Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 Singles: "The Ballad of Rush Limbaugh"

A new song from Nona Hendryx=awesum. And bitch slap against Rush Limbaugh=OMGOMGOMG. She put this thing together pretty quickly after his cynical hacky comments on Haiti.
"You chose your airwaves to spread your disease
To kick the people already down on their knees"

Song: "The Ballad of Rush Limbaugh"
Artist: Nona Hendryx

2010 Singles: "Ambling Alp"

I'm reminding myself of some of the tracks I really liked in 2010 to make my year-end list easier. First, up is my first song of the day for 2010, Yeasayer's "Ambling Alp." They had a couple of great tracks on this album, and I probably need to listen to the whole sequentially (something I've failed to do for a while, and need to return to).

"Now the world can be an unfair place at times
But your lows will have their complement of highs "

Song: "Ambling Alp"
Artist: Yeasayer

"I know you've got your reasons for being unkind'

It's Brenda Lee's birthday, and I'm gonna celebrate her with Marshall Crenshaw's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" from 1985. Cause... why not?

Happy birthday BL. Rock on.

This is what coming home looks like

The puppies give uncle daddy a lot of love, now that he's home after 10 nights in the hospital (plus several days with a friend before that, and a week in Dallas before that).
Happy puppies

The Clark Health Update for Dec. 11

He says they're going to discharge him today. Fingers crossed.

If this were an Alanis song, the car will be washed away in this afternoon's floods on the was home from the hospital. If you're reading this, hours or days later, and that actually happened, my last words were "wait, THIS is how I die?!'

Song of the Day: "Christmas Lights"

New seasonal music from Coldplay. I'm hearing it for the first time. Will it sound exactly like "Yellow"? Let's listen together...

Hey look, someone got a rhyming dictionary. An 8-year old's rhyming dictionary. (It was probably a bad idea for someone to put an ad using Matt Pond PA's "Snow Day" before this song.)

Song: "Christmas Lights"
Artist: Coldplay

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Clark Health Update for Dec. 10

So begins night #10 for Clark's stay in the hospital.

The good news: his oxygen levels in bed, on his own, are well above 90. And he dug into the burrito bowl I picked up for him. If the beige foods on his dinner tray are any indication, he must have been starving for decent food... I bet he wouldn't be so snooty about my mac & cheese now. I should probably take him these leftovers tomorrow. (That will teach him not to get sick.)

The bad news: if he's in tonight, he'll probably be in through Monday. Or that was what he thought last week. There will be a different attending physician tomorrow, and my guess is he/she won't want to discharge someone who's been in so long without at least a day under their care (although at this point he may have gone through a full rotation). And he's having difficulty when he tries to walk and breathe at the same time.

Sigh, OMG this is getting old.
Still alive, and a little cranky (but not nearly as much as I would be).

It's ironic

I love this even though it's made by people who actually think Obama represents increased taxes and mandatory healthcare instead of just caving to billionaires and bankers. That's just fucking awesome.

Once again shamelessly leveraging the Randy Quaid angle

Vanity Fair "The Quaid Conspiracy"
“Are either of you mentally unstable, schizophrenic, or on drugs?,” Andrea Canning asked on Good Morning America. “Do you think we are?” demanded Evi. “No!” said Randy.

Read the whole article here.

Quote of the day + Hey, cool

"The Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal has fallen to dust. The DREAM Act has collapsed. The president is speaking perfect Republican with his talk of simplifying the tax code, freezing federal wages, and best of all, his feral attacks on his own supporters for having the gall to try and hold him to his word. Mr. Obama lavishes praise and apologies all over his opponents, even as they try to annihilate him, while attacking viciously the people who wore out shoe leather and gave money they couldn't afford to give in order to see him into the office he has thus far not graced at all.  Perhaps worst of all, the same insanely right-bent Republican Party Mr. Obama has been playing footsie with will take control of the House of Representatives after the New Year.  As bad as things are now, they are about to get a whole lot worse."--William Rivers Pitt at Truthout (here)
I don't quite recall how I started getting emails from Truthout, but they seem to be coming 2 or 3 times a day. I think it was Matt Taibbi, but does it really matter? No. No, it doesn't.

