Saturday, December 31, 2011

Well this is disappointing

The blog is ranked 16,064,400 in web traffic (per Alexa), which is LOWER than the last time I remembered to look (October 2010, when I was in the top 14 million).


I guess I need another defective page-a-day calendar to pick things up.

Note that Alexa shows my keywords as shelly ryan, harry conick birthday, vatican assassin, happy birthday, and david bowie.

DAVID BOWIE! Love him!

Song of the Day: "The Rest is Silence/There is No Me... Without You"

I close 2011 out with 2 tracks (well, 1.5 really) from Glen Campbell's swansong, Ghost on the Canvas. "The Rest is Silence" is an instrumental... or is it? Maybe it's just a lyric-less song since I think there's a voice in there, giving it a mournful quality reminiscent of the Beach Boys, Bobby McFerrin and a little Bon Iver (just a tad).

It's as good a symbol for my end of the year melancholy as any. This last month has had all the drama of a sweeps month of Melrose Place episodes.

I really fucking hate 2011. If I go postal on a neighbor tonight because they set off fireworks and traumatize Midge, it is NOT premeditated. Despite what you're reading here.

Song: "The Rest is Silence/There is No Me... Without You"
Artist: Glen Campbell

Friday, December 30, 2011

Song of the Day: "Change the Sheets"

Kathleen Edwards worked with Justin Vernon as co-producer on Voyageur, her fourth album. At first listen I like the sound for her as a fresh expansion of her style, but I can also see myself getting burned out by Bon Iver overkill. Bon Overkill. Damn I'm good.

Song: "Change the Sheets"
Artist: Kathleen Edwards

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Marianne Faithfull

Not a lot of time for a post, but here are a few songs:

"Sister Morphine"

"I Got You Babe" with David Bowie

And finally "Song for Nico"

Oh, yeah, and she's a Baroness.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Quote of the day

“We have a federal government that is out of control from the standpoint of spending, and I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case… I’m not a lawyer but here’s what I do know, I know they’re spending too much money in Washington, D.C.”--Governor Rick Perry (R, TX) on Lawrence v. Texas

First, isn't it awesome that Rick Perry is actually collecting a pay check for being governor of Texas what with his not actually doing that job and all. I guess most of the other candidates, and Obama, are equally guilty, but still, hooray.

And second, why does Rick Perry hate Vicki Lawrence so much? That's what Lawrence v. Texas is about, right? That was the case that awarded Vicki Lawrence a billion dollars a year every year, paid directly from unicorn fuckers (that's my term for "job creators" as they are both equally true--I think the ruling actually says "job creators" though) from the money they were totally going to use for new jobs. That damn Federal government and activist judges and all off the spending. And for what? They're not even making Mama's Family any more.

The third thing is...

Song of the Day: "Terra Incognita"

Another track from Atlas Sounds's Parallax, one of my favorites of 2011.

Song: "Terra Incognita"
Artist: Atlas Sounds

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Song of the Day: "No Light, No Light"

Holy crap I almost forgot to post a song today. Here's some Florence + the Machine channeling a little Siouxsie and the Banshees (in a good way).

Song: "No Light, No Light"
Artist: Florence + the Machine

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You may laugh, but so far there have been no hijackings by cupcake

(h/t Towleroad)

A few years ago I had a panic attack on a flight so I started taking Xanax for when I travel. Or when I mistakenly think the bike path is an on ramp (after, not before). Or when I'm bored.

I actually now take 1/2 so that it kicks in as I go through the security check point as I am fairly certain that at some point you will see a video of me being tasered by TSA on your nightly news. Apparently they don't like it when I say things like "are we still pretending shoes are a threat" while I wait. And don't bother pointing out that the official size is 3.3 ounces (or 100 milliliters in EVERY COUNTRY OF THE WORLD EXCEPT THE US, BURMA AND LIBERIA!!!) of liquid, not 3 ounces. Unless you want the pat down.

But to the TSA's credit, their quick thinking has stopped another would-be terrorist from using her terrorist cupcake to terrorize a flight. They have also prevented countless attacks by sharks, one assumes. (You haven't heard of an attack via carried on shark, have you?)
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


"Her mocking smile says it all"

It's Marlene Dietrich's birthday, and maybe in the future she'll get a proper birthday post, but for now we'll celebrate with Suzanne Vega's "Marlene on the Wall" inspired by a poster of Dietrich Vega had up in her apartment (on the wall, get it!).

When Eric, Clark and I went to see the Indigo Girls a few years ago, Eric commented that they will be playing "Closer to Fine" at least 300 times a year for the rest of their lives. I wish this, and not "Luka," was Vega's obligatory early hit. Once again life doesn't conform to my wishes. Morans.

Song of the Day: "My Heart"

Loney, Dear is the name used by Emil Svan√§ngen (I had to paste that in because I don't know how to make those tildaswintons in HTML), a Swedish singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist (as if I didn't need to feel lazier, they had to throw multi-instrumentalist into the description).

Hall Music is his seventh album, and for the life of me I can't recall where or how I first heard him, but it's been just in the past few months. It was further complicated by my assumption that "Loney Dear" was a typo on my part (Lonely Dear, duh), and it was, but the actual typo was leaving the comma out: Loney, Dear. As in Loney, dear, take the recycling out before you go to bed. I assume.

Song: "My Heart"
Artist: Loney, Dear

Mitt Romney never even responds

I've been heckling Mittens for months with nary a reaction (although some retweeting), but all it took was one mention of that time Boy George chained someone to a radiator to get a little love.

First Pakistan, then Grammy winning future Dancing with the Stars participants... who's next? Place your bets now.

And George, please, make a new record sometime. You can record in my basement if cost is an issue (I have a Mac, and based on everything I've heard, that is all I need).

And if I actually get hit by a bus, make sure you let him know that.

