Saturday, December 5, 2009

A comparison of the sources of problems: Tiger Woods and Jay-Z

Funny and subtle. From Flowing Data.

(Click image to embiggen.)

Flashback song: "If I Can't Change Your Mind"

This is an open letter to Tim McGraw. Dude, your songs are weak. I mean, sure, you sell a lot of records and I don't, so perhaps I think a little too highly of my critical thinking. But listening through Southern Voice started to put me to sleep.

So instead of going back to the same tired well of Nashville staff song writers, I offer you this Sugar song from 1992 to cover. It will make a great country song.

You're welcome.

I'm just this detail-oriented about awards

So 30 Rock, a show I love, addressed the Grand Slam of Entertainment Awards (they're going with the shorter but less clear acronym EGOT--Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). But they made it sound like only composers have won the EGOT. Bad.

For the record, here's the official list of Grand Slam title holders (taken from here, not from memory), using their first qualifying award (some are multiple winners, but the EGOTTTT would just seem weird):

1. Richard Rodgers (composer): Oscar ('It Might as Well be Spring' from 'State Fair,' 1945); Tony ('South Pacific,' 1950); Grammy ('The Sound of Music,' 1960); Emmy ('Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years,' 1962)

2. Helen Hayes (actress): Oscar ('The Sin of Madelon Claudet,' 1932); Tony ('Addie,' 1947); Emmy (Best Actress for roles including Harriet Beecher Stowe on 'Medallion Theatre,' 1953); Grammy (Best Spoken Word Recording for 'Great American Documents,' 1976).

3. Rita Moreno (actress): Oscar ('West Side Story,' 1961); Grammy (Best Recording for Children, 'The Electric Company,' 1972); Tony ('The Ritz,' 1975); Emmy ('The Muppet Show,' 1977)

4. John Gielgud (actor, director): Tony ('Big Fish, Little Fish,' 1961) ; Grammy ( Best Spoken Word for 'Ages of Man,' 1979); Oscar ('Arthur,' 1981); Emmy ('Summer's Lease,' 1991)

5. Audrey Hepburn (actress): Oscar ('Roman Holiday,' 1953); Tony ('Ondine,' 1954); Emmy ('Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn,' 1993); Grammy (Best Spoken Word Children's Album, 'Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales,' 1994)

My whole point in this post is that 4 of the first 5 are actors. Dammit.

6. Marvin Hamlisch (composer): Oscar ('The Way We Were' and 'The Sting,' 1973); Grammy ('The Way We Were,' 1974); Tony (1976); Emmy ('Barbra Streisand: The Concert,' 1995).

7. Jonathan Tunick (composer): Oscar ('A Little Night Music,' 1977); Emmy ('Night of 100 Stars,' 1982); Grammy (Best Musical Arrangement, 'No One is Alone,' 1988); Tony (Outstanding Orchestration for 'Passion' 1994)

8. Mel Brooks (writer, director): Oscar (Best Screenplay, 'Bialystock and Bloom,' 1968); Emmy ('Mad About You,' 1997); Grammy ( Best Spoken Comedy Album, 'The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000,' 1998); Tony ('The Producers,' 2001)

9. Mike Nichols (comedian, director, producer): Grammy ('An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May,' 1961); Tony ('Barefoot in the Park,' 1964); Oscar (Best Director, 'The Graduate,' 1967); Emmy (Director, 'Wit,' 2001)

10. Whoopi Goldberg (comedian, actress, host): Grammy (Best Comedy Recording, 'Whoopi: Original Broadway Recording,' 1985); Oscar ('Ghost,' 1990); Emmy ('Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Live of Hattie McDaniel,' 2002); Tony (Producer, 'Thoroughly Modern Millie,' 2002)

And my Team Liza comment from earlier in the week was about Liza Minelli's Grammy nomination which could secure her what ought to have been a slam-dunk among the awards. She has at least 1 honorary award from the Grammys (possibly a Lifetime Achievement thing), but no competitive Grammy.  Unfortunately she's up against Tony Bennett who has won the category 10 of the 16 years it's been presented. Bennett also stole one of Stephen Colbert's Emmys. "Bennett!!!"

Confusing scam premise

Hello. As you read this,I don't want you to feel sorry for me,because,I believe everyone will die someday.My name is Karim Hani,a Oil&Gas merchant in U.A.E. I'av been diagnosed with prostate and esophageal Cancer that was discovered very late due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all form of medicine and right now, I have only about a few days to live according to medical experts.I need your help in distributing my funds to charities as I have no family.if you can help me you will take 20% out of the funds and give 80% to the local charities of your choice. Regards,Karim

So just to recap, instead of just identifying a charity or 2 or 3, this person is soliciting the assistance of a complete stranger and giving them 20%?

Also, everyone WILL die some day, so you are right about that.

I wasn't seeing things

I mean, I was seeing things, but they weren't imaginary. It was dozens of Santas wandering around North Portland. I saw them, initially in groups of 3 or 5, on my drive from the dog park to the library (sweet Dwight Yoakam boxed set came in today). By the time I got to the Nighthawk Cafe, there was a swarm of Santas.

