Saturday, July 4, 2009

Flashback song: "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Versions by Jimi Hendrix:




And the Dixie Chicks:

Song of the day: "Gobbledigook"

It's from early last year, but I have this stuck in my head today.

Happy birthday Neil Simon

Underappreciated: Pat Benetar

Apologies this isn't the official video for "Love is a Battlefield" (which you can watch here)--if the embed option isn't provided for me, I don't really know how to embed. So I find a different version. Sometimes a crappy quality live version (which isn't the case here, but it has been on some recent stuff).

I point out the official video because it seems to recap so many early 80s music video cliches, including the dance piece. I can't find the name of the director, but I have a nagging sense that it's one of the MTV "vanguard" directors like Kenny Ortega or Russell Mulchahey (which it isn't, since Wikipedia appears to have enumerated all of this video work)... so until you hear otherwise, pretend it's Kenny Ortega.

This is Pat's biggest single (certified gold, 4 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart, Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100), and earned her 1 of her 4 Grammys (Female Rock Vocalist).

According to good old Wikipedia (which is never wrong unless, you know, people are stoned and think it's funny to make shit up) Pat asked Mike Chapman (co-writer with Holly Knight) to write her a hit song.

I believe he did.

Wrong hat.

I take a 7-and-a-half.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

That Randy Travis song I was looking for...

Here are the lyrics at least. It's a good song. It's for Mark S., in Columbia SC. Or possibly hiking the Appalachin Trail. Or in Argentina. Or all of the above...

A working day to long when everything goes wrong
And a boss who don't know I'm alive

I once had a notion I'd get that promotion, but now I barley survive
A wife to demanding with no understanding
Of why I stay dead on my feet

A dimly lit tavern a willing young woman
Are some of the reasons I cheat
The hair that I'm losing and a women who's choosing
To lay sound asleep by my side
The bills they are mounting thats when I start counting
On someone to help sooth my pride

A lady that knows me affection she shows me and a smile so easy and sweet
The dreams that I've buried the load that I've carried
Are some of the reasons I cheat

My children keep on growing me age keeps on showing
Like all of my old friends I meet
So I'm getting older my life's growing colder
Just some of the reasons I cheat
Yes I'm getting older my life's growing colder
Just some of the reasons I cheat

Happy birthday Ron Silver

Always thought you deserved an Oscar for this role. Miss your talents.

Underappreciated: Pat Benetar

Her voice is dark and powerful, and I love that she tackled something as rich and complex as Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights"... (the Four Tops song years later wasn't as successful, in my opinion).

Song of the day: "Fitz and Dizzyspells"

Andrew Birds

Happy birthday Lindsay Lohan

Now that you're, what? fuck, only 23?! Wow.

Girl, why don't you look at some colleges. Maybe take a year or two off and be normal. I mean, "college normal"--there will be drugs and party and "Lesbians until graduation" stuff.

Or, if it's too late for "normal," look at how much people LOVE Michael Jackson now... young and tragic, you'd make the "people we lost" montage ;-)

Happy birthday Michelle Branch

Happy birthday Jarrod Emick

40 ain't so bad dude, if I recall.

Happy birthday Monie Love

Flashback song: "Ol' 55"

Live version by writer Tom Waits:



Cover by Sarah MacLachlan:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A long distance dedication to Mark S. in Columbia SC

I was looking for a different Randy Travis song ("Reasons I Cheat") but this will do.

Drill baby drill (the Mark Sanford story)

Funny. Very funny. And sadly true.

Size doesn't matter... does it

Extreme cuteness in action

The adorable Nels strikes a pose.


It's not SPAM if you get 11 in one minute, right?

But wait, Papa Joe Jackson makes a grab for the crazy!

This is a real good statement,... he says so himself.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Joe Jackson's Plug
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Mark Sanford's getting stupider and stupider!

The AP reports:
"South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has backed out of a promise to release personal financial records proving he did not use state money for trips to see his mistress.

A day after Sanford declared in an emotional Associated Press interview that his mistress is his soul mate, spokesman Joel Sawyer says the governor does not want to discuss personal matters in the media anymore."


1. I think the people of South Carolina deserve to know whether or not their Governor was abusing his power by using state money to fuck his mistress. I might have put that more diplomatically, but I decided to call it as it is. Sorry, fuck his soul mate.

2. If Mark Sanford doesn't want to discuss personal matters in the media anymore, he should totally resign and take it out of the public arena. But as long as he's the Governor, it's fair game.