I'm always surprised when the fourth marriage doesn't last

I am sure this is another casualty of teh gayz wanting the special privilege of marrying (next up: marrying a snake! [because snakes can enter all other kinds of legally-binding contracts, so this makes perfect sense, FOX News] [FUN FACT: snakes cannot actually enter any kinds of legally-binding contracts, but they do taste surprisingly like chicken, although when you consider their common evolutionary path, maybe it's not that surprising... hello, eggs! duh]) and not just because someone with three divorces has a very high probability of divorcing again. Also wasn't she a Lesbian for like 45 minutes?

Anyway, guess who's getting a big gift basket from Kim Kardashian!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Song of the Day: "Dirty Dreams"

This is the third song of the day from Work Drugs in 2011, so it's impressive that they've only been together a year.

Or it's not, I can't decide.

Either it is, or it isn't.

But I definitely like their music, so that's a good thing.

You can download the track here for free.

Song: "Dirty Dreams"
Artist: Work Drugs

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Song of the Day: "The Same Thing"

Last month I featured a track from Cass McCombs from his first of 2 albums in 2011, now comes "The Same Thing" which is different and from the second of those same 2 albums (what a coincidence!!!).

The second album is called Humor Risk, by the way.

Song: "The Same Thing"
Artist: Cass McCombs

Friday, December 23, 2011

Notes on Take Shelter

Sonya coined the term "awardy" a year or 2 ago. Michael Shannon's performance was hinted as "awardy" on Twitter (where pets are huge).

We left after 2-1/2 days, out of boredom.

I hope the 2 dudes from Freaky Friday 5: Final Freak Out are nominated ahead of him. Sorry dude. Try again later.

Notes on Young Adult

Charlize Theron once proclaimed that her beauty was a detriment to her acting career. I mentioned this to Becky last night who replied, "I know how she feels." I think that means that Charlize Theron's beauty has been a detriment to 2 careers, and that's only the ones we know of.

Young Adults is the follow up to Up in the Air and Juno for director Jason Reitman and to Juno for Oscar winner/former stripper/writer whatever her name is (I'm just bitter because I'm firmly convinced that some middle-aged gay man punched up Juno which is the best way I can come up with to explain how a high school student would drop Diana Ross as a reference [namely, she wouldn't, unless dialog supplied by someone older than me]... also she got an Oscar).

It's entirely possible this movie will pick up Oscar nominations for Best Actress or Best Original Screenplay to which I can only say "meh."

Song of the Day: "Dead and Gone"

I'm really digging the new Black Keys album El Camino. My only issue is that the cover is filled with photos of minivans.

Not a single titular car to be found.


Song: "Dead and Gone"
Artist: The Black Keys

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Song of the Day: "Life's a Happy Song"

Bret McKenzie wrote this track from the recent Muppets outing, putting him in the Oscar hunt, whether you realize it or not (I mean, you do know, duh).

Song: "Life's a Happy Song"
Artist: Jason Segel/Amy Adams/Walter; featuring Feist/Mickey Rooney

Well tonight thank God it's THEM

Even if it's also you... The Venture Bros. = awesome.

The funniest thing all year

(h/t Towleroad)

This is the funniest spoof SNL has done in YEARS!

Wait, what? It's not a spoof?!

No. Fucking. Way.

The "historian" who receives $60,000 per "speech" railing against elites, and his third wife/15th mistress [that we know of] celebrating the real meaning of Christmas and wishing you greetings from their "family" [mistresses count if you actually marry them] to yours (UNLESS YOU'RE GAY, CAUSE, YOU KNOW, GAY IS EVIL).

Since Gingrich, multiply guilty of violating Georgia's sodomy laws back when he was impeaching Bill Clinton (greatest President of our time), said that he cheated on his wife/other wife/other mistresses because he LOVED HIS COUNTRY SO MUCH, I wonder if Calista is worried with all this current cunt-loving country-loving rhetoric.

America, FUCK YEAH!

And, AND, why isn't his daughter knocked up yet?!

(h/t Towleroad)

How elitist to not have a knocked up teenage daughter!!!

By the way, Sarah, the next time you start a sentence with "a majority of Americans think" please finish it with "... I'm a fucking retard" because, brace yourself, that is true. That we think that... and that you are.

Have a very merry solstice.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Would you rather be shot or BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF RIHANNA

The old joke, would you rather be shot or hung takes a new turn with Chris Brown is invoked!

Who should I follow? Um, none of the above?

Song of the Day: "Party"

OMG OMG OMG solstice is almost here. It's the time when the SUN seems to DIE only to RISE in 3 DAYS! Praise Jeebus, here's Beyonce!

Song: "Party"
Artist: Beyonce/Andre 3000

Monday, December 19, 2011

We bought a 10-year rule

Matt Damon, 41 years old; Scarlett Johannson, 27 years old.

Age appropriate actresses for Matt Damon: Katie Holmes, Mira Sorvino, Embeth Davidtz, Josie Bissett, Tracee Ellis Ross, Queen Latifah, Mya (and probably an Asian or Hispanic).

Scarlett's not hurting for work.

We Bought a Zoo has been released from my list of movies to see.

"Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it's our last"

Yesterday was the anniversary of Kirsty MacColl's untimely passing.

I am warmed with the knowledge that her duet with the Pogues is something of a holiday standard these days.

Rest in peace dude.

Song of the Day: "Love You Like a Love Song"

I have no idea who Selena Gomez is, so I can post this with no sense that she has any kind of history or baggage (WINK!).

And her band? The Scene!

They all totes rock!

But you already knew that.

Set the auto-tune to 11!

Song: "Love You Like a Love Song"
Artist: Selena Gomez and The Scene

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Song of the Day: "The Living Proof"

Remember a couple years ago when Mary J. Blige did that empowering song "I Can See in Color" for the movie Precious: I Before E Except After C? Only the producers of the movie didn't use enough of the song in the movie for it to qualify for Oscar consideration?

"Like it was yesterday," I can hear you reply.

So you KNOW this song, from The Help, which got a Golden Globe nomination last week, is in at LEAST a full minute of The Help. And really, is that too much to ask for? Not for Mary J. Blige.

Not this time.

No more drama.

Oh HELL no.

You go girl!

Oh, what does the song have to do with the movie? I have no idea. If you listen to it and don't watch the video, you probably won't either.