What does matter is that they also posted a story about a protest of Obama, a recent Cunt du Jour (here). They publish an open letter from a variety of liberals (here) from the folks at Protest Obama (here):
"With the Obama administration beginning its third year, it is by now painfully obvious that the predictions of even the most sober Obama supporters were overly optimistic. Rather than an ally, the administration has shown itself to be an implacable enemy of reform."
I haven't spent much time reading and processing their stuff, so maybe one of you could and report back to me. Thanks!

Hey, remember this?

Last year on the Rebel Agenda (here):

On the Bush tax cuts and job creation

Extending the Bush tax cuts will in NO way create more jobs. Because, HELLO, they've been in place for 6 years now, and look where the fuck it got us.

By the way, where is the fucking John Galt, private market solution to this recession thing? Masters of the Universe on Wall St., what's your big move? We're waiting.
Gosh Libertarians, in nearly a decade of some of the lowest tax rates this country has ever had, I'm not seeing anything in the way of growth. I mean, granted, the economy is soooo totally fucked that people are living out of RVs to work seasonal jobs at $10 an hour. So the already wealthy continue to get wealthier at the hands of workers.

Clearly it's more important than ever that we keep tax cuts for the  wealthiest Americans which will lead to increased deficits and reduced money for public services that those same people might need, like rest stops with toilet paper where they can clean up, cause fuck, it's pretty bad out there.

Anyone got an example of a Libertarian success story?



[UPDATE: Duh, they got their tax cuts, they get skilled labor at super low wages cause there are many qualified candidates for few openings, and AND, they still get to use all the public shit they rail against. Hypocrisy, fuck yeah!]

Song of the Day: "Never Pay for the Farm"

December is a very popular month for pie charts, and I have been overwhelmed by work lately. Add in the fact that I've had company, Clark's been in the hospital AND Clark's STILL IN the hospital (meaning he's not actually doing all the stuff he does--his absence is doubly difficult), and you get one exhausted dude. So it's perfectly understandable and not at all lame that, when I heard someone announce the new Gang of Four song, what I heard was "Book of Love." So I confused Xxxx of Xxxx with Xxxx of Xxxx, and when the song kicked in I sat for a few moments and thought "wow, their sound really changed."

Their new album, Content, will be out next year (which is a few weeks away), 32 years after their debut.

I have no idea what's up with Book of Love.

Song: "Never Pay for the Farm"
Artist: Gang of Four

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not-so-instant karma's going to get you

Nigeria, a country FILLED with wealthy people dying without beneficiaries and not much else, is charging Dick "go fuck yourself" Cheney (war criminal/criminal against peace/war profiteer) with corruption!!!!!!!

This is from his days openly running Halliburton, not from his time as Vice President when he merely profited by awarding Halliburton and its subsidiaries no bid contracts from the US Government. Details here.

I think they should put the trial on pay-per-view.

The Clark Health Update for Dec. 9

Holy crap this is taking forever. I took him glue to fix his glasses (again) and he was hacking when I got to his door (so I didn't have to worry about whether or not to knock, and risk waking him). He said he was feeling a lot better and had eaten a lot for breakfast (I consider that a good sign, except when I'm highly stressed at work, which I have been, in which case it's an after school special all on its own).

Coming home, maybe today, maybe tomorrow?

Definitely not today. He just sent me a text that he's going in for a procedure to extract "gunk" from his lungs. I think that means bronchoscopy.

And bronchoalveolar lavage sounds like something they may or may not be doing. I'm not crazy about the limitations listed in that Wikipedia entry. If I read that correctly, without knowing someone's levels before they took ill, it's hard to know for sure what's causing their current problems.


Congratulations on your reach around Peter Orszag

Peter Orszag, Obama's former budget director, finally got another job. I was worried, cause in this super shitty economy, there aren't a lot to be had. Maybe when those tax cuts take effect continue as is, something will happen.

Peter beat the odds (he's not lazy). He's got a job with a bank, which is good, cause he did budgets and all.

