Saturday, September 11, 2010

Song of the Day: "Write About Love"

New music from Belle & Sebastian, with guest vocalist Carey Mulligan (an Oscar nominee for Best Actress last year). It's the title track, and the full album is due next month. It's got a real God Help the Girl sound to it (and yes, I know...).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maybe, maybe not

I created another card at someecards. Go here if you want to send it to a loved one, or back to me.

Song of the Day: "Flash a Hungry Smile"

The band is Mystery Jets. the album is Serotonin. That's pretty much all I've got for you this morning.

Ask, tell

(h/t Towleroad)

It's your First Amendment right, according to the Federal judge who declared Don't Ask/Don't Tell unconstitutional earlier today.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the policy banning gays did not preserve military readiness, contrary to what many supporters have argued, saying evidence shows that the policy in fact had a 'direct and deleterious effect' on the military.

Here's what interesting--at the Prop 8 trial, opponents of gay marriage who have long argued that gays can't rear children as well as straight couples weren't able to produce any evidence supporting that either.

Cue the cries of "activist judges" in 3... 2...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And the winner is... The xx

The Mercury Prize winner for 2010 is The xx, just like their Wikipedia entry opined would happen. I actually really like the album, but the style of the music is one I don't get effusive over (it needs to be more power pop, or more all-out gay to really work me up). Still, congratulations to them.

Happy Birthday David A. Stewart

If you don't know, he's the non-Annie Lennox half of Eurythmics. And a producer/songwriter/musician/all-round creative type (he's created 2 comic books).

He wrote a musical for Barbarella AND married a member of Bananarama AND helped The Lover Speaks get a record contract. I can't even organize my food containers so that I can match a fucking lid to anything.

And I still worry that Dave doesn't get enough acclaim for Eurythmics because he's not Annie. Let's be honest, we all fucking love her. We do.

The year after Annie won an Oscar for co-writing "Into the West" from the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie, Dave and Mick Jagger won the Golden Globe (and were considered strong contenders to pick up an Oscar nomination) for "Old Habits Die Hard" from the remake of Alfie. That would have been perfect--they each win but on their own terms. Here he is performing it, sans Mick:

I think his biggest single as a musician, outside of Eurythmics, is his collaboration with Candy Dulfer, "Lily Was Here." It would pop up in odd places (movies and TV mainly, not like the grocery store, although that likely happened, I mean it's got "dentist office friendly" practically in the song title) for a good 6 years. And it's a great song.

He produced Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Southern Accents, co-wrote its hit single, and appears in the video as The Caterpillar in their Alice in Wonderland tribute. Here's something that is either true and awesome, or completely fabricated and even awesomer--the song and the inspiration for the video are all based on an evening Stewart spent with Stevie Nicks (here).

He also produced Bob Geldof's first solo album, Deep in the Heart of Nowhere. I haven't thought about this record in a million years (or, like 23).

And Feargal Sharkey's first solo album. Maybe that's why he won Best Producer at the BRITs in 1986.

More recently he's worked with Bon Jovi and this year he's working with Stevie Nicks. It's the circle of life. Or something.

Now we'll do some Eurythmics music. Did you know they're an all-time favorite of mine? Of course you did. One of the best concerts I've seen, and one of the biggest stupid fuck-ups I made was not realizing the order of bands in the ad for the opening of Seattle's Experience Music Project was the order of the musicians as they performed--which means their reunion tour was the opening act and the headliner was Matchbox 20. Seriously, Matchbox 20. Sigh. For all these songs, Dave either produced or co-produced, and all the songs are credited to both Annie and Dave as writers.

