Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Secret Origin of Santa

(h/t OMG Blog)

"Some place better than where you've been"

It's also CCH Pounder's birthday. The first time I recall seeing her was in Bagdad Cafe, Percy Adlon's 1987 movie starring Marianne Sagebrecht as a woman abandoned by her husband in the middle of nowhere, and Pounder as the owner of the truck stop that houses the titular cafe. (Turns out she's "Ms. Peaches" in Prizzi's Honor, so I'd seen her before.)

The movie is interesting, but its most enduring aspect is the haunting song that plays throughout, "Calling You" but Jevetta Steele (it picked up a surprise Oscar nomination for writer Bob Telson, which was a one of those rare times when a totally deserving obscure thing ends up with a nomination).

They tried to make a show loosely based on the film, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Jean Stapleton. It only lasted 15 episodes, which was longer than High Society with Mary McDonnell and Jean Smart.

Pounder continues to work in a variety of roles--one of my favorites is her portrayal of Amanda Waller in animated Justice League titles.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"When we were gone astray"

It's Annie Lennox's birthday, and she has a newish album of Christmas music, A Christmas Cornucopia containing mostly traditional carols, plus her "Universal Child" which she performed back in the Spring on American Idol (here).

John Hunt of Qatar Today magazine gave the album 9/10 and said "in particular, the vocal work and musical arrangement of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' are impactful to the point of being intimidating."

Also there's a Qatar Today magazine. And "impactful" isn't a word.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! (And for more on my love of Annie, go here.)

Song of the Day: "Mistletoe"

A seasonal selection from the Indigo Girls.
  Mistletoe by Vanguard Records

Song: "Mistletoe"
Artist: Indigo Girls

Friday, December 24, 2010

A new holiday tradition: Hooters trivia

Happy holidays from the Home Boys trivia team.

2010 Singles: "Up the Dosage"

Paul Weller, Mercury Prize shortlist (Mercury Prize LOSER is more like it).

Song: "Up the Dosage"
Artist: Paul Weller

2010 Singles: "Do You Love Me?"

Without thinking too hard, I'm not coming up with any other song with as much unbridled optimism as Guster's. Sometimes I need that, to remind me how much I love my cynicism.

Not much, but occasionally.

For sure, occasionally.

I can see this in the top 10. For sure.
"I wanna wake you from your dream,
I wanna know just who you're talking to when your singin' in your sleep"

Song: "Do You Love Me?"
Artist: Guster

2010 Singles: "I Don't Believe You"

Portland's The Thermals continue to zip in, kick ass, and zip out, and I forget how fucking awesome they are.

Leaving myself totally unprepared for the next attack.

That's how they get you.
"Say you're going through a phase
You're just working through your rage"

Song: "I Don't Believe You"
Artist: The Thermals

2010 Singles: "Beautiful Monster"

I'm still sure NeYo will eventually license this song for a Mazda commercial.
"It's a Mazda
A beautiful Mazda"

Song: "Beautiful Monster"
Artist: NeYo

2010 Singles: "Dirtee Disco"

When I heard this Dizzee Rascal song last summer, I noted that all those maudlin albums you listen to over and over and over when you're breaking up with someone--this song is the opposite of that.

I stand by that characterization.
"Life's too short to be livin' with stress
I'm too young to be all depressed"

Song: "Dirtee Disco"
Artist: Dizzee Rascal

The holidays are really all about Midge

Suddenly Midge is here.
The dogs know the scent of Grandma's packages.
OMG hurry!
Move! I'll check this out.
Clark has a treat. Can you find him under the layer of dogs?

OMG I'm bored

How bored? So bored that I downloaded this to depict my procrastination:

Check out The Noun Project if you're DYING for clip art. OMG OMG OMG clip art!

Also squirrels are taunting me from inside my house (well, cavernous recesses accessed via the outside of my house).

2010 Singles: "The Phoenix Alive"

Monarchy, via Passport Approved. LOVE. Love love. Awesome! Don't know any more than that.

"Now our victory march is struck with charm
We can keep the spirits safe from harm"

Song: "The Phoenix Alive"
Artist: Monarchy

2010 Singles: "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything

I had no idea how much I'd fall in love with a Teenage Fanclub album this year. I guess my not realizing they were still together as a band was probably the core to that problem. They are, and sadly I missed them on tour (cause someone had to get married in Louisiana... pff). Anyway, love!
"Taking a ride on a subway train
To feel more alive when you get back out again"

Song: "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything"
Artist: Teenage Fanclub

2010 Singles: "Round and Round"

This first of 2 completely different but both fantastic songs from Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti.

