Saturday, November 5, 2011

Song of the Day: "Cruel"

Annie Clark is St. Vincent, and over the last few years I've found her music both compelling and frustrating. If I could explain which quality does what, I would (you know I'm not shy). "Cruel" has both qualities, but the scales tip to compelling and enjoyable. At least on this side of the tubez... how's it on your end?

Song: "Cruel"
Artist: St. Vincent

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wrong meeting?

(h/t Eric)

TSA brings their awesomeness to the roads

This article is so filled with typos that I hope it's a fake of some kind. Authorities (The Fatherland Security Administration in conjunction with Big Brother and the 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 fund) are now "randomly" (cough, "randomly") searching vehicles on I-40 in western Tennessee.

Which will surely help them capture all terrorists who are too stupid to read the article and who happen to actually use I-40.

But only if they happen to be randomly selected for the stop. At least in the airport it's a systematic search.

Oh, and even then it's a crap shoot. Cause they don't always see the things they're looking for (even with x-rays and magnetic imaging).

And it's not like you can't carry things like gasoline and road flares in a motor vehicle. Or guns. Or ammunition. Or toenail clippers.

But still, one fewer civil right to worry about.

America, fuck yeah!

Song of the Day: "Book of Revelation"

Another track from The Drums' second album, Portamento. When I saw Ages and Ages, Okervill River and The Decemberists in September I decided hand claps are the new cello. So here you go.

Oh, and when you listen to this, think "background music for a scene in a John Hughes movie." Right?

The Drums - "Book Of Revelation" (Music Video) from Charles Griffin Gibson on Vimeo.

Song: "Book of Revelation"
Artist: The Drums

Congratulations Leland

And to a lesser extent, his "daughter" Midge, who really wants a sexy Nest thermostat (it's all she talks about).

As the Luckiest Dude in the World, I am happy my mojo is spreading. You're welcome!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Song of the Day: "Blood Pressure"

New music from MUTEMATH. Odd Soul, their third album, was released last month (on my birthday!) and I'm only finding out about it now. Oh well.

Song: "Blood Pressure"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Song of the Day: "Midnight City"

French band M83 first crossed my path a few years ago with "Kim and Jessie," a song that put them in my top 50 singles for 2008. At #50. Take that whoever was #51 that I can't even recall. Tim McGraw (not Tim McGraw, but he's a good, all-purpose punching bag).

The reviews of their (his?) new album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, certainly favorable, largely enthusiastic. Its theme is dreams, and based on many of the reviews I've read the entire album has a hazy, ethereal (is that redundant?) quality. I'm not sure if I would have said that about this song if I hadn't read several album reviews, but now suddenly, I can hear it. And the emperor looks GREAT in those clothes, I can totes see the outfit!

Song: "Midnight City"
Artist: M83

Mummy dog

The large orange plastic dog on my front porch got in the Halloween spirit.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ugh, the 1%

I guess I could learn to like some of them... if I have to.

Just, you know, not her.

Song of the Day: "All Is Not Lost"

Erin and Finn did a special version of this video, but you need Chrome to view it (here). Arcade Fire had a similar HTML 5-intensive video with "We Used to Wait" and if you haven't seen that with Chrome (here), I encourage you to check it out. It's a little weird to see the house you grew up in on the screen.

Meanwhile OK Go continue a career defined more by video than by music, and I'm okay with that. Musically I'm not a huge fan, but the more I hear Cake on the radio, the more respect I have for OK Go. They are considerably better than Cake. But not cake. But definitely Cake.

Song: "All Is Not Lost"
Artist: OK Go

Monday, October 31, 2011

"We have a permit, it's called the Constitution"

I don't know who I heard say the quote that is the title of this post, but I love it. A less distracted man would make up t-shirts or something.

I ran across this through the Twitterz box, and I appreciate its similar sentiment as well.
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Portland
Occupy some clever third thing that I can't come up with now but eventually I'll want to edit this with that

On the town with the girls

OR: what are their names again?
Eric "Jim" (not his real name) sent me a picture of his adorable daughters because they were dining out at my favorite (which is the say "the closest to my office") quick service restaurant, Qdoba. It's right across the street from my office (technically there's a large food court below my office, but I have to go out and double back and take an escalator, while with Qdoba I just walk straight there). I don't actually eat there 3 times a week, but I probably did early in our time in the current office location. I'm a man who likes his ruts. It is very easy to stalk me.

It is less easy to stalk these 2 adorable kids whose names I know but won't disclose because it's possible that people who find my blog after searching for things like "Ray Liotta in a speedo" might... see their picture and think they're cute. Or abduct them and turn them into sister-wives for Mittens Romney.

I cringe even thinking about it. Mittens Romney supporters reading my blog. Shudder.

Anyway, I worried that I wasn't remembering both their names (but I had), but today I decided to call them Lily and Lili in a tribute to the daughter on Gay Dads (the name "Jim" has given to Modern Family).

So Lily and Lili, adorable and secure, until their dad tweets their picture AND their location. D'oh.

If they marry Mittens Romney it is not (entirely) my fault.

And they are adorable.

Happy Birthday Robert Pollard

The dude is a freak. The most musically prolific motherfucker I think I've ever run across. Way more than John Darnielle or Prince (also fuck Prince) or Ryan Adams. A co-worker who's a big fan says he personally owns 72 albums, but that's only the ones he's been able to find (or something... he'd own more if he could find them). If you're unfamiliar with Pollard, or with Guided by Voices, the best way to learn is to dive right in. So here are bunch of brilliant 2-minute pop songs.

