Saturday, October 15, 2011

Song of the Day: "China Shoes"

Blondie from Panic of Girls, their ninth album. I thought it was  self-released but apparently they share a label with Mötley Crüe, JET, Buck Cherry and Lit.

The library hasn't gotten a copy yet, so I'm making due with online options. But I like what I've heard.

Song: "China Shoes"
Artist: Blondie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Okay, make it 2

We are the 1% bitches!

There's a new Tumblr. I made a contribution but can't figure out where/who to submit it to...

"And gold is the reason for the wars we wage"

Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland
Occupy my couch
Occupy your mom

Song of the Day: "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)"

It's Anna Lee, not anally. Let's just get that one straight early on. We all may want (it) to be anally, but the lyric is "we all want to be Anna Lee."

Hey look, it's The Bangles. And it's NOT Susannah Hoffs and the Bangles. Although someone's gone from the mix. Michael Steele is out. I guess she was too busy as head of the RNC and now working for MSNBC.

Oh and produced by Matthew Sweet, which is awesome.

Song: "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)"
Artist: The Bangles

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down"

It's Margaret Thatcher's birthday. Elvis Costello wrote this song just for her...

Song of the Day: "White Pony"

Pic from kenny_harris via Twitter
The third, and greatest Scottish music moment for me yesterday was finding beautiful high definition videos from Roddy Frame's show in Leeds on Monday night.

Frame hasn't done more than a dozen live shows in any given year in as long as I can remember. I had advance knowledge for this month's shows, but, alas, insufficient liquidity for the $1,000+ plane ticket plus all other expenses.

And then "clearspot" (Simon!) stepped in. The videos and sound quality are amazing. Seriously, check out "Killermont Street" or "Bigger Brighter Better" or "Walk Out to Winter."

Or this, a new fucking song from Roddy Frame. And the crowd goes wild... dude, seriously, you're breaking my heart. You have no idea how much you're missed.

Song: "White Pony"
Artist: Roddy Frame

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The occassional band

I had 3 Scottish music delights this afternoon:
  • I found myself being followed on Twitter by a band called Trapped in Kansas, and I dig them. They create "mathematically intricate music" and are Scottish. I wonder if they wear shirts...
  • I found impossibly good video clips of Roddy Frame's concert in Leeds the other night. I am sad that I am not seeing him on one of his very few dates this year/decade. More on that tomorrow.
  • I went to see if The Blue Nile had awakened from their 7-year (so far) slumber (I was in L.A. when High was released), and found an amazing recap of the band (here).
The Blue Nile's 4 albums map to points of inflection in my life: A Walk Across the Rooftops was early college;  Hats part of my isolation in Miami after college; Peace at Last was yin to the yang of Everything but the Girl's Walking Wounded on my move from Dallas to Portland; and High part of my isolation in L.A. in 2004.

It's probably good that they don't have something new as I don't really want to move or feel isolated again.

The post at Grounds for Appeal "The Occasional Band AKA The Blue Nile" (here) is great. Here's the description of Hats:

It’s a stone classic, a towering achievement in sparse yet deeply emotional song writing, arranging and execution.
Seven tracks, and seven perfect invocations of a rainy winter’s night in Glasgow, redolent of trains, buses, puddled lights, the black river, the heave of a city center Saturday night, the melancholy of a journey home alone, the frosted chill of a silent Sunday morning, white hills seen through the fog of your own breath – all set against a shifting landscape of love found and love lost.
Opening with a single laconic drum beat, the album sets off at a stately somber pace out of which flows its minimalist beauty. It’s a perfect exercise in understatement, each note considered, meticulously planned.
If you know the band, go read the post. If you don't know the band, go read the post. If you're not sure either way, what is your fucking problem... moron.

Shit is fucked up and bullshit

I did not make this sign, but wish I had
I know that protests typically draw protesters that sound like this clip from South Park:

And my plans to donate bags of ice tonight were changed when, on my walk to Chapman Park to find the kitchen to confirm they still could use ice I started knocking over cans of spray paint and instantly felt conspicuous as "the man" (in my clothes from work, smelling like I'd bathed in the past 72 hours, one of these things is not like the others). I decided they could use my PayPal donation from last night for ice if they really need some. I'll stop by tomorrow during the day, perhaps I'll be less spooked.

But this article is an important one to read if you're at all interested in finding out WTF this is all about. Here are just 2 of the boring but insightful graphics. Pretty data!
Near record high unemployment

Despite near record profits

The revolution starts now... and they need ice

They say they need ice, so I'm gonna swing by 7-11 and get the folks some ice.