The chaos of all the ambient noise makes this one trippy fun.

"Pick up the phone.
And I want to go, and I want to go home now."

Song: "Round and Round"
Artist: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

2010 Singles: "When She Passed By"

I thought this was an Indigo Girls track when I first ran across it, but it's not. It's another great track from Here Lies Love, this time Allison Moorer providing lead vocals.
"I feel like I'm watching history living before my eyes
And many years from now we'll recall just how
How she looked when she passed by"

Song: "When She Passed By"
Artist: Allison Moorer/David Byrne/Fatboy Slim

2010 Singles: "Becoming a Jackal"

I liked Villagers so much I bought the album! Another from the Mercury Prize shortlist.
"But when the morning came
You would catch me at the window again
In an eyes wide open sleeping state"

Song: "Becoming a Jackal"
Artist: Villagers

2010 Singles: "Bubbles"

Biffy Clyro keeps the Mercury chugging along.
"We don't need to trust a single word they say
You are creating all the bubbles at play"

Song: "Bubbles"
Artist: Biffy Clyro

2010 Singles: "Total Life Forever"

Foals kick off a rash of Mercury Prize shortlist entries.
"I know a face who I can my true colors
To your arms, to you arms"

Song: "Total Life Forever"
Artist: Foals

Happy Birthday Lee Daniels

He made the powerful, but not entirely a bummer, Precious (Based on the Novel Push, by Sapphire), and was himself nominated for an Oscar. In a year that didn't immediately follow Slumdog Millionaire, he might have been a contender, but alas, he had to settle for some Independent Spirit Awards and a gift bag. Mo'Nique and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher won Oscars, so there's that.

But Daniels should be proud of his work. Even if someone screwed up the use of Mary J. Blige's shoulda-been-nominated "I Can See in Color."

Happy birthday dude! Can't wait to see what you have next. And rock on.

Song of the Day: "Mrs. Claus Ain't Got Nothin' on Me"

Little Jackie isn't my little sister, Jackie, so far as I know. If it is, we should talk about Target's anti-gay political donations.

Song: "Mrs. Claus Ain't Got Nothin' on Me"
Artist: Little Jackie

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Singles: "Don't Turn the Lights On"

Canadian funk from Chromeo.

"It makes me wonder what you'd say
It's taking me back to the month of May"

Song: "Don't Turn the Lights On"
Artist: Chromeo

2010 Singles: "Love and Anger"

Nada Surf takes on Kate Bush, with relatively pleasant results. I like them both, and this unlikely intersection is probably the best option, all things considered.
"If you can't tell your sister,
If you can't tell a priest,
Cause it's so deep you don't think that you can speak about it"

Song: "Love and Anger"
Artist: Nada Surf

2010 Singles: "Fast Car, Slow Traffic"

Weller goes all JAM with a rocking track under 2 minutes long. Seems like old times.
"It's been a long day
And my head's all gone
I'm tryin' to make the bridge
Before the sun goes down"

Song: "Fast Car, Slow Traffic"
Artist: Paul Weller

2010 Singles: "I Heart California"

Leland sent me this back in July, and the next day I heard it everywhere. He's quite the taste maker.

I'm not sure if that's Isabella Rosellini saying "I love California" in the chorus, but it sure sounds like her. The band is Admiral Radley, and I don't know that you'll ever hear from them ever again.
"The warm friendlier skies
Fake tits and the symphony
And I'll be here when I die

Song: "I Heart California"
Artist: Admiral Radley

2010 Singles: "Here Lies Love"

The title track to David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's masterpiece, a concept album/musical about Imelda Marcos. The guest list of vocalists is impressive, and includes Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine fame. Here she tears up the opening song/overture.

If I haven't convinced you to listen to this album yet, I'm not sure what else I can do.
"I know that when my number’s up
When I am called by God above
Don’t have my name inscribed into the stone
Just say: 'Here lies love'"

Song: "Here Lies Love"
Artist: Florence Welch/David Byrne/Fatboy Slim

2010 Singles: "Saturday Sun"

Crowded House.

