Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whitney exhaled

It would be disingenuous of me to pretend I haven't made snarky comments suggesting Whitney Houston might meet an untimely death as she apparently has today.

Just type "Whitney Houston" as below if you really want to see the things I've said (or see the results here).

The Waiting to Exhale soundtrack is a fantastic record, although Whitney's work is less impressive than that of other women like Mary J. Blige and Brandy. Stil, there's something a little plaintive about this song that makes it the one I want to post.

Rest in peace girl.

Song of the Day: "All Day Today"

This closes out the recent acquisition I made of Hospitality's self-titled full length album.

Song: "All Day Today"
Artist: Hospitality

Friday, February 10, 2012

Song of the Day: "Free"

I was concerned that the band behind this catchy song, Graffiti6, was connected to Prince, because, and I can't stress this enough, FUCK PRINCE. No mention of (fuck) Prince in their bio. Jamie Scott and a dude named Tommy D. Probably this one.

Their album Colours (or possibly Colours 2012) has 12 songs. So far, 3 of those songs have NOT been used in a TV show, movie or commercial. But it's only been out 3 weeks, so don't think of it as a failure, just as a slow starter.

Song: "Free"
Artist: Graffiti6

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Song of the Day: "Midnight Run"

Example is a British singer who comes to my attention via the Fabulous Clinton. This is from Example's third album Playing in the Shadows and is produced by Feed Me (aka Spor aka Jon Gooch). So Example is the singer, Feed Me is the producer, and "Midnight Run" is the song. Thanks Clinton!

Song: "Midnight Run"
Artist: Example

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Song of the Day: "Most Wanted"

Cults was a recent acquisition in my download binge. They join Foster the People (F the Peeps) as a solid album that's a little all-over-the-place musically, in a good way. I like that it's hard to tell that 3 songs I like a lot are from the same album, let alone the same band.

Song: "Most Wanted"
Artists: Cults

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Song of the Day: "Born to Die"

Lana Del Rey, do you love her or hate her? Or have you not yet had the pleasure of hearing the noxious yet infectious "Video Games"? I put her in the same category as St. Vincent: lots of buzz that I just don't get. Lana doesn't get nearly as much critical acclaim as St. Vincent, but she did get a modeling contract and really, isn't that just as good?

She describes herself as a gangsta Nancy Sinatra, which is fine, Nancy certainly could have gotten a modeling contract (and maybe she did). And Lana (nee Elizabeth Grant) cites Elvis Presley, Britney Spears and Kurt Cobain as musical influences, so you know she's taking this whole thing super seriously y'all.

Song: "Born to Die"
Artist: Lana Del Rey

Monday, February 6, 2012

I like the way you say "dehydration"

Totally not gay Grammy winner
Randy Travis
Totally not gay Grammy winner Randy Travis was arrested in Denton TX this morning, all because he was sitting in his car with an open bottle of wine and smelling of alcohol. Or so the buzz kills of the Denton County Sheriff's Department would have you believe.

According to some shit I read, his tour manager blamed the incident on dehydration and a bad reaction to over-the-counter allergy medications.

The Council on Dehydration said, "Pfff" while the Association of Over-the-Counter Allergy Medications released this statement: "Yeah... right."

No one can confirm or deny whether he was merely pretending he was on The A-List: Dallas, but he totally should be next season.

Song of the Day: "The Golden Age and the Silver Girl"

Tyler Lyle is from Carrollton, GA... that's about it as far as info worth repeating from his bio. I mean, it also tells you what kind of soul he is, why he plays music and the 2 characteristics always present in his songs, but based on my reading, Carrollton is the most informative. And I don't mean that to be snarky (but I am, generally, snarky), I've just read enough musician bios to know what's useful. Let the song speak for itself.

This is the title track to what I believe is his first full album (there are 2 or 3 EPs preceeding it, but really, if it's not 12" vinyl played at 45 rpm, is it an EP or an LP?).

Song: "The Golden Age and the Silver Girl"
Artist: Tyler Lyle

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Song of the Day: "Lay Down Your Weary Tune"

I got the 4-disk Dylan tribute the other day and listened for well over 3 hours on Friday afternoon at work. This is Billy Bragg, sounding like Billy Bragg should (and not singing about kids wetting the bed).

Song: "Lay Down Your Weary Tune"
Artist: Billy Bragg

Newt Gingrich: Visionary Genius (and NOT Opportunistic Narcissist)

Newt Gingrich is going to be the Republican nominee in this year's Presidential election. Just ask him, he will tell you that himself.

And when he wins, and he will, he will go on to win again in 2016. Again, just ask him. You can't be that confident without some serious insight, something that gives you knowledge of a secret weapon that would allow someone with such incredibly large negative polling numbers to defeat an incumbent during a year of an expanding economy, even if he can defeat the largely unliked Mittens by being the last Republican in the race whose last name isn't Romney.

