said.

I don't think it was the record sales they were thinking of dude.

Okay, so all my hipper-than-thou posturing aside, I've listened to the song. It's not the worst song of the day I've posted this year.