Shit, it's been like 23 24 years. If only they'd skipped "Chocolate Cake" they might rule the entire universe by now.

Still, good that they're back. Rest in peace, Paul Hester.
"There's a night inside his mind
Lie all of space and time
He's been waiting for a sign"

Song: "Saturday Sun"
Artist: Crowded House

2010 Singles: "Late in the Afternoon"

Nothing underscores who Tracey Thorn is on her Love and Its Opposite album more than this track. The album is a mixture of midlife emotions, and the somber maturity wrapped in this song from one aging spouse to her partner is both conflicted and clear: don't trade me in for a trophy wife.

It's not made in a self-pitying way. It's more circumspect than that.

I think.
"I'm not a mystery
You know everything about me
I stand here every night
In fluorescent bathroom light"

Song: "Late in the Afternoon"
Artist: Tracey Thorn

2010 Singles: "Call Me"

I only vaguely remember The Pipettes from this past Summer, so it's good that I made a note to remind myself of them. It's unabashedly dopey pop music, what more can you want?
"Call me if you ever get lonely, baby
Call me if you feel like wasting some time"

Song: "Call Me"
Artist: The Pipettes

2010 Singles: "Six Legged Man"

First, I think there should be a hyphen in the song title: six-legged man. Unless he's singing about six separated legged man (which would be men, hello), it's confusing. Or perhaps I can't turn off the editor in my head when I leave work. Don't get me started on en- dash vs. em- dashes.

There is also, potentially, some cause for concern that I would celebrate (cough) one Black Francis (aka Frank Black), but really, no, leave that one alone. Just cause I remind myself that this exists as a single is, in no way, an indictment about previous decisions re: The Pixies. Just let it go.
"Feel the four winds blowing
Hear the cocks are crowing"

Song: "Six Legged Man" (sic)
Artist: Black Francis

2010 Singles: "Crossfire"

I am just now getting to July. Wow this is fatiguing, I can only imagine how tedious it is for you, my loyal reader (singular).

Here's something from Brandon Flowers's solo album, Flamingo. I have said a few times now that Brandon wants to be Lord Gaga, and perhaps calling his solo album Flamingo is Exhibit A when I'm making that case.

Also I have no problem with Brandon assuming that role. Someone has to, and I've been happy with The Killers, so you go girl boy.
"Watching you dress as you turn down the lights
I forget all about the storm outside"

Song: "Crossfire"
Artist: Brandon Flowers

"What about robots?"

An oldie but a goodie.

2010 Singles: "Bottled in Cork"

I told you Ted Leo and the Pharmacists would be back for more. This song kicks ass.

I'm pretty sure it's not bothering to take names. Seriously, if you kick ass effectively, you won't need to take names. As evidenced here.

Rock on.
"When you're in Munich making music
Raise your glass and say 'prost!'"

Song: "Bottled in Cork"
Artist: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

2010 Singles: "Lately"

Clark wants to know why this wasn't ever a hit.

I KNOW?! I feel like I did my part. I made this song of the day. I called this the groove of the summer. I overlooked the cry for help that is the codependency of the lyrics.

And still, she's toiling in relative obscurity.

I wonder if Les Moonves is interested in a 3-way with Macy and Julie together (hey, I am keep all of Macy's options open).
"Yeah, shake me love, you wake me love, I'm dreamin' of ya
We're broken up but I'm sure it was love, my love"

Song: "Lately"
Artist: Macy Gray

2010 Singles: "Bushwick Blues"

Delta Spirit, not to be confused with Duke Spirit, not to be confused with the Duke varsity lacrosse team.
"All the other guys that you've seen are nothing compared to me
Because my love is strong and my heart is weak
After all"

Song: "Bushwick Blues"
Artist: Duke Lacrosse Team Delta Spirit

2010 Singles: "Andalucia"

Chris Wilson loves Doves, and I never took to them. And then, BAM, "Andalucia,"... their last song as a band. Such great timing I have. Of course, it's their fault, if they'd released this first we would have been great friends.