I have been a Newt fan for years. After all, a man who would let the Federal government shut down due to budget impasse after feeling disrespected by Bill Clinton on Air Force One is a man who truly embodies the slogan "cunty first."

That he excuses his own multiple philanderings because he loves his country so much while leading the impeachment of Bill Clinton is simply a lesson in the importance of philosophical integrity. Bill Clinton wasn't impeached for having an affair, he was impeached for lying about the affair under oath in a civil lawsuit.

And Newt Gingrich has never ever lied about anything under oath. (That I can think of for this post.)

So I found it very exciting when Newt Gingrich, historian, proclaimed his vision of a manned lunar base by the end of his second Presidential term (January 2021). And this incredibly complicated vision, filled with what would normally be more than a decade of planning and preparation, wasn't just some "Hail Mary" pass he threw in Florida, near the hub of Florida's space industry, in an attempt to woo some voters to what appears to people not nearly as smart as Newt to be a dying campaign. We thought it was doomed when all of his staff quit months ago, and clearly we were wrong then too. Newt's campaign is like some chronic ailment, AIDS or diabetes; you can fight it and treat it, but it will still be there, trying to kill you.

A lunar colony, can you imagine? By the way, Newt loves to attack Obama (I should just stop there) and frequently describes some of Obama's speeches as have a distinctively Kenyan, anti-colonial tone to them. Which is a subtle way of reminding America that Obama is BLACK AND TOTALLY NOT AN AMERICAN AND NOT ELIGIBLE TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT. Presumably you understand that anti-colonial is bad. Sometimes the Obama speeches are just "anti-colonial" and the "Kenyan" is silent, like the T in Colbert.

But Newt is also a man who loves and respects the founding fathers. How can he do that if they were anti-colonialists but also anti-colonialism is bad? Because he's Newt Gingrich and he's so much smarter than you and there will be no follow-up questions, thank you.

So Newt Gingrich, future President, future moon colonizer, was bold enough to give us a specific timeline with a specific goal. A mere politician would have given one without the other "by the end of my second term we will be on our way to..." or "I vow to begin that process that will result in... (with only a vague end time)."

Clearly Newt is no mere politician.

But I'm hugely disappointed that Newt's incredibly bold vision for the future seems to have been forgotten. A Google search this morning shows results that are 5 or 6 days old, about the time of the Florida primary. I guess the vision is too complicated to share outside a state with a space industry, so I hope to hear more when he is courting Texas voters, because I know this is real and he will make it happen.

Here are some things I am super eager to find out:
  • Who's going to do it? Newt wants to slash NASA's budget, and yet has an audacious vision that requires NASA's expertise.
  • Who's going to pay for it? Newt wants to reduce the size of government, and hates taxes and deficits. What magical formula does Newt have to make this happen? The invention of the inter-webz only happened thanks to the generosity of Federal money (aka "pork") and the genius of Oscar winner Al Gore, and while its existence has prompted more than enough economic benefit to justify that money, I doubt you could go back in time and persuade American business geniuses to pro-actively fund the inter-webz on spec. "We will spend lots of money to invest in a company whose business model involves losing money shipping bags of pet food, but we will NOT create its infrastructure" you can almost hear them say.
  • How do we get there? According to actual rocket scientists, the US does not currently have a vehicle that can fly to the moon. Of course the only person smarter than a rocket scientist is Newt Gingrich, so I want to know his plan: power ring, boom tube, transporter, or good old Kryptonian yellow sun strength?  Or maybe something out of the Marvel universe.
  • And once we are there, then what? Are we creating some kind of modular, prefabricated thing that gets assembled on the moon? Or are we sending construction materials TO the moon and building there? Or are we going to mine the moon for the raw materials we need? And if so, how do we get the shit that's necessary to that up there? Only Newt Gingrich's mind knows all these details.
  • Oh and how many people are needed on the moon to assemble, mine, etc.? 50? 500? 5,000? Who does he see in this role? Oh, wait, I already know this one: poor kids. That is a text book Newt Gingrich solution: put poor kids to work, so they won't be poor any more (never mind the absence of jobs for experienced adults, let alone children, Newt Gingrich won't be pestered by reality).
  • And how are those kids going to breathe and eat? The lunar colony that is totally a real plan and not just something Newt Gingrich pulled out of his ass is going to be there forever. And it will be difficult to FedEx air, food and water to the moon (difficult, but not impossible, because once the opportunity is there, American business won't hesitate, just don't look for them to make their own opportunity, the way Libertarians think they do--even Atlas Shrugged, which I haven't actually read, has a lead character working in the rail industry with no reference to how that industry's existence relied on the very governmental assistance they disdain, but that's Ayn "I'll take Medicare for myself thank you" Rand for you).
Anyway, this all makes the campaign really exciting because clearly Mittens is not nearly as smart at Newt.

