Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lenin is lit (and soon I shall be too)

Melanie of Inward Facing Girl fame did, um, whatever the verb associated with a picture becoming something on Instagram, to her picture of Seattle's Status of Lenin decorated for Festivus or Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice or possibly Christmas (but it's Fremont, and Christmas is a little too "rest of the universe," but yeah, maybe Christmas).

She has lots of other cool Instagrams, but I can't figure out how to link to those collectively, so just check her Twitterings. Tell her Sofia sent you.

And, AND, I am going out, on a Saturday night, leaving the house at 10:00 p.m. No, for reals. And not just to drive to Jack in the Box for a milk shake (although a milk shake does sound good right now). Company's here, and my routine is too conspicuously boring, so I have to pretend I go out. So let the Long Islands start to flow...

Quote of the day

Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods, have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works, so they have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day; they have no habit of "I do this and you give me cash," unless it is illegal.--Newt Gingrich (here)
Now there's a good chance that Newt has flip-flopped on his "children should work" philosophy, especially if some child welfare group paid him to be their lobbyist make a speech.

But in case he's still standing by that quote, I want to make 2 points:
  1. "I do this and you give me cash" sounds a lot like the transactions of drug dealers, day laborers/undocumented workers ("theytookourjobs") or prostitutes Craigslist therapeutic service providers. Or, as Drudge would paraphrase it: "Newt Gingrich encourages children to become drug dealers and prostitutes!"
  2. His point of that only work ethic poor kids see is people doing things that are illegal (NOTE: they do NOT have Newt Gingrich as a role model, making $60,000 speeches and otherwise behaving like an entitled white male tool who never had the deck stacked even slightly against him and wondering what all this affirmative action bullshit is about, and also all the flagrantly illegal activities of companies like Goldman Sachs are done by white men in suits, so that would make those "good" in Newt's eyes) is undermined by just how fucking hard drug dealers and prostitutes have to work. Those aren't 9 to 5 jobs, that shit is 24/7, or so I'm told by documentaries on cable. Do you think Newt Gingrich has ever worked as hard for a single day as any random crack whore anywhere in this country? Me neither.
But it's entirely possible that Newt Gingrich is just a performance artist who is doing an elaborate piece on the flimsy nature of American values, in which case he deserves the largest grant the National Endowment for the Arts can ironically provide.

Song of the Day: "First of the Year (Equinox)"

It seems like yesterday that I first typed "who the fuck is Esperanza Spalding" after her surprise Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. That was a year ago (also, awkwardly, the answer became "Grammy winner" and also my neighbor, she lives a couple streets over from me [everyone in Portland does]). By all accounts, Spalding's win is a vindication for the Grammys (I would have accepted Mumford & Sons or Florence + the Machine, or even Mumford + the Machine or Florence & Sons) in a category I think they should eliminate.

This year's nominees included 2 names I expected (Nicki Minaj and The Band Perry [how does Rick Perry find the time to be a Governor, run for President AND record and tour with a band?!]), and 1 that occurred to me the day before the nominations were announced (Bon Iver, and it occurred to me with a cynical burst of, "oh, right, they changed the rules again, that will probably happen" more than some wily prediction), with 2 names I didn't know.

This year I get to type "who the fuck is Skillrex" [note: it's Skrillex, not Skillrex or Skillsaw, but I will not be consistent and am not going to bother to edit] and the answer is he's a 5-time Grammy nominee (in addition to Best New Artist, there are nominations for Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Remixed Recording (Non-Classical)  [by the way, there is NO Best Remixed Recording (Classical) award, so WTF?!], and Best Short Form Video for this very video), bitchez! In addition to "electronic DJ/producer" he was a singer with From First to Last, a band I had never heard of but with origins in Valdosta, GA, although I don't think Sonny [oh, yeah, surprise, Skrillrex is not his "government name," it's Sonny Moore] was with them then... still, if you know anything about Valdosta, GA you'll know that any claim to fame, however tenuous and distant, is a good one.

Speaking of tenuous, From First to Last opened for the band All Time Low on a tour, and now here's a picture of the ever-shirtless Zach Merrick (fun fact: Merrick has a line of shirts, because he's not wearing them).

Where was I? Oh, right, Skillsaw... kudos to you. Here's the Grammy-nominated video.