First up, Jeremy's picks, starting with one of Pollard's side project--"Pop Zeus"

This live version of "Alone, Stinking, Unafraid" also includes something of a habit from Pollard during his live performances. See if you can figure it out (check here for the answer).

Toggle over to Eric who tossed in "Gold Star for Robot Boy"

And "Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox":

Me, I'm going total poseur, well known songs, like "Teenage FBI"--it would have been so nice to have a catalog of songs around 1:30 to 2:30 back at the radio station, to help me walk up to the news without worrying about dead air:

At over 3 and a half minutes, "Hold onto Hope" is truly GBV's "November Rain" (and Glen Campbell covers it on his final album):

I've got nothing particular funny to say about "The Best of Jill Hives":

How I Met Your Mother ended the Ted/Stella relationship with a sly twist and used this song to convey Ted's exuberance. It. Was. Awesome.

There's more. Like a shitload more to his music, his life (did was quite a jock in high school and college--he pitched a no hitter), but I'm too into work shit.

Sorry dude, but happy birthday! Rock on!

Axes of evil

(h/t Lars, from Incidental Comics)

I love math humor!

Song of the Day: "The Unsinkable Fats Domino"

I planned ahead for a change (someone left me a note). It's Robert Pollard's birthday, and Guided by Voices have today's song of the day. And in the time it's taken me to type this post, Pollard has written 4 more songs.

Song: "The Unsinkable Fats Domino"
Artist: Guided by Voices

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sadly he's too sane to be taken seriously

Jon Huntsmans's daughters respond to the obtuse Herman Cain ad that's gone viral. And now I'm following them on the Twitterz.

This also applies to pets

(h/t Erin, from Coding Horror via I Love Charts and about children)

Happy Birthday Ruth Gordon

When I saw her on today's birthday list, I thought "this will be easy, Rosemary's Baby and Harold & Maude and we're done." That failed to account for Every Which Way But Loose/Any Which Way You Can, 4 Oscar nominations, and an Emmy. And even that doesn't account for a Tony nomination.

So let's start with 3 of her Oscar nominations, which aren't for her acting. Along with husband Garson Kanin (who was 16 years younger than her, you go girl!), she was nominated for the screenplays for Pat & Mike, Adam's Rib, and A Double Life. If I knew that she wrote, I've sufficiently forgotten that I once knew that about her (but I possibly knew that about her). Since Pat & Mike and Adam's Rib are both classics, I feel like this is a big deal.

She also acted on the stage a little before the writing, a little after (her Tony nomination for The Matchmaker came in the 1950s, after the first Oscar nominations). She even starred in 3 autobiographical plays (...that she wrote herself is redundant, but just wanted that to be clear).

She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Inside Daisy Clover which I've never seen, so that's I'll say about that.

She won an Oscar for Rosemary's Baby, a movie that seems to grow in critical esteem every year. It's long been among Chris Wilson's Top 4 (possibly Top 2 or something). I've written about its cinematography before, and I get how distinct its eerie, almost surreal tone was at the time (although 20 years ago when I first saw it, per Chris Wilson's required viewing list, I'm sure I focused on plot and acting, so I didn't always). Gordon's acceptance speech is considered a classic (here, can't embed).

She has 3 Emmy nominations (including 1 for playing Carlton the Doorman's mother on Rhoda, brilliant casting), and won an Emmy for the "Sugar Mama" episode of Taxi where she tries to engage Judd Hirsch as a gigolo. Judd Hirsch. Not Jeff Conaway, not Tony Danza, not even Danny DeVito (let's assume his height makes him useful for certain acts)... Judd Hirsch. Here's the episode.

I conclude with Harold & Maude, a cult classic turned classic turned back to obscurity, it would seem. Or maybe I'm just not aware of what's playing at midnight movies these days. It made the American Film Institute's list of the Top 10 Romantic Comedies in 2008 (Adam's Rib was #7, by the way). The humor is dark and dry, Cat Stevens's songs beautifully used. I credit my mom with elevating this movie to be considered important (as opposed to, say, The French Connection).

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "10Volt"

Comasoft: Burn to Shine
The band Comasoft would still be unknown to me had I not gotten an email from their PR peeps last week (and since that's what PR peeps do, nice job there).

But I probably wouldn't be posting this if I didn't genuinely like the song (there's also the possibility that I didn't have other ideas or they paid me off--I'm not above either of those scenarios, but you already knew that). This time, at least, I really do like the song and I think we can all agree I'd tell you if I didn't.

At least I'd give you a wink.

The song's got a nice mix of rhythmic complexity with big pop hooks. What's not to like?

The band's from Chicago and if you want to know more, their biography is at their website (here) or you can follow them on the Twitterz (here), but I think your best option is probably "fuck yeah, comasoft!" (here), a fan-run Tumblr for the band. I'm a fan of anything that gives me an opportunity to use the word "fuck" and in so doing point out the idiocy of the sensitive ears of Andrews McMeel Publishing. Tumblr must make them cry. A lot.

I don't know much more about the band, though. There are possibly 4 dudes in it. Otherwise do your own research.
  10volt by Comasoft by rebelagenda

Song: "10Volt"
Artist: Comasoft