I have a special fondness for Savage, which seems to be one of their more polarizing albums. Allmusic gives it 2 stars (out of a possible 5), while Lemony Snicket writer Daniel Handler wrote about it for an essay in

Their 1999 reunion album Peace is actually pretty good. Or it was just good for me to hear them together again--I'm easily pacified sometimes.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "All Summer"

Okay, pay attention cause this is confusing. This is a collaboration between Kid Cudi, Rostam Batmanglij (from Vampire Weekend) and Best Coast. and it was recorded for Converse. I don't know why Converse sponsored this (perhaps a commercial that airs on shows I don't watch), but you can download the track free here. Summer's about over here--we've had rain the past 2 days, which is awfully early for Portland.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann's musical career needs to be studied by anyone interested in a record contract.  As a member of 'til Tuesday, she enjoyed the bounties of a major label record contract, including lots of airplay on MTV (and the second Best New Artist VMA--take that Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Sade, Sheila E. and Julian Lennon).

But new bands at a record label are like new toys for a kid--they get a lot of attention for a short time and then in a few months it's Christmas and a bunch of NEWER toys get attention while last year's toys are stuck in the closet. Sure, some toys stay popular and they do get attention--labels want to eke as many sales out of their entire roster as they possibly can, but they also are pretty fucking stingy when it comes to yanking the resources to apply to the newest toys. Sorry Frankie, Julian, 'til Tuesday and Ms. E., but Sade's is the only sophomore album that's selling, so they're the only one who gets more promotion funds.

As a solo artist, Aimee got some attention from a start-up boutique label that gave her a lot of attention. And promptly went out of business. But that album was well received (and sold enough) to get her picked up by another major label.

There's a reason that album is called I'm With Stupid. But in addition to giving her some focus for sharp songwriting, it also inspired her to say "fuck it" (I assume) and take control of her own distribution. And she did this right around the time everybody started using that inter-webby-tubez thing. And it worked. Because I think she has the career real musicians should want--for example, she OWNS her own copyrights. Major labels don't let you do that (unless you're an established artist shopping for a new contract... Madonna can probably own her own copyrights, my cousin's ex's band Alpaca! couldn't, if they signed with a major label).

Since then she's gotten an Oscar nomination, won a Grammy (for designing her album package, cause, you know, girls are good with art), and written some great music. She's not gonna be all over MTV any time soon, but you know what, neither is any other music video cause this isn't 1988 any more. Sigh.

Oh, and she's married to Michael Penn, and their combo tour (along with David Cross, who did the between song banter that neither Penn nor Mann are comfortable doing) was fantastic. The only disappointment? That Michael Penn failed to perform all of "Voices Carry" (Mann did "No Myth")--oh yeah, they both won the VMA for Best New Artist, I wonder if they are posed together somehow in their house.

And, AND, she's in The Big Lebowski. She is TEH AWESUM!!!!
"Throwing kisses so Richmond's unfortunates can go on"
I'm gonna jump around chronologically, and start with a track from The Forgotten Arm, a concept album about lovers on the run in the 1970s (and the basis for an uncoming musical). I can't explain why I am in love with this song, there's nothing obvious for me to love, but it gets stuck in my head at least once every other month... "Dear John":

"Even when it's approaching torture, I've got my routine"
Four songs lost an Oscar to Phil Collins in 2000, all of them more deserving than that crappy song from whichever Disney cartoon no one cares about. Mann's soundtrack to Magnolia is part of what makes that movie a wonderful mess. "Save Me" got the Oscar nomination, "Wise Up" (which wasn't an original song for the film) is used in such a bold way that I've written about it specifically (here)--just, speechless at that whole 3-4 minutes of film. But this isn't about that, this is about me and my rut. I am a man with a rut. Several actually. This is a song about ruts, and I'm playing it for me.

"Don't you know that I could make a dream that's barely half-awake come true"
Philly Rob (I really should call him Wharton Rob, becase Philly Rob sounds like a total mook, and Wharton Rob sounds like a guy who runs collaboration software for Wharton School of Business, which he may or may not do) convinced me to give 'til Tuesday's second album a try. I'd written them off as one-hit wonders and honestly I never cared for "Voices Carry." But the second album has got some real gems, like "Coming Up Close":

"It's one of my faults that I can't quell my past, I ought to have gotten it gone"
Her first solo album, Whatever from 1993, is one of my favorite albums from the 90s. It's got a lot of great, smart songs that hit a variety of moods. And since I'm not really a fan of the 4th of July holiday, this song resonated with me from the first time I heard it.

