Friday, September 11, 2009

Underappreciated: John Mellencamp

I'm going to be offline for the rest of the day (I think), so I'll do another post on John M. His last Top 10 single was 17 years ago, a cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night" with Me'Shell Ndegeocello) which peaked at #3. He did an urban/alternative duet again in 2001 with India.Arie: "Peaceful World."

Since Universal Music doesn't have the embedding link in the "Wild Night" video (see the real thing here), here's a live version:

And here's a live version of "Peaceful World" (see original video here):

And the year of Neil Patrick Harris continues on

Don't forget, he's hosting the Emmys on September 20th on CBS. And I hope he (or any other nominee) beats Jeremy Piven for Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Piven has plenty (3).

Happy birthday Harry Connick Jr.

Happy birthday Ben Lee

Happy birthday Richard Ashcroft

Happy birthday Taraji P. Henson

Happy birthday Moby

Happy birthday Kristy McNichol

I'm slightly convinced that she's living in Portland and working as my/John's real estate agent "Tina" but, well, we'll see...

Happy birthday Lola Falana

Happy birthday Amy Madigan

aka Mrs. Ed Harris

John is coming... here... to stay

So John leaves from Atlanta after work today, and heads north/west to Portland OR. He is talking about arriving on Tuesday night. He is staying here, as long as I can endure, until he takes possession of a new house that he's trying to close on by Nov. 30 for that tax thingy for first-time home buyers, or until we find him a nice apartment on December 1 when we realize he won't have a house by Nov. 30... whichever comes first.

It's not that I don't want John here, it's just that I am moocher-averse after the year of Duane. To his credit, John is neat and employed, and has both a vehicle and friends in Portland (having lived here a decade ago).

John also likes... (wait for it)...


I know.

So listen, yes, me=gay and loving the showtunes. But me also loving Guided by Voices and Don Dixon and Emmy Lou Harris and, well, people who aren't Lea Salonga or Cheyenne Jackson or Julie Andrews (and yet I love Julie Andrews). Anyway, yeah, we'll need to figure out how to isolate his singing.

In the meantime, here's the song that christened my drive out of Atlanta (to Miami) back in 1989, in honor of John's latest departure. Well, officially it's Nanci Griffith's "Listen to the Radio" but I can't find that, so here's Kathy Mattea's cover from 1992.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I have Becky to thank for dlisted

And I have dlisted to thank for funny shit like this.

South Carolina, the oh-my-god-could-you-be-any-more-fun state

This is from a townhall meeting hosted by Addison "Joe" "You lie!" Wilson, which means dude is from South Carolina.

Why am I trapped so far from the fun?


Underappreciated: John Mellencamp

John has been nominated for 13 Grammys, winning only 1: Best Rock Male Vocalist in 1982 for "Hurts So Good."

To continue this week's shout out to John, here's his version, and a cover by Kenny Chesney & Gretchen Wilson (for which he'd receive songwriting royalties if youtube were set up like it ought to be).

And how do I know you're not lying now?

Yesterday's family values champion, Assemblyman Michael Duvall of California. You know, dude who described his semen running down the leg of one of his mistresses. Dude who didn't realize his mike was on when he was bragging on the sexy times. Dude who resigned.

Well, he claims that he didn't have an affair at all. Just that he makes shit up.
"My offense was engaging in inappropriate storytelling and I regret my language and choice of words."--lying dude on his website

So, yeah, we're supposed to take him at his word that he wasn't banging the lobbyists he claimed. Those were lies. And we can trust him now.


Kate is Enough

God bless Kathy Griffin.

The trek toward Bagby Hot Springs, or how to better prepare for a day out

So Clark and I left today for a hike to Bagby Hot Springs, a natural hot spring in the Cascades about 70 miles SE of Portland.

With no planning or forethought (I brought a towel and my video camera) we made it to the parking lot around 1:00 p.m.

The problem with that is that we didn't bring food, nor did we stop to eat before we got there. D'oh. (BTW, when it's this obvious, it's not foreshadowing.)

We set in on the trail. The trail is about 1.5 miles to the springs.

We did okay for the first 3 miles (yes, the trail is only 1.5, but there is clearly some kind of collapsed space/time wrinkle going on) but after the next 2 to 3 miles we just reached a limit. And I say "we" so as not to embarrass anyone. Like myself. Whatev, you weren't there. Unless this is Clark, in which case shut up.

