Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rebecca lets the cat out of the bag

After fervent prayer.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for finding out time to read my letter.

Kindest Regards.

A nice summary on the TSA reaction to the terror attempt

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

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

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

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

Flashback: 5 years ago

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

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

R.I.P. folks.

Happy Kwanzaa everybody

Shirley Q provides us another seasonal selection.

2009 singles: "Zero"

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

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

2009 singles: "Ashtray Heart"

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

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

2009 singles: "Did You See Me Coming"

Pet Shop Boys are back baby. They are back.

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

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

2009 singles: "Spaceman"

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

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

Happy birthday Phil Spector

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

The Ronettes "Be My Baby"

Ben E. King "Spanish Harlem"

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

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

The Beatles "Let It Be"

Rest in peace Lana.

We heart popcorn

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

And OH MY GOD they LOVE it!!!

They are looking for more.


Song of the day: "Te Amo"

A little something from Rihanna.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy birthday Annie Lennox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoops, wrong version.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

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

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

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

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

Notes on Nine

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

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

Lather, rinse, repeat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also don't see this movie.

And somebody get this Kate Hudson another project, stat!

Flashback song: "Christmas Without You"

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

Flashback song: "Little Drummer Boy"

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

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

(h/t Steve Pond's The Wrap)

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

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

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

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

Let me just pile on the Stephen Colbert this morning

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

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

The first This is a duet with Elvis Costello, and the arrangement is classic and the lyrics are thoughtful, and the outcome is surprisingly earnest and sentimental. And Elvis sounds better here than he has in a while. I'm posting the lyrics below the video if you're interested in following along.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Colbert/Costello Duet
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There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In
Sung by: Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello

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

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

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

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

Song of the day: "Rain"

Look what Santa brought: new music from Creed.

I know, me neither.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two things on the Bush tax cuts, then I'm going to sleep

Previously on the Rebel Agenda, I featured a piechart on contributions to the deficit. Here's an alternate view, that shows how the major components' shares will change over the next 10 years from I See What You Mean.

The Bush-era tax cuts represent as large a contribution as the economic downturn this year. And will grow.

My 2 things:
  1. These tax cuts have been in place during the decade when millions of jobs have been lost, so I am sick and fucking tired of hearing people say that tax cuts will lead to jobs.
  2. The older, higher marginal tax rate for the wealthy (I hope to be burned by that tax rate at some point) was in place when the US experienced the GREATEST ECONOMIC EXPANSION EVER, EVER. So all things considered, I'll take the higher tax rate, a budget surplus, and a President lying about blowjobs while under oath for a civil trial.

Still yet another list of 10 movies from 2000-2009

As part of my "OMG I am behind on movies" freak out, but at least I have seen, and enjoyed, these 10:

Kinky Boots
Small Time Crooks
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Josie and the Pussycats
Mean Girls
Finding Neverland

A year of progress

Remember this?

2009 singles: "Fitz And Dizzyspells"

Andrew Bird's been around for the last 10+ years--both solo and with a band called Bowl of Fire--but his 2009 album Noble Beast is the first time I heard him. Apparently he's an accomplished violin player (violinist?) but also plays a variety of other instruments and whistles. And he looks damn good doing it.

You know what dude, pick one. Be really musically talented, but look like Bob Dylan. Or be better looking than me, but sing as poorly as I do. Anything else is just showing off.

Lava flows over crooks and craggy cliffs to the ocean, And explodes in a steam heat fevered cyclical motion

2009 singles: "Everything With You"

Pains Of Being Pure At Heart released their first full-length album this year, and I've liked all of what I heard. I featured "Young Adult Friction" as a song of the day months ago, but this one never made that rotation, so it gets included here. Their fuzzy indie sound reminds me of the old Creation record label roster of artists. Don't ask me which, as I'm not the one with recall.

Now your someone, says you're no one, Are you with me? Are you with me?

2009 singles: "Love Letter To Japan"

Synthpop duo The Bird And The Bee released their second album, Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, back in January. I've probably heard this song 2-3 times a week, every week, since then. And I can handle that.

From the west to the east I have flown to be near you, I have come all this way to be close, to be here with you

2009 singles: who's NOT in the reminders file?

So here are some acts that I am intentionally omitting from my singles reminders posts (which is all about helping me rank my Top 50 Songs of 2009 list, coming soon to a blog near the one you're reading now); they are artists that I've previously had on one of my lists, or are just "significant" enough that you'd kinda think I'd have remembered. This lets you know that I remembered, and just wasn't that impressed.

In no particular order: Black Eyed Peas; Eminem; The Dead Weather; Rihanna; Kanye West; Beyonce; Lady Gaga; Britney Spears; Reba (McEntire, but she's just "Reba" now); any American Idol alumnus (Carrie Underwood had 1 song I liked, and Kelly Clarkson had 1... that's 2 songs out of like 8 seasons); anything from Glee (although "Don't Stop Believing" is a guilty pleasure); John Mayer; Toby Keith; Robin Thicke; Shakira; and Madonna. Sorry Clinton.

I'm not ruling out the Eels yet, but things don't look great.

Another moment of genius from Stephen Colbert

He performed with guest Alicia Keys on an alternative version of "Empire State of Mind" about life in the suburbs. It's hysterical, and Colbert kills is. Dude has some amazing talents and timing. In fact, check out him skateboarding on the clip after this one.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down
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The Colbert Report
Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District - California's 12th - Jackie Speier

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Political Humor

My little sister is teh awesome

Jackie sent me some holiday treats: red velvet cake truffles, and chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies Treats. And they are both freaking sweet (and literally sweet).

The truffles are great, although I wonder if a white icing might be more appropriate (next time). Or perhaps I'll try that.

But what's really great is the Rice Krispies Treats. Growing up, we didn't make these at home (which isn't a criticism of my wonderful mother, who makes great fudge and brownies), so when I'd get them at school potlucks it would be like a delicacy. Like baklava, it's not something you make at home, but you enjoy it when you're out.

When I was in college and Jackie was in high school, somehow we started making these at home (it's a rather complex recipe that involves melting butter and marshmallows, and stirring). It was like I learned to make baklava!

So this takes me back to that. Which is good.

So a big thanks to Jackie for her cooking and mailing and everything! I'm just not (making a vague circular motion with my hand) there these days.

Happy birthday Ricky Martin

The hottest gay dad turns 38 today, and while I don't consider myself a huge fan (all general objectification issues aside--be honest, he knows how to properly wear a Speedo), I can't turn down a chance to play a duet with him and Kylie.


Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I had no idea. Apparently Kylie has a lot of live duets. So think of that as my little game for the next couple of weeks. Where's Kylie?

For now, she's here.

And happy birthday dude! Rock on! In that Speedo!

An open letter Sen. Robert Byrd

Dude, it is time to retire. And I'm not talking about stepping down in 2012 when this term is over.

Surely there is someone else in your state who might could learn to do that job.

Ask yourself this simple question: what would Sarah Palin do?

So much for doing what's "right"

Healthcare "reform" has passed. Mission accomplished.

I have issues with what passed today as healthcare "reform" but this isn't about a specific issue (except that the government is now mandating we support monopolies... hooray?) and my mother won't be able to take advantage of guarantees to get insurance because of her pre-existing conditions until right before she qualifies for Medicare. Double hooray.

No, this is about a discussion a coworker and I had earlier this week, where he optimistically predicted that at least 1 Republican would vote "yes." He said something to the effect of "I have to believe Olympia Snowe (R, ME) and Susan Collins (R, ME) want to be on the right side of history."

But he was wrong.

Republicans continue to vote in single, objecting, lock step. They have done so on nearly every fucking vote. They even embarrassed themselves with Al Franken's (D, MN) "A Rape Supporter Votes 'No'" bill, and asked him to make a statement clarifying that a vote of "no" didn't mean that they, as Senators, actually support rape. I don't think he offered that.

So can Dems stop trying to be bi-partisan? It's like expecting my dogs to do their part with cleaning my house... they just won't comply.

My Saturnalia wish is that the big official "healthcare reform" thing that everyone had to fight about has been passed (remember: mission accomplished), but nothing precludes my flaming liberal Congressmen from pushing for additional, smaller directed reforms. And since "the war is over" maybe things will go more smoothly.

[UPDATE: So technically retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R, KY) did not vote. So he didn't vote "no" in lockstep with the other 39 Republicans. That doesn't put Bunning on the right side of history, that makes him a coward. In addition to being merely crazy. Next week expect to hear him proclaim that I attacked his wife.]