Ripped from the headlines: used car edition

Since I didn't clear this in advance, names have been changed to protect the fabulous. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is entirely likely as there are 7 billion fucking people in the world, so stop being so vain, Carly Simon, this song may not be about you (but it probably is).

Recently a good friend, let's call him Mitch Jones, was buying a new car. A "flaming tangerine" new car. And it turns out his friend Juan had a late model, low miles vehicle that his grandFATHER was no longer able to drive, that Juan had been given by, um, a werewolf hunter working in Idaho (I have to add interesting plot points where I can).

For Juan, the vehicle was more burden than blessing (let's say that it had a weird werewolf-related curse, but that curse only applied to the werewolf hunter and to the person to whom the car was given by the hunter, and any subsequent transfer would be curse-free because as I think through the story, that little nuance might bite me in the ass, so end of curse once it leaves Juan's possession).

It could only be driven on the nights with a full moon. (That's the best I can come up with, because apparently I'm not giving up on that plot point even thought it ends here.)

So Juan implored the ruggedly handsome Mitch Jones to investigate the possibility of trading in the soon-to-be-no-longer-cursed, late model, low mileage car in on the purchase of the flaming tangerine new car, so that Juan could avoid the carnival sideshow experience that is selling something on Craigslist.

If you aren't familiar with Craigslist, it is like a giant college bulletin board put online, except that in addition to ride shares, jobs, services, and stuff for sale, there are also personal ads with some amazingly specific and/or statistically unrealistic expectations. If you want someone to offer 460 gallons of cottage cheese in exchange for the used laptop you're trying to sell, then Craigslist is for you. If you have a 20 minute window after your wife leaves for work before you need to leave for work, and you want someone to come to your house in that window so you can indulge a very specific sexual fantasy, then Craigslist is for you -- it probably won't work, but it's free, so what's the harm? I mean, aside from someone trying to learn enough about you to exploit that information later and possibly ruining your life. Did I mention it's free?

Anyway, after a prior experience selling a used vehicle on the list that is Craig's, Juan was reluctant and I don't blame him. So the late model, low mileage, soon-to-not-be-cursed car went to the auto dealership, and the haggling commenced. "It was in an accident," they said.

"Me no habla," said Juan.

"WE CAN ONLY OFFER YOU THIS MANY DOLLARS" they said loudly and slowly: the American method of universal language translation.

Fast forward with your TiVo remote and a deal is found. Is it the best deal? No. Is it the worst deal? No. Did Juan avoid the threat of deportation by selling the car on Craigslist and having an Immigration Agent be the buyer and then find himself forced to marry some random stranger (possibly Andie MacDowell, possibly Tonya Harding) to stay in the country, as always happens in the sitcoms? Yes. And no more car with its associated werewolf-related curse.


Or so he thinks. Little did he know that Mitch is horribly untrustworthy and may have already spent that money on FabergĂ© Eggs and pay-per-view porn. Seriously, $29.95 for 3 hours? WTF!!!

But here's the interesting part of the story, if you're still reading.  The listing for the lm/lm/stnlc car from the Used Car Sales People:
Heated door mirrors, Low tire pressure warning, and Remote keyless entry. Gassss saverrrr! Power To Surprise! You don't have to worry about depreciation on this beautiful 2009 Kia Spectra! The guy before you got it all! What a guy! J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2009 Spectra 4 out of 5 Power Circles for Overall Initial Quality Design. Climb into this outstanding one-owner Spectra and you can't help but be impressed by the way that previous owner took care of it. This car is nicely equipped with features such as Heated door mirrors, Low tire pressure warning, Remote keyless entry, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 6 Speakers, Air conditioning, AM/FM radio, AM/FM/CD w/4 Speakers, Anti-whiplash front head restraints, Bodyside moldings, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest w/Storage, Front reading lights, Full Cloth Seat Trim, Illuminated entry, Occupant sensing airbag, Overhead airbag, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power steering, Power windows, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear window defroster, Security system, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Split folding rear seat, Tachometer, Tilt steering wheel, and Variably intermittent wipers.
Oh snap!

Now as I, I mean Mitch pointed out to Juan, first they were generally complimentary about him in the ad.  He is a great guy and he did take great care of it. 

But while they were not obligated to mention the werewolf-related curse as it disappeared once Juan rid himself of the car and even as I'm typing this I realize that plot point was way more burden than it was worth, they didn't mention the accident. And while I didn't mention it earlier, when they only offered THIS MANY, which was less than Kelly Blue Book, it was because of the accident, and their obligation as Used Car Professionals to disclose the accident as part of the well known UCP Oath: "Never miss a chance to screw a customer." "We care" [about making as much money one each sale and Disclosure is just a crappy Michael Douglas/Demi Moore movie.]

Stay tune for part 2, wherein Juan attempts to cash Mitch's personal check. (Special guest star: Andie MacDowell)