So after about 6 miles into the 1.5 mile hike/walk, we turned around to head back. Another wrinkle and it seemed like 8 to 10 miles back. So a great workout, just no hot springs. Which, I'm sure, are totally over-rated.

"Go for the parking lot," I hear a lot of people say, "it's the best part."

Once back to the car it was still another 30+ miles to the thriving metropolis of Estacada (former home of ice princess Tonya Harding... things make more sense now).

Next time, perhaps I will pack a lunch. And some water. And a pedometer to record the wrinkle thingy... that was way more than 1.5 miles. I swear.

2,801 miles from here

That's the distance from Portland OR to Columbia SC, my home away from homos (aside from the Lt. Governor... allegedly). And there, today, the state GOP's executive committee voted to ask the Governor (you know, Mark Sanford, of the hypocritical adultering and abandoning their elected office for days at a time to attend their Southern hemisphere mistress Sanfords) to resign (details here). Which is great for me, because I will take any excuse for a post about Marky Mark.

But it's not really useful at this point. Thanks guys, I think he's so far under the radar now that this is a little too little, much too late. Why not find a time machine and go back 2 months.

But it's the after-thought that counts.

And Jenny Sanford, if you're reading this, hang in there. I'm rooting for you and the kids!

A healthcare parable from Mortimer Hayden Smith

Just when things are murkiest, the Center for American Free Thought steps up to the plate. Enjoy.

Least essential shopping item of the day

It's the complete series of King of Queens.



27 disks.

Rachel Maddow, you can do better

Kent Jones is just not funny. Not even remotely.

Tedious. He's tedious.

Can we do static for 4 minutes instead?

Underappreciated: John Mellencamp

I am heading out for a hike (yes, a hike, shut up) in a few, but wanted to do a quick U:JM post before I left. John's earliest hit was also covered by Pat Benatar in an unintended convergence of the underappreciated (wonder if either version is in a John Sayles movie). Here are versions of "I Need a Lover" by John and Pat--both from the 1978-79 time period.

Gee Joe (I mean Addison), you don't sound quite so sure of yourself now

Last night you were quite sure that Obama was lying. Now... well, listen for yourself.

Apparently Gerard Butler's ass is a talking point today too

(h/t to Towleroad on these details)

Gerard on antics during the filming of the new movie Gamer:
"This is going to show my maturity now, I wrote to the two directors separately. I wrote that me and the stunt guys are having a blast and sent them half a dozen donuts each as a thank you. They were so chuffed. The next day we got six fresh donuts and shoved them between our ass cheeks... and took a Polaroid. [Butler is in fits] We sent this snap to the directors and sure enough, they thought they’d been eating the very same sugary treats. They freaked out, man...I told you it was going to show my maturity. It was my birthday that day, and in the evening about ten of the cast also dropped trousers to reveal Happy Birthday Gerry written across their cheeks. Come to think of it, there was a little too much ass in the making of this film."

You know, Gerard, let US decide when we've had too much of your ass.

His name isn't Joe either

WTF is up with the faux Joes out there? Joe the Plumber isn't "Joe" or a plumber.

And now Joe Wilson's actual first name is Addison. Like Addison DeWitt in All About Eve, one of our gayer movies. So maybe he's over-compensating. One wonders how many long "men's only" weekends he's spent with SC Lt. Governor Andre Bauer. Scandal scandal!

Happy birthday Philip Baker Hall

Happy birthday Colin Firth

Happy birthday Ryan Phillipe

I find him a much more compelling actor with his shirt off. Here's a wrongly-deleted scene from Stop Loss.

Happy birthday Siobhan Fahey

And now a quick word from Snoop Dogg

It's Bill O's birthday today. I am not wishing him a happy anything.

But I will let Snoop say something.

Happy birthday Amy Irving

She's one of the actresses for whom my 10-year difference rule is meant. A talented actress who fell out of favor by, GASP, aging. I was going to make the point about Spielberg dumping her for the younger Kate Capshaw, but Capshaw is only 3 months younger.

And anyway, Irving and Spielberg didn't have a pre-nup, so she got 1/2 his E.T. money!

