Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Megan Mullally

Okay, I lied.

I can't embed anything of her as Karen Walker from Will & Grace (for which she won 2 Emmys), but here she is from China Beach 20 years ago. Check this shit out.

I've seen her live twice, both times with John. Which isn't really an interesting telling of either of those stories but tick tick tick, shower time, etc.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Quick post: Jon Stewart on Rachel

My Friday went by too quickly (but I got a bunch of shit done at work and got a haircut, and I'll take both of those over more blogging right now), so I made notes but haven't really thought this through enough to really articulate my point.

In case you don't love Stewart and Rachel Maddow so much that the interview on Thursday was a big event you'd been hearing about for a few days (via Rachel's advance stress), then Jon Stewart appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show for a full hour Thursday night to discuss the state of journalism and partisan-ism and comedy and influenza (or something like that).

Stewart has become something of an ironic elder statesman of modern "journalism" (or info-tainment, if you will), but he's been sick this week, so if he comes off as a total grouch in the interview, that's 65% the sickness, but also this is the Stewart who isn't "on" for a show or stand-up. This is the Jon Stewart to managed to get Tucker Carlson and Crossfire off CNN.

All that's fine, but I really have a problem with Stewart's comments that start around 4:30 in this clip (and then I need to jump in the shower).

"In my world war criminal is Pol Pot, or the Nuremberg Trials."--Jon Stewart on the Rachel Maddow show 11/11/10

Stewart appears to be equivocating calling George W. Bush (war criminal/criminal against peace/drunk/douche) a war criminal with calling Obama a socialist/communist/muslim/non-American.

First, thank you for reading my blog Jon.

Second, whether or not you think it's constructive, the President who approved torture is a war criminal, every bit as much as Japanese guards that the US prosecuted for war crimes are. George W. Bush is also a convicted drunk driver. These things are just facts.

That Obama is a socialist is just an insanely ill-considered complaint from people who have been rallied to work against their own best interest by billionaires. I don't know many socialists who are as obsessed with keeping Wall Street happy.

Okay, shower time--discuss amongst yourselves.

Song of the Day: "It's a Shame, It's a Pity"

The Moondoggies are here in Portland OR next Friday night, opening for Dawes. The vocal harmonies remind me of Grizzly Bear, Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes, so I'm loving this track.

The band is from Seattle and the date next Friday is part of a western states tour (Wisconsin and Iowa this weekend--they're west of something; then into the mountain time zone and on west), per their MySpace page. They also claim Tishiro Mifune played jug on the record, but it they mean him they misspelled his name. Enjoy.

2 quick notes: I'm traveling this morning getting up at 5:15 to catch an 8:00 a.m. flight is painful, but I keep reminding myself it wasn't the earliest option. It wasn't. Sigh/yawn.

And, AND, "angry Dave Matthews fan" from that house party declared MySpace dead (he likes The Facebooks for stalking meeting women), but I don't know why. It appears that there are a number of friendly single women on MySpace just looking to make friends. And they are, coincidentally, similarly loquacious (I get bonus points for spelling that correctly on the first time, before 6 a.m.). Click to embiggen.
Totally not bots who have friended The Moondoggies on MySpace

Totally not bots who have friended The Moondoggies on MySpace
Song: "It's a Shame, It's a Pity"
Artist: The Moondoggies

Friday, November 12, 2010

Song of the Day: "Pogo"

Eternal Summers from Roanoke, VA. I think there are just 2 of them: 1 guy, 1 girl. That's all I've got... enjoy.

Song: "Pogo"
Artist: Eternal Summers

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Jonathon Winters

Jonathon Winters is an icon of American comedy (or at least he seems that way to me, because we always used to listen to him in elementary school on "record day" or something--man teachers are overpaid). He's been on television in a variety of roles, including Mork & Mindy, but his Emmy win comes thanks to one special man: Randy Quaid. Yes, I'm going back to that well.

Randy Quaid was the star of the hit sitcom Davis Rules, and through his intense star power, he helped Jonathon Winters win an Emmy, and he launched the careers of (check this shit out) Patricia Clarkson, Giovanni Ribisi, Bonnie Hunt, and Debra Jo Rupp. Everyone say "thank you" to Randy Quaid. (Thank you Randy Quaid!)

Now why, with such an incredible cast, did the show not run more than 29 episodes? Because it was unfair to everyone else on television. I mean really, Randy Quaid, it's like giving Oprah and George Clooney and Taylor Swift and Michael Jordan a show together. Nothing could compete. Quaid retired the show in an act of humanitarian humility.