"But how beautiful it was, 'tomorrow,' We'll never have a day of sorrow"
One more from Whatever (I told you it's a favorite), and here the sadness is masked by the optimism of the music--I always love that. "Fifty  Years After the Fair":

"Would it really spoil everything, If you didn't blame yourself, Do you know what I mean?"
I want to conclude with something from Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo, the album where she takes control of her music. I love "Cigarettes and Red Vines" because that's 2/3's of a typical dinner for my mom (just add a cold Coca-Cola, and she's happy). The song's title is the only thing I link to my mom, so don't read any more than that into it.

And there we have it: Aimee Mann, role model for the modern day musician, and co-star of The Big Lebowski.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

The disturbing, in-your-face nature of the heterosexual lifestyle

Heterosexuals flaunting their lifestyle
I always love it when anti-gay bigots trot out video or photos from gay pride parades or similar events to help underscore how aberrant our (my) lifestyle is. Well, right back atcha--look at these heterosexuals. They want the same rights as me!


Wait, what? Not all heterosexuals are Juggalos? I refuse to believe that, just like you refuse to believe that not all gay guys wear chaps. Or Drakkar Noir (okay, we do get like 3 bottles of that during orientation week).

Photo from Rolling Stone's The Gathering of the Juggalos (here). It's awesome, go check that shit out.

I could also have used a photo from the infield of a NASCAR race, Mardi Gras, Bike Week in Daytona or Sturges, or any Tea Party rally (where spelling doesn't really matter).

DISCLAIMER: I have no problems with Insane Clown Posse or their fans--in fact, I marvel at their enthusiasm. I loved the RS pictures so much I wanted to make this point. So please do not throw bottles of Faygo at me.

Reach out and CRUSH A DOVE!!!!

(h/t Towleroad)

What's sad is a very large portion of the audience this lampoons probably wouldn't pick up on that, simply because the monster truck rally voice over is so perfect.

My only question is, when I bring bibles and American flags to the event, how will they react? (It's probably for the best that there are no local events and that I have friends visiting, so I wouldn't actually end up starting the story that concludes with "... and that's why Rich is in a full-body cast.")

"The tune you'll be humming forever, All the words are replaced and wrong"

Birthday girl Neko Case has been delighting me since I first heard New Pornographers back in like 2003 or 2004. I associate "Letter From an Occupant" with the shitty 6 months I spent in LA, but it's still an incredible song.

And you'll be seeing "Crash Years" among my top singles for 2010, I'm sure. Love the video too...

"You know, they call them 'killer' whales"
Her Middle Cyclone album is among my favorites from last year. Probably my very favorite. To be honest, in another 10 years I expect to gush about her like I did Chrissie Hynde or Annie Lennox.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?"

Birthday girl Pink asks this question, possibly rhetorically, of George W. Bush (stupid fucking war criminal, drunk, and criminal against peace), alongside the Indigo Girls. She's grown beyond her bubble gum pop debut (but I do love the dance music too, cause OOOOH OOOOH, that's how I roll).

Oh, and here's the answer: because he's FUCKING EVIL.

And he drinks himself into a stupor and passes out.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "If You Let Me"

Yesterday's birthday, Chrissie Hynde, collaborating with JP Jones, and the Fairground. Pretty fucking sweet.

Oh he said, "You can't stay away forever, 'Cause they say love doesn't last that long"

I woke up singing Nanci Griffith this morning, which hasn't happened in a long time. So here she is, from 1986...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm becoming the go-to place for sports info

The Onion's 2010 NFL Team Guide (here) has me laughing my ass off. And it's a large ass.