Song: "The Living Proof"
Artist: Mary J. Blige

R.I.P. Vaclav Havel

Absurdist playwright turned President (of both Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, what a coincidence!), Havel embodies the post-Cold Way Velvet Revolution (which had nothing whatsoever to do with Janet Jackson).

And because I can't read the word "dissident" without thinking of this song, here's Thomas Dolby:

Thomas Dolby Dissidents by Celtiemamab

Rest in peace.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Bradley Manning

In a time when George W. Bush is responsible for making America less safe and empowering Iran (or so I'm led to believe), Bradley Manning needs to be credited with getting the U.S. out of Iraq. I mean, allegedly (if found guilty, you know, in the trial that's finally happening). Glenn Greenwald explains (here):
In other words, whoever leaked that cable cast light on a heinous American war crime and, by doing so, likely played some significant role in thwarting an agreement between the Obama and Maliki governments to keep U.S. troops in Iraq and thus helped end this stage of the Iraq war (h/t Trevor Timm). Moreover, whoever leaked these cables — as even virulent WikiLeaks critic Bill Keller repeatedly acknowledged — likely played some significant in helping spark the Arab Spring protests by documenting just how deeply corrupt those U.S.-supported kleptocrats were. And in general, whoever leaked those cables has done more to publicize the corrupt, illegal and deceitful acts of the world’s most powerful factions — and to educate the world about how they behave — than all “watchdog” media outlets combined (indeed, the amount of news reports on a wide array of topics featuring WikiLeaks cables as the primary source is staggering). In sum, whoever leaked those cables is responsible for one of the most consequential, beneficial and noble acts of this generation.
Oh, wow, he also gets partial credit for Occupy Wall Street then. Sweet.

Shit is fucked up and bull shit. And I have never done anything as brave as Manning (allegedly) has.

Happy birthday dude. Good luck. Rock on. Stay strong.

Song of the Day: "The Keeper"

Also nominated for a Golden Globe this year is Chris Cornell (I think that's him in the video, even though this dude is wearing a shirt).

It's from a movie starring Gerard Butler called Machine Gun Preacher.

Just to be clear, that's these 2:
Chris Cornell/Gerard Butler

Song: "The Keeper"
Artist: Chris Cornell

Friday, December 16, 2011

Song of the Day: "Lay Your Head Down"

Among this week's Golden Globe nominations is this Song of the Year nomination from Albert Nobbs (or Albert Noobs if you don't read it carefully). Sinead O'Connor provides the voice, but Glenn Close wrote the lyrics (she is also nominated for Best Actress in a Drama for her performance in the movie). Brian Byrne wrote the beautiful music and I thought "hey, two actors" and then realized that there IS a difference between Brian Byrne and Brian F. O'Byrne (although I will grant partial credit for that answer).

This could be a sneaky way for Close to finally pick up an Oscar, and if so, good for her.

Song: "Lay Your Heart Down"
Artist: Sinead O'Connor

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Song of the Day: "Honolulu Blues"

Dude from the Hold Steady has a solo project coming soon. This is from that.

Song: "Honolulu Blues"
Artist: Craig Finn

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Song of the Day: "Waiting for Something"

It's been 3 or 4 years since Nada Surf's "Whose Authority?" trapped me in its pure pop embrace. They had a covers album last year, and The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, their seventh album, will be released next month (which is also next year).

You can download a different track here if you're interested (actually, I assume it works even if you're not interested).

Now to get ready for my 6:30 a.m. flight.

  Nada Surf - Waiting For Something by indieisnotagenre

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From Islamabad to Karachi, I am huge in Pakistan

I got some love for my tweet about Obama asking
for the downed drone back from Iran.
Actually I went to see my doctor last week and weighed in--apparently I'm huge here too.

But that's not important right now. What is important is that I made people in Pakistan laugh with a tweet, and apparently that's enough to help my self esteem.
Obama asks for drone back. What's farsi for bwahahahahahaha?

Colbert and Daily Show recaps

First, Mittens, out of touch? Say it isn't so!

And the idea that "Newt" comes from a line that includes Pussy Galore, Honey Ryder and May Day, actually makes sense. But his last name really should be Ratzenberger, or Unfaithfullo.

Song of the Day: "I Can See Through You"

I have a feeling we are in the middle of a post-grunge heavy shoegaze revival (the kind that would cite Catherine Wheel or Chapterhouse or Curve, ahead of Bauhaus or My Bloody Valentine or the Housemartins [just checking to see if anyone's paying attention]).

Skying is the third album from The Horrors and I got through most of this post without checking to see if I'd ever put a songs of theirs on the blog before. Turns out I have (here)... not all my stories are interesting.

Song: "I Can See Through You"
Artist: The Horrors

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wait, what's that about the terrorists?!

(h/t @DeadHostess via Twitterzesses and Good)

Infographic from Prose Before Hos

It's what Christo would do to mask police brutality

From no tent to tent in seconds!

And, AND, it's in the 2012 Pantone Color of the Year: Tangerine Tango (details here; h/t to The Lars for that one).

I'm sure what the Houston Police Department saves in sun block and rain bonnets will more than make up for the extra lawsuits those evil violent protesters bring after being abused arrested in a totes respectful manner. There is no reason to cynically assume the tents are to block photos and videos of hippies getting kicked, beaten or pepper sprayed. Because that shit happens right out in the open!
Say when.
On behalf of white people let me just say I'm shocked that there are cops who behave like complete dicks when one hasn't really broken a law. This thing, which has JUST STARTED must be curtailed soon as it is an outrage.

Now, go fight the power.

Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland
Occupy the Ports

Oh snap of the day

"I will say this, as the father of two daughters: I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.”--Barack HUSSEIN Obama

Take THAT Reproductive Advisory Committee, Reproductive Health Drugs Committee, Drug Safety Committee, and Risk Management Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration!

Next time use some common fucking sense!

I'm sure all the girls planning their Plan B One-Step Sweet Sixteen™ parties will be crushed.

Those slutty, slutty girls.

And you know what causes that... Gardasil.

What's up with all these pharmaceuticals that empower girls to be so slutty?

