Saturday, August 21, 2010

Colbert on the "End" of the War in Iraq

Operation: Pretense to Grab Oil has concluded, and Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) says he thinks George W. Bush (war criminal) deserves some credit for victory.

Perhaps when they serve him the subpoena from the Hague they can also give him a balloon. "Congratulations, you fucked up multiple countries" it can say in all honestly.

But Colbert knows how to appropriately honor our troops.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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About Time: A Project Runway micro-recap (weeks 2-4)

Congratulations to my cousin Gretchen Jones, on winning the first 2 weeks in a row, and meriting a 3rd win. (I'm cousins with anyone with the last name Jones, including Rickie Lee and James Earl.)

Bitch please to whoever is editing her to look like she's the biggest dick in the work room. I mean, she sounds like me, and that's got to be coming from the editing. Right?

Cause if it's not the editing, then bitch please to Gretchen--take that shit down a good 60%. My trick: I'm only actually mega-bitchy about 1/3 of the time, the rest is just simple snark. But if you ask my coworkers, they'll tell you I'm on 100% of the time (I've tried that: it's just exhausting and doesn't help).

We're in the hazy phase, early in reality shows, when I don't bother learning anyone's name (I had to look up Gretchen's name just now, surprised to discover our relationship to each other). In a few weeks I'll demonstrate subtle racism by calling any black designer Emilio or something, but I'm not sure there are any black males in the competition. I'll also demonstrate subtle racism by not noticing the black male designers.

This week's design challenge reminds me of a very important set of facts:
  • People aren't wearing enough hats.
  • All matter is made of energy.
So who is Philip Treacy and why do people insist on calling those things "hats"? Seriously, at some point we have gone beyond "hat" and into the realm of "sculpture." A hat is something one can wear to church, or while driving. The animation that indicates sinus pressure in a decongestant commercial is not a hat.
Ouch, the pressure!
 The splatter guard from the end of the salad bar is not a hat.
I'm protected from most, but not all, sneezes near me.
Now, that being said, the designers were allowed to shop at the fabric store and work with shit they know how to work with (or ought to), so "make a pretty dress to go with this head-based sculpture" should have been a pretty reasonable challenge, even if they were justified in not ooohing and aaahing over, shit, I've already forgotten that guy's name. Hat dude. Whoever he is.

He's designed for the most beautiful women in the world. AND Sarah Jessica Parker.

I don't have the time or skills to give you a complete rundown, except to say dude who won deserved 2nd or 3rd at best. Dude in the bottom 3 did NOT deserve such criticism--that shit rocked. And 2nd place dude deserved to win.

But the best part of the whole fucking affair was back-to-back slams by Heidi Klum:
  • "It was not complementary to the joyful spirit of the hat!"
  • "Also the fit was unflattering."
 Which is Heidi Klum's way of saying "the food here is awful... and such small portions."


"Not your average ho"

The Independent Spirit Awards (or possibly Film Independent's Spirit Awards) usually present songs to honor many of their nominees. They're usually pretty good, considering the offbeat topics covered in these movies.

Today is also Loretta Devine's birthday, and I wanted to find something to highlight her voice. And the clip from Eli Stone (here) isn't embed-able. Oh, and can you believe that the show based on a guy whose guardian angel is George Michael got canceled? I know.

Back to Devine: she's had modest success on stage, tv and screen (her modest is way better than me, so I probably shouldn't trivialize). But she deserves better. So get on that, America. Do my bidding!

Here she is singing an ode to 2007's Dead Girl:

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Kenny Rogers

I have coworkers who express something that I'd characterize as ironic hipster love for Hall & Oates, and for Lionel Richie. And if you ask them, they'll tell you it's not ironic, which is why I suspect it's ironic. The first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club.

I'll throw Kenny's name into the mix. He seemed to rule the musical world from 1978 to 1984 (somewhere in there); perhaps that's more about the Atlanta radio stations to which I listened, but in 1986 he was named Favorite Singer of All Time by USA Today.