Here's a little Steve Earle for your Wednesday evening.

Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland

"She says I wanna do right but not right now"

It's also Gillian Welch's birthday, so here's something from 2003's Soul Journey:

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"This stick was signed by Jean Béliveau so don't fucking tell me where to fucking go"

It's Jane Siberry's birthday, and her Bound by the Beauty album is favorite of mine. I can't find a version of her doing "Hockey" but I'm so impressed with this cover that I'm including it. Enjoy Nanci Zoppi taking you to the exotic land of Canada!

"If you remind me of my dog, we'll probably git along, little doggie"

"I could've but I didn't want ta"
I can't find the title track by Siberry, so I'll close with a ukulele cover of "Miss Punta Blanca" by Duncan.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Dick Gregory

I enjoy the randomness of some of my birthdays. I don't know that I could tell you who Dick Gregory was before reading some background on him today, but he's a civil rights activist, comedian, businessman and humanitarian. And I am loving listening to him. "Keep Dick alive!" indeed.
Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant and this white waitress came up to me and said, "We don't serve colored people here." I said, "That's all right. I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken."
I'm not gonna sit here and type stuff I'm learning for the first time this morning, but enjoy the clips.

Happy birthday dude! Keep Dick alive!

Song of the Day: "Sway"

I don't think I'd heard Mates of State ever before their recent album, Mountaintops. It's their seventh album (with additional EPs) across more than a decade, so there's a lot to discover here.

And they are from Lawrence, Kansas.

And husband and wife.


Song: "Sway"
Artist: Mates of State

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Guidelines for participation in Occupy Portland's General Assembly

Should you find yourself there, this is useful to know.

Occupy Portland
Occupy Wall Street

Song of the Day: "Wild Man"

New Kate Bush, out today. I'm sure Eric is very excited.

Listening to it again today makes me wish Kate would do a song with Grace Jones.

You know it would be teh awesum.

Eric might even explode!

Song: "Wild Man"
Artist: Grace Jones

What part of "hush" money don't you people understand

(h/t Pam's House Blend)

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution online (here):
Attorneys representing Eddie Long's church have informed three of the five young men who accused the pastor of sexual coercion that they intend to recover nearly $1 million from their financial settlement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

The letter, sent this week by the Atlanta law firm Drew Eckl & Farnham, alleges that Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp violated terms of a confidentiality agreement outlined in the settlement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The firm is seeking at least $900,000 already paid the three accusers, according to people involved in the settlement but not authorized to speak publicly. That figure is a portion of the total settlement with the three men.

2 more videos (morans!)

First up, Elizabeth Warren--she's sane, clearly understands the issues around our current deregulated financial markets, and not histrionic... thank GOD Obammer threw her under the bus. Can't have one of those helping consumers, no sir.

And this is amusing.

Hey, I want MY country back too (morans)!

I watched video from #OccupyBoston last night (here), as cops swarmed the protest camps. Not a mention of it on any local or cable channel last night or today. My local news is talking about Beyonce's baby bump, so it must have been nothing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

zOMG this movie looks scary!

"The Revolution is just a t-shirt away"

Occupy Portland
Occupy Wall Street
(Occupy My Couch)

Happy Birthday Mario López

From Saved by the Bell to Saved by the Bell: The College Years to Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas to Saved by the Bell: The New Class, let it never be said that López turned his back on the show the launched (was) his career.

Actually he has a lot in common with Neil Patrick Harris. Both started as young actors, both have hosted high profile television events (Harris the Emmys and Tonys; López Miss Universe and other pageants), both have worked on Broadway... and what else. I think there's at least 1 more thing, aside from great abs.

Oh, right, they're both dads as of last year.

Happy birthday dude! Don't change a thing.

But if you're black you need to multiply it by 700

(h/t Bill in Exile)
Clearly the US debt didn't exist before Obammer, and it will all disappear when he leaves office after 1 failed term, replaced by President Elect Perry Christie Bachmann Gingrich Cain Santorum Romney. LOL, I crack myself up.

Mittens... sigh.

You know, something tells me some folks we see this and think that if Reagan did it the most, and W did it second most, and Obammer did it the least, then clearly it should have been done more. All while complaining about the debt.

Song of the Day: "North Side Gal"

JD McPherson opens for Sir Nick Lowe at the Aladdin Wednesday night. His debut, Signs & Signifiers, was released about a year ago, but he's only crossing my path now when I find myself wondering "well who the hell is that" under Lowe's name.