He will be Vice Chairman of Citigroup's global banking division (details here).

Now I know what you're thinking, that this is a huge fucking violation of the spirit of Obama's vow to eliminate the conflicts of interest associated with cabinet members becoming lobbyists becoming cabinet members becoming lobbyists of the fables of the reconstruction, wait, what?

But 2 quick things: first, yeah, that totally didn't matter, so long as they issued you an exemption. Here, have an exemption. Apparently they are readily available. Check craigslist or windshields of the cars in your neighborhood if you're in the DC area.

Oh, and second, he's not gonna be a lobbyist, duh. And with his first amendment rights, he can totally just call Obama directly to chat about any and everything, on a whim. It's not lobbying, it's free speech.

I'm sure this is, in no way, payback for shit he did to help the bank even though it wasn't in the best interest of the American people. No wait, let me try that again: I'm sure this is, in no way, payback for shit he did to help the bank even though it wasn't in the best interest of the American people.

America, fuck yeah.

Happy Birthday Margaret Hamilton

Yesterday was EGOT Awareness Day, so today isn't. So it's not heresy to say that there are things that trump EGOT, and one of them is being an icon. Margaret Hamilton's performance in The Wizard of Oz is fantastic and iconic, and since the movie is a classic, she will be part of the lives of kids for generations.

Or until they finish that remake, cause you know it'll totally be better than the original and probably in 3D which is always great. I'm sure Kim Basinger is up to the role, totally sure...

Truth be told, I was always more afraid of Miss Gulch than the Wicked Witch of the West, but mostly because I think the shoes are just garish which undermines that aspect of the story (but taking a dog, that shit could happen). During the tornado scene, Miss Gulch's laugh=shivers.

There's more to her life than that role, but there's no more time in my morning, so I'll leave it at that. (Oh, okay, she was also Cora from the Maxwell House ads... I had no idea, which makes total sense since I don't recognize people or remember names.)

Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

"Because respect never goes out of style"

This came up right after the last clip and is really well done, and, AND Lesley Ann Warren (and Taraji and Marion, yes, you're great too).

Prenatal Pole Dancing

(h/t Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon)

I wonder if this will inspire Melanie to have another baby.

Today in Awesomeness

(h/t Christopher Walker at Salon)
The legal signature for Captain Awesome
Dude in Eugene, OR legally changed his name from (oh who cares) to Captain Awesome, which is awesum. And is a reference to Chuck, a show I'm told is really good but I never got around to watching, but if John can go 7 years and never watch Buffy then I'm sure not going to cave now.

But even more awesome is his new legal signature. State of Oregon has no problem with that signature, but his bank says it's too easy to forge. Bwahahahahaha, a bank that doesn't like something. He needs to fire that bank.

Cunt du Jour: Barack Obama

So many cunts, so little time. Honestly, I want to do an Oprah "you get a car, you get a car" only with "you're a cunt, you're a cunt, you're a cunt" (Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John McCain, the people in line ahead of me at my Starbucks [but really, that undermines the severity of my invocation of the word "cunt"]) but I won't.

Instead, I'm just going with a Mr. George W. Bush Jr., aka Barack Obama. It's amazing that people still are bitching about the birth certificate when one couldn't have asked for a better continuation of George W. Bush's (fucking war criminal) administration. Seriously.

But by caving so quickly to Republicans on extending the temporary Bush Tax Cuts (hey, why should anything about the Bush era be temporary? the wars sure weren't--remember, we're fighting 2 wars, and before George W. Bush, this country never EVER cut taxes while the country was at war and now we're at TWO wars and we're KEEPING TEMPORARY TAX CUTS THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED because, you know, fuck everyone if it means I can get a new Xbox next month) Obama has shown Republicans in Congress exactly what he's made of. Nothing.

I wonder if he'll take a cue from Sarah Palin and resign.

Song of the Day: "Something, Somewhere, Sometime"

When the current World's Worst DJ took over on Y-Rock (The Cocktail Twins "Iceblink Luck" is what did it for me, but earlier in the week he played Two Door Cinnamon Club, which is equally awesome), I switched to the stuff in my iTunes at work and heard this song for the first time. I picked it up as part of a Sub Pop compilation from earlier this year (one of those free things via Amazon downloads).