All Time.

Take that 12th century baritone Luigi Imjustmakingshitup. And Whitney Houston. And future generations of singers yet to be conceived.

All Time.

Kenny's legacy is more than just sweet music. It's acting (which must be read in the Jon Lovitz as Master Thespian exclamation "ACTING!" "genius!")! It's roasted chicken! (On Conan's show in 1997, Rogers was unable to identify his chicken in a blind taste test.) It's so much plastic surgery that even Pete Burns and Barry Manilow are considering saying something!

Oh, and there's a website called Men Who Look Like Kenny Rogers (here). In addition to a catalog of photos of men who look like Kenny Rogers, it also has a corn muffin recipe (the secret ingredient: frozen corn).

But if he didn't do the music, I probably wouldn't be typing this. I have no idea who founded Boston Market (although, God help me, now I'm going to look--Steve Kolow and Michael Young, but don't expect a birthday post).

I'm gonna start with 2 duets he did with the late great Dottie West. According to her Wikipedia entry (here) Dottie was recording "When Two Fools Collide" when Kenny just walked in the studio and started singing. Rude. I mean, it began a string of collaborations between Rogers and West that really buoyed her career through the 80s, but still, rude. It's like you've spent the last hour getting fresh vegetables and chop chop chop, chop chop chop, you're all ready to make some stir fry, and then BAM, in walks Kenny Rogers, "hey, y'all, let's make a frittata!" (To his credit, that example should conclude with "And then he makes a frittata that's so good it buys you a house.")

I contemplated only including one duet with Dottie, but when I was playing this track I could hear Clark singing along from the couch. I love this song.

Here he is with Kim Carnes, a pretty savvy partnership in my opinion--their voices work well together, and cross-over appeal is called that because it's good to have. (It's not cross-over taint.) If you saw my post on The Blind Side (here) you'll recall that I lamented the end to cross-over duets like this. Seriously, NeYo and Zooey Deschanel, or Clint Black and Macy Gray--just do me this one favor.

You know what, apparently this is an all duets (or possibly trios) post. Here he is with Sheena Easton.

He regrouped with Kim Carnes and the fabulous James Ingram (or, given his past behavior, perhaps he just walked in on the recording of what was planned as a duet between Carnes and Ingram). I don't love this song, in fact it's really mopey and a waste of their talents, but I wanted to remember what the song sounded like. And yes I totally get that I could just delete this whole section of the post... you'd like that wouldn't you? Having me censor myself like that. (You know, maybe I'll go lay back down for a while.)

And finally, a song so wonderful it shouldn't surprise you that it's secretly a Bee Gees song (love them!). The Bee Gees wrote the song for Diana Ross, but I guess Ms. Ross missed out.

So there you have it, a little Kenny Rogers love. And it's not ironic (unless it totally is, because you know how I get with the irony). Oh, those songs aren't in chronological order, but mostly. And he has 3 Grammys (1 more than Bill Clinton).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Get Outta My Way"

The fabulous Clinton recommended a second track from Kylie. Technically he recommends the Paul Harris remix (below), but I decided I would include the album mix as well, so I can understand what Mr. Harris is adding to the equation.

I'm not sure what the actual sub-genre of styles is called, but to me this sounds more "trance" than "house"--it highlights Kylie's voice, but I can't see getting excited about dancing to this. My preference: more cowbell.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Joan Allen

Always a bridesmaid... Allen has 3 Oscar nominations and 2 Emmy nominations among her list of achievements (and Golden Globe nominations, and Screen Actors Guild nominations, and Saturn Award nominations, and...) but she rarely gets a chance to accept anything. She did win a Tony in 1988, so it's not all doom and gloom, and nominees do get really awesome gift bags, so really, she's doing fine.

Today we celebrate Ang Lee's 1997 movie The Ice Storm. It's got Frodo, Spiderman, Wednesday Addams, and even Ripley in the cast. But Allen owns the movie for one memorable scene, where she's being hit on by her minister at a party, telling her that sometimes the shepherd needs the comfort of the flock. Her delivery of "I'm going to try hard not to understand the implications of that" (which I totally had to look up, although I remembered it pretty closely) is fantastic because it balances so many tones at once (pity, disgust, and frustration among them).

The movie received no Oscar nominations, despite a lot of buzz early on. It's understandable given that the movie's best quality is its subtlety, and given that it was the year of some really great movies (Titanic, Good Will Hunting, As Good As It Gets, L. A. Confidential, Boogie Nights, Wag the Dog, The Wings of the Dove, and the movie that I think stole its remote chances for nominations: Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter), it's easy to see it getting overlooked. Even now, with the hype subsided from many of these movies, you'd be hard pressed to eke a lot of nominations out for this movie.

But it's really good.

Although it's not a movie I've watched since that first time in the theater (I don't think). I'm sure eventually I'll run into it again, perhaps on TCM. It's just not a real "feel good" movie.  

The Sweet Hereafter, on the other hand, I will avoid in perpetuity; it's so perfectly composed that I can't bring myself to watch the bus spin across the ice again.

Here's the trailer:

And here are Siskel and Ebert enthusing over it:

Not as juicy as her work in Nixon or The Contender, but some really solid work from her.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"She left, I cried for weeks"

I've been exercising my self-appointed duties as show business awards buzz kill on Wikipedia. I just demoted Soul Asylum from Grammy winners to Grammy nominees.

I almost zapped a Grammy of George Michael's because the paragraph was so poorly structured (if you're referring to "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" maybe don't confuse things by talking about "Careless Whisper."

But the entry did inform me that "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" was co-written by Simon Climie of Climie Fisher fame. (Wait, "fame" in quotes right?) Who remembers their minor hit, "Love Changes Everything" from 1987? They played this on 94Q back when it was still 94Q and not Star 94. That's how old we are.

Song of the Day: "The End of the World is Bigger Than Love"

Swedish troubadour Jens Lekman may or may not have a new album coming soon. The description for this clip at youtube says "from the new album" but I can't find any new album info at Wikipedia or his website or his fan site or even Amazon. But the song is new, and I continue to dig Jens more and more with every new song, so enjoy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Bill Clinton

Greatest. President. Ever. (Or possibly luckiest.)

Economic growth for 116 consecutive months (the most in US history).

The most new jobs created in a single administration.

Median family incomes up.

Unemployment at its lowest since 1960.

Inflation at its lowest since 1960 (until the crippling horror of the Post-Bush Economic Collapse).

Elimination of the national debt (suck on that one, fiscal "conservatives").

Unprovoked wars started under false pretenses? NONE

And he has 2 Grammys.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

How many times...

(h\t Joan Walsh at Salon)

Sarah Palin has rushed to the defense of Dr. Laura--apparently "first amendment rights" cover anything and everything these days.

Which begs the question: how many times should I say re99in (I'm sure you guys decoded that one) to have Sarah Palin rush to my defense? 11? 12 or more? Just give me a number and a microphone, cause I think I am up for it America!

And Sarah P, Grandmama (2x) Grizzly, which of these rights was violated?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I don't see anything about "anyone who wants to get paid to say shit should get paid, regardless of the shit they say" cause, believe me, if that were a right, I'd have a much happier work day.

But that's not a right. Which means I have to get dressed and go to work and not hurl racial epithets at others.



Song of the Day: "How Your Heart Is Wired"

On the verge of (but not yet) too old for SotD status; one more track from Bell X1's Blue Lights on the Runway. My library never got this album, I might have to (cough) pay for it (shudder).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Songs I insist Robin consider for her wedding reception (final edition)

I am told she needs to finish this shit by Friday, so this is probably my last chance.