Song of the Day: "Hoop of Love"

When did duos become the new quartets? I'm gonna assume this is Jack White's doing, and move on with my life (it saves me some aggravation).

This is Dominant Legs, a side project from a dude from Girls (a band I officially "like a lot" [strong words]), and a girl dude who is not a dude or in Girls.


Song: "Hoop of Love"
Artist: Dominant Legs

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Win $10,000 from Mittens Romney

UPDATE: Mormons are opposed to gambling. As a Mormon, Mittens should have never made the bet, and also as a Mormon, Huntsman should have never accepted the bet. Good times...

As you know, the 748th Republican debate was held over the weekend. I think. I was busy organizing porn on my external hard drive so I didn't watch it personally, but I'm told it happened. I'm pretty sure Jesus, tax cuts and American exceptionalism all came up at least once.

Mittens bet Rick Perry $10,000, which is a little rude what with 99% of Americans not really having $10,000 to toss around so casually--at least make the bet in private, it's less odious. And Jon Huntsman, the perfectly reasonable candidate who's only actually in the race because his daddy is a billionaire who is very supportive of his son's hobbies.

But you know what, it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is, right? It's so easy to criticize Greatest President of Ever Bill Clinton but sooner or later, everyone comes to Rick's (Rick's being my nickname for all the clumsy doublespeak dodges and/or lies Clinton made over his 8 amazing years of peace and prosperity... [yes, he lied about getting a blowjob during a civil trial deposition, but at least he didn't invade a country under false pretenses, or cheer in prep school]).

Anyway, poor Tim Pawlenty. His perfectly rational decision to exit the race actually makes him appear more qualified than most that are sticking it out. Of course Gracie eating poop in the backyard makes her also appear more qualified than Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. And Newt.

It would be interesting, just one time, to see someone like Mittens or Newt actually own up to something they said/believe that might be slightly off from current party orthodoxy. They're flip-flopperific. Like 88,209 times more than John Kerry ever was (and you know how you hated him).

I can find this amusing because I was not inconvenienced

However, had I been ON that flight and subject to a delay because an entertainer wouldn't shut off his fucking iPhone, I would be less charitable toward Baldwin. The LA (and in this case NYC) Cult of Narcissism for Celebrity goes something like this: "the rules don't apply to ME."

Song of the Day: "Can't Relax"

20+ years ago I wrote that the Dead Milkmen's "Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance to Anything)" implies that Book of Love are European when they are from NYC (actually originally from Philly, as are Dead Milkmen). Someone from the Dead Milkmen didn't take that well and let fly the angry rejoinders.

I stand by my statement.

The King in Yellow, their ninth studio album, was released earlier this year. I probably have higher awareness since I listen to radio from Philadelphia via the inter-webz (it's not a dump truck).

Song: "Can't Relax"
Artist: Dead Milkmen

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Song of the Day: "Down"

The band is Summer Camp, as opposed to Summercamp. A British indie duo inspired by 60s girl groups and 80s synth pop.

As opposed to 60s synth pop and 80s girl groups.

I do like the somewhat timeless pop quality of the song--we would have played this at the radio station 20+ years ago (or, you know, when I worked there, 2 years ago [cough]).

Song: "Down"
Artist: Summer Camp

Friday, December 9, 2011

Song of the Day: "St. Croix"

It's been a shitty morning followed by a shitty midday so far, so here's a song that should help take a bit of the edge off.

The band: Family of the Year (love the name).

The song: "St. Croix" (love the sound).

YMMV... and if so, put your complaints on your own blog.

Song: "St. Croix"
Artist: Family of the Year

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rick Perry, super smart

Rick Perry's Unpopular Opinions Tumblr

Songs of the Day: "Marvin's Room"/"Can't Do Better"

Drake brings a low key swagger to "Marvin's Room"--it's got all the hallmarks of big hip hop (club? check; niggers? check; bitches? double check), with the subtle musicality of some drum and bass. It's a shame he's so uncomfortable with his voice that he auto-tunes the shit out of the song, otherwise it's the the perfect song for the Fucking Andrews Fucking McMeel Fucking Publishing Fucking Christmas Fucking Massive, I'm sure you will agree. Ho fucking ho bitches!

But wait, there's still more! Because then JoJo (possibly NOT the same JoJo of Jodeci and KC & JoJo fame) did this remake: no more "fuck that nigger" now it's "fuck that new girl" and, AND, it's even still perfect for the very same Fucking Andrews Fucking McMeel Fucking Publishing Fucking Christmas Fucking Massive. It's a fucking Christmas fucking miracle bitches!

Let's make December 8 Drunk Dial Awareness Day!

Song: "Marvin's Room"; "Can't Do Better"
Artist: Drake; JoJo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Song of the Day: "Dearest"

Continuing this week's rants about the Grammy awards, today's topic: Grammy Inertia. The best way to get nominated for a Grammy? Win a Grammy! Many good-but-otherwise-unremarkable recordings sneak in a nomination with the only clear distinction being a recent Grammy win by that artist.

I like the Black Keys, was pleased with their Grammy wins earlier this year (Rock Duo/Group with Vocals and Alternative Album), and I know/have a copy of the tribute album Rave On Buddy Holly on which this track appears, but even I was surprised to see this among the nominations for Pop Duo/Group Performance (I'm still learning the revised category names). Is it a case of Grammy Inertia, or is it truly among the most distinctive pop music recordings by a duo, group or collaboration (with or without vocals) from the last Grammy eligibility year?

I mean, it's still better than "Moves Like Jagger," but then, so is my as-yet-untitled musical about a Cockney flower girl. Which is nothing like My Fair Lady--it's inspired by the Eddie Murphy movie Trading Places. Stay tuned!

Also not listening to music at all is better than "Moves Like Jagger."