But apparently there was some special mission to decorate the mayor's house which explains this. I mean "explain" in the lightest sense. His house in Kenton isn't really that big, so why so many?

2009 singles: "Microphone"

Jason Schwartzman left Phantom Planet and started Coconut Records. It's just him, with a little help from Zooey Deschanel, cause she doesn't get enough exposure. She's the white Beyonce.

2009 singles: "I'm Confused"

Handsome Furs. Good song, don't know much about the band. I'm avoiding the actual video since it contains zombie snowballing which might upset some of you.

2009 singles: "My Delirium"

If anyone is going to challenge "When Love Takes Over" this might be it. I don't think it will end up on top, but I love it, and it'll do well. I guess Ladyhawke could be my "new artist" of the year, since this is from her first album.

Song of the day: "Once More"

New music from Spandau Ballet. Seriously.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tiger Woods voice mail, slow jamz

2009 singles: "Animal"

A few months ago, late one night, I heard a reggae version of this on the radio and couldn't figure out what the song was. It was frustrating. I still don't know if this is the original or the remake. Miike Snow is a side project for a trio of musicians, possibly including a dude from Animal Collective. Not sure. But LOVE the song.

In your eyes I see the eyes of somebody I knew before, Long long long ago

2009 singles: "I Love College"

Eminem emerged from retirement and released his lamest album ever. But fellow white rapper Asher Roth released a track with limited expectations and flawless execution. It is a blissful Spring Break track. I can't believe he didn't pick up a Grammy nomination.

So fill up my cup, let's get fucked up, I'm next on the table, who want what?

2009 singles: "Honey In The Sun"

Camera Obscura's My Maudlin Career is also chock full of great tracks. Here's the first. Oh to be at the dog park on a Spring afternoon when I hear this...

When you said the veins in my left hand were shaped like a tree, Was that the very last time you really looked at me?

Reactions to the National Board of Review Awards

The much buzzed about Up in the Air did quite well for itself with the NBR yesterday, picking up their awards for Best Film, Best Actor for George Clooney (shared with Morgan Freeman), Supporting Actress for Anna Kendrick, and Adapted Screenplay. Seriously, it's like that wrote "I heart Up in the Air" all over the inside cover of their Algebra II spiral notebook. The movie is getting nothing but positive buzz and I am PISSED that it's not opening here this weekend. Grrr. It's really bad since they are advertising the hell out of it on shows that I watch (The Daily Show, Colbert Report, 30 Rock, Countdown). But I've decided to go despite the 10-year rule, because the 10-year rule is about excuses not to see something more than it is an actual barrier. Still, Lauren Graham guys, she'd have been perfect. Get on that.

Clint Eastwood's Invictus earned awards for Morgan Freeman (Best Actor, shared with Clooney) and Best Director for Eastwood. NBR seems to love Eastwood, picking him for Best Actor for that shitty car movie last year. Shudder. I am curious about Invictus, mainly because Matt Damon looks good in that quick locker room scene. Also I love Easy Reader. So I'll see it sooner or later.

Carey Mulligan was named Best Actress for An Education, and Woody Harrelson Best Supporting Actor for The Messenger. So far nothing too surprising--Harrelson's role is large enough that the Golden Globes folks are considering him for lead, but the Oscar and SAG campaigns are pushing him for Supporting Actor, and this will help him toward that.

Jeremy Renner and Gabourey Sidibe picked up Best Breakthrough Actor and Actress for The Hurt Locker and Precious respectively. They're both in good positions to move forward toward Oscar nominations.

A Serious Man, the recent Coen Brothers movie, picked up Best Original Screenplay (suggesting that I might want to see it after all), and It's Complicated was named Best Ensemble (apparently the 3rd year in a row a Meryl Streep movie has won this). I don't give Complicated much hope for awards, but A Serious Man might hang out for a couple nominations.

Up was named Best Animated Feature, but The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is also animated, was cited for Special Filmmaking (sic) Achievement. The race among animated films appears to be between those 2 and Coraline.

The complete list of winners is here.

Here is their top 10, in alphabetical order. My early thoughts on chances at a Best Picture Oscar nomination in [brackets]. I'm revising this now because I just remembered there will be 10 nominees this year.
AN EDUCATION [Soft chance]
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER [Soft chance]
THE HURT LOCKER [Strong chance]
INVICTUS [Strong chance]
THE MESSENGER [Soft chance]
A SERIOUS MAN [Darkhorse]
STAR TREK [Soft chance]
UP [Soft chance]

Song of the day: "At The Bottom"

The band is Brand New. The song sounds like it could be from 1995 (the "crap we've run out of grunge bands, let's get some quasi-grunge music out there" rush) or from 2000-2003 (I consider "new metal" to be bands like Limp Bizkit and Buck Cherry--and of course I mean they are the bands that are heirs to the chart positions held by old HAIR bands like RATT and Motley Crue, not actual metal bands). Either way, it's not a song I'd normally enthuse over, but this one has grown on me over the last 3 months. Check it out:

Today I get a D.I.C.C.

Becky loves the acronym, and D.I.C.C. has to be the best one so far. Today's update about another inheritance from Nigeria. Nigeria please!