"Rain falls, falling on the window
I ain’t seen the sun in days"

Song: "Andalucia"
Artist: Doves

2010 Singles: "All the Lovers"

It took me this long to get to Kylie?! What? Hmm, I think I need vacuum bags. Need to remember that when I am out today.
"You know I'm real
Can't you see that this is really higher higher higher higher"

Song: "All the Lovers"
Artist: Kylie Minogue

"She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find the butter, man"

My coworker's daughter thought they were singing about "the butter," man. And so now, they are. Happy birthday Eddie Vedder. And good luck with your quest for dairy.

Happy Birthday Les Moonves

As an executive with Warner Brothers television, he green lit Friends and ER. As the top guy at CBS he's built a strong primetime schedule, and AND, scored a hot wife 20+ years younger than him. I'm not saying that Julie Chen is really good at fellatio, but she's now part of three (3!!!) CBS programs: The Talk, The Early Show, and Big Brother. You're not currently on any series, are you Cybill? Just saying.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting she put out with the network's top guy to get ahead, (but I'm pretty sure he's giving her work because he wants head). Either way, their pairing helps make sense of the CBS "shlubby dad/hot mom" cliche.

And I'm sure she totally gets to keep all 3 jobs should they (cough) break up, perhaps for the newer, younger 2015 model. That would (cough) never happen.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! (Is it something unique she's doing with her mouth, or perhaps with her hands? Or is it just a perfect execution from start to finish? What?)

Song of the Day: "There's a Place for Us"

Carrie Underwood wants an Oscar nomination. She does. She co-wrote (along with Hillary Lindsey and David Hodges) this original song from the latest Narnia movie. Since there are only 3 song writers, if the song is nominated, she's nominated.

And if you see the title and think you've heard the song SOMEWHERE before, I'm not sure. It seems to me that I've heard that line SOMEWHERE before, but where? SOMEWHERE, just not sure. Hmm

Song: "There's a Place for Us"
Artist: Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Are any of us truly dead or alive?

If you don't know that I'm not just a doyen of all things pop culture, but also the luckiest dude in the world(tm), I am. I am regularly receiving inheritances, contract payments, and lottery wins from around the world.

I recap all of my various windfalls at Luckiest Dude in the World (here), but wanted to share today's newest email. Because it asks the philosophical question, "are you truly dead OR alive?" Whoa. And I'm not even stoned (so far as you know).

Read the details about Mrs. Cynthia Columbs (who will be getting a surprise visit very soon, as she's in Seattle) here.

And enjoy this Dead or Alive classic. "Open up your loving arms, watch out [Mrs. Cynthia Columbs] here I come!"

2010 Singles: "Laredo"

Love it.

Love love love.

That's all I need to say.
"Oh I think the worst thing I could do
Is get back home to you"

Song: "Laredo"
Artist: Band of Horses

2010 Singles: "Tighten Up"

Speaking of Grammy nominations (which we totally just were), Black Keys and folks associated with their album Brothers, picked up like 6 nominations. Some nominations are for things like the Album Package, and for producer Danger Mouse (whose nomination includes other non-Black Keys stuff as well), so it's not all BK, but it's a lot of BK. I loved this song, but now that it's used in a commercial, I'm a little over it.
"Sick for days, so many ways
I'm aching now, aching now"

Song: "Tighten Up"
Artist: Black Keys

2010 Singles: "Always"

A delightful surprise this year was discovering the music of BT (Brian Transeau). This collaboration with The Catherine Wheel's Rob Dickinson is what caught my attention, but there's a lot on These Hopeful Machines to like. The album picked up BT's first (pretty sure it's his first) Grammy nomination, in the Best Electronic/Dance Album category. Good luck dude!
"We live in a place they forgot to pull down
How many escape from a one-horse town?"

Song: "Always"
Artist: BT/Rob Dickinson

2010 Singles: "Tenderoni"

Oh hells yes. I haven't heard this Kele single in a while (he's Kele Okarika [or something similar] from Bloc Party, a band I no longer confuse with Arcade Fire or Tokyo Police Club or We Are Scientists). It's a damn fine single. The Tron-esque nature of the video is pure bonus!

Song: "Tenderoni"
Artist: Kele

2010 Singles: "Pacific Coast Highway"

I'm pretty sure anyone could have recorded this Billy Corgan song and I would like it. The sad fact is, it was Courtney Love. I'd post it if it was Mariah Carey or Madonna or Kiri Te Kanawa (as far as you know).

Music trivia: Courtney was once married to a musician named Kurt Cobain... wonder what ever happened to him.
"I knew a boy, he left me so damaged
Do you even know the extent of what you ravaged?"