Think about that for a minute as you watch Winters with Johnny Carson:

Happy birthday Jonathon Winters! Rock on!

And again, thank you Randy Quaid.

Happy Veteran's Day

Arlington National Cemetery
Happy Veteran's Day to my dad, my uncles, my cousins, my grandfathers, my great uncles and great aunt, and even folks who aren't related to me who serve and served.

Song of the Day: "You Put a Move on My Heart"

There's a new song from Amy Winehouse: a laughably bad, almost concerning cover of "It's My Party" (seriously, is that English?) that's on the new album from Quincy Jones, Q: Soul Bossa Nostra. I don't know if "bossa nostra" has an actual meaning or if it's some merging of "bossa nova" and "cosa nostra"... I don't really care. But that track is painful.

I sampled a few others and here's what I ended up with. It's Jennifer Hudson and her voice sounds great, and it doesn't sound overly produced (I'm sure it's been cleaned up). Unfortunately, the music sounds really cold and produced, which is a shame. The more I listened to it, the more the music turned me off but her voice kept me going. So here you go, Jennifer Hudson, ignore the music by Quincy Jones.

Song: "You Put a Move on My Heart"
Artist: Jennifer Hudson/Quincy Jones

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You know I love my Matt Taibbi

The shame is that he's too polite to say "fuck" on CNN.

But he does give a shout out to Oregon's Junior Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), he just calls him "Ron" (details here since it's not in this clip--he thinks he's confusing Merkley with Ron Merkerson, an old ball player, but I think he's merging Jeff's name with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), our other Senator).

Song of the Day: "Sing Me to Sleep"

My old friend Fran Healy from Travis (he sang King's "Love and Pride" to me on an elevator in Toronto because when he said Keane opened for them, I thought he said King, as in Paul King) gets some help  from my beloved Neko Case on his solo album Wreckorder.

He'll be here in Portland Saturday night but I'm out of town, so if you go, please shout "Love and Pride" in my absence. Or "Yellow" (cause I'm sure that never gets old).

Song: "Sing Me to Sleep"
Artist: Fran Healy/Neko Case

Happy Birthday Ennio Morricone

I thought for sure he'd won an Oscar for The Mission, but that was the year Herbie Hancock surprised me with his win for 'Round Midnight. Morricone's been nominated for 5 Oscars and won an honorary award, but none of that is as important as the fact that his music is some of the most iconic music of the 20th century. Seriously, just listen:

In fact, the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns don't get much respect. Morricone didn't pick up his first Oscar nomination until Days of Heaven in 1978. Directed by Terrence Malick and meticulously shot by Néstor Almendros, Days of Heaven is sumptuous. And boring as hell. Or maybe I just have ADD. But quite possibly both. It's a movie told largely through images and not, you know, story, dialog, normal stuff. Just keep that in mind.

The Mission is also beautiful but I think stuff happens. It's been a while (over 20 years, wow). It was nominated for Best Picture and like 6 other Oscars, but only won Chris Menges his second Oscar for Cinematography. But then you already knew that.

I just re-listened to stuff from The Untouchables. Sorry, forgettable. Instead I'm gonna leave you with something from Once Upon a Time in the West and also Kill Bill.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"It's a skip-a-dee-do-dah day"

I think HBO used this song in an ad for Big Love last  year sometime, and underscored the "Stepford" nature of the song. I think in 1972 this had real appeal to, you know, "traditional values" country music fans.

Not that damn hippie music.

Damn hippies.

And their acid rock.

And that hair. They all look like girls.

Happy birthday Donna Fargo.

Song: "Happiest Girl in the Whole USA"
Artist: Donna Fargo

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

If Bush had only worn a military uniform

(h/t Nick)
Fucking war criminal George W. FUCKING Bush (also a drunk)
Oh, right, he did.

Nicholas Kristof has a nice piece in the New York Times (here) that draws heavily from a great piece by Timothy Noah at Slate (here), "The United States of Inequality."

The gist of both articles is that income distribution in the US, you know the shit that Tea Party members are soooo fucking worried that Obama is trying to redistribute on account of his Top Secret Muslim/Nazi/Socialist agenda(tm) has moved into the territory of countries typically considered "banana republics" (no relation to the store chain, which does, un-ironically, have most of its clothing made in countries like that... countries like that except ours).