Office Of The National Security Advisor
Federal Republic Of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa, Asokoro District,
Tel: +234-8051097525

Attn: Honourable Beneficiary

I am Lt General Peter Olu (Rtd),National Security Advisor to the new Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.I am delighted to inform you that the contract panel which just concluded its seating in Abuja, just released your name among listed beneficiaries to benefit from the Diplomatic Immunity Payment. This Panel was primarily delegated to investigate manipulated inheritance claims, contracts and over-invoiced payment as the effect has eaten deep into the economy of our dear country.

However,we wish to bring to your notice that your contract profile is still reflecting in our central computer as unpaid beneficiary while auditing was going on. Your payment file was forwarded to my office by the auditors as unclaimed fund, we wish to use this medium to inform you that for the time being,the Federal Government of Nigeria have stopped further payment through bank to bank transfer due to beneficiaries numerous petitions to United Nations against Nigeria on wrong payment and diversion of contract/inheritance funds to different accounts.

In this regards, we are going to send your contract part payment of $4.1 Million USD to you via our accredited shipping company and I have secured every needed documents to cover the money while the diplomat will get it delivered to you right in your door step.

Note: The money is coming in 2 security proof boxes. The boxes are sealed with synthetic nylon seal and padded with machine. Please you don't have to worry for anything as the transaction is 100% risk free.

The consignment will be coming with a Diplomatic agent,who will accompany the boxes to your house address.All you need to do now is to send to me, your full house address and your identity such as,international passport or drivers license and your mobile or fixed telephone number as the Diplomatic Agent will travel with it and will call you immediately he arrives to your country's airport. I hope you understand me.

Bear in mind that the diplomat does not know the original contents of the boxes. What l declared to them as the contents is Sensitive Photographic Film Materials for security reasons. I did not declare money to them please. If they call you and ask you the contents please tell them the same thing Ok. I will let you know how far I have gone with this arrangement.

Lastly,i will secure the Diplomatic Immunity Clearance Certificate (D.I.C.C) which will make him pass every custom checkpoints all over the world without any hitch.Confirm the receipt of this message and send the requirements to me immediately because your boxes are scheduled to leave as soon as we hear from you. I can be reached on my direct official number: (+2348051097525).

Best Regards,

Lt General Peter Olu (Rtd).
National Security Advisor to the President
Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sarah Palin will produce Trig's birth certificate!!!

(h/t Salon)

Or so I'd like to distort based on this exchange with Rusty Humphries (I honestly have no idea who the fuck he or she is, and I'm not up for the research):
HUMPHRIES: Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?

PALIN: Um, I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think enough members of the electorate still want answers.

She MUST be talking about Trig's birth certificate, since rumors persist (you're welcome) that Palin, in addition to being a demagogue and a quitter, is also a lying-ass bitch who pretends that her first bastard grandkid is actually a magic gift from God--it's what Jesus would have done. Jesus believed in lying, if it helps you politically. Ask anyone in Washington. Hell, ask everyone in Washington. Except the Jews, they don't really care what Jesus believed.

Some of you might actually research that quote, and realize that it's really about Barack HUSSEIN Obama's birth certificate, which is interesting. Since he's actually produced his.

And since no one who alleges that anyone can get a Hawaii birth certificate, even if they're born out of the country can produce an example of that.

Or that anyone born IN Hawaii gets a different format birth certificate can produce an example of that.

Or explain the birth announcements in the 2 Hawaii newspapers.

Given those things, clearly there couldn't still be questions. Even a mildly retarded bastard grandchild being faked as ones own kid for political reasons knows that Obama was born in Hawaii.

Fuck, even Orly Taitz (DDS/Esq/realtor, now spit and look at these closets your honor) is focused on the fact that Barry's dad wasn't an American citizen when he was born to an American mother IN an American state. It's his "dual-citizenship" that invalidates him, she says (although, interestingly, America only recognized single citizenship status at the time: if you were an American, you were an American period... PERIOD--also Barry never sought any kind of British citizen rights, like healthcare). The political philosophy on which she bases this argument has never been vetted in US courts, and was written after the Constitution... but good luck with that. Write letters from prison if you don't pay that overdue fine!

Back to Palin, there was this follow-up quote:
PALIN: Hey, you know, that's a great point. That weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn't my real son, a lot of people say, "Well, you need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid," which we have done, but yeah, so maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on the other one.

Bullshit!!! I call bullshit! Right there! Flag on play.

Google "Trig Palin birth certificate" and you'll see quotes about the rumors that TRIG PALIN IS ACTUALLY SARAH PALIN'S FIRST BASTARD GRANDCHILD THAT SHE'S PRETENDING IS HER KID FOR POLITICAL REASONS and no actual proof (as she implies) that he was born to her. And not to her slutty slut of an older daughter Bristol. I'm not implying that her younger daughter is a slut, because fuck if that mis-interpretation of comments by Letterman didn't set off a firestorm. But come see me in a few years and we'll see how many more bastard kids that family has.