See, in the crazy race never count Glenn Beck out

Flashback song: "Different Drum"

Written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees. Here's the original (I think) by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies, I'm guessing 1972.


And a recent cover by Matthew Sweet & Susannah Hoffs.

The FBI saves my inheritance!!!

ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONETORY CRIMES DIVISION
FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.

FBI-Washington Field Office
601 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20535


DATE: 06/26/2009

ATTENTION:

OFFICIAL WARNING FROM THE FBI FOREIGN REMITTANCE/TELEGRAPHIC DEPT.:

It has been discovered that your contract/inheritance/winning FUND was about being transferred to an unknown account under your name. This attempt was perpetrated by someone who claims to be working for you, and that you have given him due authority to have the FUND moved to the account specified below:


SOUTHWESTERN FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
WESCORP 924 OVERLAND COURT
SAN DIMAS, CA 91772. USA.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 322079133
ABA/ROUTING NUMBER: 1220-41-21-9
SHARETYPE NO.: 25
FINAL CREDIT HABIB FENZI AND CO. (Beneficiary).


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) waded in after being alerted by the supposed bank. We investigated and found that there is a possible money laundering activity in play. The FUND (US100,000) was found to be deposited in Bank of America in your name pending your consent to have it transferred to the new account indicated above. It was further revealed that initial FUND transfer originated from Nigeria to England and now here in Bank of America in USA. These transfers did not follow due process in line with the international FUND transfer rules and regulation.
Consequently, we suspect this be a terrorism funding, drug related fund deposit and/or money laundering. As stated above, the FUND has your name on it; and you must have it cleared of any connection with any of these illegal activities. Be informed that FAILURE to have this cleared out will attract a JAIL TERM. We will not hesitate to visit the full weight of the law upon you if you do not clear this fund. There is every indication that you are involved in this shady deal.

Finally, you are expected to have the CLEARANCE DOCUMENT obtain from where the FUND originated from to have you and your fund cleared. Only then shall we release your FUND as clean money devoid of any illegality, and you will be free of any involvement. To this end, you are to contact Mr.Tunde whiteson of the Anti Graft Department of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (E.F.C.C.) Nigeria and have the DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY SEAL of TRANSFER (DIST) CLEARANCE DOCUMENT obtained. This is the information below to contact him.

Contact Information.

Name: Tunde White
Email: tundewhite8@gmail.com

Contact him and ask the cost of DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY SEAL OF TRANSFER CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE to enable them release funds to you immediately.


Note that you have 72hrs to obtain this crucial Documentation.
This has to be cleared!

You are warned!

Faithfully Yours

Billy Andrews 111
FBI Director
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
FBI-Washington Field Office
601 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20535

Underappreciated: Pat Benetar

She doesn't have the "come back" story of Bonnie Raitt, or the chameleon quality of Linda Ronstadt, or the reunion excitement of Steve Nicks with Fleetwood Mac.

But she does have a fantastic, pure rock voice. At a time when not a lot of women (Heart, yes, credit where credit's due; Stevie; Linda) were singing rock.

So here's to you Pat. More this week.

Song of the day: "Sunlight"

From Harlem Shakes.

Happy birthday Sydney Pollack

Among my all-time favorite moments in film, from Out of Africa:



And proving his comedic timing in the under-appreciated Tootsie:

Happy birthday Missy Elliot

Note to self: get my freak on.

Happy birthday Genevieve Bujold

I wanted a scene from House of Yes, but will settle for this: a scene of her as Capt. Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. She backed out after the first episode was wrapped, and I never watched. Which makes Becky want to kick my ass.

But there's a long list of shit that makes Becky want to kick my ass, so I really don't stress about it.

Happy birthday Fred Schneider

Of the B-52's.

Happy birthday Evelyn 'Champagne' King

Forgot about this song!

Happy birthday Sufjan Stevens

Happy birthday Debbie Harry

Here she is with Blondie. Blondie=the band; Debbie Harry=the singer.

A Dick Cheney haiku

Fear fear fear fear fear
Cower cower cower cringe
Fear cower tax cut

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dolly Parton makes a lot of sense!

Seriously.

So many flavors of crazy today

But the cherry on top? Sally Kern of Oklahomosexualsarekillingamerica

Gays, abortions, divorce, and an all around lack of Christian faith are to blame for the recession. Well, since she's covered more than half of Americans with that, maybe she's right.

I blame those who walk upright.

Who remembers Mark Sanford?

I sure do:

"South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Tuesday that he 'crossed lines' with a handful of women other than his mistress — but never had sex with them. The governor said he 'never crossed the ultimate line' with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed his once-promising political career."