Song: "Pacific Coast Highway"
Artist: Hole

2010 Singles: "Ever Fallen In Love"

There are 4 different entries into the "confusing commercial tie-in singles" thing: Target's Christmas music, Levi's has a series of cover songs, Converse has a series of new songs, and Dr. Marten's has a series of cover songs. This is from Doc Marten's: Noisettes taking on The Buzzcocks, admirably.
"I can't see much of a future
Unless we find out what's to blame
What a shame"

Song: "Ever Fallen in Love"
Artist: Noisettes

2010 Singles: "Why Don't You Love Me"

David Byrne + Fatboy Slim ought to be enough. Add Cyndi Lauper + Tori Amos, and you get the first of several singles from one of my favorite album events of the year: Here Lies Love.
"Just look at Nixon
They tore him apart"

Song: "Why Don't You Love Me"
Artist: Cyndi Lauper/Tori Amos/David Byrne/Fatboy Slim

Happy Birthday Robin and Maurice Gibb

See also: Happy Birthday Barry Gibb (here)

Happy birthday dudes! Rock on (Robin) and rest in peace (Maurice).

Song of the Day: "Invisible Light"

Trying to wrap some stuff that's months old, and that includes some Scissor Sisters.

Song: "Invisible Light"
Artist: Scissor Sisters

An opportunity for Arizona to show us all the way

Arizona, the staunchly conservative state led by the genius of Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ, "We did everything that needed to be did"), is currently being ravaged by floods. If your first reaction to this news is compassion, well, you are falling right into the flaming godless liberals' hands. Compassion is second only to empathy as the gayest thing you could feel at this time. Compassion? Empathy? Take it to Puerto Rico, Maria Sonia Sotomayor.

Arizona is NOT going to want Socialism, and that's exactly what Federal Aid is. It's deficit-increasing Socialism pure and simple.

In fact, it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL too, seriously. I can't find powers for the Federal Government to mandate individual health insurance coverage, but I ALSO can't find anything about empowering the Federal Government to issue disaster relief. Whoops, y'all.

As Sarah Palin would said, "buck it up or stay in the truck." Why would she say that now and what exactly does that mean? Real conservatives don't question mindless platitudes, so if you're questioning, you must be a liberal.

I'm sure each and every one of you has property insurance, so just use that.

By the way, Libertarians, this is your big break. Show us all how private business, like property insurance companies, can swoop in and super efficiently fix this whole mess, early and under budget. It's now or never! Do it!

But if Jan Brewer decides to did (sic) something for you anyway (Socialism, it's nefarious, when it helps you personally, like a library or school or police officer, sometimes you don't see it as Socialism--so resist as much as you can you titans of liberty), be prepared to show some documents. All of you. White, black, brown, red, yellow, or, you know, mulatto. Everyone gets to show some documents, because that's how Arizona rolls. And I don't want to hear "oh, boo hoo, all my possessions washed away, including my passport" cause I know you're just lying, illegal.

And since so many of you are concerned about anchor babies, and want to rescind that portion of the 14th Amendment, please be prepared to show your parents' proof of citizenship (both of them, because y'all are sooooo upset that Obama's only got one parent who's a citizen). None of this "but I'm 72 years old and have been paying taxes for 58 years" cause that's EXACTLY what anchor baby/terrorists say. Along with "can I please have a blanket and some soup, as all my possessions have been swept away in a flood." Socialist terrorist anchor babies. All y'all.

Merry Christmas! Jesus wants me to say that. My gift to y'all is a reminder to fight Socialism and keep your papers handy, always. Oh, and compassion (and empathy) is for liberal suckers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Singles: "Crash Years"

Oh hells yes. #1? #2? Damn I still love this song, months after I first heard it. Is it Neko Case? Is it all the New Pornographers? Are you even reading this shit? No, no you're probably not.

Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Your fingers raised, you're looking for the word
What you want is 'accident'"

Song: "Crash Years"
Artist: The New Pornographers

2010 Singles: "Who Makes Your Money"

In my mind, Lee got Spoon and I got Interpol in the "divorce." But custody is never quite so clean, and somehow this song became a nice change of pace from my over-the-top pop extravaganzas and my Gaga (not that I have much Gaga at all, really, certainly less than the average gay man). So there you go. Happy Spoon everyone.
"When all is quiet and on your own
And all your love, there it goes"

Song: "Why Makes Your Money"
Artist: Spoon

2010 Singles: "Forced to Love"

If you told me this was My Morning Jacket, I wouldn't have doubted you for a minute. But it's not. Let's say it's Broken Social Scene, and let's also say that those are 2 completely different bands.