Here's an example:

Dallas Cowboys

  • Strength: Yes, there are positives, but reading them will only make you angry and listing them will only make us angry
  • Weakness: Other than being the most infuriating, knuckle-whitening, I-want-to-throw-a-brick-through-my-television-set-when-I-watch-them team in the league, are a little weak at free safety
  • Intangibles: Fuck the Dallas Cowboys and every fucking thing they stand for; special teams
  • Biggest Question: Can they finally get over the hump and get back to the Super Bowl, and do they know how much that would depress the entire U.S. populace?

New England Patriots

  • Strength: Bill Belichick has avoided stealing any wives recently, so he should be focused on the 2010 season; people are sure to tout the Patriots' experience and maturity as opposed to flat-out calling them old
  • Weakness: Considering the talent of this year's rookie class, it's a shame that Belichick will once more work one of them until he dies
  • Intangibles: Can't discount the possibility of another horrific injury to quarterback Tom Brady; oh, please, Lord, let there be another horrific injury to Tom Brady
  • Biggest Question: This may be the year New England finally falls out of contention, but we know full well these fucks will pull a 12-4 season out of their ass somehow

Happy Birthday Chrissie Hynde

If you don't already know how fucking awesome Chrissie Hynde is, I encourage you to seek some remedial course in rock music. She deserves a spot among the pantheon of rock greats because, fuck, she has been making great music for more than 30 years.

Let's just hit the music, starting from one of the first demos she recorded with The Pretenders, a cover of the Kinks' "Stop Your Sobbing" (why not "Brass in Pocket" you might ask... because the lyric "Gonna use my sidestep" confused me for years [until I saw Lost in Translation]... so I am passing):

"When love walks in the room, Everybody stand up"

I asked Eric for his favorite song to include and it's our next stop chronologically, "Message of Love" from Pretenders II. Here's the original line-up of band on the episode of Fridays hosted by Andy Kaufman (if that doesn't date this, I don't know what might [hint: 1981]):

When asked by the band Garbage if they could incorporate a lyric from "Talk of the Town" in their song "Special," Hynde gave them permission to sample "her voice, her music, or, indeed, her very arse." (She's from Akron and said "arse"--how can you not love her?)

"Welcome to the human race, With its wars, disease and brutality"

1984's Learning to Crawl is one of the best albums of the 80s. You will note that there are no modifiers to limit that like "from a rock band with a female singer." Just one of the best, period.

"I'm thinking about the fireworks that go off when you smile"

1986's Get Close featured "Don't Get Me Wrong," the band's second top 10 single and one of my favorite videos of ever, ever, because it's a loving homage to The Avengers and fits the energy of the song perfectly.

"He's got his hands in my hair, And his lips everywhere"
1990's Packed doesn't contain any songs that are all-time favorites, but 94's Last of the Independents does, and it's not "I'll Stand By You" (I can go another 10 years without hearing that one). "Night In My Veins" is Chrissie at her ass-kicking best.

Now I'm going to pause because I want to do two covers that were used really well in movies. Their cover of Steve Earle's "Goodbye" from 1997's GI Jane:

And from whatever year Indecent Proposal came out (94?), their cover of 10CC's "I'm Not in Love" (hey, both Demi Moore movies):

"See I bleed and I bruise, oh, but what's it to you"
I almost skipped 1999's ¡Viva El Amor! but then I listened to "Human" again, and fuck, it's great.

"Every drop that runs through the vein, Makes it back to the heart again"
I'll skip Loose Screw but pick up Break Up the Concrete with "Boots of Spanish Plastic."

Oh, and, AND, she's recorded with other artists too. Yeah, Frank Sinatra, UB40, Cher, Emmylou Harris, Moodswings, and Morrissey. She's describes a new album she's done with JP Jones (my cousin) and the Fairground Boys as the best album she's ever made. Find out tomorrow when "If You Let Me" is my song of the day (see, I don't plan these well).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

And thank you!

Coming soon: Tuareg

Guide Dogs for the Blind trainee Tuareg
Isn't that the cutest thing you've seen all day?

I mean, if I told you that dog was the reincarnation of Hitler would you even care? Not one iddy biddy bit.

