Saturday, October 1, 2011

The worst possible way to discover you have a disease

I recently received this survey invitation:
"We are looking for Alzheimer's & memory loss patients to participate in a study concerning health.  Based on your answers to a recent [survey name removed], you have indicated that either you or someone in your household suffers from Alzheimer's/memory loss, or you are a caregiver for a Alzheimer's/memory loss patient.  We would like to obtain valuable input from the patient, and we request your assistance."
OMG. No one I live with or care for has Alzheimer's or memory loss.

And, AND, I don't remember taking that survey OR answering questions like that.

Which is totally a symptom that someone with Alzheimer's or memory loss would have.

Ergo it's me.

Which totes sucks. Until I forget about it.

The Leedy House

You know the one, the house all the neighbors complained about (okay, maybe just 1 neighbor, whatev).

Well those neighbors can and should suck it, because the Leedys are now available via iTunes and those complaining neighbors (really just the 1, whatev) aren't. I mean, I assume not, but I guess there's like a <1% chance that the neighbor is some Emo musical type who's recently moved to Portland since my writing about music has really transformed Portland into *the* place to be.

Or Esperanza Spalding.

Although probably not Esperanza Spalding since they live in Garthwick and something tells me the other neighbors wouldn't take kindly to such "diversification." [NOTE: I have no actual idea whether or not Garthwick residents currently or historically are in anyway racist, but I've got to get the bitchy in where I can.]

Where was I? Oh, right, congrats to E and G and C and F!!! They're not the first peeps I know in iTunes, but they are the easiest for me to get in touch with. (For now.)

Happy Birthday Tony Hale

A friend just got Netflix (the online one that's still called Netflix, not the other one with the DVDs that's now called Elaine or Qwikdraw or M'buutatu or whatever) and she asked me for some television show recommendations for her to check out.

All I said to her was Arrested Development.

3 seasons of chaotic brilliance. Hale was Buster Bluth, and despite how well these clips may or may not play out of context, the show fucking rocks!

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "The Colored Night"

Blind Pilot (sans pilot attire)
Someone brought in the new Blind Pilot yesterday and I have been listening to it. They're locals here in Portland and We Are the Tide is their second full-length album.

This track closes out what would be side 1 if albums had sides anymore. Or if they still made cassettes.

Did I mention my 2003 VW has a cassette player? It's temperamental about gas, oil, power steering fluid AND tires, has cheap plastic dip stick components, an idiosyncratic gravel shield prone to clip loss, and a cassette player. My Counting Crows tape gets quite a workout!

Meanwhile Blind Pilot is on tour the next few months--tonight is Santa Ana, CA, eventually moving east. They play Grand Rapids MI where I knew a dude named Earl right before they play The EARL in Atlanta (where, technically, I also knew a dude named Earl--different dude). It's this kind of thoughtful music writing that keeps you coming back, I know.

You're welcome.

Song: "The Colored Night"
Artist: Blind Pilot

Friday, September 30, 2011

Inspirational thinking

(h/t Eric)

Quote of the day

(h/t Towleroad)
"I believe that marriage is between a man and woman”--Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (remember him, he's the "smart" one)
Presumably Gingrich continued that quote with "and then later between that same man and a different woman, and then after that between that same man and yet ANOTHER woman, much younger of course, and meanwhile the guy can fuck all the OTHER women he wants, if he really cares about America."

Newt Gingrich, he IS still running for President.

Song of the Day: "A Better Place"

I was surprised to find a new Glen Campbell album among the new and noteworthy releases being recommended to me recently, largely because I hadn't considered Glen Campbell in some time.

Like at least a decade, and that's probably liberal.

Campbell has a warm and rewarding voice, but if I'm reaching back that far, I'm far likelier to go for Paul Simon or Neil Diamond, just out of habit.

Ghost on the Canvas is Campbell's final album, according to the man himself. He has Alzheimer's disease, and the good fortune to be able to craft such a fine finale to his career. He covers songs by Robert Pollard and Paul Westerberg, and his collaborators include Chris Isaak and Billy Corgan.

And, presumably, God. From the first line of the first song, the album is clearly the work of a man putting his life in order, and finding solace in his faith.

I'd be hard pressed to name another such work, aside from Warren Zevon's heart-breakingly wonderful The Wind.

Okay, maybe Johnny Cash's American Recordings (volumes 1 through 84, so far).

Song: "A Better Place"
Artist: Glen Campbell

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Estimated vs. actual length

(h/t I Love Charts)

Song of the Day: "Nonstop Disco Powerpack"

Beast(ie) Boy(s)
Okay, here's the thing about this song: it's too slow for disco.

What's that, you're saying, it's not meant to be a dance song? Bullshit. Every song is meant to be a dance song. Whether it's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or the shitty song from Titantic, teh gayz will get a remix out of it.

We won't necessarily be proud of it, but it counts as a "win." Or something.

Which brings us to "Nonstop Disco Powerpack" (an ironically named track, I'm guessing--thanks a lot Brooklyn!). Check it out pitched way the fuck up here. Much better.