Song: "Dearest"
Artist: The Black Keys

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Song of the Day: "Holocene"

I have a love/hate relationship with the Grammys. Lately it's more hate than love. For more than 10 years, the Grammy peeps (NARAS, if you want to get fussy about it) have used some kind of selection committee to identify a set number of possible nominees for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and, possibly Best New Artist. I'm pretty sure the short list for these categories has 30 works or performers. It's how The Joni Letters or The Suburbs could win Album of the Year even though you still don't know what they are (in years past it was you could typically predict the top category nominations by reviewing the top 25 albums in terms of sales, and the top 25 songs based on radio airplay... Taylor Swift would still have been nominated, but it was Kanye that helped her win.

That kind of helping hand isn't apparent with this year's Album of the Year nominations, but it is among the Best New Artist nominations (or it's entirely possible that everyone but me knows who Skeetulrichex is but me; maybe J. Cole) and Record of the Year, with this song.  And while I like Bon Iver, that "Holocene" is nominated for Record of the Year bugs me. The same way that nominations and wins for "Please Read the Letter" and "Here We Go Again" bothered me. I feel like it ought to be an unwritten requirement that more than 2% of the general population can identify a song for it to be eligible, even if that means classics like Time Zone's "World Destruction" and David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over" wouldn't have been nominated as Record of the Year... but then, they weren't anyway.

I'm actually okay with "Fireworks" picking up a nomination. Gaga should be in Record of the Year and Bon in Album of the year, that might assuage my issues this morning (well, one of...).

Oh, and, can even big Bon Iver enthusiasts tell the difference between this, "Perth" and "Calgary"? Or am I the problem (see also: Coldplay and 27 variations on "Yellow" [but their "Clocks" was an excellent Record of the Year]). I said I like them/him, right? Anyway, Record of the Year nominee "Perth" "Calgary" "Holocene":

Song: "Holocene"
Artist: Bon Iver

Monday, December 5, 2011

Song of the Day: "Holiday (What Do You Want?)"

The Leedy Party kicks off the holiday season for me, so here is the first of the seasonal selections: Mike Doughty with Rosanne Cash from his Yes and Also Yes album. Doughty uses a duloxetine capsule for percussion on some tracks of the album, but it's not clear whether or not this is one... but let's pretend it is so as to justify my mentioning it.

I guess there's nothing specifically about Christmas in the lyrics, so really this could be about any winter holiday, like President's Day or Epiphany. Still, it's really cold here in Portland, so we can start with this.

Song: "Holiday (What Do You Want?)"
Artist: Mike Doughty/Rosanne Cash

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Dennis Wilson

"They say I live a fast life. Maybe I just like a fast life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. It won’t last forever, either. But the memories will."--Dennis Wilson, All Summer Long liner notes

When I saw Wilson's name among today's birthdays, I had this vague association (really do I have any other type) of him with Natalie Wood. More specifically of his death with her death. That's why I went down the rabbit hole, to see if there was any connection of Wilson's drowning in December 1983 with Wood's drowning in November 1981 (which recently became some news story, but I'm not really paying attention). Aside from being the top 2 celebrities listed in 12 Notable People Who Died by Drowning (suck it Brian Jones [RIP]) there doesn't appear to be any connection.

But Dennis Wilson's actual life and death are far more interesting than some imagined connection between him and Wood. For example, he's the uncle of 2 members of Wilson Phillips. He was the only member of the original Beach Boys who could surf. And, oh yeah, he is personally responsible for the crimes of CHARLES MANSON!!!! (Not really, but it got your attention, and also kinda...) But first, here's Dennis singing lead with the Beach Boys on "Forever":

Okay, here's the details on Wilson's connection with Charles Mason, per Wilson's IMDB biography by Chris Parson (here):
In 1968, Wilson picked up a couple of women hitchhikers and took them to his house to party. The women were associated with a wanna-be song-writer named Charles Manson, who invited himself to visit the Beach Boy. Wilson also picked up a male hitchhiker that year, drug dealer Charles Watson, whom Dennis invited to hang out at his house. In fact, Manson met "Tex" Watson at Wilson's house; the two would become partners in some of the most infamous murders of the 20th Century. Initially, Wilson tolerated Manson's presence at his house, as he brought his groupies with him. Wilson had encouraged Manson's musical ambitions and one of his songs, "Cease to Exist", appeared on the Beach Boys album "20/20" under the title "Never Learn Not to Love". Eventually, Wilson and his musical confederates whom had been introduced to Manson became disenchanted with him, despite the former pimp's provision of women, due to Charlie's fierce temper. Ultimately, Manson and his girls proved to be unwanted guests who tried to commandeer Wilson's house. Wilson, too intimidated to evict his guests, eventually moved out of his own house. Shortly thereafter, Manson and his followers left and began their descent into the hellish frenzy that culminated in the Tate-LaBianca killings. 
Here's "Dreamer" from Wilson's 1977 solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue:

So really after Charles Manson, something like "dated Christine McVie" is pretty pedestrian. How about "he married his cousin?" I mean, technically she was his cousin's daughter, and they didn't realize it until after they were married, and that was only his fifth wife, so it's not like he had this pattern or anything... but still, colorful, right?

I guess it's worth noting his appearance in the cult classic Two-Lane Blacktop, a movie I'm scarcely aware of but in reading its description, am now seriously considering as a Christmas gift for my dad  (spoiler alert)...

Here's an unreleased version of "All Alone" (well, if it's on the youtubez, presumably someone got a copy):

Wilson is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and shares a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the rest of the Beach Boys.

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "Can't Get Enough"

Fresh off the success of yesterday's "who the fuck is Sleestack" blog post, comes today's "who the fuck is J Crew" song of the day.  Except once again I'm confusing my upscale casual retailers with my Best New Artist Grammy nominees. Turns out dude's name is J. Cole.

So who the fuck is J. Cole? A young rapper with a colorful past, such as:
Before J. Cole was signed to Roc Nation, he worked a job as a bill collector. One morning, he turned on his cell phone and noticed that he received a text from an associate asking him to call the associate back. When Cole returned the call, the associate informed Cole that he received a call from Jay-Z’s associates and that he had to meet with them as soon as possible.
True story. It really gives you hope.

And makes me wonder whether or not "associate" was originally a more urban word like "brother" or "homey" or, um, "neighbor" (you know, the n- word that white people shouldn't call blacks, per Lisa Lampanelli) before a more diplomatic person than me edited it.