"Young Hearts Run Free" by Candi Stanton

"Back in Love" by LTD

"The Groove Line" by Heatwave

"Get Off" by Foxy

Okay girl, see you in a few weeks.

Happy Anniversary Suffrage!

(h\t Feministing)

In 90 years America has gone from suffrage to Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle.

Thanks a lot women voters ;-)

"Take your time, Hurry up"

It's birthday girl Francis Bean Cobain's 18th birthday. And I hopehopehope that means that she is now a direct beneficiary of her dad's publishing. And I hopehopehope she finds some relatively sane life for herself, and doesn't follow in the sad or the totally fucking crazy from which she springs.

Rock on girl!

Happy Birthday Rosalynn Carter

If President Jimmy Carter is truly History's Greatest Monster* then Rosalynn was his  "Worst Lady" (see, that's a pun on "First Lady"--did you get it?). The Carters, of course, conspired to lead the country into an unprovoked war that was described in trivial terms ("weeks not months") initially but ended up being insanely protracted and expensive despite being un-budgeted. And they destroyed Constitutional rights left and right by ignoring habeus corpus and illegally wiretapping citizens in direct violation of FISA laws. They authorized torture for fuck sake. They tortured.

Oh, except they didn't. That was someone else. Who was it? Oh, I'll never come up with the name.

Anyway, Rosalynn Carter has been a wonderfully dedicated public servant, next to her wonderful husband, for nearly 50 years. America needs to turn off Glenn Beck and do its own fucking research for a change, and maybe they'll see what an angel Carter is.

How many of her high school boyfriends did she kill? None (that's Laura Bush).

How much did she spend to redecorate the White House? Nothing (that's Nancy Reagan). In fact, Rosalynn is so unassuming that for Jimmy's 1976 inauguration, she used the same dress she wore 6 years earlier for his gubernatorial inauguration in Atlanta. I know, what a bitch!

But on her own, Carter has been a strong and dedicated advocate for assistance for the mentally ill and their families, for more than 30 years. She is an Honorary Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a board member emeritus of the National Mental Health Association. As an undergraduate she wrote a notorious "kill whitey" term paper using her maiden name so as not to embarrass.... oh, you know what, that's Michelle Obama. That video is coming any day now; FOX News totally has it, I've been assured. When it comes out it will scandalize the voters and totally turn the tide of the 2008 elections.

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving is based at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia. I don't recommend visiting Americus. It's just... yeah. I'll say this about Americus: there is plenty of parking.

Here's Rosalynn, in her own words.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

* "History's greatest monster" is a Simpsons reference, but since Karl Rove has created this thing where Republicans call things the opposite of what they are, it probably works.

Song of the Day: "Never Anyone But You"

I think this one was suggested by Leland--it's got some of his hallmarks to it. The band is The Clientele, a British quartet, and the album is nearly a year old. But this track, with its "end of Summer" themes, is a good one for today: Portland's short heat wave has broken, and we'll be back into the 70s today. Maybe the end of our Summer, maybe a short fake-out before Labor Day. Either way, I don't have to run the a/c in my car.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Star Wars characters rendered as Victorian paintings

Painting by Greg Peltz, from LA Weekly website
It's a Wookie with a monocle. What more do you need?!

Read the article from LA Weekly (here) and check out Peltz's blog (here). Lots of cool shit!

Happy Birthday Sean Penn

You know, if society isn't going to cure cancer or end hunger, at least they could make high quality video clips of the shit I want to write about available for me. Is that too much to ask? (Love, the ugliest American)

Today's Sean Penn's birthday and this morning I decided I would write about his 1984 movie Racing with the Moon. I was looking forward to it--it's got a lot of great qualities. And then, I ran across this horrible copy of the trailer. Seriously, the sound quality on this is painful, you've been warned. The quality is better here, but not embed-able.

The movie is written by Steve Kloves, and I've written about my love for his movies Flesh and Bone and The Fabulous Baker Boys during Gwyneth Paltrow's and Michelle Pfeiffer's respective birthdays. It's directed by actor/director Richard Benjamin (along with My Favorite Year, this is his best work as a director).

