Saturday, February 12, 2011

What, no, that would be stupid

"You're not going to blog about this are you?"--Clark
I made turkey (100% natural, but with a huge asterisk next to that; I didn't have time to read the footnote, but I'm sure it was something about how they couldn't say it was more than 100% natural on account of laws) earlier and tonight I made something called stuffing casserole.

First it looked like this:

Then it looked like this:

So now it's back in the oven. But, and this is important, those are totally "fresh" carrots. I mean, I bought them a week ago, but they were straight from the open produce area, not even a bag.

You can too sing with food in your mouth

It's 3-time Emmy nominee Arsenio Hall's birthday. You may hate every second of Hall's show, but it's still better than Jay Leno's tenure as Tonight Show host.

It's clear to me why Arsenio, as Chunky A, wasn't a bigger hit: he was dressed as an overweight man, NOT an overweight woman. Shit, the man ignored the lessons of Flip Wilson, Eddie Murphy, and maybe Martin Lawrence (I am not going to bother looking up the release date for Big Momma's House and compare it to this), but at least Tyler Perry learned. I await Tyler Perry's tribute to Martha Wash. (OMFG, Tyler Perry IS Martha Wash in Black Box: The Martha Wash Story, someone get me @TheLaLaExec, stat).

Song of the Day: "Stay Too Long"

Plan B (aka Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew, and I got 3 of those 4 names right originally, but in nowhere near the correct order), Brit dude, dances like me (ergo dances AWESOME), and kinda makes me think of Michael Buble's younger brother, trying to over-compensate for being related to Michael Buble. Thoughts?

Song: "Stay Too Long"
Artist: Plan B

Honey badger don't give a shit

(h/t Megan)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blatant racism (TV listings edition)

(h/t Someecards)

Happy Birthday Sheryl Crow

Well, apparently it's beat up on Eric through Liz Phair day because JUST LAST NIGHT, in a text regarding his hype over Guyville I sent him this text:
"I got a B- in Feminist Poetry and I sing in a Sheryl Crow tribute band, but not a good Sheryl Crow tribute band"
And it's Sheryl Crow's birthday!!!

Eric replied to my text telling me that wasn't a good way to meet guys, and, um, he would know?! (Dude, you are making this way too easy.)

Back in the mid-/late-90s, I used to cringe at how much Sheryl Crow ended up on my end of year singles lists. But what are you going to do? If she'd had a flat voice, sang with no charisma, and wrote awkward and pointless songs she could have joined Liz Phair in the remainder bin. So here we go with a bunch of songs I like:
"Since I left / Been feelin' better, cause that's
What you get when you / Stay together too long"

"He was high on intellectualism
I've never been there but the brochure looks nice"

"You listen to Coltrane, derail your own train
Well who hasn't been there before?"

"Your friends are sorry for me
They watch you pretend to adore me"

A special note about "Anything but Down," a song that might actually be one of my favorites of hers. Apples don't grow on vines. Right? I'm like 97% sure. In fact, I kinda wish they did, it would alleviate like more than a decade of frustration over that lyric. She could should have said "roses from the vine" and we would have been fine. ("Apples from the fine"... no. Roses from the vine.)
"You are a raging sea
I pull myself out everyday"

I leave y'all with a wonderful example of why I love the inter-webs. It's Dwight Yoakam with Sheryl covering a Sonny & Cher song, but it's so very much more than that. Enjoy the magic.

Now, as a post script to the Liz Phair bashing. I don't care if you don't like any of these songs. Your mileage WILL vary. Just don't tell Eric you don't like Exile in Guyville (there are chits at stake [I do wonder if the chit will be devalued when we move back to the gold standard]).

EGOT standings: 9 Grammy wins. Neither of her 2 Golden Globe nominated songs went on to pick up an Oscar nomination, so that's it so far. But totally look for her to get an Emmy nomination eventually, possibly for a song from a special episode of Army Wives or something celebrating children. Or NASCAR (which is like children with pubic hair).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Under Cover of Darkness"

New music from The Strokes. Did they say this would be the last album? Maybe, I don't know. Someone besides LCD Soundsystem said something like that and now I can't be bothered to look.