Anyway, here's Land's End J Cole with Trey Songz.

Song: "Can't Get Enough"
Artist: J Cole/Trey Songz

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lenin is lit (and soon I shall be too)

Melanie of Inward Facing Girl fame did, um, whatever the verb associated with a picture becoming something on Instagram, to her picture of Seattle's Status of Lenin decorated for Festivus or Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice or possibly Christmas (but it's Fremont, and Christmas is a little too "rest of the universe," but yeah, maybe Christmas).

She has lots of other cool Instagrams, but I can't figure out how to link to those collectively, so just check her Twitterings. Tell her Sofia sent you.

And, AND, I am going out, on a Saturday night, leaving the house at 10:00 p.m. No, for reals. And not just to drive to Jack in the Box for a milk shake (although a milk shake does sound good right now). Company's here, and my routine is too conspicuously boring, so I have to pretend I go out. So let the Long Islands start to flow...

Quote of the day

Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods, have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works, so they have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day; they have no habit of "I do this and you give me cash," unless it is illegal.--Newt Gingrich (here)
Now there's a good chance that Newt has flip-flopped on his "children should work" philosophy, especially if some child welfare group paid him to be their lobbyist make a speech.

But in case he's still standing by that quote, I want to make 2 points:
  1. "I do this and you give me cash" sounds a lot like the transactions of drug dealers, day laborers/undocumented workers ("theytookourjobs") or prostitutes Craigslist therapeutic service providers. Or, as Drudge would paraphrase it: "Newt Gingrich encourages children to become drug dealers and prostitutes!"
  2. His point of that only work ethic poor kids see is people doing things that are illegal (NOTE: they do NOT have Newt Gingrich as a role model, making $60,000 speeches and otherwise behaving like an entitled white male tool who never had the deck stacked even slightly against him and wondering what all this affirmative action bullshit is about, and also all the flagrantly illegal activities of companies like Goldman Sachs are done by white men in suits, so that would make those "good" in Newt's eyes) is undermined by just how fucking hard drug dealers and prostitutes have to work. Those aren't 9 to 5 jobs, that shit is 24/7, or so I'm told by documentaries on cable. Do you think Newt Gingrich has ever worked as hard for a single day as any random crack whore anywhere in this country? Me neither.
But it's entirely possible that Newt Gingrich is just a performance artist who is doing an elaborate piece on the flimsy nature of American values, in which case he deserves the largest grant the National Endowment for the Arts can ironically provide.

Song of the Day: "First of the Year (Equinox)"

It seems like yesterday that I first typed "who the fuck is Esperanza Spalding" after her surprise Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. That was a year ago (also, awkwardly, the answer became "Grammy winner" and also my neighbor, she lives a couple streets over from me [everyone in Portland does]). By all accounts, Spalding's win is a vindication for the Grammys (I would have accepted Mumford & Sons or Florence + the Machine, or even Mumford + the Machine or Florence & Sons) in a category I think they should eliminate.

This year's nominees included 2 names I expected (Nicki Minaj and The Band Perry [how does Rick Perry find the time to be a Governor, run for President AND record and tour with a band?!]), and 1 that occurred to me the day before the nominations were announced (Bon Iver, and it occurred to me with a cynical burst of, "oh, right, they changed the rules again, that will probably happen" more than some wily prediction), with 2 names I didn't know.

This year I get to type "who the fuck is Skillrex" [note: it's Skrillex, not Skillrex or Skillsaw, but I will not be consistent and am not going to bother to edit] and the answer is he's a 5-time Grammy nominee (in addition to Best New Artist, there are nominations for Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Remixed Recording (Non-Classical)  [by the way, there is NO Best Remixed Recording (Classical) award, so WTF?!], and Best Short Form Video for this very video), bitchez! In addition to "electronic DJ/producer" he was a singer with From First to Last, a band I had never heard of but with origins in Valdosta, GA, although I don't think Sonny [oh, yeah, surprise, Skrillrex is not his "government name," it's Sonny Moore] was with them then... still, if you know anything about Valdosta, GA you'll know that any claim to fame, however tenuous and distant, is a good one.

Speaking of tenuous, From First to Last opened for the band All Time Low on a tour, and now here's a picture of the ever-shirtless Zach Merrick (fun fact: Merrick has a line of shirts, because he's not wearing them).

Where was I? Oh, right, Skillsaw... kudos to you. Here's the Grammy-nominated video.

Song: "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Artist: Skrillex

Patriotism (it rhymes with jism)

(h/t @Anon_Central via Twitter)
"Patience is the new patriotism"--I can't find a clear source for this 2002 quote that would have made George Orwell envious ("double-plus GREAT" he would have exclaimed). Maybe it was then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta (the results of the search I started around 5:30 this morning [because what else does one do when one has seen all the porn online] that point to him all seem to actually use 1 common web post that I don't think is well sourced--however do read the story of Mineta and baseball bats)... or maybe it was Satan, I mean Karl Rove. I get those 2 confused all the time.

The idea of patriotism (by the way, the title of this post has been a label for some of my blog post for some time now, but I'm sure you knew that by now) kinda disappeared between the Bicentennial and the first Gulf War, and then between our glorious victory over the tyrant Saddam (who, d'oh, we happened to leave in power, but I'm sure that wouldn't bite us in the ass at any time in the future [oh wait, technically it didn't]) and THE EVENTS OF 9/11™.

After THE EVENTS OF 9/11™, when Congress managed to stop shitting itself, magically a whole lot of power was handed to George W. Bush (war criminal/criminal against peace) and his evil cohorts Dick Cheney (war criminal/criminal against peace/war profiteer) and Karl Rove (traitor [and by traitor I mean "guilty of the crime of treason" which he was, because he outed Valerie Plame]) through something called The Patriot Act (after hearing that name, Orwell would have turned in his pen and gone fishing [were he still alive, still writing, and writers still using pens... and provided he enjoyed fishing as a hobby]). In fact it happened with such speed and efficiency and lack of substantial opposition that one could could easily see how some might view THE EVENTS OF 9/11™ as a false flag operation, which is just outrageous and also I hear that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim who intends to take your guns.