Set during World War II, Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage are waiting for their induction into the Marines, when Penn falls in love with Elizabeth McGovern. All three give great performances and Benjamin makes a really sweet love story out of it. Dave Grusin's score is charming. The whole thing is nostalgic without getting excessively treacly, and Benjamin really deserves more praise for it, in my never-humble opinion.

McGovern was an Oscar nominee for Ragtime, while Cage went on to an Oscar win a decade later.  Penn's gone on to pick up 2 Best Actor Oscars (so far), with 3 more nominations to his name, and I think Racing with the Moon, in concert with Falcon and the Snowman (1985) and At Close Range (1986), established him as a serious actor, and got him away from Fast Times at Ridgemont High (a role that probably shouldn't be trivialized, even thought it pretty much has been).

So there you go. Sorry about the absence of better video clips.

And happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"Time changed, and so did I"

Recently I wrote about a tribute album for the band Winter Hours (here) that I have every intention of giving more coverage to soon. But this afternoon I ran across A. C. Newman's cover of the Miracle Legion's "Gigantic Transatlantic Trunk Call," a song so wonderfully heart-breaking that I still have tears welling up hours later--it's from another magnificent tribute album that I haven't mentioned at all.

So I am remedying that now. Ciao My Shining Star, is wonderful but its origins are sad. Mulcahy fronted the Miracle Legion (and side project Polaris, who did the theme to The Adventures of Pete & Pete which I fucking love [show and theme song]). I've written of my love for Me & Mr. Ray before.

I lost track of him during his solo career. About 2 years ago, his wife Melissa died suddenly, leaving Mulcahy a widower with twin daughters not yet in kindergarden.

The album, which is now a year old, is a loving gift to Mulcahy from an amazing group of musicians, including Thom Yorke, Buffalo Tom, Ben Kweller, Michael Stipe, my beloved Syd Straw (both Straw and Stipe appeared on Pete & Pete!), Frank Black, Dinosaur Jr. and The National, among many many more.

This is an album worth paying to download. Get the deluxe version from Amazon (here) for under $20 and you will get 41 tracks.

Here's just a small sampling. First TW Walsh with "I Hate to Needy Need You"
 I Hate To Needy Need You by rebelagenda

Then the wonderful Syd Straw with "Hey Self-Defeater"
 Hey Self Defeater by rebelagenda

And finally, A.C. Newman's take on "Gigantic Transatlantic Trunk Call"... "good news takes time, when there's a lot of bad news on the line"
 Gigantic Transatlantic Trunk Call by rebelagenda

Fair and balanced

To continue using that tag line, FOX News will give $1 million to the Democratic party equivalent of the Republican Governors Association, right?



Deep thoughts from Wasilla


Pure, unadulterated love.

That's what I have for Levi Johnston's sister, Mercede Johnston, at her blog (here).
How is it that the agreement states no family is allowed to say critical things about the other family in front of child, when all Bristol does is spy on me in an attempt to find something bad that she can use against me to start drama over on Facebook? Lately it seems that all she has been doing is attempting to add all my friends to her Facebook account, and snoop around in the comments I leave them, or look through the pictures I share, hoping there is something bad in them. But unfortunately for her, there isn’t.
But hey Bristol if you are so interested in what I am up to, and who I am talking to, just send a friend request. I would gladly add you, and then you do not have to skulk around Facebook anymore.
Suddenly I am back in high school, in the family room of my split level home in Gwinnett county, listening to my teenage sister rant about how Lori stole the guy she was "cruising" on the strip by Rose's in Lawrenceville.

Apparently Wasilla AK in 2010 is Lawrenceville GA in 1983. So head's up Wasilla, when they open that mall, things are gonna be off the hook. Which is an expression that means "fun" (you'll get that around 2024).