Dear Companion is a collaboration between 3 Kentucky musicians: Yim Yames, Ben Sollee, and Daniel Martin Moore (or, as that YRock DJ will call them "Jim James, Ben Stein and Daniel Day Lewis"). The songs were written by Sollee and/or Moore (some by one, some by the other, and a few by both together, duh), while Yames is, presumably, just phoning it in. (If you don't recognize the name either, he's from My Morning Jacket and part of the Monsters of Folk super-group [their tour bus drove through gamma radiation giving them all freakish mutant powers].)

I could only find a live version, but this clip is really good quality and they sound great.

And yes, I will always call this song "Something, Something, Something" pretty much until the end of time.

Song: "Something, Somewhere, Sometime"
Artist: Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore (and Yin Yames, but then you already knew that)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Men are not a new sensation, I've done pretty well I think"

It's Sinead O'Connor's birthday, and while I don't have enough time or energy for proper posts, Sinead's third album, Am I Not Your Girl?, kept me company on a road trip between Dallas and Atlanta, possibly Christmas of 1992. It was a covers album, and despite its many flaws, I really dug it.

Looking at the track listing now, I'm wincing more than I expected to--not every track is a winner, but 3 or 4 engage her voice in really rewarding ways. I don't know that "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is my favorite of those, but in addition to Sinead's birthday, it's also EGOT Awareness Day (I'm not sure what color that ribbon is, but I will let you know). It's a thing we did at work, and the first EGOT winner, Richard Rodgers, is the song's composer (from Pal Joey, one of his last works with Lorenz Hart).

That trumps "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice (non-Emmy-winning losers), but despite all my issues with Weber (he knows why), I will admit to enjoying that song too, and the orchestration on her album is surprisingly traditional, which is kinda what caught me up and charmed me.

And "Secret Love" is great.

And "Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home" is over-the-top and fantastic.

But it's EGOT Awareness Day, so Richard Rodgers, you win. Take it away Sinead.

The song is a standard, and as such there are a bazillion covers including 18 since I started typing this post. But in the spirit of context setting, I will contrast Sinead's version with this duet by Rod Stewart and Cher (Cher lacks a Tony for full EGOT credentials). You know, at one point, I would have been really thrilled to hear these 2 together, but this really is as bad as I feared it would be when I saw it among the list.

So happy EGOT Awareness Day. Richard Rodgers, the first EGOT (and he's in an even more elite group, the PEGOT [add a Pulitzer, him and Marvin Hamlisch])... *the more you know*

And happy birthday Sinead.

Rod and Cher, you get a time out. Go think about what you did.

Tim Rice, "Dick in a Box" won an Emmy. I'm sure if you applied yourself, you might win one too. Talk to Elton, I think he needs an Emmy also.

Andrew Lloyd Weber we, you know what, nevermind. It's just not worth it.

The Clark Health Update for Dec. 8

Remember how I said he was miserable in his hospital room? That was back on Sunday. It's Wednesday. Except for his failed attempt at leaving on Monday (some "incident" led them to keep him--his breathing is still strained) and some kind of scan today, I don't think he's left his room since last Wednesday. And he only left the room today IN his bed.

I wish I had some good news to report. Fortunately I don't have any specific bad news either, just a foreboding.

Damn foreboding.

Song of the Day: "In Your Eyes"

Edwyn Collins had a massive brain hemorrhage back in 2005, and aphasia limited his speech to a handful of words. Presumably over the last 5 years he's gotten better, as evidenced by today's song of the day. Collins's new album, Losing Sleep, features dude from Franz Ferdinand, dude from Aztec Camera (yes, Roddy Frame), Johnny Marr (at this point referencing a specific band is just not going to work), and guys from The Drums, and The Cribs.

It's good to have friends like that. And way to hang in there dude!