I know that posting this song for download received such a huge response that it broke the internet (or at least The Strokes' server). So there you go. I'm sure this will also be a seminal song, just like those Liz Phair songs, because, um, it exists...

Song: "Under Cover of Darkness"
Artist: The Strokes

Confused in Guyville

So I re-listened to Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville yesterday during my commute home from work, and I return to a "meh" summary. It suffered from the excess of hype before I heard it 16 or 18 years ago (Kim & John and Wharton Rob were all big advocates), and suffers further from Eric de-chitting me (I know!) over my not just flat out LOVING IT AS IMPORTANT AND WHAT NOT or something. I don't know, he's not making a lot of sense.

But, and this is important, he insists that these are seminal songs:
Divorce Song
Fuck and Run
Johnny Sunshine

To which I replied that Aztec Camera's Frestonia redefined rock music (actually Frestonia is a huge yawn). I don't think either of us should get away with those statements with showing our work. So while we wait for you to think of another court case, Sarah Palin, here's Liz at her pinnacle and at her nadir.

No, that's NOT Avril Lavigne.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Alexander Payne

Charged with directing smart, sharp, well-acted movies.

Exhibit A: Citizen Ruth

Exhibit B:  Election

Exhibit C: About Schmidt

Exhibit D: Sideways

Verdict: Guilty

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "The Magic"

Okay, anyone who knows me will immediately decide that this is song of the day thanks to the gratuitous beefcake in the video, but honestly it's all too much. These guys look like maybe they'd be fun to drive once (like a Jaguar), but not worth all the freaking upkeep (like a Jaguar), if you could even get them to start (like a Jaguar).

But the song, well, the song is a nice change of pace, a good chunk of white gal funk (I'd pair her with !!! if I were booking a concert), so put it on and minimize the browser, and enjoy. Oh, and I have no idea why Joan Wasser calls herself Joan as Police Woman. But she does.

Song: "The Magic"
Artist: Joan as Police Woman

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Charlie Day

Funny thing is, I know people like his character on ...Always Sunny... Not exactly like him, but certainly from that school of thought.

IASIP, 2 parts hilarious, 1 part repugnant... you should totally watch it.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Sun comes up, sun goes down, Bill O'Reilly acts like a dick

(h/t Towleroad)
Like clockwork.

Here's Bill O. interrupting/interviewing Barry O.

Happy Birthday Jared

I was looking for something from Daughtry the Avett Bros. to post for him and ran across this excellent live version of "Signs"...

... wherein I discovered the song was written by one Jim Avett back in the 70s. Weird. I wonder if they are related somehow.

I will say that the phrase "life long friend" sounds... well, like gay code. Is Jim Avett living on the downlow with Scott Manring? Also, "manring"... really? Jared will need to explain this today.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Buttercup"

The opening track from Lucinda Williams's 11th album, Blessed.

Yesterday Eric told me I "lost a chit" for not LOVING Exile in Guyville, and accused me of only loving cliche, fag hag women. What the fuck? And, AND, I can't even STAND Mariah Carey any more (does any gay man?)--and my Lady Gaga consumption is like when I eat one of those huge "single serving" pieces of birthday cake from the Safeway bakery: I am not proud of it, it doesn't taste good, and I really don't tell everybody how great it is.

But since he went to an Ivy League school, he must be right. Which means Lucinda must be  big ol' cliche fag hag.

Well, maybe if you squint. (WTF?)

Song: "Buttercup"
Artist: Lucinda Williams

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Sir John Williams

He was last year's featured birthday, and so takes a backseat to Sir Jack, but recently someone posted this mathematically inaccurate, but musically compelling "Theme from Jurassic Park Slowed Down 1000%." Since slowing something down 100% effectively STOPS it, the 1000% hurts my head, so ignore that part (unless Jack wants to chime in with a description I'm not savvy to, also Jack [co-worker/friend Jack, not Sir Jack... yet, although I'm the man who can knight Americans {and non-Americans}] thinks Reagan qualifies as a war criminal, so we may yet follow up on that later too).