That would be accurate, right? Completely different?
"So if you think about it, what would you do?
You're just the man with the plan saying we are not lost"

Song: "Forced to Love"
Artist: Broken Social Scene

2010 Singles: "Hollywood"

I like this side project from one of The Fratellis dudes more than anything I've heard from The Fratellis... just saying.
"This city is a monument to bad taste in vain
Hooray for Hollywood, break out the search lights above"

Song: "Hollywood"
Artist: Codeine Velvet Club

2010 Singles: "A Drowning"

Trent Reznor and wife (I'm sure she has a name, but I'm not going to bother looking it up, let's just call her Karen, Karen Reznor), recording as How to Destroy Angels. It's a little sloppy around 2:20, but otherwise it's damn fine song, really elegant and spare.
"There's a tiny little window
Swarms of locusts fill the sky"

Song: "A Drowning"
Artist: How to Destroy Angels

Your holiday Venn diagram

(h/t I Love Charts)

Not everything has to be about music or my disappointment in Obama

Does it?

Does it?
Nathaniel "N8" Biehle
This is Melanie and Drew's boy "N8"--the hat/sweater combo are adorable, and the unicorn t-shirt takes it to 11.

Barack Obama is saddling N8 with a HUGE deficit because he couldn't stand up to the RepubliCANTs... sigh, I guess it does. Thanks for sending the pic Melanie!

2010 Singles: "I Just Wanna See Your Face"

I stand by my original description of this: The Bangles (the best, early, version of the Bangles, when they let Michael Steele sing a little) meets Sonic Youth. Fuzzy and poppy in harmony.
"Make me never want to leave you alone again"

Song: "I Just Wanna See Your Face"
Artist: Serena-Maneesh

2010 Singles: "No Tears to Cry"

One might cynically accuse Paul Weller of jumping on the Amy Winehouse retro bandwagon, but only if one were oblivious to the entire fucking 90s. So if that's you, go nuts. Me, I take the modfather any way I can get him (which isn't entirely true, but if he throttles down his output to every 2 years or so, I feel like I get a good batch).
"If you can see my wall, dear, from afar
Can't you see how distant we are?"

Song: "No Tears to Cry"
Artist: Paul Weller

2010 Singles: "Uptown Girl"

K-os with Metric's Emily Haines, this is really from 2009, but I dug me some K-os this year and it would be a shame to miss at least including him in the list.
"I know it's hard to let it go
But you gotta stay up when you're down"

Song: "Uptown Girl"
Artist: K-os/Emily Haines

2010 Singles: "Window Seat"

Erykah Badu got a lot of attention for SCANDALOUSLY EXPOSING CHILDREN (won't someone think of them) to BOOBIES (which, thank you John Ashcroft, we now know to be evil and wrong and should never been seen in light) in the video for this song. But I typically just keep the browser window in the background, so I listen to music without watching the video (I mean, I watch more videos than nearly anyone else, but for these posts, the videos are incidental), so I grew to enjoy this as a song, without being tortured by her boobies (phew). It's a great song. It's absolutely got a groove that I am swept up by now, hearing it again after months. Go girl!

Oh, and Matt and Kim totally stripped in a video in Times Square the year before. But since they're white, no outrage. Nicely done racist America. Or just Dallas. Either way...
"I just want a ticket outta town
A look around and a safe touch down"

Song: "Window Seat"
Artist: Erykah Badu

2010 Singles: "Undercover Martin"

Two Door Cinema Club (or, as the worst DJ in the world calls them, Two Door Cinnamon Club) made the list of Best New Artist submissions for the Grammys. That was so cute to see. I wonder if they'll be on the list next year too (Florence + the Muffins Machine feels 2 years old at this point). Don't know much about this band, but 20 years ago they would have been characterized as a TOTAL RICH-TYPE band. I think it's the sweaters, very Housemartins.
"To the basement people, to the basement
Many surprises await you"

Song: "Undercover Martin"
Artist: Two Door Cinema Club

Sonya will need this eventually

The extent to which this crudely rendered map differed from the reality of the roads around our location, isn't really clear here, but the real disappointment is that her (the woman at Ralph's, not Sonya) narration of the directions included words and gestures completely contrary to what's scrawled here and I have no documentation of that.