Song: "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Artist: Skrillex

Patriotism (it rhymes with jism)

(h/t @Anon_Central via Twitter)
"Patience is the new patriotism"--I can't find a clear source for this 2002 quote that would have made George Orwell envious ("double-plus GREAT" he would have exclaimed). Maybe it was then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta (the results of the search I started around 5:30 this morning [because what else does one do when one has seen all the porn online] that point to him all seem to actually use 1 common web post that I don't think is well sourced--however do read the story of Mineta and baseball bats)... or maybe it was Satan, I mean Karl Rove. I get those 2 confused all the time.

The idea of patriotism (by the way, the title of this post has been a label for some of my blog post for some time now, but I'm sure you knew that by now) kinda disappeared between the Bicentennial and the first Gulf War, and then between our glorious victory over the tyrant Saddam (who, d'oh, we happened to leave in power, but I'm sure that wouldn't bite us in the ass at any time in the future [oh wait, technically it didn't]) and THE EVENTS OF 9/11™.

After THE EVENTS OF 9/11™, when Congress managed to stop shitting itself, magically a whole lot of power was handed to George W. Bush (war criminal/criminal against peace) and his evil cohorts Dick Cheney (war criminal/criminal against peace/war profiteer) and Karl Rove (traitor [and by traitor I mean "guilty of the crime of treason" which he was, because he outed Valerie Plame]) through something called The Patriot Act (after hearing that name, Orwell would have turned in his pen and gone fishing [were he still alive, still writing, and writers still using pens... and provided he enjoyed fishing as a hobby]). In fact it happened with such speed and efficiency and lack of substantial opposition that one could could easily see how some might view THE EVENTS OF 9/11™ as a false flag operation, which is just outrageous and also I hear that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim who intends to take your guns.

Glenn Greenwald's How Would a Patriot Act? is a quick and depressing read that outlines the various civil liberties Americans were quick to give up to "stay safe." George W. Bush said that we were attacked during THE EVENTS OF 9/11™ because "they hate our freedoms." Aside from the fact that he was lying, Bush went ahead and basically eliminated a lot of those freedoms, just to be on the safe side. The same way you can both claim to not be superstitious but then if a black cat crosses your path you have to invade a country that had nothing to do with that black cat.

Oh, and here's a little fun fact: with over 4,400 American servicemen/women killed in Iraq (here), a war of false pretenses, George W. Bush didn't actually keep Americans safe. And, AND, even the most conservative estimates put innocent Iraqi casualties at more than 100,000 (it's somewhere between 100,000 and 3 billion depending on what you need people to believe), and some of those casualties were pregnant women and unborn persons fetuses, which means George W. Bush is a war criminal/criminal against peace/abortion provider... enjoy that beer with him America! Make sure you ask him about being a cheerleader at prep school, cause y'all have that in common.

Anyway, it had been a while since I posted anything sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Portland, so in honor of them, and the anniversary of Rosa Parks's act of laziness domestic terrorism civil disobedience (December 1, 1955), I say to all you dirty hippies:
  • Take a bath
  • Get a job
  • It's called a CHRISTMAS tree, not a holiday tree (wait, what?)
Oh, and why are people who are sooo comfortable with the use of pepper spray now all upset about arsenic in apple juice? Arsenic is a naturally occurring ingredient in apple seeds, ergo arsenic is just a food product. Morans.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Song of the Day: "Who Are You"

Her name is Kathryn Calder, and she's Canadian; ergo she's a member of one of their super groups (in this case, it's New Pornographers). She is Michael Des Barres to Neko Case's Robert Palmer (when Power Station toured, Palmer did not and Michael Des Barres tried to fill his shoes).

Later Des Barres played in 11 episodes of Melrose Place, so perhaps a similar future awaits Kathryn Calder. Perhaps Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives.

Song: "Who Are You"
Artist: Kathryn Calder

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Melanie

I was taken aback to find a recipe at her blog and then I saw it was from Courtney. Chiptole honey drizzle, it sounds good (here). I guess anything's possible, but it takes some adjustment to see her in a maternal role... like seeing me watch ESPN, I guess. I mean, when it's not men's gymnastics or water polo.
"Don't cha' love. The little baby./Don't you want to make him. Stay up late."

"So sentimental/Not sentimental no!/Romantic not disgusting yet"
I love this Brat Pack mash-up with the Phoenix song.