Glenn Greenwald's How Would a Patriot Act? is a quick and depressing read that outlines the various civil liberties Americans were quick to give up to "stay safe." George W. Bush said that we were attacked during THE EVENTS OF 9/11™ because "they hate our freedoms." Aside from the fact that he was lying, Bush went ahead and basically eliminated a lot of those freedoms, just to be on the safe side. The same way you can both claim to not be superstitious but then if a black cat crosses your path you have to invade a country that had nothing to do with that black cat.

Oh, and here's a little fun fact: with over 4,400 American servicemen/women killed in Iraq (here), a war of false pretenses, George W. Bush didn't actually keep Americans safe. And, AND, even the most conservative estimates put innocent Iraqi casualties at more than 100,000 (it's somewhere between 100,000 and 3 billion depending on what you need people to believe), and some of those casualties were pregnant women and unborn persons fetuses, which means George W. Bush is a war criminal/criminal against peace/abortion provider... enjoy that beer with him America! Make sure you ask him about being a cheerleader at prep school, cause y'all have that in common.

Anyway, it had been a while since I posted anything sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Portland, so in honor of them, and the anniversary of Rosa Parks's act of laziness domestic terrorism civil disobedience (December 1, 1955), I say to all you dirty hippies:
  • Take a bath
  • Get a job
  • It's called a CHRISTMAS tree, not a holiday tree (wait, what?)
Oh, and why are people who are sooo comfortable with the use of pepper spray now all upset about arsenic in apple juice? Arsenic is a naturally occurring ingredient in apple seeds, ergo arsenic is just a food product. Morans.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Song of the Day: "Who Are You"

Her name is Kathryn Calder, and she's Canadian; ergo she's a member of one of their super groups (in this case, it's New Pornographers). She is Michael Des Barres to Neko Case's Robert Palmer (when Power Station toured, Palmer did not and Michael Des Barres tried to fill his shoes).

Later Des Barres played in 11 episodes of Melrose Place, so perhaps a similar future awaits Kathryn Calder. Perhaps Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives.

Song: "Who Are You"
Artist: Kathryn Calder

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Melanie

I was taken aback to find a recipe at her blog and then I saw it was from Courtney. Chiptole honey drizzle, it sounds good (here). I guess anything's possible, but it takes some adjustment to see her in a maternal role... like seeing me watch ESPN, I guess. I mean, when it's not men's gymnastics or water polo.
"Don't cha' love. The little baby./Don't you want to make him. Stay up late."

"So sentimental/Not sentimental no!/Romantic not disgusting yet"
I love this Brat Pack mash-up with the Phoenix song.

"Back in school we used to dream about this everyday/Could it really happen? Or do dreams just fade away" 

"I’m scared by spiders too/I never managed to blame you"

"The reflex is an only child he's waiting in the park"

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Lisa

It's the birthday trifecta today, and we start with Lisa out in Salt Lake City (well she was, then she quit, now I don't know for sure, just, you know... Salt Lake City?). Hopefully she's run off and joined the circus...
"Now there's only two things in life but I forget what they are"

"Don't fear the stormy sky./The sun shines bright when the clouds pass by."

"I'm goin' back where my garden blooms all year/Where the wintertime speaks softly in the fallin' rain"
"Now on the arm of her daddy she's walkin' down the aisle/I see her catch my eye and give me a secret smile"

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Barbra Streisand"

Yesterday's Grammy nomination announcement had such an immense oversight that I can't actually find much to like about them, but here's 1 I can. Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand" is nominated for Best Dance Recording... now where are my glow sticks?

Song: "Barbra Streisand"
Artist: Duck Sauce

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sometimes in the same week...

Gotta love ol' Newt, and the Republican disdain for Mittens. Meanwhile, poor Ron Paul can't catch a break. At least he's taking some shots at Newt here.

And I won't kick Herman Cain while he's down, except to point out the ludicrousness of him not being upfront about all the pussy -- when his fair weather supporters go away, it'll be to Newt, who has a pretty shitty record when it comes to remaining faithful (on account of how much he loves his country, naturally).

Song of the Day: "Hold On"

I used Sound Hound to identify this song back on October 12 at 7:02 p.m. (PDT, I'm sure). That was a Wednesday, so I'm going out on a limb and guessing I heard it on KNRK-FM here in Portland. The time makes me think it was that week's new music thingy ("slice of new music heaven"?) since I have no idea who The Chain Gang of 1974 are.

You can get a free download of this track at their website (here) if you're as taken with the song as I am. They play Seattle on December 6, then continue on to stops in Idaho and Colorado. I'm guessing they were just here as my timing is always perfect (-ly off).

Song: "Hold On"
Artist: The Chain Gang of 1974

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Missing: have you seen this painting?

So this, um, piece of... art (sure, let's go with art) is missing. It occurs to me that there should be a celebrity version of People's Court. God, I really should be a producer.

Song of the Day: "Channel Pressure"

A dude from Oneontrix and a dude from Tigercity -- they used to be called Games but now they are Ford & Lopatin (which is, technically, the dudes' respective last names, which is a weird coincidence when you don't think about it).

This is the title track to their first album (first album as Ford & Lopatin, that is). 

Song: "Channel Pressure"
Artist: Ford & Lopatin

Monday, November 28, 2011

R.I.P. Ken Russell

Saade still owes me a birthday post for him, but I'll try to do him justice on my own.

The first word that pops into my mind when I think of Ken Russell is "dead"... no, wait, I mean "flamboyant." But I don't mean flamboyant in the "Center Square" way, although it wouldn't be so bad if I did. I'd take Paul Lynde for the win. I mean, a living Paul Lynde, like 40 years ago. Wow, this isn't starting well.

Hey, look, Ken Russell directed Tommy!

Gothic and Lair of the White Worm are mid/late-80s favorites.

I haven't seen Altered States in 30 years -- about the only thing I remember is Blair Brown is in it with William Hurt (and not Sigourney Weaver, like you initially thought).