Details here.

Wow, so when are you resigning Gov? C'mon, it's the standard you hold others to.

I know, it's only bad when THEY do it.

Comment of the day

Re: Arnie Klein

"FYI Arnold Klein is Comedian Robert Klein's brother... --LeRoy Jones at TMZ.com"


For the record, Arnie is NOT Robert Klein's brother.

My official statement

I am not the biological father of any of Michael Jackson's children.

In other words, "the kid is not my son." Or daughter.

Song of the day: "Gimme Sympathy"

By Metric. I've featured them before, but am pretty sure I haven't done this song.

The hair, the dancing, the body

Maybe Morrissey was trying to be Ed Grimley back in the 80s.

Flashback song: "How Soon is Now"/"Hippy Chick"

It bugs me when the video I want has embedding disabled at youtube. I'm not the savvy.

Anyway, here's a live version of the classic Smiths song from 1986. It appears that Moz is channeling the Ed Grimley character of Martin Short.



Jump ahead to 1990, when the band Soho grabbed the guitar lines to create a hip hop club hit.



Then jump ahead another 5 years or so when Love Spit Love remade the song for the show Charmed.



And I honestly like all 3 versions.

WTF of the day

The top 10 of Priceline's top 50 destinations for July Fourth:

1. New Orleans, downtown/Convention Center

2. Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South

3. Chicago, Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park area

4. New York City, Times Square/Theater District

5. Seattle, downtown/Pike Place

6. San Diego, Coastal Area

7. Chicago, North Michigan Avenue/River North area

8. New Orleans, French Quarter

9. Washington, D.C., White House/downtown

10. Boston, Copley Square/Theater District


So New Orleans (which can be a fun place to visit, like 9 months out of the year) has 2 of the top 10. For the 4th of July. Which, if I recall, is when I got impossibly nasty food poisoning there.

Anyway, if you enjoy sleeping in an armpit, enjoy! I will be in Portland with a predicted high of 83, and calming Midge about the fireworks noise. 1 doggie downer for her, 1 Xanax for me.

Grammys update!!!

The Akron Beacon Journal (I know) is reporting that NARAS is dropping the Best Polka Album category for this competition year.

Also, apparently Jimmy Sturr, 18-time Grammy winner IN the category (including 12 of the last 15 times) is getting to be a colossal asshole about the whole thing. Basically, they are dumping the category to shut him up. (The Akron Beacon Journal didn't report that part--it's conjecture on my part, but c'mon, we all know someone like Sturr... or ARE someone like Sturr.)

ABJ did include this:

"Local polka expert Joe Gabrosek echoed that sentiment, saying that Sturr's work is ''more of a Polish ethnic music'' than pure polka."


Which means that Sturr can now compete in the World Music Album category. So look out Anjelique Kidjo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Sturr could be the new Allison Janney.

Happy birthday Fantasia

I rarely (almost never) watch A.I. I happened to see this episode and thought "wow, maybe I need to watch more" based on this performance. I think I watched the next week and that thought went away. Still, can't deny her talent here.

Happy birthday Lena Horne

Monday, June 29, 2009

Another Rebel pic


These are rare. Going on 2 years since we said goodbye to her. Sniff.

Charlie Crist the Republican Barney Frank

Oooh, gay innuendo! Fantastic! Thanks WSJ.

Article here. It has to do with hurricane insurance in the state of Florida... not the fact that Crist is a closeted homosexual in a sham marriage.

Because Frank is a known hurricane insurance kind of guy.

Haley Barbour, then and now

Now:

"You know, Bob, I don’t know all the details. But I’ve been in politics a long time. I’ve made it my policy, I just don’t talk about people’s personal problems. I don’t-- I don’t think it’s appropriate, I don’t think it’s polite, and I don’t think it-- it achieves any purpose." -- on Face the Nation, 2009


Then:

"And now we have this president who treated Monica Lewinsky in such a way that it makes prostitution look dignified and ennobling. I mean, he made her a sex toy, a sex object. And now what do these women say? That it doesn't make any difference?" -- on Special Report with Brit Hume, 1998


It's only hypocritical when they do it!

Tim Pawlenty might be open to doing his job

But, you know, only if a Federal court doesn't step in and tell him not to.

Details here.

Hey, here's an interesting fact: Federal courts have very little oversight in elections. In fact, that the Supreme Court even heard Bush v. Gore in 2000 is a model of activist judges.