Song: "In Your Eyes"
Artist: Edwyn Collins

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Song of the Day: "Hannah"

Something about this Freelance Whales song is too much. I think they take the Owl City to 11 a little too early (and yes, I know Owl City is a knock off of Postal Service), but when the song gets to the dreamy chorus, I don't care. The charm is in the chorus.

Song: "Hannah"
Artist: Freelance Whales

Monday, December 6, 2010

"I don't care what YOU call her"

I like that sentiment.

Birthday girl Agnes Moorehead was nominated for 4 Oscars and 7 Emmys (she won 1, for The Wild Wild West) but I remember her from Bewitched. And please tell me that's Eve Arden playing the nurse (love her!).

Chris Wilson might balk at my selecting this scene for her, but he'll need to fill out the complaint form and submit an alternative to get me to change it.

Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "The Beaver Song"

I don't know if they were emboldened by last year's Emmy nomination in the Original Song category, but the folks at How I Met Your Mother have come up with a fantastic ode to beavers that ought to be a real contender this year. Actually "Girls and Suits" was pretty lame, but this, well this is a little piece of heaven.

And math really does rule.

And, AND, Alan Thicke. You take the good, you take the bad, but the bad doesn't matter when you've got Alan Thicke. The man has a great sense of humor about his place in pop culture. Respect.

And the robot has a beer.

I may be the only gay man in America who didn't know who that is playing Jessica Glitter; it's Nicole Scherzinger who was in a band called ________ and who won __________. If you knew either of these things, congratulations, you're a little gayer than me.

Song: "The Beaver Song"
Artist: Cobie Smulders/Nicole Scherzinger (sorry Robin Sparkles/Jessica Glitter)

Happy Birthday Ben Watt

I totally grant that it's completely unfair for me to dote on Tracey Thorn's birthday for a week, and then to merely give Ben a single birthday post. He's a full 50% of Everything but the Girl, but she's their personification, their primary voice. Blame it on the season (I'm impossibly busy with work these days)--Tracey had the benefit of a much slower time (pie charts are huge in December).

When I posted the song "Horses in the Room" as part of Tracey's birthday week, someone from Australia asked me about the song's writing credit. I wasn't sure and went on a search, ultimately finding a picture of the back sleeve (with writing credits) in an eBay listing. It was written by Ben alone (they typically share writing credits on most songs with a few song written by only one or the other) and the minute I read that, the song's narrative style reminded me of "25th December" (another Ben song). Taking a second to reflect on those 2 songs, plus his fantastic book Patient (his awards-winning book), I'm starting to see a clear style, favoring immediate, but spare, first-person narratives.

"It's hard enough to watch the news let alone explain it to a child"
Exhibit A, "The Night I Heard Caruso Sing" from Idlewild. I won't admit that the minute I started playing it this morning I was awash in sentimentality and tears just started flowing. That wasn't me, that was Midge.

"And all of a sudden I'm stuck with an urge to unlock a door with a key that's too big for my hands"
Exhibit B, "25th December" from Amplified Heart. This may undermine my description of his writing style, but if this song really is about the frustration and awkwardness of fighting with your significant other while you're with your whole family at the holidays, then you've gotta admit it gets a lot into its somewhat oblique style. If it's not, then clearly I missed it's pro-recycling message.

"And I don't have to think that hard, and it all comes flooding back. There is so much  neither of us will ever know. "
Exhibit C, "Horses in the Room" a b-side from "The Only Living Boy in New York." Here's what I said about it back in September:
I'm at a loss to explain "Horses in the Room"--it's one of the last things EBTG released before their hiatus to treat Ben's illness. It was on the EP with their cover of "The Only Living Boy in New York." My take on the lyrics is an ambivalent optimism, if such a thing is possible, and I think it is, cause I think that's me distilled to 2 words. Ambivalently optimistic. But don't tell anyone.
These days I'm feeling more  ambivalent/less optimistic, so that's probably the seasonal affective disorder kicking in. Or I shouldn't listen to sad songs so early in the morning.
Horses In the Room by rebelagenda

Ben and Tracey appear to be working independently for a while--I'm hoping that's to better allow them to spend time with children who are school age (instead of leaving them with a nanny while mommy and daddy tour the world). Ben does a lot of producing, remixing, DJing and club nights stuff under a confusing variety of banners like Buzzin' Fly, Lazy Dog, and Strange Feeling, and co-owns clubs Neighbourhood and Cherry Jam. I say that to point out that even though the most recent song I posted is more than 10 years old, he's still very active and creative, and to point out why it's too confusing to actually keep up with.