Anyway, subtlety? Not so much. And in that spirit, I send you off with Kathleen Turner as sportswear designer by day/hooker by night (which some many of us were in the early 80s) and Anthony Perkins as a Christopher Walken/Dennis Hopper-level lunatic, in the wickedly awful Crimes of Passion.

Rest in peace dude.

"He have a flake paper"... indeed

You know what's great about Craigslist?


Just plain everything.

I don't know what kind of iambic pentameter this writer was attempting, but good for him or her:

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( ____WARNING EVERYONE____((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

His name is Bart Walker but He's go by Mark Peterson.
He's married man and have HIV+. He's a big lied! tell people that he's not HIV+


And now I believe it is time for me to go to bed.

Song of the Day: "Nothing is the News"

It seems like just yesterday, or possibly 12-13 years ago that someone, possibly Wharton Rob, possibly 1 of the 3 guys named Garth I knew in Seattle in 1999, exposed me to my first Damien Jurado.

Of course if time isn't linear, that day could be tomorrow. But it's probably not.

Anyway, new Damien's next album, Maraqopa, will be released in February, and is produced by Richard Swift.

Song: "Nothing is the News"
Artist: Damien Jurado

In praise of "clever"

During Community's first season it was a likable enough comedy, even despite Chevy Chase (at least 90% of everything's he done is just awful). I was lulled into thinking Jeff and Britta were the next Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Bo and Luke, or Maddie and David, and in the last episode of the first season, they proved me wrong.

And with the second season they stopped pretending the show was about a community college. It became this celebration of pop culture embracing and eschewing sitcom tropes left and right. When they had a bottle episode, they told us it was a bottle episode.

I don't laugh out loud as much as I do with Glee (which is driven mainly by Brittany, Santana and Emma when I think about it), but its celebration of pop culture is fucking awesome. Especially Abed's love for Cougar Town.

I don't know that its homage to Apocalypse Now and/or Hearts of Darkness (the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, not the TNT movie starring John Malkovich and Tim Roth, I think [that's Heart of Darkness, the source material for Apocalypse Now]) was better than other recent episodes, but it's the one that motivated me to do a blog post on how clever the show is.

And here's some awesome karaoke.

Please NBC, don't cancel it (it's going into hiatus)... put The Office out of its misery instead.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today's yum: Screen Door

I had lunch with a friend today. The purpose of this picture is not to brag about how I had lunch with David Boreanaz, or even how amazing my Photoshop skills are (or are not) -- the purpose of this picture is to illustrate how IN THE KITCHEN our table was.

Portland suffers from what I call Brunch Herd Syndrome -- when a brunch place is in, it is so crazily popular as to manifest 45-minute waits or longer. And, as I've said in the past, "it's just eggs" so what's the big deal? Yes, okay, some eggs are better than others, but there are perfectly good brunch options with no wait (Radio Room), and as good as Screen Door is, I don't think it's a 45-minute wait better than Radio Room.

"So why did you go to Screen Door," some of you might be thinking.

Well, because it came up as an option with "David" and since my other options included Izzy's, I decided we should at least see what the wait was at Screen Door (party of 2, lots of people traveling, maybe not so bad). Screen Door is a 45-minute wait (or more) better than Izzy's. Cold cereal is also a 45-minute wait better than Izzy's, but "David" loves it.

When we arrived, they said 10 minutes, "20 minutes worst case scenario."

They lie at Screen Door.

Then they seat you in the kitchen.

Then they bring you deliciousness. Seriously, this was really fucking good. It was worth the 22 minute wait (for a party of 2). I think 30 minutes would have been pushing it.

What are we up to, 3 now?

Here's a perfect example of the effectiveness of data visualization

Devinekevine via I Love Charts

OMG it's all connected!!!

From Disinformation -- I ran this by Clark who is pretty sure this is a good strawman model. I pointed out it was missing Apple, Nike, Comcast and Netflix, but he assures me those are just fronts for names already on here. So now you know...

Song of the Day: "Civilian"

Salon ran an article asking musicians for their favorite songs from 2011 (2011 being completely over at this point -- musically it's effectively over since most record labels schedule their new releases between January and October, but albums from The Roots, The Black Keys, the Amy Winehouse b-side dump, Korn [Korn?! did they get back from their 7-year journey to Mars, hooray!], and even Nickelback have albums out in the last 6 weeks of the year, and we all know Nickelback = critical acclaim except for the bad timing of the release), and John Darnielle's mention is today's song.

I'd seen the name Wye Oak a few times over the course of the year -- not as much as Rick Santorum but certainly more than Jon Huntsman -- but had never heard the music until yesterday's article. Salon asked for the "catchiest" song of the year, and here's what Darnielle had to say about "Civilian":
...Wye Oak’s “Civilian” is an outstanding song with a haunted wisp of a melody and a lyric I could really hang onto. I think these are pretty grim times for rock bands lyrically — people don’t really seem to put much effort into their lyrics, or to have much ambition — so it was a real kick in the mouth to dig into “Civilian” and find the story hidden away in its abbreviated revelations and reluctantly shared secrets. “I still keep my baby teeth/in the bedside table with my jewelry/You sleep in the bed with me/My jewelry and my baby teeth” — this is good writing, to my ear. I don’t get the chance to say that as often as I’d like.

Song: "Civilian"
Artist: Wye Oak

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Suddenly a new challenger

Goldman Sachs announces its Presidential run at Salon (here).

GOP consultant Mark McKinnon, who is not involved in the campaign but is familiar with its strategy, said the decision to hire Mr. Nugent to speak for Goldman Sachs was based on thousands of focus groups and polls that were conducted over the last several months. “The focus groups loved Ted because he’s seen as a guy who doesn’t read books and who likes to shoot things,” said Mr. McKinnon. “And they felt he was their best proof that evolution, an unpopular concept among Tea Party voters, is total bullshit.” According to Mr. McKinnon, Goldman Sachs paid for its $1 billion in market research with profits made by betting against the capacity of homeowners to pay back the subprime mortgages it sold to them between 2004 and 2008.