Ultimately I'm a little surprised we aren't still driving around that Von's Ralph's. Or whatever it was.

But since Sonya will be living there, eventually this will come in handy... if only to serve as a cautionary tale about listening to strangers at the grocery store.

Song of the Day: "Snow is Falling"

J-Rod only grabbed the Guster song, but I am digging 5 or 6 tracks from that free Christmas album from the major retailer that doesn't care about teh gayz (well, not as much as its wealthy shareholders, can I has taxcutz pleez?!). But the album is a free download, so go and help yourself. I encourage it. Here's Darker My Love:

Song: "Snow is Falling"
Artist: Darker My Love

"Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able"

Happy solstice, here's Dar Williams, and remember, those trees and wreaths are pagan symbols.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Singles: "Giving Up the Gun"

Top 10, easily. Top 5, quite possibly. When I like Vampire Weekend, it's the percussion, and this song is that in spades. Which is, in no way, a racist comment.
"When I was 17, I had wrists like steel, and I felt complete
And now my body fades behind a brass charade, and I'm obsolete"

Song: "Giving Up the Gun"
Artist: Vampire Weekend

2010 Singles: "O.N.E."

Another track from Yeasayer's Odd Blood.
"Here, right as I am, it's hard having fun
It's much easier said than it's done"

Song: "O.N.E."
Artist: Yeasayer

2010 Singles: "Kill Me Carolyne"

I haven't heard this in a while. It still kicks ass.
"Taste, taste the bitter pill
And hurt, hurt the way it feels"

Song: "Kill Me Carolyne"
Artist: The Whigs

2010 Singles: "Out of the Blue"

Another 2009 album making my 2010 singles is Julian Casablancas (although "11th Dimension" from the same album was among last year's top 10 singles). There's no telling with me.
"And the ones that I make pay were never the ones who deserve it
And the ones who deserve it, they'll never understand it"

Song: "Out of the Blue"
Artist: Julian Casablancas

2010 Singles: "Genesis 3:23"

Somehow John Darnielle fills Mountain Goats songs with a tapestry of raw emotion, and a grittiness that I find compelling. This is angry and confessional pop music the likes of which I seldom hear. His prolific output is daunting, and he'll be mentioned later as part of The Extra Lens. The Life of the World to Come was late 2009, but this didn't make my song of the day until March.
"Steal home before sunset, cover up my tracks
Drive home with old dreams at play in my mind and the wind at my back"

Song: "Genesis 3:23"
Artist: The Mountain Goats

Happy Birthday Peter Criss

I'll let J-Rod's friend Matt cover this one for me.
Matt McCarthy - KISS Meeting
Funny JokesFunny VideosDaniel Tosh Stand-Up

KISS have been nominated for 1 Grammy, and 1 MTV Video Music Award (winning neither). They made the list of nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame once, but did not make the list of inductees.

As Hall of Famers Darlene Love and Tom Waits don't have licensed pinball machines, I'm sure the members of KISS are crying all the way to the bank. Well, the members who have an ownership interest in the band (which may or may not include Criss).

Oh, and here's the schematic for his make-up.
Happy birthday dude. Rock on.

"And the cross is from someone she has not met, not yet"

It's Chris Robinson's birthday, and there's just something totally adorable about watching these wholesome, clean cut kids singing his biggest hit (as a writer, "Hard to Handle" is a cover) about a goth girl/heroin addict. Such good teeth on that kid (in the video, possibly Chris, I haven't seen him in over 20 years).

Happy birthday dude. And rock on.

Happy Digital Christmas

(h/t Eric)

This was too cute to pass up, but don't you dare accuse me of being anything less than super cynical.

A Very Venture Bros. Christmas to You and Yours (part 4)

Sadly the Monarch/Dr. Mrs. the Monarch (nee Dr. Girlfriend) cover of "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" isn't embed-able, but listen to it here.

And enjoy this sweet song from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I suppose if you can't have a parade of prostitutes sing this to you, then having a super villain and his henchmen sing it to you will do. It'll do just fine.