"Back in school we used to dream about this everyday/Could it really happen? Or do dreams just fade away" 

"I’m scared by spiders too/I never managed to blame you"

"The reflex is an only child he's waiting in the park"

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Lisa

It's the birthday trifecta today, and we start with Lisa out in Salt Lake City (well she was, then she quit, now I don't know for sure, just, you know... Salt Lake City?). Hopefully she's run off and joined the circus...
"Now there's only two things in life but I forget what they are"

"Don't fear the stormy sky./The sun shines bright when the clouds pass by."

"I'm goin' back where my garden blooms all year/Where the wintertime speaks softly in the fallin' rain"
"Now on the arm of her daddy she's walkin' down the aisle/I see her catch my eye and give me a secret smile"

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Barbra Streisand"

Yesterday's Grammy nomination announcement had such an immense oversight that I can't actually find much to like about them, but here's 1 I can. Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand" is nominated for Best Dance Recording... now where are my glow sticks?

Song: "Barbra Streisand"
Artist: Duck Sauce

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sometimes in the same week...

Gotta love ol' Newt, and the Republican disdain for Mittens. Meanwhile, poor Ron Paul can't catch a break. At least he's taking some shots at Newt here.

And I won't kick Herman Cain while he's down, except to point out the ludicrousness of him not being upfront about all the pussy -- when his fair weather supporters go away, it'll be to Newt, who has a pretty shitty record when it comes to remaining faithful (on account of how much he loves his country, naturally).

Song of the Day: "Hold On"

I used Sound Hound to identify this song back on October 12 at 7:02 p.m. (PDT, I'm sure). That was a Wednesday, so I'm going out on a limb and guessing I heard it on KNRK-FM here in Portland. The time makes me think it was that week's new music thingy ("slice of new music heaven"?) since I have no idea who The Chain Gang of 1974 are.

You can get a free download of this track at their website (here) if you're as taken with the song as I am. They play Seattle on December 6, then continue on to stops in Idaho and Colorado. I'm guessing they were just here as my timing is always perfect (-ly off).

Song: "Hold On"
Artist: The Chain Gang of 1974

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Missing: have you seen this painting?

So this, um, piece of... art (sure, let's go with art) is missing. It occurs to me that there should be a celebrity version of People's Court. God, I really should be a producer.

Song of the Day: "Channel Pressure"

A dude from Oneontrix and a dude from Tigercity -- they used to be called Games but now they are Ford & Lopatin (which is, technically, the dudes' respective last names, which is a weird coincidence when you don't think about it).

This is the title track to their first album (first album as Ford & Lopatin, that is). 

Song: "Channel Pressure"
Artist: Ford & Lopatin

Monday, November 28, 2011

R.I.P. Ken Russell

Saade still owes me a birthday post for him, but I'll try to do him justice on my own.

The first word that pops into my mind when I think of Ken Russell is "dead"... no, wait, I mean "flamboyant." But I don't mean flamboyant in the "Center Square" way, although it wouldn't be so bad if I did. I'd take Paul Lynde for the win. I mean, a living Paul Lynde, like 40 years ago. Wow, this isn't starting well.

Hey, look, Ken Russell directed Tommy!

Gothic and Lair of the White Worm are mid/late-80s favorites.

I haven't seen Altered States in 30 years -- about the only thing I remember is Blair Brown is in it with William Hurt (and not Sigourney Weaver, like you initially thought).

Anyway, subtlety? Not so much. And in that spirit, I send you off with Kathleen Turner as sportswear designer by day/hooker by night (which some many of us were in the early 80s) and Anthony Perkins as a Christopher Walken/Dennis Hopper-level lunatic, in the wickedly awful Crimes of Passion.

Rest in peace dude.

"He have a flake paper"... indeed

You know what's great about Craigslist?


Just plain everything.

I don't know what kind of iambic pentameter this writer was attempting, but good for him or her:

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( ____WARNING EVERYONE____((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

His name is Bart Walker but He's go by Mark Peterson.
He's married man and have HIV+. He's a big lied! tell people that he's not HIV+


And now I believe it is time for me to go to bed.

Song of the Day: "Nothing is the News"

It seems like just yesterday, or possibly 12-13 years ago that someone, possibly Wharton Rob, possibly 1 of the 3 guys named Garth I knew in Seattle in 1999, exposed me to my first Damien Jurado.

Of course if time isn't linear, that day could be tomorrow. But it's probably not.