The quality of my scam emails has dropped recently

This came from a Dr. Gomez but inside it's Dr. Davis? Seriously.

And where's the heightened sense of intrigue? The drama? The pathos? Just "hey, you totally won, send me your social security number and I will hook you up."

Try harder Nigeria!

Try harder.

SUBJECT: congratulations

Dear Winner,

Please confirm the following information to enable us process your claim: Your
Name, Address, Sex, Age, Occupation,Nationality, Phone Number.Also rememeber
to quote these numbers below for verification by the company: REF: PP-21180-ES
and BATCH:P-245-44.This is due to mixture of names of winners of Euro
350,000.00 (Three Hundred And Fifty Thousand Euros Only).

Congratulations Once again

Dr.Marvis Davis.

Flashback song: "December Will Be Magic Again"

These days, you can't turn around without running across hip Christmas music. But 20+ years ago, when A Very Special Christmas Vol. I was the hippest thing going, my college radio station had some nice rarities: Cocteau Twins doing "Frosty the Snowman" comes to mind, and perhaps a reader with notably better memory than mine (the power of red wine! and possibly Vicodin!) will add a couple more. I'm doing Kate here because I used to, um, sing along in as close to her voice pitch as I could muster. Still do, just ask the dogs.

This isn't the actual version we played (it was a bit more radio friendly), but you definitely get the point of the song. This is from a holiday special Kate Bush did 30 years ago. Think about that. How many of your coworkers are younger than this?

Song of the day: "I Can See In Color"

I've been looking for this for a couple of weeks, since I saw the movie Precious (technically Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire). It's Mary J. Blige performing, and was co-written by her and Rapheal Saadiq (I may have left out a vowel, but hopefully you know who I'm talking about: Tony Toni Tone dude who's now all retro-soul).

I'd say it has a decent shot at an Oscar nomination for Original Song, but that's more about the song's placement and general mood than it is about it being a great song. Whoever picked Blige for the project made a great choice (I hadn't spent a lot of time thinking about who might do a song here but I stayed through credits to see who it was--something I was denied by The Blindside and I'm still a little pissy), but with the Academy's "bake-off" rules for original songs, and a general "WTF" reaction to at least 1 nomination per year (last year: Peter Gabriel's "Down To Earth" from Wall-E; earlier "In the Deep" from Crash... what the fuck? Miley Cyrus & John Travolta's duet from Bolt was far superior), I won't know until February 2nd.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Flashback song: "Mele Kalikimaka"

Another seasonal selection, this a classic from Bing Crosby. I adopted it around 1988, after a coworker at my job as an actuarial assistant shared it with me. That was a billion years ago, it would seem.

Anyway, enjoy.

Flashback song: "Do They Know It's Christmas"

This is the 25th anniversary of the charity song, and it's easy to overlook how much it's influenced all future charity songs. Seriously, it's a freaking blueprint for who sings when. "We Are The World," "Tears Are Not Enough," "Let It Be" (Ferry Aid), "Sun City," "Soul Deep" (the miner's strike), and I'm sure there were some during the first Gulf War.

This one features a long list of musicians I love, including Paul Weller, Bono, Sting, Midge Ure (and the rest of Ultravox), Boy George, George Michael, Paul Young, Jody Watley, and more.

The record helped transform Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof into Sir Bob Geldof, humanitarian, and has sold over 3 million copies, and possibly raised money for something. Sick kids? Hungry people? The Amish? Whoever it was, Bob and Midge hit it out of the park.

2009 singles: "Toe Jam"

Well, since we're in the neighborhood, let's feature another great track from B.P.A. This one features David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. And Dizzee has two Zs.

Another fun song and fun video. Now I wonder if Spike Jonze didn't have something to do with this, since he directed several of Norman's Fatboy Slim videos. (Hmmm, maybe not.)

Everyday is fucking perfect, it's a paradise, Watch my life like its a movie, have to watch it twice

2009 singles: "He's Frank (Slight Return)"

The second visit from St. Iggy is a collaboration with the B.P.A. (Brighton Port Authority), which is Norman Cook's latest incarnation. But he will always be a Housemartin to me.

The B.P.A. album (I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat) is pretty good, and has an interesting set of vocalists on it. Perhaps it will warrant another reminder.

He's got secular joy, He's a peculiar boy

2009 singles: "I Hate People"

I've got 2 songs that feature the inimitable Iggy Pop coming up on the reminders list. The first is a track by Jemina Pearl from Be Your Own Pet. The song speaks to my general antipathy, AND it features Iggy Pop. If it scratched my back too, it would be perfect.

Just the two of us, alone together, Hating everyone!

Happy birthday Harry Shearer

He's the under-appreciated voice talent on The Simpsons; he is the only one of the six regular voice talent that haven't won an Emmy (there's a category for voice over work in animation). And this dude is the voice of Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny, Principal Skinner, Otto, and Rainier Wolfcastle just to name ten. He has been nominated, finally, a few months ago. That was his first nod for The Simpsons.

And that is enough.

But he's ALSO Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap.

He was on Saturday Night Live joining around the time Al Franken did. That was brief.

He hosts a radio program called Le Show on NPR or PRI or something.

But really, he's the voice of some of the best secondary Simpsons characters. What more do you need?

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the day: "December"

This is relatively new from Norah Jones, and is part of the seasonal selection. It's also free on iTunes through next Monday, 12/28.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Email verification!

Just in time for Christmas, a "bonanaza"!

Dear Customer,

Your email ID has received £ 858,000 in our Christmas Bonanaza. Please, send the following 1. YOUR FULLNAME: 2. YOUR ADDRESS: 3. PHONE NO.: 4. COUNTRY: To the Email below for details to claim your £858,000


Forward details to Email:

Best wishes,
Valente Kieth
Local Organizing Committee (L.O.C)

2009 singles: "The Great Defector"

Irish band Bell X1 came to my attention last year with Flock (which apparently I was hearing years after its release), and this year's Blue Lights On The Runway is on my hold list at the library. I don't think they have a copy yet. But I can wait.

The song reminds me of Talking Heads. In a good way. In that very poppy Little Creatures way (the best way).

I love the way your underwire bra, Always sets off the x-ray machine

2009 singles: "Cannibal Queen"

The band is Miniature Tigers. The release is from late 2008 but I certainly heard it well into Spring of 2009 and thus it's here in my reminder file.

The video was filmed in the old firehouse they used in Ghostbusters. How can spell check not recognize Ghostbusters as correct? Idiots.

Comin' for your heart like a cannibal, Oh, she lets me right in and I fed 'til I'm full

2009 singles: "The Nerve"

Don't know much about Mutemath, but this single caught my attention back in the Summer and I've checked out some older stuff of theirs. Technically, these guys are fucking awesome. They are seriously tight and there's something about that I am appreciating. It's so refreshing to hear a crisp rock.

They got a Grammy nomination a couple of years ago, and they might be a Christian music band of some kind, but it's not overt, so I'll keep listening.

For now.

But you've been warned, Mutemath.

You've been warned.

Can you believe this world lacks the common courtesy, To thank us all for the love?

RIP Joe Strummer

We lost Joe on this day in 2002. He leaves a legacy of remarkable rock and roll. It's probably counter-intuitive that I'd post him covering a Bob Marley song, but I like that sentiment here.

And the sentiment that the Hold Steady included in their "Constructive Summer" song from last year:

Raise a toast to St. Joe Strummer
I think he might have been our only decent teacher
Getting older makes it harder to remember
We are our only saviours

2009 singles: "Say Hey"

Does it feel like the songs are coming fast and furious? Get your protective eye wear on!

This came out in late 2008 but I was exposed to it through the year, and am pronouncing it a 2009 single. Thanks to Richard who used Shazam to ID it from a Jennifer Lopez movie trailer. It's "feel good" in a good way (the song, not the movie).

It's by Michael Franti & Spearhead.

My momma told me don't lose you, Cause the best luck I ever had was you

Michelle Bachmann=welfare queen

(h/t to Eric for passing along)

Michelle Bachmann is a total fucking socialist. She sucks at the teet of big government and its redistribution of wealth. And she loves it!

The details are here.

Here's the best part:
Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.

Let's give a big socialist welcome to Comrade Bachmann and her gigantic hypocrisy.

Flashback song: "A Fairytale Of New York"

I am kicking myself for missing the anniversary of Kirsty's untimely passing, on December 18th. She was killed in 2000 when he was struck by a speed boat in a recreational beach area in Mexico on vacation with her family. She was trying to get her kids out of the way of a boat that was going much too fast for that area. Some rich douchebag got a servant to plead guilty to the crime so justice has never been served.

She leaves behind a legacy of great music, including writing the Tracey Ullman theme "They Don't Know," work with Billy Bragg and The Smiths, some fantastic solo albums, and this now iconic 20-plus years old seasonal selection that includes the lyric "Merry Christmas, my ass, I pray God it's our last."

Miss you girl.

'Tis the season for compensation


Dear Friend,

I hope all is well with you and your family, and believing you in a perfect condition. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture through the help of the diplomat I told you about.

Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness, you showed at the beginning of the transaction I decided compensating you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $950,000. I have authorized my new lawyer who is now also my legal adviser to issue you International certified bank check cashable at your bank. I will like you to contact the lawyer for the collection of this international certified bank check, and below is the name and contact address of the lawyer:.

Denise Rahm (Lawyer)
Cell #: +66852471725

At the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand in Paris France. Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the Lawyer on your behalf to send the bank Check to you as soon as you contact him without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks and God bless you and your family.

Mrs. Laura Mason

I have been asked to be someone's beard

I have to wonder, what kind of a shrew is this woman that she's randomly emailing me thousands of miles away. Does she not have any gay friends, as a FASHION DESIGNER?! I guess London England doesn't have any homosexuals. Not a one. Ergo this is legitimate!

Dear Friend,

My name is Heather Wayne; I am 24 years old, from London -England, where
I am schooling and work as a fashion designer for part time job after my
school. I am the only daughter of my parents my father died on a fatal
auto accident on his way to see my sick mother at the hospital where she
was admitted for Cancer treatment, she also died when she heard about the
death of my father in same day at the hospital.

Before the death of my father, he had willed part of his Real Estate
Business, Gas Stations and a total sum of £50,700,000.00(Fifty Million,
Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) to me. After the death of my both
parents, things became hard for me, paying my school fees, putting food on
the table and taking care of my other needs with my fashion designer work
which I do as a part time work after my school can’t help, I went to the
bank where my late father deposited the fund on my behalf to with-draw
money in other to take care of my self and pay for my school fees with
other bills.

I was shocked when the Bank Manager explained to me that I will not be
able to with-draw from the deposited money, because my father had put a
clause on the Will, which he used in depositing the fund with them, saying
that before I will be given access to the money, I will either have to be
30 years old or if only I get married before the age of 30 , in which
case, my husband will be legible to collect the money on my behalf by
standing in as my late fathers next of kin to claim the deposited fund on
my behalf.

Today I am only 24 years old. And I have no access to the money till I'm
30 years. So, I’m contacting you to stand as my husband to claim this fund
on my behalf and in case if you are married already, you can still help me
by standing in as my late father’s next of kin to the deposited fund. So,
please get back to me as to know how you will be remunerated as I will
part with 40% of the total sum £50,700,000.00 (Fifty Million, Seven
Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling),while 10% will be mapped out for any
expenses that we're to use to receive the money from the deposited Bank.

Please remember that I am writing you this email purely on the ground of
trust so we can achieve this deal together. This transaction will last for
two weeks after you get back to me on how serious you are to claim this
fund on my behalf, please kindly get back to me through this email:

Yours Truly,
Heather Wayne

The italics tell you it's real

The email came to me in bold italics, and I am recreating that for you here. Enjoy.


I am Mr. Robert S.Mueller, The FBI Director; After proper investigations, we discovered that your impending payment that have been withheld by imposters, claiming to be Professor Charles Soludo (Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria), Mr. Patrick Aziza, Mr. Frank Nweke, None existing officials of the Oceanic Bank of Nigeria and Zenith Bank, UK winning Lottery, Senator David Mark, Andy Lear of HSBC bank, Coca-Cola winning lottery and among a list of others is now under our custody with the help of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Local Police Force.

Investigations revealed that you have spent a lot on your personal earned money just to conclude the successful transfer of your funds to your nominated bank account by obtaining transfer documents as requested by the importers, costing you a lot of money but all to no avail.

The FBI had to send some financial crime investigators from our head quarters in Washington DC to Africa in other to carry out proper investigation, after receiving series of other reports similar to yours as you are not the only person awaiting the legal transfer of funds from Africa.

The FBI has giving authority to the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to assist the Federal Ministry of Finance and all the organization involved; such as the Central Bank, Zenith Bank, and Legit lottery organizations to immediately commence with the compensation of all the beneficiaries awaiting the successful transfer of their funds.

With the help of some of the best Internet investigators attached to the FBI, we traced your information from the Internet as one of the beneficiaries awaiting the successful transfer of funds to your nominated account.

I am pleased to inform you that a meeting was held

as regards the best way to carry out with the compensation exercise for transparency and most especially to avoid re-occurrence of the delay in transferring your funds and the high cost of procuring transfer documents and came to a final conclusion as all head of organizations involved was duly represented.

It was approved to be issued to you as a valid international ATM card cashable at any ATM machine designation in the world. The ATM account has already being credited with two million, five hundred thousand United States dollars. ($2.5,000, 000.00USD), with a daily Limit of withdrawal of Ten thousand United States Dollars. ($10.000, 00USD). The ATM card has already being packaged and approved to be delivered to your door step via express courier delivery service.

Contact Mr. Benson Edward {Our FBI ATM Rep.} at the ATM PAYMENT CENTER and reconfirm your delivery information as stated below and your security code with five digit (12090) number has to be submitted alongside with your delivery information for security reasons.

NAME: Benson Edward
TEL: +234-8138223603.


NOTE: Under normal circumstances you are suppose to come and collect your ATM CARD in person and sign some documents as proof of the collection of your ATM CARD but the IMF and the Finance Ministry insisted that you pay for the SECURITY KEEPING FEE ONLY of your ATM CARD via western union money transfer, which will cost you only $200.00 USD to cut down travel expenses in other for the western union payment receipt and the receipt of payment of $200.00 USD to the nominated courier company that will carry out with the delivery to your door step to be documented in your file as proof your collection. We hope that is very clear. A receipt to this effect will be sent to you and a copy kept in your file for future documentation.

We also advise that you stop further communications with these importers and forward any correspondence / proposal you receive from them to Mr. Benson Edward in other for the FBI to bring justice to does still at large.



Mr. Robert S.Mueller III


2009 singles: "Funny Little Frog"

Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch had a special side project called God Help The Girl, which used singers he selected via web auditions. There's some nice stuff on the album, but it was kinda torpedoed (in my book) by the far superior Camera Obscura album that came out around the same time and plays in the same retro pop space. Take it from me, a little bad timing can really fuck you. Or, cough, so I've heard.

This ended up being my favorite track, possibly because I knew it as a Belle & Sebastian song from a few years earlier. It's slowed down here, and a little more plaintive. Still good. Lyrically there's always a lot more going on than I realize when I first listen. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I sing this to Gracie and it works.

Honey, lovin' you is the greatest thing, I get to be myself and I get to sing

2009 singles: "That Beep"

This is exactly why I do these reminders. Architecture in Helsinki had basically been forgotten, and bam, I'm reminded how much I enjoyed this last Winter.

Maybe it's watching Kylie videos at Starky's on Sunday, but this has me thinking of Dannii ("Put The Needle On It"... maybe a little tiny bit?).

You got that beep, that beep, that bop bop

Flashback song: "We Need A Little Christmas"

Casting the movie versions of hit musicals is, apparently, not as easy as one would think. I mean, let's say you get the rights to a major hit Sondheim musical and, in your bid for Oscar appreciation, you secure Johnny Depp as your leading man--yes! So, what do you do about the leading lady role--a role that has secured a Tony for one actress, and nominations for the other actresses who played the role? Apparently when you're casting for such an important role in this long-awaited film adaptation, you roll over in bed, see your wife, and cast her. Can she sing? She's your wife, what kind of question is that. A little nepotism goes a long way.

Who was Lucille Ball married to when she was cast in the film version of the musical Mame? I don't know, but let's assume someone involved in producing or directing the movie, based on HER singing skills on display here. When you interpret things (songs, bible passages, works of art) it is always appropriate to ask what the piece is about. "We Need A Little Christmas" is from a quaint time in history when the week before Thanksgiving was considered ridiculously early to decorate for Christmas. Like I said, quaint. They're suffering through the worst economic meltdown to precede George W. Bush and they long for the simple cheer that the idea of Christmas brings. And it's sung as though they decided to re-arrange this week's meeting schedule. Enjoy.

There might be a reason Warner Brothers still hasn't released that on DVD.

Here's a version from Angela Lansbury during the initial rehearsals back in 1966 (this is as old as me!). You might understand better some of the urgency, the drama inherent in the song.

Song of the day: "Bad Romance"

I'm going to use up some songs that I have earmarked to listen to, but I am not super enthusiastic to have as songs of the day, this week, since I have the singles recap. Today we'll listen to something from Stefani Germanotta, or as she likes to call herself, THE KING OF POP. No, wait, Lady Gaga.

I am told this song will grow on me. Perhaps like athlete's foot.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flashback song: "Jingle Bells"

It was either Christmas of 1985 or 1986 when I worked a 2nd job--in addition to working a full 40 hours at Sears during break from college, I also worked a few nights at a small Service Merchandise knock off whose name I will never remember that was not in the mall, but in the same parking lot. For store music, they had 3 cassettes that they alternated between: Mannheim Steamroller (crap), Kenny & Dolly (excellent) and Barbra Streisand (also excellent).

I distinctly remember being lectured by some woman, on December 22nd, because the only Cabbage Patch Kid dolls we had left in the rather white suburb of Atlanta, were of the African American variety. She told me, clearly a fucking hourly nobody, that my store should do a better job of studying the demographics of the areas surrounding our stores when we order merchandise.

Knowing that I had 2 more days of employment there, and frustrated from 2 jobs in retail during a Reagan-era Christmas, I told she might consider shopping earlier than December 22nd next time around.

It came out every bit as snarky as you suspect.

I won.

My point is, Jews make great Christmas albums! Mazel tov and enjoy another seasonal selection.

Another other list of movies from 2000-2009

I'm working through a list of movies I missed, and have another 4 or 5 waiting for my extended Christmas weekend. But here are 10 more I'll be considering for my "best of the decade" recap. We're definitely in the indie films pack.

Far From Heaven
House of Sand and Fog
In America
The Station Agent
A Home at the End of the World
Garden State
Lars and the Real Girl
The Visitor

Happy mother-fucking birthday Samuel L. Jackson

Holy fuck, I can't fucking believe I forgot to check mother-fucking birthdays this morning. What a fucking idiot I am.

You know him. You fucking love him. He can do no wrong.

Chappelle's Show
Samuel L. Jackson Beer
Buy Chappelle's Show DVDsBlack ComedyTrue Hollywood Story

In all seriousness, Jackson impressed me in his very first film role, Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. Here he is with an actress named Halle Berry. I think she went on to some success as well.

Okay, well, maybe he can do a little wrong...

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Flashback song: "What's This"

Has it really been 16 years since The Nightmare Before Christmas?! Holy crap.

Poor Danny Elfman has written some of the most iconic film scores of the last 25 years and he's got a mere 4 Oscar nominations. Pathetic (not him, the music branch of AMPAS). Seriously. Alan Menken has won 8 Oscars (out of his 18 nominations) and Elfman is left empty-handed? Sigh.

This song went un-nominated, while "Run To You" from The Bodyguard, and "Beautiful Maria Of My Soul" from The Mambo Kings got nominations. Double sigh.

This is part of my on-going seasonal selections. Enjoy.

2009 singles: "Right Round"

It's a big dumb pop song from early in the year. I don't think it'll make the final list, but there's a place for it in the "reminders" file. For months I saw the name Flo Rida, I didn't know if it was a guy or a girl. I'm assuming it's a guy.

No women, no shawties, no nothin' but clothes, No stoppin' now, my Pirellis on roll

Flashback song: "Hard Candy Christmas"

The Dolly Parton-only version has become a recent Christmas staple, but there's something about this version, about the dissolution of a whorehouse in Texas, that really speaks to the season (at least it does in my book, my skewed little book).

I don't know that they hired actual working whores for film of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas back in 1982, but they sure as fuck didn't hire singers. Charles Durning received one of his two Oscar nominations in the movie, but he's not in this song, so I don't know why I even mentioned it. Except, perhaps, to reaffirm my mojo in the whole showbiz awards milieu.

Happy solstice. Give your local whore(s) some special cheer tonight.