Go Amy! It's your birthday!
Go Amy! It's your birthday!

Happy birthday Guy Ritchie

It would have be sooo nice if I could use the clip of Gerard Butler flashing his ass from Ritchie's RocknRolla to let you see why I stayed with the movie another 30 minutes. But youtube has failed me again. And I'm not going to make my own clips, that's just crazy thinking.

Ritchie's fantastic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels earns him a lot of credit in my book, but he's fallen short kinda consistently since then. So here's a clip from what we can hope remains his worst, the remake of Swept Away starring his then-wife Madonna.

NOTE TO THE WORLD: "starring Madonna" is not a good thing. For anyone.

PS on "starring Madonna"--I talk about Evita as a good movie, but that's despite Madonna and the Andrew Lloyd Weber repetition.

Glenn Beckkk, "I'm from the past"

Song of the day: "We Are Golden"

New stuff from Mika. Happy he's not getting relegated to one-hit wonder status (crossing fingers anyway).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Notes on RocknRolla

Okay, wait, "take my lucky painting for a walk"?

Gerard Butler's ass really isn't worth this shit.

Well, maybe a few more minutes.

Underappreciated: John Mellencamp

My idea for starting an "underappreciated" entry was to call out folks who I think deserve more attention or reverence for what they've done, in an on-going manner. I didn't start with Pat Benatar because I'm some kind of super-fan, but because I like and respect what she's done and feel like peeps don't give her credit.

I probably own more John Mellencamp CDs than I do Pat Benatar. And I've seen him live. But I'm nowhere near considering myself a super-fan.

I do think he's put forth an ample amount of solid music. I'll try to spend a few days on John, since he's worthy of more than a single post. And I'll try to find some interesting bon mots from his Wikipedia entry (so if you want to fuck with me, go edit it with random shit). And out of respect for him, I'll only be referring to him as John Mellencamp since I think he admirably reclaimed the name and left the A&R-provided moniker in his past.

I'm gonna feature "Ain't Even Done with the Night" from 1980 as the first song. At the time, it was his highest charting US single (#17), from his Nothin' Matters and What if it Did lp.

"The singles were stupid little pop songs," he told Record Magazine in 1983. "I take no credit for that record. It wasn't like the title was made up — it wasn't supposed to be punky or cocky like some people thought. Toward the end, I didn't even go to the studio. Me and the guys in the band thought we were finished, anyway. It was the most expensive record I ever made. It cost $280,000, do you believe that? The worst thing was that I could have gone on making records like that for hundreds of years. Hell, as long as you sell a few records and the record company isn't putting lot of money into promotion, you're making money for 'em and that's all they care about. PolyGram loved Nothin' Matters. They thought I was going to turn into the next Neil Diamond."

I heart little nuggets of humor

Hidden in my sitcoms. I don't heart laugh tracks, but that's a whole other Oprah.

Anyway, watching last night's HIMYM and saw an motivational poster in Barney's office.

Here it is. Click image to embiggen.

Flashback song: "The Other Side of Summer"

I watched The Wackness this afternoon--an affable little indie film, worth 90 minutes but don't make a separate trip to the video store. They used DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince's "Summertime" (it might have been "Will Smith" at the time, but I think we can never point out his origins enough... you too, Marky Mark) and I was reminded of a mix tape of Summer music I made back in 1994. The first song on Side 1 was "Summertime" and the first song on Side 2 was Elvis Costello's "The Other Side of Summer." So I'm posting that as a flashback.

Except there's no Elvis video.

So here is some random dude covering it.

Which is also good. It's why Al Gore made the inter-tubes. Thank you again, St. Al!

Flashback song: "Glad Girls"

One of the reasons I might (or might not) be rooting for How I Met Your Mother to win Best Comedy at the Emmys (Sept. 20th, host Neil Patrick Harris, go Doogie!) is that right at the end, they reached into my iTunes and pulled out one of the songs I've been really grooving on recently: "Glad Girls" by Guided by Voices. Originally released in 2001, it's among their longest songs (nearly 4 minutes) and it's pure pop brilliance.

Is this enough to have me root for HIMYM to beat 30 Rock (a major favorite of mine, btw)? No. But it's helping.

I was going to post their video, but instead here's someone's kids dancing to the song.