He will be sitting in the cubicle adjacent to mine in the next few weeks, thanks to a coworker who helps raise Guide Dogs trainees from puppy to young adult (when they graduate to the advanced harness training). It's always sad to see them go, but then a few months later, I get another cute young puppy to fall in love with.

[UPDATE: The name is based on a nomadic tribe in Africa, and not about a VW vehicle. Details here.]

Song of the Day: "In the Dirt"

Sean Carey is a backing musician from Bon Iver (I think Justin Vernon does most of the music, as any good hermit might, on his own in seclusion, but Carey is part of his core touring band), and now he's got a solo album, All We Grow (although it seems like the album is credited to S. Carey, so expect me to be confused by that at some point in the near future. This is its first "release" (track that radio is playing)--it's lovely, but not a big pop song like you might expect from me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

If they want him to get credit, he also gets the blame

I think George W. Bush (war criminal, criminal against peace) will truly get the credit he deserves re: Iraq at his tribunal in the Hague. I know this is a tad late, but I couldn't let the holiday weekend end without calling George W. Bush a war criminal (and criminal against peace)... because he is.

Take it away Keith Olbermann... oh, and I'll say it because Keith can't: FUCK NO!!!!

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Sports Watch: David Boudia

Anyone who knows me knows I am a sports fanatic person who notices men with their shirts off. And since this includes the sports of swimming and diving (although the popularity of those horrific racing suits robs me of one of the few joys of having sports channels included in my cable bundle), I have been to a surprising number of Olympic diving trial events. (Actually, if you know me, I've probably been to about exactly as many as you would expect.)

So naturally, around midnight on Sunday night, when I'm normally up and eager for sports, I ran across the something something Diving Championship Event Contest thing. (Okay, I looked it up, it's the "Big 10 Male Tower Diving event at the Big Ten Tournament held in 2010 at Ohio State" according to Wikipedia... just rolls of the tongue.) And young David's, um, skills in a Speedo caught my attention.

They really did, because dude became the first American diver to break 600 points in 6 dives. Oh yeah, that's an actual sports statistic and it is real. Objectifying them is only MOST of what I do.
David Boudia
He was well over 100 points ahead of second place; so in 2012 (next Summer Olympics, duh), when this (see photo above) on your wheat flakes cereal box you will already know who it is.

You can thank me then.

Presents for the Dead

Today is also Rosie Perez's birthday. The 1993 film Fearless earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress; she lost the Oscar to Anna Paquin for The Piano, but I'm guessing the votes were pretty close (they tied in the LA Film Critics Awards and it fits my existing narrative that both performances were exceptional).

Fearless is an amazing, emotionally intense film (84% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes), and I don't get how it wasn't more acclaimed with some serious Oscar nominations. Sure, it was the same year as Schindler's List so it wasn't going to win any, but I think it's better than The Age of Innocence (5 nominations) and In the Name of the Father (7 nominations).

As one of the survivors of a plane crash I think it's one of Jeff Bridges's best performances, possibly his all-time best. Bridges detaches from his family and life, and fixates on helping fellow survivor Perez heal her guilt about losing her son in the crash. The rest of the cast is solid (including Isabella Rosellini, Tom Hulce, John Turturro, Benicio del Toro, and Debra Monk), but the movie is all Bridges, except when it's Bridges and Perez. And Perez is truly amazing in this movie.

I'm not including THE scene, an emotionally harrowing scene where Bridges forces her to confront the brutal reality of the physics of the crash that killed her son. Using it out of the context of the full movie seems unfair.

Their last scene together is far less dramatic, but still filled with an intense sadness.

The other aspect of the movie that warrants special mention is director Peter Weir. It's not his birthday, so I won't gush, but damn I love this movie.

Happy birthday Rosie! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Macy Gray

After featuring 3 tracks from her recent The Sellout as songs of the day and now today's birthday celebrant, one might assume that I'm a big fan--turns out that I just don't plan birthdays well, otherwise I would have been more efficient. But I do like her, and co-dependency theme aside, The Sellout is a pretty good record.