Read his book. I can't recommend it highly enough. And it's really short.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quote of the day (from Friday)

(h/t Scott at Bill in Exile)

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) via the milieu (here). Nicely said. I wonder if he wrote it himself (which is not at all about him and totally about Miss Alaska and Facebook/Twitter staff).

I've been robbed!

At some point today, a master thief broke in to my house with such GRACE that I still can't figure out how it was done.

And then stole, not any of my once expensive, but now dated, electronics; no, he or SHE stole 2 danishes (danish?). When I left, there were 4 on that baking sheet.

I don't know if this a the first in a crime spree or an isolated incident.

Fortunately the dogs all seem fine. Willy seems fine. Midge seems fine. And GRACE seems really content for no obvious reason.

In fact here's a picture of her making herself really cozy, laying across me and my little laptop tray while I was working on a report.

In fact, it's almost like GRACE was sleeping off some excess carbs or something. I assume dogs can get the itis too. Gosh, I hope the thief didn't drug her.

Happy Birthday Little Richard

For a while in the late-early-80s and into the early-mid-80s, Richard was a regular presenter at awards shows like the Grammys, American Music Awards and the Golden Globes. He never failed to point out that Michael Jackson and Prince (by the way, fuck Prince) were stealing his act, and yet he never won a Grammy. Although the Grammys didn't start until 1959, just after his initial success and during his switch to gospel music (yes there are 118 Grammy categories for that now, but not back then).

In fact, I think Little Richard and Liza Minelli need to record an album of quirky kids songs (ooh, and RuPaul and Cyndi Lauper). This will help Liza get her Grammy, and Richard some additional respect. You know gay parents everywhere would buy that shit. I really am a genius.

Little Richard's concerts in the 50s were hugely popular with black and white audiences (no other races mattered), at a time when venues were segregated. Apparently that segregation fell away during the concert. This didn't lead to any incidents of note, but it did prompt the The North Alabama White Citizens Council to put a statement on television, with this warning:
"Rock n Roll is part of a test to undermine the morals of the youth of our nation. It is sexualistic, unmoralistic and ... brings people of both races together."
Even though I'm procrastinating finishing a report, I think that's totally awesome and makes the delay to write this totally worth while.

I don't have any personal favorites (I've been guilty of trivializing him while loving the music of people who were directly influenced by him: David Bowie, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and even heterosexuals like John Fogerty, Paul McCartney and Bob Seger cite him as an influence), so let's do the signature songs. "Tutti Frutti" was the first of 16 singles. 6 of them went to #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, although I will note that this was well before every fucking reality TV star with access to autotune began releasing albums, but that shouldn't distract from Richard's success. Oh, and the recorded lyrics for "Tutti Frutti" were significantly de-gayed from what he'd been performing on stage for a few years. And Pat Boone covered this (and a few other Little Richard songs) and had more chart success than Richard... I'm sure that pissed him off until he got his publishing check (unless he got screwed out of his publishing money somehow).

"Lucille" was his third #1 (R&B #1); I'm going with that since it doesn't get nearly as much play as "Long Tall Sally" or "Good Golly Miss Molly."

Next up, an obscure track from the wonderful 1994 album Rhythm, Country and Blues. The album paired country and R&B artists together, covering classic songs. It's a mixed bag, but there are definitely some gems (Al Green and Lyle Lovett; Patti LaBelle and Travis Tritt), and Richard's duet with Tanya Tucker is among the best. I'm glad I remembered this, they tear this song up and sound great together.

I leave you with Little Richard on Sesame Street, bringing new life to "Rubber Duckie"... what more could you want?