A quick lesson for Mark Sanford

So Cal. Assemblyman who got busted for all his sexy-times talk on an open mike (you'll recall the semen running down the leg of his mistress quote from earlier today) has quickly resigned. Like Mark Sanford has expected of everyone busted by a sex scandal EXCEPT HIMSELF.
I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly, who are working hard on the very serious problems facing our state. I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately, so that the Assembly can get back to work.--Mike Duvall

I'm sorry he's not stretching this by denying it was him, or claiming he was taken out of context.

Now if Sempra can keep from giving him a job for 3 or 4 days, I'll be truly happy.

Wonder if his wife is gonna stick with him.

We only heckle the negro Presidents

President Obama was heckled during his speech to Congress.

Someone yelled "you lie" when he talked about illegal immigrants.

And thank you Jesus, it was a fuckhead from South Carolina!!!

My favorite state. They have hot and cold running retards there!

South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. Needless to say, he's a middle-aged white dude! Hooray for us!

Why stop here? Why no fireworks or airhorns? C'mon America, we can act more childish than this... especially when things are so fucking important.

And Rep. Wilson, stay fucking classy dude! Maybe I need to take a trip to SC, cause, like I said, hot and cold running retards!

PS on Max Baucus

He gave a copy of his plan to his overlords before he shared it with his Finance Committee members or with the White House.

Hooray for Baucus! Whore of the year? Maybe.

(details here)

We only object when it's the negro President


(h/t Think Progress, here)

The Arlington Independent School District in Texas decided not to show President Obama’s address to students live yesterday because it reportedly didn’t want to interrupt its regularly scheduled lesson plans. However, the district has now decided to bus its students off-campus on Sept. 21 to hear President Bush speak.

If Obama didn't want this kind of reaction, he shoulda been born white.

And IN America.

Grow a brain morans.

Max Baucus shows us how a real whore does it

Max Baucus, who receives "considerable campaign contributions from the health care industry" (here) and sits in a critical position on the House Finance Committee, has come forward with a plan for healthcare reform.

1. Requires that all Americans under the age of 65 purchase their own health insurance.

2. Fines them, up to $3,800 if they do not have their own health insurance.

That is all.

By the way, no mechanism to keep costs down. His overlords are fucking dripping with precum at this news, since people now HAVE to buy their insurance. And, you know, fuck your pre-existing conditions.

More people I know will find the $3,800 fine cheaper than a year of paying for insurance. I know my mother would.


Song of the day: "Use Somebody"

Kings of Leon

We've got family values, yes we do, we've got family values how 'bout you!

(h/t Towleroad, article here)

California Assemblyman Michael Duvall has been caught over an open mic describing the details of an affair with a female lobbyist whose clients have business on a committee on which Duvall sits.

Needless to say, Duvall is a fierce "family values" type Republican who totally opposes gay marriage.

Here he is talking about his semen running down his mistress's leg... (good morning!)
She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And
 so, we had made love Wednesday--a lot! And so she'll, she's all, 'I am going 
up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me!' So messy!

Ugh... this will not be pretty

The major problem with the healthcare debate isn't the debate. It's the propaganda being spread by the megamillionaires who stand to lose out if a public option severely limits their megaprofits.

As major campaign donors, they have locked up the votes of a key handful of Congressmen (like Max Baucus, who represents Montana, a state with less than 1% of the US population, who's personally responsible for fucking delaying meaningful progress on a plan) and their astro-turf efforts have spun up countless crazies.

My preference is a considerable reconsidering of the way we fund campaigns. All public funds, with explicit limits. Yes, yes, yes there are issues with that, but suck it up. You'll be much happier come the 2 months before your state's primary or the actual election.

The Supreme Court is slated to rule on a First Amendment case that might remove all restrictions on campaign funding by corporations. So look out, our meager $50 donations are about to be quaint and completely trivial. If Texaco can give $5 million to your representative (and Texaco CAN give $5 million to your representative) then you've become irrelevant. And I'm not heartened that Obama's counsel is our defense, after reading this (emphasis mine; details here):

The plaintiff is Citizens United, a non-profit run by conservative activist and former House investigator David Bossie. During the 2008 campaign, Citizens United accepted donations from the non-political bank accounts of corporations. Using some of that money, as well as other funds solicited directly from individuals, Bossie produced a critical movie about Hillary Clinton. The FEC, interpreting campaign finance laws, told Bossie it would be illegal for him to run television ads promoting his movie during the Democratic primaries because corporate cash can't be used to directly influence elections using television and radio. Bossie sued the government, and it was kicked up to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in March.