"Here is my confession, May I be your possession"
I was looking for something older, and not her hit, to highlight her offbeat career, but maybe we should start with the hit. "I Try" was the second song released from her debut, and became a huge hit. She was nominated for Best New Artist based on the album's release date, but lost to Christina Aguillera (or however it's spelled); she picked us Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and won Best Pop Female Vocalist the next year.

And she picked up Best New Artist from the MTV VMAs for the video. It kills me that the video, directed by Mark Romanek, isn't available in a higher quality clip online (or I'm too lazy to look outside of Youtube)--Romanek is one of the most acclaimed video directors of the 90s and while this isn't a big production, its use of colors in composition is really interesting (except when you're watching a crappy copy). Macy girl, get this on your Vevo.

But here's the real reason I wanted to start 10 years ago: co-dependence. It's all over this song. It makes me wonder if it's all over everything. (This really isn't foreshadowing since I don't know if that will hold up--we'll find out soon.)

Here's the song I was gonna start with, also from On How Life Is, "I Can't Wait To Meetchu"--oh wait, no it's not, I'm confusing it with a different track, but I'm keeping this because its opening lyrics "I tried to live without you, What a misery that turned out to be" speak directly to my theme of co-dependence. Except they don't! It's a song about God. And co-dependence on God is just healthy spirituality (duh).

I have a suspicion that Macy's style, which isn't easily categorized into R&B or pop or rock, makes it difficult for her record label to promote her. None of the singles from her second or third albums charted in the US, and while I'm not saying she's entitled to chart every follow-up single, I am saying that, much like an incumbent Congressman, the odds of re-election ought to be really high. "Sexual Revolution" broke one of the cardinal rules of American pop music: it acknowledges the existence of sex. I mean, we Americans love music about sex, but only when we hide it behind metaphors like dancing, or rocking... anything but fucking, cause, you know, nobody does that and when they do, it's always exactly the same we you do it, anything else would be kinky.  But at least it's not co-dependent.

She collaborated with Fatboy Slim on "Demons":

And with Black Eyed Peas on "Request Line":

In 2007 Macy was kicked off stage from a concert in Barbados for profanity. Apparently profanity is illegal in Barbados, which is now in my Top 10 countries to avoid. On the plus side, every other social problem must be solved in Barbados, so that's fucking sweet.

Then in 2009 she danced. I don't think it went well, but I think it positioned her for some interest in her follow-up albums. (I looked, she was eliminated in the second week, which to me is kinda ideal: you're not the worst, and you get the base $200,000 without doing extra work. Genius!)

Talk about offbeat style, here she is performing at one of Jerell Scott's fashion shows. Scott was a Project Runway contestant a few seasons ago, and while his designs weren't always my favorite, he emerged as a really likable designer with a strong aesthetic. He's not gonna be the biggest selling mainstream designer the way Macy's never gonna rule the pop music world, but when they're doing their own thing, they have a quality I admire. Of course, here she's covering Radiohead, but I'm including it because she says "fucking" and profanity trumps all in my book.

I will wrap this up with my favorite track from The Sellout, the first of her songs of the day for this year: "Lately" (and yes, totally co-dependent lyrics, but it's got a groove, ergo I don't care). Love it!

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Heirloom"

Overachiever Sufjan Stevens is back with a new EP: All Delighted People. And because he's an overachiever, his EP (this originally meant extended play single, generally 4 to 6 songs) has 8 songs and is about an hour long--basically his EP is longer than an of the Blue Nile's full albums.

Okay, technically there are only 6 songs, since 1 of the 8 is a reworking of an older song of his, and there are 2 variations on another. So basically he's just phoning it in these days. There is a full album coming in October, The Age of Adz, which does not appear to duplicate any of these songs, so maybe I'm being too harsh. But at least Sufjan knows I'm watching, so maybe that will keep him focused.

Oh and The National worked with him recently, but I'm not sure on which of these releases their tracks appear. I don't think they're on this track.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

If we stop today, it will be a perfect record

I say "we" because I'm mumble mumble years out of my time at Georgia State University, but I'm still an integral part of their sports programs. Or I'm using it inappropriately.

Either way, George State University's debut in the world of college football was a good one: 41-7 over Shorter University. I had to look that up--it's in Rome, GA and I still don't think I know anything about it.

So hooray for the school with more than 30,000 students, for  beating the school with fewer than 3,000 students. I mean, every student doesn't take the field but somehow it seems like they shouldn't be in the same (insert sports-focused taxonomy term here--Jared?).

Now's the chance for GSU to secure an all-time perfect record by closing it down.

Something tells me they won't. Ah well.

Happy Birthday Beyonce Knowles

She has 16 Grammys. She should have been included in the Oscar nomination for "Listen" (AMPAS decided to re-activate their limit on the number of co-nominees to include in the original song category, a year after including 8 members of Counting Crows, by name, in the nomination for "Accidentally in Love"). And she has an endorsement deal or two. I mean JUST TODAY, she has 2 new endorsement deals.

Destiny's Child existed before "Say My Name" but that might just be a rumor. "Bills Bills Bills"--was that earlier? It doesn't matter. What matters is that's when I was taken in by their charms. By the way, this will make a great country song, get on that Miranda Lambert.

At some point I will spend some quality time trying to figure Jay-Z out. I think I spent too much time disliking him, and maybe I need to reconsider that. His appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher last August was fantastic (watch it here). I'm not sure who gets credit for arranging this song, but they did a great job. This is how you declare that you are Beyonce and you are taking over. Yes ma'am.

(And then Jay-Z raps and it throws it for me--I need a rap free edit, still.)

I don't know how "Irreplaceable" insinuated itself into every aspect of human existence a few years ago. But certainly the Spanish language version didn't hurt. Here's "Irrempazable"

And finally, her recent Grammy for Song of the Year (sigh--she SHOULD have won Album and Record of the Year, and Taylor should have won Song of the Year, someone get me Kanye). It needs no introduction.

Happy (belated) birthday! Rock on! Ma'am.

Happy Birthday Bob Newhart

Last year at this time I mistakenly said that Newhart won the first Grammy for Album of the Year. In fact, he won the third Album of the Year Grammy, along with 2 other Grammys that year.

He's won no Emmys despite 2 long running, respected shows. He was never nominated for Best Actor for The Bob Newhart Show (outrage!)--I can see not beating Hal Linden or Carroll O'Connor or Tony Randall/Jack Klugman, Alan Alda or even Redd Foxx; I can even see him losing out on a nomination to Henry Winkler one time--but not repeatedly.

Normally I'd include 4 or 5 clips from his 70s sitcom. It was a core part of my TV as a kid (we never watched Little House on the Prairie, but we totally watched this and The Mary Tyler Moore Show). They've made it difficult for me to embed clips from his shows, or his albums, so I'm going with this--Bob with Judy, from 1964. Funny shit.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Clarification of the day

"That was an error, if I said that," the Republican told The Associated Press on Friday. "I misspoke, but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there's a lot of violence going on and we don't want that going into Arizona."--Jan Brewer on dinosaur attacks winter weather activity beheadings in the Arizona desert
But you will note that it's only an error IF she said it--she's not saying she said it or anything. And it's not like you have any proof.

Quote of the day

(h/t Digby via Twittah)
"All Muslims are at war with America, and I will resist any attempt to challenge that assertion with potentially illuminating facts"--local man Scott Gentries
Part of the genius of The Onion is its accuracy.  Go read "Man Already Knows Everything He Needs To Know About Muslims" (here).

Song of the Day: "Ramona"

Beck's contribution to the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World original soundtrack sounds to me like a new Pink Floyd song. Eric thinks it sounds more like Bowie, and Erin thinks it's classic "mildly depressed Beck." Thoughts from the rest of you?