"But according to the Central Intelligence Agency (whose patriotism I hesitate to question), income distribution in the United States is more unequal than in Guyana, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and roughly on par with Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador. Income inequality is actually declining in Latin America even as it continues to increase in the United States. Economically speaking, the richest nation on earth is starting to resemble a banana republic. The main difference is that the United States is big enough to maintain geographic distance between the villa-dweller and the beggar."--Timothy Noah at Slate
So let's fucking make those temporary Bush tax cuts permanent for the ultra-wealthy. Hurry, let's just get this shit over with.

Profits over people.



Nicely said

Dave Holmes at his blog

"coming back soon, except he’ll be some kind of black or Muslim-looking lesbian this time around, and she’ll talk about fairness and equality and charity, and she’ll hang out with the people you hate, and she’ll challenge you in a way that makes you so mad you’ll nail her ass to a tree again, and you’ll go home and congratulate yourselves on a job well done."--Dave Holmes
He's thoughtful and funny and cute. Dave, that is.

Jesus is all that and more.

Well that was quick

Senator elect Rand Paul (R-KY) went from 0 to 11 on the hypocrisy scale in a mere 7 days by proclaiming his plan to actually fight for pork/earmarks that his Libertarian ass fucking campaigned against for months.

"I will advocate for Kentucky's interests"-Rand Paul
That's actually what Senators are supposed to do.

It's what former Tea-Party favorite Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) did too.

Hope their Tea-Party overlords are ready to spring into action. Paging Sarah Palin.

Details here.

"You'll find that sheds are nicer than you thought"

A wonderful 40-year old song from Nick Drake, and an adorable homemade (but not by me) video. A good distraction from the cold gray November day outside.

Song: "Man in a Shed"
Artist: Nick Drake

Happy Birthday Carl Sagan

"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense."--Carl Sagan

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Cowboys practice delayed

(h/t Clark's mom Janice!)

[Arlington, TX] Training at Cowboys Stadium was delayed 2 hrs, after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the ground. Arlington Police did a complete analysis, and forensic experts determined that the white substance, unfamiliar to most of the players, was in fact, the goal line.

Practice resumed after Police decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

Brian Posehn... in a role that will surprise you

Brian Posehn / master thespian & mega-star Randy Quaid
Coming soon to CBS: Wanted: The True Story of Randy Quaid, The Only Reason People Went to See That Movie Brokeback Mountain, a 3-part miniseries event.

A heart-breaking look at how Randy Quaid's 11 minutes in Brokeback Mountain changed the world, but no one really appreciates him for it, let alone paid him or anything. Oh, and how he's fucking nuts.

Paul Reubens... in a role that will surprise you

(h/t to comment by Crispy at Towleroad)
Paul Reubens/Andrew Shirvell
Coming in January to CourtTV and Logo, Queer Briefs, the hysterical internalized homophobia of one closeted gay man manifested in his over-the-top pursuit of... you know what, watch the interview with Jason Jones ("you work with Cox?"/"I bet you swallow it")

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Look Who's Stalking
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

[DISCLAIMER: In case Shirvell, who is no longer employed by the state of Michigan as of my typing this, wants to sue... seriously, dude?]

Song of the Day: "Perfect Day"

Susan Boyle + Lou Reed = teh awesum!

In addition to writing this little ditty (about heroin, natch) he also directed the video.


No, seriously.

And can someone please get Susan a PBS special. Josh Groban, get your people on that. Susan needs to follow you and Sarah Brightman down the tote bag trail. Because this song selection suggests that Susan needs some mentoring and you might be just the right guy. And Tim McGraw can't do shit for her.

Song: "Perfect Day"
Artist: Susan Boyle


Worst day of George W. Bush's Presidency for George W. Bush: When Kanye West smack talked him on live TV.

Worst day of George W. Bush's Presidency for everyone but George W. Bush: (tie) the other 2,921.

War criminals say the silliest things some times.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Notes on Morning Glory

Awards prospects: God I hope none.

I mean, there's a song, smack dead in the middle of the movie, maybe if it becomes a hit, and there are no other real options, a dark horse chance.

And if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves Rachel McAdams (or Jennifer Garner, who I, frankly, assumed was the star of the movie until I saw the poster), maybe she'll get a Golden Globe nomination.

But fuck, this was mediocrity.

Very Caucasian mediocrity.


It takes place in super-white New York City (also, very uncrowded--it makes downtown Portland seem almost crazy with people AND diversity). But the good news is everything else about the movie is so unlikeable that you won't notice.

But a special shout out to 50 Cent: don't quit your day job. Seriously dude, that was embarrassing.