Better. Much.

If you don't want to invite the comparisons, don't stick the word "disco" into your song title. It's not like you're new at this guys.

Song: "Nonstop Disco Powerpack" (sorry, "Nonstop 'Disco' Powerpack")
Artist: Beastie Boys

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Song of the Day: "You're Too Weird"

Fruit Bats/Tripper
Fruit Bats are a band something something Chicago (city, not band) something something The Shins. Here's what's interesting (and by "interesting" I mean "here's how I was confused"): I'm pretty sure I decided Jack White was somehow involved in this project. Why? Cause its sound it so distinct. That spells w-h-i-t-e to me.

No Jack White.

But there is a beautiful, lush, elegant, and super suave video with cinematography worthy of Olivia Newton-John or Rick Springfield. Yeah, it's that good.

Hall & Oates good. Stevie Nicks good.


Song: "You're Too Weird"
Artist: Fruit Bats

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Well I can see her now, drinkin' with the boys"

Congratulations to Lisa!

It's been a hectic day at work, but I think we can all appreciate that, upon news that she's engaged, I had the presence of mind to request a Nick Lowe song for the reception. No other actual details just "oh, play this at the reception"... I guess I knew who the fiance was. Let's just pretend I did anyway.

Technically I knew the bride when I used to rock & roll. She may or may not continue in the habit. Me, I like my couch.

From my finger tips to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's ears

New nominees to the Hall of Fame announced today (here) include 2 of 3 woefully overlooked Ovarian American rockers: Heart (complaints here) and Joan Jett (complaints here).

And The Cure, who I haven't even taken the time to mention on account of the pitiful overlooking of Heart and Pat Benetar (Jett is the least egregious of those 3).

But I was just recently thinking that The Cure's Disintegration is an all-time favorite album that aged really well, and I've recently added a slew of their early releases (which have been lovingly re-released) to my library queue. And I got Faith (The Cure's) and Faith (George Michael's) within the same week.

As for Erik B. and Rakim... seriously? No. Not the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, sorry.

Heart. More than any other nominee this year.

Heart. Even it up, even it out.

Ann and Nancy, a gift basket would be great, thanks!

Song of the Day: "Don't Forget How Much I Love You"

I've had a note to myself to find a song from John Doe's new solo album for a few weeks now. I keep looking for a song ("Never Enough") that appears only to have live versions.

Plan B has me using this track--it opens Keeper and it sets a solid, upbeat manifesto for Doe's latest foray into rock, Americana style.

In fact, Doe may be aging like American rock legend Tom Petty, which is to say like a fucking rock star champ. Some say it's better to burn out than fade away, but I'm coming to believe that rocking well into one's AARP membership is truly the best revenge. See also: Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Blondie (sorry Sting, Rod Stewart, you want that other line).

Rock on rocker dude!

Song: "Don't Forget How Much I Love You"
Artist: John Doe

Someone get me Scott Brown's pick-up truck, stat

See when I said "Rick Perry" I really meant "Chris Christie."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Bryan Ferry

Let me get insultingly reductivist: Bryan Ferry = Roxy Music and Roxy Music = Avalon.

Have I offended your sensibilities by overlooking all the other great Roxy albums?

Or by overlooking all the contributions of Phil Manzanera or Other Dude McKay? Yeah, it'll be one of those posts. I'm taking my cues from the cover of the album embedded below:

In the late 80s we played an album by Manzanera & McKay. I don't remember anything about it, aside from Kim's glee at our playing it. Sometimes it was just hipster tag--who called it first. "Take a Chance with Me" was cowritten by Ferry and Manzanera:

And "While My Heart is Still Beating" was cowritten by Ferry and McKay (which I want to pronounce "Mmmkay"):

If you haven't used "Avalon" to get laid, you really are missing out on some solid ammunition. I don't personally need such parlor tricks (not with all the fish jumping in my boat), but you might. You're welcome.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Falls Creek Boys Choir"

Sometimes, when 2 big artists meet, the end result is iconic: Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, Bing Crosby and David Bowie, Kenny and Dolly.

And sometimes when 2 big artists meet, the end result is Prince and Madonna.

The meeting of Mercury Prize shortlister James Blake and indie band of the moment, Bon Iver, is more the latter, I think. More b-side or rarity than anything either of them feels an urgency to share. Why am I giving it time? To make fun of Price (also fuck Prince) and Madonna.

Song: "Falls Creek Boys Choir"
Artist: James Blake/Bon Iver

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Song of the Day: "Gucci Gucci"

No one has a finger on the pulse of pop culture like Kreayshawn, a 22 year old rapper/director/editor who is smarter than everyone else. And whose look is completely and utterly unique.

No one has ever, EVER, looked like her before.  So when she calls you a "basic bitch" don't think "why is Amy Winehouse alive?"... instead think "oh noes, I have been read!"

Song: "Gucci Gucci"
Artist: Kreayshawn