Oh, and he left pop music at the height of his popularity (1957) because he was called by God, and set up a ministry on skid row in LA. Then he recorded gospel music, then didn't, then did, and I really do need to get to that report. He is an ordained minister and continues to focus his attention there. He says there's a conflict between him performing rock & roll and serving God; in 2009 at he a music festival he said "although I sing rock 'n' roll, God still loves me."

So there you go Little Richard. Or should I say Sir Little Richard? Why not. You've been knighted dude. Suck on that, Michael Jackson.

Sir Little Richard.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Beg Steal or Borrow"

I did a crappy job predicting Grammy nominees this year but, to my credit, my 60% was as good as, if not better, than the people who were so fucking sure that the Carole King/James Taylor live album would be up for Album of the Year. It's a huge disappointment to me that Rosanne Cash's The List didn't get an Album of the Year nomination, in part because it's a great fucking album with many of the hallmarks of that award, but mostly because instead they nominated Katy Perry. And a Lady Gaga EP. In fact, this year's nominees appear to have been made without the help of a curated short list (which was introduced to help ensure some diversity in the nominees and avoid eye-rolling nominees in the general categories). I guess the Arcade Fire album (one of my favorites from this year) probably has that to thank, but I've been listening to it a lot so I only realized that now. It's these deep insights that, I'm sure, keep you reading.

Anyway, today's song of the day was nominated for Song of the Year, which is an award for the song's writers, not the performers. Back when Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" pretty much ensured Dolly that award, NARAS (the Grammys peeps) changed the rules [suck it Dolly], requiring a song be relatively recent (it's not a bad rule, considering that "La Bamba" was nominated in the category when Los Lobos's remake became a hit—this may or may not apply to the various category-specific songs of the year, and by the way, why is there still no Best Pop Song category? there are 2,087 categories and while there's a Best Rock Song, Best R&B Song, Best Rap Song, Best Country Song, Best Gospel Song, and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media [suck it audio books], there's no Best Pop Song).

Oh my god that was a rant. Hey, here's 1 of the 5 nominees for Song of the Year: Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs "Beg Steal or Borrow" (I feel like there should be a comma between beg and steal), written by LaMontagne. Unless it's been in one of my musical blind spots, this song's nomination was aided by the curated short list. It's a fine song, probably not something I would have posted as SotD without this nomination (ergo it's doubly benefiting from the curated short list), but fine... except that when I hear it, I totally think it's Joni Mitchell with a really deep voice. Anyone else hear that?

Song: "Beg Steal or Borrow" (sic)
Artist: Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs

The Clark Health Update for Dec. 5

Clark is still in the hospital (he told me Friday that if they didn't release him before 5:00, he'd be in through the weekend). I don't think I'm bound by patient privacy laws, but just in case I won't say what he has, but will add 1) it's not embarrassing, and B) it rhymes with Livonia (the city where my company is headquartered).

I visited with him yesterday for about 10 minutes (by the way, the Oregon/Oregon State game was a great time to do things in Portland, no traffic anywhere), but since he kept dozing off I exited as quietly as I could.

I know he's miserable trapped there. If I had a laptop with WiFi, and the TV got Comedy Central for The Daily Show and Colbert, I could probably go 2 weeks without flinching (not true, I would need a visit with my dogs who, despite the fact that the place was empty [hello, the game was on], they would not let me bring into the hospital). But Clark needs change (he's a Gemini)—I didn't realize rearranging bedroom furniture was an option, and he's always reconfiguring his bedroom (or, it's possible that I don't pay close attention and it's still the same way it was a year ago). I'm sure that perfectly comfortable hospital room is like a prison cell for him.

Oh, and he's really sick. He's been in since Wednesday, and he'd been sick for nearly 2 weeks before that, including a trip to Dallas to be with his family. If you have a family, you know how stressful that can be.

Keep those things in mind if you are thinking of visiting him. And don't.

Just don't.

I'm pretty sure the various peeps who have been inclined to visit, and bring stuffed animals, aren't readers of my blog, so they deserve what they got. But you people, you've been warned.

And Clark, in the off chance you're reading this, where do I keep the meat thermometer? And do I mix all the plastics and cans in with the paper in the blue recycling bin?