Anyway, listen to the music, don't do the math. The score for Animal Kingdom reminds me of this (although AK was in a much darker, minor key).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Sir Jack Lemmon

A lifelong favorite of mine, Orenthal James "Jack" Lemmon (not really, just Jack) has 2 Oscars wins (with 6 more nominations), 2 Emmys (with 4 more nominations), and 2 Tony nominations. I think I realized it was true love when I watched Mister Roberts one afternoon at GSU's Lyceum (daily movies, free, in the old College of Business building that later became the subject of a massive asbestos clean-up). I'd seen him before in a variety of roles, but there's no denying his charm in this, one of his first major roles (and his first Oscar nomination which was also his first Oscar win).

It doesn't hurt his case that he's worked repeatedly with writers and directors I love: Sir Billy Wilder; Sir Blake Edwards; Sir Neil Simon. Maybe others. Sir Walter Matthau, technically another actor (Sir Julie Andrews, Sir Sissy Spacek, also)...

Ugh, gotta go in to work early today. Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace!

Song of the Day: "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)"

Enrique Iglesias joins the long list of artists unable to secure any future publishing deals with Andrews McMeel Publishing. And their customer service representatives need to avoid The King's Speech lest they spontaneously combust.

Language... such atrocious language. And so early in the morning. Sigh.

Song: "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)"
Artist: Enrique Iglesias/Ludacris

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hahahahaha... war criminal

(h/t Salon)

A planned trip by Bush to speak at the Switzerland-based United Israel Appeal later this week has been canceled after several human rights groups called for Swiss authorities to arrest Bush and investigate him for authorizing torture. Bush has traveled widely since leaving office, but not to Europe, where there is a strong tradition of international prosecutions.

The Swiss group and Bush's spokesman claim that it was threats of protest, not of legal action, that prompted the cancellation. (Salon here)
Dude, buck up or stay in the truck. Protests? Pussy. 9/11 happened, dude, you can face protests. Go, dude. Go and show off all your American Exceptionalism(tm).

Hmm, maybe George W. Bush isn't as dumb as I think he is. I mean, he's still dumb, but he's apparently not fully retarded.

Guess I will need to get him drunk first, then tell him his dad called him a pussy for not going to Europe. SISSY-laden Europe. You know that would freak him the fuck out (it's prep school all over again).

Happy Birthday Eddie Izzard

Kudos to Jackie for making me reconsider his stand-up comedy. I really do love him now.

And George W. Bush must get up very early every morning.

2 Emmy wins, 1 more nomination; 1 Tony nomination (so far). Dude needs to record some of his material and get in the Grammy game. And host some awards shows (although he already has Emmys).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Coming soon: Capt. America

(h/t Towleroad)
Chris Evans ignores his manager's advice; thank you Chris Evans!
Note to self: swim today.

PS: Someone got paid to apply mist to Chris's chest to get that perfect glisten. Meanwhile I will argue about the multiple meanings of the word "really" with people who probably should know better since they likely studied Communications or something.

Song of the Day: "Expecting to Fly"

Metric takes on Buffalo Springfield, and the sound is decidedly different from everything I've heard from them so far. I think. It's early.

Song: "Expecting to Fly"
Artist: Metric

Smith as tourist

(h/t Richard Smith)

Richard is enjoying Seattle as a tourist, or was last weekend. I believe today he is enjoying his hotel room as a home office. Ah well. (Click picture to embiggen.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Notes on Winter's Bone

More traditional indie drama than crime movie, it's less gripping and a little more nuanced than either The Town and Animal Kingdom, but all 3 are well acted.

The movie is nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes), and Adapted Screenplay. Had I seen this back in the Summer, predicting a nomination for Lawrence would have been a no-brainer (in large part because the distributor/producers were distributing screener copies of the movie to members of various guilds and academies back in October, a plan that often works well for targeted nominations [SEE ALSO: Melissa Leo in Frozen River, which also picked up an Original Screenplay nod]).

I would not have predicted John Hawkes's nomination, but he's rock solid in the role. In competition with Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush, I think he should relax and enjoy the evening. The Independent Spirit Awards will be a showdown between him and Mark Ruffalo, who I keep forgetting is nominated as well.

Which brings me back around to Lawrence. I can see her winning. At the very least, I think she's going to hold her own with Natalie Portman and Annette Bening in final voting.

By the way, this has the qualities of the best of "indie" cinema--great acting in a small, but engaging story, that's artfully assembled without any big, lavish effects. It also raises compelling questions like "does your chain saw work under water?" Well done.