A Very Venture Bros. Christmas to You and Yours (part 3)

Sadly, Henchman 24 is no longer with us (although his spiritual incarnation has helped Henchman 21 become the bad ass that he is now, so there's that).

A Very Venture Bros. Christmas to You and Yours (part 2)

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" as covered by many of the stars of The Venture Bros. It really is a cool show. David Bowie plays a pivotal role. They have a planned community called Malice (it's a Jam song reference). OMFG why don't you watch?!

A Very Venture Bros. Christmas to You and Yours (part 1)

The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. the Monarch (previously Dr. Girlfriend) cover The Pogues/Kirsty classic (also, fuck yeah, it really is now a classic, RIP Kirsty). And if you don't understand the wonderful crazy that is The Venture Bros., you'll never know until you try.
"And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing 'Galway Bay'
And the bells were ringing out for christmas day."

Here's why George W. Bush was a better President than Barack Obama

You always knew Bush was going to screw over the middle class on behalf of the wealthy... he was at least honest about it.

Song of the Day: "Kisses"

The band and the song are called "Kisses." This is only half as confusing as "Talk Talk" by Talk Talk, so cut them some slack. When I first heard this I thought it was Princeton (the band, not the college). It's not, it's Kisses.

That's all I've got, got an early call at work and thought I might be there on time for once. Carry on.

Song: "Kisses"
Artist: Kisses

"Here's a status update: democracy is dead. Happy holidays."

(h/t Salon)

In as much as I haven't seen them, I've "missed" the last few SNLs. It's usually a chore to make it to Weekend Update. I guess Bill Heder is having fun with Julian Assange, and makes a case for him being named Time's Person of the Year.

As a former Time Person of the Year (2006, look it up) I can tell you, the recognition doesn't mean shit. But the skit it funny.

Which is actually more than I expect from SNL these days. I guess what I'm saying is why the hell is SNL still on the air? To justify the existence of 30 Rock?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Singles: "Nothing Like You"

Damn this is a great song... but then what do you expect, the band is Scottish.
"This is a story and you are not in it, flock of pages torn out
Here is a bedroom that you've never been in
Here is your shovel, there's the ground"

Song: "Nothing Like You"
Artist: Frightened Rabbit

2010 Singles: "Walls"

The whole purpose of reminding myself of the songs I liked from earlier in the year, forcing myself to listen to them again, is so I don't forget gems like this one. Shout Out Louds put out a great album this year.
"I need a pencil, piece of paper, a lock and a cage,
Feels so much better now getting rid my rage"

Song: "Walls"
Artist: Shout Out Louds

2010 Singles: "Stylo"

It took Gorillaz's collaboration with Mos Def and Bobby Womack, "Stylo," a while to grow on me. I'm at a loss to put an effective label on it, but that's ultimately part of the charm. It's a fusion that works.
"There's only one way
Let it pray a little while longer"

Song: "Stylo"
Artist: Gorillaz/Bobby Womack/Mos Def

2010 Singles: "Country Roads"

Ryan Bingham won an Oscar earlier this year, for the song from Crazy Heart about which I wasn't crazy. I like this song way better than anything in the movie.
"I've spent my time with the whiskey,
I'll never give up on change,
Or give a fuck if you will ever miss me"

Song: "Country Roads"
Artist: Ryan Bingham

2010 Singles: "Drunk Girls"

Another song I'm pretty sure will end up in my top 5. I can't explain why I was instantly won over by this song, but i was. There's something totally familiar about it, like a chord progression taken from Duran Duran's "Girls on Film" or something.

I was late the LCD Soundsystem party, and now that I'm here they're breaking up. Maybe. James Murphy (hey look, I didn't call him LCDude) has talked about them breaking up. Or I think I read that he said that, so this isn't first hand.
"Just 'cause I'm shallow doesn't mean that I'm heartless
Just 'cause I'm heartless doesn't mean that I'm mean"

Song: "Drunk Girls"
Artist: LCD Soundsystem

Song of the Day: "Looking Back"

Keane's Night Train EP features 2 duets with K'naan. "Stop for a Minute" made it here back in May, and now you have the other. I wanted the duet with Tigarah, but there wasn't an embed-able version of the song. Sorry.

Song: "Looking Back"
Artist: Keane/K'naan