It became apparent that the case touched many trigger points. It seemed, to opponents of campaign finance regulations, a perfect example of how the current legal framework directly impinged upon Bossie's free speech rights with no discernible public interest to balance out the restriction. The legal community that fights against campaign finance laws decided to try and use the case to challenge the entire edifice of law, philosophy and politics that limits what corporations and individuals can give. And the Court's skeptics -- two new skeptics -- Justices Alito and Roberts -- agreed, especially after Obama's deputy solicitor general argued that, under the current law, the government could ban certain books during elections.


Happy birthday Hugh Grant

Happy birthday Sylvia Miles

Happy birthday Adam Sandler

Happy birthday Julia Sawalha

Monday, September 7, 2009

Inside at Kelly's

Kelly had an end-of-summer party. I was first to arrive. It's my new thing--if I arrive first, I can leave first.

I made 2 pitchers of Calm Blue Oceans.

And Gracie 2 (not my actual Gracie) kept me company.

All in all it was fun. And I was home by 5:30.

Flashback song: "Long Hot Summer"

On my way to friend Kelly's KINK-FM, my local AAA station, played this 25-year old Style Council song. And I sat in my car for like 7+ minutes listening to the whole thing. Damn smooth. Here's a live version.

Happy birthday Diane Warren

It's a love/hate appreciation that I have for Diane. On the one hand, hate the songs, the rock ballad crap that gets her Oscar nominations (6 of them, 0 wins). On the other hand, love the attitude (the guys from Fountains of Wayne claim she loudly exclaimed "that piece of crap won?!" when losing to Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice at the Oscars one year)--she wasn't able to get a traditional publishing deal early on so she set up her own publishing. After becoming a mega-hit writer, this means she takes home much much more than she would have otherwise.

Go girl: eye of the tiger, mouth of a sailor!

Some of her bigger hits:

Happy birthday Julie Kavner

Happy birthday Chrissie Hynde

This girl has been rocking for 30 years straight now.

Happy birthday Gloria Gaynor

Ooh, this song... this song has a power. I am dancing in this chair. Where is my tambourine, I am going to The Cove.

Happy birthday Oliver Hudson

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quote of, possibly, the year

"The insurance industry has one mission, to generate profits for shareholders. They do this with skyrocketing premium increases and the denial of care."--Wendell Potter, former CIGNA executive

In my mind I'm going to Carolina... for vacation

In real life, no. But the on-going soap opera that is the hypocrite adulterer governor and the quite-possibly gay but OHMYGOD he would never actually admit it, is sooo fucking fun!

As you recall (here) someone was going to out Andre Bauer (and if you're like me, you might confuse him with television actor Andre Braugher, but they are actually different people). And the process has begun. It takes forever, just ask Will Smith anyone.

Bauer (I actually typed Braugher at first) was asked about the rumors by a reporter

His response was an emphatic no!
His oblique response included "that's not an appropriate question" and "it's a silly question."

Then a friend of Bauer's in the SC General Assembly circulated a letter blaming in the rumors on Gov. Sanford. Keep track of all the juicy details at BlogActive.

Since I don't have Bauer on my closeted public officials bingo card (he's too B-list), I have no particular care one way or the other. I'm just thrilled that it's happening amid the Mark Sanford "soul mate" shit. Hooray SC! Go Cocks!

Flashback song: "Everything is Everything"

Lauryn Hill. You guys, this is 11 years old. Yikes.

Happy birthday Jo Anne Worley

Happy birthday Rosie Perez

I posted a clip from her great performance in Fearless on Peter Weir's birthday, so here's a funny clip of her on Letterman.

Happy birthday Anika Noni Rose

[hint: she's not Beyonce and she's not Jennifer Hudson]

Happy birthday Swoosie Kurtz

It's hard to find a great clip for her... she sort of requires an accumulation of her presence I think.

Happy birthday Jane Curtin