So here's hoping that the Minnesota State Supreme Court takes their time in writing a bullet-proof opinion. That doesn't mean that Roberts, Scalia, etc. won't hear the case in the Fall and delay the seating of a junior senator from Minnesota by like a year, but whatever. It's only activist when the "other side" engages, right?

Greenwald on SCOTUS and Ricci

The ever remarkable Glenn Greenwald explains how the Supreme Court's ruling on the Ricci v. DeStefano case (which Sonia Sotomayor upheld prior to its appeal to the Supreme Court) doesn't somehow suggest that she is outside the judicial mainstream. See it here.

The key take-away:

"Put another way, 11 out of the 21 federal judges to rule on Ricci ruled as Sotomayor did. It's perfectly reasonable to argue that she ruled erroneously, but it's definitively unreasonable to claim that her Ricci ruling places her on some sort of judicial fringe."


Glenn's about my age, but I feel so intellectually inferior when I read his posts. Sigh.

Happy birthday Gary Busey

Monday morning in the yard

Cool flowers on my fence that open during the day, close up at night. Not, technically, morning glory (I don't think) since I don't think these flowers die at the end of the day.

And here's the lovely Grace giving me a big hug.

Song of the day: "Orange Shirt"

The band=Discovery, which is a side project for members of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot.

Flashback song: "See the Day"

From Dee C. Lee (formerly of The Style Council) in 1985:


And from Girls Aloud, year unknown, but let's say 2006 based on the hair:

Happy birthday Amanda Donohoe

Stonewall + 40 years, part 2

Oh, and arson at the annual pink triangle display in San Francisco.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I am sooo confused

So I know more of the nuances of various show business awards than your average bear. Or, you know, non-bear. Or human. Whatevs.

Anyway, the Oscars are changing (again) the idiosyncrasies around their original song category. It's a challenged category, to say the least. For every inspired nomination ("It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"; "Blame Canada"; and "Save Me"), they award Disney cartoon songs with amazing regularity. And not that I begrudge Disney cartoon songs awards, but Alan Menken won 8 Oscars in something like 6 years.

The music category has a "bake-off" format, and requires voters to watch clips of the song in the context of their films, which I'm okay with. If the Bruce Springsteen song from The Wrestler had been used, even for 30 seconds, in the actual movie, instead of being relegated to the end credits, it would have deserved a nomination. Actually, it deserved a nomination more than the track from Wall-E, but this isn't about that.

In reading about the change (which suggests that in some years there might not even be a single nominee) I learned about the Oscar song rating scale:

Unlike other branches -- such as acting, which uses a preferential ballot — the music makers screen clips of all the eligible entries and then score them on a sliding scale from six to 10 with half-point increments in between. (If a branch member has a song in contention, he or she is ineligible to vote.)


So instead of rating songs on a 1-to-10 scale, or a 1-to-9 scale (which is the appropriate cohort), voters rate a song with a 6.0, a 6.5, a 7.0, a 7.5, an 8.0, an 8.5, a 9.0, a 9.5, or a 10.0. It's a mess, cognitively--Joe Oscar Voter can't really discriminate between a 7.5 and an 8.0 consistently (how do I know? it's what I do for a living, just replace "Joe Oscar Voter" with "IT Professional" or "Home PC owner").

Alas, no one is checking with me on this.

Still.

Sigh.

Stonewall + 40 years

The news is filled with stories of anti-gay violence, seemingly more than ever these days.

This image is from NYC, where the Stonewall 40 celebration is in full force. Details here.



And this image is from Fort Worth TX, where patrons of a gay bar were arrested this morning for "public intoxication" while drinking in a bar. Details are spotty, but Twitter seems to have an interesting feed on them here.

Unhelpful advice of the day: what to substitute for dijon mustard

1. Helpful but assumes I have dry mustard on hand:

Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar -- (or 1/2 white wine, 1/2 white vinegar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
pinch sugar

Mix all ingredients.

Yield: "2 tablespoons"


2. Not helpful, but optimistic.

Hi! I don't care for dijon mustard, so I frequently substitute whatever I have on hand--it will alter the taste some, but it's usually quite good anyway.


Here are some things I have on hand: blue cheese salad dressing, green tea teabags, coffee creamer, and a tennis ball. Which do you think would alter the taste the most?

3. Not helpful and flagrantly annoying.

I find that I don't use a lot of dijon mustard either, but I buy the smallest jar I can find and it seems to last for months and months without spoiling (in the fridge, of course).