And now that I know, it will make the inevitability of me skipping the show all the more pathetic. Seriously, this is a great fucking track.

When did I get so old that going to see a show on a Wednesday night seems like work?

Song: "North Side Gal"
Artist: JD McPherson

Happy Birthday Ben Vereen

No, that's LeVar Burton. No, that's Louis Gossett Jr. No, that's Robert Guillame.

Tony winner Vereen is probably best known for... well, to be honest I think he's probably best known as being confused for someone else, which, even as I type it, doesn't sound at all flattering. But he does have a Tony for Pippin and a Tony nomination for Jesus Christ Superstar. And several Emmy nominations. And a Cable ACE award nomination (which makes me think of a Jenna quote from 30 Rock: "I was *great* on that episode of Arliss").

And David Foster hit him with a car. (Why do you think they call him "hit man"?)

As far as his movies, I'm gonna say All That Jazz is the best one he's worked on (Roots being a TV thingy). I'm pretty sure the die-hard Funny Lady fans don't read this blog. Or will stop now with this affront.

ATJ is audacious and self-indulgent and stylish. Vereen is O'Connor Flood, the master of ceremonies for the death of Joe Gideon, and that name has got to be either an anagram or a reference to someone. Did Bob Fosse work with Donald O'Connor and Flood? Nominated for 9 Oscars, winning 4, ATJ is a quasi-autobiographical fever dream of Bob Fosse's life and heart attack while he made Lenny and prepared Chicago for its first Broadway run. And it inspired the video for Paula Adbul's "Cold Hearted" (altogether now: "Snake!").

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Jackie

My baby sister's birthday is today. She is absolutely one of the best people I know, which makes the fact that we never actually talk kinda weird, so don't think about it.

In year's past I've paid tribute to her with various heavy metal songs, and why should this year be any different? Let's start with the tape that got lodged in my car's cassette player on the drive home from the mall (as a wonderful brother I am sure I dropped everything and drove her to the mall without any hassles, because that's how I roll--until you get a thrash metal cassette stuck in my tape player... then the butter knife comes out [it's how I dislodged it]). I think it was Rising Force that got lodged in there, so I'm grabbing a track from that. It's surprisingly melodic and not at all what  I remember. Weird.... oh, it's 9 minutes long and changes around 4 minutes in. Never mind, this is totes what I remember.

I don't know if I've ever talked to her about Cinderella's Heartbreak Station but I think she liked them, generally, in the way that fans of college radio would like Love & Rockets even if they didn't particularly like Love & Rockets. This album came out when I was in Florida, and it took some weird bout of insomnia leading to drives over to the beach in the middle of the night to listen to the ocean for a while and hearing what I thought was a new AC/DC song for me to even notice.

Is Heartbreak Station Cinderella's best album? Um... sure, why not. The album is heavily inspired by Tom Keifer's love of the blues (by which I think they mean love of AC/DC). Grunge came around the next year and they weren't happy (to be fair, 1994's Still Climbing broke into the top 30 in Sweden, which is better than I've done). Here's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" "Home Sweet Home" "Heartbreak Station":

I also credit her with my appreciation for Eddie Izzard. Thanks again for that (he's now the voice of my GPS).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"The class war's real and not mythologized"

I have a vague recollection of a drive out to the big Turtles store on Buford Highway (it was faster and easier than getting to Wax n' Facts) to pick up The Style Council's "Walls Come Tumbling Down!" as an import single (it was the first from the new album, I was excited--I was young, those things don't happen anymore). Like I voluntarily left my house after 9:30 p.m. on a week night (is that even possible?)... I believe I got a Helen Terry 12" single with it, or I'm just saying that to make you jealous.

Regardless, I never thought much of this as a single at the time (it went to #6 in the UK). But much to my surprise, this song pops into my head every time I watch or read news coverage of the various Occupy protests.

Between the Occupy protests and some serious union-related tensions in Longview, Washington, it's been very Paul Weller/Billy Bragg the last several weeks.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We heart grandma's presents

When my mother sends me boxes, she packs them lovingly with dirty socks (that might seem icky to you, but in fact Midge adores it). This morning Midge even started eating the box.

It doesn't take much to make Midge happy. It just takes little things on like an hourly basis.

Rethinking breast cancer self-exams

(h/t Dan in OKC)

An effective public service announcement from Rethink Breast Cancer. At least it worked for me. I'm going to go examine myself right now.

Song of the Day: "Did I Let You Know"

Another track from the recent Red Hot Chili Pepper's album.

Song: "Did I Let You Know"
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers