Saturday, October 22, 2011

A public service announcement on climate change

... or something. The more you know!

Happy Birthday Richard Koufey

Alter ego of birthday boy Spike Jonze/Adam Spiegel, he won a Grammy (Best Short Form Video) for directing this video for Fatboy Slim. The video was shot guerrilla-style, with no permit or permission. In addition to the Grammy, Jonze picked up MTV Video Music Awards for Direction, Choreography and Breakthrough Video.

Happy birthday dude.

"Why's this airplane go so slowly"

Birthday girl Shelby Lynne was the first lucky beneficiary of a change to the Grammy rules for Best New Artist. Her 2001 Grammy, based on her career reboot from I Am Shelby Lynne, gave her acclaim for a breakthrough 13 years into her career.

The changes to her look and sound were significant. She went from gingham blouses, denim skirts and a traditional country sound to a bluesy, more sophisticated sound and a notably sexier look. Seriously, lots of skin on every album cover. Check out her ass in the mirror here.

I like Lynne's album of Dusty Springfield covers, Just a Little Lovin', but nothing she's done before or since quite matches the distinctively rich sound she found with I Am Shelby Lynne.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on.

Sign of the day

(h/t Erin)
Any system that allows a private party to own an endangered species has flaws.

To own 20+ of them has serious issues.

The circumstances around the deaths of the animals are unfortunate. Maybe anyone buying that much Tiger Chow should be suspect. Just a thought.

Congratulations to Barack Obama for winning the war in Iraq

He hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden.*
He killed the other leader of Al Qaida. *
He took out Muammar Gaddafi.*

He busted the underpants bomber.*
He busted the Christmas bomber.*

Meanwhile George W. Bush didn't do any of those things AND allowed 9/11 AND never figured out who made the anthrax attacks AND ran up a huge deficit AND is generally a war criminal. He's really fucking lucky he's white. Cause y'all ain't never questioned whether or not that retard was really eligible to be President (despite the fact that he stole both elections).

A brother just can't catch a break.

* Not Obama personally, but still more than Bush did.

Song of the Day: "I Was Born"

They're Scottish.

They're math rock.

They're a band you've never heard of.

Ergo, love!

I should also mention that they came to me.

I found their music because THEY started following me on Teh Twitterz machine. Let this be a lesson to you, Biffy Clyro. Wait, Biffy Clyro don't ever wear shirts, so they don't need to be taught anything. Sorry dudes, you're doing fine.

Check out more music at

Song: "I Was Born"
Artist: Trapped in Kansas

Friday, October 21, 2011

Song of the Day: "It's Real"

I love this song because it's got a classic college rock sound to it. Plain and simple. R.E.M., Feelies, Marshall Crenshaw. Yes. Yes!

Song: "It's Real"
Artist: Real Estate

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Condolences to Senator McCain

Condolences on the death of your close personal friend. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know that he pushed to arm Gaddafi as recently as 2009. Truly a maverick.

Despots: we love them until we hate them.

America, fuck yeah!

I think this is right
From Pleated Jeans.

Click to embiggen.

What's scary to Oregon? Hipsters

Fucking hipsters. Where's my baseball bat.

Happy Birthday Tom Petty

One of these days I'll take the time to give him a proper post. 30+ years and still going strong as a relatively drama-free rock star?! WTF? In any other industry that would be commendable, but somehow I think Tom gets taken for granted.

In a recent song of the day post with John Doe I said that Petty is aging like a fucking rock star champ. And I stand by that. He's in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and has 3 Grammys--1 as a solo artist, 1 with the Heartbreakers, and 1 as  Traveling Wilbury. And he's still producing solid albums (not all of which I have heard, but some of which I did add to my library queue recently).

Here's something very old.

And here's something relatively recent.

And quite randomly, here's Glen Campbell covering Tom from the soundtrack to She's the One, a movie nobody every saw.

Happy birthday dude! Stay drama free, and rock the fuck on! Not that you need my encouragement.

On every continent

Occupy Antarctica
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland
Occupy Antarctica

Song of the Day: "Rise Up"

Not a pearl necklace
Kenny Chesney, rock & fuckin' roll!!!

Or not. ESPN? Serious?

How inclusive of them.

Where is my tambourine...

Oh, hey, I "borrowed" the pucca necklace from a great blog post titled "The Algorithm of Kenny Chesney" (here), check it out.  Fun!

Song: "Rise Up"
Artist: Kenny Chesney

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I was only hired to collect underpants

My life part 16,452.

A black female named Teresa, what are the odds

"All she has is the same first name. The only descriptions that match are 'Teresa' and 'black female'"
Stay classy Atlanta.

Quote of the day

“It’s not that far of a connection between what’s happening now in that park and a more focused, research-based kind of attack.”--Christopher Falkenberg, chief executive of Insite Security/former Secret Service agent
That quote is about Occupy Wall Street and Zuccotti Park, from "Protests Are a Payday for Security Firms" (here). While Tea Party protests were merely real Americans exercising their First and Second Amendment rights, the Occupy Wall Street protests are the work of socialists who hate capitalism and hate our freedoms and want to redistribute wealth and are druggies and moochers and other bad stuff. of course their signs tend to be spelled correctly and not nearly as racist, but that's a contrast for another day. "They hate our freedoms!"

Insite Security: where to turn when you want to know how to get a shitload of gold out of the US via submarine in the event the Federal Government is overthrown. 

Happy Birthday LaWanda Page

If you are over 30 (or John, who is 22 but has all the cultural knowledge of someone twice his age), you know her as Aunt Esther from Sanford & Son. Pretty much so do I. I've also seen her on the commercials for the Dean Martin Roast DVDs. Here are a couple of trips:

I'm not saying her work as Aunt Esther deserved to win an Emmy, but something tells me if you hold her work up to that of Sally Struthers in All in the Family, it would hold up pretty well. If anything, I think TV Land should do something to honor the character at one of its awards.

"Peanut butter legs: brown, smooth and easy to spread"
Hysterical. If you ever hear me say something similar, perhaps using mayonnaise or butter in lieu of peanut butter, remember, it was my joke first. Or something.

If you are under 30, you might know LaWanda as the storyteller from RuPaul's "Supermodel"... or not... but now you will.

Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "The Walk"

Mayer Hawthorne pretends he's Brad Pitt in Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this video for this recent song. It's not quite Cee-lo's "Fuck You" but the Holland/Dozier/Holland sound with lyrics like "your shitty fucking attitude" make this a song I can groove to any time.

Song: "The Walk"
Artist: Mayer Hawthorne

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby steps toward organization


Pay no attention to the disarray of the shoes or the fact that the rug seems not to have been vacuumed... ever. Here's what's important: the sticky notes.

Those tell me what is in each drawer after Clark decided I'd been living out of laundry baskets too long. For some reason he didn't find merit in having a lot of empty dresser drawers and only using a "clean" and "not so clean" system for baskets.

I mean, it seems obvious to me, but some folks operate on different wavelengths.

So he organized me.

And then told me what was where through a series of stickies.

Favorite that I've noticed: "shorts public." At first I thought it said "shorts pubic" as in the shorts I've turned into Daisy Dukes and you can see my pubic hair [NOTE: there are no such shorts in existence]. Not so, these are merely the shorts of mine he approves of me wearing in public. Judge Judy, that's him.

So thanks to Clark! I'm not sure what I'd do without him, but it would probably involve me actually paying someone (shudder).

Song of the Day: "Shake it Out"

+ The Machine
By now you probably know who Florence + the Machine Is. Are. It's primarily Florence Welch so I think of "them" as her, but not in the annoyingly dismissive way calling The Police "Sting and the Police" is, I swear. Or I am, whatev. Can I say that I had to be on a call with a client at 5:00 this morning. And I had to talk.

Yeah, it's been one of those days. And it's not even 7:00.

Anyway, back to Flo: Ceremonials, the follow-up to Lungs, is out this month. Presumably there will also be a tour for me to miss. From what I've seen of her performing live, she's fantastic. She sang as part of a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Grammy's earlier this year; I'd hoped Xtina would learn she didn't need to screech in every song based on how well her co-performers sounded compared with her (Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, maybe someone else [Jennifer Hudson--J and Xtina, that was the pissing contest]), but I think it made her think she's needs to screech more to compensate. Or overcompensate.

Her live mash-up with Dirtee Rascal at the BRITs is worth looking for.

Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out [Official Music Video] from Back Alley Journals on Vimeo.

Song: "Shake it Out"
Artist: Florence + the Machine

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pie charts do have that effect

My life, part 16,450.

Good morning Baltimore

(h/t Big Shoe Diaries)

Porn star/bon vivant/blogger Colby Keller (Colby like cheese, Keller like Helen) posted photos from Occupy Baltimore. Here are 2 I loved.

Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland
Occupy Baltimore

Song of the Day: "Aquele Abraço"

The answer to the question "what has Angelique Kidjo been up to recently" is this song from the new Red Hot + Rio 2: Electric Bugaloo. The Red Hot Benefit Series kicked off with Red Hot + Blue in 1990 and this is the 17th release. Apparently AIDS is hard to cure.

"Aquele Abraço" is a Gilberto Gil song from 1969 and, because I don't speak Portuguese, I can't tell you any more.

Brazilian Girls (who are from NYC) and Forro in the Dark (who WERE from Brazil but now also live in NYC) are also on the song.

I have no idea what Ugly Kid Joe has been up to recently.

  Aquele Abraço - Forró In The Dark + Brazilian Girls + Angelique Kidjo by ThatEricAlper

Song: Aquele Abraço"
Artist: Forro in the Dark, Brazilian Girls, Angelique Kidjo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"For theirs is a land with a wall around it/And mine is a faith in my fellow man"

Sir Billy Bragg (knighted by me) was 28 when he wrote "Between the Wars." He is a better songwriter, a better singer, and a smarter person than me. Which is probably why he was knighted--I don't just toss those around casually.

Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland

"I am not moving"

(h/t Bill in Exile)

I forget where I read this quote, but I feel like it's worth repeating as much as possible: "We have a permit, it's called the Constitution."

Happy Birthday Nico

My affinity for her is modest, but even that defies an obvious explanation. It's rare for me to characterize myself as a better singer than someone (Yoko Ono, Tom Waits), or even as good a singer as someone (Nico, Bob Dylan). Nico is one of those exceptions. She reminds me of the musical stylings of Marlene Dietrich, which is actually a thing.

Oh and she was deaf in one ear... makes more sense.

Regardless, her work from the 60s is, if not iconic, at least noteworthy. But there's no denying that "These Days" is a perfect theme song for Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums so let's go with that.

I've written about my recent-ish interest in Velvet Underground, so I want to make sure I cover something from The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Nico wrote all the songs on The Marble Index and plays harmonium, which is also a thing. Trouser Press said this:  
The Marble Index was a substantial improvement. Arranger John Cale took Nico's disturbing poetry and set it to even more disturbing music; the result is one of the scariest records ever made. Unlike Chelsea Girl, in which Nico tried to adapt to an outmoded chanteuse tradition, The Marble Index blasts her off to her own universe. Regardless of whether more credit is due her or Cale, the album is powerfully effective.
Her own universe. Apparently I should apply for a job with Trouser Press (are they still in business?)... Anyway, here's the song she wrote about taking peyote with Jim Morrison. [DISCLAIMER: I'm hearing this for the first time this morning and it really is unsettling. Perhaps this is the anti-drug message that would have been most effective.]

Nico says she didn't use heroin when she was performing with Velvet Underground, but picked it up later, in the 70s. She quit heroin after using for 15 years, was undergoing methadone treatments and eating well and riding her bicycle for exercise when she died. She suffered a minor heart attack while riding her bike, and hit her head in the resulting fall. She was incorrectly diagnosed with heat exposure and died from a cerebral  hemorrhage at age 49.

Sometimes it's not the drugs, but rather it's not taking the drugs that kills you. [SEE ALSO: Amy Winehouse] Irony wins again!

Here's the last thing she recorded, a track with Marc Almond from his 1985 album The Stars We Are.

szólj hozzá: Marc Almond - Your Kisses Burn

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "Lucky Now"

Ashes & Fire is Ryan Adams thirteenth album (including work with Whiskeytown, and his "and the Cardinals" releases); there are also 10 EPs. All of this since 1995, so clearly Ryan is showing off. I think I lost track in 2005, a year he released 3 albums. I may have even purchased all 3 (clearly a time when I was still buying music--I still buy music, but quite parsimoniously).

Oh, did I mention that in addition to all that music, there's also a hiatus from music in there? Adams suffered (or possibly suffers still) from Ménière's disease (yes, that) so he stopped performing, wrote poetry, married Mandy Moore and released some of the above albums which contained unreleased materials. 

He says he was inspired to rework most of the songs after listening to Laura Marling's I Speak Because I Can. Apparently this spurred a competitive instinct in him. I vaguely remember finding the album good the way Beth Orton is good (here), but I obviously didn't listen to it closely enough because I wasn't inspired to redo anything. Of course it's also possible that the quality of my work is a bit higher than Adams. Or my standards are lower. Either works.

Song: "Lucky Now"
Artist: Ryan Adams