Oh, and a quick disclaimer: I fucking LOVE morning news shows, so this should have been an easy movie for me to like. The Devil Wears Prada at Good Morning America.

Plan B would have been for them to make Patrick Wilson Takes Very Long Showers For No Apparent Reason.

Yeah, that movie I'd see twice.

Happy Birthday Bonnie Raitt

Back in 1990, when I'd been with that company for just 3 or 4 months, the Grammys were coming on and somehow that came up. I don't remember much of the conversation except that when I said Bonnie Raitt was going to win Album of the Year, Dana disagreed and then said, "and who's Bonnie Raitt?"

I was vindicated a few hours later (by the way, predicting the Grammys is not the same as agreeing with the Grammys) when Bonnie picked up Album of the Year (looking at the other 4 nominees, I wonder if Dana was rooting for Fine Young Cannibals--her favorite movies were Ghost and Pretty Woman, and while I like FYC, that is the only album with, cough, mainstream appeal).

Bonnie's career straddles 2 worlds, a high-gloss VH1/dentist office music feed world, and a grittier world of constant touring, record label drama and near-Prince experiences. And one song is the bridge between those worlds, her cover of "Baby Mine" from the movie Dumbo, used in a compilation album called Stay Awake (thank you again, Jill). It was during that recording that a then-unsigned Raitt met producer/musician Don Was, who would help her make Nick of Time for Capitol.

Her first album was 1971's Bonnie Raitt, and this live version of Sippie Wallace's "Mighty Tight Woman" should give a good sense of the straight-ahead blues nature of her sound.

Raitt's big breakthrough (version 1.0) came with a cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway" in 1977--it's more Al Green than B.B. King, but that's how breakthroughs happen. In all honesty, this is the only song of hers I could have named before 1988.

Once I moved to Portland and started listening to KINK-FM, I heard her cover of John Prine's "Angel of Montgomery" from Streetlights. They've sufficiently indoctrinated me into thinking of this as the Bonnie Raitt 1.0 song.

There were record labels fighting over her, and then dropping her. She kept working, and her flaming godless liberal politics kept her involved with things like No Nukes and "Sun City" and Farm Aid, but she was struggling with drugs and alcohol and couldn't get a record deal.

OMG, this is totally going to be a biopic. Lindsay Lohan, CLEAN UP NOW, this could be your (ironic) career reboot.

Things got so bad that she almost signed with, shudder, the purple one. But that's all we'll say about that because FUCK PRINCE.

She credits Stevie Ray Vaughn with inspiring her sobriety. Respect.

Bonnie Raitt 2.0: everything got better, thank you Don Was. Seriously, 9 Grammys, multi-platinum albums, sobriety, your dentist office. It's all good. (Pay attention Lindsay!)

"Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste"
Raitt has never been a prolific songwriter, a good 75% of songs from any album are usually by others, but what she chooses to share is generally great. The title track of Nick of Time is the overture for Bonnie Raitt 2.0:

I leave you with her cover of Richard Thompson's "The Dimming of the Day," backed by The Blind Boys of Alabama

Lindsay, call me, we'll work out the filming schedule.

And happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Favorite Day"

This is Bess Rogers from an EP called Bess Rogers Presents Bess Rogers and I assume the song was written by Bess Rogers because why wouldn't I want to type "Bess Rogers" a few more times? Bess is touring with Lelia Broussard and Allison Weiss on The Quest for Glory Tour 2010 (actually they have inconsistent branding, maybe it's The Quest for Glory 2, I am not sure). They hit Portland, OR on Saturday, at the Hawthorne Theatre Lounge but alas I'll be out of town. Of course that means a better seat for you, so you should totally go. And take good notes.

I've listened to music from all 3 ladies this morning, and it could be a great show. [Note: I'm actually editing this to point out that I mean that last sentence in all seriousness... the snark is next.]

Or, OR, it could be a lot of He's Just Not That Into You set to music. I really like this song, except for the lyric "You told me you were damaged, I said I'd be your bandage." Call me in 5 years when you find out about the 4-year old daughter he has in Spokane, Bess.

I can say the pure pop exuberance of the music goes a long way, and it's entirely possible that Alanis over-reacted, so ta da, song of the day.

Song: "Favorite Day"
Artist: Bess Rogers

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Song of the Day: "Hollywood"

Yes, Michael Bublé. You can do a lot worse than Michael Bublé, trust me.

Song: "Hollywood"
Artist: Michael Bublé