Notes on Away We Go

So let me preface this with: OMFG, I got shooshed in a movie theater... for laughing... at a comedy. (At least I think it's a comedy... maybe the brittle bitch from the front row thought it was a drama and was annoyed at my laughing at, I don't know, boob jokes... no, it was co-written by Dave Eggars, so they weren't as base as boob jokes... they would be whimsical mammary references).

Boobs.

Anyway, the movie.

Fuck, she told me I was disturbing EVERYONE in the theater, which was kind of amazing since she seemed to surprise people that she said anything.

I mean, I think she was talking to me. I didn't realize it for a minute. Maybe it was the couple the row behind me, but they weren't doing anything disruptive (or I couldn't hear them because I was laughing like a fucking hyena).

Ugh.

Yes, the movie. It's a comedy. Kinda. Like an NPR comedy. More wry than wacky (and yet still with laugh-out-loud moments, I might contend... thus attempting to excuse my laughing out loud). Observational. Aren't people's quirks funny.

An interesting ensemble of supporting characters--Maggie Gyllenhaal (whose name I spell randomly every time I need to write it, so no need to correct) continues to impress; Allison Janney and Josh Hamilton are both saddled with unlikable characters but make the most of them; I'm not sure what to make of Melanie Lynskey's (of Two and a Half Men fame) brief scenes.

The male lead, John Krasinski, appears to be playing his character from The Office with a beard, no hairbrush, and prop Buddy Holly glasses. There's not a lot more he brings to the movie than I see 24 Thursdays every year, I'm sorry to say.

The female lead, Maya Rudolph, does a lot better. Perhaps it's getting to see her inhabit a character for longer than 8 minutes, but I think she's got a lot of talent, and if "Hollywood" can find ways to use her (I stopped myself from saying "the right role" because she is a genuine chameleon and I think could be dropped into any number of roles, so they just need to give her more roles). If there's a path to awards for this movie, it looks something like getting some Golden Globes love in the Musical/Comedy categories (like actress, picture)--by the way, it's a comedy, so expect that people in the theater might be laughing... and don't get all huffy when they do [bitch]. Oh, and a potential "ensemble" nomination from the Screen Actors Guild--every one of the featured adults got single title credits.

The screenplay is nice--a quilt of vignettes as opposed to a strong traditional story. Funny stuff. Real, awkward stuff. But not really. It's more like a series of stories you hear from friends where they exaggerate the extremes of their family's behavior. There's no normal, no sensitive, no considerate. Co-writters Eggars and Vendela Vida are spouses/parents. Wonder how much of this is autobiographical... that I toss that in with "meh, don't really care" at the end, should sum it up for you.

The movie's commercials use a quote calling it Sam Mendes's best movie since American Beauty. That suggests that the movie is better than Road to Perdition, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road. Having seen Road to Perdition and parts of Jarhead, I'm not sure I agree.

It's a movie that will play just fine on video/cable, so wait it out.

Oh, actually I liked the songs from a guy names Alexi Murdoch. Basically because I thought they were Nick Drake b-sides. Here he is singing "All My Days" from the soundtrack. See if you can hear the Drake influences. Then imagine someone 2 rows in front of you shooshing you for laughing. Bitch.

More amazing Grace

But he's not ruling out running for VP

"Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he would be 'very surprised' if he ended up running for president."


I guess this means he has a sex scandal that hasn't yet been discovered.

Stonewall songs: "Constant Craving"

And additional credit for the Gay 90s belongs with Ms. Katherine Dawn Lang... our Cajun Saint.

Stonewall songs: "Supermodel"

Some credit for the Gay 90s belongs to RuPaul. But I remember her as Starrbooty back in 1987. Go girl!

Stonewall songs: Anything by the B-52s

My southern roots are showing.

Stonewall songs: Anything by the Indigo Girls

Not a club hit, but GLBT icons. And deservedly so.

Rock on girls!

Stonewall songs: "It's Not Right, but It's Okay"

So I'm including this because it seems to own a big chunk of the late 90s/early 00s as a club hit (imagine a club filled with boys who feel they've been dissed singing along and waving their fingers, triumphantly). This seems like Whitney's biggest club hit, but I've been wrong before.

This *isn't* the mix I was looking for, but I kind of like it (at least it's a different feel).

Stonewall songs: "Relax"

Flashback song: "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet Baby"

Speaking of Kirsty, here's her cover from around 1989:



And the original by The Smiths:

Song of the day: Neko Case

Her voice reminds me of Kirsty MacColl (in the best way).

Happy birthday Kathy Bates

Happy birthday Mel Brooks