Also Track was a teenage druggie and the military was his way of avoiding jail time. But I'm not saying he ever let a dude suck his dick for drugs. I am NOT saying that. Good morning everyone.

In fact, if you do a Google image search for "Barack Obama birth certificate" you will see images of the official Hawaii birth thingy (they call it something else [FOR EVERYONE] which has caused fits). If you do a Google image search for "Trig Palin birth certificate" you will see images of Barack HUSSEIN Obama's birth certificate thingy also. It's fucked.

And Sarah Palin's a liar.

And a quitter.

But she says questions are legitimate and if she's lying about having produced it, there won't be any problem with letting us know when and where so we can confirm that. Hooray, Christmas is coming! I can smell the bastard grandchildren faked as ones own in the air!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

2009 singles: "Gimme Sympathy"

Metric's Fantasies is a hot album. There are a ton of great tracks. "Help I'm Alive" was released last December, and may have made my 2008 singles list (I need to check), but at least 2 other singles will make my 2009 list. At least.

Who would you rather be, The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

2009 singles: "Little Bribes"

This song makes me think of Becky. No, it doesn't flash its boobs shamelessly and shout things out of my car window.


But we went to Vegas for her wedding a few years ago (it was an opposite marriage, and those are legal). And then right as this Death Cab EP came out, she went back so I sent her the lyrics. It was well-timed. This EP picked up another Grammy nomination for Death Cab (they've not yet won, but I root for them--I like their whole thing: the awkward cleverness, with a touch of twee angst... it's all there and all delightful, this is good music for my middle age).

I do kinda have issues with him marrying Zooey Deschanel. But I like her dad Caleb (another favorite cinematographer), so good luck to them. Here's hoping the break-up fuels some good music a la Shoot Out The Lights or Rumors. But for now, enjoy this ode to Vegas:

Pretend every slot machine is a robot, Amputee waving hello

2009 singles: "Sink Or Swim"

The New New Order, Bad Lieutenant (hope that's spelled right). Love the song. Eric thinks I have an issue with it, but I don't. It's New New Order. Hooray!

Jesus save this heart of gold, Take the time to save a soul

Flashback song: "The War Song"

25 years ago, people. 25 years ago.

Someone in Nigeria needs me

truly the first
Corporate Headquarters:
TEL: 234-8083616012,FAX: 234-1-7591119







TELEPHONE: 234-8083616012


FBI Director Mueller got a secretary... phew

Clearly she's earning her keep:

FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Contact: +1(866) 414 6977
Dear Citizen.
Inline with the "Patriot Act", a statute enacted by the United States Government that President George W. Bush signed into law on October 26, 2001. The Act which increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eases restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expands the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; has prompted us to contact you in respect of your unclaimed fund.
We the Justice Department of the Federal Bureau of Investigations do hereby inform you that in our bid to fight against the ranging terrorist threat facing the United States of America recently, we have registered your unclaimed fund through a Certified Bank Draft with the DELIVERY SHIPPING COURIER COMPANY in the country of fund origin.
This fund was said to have been held by the Central Bank of Nigeria due to your inability to obtain necessary documents and delivery charges required by the Bank and its affiliates in the past. Thus, we sourced that some unscrupulous agents of the terrorist inclined nations have devoted their time using the opportunity to transfer funds into the USA under the disguise that the fund was meant for you the beneficiaries. However, after our investigations, we discovered that you had no involvement in such evil plan that is why we are contacting you to get the fund out of its position before it implicates you.
Note that all the necessary arrangements for the delivery of your $2,000,000.00 Bank Draft has been completed. In your best interest, you are urged to send the following details to the Courier Agent;
*Full Name:
*Contact Address:
*Current Phone Number:
We have paid for the delivery charges. The only money you have to pay to them is $280 (ONLY) for their Security keeping of your Bank draft, we try to pay for that but they insist that such cost can only be paid once the real beneficiary have contacted the Courier Company for security reason.
You are hereby instructed to contact the Operations Manager with the information below and call him immediately you send him an email:
Name: Mr. John Edward
Thank you as we look forward to your cooperation on this very crucial matter.
God Bless America!
Mrs. Tracy D. Gail
Office of the DirectorSir Robert Swan Mueller III

2009 singles: "When Love Takes Over"

It will be difficult for a single to knock this out of the top spot. I've loved this song for 6 months now, and it's rare for me to listen to it just once. It's almost good enough for me to want to go out to dance. We'll see.

David Guetta and Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland (host of Bravo's knock-off of Project Runway, The Fashion Show) are nominated for Best Dance Recording (facing off against Madonna, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears--god I hope Guetta & Rowland win). Guetta's album is nominated for Electronic/Dance Album, and as producer for Black Eyed Peas he has another 2 nominations.

God I love this song.

It's complicated, it always it, That's just the way it goes

2009 singles: "You Belong With Me"

Listen, it's a total stalker song, but if I can avoid hearing her sing it live, it's fantastic. She's written a great song: chord progression, lyrics, chorus. It beats the shit out of "Single Ladies" (technically a 2008 single for me, sorry). So I don't begrudge Taylor many of her 6 Grammy nominations. But she better not beat Liza or Pet Shop Boys (she's not in their categories, but still).

Can't you see that I'm the one who understand you?, Been here all along so why can't you see?, You belong with me (stalker! but love it!)

2009 singles: "1901"

Phoenix had a breakout album this year, with a couple of great tracks. This one is now a Cadillac ad. Good for them, I guess. If Paul Weller can do it. They picked up a Grammy nomination for Alternative Album, so this begins a short run of Grammy-nominated reminders.

What you say is way too complicated, For a minute thought I couldn't tell how to fall out

Flashback song: "Blame It On Your Heart"

I reminded myself of why I like Patty Loveless, and it seemed like a good opportunity to share that. If you are going to make a video for a song you like as a fan, here are some tips:
  1. Learn the name of the song. This one is called "Blame It On Your Heart" not whatever they call it here.
  2. If you are going to use lots of pictures of red hearts, pick a different color for your letters. Red on red is not very visible.
  3. Whatever that font is, isn't working. Time New Roman is really boring, but with its serifs, it's actually really legible. There are some fonts optimized for online presentation. Ask around, but that curly-ass shit, avoid.
This is actually among my favorite dance songs of all-time, but you have to think of "two stepping" as dance to understand. It helps if you're at the Round-Up in Dallas.

Song of the day: "Busted"

I was going to post a new track from Tim McGraw, since I enjoyed him in The Blind Side, but I just couldn't do it. "Southern Voice" is, what's the phrase... "a complete piece of shit"? That sounds right. So I tried the new Lee Ann Womack, to see what I'll be hearing at my next 8 dentist appointments. Do you people understand the crap I endure to curate these posts? What's worse than her song "There is a God"? I'll tell you, the fucking sappy homemade video to accompany it AND the comments. Who, in their right mind, thinks that the comments section on a country singer's crappy fan-made video page is the right place to hold a religion vs. science debate about the creation of the planet? It is 6:30 in the morning and I shouldn't be this pissed off about something non-political yet. Seriously.


So here's what I decided on: Patty Loveless. I like Patty based on the brilliance of "Blame It On Your Heart." She's basically a B/B- country singer with a strong voice, but overly preoccupied with being a big "young country" artist. And then she got off that merry-go-round and made an album called Mountain Soul, which was a straight-up bluegrass record. It was a critical successful for her, and because no success can go un-copied, now she has Mountain Soul II. Not "Return To The Mountain" or "Another Climb" or some shit like that. No. Mountain Soul II. I hate people. Here's Patty Loveless, you WON'T be hearing this at the dentist. Unless you live in the holler, and the dentist is also the mailman (or -woman).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's called "pay for delay"

And it's another fucking example of how the healthcare industry needs major fucking reform. Now.

The gist: pharmaceutical companies are paying off manufacturers to keep generic versions of popular drugs off the market. Details here.


Grammy nomination reactions: random cool nominations

  • Pet Shop Boys, Best Dance/Electronic Recording (Yes)
  • Neko Case, Contemporary Folk (Middle Cyclone)--bad category for her, by the way and Recording Packag (she's nominated for designing her CD sleeve art)
  • Alfre Woodard, Ed Asner and David Hyde Pierce compete against each other in Spoken Word Album for Children
  • David Strathairn competes against Carrie Fisher in the Spoken Word Album category
  • Spinal Tap, Stephen Colbert, Patton Oswalt and Kathy Griffin compete in the Comedy category
  • Liza Minelli has a chance to get a proper Grand Slam with her nomination in the Traditional Pop category
  • David Guetta with Kelly Rowland nominated for Dance Recording

Grammy nomination reactions: Record and Song of the Year

Record of the Year, for people who haven't endured this from me for more than 20 years, is a "singles" award, while Song of the Year is a "songwriting" award.

I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why Beyonce submitted "Halo" for Record of the Year" and "Single Ladies" for Song of the Year. Usually your "upbeat" song ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun") scores you a Record of the Year nomination, while your ballad ("Time After Time") scores you Song of the Year. She flipped it and it works. But can you tell me what the lyrics to "Single Ladies" are?

Record of the Year
"Halo" (Beyoncé)
"I Gotta Feeling" (the Black Eyed Peas)
"Use Somebody" (Kings Of Leon)
"Poker Face" (Lady Gaga)
"You Belong With Me" (Taylor Swift)

Song Of The Year:
"Poker Face," Lady Gaga & RedOne, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
"Pretty Wings," Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)
"Use Somebody, "Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)
"You Belong With Me," Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

I'm not too surprised that Kings of Leon are here (since they won a Grammy last year, they had very limited opportunities for nominations). Somehow I didn't think they'd be eligible in the Rock category, just the Record and Song categories here. Weird.

I'm betting Taylor Swift for Song of the Year, possibly Record. But not sure.

Grammy nomination reactions: Album of the Year

I Am…Sasha Fierce (Beyoncé)
The E.N.D. (the Black Eyed Peas)
The Fame (Lady Gaga)
Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King (Dave Matthews Band)
Fearless (Taylor Swift)

Who could ever have predicted such a diverse (cough) array of albums. Oh wait, I did 2 weeks ago. Except Dave Matthews. Go figure that it's NOT U2. Wow.

This feels like Beyonce's year. She's been cranking out hits, and "Single Ladies" and "Halo" are both huge. If not Beyonce, then Black Eyed Peas. Right?

Grammy nomination reactions: Best New Artist

Okay, so what the fuck? Lady Gaga, who rightly deserved to win this category wasn't eligible because a recording of hers was nominated last year. But MGMT, who did get nominated, had a recording of theirs ("Kids") WIN a Grammy last year for J.U.S.T.I.C.E., the French electronic music duo (Best Remixed Recording, Non-classical).

And Silversun Pickups and The Ting-Tings feel every bit as old/established as Gaga. I don't begrudge any of those 3 a nomination, but if you look back at my predictions for Best New Artist last year, you'll see both The Ting-Tings and MGMT on my short list.

The nominees are:
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting-Tings

I have no idea who Zac Brown or Keri Hilson are. Listening to them both now, I'll characterize Zac Brown Band as a country fried version of a jam band, and Hilson as a slow jamz urban singer. Not impressed with either.

Without knowing if Hilson sells well, it's tough for me to predict; but I'll say that the dude from Ting-Tings is cute, MGMT seem gay as shit, and Pickups are totally ripping off Smashing Pumpkins, but in an unpretentious way with good singles. I'll take any of those 3.

2009 singles: "Heads Will Roll"

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are sure to place 2 singles, possibly 3 among my top of 2009 (which doesn't include Karen O's track from Where The Wild Things Are). This song seems like a Weekends, circa 1988, hit.

Off with your head, Dance 'til you're dead

2009 singles: "Something Is Squeezing My Skull"

Perhaps it's just a beer that hit you on the head, Moz. Poor guy, crappy year. But at least he was dressed well.

Diazapam... that's Valium, Tarmazpam, Lithium

2009 singles: "Shining Light"

Annie Lennox covered Ash as part of her greatest hits collection from earlier this year.

You have always been a thorn in their side, But to me you're a shining light


This is the number of American troops (this does not include contractors) in Afghanistan, by selected months over the span (8+ years) of the war. Wait, is this officially a war? I don't think it is. (I just checked—it's an authorized military engagement, not a war. Now you know.)

With the announced escalation yesterday it will be about 100,000 Americans. That's a little smaller than the year-round population of Athens GA (113,000) or Gainesville FL (114,000), a little larger than Killeen TX (home of Ft. Hood), and about twice the size of Corvallis OR (Oregon State University's home).

Truth be told, I thought our troop levels were considerably higher, but I guess this is what happens when we decide that Iraq is where the fun is. Thanks George W. Bush.

The view from my commute home

The weather is fantastic this week: cool and crisp, but sunny. I wish it were light later than 4:15 so I could sneak the kids to the dog park, but maybe this weekend (hope, hope, hope).

The moon is full and beautiful tonight. I'll try to get another shot, but you can see if above the school in this first shot. It's the warmer light near the center, not the smaller light near the top.

I tried to grab a shot driving out of downtown tonight, but no luck. Here's a nice night shot of Portland's modest 5:00 p.m. traffic.

2009 singles: "Last One To Die"

Rancid will finish up this trio or reminders.

We got it right, you got it wrong, We're still around

2009 singles: "The Fixer"

Pearl Jam, sounding suspiciously like Urge Overkill to me.

When something's bored, I wanna put a little excite on it

2009 singles: "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To"

Like Jell-o, there's always room for Weezer. Love this song. Not the drum cover. On that I'm indifferent. A little weak, really, but thanks for providing something embeddable. Full video here.

The rest of the summer was the best we ever had, We watched Titanic and it didn't make us sad

Just watching the street

Oh Tammy, you slut

She sent this note to dozens of people:

Hey there

My name is Tammy

i was just surfing the net and i stumbled on your pictures!!
and it turns out i only live about 20 mins from you.. I am new in town i just moved here from Ireland where i was studying for 4 years.

i would love to chat with you
ill be online all night if your around please email me back at my private
email address.. [deleted]

Talk Soon
Tammy :)

Amen bitches

Someone is selling a plastic tray, but by calling it the Freedom Tray they have established themselves a true fucking Americans.

From their FAQ:
Is this a patriotic tray?
The Freedom Tray is a tribute to the world class manufacturing and dedication of the hard working people of this country. We are proud that the Freedom Tray is completely made and manufactured in the USA with US-made materials. Also, as the name implies, the tray provides you the freedom to live an organized, spill-free and uncluttered life without changing your day-to-day routine.
Christmas is coming. Buy yours here. It's a $55 retail value. No wait, it's a $120 retail value. I'm not sure how they are calculating that, but it's awesome!

2009 singles: "Never Forget You"

I'm sure you'll agree the retro girl group sound was played out after the first rash of post-Winehouse signings (Duffy, Adele), so the 2nd wave wasn't likely to offer much. I doubt you'll see Anjule (or however it's spelled) on my final list even if she ends up in the December "reminder" file.

But this one, well, there's no denying I liked it. A lot.