I miss Archer

From FX. Funny shit. And I'm rooting for H. Jon Benjamin to win an Emmy. Since I know you wanted to know that.

That noise you hear is my fanboy squeal

Over the new Venture Bros. season coming next month.

Miss Universe 2010 National Costumes, Part 1

Miss Universe 2010 National Costumes, Part 1

Go. Laugh.

Grumpy racist Pat Buchanan is right!

A few minor points

1. The "Ground Zero mosque" is not a mosque. And it is not at Ground Zero.

2. Regardless of what President Obama believes, Muslims ACTUALLY HAVE THE RIGHT to build a community center at the location formerly occupied by the hallowed Burlington Coat Factory.

3. This is all bullshit. Why anyone thinks this is a fucking big deal is beyond me... no wait, it's not. It's "culture war" bullshit that Republicans do every election cycle. This is the new "gay marriages" or "Rev. Wright." If you care about this shit, you are being manipulated.

Enjoy The Daily Show:
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Song of the Day: "If You Want It"

OMG!!! It's OMD!!!

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark are back. And they brought hunky shirtless young men for the video. And some old guys lip syncing the song. Oh wait, that's the band. Hmm, wonder how they've aged yet I look so, um, fresh still. Pay no attention to my crow's feet... none at all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Quote of the day

"This is why ghettoes and camps are so practical in these situations. It keeps the hated people from asking for trouble by walking among those who hate them. When you think about it, it's really doing them a favor."--Digby's Hullabaloo (here)

Digby's response to Jack Cafferty's question about the "Ground Zero mosque" (which is neither at Ground Zero, nor a mosque).

"A town so smart it starts with C-H-I-C"

Birthday girl Leslie Ann Warren gives a wonderfully over-the-top performance in Victor/Victoria (she lost the Oscar to Jessica Lange), and I wanted to take a quick moment to give her a shout out.

I'd also love to mention the unintentionally hilarious (or possibly so subversively intentionally hilarious) Color of Night. If you love high grade B-movie, this might be your cup of tea.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Madonna

Her Wikipedia entry is "Madonna (entertainer)" which I think is the right label for her. We can quibble over the quality of any or all of her various projects, but there's no denying her drive. It's really satisfying to find that she's being studied as a business entity by academia--a professor at one of Britain's top business schools called her "America's smartest businesswoman" but as I'm typing this I realize that might actually just be a dis of all American women.

When I heard she was releasing a children's book, I really hoped someone would make a coloring book using pictures from Sex with captions like "Mommy forgot to wear clothes today."

Because she's constantly reinventing herself (refreshing the brand, in business speak), it's impossible for me to know what's authentic and what's not. So I just assume none of it's authentic. Also Coca-Cola is not a home crafted beverage, and my Hane's t-shirt was not lovingly sewn by hand. I'm just saying that with her music it seems more like product than an artistic statement, and each core product takes about 2-3 years to assemble.

We are due for a new song about how music/dance breaks through class barriers--she releases these in years that end in 0 (SEE ALSO: 1990's "Vogue" and 2000's "Music"). That ought to be the first single from whatever comes next from her.

I'm expecting her to make a flat out rock record at some point, but perhaps Alanis and Garbage undermined that back in the 90s, and since she's already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, why bother.

I also expect her to do something akin to an "Unplugged" album, to, I don't know, revisit the "essence" of some of her favorite songs. Or maybe she'll redo old songs in various new styles.

Gunther and I saw her a billion years ago, on the "Who's That Girl?" tour that, until recently, I'd deluded myself into thinking the Beastie Boys opened. Apparently I'm confusing Level 42 with the Beastie Boys which happens all the time. I remember we had good seats, but not much else. Lots of paisley, I think. And to think, I didn't drink or do drugs back then (Becky tells me the red wine actually helps with memory, something about pickling the brain). I do remember that I liked the movie Who's That Girl?.