I really wish Bening had put herself in supporting... sigh.

Happy Birthday Ronald Wilson Reagan

1984 Electoral College Map
1984 was the first election in which I was eligible to vote, which is amazing since I am only (cough) 34 now. Through a freaky time/space continuum, I was voting at 8.

Ronald Reagan was the first, and so far only, Republican candidate I've voted for in a Presidential election. Mondale was going to raise my taxes, and I didn't want that.

It's funny how 26 years can change a person.

It's also amusing to see how Reagan has been sainted by conservatives opposed to many of the things he actually did, but maybe that's the key to the endurance of the Reagan mystique. He can be whatever we want him to be. Or don't want him to be.

I rather enjoy watching people who saint Reagan, foam at the mouth over the idea of granting amnesty to illegal aliens, as if St. Ron never did such a thing. But that's evidence that Sarah Palin has the Reagan mystique--all gloss and little substance. She's whatever you want her to be (feminist? sure; honest? um, okay)... you just have to keep buying her new outfits. Oh well, so much for a cynicism-free post about Reagan.

Happy birthday dude! At least you weren't a war criminal...

"I know a lot about art, I just don't know what I like"

(Line stolen brazenly from The Pirate Movie; post taken less brazenly from Bill in Exile)

The blog Driftglass (here) contrasts the work of Jackson Pollock with an aerial view of protests in Egypt.

Notes on The King's Speech

Now that's what I call a damn fine movie. Why wasn't this garnering more accolades during critics' awards season?

I feel like TKS will pick up Best Picture over The Social Network, in part because I think voters over the age of 60 (a non-trivial portion of the Academy) just won't get the relevance of TSN. Or, like me, they just won't get the hype.

I think it's pretty much a lock for Colin Firth to win Best Actor, and I couldn't argue against that if I tried. The ability to act a stammer like that has to be at least as demanding as any accent or ailment any actor has depicted since, let's say My Left Foot. I haven't seen Javier Bardem in Biutiful, but the recent nature of his Oscar win for No Country for Old Men suggests he won't win this year, but one never knows (but Bardem won't win, unless you're in my Oscar pool, in which case he totally will). For James Franco and Jesse Eisenberg, the phrase "an honor just to be nominated" ought to get used a lot. Also the gift bags are super nice.

Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush are both excellent, but they benefit a lot from the writing, and have less showy roles. I need to see The Fighter, but Christian Bale and Melissa Leo are both feeling stronger to win.

There's so much I like about this movie, that I feel like it could pick up 7 or 8 Oscar wins: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (sorry Lisa Cholodenko), Best Actor, Best (cough) Cinematography (sorry Roger Deakins), Best Costume Design, and Best Art Direction. Maybe Best Editing.

I don't see Rush or Carter winning, which leaves Sound Mixing which tend to go to movies with submarines or lasers, and while Inception doesn't have either of those specifically, it's still a bone that could be thrown to that blockbuster. Ya know?

I don't see it winning Original Score, but not sure why.

Anyway, holy shit, really loved it!

Song of the Day: "Lost In The World"

Holy shit, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (which I actually typed in the correct order, although I stopped mid-way on the last word to confirm) is amazing. I checked it out from the library on Friday afternoon and it kicked my ass with the opening track. I'm treating the rap as another layer of the music, it lets me ignore the crass commercial name checking (is there really a Versace sofa? am I supposed to be impressed?)--actually I decided this morning (before coffee, mind you), that it's no different than Springsteen singing of getting out of wherever he's living, it's just their personal form of validation.

The arrangements throughout the album are amazing, and sampling Bon Iver  is just another oddity that I'm starting to expect from Kanye. I have every expectation that he either asked Taylor, or thought about asking her to make an appearance/sample her music, but that he got over that notion quickly--he doesn't need that kind of novelty.

There's a whole lot going on with this record. I also picked up David Sitek's Maximum Balloon project, which is impressive, but precise, polished; if I didn't have the 2 to contrast, I might have missed the genius of Kanye's insanity. Or the insanity of Kanye's genius.

Here's the track with Bon Iver. "Who will survive in America?"

Song: "Lost in the World"
Artist: Kanye West/Bon Iver