We just got swallowed up, You know I didn't forget you

2009 singles: "Angela"

Perseveration is the technical name for getting a song stuck in your head. I learned that from my dad a while ago. I don't remember what his particular song was at that time, but it was within the last 10 years. If any song has perseverated with me this year, it's Jarvis Cocker's "Angela." It's not a great single, but I'm pretty damn sure it'll be in my top 50. And I'll be humming this on my 8 a.m. conference call. Sigh.

And she’s nearly 23, Making four-fifty an hour

2009 singles: "This Tornado Loves You"

I featured "People Got a Lot of Nerve" as a song of the day back in June, but I always liked this song more. Here's Neko Case performing on Letterman a while ago. She reminds me a lot of Kirsty MacColl, in best possible way. If you don't know Neko, she's one of the voices in New Pornographers, as well as go-to backing voice for the Ryan Adams universe of artists, and a powerhouse all on her own.

I have waited with a glacier's patience, Smashed every transformer with every trailer

Song of the day: "December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)"

This was a George Michael fan club single last year, and I guess after satisfying those 80 or so folks, he's releasing it this year to all. So really, they didn't get an exclusive, just a head start. It's a nice song, but it's not "Last Christmas." I do like the video a lot.

No wonder we're losing

And by the way, women are serving? Isn't that killing troop morale? Shit.

Also, um, traitor!!!

[UPDATE: This post gets an awful lot of attention, and I want to point out that what might sound like a cynicism toward American troops is meant satirically, at folks who object to things like women serving in the Army, etc.... it's long and convoluted, but if you're seeing this post, pay no attention to the earlier snark, just read below for the 419 scam.... and I'm well aware that it's a scam. If you click on "419 scam" below the post you will see a long variety of solicitations I've rec'd... and apologies to many I might have offended (but not all).]

Return address: xthingzee4all@ deleted UK-based account

I am 2nd LT.  SPARKIE HELEN WHITE, a member of the U.S. ARMY USARPAC Medical Team stationed here in Baghdad, Iraq.

I would like to share an interesting information about my experience while serving with the U.S 1st Armored that was at the fore-front of the war in Iraq. However, at this stage I cannot reveal all the information that you need to know now due to the fact that we have not yet come to terms on cooperating with the information I am about to reveal to you. In other words, I am constrained to hold back some information for security reasons for now until you have find the time to visit the BBC website stated below to enable you have an insight into what I intend to share with you, hoping that the information below will pique your interest one way or the other.  Please view the bbc news website below;
[URL deleted]

After visiting and digesting the information contained in the website I will like a confirmation of that so that we can discuss matter arising from that story that is of mutual interest.  I must confess that I am very uncomfortable sending this message to you through this means as I cannot predict accurately your reaction, you may misconstrue the importance and decide to go public, which would be quite unfortunate, but I have no alternative. In this regards, I have to say that the essence of this message is strictly for mutual benefit and in a sense for the good of the coalition troop here.

I will be more explicit upon a response from you. Please respond with a confirmation that you have visited the website and that you are keen on learning more. I will await your thoughts via my personal email address; [New Zeland-based Yahoo address deleted]

Thanks for your time,

Best Regards

2nd LT.  Sparkie Helen White.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reactions to the Independent Spirit Award nominations

Years ago on Cheers, in its hysterical penultimate season, Woody and his fiance Kelly have a crisis when they realize they have religious differences: he's a Lutheran from the Missouri Synod division, while she is a Lutheran from the Evangelical division. I bring this up as a preface to explain that there's a rift in the independent film community, which led to a splintering of the Independent Spirit Awards from the Gotham Independent Awards--I'm sure if you asked members of either faction why they divorced, neither would give you a clear explanation, or could articulate how their organization's mission differs from the other, except for what city it's based in.

Gotham weighed in earlier awarding The Hurt Locker a massive two (2) awards (note that the Gothams aren't particularly meaningful, so I didn't actually post reactions). While the Independent Spirits nominated The Hurt Locker for, um, none. This year. You see, somehow THL was nominated last year. For Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. It's touted this year as a strong contender for the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director, but last year, among independent film... not so much. Confused? Join the club.

Among the movies that did get nominations today, Precious and The Last Station are the 2 big stories. Precious secured nominations for Gabourey Sidibe (Lead Actress) and Mo'Nique (Supporting Actress), useful in helping position them for a strong Oscar run. It also secured nominations for Best Feature, Best Director and Best First Screenplay, all of which will help in its run at Guild awards and in the Oscar hunt.

The Last Station gets a solid start to its run as well, also picking up 5 nominations including Helen Mirren (Best Actress) and Christopher Plummer (Supporting Actor). It's been moved up in its release cycle to compete in this awards seasons, which means the studio clearly thinks they've got something (Clint Eastwood's Invictus and the Jeff Bridges movie Crazy Heart have also been moved up to compete this season). In addition to the 2 acting nominations, the movie received nominations as Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay. It's something of a biopic about Tolstoy's last year, and yet Plummer, playing Tolstoy, is a supporting actor?! Confusing. But Mirren is picking up steam, including some accolade from the Palm Springs Film Festival (last year they feted Sean Penn).

Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Colin Firth (A Single Man) both earn nominations for Best Actor and are early favorites to compete come Oscar time. Firth is long overdue for a first nomination, and Bridges, with 4 nominations, isn't "overdue" as much as he's due for another. They're both favorites of mine, so this could be a good year, acting-wise.

The Messenger, the new movie with Woody Harrelson (hey, I mentioned him earlier in the Cheers reference), earned nominations for Best First Feature, Best Screenplay, Harrelson (Supporting Actor), and Samantha Morton (Supporting Actress). Morton is absolutely someone to watch for this Oscar race--she's been nominated twice before, and clearly a talent.

I'm hopeful Joseph Gordon-Levitt can work his way toward a Golden Globe nomination for (500) Days of Summer, but I don't see that movie amounting to much post Globes, except perhaps an Original Screenplay nomination.

The last movie that caught my attention is the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man. It wasn't nominated for Best Feature. It wasn't nominated for any actors. It wasn't nominated for its screenplay. The brothers were nominated as Best Director, and the genius Roger Deakins was nominated for Best Cinematography (talk about overdue), but otherwise just an award (the Robert Altman Award) for the ensemble and the casting director. Maybe I'm being too dismissive of this as more honorary than competitive (this went to I'm Not There 2 years ago, and Synecdoche, New York last year, so I'm going to say it's not super impactful on an Oscar campaign). So while it's still playing, I'm not going to knock myself out trying to see this one.

The full list of nominees is here.

2009 singles: "11th Dimension"

By Julian Casablancas (as opposed to Julian Plenti). Casablancas is from The Strokes. Or The Hives. Or The Shins. Or, I don't know. Honestly don't even know if Casablancas is his real name. Plenti's name ain't Plenti (but he's definitely from Interpol [the band, not the spy agency]). But you know what I do know? I know I like this song.

Forgive them, even if they are not sorry

2009 singles: "Sacred Trickster"

I'm not saying it'll end up ranked high on my list, but probably in the 30s or 40s. As long as no one calls it important, I can get down with Sonic Youth.

What's it like to be a girl in a band, I don't quite understand

2009 singles: "You Never Know"

I'm going to start a series of posts to remind myself of my favorite song of 2009 so I can make my official year-end music list efficiently in January. I begin with a favorite from one of the best albums of the year: Wilco by Wilco. There's also a song on there called "Wilco" but this isn't that.

Every generation thinks it's the worst, thinks it's the end of the world



Very disappointing.

By the way, no gays. Don't ask/don't tell, shitty law, still in effect.

Flashback song: "The Refugee"

U2, 1982 or 83?

The sad state of education, part 883: Robert Mueller

Poor FBI Director Mueller, doesn't know the appropriate way to capitalize his sentences. Sigh.

D.C. 20535-0001
This Is An Official Advice From The FBI, Foreign Remittance/Telegraphic Dept.(FRTD), It Has Come To Our Notice That The ADB (African Development Bank) And C.B.N (Central Bank Of Nigeria) Africa Has Released Your Part Of Inheritance/Contract Payment Of 10,500,000.00 U.S Dollars Into Bank Of America In Your Name As The Beneficiary.
The Bank In Africa Knowing Fully Well That They Do Not Have Enough Facilities To Effect This Payment From Europe To Your Account, Used What We Know As A Secret Diplomatic Transit Payment S.T.D.P To Pay This Fund Through Wire Transfer. They Are Still Waiting For Final Confirmation From You On The Already Transferred Funds, To Enable Them Crediting Into Your Account Accordingly. Secret Diplomatic Transfer Payment Are Normally Funds Related To Drug/Terrorist And Money Laundry System Of Payment, Why Must Your Payment Be Made In Such Secret Transfer, If Your Transaction Is Legitimate And Not Related To Drug/Terrorist And Money Laundry, Why Can't The Bank In Africa Via Europe Effect Direct Transfer Into Your Account Than Secret Diplomatic Payment Transfer.
Due To The Increased Difficulties And Unnecessary Scrutiny By The American Authorities When Funds Come From Through Such Payment Process From Europe, Africa And Middle East, Based On The Records We Had In The Past Always Identified Such Method Of Payment As Drug/ Terrorist/Money Laundry Funds, To Avoid Problem With The Us Government As Soon As These Funds Reflect In Your Account In The U.S.A, It Is Our Mandatory Obligations To Ascertain The Documentation And Certification Of This Funds Before The Final Crediting Into Your Account.
We Advice You Contact Us Immediately, As The Funds Have Been Stopped And Held In Our Custody Pending When You Were Able To Provide Us With A Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (Dist) Within 3 Days From The United Nation International Fund Monitory Unit (UNIFMU) That Authorize The Transfer And Certified That The Funds Originated From Africa And Middle East Is Free From Terrorist/Drug And Money Laundry Or We Shall Confiscate The Payment. We Will Allow The Funds To Be Release Into Your Account Immediately You Make Provision The Required Document.Kindly get back to this office..
You Will Be Directed Where And How To Get The Document If It Is Not In Your Possession.

Survey says "no"

(h/t Eric)