Anyway, new Damien's next album, Maraqopa, will be released in February, and is produced by Richard Swift.

Song: "Nothing is the News"
Artist: Damien Jurado

In praise of "clever"

During Community's first season it was a likable enough comedy, even despite Chevy Chase (at least 90% of everything's he done is just awful). I was lulled into thinking Jeff and Britta were the next Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Bo and Luke, or Maddie and David, and in the last episode of the first season, they proved me wrong.

And with the second season they stopped pretending the show was about a community college. It became this celebration of pop culture embracing and eschewing sitcom tropes left and right. When they had a bottle episode, they told us it was a bottle episode.

I don't laugh out loud as much as I do with Glee (which is driven mainly by Brittany, Santana and Emma when I think about it), but its celebration of pop culture is fucking awesome. Especially Abed's love for Cougar Town.

I don't know that its homage to Apocalypse Now and/or Hearts of Darkness (the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, not the TNT movie starring John Malkovich and Tim Roth, I think [that's Heart of Darkness, the source material for Apocalypse Now]) was better than other recent episodes, but it's the one that motivated me to do a blog post on how clever the show is.

And here's some awesome karaoke.

Please NBC, don't cancel it (it's going into hiatus)... put The Office out of its misery instead.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today's yum: Screen Door

I had lunch with a friend today. The purpose of this picture is not to brag about how I had lunch with David Boreanaz, or even how amazing my Photoshop skills are (or are not) -- the purpose of this picture is to illustrate how IN THE KITCHEN our table was.

Portland suffers from what I call Brunch Herd Syndrome -- when a brunch place is in, it is so crazily popular as to manifest 45-minute waits or longer. And, as I've said in the past, "it's just eggs" so what's the big deal? Yes, okay, some eggs are better than others, but there are perfectly good brunch options with no wait (Radio Room), and as good as Screen Door is, I don't think it's a 45-minute wait better than Radio Room.

"So why did you go to Screen Door," some of you might be thinking.

Well, because it came up as an option with "David" and since my other options included Izzy's, I decided we should at least see what the wait was at Screen Door (party of 2, lots of people traveling, maybe not so bad). Screen Door is a 45-minute wait (or more) better than Izzy's. Cold cereal is also a 45-minute wait better than Izzy's, but "David" loves it.

When we arrived, they said 10 minutes, "20 minutes worst case scenario."

They lie at Screen Door.

Then they seat you in the kitchen.

Then they bring you deliciousness. Seriously, this was really fucking good. It was worth the 22 minute wait (for a party of 2). I think 30 minutes would have been pushing it.

What are we up to, 3 now?

Here's a perfect example of the effectiveness of data visualization

Devinekevine via I Love Charts

OMG it's all connected!!!

From Disinformation -- I ran this by Clark who is pretty sure this is a good strawman model. I pointed out it was missing Apple, Nike, Comcast and Netflix, but he assures me those are just fronts for names already on here. So now you know...

Song of the Day: "Civilian"

Salon ran an article asking musicians for their favorite songs from 2011 (2011 being completely over at this point -- musically it's effectively over since most record labels schedule their new releases between January and October, but albums from The Roots, The Black Keys, the Amy Winehouse b-side dump, Korn [Korn?! did they get back from their 7-year journey to Mars, hooray!], and even Nickelback have albums out in the last 6 weeks of the year, and we all know Nickelback = critical acclaim except for the bad timing of the release), and John Darnielle's mention is today's song.

I'd seen the name Wye Oak a few times over the course of the year -- not as much as Rick Santorum but certainly more than Jon Huntsman -- but had never heard the music until yesterday's article. Salon asked for the "catchiest" song of the year, and here's what Darnielle had to say about "Civilian":
...Wye Oak’s “Civilian” is an outstanding song with a haunted wisp of a melody and a lyric I could really hang onto. I think these are pretty grim times for rock bands lyrically — people don’t really seem to put much effort into their lyrics, or to have much ambition — so it was a real kick in the mouth to dig into “Civilian” and find the story hidden away in its abbreviated revelations and reluctantly shared secrets. “I still keep my baby teeth/in the bedside table with my jewelry/You sleep in the bed with me/My jewelry and my baby teeth” — this is good writing, to my ear. I don’t get the chance to say that as often as I’d like.

Song: "Civilian"
Artist: Wye Oak