I know that I like the movie Evita, which I've long described as "a great movie, despite Madonna." But that's truly unfair to her. The movie is a great movie, and Madonna is fine in it. Director Alan Parker made an incredibly beautiful film (with meticulous artistry toward cinematography, editing, costumes, sets, sound and lighting); and Antonio Banderas, Jonathon Pryce and Jimmy Nail are all great. And Madonna is fine. Evita just suffers from being so fucking "Andrew Lloyd Weber" (I can't remember the definition they give in the brilliantly funny stage adaptation of Xanadu, but it includes the phrase "ultimately pointless"). Musically it's about 60% the same as Jesus Christ Superstar, and even within the movie, the music mines the same motif in such a repetitive manner that it's fatiguing. Andrew Lloyd Weber=fatiguing. It's not Madonna's fault.

But to Earl, the guy from Toledo who said Madonna was the ONLY PERSON WHO COULD PLAY THAT ROLE. Sorry, no.

And now for some music--rather than pick favorites, I let the shuffle mode pick 3 at random. Which is why nothing from the last 8 years is on this list, since I don't think I have anything that recent.

I think Ray of Light is still her most critically acclaimed album, and it's one of my favorites. I was really happy that "Frozen" came up, since I love the song and think the video is superior to "Ray of Light" (which dominated the MTV Video Music Awards that year).

Oh, I want to point out that all of the early Madonna stuff I've loaded into iTunes came courtesy of my totally heterosexual coworker Eric. "Lucky Star" was the fifth single off her debut album. The album is older than some of my coworkers. Now I am depressed.

And finally, a song I didn't remember at all, "Over and Over" from Like a Virgin. Listening to it now, I understand why: it's totally forgettable. It's the song you hit "skip" on between "Like a Virgin" and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore." But I'm glad it came up, because, like many products, Madonna brand products contain fillers to provide bulk, and this is a great example of that. If this is your favorite Madonna song, who ARE you?

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! (Not that we could stop you if we tried.)

Song of the Day: "I Don't Believe You"

The new album from Portland's The Thermals is out next month, and here's the first single ("single" is such a quaint notion--back when record labels released 45s)... the first "track" they're promoting. 2:39 of fuzzy power pop!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Rose Marie

I saw her 6 years ago, at Bea Arthur's one-woman show in North Hollywood, back during my 6 months in LA. She used a scooter to get around, and was on oxygen, but I could tell, watching her talk to the various people who approached her, that she still has a lot of life in her.

If you know Rose Marie, it's most likely for her work on The Dick Van Dyke Show. But she had a few careers before that. Her first as Baby Rose Marie. She was a regular on the Vaudeville circuit, and had her own radio show. Her "talking" short film that showed before The Jazz Singer is historic (the first "all sound" film, albeit a short).

Then she worked in the original Vegas nightclubs, literally hired by Bugsy Siegel and assisted by Al Capone. She performed at the opening night of the Flamingo Hotel. You've got to love that little footnote.

And THEN she got work in television. She costarred in My Sister Eileen (I've never heard of it either, but Elaine Strich was in the cast).

The next year she was cast as Sally Rogers and became part of television history. The character is the epitome of the word "brassy" or possibly "sassy" but either way, she's someone I'd want as a coworker.

Click here to watch the un-embed-able episode where Laura sets Sally up with her pharmacist cousin. At least I can embed bloopers:

Sally was part of the writing staff for The Alan Brady Show, which makes her something of an early career woman on television. She had to be as funny as Morey Amsterdam, but she also had to type 45 WPM, since she was the typist for the writing staff. Rose Marie picked up 3 Emmy nominations but didn't win.

She did a lot of television after that, but the most notable was her appearances on Hollywood Squares. She was a regular for 15 years, in the top center square.

So there you go, the brassy, sassy, and quite fascinating Rose Marie.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Do You Love Me?"

New music from Guster. Their 6th album, Easy Wonderful, is out Oct. 5th.

This song is awesome! It's all major chords and optimism! Enjoy.

Do You Love Me by guster